Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Rookies and a Couple of Chefs

After a run of trades coming in PWEs, I received a padded envelope on Monday from TCDB member Setshot68.  This one contained some nice late 1980s cards that I had not seen before.

I think Topps inserted these 1987 Glossy Rookies into rack packs, but am not 100% sure.  Todd Worrell was a logical choice as he won Rookie of the Year, but John Morris?  He played all of 39 games in 1986 and batted less than .250.

Magrane was the lone Cardinal in the 1988 set.  He was a decent pitcher for some bad teams in the late 1980s.  He even won an ERA title in 1988. Mathews was also a member of that same rotation, but was only a .500 pitcher.  That was enough for Score to include him in the 1988 Young Superstars set.

I always thought Chef Boyardee came in a can, but these cards appear to be cut from a box.  Nothing fancy hear, but I still love the food issue cards.

The lone modern card was this 2017 Heritage Wacha.  I am down to needing any version of the Carlos Martinez card to finish the team set.

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

2 PWE Mail Day

I received two more trades yesterday from TCDB members that arrived in PWEs.  These were both packaged a lot better than the one I received over the weekend. 

Member colonel98801 sent a 4 pack of 1990s set needs.  My favorite is the 1995 Select Certified Bernard Gilkey that completed a team set.  This member cut an old 9 pocket page down to one row, then taped it to a piece of cardboard while taping the top shut. 

I have traded with member wackydog before as he is also a member of Trading Bases.  He sent 3 cards in his pwe that were placed in a sleeve, tape inside a card saver, then taped to a piece of cardboard.  This 1982 Kellogs is in great shape and finished my team set.

1980s oddball cards are right up my ally.  I believe this is my first Burger King card.  Not the most well done without logos and an extreme close up of Mr. McGee, but I will take it.

The last of the 3 cards was this 2001 Topps Archives.  I wish the current version would feature some lesser known players.  It would be fun to see a new Bo Hart or Joe McEwing card, although I doubt too many collectors would be thrilled to pull one other than the Cardinals fans. 

Monday, January 29, 2018

Got Lucky With This Trade

Every know and then I get a trade package where I wonder what was the other person thinking when they packaged the cards.  I received a PWE over the weekend with 7 cards in it.  I had no problem with the cards being shipped in a PWE, as the total value was less than $10.  All the cards were in penny sleeves.  That's it.  No top loaders, no flimsy card savers, nothing secured together.  Just 7 penny sleeves wrapped in a piece of paper with no writing on it.   At least nothing was damaged.

Panini did not do too bad with 2017 Chronicles set.  I have seen better, but I have also seen a lot worse.  I do like the idea highlighting a certain game or stretch of games.

2018 could be Wainwright's last season as a Cardinal.  I hope not, but injuries have really taken a toll on him the last few years.  He still has a nice curve, but only being able to throw in the upper 80s will only get you so far.

I hope Waino can retire a Cardinals just like Ozzie and Musial.  He is not a Hall of Fame candidate, but he did win 2 World Series and has done a lot of charitable work.  Great player, even better person.

This is my first 2017 Topps Gold Label card.  I did not notice the font on the left side until I scanned the card.  If you look very hard you might see the team name and what class the card is.  Maybe Topps can improve on this for 2018. 


Wednesday, January 24, 2018

I Feel a Draft

My latest trade envelope arrived yesterday from TCDB member Bertons doubles.  He helped knock out a 2017 team set.

There were only 5 Cardinals in the 2017 Bowman Draft set.  I already had the Delvin Perez card.  Carlson was a #1 pick in 2016, while the other 3 players were drafted in 2017.  Hurst was in the 3rd round, Robertson in the 4th, and Kirtley in the 5th.  The Cardinals lost their first 2 picks because of the computer hacking scandal involving the Astros.  Hurst was their first pick at #94.  All 4 of these guys could start the year at low A Peoria.  Carlson spent all of last year there, but is still young and could use more time.  Robertson spent the last two months there, but is also young.  Kirtley and Hurst played short season ball after being drafted, but should be moved up early in the season.  Robertson is somewhat famous because his mom Kim Mulvey is the women's basketball coach at Baylor.

The non draft part of the trade was this 1996 Pacific Prisms Team Logo insert.  I would have guessed it was from the regular Pacific Crown Collection set, but I was wrong.


Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Two for Tuesday

Yesterday's mail brought one trade package that contained 2 cards.  This trade was with TCDB member mycardboardhabit. 

I have a lot better luck tracking down Gypsy Queen SPs than Heritage SPs.  I assume this means the GQ ones are not as rare.  At any rate Ozzie knocked my 2017 team set needs to one card.  Any have an #37 Alex Reyes card to trade?

Topps Opening Day parallels are usually numbered, but this blue foil from 2017 is not.  Weaver stands to be the #4 or #5 starter to begin the season.  I hope he can last a full season.  When we saw him at WWU last week, he had put on about 15 pounds, but still looked like he weighed about 175.     

