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.