Friday, March 30, 2018

Nice Stack of Heritage

Another trade envelope arrived yesterday from TCDB member La Loosh.  This is my second trade with him in the last few months.  The first time I sent him a big stack of 2005 Donruss in exchange for a handful of Cardinals.  He said he would repay the favor in a future trade, which he did with this one.  I only had a few 2002 Fleer Tradition cards for him, but he sent a nice stack of mostly 2018 Cardinals my way.

The only card not from 2018 was this 2016 Topps Bunt Program insert of Adam Wainwright.  He is going to miss 2 or 3 starts because he strained a hamstring while running sprints.  If I was a 35+ year old starting pitcher with an injury history I do not think I would be running a lot of sprints.

These 2 are my first 2018 Donruss cards.  Although there are some shortprints and variations in the team set, it should not be to hard to finish.  I always think about the Andy Van Slyke rookie card when I see the 1984 design.

I was able to knock out a big chunk of the 2018 Heritage team set including cards of 2 former outfielders along with 2 current starters.

This is my first Ozuna card in a Cardinals uniform.  I have seen worse airbrush jobs.

In my opinion these 3 cards show the past, present, and future aces of the Cardinals starting pitchers, although Martinez did not pitch like one yesterday.  Weaver may have some competition when Alex Reyes returns.

I would not count out Flaherty as a possible ace.  He may not throw as hard as some of the others starters, but still can touch 95 and throws 5 different pitches.  He is taking Wainwright's spot in the rotation for now. 

Thursday, March 29, 2018

Not A Good Start

Well the Cardinals laid a big egg today in their first game against the Mets.  Carlos Martinez was anything but the ace Cardinals fans want him to be.  He did not make it out of the 5th inning, giving up 6 walks and 5 runs.  The bullpen followed his lead with another 3 walks and 4 runs.  Mets pitchers on the other hand only walked 1 and stuck out 15 batters.  The only bright spots were Yadier Molina and Jose Martinez who each hit a home run and drove in 2.

It was nice to come home after work and find a trade package to brighten my spirits.  This one came from TCDB member brianscards.

I was surprised Topps did not bring back the First Pitch insert in 2018.  It was a nice change of pace from some of the inserts.  Maybe next year they can bring it back with autographed versions.

I do like the 2017 base cards without borders, but it does make it more difficult to spot the Gold parallels.  Voit will start the year in Triple A Memphis waiting for Matt Carpenter or Jose Martinez to pull something.  Wong started today and struck out twice in his 3 at bats.  Some people believe he will break out and have an All Star season.  I am not so sure he is that level.  I would be happy with an everyday guy who hits .280-.290 with 25 stolen bases that also plays good defense.

 The back of the Martinez 1983 insert mentions his first start from last year where he struck out 10 with no walks.  What a difference a year makes.  Weaver will get his first start on Sunday.  I have hopes he can have a 15 win season if he stays healthy.   

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Has it Been Almost 3 Weeks?

I knew it had been a little while since I completed a trade on TCDB, but did not realize it was almost 3 weeks.  That is surprising considering the number of new releases that came out in March.  I should have a steady flow of mail coming in the next few days.  The first of which arrived yesterday from member irish77.

Always fun to get stickers in a trade package.  This Ozzie is from the 1983 Fleer Star Stickers set.

I did not scan the front of the 1991 Topps Ken Hill and Milt  Thompson cards because everyone has seen a ton of those over the years.  Instead I will show the back of these 2 to point out the dark logo variation compared to the other Thompson card.  I did not know these even existed until a few months ago. 

Being a big minor league guy, you would think I would have some Razor cards in my collection, but these 2 2008 cards are my first.  Wallace has a place in Cardinals history as being a part of the Matt Holliday trade.  To my knowledge Vazquez never got above Double A and has been bouncing around Independent ball.

My first taste of 2018 Heritage brought these 2 cards.  I do not think of yellow as being a primary color of cards, but it is not too bad.  The team name would look better in red, but I understand Topps wanting to follow the 1969 design.   

Monday, March 26, 2018

Better Than A Blaster: Sportlots Edition

With all the new card brands that have been released recently, I had an itch to open up some packs last week.  I had a Visa gift card from Christmas with about $15 left on it, so off to the local Wal-Mart I went.  I knew there was little chance of finding any 2018 Gypsy Queen cards, but I was hopeful for some Heritage or even Opening Day.  No such luck though, as the only 2018 baseball left on the shelves was Series 1. 

