Thursday, September 28, 2017

Golden Trade

Baseball season is all but over as far as the Cardinals are concerned.  I hope the site of watching another team celebrate at Busch Stadium will stick with them through the offseason.  Losing is terrible to start with, but seeing the Cubs clinch in St. Louis was rubbing salt in the wounds.

Moving on to something more positive, I struck gold in a trade package from TCDB member Hundomatic.
One of the few bright spots this year has been Molina.  He has a career high 82 rbis to go along with 18 homeruns and a .273 average.  His caught stealing percentage has also rebounded nicely from a bad 2016 season.

These 2016 Topps Gold cards feature 2 former Cardinals in Mike Leake and Matt Adams.  Both have played well since leaving St. Louis.  The team leader card features former Cardinals Matt Holiday.  It would not be shocking to see Piscotty become a former Cardinal before spring training.

Poor Zack Duke has been playing since 2005 and has yet to play in the postseason.  Barring a major  miracle, he will have most of October of again this year.

I do not recall McGwire having such a crouch in his batting stance.  Maybe he is getting out of the way of an inside pitch.

You would think that someone who hates minis would not like oversized cards either, but I have no problem with these 1985 Donruss Action All Star cards.  Maybe it is the powder blue uniforms and old style batting helmets that make them more attractive.

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Mac Attack

I was able to sit down last night and watch some of the Cardinal/Cub game.  A part of me knows there is a very good chance the Cubs will clinch the division in St. Louis.  I watched the game anyway and was surprised the Cardinals jumped to an early lead.  I was not surprised that they almost blew a big lead in the late innings.  The Cards used 4 home runs to score their 8 runs.  One of those was a Tommy Pham moon shot that landed in Big Mac Land.  That home run reminded me I needed to scan in some cards I received in a trade last week from TCDB member madams30.

Upper Deck went crazy producing hundreds of McGwire cards in 1999 and 2000.  These Mark on History inserts from 1999 UD Challengers for 70 are part of a 25 card set highlighting various home runs from the 1998 season.  I think I have about half of them now.

Some McGwire inserts are better than others.  The 1999 Skybox Premium Live Bats is nothing special, but the 1997 Upper Deck Star Attractions die cut card is pretty nice. 

I liked UD Victory sets back in the day.  It was cheap set and would feature some lesser known players like Super Joe McEwing.  Of course you would still get multiple McGwire base cards, but I guess that just means there are more cards to chase down.

Moving on from the McGwire cards, these 1985 Fleer Star Stickers are the first in my collection.  It would be nice to have a name on the front instead of the number, but overall they are not bad. 

The Cardinals had some bade teams in the early 1990s.  The Smith boys were about the only highlights for me outside of Ray Lankford. 

Speaking of Lankford, I received two in the trade.  The 1994 Score Gold Rush is in mint condition, where the one I had has a bad corner.  Somehow I was missing the 2000 Pacific Crown Collection card.  It pays to check your have list ever now and then.

1998 Pacific had some sharp photography.  I love the throwback uniform on the Royce Clayton card.  The nameplate is a little too busy, and the logo could be somewhere else, but overall I like the design.

I do not like 1998 Pacific Online.  Way too busy of a card with all the text at the top.  It is just an ugly card plain and simple.

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

One of My Favorite Trades

Last week I worked out a trade with The Bench member Hendu29 that featured nothing but Cardinals going in both directions.  I sent him a stack of former Cardinals star Albert Pujols cards that were sitting in my doubles box.  He sent me some colorful cards of hopeful future Cardinals stars.

Jacob Wilson's chances of having a bright future with the Cardinals are slim.  He has been in the minors since 2012 with only 2 partial seasons in Triple A.  He spent most of this year in Double A, but was promoted to Memphis in time to play in the Triple A playoffs.  He has always been a favorite of mine since watching him play for the Peoria Chiefs in 2013.

Carson Kelly's minor league days should be over.  I look for him to be the backup catcher next year.  He should get a lot of playing time this week with Yadi Molina being out with a possible concussion and the Cardinals being all but out of the playoffs.

I have high hopes for Reyes next year.  I am not sure he will be a full time starter coming back from his TJ surgery, but he could still make an impact in the bullpen.  With Trevor Rosenthal expected to miss the 2018 season with his own TJ surgery, Reyes may slide into the closer's role.

The bulk of the trade were these Jack Flaherty cards.  He was a stud in Double and Triple A this year.  He had so so results in his 3 starts in St. Louis before being moved to the bullpen.  His rotation spot for next year depends on Lance Lynn's free agency and Adam Wainwright's health.  He will be 22 next year, so I would bet the Cardinals will keep a very close eye on his innings.     

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