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Today: 2024 / 05 / 25

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June 22, 1970 -
July 18, 2004

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Posts and Ramblings (527 total posts) (325 total comments - 47 with moderated scores)
Posted By Mike on Wed-23-Dec-2015 || Title: 2016 || (0) comments
I'm not as super optimistic as many people about 2016 and the Cubs. I do believe the Cubs will have a winning year in 2016. I believe that acquiring Heyward is a very positive aspect for the Cubs. In fact, I'm a big fan of his defense and office. So yes, I am very excited about the Cubs acquiring him. I believe there is a lot more greatness to come from him. I think it speaks loads in his faith in the team also by choosing the Cubs for less money because he believes he has the best chance of winning a World Series with the Cubs.
I know that the management and owners are working hard on improving pitching, I'm not convinced the changes so far will make a big difference. Will Jake Arrieta have another outstanding year? Also, I'm not so excited about John Lackey. We saw the best of him early on in 2015 and the Cardinals know that he has already peaked. The Cubs will get Lackey on his way down. Hopefully he can give the Cubs some good innings. Although each year Anthony Rizzo improves, I would like to see a more consistent Rizzo.
Posted By Mike on Mon-14-Dec-2015 || Title: Beer tial #4 of 100 || (0) comments
I love many amber beers, so I decided to try a new one for #4 of 100. Found this one on an end cap at a local grocery store.

Name: Abita Amber
Brand: Abita
Type: Amber Beer/ Munich style Lager
Rating: Good, not great. Rich taste. For me, taste better cool, than cold, like standard American lagers.
Posted By Mike on Fri-11-Dec-2015 || Title: Windows 2000 theme updated || (0) comments
Just updated the FVWM Windows 2000 theme. Not a huge update, but fixes for modern Linux. Here are the changes:
- Now accepts StartFunction and InitFunction for startup.
- Replaces the Mozilla link and adds a FireFox link to the menu system.
- Added a GIMP link to the menu system.
The general look and feel remains the same.
Posted By Mike on Sun-06-Dec-2015 || Title: Arcade Marquees || (0) comments
Posting more of my arcade marquees

Posted By Mike on Fri-04-Dec-2015 || Title: Ron Santo collection || (0) comments
Just felt like sharing my very small Ron Santo collection of just 11 items:
Ron is a Hall of Fame Cubs star that had 2254 hits, 342 home runs, 1331 RBIs, 9 time All-Star, and 5 time Golden Glove. This is my 1973 Topps Ron Santo card:
Posted By Mike on Sun-29-Nov-2015 || Title: Mortal Combat || (0) comments
Photo of my two original Mortal Combat arcade marqueues.
Posted By Mike on Sat-28-Nov-2015 || Title: beer #3 || (0) comments
Sammy Adams on a Sat night.

Name: Samuel Adams - Boston Lager
Brand: Samuel Adams
Type: Lager
Rating: Meh. Not a fan of this beer. Just a bit too bitter for me. No "hooking" after-taste. I know many disagree with my taste on this one. :)
I did an experiment today with Samuel Adam's Boston Lager. I drank half of the beer at room temperature and the other half refrigerated. The room temperature lager was sweeter and richer. The cold lager was sharp and bitter. Most people I know drink Samuel Adam's cold, but this is not the first beer I have tried that tasted better to me 'warm'.
Posted By Mike on Fri-27-Nov-2015 || Title: beer #2 || (0) comments
For my second beer, I grabed a beer that I have only seen/noticed at one store in town (sold exclusively at Hy-Vee stores).

Name: Baraboo Woodpecker Wheat Ale
Brand: Baraboo
Type: Spring Wheat Ale
Rating: One thumb up for taste. Another thumb up for the name. I would buy again :)
Posted By Mike on Wed-25-Nov-2015 || Title: beer #1 || (0) comments
I'm going to try something new. 100 different beers by the end of Next November. This is something I have always wanted to do. So I have purchased some beers I have never tried. First, one to try is Twisted Pretzel.

Name: Twisted Pretzel Wheat
Brand: Shock Top
Type: Belgian style Wheat Ale
Rating: Two thumbs up! Unusual, but loved the taste. To bad it is a limited brew.
Posted By Mike on Sun-01-Nov-2015 || Title: Baseball cards with two photos || (0) comments
I love dual photo baseball Cards. Most of the two photo sets anyway. Unfortunately, not all cards in this small category are of the same quality. In fact, designs could vary greatly in a small period of time.

Here is my ranking of the top 12 duel photo baseball cards:

#1 Topps 1956
1956 was Topps first spectacular card set. In my opinion, the first perfected 2 photo based card. Each card had a large foreground portrait and a background action shot.

#2 Topps 1989 Big
Topps 1989 "Big" cards are the reincarnation of Topps 1956 cards without the softness or awesome actions scenes. None the less, this is a very attractive set.

#3 Topps 1955
The colors in this set can be described as very attractive and vibrate. The quality of this set is due to the competition from Bowman card company.

#4 Fleer Flair 1997

#5 Topps 1954
This is the first dual photo set card series by Topps.

