Saturdays Suds: Baseball & Beer #78 – Goose Island Goatbusters

29 04 2017

More Chicago baseball beers.  I kind of forgot about this beer, but Goose Island came out with a beer when the Cubs officially “broke the curse”.  If you know anything about the curse of the Billy Goat – it wasn’t exorcised when the Cubs won the World Series.  That happened when the team made it to the Series.  This beer came out at that point – when the Cubs were playing the Indians.

Brewery: Goose Island Beer Co. in Chicago, IL

The brewery has been 100% owned by Anheuser-Busch InBev since 2011.

Beer:  Goatbusters

Description:  This stout was brewed at the brewpub on Clybourn, which is actually closed right now.  It’s described as having an onyx color, pine and coffee aroma, chocolate and hop resin flavor, toasty finish.  From what I remember, that’s about right.  My wife and I brought the kids down to Wrigley on the Saturday morning before game 4 to get some nice pictures.  We hit the brewpub up for lunch, and I tried this beer.

Medium:  This was only available on draft at the Clybourn brewpub.

How it’s related to baseball:  It’s brewed in honor of the Cubs ending the “Curse of the Billy Goat” when they beat the Dodgers to make the club’s first World Series in 72 years.  It’s also a reference to celebrity fan Billy Murray, who was one of the stars of Ghostbusters.

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1999 Topps parallels – Ken Griffey Jr. – no more hunting left to do! (sort of)

27 04 2017

So I picked up a white whale about 2 months ago.  For the parallel cards in 1999, I picked Ken Griffey Jr.  I’m considering this parallel project done for 1999, though I’m having a different player fill in for Mr. Griffey for that MVP promotion.  Yeah, if I find his MVP promotion card someday, I’ll try for it.  But I’m doubtful, and even if I do, it may be more than I’m willing to pay.

But the big find here was the Refractor from Topps SuperChrome.  I’ve been on the lookout for this card for over a year, and I jumped on a $30 price tag (best offer – I think $40 was the initial ask) as soon as I saw it!

Here’s the updated post.

1999 Topps

Card I selected:  #100 – Ken Griffey Jr.

I picked a 2nd straight Hall of Famer in 1999.  It was also my 2nd straight Moeller High School graduate – Ken Griffey Jr. followed Barry Larkin.  This was my favorite card of the entire 1999 set; Griffey connecting with a pitch on a horizontal card is great.

I don’t have every one of these cards yet.  There’s 2 hold-ups.  First – like the 1998 Larkin, I’m missing the Super Chrome Refractor which is just a card that doesn’t show up on eBay or anywhere else very often.  Second is the MVP promotional card.  There were only 100 of these, and Griffey was a winner so most of them were probably redeemed.  So I’m not holding my breath on ever getting that one and have picked a replacement.

# of cards (including the Topps card):  10

The parallel sets in 1999 include:

  • MVP promotion
  • Oversize
  • Opening Day
  • Opening Day Oversize
  • Chrome
  • Chrome Refractors
  • SuperChrome
  • SuperChrome Refractors
  • Action Flats

Scans:

1999 Topps #100

1999 Topps Griffey best card

1999 Topps Griffey back

1998 Topps MVP Promotion #NNO

The only parallel in the 1999 Topps product was the MVP promotion.  Inserted only into hobby packs, were cards with a Topps MVP stamp.  If the player depicted won MVP of the week (as selected by Topps) in 1999, you could send that card in for a set of cards honoring each of the 25 winners.  The set paralleled the first 198 cards in series 1, and cards #243-444 in series 2.  Basically all of the regular cards but no subsets.  The backs of the cards have information on the promotion (no statistics).

As I mentioned, I’m not too optimistic that I’ll ever run down the ’99 MVP Promotion card of Griffey.  I hope to, but these are just really hard to find.  So I bought this card of Roberto Kelly a while ago to stand in as a semi-permanent placeholder.

1999 Topps Oversize #7

1999 Topps Griffey best card

1999 Topps Oversize Griffey back

Each hobby box or HTA jumbo box contained a 3-¼” x 4-½” jumbo card as a box topper.  There were 16 cards that are exact replicas of the player’s base cards, except for the size and the numbering.

1999 Topps Opening Day #58

1999 Topps Opening Day Griffey

1999 Topps Opening Day Griffey back

Opening Day was back for the 2nd time in 1999.  This 165 card set was retail only, and features the same photos from the base Topps set.  The border is silver instead of the gold on flagship Topps, and there is a foil Opening Day logo instead of the Topps logo.  Naturally, the back has a different number and it has a silver background unlike the gold in the regular Topps set.