Feeling a little discouraged, I headed home with thoughts of hopping on EBAY to find something nice.  On the drive home, I decided to instead knock off some set wants and surf Sportlots.  I know a lot of collectors do not like to use Sportlots because of having to pay multiple shipping fees, but I always make sure to buy from one seller.  This time I chose seller cogrinch.  I have purchased cards from him twice before with good luck.  He has over 78,000 baseball cards listed with very reasonable shipping rates.  I was able to find a ton of set needs going all the way back to 1995.

The oldest cards are from 1995.  The Ken Hill finished my Finest set, while the 2 other cards started my Panini set.

The lone card from 1996  this Topps Chrome.  It is hard to find Topps Chrome from the 1990s for trade, or at card shows.  Maybe the cards being 20 years old explains that.

I also need a ton of Chrome from 1997, Topps more so than Bowman.  I need one more Bowman, but a ton more Topps Chrome.  Maybe I can find another seller with most of them.

I was able to finish my 1998 Bowman Chrome set.  Just like the 1997 set, I need a ton of the 1998 Topps Chrome cards.

Finishing out the 1990s with more Chrome.

2000 started a new decade of needing more Topps Chrome cards.

There are quite a few 2001 team sets that I will most likely not complete due to the Pujols rookie card.  Bowman Heritage is one of them.

I love the Topps Archives sets from the early 2000s.  Topps did a nice job including some lesser know players and managers.  I remember opening some packs of 2001 Topps Heritage and thinking this brand would not make it.  Boy was I wrong.

I finished the 2001 Heritage set with the 6 cards from this order.  The blue background is by far better than the burnt orange background.  Maybe the set designer was an Illini fan.

2002 Archives loved Red Schoendienst so much that he got a card as a player and a manager.    

My first Finest card from the package finished my 2002 set.

I was not as lucky to finish my 2002 Heritage set.  I still need 3 SPs, one of them being Pujols.

I kept the Heritage theme for 2003 to go along with Bowman Chrome.  I only need Chris Duncan to finish the Heritage set, but it is a dreaded SP.  I will not pay $5 for a Chris Duncan card, so this set may never get finished.

I did not find very many 2004 or 2005 cards that I needed.  I always think of 2004 Bowman Heritage as the TV set. 

2008 Heritage is the bulls eye set.  This one has a ton of Cardinals SP cards.  I need 6 to finish the set.

2010 Heritage was not as bad as 2008, but the 2 SPs I need are both Pujols cards.  It is always nice to find base cards for premium brands like Tribute and Museum Collection.  This one is from 2012.

I can look past the lack of logos if the set is a cool one like 2013 Panini Hometown Heroes.  Panini also included some shortprints in the base set, as Miller has another card that is an SP.

The black and white photos make the lack of logos less noticeable on these 2014 Panini Classics cards.  It is nice seeing players from the 1920s and 1930s like Medwick and Bottomley being included in recent issues.

The Kaminsky card finished my 2015 Heritage Minors set.  If I ever break another hobby box, Heritage Minors would be a strong canidate.  Although 2015 Elite Extra Edition is also a minor league issue, I do not like it nearly as well.  The Rosenthal is a 2014 Archives card.  I still need 2 more cards to finish this set.

The last cards in the package were from 2017.  I usually try to trade for recent cards before I buy them, but Finest and Heritage Minors are 2 sets that I do not come across very often.

To sum up the order, I paid $14.95 for 64 cards.  That included a $3.50 fee for shipping in a padded envelope with 2 nice snap cases.  I also earned $0.64 store credit from this seller for a future order.  I would say this was a lot better than any blaster I would have found.   


Monday, March 19, 2018

Fine Cards from The Collector

Earlier this month I posted about some SI for Kids cards that I had which needed new homes.  Chris from The Collector was the first to claim a handful of them.  I was not looking for anything in return, but being the great guy that he is Chris sent some return fire.

I never considered Flair cards to be junk wax even though they were produced in that era.  These 1994 cards are very sharp.  Even though I already had them, I will use them for autographed purposes. 

You never really see 1997 Donruss Pennant Edition cards for trade much.  I had the Lankford in my player collection, but both of these are new to my team collection.

I love receiving Finest cards.  I needed 6 of these 8 1997 Finest cards.  The other 2 I will peel the film off and start another team set.

Thanks for the great cards Chris, and if anyone needs/wants the SI cards I still have a big stack of them.

Friday, March 9, 2018

Some 2018 Firsts

Not for sure if firsts is word, but I am going with it.  I had a very nice package arrive from Trading Bases member Rick C yesterday.  I was able to swap some double of Topps and Stadium Club Cardinals for a nice batch of Cardinals inserts I needed.

The scan does not show it well, but the top card is my first 2018 Rainbow Foil card.  Flaherty may not start the year in St. Louis, but I would bet he will finish the year in the starting 5. 