#6 Fleer Flair 1995
Fleer knows what upper class cards look like.

#7 Topps 1984
Topps 1984 cards are my favorite card sets of the 80s

#8 Topps 1983

#9 Topps 1963
This is card style that the Topps 1983 cards were modeled off of and improved from.

#10 Topps 2003

#11 Topps 1990 "Big" set.
For all that Topps did right for the 1989 Topps Big cards, they lost their way with 1990. I'm not surprised this was the second and last "Big" year.

#12 Topps 1961
I admit Topps 1961 is not the worst set ever made, but it is on the bottom of this list.
Posted By Mike on Sat-24-Oct-2015 || Title: Site changes || (0) comments
I'm just posting a quick note. You may have noticed many changes on this web site. I'm in a coding fenzy agian trying to make the site a better experience. If you have or see any problems please let me know. This will probably go on for another week or so.
So far in the last week, I have updated:
- The blog and posting system again.
- The code for the RSS.
- Improvements for the baseball card database interfaces.
- Adding a trial video database.

What I would like to do this fall:
- Add a search for the Blog
- Make the Web and RSS portion compatible with Apple products.
Posted By Mike on Thu-22-Oct-2015 || Title: Kyle, 2015 Update, and 2016 || (1 ) comments
Ok. I'm a little upset with Topps. OK. This is a little bit of a rant. I have patiently been waiting on the Topps 2015 update. Why? For three players; Kyle Schwarber, Addision Russell, and Kris Bryant. I wanted to have a chance to complete my Cubs set for this year.

Despite Bryant breaking multiple Cubs batting records, Kyle is the better bat of the three rookies. Everyone knows that Kyle made his debut in June of 2015 (in a big way), yet Topps left him out. "So what", you might say. Wells, normally May and June rookie debuts will make the Update set. Even for mediocre rookies. I'm not the only person miffed by this, tons of comments all over the internet about this. I have yet to hear from Topps why they chose not to include Kyle. Some have suggested that leaving out Schwarber, Sano and Severino was to give the 2016 Series 1 cards a major boost.

On the subject of Topps 2016 cards.

This sets looks to be one of the better designs in many years. I will probably purchase these cards not only because of the design, but for the Cubs in this set :/ Then no more new cards.... unless Topps can change my mind again. :)
#Cubs #Baseball #Topps
Posted By Mike on Tue-09-Oct-2015 || Title: Lackey vs Lester || (0) comments
Two Boston Red Sox friends who moved on to other teams. Now facing off in game one of the NLDS series.

2015 Regular Season Stats
          W   IP   ERA   SO   WHIP
Lackey   13  218  2.77  175  1.211
Lester   11  205  3.34  207  1.122
Don't have a Cardinal card of Lackey. In Fact, I only own two cards, one each of these two players.
#Cubs #Baseball #Topps #Cardinals
Posted By Mike on Tue-06-Oct-2015 || Title: Past and Present || (0) comments
Here are two Topps 2013 Future HoFer cards. Oct 2015, one can't post too many Jake Arrieta cards. Even Jake with a funny little stache.

Before they were Cardinals. Here are a couple of Cardinals that are probably on the short stay with the Cardinals, but a big part of the Cardinals upcoming playoff games. Heyword is the most consistent player on the Cardinals team:
Posted By Mike on Sun-04-Oct-2015 || Title: Cubs` season || (0) comments
Wow! What a season. Cubs end the regular season 32 games over 500 with a record of 97 wins 65 losses (.599) and 3 games behind the Cardinals.
Anthony Rizzo lead the Cubs in batting with:
Player Name        AB  Hits  Runs  2B  3B  BB  HR  RBI  AVG   OBP 
Anthony Rizzo     586   163    94  38   3  78  31  101  .278  .387
Starlin Castro on the other hand struggled from time to time on the field and behind the plate:
Player Name        AB  Hits  Runs  2B  3B  BB  HR  RBI  AVG   OBP 
Starlin Castro     547  145    52  23   2  21  11   69 	.265  .296
Posted By Mike on Tue-29-Sep-2015 || Title: Cubs best pitchers - post 10 || (0) comments
Ok, I have been itching to write about Jake Arrieta and the Cubs have been waiting on a pitcher like Jake since Fergie. Yes, we have one of the greatest Cubs pitchers in Cubs history playing for the Cubs right now. His stats so far:

Year  W   L  ERA   G   GS  CG  SHO  IP     ER  HR   BB  SO   AVG   WHIP
2014  10  5  2.53  25  25  1   1    156.2  44  5    41  167  .203  0.99
2015  22  6  1.77  33  33  4   3    229.0  45  10   48  236  .185  0.86
So far with the Cubs, we are looking at a Hall of Famer.
Posted By Mike on Thu-24-Sep-2015 || Title: Kris Bryant's top rookie stats || (0) comments
It is official. Kris Bryant is clearly one of the greatest Cub's power rookies of all time. I went all the way back to 1800's to look for some great rookies on the Cubs. To compare, here are a few of the Cub's Greatest rookies. MLB defines a complete rookie year as 130 or more At Bats:
 1st   2nd   3rd  

