Posts Tagged ‘Iowa Cubs’

2007 iowa cubs team set review

August 12, 2008

2007 Iowa Cubs team set
Official Score – RBI TRIPLE
Manufacturer: MultiAd Sports
Sponsor: Post
Retail price: $9.99

Regardless of what the printed 30-card checklist says, there is no Sean Marshall card in this set. There is, however, a card of Neal Cotts that was not listed.

1 – Felix Pie (of)
2 – Cory Bailey (p)
3 – Ronny Cedeno (inf)
4 – Rocky Cherry (p)
5 – Buck Coats (p)
6 – Neal Cotts (p)
7 – Mike Fontenot (p)
8 – Jim Henderson (p)
9 – Micah Hoffpauir (inf)
10 – Ben Howard (p)
11 – Mike Kinkade (3b)
12 – J.R. Mathes (p)
13 – Scott Moore (p)
14 – Matt Murton (of)
15 – Ryan O’Malley (p)
16 – Eric Patterson (inf)
17 – Carmen Pignatiello (p)
18 – Clay Rapada (p)
19 – Tony Richie (c)
20 – Geovany Soto (c)
21 – Chris Walker (of)
22 – Les Walrond (p)
23 – John Webb (p)
24 – Randy Wells (p)
25 – Buddy Bailey (manager)
26 – Mike Harkey (pitching coach)
27 – Von Joshua (hitting coach)
28 – Mike Mahoney (c)
29 – Bob Grimes (trainer)
30 – checklist (team photo)

The baseball cards in this team set appear to have been treated with the popular Sharpie-friendly clear coat finish. The Iowa Cubs went with Multi-Ad’s “Style O” template, and I believe it was a wise decision. The backs consist of two-color (black and blue) printing over white matte, player stats and short bios. A grayscale thumbnail image showing a cropped portion of the card front is included on the back of each card except the checklist. Thin cardstock? Does a potato have eyes?

Photo credits for this set include Chris Donahue, Scott Schutz and Larry Woolis. Once again the Iowa Cubs photographers have delivered a nice mixture of players wearing different uniforms, and employed a wide variety of backgrounds. The background on Matt Murton’s card not only matches his hair, but also is so different from the rest of the set that it leaps to the top of the pile as one of the best.

Obviously not content by appearing on only a single card, Murton also makes a cameo appearance in the background of Tony Richie’s card. Nicely done Matt!

This shot of Felix Pie is representative of the quality photographs used throughout the set. Frozen mid stride, Pie appears to be watching a towering fly ball, perhaps watching to see if it crosses the outfield fence in fair or foul territory.

Eric Patterson’s card is one of only three position players depicted in defensive mode. It is fabulous, so I’m not sure why they didn’t include more like it in the set.

I-Cubbies fans that like cards of pitchers pitching will delight in the fact that there are nine included in the set. These Randy Wells and Carmen Pignatiello cards should give you a great idea of what to expect in that department.

And just to mix it up a little, check out this card of Ben Howard…

Baseball purists who enjoy cards of pitchers laying down sacrifice bunts will have to look elsewhere for their kicks. The only card of a pitcher using a bat is the one of Les Walrond who seems to have been captured right after lacing a double into the gap in left-center. RUN LES!!!!

One of the more intriguing cards included in the 2007 Iowa Cubs team set is of manager Buddy Bailey explaining life to a PCL umpire. I’m not including a scan of this card simply because I wouldn’t want Buddy Bailey to ever get angry enough to yell at me. If you want to see this card, I recommend that you call the friendly folks in the Iowa Cubs team shop (515.243.6111) and order an entire set. You won’t be disappointed.

While I haven’t seen any of these sets selling on the secondary market, I would expect one to fetch around $15. So I wouldn’t wait… order directly from the team. Actually, I just noticed that several of the old Iowa Cubs team sets are currently on sale online. At only $7.97 per set, you may end up feeling like you just bought a bitchin’ pair of stereo speakers from a couple of guys in a van circling the mall parking lot- but I think you’ll soon get over the guilt.

