Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Collecting Clutch Contest Winnings

Brian from Collecting Clutch ran a contest last month where collectors showcased the top 10 cards from their player collections.  It was great seeing all the different cards.  It was interesting to hear the stories behind the cards also.  Of course there were a lot of autos and game used cards, but there were also a fair share of base cards that looked great or held a special meaning to the collector.  My Lankford top 10 paled in comparison to some other collections, but Brian was gracious enough to send prizes to anyone that entered.

This is my first 2017 Topps BUNT card.  It is very tempting to buy a hobby box for less than $40, but I will most likely just trade for the Cardinals base cards.

Bubbles and chrome look pretty good together.  This is my second 2016 Topps Update Chrome card.  Only 2 more to go for the team set.

This is one of the card that Brian showcased as a prize.  Even though Big City is not a Cardinal anymore, I am glad to have it.  As long as he does not become a Cub, I will always be a fan. 

The gem of the package was this Ray Lankford slide.  I have a couple of slides from the Topps Vault, but no oddballs such as this one.  It will be interesting to see if this image was used on any cards or was used in any magazine photos I have. 

Thanks Brian for the great contest!  If I ever get a cool McCuthen, I will know where to send it.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Hats Off to You Jameson

Every once in a while there is a story in MLB that makes you a fan of the game, not just your team.  Jameson Taillon provided one of those stories last night.  Just roughly five weeks after being diagnosed with testicular cancer, he made his return to the Pirates and pitched five shutout innings on his way to a win.  It is amazing he conquered a terrible disease that quick, let alone being able to perform as a professional athlete. 

It is difficult to root for another team/player that plays in the same division as the Cardinals.  I cannot imagine any situation where I will ever root for the Cubs.  The hatred is not as much toward the Reds and Brewers, but still not a fan.  If I had to pick a second favorite team in the NL Central, it would be the Pirates.  Up until this spring, it was rare to hear about any of their players in a bad spotlight.  Their games against the Cardinals have not involved much controversy either.  No stealing signs, signing the other team's free agents, or accusing the other of breaking baseball's unwritten rules.

 Early last season, I was able to get this card signed by Taillon at an Indianapolis Indians game.  This picture from the Indians website shows my son and I getting the auto.  My back side is my best best side when taking pictures.  Taillon was very friendly and joked with us about being Cardinals fans.  If there is a Pirate fan or anyone that would like to have this card, drop me an email and it is yours.

Thursday, June 8, 2017

TCDB trade

Early this morning I took the time to clean up my card desk.  I had one trade that I cannot remember when it came in, but know it was from a Trading Card Database member.

 The big prize in the trade for me was the final 2 cards I needed to complete the 1994 Topps Archives set.  Virdon is better know as a Pirate, but he did win Rookie of the Year in 1955 as a Cardinal.  Deal was a relief pitcher in 1950 and 1954.

I was surprised to see I still need a 1997 Topps base card, but this Benes finished my set.  The Wagner finished my 1994 Stadium Club Draft Picks set, while the Sanders took my 2004 Bazooka set down to 2 cards.

These 3 inserts are from 2014 Topps Allen & Ginter.  You would think Topps could be a little more creative with the name.  Reminds me of Topps Total Total Topps inserts.

I miss the Sportscenter days of Keith Olberman and Dan Patrick.  The show is almost hard to watch.  I tune in for sports highlights and some related stories, not to see anchors fighting with guests or expressing their political views.  If I wanted to see that I would watch Jerry Springer.

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Trading Bases & The Bench Trade

Continuing yesterday's post, today's cards are from Trading Bases member Kevin M along with a few from the Bench member David K.  Both are long time trade partners who always send more than what they should.

Each year I hope only 1 or 2 Cardinals have short print cards in the Heritage set.  Diaz was the only one this year.  Alex Reyes has a photo variation, but I do not count those as part of a team set. 

I am a fan of multi player cards, even better when they feature minor leaguers.  All 3 guys of these play in Triple A now. 

This year's Cardinals Tommy John pitcher is Alex Reyes.  He did not even get a spring training start in before he had surgery.  He is young enough to make a full recovery and I hope he is a member of the rotation in 2018. 

Wainwright flat out stunk last night.  I guess his only bright spot was giving up only one of Scooter Gennett's home runs, although it was a grand slam. 

