Sunday, December 31, 2017

20 is a Nice Round Number

We all have certain trade partners that we have a so called endless trade going on with.  You send them something unexpected, then out of the blue you receive something in return.  One of my favorite such traders is Mark Z.  He is a member of Trading Bases and TCDB, and is also one of only 2 online traders that I have met in person.  He is also a fellow Cardinals fan, so trading with him is very easy.  Before the Christmas break, I received my 20th package from him.

The 2007 Springfield Cardinals were the first Cardinals minor league team that I followed closely.  Colby Rasmus and Bryan Anderson were the 2 big names on the team.  Anderson had a cup of coffee with the Cardinals and has bounced around to four or five other teams.  He seems to be a 4A player that will never be able to stick as a backup catcher.  I seem to be getting 2005 Zenith cards in trade lately.  The Edmonds Museum card is very sharp, but you can say that for just about any card with Dufex technology.

The 2017 Update Storied insert set is one of my favorites from this year.  I love the painted look of the cards.  I wonder if Piscotty will have any 2018 Cardinals cards, or if the photoshop experts at Topps have already drawn on his As uniform.

It is fun to receive cards that you have no idea what set they are from.  I took me a little while to figure out these two are from the 1971 Fleer Laughlin set.  During my Christmas break I am reading a book about the 1942 Cardinals team that won the World Series.  Kurowski was the third baseman on that team.

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Giving is Great, but Receiving is Fun Too

I hope everyone had a great Christmas.  I still have one more family gathering this Friday night, but for the most part things are back to normal.  I am lucky to have the week off.  There is plenty of time to file away cards that I have received in the last few weeks.  One such package was from Trading Bases member Kevin M.  I sent him a handful of Mets that I pulled from the bargain boxes at the December card show.  He sent me way more than he should have.

These 2 1972 Topps were a great way to start the package.  They are a little miscut, but are in great condition.  I am not overly picky with condition as long as there are no huge creases or writing on the card.  I believe the Reuss is a high number short print.

Jumping forward to 1998 are a couple of Upper Deck Special F/X cards.  I am not sure if UD was trying to duplicate Topps Chrome, but this set seemed unnecessary to me. 

 These are my first 2017 Topps Holiday cards.  I have seen a ton of these on blogs and trade sites, so I hope this set will not take very long to complete.

It is always nice to receive a Cardinals auto even if the player is no longer on the team.  This 2016 Tribute Blue #ed to 150 looks great in hand.  This is my fifth different Piscotty auto.  He signed for almost ever Topps product in 2017, so I am sure it will not be my last.

Friday, December 22, 2017

One More Before the Holidays

This will most likely be my last post until after Christmas.  I have 2 different gatherings to attend on Saturday and Sunday, and I do not plan to be on a computer Christmas day.  I wish everyone in the blogging world a joyous holiday season and may Santa bring you something off your wantlists.

I received small but nice package from TCDB member halos17 in Tuesday's mail. 

Matt Morris is one of the most underrated Cardinal pitchers in recent history.  He is like the Ray Lankford of Cardinals pitchers.  A very good player who gets overlooked.  Judging from the look on his face, Ankiel was ready for the photo shoot to be over.  It will be nice to see him being around more Cardinals functions in the St. Louis area in 2018.

One of these years I am going to buy my son a Topps Sticker album and some packs.  He is not completely card crazy yet, but I hope opening his own box will get him in the spirit.  These 3 are from the 2013 set.

The Holiday is a 2015 sticker, the Carpenter a 2014 one.  It is funny that Topps Stickers are so cheap, yet you do not find too many people with them for trade. 

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Hit Hard by Another Cardinals Collector

Over the weekend I had a great package arrive from Trading Bases member Jerry J.  He is a fellow Cardinals fan who was looking to thin out some of his duplicates.  Nothing I enjoy more than trading my extra Cardinals for some that I need.  Jerry sent a great assortment of team set hits that spanned over 30 years. 

This 1983 Kellogs card is in great shape, no cracks or bending.  I know it is not as old as some others, but it is nice to receive one in mint condition.  This also is the first Kellogs team set I have finished.

I am a big fan of the 1998 and 1999 Flair sets, although they can be confusing withe the 3 different Row variations.  This is Row 2 version is from 1999.

More favorites sets of mine are the Donruss sets featuring retired greats like Schoendienst and Musial.  I like the 04 DK Musial a little more than the 05Greats Red, but both are nice.

This Rasmus SP is from 2009 Heritage High Numbers.  There are 5 Cardinals SP cards in the Heritage sets that year.  I still need 3 of them. 

2009 Upper Deck Goudey  also had its fair share of short prints.  I need 5 more of those.  Topps Tribute cards are very well done regardless of the year.  I have seen base cards that look better than some of the game used offerings.

Topps says its gold, but I will go with bronze on this 2012 League Leaders card.  I read that Lincecum is trying to make a comeback this year.  I doubt that will go well, but he did look pretty ripped in the workout photo I saw.

