Thursday, October 19, 2017

Catching Up on 2017

Hard to believe that it is the middle of October already.  I had to make a Wal-Mart run earlier this week and noticed the Christmas section is already up and running.  Of course I saw a few people with wrapping paper in their carts.  I certainly do not have the Christmas spirit yet.  This year is just flying by way too quickly.

I received a trade package this week from TCDB member mzentko that made me realize how far behind I am on completing a lot of 2017 team sets.  I had the privilege of meeting Mark a few years ago at a Memphis Redbirds game.  He is a fellow Cardinals fan who I have traded with multiple times.  His latest package came without much warning.

I am not even half way done with 2017 Stadium Club.  Nice to see Big Mac in a Cardinals uniform again. 

I had to look twice at this Yadi to realize it is a gold foil parallel.  Still need the base card.

These are my first 2017 Finest cards.  The Reyes is a Finest First insert.

Here are a couple of inserts of the 2 previous starting shortstops.  I hope Paul DeJong fairs better than these guys.  The Diaz is a very sharp card in person.  I hope he can rebound and at least serve as a utility infielder.  

These are my first Fathead Tradeables.  Unless my son wants to stick them on his wall, they will go into the collection.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

TCDB Trade

My card world has been fairly slow the last week or so.  Aside from filing away a stack of cards on my desk, I have not messed with them much.  It was nice to take a small step away for a few days to recharge the collecting batteries.  I did have one trade come in from TCDB member brianscards that brought a nice lot of Cardinals.
I always thought 1995 was the first year Upper Deck produced a minor league set, but this 1992 card proves me wrong.  Nice picture of a pitcher taking bp or maybe playing pepper.  The 1993 Classic Best card is not the most eye popping card I have seen.  Gray border with yellow and red along the sides does not look that great in my opinion.

I need one more Matt Holliday card to complete the 9 card puzzle from 2012 Triple Play.  Lance Berkman will be keeping a watchful eye out for card number 204 to complete it.

In a few short weeks we will be seeing plenty of red and green in the stores.  It seems as soon as Halloween is over, here comes the Christmas decorations.  2013 Prizm also had blue and gold bordered cards.

Speaking of blue and gold, I can never have enough Topps parallel cards.  The Lynn is from 2011 Topps Update, the Garcia from 2012 Topps.  I should be getting very close to completing the blue set.

Every trade package needs to include a Yadi card.  This one is a 2014 Donruss Elite insert.  Molina almost looks out of place without his red chest protector and helmet. 

I love the minor league sets, even the non licensed ones.  The Weaver completed my 2015 Topps Pro Debut set.  The Bader is only my second 2015 Elite card.  Lots of work left to go on that one.

These are my first base cards from 2016 Topps Archives 65th Anniversary set.  I do have the autographed Simmons card.  I have no clue if there are more Cardinals in the set.

Rounding out the package are a couple of Donruss Optic parallels.  The Holo Fowler is from 2017, while the Pink Diaz is from 2016.  The Pink cards are pretty sharp in person.

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Golden Trade

Baseball season is all but over as far as the Cardinals are concerned.  I hope the site of watching another team celebrate at Busch Stadium will stick with them through the offseason.  Losing is terrible to start with, but seeing the Cubs clinch in St. Louis was rubbing salt in the wounds.

Moving on to something more positive, I struck gold in a trade package from TCDB member Hundomatic.
One of the few bright spots this year has been Molina.  He has a career high 82 rbis to go along with 18 homeruns and a .273 average.  His caught stealing percentage has also rebounded nicely from a bad 2016 season.

These 2016 Topps Gold cards feature 2 former Cardinals in Mike Leake and Matt Adams.  Both have played well since leaving St. Louis.  The team leader card features former Cardinals Matt Holiday.  It would not be shocking to see Piscotty become a former Cardinal before spring training.

Poor Zack Duke has been playing since 2005 and has yet to play in the postseason.  Barring a major  miracle, he will have most of October of again this year.

I do not recall McGwire having such a crouch in his batting stance.  Maybe he is getting out of the way of an inside pitch.

You would think that someone who hates minis would not like oversized cards either, but I have no problem with these 1985 Donruss Action All Star cards.  Maybe it is the powder blue uniforms and old style batting helmets that make them more attractive.

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Mac Attack

I was able to sit down last night and watch some of the Cardinal/Cub game.  A part of me knows there is a very good chance the Cubs will clinch the division in St. Louis.  I watched the game anyway and was surprised the Cardinals jumped to an early lead.  I was not surprised that they almost blew a big lead in the late innings.  The Cards used 4 home runs to score their 8 runs.  One of those was a Tommy Pham moon shot that landed in Big Mac Land.  That home run reminded me I needed to scan in some cards I received in a trade last week from TCDB member madams30.

Upper Deck went crazy producing hundreds of McGwire cards in 1999 and 2000.  These Mark on History inserts from 1999 UD Challengers for 70 are part of a 25 card set highlighting various home runs from the 1998 season.  I think I have about half of them now.

Some McGwire inserts are better than others.  The 1999 Skybox Premium Live Bats is nothing special, but the 1997 Upper Deck Star Attractions die cut card is pretty nice. 

I liked UD Victory sets back in the day.  It was cheap set and would feature some lesser known players like Super Joe McEwing.  Of course you would still get multiple McGwire base cards, but I guess that just means there are more cards to chase down.

Moving on from the McGwire cards, these 1985 Fleer Star Stickers are the first in my collection.  It would be nice to have a name on the front instead of the number, but overall they are not bad. 

The Cardinals had some bade teams in the early 1990s.  The Smith boys were about the only highlights for me outside of Ray Lankford. 

