Saturday, May 14, 2016

Ending Some Streaks (Topps Now & Desert Shield)

Two cards arrived in the mail this week from different places, different eras and featuring different players. But oddly enough, they both highlight the same thing, the end of a streak.

As you can see, during Jake Arrieta's incredible run in the past year, he almost broke the record for consecutive scoreless innings at his home ballpark. Despite the streak being over, he has continued his dominance and currently leads the Majors with a 1.13 ERA. He puts that on the line this afternoon against the Pirates, where he looks to rebound from his last outing in which he was just a bit "off" (for him) and received a no decision. He left the game trailing but Cub bats bailed him out late. Funnily enough, that game features the next Cubs Topps Now card that should be heading my way soon, the Javier Baez walk-off home run against the Nationals.

Twenty five years ago, there was another kind of automatic at Wrigley Field. If you hit the ball to second baseman Ryne Sandberg, you were pretty much out.

I can't believe this card set is 25 years old and this record happened 26 years ago. What's not to like about this card?

My favorite player growing up? Check.

A nice 3d effect with Sandberg's head popping out of the border? Check

Classic Cubs pinstripes and stirrups? Check

Horizontal? Check.

Lush Ivy in the background? Check

Im 1990, Sandberg concluded his errorless games streak at 123 games, a whopping 32 games over the previous record. The Major League record has since been extended to 141 errorless games at second base by Placido Polanco of the Detroit Tigers in 2007. And more recently in Cubs history, Darwin Barney extended to the Cubs record and tied that Major League record in 2012 during his deserved Gold Glove season. It's a shame Topps doesn't do these Record Breaker cards anymore in their flagship sets, although they do seem to be including them as highlights in their Topps Now series.

I picked up the Arrieta through the Topps website and have extras if anybody wants one. The Desert Shield Sandberg came via eBay to add to my team set that I'm working on collecting and getting autographed. I have the All-Star version as well and just need to pull the trigger on his base card when I find a reasonably priced one in great condition. I'mdown to the final six but I'm finding the centering on this set was horrendous. And this is one set that I'm trying to be condition sensitive about.

1 comment:

  1. Nice pair there - I too opted for a Jake NOW card, but mine was for his no-hitter. Here's hoping he ends up on a few more of those this year!