Monday, July 27, 2015

Vacation Time with some Baseball Thrown in

My family and I left for our summer vacation last Thursday. I have 2 brothers who live in Colorado that we try to visit every year or two.  Of course I planned some baseball games into the trip.  On our way out to Colorado, we stopped in Springfield, MO on Thursday and Friday night to watch the Cardinals Double A team play.  I will have a more complete write up on those games when I return home, but here is a little preview of someone we saw.

Alex Reyes was called up to Springfield on Wednesday.  We did not see him pitch, but we were lucky to run into him both nights we were there.  More on that later.

 Yesterday we went to Coors Field to watch the Rockies play the Reds.  It was a fun game to watch as the Rockies hit 5 home runs and scored 17 runs.  We also received 2 Nolen Arenado bobbleheads.  My son and I just missed on getting ours by about 10 people.  The first 10,000 people received one.  It was a nice day for a game.  Our seats were on the right field line in the second level.  We were in the shade the entire game.  Of course I forgot the camera, so no pictures, but it was a great game.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

A Picture is Worth a Lot of Cardinals

Back in May I attended a Peoria Chiefs game where they gave away a Yadier Molina canvas.  Being my entire family got one, I had a couple extras to trade/give away.  Brady from St. Louis Cardinals Cardboard was happy to take one off my hands.  What Brady sent in return was far more than what I expected.  To start with, he sent some extra 2015 Topps Archives he had from Nachos Grande's group break.

Brady finished the bases set, just leaving me 2 sps to track down.  This was more than enough for me to complete our trade, but Brady did not stop there.

Pujols just passed Mike Schmidt last night for 15th place on the all time home run list.  I do not hunt Pujols cards down like I used to, but still take them in trade. 

A couple of McGwire inserts and a nice Dizzy Dean from Ultimate Collection.  Not content with sending base cards and nice inserts, Brady also included some nice hits.

A trio of jersey cards from Cardinals outfielders.  Matt Holliday just returned from the disabled list, but has not been himself yet.  Jon Jay is still on the DL.  Last but not least, Brady included a 6 pack of autographs.

The 2 2012 Bowman Sterling autos are nice.  Patrick Wisdom is having a nice season in Double A.  He plays a good third base and has shown some power.  He might make it to Triple A before the end of the season.  The Cardinals traded James Ramsey to the Indians at the trade deadline last year for Justin Masterson.  He might not be more than a 4th outfielder, but that is more than the Cardinals got out of Masterson.  Great package from a fellow Cardinals fan, hope to trade again with Brady in the future.

Friday, July 17, 2015

Contest Time! Shelby Miller auto up for Grabs

As I stated in my previous post, I have this extra Shelby Miller autograph from Fanfest.

If you have followed my blog, you know that I like to collect in person autos at minor league games.  I received my first one back in 2007 from a former Cardinals minor leaguer.  Who ever guesses who it was first wins.  Here are a couple of clues:

This player is no longer in the Cardinals organization.

During his time with the St. Louis Cardinals, he wore the same number as my favorite Cardinals player.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Trip to All Star Fanfest

If you have ever been to an All Star Fanfest, you know what a fun time it can be.  I went to my first one in St. Louis back in 2009.  There were plenty of cool things to see like World Series trophies, Hall of Famers signing autographs for free, and many vendors with cards and memorabilia to buy.  Topps and Upper Deck also had some nice give aways if you opened a certain number of packs at their booth.  Upper Deck gave away a very nice 8x10 picture featuring Ozzie Smith, Albert Pujols, Lou Brock, Bob Gibson, and Stan Musial that was numbered to something like 5000.  I do remember the auto lines being very long and players only signed for 1 hour.  You may have gotten to the front of the line and the player might change.  I only waited for one auto, Jack Clark.

Fast forward to this year's Fanfest in Cincinnati.  I was able to get 4 tickets online for $52 total.  I did have to spend all day on Sunday at a amusement/water park to bribe my kids into going to Fanfest on Monday.  At least the park was halfway to Cincinnati so we were able to stay at a hotel less then 30 minutes from the Duke Energy Center where Fanfest was held.  We arrived when the doors opened at 9, but waited about 30 minutes before we got in.  The crowd was not too large at that time.  We did some fun things for the kids first like making their own Topps card, take an umpire challenge, and doing the Under Armour fitness challenge.  I chose to attend on Monday because Ozzie Smith and Lou Brock were schedule to appear at various times throughout the day.  The updated schedule for the day also showed Michael Wacha would be signing autographs for free at the Draft Kings booth at 11:00.  I thought it would be a great chance to have him sign an All Star baseball, so I spent $30 for one and my son and I got in the auto line at 10:00.  We were in a little disappointment.