Player Name     Year  AB_ Hits  Runs  2B  3B  BB  HR  RBI  AVG   OBP 
Kris Bryant     2015  559  154    87  31   5  77  26  99   .275  .369
Kyle Schwarber  2015  232   57    52   6   1  36  16  43   .246  .355
Addison Russell 2015  475  115    60  29   1  42  13  54   .242  .307
Starlin Castro  2010  463  139    53  31   5  29   3  41   .300  .347
Mike Fontenot   2007  234   65    32  12   4  22   3  29   .278  .336
Ryan Theriot    2006  134   44    34  11   3  17   3  16   .328  .412
Geovany Soto    2005  494  141    66  35   2  62  23  86   .285  .364
Corey Patterson 2001  131   29    21   2   0   6   4  14   .221  .266
Rey Sanchez     1992  255   64    24  14   3  10   1  19   .251  .285
Joe Girardi     1989  157   39    15  10   0  11   1  14   .248  .304
Jerome Walton   1989  475  139    64  23   3  27   5  46   .293  .335
Mark Grace      1988  486  144    65  23   4  60   7  57   .296  .371
Rafael Palmeiro 1987  244   61    32  15   1  20  14  30   .276  .336
Shawon Dunston  1985  250   65    40  12   4  19   4  18   .260  .310
Scot Thompson   1979  346  100    36  13   5  17   2  29   .289  .322
Bill Madlock    1974  453  142    65  21   5  42   9  54   .313  .372 
Randy Hudley    1966  526  124    50  22   3  35  19  63   .236  .285
Adolfo Phillips 1966  419  109    69  29   1  43  16  36   .260  .346
Ken Hubbs       1962  661  172    90  24   9  35   5  49   .260  .299
Billy Williams  1961  529  147    75  20   7  45  25  86   .278  .338
Ron Santo       1960  347   87    44  24   2  31   9  44   .251  .311
Walt Moryn      1956  529  151    69  27   3  50  23  57   .285  .348
Ernie Banks     1954  593  163    70  19   7  40  19  79   .275  .326
Eddie Waitkus   1946  441  134    50  24   5  23   4  55   .304  .340
Andy Pafko      1944  469  144    47  16   2  28   6  62   .269  .315
Phil Cavarretta 1935  589  162    85  28  12  39   8  82   .275  .322
Billy Herman    1932  656  206   102  42   7  40   1  51   .314  .358
Frank Schulte   1905  493  135    67  15  14  32   1  47   .274  .326 
Johnny Evers    1903  497  136    70  27   7  19   0  52   .293  .325
Joe Tinker      1902  501  132    55  19   5  26   2  55   .263  .300 
Jimmy Ryan      1886  327  100    68  17   6  12   4  53   .306  .330
I will keep the post updated till the end of the season.
Posted By Mike on Fri-18-Sep-2015 || Title: Cubs best pitchers - post 9 || (0) comments
Should I write about how good a pitcher Bill Hands was? Nah. He was good, but how about Lee Smith? No I don`t want to write about another relief pitcher at the moment - although he was really good. How about Orval Overal? Sigh, really good, but no. Oh, Oh, I know! Carlos Zambrano! Yeah, I'm going to go with this controverial pitcher :) He is someone worth writing about. Carlos played for the Cubs between 2001 and 2011. Cub Fans either hated him...... or loved him. Some fans did both. But I can make a case that he belongs on the list of one of the best Cubs pitchers. First of all, when he was hot, he could get strike outs. Carlos is one of the few Cubs in modern history to have a no hitter/full game shutout. He was a three time All-Star with Cubs. Considered for Cy Young three times. Three time Silver slugger with Cubs. Two years with over 200 strikeouts. Lastly, a temper. The worst part about Big Z - If the catcher/manager could keep Carlos focused, he was an Ace. Get him flustered, he fell apart.
Few areas Carlos was in the top 20 with the Cubs:

- 2nd in Career with Cubs in strikeouts with 1542 in 1826.2 innings pitched.
(behind F. Jenkins and in front of K. Wood)
- 9th in Career with Cubs WAR leaders with 37.9 in 1826.2 innings pitched.
- 9th in Career with Cubs Strikeouts per 9 innings pitched with 7.597 in 1826.2 innings pitched.
- 15th in Career wins with Cubs (125)