Oh is having a decent year after a rough first month.  If the Cardinals could skip the 7th inning, he would most likely have more saves.  This is a 2016 Chrome Update refractor numbered to 250.

Piscotty has done better at the plate of late, but his defense and baserunning have went south.  I am pretty sure most players learned in little league that you do not go first to third on a base hit to left.  He tried early this week and was out by a mile.  I wish the Cardinals would hire someone like Vince Coleman to teach these players how to run the bases. 

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Trading Bases Trade

Since joining Trading Card Database in January, my trading on other sites has dropped dramatically.  My trading in general has slowed since the start of Little League season, but I can always count on 2 members of the Trading Bases message group to send unannounced cards.  Ron B the Pirates collector and Kevin M the Mets collectors have sent me numerous packages over the years without getting anything in exchange.  Both caught me off guard last week.  I will highlight Ron's package today.

Molina is one of the few Cardinals who is having a decent year.  His average is lacking at .255, but his other numbers are solid.  He even leads the team with 5 stolen bases. 

Dejong was called up on May 28 when Kolten Wong went on the DL.  He homered in his first AB that day and has started almost everyday since.  It will be interesting to see if the Cardinals send him down when Wong comes back, or if they decide to cut Jhonny Peralta loose. 

Alcantara has struggled his first year in Double A.  He is only 21 years old, so hopefully he will find some better command to go along with his 100 MPH fastball. 

Carpenter has been in a bad slump most of the year.  There is talk among Cardinals fans that he cannot hit well if he does not hit leadoff.  I would think he would be happy to hit third, but who knows.  Piscotty did not start well, but has turned it around somewhat since returning from a few days off.  His mother was just diagnosed with ALS a few weeks agos, so he left the team for a few games to be with his family.  Hope all goes well as can be expected. 

Monday, June 5, 2017

Monday Blues

This past weekend left me feeling all sorts of blue.  First the Cardinals got swept by the Blue Bears from Chicago.  They had a lead in every game and manged to lose each one.  I sure hope the Matheny days are numbered, but knowing the Cardinals they will make one or two insignificant trades at the deadline and continue with the statue quo.  My son's 8 year old baseball team finished second in a weekend tournament.  This is not an all bad thing considering there were 12 teams, but this is the fourth tournament they have finished second in.  Just not quite over the hump yet, but they are improving.  Maybe this upcoming weekend will yield different results. 

I did have some time to scan a few cards.  My only EBAY win from May featured 5 Cardinals from the 2016 Topps Chrome Blue Sapphire set.

This is the second lot of these cards I won from the same seller.  I am down to needing just the Piscotty and Grichuk cards to finish my team sets.

The price has come down quite a bit since the sets were released.  They are still very sharp cards, but I wish they were numbered on the back.  It was announced that 250 sets were made.

This cards shows a lot happier times than what the Cardinals are experiencing now.  Even though they are only 2.5 games out of first, that has more to do with how bad the NL Central is than how well the Cardinals have played. 

At least Waino has turned his season around the last few starts.  Poor guy has to provide the offense if he wants to win though.  He won his last start 2-0 against the Dodgers by pitching 6 scoreless innings and hitting a 2 run home run.

Wong is currently on the 10 day DL, but is having somewhat of a bounce back season.  I think that has a lot to do with his consistent playing time. 

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Not So Latest Trade Package

Trade packages have been stacking up on me in the 2 weeks since my last post.  I had cards scanned from the first one for a while now, but have not had a chance to show them off.  Little League games have taken most of my free time during the week, while travel baseball has wiped out my weekends.  Anyway, here are the cards from another TCDB trade.

These 2 1995 Leaf Limted cards completed my team set.  Nice looking cards other than the team name scrolled across the right side. 

Conlon sets from the early 1990s are some of my favorite cards.  The team sets are rather large and include some obscure players.  I just wish there was a way to tell the sets apart aside from turning the card over.  These 2 are from the 1993 set. 

I like minor league sets that give love to coaches.  Riggins was a minor league coach for the Cardinals for over 10 years before moving on to the Cubs.  The above card is from 1989 ProCards.  The early Fleer inserts were not very flashy.  No die cuts, refractors, color variations. 

