Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Game Used and Autos from the Brady Package

After the massive undertaking of sorting through inserts and base cards, I had a much easier time going through the game used card and 2 autos Brady sent.

It was tough hearing Jon Jay signed with the Cubs last week.  He is not a flashy player, just a solid outfielder who will hit close to .300 and play good defense.  I remember his afro and huge backside the most.  I have another copy of this 2011 Allen & Ginter bat card, but I have another Cardinals fan in mind for it.

Clayton Morten was a first round pick of the Cardinals in 2007 who played in 1 game for the Birds in 2009 before being traded to Oakland in the Matt Holliday deal.  He has since bounced around to the Rockies, Red Sox, and Royals.  I have very few certified minor league autos, so this 2007 Tristar Prospect Plus card is a welcome addition.

I thought for sure I had this 2007 Bowman's Best Ottavino autograph, but I was wrong.  I have 2 other autos of his, but I guess after seeing this card on EBAY and other sites I just assumed I had it.  Ottavino was another first round pick, this time in 2006.  He appeared in 5 games in 2010 before missing most of the 2011 season with Tommy John surgery I believe.  He has become a reliable reliever for the Rockies since 2012.

I certainly was not expecting to find anything other than base cards in the lot, buy Brady slipped in these 3 surprises.  Next post I will highlight the minor league cards.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

2010-Present Inserts from Brady

Finishing up the insert highlights from the package I received from Brady with cards from 2010 to now.

Topps produced a fair amount of Rogers Hornsby inserts in 2010.  The Triple Threads Sepia numbered to 525 is my favorite.  The other 2 cards are of failed catching prospects.  Robert Stock lasted one season as a catcher before becoming a reliever.  He topped out at Low A Peoria.  Cody Stanley got a taste of the majors in 2015, but has been suspended for PEDs since then.

2011 was a good year for Topps brand inserts.  The Diamond Anniversary parallels are very sharp. The throwback uniform pic makes it even better.  Bowman featured the International parallel that was used in the late 1990s.  I have no clue who Phillip Cerreto is or care to look him up.  I doubt he made it past rookie ball since I following the minors pretty close and have not heard of him.  The Topps Heritage Flashbacks inserts reminds me of 1987 Topps with the wood grain border.  The green refractor really stands out.  Wonder who Fernando Salas is giving the eye to.

Brady included lots of 2012 Chrome goodies.  It will be odd not seeing Matt Holliday in a Cardinals uniform in 2017.  At least he signed with the Yankees so he cannot come back to hurt the Cardinals.  David Freese will always be a Cardinal legend thanks to Game 6 of the 2011 World Series.  Lance Berkman also had a key hit in that game. 

Topps decided to give Wal-Mart, Target, and Toy R Us exclusive parallel cards in 2012.  Wal-Mart was blue, Target was red, and Toys R Us was purple.  I believe the Gold Sparkle cards were including in all packs.  Very sharp looking cards.  The Gold Frame Gypsy Queen Musial is not quite as flashy, but still a nice card of the greatest Cardinal ever.  Roger Maris played for the Cardinals in 1967 and 1968 before he retired, winning the Series in 1967.  This Topps Archives is a sticker insert.

2013 Topps Chrome Xfractors do not scan well, although it is a sweet photo of Jon Jay.  I like the Panini Hometown Heroes set.  It had a good mix of current and retired players not always featured in standard sets.  The Marc R. (Scrabble) card is a state parallel.  There is also a zip code version.  I have a soft spot for Matt Adams because he has always been a nice guy in person, but his days as a Cardinal are most likely numbered just like this Topps Update Gold card.  Heritage purple parallel cards are nice, but I think I prefer the green versions.

I am a fan of the Bowman Silver Ice cards.  The colored versions look even bettter.  These 2014 draft cards feature two players who did well in the Arizona Fall League this year..  Austin Gomber was the Cardinals 2015 minor league pitcher of the year.  Carson Kelly is the hopeful answer to who will be the starting catcher after Yadi retires.  Topps Chrome parallels always look sharp.  Not sure why the 2014 Xfractor scans better than the 2013 version.

2014 Toys R Us included a numbered parallel.  Very sharp looking cards.  Topps Red Hot Foil cards are just as nice.  It is still hard to think about how good Oscar Taveras could have been. 

2015 Bowman Silver Ice looks just as nice as 2014.  Edmundo Sosa made it to High A Palm Beach this year.  He looks to be an athletic shortstop with some power.  The Diamond Kings HOF Sluggers cards is a little bland, but any Musial card is a good card.  I do not think I would call Tuivailala a future star at this point.  He has failed to stick in the bullpen the last 2 years.  Chrome went to a Prism refractor instead of the Xfractor.  Look closely and you might see the pattern in the background.

I am severely lacking in 2016 Cardinals, whether it is base or inserts.  The left two are Berger's Best.  I like any insert that has multiple Cardinal legends on it.  Topps seems to pair Musial and Schoendienst together quite a bit.

