Monday, July 31, 2023

My Thoughts on the National

Big crowd lined up to enter the hall
The Topps Booth

So I can check this off of my list of things to do.  I've been to the National.

I don't need to go back.

Mrs. WW and I went on Friday.  We did find a nice way to park for free instead of paying $20 at the garage.  There is a Cook County forest preserve across the Des Plaines River from the convention center.  We had our bikes with us, so we parked at the preserve and rode our bikes about a half-mile through the woods and over the river on a pedestrian bridge to the show.

The show opened at 10 a.m. and we got there around 9:45 a.m.  You had to go to a large room upstairs to get your ticket scanned and receive a wrist band.  Then we went to the line by the door and waited for it to open.

Once we got in we went back downstairs to the where the show was on the main level.  It was overwhelming.  The place was already crowded and abuzz.

I like to avoid the crowds, so we went to the back of the first room and then worked our way towards the front.  

I had my most wanted list with me, but it wasn't really necessary.  What I was looking for was very oddball and rare.  As I got to a booth I looked to see if they had mostly new or old stuff.  If it was modern, I walked past.  I would slow down if they had vintage and then look a little closer.  Then it was on to the next booth.

When we finished the first room I thought I was done.  But there were more rooms towards the back.  In fact it seemed like at the end of a room was another with even more booths.  It was a bit overwhelming.  And as the day went on it got more crowded.  Some of the areas have pretty narrow aisles between the tables and it was not easy to get through. 

My list of needs includes five different MSA discs from the 70's and 80's.  I found just one seller with discs, but nothing from the years I was looking for.  I need two Walmart black cards from 2009 Topps.  I saw none.  Same with the cards I need from the various Jewish Major Leaguer sets.

We left tired and empty-handed, our heads spinning from the vast amount of stuff we saw.  I wasn't optimistic that I would find any of the cards I needed, so I wasn't all that disappointed.

If you are looking for modern shiny cards, the National is for you.  Need graded cards, then you'd be set at the National too.  If you are putting together any Topps flagship sets, you should be able to do that at the National.

But if you are looking for old oddballs that you can't find on eBay, more than likely you won't find them at the National either. 

Sunday, July 30, 2023

Five Random Cubs Cards

I've got 21,176 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: 1963 Topps #54 Nelson Mathews Rookie  The only rookie here among the four that had any sort of pro career, Dave Debueschere, had his in the NBA.  Mathews career lasted 306 games over six seasons.

1980s: 1988 Star #7 Mark Grace  The 1988 season was Grace's rookie year, so it is very interesting that he was included in Star's set.  I'm assuming the set came out late in the season.

1990s: 1990 Star Gold #154 Mark Grace  Not a very good job of centering the picture, is it.

2000s: 2008 Topps Traded #208 Kerry Wood Wood was an All-Star for the second and final time in his career.  This time it was as a reliever while he went as a starter in 2003.

2010s: 2015 Donruss Diamond King #5 Anthony Rizzo   Interesting how the Diamond King banner cuts right across the front of his hat, the spot where a logo would normally be found.

Saturday, July 29, 2023

Comparing the Main Brands - 1997

 Year - 1997

Main Brands -  Topps, Donruss, Fleer, Pacific, Score, Upper Deck

Number of Players Included Among All the Sets: 28

Players Included in Every Set: 6

It's the same six sets that we've seen for the past few years.  The number of players continues to drop, this year down to just 28, and only six of the 28 were in every set.  It will become obvious as you scroll down and see lots of empty space.

Friday, July 28, 2023

Javier Assad and Hayden Wesneski Follow the Rules

 Two more autograph rule followers.

The cards are from 2023 Series Two.  Both of these guys have been on the Iowa - Wrigley shuttle all season long.  Assad is currently with the Cubs while Wesneski is back in Iowa.

Terry AdamsMike FontenotJon LeiberManuel Rodriquez
Arismendy Alcantara   Kevin FosterJon LesterChris Rusin
Albert AlmoraDexter FowlerCole LiniakAddison Russell
Moises AlouJackson FrazierGreg MadduxJeff Samardzija
Adbert AlzolayKyuji FujikawaNick MadrigalRey Sanchez
Jake ArrietaKosuke FukudomeDave MagadanRyne Sandberg
Javier AssadSam FuldTrey ManciniKyle Schwarber
Javier BaezSean GallagherDillon MaplesScott Servais
Darwin BarneyNomar Garciaparra   Carlos MarmolJorge Soler
Francis BeltranMatt GarzaSean MarshallAlfonso Soriano
David BoteLeo GomezAlec MillsSammy Sosa
Milton BradleyTom GorzelannyScott MooreGeovany Soto
Roosevelt BrownKevin GreggChristopher MorelSteve Smyth
Kris BryantAngel GuzmanMatt MurtonJustin Steele
Scott BullettJason HammelRod MyersMarcus Stroman
Freddie BynumTodd HaneyThomas NealSeiya Suzuki
Marlon ByrdIan HappJames NorwoodMatt Szczur
Jeimer CandelarioBrendan HarrisRoberto NovoaRyan Theriot
Victor CaratiniKevin HartWill OhmanKeegan Thompson
Andrew CashnerKyle HendricksAugie OjedaOzzie Timmons
Larry CassianJason HeywardMike OltSteve Trachsel
Frank CastilloJose HernandezRyan O'MalleyDuane Underwood
Welington CastilloBobby HillKevin OrieJermaine Van Buren
Starlin CastroRich HillAngel PaganNelson Velazquez
Ronny CedenoNico HoernerBob PattersonJosh Vitters
Rocky CherryMicah HoffpauirEric PattersonTodd Walker
Matt ClementBrandon HughesCorey PattersonTodd Wellemeyer
Steve ClevengerCesar IzturisDavid PattonRandy Wells
Buck CoatsBrett JacksonJoc PedersonTurk Wendell
Tyler ColvinReed JohnsonCarlos PenaHayden Wesneski
Willson ContrerasJacque JonesBilly PetrickJerome Williams
Juan CruzMatt KarchnerFelix PiePatrick Wisdom
Yu DarvishDavid KeltonLou PiniellaKerry Wood
Wade DavisBrooks Kieschnick Mark PriorTravis Wood
Blake DeWittCaleb KilianBrooks RaleyMichael Wuertz
Rafael DolisCraig KimbrelAramis RamirezCarlos Zambrano
Scott DownsBryan LaHairAlfonso RivasRob Zastryzny
Jason DubuoisJunior LakeAnthony RizzoBen Zobrist
Carl EdwardsTommy LaStellaHenry RodriguezJulio Zuleta
Kyle FarnsworthDerrek LeeHenry R. Rodriguez   