– Kris

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2002 iowa cubs team set review

July 24, 2008

2002 Iowa Cubs team set
Official Score – BULLSEYE
Manufacturer: MultiAd Sports
Retail price: $9.99

Today I wanted to introduce you to one of the nicer Iowa Cubs team sets from the recent past. The card fronts exhibit classy, well-designed graphics that help highlight the Iowa Cubs logo. Player names are easily read, while the sometimes-lengthy position doesn’t take away from the overall look. The photography is very strong throughout due to the keen eyes of Chris Donahue and Larry Woolis. Thanks guys!

This card of pitching coach Jerry Reuss is a nice example of the half-dozen headshots included in the 2002 Iowa Cubs team set.

The set begins with a 30-card checklist. This one features a photo of top prospect Mark Prior mid-pitch on the front. I always smile when I notice that a checklist has itself “checked off.” Nice touch!

1 – checklist (Mark Prior)
2 – Kimera Bartee (of)
3 – Jayson Bass (of)
4 – Alan Benes (p)
5 – Scott Chiasson (p)
6 – Hee Sop Choi (1b)
7 – Ivanon Coffie (inf)
8 – Will Cunnane (p)
9 – Courtney Duncan (p)
10 – Angel Echevarria (of)
11 – Mario Encarnacion (of)
12 – Ben Ford (p)
13 – Chris Gissell (p)
14 – Bobby Hill (inf)
15 – Mickey Lopez (inf)
16 – Pat Mahomes (p)
17 – Mike Mahoney (c)
18 – Adam Melhuse (c)
19 – Luis Ordaz (inf)
20 – Kevin Orie (inf)
21 – Mark Prior (p)
22 – Jesus Sanchez (p)
23 – Steve Sinclair (p)
24 – Mark Watson (p)
25 – Mike Wuertz (p)
26 – Julio Zuleta (of)
27 – Bruce Kimm (manager)
28 – Pat Listach (hitting coach)
29 – Jerry Reuss (pitching coach)
30 – Bob Grimes (trainer)

As you may have guessed, these MultiAd cards are minor league thin. However, the awesome matte finish on both surfaces makes the cards in the 2002 Iowa Cubs team set ideal for autograph seekers. The card backs exhibit two-color (black and blue) printing over a grayscale image of a baseball surrounded by grass. These cards will not disappoint collectors interested in player bios and stats.

You will find thirteen cards of pitchers in this set, ranging from Benes to Wuertz- and including the Mark Prior checklist in the count. An overwhelming majority of these cards feature pitchers on the mound. However, the backgrounds vary greatly from one card to the next, and they are cropped differently leaving you with a pleasing misperception that the sets contains more variability than it actually does. How about a couple of examples?

Jesus Sanchez was selected for inclusion in this post because I enjoy pictures of pitchers in the act of bunting. Call me easily entertained.

Another sure fire way for players to have their card featured on Cards in the Attic is to always have their tongue sticking out when someone snaps their photo. Just ask Pat Mahomes.

The 2002 Iowa Cubs team set contains two cards of catchers- Adam Melhuse and Mike Mahoney. In spite of the fact that world-renown photographer Anne Geddes wasn’t credited for this photo of Mike Mahoney and his daughter Aubrey, I’m relatively confident that she must have had something to do with the shot.

You will receive cards of 11 position players when you order your own 2002 Iowa Cubs team set. These can be further characterized as five cards of players in the field, two players running bases and only four hitters captured while swinging lumber. I’d say that is a nice mix.

Julio Zuletta collected his first major league hit off current Albuquerque Isotopes pitcher Steve Woodard on May 11, 2000.

This is a very nice card of infielder Bobby Hill. The light background makes it well suited for autographing, and the lighting utilized resulted in an image that can be employed by graphers to help identify Hill even in his street clothes.

Similar to Hill’s card, this shot of infielder Mickey Lopez is superb.

I haven’t found this particular team set to be readily available on the secondary market. If available, I would expect one to sell in the $12 to $15 range. The Iowa Cubs are on the ball by including this team set on their e-commerce site for only ten bucks.

– Kris

2006 iowa cubs team set review

July 11, 2008

2006 Iowa Cubs team set
Official Score – DINGER
Manufacturer: MultiAd Sports
Sponsor: Post
Retail price: $9.99

I liked the design of 2006 Iowa Cubs team set cards the first moment I saw them. From the perspective of someone who collects baseball cards with the goal of getting them autographed by players, I always have an eye out for cards with backgrounds that won’t compete with or overpower a signature. Not only does the background in this instance not compete, but also the variable light blue colors actually help make autographs stand out. I should add that I pretty much stick to blue Sharpie for my autographs.

