Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Getting That Baseball Feeling

Before I left on a very short and ill timed vacation 2 weeks ago, I tried to wrap up all my pending trades.  I have only completed 1 trade since returning home.  It is not due to the lack of spare time.  That I have plenty of right now.  Some of it may be due to the concern over if the virus can spread through mail, but I would say more has to do with a lack of baseball enthusiasm right now.  Not getting to see any spring training and the delay to the start of the MLB season put baseball in the back of my mind. 

I think I am over that feeling now.  My son and I have been practicing every other night even though his baseball season is in doubt. I have an indoor batting cage in my shed that we can throw and hit some bp.  I also do the same with my daughter for softball.  It is just fun spending time with each one and trying to teach them something.  No pressure to perform, just go out and get some exercise.

My one trade that I did complete since vacation arrived yesterday.  It brought a reminder of what we have been missing.

TCDB member nymarine914 sent me the Cardinals team set from 2020 Opening Day.  The Cardinals were scheduled to open the season Thursday in Cincinnati.  That is not going to happen, but I can still listen to Cardinals games.  Starting last night and lasting into May, my local radio station is replaying games from the 2011 season.  It should be fun to relive the last World Series title while we practice or I am going through cards.

The pwe also contained this 2018 Topps Gallery Artist Proof.  I am not a fan of the set, but the artist did a decent job with this one.  I could tell this was Bader without seeing the name. 

Monday, March 23, 2020

Sheltered In My Card Room

Last Friday afternoon Illinois residents were issued a stay at home order in an effort to slow the spread of Covid-19.  All non essential businesses (however you want to interpret that) were ordered to be closed effective Saturday at 5:00.  While going out for a drive yesterday, I noticed our local Family Video was still open.  Not sure how it qualifies as an essential business. 

The Illinois governor declared construction as an essential job, so I am still going to work for now.  We may shorten business hours, but at least I still have a job.  My wife is a teacher.  She has been home since March 17, but will still get paid until the next school year is scheduled to start in August.  We are doing fine health wise and supply wise.  Our area has experienced some shortages, but shelves seem to get restocked in 3-4 days.  All in all things are somewhat normal.  Just more time being spent at home.

With all the time at home, I will be spending quite a bit of it in my card room.  I have never shown any pictures of it, but with my lack of trading right now I decided today was a good time to do so.  My room/office is roughly 10 x 13.  When we built our house in 2003, I took the smallest extra room.  I could use a little more space, but it works for what I really need it for.

My computer desk takes up most of my west wall.  There is usually a pile of cards on top that I need to scan or file away, but I am all caught up right now.

Beside the desk I keep my shipping supplies.  The shoe box has all my sleeves, top loaders, and team bags.  The box has countless used bubble mailers.  It has been years since I bought a new mailer.  Always good to reuse them when you can.  Under the shoe box is some foam that I use for packing.  The Dr. Pepper can is my trash can.  I worked as a Pepsi salesman my first 2 years out of college.  Not all the promotional items found their way to customers.

Above the desk I have a autographed pictures of Keith Tkachuk and Tony Twist, my 2 favorite St. Louis Blues of all time.  The signs were from a St. Louis area flea market.  The two plaques are from the Cardinals 2006 and 2011 World Series teams.  Both were Christmas gifts.

My window takes up most of the south wall.  My mother made the Illini curtain.  My autographed Wainwright/Molina 11 x 16 picture from the last out of the 2006 World Series is in the corner.  My Cardinals Fan Parking sign is on the other side of the window.  That was my first Cardinals Christmas gift from my parents when I was 8.

The east wall is by far the most cluttered.  Lots of things to see on this wall.

I made the bookcase a year after we moved into the house.  Not too many books on it.  I have a lot of bobbleheads still in boxes that I need to get a display for.  For now some of them sit on a shelf.  I do have a few sports books on the bottom shelf, but they are behind the boxes. 

The locker is another item from my Pepsi days.  I keep autographed baseballs and empty boxes in it.  The stuffed husky next to the locker was a prize from Dave & Busters.  Before we had kids, we raised them.  Great dogs.  To the left of the locker is a quilt rack with my Cardinals blanket and bobblehead shelf that I use in my title bar.

Next to the rack is my baseball display case.  All balls are autographed by Cardinals except for the top left.  It is a batting practice home run ball hit by Mark McGwire that I caught at Busch Stadium in 2001.  On top of the case is an autographed Springfield Cardinals mini bat.  It is signed by Oscar Taveras, Kolten Wong, and Carlos Martinez.  I received these autos during a weekend series in 2012.  The autographed Ray Lankford sign is from the first year I attended Cardinals Winter Warm Up in 2010.

The north wall has a homemade bat rack, a work table, and my card closet.  The bat rack has a game used autographed Lankford bat and another bat that we use for in person autographs.  A few more of my bobbleheads are on top of it along with another Lankford Winter Warm Up sign.  The card boxes beneath the table are empty. Not sure why I keep those.  Besides the table are another 20 or so bobbleheads that need to be displayed.  I hope to replace the table with some type of display unit, but have not found one I like yet. 

That leaves my closet.  This is where all my cards are kept.  It has a couple of larger shelves because it is built over my basement stairs.  The boxes on the left have my Cardinals inserts, the middle base cards, and the right are trade bait.  The binder has part of my Lankford collection.  There is another binder behind it sitting on a box with some score cards and other Cardinals magazines.

