Monday, October 31, 2022

Some Scary Looking Cards

 It's Halloween, so I have some scary looking Cubs cards. 

You do have to wonder who the people were at Topps that looked and these and said, "It looks fine, print it."  Those people are the truly scary ones!

Sunday, October 30, 2022

Five Random Cubs Cards

I've got 20,762 Cubs cards from 305 different brands listed on a spreadsheet. A random number generator picked five cards, one each from the past several decades.

1900s - 1970s: 1976 Dairy Isle Andy Thornton  He is "Andy" on this and on all of the Cubs cards I have of him.  Pretty much every card of him after his time with the Cubs show his as "Andre."

1980s: 1987 Fleer #567 Ed Lynch  The 1987 season was his last in the big leagues.  His 2-9 record and 5.38 ERA probably has something to do with that.

1990s: 1992 Score #98 Dave Smith  You don't see many cards that give relief pitchers a separate designation.

2000s: 2007 Factory Team #CHC8  Ted Lily  This pose belongs in Heritage, not the Factory team set.

2010s: 2013 Topps Chrome #84 Starlin Castro He was one of the few bright spots on the team in 2013.  Two seasons later he was a part-time player.  The fortunes of baseball can change quickly.

Saturday, October 29, 2022

Sixties Saturday - 1963 Post

 The 1963 Post set was their third and final.  Like their previous two sets, it was made up of 200 cards.  All of the pictures on the 1963 Cubs cards were new to the set. That was different from 1962, which saw several repeats from the 1961 set.

Nine Cubs are in the set, including 1962 Rookie of the Year Ken Hubbs.  Also included by Post for the first time is Billy Williams.  Billy's card is a short print and is probably the most expensive card of his that I've got.

My Ken Hubbs card has a little updated written in by the original owner.  It is a mistake, however, because Hubbs died in a plane crash, not a car accident.

Friday, October 28, 2022

The Gallery Gallery - A Look at Gallery Over the Years Part 2

 Today I'll look at Gallery's second run, which began in 2017.   Topps brought back the brand after it last was issued in 2005.  The modern version became a Walmart exclusive and that hasn't changed.  


Set Size 200 cards, with the final 50 being short prints  

The short printed cards have one of three designations, Masters, Artisans, or Apprentices.  The designations are randomly spread among the 50 cards, so we don't have true numerically-ordered subsets.

The cards all feature original artwork.  The same basic design is used on the entire set. The only slight variation is that the name of the subset was added to those cards.

In a major shock, the Cubs have players in the base set and all three of the subsets, a total of four groups instead of the three groups seen in each of the earlier editions of Gallery.



Everything in 2018 was pretty much the same as in 2017.  The set size 200 cards, with the final 50 being short prints.  The short prints were all labeled either Masters, Artisans, or Apprentices.  Cards were sold only at Walmart.  Original artwork was used and all cards have the same design.

The only difference is that there aren't any Cubs with the Apprentice label, so we are back to three types of Cubs cards.



Gallery in 2019 was pretty similar to the previous two years.  The set has 200 cards, the last 50 being short prints.  The SPs are have the labels of either Master, Artisan, or Apprentice. The set was sold only at Walmart.  The same design was used on all 200 cards.  

The Cubs did have one Master along with the cards in the base set.  There are no Cubs Artisans or Apprentices



Everything in 2020 was the same as it has been since Gallery returned in 2017.

The Cubs have base cards, Master, and Artisan, but no Apprentices.


2021  After four years of pretty much the exact same product,  Topps made some changes to Gallery in 2021.  The set size remained at 200, but there were no short prints.  There are three different designs, one each for current players, rookies, and retired players. The different designs replace the designations on the cards.

But the biggest change is the move away from original artwork, which was replaced by photographs. The card design does have picture frame borders, but the artwork is gone. I'm sure that was a cost-cutting measure.

The Cubs have cards in all three groups, current, rookies, and retired.

2022  Gallery in 2022 seems to be Gallery in name only.  There isn't any original artwork.  The designs don't have a picture frame look to them.  The Masters, Artisans, and Apprentices designations aren't used.  At this point the cards look like cards from any other brand. The only design difference is between the retired players and the active ones.


As the set strays further away from the art concept, I wonder if it will be around next year or if this is it.

