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. 

Monday, December 4, 2017

Card Show Recap

It has been a very slow year for me when it comes to card shows.  I attended one back in August that I did not spend a dime at.  Prior to yesterday, that was it.  St. Louis Sports Collectors holds a number of shows during the year on the west side of St. Louis.  I try to attend the December show because a lot of dealers run specials for the holidays and I usually need to find some cards for care packages.  It also gives me an excuse not to go shopping in the over crowded St. Louis malls.  So while my wife and kids spent 2 hours in Toys R Us, I was able to go through numerous dime and quarter boxes.
The result was 90 cards that I paid a total of $16 for.  All cards were refractors, numbered, or Cardinals needs.  The non Cardinals are for team collectors I have traded with in the past.  There was such a great variety in the boxes I could have spent more, but was not sure how much time I had so I kept the non Cardinal purchases to a minimum.  On to the good stuff.

I should know off the top of my head if I needed this Lankford buyback, but I cannot remember if I had it or just saw it on EBAY.  For a dime, I will take a chance.

I only picked out a handful of base cards to finish some team sets.  One dealer had a ton of Heritage and Archives singles, but they were not sorted and I did not want to dig in hopes of finding one or two cards.  I printed out my wantlist from TCDB so I knew I needed these.

I had zero 2017 Bowman Chrome Cardinals, so it was easy to pick these two out.  Diaz was traded to the Blue Jays over the weekend for a low A outfielder.  Not sure why the Cardinals traded for one when they are trying to get rid of 2 or 3.

Although the players did not get past Double A, I will take Bowman Chrome refractors any day.  These 2 are from 2011 Bowman Draft.

The players on these 2016 Bowman Draft refractors have a better chance of making the Majors.  Carlson played in low A last year as an 18 year old and held his own.  Gomber was added to the 40 man roster last month to protect him from the rule 5 draft.  He should start the year in the Triple A Memphis rotation.

There were at least 25 copies of this Tony Cruz refractor.  I guess the dealer was hoping for a small gold mine that did not happen.  I will take any Topps Gold Cardinals for a quarter or less.  The 2012 cards do not look quite as golden as other years.  More of a bronze in my opinion.
At this same show last December I bought all of the 2008 and 2009 Cardinals DAV singles for a dime, but the dealer wanted a $1 each for the Molina and Pujols cards.  I think it was the same dealer that had them for a quarter this year.  Both sets are now complete.

Most of the time Molina base cards sell for 50 cents each at St. Louis area shows.  I was shocked to find a small stash of inserts like these Topps Chrome Xfractors for 25 cents each.  

Only one refractor here, but a couple of other nice Yadis.

This 2013 Finest is a base card, but I needed for a team set.  The other card is a 2008 card given away on Christian Family Day at Busch Stadium.

The 2016 Donruss on the left is a 1982 insert, the Optic is a regular card.

The 2015 Diamond Kings Aficianodo inserts is one of the few Panini cards that shows Molina batting.  Give me the catching poses anyday.  The helmet looks so little league without the logo.

There were a lot of other boxes I did not get a chance to look at.  I hope some of these dealers may be at the Winter Warm Up in January.  It was great to see quite a few collectors under the age of 10 at the show.  One of the dealers I bought from was letting them pick out 10 dime cards for free.  A simple but great gesture that a lot more people should do.  Even better was hearing thank yous coming from the kids.

Friday, December 1, 2017

Topps Holiday Bowman Pack

I was lucky enough to have the day off on Black Friday.  I have been needing some storage boxes, so we took a 45 minute drive to the nearest card shop.  My son was wanting to bust cards, so we picked up 3 packs of 2017 Topps Update at $3.50 each.  The best cards that came out of them were a gold card, a Tom Seaver insert, and a Paul Dejong that I already had.  Since I spent over $10, we received a 2017 Topps Bowman Holiday Pack containing 3 cards.

Two of the cards were the base version.  Not a bad start, although Swanson did not have a great 2017 season.  Both of these are up for grabs if someone needs/wants them.

When I opened the pack, I failed to notice the turkey in the lower left corner.  This one is numbered to 35.  Wish it was a better player, but I have a Yankee collector who already has dibbs on it. 

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Christmas Came a Month Early

I did not get very carried away with my Black Friday spending in regards to baseball cards.  I purchased a wall art card from the Topps site for about $20 delivered, and spent another $22 in a card shop on some storage boxes and 3 packs of Topps Update.  I only bought the $3.50 packs of Update to get the promotional  Bowman Holiday pack.  The Update packs yielded nothing exciting, while I will have a future post showing the 4 cards from the Bowman pack.

I did enter a contest on The Bench website that was run by member David K.  He is one of the most generous card collectors I know.  Each month he runs a give away for an autographed cards of a HOF player or superstar.  All you have to do it pick a number from 1 to 75 and hope you are right.  I was the lucky winner with the guess of #62.  Yesterday my prize arrived.

I knew I was getting this 2008 Upper Deck Heroes auto #ed to 25, but was still very excited to open the package last night.  This is my second Musial auto.  It is a sticker auto and one that was done toward the end of his lifetime when his auto was not as crisp, but it is still a beautiful card.  The red background is a nice touch for a Cardinals card.  A big thank you to David for this wonderful card.

