Tuesday, January 29, 2019

One of My Favorite Bobbleheads

Along with my cards, I also have a decent collection of stadium giveaway bobbleheads.  The first one I ever received was an Albert Pujols at a Cardinals game on Father's Day 2002.  From there the collector in me took over and would look forward to any Cardinals games which featured the bobbleheads.  Back then the Cardinals only gave out 2 or 3 different ones each year.  Counting the various theme night bobbleheads, that number has more than tripled.  Throw in the various minor league teams that also give them out, and it has become quite a chore just trying to keep track of what is out there.  I found a great Facebook group that keeps track of all the Cardinals sga bobbleheads and also offers a buy/sell/trade area.  I was able to trade my extra Dizzy Dean bobblehead that I received at WWU last Saturday for a sweet looking Yadier Molina.

This Molina was available at a St. Louis Blues game in March 2017 for anyone who bought a special theme ticket.  I am not sure how many were produced, but I know they sell in the $50 range on EBAY if they pop up.  Pretty good trade in my book considering I did not have to directly pay for the Dean.  This is the 53 different bobblehead in my collection.  I have my eye on a few others this year including a dual Molina/Roberto Clemente and a triple version with Molina, Jim Edmonds, and Scott Rolen. 

Monday, January 28, 2019

Colorful Lot

Ever now and then you may run across a team collector who decides to either go another direction with his collection, or simply thin out his extras.  I was lucky to find fellow Cardinals collector Hendu29 from The Bench who was downsizing somewhat.  He offered up quite a few colored parallels for sale that I could not pass up. 

Blue Wave refractors are one of my favorite Bowman Chrome parallels.  These look much better in hand.  My scanner tried to crop the image for some reason.  None of the cards are that off center.  The top 2 are from 2012, the bottom 2 from 2013.

These 2014 cards scanned better.  It will be interesting to see where Gomber ends up this year.  I would guess he will be a lefty out of the bullpen, but could get some spot starts.

These 2015 cards are my favorites.  Sosa will most likely be the starting shortstop in Triple A.  Piscotty and Gonzales both had nice years last year for Oakland and Seattle.  It is easy to root for them because they are both nice guys and never face the Cardinals.  Rowan Wick is now a reliever for the Cubs.  Not sure if he will make the roster.

I also received these Bowman Blue paper cards numbered to 500.  A few more bigger names with Rosenthal, Craig, and Wong in this group.

To keep up with my home state Illini colors, I also received some orange parallels.  I believe most of these are numbered to 250.  Maybe Allen Craig will finally regain his form in San Diego.  Hard to believe he went from being an All Star in 2013 to not playing in the Majors the last 3 years.

Topps Chrome orange refractors are pretty sharp, although some appear a little more red like the Rasmus card.

Silver card are not the sharpest, but I like the player selection.  The Black Wave refractor is not a sharp as the Blue Wave, but still pretty sweet.  The silver cards are numbered to 499.

Some random colors mixed in.  I did not even know there were purple Bowman cards.  The 2015 Holliday is numbered to 250.  I have very few Finest refractors in my collection.  The Berkman is numbered to 99.

The package also included a couple of sweet die cuts.  Still hurts to think what might have been for Taveras.  All together I received 43 cards for $7 total.  Not quite a dime box worthy deal, but very close, plus I did not have to drive anywhere. 

Sunday, January 27, 2019

Ron B and Me

I have never kept track of how many times I have traded with other collectors.  I might be able to track these stats if the person is a member of TCDB or The Bench, but in other cases I have no clue.  such is the case with Trading Bases member Ron B.  I would guess we are well over 25 trades since I joined that group about 10 years ago, but who knows.  Could be more, could be less.  He sent his first trade envelope of 2019 before I left for WWU last weekend.  

My first cards from 2018 Bowman Draft includes a very nice Nolan Gorman.  His autos are going for well over $100.  That is crazy money for an 18 year old just drafted out of high school.  I hope he pans out, but will wait a few years to grab an auto. 

