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).


  1. Cleo James is on this card, though his "rookie" is in the 1972 set; and Jack Hiatt is on the card, his 1971 solo has him on the Angels.

  2. If the criteria for bad mother award is the biggest head, looks like Pepitone is bigger than Durocher.

  3. If a person want all the identities, ebay is selling a poster.

    Note the use of the word row is incorrect, correct is column.

  4. Any idea why they went with this format? Did the Cubs refuse to do a team photo? If so, why?

  5. The Cubs used to sell these floating head pics at their souvenir stands back in the 70's instead of team pics. Topps just used these pics for the team cards.

  6. they didn't win the pennant in 1984, the Padres did...the Cubs won the National League East flag.