Friday, March 31, 2023

Guess Where I Was Yesterday!!


Yup, I was at Opening Day at Wrigley Field!

The temperature was in the mid-40s, but we layered up.  Besides, it was Opening Day at Wrigley Field.  How could you be cold on Opening Day!

The game featured all of the usual OD ceremonies... player introductions, special first pitch (thrown by Cubs radio man and recent HOF selectee Pat Hughes), and a giant American Flag.  All the festivities were done by 1:00 p.m., which was 20 minutes before game time.  I guess with the cold weather they wanted to give the players a chance to loosen up before the first pitch.

The game moved quickly and was finished in 2 hours, 21 minutes.  I LOVE the pitch clock, especially at a 45° game.  We did get to witness history when Marcus Stroman was called for the MLB's first official pitch clock violation.

And the best news of the day...

The Cubs won 4-0. The pitching looked really good and the hitters put it together in the 3rd inning when the Cubs scored all four of their runs.  I get to say that I saw the first place 2023 Cubs.  I'm not sure that many others will be able to say that!

Wednesday, March 29, 2023

2022 Gold Label Cubs

 Here's another set from 2022 that has arrived two plus months into 2023, Gold Label.  This set is confusing to write about since there are 300 cards, or is it 100 cards?  The set has 100 players and for each player there is a Class 1, 2, and 3 card.

I always just go for the Class 1 card.  And for the Cubs this year, it was pretty easy.  Just one player is on the checklist, Seiya Suzuki.

And there it is, the complete Cubs team set from Gold Label 2023.

Why did I need to wait so long for this??

Tuesday, March 28, 2023

Topps Complete Set Prices 1969 - 2022

Here is my monthly look at Topps complete set prices for all the years in which I own a set, 1969 - 2022.  The prices are from the five most recent Ebay sold auction listings taken on March 23 and do not include shipping.

  • Not a single 1969 set was sold by auction over the last month.  That seems very odd!  The prices I have, then, are the same five from February.
  • The 1970, 1972, and 1973 sets all had a pretty big bump up in price.
  • The price for the 2014 set is still inexplicably high.
  • 2019 also showed a big bump.  Any idea what would be the reason for that?
  • The price for one of each is the highest since I've started doing this, $13,516.64.  That is an increase of $1,720.90 over last month and $1,194.17 ahead of the January number.

YEAR 3/23/232/22/23        Change
1969        $2,329.17        $2,329.17$0.00

Monday, March 27, 2023

One Winner Picked, One More Coming Up

Notice that my DVD is signed by Darwin Barney!

I got a note from the producer of Calvin Marshall that a winner was picked for a free DVD. Congratulation to Kevin B.!

A second drawing will be held on March 31.  You can enter by going here.  You can also pick up some Calvin Marshall merch and help support some youth baseball programs in Oregon using the same link.

Sunday, March 26, 2023

Five Random Cubs Cards

I've got 20,985 Cubs cards from 316 different brands listed on a spreadsheet. A random number generator picked five cards, one each from the past several decades.

1900s - 1970s: 1962 Topps Bob Buhl (no logo) He is shown wearing a Braves uniform, as the Cubs had traded for him on April 30, 1962.  Kudos to Topps for the quick work changing his team for this card that was in the 6th Series.  There was a slight glitch, though, as some cards still have the M on the hat.  Both cards are pretty common and have about the same price

1980s: 1989 Fleer Traded #82 Steve Wilson Wilson has a traded card because he came to the Cubs in 1989 as a part of the Mitch Williams - Rafael Palmeiro trade with the Rangers.

1990s: 1991 Upper Deck #99 Mark Grace The Collectors Choice cards from this set featured a star on the front and the player's team's checklist on the back.

2000s: 2005 Bowman Heritage #211 Buck Coats  Remember when Bowman Heritage came out in the same year as the advertised release year?  Those were the good old days.

2010s: 2019 Big League #7 Anthony Rizzo Looks like Rizzo got all of this one as there are some pretty excited fans in the background.

Saturday, March 25, 2023

Sixties Saturday - 1969 Jewel Food

 Today's set is my last of the 1960's and it is one of my favorites from the decade, the Jewel Food photos.  

Chicago was all abuzz with the early season success of the Cubs and Jewel was one of the many businesses to hop on the band wagon.  Twenty different photos were available, given out four per week over five weeks.  Weekly newspaper ads showed the players from that week along with the purchase necessary to get the photo.

This is the ad from the first week, August 4.

The photos themselves were full color with a facsimile signature and measured 6" x 9".  All of the main players, including a couple that were picked up during the season, are in the set.  In fact, the photo of Dick Selma is the only item I'm aware of that shows him as a Cub.











Friday, March 24, 2023

2003 Cubs Autograph Quest

 My autograph collection of the 1989 Cubs has inspired me to go after a couple of other division-winning teams.  First up is the 2003 team.

This team came out of nowhere to win the division, then the NLDS over the Braves, before an epic collapse against the Marlins in the NLCS.

One advantage I have with this team is that 2003 is in the certified autograph era.  Because of that I already have autographs of...



... Moises Alou, Sammy Sosa, Aramis Ramirez, Mark Prior, and Dusty Baker.  That's five of the eleven that I need.

The missing six are Kenny Lofton, Alex Gonzalez, Mark Grudzielanek, Eric Karros, Damian Miller, and Joe Borowski.  I've been able to buy cards for all except Karros, and the cards are on their way.  

