Thursday, December 29, 2016

Throwback Thursday: 1987-1994

I received a great trade package yesterday from Trading Bases member Mike D. that sent me back to my early collecting days.  I opened my first pack of cards in 1985.  My mother bought a few packs of Topps for my 2 brothers, my sister, and I from the local grocery store.  Yes my sister did collect for a few years before high school.  The first Cardinals card I ever found in a pack was the Vince Coleman Record Breaker card.  From there my first player collection was born.  The first card out of the trade envelope took me back to those days.

Back in my early collecting days I thought Sportsflics were so much more cooler than Topps, Fleer, and Donruss.  I was shocked this 1987 card scanned to show Vince Coleman.  It also has Jose Cruz and Tim Raines on it.  It completed my team set.

By 1989 cards were being massed produced, but 1989 Score Traded and Pacific Legends were a couple of brands not found in every store.  The Hill finished my team set.  I do not think I would call Hrabosky a legend, but he was a colorful player who earned the nickname the Mad Hungarian. 

Mass production was in overdrive in 1993.  Upper Deck Fun Pack was not as widely found as the regular UD set, but it is just as affordable.  Fleer debuted its first premium brand with Flair.  These were nice cards with full bleed photos and a high gloss finish.  Hard Hittin Mark Whiten finished my team set.

Sportsflics was still going strong in 1994, but the cards only featured 2 images instead of 3.  Todd Zeile, Bernard Gilkey, and Ozzie Smith finish this set.

Look at the colors on the 1994 Score Traded Stan Royer.  Royer is one of 2 MLB players born in my hometown.  He completed another set for me.  UD Fun Pack also had a colorful border going on.  Flair stuck with its same design as 1993, but redid the name plate.  Perez finished that set for me. 

I have mentioned before how lacking my collection is for early Finest sets.  These 6 1994 cards brought me down to just needing the Ozzie Smith to complete it.  Great looking cards.

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Christmas Care Package

I hope everyone had a great Christmas.  It was wonderful to be surrounded by family for 2 days, but it is also nice to get back to a daily routine minus being at work.  I am on vacation on this week so I hope to put my card room back in order.  I am still sorting through the vintage cards Brady sent almost a month ago.  He also sent a smaller box last week that I need to sort.

I forgot to participate in the Secret Santa that Matt from BWTP organized, but I did join the Trading Bases exchange.  My cards arrived Wednesday of last week and did not disappoint.

Matt Adams is the only player above that I had an in person auto from.  It is nice all of these are signed in blue sharpie.  It shows up so much better than black.  The Shelby Miller is my favorite.  I may have a chance to complete the dual 2005 Topps Total card now that Randy Flores is in charge of the Cardinals scouting department.  He may make an appearance at Winter Warm Up in January.
I mentioned in previous post about how stupid I thought Topps was for having a Total Topps insert in Topps Total .  Not to be outdone, Upper Deck has a Icons insert in 2009 Icons.  It is hard to see, but it is numbered to 999.  My scanner cropped the Jon Jay Xfractor for me.  It is centered much better.
How neat was it to get 3 inserts that all showed a pitcher at varioius points in his delivery.  The Martinez Xfractor is my favorite card, but I will always have a soft spot for Rick Ankiel.  He has a book coming out next year about his struggles as a pitcher that should be an interesting read.
Upper Deck beat Topps to the punch when it came to manufactured patches.  The foil border on this  Mize card did not scan well at all.  It is from 2004 Sweet Spot Classic and is numbered to 230.  He was the original Big Cat first baseman before Andres Galarraga went by the same nickname.
It is almost January and Matt Adams is still a Cardinal.  I fear the clock is ticking though.
I was at Scott Rolen's first game at Busch Stadium as a Cardinals back in 2003.  He received a standing ovation the first 2 times he came up to bat.  He was a vital member of the mid 2000s teams who I feel was a bit underrated because of playing with Pujols and Edmonds.
Pujols also made an appearance in the trade package with this 2005 Topps Pristine jersey card numbered to 500.  It would be nice if the Angels would come to St. Louis before he retires.  I think the sting of him leaving after 2011 has worn off. 
Last but not least is this 2015 Topps Ozzie Smith bat card numbered to 25.  Ozzie celebrated his 62nd birthday yesterday.  I saw him at a card show last year and he still looks to be in great shape.  

Friday, December 23, 2016

Trade Package that Hit Me Every Which Way

One of the trade packages I received earlier this week was from Trading Bases member Ron B.  I think Ron and I have trade 4 or 5 times this year.  I sent him a handful of $2 Pirate and Yankee cards that I found at the last card show in return for about every type of Cardinals card you could imagine.

There were 2016 Topps Bunt cards that finished my team set.

2 2016 Topps Update Diaz cards that bring my needs list down to one card #2 Dean Kiekhefer.