Monday, January 22, 2018

First EBAY Win of 2018

My first EBAY win of 2018 arrived over the weekend.  Nothing high end or too exciting, but it is a new Cardinals auto for me.

Kirtley was the Cardinals 5th round selection in 2017.  He played some short season ball at State College to finish 2017.  He should see some time at low A Peoria this year.  This 2017 Bowman Draft refractor only cost me 26 cents after I used some EBAY bucks. 

Friday, January 19, 2018

2 Carlos and some Red

After my last 2 posts have been rather long, this one will be short and sweet.  Before I left for the WWU, I had one trade envelope arrive on Saturday from TCDB member SaveDaKid.  It was a nice small trade that brought some colored parllels.

Target red parallel cards go great with the Cardinals uniform.  These 3 are from 2013.

Wal-Mart blue parallels do not look bad either, but I prefer blue refractors a little better.  The bottom Beltran card is from 2012 Update while the top on is a 2013 Heritage insert.

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Cardinals Winter Warm Up Day 2

Despite a light dusting of snow around St. Louis, my son and I had no problem getting back to the WWU for its final day on Monday.  This time it was only a 20 minute drive from our hotel.  We arrived about 8:30 to join the crowd of 100 people or so that were waiting in the lobby of the Hyatt Regency until the doors to the second floor opened at 9:00.  Either the clocks were fast or the people in charge felt sorry for us because we got in about 10 minutes early.  That was helpful considering we had a busier day than Sunday and 2 less hours to get things done.  WWU hours are from 9-5 on Saturday and Sunday, but only 9-3 on Monday.

The schedule shows that Monday is slowest day, but not for us.  We had autograph tickets for 12 different players, compared to 7 on Sunday. 

Andrew Knizner made to Double A in his first season.  Notice his name is misspelled on the top card.  The bottom poster was given out at a Peoria Chiefs game last year on a autograph Sunday.  Knizner was in Sprinfield already, so he was the only one we needed to complete it.  We got to of these signed.  His auto was $5 each.

  Costello was a freebie who I am running out of cards for him to sign. 

Mabry was also free.

This was my first time getting Politte at the WWU even though he is a regular.  His auto was free.

The Benes brothers are also regular WWU signers who are free.  Both are two of the nicest guys there.

Last year was the first time team officials signed autos.  I got team owner Bill Dewitt II on this 2011 World Series ball last year.  This year I added his son team president Bill Dewitt III.  Next year I hope to add former GM John Mozeliak.  Dewitt was a freebie.

Brad Thompson does some work for Fox Sports Midwest's coverage of Cardinals games.  He is a regular that was free.

Robinson works in the Cardinals scouting department.  He was our last free auto of the day.

Jack Flaherty was my first auto of the day.  His auto was $10 each.  All the paid signers had a limit of 3 tickets except for Molina who was one per.  I had four things to get signed, so I bought another ticket off of Craigslist for $15.

Like Dejong and Bader the day before, I had his sign a ticket from his debut game.

 Flaherty did not fair so well in the 2017 Futures game, giving up 2 runs in one inning. 

During our trip to see the Springfield Cardinals last year, Flaherty was one of the pregame signers.  My kids love hanging these type of pictures in their bedrooms. 

Our next autographs are my favorites.  I attended my first WWU in 2010 to meet Ray Lankford for the first time.  He was also there in 2012, but not on a day I attended.  I was not going to miss him this time.  His auto was $10 each.

Lankford was scheduled to sign for 2 hours.  We met him with about 10 minutes left and 30-40 people still in line, so he did not take the time to add any inscriptions.  It was still nice to get his debut ticket signed.  He was surprised anyone would save something like this.

I have had this game used bat for a few years now.  The auto really stands out a lot better in person.

The Cardinals team store had some used helmets for $20 each.  I was lucky to snag one on Sunday morning.  They were all sold out by Sunday afternoon.  There is not MLB hologram to tell who used this helmet.  It may have only been a BP helmet, but it was for a lefthander like Lankford and for only $20 it will look good on my display shelf.

Our last autograph of the day was Matt Carpenter.  I had bought this Topps 10x14 during 2016 Black Friday with the intent of having Carp sign it last year, but he did not make it to the WWU in 2017 because of an ice storm.  I had to store this for a year, but one positive is his auto was $60 this year instead of $75 like last year.

Besides the helmet, I also bought a 2017 Springfield Cardinals team set for $5.
That was it besides a $2 tshirt for my son and a $15 hoody for my daughter.  There were other free items besides autographs.

Fox Sports always has a booth where you can take a virtual picture behind a studio desk.  They also passed out these cards.  I grabbed a few of each for some other Cardinals collectors, but I bet I saw more of the Rosenthal cards in trash cans than people actually took home.

