Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Blog Bat Around; Cardinals Certified Autograph Team

I have never participated in a Blog Bat Around, but the newest one started by Zippy caught my eye last week.  Of course I will show all Cardinals, but will break my team up in two posts.  One will featured pack pulled certified autos, while another one that will come in a day or two will feature in person autos I have obtained. 

Manager: Whitey Herzog

Though not on Zippy's list, every team needs a manager.  I will take Whitey over LaRussa any day of the week.
Catcher: Yadier Molina
No real surprise here.  When he retires, Yadi should own almost all of the team records for catching, except maybe home runs.  He is 40 behind Ted Simmons. 

First Base: Keith Hernandez

This spot would have gone to Pujols or McGwire, but sadly I do not own an auto of either.  Hernandez was a pretty good Cardinal though.  He was Co-MVP in 1979 and a member of the 1982 World Series team.

Second Base:  Red Schoendienst

This was a tough call for me between Red an Tommy Herr, but it is hard to vote against a member of the Hall of Fame.

Shortstop: Ozzie Smith

This one was as easy to pick as it would seem, as Marty Marion played on some great Cardinals teams in the 1940s.  Ozzie gets the nod though due to a longer career and a great looking autograph.

Third Base:  David Freese

Since I do not have a Ken Boyer auto, Freese gets the nod based on the 2011 Post Season. 

Outfield: Stan Musial

Greatest Cardinals Ever.

Outfield:  Lou Brock

Two time World Series champion, former stolen base king, and HOFer.  Also part of one of the greatest trades in team history (thanks Chicago)

Outfield:  Ray Lankford

I cannot make a top Cardinals list without my favorite player.  He is in many of the team's top ten career offensive categories. 

DH/Bench:  Jim Edmonds and Willie McGee

I could not pick in between these guys, so they both get a spot.  The bench needs more than one player anyway.

Starting Pitcher:  Bob Gibson

One of the fiercest competitors to every play.  HOFer, 2 time World Series Champ, MVP, CY Young, you name it he has the award.  Throw in a no hitter for good measure.

 Relief Pitcher:  Lee Smith

Most people do not think of Big Lee as a Cardinal, but he had a very good 3 year run as a Cardinal.  From 1990-1992 he had 117 saves on some bad teams.

Relief Pitcher:  Bob Forsch

Though he was starting pitcher, Forsch gets a place on my team because of 2 no hitters and a solid 15 year run that included 3 World Series appearances and 1 title.

Closer:  Bruce Sutter

One of the first pitchers to master the split finger fastball, Sutter was a dominant closer in the early 80s who could go multiple innings.  I always remember him striking out Gorman Thomas to end the 1982 World Series.

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Card Show and Cardinals Game Recap

Now that my son's travel baseball season has started, my free time on the weekends is almost non existent.  He plays 2 or 3 weekends each month, but at least most games will be within an hour's drive.  This past weekend we had a Saturday only tournament close to home.  I had thoughts of going to a 3 day card show in St. Louis on Sunday because of the free admission and 100+ tables.  When my brother in law offered free Cardinals tickets for the same day, that made up my mind pretty quick.  Along with 2 of my nephews, my son and I made the 2.5 hour drive to the card show first.

We got there when the doors opened at 10:00.  There was not much of a crowd at that time, which was good because I planned on spending only an hour or so at the show before heading to the game.  We browsed half of the tables before I found a dealer with a ton of quarter and dime boxes.  There must have been at least 10 5,000 count boxes with nothing but cards from the last 3-4 years.  I spent a good hour at his table digging for gold.  It would have been more, but my nephews were getting bored and I did not want to risk getting to the game late.

I was not expecting to find many Cardinals in these boxes.  There were a ton of base cards from Finest, Bowman's Best, Archives, Bowman Platinum, and Allen & Ginter.  I was able to find these 2 2016 Platinum I needed for a dime each.

All the inserts were in the quarter boxes.  Once again not many Cardinals to be had, but I found these 5.

Everything else I bought was for trade bait.  I tried to keep team collectors in mind when pulling cards, but eventually just started taking whatever grabbed my eye.  Once again I could have bought a ton more, but did not want my nephews to be so bored.  All of these cards are for trade except the McCutchen.

The same dealer also had some game used and autos for $2 each.  These are also up for trade.