Topps got the gold right in 2013.  It may be hard to recognize Carpenter without his beard.  I hope Lynn signs with an American League team.  If not, I can see him sticking it to the Cardinals every time he pitches against them.

Carp still did not have the beard on his 2014 Topps Gold card.  I do like when Topps uses photos with alternate or special jerseys like the camo one Choate is wearing.

It was nice to finish to 2014 Bowman Platinum and Donruss sets with the above cards.  I still need Wainwright and Molina to finish the Finest set.

These 3 cards finished the 2015 Leaf Musial 20 card insert set.  The middle card is my favorite photo from the set. 

The Bowman paper parallels are not quite as sharp as the Chrome versions, but I will take any Flaherty card numbered to 99.  I have high hopes for him in 2019.  He should get some innings in 2018, but I think he needs a little more time in Triple A before he really establishes himself as a #2 or 3 starter. 

It was nice to see Piscotty traded to a West Coast team so that he can be close to his mother who has ALS.  I think he should rebound to hit close to .280-290 with 15-20 home runs this year if he can deal with the personal issues. 


Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Still Stuck at 55

My weekly update on my quest to reach the top 50 traders on TCDB has not changed since last week.  I am still #55 with 70 trades completed.  I have a few more coming in, but I am safe to say top 50 will not happen this month.  At least I am getting in some nice cards for the Cardinals collection.  The latest package came from member madams30.

George Hendrick is sporting a sweet mustache on this 1985 Fleer Star Sticker.  One of my wishes for 2018 is for Silent George to have a certified autograph card in a Cardinals uniform.

I never understood why Upper Deck had to make 2 Collector's Choice sets in 1995.  The SE or Special Edition set was not that much different from the regular release.  I do dig the picture on the Lankford card though.

I remember buying a few packs of 1998 Leaf Rookies and Stars shortly after the release for around $10 each.  The JD Drew rookie card was very hot back then.  There are still quite a few SP cards that go for decent money.  It was nice to get this one in a trade.

You cannot say Pacific did not try to be different with some of the late 1990s card designs.  This 1998 Revolution base card is a little over the top in my opinion. 

I wrote about the thousands of Upper Deck McGwire cards before.  I still need a ton of them.  These 2 1999 Challengers for 70 Mark on History cards give me 15 out of the 25 in the set. 

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

TCDB/Blog trade with CMMDTO

Since I started trading on Trading Card Database, I have had the pleasure of discovering a few new blogs.  A few days ago I completed a trade with member jrayes7of9, better know to you in the blogging world as Jared from CMMDTO.  I sent a handful of Dbacks his way in return for some Cardinals.

Topps Archives/Fan Favorites from the early 2000 are some of my favorite sets.  This 2001 Archives card shows some love to the father of free agency. 

I am not sure what year Topps Chrome started to put out an Update set, but this one is from 2013.  There are 4 Cardinals in the set, so I need to track down 3 more.

These 2 Update Chrome are from 2014.  I had the other Taveras card, so this set is now complete.  It still hurts to think what might have been with him. 

Monday, December 18, 2017

Cardinals for Twins

While I was at the card show earlier this month, I dug through various boxes in hopes of finding some nice inserts for various team collectors I routinely trade with.  One team I had some luck finding was the Twins.  I wanted to send a small thank you to The Bench member David K for sending me  this awesome card  for winning a contest.  He did not need all the Twins I picked out, so I swung a trade with member reickholt for the rest of them.

I have very few 2017 Topps Chrome cards.  Of course I am still working on the Cardinals team set.  The Fowler refractor and Wainwright prism are both very attractive cards.  I may attempt a team set of those as well. 

The Cardinals have been pretty tough on their closers.  Both Motte and Rosenthal had TJ surgery after a couple of strong years and heavy use.  Who inherits that role for 2018 still remains to be seen.

I should have dug out the other 3 cards that spell A-L-B-E-R-T from the 2005 Zenith Spellbound set, but my card closet is also where some Christmas gifts are being hidden.  Needless to say my Cardinals insert box is buried for another week. 

Friday, December 15, 2017

Mail Can Be So Slow This Time of Year

It is a given that the post office is busy in December.  With the extra Christmas cards and packages to deliver, it is reasonable to expect a delay in receiving some mail.  My latest package from TCDB member ShoTime is a prime example.  Although he only lives 4 hours from me, it took his package 10 days to arrive.  I cannot understand why a piece of mail would go from Northern Illinois to Central Missouri to Central Illinois then to Southern Illinois.  Maybe that is why the post office is going broke.  At least the cards arrived safe and sound.
There are still inserts that I need from the so called junk wax era like this 1994 Donruss card.  Jefferies was the lesser known Cardinals first baseman to wear #25 during the 1990s. 

The 1993 Triple Play Nicknames card is my favorite of these Ozzie Smith cards.  The 2005 Sweet Spot Classic would look so much better with a color photo.

It is always nice to get some shiny Yadi cards.  The photo on the Fearless card is a little too close up, but the lack of logos is not evident.  I love the photo on the Green Refractor.  There is something about a catcher in action that makes for a great looking card.