My Carlos Zambrano collection
Posted By Mike on Thu-17-Sep-2015 || Title: Cubs best pitchers - post 8 || (0) comments
With so many good Cubs pitchers left to choose from for post number 8, I have decided to go with a pitcher that amazed me with a ball that magically disappeared from the batter. His name, Kerry wood. His first 6 years, he was amazing to watch. His rookie year, he struck out 20 batters in one game, had a season 233 strikeouts and averaged 12.6 strike out every 9 innings. That won him the Rookie of the year award. Why I debated about not posting about Kerry Wood is the fact that he was accused of, but never tested positive of doing steroids. There were posts that popped up on the web that Kerry was on a long list of players that were on steroids in the George Mitchell Report. It was latter shown false that he was on the list and this info retracted on some sites, but remained on other sites.
Unfortunately, Kerry will probably never see the Hall of Fame because of these rumors and speculation. Kerry played most of his career between 1998 and 2012. If he does make it to the Hall of Fame, it will be for his ability to strike out batters both as a starting, reliever, and a closing pitcher. The bold stats are his 6 outstanding years with the Cubs.
Year  G  SV  SO   WHIP   SO9   Awards
Starter Years
1998  26 -   233  1.212  12.6  Rookie of Year
2000  23 -   132  1.453   8.7  -                 
2001  28 -   217  1.256  11.2  -             
2002  33 -   217  1.245   9.1  -              
2003  32 -   266  1.194  11.3  All-Star      
2004  22 -   144  1.268   9.2  -                

2005  21 -    77  1.182  10.5  -             

2006   4 -    13  1.373   5.9  -                 

2007  22 -    24  1.274   8.9  -

2008  65 34   84  1.085  11.4  All-Star     

2011  55  1   57  1.294  10.1  -
2012  10  -    6  2.192   6.2  -
Other facts about Kerry Wood:
- has the 1st (12.582), 2nd (11.346), and 4th (11.203) best seasons for strikeouts per nine innings.
- 3rd overall in Cubs career 10.34 strikeouts per 9 innings with 1279 innings pitched.
- 3rd overall in Cubs career strike outs with total fo 1470 over 1279 innings pitched.
- 8th best season in saves (34)
- 9th best season in strikeouts (266)
Posted By Mike on Tue-15-Sep-2015 || Title: Cubs best pitchers - post 7 || (0) comments
My seventh post is for Greg Maddux. What makes me put Greg on this list of great Cub pitchers? This check list says a lot about him:
- First and deservingly, he is a member of the Hall of Fame.
- He is a 4 consecutive time Cy Young award winner.
- additionally a 17 time Golden Glove winner.
- Eight time All-Star.
- Best WHIP 4 different seasons.
- Most wins 3 different seasons.
- A career 355 wins.
- A career 3,371 strike outs.

Greg played for the Cubs between 1986 and 1992. Coming back to the Cubs in his career 2004-2006. As a Cubbie, he received:
- 1 Cy Young award in 1992 (20 wins, 199 strike outs, 1.011 WHIP, All-star),
- 2 time All-Star (1988 and 1992) with Cubs
- 6 Golden Gloves (1990, 1991, 1992, 2004, 2005, 2006) with Cubs
- 1305 strike outs with Cubs
- 133 Wins with Cubs

Why did I mention Greg Maddux after Rick Sutcliffe? With these awards and achievements, someone might think he was the best pitcher the Cubs had ever seen. The truth is he wasn't. Not close. As a Cubbie, Greg was above average. Despite these achievements, he never came close to matching the numbers obtained by Fergie Jenkins, Mordecai Brown, or Ed Reulbach as a Cubs pitcher. So how is Greg in the Top 50s of Cubs pitching? Greg Maddux comes in:

- 6th for Cubs Career strike outs
- 10th for single season WAR (1992).
- 11th for Cubs Career WAR
- 13th for Cubs Career wins
- 21st in Cubs total shutouts.
- 29th for single strike out in season (1992)
- 30th in WHIP in single season (1992)
- 32nd in WHIP with Cubs
- 40th in single season shutouts (1992)
- 46th in win-loss for Cubs
- below 50th for ERA in single season.
- below 50th for ERA with Cubs.
- below 50th in single season wins
- below 50th in win-loss in single season

In areas not mentioned, he does not rank in the Top 50. The year 1992 was his only great year with the Cubs where he ranked in anything with the Cubs. The Braves used him for his other 7 great years. When continued on his decline the following years, he went back to the Cubs in 2004.

My Greg Maddux collection
Posted By Mike on Mon-14-Sep-2015 || Title: Cubs best pitchers - post 6 || (0) comments
For my sixth post on great Cubs pitchers, I chose Rick Sutcliffe. Rick was at times a very impressive pitcher, but not consistant enough to be a hall-of-famer. That said, he was impressive enough to make my list for various reasons. Overall, he ranks much lower than the other 5 pitchers that I have mentioned in my previous posts, but he was a major contribitor in his years with the Cubs.
My 1988 Topps/Kmart card (left)

Rick played with the Cubs between 1984 and 1991. He had three really impressive and outstanding years with the Cubs, but he also had 6 average years with the Cubs. Rick's career highlights include the fact that he was the Rookie of the Year in 1981, Cy Young winner as a Cubbie in 1984, and a 3 time All-Star (2 of these with the Cubs).

My 1991 Topps card (left)

His best season was his first season with the Cubs in 1984. That season he won the Cy Young with 20 (.769 total /.941 w Cubs) wins with 213 strike outs. .941 is the best win-loss percentage ever by a Cub pitcher. Unfortunetly, he would not have an outstanding year again until 1987 with 18 (.643) wins and 174 strike outs. That year he made the All-Star team and came in second in votes for Cy Young. Rick then had a good year again in 1989 with 16 wins and 153 strikeouts and All-Star team.

