Monday, November 30, 2015

Early Black Friday Purchases

Like millions of others people, I did some shopping on Black Friday last week.  Most of mine was done in the comfort of my office, although I did venture out about 7:00 Friday morning to hit up a couple of stores.  I did mange to find 20 Cardinals cards from COMC that will be shipped for free, but that was not my only Cardinals related purchase.  On November 14th my not so local cards shop located 2 hours away was running a sale.  I had nothing better to do that Saturday so my son and I made the trip.  The shop gave plenty of Facebook previews of items for sale so I had a good idea of what I might get.  They also ran a 10% sale on anything in the store.  I purchased some various top loaders, snap cases, and boxes but I will not bore you with those details. 

A big part of the sale was unsigned photos.  I bought this 11x14 Kolten Wong picture for $3.  I love this photo for a few reasons.  It shows Wong rounding first base after hitting a walk off home run in the 2014 playoffs.  Wearing the #16 and sporting the high socks also make it a cool photo.

There were also many signed photos for sale.  I bought this Matt Adams 16x20 autograph pic for $25.  This photo was taken after Adams hit the go ahead home run off Clayton Kershaw in game 4 of the 2014 Division Series.  The Cardinals would go on to win the game and the series that night. The reaction of both Adams and Clayton Kershaw is priceless.  I am a big Adams fan, but have my doubts whether he will be with the team next year.  Injuries and an inability to hit lefthaded pitching have limited his playing time the last 2 years.  At least this photo will serve as a reminder of the good times.

I spent a total of $36 for everything the first time I was at the shop.  My wife called before I left town to see what I had bought.  She told me to go back and pick out something my mother in law could buy me for Christmas.  It is always nice to spend other people's money at the card shop.  I took it easy on her and bought 3 ROMLB and a bobblehead for $60. 

Thursday, November 19, 2015

My Group Break Haul from Nacho

I would guess many of you have been following Chris's massive group break over at Nachos Grande.  This was the first group break I have ever been a part of and I was lucky enough to snag the Cardinals.  By reading the blog and watching the videos I knew what cards I would be getting, but Chris managed to fill up a small flat rate box with a bunch of other Cardinals that arrived earlier this week.

 I was able to finish my 2015 Topps Chrome set with the Carlos Martinez and Michael Wacha cards. 
I already had the 2015 Heritage High Numbers team set, but these cards will come in handy for in person autos. 
There were plenty of 2012 Prizm cards in the box, but I forgot to scan the Stan Musial that complete my set.
The second Panini brand included in the box break was 2012 Cooperstown.  The brown border reminds me of 1987 Topps. 
I have a few of the 2015 Stadium Club Cardinals, but have not seen any of the black and white base cards.  I guess these are for the retired players.  Great looking cards whether they are in color or black & white.

I was rather lucky with the 2014 Stadium Club box.  I still need 2 or 3 to finish my set, but these 5 base cards were a nice addition.

Chris pulled 2 Cardinals autos out of the 3 mini boxes.  I think I may have to ship him my boxes to open.
I also received 4 inserts out of the various boxes.  The Stadium Club inserts are just as nice as the base cards.  The die cuts are a nice touch.  I may have to track down a Wainwright and Molina to go along with the Heyward.
Among the many extra that Chris included were these 4 1982 Topps.  Three of them were condition upgrades to my set.

I was most excited to see these 2011 Topps Attax cards.  I had only one of these before and thought it was an insert, but now know I need just 2 more to finish the team set.  Overall a great haul for my first group break.  Big thank you to Chris for running it.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

2015 Topps Update Cardinals Team Set

My second EBAY win from last week arrived early this week in the form of a 2015 Topps Update Cardinals team set.  I have been looking for a blaster box at my local Wal-Mart since Update came out in mid October, but have either been too late or they have not stocked any yet.  The nearest Target store is located about 60 miles away, so I did not have a chance to get any of the Mega Boxes that included Update Chrome.  While buying a team set is not nearly as fun as opening packs and making trades to complete a set, it is more cost effective.  The 18 card team set cost me a little over $4 delivered.

The photos are not quite as nice as Stadium Club, bet they are a lot better than the posed shots from Heritage.  This Brandon Moss card shows him being mobbed after hitting a walk off single in early August.  I did not like the trade deadline deal the Cardinals made to get Moss in July that sent Rob Kaminsky to Cleveland.  Kaminsky is a lefty who throws in the low 90s with great control.  He should be a good #3 or 4 starter in a couple of years.  Moss hit .250 with 4 home runs for the Cardinals.  He is arbitration eligible for the third time and will most likely cost close to $8 to keep.  Matt Adams is about the same type of player at about a fourth of that cost.

Here are 2 great horizontal actions shots.  Pham finally managed to stay healthy enough to have an extended stay in the the Majors after 7 years in the minors.  He should be a very good 4th outfielder who can do a little bit of everything.  I would love for the Cardinals to resign Heyward, but not at the price I think he is going to get.  I think someone will give him 7 or 8 years pushing $22 million per year.

Update always seems to highlight All Stars.  This year it seems each team had a card depicting all their All Stars on one card.  Love the photo, but have to say those are the most ugly caps in recent memory.

It is my hope that this is the last base card I will have showing Kozma in a Cardinals uniform.  Always a great defender at short, he managed to stick around the last 3 years because of his base hit that won game 5 of the 2012 NLDS against the Nationals.  It was absurd the Cardinals kept him on the roster all year because he was out of minor league options.  If another team wanted to claim a backup infielder that hit .150 , more power to them. 

