Monday, March 19, 2018

Fine Cards from The Collector

Earlier this month I posted about some SI for Kids cards that I had which needed new homes.  Chris from The Collector was the first to claim a handful of them.  I was not looking for anything in return, but being the great guy that he is Chris sent some return fire.

I never considered Flair cards to be junk wax even though they were produced in that era.  These 1994 cards are very sharp.  Even though I already had them, I will use them for autographed purposes. 

You never really see 1997 Donruss Pennant Edition cards for trade much.  I had the Lankford in my player collection, but both of these are new to my team collection.

I love receiving Finest cards.  I needed 6 of these 8 1997 Finest cards.  The other 2 I will peel the film off and start another team set.

Thanks for the great cards Chris, and if anyone needs/wants the SI cards I still have a big stack of them.

Friday, March 9, 2018

Some 2018 Firsts

Not for sure if firsts is word, but I am going with it.  I had a very nice package arrive from Trading Bases member Rick C yesterday.  I was able to swap some double of Topps and Stadium Club Cardinals for a nice batch of Cardinals inserts I needed.

The scan does not show it well, but the top card is my first 2018 Rainbow Foil card.  Flaherty may not start the year in St. Louis, but I would bet he will finish the year in the starting 5. 

The Carpenter is my first 1983 insert.  He has not appeared in a spring training game yet due to a bad back.  He was slated to play all over the infield this year, but now seems destined to be the regular first baseman.  I like him, but he may be better served as a DH.

This trio of Bader cards features my first 2018 Gold and Silver Pack cards.  The Salute card along with the other 2 I received in the package finished the team set.  Bader should make the opening day roster as the 4th outfielder.  He has some speed and power to go along with good defense in centerfield.  If Tommy Pham or Dexter Fowler get hurt, he will see a lot of playing time.

I also received some Rainbow Foil cards from 2017 and one from 2016.  Grichuk and Oh are now part of Cardinals North better known as the Toronto Blue Jays. 

Rounding out the package are a couple of gold cards.  The Grichuk 2017 Stadium Club gold foil is a nice shot taken at Wrigley Field.  He should not have to worry about losing too many fly balls in the sun this year since over half of his games will be in a dome.     

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Weekend Package #3 and a PWE Tale

The third trade package that arrived over the weekend was a PWE from TCDB member AnalogKid.  Only 2 cards in this one, but since I did not open any 2018 Topps I gladly made the trade.

I touched on the Salute design in yesterday's post.  The Opening Day insert is not bad, but I think it would be better with out the building block effect.  This is the blue color variation.  Topps over did it with the insert variations this year.

These cards arrived safe and sound in the PWE.  We agreed to both send our end of the trade this way since 2 card were going both ways.  When I send out cards in a PWE, I put them in a top loader and tape it to a thin piece of cardboard cut from a cereal box.  I then put 2 stamps on the envelope to account for a non machine rate and tape the envelope shut.  This has been my method for several years without any problems.  I had 2 such envelopes come back last week with $3 postage due marked on each one.  Upon visiting the post office the next day, a not so pleasant worker informed me the envelopes were considered packages since they were not flexible enough.  She then tried to charge me the $6 due.  I told her to forget it because I could mail a package for $2.66 through Paypal and not waste my time at the post office.  She was not overly happy to hear that.  Long story short, I was able to use the stamps on new envelopes with just a top loader in them. 

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Weekend Package #2

My second package from last weekend came from TCDB member mheilenman.  This is my second trade with him since the new year.  Both have brought a nice assortment of Cardinals.

Only 2 more 2017 Topps Chrome needed to complete the team set.  Maybe I will knock this one out before the 2018 version come out.

The Martinez finished my 2017 Heritage High Numbers set, while the dual rookie just leaves me the Alex Reyes photo variation to finish the regular set.

I like the clean look of the Spring Fever set.  Nothing over the top, just a simple design with the player name and team logo.  The 2018 Superstar Sensations insert is a different story.  Too much going on in the background for me.  It reminds me of a Fleer Provisions or Metal Universe card.

Topps did a better job with the 2018 Salute inserts.  The Fowler is a unique shot coming out of the dugout on Jackie Robinson day.  The Wainwright finished my 2013 Finest set.  His first spring outing was nothing great with 3 walks in 2 innings, but at least he did not give up a run. 