Mets pitcher Jacob DeGroom was the first signer at 10:30-11:30.  Shelby Miller and Michael Wacha were scheduled to sign from 11:00-12:00.  The line was about 100 people deep at 10:00 so my son and I got in line hoping to be at the front when Wacha started to sign.  I passed the time fairly quickly by talking to a collector who went to the Futures Game on Sunday and got plenty of autos.  He did mentioned he saw a handful of the same players in the hotel bar later that night who had plenty to drink.  About five minutes before DeGroom arrived, the Draft Kings staff informed the entire crowd that all players would only sing a Draft Kings post card.  No baseballs, bats, pictures.  Needless to say there were quite a few pissed off people.  Some waited over an hour in line and left.  I was also a little mad, but decided to stay in line anyway.  It should have been announced ahead of time what the players would sign, but it is hard to argue about getting a free autograph from an All Star, let alone the chance to get 3 All Stars at one time.  By the time my son and I got to the front of the line it was 11:20, so we were both able to get an auto from all the players.  

You could not take posed pictures with the players and they did not say much, but they did joke with my son about waiting in line patiently to see them.  Being a 7 year old he has his limits, but he was very good for the hour we waited.

The 4x6 cards did turn out pretty nice.  The players only had black Sharpies, but did sign in the blue one I had.  I plan on keeping both Wacha autos and trying to frame it with a picture.

DeGroom had a great All Star game, striking out 3 batters on 10 pitches.  Both of his autos are spoken for by 2 Met collectors.

I think Miller has one of the nicest autos of current players.  I am keeping one, but plan on doing a contest for the other one in the next few days.  Stay tuned.

We did not get to see Ozzie Smith.  He only did one question and answer session, but my kids wanted lunch at that time so I caved.  We did get our picture taken with Lou Brock in front of the world's largest baseball.  The only cards I bought were 3 packs of 2015 Bowman.  I opened them at the Topps Booth and got a Clayton Kershaw card.  I knew most vendors would have Reds items.  I was shocked there were not more card vendors.  I counted less than 10 booths that had singles or packs

The day had its ups and downs, but I would gladly go to another Fanfest if/when another comes close.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

The Many Colors of a Topps Rainbow

Last week I received a trade package from another member of Trading Bases card group.  I traded him 2 Yankee autos and 1 game used from the Tier One lot I bought off EBAY for a big stack of Cardinals inserts.  He included a wide variety of colored parallels, most from Topps, but a few other nice ones mixed in.

Topps has put out gold numbered cards for a while now, but the 2015 version has a little more shine to it.  It is hard to tell from the scan, but the bottom 2 cards are rainbow versions.

Matt Holliday was having a solid start to the year before he suffered a quad injury chasing down a fly ball.  I think father time is catching up to him.  The black version is numbered to 64.  I like the Eclipsing History inserts or any insert of Stan Musial for that matter.  On the other, it is getting old seeing David Freese on inserts from Game 6 of the 2011 World Series.  Yes it was a great game, but time to move on.

Topps Heritage also contains color, this one a Yadier Molina purple refractor.  Bowman checks in with the silver ice parallel.  This die cut Musial is from 2014 Stadium Club.  I like the die cuts as long as the edges cannot be damaged too easily.  Last card in this scan is a plain Pujols refractor from Bowman Chrome.  Not colorful, but shiny none the less.

I have a love/hate relationship with Prizm.  I love the looks of the cards, but hate the lack of logos.  I wish Topps would be as creative with their designs.  The McGwire in the upper left looks great in person.  It is the Fireworks Flash parallel numbered to 100.  The Matt Carpenter is a Red Power parallel numbered to 125.  The Wong is a USA baseball insert. 

I received a few other cards in the bubble envelope also like a 1998 Donruss Signature auto and a 2001 SP jersey card, but they seemed to boring to scan compared to these cards.