Tuesday, April 28, 2015

My Queen for Your Queen

I broke a hanger box of 2015 Topps Gypsy Queen  a while back and have started to get my end of trades from what I sent out.  Yesterday brought a six pack of Cardinals.

First up are 5 base cards including a photoshoped Jason Heyward in a Cardinals uniform.  Topps did not do too bad of a job on this one.

Any Cardinals fan will recognize this picture of David Freese's walk off home run from game 6 of the 2011 World Series.  What a great game that was unless you are a Rangers fan. 

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Rain Will Always Bring You Back

This past week was a very hectic one.  I work for a concrete ready mix company.  With the weather finally getting warmer and things starting to dry out, business has picked up.  My 2 children both had several baseball and softball practices this week to get prepared for their opening day today.  Mother Nature had other plans.  Today was a complete wash out at the park, so I find myself with plenty of spare time to showcase a trade package that arrived earlier this week.  I am a member of  the online trading group Trading Bases.  It is very laid back group of traders who many times will send something to you without any warning.  The package this week was one of those.

Conlon Collection put out several sets in the early 1990s.  While the cards are fairly inexpensive, I have not run across too many traders who have them.  I have most of the 1991 set, but needed both of these for the 1992 and 1993 sets.  I love getting cards of obscure older players.  I had never heard of either one of these guys.

I have mixed feeling about the 1994 Fleer Extra Bases set.  I love the photography with no borders, but am not a big fan of the oversized cards.  Not the easiest cards to store away, but they are Cardinals so I will collect them anyway.

I would say Adam Wainwright is a star attraction.  He has been a vital part of the Cardinals for nearly a decade.  Many Cardinals fans will remember Mark Whiten for 3 things:  a strong throwing arm, lots of strikeouts, and hitting 4 home runs in one game.

I love 1980s oddball cards.  The Leaf set looks great.  I am down to need the Ozzie Smith and a Jouquin Andujar Diamond King to finish this set.

Last but not least are 3 Bowman Draft cards from various years that I already have.  I hope to get these signed at minor league games later this year.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

2015 Gypsy Queen Hanger Box

My wife sent me to Wal-Mart this morning because she forgot to buy a loaf of bread.  Not wanting to spend just $1.50, I made my way to the cards isle.  It was a tough choice between 2015 Gypsy Queen and 2015 Donruss, but in the end the lack of logos was the deciding factor.  I picked up one of the Gypsy Queen hanger boxes for $10.

The box yielded 2 Cardinals, a base Trevor Rosenthal and a Pearl border Mark McGwire.  From what I read on the box, the Pearl border is exclusive to Wal-Mart packs.  It looks a lot like White border cards from previous years.

Here are the other 2 Pearl border cards: Yu Darvish and Satchell Paige.  One pet peeve of mine is when Browns cards get classified as Cardinals cards.  The Browns later moved to Baltimore and became the Orioles, so I do NOT consider them Cardinals.

Gypsy Queen always has plenty of minis each year.  The Wilin Rosario and David Robertson are base versions.  The Squeeze Bunt is part of the Basics of Baseball insert set.

This year the SP base cards are numbered 300-350.  Kojie Uehara #349 is the one I was lucky enough to pull.  I also have about 20 other base cards to trade if anyone is looking to complete the set.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Sportlots Puffy

I received a nice bubble envelope in the mail yesterday from a recent Sportlots order.  I like ordering from there every once in a while to fill holes in team sets or get some cards for ip autographing.  Shipping is very reasonable if you order from one dealer.  This last ordered consisted of 10 cards that cost a total of $4.12 delivered.

I love the looks of the 1997 EX cards. These brought my team set down to 1 card.  The Molina is one of many Ginter cards I needed from 2007.

The Jacob Wilson finished my 2012 Bowman Draft set.  The 2 2013 Pinnacle cards leave me one short for the set.  I am not a big fan of cards without logos, but I received some of these in a blind trade and decided to finish the set.  I love Topps Heritage Minors cards.  I bought 2 of the Mercado, one for my set and another to have autographed next time I go to a Peoria Chiefs game.  Before every Sunday game,  the entire Chiefs team signs autographs. 