Here is my entire collection of Rick Sutcliffe.
Posted By Mike on Fri-11-Sep-2015 || Title: Cubs best pitchers - post 5 || (0) comments
The pitcher that I chose for post nubmer 5 may not be a first thought for many as one of the best Cub pitchers, but he does register on the list. Rick Reuschel was a pitcher for the Cubs between 1972 and 1984. He was not a Hall of Fame inductee, but he was a 3 time All-Star, 2 time Golden Glove, and Hutch Award winner. He did not lead the Cubs in any one area, but Rick was:
- 2nd with a career 48.3 WAR in 2290 innings pitched with the Cubs.
- 2nd with Cubs in 343 games started.
- 5th in strikeouts with the Cubs (1367)
- 6th with inning pitched (2290) as a Cubbie.
- 8th in all time Cubs' history with a 9.4 single season WAR (1977)

In Rick's career, he was nominated three times for the Cy Young award. His best chance as a Cubbie was in 1977. That year he had 20 (.667) wins, 4 complete shut outs, the highest WAR of the candidates (9.4), struck out 166 batters, only gave up 13 HRs, and selected to the All-Star team. Unfortunately Steve Carlton won that year with 23 wins, 5.9 WAR, 2 shut out games, 198 strike outs, giving up 25 home runs.
Posted By Mike on Thu-10-Sep-2015 || Title: Cubs best pitchers - post 4 || (0) comments
The next great Cubs pitcher I'm posting about is Bruce Sutter. Like 2 of the 3 others I have posted, he is a Hall of Fame pitcher. Unlike the other 3 pitchers mentioned in this series, he was a relief pitcher. Besides being a HoFer athlete, he also has been an All-Star 6 times (4 times as a Cubbie), awarded the Cy Young (as a Cubbie), and led the Major League Baseball in Saves 5 different seasons. In fact, he had 21 or more Saves 9 seasons in a row of his 12 seasons for a career of 300 Saves.
My 1977 and 1978 Topps Bruce Sutter cards:

His best year with the Cubs was 1977, when he had 37 saves and a 0.977 WHIP. That year he was nominated for MVP, won the Cy Young award, and made the All-Star team.
Here is the listing of what I have of Bruce in my Collection.
Posted By Mike on Wed-09-Sep-2015 || Title: Cubs best pitchers - post 3 || (0) comments
I have a lot of great Cubs pitchers to cover, but Fergie Jenkins felt like the next logical choice to cover. Fergie also a Hall of Fame pitcher and a Cy Young award winner, is one of only four pitchers in major league history to record more than 3,000 strikeouts with fewer than 1,000 walks. He started with the Phillies and for a period played for the Rangers and Red Sox.
My Topps 1983 Fergie Jenkins:

Fergie's last year with the Cubs was 1983. During the 70's and 80's, I was still a die hard Cardinals fan and still not really giving the Cubs much attention, so I'm sad I never made a point to watch him pitch as a kid.
My Topps 1984 Fergie Jenkins:

With the Cubs alone, he had; 6 straight seasons with 20 or more wins, 5 straight seasons with 236 or more strike outs, won the Cy Young award, and went to the All-Star team 3 times. Here are Fergie's impressive stats as a Cubbie:
Year  Wins       ERA   SO   WHIP   Awards
1966  6  (.429)  3.31  148  1.088 	 
1967  20 (.606)  2.80  236  1.082  All-Star
1968  20 (.571)  2.63  260  1.039 	
1969  21 (.583)  3.21  273  1.140 	
1970  22 (.579)  3.39  274  1.038 	
1971  24 (.649)  2.77  263  1.049  All-Star, Cy Young 
1972  20 (.625)  3.20  184  1.089  All-Star
1973  14 (.467)  3.89  170  1.196 	
1982  14 (.483)  3.15  134  1.330 	
1983  6  (.400)  4.30  96   1.327 
Over 19 seasons, He had 284 wins and 3192 strike outs. Here is the listing of what I have of Fergie in my Collection.

Here are my Topps 1970 and 1976 Fergie Jenkins:
Posted By Mike on Thu-03-Sep-2015 || Title: Cubs best pitchers - post 2 || (0) comments
This is post number 2 of the best Cubs pitchers of all time. I have posted my Mordecai '3 fingers' Brown card on this blog before in 2012. He played for the Cubs from 1904 and up to 1912. Brown was part of the best Cubs team of all time (he played on the Chicago Cubs championship teams of 1906, 1907, 1908 and 1910) and was elected as a Hall of Fame player. He lost his index finger as a child on farm equipment, thus earning his nickname '3 fingers Brown' and adding the ability to spin amazing movement on the ball.
Here is my 1960 Fleer Mordecai '3 fingers' Brown card.