 The Duffy auto is numbered to 250.
Both of these are numbered to 50.  All total I spent $16 with the same vendor.  I did a quick run through of the rest of the tables but did not buy anything else.  There was another vendor with a ton of quarter boxes, but the cards were not separated by sport.  I do have to share my first negative experience with a dealer in all my years of going to a show.  The dealers had 8 foot tables.  My son and I both had chairs in front of the dealer with all the dime/quarter boxes.  At one point I made room for another collector to look in the same boxes.  About 5 minutes later, the dealer next to the one I bought from griped at us because we were taking up about 1 foot of his space, or the equivalent of half a display case.  A simple request to move would have worked, but he said us penny spenders needed to move so the high rollers could get to his cases.  It was nice to see him make only 2 sales while I was digging.  Both were under $20.   

After a quick bite to eat, we headed to Busch Stadium.  It was promo day for adults and kids.  Adults got a Cardinals reusable shopping bag.  My wife will use mine every week at Wal-Mart.  Kids received a Yadier Molina replica players weekend jersey.

A nice looking jersey.  Brady if you can squeeze into a Youth XL my nephew has a jersey he will sell you.  Kids also received a ticket voucher for a future Monday-Thursday game.

These seats will most likely be in the third deck, but free is free.  Not sure when we will use these.  As for the game, the Cardinals beat the Reds for the 7th straight time 9-2.  It took a little less than 3 hours.  It makes a huge difference time wise when there are no in inning pitching changes.  Before leaving I hit up the Authentics team store to sell what was on sale.  I ended up buying a seat back from Busch Stadium 2.

These were $100 at the Winter Warm Up in January, but marked down to $50.  Of course I chose Ray Lankford's number with the intention of having him sign it sometime.  He was the all time home run leader at Busch 2.  McGwire and Pujols would have passed him, but Lankford played there more years.  All in all we had a great time.  It was nice to get some bargains and see a Cardinals win on the same trip.  

Friday, April 20, 2018

Inching Closer to 3000

Like most Cardinals fans, I was pretty pissed off when Albert Pujols decided to sign with the Angels after winning his second World Series with the Cardinals in 2011.  I have no problem with him wanting to leave for more money, just don't say the man upstairs told him to do it.  I admit it was nice to see Pujols struggle for a few years after he left, but time has soften my feelings and it is nice to see him getting close to another milestone.  He sits just 10 hits away from 3,000.  It is hard to believe he is playing in his 17th season.  I received a trade package from TCDB member SeaKing with a card that was a nice reminder of his rookie year.

This 2016 Topps Update Rookie Sensations insert highlights Albert's rookie year.  I will not go into detail, just say it was an awesome year.  I love the logo in the background of this card.  Well done Topps.

I also received my first 3 cards from 2014 Heritage High Numbers.  I still need the Wong and Neshek card to finish the set off. 

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Just Started, But Already Finished

In Monday's post I showed my first 1993 Topps Traded card.  I am not sure why I overlooked this set, but it did not take long to finish the team set.  Yesterday I received the last 3 cards I needed in a trade package from TCDB member 860502.

Arocha was one the first Cuban defectors to play in the Majors, making his debut in 1993.  He won 11 games that year and had an ERA under 4.  After that season he suffered some injuries and bounced around a few years before retiring in 1998. 

I love the early Bowman's Best cards.  The back of this one noted how Thomas and Young were both big, burly, and powerful.  The first 2 are true, but Young was not the most powerful first baseman for his size. 

Finishing the package was this 2018 Topps Gold Wainwright.  It was great seeing him get a win last night against the Cubs.  He did not have his best control, but made some great pitches when he needed to.  I think the cold weather had something to do with the lack of control, as he walked 4 and Tyler Chatwood walked 7.

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Finished 2018 Donruss

Nothing too exciting in today's post other than another finished Cardinals team set.  I was able to trade for the last 6 2018 Donruss Cardinals I needed by sending a few Cal Ripken and Rickey Henderson cards to TCDB member twprkj.

The Wainwright card is by far the best looking out of this 6 pack.  The Ozuna cards look really bad with the ghost white uniforms.  The Ozzie/Sandberg card looks like Panini cut each player out of a magazine and cropped them together.  I was looking forward to the Diamond Kings set, but those cards are not much better.  Maybe Optic will offer some nice looking base cards.

Monday, April 16, 2018

Trading Bases Trade

Before I joined TCDB, the majority of my online trading was done through the Trading Bases group.  It does take a little more time to trade with members because you have to search their webpage for your wants and theirs.  I will say the members are some of the most generous and courteous you will find on the internet.  I am not sure how long I have been a member or how many trades I have done, but I know I have never had a problem.  Last week member Jerry R took time to go through my needs and proposed a nice trade.

