2008 iowa cubs team set review

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2008 Iowa Cubs team set
Official Score – TRIPLE
Manufacturer: MultiAd Sports
SGA info: FREE to the first 1,500 fans through the turnstiles for the June 14, 2008 game vs. the Nashville Sounds
Sponsor: KRAFT Foods
Retail price: Good question! I’d say around $10.00 from the Iowa Cubs team shop.

Similar to the Omaha Royals, the Iowa Cubs went with MultiAd’s unobtrusive (Style C) template in the creation of their team set for the 2008 season. As pointed out previously, I am keen on this design that uses a sort of greyscale cigar-band strip across the lower margin of the cards to create a suitable position for the player name, number and position, along with the team name and logo.

One relatively simple thing that immediately sets the Iowa Cubs team set above the Omaha Royals was the inclusion of one extra card- a checklist. I am also impressed with the decision to use a swell team photo for the checklist. Having the team pose in front of the scoreboard adds a certain old timey touch to the set. Nicely done! (And I’m not just saying that because the Iowa Cubs took the opportunity to send a subliminal “shout-out” to the Aardvark Trading Company by including the Albuquerque Isotopes name on the scoreboard… or am I?)

Checklist: 30 cards
1 – Jose Ascanio (p)
2 – Justin Berg (p)
3 – Andres Blanco (inf)
4 – Mike Burns (p)
5 – Andy Cavazos (p)
6 – Neal Cotts (p)
7 – Nelson Figueroa (inf)
8 – Jake Fox (inf)
9 – Sam Fuld (of)
10 – Sean Gallagher (p)
11 – Kevin Hart (p)
12 – Koyie Hill (c)
13 – Micah Hoffpauir (1b/of)
14 – Matt Johnson (trainer)
15 – Von Joshua (hitting coach)
16 – Randy Keisler (p)
17 – Josh Kroeger (of)
18 – Pat Listach (manager)
19 – Sean Marshall (p)
20 – Mike Mason (pitching coach)
21 – J.R. Mathes (p)
22 – Casey McGehee (c/inf)
23 – Matt Murton (of)
24 – Eric Patterson (inf)
25 – Carmen Pignatiello (p)
26 – Tony Richie (c)
27 – Bobby Scales (inf/of)
28 – Andres Torres (of)
29 – Randy Wells (p)
30 – checklist (team photo)

Cards appear to have been treated with the popular Sharpie-friendly clear coat finish. The backs consist of two-color (black and red) printing over white matte, player stats and short bios. A grayscale thumbnail image showing either the entire front, or a cropped portion, is included on the back of each card except the checklist. Cardstock used for the team set is approximately one grade thicker than say, construction paper. I know, I know… I’ll stop harping on this fact as soon as one team gets it right.

Photo credits for this set include Chris Donahue, Earl Hulst, Scott Schutz and Larry Woolis. Essentially all action shots, the set contains a nice mixture of pitchers wearing either white or blue jerseys, and with enough different backgrounds so you won’t grow weary of looking at photos of the pitcher’s mound. The light-colored background on Randy Keisler’s card makes his perfect for autographing purposes.

Of the two catchers, Tony Richie’s is the better offering as you can actually see what he looks like. I don’t think Koyie Hill really enjoys signing autographs anyway, so maybe he prefers cards with his face being blocked by a mask and a mitt.

Eighty percent of the ten “hitters” cards feature I-Cubs in blue jerseys. This Randy Wells offering stands out though, as he is the only pitcher in the stack not shot in the act of pitching. Instead, he is laying down a sacrifice bunt.

I’ve mentioned before how fun it must be as a fan to be able to identify yourself in the background of a baseball card. Take the two fellows in the front row immediately to the left of Josh Kroeger for instance. One or both of them appear in the background of three additional cards in this set (Fox, McGehee and Murton). I’d say that’s a little much. As good as the photographs in this set are, a little more variability in the composition would be nice to see.

Fantastic photo of trainer Matt Johnson! I’m sure Matt is a great guy, but the card would be better if it contained a player. In all fairness, the portrait shots of Pat Listach, Von Joshua and Mike Mason are equally as good.

Although I am leaning toward one card as my overall favorite from the set, I am finding it a difficult decision. This is a great shot of Andres Blanco…

and this photo of Eric Patterson is stellar…

I find it interesting that both of my favorites are of non-pitchers who aren’t batting. Hmmm…..

Cubbies fans may (or may not) take delight in the fact that I will be reviewing an entire decade of Iowa Cubs team sets in the days to come. I won’t be submitting these reviews back-to-back-to-back-to-back-to-etc. though, so I can do my best to stay on top of current team minor league team sets as they become available.

The Iowa Cubs ordering process could be improved as I only see the 2003 team set available online even though they have sets ranging all the way back to 1998 in their team shop. Don’t sweat it, call them at 515.243.6111. Don’t be shy, order some today. Tell them I sent ya!

I’ve seen these same sets selling on the secondary market for $15.

– Kris

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