Look, I am a Winner!  I am glad Topps only issued Gold and Gold Winner cards in 1992.  Not much difference in the two and both are fairly common. 

If you blink you may miss the Marlins logo on these 1993 Topps cards.  There was also a set for the Rockies.  I received the entire team set in the trade.  The Ozzie is by far my favorite card.  If you ever get a chance to get his autograph, it is a thing of beauty. 

Friday, May 12, 2017

First Taste of 2017 Bowman

I was able to swing another trade on The Bench for all of the 2017 Bowman Cardinals base cards minus the Chrome prospects.

I like the look of 2017 Bowman.  It is simple and clean, although the logo would like better if it was a solid circle.  I was surprised not to find Molina or Wainwright included in the checklist.

These 4 prospects are all ranked in the Cardinals top 10.  Flaherty is having the best season of all so far.  In his first year in Double A, he is 5-0 with a 0.69 ERA.  Alcantara has not been as effective, going 2-2 with an ERA over 6.  Dejong and Bader are both playing for the Triple A Memphis Redbirds who recently had a 10 game winning streak.  Both will most likely be September call ups.

The trader was nice enough to include this 2013 Five Star Ozzie Smith.  This card is thicker than most relic cards.  I thought this was some type of parallel, but it is a base card.  I am not a fun of the high end sets like Five Star, but it is nice to get one of the cards anyway.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

A Few Old, A Few New

My latest trade package contained wantlist hits that ranged from 1971 to 2005.  A member from the Bench needed a 2013 Triple Threads Jose Abreu card #ed to 99.  It was nice of him to trade vintage cards for a modern one.  I know some traders will not do that, and I cannot blame them.

This 1971 Topps Ted Simmons rookie card has some issues, but it is still in decent shape.  Simba is often overlooked as a very good player because he played during the Johnny Bench era.  He also played on some bad Cardinal teams.  The one time he made the World Series in 1982 as a member of the Brewers he lost to the Cardinals.  

These two Torre cards are in great shape.  The 1973 on the left is almost mint, while the 1972 Topps card is not far behind.  Torre played for the Cardinals from 1969-1974.  He was an All Star four of those years, and won the MVP in 1971.  He also served as the manager from 1990-1995.  He was elected into the Cardinals Hall of Fame last year. 

This card finished my 1991 Conlon Cardinals set.  The 1992 set is far from complete. 

Please bring back a set with cards of long relievers and back up catchers.  It can be called Topps 24 Man.  Even the catcher that hits .250 needs some hobby love once in a while.

Edmonds does not look too happy on his 2005 Bowman Chrome card.  It almost appears as if he was photoshopped onto the background.  I think Private Stock is one of the best Pacific brands.  A nice simple design with sharp photography. 

Monday, May 8, 2017

All Caught Up

Thanks to the over 10 inches of rain I have received in the past week and a half, my outside activities have been limited.  I could not think of another better way to spend my evenings then to organize all my recent trades.  I only had two trade packages left to scan, but there must have been a pile of 200 cards to file away. 

These 3 2017 Opening Day cards came from a PWE trade with a TCDB member.  I hate to jinx it, but the Cardinals are playing a little better and are only 1/2 game behind the Reds.  It helps to play the Brewers and Braves.

This card also came in a PWE.  It was not so much a trade.  The Trading Bases member who I sent all the Indianapolis Indians autos to sent this 2017 Topps Luke Weaver auto #ed to 199 without warning.  Very sharp card with the only downfall being the sticker.  I know some players did autograph the card itself.  Weaver has made 2 nice starts in Triple A since coming off the DL.  I would guess he will be the first starter called upon when a current Cardinals starter gets hurt or sent to the bullpen.

Friday, May 5, 2017

TCDB Trade with Birds from the Past and Present

My latest trade package from a TCDB member had Cardinals a few different eras.  There were some current Cardinals:

I guess you can call Reyes a current player even though he will spend the year on the DL.  Grichuk maybe taking over centerfield after Dexter Fowler injured his shoulder last night.

 Long gone are the days when I felt pretty good about the Cardinals' chances of winning a game that Wainwright started.  Last night he was spotted a 3-0 lead and only made it through 5 innings.  He is looking more like a .500 pitcher who only goes 5-6 innings each start. 

