1986 Unocal Cubs: Do I Count Them?

A few days ago I was perusing Cubs checklists on the website, Team Sets 4 U. I was looking for some oddball sets that weren’t in my collection that I could scour eBay.

One set I found on the site was the checklist for a 20-card set from 1986. It was the Unocal set. Unocal (76) was a gas station. It’s logo is a throwback to the 80’s, and reminds me of my early childhood as we had a 76 station in the small town I grew up.

I found a complete set for just $9.50 shipped and it was purchased. It arrived today, and wasn’t what I expected. It’s a 20-POSTER set. The posters are 8×10 size.

So do I count them? I shouldn’t, but I am going to. After all, they were listed on the Team Sets 4 U website, and most importantly it’s my collection and I make the rules. Final verdict: they count.

Maybe the name that fits images more than any other Cubs player in history is Jay Baller. I say that because of his 1988 Topps card featuring him wearing a gold chain with chest pair popping out of his jersey like Tom Selleck. These images on the 1986 Unocal are a bit more subdued, less Baller.

Great action shot of Thad Bosley. Unlike cards where I dislike horizontal images, I’m a big fan of horizontal images on these posters.

The Penguin! Another image mid-swing here of Ron Cey.

Not sure if I’m going to insert these posters into plastic protectors, or if I’ll attempt to get some signed at the Cubs Convention. Many of the players featured in this set are regulars at the convention, including Jody Davis.

Some of those regulars I’ve had the luck to get to know. None more than Bobby Dernier. I spent more than an hour with he and his wife this past January at the hotel bar. Dernier let me try on both his World Series rings, and his wife was giving me many tips about Italy, where my wife and I plan to honeymoon.

Shawon Dunston was a fan favorite. Great fielding shot with the Wrigley ivy in the background.

Here’s Leon Durham looking to get on base.

Dennis Eckersley throws a pitch in a game against the Cincinnati Reds.

Probably my least favorite image of the bunch. Here’s pitcher Ray Fontenot.

I don’t remember George Frazier ever sporting a full beard, but apparently he did here in this action shot.

Speaking of facial hair, check out the bushy mustache of Davey Lopes.

One of my favorite pictures, just because I can scan the Wrigley Field crowd behind Gary Matthews. I love studying the backgrounds on old pictures. It’s a quirk.

Studying the background on this Keith Moreland poster I spy Marla Collins. She’s the famous 1980’s Cubs ball girl.

Did you know Jerry Mumphrey had the highest WAR of the 1986 Chicago Cubs?!

Best picture right here. Ryne Sandberg hurdling a sliding Willie McGee. Plenty of dirt flying up in the air. Wrigley ivy in the background. And those powder blue Cardinals uniforms were pretty sweet.

I actually bought this Scott Sanderson poster at this past Cubs Convention for $5 to get autographed. I miss the Sanderson signing for some reason. Funny that I paid $5 (plus shipping) for the entire 20-poster set.

This Lee Smith poster would look really nice signed.

How about the seasons Rick Sutcliffe had with the Cubs. He was on.

Another former Cub I spent some time with at the hotel bar of the Cubs Convention. Steve Trout bought us pizza and had a pizza party with him this past year.

At first I was disappointed that these arrived as posters and not a trading card set. After looking through them, I really like them. I will probably put them in a binder for now and take them to the Cubs Convention next year in an attempt to get many signed. Usually, I just collect autographed baseballs, but I have a signed baseball of most every player in this set (and some I have multiple signed balls).

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