Fowler does not get a lot of love on this blog, but I will show a nice 2018 photo variation.  I was somewhat surprised how well he was received at WWU last weekend.  He had a fairly busy autograph line and seemed to be enjoying his time there. 

My scanner always puts a black line at the top of Topps Tek cards.  The 1999 McGwire does not look like that in person.  At least the 2001 Edmonds scanned flawless. 

I would say black is my least favorite color of refractor, but when they are numbered to 100 they are hard to pass up.  This 2002 Topps Traded Chrome card is just as dark in person. 

Thursday, January 24, 2019

Cardinals Winter Warm Up Day 3

This was the first year I attended all 3 days of WWU.   I would prefer not to, but when autograph tickets go on sale the dates the player is scheduled to appear is not listed.  I guess I have been lucky all the other years.  Day 3 I was flying solo for the first time ever.  I had 6 different autographs to get, so being by myself made it a little easier.  I arrived 30 minutes before the doors opened.  I left early not knowing if the snow showers the night before would affect the roads, but they were all clear.  It was nice they opened doors 10 minutes early.  My first stop was signing up for a Cardinals Hall of Fame Museum membership.  After receiving 6 free bobbleheads the prior 2 days, I figured it was a good deal.  The price was $85 for a family membership that included unlimited visits to the museum, 4 vouchers for a Busch Stadium tour, 4 ticket vouchers for a Monday-Thursday game, a Mike Shannon bobblehead, and another bobblehead of my choice.
I have never been a big fan of Shannon, but he is a local guy that won a couple of World Series in the 1960s and has been the Cardinals radio announce for over 30 years so he has a loyal following.

Ken Boyer won a World Series in 1964 and would later manage the Cardinals from 1978-1980.  A lot has been made about his omission from the Hall of Fame while Ron Santo has been enshrined.  Both played third base and have similar offensive numbers.  Santo has more home runs and rbi's but he also played in over 1,000 more games.  Boyer as an MVP award and a ring. 

There are only 2 bobbleheads left that the HOF Museum gave out that I did not have, Rogers Hornsby and Branch Rickey.  I was told that Hornsby would be given out at the 11:00 presentation, but I had 2 autographs to get in between 10 and 11.  I checked out the line at 10:00 and there were only 12 people there, so I hit up my first autograph.

If he can stay healthy, I see Flaherty making an All Star team in the next couple of years.  I was able to get through his line in 15 minutes, so back downstairs to check on the bobblehead line.  Up to 32 people, so I decided to try my luck and get my other autograph.

I had thought about skipping Henke's line to stay in the bobblehead line because his auto was free, but I have never gotten him before and wanted to send the 1987 Topps to William R.  I was finished by 10:40 and headed back downstairs.  I did not think I had any chance of being one of the first 50 people, but luck was on my side as I was #46.  It helps that the Monday crowd is usually the smallest at WWU.  The 11:00 presentation was about tips for preserving autographs and memorabilia.  Very informative talk where I learned a few things.  If you collect autographs, you know most people prefer blue ink because it does not fade as quick as black.  This is not true according to the Museum worker.  I will still stick with blue though.  After the talk, I received the Hornsby bobblehead.

This is my second favorite behind the Simmons.  I love the gray uniform with the red pinstripe.  I did stop back by the Museum booth to see if they had an Rickey bobbleheads for sale, but they ran out a few months ago.  They were uncertain if they will receive anymore, so my set my be lacking.  I will take the 7 out of 8 though that required $85 and a little bit of time.

It was 12:00 by now and I had 4 autographs to get by 1:00.  I was able to get through 2 line in less than 10 minutes.

Both Magrane and Cox were free signers who appear almost every year, so the lines were not too long.  My last 2 autographs were need to finish the Bowman Chrome Pipeline card that I got Austin Gomber to sign on Day 2.

