Sunday, June 30, 2024

Five Random Cubs Cards

 I've got 21,843 Cubs cards from 317 different brands listed on a spreadsheet. A random number generator picked five cards, one each from the past several decades.

1900s - 1970s: 1965 O-Pee-Chee #264 Bob Buhl This comes from OPC's first collaboration with Topps.  They used only the first three Topps series, and that explains why we have a card of Bob Buhl but not Ernie Banks. 

1980s: 1988 Donruss #639 Damon Berryhill  The logo on his jersey and the one on the card are soo close to matching.

1990s: 1993 Panini #203 Mark Grace  A shiny Panini sticker with logos!  Each team had one player in the set that was given this glitter sticker instead of a regular one

2000s: 2002 Upper Deck #302 Eric Young Looks like Young is turning a double play. Too bad he's not facing the camera and his arm is covering his face.

2010s: 2014 Topps Power Player #146 Kyuji Fujikawa  The Power Players parallels had a code on back you could enter on-line to win prizes.  The promotion wasn't successful enough to repeat in other years.

Saturday, June 29, 2024

Eighties Alphabetically - Fleer Stamps

 Fleer issued two stamp sets, one in 1982 and the other in 1983.  

The 1982 set consists of 242 players, with ten of those being Cubs.  The design is very basic, with just a picture and sticker number on the front and a blank back.  The stamps were fairly large, at 1 13/16" x 2½"






Every one shows the Cubs in their road uniform.  It looks like most of these were taken at a spring training game.  The Jim Tracy sticker gives a good view of the second to last Cubs player to wear #23.

The 1983 release has 224 players plus 26 team logo stamps.  For the Cubs, there are eight players and one logo.  This time the stickers included the player's name but were unnumbered.  There were two different sizes of stickers because some of the players had an offer sticker attached to their sticker.  

They are also significantly smaller than the 1982 stickers.





Friday, June 28, 2024

2024 Series Two 1989 Cubs

 The inserts from series two have been rolling in, slowly but surely.  There are 19 basic Cubs inserts in series two and without Brentandbecca, I have to get them from multiple sources.  That really stretches out the time it takes to get them.

The 1989 set has three Cubs.

No surprises here.  Since Swanson was skipped in the first series, it was pretty much assumed that he'd be in series two.  Imanaga's inclusion is also a no-brainer.  And since Topps went all-in on PCA, we have a card of him too, even though he hasn't really been performing like a player worthy of inclusion in an insert set.

Thursday, June 27, 2024

Living Set Michael Busch

 Two Michael Busch posts in a row - how about that?

Busch was included in the Living Set the week of June 5.  It had been 203 days since the last Cub player was in the set.  That was the second-longest Cubs drought since the set started in 2018.  The longest drought is 280 days, from September 30, 2020 to July 7, 2021.

The card had a print run of 1,603.  There are just two Cubs cards with a lower run, Justin Steele (1,535) and Patrick Wisdom (1,547).

There are now 26 Cubs players in the Living Set.

Card   Player Date  Days Since Last Cub   Print Run
5 Ian Happ 3/21/18 3,042
30 Brandon Morrow 5/16/18 56 5,585
64 Ryne Sandberg 8/8/18 84 7,212
67 Anthony Rizzo 8/15/18 7 5,568
83 David Bote 9/19/18 35 5,345
103 Javier Baez 11/7/18 49 4,499
127 Kris Bryant 1/2/19 56 5,361
210 Jason Heyward 7/10/19 189 2,573
217 Ernie Banks 7/31/19 21 5,406
266 Kyle Hendricks 12/4/19 126 2,074
310 Nico Hoerner 5/6/20 154 3,523
323 Willson Contreras 6/25/20 50 2,052
352 Alec Mills 9/30/20 97 1,886
429 Craig Kimbrel 7/7/21 280 1,780
453 Patrick Wisdom 9/29/21 84 1,547
473 Frank Schwindel 12/8/21 70 1,764
516 Marcus Stroman 5/4/22 147 1,686
519 Fergie Jenkins 5/18/22 14 2,589
547 Seiya Suzuki 8/24/22 98 3,340
609 Lee Smith 3/9/23 197 1,775
638 Rick Monday 7/5/23 118 1,612
641 Christopher Morel   7/19/23 14 2,187
643 Ron Santo 7/26/23 7 1,917
667 Dansby Swanson 10/18/23    84 2,652
676 Justin Steele 11/15/23 28 1,535
734 Michael Busch 6/5/24 203 1,603

Wednesday, June 26, 2024

The Messy Michael Busch Card


This card is Michael Busch from series two is a mess.

First, as P-Town Tom pointed out, his position is wrong.  He did play a few games for the Dodgers at second, but the Cubs picked him up to play first.  That was mentioned in all the articles that came out when he was traded to the Cubs in early January.  Besides, the Cubs have a gold glover, Nico Hoerner, playing second base.  Why would they need another?  Did no one at Topps bother to do any research?