2016 Donruss Optic are nice cards, but these 2 photos are screaming for logos.  Piscotty looks like he is wearing a high school uniform.  Still needing #61 Hazelbaker and #115 Carpenter to finish this set.

There were also base cards from 2015 and 2014 that help with team sets.  The 2014 Bowman Sterling Wong is my first from that set. 

There were plenty of inserts in the package also.  2016 Topps Chrome pink, regular, and prism refractors all look great.  The corners of the prism Rosenthal look more black in person.

2016 Donruss Optic has its own version of refractors.  The Diaz and Carpenter are Holo inserts, while the Yadi is a purple insert.  It looks pretty sweet in person.

There were plenty of Kolten Wong cards to go around including 2015 Prizm, 2015 Finest Prism Refractor, and 2014 Topps Yellow.  Pitchers are also represented with a 2016 Bowman Platinum Top Prospect Luke Weaver and a 2014 Topps Chrome Refractor Carlos Martinez.

Ron slipped in some minis also.  The Piscotty is a 2016 Ginter black border while the Gibson is the regular version.  The 2015 GQ Wong is a gray parallel numbered to 199.  The 2014 Ginter Wong mini has a A&G back that I was too lazy to scan.

The last Wong in the package was a 2014 Topps Mini relic card.  I sure hope Wong puts together a consistent year in 2017.  I would love to see .280 average, 10 home runs, and 20 steals while playing good defense at second base.

I received a sweet Piscotty auto #ed to 160 from 2016 Topps National Card Day.  It would look much better with an on card on auto, but I will not complain.

Last but not least is this well loved 1965 Topps Ron Taylor.  I have a few 1960 cards in a lot worse shape, so this was by far more than a throw in for me.

Base cards, inserts, refractors, minis, game used, auto, and vintage.  Not much more a collector could ask for.  I doubt I will be on much this weekend.  We are having about 40 people from my inlaws side of the family over for dinner on Christmas eve.  Christmas will be spent with just the immediate family until dinner when my family comes over.  Hope everyone has a wonderful Christmas!

Thursday, December 22, 2016

A New Old Cardinals Auto from EBAY

With all of the trade packages coming in that need to be scanned, sorted, and filed away, I have not paid a lot of attention to EBAY the last few weeks.  I was surfing the other night looking for a Pirates auto for a fellow collector when I found one that had free combined shipping.  The seller just happened to have a nice Cardinals auto that I needed.

Topps came up with another brand of Archives to sell this fall with the introduction of Topps Archives 65th Anniversary edition.  Like the Holiday boxes, this release is a Wal-Mart exclusive.  My local Wal-Mart never received any or was sold out before I could find them, so I was able to save my $20.  I have seen a lot of breaks with Simmons, Sandy Alomar, or Jose Vidro autos, so I am glad I could not find any.

Brady has covered some of Simmons career highlights in this post. Simmons does have a pretty decent auto for a man in his upper 80s.  I bought this card and a Kent Tekulve auto from the same set for $7 delivered. 

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Hitting the 2016 List Hard

Continuing with one of my monthly themes of knocking out some 2016 team set wants, I made a trade with Trading Bases member Mike N for a stack of Cardinals.  I sent him 3 Mets relic cards that I spent a total of $6 on at the card show in earlier December.

Only 1 more 2016 Heritage Minors left on my list, but it is the Alex Reyes SP.  At least it is not too expensive.

I also need one SP to finish Gypsy Queen, #331 Orlando Cepeda.  These do not seem to be too difficult to find. 

2016 Archives seems to be the set I can never finish.  I get 3 or 4 in, but still am not close.  Need 3 more to complete it after this trade.

These 5 Heritage High Numbers put a good dent in my needs.  I am down to need 2 cards, but there are the SP rookies of Aledmys Diaz and  Seung hwan Oh.

Panini did a fine job with 2016 Diamond Kings.  It is my second favorite set behind Stadium Club.  I do need one more to finish this set, but #20 Stan Musial is not an SP.

Topps should be ashamed about the confusion with 2016 Bowman.  From what I understand there are different cards in the vending boxes that in standard packs.  These 2 are from a standard pack or what I think is a hobby pack.

These 4 are from the vending boxes.  To add to the confusion, some players like Piscotty have cards in both.  I think I need 1 card from the hobby packs and 3 from the vending boxes, but who knows.

I did get some cards from 2015 like these 4 Bowman Draft cards that brought my needs down to one card. 

I have never seen these cards before.  They are 2015 Platinum 1st Edition cards that appear to be some type of game card like the old Donruss Top of the Order cards. 

Last but not least is a sweet David Freese relic card.  Even though he plays for the division rival Pirates, he still get a huge welcome in St. Louis.  Winning a World Series MVP will do that for you.

Monday, December 19, 2016

1970s Topps cards from Brady.

