Thursday, May 17, 2018

Bowman Lot

Along with the 2 PWE trades from yesterday's post, I was also able to make a larger trade with The Bench member Dunndeal that brought a very nice lot of 2018 Bowman Cardinals.

After receiving these four, I only need one more base prospect of Junior Fernandez to complete the team set.

I am down to Tyler O'Neill and Jordan Hicks to complete my chrome set.  I somewhat understand the hype with Hicks since he can throw 100+mph, but the guy is a middle reliever so far.  His autographed cards are going for $10 or more right now.  I will wait for them to come down or maybe get lucky and find someone with a copy to trade.

I love these Pipeline inserts.  All 3 of these guys have made it to St. Louis this year, although Gomber did not pitch in a game.  O'Neill went 0 for 9 during his short stint, but his shown a lot of power in Triple A.  Not sure if there is any room for him since Harrison Bader is playing well, but it is hard to ignore the power.

I like the players, but do not like the design for the Birthdays insert.  Too busy for me, and why did Topps choose 1993.  I get that 25 is a nice number, but why not go with 20 or 21?

My favorite 2018 Bowman insert is the Top 100.  I hope Kelly can hit a little with some extended playing time while Molina is out.  Reyes should be back sometime in June.  He has looked great so far in his two rehab starts in A ball.  I am guessing he will be used as a reliever for a while.  Maybe if the Cardinals are in playoff contention come September he will get some starts.  

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

2 from The Bench

With little league season in full swing, my spare time has become almost nonexistent.  It has been hard just trying to keep up with the household chores like mowing the yard.  I have set aside some time in the early morning before I leave for work for baseball cards, but sometimes that also does not happen.  I was able to complete 2 small PWE trades over the weekend on The Bench that arrived earlier this week. 
Member hdjstuff sent a couple of 2018 Bowman cards for my team set.  Perez is a 2016 first round pick who has yet to play for a full season minor league team.  If he stays healthy, he may reach low A Peoria by the end of the year.  I hope Bader sees some consistent playing time since Dexter Fowler cannot hit his weight.  He is an exciting player to watch.

Member bdink25 sent a couple of low numbered Topps parallels.  The first is the 2018 Topps Independence Day Wong #ed to 76.  This card is very sharp in hand.  Wong is another starter who is not hitting his weight.  Before too long it may be time to fire John Mabry and find a hitting coach who can teach the players how not to strike out 10+ times a game. 

The second card was this 2018 Topps Black Wacha #ed to 67.  Wacha is off to a nice start with a 4-1 record and ERA close to 3.  Health is always a concern with him, but he made it through last year ok and looks good so far.  He and Miles Mikolas have been the only 2 reliable starters this year.

Friday, May 11, 2018

Yadi is not on the Diamond, But He is in My Mailbox

It has been one week since Yadier Molina took a foul ball to his not so private area that landed him on the DL for a few weeks.  After watching the replay, my son says he will never catch in a game.  Cannot say I blame him.  While he may not be playing, Yadi is still showing up in my trade packages.  The latest is from Bench member Fenway1112.

Just like the 1983 insert, I bet Yadi was feeling pretty blue last Friday night.  He is suppose to be out 4 weeks, but I would bet it is closer to 3.  The man hates to miss games.  He will be sporting some new protection that is said to be bulletproof.  I guess late is better than never.

I opened two hanger packs of 2018 Bowman last week, but forgot to post about it.  I have traded quite a bit away for Cardinals from the set.  It seems like Pham has been the only consistent offensive threat for the Cardinals this year.  It would be nice to see Ozuna get hot.  Thus far his 2 home runs are not what a cleanup hitter should have.

I am always a sucker for Topps parallels, whether it be foil or gold cards.  I would love for Topps to bring back the Emerald cards from 2013.

Closing out the package is this 2014 Finest Green Refractor Matt Holliday.  I saw recently that Holliday would like to play again, but only for a contender.  I was always a Holliday fan and thought he had a lot of unnecessary criticism directed toward him.  He was one of the better trades/free agent signings in recent Cardinals history. 