I wish Adams could play somewhere else other than first base.  His outfield days did not look that graceful.  It was not Chris Duncan bad, but if the team is serious about playing better defense Adams should only play first and pinch hit. 

Gotta love the Mascot cards.  Fredbird even has an autographed card from this set that sells for more than cards of most of the Cardinals current roster.

The Cardinals from past teams bring out mixed emotions.

There is no question that Musial is the greatest Cardinal of all time.  Pujols may have came close if he played his entire career here, but he left for the higher money in Anaheim.  It is nice to see him getting closer to some milestones like 600 home runs. 

Red still makes appearances around St. Louis even though he is 94 years old.  He is one of the few people to win a World Series as a player and manager with the same team.  I do not have anything positive to say about Heyward other than I am glad the Cardinals are not paying him anymore.

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Should Have Waited One More Week

I am a firm believer in delayed gratification when it comes to baseball cards.  More times than not, I do not run out to the store or shop on the internet for the latest card releases.  It can be hard seeing the new cards on blog posts or EBAY, but a majority of the time prices for the new cards are inflated.  One of my saved searches on EBAY is for Cardinals autographs under $5 delivered.  A lot of those are prospects autographs.  One popped up last week for $3.99 delivered for a player I did not have a certified autograph card from.

This auto is from 2016 Bowman Chrome, a set that has been out for a long time.  It arrived on Tuesday.  On Wednesday, I get a private message on the Bench trading site offering the same card in trade for a low dollar auto of mine.  O well, at least I did trade my card for another auto that a collector I owe needs.   

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Top 10 Ray Lankford cards and a Contest Plug

I like to think I have a fairly complete player collection of Ray Lankford.  Since he played the majority of his career in the 1990s, there are not a lot of 1/1s or rare game used and autos to chase.  I do need a ton of printing plates and some lowered numbered parallels, but for the most part I have about every card that has seen the light of day. 

My collection pales in comparison to Collecting Cutch's Andrew McCutchen stash.  Autos, game used, buttons, bat knobs, nameplates, printing plates, 1/1s.  You name it, he has at least one if not multitudes of each.  He is running a contest challenging other player collectors to show off their top 10 cards.  I had a fun time going through my binders trying to figure out my 10 favorite Lankfords.

10. 1999 Finest Gold Refractor 68/100

I am a sucker for gold refractors.  These feature a deckle edge, although my scanner failed to show it.  I am on the look out for another copy so I can peel the film. 

9. 1998 Metal Universe Precious Metal Gems 48/50

I love cards that use city landmarks in the background.  There are quite a few cards that feature the arch, but I have not seen another with the old St. Louis Courthouse.

8. 2001 Stadium Club

Horizontal cards usually feature great action shots.  This one features the brick wall at AT&T Park in San Fransisco.  I would guess from the flight of the ball this one did not leave the park, but Lankford did have great arm extension. 

7. 1995 Pinnacle Museum

I wish Topps or Panini would use the dufex technology like Pinnacle did.  These cards just jump out at you. 

6. 1998 Bowman's Best Atomic Refractor 47/100

This almost looks like a cracked ice parallel rather than an atomic refractor.  I was glad to see Topps brought back the Bowman's Best brand.

5. 1996 Select Certified Mirror Gold

Although these are not serial numbered, it is believed there were only 30 copies made.  Cards of big stars like Griffey Jr. and Jeter go for crazy high money when they surface.  Commons usually go for at least $30.

4.  1998 Score Rookie & Traded Showcase Series Artist Proofs 1/1

You do not see too many 1/1 cards with a huge stamp on the front.  When I first saw this card, I did quite a bit of research to make sure that is the way it was suppose to look.  This was my first Lankford 1/1 card.  I bought it off the Pit website (anyone remember that site) for around $25.

3.  1991 Fleer

Why do I have a junk wax era card as my #3 card?  Because it was my first ever Lankford card.  I remember buying this card on the school bus for 50 cents back in 1991.

2. 1998 Donruss Crusade Red 20/25

This card is just simply beautiful.  Enough said.

1. 1993 Finest Refractor

I was lucky enough to find this card listed as a Buy It Now for less than $15.  It is believed there are 241 copies of most cards, with some being more rare.  I have seen quite a few Lankfords listed over the years.  I have often thought about buying a second one because it looks so great in hand.