Since I began writing these team set reviews, I’ve come to appreciate a checklist. A plain stadium overview photo or a team logo is fine. However, a photo of the sponsor leaves you with a feeling that you bought a gumball and it spilled out from the machine before you were ready to catch it, and landed on the floor. Sure, you can still use it- no damage done, but the overall experience could have been better. At any rate, the checklist that comes with this set is pretty sweet. The front features a photo of outfielder Felix Pie, placing him on both ends of the set. Felix’s regular card depicts him in the process of batting. The addition of the Iowa Cubs logo in the background helps make the checklist issue the better of the two (unless you require stats).

Checklist: 30 cards
1 – Felix Pie (of)
2 – David Aardsma (p)
3 – Bobby Brownlie (p)
4 – Buck Coats (of)
5 – Jeff Deardorff (inf)
6 – Alan Dunn (pitching coach)
7 – Brandon Emanuel (p)
8 – Mike Fontenot (inf)
9 – Bob Grimes (trainer)
10 – Angel Guzman (p)
11 – Rich Hill (p)
12 – Von Joshua (hitting coach)
13 – Casey Kopitzke (c)
14 – Kerry Lightenberg (p)
15 – Casey McGehee (inf)
16 – Ryan O’Malley (p)
17 – Augie Ojeda (p)
18 – Matt Padgett (of)
19 – Mike Quade (manager)
20 – Michael Restovich (of)
21 – Jae-Kuk Ryu (p)
22 – Andy Shipman (p)
23 – Brandon Sing (inf)
24 – Geovany Soto (c)
25 – Ryan Theriot (inf)
26 – Raul Valdes (p)
27 – Les Walrond (p)
28 – Mark Watson (p)
29 – Michael Wuertz (p)
30 – checklist (Felix Pie photo)

These (thin) cards feature a glossy front surface. I recommend using your preferred method of surface preparation prior to getting them signed. Card backs consist of two-color (black and blue) printing over white matte, typical player stats and short bios. Cropped grayscale photos on the back hint to the original backgrounds that were removed from the photos during the creation of these cards. I like that! No photo credits were given.

I’m afraid that I was unable to determine the template information, as this particular style doesn’t appear on the current version MultiAd online catalogue. Interestingly, Geovany Soto is used by MultiAd in all examples of card styles currently available. While not the clearest photo in the set, it manages to get the point across. No self-respecting Geovany Soto super collector should be without one.

The 2006 Iowa Cubs team set provides a decent mixture of position players either hitting or fielding, and wearing several variations of uniforms to keep things pretty interesting. The card of Casey McGehee is a fair representation of the over all composition of the position players.

The Andy Shipman card serves as an average example of the majority of the 13 pitchers in the set. To be sure, a person could point out flaws here and there among some of the images, but that would too much work to bother.

No, the cards in this team set do not come autographed. You have to get them yourself, but that’s where the real fun is. This unsigned Matt Padgett card is one of my favorites, but I admit that it has a lot to do with the fact that he once played for the Albuquerque Isotopes and is a great guy.

Imagine if they allowed fans to vote for an award given to the nicest player in professional baseball each year… The 2006 Iowa Cubs would have had a staggering two worthy candidates in hitting coach Von Joshua and pitcher Les Walrond. I don’t know how you would resolve the issue short of putting them both in a ring and letting them fight for the title.

I haven’t been able to find the 2006 Iowa Cubs team set available for purchase on the secondary market, but would expect one to fetch between $12.00 and $18.00. I guess what I’m trying to say is that if you want to add one of these kool team sets to your baseball card collection, you should purchase them directly from the Iowa Cubs for let’s just say ten bucks. You won’t find the set on the Iowa Cubs online shop for some unknown reason, so you should contact them directly to place your order.

After you buy your set, please let me know who you think the players are on the cards with manager Mike Quade and trainer Bob Grimes. I’m pretty sure the Grimes card also includes Casey Kopitzke but would appreciate any input!

– Kris

2008 iowa cubs team set review

June 28, 2008

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