Tyler O'Neill signed pretty quick, leaving me about 20 minutes to get Jordan Hicks.  His schedules signing time was 11-1, but it was easy to tell he would not be finished in time.  He was talking to everyone and adding any type of inscription that was requested.  I finally got to the front of the line at 1:30.  I think Hicks was getting tired by that time because his signature was a little different than what he usually gives out.  No big deal though, as this will be framed and hung in my son's room.

That wraps up my 2019 WWU experience.  3 long days, 2 different trips to St. Louis, a threat of bad weather, and a sick child who did not get to go put a little damper on things for me.  But I did get to spend 2 days with my daughter.  She turned 14 on Day 1 of WWU.  This may be one of the last few daddy daughter days we spend together.     

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Cardinals Winter Warm Up Day 2

Day 2 of the WWU as similar to day 1, but with a lot more free time to wander around.  We arrived about 9:30 and cruised around the vendor area.  I did not notice the Louisville Slugger Museum booth the day before.  We were able to hold game used bats from Stan Musial, Albert Pujols, and Ozzie Smith.  We also received 4 free passes to the Museum to be used in 2019.  I can see a trip to Louisville this summer to do the tour and also take in a Louisville Bats game.  From there we walked through the silent auctions items.  Lots of ball and photos, but nothing I could not live without.  From there we got our first autograph of the day.

Horton is one of the free signers almost every year.  I had this card before, but sent it to William over at  Foul Bunt to help with his 1987 Topps project.

Our next stop was another Museum presentation at 1:00.  Bobbleheads were still given out to the first 50 people, but the process changed.  People were allowed to line up an 12:00.  We were numbers 25 and 26.  Unlike day 1, you were not allowed to get out of line.  We waited the hour and watched a great presentation highlighting some player interviews at the Museum from 2018.  At the end, we received a sweet Ted Simmons bobblehead.

The baby blue uniform really stands out with the red catcher's gear.  This is my favorite of the HOF bobbleheads.  This presentation let about about 12:50, but there was already 70 plus people in line for the 2:00 talk, so we headed upstairs to get our last two autographs of the day.

Dakota Hudson pitched a perfect inning in the 2018 Futures Games.  He was the Cardinals Minor League pitcher of the year.  Although a starter in the minors, he pitched out of the bullpen after being called up in July.  I should have gotten another autograph tickets for him because I have a ticket stub from his MLB debut, but I forgot I had it until after he sold out.  Maybe next year.

Gomber is the only auto I got on day 2, the others I will cover on day 3.  We finished up about 2:45, so we headed back down to the presentation room in hopes of trading one of our Simmons bobbleheads for the one given out at 2:00  I was able to trade with a grandfather and his son and got Jim Edmonds this time.

That wrapped up day 2.  I had to drive my daughter back home for a birthday party on Sunday evening and a church retreat on Monday.  It was nice to have her with me for a couple of days.  Although she is not the baseball fan she was a few years ago, she still follows the game and seemed to have a ok time.  I would not say she greatly enjoyed the 2 days, but she more than tolerated it.  I think the birthday supper at IHOP and the trip to the mall after day 1 helped quite a bit.  Day 3 coming tomorrow.

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Cardinals Winter Warm Up Day 1

With the turn of the calendar to January, a lot of MLB teams start to hold their fanfests before leaving for Spring Training.  The Cardinals hold their Winter Warm Up during Martin Luther King weekend.  This is year 23 for the event.  I have attended the last 9.  The last 3 years this has been a father and son trip, but my son came down with the flu on Thursday.  I already had a child's ticket, so my daughter tagged along.  Not her first choice of things to do since Saturday was her 14th birthday, but she did not put up too much of a fight.  It was either a weekend in St. Louis with me, or a weekend at home trying to stay away from her sick brother. 

We left Saturday morning around 6:00 a.m.  in order to get there before the doors opened at 9 and also to beat the incoming weather.  We did not receive much snow, but the layer of ice before made travel very tricky Saturday afternoon.  Once the doors opened, our first stop was the Cardinals Care store.