1999 Topps Opening Day Oversize#3

1999 Topps Opening Day Griffey

1999 Topps Opening Day Oversize Griffey back

Just like the flagship Topps, Opening Day contained a jumbo box topper.  They were the same size – 3-¼” x 4-½” – but only had 3 players.  Naturally, Junior is one of them, along with Home Run champs McGwire and Sosa.  The only difference from this card and the base Opening Day is the size and the numbering.  I tracked this down recently as part of this parallel project.

1999 Topps Chrome #100

1999 Topps Chrome Griffey

1999 Topps Chrome Griffey back

Topps Chrome was back for the 4th year.  For the 2nd time it was a full reproduction of the regular Topps set, released in 2 series.  The front of the card reproduces the base set using Topps chromium technology and of course the logo is the Topps Chrome logo.  The back of the card is the same as the regular set except for the Topps Chrome logo and slightly different copyright wording.

1999 Topps Chrome Refractor #100

1999 Topps Chrome Refractor Griffey

1999 Topps Chrome Refractor Griffey back

Inserted every 12 packs of Topps Chrome were refractors.  A plastic diffraction effect that gives refractors a colorful, reflective shine.  The word refractor is written just below the number on the back – otherwise the back is the same as the regular Chrome card.  Of all the cards I got specifically for this project – this one was the most expensive – I paid $30 for it.

1999 Topps SuperChrome #18

1999 Topps SuperChrome Griffey

1999 Topps SuperChrome Griffey back

1999 Topps SuperChrome Refractor #18

For the 2nd and last time, Topps came out with giant jumbo cards that were their own product called SuperChrome.  These cards came in 3-card packs that retailed for $4.99.  The front is the same as Topps Chrome except there’s a SuperChrome logo and the cards are 4-⅛” by 5-¾”.  The number on the back is different since it’s a smaller set, and it also has a SuperChrome logo.  There’s also a refractor version, which came 1 in 12 packs just like regular-sized ones, with refractor wording just below the card number.

YAY!  NOW I HAVE THIS CARD!

1999 Topps Action Flats #S1-8

1999 Topps Action Flats Griffey

1999 Topps Action Flats Griffey back

This was probably one I could have not counted as a parallel – it’s a totally different picture.  But since Griffey has one of these, I decided to include it.  The set has the exact same design as Topps, with an action logo on the front in foil and on the back in color.  Aside from the logo and the numbering – the back is exactly the same as the Topps back.

The “Rainbow”:

Like I said, if I see a Griffey someday I’ll try to get it, but I’m not holding my breath.

Any sets I didn’t get:  That’s all you could possibly get from 1999.

Other cards I would have liked to do:  Griffey is the best (in my opinion) card in the set.  And the only 3 players that have all of the cards above are the ones in the Opening Day jumbo set – Griffey, McGwire, Sosa.





Pearl Jam 1991 Topps Style – Wrigley Field

25 04 2017

1 month and 1 day since my last post.  This may be the new norm, though I hope to have a few posts this week.  4 for the 4th month?  Possible.

I meant to post this about 2 months ago, but when I bought the set on eBay it was one card short.  I honestly didn’t feel like calling out the seller for one card (though this is unlikely – I’m not entirely convinced I didn’t somehow throw away the package with a card still in it).  So I had to find the one card I still needed before I could call this “finito”.

I posted a while ago about a pack of cards that were handed out for Pearl Jam’s concert in Fenway Park.  I bought the whole set for Wrigley Field.  Unlike playing in Fenway, this one hits home for PJ – lead singer Eddie Vedder is a huge Cubs fan and became their associated celebrity fan along with Bill Murray over the past decade-plus.  I still remember when I lived in Wrigleyville in 2013, Pearl Jam had their first concert back there.  I didn’t get tickets (a number of friends did), but I listened to them from my porch.

Each band member has 10 cards total.  9 cards of them playing on a set, and one card in a Cubbie uniform.

There’s also a card for Rob Skinner (who I think is/was a manager for band).  Showing off the palm ball.

On the back of his card, it has the full picture of the puzzle you can put together using the backs of the band member’s cards.

Yeah, like I said, there’s a huge puzzle if you put the backs of the cards together.  It took me two nights to accomplish this.