Thursday, July 27, 2023

Knocked Off Three More!

 I haven't even left for the National yet and I'm knocking cards off of my most wanted list.

These three came together in a lot.  They are all three Cubs cards from TCMA's fake 1948 set that they made in 1985.  I needed all three and the seller had them bundled together.  I paid about two bucks each, which I consider to be a bargain when picking up most-wanted cards.

Andy Pafko is the name that would be most-recognized.   Jess Dobernic is a big "Who?"

Eddie Waitkus is a name you might not be familiar with, but do you know the name Roy Hobbs?  Because The Natural's Roy Hobbes is loosely based on Eddie Waitkus.  Waitkus played with the Cubs from 1941-1948 and was traded to the Phillies for the 1949 season.  In June of 1949, while in Chicago with the Phillies, he was shot at the team hotel by a female fan who had an obsession with him.  He missed the remainder of the season recovering, but then went on to play for another six seasons with the Phillies and later the Orioles.

Wednesday, July 26, 2023

Topps Complete Set Prices 1969 - 2023

Here is my monthly look at Topps complete set prices for all the years in which I own a set, 1969 - 2023.  The prices are from the five most recent Ebay sold auction listings taken on July 25 and do not include shipping.  This month marks the first month to include the 2023 set.  Hand-collated sets can be found on eBay, though the factory complete set has not yet been released

  • The 2023 set got off to a real slow start, just $29.15 for a complete set.   I'm sure that will go up once the factory sets are out.
  • The general trend was a loss for most sets over the past month.  The Change column has lots of red in it.
  • The 1974 set took a big hit, nearly 50% off of last month.  The collectors inspired by this year's Heritage to buy the 1974 set have dried up.
  • The 2018 set had a big jump up.  There were two sets that sold for over $200 each.  Crazy!
  • If you want to buy one of each set it will cost you $11,575.01  That is down $851 compared to June.
YEAR7/25/236/21/23Change     6 Mo. Avg.
1969     $1,973.40     $1,943.53$29.87$2,179.30
1970$1,510.11$1,667.34     -$157.23$1,789.42

Tuesday, July 25, 2023

Heading to the National on Friday


Mrs. WW and I are heading to the National on Friday.  I've always wanted to go, but work got in the way.  I don't have that excuse any more.  The National is in Chicago this year, meaning just a 2½ hour ride to get there.  Everything lines up, so we figured, why not!

I'll have my most-wanted list with me and see if I can knock any more off of it.

I've heard that the National can be a bit overwhelming, so I'm looking for any advice from those of you who have been to one.

Monday, July 24, 2023

Pat Hughes is in the Hall of Fame!

Click on the picture to see Pat's induction speech

 Pat Hughes became a part of baseball's Hall of Fame on Saturday when he was give the Ford C. Frick Award.  Pat has been a major league broadcaster for 41 seasons, the last 27 with the Cubs.  He is a genuinely nice person and a great broadcaster.  The award was 100% deserved.

I have three pieces of Pat Hughes mementos in my collection and I'm happy to have all of them.  I've showed all three here before, but I felt it was appropriate to show them all together again today.

Sunday, July 23, 2023

Five Random Cubs Cards

I've got 21,174 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: 1947 Play Ball #29 Bob Scheffing  The card isn't really from 1947. It's actually from a 1985 set put out by TCMA, as if there really was a Play Ball set in 1947

1980s: 1989 Big #143 Vance Law Yes, the Cubs won the division with Vance Law as their starting third baseman.

1990s: 1998 Topps Devil Rays #403 Mark Clark The Devil Ray logo is in an add spot. If it was me, I would have put in in the bottom right hand corner, so it and the Topps logo were in opposite corners.

2000s: 2002 Originals #340 Corey Patterson 1986 This 400-card set was Donruss' attempt to pay tribute to themselves. The cards all featured Donruss designs from the even years of the 1980s.  Patterson had three cards in the set, with designs from 1982, 1984, and this one from 1986.

2010s: 2012 Sega Card Gen #234 Carlos Marmol Marmol was one of just two Cubs players in the set with six stars.