This sign is from the 2018 WWU.  Every year the autograph guests sign 2 of these that are sold the next year.  I had my doubts I would be able to find this as the store opens early for some guests who stay at the hotel where the WWU is held.  We were able to walk right in and find both signs still there.  One is enough for me as these things are fairly big, about 1 foot tall by 3 feet wide.  I bought this for $25.

Our next stop was the Fox Sports Midwest booth.  I will spare you the picture we took as broadcasters and show the cards and pocket schedule were picked up.  We also received a rally towel.

They had mountains of these cards and schedules.  I grabbed a few extra if anyone would like one.

Next we decided to attended 2 presentations.  Normally I only attend the talk given by the minor league coordinator, but this year the Cardinals Hall of Fame Museum was giving away bobbleheads to the first 50 people at their presentations.  This was not advertised too well, so the first one we attended at 11:00 only had about 60 people there.  We were handed our bobbleheads on the way into the speech about a new exhibit highlighting how baseball equipment has changed through the years.

These bobbleheads were only available by signing up to be a Museum member which cost $50 per person or $80 for a family.  I believe this Dizzy Dean was given out during the 2015 season.  These are very nice and a lot better quality than some of the stadium give aways.  This talk lasted about 40 minutes.  We headed over to the 12:00 presentation to find out they handed out line tickets for the bobbleheads.  We were very lucky and got #49 and 50.  This talk was about the evolution of batting helmets.  After the talk was over, we redeemed our ticket for a Willie McGee bobblehead.

I think this one was given out during the 2016 season.  Our next stop was our first autograph of the day.

I had Luke Weaver sign this last year, so it was nice to have Reyes finish it this year.  I am a fan of these oversized Topps cards. They look great framed.  Reyes looks to have lost some weight.  I hope he can stay healthy this year.  

We had a little bit of time before our next autograph, so we walked around the vendor area.  I can remember when I first attended WWU there were a lot of card vendors.  In the last few years it has become more memorabilia with only a handful of dealers with cards.  The Cardinals minor league teams usually have booths set up with various cards, jerseys, and past stadium give aways for sale.

This was the last Peoria Chiefs bobblehead I needed from last year.  Glad I did not spend the $20-25 on EBAY to get one.  This one cost me $10.

I also grabbed a Springfield Cardinals team set for $5.  Great buy for a 43 card set.  Springfield puts out 2 sets each year.  The first is available in the team store, the second is a stadium giveaway.  This is the stadium giveaway set.

We had 3 more autographs after leaving the vendor area.

John Mozeliak signed this 2011 World Series ball.  The Dewitts signed this last year.

This is the first time I have gotten Ryan Franklin.  He works as an assistant to Mozeliak. 

My last autograph of the day was my most disappointing.  I should have know from past experience to use my own sharpie, but I did not for Paul DeJong.  If you compare it to the Reyes auto, you can see how faded it is.  I would bet the same sharpies are used starting at 9:00 in the morning.  I got this autograph a little after 3.  Lesson learned and I will not let this happen again.

Other than the DeJong auto I cannot complain about the first day.  The weather held off, we received 4 free bobbleheads, and it was not overly crowded.  Great start to a long weekend.  Day 2 recap tomorrow.

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

2018 Still Shines

Progress toward my 2018 team sets has slowed down quite a bit the last 2 weeks, but that does not mean I am not getting cards in.  TCDB member TheMacman513 sent me a sweet trade package full of shiny 2018 Cardinals.

These are my first 2018 Topps Chrome Xfractors.  Love the checkerboard look to them.  If they stay healthy, these 3 should all play big parts in the 2019 Cardinals season.  Keeping my fingers crossed that Reyes can pitch a full year.  Does not matter if it is in the bullpen or starting, Reyes will be a big lift.

Panini also produces many shiny cards, most of the Optic variety.  I have several pinks now, but the Flaherty is my first Bronze.  I hope Jack builds on a pretty good 2018 and maybe make an All Star team.  Lowering the amount of home runs he gives up should help.