Yet they did do a little research because they Photoshopped Busch into a jersey with #29.  He was #83 with the Dodgers.  If they took the time to find his new number, couldn't they have also seen his new position?

And speaking of Photoshop, why?  

This is the original picture that was used from his time with LA.  It was taken on May 8, 2023.  

I wonder what the print deadline is for series two?  I did a little digging around and the latest player transaction I found on a card was March 3.  I can do a more thorough search when I get my complete 2024 set, which should be coming in the next few days.  

Topps's source for pictures, Getty Images, has game action shots of Busch from a game on February 26.  That is before their print deadline.  If they can update the back sides of the cards, why not use pictures of the players in the actual uniforms on the front instead of Photoshop?

Unfortunately, I know the answer - Topps doesn't really care all that much about being accurate.

Tuesday, June 25, 2024

Another South Bend Cub With a Topps Cubs Card

 Here's a quick update to a post from a couple of weeks ago.

Luke Little was in 2024's series two, so he becomes the 13th player to have both a South Bend Cubs card and a Topps Cubs card.

Monday, June 24, 2024

2024 Cub #42

It has been almost three weeks since the Cubs added a new player to the roster.  That has to be a record for this season.  That's not to say that there weren't changes to the active roster over that time.  There were plenty.  But they involved players that had already been with the team and were sent down to Iowa.  The Chicago Iowa shuttle has been pretty active.

The new player is catcher Tomas Nido.  The Cubs picked him up off of the Met's scrap heap.  The team is looking for more production out of the backstop position.  Yan Gomes was just not doing that this year and was released.  Nido was acquired and played in Friday's game against, ironically, the Mets.

The 42 Cubs make up a nice 6x7 mosaic.  I've updated it to include the Topps card for any player that got one in series two instead of using my homemade cards.

Sunday, June 23, 2024

Five Random Cubs Cards

I've got 21,835 Cubs cards from 317 different brands listed on a spreadsheet. A random number generator picked five cards, one each from the past several decades.

1900s - 1970s: 1952 Topps #127 Paul Minner  I never noticed this before, but the "Chicago" lettering on his jersey was painted the wrong color.  It should be blue, not red.

1980s: 1987 Topps #177 Keith Moreland Moreland hit a career-high 27 homers in 1987.  It was also his last season with the Cubs.  He was traded to the Padres just before spring training in 1988.

1990s: 1996 Topps #426 Bobby Morris Only one of the four prospects on this card never made it to the majors and of course it was the Cub.  Morris never made it past AA.

2000s: 2002 Freshman Orientation #17 Francis Beltran  Beltran pitched in 11 games for the Cubs in 2002, so with this relic card he follows my collection rules.  Following the rules would be the only reason for me to have a relic of a player with a career ERA of 5.69.

2010s: 2010 Heritage #234 Jeff Samardzija  This is a pretty nasty looking card, Photoshopping in a fake background. 

Saturday, June 22, 2024

Eighties Alphabetically - FBI Foods

 When I first saw the listing for an FBI set, I assumed with was put out by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.  Several police departments have put out sets over the years, so why not the FBI too.

Instead, in 1981 and 1982, it was FBI Foods of Canada that partnered with MSA to put out disc sets.  The discs came two to a panel on the bottom of a Bantam drink box.  

Since the discs were on the bottom of the box, they are not easy to find in good condition.  I was able to buy a complete intact box to get the lone Cub in the 1982 set.

I didn't cut up the bottom into individual discs but left it whole.  I think that will help keep up the value of the panel.

There is one Cub in the 1981 set, Dave Kingman.  I have never seen a listing anywhere for his disc.  The picture is borrowed from the TCDB and the disc is on my most wanted list.

Friday, June 21, 2024

Series Two Me vs. Topps

 I created homemade cards for all of the 2024 Cubs, which means I had cards out before Topps did with several players in series two (it's not all of the series two players because many of them got cards in the factory set.

I'll give myself the win because I show him in a home uniform.  I also show him as a fielder instead of using the same boring pitching shots that Topps overuses.

I win because any card that shows the City Connect uniform is an automatic loser.


I win because I used an actual picture instead of a photoshop job and I have his position correct, too.

I'll take this one as I use a personality shot instead of a batting stance.

My card has him coming home after his first career home run.  How can you top that?

My card is an automatic winner because I went vertical instead of horizontal.


Another win for me as I show the home pinstripes against a beautiful blue sky while Topps does the the ugly CC uniform again.


My win again as I show the fun personality of Shota and Topps resorts to Photoshop.

Its another case of a non-pitching shot against the standard throwing picture.

I'll call this a tie as there are two decent looking pictures of Mastrobuoni being used.


I win because I did mine first! The two pictures look to be from the same game.   Topps cropped theirs a bit tighter.