Now I had issues in part because of my own stupidity, but also because it’s tough to put together a puzzle when all of the cards are the same shape and a few of them are exactly the same on the back (all black).  But I also left the 6 cards above on the scanner, so that made it more confusing.  They constitute the cards on the right side of the puzzle.

So on night 1, I got annoyed, put the 54 cards away, and started over the next night.  Not the best way to get back in to baseball card posting!

The second night, I did figure it out.  Here it is in all its glory.

There are also 6 stickers for each band member – so this “set” ends up taking up a 67 cards in my binders for this type of thing.

I think these stickers are the same across both the Wrigley and Fenway sets.





2016 Topps Update – the stats

24 03 2017

I wasn’t able to post this earlier, but tonight I got through the “organization” part of my 2016 Topps Update box.  The main story to me is – since Topps moved the Update set down to 300 cards, I finished the whole set with one box!

Stats for the box:

36 packs per box * 10 cards per pack + 1 extra card (somehow) = 360 cards

21 doubles

300 of the 300 card set. (100% set completion)

6 First Pitch

6 3,000 Hit Club

4 Fire

4 Chasing 3K

5 Team Franklin

1 All-Star Stitches





2016 Topps Update hobby box – hits. Or. The hit.

19 03 2017

When you buy a Topps HTA Jumbo box, you get 3 hits.  When you buy a hobby box, you pretty much know you’re gonna get 1 and it’s most likely gonna be a jersey card.  You get what you pay for, so to speak.

This box was a prime example of that.

Just one card to show off here, because for Topps 2016 Update I only got the hobby box.  As my interest in baseball cards has gone from craze to haze, I’ve got to go with the cheaper option.  I pulled an All-Star Stitches card, which is a set I’m collecting from the 2015 Topps set.

Obviously a jersey card of a moderate star doesn’t set my world on fire.  But I’ll say, this particular set is always well-done.  This card is no different.





2016 Topps Update hobby – inserts

18 03 2017

Topps actually did pretty well with 2016 Update – not too many insert sets and only 1 felt completely unnecessary.  Do I wish it was more like the mid-90’s with just a few?  Sure but from this aspect this was a fun box.

First off.  No Berger’s Best.  Yay!  That was a dumb insert set because it had just been done so much.  But I’ll start with the set they just didn’t need to do.  It’s just not particularly interesting.  I think it’s supposed to be “these guys are good hitters and they wear Franklin batting gloves”.  It’s not bad.  But it’s also not some great, memorable design and I view it as “unnecessary”.

As always, I start with my least favorite and move up to the best.  The rest I think are interesting, at a minimum.  Topps continued an insert from series 2 and did Ichiro’s trip to 3,000.  It’s a bit of a weird set.  The 2nd to last card is #2,989.  The last card is #3,000.  I didn’t get the last one.

Updated Note:  After reading the backs a bit more, the advertising for Franklin on the back of the card this set is a damn shame.

The rest of the 3 inserts were all very good (but not great) to me.  These Topps Fire inserts are an idea taken from another program and I think look really cool.

First Pitch is back from series 1 & 2 (and from 2015).  I want Topps to keeps this coming.  I said it in series 2: Craig Sager threw out the first pitch at Wrigley the other day and he’d be a good addition.

I want to say “For the win”, but unfortunately Sager lost his battle with cancer.  He fought like nobody before, accepting some levels of treatment that had really never been done before.  It’s hard to see this card and not be sad.  I’m actually becoming a bigger NBA fan than MLB (blasphemy) and I’ll miss him.  But glad he got to do the Cubs first pitch because he was always a big Cubs fan.

Last is 3,000 hit club.

Cool set.  Really cool set. But not great because I know #1 (among others) aren’t included and it’s not in either chronological or total hit order.





2016 Topps Update Hobby box – parallels

16 03 2017

Here’s my parallel cards from the Hobby box I bought for Topps series 1. I got a few interesting cards, though I didn’t stag anything too crazy.  The rainbow foil cards are 2016’s common, non-color inserts. I got 4 of those.

Topps Gold is the one that comes back every year, though 2016 was the first full bleed design, so it gets the honeycomb treatment.  The Corey Seager is a pretty good pull.

And I got 2 different “rarer” parallels.  First is the negative cards.  These are cool and seem to work really well with the design.  It’s hard to see who that is, but it’s a guy named Jameson Taillon who seems like a decent pitching prospect for the Buccos.

And I got a Topps Black insert of catcher Wilson Ramos.

Hope everyone is enjoying the March Madness!