Thursday, August 30, 2018

Cardinals Among Friends

An unexpected pwe arrived yesterday from trading friend Mark Z.  Mark is a member of 3 different sites I trade on.  He is also a fellow Cardinals fan that I had the pleasure of meeting a few years ago at a Memphis Redbirds game.  We have a nice back and forth open trade for Cardinals duplicates.

My first 2018 Finest cards is of the now Tampa Ray Tommy Pham.  Pham was hoping to repeat his stellar 2017 season in order to get a big pay raise in 2019.  Injuries have cost him time this year, and I doubt the Rays will spend big on him with 3 more years of arbitration left.

2 Tommys in one package, this one of the A&G variety.  2018 is the 50th anniversary of Gibson's historic 1968 season.  22 wins, 28 complete games, 13 shutouts, and a 1.12 ERA.  I wonder what type of free agent contract that would bring today.

These 2010 Topps Target throwbacks can be hard to spot at first glance.  The logo is a little different, but flip the card over and the darker back is a dead give away.

I had no idea that O-PEE-CHEE made stickers.  This sticker highlights a World Series that I am sure most Cardinals fans would like to forget.     

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Two for Tuesday

I know it is Wednesday, but I fully intended on getting this post up yesterday before life got in the way.  Soccer practice and math homework take priority over playing with cardboard, so I am a day late.  I did received two trade packages on  Tuesday.  The first was a pwe from TCDB member BobbyL.

Bobby sent a pair of shortstop prospects from 2017 Bowman Chrome Draft.  Perez was a #1 draft pick in 2016 who was an all star in short season ball this year.  He should see full season Peoria some time next year.  Robertson was a 4th round pick last year who debut in Peoria and has spent all of this year in High A Palm Beach.  I would not consider either one an elite prospect, but there is still time for Perez to develop.  Robertson would be a utility guy if he makes it.

The next package came from Brad who writes Red Sox Fan in Nebraska blog.  I had a few extra Red Sox Brad needed in exchange for some recent Cardinals.

2018 Topps Fire came out last week, but I am still working on 2017.  These two former shortstops knocked my needs down to 2 cards.  Even though this shows 2 different cards, it would make for a great dual auto card.  Hint hint Topps.

For some reason I always liked the league leader type cards.  It was nice to see these included in the 2018 Big League set.

I love the Futures Stars inserts this year.  I still have to track down the Jack Flaherty card to complete the flagship run before I start on the Topps Chrome versions.  The Wainwright DK is my first 2018 Donruss Optic card.  Waino is scheduled for one more rehab start in Memphis this weekend before he joins the Cardinals when rosters expand.  I hope he can do well as this could very likely be his last season.   

Friday, August 24, 2018

Swapping Cards for Cards

It has been a while since I traded with a fellow Cardinals fan.  I am always on the look out for a chance to reduce my stash of almost 2500 duplicates for some Cardinals I need.  It does not have to be an even trade in most cases, but my latest trade with The Bench member redbird4 worked out that way. 

I was able to finish my 2018 Stadium Club team set.  I am glad Carpenter is playing mostly first base now.  It pains me to watch him try to throw a ball from third base. 

This is my first 2018 Topps Chrome card.  I am hoping to make it to a card show in September and hunt some of these down in dime boxes. 

The package also included my first 2018 Allen & Ginter cards.  I know I am in the minority, but A&G is one of my least favorites sets.  I am not a fan of mini cards or the gimmick cards like baseball equipment, celebrities, hair, or whatever Topps can put on/in a card.  When I buy a pack of cards, I expect to get cards of baseball players. 

I was able to put a big dent in my Big League set, including the Yadi variation.  This weekend is players weekend, so you might see this jersey again.

I almost laughed out loud when I read the back of the Luke Weaver card.  To quote Topps, "Weaver is not likely to be dislodged anytime soon from the rotation. "  He was just moved to the bullpen earlier this week.  I can only hope there is a card that states the Cardinals will not win a World Series anytime soon.

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Small TCDB swap

I received a small PWE trade from TCDB member ntlwhlr over the weekend.  Since I was gone, I did not have a chance to open it until last night.  Although small, the contents were most welcome.

I do not ever recall eating Jiffy Pop popcorn.  We actually grew our own as a kid back in the 1980s.  Guess that is why I never had any of these discs in my collection.  This Coleman looks like a modern day Panini card with the lack of logos. 

Pacific had some great cards back in the day, but this is not one of them.  The name plate on this 1997 Pacific Crown card is too hard to read and does not belong vertically on the side.  I like the name to be along the bottom of the card like the 1992 Conlon card.  I had never heard of Beckmann before I received this card.  He played 2 games for the Cardinals in 1942. 