I have not counted yet, but I would guess I needed just as many of the inserts as I already had. Brady did well for sending a huge lot of cards.  I still have quite a bit more to cover including the many vintage, base, minor league, and handful of game used/autos that were included. 

Monday, December 5, 2016

2000s Inserts from Brady

Continuing my recap of the trade package Brady sent, here are the highlights of the inserts from 2000-2009.

Pacific came up with some crazy insert designs.  It is hard to see, but the 2000 Revolution Edmonds is stamped premiere date on the front.  It is i numbered to 99.  Upper Deck was still going strong with McGwire insert mania.  This Black Diamond is a little to wordy for me.  I love the looks of the gold sig parallel on the Bowman Chrome Tatis.  JD Drew somewhat passed the rookie insert rage to Rick Ankiel in 2000.  I wish the Bowman Chrome would scan better.

Donruss did not produced sets in 1999 or 2000, so they made inserts cards for each year in 2001.  Another year, another Mac UD insert.  I think Matt Morris was an underappreciated Cardinal.  He was dominant for a few years after returning from TJ surgery.  I will give UD props for including retired players like Musial in their sets.  I love the Hall of Famers and SP Legendary Cuts sets they produced.

I liked the idea of 2002 Topps Super Teams set.  It highlighted World Series teams from different franchises.  This Steve Carlton is numbered to 1967.  After his 2001 ROY season, Pujols was an obvious choice for many insert sets.  A Topps Total insert called Total Topps.  How creative.  Donruss was not to be left out of the Mac and Drew insert craze.  The Fan Club die cut is not bad, but the raised border of the Bronze Frame Diamond King card can lead to chipping issues. 

Topps loved the name so much they used Topps Total Total Topps again in 2003.  Daric Barton did not have many Cardinal cards besides this Bowman Draft gold.  He was part of the trade with Oakland that brought Mark Mulder and his injured shoulder to St. Louis.

Fleer Greats is one of my favorite sets produced, regardless of year.  These 2004 Forever inserts are numbered to each player's rookie year.  2004 must have been the year for the horizontal Scott Rolen insert.  The Playoff Prestige is about as bland as you can get.  You would think Topps would have used the star background on the All Stars inserts, not Own the Game.  Guess that would have been to logical.

 I assume Brady bought some Molina lots that yielded some doubles.  The 2005 Bowman Draft Chrome refractor and Gold cards are nice additions.  As Brady mentioned in this post, Diamond Kings have a crazy amount of parallels.  These framed red cards look more maroon to me.

2006 Bowman Heritage foil cards scan horribly.  Bowman continued its gold parallels in 2006 Draft.  It still hurts to think how far Allen Craig has fallen.  The Edmonds mug shot is actually a sticker card.  Upper Deck made lots of inserts of Bob Gibson during the mid 2000s.  This All -Time Legends inserts shows off his legendary side burns well.

I cannot say I miss base Fleer sets that much.  The bottom 3 cards are 2007 minis, just a tad bit larger than Allen & Ginter minis. 

Brady included another Molina refractor from 2008 Bowman Chrome.  Red seems to be the theme on this card with the border, shades, and catching gear.  Both the UD O-PEE-CHEE and Topps Year in Review cards are pretty boring to me.  The players do not help matters either. 

 If you cannot read the signature on the 2009 Bowman Draft card, that is Robert Stock.  His in person sig is just as bad.  For some reason Topps stopped making a Turkey Red set and made an insert instead.  I like the painted looks of the Allen & Ginter Baseball Highlights Pujols card.  It is also a great shot of the point of impact. 

Friday, December 2, 2016

1990s Inserts from Brady

It was hard not diving into the priority box of Cardinals Brady sent last week right away, but I had house guests until Saturday morning.  Once the house was back in order I had some time on Saturday evening to starting sorting through the 5 boxes.  My first step was to separate the base cards from the inserts.  Then each stack was sorted by year.  The stack was about 2:1 base to inserts, but that was way more than what I expected.  Lots of cards I have never seen before ranging from 1992-now.  I will break down the highlights by each decade.  First up are the 1990s.
Topps did not go crazy in the early 1990s with regards to inserts.  I believe 1992 was the first year for the Gold cards, although they were not numbered.  A closer look shows these 3 are the Winner variation.  The Brian Jordan Phenom card is one I have never seen before.  It was inserted in the Donruss The Rookies set.

1993 was also a slow year for Topps insert wise also.  Brady sent a big stack of Gold cards, but Sean Lowe was the only one I needed.  It did however finish my team set.

Score decided to follow Topps lead by producing Gold parallels for the 1994 base set.  Unlike Topps, the foil covers the entire card, not just the name plate.  The Pinnacle Tribute is another card I have never seen.  It highlights Mark Whiten's 4 home run game.  Upper Deck started the die cut parallel craze with its SP brand.


More Score Gold Rush cards from 1995.  Ultra also has a gold parallel.  They even use the Gold Medallion cards for inserts like the Pagnozzi card.  The Pinnacle Museum cards is my favorite of the 1995 inserts.  The cards look much sharper in person.