It still hurts to think the Cardinals traded Shelby Miller for one season of Jason Heyward and two injury filled seasons of Jordan Walden.  At least they did not get stuck with Heyward's bad contract.  I love the Coleman picture on the 2014 Topps Archives 87 All Stars insert.  It looks to be from his rookie season when he stole over 100 bases.  You don't see too many players wearing the double ear flap helmet anymore. 

Monday, March 5, 2018

Back At It

It has been almost 2 weeks since I had a trade package come in, but that is about to change.  I managed to make 4 trades on TCDB last week, with 3 of them arriving over the weekend.   The first one came from member colonel98801. 
Pacific had a ton of sets in the early 2000s, but they offered nice photos and some had large checklist.  The Drew is a photo variation.  Bottalico's days as a good reliever were finished by the time he was a Cardinal.  The Cardinals always seem to have a love affair with former closers who are trying to make a rebound.  This year is no different with Jason Motte and Edward Mujica in camp.

It was nice to finish the 2005 Upper Deck set.  I thought I finished it long ago, but made a mistake by thinking some of the Retro parallel cards were base issues.

I think of the 2004 Bowman Heritage set as the TV set.  Cannot say I am a fan of it.

I doubt I will ever finish some of the early Topps Heritage team sets because of the short prints, but I will keep trying.  A lot of my needs are not even sps. 

I was able to finish up the 2006 Bowman Heritage and 2005 Fleer Tradition team sets with these Pujols cards.  Hard to believe it has been 7 years since he left St. Louis. 

It would be great to have him back for a proper send off.  I doubt the  Angels and Cardinals will face each other in the World Series, so you can only hope the inter league schedule will work out for the Angels to come to St. Louis.

Thursday, March 1, 2018

Anybody Need Some SI for Kids Cards?

While cleaning off the desk in my card room over the weekend, I ran across these inserts from Sports Illustrated for Kids magazines.  My son had a subscription about a year or two ago.  Since there are no Cardinals on the pages, he had no interest in them.  Maybe someone out there can use them.  Take one or take all.  No return fire is necessary.

Monday, February 26, 2018

Well Worth the Drive

My first job out of college was as a sales rep for a soda company.  My area covered about 50 square miles.  I would drive close to 350 miles each week, but was able to be home every night which was a major selling point when taking the job.  I spent 2 years racking up a lot of miles on my own personal vehicle before I found my current job as a dispatcher for a concrete company.  That was almost 18 years ago, and I am so glad I made the change.

I did gain an appreciation for driving.  Although I have made numerous trips to Florida and Colorado, it has always been in a car.  I do not have a fear of flying, but I would rather get somewhere when I want and be able to come and go as I please.  I am also somewhat of a tight wallet. Driving is a lot easier on the funds when you have a family of four.

If you have read my blog before, you know I drive all over the place for my baseball fix.  Early this month I drove 16 hours to attend Cardinals spring training.  I will also drive 2-3 hours numerous times each summer to watch minor league baseball.  This past weekend my son and I made the 2.5 hour drive to the west side of St. Louis.  Every year one of the local sporting goods store has a baseball expo where you can try out new equipment.  There is also a former Cardinals player who signs autographs for free.  2 years ago we went to this when Brian Jordan was there.  The crowd was not too big and Jordan was very friendly.  This year the former Cardinal was Ray Lankford.  I had him autograph some things at the Cardinals WWU in January, but you cannot pass up a free signing with your favorite player.

 I knew from attending the Jordan signing the store allowed 2 items per person, so I brought a few cards along.  The Bowman Tiffany turned out great as did the 1990 Upper Deck.  Neither are high end cards, but both are RCs.

 His first Fleer and Donruss cards also turned out nice.

I chose the 2000 and 2001 Stadium Club cards because of the great photos.  Lankford commented the bottom card looked like a home run swing.

This is the last of my 4 Lankford bats that I needed autographed.  It is a Young bat from his final season in St. Louis in 2004.  It shows very little use.  Lankford commented he did not like this brand as well as Louisville Slugger, so he gave quite a few of them away.  

Ray was super nice and posed for pictures with anyone.  He signed for 2 hours with a line that was never more than 10 minutes long.  We only went through twice, but that was more than enough.  Besides the autographs, I was able to find my son a Little League bat that has been sold out online since Christmas.  It was also 20% off.  All in all a great trip that was well worth the drive.