Here are his impressive numbers as a Cubbie:
239 Career wins, 2.06 Career ERA

Year  Wins       ERA   WHIP
1904  15 (.600)  1.86  0.965 
1905  18 (.600)  2.17  1.056 
1906  26 (.813)  1.04  0.934 
1907  20 (.769)  1.39  0.944 
1908  29 (.763)  1.47  0.842 
1909  27 (.750)  1.31  0.873 
1910  25 (.641)  1.86  1.084 
1911  21 (.656)  2.80  1.193 
1912  5  (.455)  2.64  1.263 
By any standards and any era, these numbers are remarkable. Over 14 seasons, he had 239 wins, with a 2.06 ERA, 1375 strikeouts, and 55 shutouts. His 2.06 ERA is the best in MLB history for any pitcher with more than 200 wins.
Posted By Mike on Mon-31-Aug-2015 || Title: Cubs best pitchers - post 1 || (0) comments
To do something different, I'm going to blog for a month about great pitchers in Chicago Cubs' history and the baseball cards that I have that honor them. Lets start with Edward Marvin "Big Ed" Reulbach. He was a major league baseball pitcher for the Chicago Cubs that played 8 full seasons between 1905 and 1912. He is one of the Cubs most winning, ERA, and WHIP pitchers. Over a 13 year career he had 182 wins, 2.28 average ERA, 40 shutout games, 1137 strikeouts, and a 1.143 WHIP average. Numbers as a Cubbie:
Year  Wins       ERA   WHIP
1905  18 (.563)  1.42  0.963 
1906  19 (.826)  1.65  1.014 
1907  17 (.810)  1.69  1.099 
1908  24 (.744)  2.03  1.119 
1909  19 (.655)  1.78  1.051 
1910  12 (.600)  3.12  1.212 
1911  16 (.640)  2.96  1.326 
1912  10 (.625)  3.78  1.308  
My only card of Ed is a 1912 Ed Reulbach Recruit Tobacco Card (in poor shape)

Career Notes:

- In the 1906 World Series Game 2, Ed only gave up one hit, a seventh-inning single to George Rohe.
- His best year was 1908, when he won 24 games for the National League and World Series champion Cubs.
- He pitched two shutouts in one day against the Brooklyn Dodgers on September 26, 1908.
No other pitcher has ever accomplished this feat in the major leagues since.
- Society for American Baseball Research wrote: "Despite statistics that compare with those of Sandy
Koufax, who also pitched in a pitching-oriented era, Reulbach never received a single vote for the Hall of Fame."
Why did Ed get completely overlooked for the HoF? Many say because of how is number compared to his HoF team-mate Mordecai "three fingers" Brown (who I'm posting about next).
Posted By Mike on Mon-24-Aug-2015 || Title: What happened with the 1967-1972 Cubs? || (0) comments
I have always wondered how the Cubs with 4 of the greatest HOF baseball players and great supporting cast never managed to win a title between the years of 1967 and 1972. During this 6 year period of time, the Cubs always achieved a winning season (>.500) and posted very impressive numbers with players like:

- Billy Williams (Hall of Fame, 6x All-Star, and Rookie of the Year, 2711 career hits, 426 career HRs)
- Ernie Banks (Hall of Fame, 11x All-Star, 2x MVP, Golden Glove, 2583 career hits, 512 career HRs)
- Ron Santo (Hall of Fame, 9x All-Star, 5x Golden Glove, 2254 career hits, 342 career HRs)
- Fergie Jenkins (Hall of Fame, 3x All-Star, Cy Young, 284 career wins, 3192 career strike outs)
- Glenn Beckert (4x All-Star, Golden Glove, 1473 career hits)
- Milt Pappas (2x All-Star, 209 career wins, 1728 career SOs)
- Jim Hickman (All-Star, 159 career HRs, 1002 career hits)
- Johnny Callison (3x All-Star, 1757 career hits, 226 career HRs)
- Don Kessinger (6x All-Star, 2x Golden Glove, 1931 career hits)
- Randy Hundley (All-Star, Golden Glove)
- Bill Hands (111 career wins, 1128 Career strike outs)

1967 Cubs 87-74, Finished 3rd in National League
C  Randy Hundley   144 hits 14 HRs
1B Ernie Banks     158 hits 23 HRs
2B Glenn Beckert   167 hits
SS Don Kessinger   134 hits
3B Ron Santo       176 hits 31 HRs
LF Billy Williams  176 hits 28 HRs
CF Adolfo Phillips 120 hist 17 HRs

P  Fergie Jenkins  20 wins 236 SOs 2.80 ERA    
1968 Cubs 84-78, Finished 3rd in National League
C  Randy Hundley   125 hits
1B Ernie Banks     136 hits 32 HRS
2B Glenn Beckert   189 hits
SS Don Kessinger   157 hits
3B Ron Santo       142 hits 26 HRs
LF Billy Williams  185 hits 30 HRs
CF Adolfo Phillips 106 hits 13 HRs