1996 Collector's Choice had a gold signature parallel, but these 5 are all silver signatures.  I think Brady was a closet Bernand Gilkey super collector.  I bet every type of parallel I received had a Gilkey in it.

The 1997 Bowman International cards do not scan well, but I like the concept of the players national flag in the background.  1997 Leaf went a little crazy with parallels.  You can have a wood, plastic, die cut, axis die cut, and the list goes on.  The Todd Stottlemyre is an X-Axis die cut.

 There was not a huge number of 1998 inserts in the boxes.  This Auroa Pennant Fever McGwire was the only one I needed.  Pacific always did well with the looks of their inserts.

There was a ton of 1999 inserts, most featuring either JD Drew or Mark McGwire.  Mac was fresh off the historic 1998 home run chase, while Drew was the hot rookie on the Cardinals.  After he was traded to the Braves, he never seemed to stay with a team for more than 2-3 years.  Adam Wainwright has remained a Cardinals since the trade.  I am not a huge fan of either SPx card, but love the Fleer Brillants Blue.  It is another card that looks much better in person.

Upper Deck must have produced over a 1000 different McGwire cards in 1999.  The top 2 are from Challengers for 70 subset, bottom left is a HoloGrfx Ausome insert, and the bottom right is an Ovation subset card.  Pacific did not produce quite as many Macs as UD, but still had their fair share.  This Seismic Force card also has a portrait variation. 

Lots of great cards came from the 1990s, but the number of inserts produced can be overwhelming.  In a way it is nice to have only 1 company right now, but I do miss the innovation the other companies brought.  Thanks for the trip down memory lane Brady!

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Big Present a Month Early

With the busy happenings of last week, some common household chores/jobs got overlooked.  Nothing major, although it did seem the laundry got piled up for a few weeks.  One thing I usually do is check the mailbox.  I failed to do so on Wednesday because of a work party, but my daughter took care of me.  I also have a habit of checking the front porch for any packages, but failed to tell her to do so. 

Friday morning I was out putting up Christmas lights when I noticed this on the porch:

 I do not remember ordering anything or making a trade of this size, so I was surprised.  The return address revealed the sender as Brady from St. Louis Cardinals Cardboard .  Brady and I have traded a handful of times since I started blogging about 2 years ago, but never anything of this stature.
  Once the box was opened out popped these 5 boxes.

All five boxes full of Cardinals dating from 1950s to present with a great mixture of inserts and base cards. 
Also included was a simple but thoughtful note.  Over the last few days I have started to sort things out and hope to post soon about the highlights.  I can honestly say I was overwhelmed with Brady's kindness.  It will be fun knocking of cards on my wantlist and making some new ones.  Thanks Brady, hope to send something your way before the end of the month.

Monday, November 28, 2016

It's Snowing Again

I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving.  My house was busy the entire week with 4 extra people in the house.  We also had 22 people over for Thursday dinner.  Fun times, but exhausting.  One sour note was the lack of internet connection after Wednesday evening.  It seems everytime we get a decent rain, my connection goes out.  As of this morning, I am still without service.  With a forecast of 1-2 inches today, I doubt my service will return anytime soon. 

I put off posting anything until I came back to work today.  I received a nice trade package from a member of The Bench over the weekend.  Although the rain is not a welcome site, I was glad to see snow.

I needed all these 2016 Holiday Cardinals except the Diaz (Brady or Kerry?)  I believe I still need 3 or 4 to finish the set.  Maybe they will come before the first actual snow.

Friday, November 18, 2016

Cloudy With a Chance of Snow

I believe everyone has expressed their like or dislike for the 2016 Topps cloud design many times since Series 1 was released back in February.  Some like the escape from borders, while others think it is a white hot mess.  I was happy to see Topps try to change things up, but was not overly thrilled with the clouds.  The base cards do look somewhat better in the Chrome version.  

Maybe Topps was listening to all the complaints when they decided to produce the Wal-Mart Holliday set, or maybe they just wanted to make another version of the same card that team/set/player collectors will buy.  I am guessing the later, but could not resist the temptation last night when I saw the boxes.  I have not bought a blaster all year, so it was not that hard of a decision.  $20 for 10 packs with a guaranteed auto or relic is not a bad deal.

Snow flakes have replaced the clouds.  I guess it is better than the clouds.  I think blue flakes would stand out more.  At the very least it might put you in the holiday mood.  I do believe this is the real Matt Wieters.  Topps goofed up and put someone else on his Update All Star card.  No wonder he did not have a deal with Topps for years.

Metallic cards are seeded 1 in 2 packs.  Of course I got 5 in my box. 

A closer look of the Metallic parallel shows the flakes better.  They have a texture feel to them, similar to glitter. 

I pulled 5 Cardinals from my 10 packs, including my first Aledmys Diaz card.  There are 13 Cardinals in the 200 base card set.

My relic left something to be desired.  Nothing against Moran, but I would guess this in one of the 5 to 10 worst players I could have pulled.  Maybe an Astro fan will read this and have a good home for it.