Sunday, February 28, 2021

Five Random Cubs Cards

I've got 19,027 Cubs cards from 283 different brands listed on a spreadsheet. A random number generator picked five cards, one each from the past several decades.

1900s - 1970s: 1959 Topps #350 Ernie Banks  Mr. Cub just won his first of two consecutive MVP awards.  Topps didn't give him an x00 number in the set, but an x50 is still pretty good. 

1980s: 1982 Superstar #58 Ernie Banks  Let's pick two!  The card is from the 1982 Superstar set and features a picture of Ernie Banks taken at the Polo Grounds.

1990s: 1991 Post #22 Mark Grace  Going the cheap route = no MLB license = no logos = ugly cards

2000s: 2006 Factory Team Set #CHC5 Michael Barrett  This picture on this card is from an interleague game against the Yankees in 2005.  Barrett had a much more notorious interleague game in 2006.  I wish it would have ended up on a card.

This would have been awesome!

2010s: 2013 Heritage #322 Scott Baker Baker missed all of the 2012 season due to Tommy John surgery.  The Cubs signed him for 2013, but he pitched in just three games in September.  He didn't impress anyone and became a free agent after the season.

Saturday, February 27, 2021

The Extra Cards from Allan Kaye's Sports Card News

Several weeks ago I showed the base cards from the Allan Kaye's Sports Card News.  I mentioned that I wasn't done, though.  There were a couple of other sets within the price guides that I was after.  I've got them all now.


These are from the first extra set, a tobacco card set.  The cards have different designs, though they come from the same set.  The Hornsby card is #5 while the Hartnett came later in the set, #28.

The other two insert cards are a result of a gimmick with the Kaye's guide.  

Each issue has two different covers.  One was always a baseball player while the other featured a sports star that wasn't necessarily a baseball player.

Ryno was on the cover of the August 1992 edition as was Hank Aaron.  The big card on the cover is meant to be cut out and saved.

Here's what the Sandberg cover looked like after I took my scissors to it.  But the same card was available on the inside of the Aaron edition.  

It came on this page, along with the tobacco cards.  So once again I had to get my scissors and do some snipping.

These cards are pretty big, measuring 5" x 8".  If you cut them out to that size you can pretty easily tell which comes from the cover and which is from the inside.  The cover cards have a colored border.  Sandberg has a dark orange border.  The Aaron card would have a dark green edge if I cut it out.

The base Kaye's cards and the tobacco cards are both listed in the Trading Card Database but the portrait cards are not.  The portrait cards are also much harder to find on eBay. 

Friday, February 26, 2021

1951 Topps Week 2 Cubs

 The second week of 2021 1951 Topps included another Cub.  Two Cubs out of 26 cards is a pretty decent allocation.  

The second week's print run was just a bit higher than week one, 7,725 vs. 7,679.  I wonder what the profit margin is on sets like this?  How much does Topps clear when they sell 7,725 packs of cards?  I guess it must be enough since they keep cranking out sets like this.

And who was the lucky Cubs player to be in the week two set?

Kris Bryant!  And he gets the runner over, too, though not by anything he did.  Maybe Bryant's awesome plate presence scared the pitcher so much that he committed a balk.

The third week's pack also included a Cub - they were three for three.  I hope to have it in hand soon. 

Thursday, February 25, 2021

They Did Photoshop the Picture, Just Not Enough


I showed the 2021 Topps variation card for Ernie Banks yesterday.  I made the comment that I liked the picture but I would have Photoshopped out the green railing.  It is very distracting, right in the middle of the picture.


This is the original photo Topps used, and as it turns out, they already did some Photoshopping.  They took the time to get rid of that other arm on the railing.  I'm glad they noticed the ugly arm and decided to get rid of it.  So why didn't they recognize the big green railing that was still there?  Getty Images has plenty of other pictures to choose from.  This is one Topps should have skipped.

Wednesday, February 24, 2021

My First 2021 Topps Cubs Card

 My main shipment of 2021 Topps cards is coming via Brentandbecca.  He lives in Arkansas and the mail has been slowed up by the last week's winter storms.

I needed to buy just one card from someone else and it has arrived.

What a great way to start the collecting year... with Mr. Cub.  The card is a short-print variation, which is why I picked it up elsewhere.  The picture is nice, though I would have photoshopped out the green railing.  And kudos to Topps for using a Cubs logo from Ernie's era.

But now that I have a card in hand, I really don't like the design at all.  The player name and position is really hard to read.  Its too small, the slant is not good, and there isn't enough contrast between the font color and the background fill.  Bad, bad, bad.

Will the bad design stop me from buying any more 2021 cards?  Nope.  But I am already looking forward to an improved look in 2022.

Tuesday, February 23, 2021

1991 Sports Educational


Today's card come from 1991 Sports Educational.  The magazine wasn't a price guide but it often gets lumped in with the others from this era.  Instead, it was, as its name implies, an educational workbook that happened to have cards inside.  Editions were made not just for baseball, but for football, hockey, and basketball too.

I don't own the magazine, so I borrowed a picture of the cover from eBay.  But as I was writing this, my teacher's curiosity got the best of me.  I wondered what skills were being taught in the book and at what grade level.  So I found an inexpensive auction and was able to get the book for less than the 1991 cover price of $7.95.  By the way, $7.95 seems pretty high for a book like this.  That price is the equivalent of $15.72 today

The one Cub card belongs to Ryne Sandberg, as usual with these types of books.