P  Fergie Jenkins  20 Wins 260 SOs 2.63 ERA
P  Bill Hands      16 Wins 158 SOs 2.89 ERA
1969 Cubs 92-70, Finished 2nd in NL East
C  Randy Hundley   133 hits 18 HRs
1B Ernie Banks     143 hits 23 HRs
2B Glen Beckert    158 hits 
SS Don Kessinger   181 hits
3B Ron Santo       166 hits 29 HRs
LF Billy Williams  188 hits 21 HRs

P  Fergie Jenkins  21 Wins 273 SOs
P  Bill Hands      20 Wins 181 SOs 2.49 ERA
P  Ken Holtzman    17 Wins 176 SOs
1970 Cubs 84-78, Finished 2nd in NL East
1B Jim Hickman     162 hits 32 HRs
2B Glen Beckert    170 hits
SS Don Kessinger   168 hits
3B Ron Santo       148 hits 26 HRs
LF Billy Williams  205 hits 42 HRs
RF Johnny Callison 126 hits 19 HRs
1B Ernie Banks     12 HRs

P  Fergie Jenkins  22 Wins 274 SOs 
P  Ken Holtzman    17 Wins 202 SOs
P  Bill Hands      18 Wins 170 SOs
1971 Cubs 83-79, Finished 3rd in NL East
1B Joe Pepiton     131 hits 16 HRs
2B Glenn Beckert   181 hits
SS Don Kessinger   159 hits
3B Ron Santo       148 hits 21 HRs
LF Billy Williams  179 hits 28 HRs

P  Fergie Jenkins  24 Wins 263 SOs 2.77 ERA
P  Milt Pappas     17 Wins 
1972 Cubs 85-70, Finished 2nd in NL East
1B Jim Hickman 	   100 hits 17 HRs
2B Glenn Beckert   128 hits	
SS Don Kessinger   150 hits	
3B Ron Santo       140 hits 17 HRs
LF Billy Williams  160 hits 37 HRs
CF Rick Monday     108 hits 11 HRs
RF Jose Cardenal   155 hits 17 HRs

P  Fergie Jenkins  20 Wins 184 SOs 
P  Milt Pappas     17 Wins 2.8 ERA
Posted By Mike on Fri-21-aug-2015 || Title: Leaf/Donruss puzzles || (0) comments
I collected 1980s Leaf/Donruss baseball cards fairly heavily during the 80s. With the cards came puzzle pieces - 1 puzzle piece card per pack. For the first time, many years later, I actually took the time to place-together one of the puzzles. And now I can share :) Looked at the other puzzles and this is the only puzzle I was able to complete from Leaf/Donruss.
Posted By Mike on Tue-18-aug-2015 || Title: 1983 collecting again || (0) comments
In my child hood, for some odd reason (that I can`t remember in my old age), I never purchased any Topps 1983 cards. In fact, I checked out of collecting in 1983 and 1984. When 1985 rolled around, I was collecting again. So now I am piecing the set together a dime, quarter, and dollar at a time when I see them. Yes, I`m an adult with a fascination of something I did not have as a 13/14 year old. But the funny thing is that I always loved the look of these cards.

1983 Topps Rookie Ryne Sandberg and Larry Bowa card.
Additionally, here is my Keith Moreland card. I also have Fergie Jenkins and Doug Bird cards for 1983 Topps. My 1983 Chicago Cubs list is here. Also my collection of Ryne Sandberg, Fergie Jenkins, Larry Bowa, and Keith Moreland cards.
Posted By Mike on Thu-13-aug-2015 || Title: The Ernie Banks collection || (0) comments
Belonging in the short list of Hall of Famer Cubs, statistically, Ernie Banks is the 8th best overall offensive batter (for career Cub players) that the Cubs have ever had. Ernie had 2,583 MLB career hits and 512 MLB home runs. Season high hits was 193. Season high home runs was 47. In fact, he had five season that he had over 40 home runs. Ernie was also a 11 time All-Star. He had season batting averages of over 300 - three different seasons. Over 100 runs-batted-in - 8 different seasons. This is why I had to have his cards in my collection. Additionally, I admired him as a person, not just a great ball player.
1964 Topps Ernie Banks
This is my 1964 Topps Ernie Banks. This card is not in great condition, but one of my favorite.
1970 Ernie Banks Topps card
This is my 1970 Topps Ernie Banks. To see what I have of Ernie Banks, you can search my collection here. Here is to Mr Cubs.
Posted By Mike on Mon-10-aug-2015 || Title: The collection (updated) || (0) comments
From my over 10K cards, I am sooo far from recording all the cards from any of my sets. I look at all the cards I have yet to record and feel overwhelmed. Except for one set that is, my 1986 Topps set. That set has been completely recorded. But you may say, "Mike, there are only 7 cards recorded for 1986 Topps". Yes, that is correct. I once had many, many 1987 Topps cards. Now I have seven. Worse is that I have no idea where they are or when I lost them all. It is not like I ever stored any of my cards separately, but somehow they have been separated from me. I'm also missing some 1985 cards, but not as many as the 1986 cards. My best guess is they were lost in one of my many moves throughout the years.