Getting back to the highlights of Brady's priority box he sent me after Thanksgiving.  I had all the base cards sorting into decades and ready to show them off, but filed away everything from 1980 to the present before scanning them.  Lots of great cards, but you will have to take my word on it.  I did remember to scan the cards from the 1970s.  I chose to showcase one card from each year.

1970 Topps was about as plain and simple as you can get.  No over the top design or clouds, just a gray border, picture, and name.  I wish Topps would include team cards like this again. 

Red Schoendienst manged the Cardinals 3 different times.   He had one year tenures in 1980 and 1990 but is most remembered for his 1965-1976 run.  If you look close you can see you signed Al on this 1971 card.  His full name is Albert Fred Schoendienst.  I think I would go by Red also.

1972 Topps brought a little more color to the table.  I am not a huge fan of the yellow and blue border, but at least they tried something different.  Maxvill was a no hit, good glove shortstop who would also serve as Cardinals GM for almost 10 years. 

I am not sure what you want to call the small player silhouette in the lower left hand corner of 1973 Topps.  It looks like a shadow in front of a big orange sun to me.  Please show me any MLB catcher who used that form with the glove open to the sky.  I guess Simmons is showing that technique on the card, but I doubt he used it in a game.  Simmons was a very underrated player for the Cardinals because the team was pretty bad during the 70s and Johnny Bench was winning World Series with the Reds.

Who doesn't love blowing bubbles while you are playing ball.  Ken "Zamboni" Reitz looks ready to pounce on a grounder on this 1974 Topps card.  He would be the last National League player to win a Gold Glove at third base in 1975 before Mike Schmidt would win 9 straight. 

1975 brought along the birth of the Topps mini.  I have 2 versions of the regular card, one with the yellow bottom and another with an orange bottom like the mini.  Not for sure if that is something Topps meant to do or if it is just a printing variation. 

1976 Topps took out the sun and shadow and replaced it with a player profile.  I like this much better.  That is a young Keith Hernandez rocking the mullet.  Years later he would trade it in for his signature moustache.

There is so much to love about the this 1977 Topps Ted Simmons photo.  Some Cardinals fans do not like the baby blue uniforms, but I do.  You can also see the pill box style cap inside Simmons' mask.  Wish I knew what the patch on his sleeve was for.

I am guessing the Bob Forsch 1978 Topps photo was taken during spring training.  The empty stadium is a good sign the photo was not taken at Busch Stadium  Forsch would throw the first of his 2 no hitters in 1978.  He and his brother Ken are the only brothers to both throw no hitters.

Last but not least is 1979 Topps.  I wonder where the rest of the logo went on Brock's helmet.  Brock retired after the 1979 season as the all time stolen bases leader.  He would also collect his 3,000 hit that year and be named Comeback Player of the Year.

I received many more 1970s cards from Brady.  While I did not need all of them, a lot of them were condition upgrades to what I had.  He must have a lot of mint 1970s cards in his collection because what he sent me were almost perfect.

Friday, December 16, 2016

A Little Color in My Latest 2016 Trade Package

I have been making some good progress with my 2016 teams sets this month.  Whether it be from a card show or some trades, I have knocked off quite a few of the pesky commons that seem to haunt me.  My latest trade package from a member of The Bench also included some nice inserts.

I agree with the majority of the collecting world that 2016 Chrome looks much better than Topps flagship.  The colored borders make them even better, although pink is not a color I usually associate with cards.  On the other end of the rainbow is a black refractor from 2016 Bowman Chrome. 

I did received 3 hits to non 2016 team sets.  I am very lacking in early 1990 Finest Cardinals.  I see a commons going for 50 cents on up at shows and just hate to pay that. The 1994 Finest design is one of my favorites.  The green border just reminds me of a ball diamond. 

These are my first 2016 Gold Label cards.  I am just missing Piscotty to finish the set, although I am not chasing all the class variations.  I was  disappointed to see Topps did not use the same thick card stock that they did in the late 1990s.

2016 Stadium Club = great photography.  Enough said.

I almost bought a box of 2016 Heritage Minors at the card show earlier this month for $40, but decided on some bobbleheads instead.  This is one of my favorite sets each year.  The cards have a nice simple design and are great for getting in person autographs.

Hazelbaker started out on fire the first month of 2016, but came back down to Earth before summer hit.  He still was a good pinch hitter and defensive substitution.  The Diamondbacks claimed him off waivers earlier the offseason. 

 These are my first 2016 Topps Update cards.  Still have 3 more to go.
These are my favorite shots from Update.  I am not for sure when the Diaz photo was taken, but I am guessing either after hitting his first home run or after his first game back following Jose Fernandez's death.  Despite Diaz's good season, Oh would be my choice for Cardinals rookie of the year.  He took over the closer's role and did a fine job.  It never gets old seeing the arch in the background while a Cardinal's player rounds the bases after a home run.  The Moss card also captured some lucky fan on the big screen.  Does that make it a rookie card?