Wednesday, April 12, 2017

What a Difference a Year Makes...

It is a wonder how time flies.

It's been just over 4 months since I last posted and the topic du jour was a recap of my whirlwind trip to see the Chicago Cubs victory parade.

Tonight, the Cubs will get their championship rings before their game against the Dodgers. The night before last, the Cubs had their home opener where the championship banner was raised and the evening culminated in a walk-off victory. Topps Now created three cards to commemorate the events.

Confession time.

I went down the rabbit hole last year and picked up all of the Topps Now cards that featured Cubs. Since I fell off the radar blog-wise and missed doing the look-what-I-picked-up posts like I had planned, I thought it might be a fun trip down memory lane with a simple "this time last year" style write-up.

I'm a day late for this post, but a year ago yesterday, the Cubs earned their first Topps Now card. (Considering it went on sale a year ago today, maybe I'm not late?)

#14 Addison Russell
As I mentioned, I missed this card when it was originally released. Topps Now was still fairly new (this is card #14) and the $9.99 price point kept the print runs relatively small. About a month later, I picked this one up for less than that. Bulk orders through Topps brought prices down with savings that trickled to the secondary market while still allowing eBay sellers to potentially make a small profit.

The print run for this card is listed as 331 copies, one of the lowest for Cubs cards (3rd or 5th lowest depending on what you consider Cubs cards). The lowest Cubs card was 244.

Topps Now eventually picked up some steam, with many cards breaking the 1000+ mark. Fast forward to today and with this limited run and the success the Cubs had, you'll be hard pressed to find one of these for under $100. Crazy. I wish they all had that ROI rate!

However, the ingenuity of the set may have worn off for its sophomore season as print runs in general are much lower. We're about 30 cards in (again, compared to only 14 this time last year?) and two already have lower print runs than last year's all-time low of 178 and less than half have surpassed the total of this card's 331! Four cards have broken 500 and only one of those has gone over 1000.

Maybe it was a lightning in a bottle thing? Maybe things will pick up again as the season rolls on? Or maybe the secondary market dried up causing bulk buyers to bail? Time will tell.

But let's get back to this card and what was going on last year...

The synopsis on the back of the card hits most of the high points but to fill in the blanks:

The Cubs were no-hit through 6 2/3 and down 3-0. David Ross broke up the no-no with a single. Two walks later, Jason Heyward plated two runs with a single of his own. Following a walk and hit by pitch in the 8th, Addison Russell propelled the Cubs to a 5-3 victory with the depicted 3-run home run. Five runs on three hits.

Jon Lester was the Cubs starter but Adam Warren (remember his Cubs stint??) vultured the win with a scoreless 8th.

I think Topps Now was still finding its groove at this point as there's nothing particularly spectacular here. In fact, had the Reds held on, starting Reds pitcher Brandon Finnegan may have earned a card for his late no-hit bid. Maybe it was a boring day around the league?

At this point though, the Cubs were now 6-1 and Topps probably felt they needed to be recognized. Comparatively, this year the Cubs are 5-2 and have 5 cards already (though to be fair, two of them recognize the home opener ceremonies of raising the championship banner and trophy presentation).

The next Topps Now post won't be for another week or so but I hope to have another post or two in the meantime. Hopefully, I still have some followers!


  1. This will be a fun series of posts to follow. Looking forward to it!

  2. Still here. Can't watch the game tonight because it's on GN. Stupid Iowa. Stupid WGN America. I guess I'll catch the highlights on CSN.