Friday, May 12, 2017

First Taste of 2017 Bowman

I was able to swing another trade on The Bench for all of the 2017 Bowman Cardinals base cards minus the Chrome prospects.

I like the look of 2017 Bowman.  It is simple and clean, although the logo would like better if it was a solid circle.  I was surprised not to find Molina or Wainwright included in the checklist.

These 4 prospects are all ranked in the Cardinals top 10.  Flaherty is having the best season of all so far.  In his first year in Double A, he is 5-0 with a 0.69 ERA.  Alcantara has not been as effective, going 2-2 with an ERA over 6.  Dejong and Bader are both playing for the Triple A Memphis Redbirds who recently had a 10 game winning streak.  Both will most likely be September call ups.

The trader was nice enough to include this 2013 Five Star Ozzie Smith.  This card is thicker than most relic cards.  I thought this was some type of parallel, but it is a base card.  I am not a fun of the high end sets like Five Star, but it is nice to get one of the cards anyway.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

A Few Old, A Few New

My latest trade package contained wantlist hits that ranged from 1971 to 2005.  A member from the Bench needed a 2013 Triple Threads Jose Abreu card #ed to 99.  It was nice of him to trade vintage cards for a modern one.  I know some traders will not do that, and I cannot blame them.

This 1971 Topps Ted Simmons rookie card has some issues, but it is still in decent shape.  Simba is often overlooked as a very good player because he played during the Johnny Bench era.  He also played on some bad Cardinal teams.  The one time he made the World Series in 1982 as a member of the Brewers he lost to the Cardinals.  

These two Torre cards are in great shape.  The 1973 on the left is almost mint, while the 1972 Topps card is not far behind.  Torre played for the Cardinals from 1969-1974.  He was an All Star four of those years, and won the MVP in 1971.  He also served as the manager from 1990-1995.  He was elected into the Cardinals Hall of Fame last year. 

This card finished my 1991 Conlon Cardinals set.  The 1992 set is far from complete. 

Please bring back a set with cards of long relievers and back up catchers.  It can be called Topps 24 Man.  Even the catcher that hits .250 needs some hobby love once in a while.

Edmonds does not look too happy on his 2005 Bowman Chrome card.  It almost appears as if he was photoshopped onto the background.  I think Private Stock is one of the best Pacific brands.  A nice simple design with sharp photography. 

Monday, May 8, 2017

All Caught Up

Thanks to the over 10 inches of rain I have received in the past week and a half, my outside activities have been limited.  I could not think of another better way to spend my evenings then to organize all my recent trades.  I only had two trade packages left to scan, but there must have been a pile of 200 cards to file away. 

These 3 2017 Opening Day cards came from a PWE trade with a TCDB member.  I hate to jinx it, but the Cardinals are playing a little better and are only 1/2 game behind the Reds.  It helps to play the Brewers and Braves.

This card also came in a PWE.  It was not so much a trade.  The Trading Bases member who I sent all the Indianapolis Indians autos to sent this 2017 Topps Luke Weaver auto #ed to 199 without warning.  Very sharp card with the only downfall being the sticker.  I know some players did autograph the card itself.  Weaver has made 2 nice starts in Triple A since coming off the DL.  I would guess he will be the first starter called upon when a current Cardinals starter gets hurt or sent to the bullpen.

Friday, May 5, 2017

TCDB Trade with Birds from the Past and Present

My latest trade package from a TCDB member had Cardinals a few different eras.  There were some current Cardinals:

I guess you can call Reyes a current player even though he will spend the year on the DL.  Grichuk maybe taking over centerfield after Dexter Fowler injured his shoulder last night.

 Long gone are the days when I felt pretty good about the Cardinals' chances of winning a game that Wainwright started.  Last night he was spotted a 3-0 lead and only made it through 5 innings.  He is looking more like a .500 pitcher who only goes 5-6 innings each start. 

I wish Adams could play somewhere else other than first base.  His outfield days did not look that graceful.  It was not Chris Duncan bad, but if the team is serious about playing better defense Adams should only play first and pinch hit. 

Gotta love the Mascot cards.  Fredbird even has an autographed card from this set that sells for more than cards of most of the Cardinals current roster.

The Cardinals from past teams bring out mixed emotions.

There is no question that Musial is the greatest Cardinal of all time.  Pujols may have came close if he played his entire career here, but he left for the higher money in Anaheim.  It is nice to see him getting closer to some milestones like 600 home runs. 

Red still makes appearances around St. Louis even though he is 94 years old.  He is one of the few people to win a World Series as a player and manager with the same team.  I do not have anything positive to say about Heyward other than I am glad the Cardinals are not paying him anymore.