My son came away with a ton of free things.  I have mentioned before about the kids room.  They have inflatable games like football and baseball toss, a few XBOX games to play, and a stage that the local science museum uses to put on some demostrations.  There is also have a give away table were they hand out various promotional items from previous years.  We had plenty of time to spend in the kids room since we were always the last group to get in the autograph lines.  Over the course of his 2 days, my son came away with all of this:

I had to stand on a chair just to get this all in one picture.  He came away with the following:

2018 WWU drawstring bag
Cardinals ball glove (too small for him to use, but not terrible quality)
Carlos Martinez youth jersey
Cardinals T shirt
Cardinals wiffle ball bat and ball
Poster featuring Dexter Fowler and Greg Garcia
David Eckstein SGA Bobblehead from 2016
4 Manager Mystery SGA Bobblehead from 2017.  These were given out out a game to fans 16 and older.  This set of four includes Red Schoendienst, Whitey Herzog, Joe Torre, and Tony LaRussa.  He got 2 Schoendienst, a Herzog, and a Torre.  I hope to trade the extra Schoendienst for a Laruss so he can have the full set.

It was a great trip that we will do again next year.  This was by far the least crowded of the 8 years I have went.  I think several things contributed to this: the Cardinals not making the playoffs for 2 years, a lot of the same alumuni guys signing free autographs year after year, and overcharging for some of the more popular players.  LaRussa signed at a show on Saturday for $50.  He was $75 at the WWU.  I know it all goes to charity, but people have their limits.  Some other prices I thought were out of line were Wacha for $50, Reyes for $50, and new Cardinals Marcell Ozuna for $100.  One of the workers said Ozuna only sold 150 of his 400 autos.  

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Cardinals Winter Warm Up Day 1

The weather improved from Friday to Sunday morning enough that my son and I were able to make the 2 hour drive to St. Louis for the Cardinals Winter Warm Up (WWU).  This is my 8th straight year going, and the third in a row that it has been just a guys weekend.  My daughter is not a fan of standing in lines, so my wife treated her to a shopping trip. 


We arrived shortly after the doors opened at 9:00.  One of my in-laws usually gets my passes as a Christmas present.  This year's pass was just a plain ticket, while all the previous years I went it was a nicer placard with some players photos on it.  Another change for this year were autograph tickets were mailed if they were bought before January 4th.  This eliminated a stop at the will call window that would take 30 minutes, so that was a nice plus just to be able to walk right in.

The autograph tickets used last year's game ticket design.  This has been common for the 8 years I have attended.  Before you get the player/alumni's signature, you go through four steps:  show your ticket to get in line, show it again to someone who is keeping track of the number of autos, have your ticket scanned, and then have it hole punched.  In my previous 7 years, the tickets were numbered and you lined up accordingly.  This year they changed to alphabetical order.  Having a last name that begins with S meant we would be in the back of the lines every time.  The players sign for one or two hours, so we would wait until the last 20-30 minutes to get in line.   

The programs are the same ever year.  There is short welcome by one of the team's front office members, then a a schedule of the 3 day's worth of signers and auctions.  There is also a map of the vendor area and a list of the presentations throughout the day.

Here is the Sunday schedule.  Our two days were filled with autograph lines, roaming the vendor area, and spending time in the children's play area.  The only presentation I have ever attended is by the minor league director, but this year it was on Saturday.  My son finds these talks boring and even fell asleep during one last year, so I decided to skip them.  Knowing he would have a lot of time in line, I chose to pick my battles. 

Here are the items we got autographed from Sunday in the order we got them.

Danny Cox is always one of the free signers at WWU.  I am slowly running out of different cards for him to sign.

Kyle McClellan was also a free signer.

Scott Terry was also free.

Harrison Bader had a $10 fee.  I had him sign a ticket from his debut game.  One nice thing about getting autos at WWU is most players do not mind adding inscriptions.  I was able to get the ticket for free from a friend who attended the game. 

Todd Worrell was also a free signer.  When tickets went on sale back on December 11, you could only get 2 each for the free signers.  I was hoping to find someone who had an extra ticket, but I could not.  Todd was nice enough to sign all 3 cards anyway. 

I spent $30 for Paul DeJong to sign his debut ticket.  My brother attended this game where DeJong homered on the first pitch he swung at.  He has changed his auto from his first certified cards to this fuller signature. 

Luke Weaver's auto was $25.  I bought this 10x14 reprint of his 2017 Topps Heritage card from the Topps website on Black Friday.  I was hoping to add Reyes to it at the WWU, but he signed on Saturday.  I also was not willing to pay $50 for his auto when his past signings were in the $30 range. 

By the time we got finished with Weaver, it was almost 5:00 closing time.  This was our light day as far as autos were concerned.  Other than Weaver, we did not stand in line for more than 15 minutes.  I cannot say any player stood out more than another.  All of them were polite, but there is little time for chit chat.  If all the player's tickets are sold, they sign 200 autos for 1 hour or 400 for two hours.  That is about 3 autos per minute.  Every player we got an auto from sold out.  I will say the younger guys were more talkative than I thought.  Bader, DeJong, and Weaver all asked my son something about his Little League season.