Ebay didn't have any listings for signed Karros cards showing him with the Cubs.  That makes sense since he was just with the team for a single season.  I thought I'd try a different route to get his autograph.  I'm going to make my first attempt at TTM (through the mail).  I was able to find an address for him and I'm going to send out a card.  We'll see how that goes.

Thursday, March 23, 2023

2022 Bowman's Best Cubs

 Opening Day for the 2023 season is just a week away, yet here we are with new cards from the 2022 season.  This is nuts.

The 2022 edition of Bowman's Best came out on March 8.  It consists of 70 veteran cards and another 30 for prospects.  Three of the 100 belong to Cubs players.


Well, sort of Cubs players, since Contreras is no longer with the team and hasn't been since December 9.

Cristian Hernandez is the Cubs prospect.  He spent the 2022 season with the Cubs team in the Arizona complex league.  I assume he will start the season in low-A Myrtle Beach.

Sadly, this isn't the end of 2022 cards.  Two more sets are coming soon, Bowman Heritage and Gold Label.  I don't know how long it will take me to track down the Cubs cards from those two sets.  

Wednesday, March 22, 2023

1989 Cubs Autographs

 I picked up autographed cards of two of the 1989 Boys of Zimmer at a card show a week ago Saturday.   In the post on the cards I mentioned that I had signed cards from most of the team's lineup.  After a quick review I found that I was missing just two players, Vance Law and Damon Berryhill.


Not any more!

The cost was less than five bucks each.  

When I go for the autographs from a particular team, I get the starting eight fielders, the best starter and reliever, and the manager.  I've done that with the 1969 and 1984 teams, but on baseballs, not cards.  And with the 2016 team I went for every player that was on the World Series roster.  That makes the 1989 team my first 11-card squad.

In the outfield we have Dwight Smith, Jerome Walton, and Andre Dawson.  The infield, third to first, is Vance Law, Shawon Dunston, Ryne Sandberg, and Mark Grace.  Damon Berryhill is behind the plate while Greg Maddux and Mitch Williams were the top starter and reliever.  Don Zimmer managed the team.

Only five of the eleven are certified autographs.  The only on-card signature that may be questionable is Greg Maddux.  The card did come with a certificate of authenticity, but many of those aren't worth the paper that they're printed on.

Tuesday, March 21, 2023

Found Another On the Most Wanted List

 My most wanted list has had another card removed!

This is the Clarence Maddern's card from TCMA's 1985 imaginary 1949 Play Ball set.  The picture is of Maddern at Wrigley Field.  My understanding is that TCMA picked some of the lesser-type players for this set and it was intended to be used to get autographs.  As you can see, my card is signed.

This is the first card I've ever seen listed on eBay of any of the six Cubs in the 1948 and 1949 sets.  It was listed as an auction which made me a little nervous.  Were there other collectors also looking for these hard-to-find oddballs?

Luckily for me the answer was no.  There was just one other bidder and I won the card for $9.50.  Any time I can knock a most wanted off the list for less than ten bucks I consider that a win.  Plus, who wouldn't want an autographed card of the immortal Clarence Maddern?

Monday, March 20, 2023

The 2023 Topps Pack for the Wall

 It took a while, but I finally have a pack of 2023 Topps for my display wall.

Packs were a real pain for me to find this year.   A week after Series One was released, the local Walmart and Meijer had nothing.  Mrs. WW and I decided to take a trip to South Bend and try our luck at Target.  

We choose South Bend so we could make it a combination lunch at our favorite pizza place and a look for cards adventure.  We stopped at a Target on the way and found nothing.  After pizza we hit up two more Targets and a Meijer as well.  All three were a waste of time as they too had nothing,

When we got home I decided I'd have to go the online route.  The best option I could find was ordering from Fanatics.  I had a free shipping code, so that would help, too.  This would be my first direct purchase from them since they bought Topps.

I had to get a box of seven packs.  The price was the same as on the Topps site, but the free shipping from Fanatics saved me quite a bit compared to what Topps charged.  I was disappointed at checkout to see that Fanatics was charging me a $1.99 handling fee.  I guess shipping wasn't completely free.

The box arrived two weeks after the order was placed.  That was a bit disappointing too.  I was hoping for a quicker ship time.

Once the box came, I grabbed a pack and added it to my shelf.  I am now officially out of room and will need to add a fourth shelf for the 2024 pack.

Below is a GIF showing how the wall has progressed over the years.  I have pictures from 2009 and then from 2012 to the present.

Sunday, March 19, 2023

Five Random Cubs Cards

I've got 20,951 Cubs cards from 316 different brands listed on a spreadsheet. A random number generator picked five cards, one each from the past several decades.

1900s - 1970s: 1968 Topps #179 Bill Stoneman  He pitched in 18 games for the 1968 Cubs and posted an ERA of 5.52.  The Cubs didn't protect him in the expansion draft and the Expos took him.  He tossed a no-hitter in the Expos' ninth game as a franchise.  Who woulda thought?

1980s: 1987 Stuart #31 Jody Davis This is the first card I've seen with the team name in French.  OPC never did that.

1990s: 1991 Team Issued Dwight Smith  This set of cards was given away to all fans attending the game on Wednesday, August 14.  A crowd of 34,817 saw the Expos top the Cubs 2-0.  Smith made an appearance as a pinch hitter in the ninth inning.  He hit into a force out at second.

2000s: 2003 Leaf #142 Jon Lieber   He didn't play for the Cubs in 2003.  The Yankees signed him as a free agent, but he spent the season on the DL, recovering from Tommy John surgery.

2010s: 2016 Heritage Minors #209 Gleyber Torres The Yankees got Torres, the Cubs got Chapman and a World Series title.  It was worth it.