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Two for Tuesday

Technically these 2 trade packages arrived yesterday, but my daughter's softball game did not leave me any spare time to blog last night so I will take care of it today.  First up is trade with TCDB member Ryans0625. 
It is nice to knock off a few late 1990 Chrome cards from my wantlist.  Purple Chrome refractors always look nice.  I wish Lynn would have been scheduled to pitch while the Twins played in St. Louis yesterday or today.  He never got a proper send off after his years of service for the Cardinals.

The next four cards came from TCDB member pezNpirates.  The Wacha Xfractor Chrome is nice, but my favorites are the 1993 Stadium Club First Day Production and the Bowman International card.  The Lankford/Ozzie card is also nice, but I already had a copy of it for my player collection, just needed another for a team set.

Monday, May 7, 2018

Great Baseball Weekend

It finally seems like baseball season is here.  The weather in southern Illinois has been a bit on the cold side for baseball, but the last week has brought some seasonal temps that are hopefully here to stay.  My son is in full season with league and travel ball.  His travel team won a 7 team tournament over the weekend by winning 4 straight games, 3 of which were by 10 or more runs.  The Cardinals had a great weekend for the most part by sweeping the Cubs with 2 walk off home runs.  The only down side was the Yadier Molina injury.  If you have not heard, he took a foul tip from a 102 mph pitch right to the groin.  He had surgery on Friday night and will be out 4 weeks, but I would bet he will try to come back sooner.

Also this weekend I was able to attend my first minor league game of the year in Peoria.  My kids had a half day of school on Friday, so we made the 3 hour drive up to watch the Chiefs play the South Bend Cubs.  Our main reason for going was the promo item that night.

With Friday being May the 4th, a lot of minor league teams had Star Wars night.  The Chiefs joined in with a Harrison "Darth Bader"  bobblehead.  Although it is not a full size bobble head like the ones given out in St. Louis, it is not a mini either.  Very nicely done and I came away with 3 extras that I plan to trade for other Cardinal bobbleheads.

 I also had a chance to get a few autographs.  There are not too many players on the Chiefs with cards out that I have not already gotten.  I did manage to find 2 players that I needed.

Bryce Denton was a second round pick in 2015.  He spent a few games in Peoria last year before moving back down to short season State College.  He was drafted as a third baseman, but is now an outfielder.  His bat has not really came around, but he is still only 20 years old.

Scott Hurst was a third round pick in 2017.  He played in State College to finish the 2017 season.  He just joined Peoria the end of April.  I do not know much about him other than he is rather small.  I was hoping to see him play, but he sat out Friday's game.  The Chiefs did win 12-3 and we saw some awesome fireworks after the game.  About the only downside was getting home at 1:30 in the morning. 

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Blog Bat Around: Cardinals In Person Autograph Team

My second round for the Blog Bat Around will feature Cardinals autographs that I or my son have obtained in person.  All of these were obtained for free at minor league games, or the Cardinals WWU/Caravan.  Some of the guys are not the biggest names, but they had solid minor league careers or we very nice to us when signing. 

Catcher:  Carson Kelly

Kelly was converted to catcher 3 years ago.  His defense has been pretty good in the minors so far, but his hitting has been a little behind.  He did get a call up last year, but did not play much until the last couple of weeks.  With Yadi around for a couple of more years, Kelly's playing time will be limited unless there is an injury.

First Base:  Matt Adams

I will always be a Big City fan.  It is nice to see him getting some playing time in Washington.

Second Base:  Kolten Wong

I hope this is the year Wong becomes a consistent player.  He has a lot of potential, but has never put everything together for a full season.

Shortstop:  Greg Garcia

Garcia is more of a utility player now, but was a starting shortstop in the minors.  He is hands down one of the nicest players you will ever meet.

Third Base:  Ken Reitz

The Zamboni was a great fielding third base man for the Cardinals from 1972 to 980.  He had an average bat, but never received a lot of national recognition due to playing on some bad Cardinals teams.