The bottom of the closet has a few more bobbleheads.  The boxes on the left have more game used Lankford bats.  I rotate them in and out of the wall rack every few months.

 The top shelf is a catch all.  I have some autographed posters, caps, and a seat back.  The race track on the bottom left is from Christmas 1986.  It still works.  On top of that is a table top hockey game.  One of these days I may drag it out for a better pictured.  And that is about it.  As you can tell I have a ton of things not displayed, but in the long run that should help preserve them. 


Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Almost Forgot One

In my haste to leave last Wednesday for Florida, I checked the mailbox.  I knew an EBAY package was delivered that day, but did not take the time to open it.  I had other things to take care of Sunday when we returned home, so it sat on my desk for a couple of days.  Last night I had plenty of spare time to open it and scan the contents. 

The auction contained 11 Cardinals from 2019.  I will get the base cards out of the way.  I already had these 4.  If anyone wants any, lmk.

While this is also a base card, it is one of the many variations from 2019 Topps Holiday.  I had to look twice to notice the arm sleeve.

The package was Yadi heavy.  I love the look and feel of the Leather & Lumber die cut.  It reminds me of the Flair Hot Gloves inserts.

I scored an EBAY 1/1 with the Optic Blue.  It is numbered 75/75.  The Topps Fire Orange is numbered to 299.  It made me a little said since it shows Yadi in a spring training uniform.   

The best card of the bunch was these great looking 2019 Topps Tribute card.  I have very few patch cards in my collection, let alone one with 2 other swatches and an one card autograph.  Great bunch of cards for about $6.50 delivered.

Monday, March 16, 2020

Bad Timing

Well my spring training trip did not go as planned.  I should have followed my gut and turned around Wednesday evening after we stopped half way through the 16 hour drive.  I was listening to ESPN radio and heard about the NBA suspending the season.  Instead we continued on and arrived in Jupiter, Florida about the same time everything was cancelled on Thursday afternoon.  Instead if 3 days of baseball, we spent Friday at Palm Beach zoo and the beach.  After some mini golf that evening, we decided to leave Saturday morning.  All the public places were closing anyway.

The trip home was horrible.  Due to 2 accidents, we sat on the interstate for 3 hours.  My son got carsick, and it rained most of Sunday morning.  On the positive side, we arrived home safely Sunday afternoon and everyone is healthy.  Things could be a lot worse though.  Everything here in Illinois is closing to the public.  My wife and kids both have at least the next 2 weeks off from school.  Restaurants can only offer drive through or delivery service.  Even our local little league has cancelled all practices and games until May 1. 

Life will be a lot different for awhile.  I think we will all be ready for a nice vacation this summer.  Just not in Florida.

Wednesday, March 11, 2020

Time To Go

Since I am all caught up on trade recaps and have no more in the works, I have decided it is time to leave. 

In a few hours, the family and I will be headed south to Jupiter, Florida for Cardinals spring training.  I do not plan on attending any games, just practices.  I am sure most of you have heard about the limited player/fan interaction due to the coronavirus scare.  I will not lie that it will be disappointing not getting any autographs, but I do understand the situation.  We are well stocked in hand sanitizer and plan to wash our hands a lot.  Unless the virus changes our plans, we will be back on Monday.  I hope to at least have some pictures from minor league practices. 

Tuesday, March 10, 2020

Golden Trades

I had my last 2 pending trade come in yesterday, both from TCDB members.  The first was a pwe from member 49ants.

I recently added quite a few Ultra Gold Medallion cards to my wantlist.  All of these are from the 1995 set. 

49ants went ahead and filled up the envelope with a couple of other gold parallels.  The 1994 Score Gold Rush Perez gives me 20 out of 21 in that set.  The 1995 Embossed Golden Idols Pagnozzie also brought that set down to 1 card needed.  That set is not nearly as big with only 5 Cardinals in it.

The other pwe came from member Dmalshere1. 

The gold cards in this trade came from 2015 Topps and Update.  I should add all of my needs for these parallels to my wantlist sometime soon.  I know there are a ton of them.

I also received a couple of rainbow foil parallels from 2015.

My son should hit 300 different Altuves in the next month or two.  This one puts him at 280.  I have not really noticed a flood of his cards on the market, but I really do not check EBAY either. 

Monday, March 9, 2020

More Of The Same From Ron B

I am not sure how many times I have highlighted a package from Trading Bases member Ron B since I started blogging.  I am not 100% sure, but I would guess he has sent me the most trade packages by far.  His latest bubble mailer contained the usual blend of great Cardinals for me, and some Altuves for my son.

This is my first relic card of Paul Dejong.  Not a flashy card from 2020 Topps, but it is numbered to 199. 

I have a handful of other 2020 Heritage Cardinals from a box break I was in.  I am not a fan of the black borders.  Chipping is a big issue with these. 

A Cardinals fan can never have too many Musial cards in his collection.  I have 270 of his cards now.  One of these days I will have to add one from his playing days. 

 Altuve does not have a base card in 2020 Series 1, but he does have plenty of inserts to chase.

I had no idea that Topps made a Turkey Red box topper this year.  It is a cool card, but the Bat Patrol inserts is the best of the bunch.