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

1988 Cardinals Smokey Bear Set

Yesterday's mail produced 3 bubble mailers and 1 flat rate box of cards.  The box contained a huge stack of Cardinals from Nacho's group break, which I will cover in another post.  One bubble mailer contained cards from a trade, while the other 2 were EBAY purchases.  One of my EBAY purchases was a 1988 Cardinals Smokey Bear set. 

From 1987-1991 the Cardinals gave away a team set featuring Smokey the Bear at certain promotional games each year.  1988 was the nicest of the five sets because it featured a full bleed photo on the front rather than a white border. 
The backs featured  player info along with a Smokey cartoon with a fire safety tip.  The 1988 set was numbered 1-25.  The 1990 set was the largest, containing 28 cards.

The Smokey cards are quite a bit larger than the standard card.  The 1989 set is 4x6, while the other 4 sets measure 3x5.  Maybe this is where Fleer got the idea for the 1994 Extra Bases set. 
One thing I love about these stadium give away sets is the selection of players.  Tom Lawless and Bob Horner do not have many Cardinals cards other than Topps base cards from the mid to late 1980s.  Jose Batista may have the most famous bat flip in recent years, but in the 1987 World Series Lawless had a memorable one.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Size Does Matter

Earlier this week I saw a blog post with a caption that read "I live my life 2.5 x 3.5 inches at a time".  As a fan of the Fast & Furious movie franchise, I loved this quote.  How awesome is it that someone can take a quote from a movie and relate it to your favorite hobby?  Of course the  2.5 x 3.5 inches refers to the size of a standard baseball card.  Earlier this week I received a trade package from Justin at Mets Cardboard that supports this quote, but also adds a footnote to it.

This was my second consecutive trade package that featured Mark McGwire.  This is a 1998 Score Complete Players insert.  There are 3 versions of this card, this one is version B.

Justin set along 5 different set hits to my team wants.  The Adron Chambers completed my 2012 Topps Heritage team set.  The Jack Clark is my first Cardinals from the 1985 Fleer Update set.

These 1971 Topps cards are in pretty good shape.  A little corner wear, but otherwise great shape for being over 40 years old.  The Cardinals were not very good during the 1970s, but did have some household names like Brock, Gibson, and Schoendienst.

Topps has a rainbow of colored parallels not only in the flagship brand, but Heritage as well. Finding colors like red sparkle, Target red, gold, Wal-Mart blue, emerald, and a Heritage black made me feel like I was opening a bag of skittles.

This 2015 Topps Pin card is the standard size, but is a lot thicker.  I will have to visit a card shop or show to find a top loader thick enough for this card. 

What, a non Cardinals card? Not really, the back says Fiore was drafted by the Cardinals so this 1989 Topps Big finishes a team set.  I guess Topps Big can be considered a cousin to 1989 Bowman since it is also slightly larger than a standard card.  It measures 2.5 x 3.75 inches.

Gypsy Queen has included several types of minis the last few years with different types of backs.  This 2014 Stan Musial is just the regular version mini  measuring 1.5 x 2.75 inches.

Pacific had some unique inserts in the late 1990s and early 2000s.  This is a 2000 Crown Royal Card Supial insert measuring 1.25 x 1.75 inches.  Very easy to misplace this card.  I guess Pacific was trying to catch up with the Topps micro fade of 1991 and 1992. 

It was very easy to work out a trade with Justin.  He uses Zistle for his wantlist and tradelist.  I do not have a Zistle account, but may have to consider one after this trade.  Thanks Justin!

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Cardinals Trade Molina for .... Pujols?

Before I started writing this blog, I enjoyed reading the blogs of other Cardinals fans like Kerry at Cards on Cards and Brady at St. Louis Cardinals Cardboard.  In a way reading their blogs inspired me to start sharing my Cardinals collection with other bloggers.  It has also giving me trading partners to swap my doubles with.  Last week I received a nice package from Brady in exchange for some Molina cards and a Ron Gant auto I sent his way. 

A six pack of Pujols cards to start things off.  The Diamond Kings cards is my favorite, wish Donruss still had an MLB license.  I do like the current version of Diamond Kings, but it is not the same without the logos.  I can say that I do not miss all the sets Fleer put out in the early 2000s.  Hot Prospects, Flair, Patchworks, Focus, Futures, Tradition are just a few of the many.

This Pujols insert is from 2007.  I like the action shot, the background not so much.

I have said it before, but I am a sucker for cards of past Cardinals.  These 2001 Topps Archives Reserve cards show 2 Hall of Famers, although Carlton is most remember for being a Philly.  The Cardinals trade of him for Rick Wise may be the worst one in their history.

Big Mac was also present in the package.  I do wish he would return to St. Louis as the hitting coach.  The Cardinals have relied on their pitching too much since he left for LA, but I guess you cannot blame a guy for wanting to be closer to his family.

The highlight of Brady's package was this 2014 Stadium Club Oscar Taveras autograph.  I believe this was one of his last certified autographs before he passed away last October.  I certainly do not condone how he took his own life as well as his girlfriend's by driving drunk.  It is hard to think about what might have been for the Cardinals most prized prospect since Pujols. 

Thanks Brady for a great trade!