These 1989 Pro Cards are not worth much, but I love finding them or getting them in trades.  These 4 completed my team set.

Jerry also completed my 1991 Line Drive Triple A set.  That is the same Al Nipper who pitched for the Red Sox in the late 1980s.   

The last of the minor league cards were these 2 92-93 Fleer Excel cards an the last 1994 Classic Best Gold card I needed.

These 2005 Bowman Draft Chrome cards are not technically minor league cards, but are close.  The quality of the card is a lot better, but like most of the minor league cards I showed, these 2 players never sniffed the majors.

The Gregg Jefferies cards is my first 1993 Topps Traded card.  I guess this is a set I have overlooked as the cards are not that hard to find.  I love the 1998 EX-2001 McGwire card.  This set was made of thick plastic.  The Essential Credentials cards look great if you can find them.  I have no comment on the 1998 Pacific Online card as it is just another Pacific set that was a bad idea.


Friday, April 13, 2018

My First Opening Day

Like every baseball fan, I have a few things on my bucket list when it comes to my favorite team.  I would like to attend a playoff game.  I would say it should be a World Series game, but they way the Cardinals have played the last few years that may not happen anytime soon.  The cost would most likely be more than I would want to pay also.  At this point I would settle for a wild card game.  I would also like to attend an Opening Day game in St. Louis.  Once again cost plays a factor, but more has to do with work and weather.  Until I decide to bite the bullet, I will have to settle for my first taste of 2018 Topps Opening Day cards.

These cards came courtesy of a trade with TCDB member Tgrs_4_me.  It is nice to get a sneek peak of cards that are not in Series 1 like the Matt Carpenter card.

All 3 of these guys hit home runs last night in the 13-4 win over the Reds.  It was great to see the Cardinals finally score some runs, but it could have been a ton more.  Ozuna alone left 11 runners on base.  I would not be surprised to see them score less than 13 in the next 3 games.

The lone insert in the package was this 2016 Heritage Rookie Performers.  Diaz has been getting the bulk of the playing time at short for the Blue Jays since Tulo is hurt, but he is not making the most of it.  As of yesterday he has 3 home runs, but with no walks and a .212 average.  Hard to believe he made the All Star team in 2016. 

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Robert Feeds My Habit

I have mentioned before how online traders tend to use numerous sites to feed their habit.  Last week I discovered that Robert from $30 a Week Habit was also a member of TCDB.  We were able to put together a small trade that sent a few Blue Jays his way in return for 2 Cardinals and a Pirate.

I usually do not trade for Pirates, but I am planning a trip to Indianapolis in a few weeks to watch their Triple A team and do some autographing.  Holmes has already been promoted to the Pirates, so this card may sit in my box for a while.

 Now this is more like it.  A nice 2016 insert of Wainwright.  It was good to see him have a quality start yesterday after his first outing stunk.  I will continue to root for him to do well, but the Cardinals may be better off with Jack Flaherty in the starting rotation.

Martinez also had a nice start this week.  This 2017 GQ purple parallel is numbered to 250.

Thanks for the trade Robert, and good luck getting all your Blue Jays sorted and logged. 

Thursday, April 5, 2018

Got My First Taste of Queen

Most of my trades these days come through the Trading Card Database (TCDB) website, but I still check in on a few other places.  The Bench was the first online trading community I joined back in 2003.  It was my favorite site for a long time until a few years ago when the member base shifted from collectors to more prospectors/investors.  I still visit the site daily, but am lucky to make 1 or 2 trades there a month.  I was able to swing a deal with member pac_rat_76 last week that brought my first 2018 Gypsy Queen cards.

It was nice to get 5 of the 9 Cardinals base cards in the set.  To my knowledge there are not SPs, just some photo or logo variations.  I like the design this year, although it is not much different from last year. 

There were a few other inserts in the package like these 2017 Foil cards.  It was great to see Martinez have a strong game last night after his dud on opening day.  Now if he could only be that dominant on a more consistent basis he would be a true ace.

I have never completed any of the Stadium Club Triumvirate sets.  This one is from 2016.  I am not expected much from Wainwright in today's home opener in St. Louis.  He may have rushed back from a hamstring injury in order to make this start. 

My son is scheduled to have a baseball tournament this weekend, but mother nature may say otherwise.  Friday night and Sunday forecasts both show a chance of show.  I would much rather have the 2016 Topps Holiday type than the real thing.