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Something Extra from Topps

I meant to write this post yesterday, but I got caught up in the Marcell Ozuna and Stephen Piscotty trades the Cardinals pulled off.  I was pleased with what the Cardinals did not give up for Ozuna.  I had feared that Luke Weaver or Jack Flaherty would be involved, but in the end it was Sandy Alcantara.  He has a great arm with some control issues that may make him a closer in the future, but best of luck to him.  As for the Piscotty deal, I am happy he is closer to his family.  I have no idea on how good either minor leaguer they got for him will be, but the Cardinals had to trade an outfielder after getting Ozuna.

I made two baseball card purchases over the Black Friday weekend.  I highlighted my card shop purchase in this post.  I also made an online purchase from the Topps website early Saturday morning.  Early as in 12:33 a.m.  Topps was giving away a Topps Now card each day to the first 1000 customers each day from Black Friday to Cyber Monday.  I ordered a poster that I hope to get autographed at the Cardinals Winter Warm Up in January, so I will not show that right now.  It was nice that the poster was half off, or about $20 by the time shipping was added in.

I knew this card was coming.  There was a different player each day:  Aaron Judge on Friday, Trout on Saturday, Carlos Correa on Sunday, and Cody Bellinger on Monday.  This is my first Topps Now.  I was impressed with how nice it was packaged and how glossy it is in hand. 

The bonus card was this Astros Topps Now card.  Topps issued numerous Now cards after the Astros won the World Series.  This one is the You Tube version.  Both of these cards are available is someone has some Cardinals they would like to send my way.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Top 50 in Doubt

Last month I set a small goal to end 2017 in the top 50 traders on TCDB.  As of today, I am #55.  I am needing 7 more completed trades to move to #50 assuming nobody around me completes a trade, which is highly unlikely.  With the busy holiday schedule, I may not reach my goal but I am still trying.  Member jimetal7212 sent me a package over the weekend to boost my total.

It is always nice to get minor league cards, even if it is from a lesser know set like 1994 Classic Best Gold.  There are 15 Cardinals in the set, of which I only need #170 Clint Davis.  Not too many big leaguers in  among them other than Dmitri Young and TJ Mathews.

If the name brand was not on the card, you could guess this card was made by Pacific. 

Dufex cards are also welcome additions anytime.  Maybe Pinnacle should make these a set because it would disguise the logos or lack there of.

It pains me to see Jason Heyward cards as a Cardinal.  At least this one is a cool Prizm card.  Although Lackey also joined the Cubs, the Cardinals were not going to sign him anyway.  You cannot tell by the scan, but his card is a Rainbow Foil parallel from 2015 Topps.

My favorite card in the package was this 2017 Topps Update Black #ed to 66.  Brebbia was a Rule 5 draft pick from Arizona in 2015 after he spent 2 years in independent ball.  He was a solid reliever in 2017 posting an ERA under 2.50 and averaging a strikeout per inning.  If I had to guess about his future, he will have another good year or two before he suffers an arm injury due to overuse. 

Monday, December 11, 2017

Still Working on 2017 Sets

2017 only has 3 weeks left and I am still plugging away on a number of base sets.  I was hoping to find some of the cards I needed at the card show last weekend, but no such luck.  I was able to make a trade with Trading Bases member Colin M. that brought a nice handful of needs.

I hope Diaz can find his swing in Toronoto as a backup infielder/DH.  He had a nice 2016 before he got hurt and lost some confidence.

 Now that the Cardinals are out of the Stanton mix, I would bet at least on of these guys will be in the Opening Day lineup.  I would not bet on which one though. 

A trio of Cardinals outfielders and a pissed off looking Matt Carpenter round out the trade package.  I am guessing Carp will be a Cardinal, but will not have a definite defensive spot.  He should split time at first, second, and third this year unless the Cardinals trade for Longoria or sign a free agent like Hosmer or Moustakas.  I would not mind Longo, but would pass on the two Royals for the price they will get. 

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

I am Totally Done with 2002

I know quite a few collectors long for the days of a large team set like Topps Total.  Back up middle infielders, second string catchers, and middle relievers just do not get the hobby love anymore.  I too love the large team set.  It makes trading a little more fun.  Trading Bases member Ken O.  was breaking up a 2002 Topps Total and sent me the last 8 Cardinals I needed to finish the 33 card team set.

A 33 card team set has to include the big stars.  Izzy was not a huge star, but he was a very good closer for the Cardinals.

You also find cards of the other starting position players.  Both of these players are more remembered for who they were traded for than what they did for the Cardinals.  Polanco was part of the Scott Rolen deal, while JD Drew was the main piece going to Atlanta in the Adam Wainwright trade.  I think both deals worked out ok for the Cardinals.

Middle relievers also got some hobby love in 2002, but I am not for sure why Mike Timlin had two different base cards.  Each has a different set number, but the same team card number. 

Topps had to include cards of prospects to fill out the large set.  Layfield never appeared in a MLB game for any team.  He topped out in Triple A Memphis in 2003.  Ortega had 5 at bats for the Cardinals in 2001, but then spent the next 2 years in Memphis.