Tuesday, September 25, 2018

A PWE Full of Chrome

Sometimes it amazes me how many cards a trader can fit into a PWE.  Yesterday I received one that contained 10 cards from TCDB member bravefan1.  All but one were from 2018 Topps Chrome, and all arrived safe and sound.

Topps did a great job with the Future Stars inserts in both flagship and chrome.  I love the large star in the background, though I am not for sure how the color choice came about.

The Weaver card is a little dark, but these are both pink refractors.  The Carpenter card almost looks like it is glowing.  Blue is still my favorite colored refractor, but these are growing on me.

Just like almost every other recent card release, I did not but any packs of Chrome.  My team set will have to come through trading.  These 6 leave me only 3 short.

The non chrome part of the trade is this Series 2 Tommy Pham salute.  Pham is putting together a good second half for Tampa now that he is healthy.  Pham was very outspoken during his years in St. Louis.  While I tend to shy away from players like that, I do appreciate his honesty.  He never sugar coated anything, just told it like it is.   

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Trade Post Part 2: The Inserts

Continuing yesterday's post, here are the inserts from my latest trade.

Triumverate inserts are some of my favorite cards from Stadium Club.  I have never completed any of the 3 card sets.  I still need the McGwire that goes along with this Jordan and Lankford card to finish the 1998 set.

It has been a while since I have gotten a new Pujols card.  This 2006 Fleer Tradition card should be from the Grass Roots set with all the green on it.

Before Topps started to include rainbow foil parallels, Bowman Heritage had them.  These are from the 2007 set.  They completed the 8 card Cardinals set.

X-fractors never scan well for me.  It did not help that these 2012 cards have a slight curve to them.

Wrapping up the lot are a batch of Bowman inserts.  2017 Platinum Ice, 2018 Camo, and 2008 Draft Gold.   Ice inserts are very sharp in hand, even better in the chrome versions.   

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

I Traded Autos for Base & Inserts? YOU BET!

Some traders have a rule of trading like card for like card, i.e an auto for an auto, base for base.  I understand that logic, but it is not something that I get caught up in.  As long as both sides are happy, I will agree to almost anything.  Over the weekend I agreed to trade 3 common autos for a huge package of Cardinals that included close to 50 base cards and inserts.  The Bench member zlw1 is looking to turn thousands of unwanted cards into a cut autograph.  I hope he can achieve his goal.  Today I will highlight the base cards.

Not all shiny cards have to be refractors.  The Donruss Collections Donruss card is my favorite of the bunch.

Donruss Signature did have cards that were not autographed.  I like the simple design and the player name in team colors.

SP Signature is a lot like Donruss Signature.  Better known for autographs, but did produce base cards.  I am not a huge fan of the player background, but I like the team logo on the front.

2003 Donruss Champions was a big set that featured some lesser know players, but also the typical stars and rookies.  These 2 finished my team set.

There were a ton of brands in 2003.  Edmonds was in most of them, while Martinez had a few Cardinals cards.  He played 2 seasons for St. Louis under what most fans would consider a bad free agent contract.

There were 2 Cardinals in the 2003 Upper Deck Prospect Premieres set.  Now I have both.

2003 Fleer Showcase was a pretty boring set.  Fleer had a few nice brands like Ultra and Flair, but I cannot say that I really miss any of the others.  Maybe Greats of the Game also.

These 2 cards have nothing in common, but they did not fit with any other scan.  The Slaughter Sweet Spot Classic is by far the nicer card.  I usually keep track of how former Cardinals are doing, but not Garcia since he signed with the Cubs.

There were a lot of color variations in the 2008 Upper Deck Heroes set.  These are the black parallels.  Some of the other versions like blue and green were numbered. 

I was able to grab a few modern cards as well.  The Renteria  is my first Topps Archives Snapshots cards.  There is also an Edmonds cards that I need.

There are my first 2018 Fire cards.  Some people knock it, but I love the design.  The parallels are very sharp.  I hope to find some in bargain boxes at some shows before the end of this year.   


Thursday, September 13, 2018

Cards of Pitchers who Became HItters

Over the past weekend I read the book "The  Phenomenon" by Rick Ankiel.  I am sure most if not all of you know his story about losing his control as a rookie pitcher in a playoff game, then coming back to the big leagues as an outfielder.  I loved the detail it went into about his troubled past with his father, his struggle to realize he would never cure himself of the "yips", and how he found a renewed loved for baseball as a hitter.  About a month ago Ankiel announced he will try to come back as a relief pitcher next year.  I am rooting for him, but would be surprised to see it happen.  I am sure some team will take a look at a lefty who can throw in the 90s.

My latest trade package from The Bench member smitha1 feature a couple of Ankiel cards.

The 2000 Fleer Gamers short print card finished my team set.  The 2001 Leaf Certified card is not as dark as the scan.  It has a small paragraph on the back about his rookie season, but no mention of his 2000 playoff performance.

Musial was also a pitcher in his minor league days.  He suffered a shoulder injury while diving for a ball in the outfield, thus ending his pitching career.  He almost retired after that because he was not making enough money as a one way player to support his family.  Thank goodness for the coach who talked him out of that.  I still have not completed the 10 card inset set from 1999 Fleer.  Not sure why as these cards are not very tough to find.

Keith McDonald was never a pitcher to my knowledge.  He was never much of a major leaguer either.  He played in only 8 career games, but did leave his mark.  He homered in his first 2 career at bats, one of only 2 players in history to do so.  This 2001 EX short print numbered to 2249 is a nice looking card that does have any autographed version.     