Monday, April 13, 2015

Flashback to 2006

I got home from work about an hour ago and turned on the Cardinals game.  It is opening day in St. Louis which means all the living Hall of Famers take part in pregame ceremonies.  The clydesdales also take their turn making a lap around Busch Stadium III.  The announcers mentioned this is the 10th year Busch Stadium III has been opened.  The Cardinals were able to win the World Series that year with a team that got hot at the right time.  Two players are still active on the team today: Adam Wainwright and Yadier Molina.

I purchased this 16x20 photo in January at the Cardinals Winter Warm Up.  It shows Molina and Wainwright after the last out of the 2006 Series.  It was already signed by Molina.  I had autograph tickets for both of them, but Molina appeared on a day I could not make it.  I sold the ticket and used the profit to have the picture framed.  I was able to have Wainwright sign it in person.  My 6 year old son was able to go through the auto line with me.  Wainwright gave him a fist bump, asked him his name and said "Nice to meet you, I am Chris Carpenter".  My son just laughed, gave him a high five, and wished him good luck.  It only took about 20 seconds, but I hope the picture helps him remember the moment for years to come.   

Friday, April 10, 2015

Met a Killer Today!

Team set killer that is.  I have been doing this blog for about 2 months.  Along the way I have completed 3 trades, the last one bringing a pleasant surprise.  I enjoy reading other blogs about the Cardinals like Fantastic Catch .  I reached out to Weston about trading some Cardinal extras a had.  After exchanging mailing addresses, we discovered we live about 10 minutes apart.  Living in a fairly rural area with a population of less than 15,000, I would say the odds are highly unlikely I would meet a neighbor through a blog.  Weston and I met earlier this afternoon and swapped Cardinals.  He killed some team sets along the way.

David Frees finished 2012 Finest, Lance Lynn finished 2012 Topps 1987 Mini.

Jason Isringhausen completed 2006 Topps Allen Ginter.  Rolen and Duncan were need for Victory and Bazooka team sets

Weston is a big Lance Lynn fan, but he spared these two to help me out.

Last but not least a couple of member so the 2006 World Series team Jim Edmonds and Chris Duncan.

It was great meeting a fellow Cardinals collector, especially a young one who shares this wonderful hobby.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Raja Lot

I like to surf EBAY every now and then looking for a cheap Cardinals lot.  It can be made up of base cards, inserts, or player lots.  I stumbled upon a Rogers Hornsby lot last week that consisted of 11 cards.  I won the lot for $3.75 delivered.  The lot included the following:

The 1974 Topps on the left brings my team set down to 1.  The 1979 card on the right will be an upgrade to the card I have.  I also needed the 1989 Swell card in the middle.

The 2005 Artifacts card is an short print numbered to 1999.  I am not a big fan of oddball sized cards, but I do need the 2009 206 mini.  I also needed the 2008 Triple Threads cards numbered 8/30. I also received the following cards which are available for trade.

1993 Ted Williams 124
2002 Fleer Fall Classics 38
2002 Fleer Greats 23
2005 SP Legendary Cuts 71
2006 Fleer Greats of Game Cardinals Greats

Overall I thought the lot had great value for what I paid.  I was surprised the cards arrived ok.  The Triple Threads was in a penny sleeve and top loader, the other 10 cards were sandwiched between two lop loaders with no penny sleeves.  All of them were stuffed in a team bag, no tape around the top loaders.  I did give the seller a positive, but docked him for shipping. 

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Rookie Mistake and a Cartoon

Last week I received a box full of Cardinals from John over at Johnny's Trading Spot  .  It was full of a wide variety of cards ranging from the early 1980s to the present.  He did manage to finish 5 or 6 team sets along the way.  I wish I remembered to scan the cards before I put them away.  In the process of updating my have and want list, I completely forgot to scan any of them.  Lesson learned,  I will make sure to have my scanner on before I bring out the boxes next time.  Thanks John for the wonderful package even though I could not show it off.

I will not leave you without a picture from something out of my collection.  I remember cutting this out of my local newspaper back in the 1980s.

I shared a bedroom with one of my brothers who was a Cub fan, so I displayed this with pride. 