My son loved the Fredbird sticker from 2017 Topps.  We may have to buy an album next time we venture to Target. 

Monday, August 20, 2018

Cardinals Hall of Fame Weekend

Over the weekend the Cardinals inducted their 5th Hall of  Fame class that included 3 members.  Harry Brecheen was selected by a committee of writers and some former players/managers/team executives.  The fans voted in Vince Coleman and Ray Lankford.  I don't know how many times I voted for these two earlier in the year.   They both received over 60,000 to beat out other players such as Scott Rolen, John Tudor, and Lee Smith.  If you read the blog at all, you know Lankford is my all time favorite player while Coleman was my first player collection as a kid.

My daughter made the trip to watch the ceremony held across the street from Busch Stadium at Ball Park Village.  It started at 3:00.  We arrived around 1:00, 2 hours after the doors opened.  We should have left sooner as there were no tables open and people were standing 2-3 deep.  We did find a decent spot upstairs that allowed me to take some decent pictures.

There were quite a few member of the Hall of Fame that attended the ceremony.  Top row is Mike Shannon, Bob Gibson, Bruce Sutter, Tony LaRussa, and Chris Carpenter.   Bottom row is Lou Brock, Whitey Herzog, Ozzie Smith, and Vince Coleman.

The gentleman in the dark suit is Brecheen's son who gave a short induction speech.  Coleman was the first to receive his red jacket.  He gave a great speech that last 20-30 minutes.  My favorite part was his saying " Be fast, kick ass". 

Lankford's speech was pretty short and sweet.  During his playing days he was know as being quiet.  Nothing has really changed.   Both him and Coleman did get choked up during their speeches.  Both stated they are most happy to be Cardinals for life.

All 3 members received plaques that will be displayed in the Cardinals Hall of Fame.

To go along with Hall of Fame Weekend, a card shop in Belleville, IL held an autograph signing with Coleman and Lankford on Sunday morning.  I had Coleman sign a 1987 Topps card that was sent off to William at  Foul Bunt .  Lankford signed a 1997 All-Star ball.

1997 was his only All Star year.  The ball has aged somewhat with some toning, but it still looks great to me.

The second item I had Lankford autographed may look familiar from this post.  I managed to erase the upside down signature using rubbing alcohol and hair spray.  The new signature looks perfect.

Not sure how this will get displayed yet, but it will have a prime spot.  Lankford inscribed Busch 2 HR King.  His 123 home runs were the most hit at the stadium before it was torn down after the 2005 season.  I had a chance to talk to him for a few minutes about his great career and the Normal softball game.  He plays in a 50 and older league down in Florida to stay in shape when he is not busy golfing.  He is also active in the Cardinals fantasy camps held after spring training.  One of these days when I have $5000 extra laying around I will make it to one of those.

Friday, August 17, 2018

Let Me Check The Schedule

One of the first things I do when I go to a ballpark is grab a pocket schedule.  I only collect Cardinals schedules or ones from their minor league teams, but I do mail out quite a few to Trading Bases members.  There are 4 or 5 people who will collect schedules from any team.  Most of the time I do not receive anything back in return, which is fine because all I am out of is a stamp.  However, last week member Phil C sent me some extras of Cardinals schedules I did not have.





1998.  I was shocked I did not have this one.

Along with the game schedule, you can usually find a list of promotions and some ticket prices.  Here is a the price for a box seat from the various years:

1979 - $6
1985 - $9
1991 - $11
1994  -$14
1998  - $24

A box seat to tonight's Cardinals vs Brewers game will cost you a minumum of $49 for seats down either foul line, or $65 for seats around the infield.  The Cardinals do use dynamic pricing where the cost depends on the day of the week and the opponent.  Prices also went up when the new stadium opened in 2006.  Compared to how tickets quadrupled in price in the 20 years from 1979-1998, the 20 year increase from 1998 to now does not seem that bad.  At least you can still get 1979 box seat pricing at some minor league stadiums.     

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Hits to the Wantlist

My latest trade with TCDB member The Sandlot did not contain anything flashy or high dollar.  What it did have was 8 hits to various team set wants dating back to 1996. 

My favorite card of the package was this 1996 Sportflix Ozzie Smith.  I am guessing he was jumping over a runner to complete a double play, but who knows.  This one finished my team set.

Two other 1996 cards came from Pacific Crown and Emotion.  Eckersley has his warrior face on in this spring training photo. 

