Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Super Joe and a Couple Legends

There is certain type of player that Cardinals fans root for no matter what his talent level may be.  During the 1990s there always seemed to be an undersized middle infielder who could hit a little and hustle like hell.  Bo Hart and Rex Hudler come to mind for me first. During the 1999 season, "Super" Joe McEwing burst on the scene by playing every position except for pitcher and catcher.  He hit .275 while bouncing around the diamond, and also had a 25 game hitting streak.  Even though he was traded to the Mets before the 2000 season, he is still a fan favorite.  Though he retired in 2008, he has remained in the game as a minor league manager and more recently as the White Sox bench coach.  My latest trade envelope from TCDB member madams30 brought back some good memories of McEwing.

Both of these Pacific cards completed team sets for me.  The 1999 Revolution is a great card.  It does have a lot going on, but I love the color scheme and the logo on the front.

Legends in the Making is not quite as big of an insert set as the Salute one I talked about yesterday, but it is close.  Each series from last year featured 30 cards.  Unlike Salute, the 4 different Cardinals featured only have 1 card.

The last two cards have no theme, I just did not want to scan the separately.  The Diaz is a 2017 Heritage 1968 Topps Game insert.  Topps stayed pretty true to the design.  I have a Tim McCarver from the 1968 set that looks very similar.  The McGwire is from a 25 card Mark on History set from 1999 Upper Deck Challengers for 70.  I may have to try harder to complete this set.   This is #16 for me.  Nice looking card that features the famous gut punch with JD Drew.    

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

I Was Saluted

One of the bigger insert sets that Topps put out in 2017 and 2018 was Salute.  The 2017 set contained 200 cards, while the 2018 set contained 250 cards spread out between Series 1, 2, and Update.  With sets that large, there are bound to be a very Cardinals I can use.  The Bench member jweech was able to hit both sets.

The 2017 set contained 11 Cardinals.  These two brought my wantlist down to just one of the Alex Reyes card.  One reason this set is 200 cards is a lot of players have multiple cards.  Both Reyes and Diaz have 2 cards even though neither one had played 2 years in the Majors.

The 2018 sets featured 15 Cardinals.  Once again players with little service time have multiple cards.  I still need 4 or 5 of them.

The trade package contained more than Salute cards.  These 2 are from 2019.  I have never tried the Home Run Challange, but may have to this year. 

I love the 2012 Gold Sparkle cards.  Series 1 and 2 had 30 Cardinals.  I only need 3 more, but will have a lot of the Update cards to track down.

This is my first 2017 Topps Negative card.  Cannot say that I am impressed.  Just not a very nice looking card.  Nothing very positive about the Heyward either, but it did finish a team set.


Wednesday, February 20, 2019

6 Pack PWE

A recent trend I have noticed with my incoming PWE trades is seeing how many cards you can fit into one.  A popular shipping method has been to cut a 9 pocket sheet into 3 strips and using a thin piece of cardboard as protection.  The most cards I have received in one PWE is 24.  Postage was a little extra, but still cheaper than using a bubble envelope.  I have yet to receive any damaged cards this way.  Hope that trend continues.  My lastest PWE from TCDB member SeaKing had a nice 6 pack of Cardinals I needed.

I will start with my favorite card.  The 2016 Update Gold Moss is a great shot of a home run trot at Busch Stadium.  I wonder if the guy pictured on the scoreboard knows this card exists.  The 2015 Hot Streak Pujols is a very sharp looking card.  I had not even heard of this insert set before this trade.

The second Pujols in the envelope is from a 2010 Topps factory set.  Another card I have never seen before.  The Diaz is from 2017 National Trading Card Day.  I have never been able to hit a card shop on one of these days.  Maybe this year will be different.

 I have seen the 2012 Update Golden Greats Musial plenty of times, but did not realize I needed it.  The 2016 A&G Ozzie Numbers Game  looks much better than the Musial.  I am a sucker for cards that use a stadium for a background.    

Monday, February 18, 2019

A Little for a Large Lot

I have done a couple of trades in the past where the other collector involved is looking for junk game used/autos.  Imagine typing that 20 years ago when any bat piece or scribble on a card was like gold.  From what I understand sites like Blowout offer store credit in return for a large lot of these cards.  I never have a lot of extras laying around, but did manage to find 3 to send to The Bench member zlw1 in return for a large collection of Cardinals I needed.

Who doesn't love Flair cards from the late 1990s.  The top 2 1998 card are Row 3, while the Morris is a Row 2.  The 1998 Gold Label card is a Class 1.  Wish Topps would have noted that on the back.

These are my first cards from the 1999 Sports Illustrated Greats of the Game base set.  I do have the autographed versions of the Brock, Forsch, and Gibson.  Just need the Musial card to complete the base set.

Jumping to 2001 we have Sweet Spot, EX, and Fleer Legacy cards.  The Legacy cards are my favorite.  Nothing too fancy, just a nice clean look. 