Monday, February 22, 2021

1983 Fleer Stamps

 I've shown a couple stamp sets recently.  One was very old and very cool, the 1949 Eureka stamps. The other was half as old and less than half as cool, the 1982 Fleer stamps.  I wish I had another really old, cool set. But instead, its just another Fleer.

The 1983 Fleer stamp set has 244 players and 64 team logo stamps.  They were sold in four different 72-stamp sheets.

This is sheet #1.  If you look closely you can see that this time Fleer included the player's name and position, which was an improvement of the 1982 stamps that had just a picture of the player and the stamp number.  And oddly, the 1983 stamps don't have any number.

Only eight Cubs players were in the set, along with the Cubs logo.





Sunday, February 21, 2021

Five Random Cubs Cards

I've got 19,023 Cubs cards from 282 different brands listed on a spreadsheet. A random number generator picked five cards, one each from the past several decades.

1900s - 1970s: 1976 Hostess #17 Rick Reuschel  Topps produced the cards for Hostess and it looks like they used a picture from the same photoshoot on the 

1976 Topps card.  And why was Reuschel wearing a batting helmet?

1980s: 1988 Donruss #539 Greg Maddux  He looks so young in his early cards because he was.  This picture would have been from the 1987 season, when Maddux was just 21 years old.

1990s: 1992 Team Issued Old Style #11 Gabby Hartnett This set was sponsored by Old Style and given away to the first 20,000 adults on August 28.  It features 28 Cubs greats.  Hartnett and Randy Hundley are the two catchers.

2000s: 2007 Fleer #329 Scott Moore  Moore was less with the 2007 Cubs, playing in just two late-July games.  He was traded to the Orioles at the end of August.

2010s: 2019 Diamond Kings #44 Javier Baez Photo Variation  Perfect glove placement as it covers up the Cubs logo for Panini.  Nicely done, Javy!

Saturday, February 20, 2021

2009 Cubs Program Cards

 The Cubs and Topps partnered up for the second year in a row as Topps provided cards to be included in the 2009 Cubs program.  The cards used in 2008 came from the factory team set and they had no special markings or numbering exclusive to the program.  Would 2009 be the same?

Opening to the page with the card gives a pretty good answer right away. The card of Wrigley Field was not part of the base Topps set.  It was only found in the factory team set.  And the back?

That's the regular factory team set back.  

No exclusive set in the 2009 programs.

The 2009 edition was the last put out by the Cubs.  Beginning in 2010 they sold just the scorecard, which came with a mini-program of eight to ten pages.

Friday, February 19, 2021

2007 Cubs Program Cards - Definitely a Set


This card of Carlos Zambrano came from volume 2 of the Cubs 2007 program.  It's numbered 2 of 2.  My question is where is 1 of 2.  Today I've got the answer.

Here's the first edition from 2007 and the card on the inside, Upper Deck Alfonso Soriano.  His card is the only one I've seen mentioned on any listings of this version of the program.

The card's back gives us the news, that we have a special set.  Soriano is in all of the first edition books and he has card number one while Zambrano is in the second edition with card two.  We definitely have a special set just for the Cubs program.

Thursday, February 18, 2021

2006 Cubs Program Cards??

The 2006 Cubs program arrived.  This was the first of four consecutive years that the program advertised "Collectors' Card Inside."

I knew for the eBay listing that the book has a Derrek Lee Upper Deck card inside.


Here it is, attached to the front of the scorecard in the middle of the program.  

The card is the base 2006 Upper Deck card.  The big unanswered question is whether the back is the base Upper Deck or a special Cubs-only card.

And the answer is...

.... base Upper Deck, just regular card #90.  Nothing special to see here.  The card will go back into the program since I already have the card in the UD binder.

Wednesday, February 17, 2021

My First 2021 Card

 I have my first 2021 card in hand and its my first from 1951 as well.

This is from the on-line only 1951 Topps set by artist Blake Jameson.  Topps used the template from their first set, 1951, and Jameson provided the player's image.  There were 13 cards issued each of the four weeks in January.  You'd get the 13 cards for $19.99.  They were available for just the one week and then cut off, like the Living Set.

Cubs were included in three of the four weeks, which is a really good turnout. The Baez card comes from week #1.  That week's set had a print run of 7,679.

I expect to be getting the other two Cubs cards in the next week or two.  One came from the second week and the other was from week 3.  I'll get them posted as they arrive.

Tuesday, February 16, 2021

1993 Showcase Gallery Cubs

 Today I'm featuring the second of three price guides that were new to me as of a month ago.

This one is called "Showcase Gallery" and like the 1991 Showcase Baseball, it is numbered to 10,000.  I'm pretty sure that two different companies put out two guides with Showcase in their name.  I find it interesting that the two Showcases were both numbered to 10,000.

The numbering bit didn't work for Showcase Baseball which died after two editions.  Showcase Gallery was even less successful, as this is their one and only issue.

The magazine included a sheet with nine cards including every price guide's favorite Cub,

Ryne Sandberg!  The photograph of the whole sheets gives a better look at the gold foil compared to the scan of the card.  I still haven't found a good way to scan foil and keep if from looking so dark.