Wednesday, February 17, 2016
no. 502 - cubs
Who is the man: The Chicago Cubs were entering the 1971 season after a second straight second-place finish in the National League East. After falling to the Miracle Mets in 1969, the Cubs lost out to the Pirates in 1970.
Can ya dig it: This is one of the stranger cards in the entire set. It doesn't follow the pattern of any of the other team cards. Not only does it not show a photograph of the entire team posing together, but Topps didn't place the banner team name across the top like it did for every other team card.
Right on: This floating heads team card began the Cubs team card tradition that continued through the 1970s. Except for 1973 and 1975, the Cubs' team card from 1971-79 was a collection of floating heads.
You see that cat Durocher is a bad mother: Manager Leo Durocher gets the biggest head in the bunch. He's directly above the Cubs logo.
Shut your mouth: I tried to identify most of the players here, but the signatures are small, the players before my time, and my eyes are tired. I did find Durocher, Joe Pepitone, Billy Williams, Randy Hundley, Ernie Banks, Don Kessinger, Joe Decker, Ron Santo, Larry Gura and Fergie Jenkins before I gave up.
No one understands him but his woman: Willie Smith is featured on this card (second from the left at the bottom). But he was also shown on his own card listed as a Cincinnati Red about 50 cards ago. Smith was traded from the Cubs after the 1970 season.
(A word about the back): The pennant-winners listing tells the tale of Cubs futility at this time. The most recent pennant winner was 1945 (and they wouldn't have another one until 1984).