I have very few Pristine cards in my collection.  This one is from 2002.  The rest of the cards are from 2003.  The Pujols/Drew Double Header card is kind of quirky in that it folds open to reveal a shot of Drew on the bases.  Not my cup of tea, but a set need crossed off.

Some of the 2004 Upper Deck Play Ball cards look good like the Sanders, but others like the Gibson are not very good.  He almost looks foreign in that pic.  Hard to believe I still need some base cards from Leaf sets, but I do.  The 2005 Bowman Chrome Draft Thompson is pretty sharp.  Not sure if the Cardinals team colors were meant to be on the border, but it looks good anyway.

The Brock brings my 2014 Archives needs down to just Molina.  The 08 Upper Deck Heroes set had a few different color variations.  I believe this is the black version, but it could be charcoal.  Either way it was a needed Pujols card.

The last of the base cards came from 2018 Chrome Update.  I need a couple more to finish this set.

The package included plenty of inserts and parallels.  I always liked the Bowman International cards, but the black border on this 1997 Gant card makes it look very dark.  It also shows a lot of chips on the border.

One thing Donruss did well was feature retired greats from each team.  Not just Hall of Famers like Brock, Gibson and Musial, but guys like Marty Marion who had good but not great careers.  The Team Six card pictures Brock, Red Schoendienst, and Frankie Frisch on the back.  Sweet card that is also numbered to 100.

I wish X-fractors scanned better.  They look so good in person.  All of these are from 2012 Bowman Chrome.  Not much star power here other than the Berkman.

I did not know 2018 Fire had Blue Chip parallels for inserts also.  They look just as sweet as the base cards.  The 2017 Martinez Archives Peach card is numbered to 199.  Not sure how or why Topps made a Peach card.   Why not something simple like yellow.  

Thursday, February 14, 2019

Ron Gets It Done in One

Trading Bases member Ron B continued his support of the US postal system by sending his third package this year.  Although none of these cards were on my current wantlist, I needed them all. 

I believe you could only buy the 2018 Topps All Star set directly from Topps.  It was nice to receive all 24 Cardinals in one trade.  You may have to look closely to see the silver foil stamp on the front.  If I get bored sometime, I will have to see how many different variations of the base Topps card were produced last year.  I would not be surprised to see the number close to 20.

Also included was a sweet 2019 Topps Father's Day parallel numbered to 50.  It is nice Topps is giving us fathers some love after producing the pink Mother's Day cards for a few years. 

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Finished With 2019

I was able to knock out my 2019 Series 1 team set with my latest trade envelope from TCDB member Hilochef.  I believe this is the first trade I have ever made with someone from Hawaii.

It took me 3 trades to complete the 14 card set not counting the 2 I received in my blaster box.  There are still a ton of inserts to go after.  That should keep me busy until Series 2 comes out.

Heck I am still chasing inserts from 2018 Series 1 like the 1983 Bader card.  The O'Neill is from 2018 Update.  I do not have any of the new 1984 inserts, but I think I will like these 1983 cards better. 

Monday, February 11, 2019

Not Quite a Mini Trade

It is no secret that I do not care much for mini cards.  I hate the storage issue that goes with them along with the greater chance of them being lost and/or damaged.  Last week I was going through my inserts and found a Cal Ripken GQ mini that had fallen under the row of regular inserts in my 1600 count box.  Of course one of the corners was dinged even though it was in a penny sleeve.  As a rule unless it is a Cardinal, I traded them as soon as I get them.

Of course I do not turn away a mini Cardinals if I need it.  I just do not go out of my way trying to find them.  But if I find someone who has other Cardinals I need, I will work out something for the minis also.  Thus was the case with a recent trade with TCDB member engine614.

2013 Topps Mini is not a true mini in my opinion like the GQ or A&G cards.  These are more like half cards.  I do not find very many of these for trade.  I am guessing that has a lot to do with it being an online product only.  At least I do not have to search anymore as these 5 completed a team set. 

The 2017 Archives 1959 Bazooka Piscotty is also not a true mini card, just a normal one cut in half.  Not a bad card, but the 2014 Topps blue parallel is more my style.  Give me colored borders to chase anyday. 

These were the last 2017 Pro Debut Cardinals I needed.  As you can see from the uniforms, the birds on the bat theme holds true for most of the Cardinals minor league teams.  The Peoria Chiefs and State College Spikes do not have any version of the logo, but the top 3 teams in Memphis, Springfield, and Palm Beach all do.

I have seen a ton of 2016 Bowman Chrome Draft cards, but still need 4 more Cardinals.  I guess I just assumed I had them.

Sunday, February 10, 2019

3 = 20,000

One of the many great features of the TCDB website is the ability to track how many cards you have in your collection.  You can keep track of how many cards you have of a certain player, from a certain set, or in my favorite case a certain team.  After receiving a 3 card trade from member Detfan6897, I noticed I went past the 20,000 total of Cardinals in my collection.  I know this number may not be 100% accurate as I am sure I have made a few mistakes logging my collection onto the site, but just to see the number was pretty neat.  Hear are the 3 that put me over the hump.