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Almost the Same

In yesterday's post I showed this Junior Fernandez card:

It was included in a trade package I received over the weekend.  On Monday I received this Fernandez card that I won on EBAY:

Almost the same pic except the autographed card has Mike Matheny's #22 on the uniform.  I guess Topps tried to change things up.  This 2016 Bowman Chrome auto cost me $4 delivered.  I have not seen anyone sign an auto with a very legible first name, but then an X at the beginning and end.  I guess some players need to be unique.

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Continuing with the Trade Packages

My second trade package last weekend came from TCDB member brianscards.  This package contained a variety of Cardinals, not just the cardboard kind.

1991 Panini Stickers are about the size of A&G mini cards.  I think they would like better with just a full color photo on the front, but I guess Panini needed somewhere to put the stats.

Topps put out a coin series from 1987-1990.  I have a few of them floating around somewhere.  This 1990 Pedro Guerrero completed a team set.  The 1991 Classic Draft Picks card is rather bland, but showing the player in a college uniform is a different change of pace.  I guess photoshopping players into MLB uniforms was not the in thing to do back then.

Collector's Choice Silver and Gold Signature parallels are some of my favorite 1990s sets to collect.  The 1994 version had 20 different Cardinals in it.  Sutcliffe followed a long line of former Cub pitchers to come to St. Louis in the early 1990s.  Lee Smith, Jaime Moyer, Les Lancaster, and Bob Tewksbury are a few I can think of.  Big Lee had a few good seasons as the closer, but not many of the others did much.  Tewksbury was a decent starter who was an All Star in 1992.

Take a close look at this 2016 Bowman Platinum card.  You may see the same picture in another post this week.

I can now say my 2017 Topps Update team set is finished, minus the photo variations.  I like the Postseason Celebration inserts, although this one highlighting the 2006 World Series could have at least shown one of the players.  I like clydesdales as much as any Cardinals fan, but this is a baseball card.  Show me a player.

Monday, November 27, 2017

A Trade with some First and Last

I hope everyone had a nice holiday weekend.  I spent my four day weekend eating, shopping, and watching the new Thor movie.  It was a lot better than the second.  I like the added humor in this one.  I received a couple of trades in over the weekend.  The first from TCDB member pezNpirates added some first and last cards to my collection.

The package included two former Cardinals first basemen.  I was never a fan of the 2008 Topps Moments & Milestones set.  I am sure it was a player collector's nightmare.  The Big Cat's time in St. Louis was just the injury filled season of 1992.  From there he went onto better things in Colorado.  He has a few baseCardinals cards like this 1992 Topps Traded, and even some autos in a Cardinals uniform.

These 2 cards were the last ones I needed to complete a couple of team sets.  The Medwick is from 1989 Pacific Legends, the Guerrero from 1989 Score Baseball's Hottest 100 Players. 

I have no way to tie in this Molina card into the first and last theme other than he plays a handful of games at first base each year.  I guess it is also my first bat card of him. 

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Push for the Top 50

About a month I ago I decided to set a small end of the year card collecting goal.  The Trading Card Database site keeps track of how many trades each user has done.  With my recent increase in free time, I am slowly make my way towards the top 50.  I am guessing I need to average about 2 trades a week to get there and stay by the end of December.  My latest trade was with member Bertons doubles.  I sent him a large stack of 2016 Topps Holiday baseball in return for some nice Cardinals from my wantlist.

Before too long I will have to make a wantlist for my minor league sets.  I have a good stack of Classic Best cards that are organized by year, so I hope that will not be too tough of a task. 

1995 Bowman's Best is split up into blue and red cards.  These two finish my blue team set. 

This is a Class 2 2016 Gold Label card.  I believe I have the Class 1 card already, but will have to check on the difference. 

I wonder if these 2 will have 2018 Stadium Club cards pictured in Cardinals uniforms.  I highly doubt both will still be with the team even if the Cardinals do not land Stanton. 

Just like the 2014 Red Foil cards from yesterday's post, these 2017 Diamond Kings really pop with the red background.  The Reyes is the SP photo variation.  These 2 should definitely be in the Cardinals rotation next year, maybe as the #1 and #2 starters depending on how Reyes comes back from TJ surgery.

Monday, November 20, 2017

Give Some, Get Some

I have mentioned numerous times about my dislike for mini cards.  I am more than happy to trade any and all that are not part of my Cardinals collection.  They are a storage nightmare for me.  I have also managed to damage a few with my clumsy hands trying to pry them out of trade packages.  I guess that can happen to any card, but for some reason the mini cards I receive tend to be in top loaders or card savers that are not taped shut.  At least my latest trade package from TCDB member minibbcards was packaged with great care.  All the cards arrived in great shape.  Another positive from the trade was I sent about 10 mini cards his way.

This 2008 Ginter mini is the regular back.  Not sure why Topps had to make this a horizontal card.

I was glad to knock out the entire 2000 Private Stock PS 2000 mini set in one trade.  Not sure why Adam Kennedy was included in the set along with the other 3.  

 I also received a couple of regular cards that finished 2 team sets.  This Miller SP finished my 2014 GQ set.

2016 Archives is now finished also.  I would guess this is a photo from the earlier 1980s based on Ozzie's fro.  Most of the cards showing his home run in 1985 playoffs have him with a trim, although the beard was a lot fuller.  Any Ozzie is a good one in my book.