Outfield:  Tommy Pham

After a long minor league career full of injuries, Pham had a breakout year in 2017.  So far he is keeping it up this year. 

Outfield:  Willie McGee and Ray Lankford

These 2 are repeats from my first list, but I could not leave them off.

Utility:  Jose Oquendo

What better player to have as your utility guy than someone who can play all positions and even pitch now and then. 

DH:  Brian Jordan

Jordan was a defensive back for the Atlanta Falcons before being a mainstay in the outfield during the mid 1990s.  He brought his football mentality to the baseball diamond.

Starting Pitcher:  Adam Wainwright

The ace of the Cardinals for most of the last decade, the end is drawing near for him. 

Starting Pitcher:  Carlos Martinez

The current ace of the pitching staff is off to a good start this year.  I hope he can stay consistent for the entire year.

Relief Pitcher:  Todd Worrell

Worrell was a dominant closer in the late 1980s.  Most Cardinals fans remember him for the Don Dekinger blown call in game 6 of the 1985 World Series.  Yes his foot was on the base and he did beat Jorge Orta to the bag.

Bonus Pitchers of the Future:  Alex Reyes, Luke Weaver, and Jack Flaherty

These 3 should be in the starting rotation together in a year or two.  Weaver already is, while Reyes is working back from Tommy John surgery and Flaherty is the so called 6th starter this year. 

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Blog Bat Around; Cardinals Certified Autograph Team

I have never participated in a Blog Bat Around, but the newest one started by Zippy caught my eye last week.  Of course I will show all Cardinals, but will break my team up in two posts.  One will featured pack pulled certified autos, while another one that will come in a day or two will feature in person autos I have obtained. 

Manager: Whitey Herzog

Though not on Zippy's list, every team needs a manager.  I will take Whitey over LaRussa any day of the week.
Catcher: Yadier Molina
No real surprise here.  When he retires, Yadi should own almost all of the team records for catching, except maybe home runs.  He is 40 behind Ted Simmons. 

First Base: Keith Hernandez

This spot would have gone to Pujols or McGwire, but sadly I do not own an auto of either.  Hernandez was a pretty good Cardinal though.  He was Co-MVP in 1979 and a member of the 1982 World Series team.

Second Base:  Red Schoendienst

This was a tough call for me between Red an Tommy Herr, but it is hard to vote against a member of the Hall of Fame.

Shortstop: Ozzie Smith

This one was as easy to pick as it would seem, as Marty Marion played on some great Cardinals teams in the 1940s.  Ozzie gets the nod though due to a longer career and a great looking autograph.

Third Base:  David Freese

Since I do not have a Ken Boyer auto, Freese gets the nod based on the 2011 Post Season. 

Outfield: Stan Musial

Greatest Cardinals Ever.

Outfield:  Lou Brock

Two time World Series champion, former stolen base king, and HOFer.  Also part of one of the greatest trades in team history (thanks Chicago)

Outfield:  Ray Lankford

I cannot make a top Cardinals list without my favorite player.  He is in many of the team's top ten career offensive categories. 

DH/Bench:  Jim Edmonds and Willie McGee

I could not pick in between these guys, so they both get a spot.  The bench needs more than one player anyway.

Starting Pitcher:  Bob Gibson

One of the fiercest competitors to every play.  HOFer, 2 time World Series Champ, MVP, CY Young, you name it he has the award.  Throw in a no hitter for good measure.

 Relief Pitcher:  Lee Smith

Most people do not think of Big Lee as a Cardinal, but he had a very good 3 year run as a Cardinal.  From 1990-1992 he had 117 saves on some bad teams.

Relief Pitcher:  Bob Forsch

Though he was starting pitcher, Forsch gets a place on my team because of 2 no hitters and a solid 15 year run that included 3 World Series appearances and 1 title.

Closer:  Bruce Sutter

One of the first pitchers to master the split finger fastball, Sutter was a dominant closer in the early 80s who could go multiple innings.  I always remember him striking out Gorman Thomas to end the 1982 World Series.