I'm probably going to have to make 4 trips in to the city on Friday afternoons this year -- this is the giveaway that I've always hoped the Cubs would do.
Here is the link to the full set- you can click on each of the 82 cards to see the design.
The set is heavy on some of Topps' "greatest hits" design seasons - almost all of the cards are from 1954, 1956, 1961-65, 1972, 1977, 1982-1984-1987, and for some reason 1990, which is among their all-time worst sets and almost killed the hobby.
They avoided re-creating cards that existed previously - with one exception (#1, below). But some of the choices indicate that they really knew what they were doing... they "fill in the gaps" where a card should have been made for a given season.
#81 - 1982 Topps Future Stars Soler/Almora/Baez - if you're at this game, keep this card in good condition. Next year take it out to Rosemont and have the Beckett guys grade it for you. This is a bit of a callback to the Cal Ripken "future stars" rookie card. Assuming this is a 10K print run, and the first cards for each of the Cubs 3 biggest prospects -- this will be a highly sought-after card. It will probably sell the game out, frankly.
#1 1954 Ernie Banks - This was his rookie year, and they're using an alternate photo. I wish they would have gone with the original photo - it's almost as iconic as the 1952 Mantle. He looked so young. I think they've done this exact alternate Heritage card previously, but I could be wrong.
#68 1982 Ryne Sandberg - It's about time! The first Ryno Topps card was in 1983. Topps made a "1982 Topps" Sandberg Phillies card once, I suppose, reflecting that he'd been on the Phils for September 1981, and back then cards almost always showed players in the prior year's uniform. Still, he was acquired by the Cubs in January '82 - these days, he would have been pictured in the correct uniform for the '82 set.
#25 Kerry Wood 1977 - His birth year, and an awesome photo.
#39 Billy Buckner 1977 - The year we acquired him. His actual 1977 Topps card shows him in Dodger Blue.
#63 Ken Holtzman 1965 - Just like with the Sandberg, Holtzman gets a "rookie" card that never existed, from his first year!
Putting Ivan DeJesus' card sequentially IMMEDIATELY before cards of Ryne Sandberg and Larry Bowa. Seriously, there is no way that's a coincidence.
1984 Rizzo, Santo, Beckert and especially Banks - My favorite all-time set (the Sandberg photo in my avatar is the inset from his 1984 Topps card) - really wish they would have done Starlin as 1984 instead of 1987. Great to see a Banks 1984.
and some question marks:
#82 1972 Steve Trachsel - Really? Trax gets the last spot? And for that matter, Lieber's here, too.
NO CARD OF JODY DAVIS. Or Bill Madlock. Boooo. Not to be dramatic, but skipping Jody is kind of a giant oversight. Jose Cardenal got a card. Of his contemporaries, Keith Moreland, Larry Bowa and Scott Sanderson and Lee Smith got one. Glenn Beckert got 2.
No "paint effect" for the 1956 reprints - That was basically the best thing about the best set Topps ever made - the portrait floated over a "painting" of game action. They have done a ton of 56 reprints, and they always mess that up.
No 1984 Sutcliffe or 1987 Dawson. Obviously, Rick's 1984 card shows him with Cleveland, and Andre's 1987 card shows him with Montreal. I'd almost forgotten, but by 1984 Topps had the "Traded" set that came out in the fall. Rick already has a 1984 Cubs card, and Andre has a 1987 Cubs card.