I am not a huge fan of any of these sets.   I am sure other collectors would agree with my dislike of a card that shows a player in a different uniform than the team that is listed on the card.  But as long as it has a Cardinals logo, it is a keeper.

Two of my favorite players from the Whitey Ball era.  The McGee card finished my 2005 Topps Rookie Cup set.  Along with Ray Lankford, Coleman is being inducted into the Cardinals Hall of Fame this weekend.  I will have a post about that next week. 

Friday, August 10, 2018

Small Package to End the Week

It has been a fun filled baseball week for me.  With 2 games over the weekned, busting a box of cards, and yesterday receiving a trade package.  This one came from TCDB member Tgrs 4 me.  Although not big, it was nice to knock off some team set needs.

I need another O'Neill chrome after getting my first copy autographed in Memphis back in June.  This one finish my 2018 Bowman team set.  The Pham GQ knocked my needs for that set down to just needing Marcell Ozuna to finish the set.  After being traded to Tampa, Pham broke a bone in his foot. 

The Eckersley 2006 Leaf Century card was a throw in card. Always nice to get extra cards.  One of these days I will track down a Fredbird autograph card.  It is crazy to check EBAY sold auctions and see what some of the mascot autos sell for. 

Thursday, August 9, 2018

Busting a Blaster Box of 2018 Big League

In addition to going to a couple of games this past weekend, my son and I also busted a blaster box of 2018 Topps Big League.  We had some time to kill Sunday in between going to church and the Peoria game, so while the females shopped at Target we opened our packs.  I was more leaning toward the 3 pack Topps Chrome package, but my son said for the same money we get more cards in Big League.  His logic won over mine.

 The box yielded 3 Cardinals, all of the Martinez variety. 

This card should pay for at least a year of son's college education.

We got 2 inserts and managed to save the Trout card from the box bottom.  Cutting it out brought back memories of Topps boxes from the late 1980s.

The other blue border cards from the box were not very note worthy.

The gold cards were a little better.  Yankee cards are very easy to trade.

We received one Black & White card #ed to 50.  Wish it was a better player.  Forsythe was traded to the Twins in the Brian Dozier deal.  All the cards pictured along with the rest of the base are listed on my TCDB page (user id is rl16).  Shoot me a email or message if you are interested in anything.

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

From Legends to Hopeful Future Legends

After watching the Legends game in Normal on Saturday evening, we headed to Peoria the next day for an afternoon game.  I will say this was one of the hottest games I have been to in a while.  Our seats were in the sun next to the Chiefs dugout.  You could feel the burn through your shorts anytime you sat down.  We made it through 3 innings before finding seats in the shade, which was not hard to do considering there was maybe 1000 people there.  Due to the small crowd, it was easy to move around and get some great pictures. 

The Chiefs let fans play catch in the outfield before Sunday afternoon games.  That is my son and I closest to the infield.

Paul Balestrieri was the Chiefs starting pitcher.  He threw a no hitter earlier this year.  He did not have the same stuff on Sunday as he gave up 5 runs and 3 wild pitches in less than 4 innings. 

Catcher Dennis Ortega was just as bad as his pitcher committing 2 errors on throws to 2nd base and going 0 for 4 at the plate.  He was an all star this year and is hitting close to .300, so I must have saw him on a bad day.  Maybe the heat had something to do with it also.

Third baseman Elehuris Montero was promoted to high A Palm Beach yesterday.  His fielding needs some work as he committed errors 19 and 20 on the season, but his bat will be his meal ticket.  This was after hitting his 15th home run of the season.  He will not turn 20 until next week. 

Luken Baker was the Cardinals 2nd round draft pick this year.  He has been in Peoria for about 2 weeks.  This swing was his first home run in singe A.  It was a 3 run shot that was the eventual game winner as the Chiefs won 8-7.  He is a big man at 6 foot 4 and close to 260 pounds. 

Sunday is also run the bases day.  Here is my son rounding second.  He wanted to slide into home, but my wife was not having it.

Sunday is also team autograph day.  After the game the players were scattered throughout the concourse. 

I am not sure how many players signed this Mid-West league ball, but my son said it was full before he got the entire team.  This will be a challenge trying to figure out who all signed.  Some players did add their uniform number, but there are a few that did not.

Orterga singed 2 programs in a great spot.

The Chiefs give out a player poster before Sunday games. Gonzalez signed 2 of these.  He is a bit old for low A at 24 years old, but he was an All Star this year while hitting over .300 with 10 home runs.  He is mainly a first baseman who has played a few other infield spots out of need.  I think he will be blocked by other players from getting to St. Louis, but you never know.