The Carpenter is my first 1983 insert.  He has not appeared in a spring training game yet due to a bad back.  He was slated to play all over the infield this year, but now seems destined to be the regular first baseman.  I like him, but he may be better served as a DH.

This trio of Bader cards features my first 2018 Gold and Silver Pack cards.  The Salute card along with the other 2 I received in the package finished the team set.  Bader should make the opening day roster as the 4th outfielder.  He has some speed and power to go along with good defense in centerfield.  If Tommy Pham or Dexter Fowler get hurt, he will see a lot of playing time.

I also received some Rainbow Foil cards from 2017 and one from 2016.  Grichuk and Oh are now part of Cardinals North better known as the Toronto Blue Jays. 

Rounding out the package are a couple of gold cards.  The Grichuk 2017 Stadium Club gold foil is a nice shot taken at Wrigley Field.  He should not have to worry about losing too many fly balls in the sun this year since over half of his games will be in a dome.     

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Weekend Package #3 and a PWE Tale

The third trade package that arrived over the weekend was a PWE from TCDB member AnalogKid.  Only 2 cards in this one, but since I did not open any 2018 Topps I gladly made the trade.

I touched on the Salute design in yesterday's post.  The Opening Day insert is not bad, but I think it would be better with out the building block effect.  This is the blue color variation.  Topps over did it with the insert variations this year.

These cards arrived safe and sound in the PWE.  We agreed to both send our end of the trade this way since 2 card were going both ways.  When I send out cards in a PWE, I put them in a top loader and tape it to a thin piece of cardboard cut from a cereal box.  I then put 2 stamps on the envelope to account for a non machine rate and tape the envelope shut.  This has been my method for several years without any problems.  I had 2 such envelopes come back last week with $3 postage due marked on each one.  Upon visiting the post office the next day, a not so pleasant worker informed me the envelopes were considered packages since they were not flexible enough.  She then tried to charge me the $6 due.  I told her to forget it because I could mail a package for $2.66 through Paypal and not waste my time at the post office.  She was not overly happy to hear that.  Long story short, I was able to use the stamps on new envelopes with just a top loader in them. 

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Weekend Package #2

My second package from last weekend came from TCDB member mheilenman.  This is my second trade with him since the new year.  Both have brought a nice assortment of Cardinals.

Only 2 more 2017 Topps Chrome needed to complete the team set.  Maybe I will knock this one out before the 2018 version come out.

The Martinez finished my 2017 Heritage High Numbers set, while the dual rookie just leaves me the Alex Reyes photo variation to finish the regular set.

I like the clean look of the Spring Fever set.  Nothing over the top, just a simple design with the player name and team logo.  The 2018 Superstar Sensations insert is a different story.  Too much going on in the background for me.  It reminds me of a Fleer Provisions or Metal Universe card.

Topps did a better job with the 2018 Salute inserts.  The Fowler is a unique shot coming out of the dugout on Jackie Robinson day.  The Wainwright finished my 2013 Finest set.  His first spring outing was nothing great with 3 walks in 2 innings, but at least he did not give up a run. 

It still hurts to think the Cardinals traded Shelby Miller for one season of Jason Heyward and two injury filled seasons of Jordan Walden.  At least they did not get stuck with Heyward's bad contract.  I love the Coleman picture on the 2014 Topps Archives 87 All Stars insert.  It looks to be from his rookie season when he stole over 100 bases.  You don't see too many players wearing the double ear flap helmet anymore. 

Monday, March 5, 2018

Back At It

It has been almost 2 weeks since I had a trade package come in, but that is about to change.  I managed to make 4 trades on TCDB last week, with 3 of them arriving over the weekend.   The first one came from member colonel98801. 
Pacific had a ton of sets in the early 2000s, but they offered nice photos and some had large checklist.  The Drew is a photo variation.  Bottalico's days as a good reliever were finished by the time he was a Cardinal.  The Cardinals always seem to have a love affair with former closers who are trying to make a rebound.  This year is no different with Jason Motte and Edward Mujica in camp.

It was nice to finish the 2005 Upper Deck set.  I thought I finished it long ago, but made a mistake by thinking some of the Retro parallel cards were base issues.

I think of the 2004 Bowman Heritage set as the TV set.  Cannot say I am a fan of it.

I doubt I will ever finish some of the early Topps Heritage team sets because of the short prints, but I will keep trying.  A lot of my needs are not even sps. 

I was able to finish up the 2006 Bowman Heritage and 2005 Fleer Tradition team sets with these Pujols cards.  Hard to believe it has been 7 years since he left St. Louis. 

It would be great to have him back for a proper send off.  I doubt the  Angels and Cardinals will face each other in the World Series, so you can only hope the inter league schedule will work out for the Angels to come to St. Louis.