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.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Immaculate Mailday

Next to Diamond Kings, Immaculate is my next favorite Panini brand.  The cards have a high gloss finish and feature on card autos with some nice looking patches, although I doubt the uniform the patches came from was actually worn in a game.  They still look good and are a lot cheaper than their Topps counterpart.  Carson Kelly has quite a few cards in this year's set.  Being a catcher makes it easy for Panini to get around the logo issue.  I was able to win an EBAY auction last week for a nice looking Kelly:

One decent patch with 4 solid swatches.  The card is numbered to 99.  The same seller offered combined shipping so I grabbed one more Cardinal.

No patches on this one, but it is numbered to 25.  I was able to get both of these for less than $7 delivered.  The Cardinals have quite a few players in this set that are not featured in Topps game used or autographs like Molina, Kelly, and Wainwright.  Of course there are plenty of cards of Reyes, Piscotty, and Carpenter also.  I hope to add a few more Immaculate cards as long as they are good deals like these were.

Friday, September 8, 2017

Last Chiefs Game of the Year

The minor league regular season came to an end earlier this week on Monday.  3 of the Cardinals teams qualified for the playoffs.  Triple A Memphis is currently tied 1 to 1 in the best of 5 series against Colorado Springs.  High A Palm Beach won their first round series 2 games to 0 against Fort Myers.  They were declared co-champs of the Florida State League along with Dunedin because the final series was cancelled due to hurricane IRMA.  Low A Peoria is tied 1-1 in the best of 3 series against Quad Cities.  If they win tonight's game, there are still 2 more rounds to win to become Midwest League champions.  I would love to go to a playoff game, the Peoria home games will be during the week.  Their game Wednesday night had less than 800 people in attendance. 

The family and I did make it to Peoria one last time for games on August 26 and 27.   The season ticket holder meet and great was Saturday afternoon.  We were able to get quite a few things signed.

My son got 27 signatures on this Midwest League ball.  It only lacks the hitting coach and 1starting pitcher.

I took these pictures at a Chiefs game in early August.  I like the action shot on the Nick Plummer photo.  Kramer Robertson does not have any cards yet, so I printed out a 4x6 picture.

I also took this picture of Dylan Carlson at the same game.  I chose an 8x10 for this one because both my kids like him because he is only 18 years old. 

By far my favorite autographs were from manager Chris Swauger.  It was nice to get the dual card with Tommy Pham signed.  He was in the dugout by himself, so I had a few minutes to talk with him.  He was on the Springfield Cardinals 2012 Texas League Championship team.  He hit 3 home runs in one game in the early rounds, but could not play in the finals due to a separated shoulder he suffered while making a diving catch.  I mentioned what a great team that was, and he commented on how he was the only member of the starting 8 position players who did not make the Majors.

We managed to get six more cards signed for our 2017 team set.  Trosclair has by far the best penmanship of the bunch.  Oxnevad would be the laziest.  The Chiefs won the game 4-0 in about 2 hours and 20 minutes.  Gotta love those quick games.

We returned on Sunday for the last kid's day at the ball park.  Hard to beat $9 tickets for kids that get them a free hot dog, chips, and a drink.  Sunday was also the final team autograph day.  It was also team poster day.

The picture is bad, but my son got everyone on the roster except for some coaches.  Cather Brian O'Keefe was called up to Palm Beach two days before, so it maybe hard to finish the poster.

My son forgot his team ball from Saturday, but we still got Saturday's starter and the hitting coach on team cards.   

I took this picture of Carlson and my kids during the meet and great.  The fight is on about who gets to hang the picture in their room.  Guess I should have made 2.  The Chiefs won this game on a walk off single in the 10th.  The last 2 innings were played in a steady rain.  

It was a fun minor league season for us.  A lot of driving, but we saw some great games and got a ton of autographs.  I will have to add up the total number of autographs, but here is our game totals:

Springfield Cardinals: 2 in Springfield, MO
Indianapolis Indians: 1 in Indianapolis, IN
Palm Beach Cardinals: 1 in Jupiter, FL
Memphis Redbirds: 1 in Nashville, TN
Peoria Chiefs: 5 in Peoria, IL


Wednesday, September 6, 2017

2 in 2 Days

The day after I received the cards from yesterday's post, I received another trade package from Trading Card Database member tsch67.  It is so easy to work out a trade on that site with the matching want list feature.  It does take some time to enter your collection, but once you do it is smooth trading from there.  On to the highlights.

There were a lot of similar cards in the two packages, like the bottom 2 Collector's Choice silver signature cards.  The top Mark Whiten is actually a gold signature.

Upper Deck mass produced cards of the Cardinals so called MV3 players in 2006.  Edmonds, Pujols, and Rolen all finished in the 2004 NL MVP top 5 voting.  Some guy from San Francisco with a shady history won it.  The Amazing Greats gold card in numbered to 699.

Pujols did win the NL MVP in 2009.  By that time Rolen and Edmonds were no longer in St. Louis.  Upper Deck churned out his inserts in 2010 as a result.  Another nice feature of Trading Card Database is it keeps track of the number of cards you have of a player, team, set, etc.  These put me at 834 different Pujols cards.

Just like the first package, this one had some Topps colored parallels.  The Beltran leaves me 2 more cards to finish the 2013 Wal-Mart Blue Border set.  I need a ton of the Target Red cards from the same year.

 All I can say for mini cards is I don't really care for them, but will take them.  Storage nightmare.

First thing that came to my mind when I saw this card is ouch.  I always like cards showing cathers in their gear or making plays at the plate.  You would think Panini would have an insert set similar to this.  Other than the logo on some of the helmets, they would not have to airbrush anything. 

Speaking of Panini, here are a couple of 2014 Donruss inserts.  There was also a Breakout Pitchers insert set.  It is still hard to believe Allen Craig has gone from a very reliable heart of the order hitter to someone who spent the majority of the last 2 years in the minors.

I need 4 more of these 2015 Musial Milestones to complete the 20 card set.  I think I have traded for the other 16 withing the last 2 months.  


Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Trading at the Database

Hope everyone had a safe and good Labor Day.  I spent mine catching up on the honey do list, but I did have some time to organize my card desk.  I had several trades come in last week from deals I made on Trading Card Database.  The first was with member metscardboard. 

 Hard to believe I still need base cards from low end sets like Opening Day and Fleer.  The Morris did finish my 2004 set. 

If I ever decide to open a hobby box, Topps Archives would be a strong contender. 2015 Leaf Heroes of Baseball was a nice idea, but man are those cards boring. 

Leaf did score some points with Cardinals fans by having a 20 card Musial insert set.  The photos are better on these than the base set.

I never get tired of getting Topps colored parallels.  You would think a Cardinals fan prefers the red border, but gold is better in my book.  Being numbered helps.

There are some mid 1990s parallels like the 1996 Pinnacle Foil cards that are pretty sharp despite how my scanner makes them look.  Collector's Choice silver signature are not too bad.  I often find them in nickel or dime boxes at card shows.  I opened a ton of the 1994 Choice cards, but slacked off by the time the 1996 set was out.