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Should Have Waited One More Week

I am a firm believer in delayed gratification when it comes to baseball cards.  More times than not, I do not run out to the store or shop on the internet for the latest card releases.  It can be hard seeing the new cards on blog posts or EBAY, but a majority of the time prices for the new cards are inflated.  One of my saved searches on EBAY is for Cardinals autographs under $5 delivered.  A lot of those are prospects autographs.  One popped up last week for $3.99 delivered for a player I did not have a certified autograph card from.

This auto is from 2016 Bowman Chrome, a set that has been out for a long time.  It arrived on Tuesday.  On Wednesday, I get a private message on the Bench trading site offering the same card in trade for a low dollar auto of mine.  O well, at least I did trade my card for another auto that a collector I owe needs.   

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Top 10 Ray Lankford cards and a Contest Plug

I like to think I have a fairly complete player collection of Ray Lankford.  Since he played the majority of his career in the 1990s, there are not a lot of 1/1s or rare game used and autos to chase.  I do need a ton of printing plates and some lowered numbered parallels, but for the most part I have about every card that has seen the light of day. 

My collection pales in comparison to Collecting Cutch's Andrew McCutchen stash.  Autos, game used, buttons, bat knobs, nameplates, printing plates, 1/1s.  You name it, he has at least one if not multitudes of each.  He is running a contest challenging other player collectors to show off their top 10 cards.  I had a fun time going through my binders trying to figure out my 10 favorite Lankfords.

10. 1999 Finest Gold Refractor 68/100

I am a sucker for gold refractors.  These feature a deckle edge, although my scanner failed to show it.  I am on the look out for another copy so I can peel the film. 

9. 1998 Metal Universe Precious Metal Gems 48/50

I love cards that use city landmarks in the background.  There are quite a few cards that feature the arch, but I have not seen another with the old St. Louis Courthouse.

8. 2001 Stadium Club

Horizontal cards usually feature great action shots.  This one features the brick wall at AT&T Park in San Fransisco.  I would guess from the flight of the ball this one did not leave the park, but Lankford did have great arm extension. 

7. 1995 Pinnacle Museum

I wish Topps or Panini would use the dufex technology like Pinnacle did.  These cards just jump out at you. 

6. 1998 Bowman's Best Atomic Refractor 47/100

This almost looks like a cracked ice parallel rather than an atomic refractor.  I was glad to see Topps brought back the Bowman's Best brand.

5. 1996 Select Certified Mirror Gold

Although these are not serial numbered, it is believed there were only 30 copies made.  Cards of big stars like Griffey Jr. and Jeter go for crazy high money when they surface.  Commons usually go for at least $30.

4.  1998 Score Rookie & Traded Showcase Series Artist Proofs 1/1

You do not see too many 1/1 cards with a huge stamp on the front.  When I first saw this card, I did quite a bit of research to make sure that is the way it was suppose to look.  This was my first Lankford 1/1 card.  I bought it off the Pit website (anyone remember that site) for around $25.

3.  1991 Fleer

Why do I have a junk wax era card as my #3 card?  Because it was my first ever Lankford card.  I remember buying this card on the school bus for 50 cents back in 1991.

2. 1998 Donruss Crusade Red 20/25

This card is just simply beautiful.  Enough said.

1. 1993 Finest Refractor

I was lucky enough to find this card listed as a Buy It Now for less than $15.  It is believed there are 241 copies of most cards, with some being more rare.  I have seen quite a few Lankfords listed over the years.  I have often thought about buying a second one because it looks so great in hand. 

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

It is the Little Extras That Mean So Much

A lot of my recent trade posts have featured cards I have received from Trading Card Database members.  The site's trade feature which matches cards to a trader's wantlist makes it very easy to find cards that both sides need.  My trading from my other sites/groups has slowed since I joined TCDB, but last week I was able to make a trade with long time partner Kevin M.  He posted some 2016 Bowman Draft cards on The Bench site that I need for my team set.

These are the last six cards I needed to finish the base paper set.  All of these guys were picked in the first 5 rounds.  Hudson, Flaherty, and Perez were all first round picks. 

The trade also included this blue parallel numbered to 150.  In exchange for these, I sent Kevin two Mets cards.  One was numbered to 50, the other to 999.  I have trade with Kevin dozens of times of the last 10 years or so.  He is also the founder of the Trading Bases group.  He never just send what he should.  He included a handful of other Cardinals set hits.

These 2016 Bowman Chrome cards are from the vending box set , I think. 

Kevin always sends an unopened pack of cards with his trades.  The Oh came out of the 2017 Opening Day pack he sent.  The other two were part of the stack of cards he included.  It means a lot to me for a trader to take time to include a few extras off of my wantlist, even if they are just base cards.  It is traders like Kevin that make our card collecting hobby feel like a big family.