Another thing that amazes me is that I never realized how many Fleer cards I have. Throughout the years, and at different times, I have had different favorite brands. But overall, I would have to say I preferred Fleer. The numbers currently recorded do not reflect what currently have, but I have many more Fleer cards to record.

Lastly, I finally found a particular player that I have been looking for in my collection. A player that August and I had done a lot of reading on and reflecting on - Jim Abbott. He was a one handed baseball player that experienced not only skills to become a MLB player, but success as one.
The famous Jim Abbott
Posted By Mike on Sun-02-aug-2015 || Title: The collection (updated) || (0) comments
Last night I pulled out the entire baseball card collection to organize and to do a visual count of the collection. This was not my normal cataloging and recording routine. What I found out is that I have considerable more cards than I had realized. In fact, I have more than 10,000 cards, mostly between the years of 1985 and 1991. These years are the years in which baseball card collecting was in it's highest level of popularity, with many, many, sets to choose from and I was buying this over-produced stuff like everyone else. What this means, sadly for me, is not only am I not half way done recording what I have in my colection; I'm even further away to my goal of getting all my cards cataloged. In the time being, I'm going to focus on 1987 and 1988 Topps cards.
Posted By Mike on Sat-25-jul-2015 || Title: Rudy Meoli || (0) comments
One of my favorite hobbies is crunching baseball player stats. So sometimes I look at baseball cards to find those forgotten players.
Topps Chicago Cubs cards
I do this for historical curisosity and entertainment reasons. I learn so much about baseball doing this and all the players from the 1800s to present day players. I stumbled on a modern day player named Rudy Meoli. He played for the Cubs for only one season. Looking at his stats, he was ranking from all my compiled data as possibly the worst Cubs player to have played for the team. Then I stumbled on this article. You can find his Cubs hitting placement here.
Posted By Mike on Thu-23-jul-2015 || Title: Billy Williams collection || (0) comments
I'm so excited about the fact that tonight I purchased two Billy Williams baseball cards. Billy is in the Hall of Fame for a career that had a total of 1410 hits, 2711 runs, 434 doubles, 88 triples, 426 home runs, and 1475 RBIs. He received the Rookie of the Year award in 1961. He made the All-Star team 6 times. He had more than 200 hits in three different seasons. He also had more than 100 RBI for three seasons. Impressively, Billy knocked in 42 home runs in 1972.

I purchased a 1968 Topps and a 1973 Topps Billy Williams Cubs card. This brings my collection to a total of four. I'm happy that these two cards are in much better condition than the Billy Williams cards that I currently have. Even happier that I paid less than $2 each. Presently my collection contains these two cards:
1969 Topps Billy Williams card
Billy Williams 1969 Topps Cubs Card
1970 Topps Chicago Cubs cards
and poor condition Billy Williams 1970 Topps Cubs Card
When the new cards arrive, I will proudly post better images of them. To see what I have of Billy Williams, you can search my collection here.
Posted By Mike on Tue-21-jul-2015 || Title: The collection || (0) comments
I'm approaching the point of half of my baseball card collection being cataloged and organized. Progress can be viewed on http://mrgibson.com/baseball1.php. This process has taken quite a while. I have been at it off and on since 2012. To stand over the collection, one can physically see there is a whole lot more to do. That said, I believe the process has been quite beneficial as a collector. It has allowed me to enjoy my cards, know more precisely what I have (even the ones I have not cataloged), and know exactly where the cataloged cards are kept. This way, if I wish to view, sell, trade, or display any card, it will take much less of my time searching. The card storage container and order in the container is stored in the database.
Great 80s Cubs line-up - 1984 Topps Cubs Cards
[Above photo is my favorite 8 Topps 1984 Cubs cards]
So all of that said, I ask myself, can I complete this project? I may sell or trade off many of the 1989 - 1991 cards because I have completed some of these sets and have so many duplicate cards in those years. I think I have been more successful with this when I have paced myself also. So I think the answer is yes, but not sure how long it will take.
Posted By Mike on Sat-18-jul-2015 || Title: Missed || (0) comments

Posted By Mike on Thu-16-jul-2015 || Title: Cubs jokes || (0) comments
The most popular posts *ever*, in the more than 400 posts on this blog, are the Chicago Cubs jokes. So I have decided to recompile some of my favorite jokes:

Q. Why are cubs fans best to date?
A. They aren't expecting a ring.

Q: Whats the difference between the Chicago Cubs and a mosquito?
A: A mosquito stops sucking.

Q: What's the difference between dirt and the Chicago Cubs?
A: Nothing...they both always get swept.

Q: What did Jesus say to the Chicago Cubs last time he was on Earth?
A: Don't do anything till I get back.

Q: What does a gay bear and October have in common?
A: No Cubs.

Q: What do you call a Chicago Cubs player with a World Series ring?
A: A thief.

And lastly...
Q: What they call winning teams in Chicago?
A: Visitors.
Posted By Mike on Tue-14-jul-2015 || Title: It lives! || (0) comments
....but will anyone notice. [brushes off cobwebs] I had broken much of the code to make the blog unusable. Now I'm trying to fix the code (much had been deleted).
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