These 3 are not the shiny variety, Sierra is not even from 2018.  But all are welcome additions.  It will be interesting to see what Bader does for a full year.  His defense is outstanding, but he seems to be pretty streaking with the bat.  I would be content with a .260 average, 15-20 home runs, and 15-20 stolen bases. 

Monday, January 14, 2019

I Survived the Weekend

Well the big snow storm did not hit my area too bad on Friday night.  I received about 3 inches of snow.  Other places within an hour's drive totaled 6 or more inches, so I was lucky.  It was enough for the kids to go out and play for a few hours Saturday afternoon.  By Sunday, it started to melt and turned into a soggy mess.  I spent most of my time organizing my Cardinals boxes and filing away trades that had stacked up since Christmas.  Some of these cards came from a trade package from TCDB member seaver78 that my mailman bravely delivered on Saturday.

Two of the popular faces of Cardinals cards in 2001 were Ankiel and McGwire.  Ankiel was fresh off his 2000 postseason disaster while Mac was entering his last season.  The HD card reminds me off current Stadium Club cards.  I have never seen the Stadium Club Diamond Pearls card before.  Not a bad looking card, but I would have liked a green background like an actual baseball diamond.

These are just 8 of the 36 cards I received from the 1988 Louisville Redbirds Team Issue set.  There are 54 cards in the set, so I have quite a bit of work to do on this one.  It has a nice mix of coaches, minor leaguers, and major league players who made rehab appearances.  Even the bat boys get a card.
I am not sure how many sets were produceds.  I have seen numbers in the 3000s.  I like the detail added about when the players made a rehab stay.  The complete stats are also nice.   

Friday, January 11, 2019

Last One of the Week

I believe winter will finally hit southern Illinois this weekend.  Right now there is a storm warning calling for 7-9 inches of snow to start falling later tonight into Sunday morning.  It has been over 3 years since we have had a snow fall of 3 inches or more.  With that being said, I doubt the mail will be delivered for a day or two.  I did get another package earlier this week from TCDB member jimetal7212 that will keep me busy for a little while this weekend.

Jefferies had 2 good years in St. Louis in 1993 and 1994.  He made the All-Star team in 1994, but left after that year to join the Phillies.  The back of this 1995 Diamond Kings card highlights his short tenure with the Cardinals.

I love me some early 1990s minor league cards.  1992 Skybox produced sets for AA and AAA teams.  These are my first from the AA set.  I only have 1 from the AAA set.  I doubt they are worth much, so maybe I will be able to track they rest of them down.

Here are two players that may not see much time in the Cardinals 2019 outfield.  I am surprised Martinez has not been traded yet.  He has a good bat, but can't play anywhere on the field.  Once the Cardinals traded for Paul Goldschmidt, he lost his hiding spot at first.  Fowler had about as horrible a season as you can imagine last year.  The Cardinals are on the hook for 3 more years at $16.5 million per year.  Pretty hard to trade that contract without eating most of it, so the Cardinals have said he will have a shot to start in right field.  I would prefer to see Tyler O'Neill start, but maybe I will be wrong and Barry Bonds has fixed Fowler's swing.  Time will tell.

Thursday, January 10, 2019

First Blogger Trade of 2019

Last week I had my first trade package arrived from a fellow blogger and TCDB member.  Jared who runs the blog Cards My Mom Didn't Throw Out and goes by TCDB id jrayes7of9 sent a sweet stack of Cardinals my way. 

I have been getting quite a few 2018 Chrome refractors of late.  The colored versions are very sharp, but these regular ones are not too shabby. 

The second Bader of the package is from 2018 Bowman Platinum.  Topps took 2 photos from other cards and put them on one.  Genius on their part.  I also have a nice run of 2018 Fire Blue Chips going.  They look much better in hand than what my scanner shows.

A couple of set hits from 1999 Bowman Chrome and 2003 Fleer Double Header round out the package.  If you flip the top of the Ozzie card down, he shares the card with Robin Yount.  I have never like folding cards like this.  They rank right up there with mini cards as some of my least favorites.