Monday, September 10, 2018

Trade with the Commish

I have often wondered how collectors choose their user names on various sites they belong to.  My go to one is rl16.  rl is for Ray Lankford, 16 was his main uniform number.  Every now and then you will find one that is pretty clever.  Such was the case with my latest trade on TCDB.  Sportzcommish sound like cool name for a fantasy league player, but it also works for a card collector.  He does know his cards, as he sent me 8 different ones packed into a PWE.
This oversized 1986 Donruss card just fit into the envelope.  It still arrived in flawless shape.

Bowman Draft sets from the early 2000s can be difficult to track down.  These 2 from 2001 knocked my set needs down to one.  The Stubby Clapp is my favorite.  He has done a wonderful job of managing Triple A Memphis the last 2 years.  After winning the Pacific Coast League title last year, the  Redbirds will begin play in it again on Tuesday night.

Chrome is always good, whether it be Bowman Draft, Bowman or Topps.  The Duncan and Narveson completed team sets.

The Cardinals had a ton of rookie relievers in the early 2000s, some good, some not so good.  Lambert was part of the later group.  He never did advance to St. Louis.  Simontacchi had a few good years in St. Louis before bouncing around the majors.  He served as a minor league pitching coach for the Cardinals from 2013-2017 before taking a job in the Royals farm system.     

Friday, September 7, 2018

This Week in Trading

I usually try to highlight each one of my trades as they come in, but this week has been pretty hectic with after school activities taking up a lot of my spare time in the evenings.  So today I will go through the 3 trades I received since Monday.
My first trade was with TCDB member 49ants.  He sent 5 1984 Topps stickers in a PWE.  Odd balls from the 1980s are some of my favorite cards, even if some of them are really stickers. 

My second package came from TCDB member jimetal7212.  I believe this is the third or fourth time we have completed a deal this year.  I love the Molina Blue card from 2018 Big League.  The photo is something I would expect in Stadium Club, not a value type brand.

Also included were some 1998 Team Best cards.  I love the old school Peoria Chiefs logo on the Butler card.  The Cardinals are not affiliated with Prince William or Arkansas Travelers anymore.  They did lose the Peoria team to the Cubs in 2005, but gained it back in 2013.

The last two cards came from 1995 Upper Deck Minors and a Big Mac insert from 2018 Stadium Club.  Bradshaw has a highly rated prospect in the early 1990s who was suppose to hit for a high average and steal some bases, but he never hit enough to get on base to steal.  He is not the hitting coach for the Royals.

Here is proof that good things do come in small packages.  This 2018 Topps Chrome refractor autograph #ed to 499 arrived in a PWE from The Bench member David K.  We agreed to a trade that sent one Topps Chrome autograph in both directions.  This is my thired Flaherty auto and my new favorite.        

Thursday, September 6, 2018

2 Days in Peoria

My last chance to check out some minor league baseball came a couple of weeks back on August 25 and 26.  I still had some ticket vouchers to use from my season ticket plan for the Peoria Chiefs.  The season ticket holder team meet and greet was scheduled before the game on the 25th.  For 30 minutes we were free to roam around the outfield to take pictures and get autographs from all the players and coaches besides the starting pitcher and catcher that night.  My son and I did most of the autographing while my wife and daughter took pictures.  It was a busy 30 minutes, but we ending up getting almost everyone we wanted.  Those we did not get on Saturday, we ended up getting Sunday after the game.  After each Sunday game, the Chiefs sign autographs on the concourse for all fans.

My main target and first stop was Nolan Gorman.  He was the Cardinals #1 draft pick this year and has already advanced to low A ball as an 18 year old.  He did not say much, but was very polite.  The helmet is a full size Rawlings model, while the ball is a ROMLB.   

We took this picture of my son and Gorman on Saturday, had it autographed on Sunday.

Luken Baker was the Cardinals second round draft choice this year out of TCU.  I have mentioned before, but he is a big man. He signed a mini helmet, 2 cards and a couple of pictures I took from a game in early August.  The bottom picture is his swing on his first Peoria home run.  The poster was a handout before the game that he also signed.

Baker signed this picture on Sunday.  

Manger Chris Swauger signed 2 cards and hitting coach Russ Chambliss signed one card on Saturday.  Chambliss is the son of former big leaguer Chris Chambliss.

Relievers Whitle and Saylor signed on Saturday, while Blanco and St. Clair signed on Sunday.

Starting pitchers Oviedo and Prendergast signed on Saturday.  I missed Seijas on Saturday, but got him on Sunday.

Starting first baseman Zach Kirtley signed these on Saturday.  Hands down the nicest guy on the team.

Nick Plummer signed both of these on Saturday.  As a 2015 first round draft pick who has not advanced past low A, I am guessing this will be his last year in the Cardinals system.

I got Rodriguez on Sunday, the other 2 on Saturday.  Both Gonzalez and Davis were on the DL at the time, so it was nice of them to be in uniform signing autographs.

Ortega was the starting catcher on Saturday, so I waited until Sunday to get him.

 I also got Balestrieri on Sunday because he was Saturday's starting pitcher.

This poster was handed out before Sunday's game.  My son wanted to see how many players he could get after the game.  I have not taken the time yet to try to identify all the signatures and see if he missed anyone.

The Chiefs did make the Midwest League playoffs and won their first game last night.  They need to win one of two games against Quad Cities to advance to the next round.  It was a fun team to watch this year and I look forward to seeing how some of these young guys advance through the minors in the next few years.