As far as Chicago Cubs cards go, I always seem to have better luck when pulling fantastic Cubs hits than I do for any other MLB team, including my favorite club, the Boston Red Sox.
I tend to miss out on pulling big-name Red Sox hits from packs of cards. Case and point, my top 10 Red Sox cards list, a countdown that consisted of 10 total cards, only 2 of which I actually pulled from a pack of cards. The rest were either purchased or have always been a part of my card collection as long as I can remember.
Contrary to my inability to pull Red Sox hits, I have incredible luck when it comes to the cards of my 2nd favorite team, the Chicago Cubs. Rather than doing a top 10, I decided to narrow it down to the best of the best by doing a top 5 instead.
Besides, I bent the rules slightly by including 2 cards at spots #5 and #4, but the point I'm trying to make is pretty clear. Although some cards on this list were purchased at the Baseball card show, the Marlon Byrd stamp card, numbered to 10 on the back, as well as the cards at #3 and #1 were cards that I pulled out of a pack myself.
Starting with the oldest cards to make this list, let's take a look at my top 5 Chicago Cubs cards.
#5 1969 Topps Billy Williams and Fergie Jenkins autographs
Careful research on the part of my Dad helped land us these 2 TTM autographs of 2 of the greatest Chicago Cubs players of all-time, both of whom played on the iconic 1969 team. I've since acquired another autograph of both of these superstars, but the authentic signed 1969 Topps cards will forever be my favorites.
If I remember correctly, the Billy Williams autograph was free while the Jenkins set us back just $10. That's 2 autographs of Hall of Famers and some of the greatest Chicago Cubs to ever play the game for half the price of a blaster box of cards. It's just pretty hard to believe that these 2 incredible cards came in behind 4 others.
#4 2002 Topps 206 Joe Tinker and Johnny Evers bat relics
This was probably the toughest decision to make, but ultimately, I decided to place the Tinker and Evers bat relics above the Williams and Jenkins autos. I mean, I could find other autos of those 2 superstars if I wanted to, but bat relics of 2 guys who played at the beginning of the 20th century are extremely hard to come by.
As a matter of fact, I wouldn't be surprised if 2002 Topps 206 produced some of the only bat relics ever made of Tinker and Evers. These cards are absolutely beautiful, especially thanks to the artwork on the minis. If only I could track down one of these of Frank Chance. Then, the iconic trio would be complete.
#3 2018 Bowman's Best Anthony Rizzo red auto
I've barely had this card in my possession for a month, yet it has already become one of my favorite cards in my entire collection. Pulled from a holiday mini box of 2018 Bowman's Best, I was able to land this spectacular red refractor autograph of Anthony Rizzo, serial numbered 2/10.
As you can imagine, it was quite a moment when I pulled this incredible card from a pack, because it added to what is already a wide variety of Chicago Cubs cards, specifically, the cards on this list. In a year in which I added many impressive cards to my collection, this Anthony Rizzo autograph remains one of the best.
#2 1954 Topps Ernie Banks
It felt odd putting this card at #2 instead of #1, but I'm certain that I'm making the right decision. Regardless, it's still insane to think about the fact that I have, in my possession, a Beckett 3 graded rookie card of Ernie Banks AKA Mr. Cub, one of the greatest hitters in Baseball history.
Although the centering is the primary reason for the low grade, it's still surreal to me that I even have this iconic card. The 1954 Topps set may have been shaky, but Ernie Banks' rookie card is the high point of the entire set for a number of reasons, including the perfect use of the 2 photos and the retro Cubs logo in the top right corner.
#1 2017 Topps Heritage Clubhouse Collection Quad Relic Patch
This is not only the greatest Chicago Cubs card that I own but also the greatest card in my entire Baseball card collection as well as my favorite. Better yet, I actually pulled this hand-numbered 1/1 from a hobby box of 2017 Topps Heritage, a mere 4 months after the Cubs ended their 108-year World Series drought and defeated the Cleveland Indians in the Fall Classic.
Every player's jersey swatch on this 9.5 Beckett graded quad relic features a patch of 2 colors or more, hence why this is the 1/1 quad relic patch instead of the standard quad relic numbered to 10. As impressive as it was to see tri-color relics for Kris Bryant and Addison Russel, I was impressed to see Billy Williams appear on this card, especially with a duo-color jersey swatch as well.
Not a single card in my collection, whether I obtained it before or after the Cubs quad relic, has overtaken the 1/1 card is my favorite card in my entire collection. Plus, the fact that it features 4 Chicago Cubs makes this unbelievable card even more special.