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Countdown to Opening Day #1

And there was 1.  After playing in Memphis last night, the Cardinals have an off day before heading to Chicago for tomorrow night's game.  I do not expect many runs to be scored with Adam Wainwright and Jon Lester pitching.  It will be nice to watch games that count again.  As for card #1

1999 Upper Deck Retro  Inkredible Ozzie Smith

Ozzie Smith may have been the best fielding shortstop to ever play the game.  He won 13 Gold Gloves, 11 of them with the Cardinals.  He helped the Cardinals win the World Series in his first year with the team in 1982.  He wore #1 his entire Cardinals career from 1982-1996.  The Cardinals reitired his #1 in 1996.  His last season in St. Louis was filled with controversy.  Tony LaRussa urged the front office to bring in a younger shortstop to be groomed as Ozzie's replacement.  The Cardinals traded for Royce Clayton in December of 1995.  LaRussa declared an open competition for the starting shortstop position during 1996 spring training between Smith and Clayton.  Even though Smith outplayed him, Clayton was named the starter and would receive the bulk of the playing time during the year.  Before he decided to retire, Smith briefly considered signing with another team and play the 1997 season.  To this day, Smith and LaRussa do not get along.  It is custom for retired Cardinal greats to go to spring training as guest instructors, but Smith only did so once Mike Matheny became manager. 

I think Ozzie has one of the best looking autos out there. It is very legible, something many current players auto's are not. 

Friday, April 3, 2015

Countdown to Opening Day #2

Yes it is Good Friday, but no I did not get the day off work.  On the bright side, work is slow today so I have some spare time to write today's post while I am on the clock.  The Cardinals are slated to play an exhibition game against their triple A team in Memphis tonight, but mother nature might have other plans.  If they do not play today, their next game is 2 days away on opening night on ESPN against the Cubs.  Weather might play a factor in that one also, but for the sake of the countdown I will assume it is going to happen. 

2004 Absolute Memorabilia Spectrum Red Schoendienst 1/100

Albert "Red" Schoendienst was a player on the Cardinals 1946 World Series Championship team.  He also managed the Cardinals to a World Series win in 1967.  Despite being over 90 years old, he has remained active as a coach and guest instructor during spring training.  He is also the answer to my trivia question in Countdown post #6.  He wore #6 as a rookie in 1945 while Stan Musial was serving in the militay.  He switched to #2 the following year and has worn it ever since.  The Cardinals retired the #2 in 1996.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Countdown to Opening Day #3

Spring break started today for my wife and kids.  The temperature is nice, but there is rain in the forecast for the next two days so they will be inside for the most part.  This morning they spent time looking at schedules for the Cardinals minor league teams.  We live within a 6 hour drive of Peoria, Memphis, and Springfield, MO.  We often take a quick weekend trip and try to catch 2 games at any of the 3 parks.  This year will be the first time we will get to see all 3 teams play in the same season.  My wife even chose to spend her birthday/Mother's Day weekend in Memphis.  Keeping up with the #3 theme, here is today's card:

1997 Donruss Signature Brian Jordan

Brian Jordan wore #3 his entire Cardinals career from 1992-1998.  He played in the NFL for 3 seasons with the Atlanta Falcons before decided to play baseball only.  Jordan brought his football mentality to the baseball diamond.  He often would dive for balls or crash into the wall while playing right field.  He was also an aggressive base runner.  I have fond memories of him making up a great Cardinals outfield during the mid 1990s along with Ron Gant and Ray Lankford.  All 3 of them had a blend of power and speed.


Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Countdown to Opening Day #4

You can tell Opening Day is getting closer.  Teams are making their final roster moves and naming their Opening Day starters.  I had a busy day with both my children have ball practice today.  With their season starting in less than a month, there have been few days were the diamond has been dry enough to practice on.  Today the weather was a pleasant 70 degrees with plenty of sunshine.  It was good to finally be able to get outside instead of throwing around in a gym.  On to the card in today's countdown:

2004 Leaf Certified Cuts Yadier Molina 102/499

Molina wore #41 as a rookie in 2005, but has worn #4 since the 2006 season.  He has always had the reputation of an elite defensive catcher, but was not really seen as an offensive threat until the 2008 season.  He was a key part in both the 2006 and 2011 World Series teams.  His auto on this card leaves a lot to be desired, but it has gotten a little better with age.  At least now you can read the Y in his first name, and he will sign his #4 with it.  The above auto looks like he switched his names around.