Speaking of Lankford, I received two in the trade.  The 1994 Score Gold Rush is in mint condition, where the one I had has a bad corner.  Somehow I was missing the 2000 Pacific Crown Collection card.  It pays to check your have list ever now and then.

1998 Pacific had some sharp photography.  I love the throwback uniform on the Royce Clayton card.  The nameplate is a little too busy, and the logo could be somewhere else, but overall I like the design.

I do not like 1998 Pacific Online.  Way too busy of a card with all the text at the top.  It is just an ugly card plain and simple.

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

One of My Favorite Trades

Last week I worked out a trade with The Bench member Hendu29 that featured nothing but Cardinals going in both directions.  I sent him a stack of former Cardinals star Albert Pujols cards that were sitting in my doubles box.  He sent me some colorful cards of hopeful future Cardinals stars.

Jacob Wilson's chances of having a bright future with the Cardinals are slim.  He has been in the minors since 2012 with only 2 partial seasons in Triple A.  He spent most of this year in Double A, but was promoted to Memphis in time to play in the Triple A playoffs.  He has always been a favorite of mine since watching him play for the Peoria Chiefs in 2013.

Carson Kelly's minor league days should be over.  I look for him to be the backup catcher next year.  He should get a lot of playing time this week with Yadi Molina being out with a possible concussion and the Cardinals being all but out of the playoffs.

I have high hopes for Reyes next year.  I am not sure he will be a full time starter coming back from his TJ surgery, but he could still make an impact in the bullpen.  With Trevor Rosenthal expected to miss the 2018 season with his own TJ surgery, Reyes may slide into the closer's role.

The bulk of the trade were these Jack Flaherty cards.  He was a stud in Double and Triple A this year.  He had so so results in his 3 starts in St. Louis before being moved to the bullpen.  His rotation spot for next year depends on Lance Lynn's free agency and Adam Wainwright's health.  He will be 22 next year, so I would bet the Cardinals will keep a very close eye on his innings.     

Monday, September 18, 2017

Variety is the Spice of Trading

A recent trade package from Trading Card Database member Ryans0625 reminded me about the wide variety of choices we as collectors have.  Sure Topps is the only company with an MLB license to produce cards, but there are so many different ways you can collect.  Take your pick from being a set, team, or player collector, or you may have a theme you chase.  Since it is rare for the player I collect to have any new cards produced, I am mainly a team collector.  If it is a Cardinal, I will take it.  Any and all regardless of type or brand.

 I have inserts like these 2016 Topps Update 3000 Hits Club.

If inserts are not your thing, how about refractors.

I know a lot of collectors chase Topps Gold cards.

If Topps Gold are too boring, how about some colored parallels.  2011 Diamond Anniversary, 2012 Gold Sparkle, or 2013 Emerald are just a few colors of the Topps rainbow.

If you like shiny and serial numbered, Bowman Chrome has a ton of options like this 2017 Green Shimmer card numbered to 99.

How about some die cuts.  2002 Topps Ten had some, or you can go back to 1998 when Leaf made some cool looking Fractal Matrix cards.

If you cannot stand Topps, head back to the late 1990s when Upper Deck was producing hundreds of Mark McGwire inserts each year.

There were a few base cards included in the trade, but I was too lazy to scan them.  I gotta say this was one of the most colorful and diverse Cardinals packages I have received in a long time. 

Friday, September 15, 2017

Waiting Til Next Year

Being a Cardinals fan I have not used the term waiting until next year very often in my lifetime when referring to my team.  That phrased was more reserved for another team that finally broke its curse.  My most recent trade package got me thinking about next year though, and what I hope this player may accomplish.

I have talked about Reyes quite a few times on past blog posts.  From watching him in Peoria back in 2014, to several in person autograph recaps, I have see Reyes in person a handful of times.  He has been nothing but polite to my kids and always soft spoken.  He did have a 50 game suspension at the beginning of 2016, but returned to have an excellent debut.  He lasted one day in spring training this year before learning he needed Tommy John surgery.  I hope he returns next year to be a part of the five man rotation, but he may have a bullpen job first. 

Thursday, September 14, 2017

A Swell Purple Trade With Chips

I received a small package from Trading Card Database member DaveK ND last week that had a nice variety of Cardinals in it.

The 1990 Swell set highlighted some well know Cardinals like Brock, but also featured former players like John Denny.  Denny pitched his first six years in St. Louis from 1974-1979, but is most remembered for winning the 1983 CY Young award for the NL champion Phillies.

Purple refractors are nice whether it is Topps or Bowman chrome.  These 2 are from 2013 Topps Chrome.  It is nice to see Wacha having a nice year and staying healthy.  It would not shock me though to watch him break down by the All Star break next year.

I have never seen these 2013 Panini Cooperstown's Colgan's Chips inserts before.  I am not sure whether to lump these together with my dislike for mini cards, or think they are somewhat cool.  It would be nice if there was some type of number on the back.

The only base card was this 2014 Topps Archives Matt Carpenter.  He looks almost unrecognizable without his beard.  I am rooting for him to hit a few more home runs this year.  For each one he hits, he will donate $10,000 to Hurricane Harvery relief.  Adam Wainwright and the Cardinals are also matching his donation.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

2 Negatives Equal a Positve

I was able to make a trade on The Bench website a last week with trader David K.  He is one of the most generous traders I know.  He runs a monthly contest for some great cards, usually an autographed card of a HOF player or current superstar.  I traded him 2 2017 Gypsy Queen Twins base cards for these 2 2017 Topps Chrome Negative Refractors.

I am not overly sold on the black/white thing.  A colored refractor would look so much better, but beggars cannot be choosers when it comes to trading.  I think I made out pretty well on this deal.