Thursday, October 27, 2022

The Gallery Gallery - A Look at Gallery Over the Years Part 1

 The first Gallery set was released in 1996.  It continued yearly through 2003 and returned in 2005.  It was then dormant until 2017 and had been issued each year since then.

For the most part, the brand has remained true to the name "Gallery" and has had an art theme.  Many years saw original artwork used instead of photographs.  Over the next two days I'll go through the set year by year so you can see how it has evolved.  Today I have the initial run, from 1996 - 2005.


Set Size 180 cards.  

Subsets: Classics (1-90), New Editions (91-108), Modernists (109-126), Futurists (127-144) and Masters (145-180) and each subset has it own unique design.  

The Cubs had cards in just the Classics, Futurists, and Masters.  Though the subsets had artistic names, photographs were used instead of artwork.



Set Size 180 cards.  

Subsets: Veterans (1-45), Young Stars (46-90), Rising Stars (91-135), and Prospects (136-180). Each has its own unique design, though the differences are pretty subtle.  All the designs have a gold frame, in keeping with the artwork theme.  Photographs were used.  

There are Cubs cards with three of the different design, Veterans, Young Stars, and Rising Stars.



Set Size 150 cards.  

Subsets: Portraits(1-20), Permanent Collection (21-80), Impressions (81-104), Exhibitions (105-134), and Expressionists (134-150).  This time black frames were used on all of the cards and each card has its subset name on the front, too.

Once again there are Cubs in just three of the subsets.



Set Size 150 cards. Short prints, #101-150, were included for the first time 

Subsets: Base (1- 100), Masters (101-115), Artisans (116-127), and Apprentices (127-150).

And four the fourth consecutive year, there are Cubs in three of the subsets.



Set Size 150 cards. Short prints are #101-150.

Subsets: Base (1- 100), Masters of the Game (101-120), and Students of the Game (121-150).  The designs really seem to have gotten away from the artwork theme and none of the cards have any real frame on them.

There are Cubs in all three of the subsets.



Set Size 151 cards. Short prints are #50 and #102-150.  Topps issued two different versions of #50, Willie Mays.

Subsets: Base (1- 101), Prospects (102-121), Rookies (122-141) and Legends (142-150).  The big design news is that all of the cards in the set feature original artwork.  Gallery has finally become Gallery. However, there is only a minimal design difference between the subsets.  Base has gold lettering, the Prospects lettering in silver, Rookies have "Rookie Card" written on the front, and the Legends had a Gold name box instead of blue.

Of course there are Cubs in three of the subsets (they have no Legends).



Set Size 200 cards, which is the biggest Gallery set yet. Not only did the set grow, but the short prints disappeared!

Subsets: Base (1- 150), Prospects (151-170), First Year Prospects (171-190) and Retired Players (191-200).  All of the subsets have the same design except the first year prospects have a red band across the name.  No Cubs were in that subset so I don't have a card with that to show you.

SInce there are no Cubs in the First Year Prospects, that means there are Cubs in the usual three subsets. I'll show the three, but you won't see any design difference.



Set Size 200 cards.  Unfortunately, short prints returned (#151-200)

Subsets: Base (1- 150), First Year Players (151-167),  Prospects (168-190) and Retired Players (191-200).   The cards all have original artwork and the card design is the same throughout the set.

Topps didn't include any retired Cubs, so we have Cubs in... you guessed it... three subsets.


2004 - There was no Gallery set in 2004.  I did some digging around but couldn't find a reason for the exclusion anywhere.  If I had to guess, I'd go with cost since each card needed original artwork. That had to be more expensive than using photographs.

2005 - it's back!

Set Size 195 cards including 45 short prints (#151-195).  All of the cards use the same design and have that expensive original artwork.

Subsets: Base (1- 150), First Year Players (151-170),  Prospects (171-185) and Retired Players (186-195). 

This year there were no Cubs in the Prospects subset but we do have a Retired Player, so, as it has been through the entire run thus far, Cubs are in three subsets!


After skipping 2004, Gallery was back in 2005 but it was a short lived return.  The set must not have sold well because it was put on the shelf for a dozen years.  Tomorrow I'll look and the modern reincarnation of Gallery.