This is my first 2019 Rainbow foil card.  The bottom 1983 insert is from 2018 Topps Update.  Hicks should be back in the bullpen this year, but his role is yet to be determined.  I have heard some talk about him being a closer, but I cannot see the Cardinals trusting such a young pitcher with that role. 

Topps must have taken this 2018 Archives Coming Attraction insert photo very early last year.  I do not recall Bader having such short hair.  He has sported the long goldy locks for a long time. 

Friday, February 8, 2019

Just Completed My Best Set Ever

It has been years since I have put together a set of cards.  I am thinking it was 2002 or 2003.  I am just not into have a huge stack of cards that do not feature my favorite team.  It can also be fairly expensive for a budget minded collector like myself.  I do go after all the Cardinals team sets, but even those can be a challenge with all the wonderful short prints that are produced.

There is one set that I have been trying to complete for a long time.  It is not a base card set or even a team set.  It is the 1998 Topps Tek set of all 90 Ray Lankford cards.  For a long time I was down to needed patterns 4 and 7.  I believe it was early last year when another Cardinals collector traded me #4.  I had my doubts whether I would ever find #77, but last week The Bench member cardinals-colle sent me a trade offer with a bunch of Lankford cards I need for team sets.  He also included Tek #77.  I could not make the deal quick enough and anxiously awaited the envelope to make sure it was indeed the last one I was searching for.  It arrived on Wednesday.

So it was a 1998 Topps Tek Lankford, but was it the one I needed?

You bet it was.  It was great to slide this card into the page to go along with the other 89 patterns.  This is my first new Lankford of 2019, and hopefully not the last.  There are also diffractor versions of all 90 patterns, but since I only have 3 of those that set will never be complete.  

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Deja Vu x 2

It was just a little over a week ago that I highlighted this trade package from Trading Bases member Ron B.  Since then I have received 2 more packages from him.  One was weather delayed that arrived on Monday, the other a jam packed pwe that came yesterday.

The pwe was full of 2019 Topps Cardinals.  These put a nice dent into my need list which hopefully will be down to 0 by the end of this week.

My first 2019 Topps Gold also came in the pwe.  Although they may be harder to spot than previous years, I like the looks of these more.

Ron sent multiples of the last 2 Bowman Draft paper cards I needed.  I hope to get some signed in Peoria later this year.  Both Baker and Dunn were 2018 draft picks who played a few weeks in Peoria at the end of last season.  I am guessing both will start there for a month or so.

Keeping with the minor league theme, I also finished my 2018 Pro Debut team set. 

I am down to needing 2 more 2018 Topps Fire.  I am fighting the urge to place a Sportlots order to finish some of my recent sets like this one. 

This is my first 2017 Topps High Tek card.  I believe this is pattern 5A.  It would be great if Topps could print the pattern numbers on the back like they did in 1998.

The lone insert came from the 2018 Panini Chronicles Illusion set.  Nothing very special about this card.  No logo, and not even the insert name on the card. 

Tuesday, February 5, 2019

2 PWE from the Weekend

My mail was delayed a few days last week due to the extreme cold conditions.  I knew 1 trade envelope was coming, but was surprised to find a second PWE in my mailbox on Saturday.

Long time trading friend Mark Z sent me these 2 inserts unexpectedly, a 2009 Topps Gold and a 2000 Bowman Bowman's Best Preview.  I always like the 2000 Best cards, but did not understand why Topps had to issue a preview in a set released only a few months before.

The second PWE contained 6 Cardinals from The Bench member smitha1.  He finished both my 2014 and 2016 Finest team sets.

I was also able to finish my 2014 Prizm set.  The Gonzales is from 2015 Bowman.  I still root for him even though he is with the Mariners.  Marco was a very well spoken player and twice took time to sign autographs before Triple A games in Memphis that I attended back in 2015.

The Oh card finished my 2015 Bowman Chrome set, while the Flaherty is my first 2018 Bowman Chrome card.  Finish one, start another.   Thus the life of a team collector.     

Monday, February 4, 2019

First Taste of 2019 Topps

It never fails that a trip to Wal-Mart includes a stroll by the card aisle.  Saturday was no different as my son and I had a few things to get for a Super Bowl party on Sunday (wow that was a bad game).  My son was excited to see the new 2019 Topps was already out.  I let him pick out the blaster box that we opened when we got home.   

First card out of the pack was this sweet photo.  Wonder if Engel made the catch.

The Wal-Mart blasters include Acuna highlight cards.  I would guess he did make the catch on the above card.

The gold cards look pretty nice this year.  The 150th parallels are nothing special, but easy to spot.

I was not too impressed with any of these inserts, although the 1984 inserts will probably grow on me.

I do like the Grapefruit League inserts.  These are found in blaster boxes, while the Cactus League inserts are found in retail loose packs.

I have never opened a pack with a photo variation until I found this one.  I doubt I would have noticed, but I received the regular Davis as well.

The Manufactured relic cards found 1 per blaster box are pretty cheesy this year.  This one is not even on the card straight.

We pulled 3 Cardinals base cards along with a Molina insert.  Just 11 more base cards to go for the team set.