Though I'm constantly on the lookout for new cards at the show, online, or at my LCS that I'd want to add to my collection, I must say that I'm definitely content with my collection right now. As far as what I collect goes, I certainly feel confident and proud even of what I've acquired over the course of the time I've been collecting.
However, if there's one thing I wish I had more of, it would probably be oddball cards such as the set that's going to be the focus of my blog post today; 1976 Chicagoland Cards Chicago's Greats, a set my Dad and I got for free from the Chicagoland booth with a purchase of cards at this years' National.
From what I know, the set appears to have been a promotional item produced by the Chicagoland cards company back in 1976, honoring the greats to wear both Chicago Cubs and Chicago White Sox jerseys.
Since this set was produced in the mid-1970's, the impact of players such as Billy Williams and Fergie Jenkins on the Cubs wasn't felt as significantly as it is today, so those 2 were left out of this product. Instead, the set is geared more towards the players from the 30's-50's with some 60's players like Ron Santo included as well.
Although the set mainly focuses on players, there are a couple exceptions with the main one being P.K. Wrigley who inherited ownership of the Chicago Cubs and the Wrigley gum company. Surprisingly, the Chicagoland company decided not to produce a card of William Wrigley Jr. who was known to be far more flamboyant than P.K. The same simple design translates to the card of Wrigley as it does for the players, and like the rest of the set, the photo chosen is in black and white.
As I previously mentioned, both Cubs and White Sox players were included in this set in what was a 25-card set with 13 White Sox included and 12 Cubs. Although I'm undoubtedly far more familiar with the Cubs than I am with the White Sox, I was able to recognize a couple White Sox names when I looked at the checklist such as Minnie Minoso and Al Lopez, players that I've shown the cards of above along with another duo of White Sox players.
I can't say I would be able to identify this card product online or anywhere for that matter if I hadn't received it from that company at the card show. The card backs, shown above, provide no information about the set but do include stats with the Cubs or White Sox (depending on the team), lifetime stats, and career highs for each of these players in addition to the basic information and a quick blurb at the bottom of each card listed under "Highlights."
Since there aren't many names associated with the eras of baseball that I am familiar with which are the 70's-80's, I had some trouble recognizing a couple names from the Cubs portion of the checklist as well as the White Sox part. Until now, I hadn't noticed that a player had been chosen from each position to represent the team, appearing like a "dream team" of sorts. A minor exception to this rule is the 2nd righthanded pitcher due to the White Sox occupying more spots in the checklist than the Cubs.
If we're going strictly off design, it's not the most exciting oddball set you've ever seen, especially if you're one who's indifferent about black and white photos. However, I can definitely see what whoever made this product was trying to do, and I appreciate that, especially considering it's an oddball set.
And like I said before about oddballs, the more the merrier.