Monday, April 29, 2019

Nothing Wrong With Being Small

The increase in postage at the beginning of this year has changed trading habits for some collectors.  I have encountered a few who do not want to mail a trade that does not include a certain number of cards or a given dollar amount.  I understand where they are coming from, but for me this is more of a hobby.  I am not crazy enough to mail a 1988 Donruss card in a $3 bubble mailer, but I do love trading.  There is nothing better than coming home from a long day of work to find your mailbox full of card packages.  Last week I had 4 small package arrive to help out with my Cardinals collection.

The Bench member buildingsets sent some 2019 Gypsy Queen hits.   The regular Yadi was the last non short print I needed.

 TCDB member itsjustoldcardboard sent a nice Ozzie insert and a David Freese that completed my 2009 Topps 206 team set. 

TCDB member BobbyL finished two sets with his package.  Nice to put the 2017 Topp Fire and 2016 Bowman Chrome Vending sets to bed.

Long time trading partner Mark Z sent me an unexpected 3 pack of Cardinals inserts.  Those purple Optic parallels look awesome in person.  Yadi wore #41 his first 2 seasons before switching to his current #4.  Hard to believe this is his 16th season. 

Thursday, April 25, 2019

The Best Kind of Saturday: Card Show, Card Shop, and Minor League Baseball

After spending the day in St. Louis last Friday,  my son and I headed into the other direction on Saturday morning for a day in Indianapolis.  It sucked not being able to stay and watch my daughter's volleyball tournament, but I had gotten tickets to the Indianapolis Indians game back in February before her tournament schedule was out.  After sitting through 2+ months of her games already, my son was looking forward to skipping some.

As luck would have it, there was a monthly card show being held from 8-2.  Since we did not have to be at the game until 4:30, there was plenty of time to hit up the show.  We arrived about 10:30 and spent a little over 2 hours there.  Most of our time was spent sorting through dime and quarter boxes. I forgot to add up the exact number of cards, but we spent $15 total for about 25 cards that are trade bait and all the Cardinals below.
The wifi in the building was not great and my phone did not get very good reception, so I was unable to check my inventory on TCDB.  Most of what I bought where Cardinals I hoped I needed.  I did end up getting about 10 duplicates, but I am sure they will find a good home.  The oldest card I bought was a 1983 Glossy send in of Bruce Sutter.  I had never seen the 1991 Ozzie card before.  20 cents well spent on these 2.
One dealer had 5 monster boxes of mixed sports that included premium brands like Tier One, Triple Threads, and Ultimate Collection.  Would it be too much to ask to separate sports?  I really do not care to flip through basketball and football cards.  For a quarter each I jumped at these numbered Cardinals.
The red backgrounds on these jumped out at me while I was flipping cards.  The Jordan is numbered to 3000.  The McGwire is from the 1999 Home Run Heroes set that was released across several brands.  I have never seen the Pacific card before this show.

I will buy Topps Gold Cardinals that I need any day of the week for a quarter.

How cool are these inserts for not being licensed?  The Holliday is a Clear Vision insert that is beautiful in hand.  I thought I had the Molina, but actually needed it.  His inserts are very easy to trade to other Cardinals fans, but this one will stay with me.

One dime box had a huge stack of Brandon Moss cards for some reason.  You never know what you are going to find sometimes.  The 2017 Foil and Gold cards are my first step in completing his rainbow (not really).

Though not as sharp as the other unlincensed cards, these 2018 Donruss teal cards numbered to 199 were still a good find for a quarter each.

I am a sucker for Bowman inserts, even if the players are not with the Cardinals anymore.  Reyes is currently in  Triple A trying to gain some control.  I would think after a few starts in Memphis he will be back in St. Louis before too long.

I loved colored refractors.  Does not matter if they are pink, sepia, or x-fractors.  $1 well spent.

I don't make it a habit of buying base cards for a quarter, but I have not seen too many of these brands for trade.  You might be lucky and find them on Sportlots for 18 cents each, but factor in shipping costs and 25 cents is a bargain.
Another brand I have had trouble finding is 2018 Bowman Chrome.  Nice to find these in a dime box.

It is great to see Ozuna hitting well so far this year.  I have my doubts the Cardinals will try to resign him after 2019, but maybe he can help them back to the playoffs this year.  DeJong has started out great this year, as has Hicks.  He made Yellich look bad on a strikeout yesterday to complete a sweep of the Brewers.

I did find a few 2019 inserts in the quarter boxes.  I might have been able to get these cheaper or in a trade later this year, but it is hard to deny instant gratification.  It was nice going to a show somewhere other than St. Louis where I would have seen a lot of these cards for 50 cents or a dollar each.  The drive to Indy is about the same as St. Louis for me, so I may have to keep this local show in mind.

After a lunch break, we still had a couple of hours to kill before heading to the ballgame.  I remember seeing a sign at the show for a local shop not too far away.  Since my phone now had reception, I was able to find Indy Card Exchange pretty quick.  Right inside the door were 3 monster boxes of recent baseball base cards for a dime each.  By recent I mean a ton of 2018 and 2019 products including Bowman that was just released last week.  Since we did not hit any Cardinals in our Bowman break the day before, my son and I started digging.

We found all 5 Cardinals that were not in the prospect set.  The Goldschmidt does not look too bad for being airbrushed.

Other 2019 finds included our first Diamond Kings Cardinals and the last non sp Gypsy Queen needed for the team set.

It was great to find some prospect brands in the dime boxes including 2018 Bowman Chrome prospects that I did not find at the card show.  Counting some other cards not shown, I found 24 cards out of the dime boxes.  My total was $1.87.  I asked the women if she charged me enough, and she said it was great to see young collectors in the store like my son having some fun.  I spent a few minutes talking to her and her husband after I paid.  I mentioned we came to town for the Indians game, but was worried the constant light rain all day would cause the game to be cancelled.   Turns out the gentleman is friends with someone in the front office.  He assured me the game would be played.  I thanked him for the great deal on the cards and the game tip and headed to the ballpark.

The major reason I picked this Indians game was the pregame team autograph session.  Of course I am not a Pirates fan, but my good trading partner Ron B is.  I was able to get 15 cards signed for him by players including Kevin Kramer, Will Craig, Ke'Bryan Hayes, and Mitch Keller.  I kept a couple of cool looking ones for myself.

Both of these guys were very friendly.  They should be helping the Pirates before too long.  Keller pitched in Sunday's game and went 6 shutout innings striking out 8 batters. 

My favorite autographs came from former Cardinals Tyler Lyons.  As for the game itself, the Indians lost in extra innings 3-1 long after my son and I had left.  With temps in the low 40s and a damp cold wind, we did not last very long.  The two hour drive home and a full day of Easter gatherings on Sunday also made it easier to leave early.  All in all it was a long but very enjoyable day spent with my son.   



Monday, April 22, 2019

Jumping on the Bowman Bandwagon

I am surprised that I have not seen very many posts about 2019 Bowman.  It was released last Wednesday and contains a lot of nice autos and rookie cards.  I know that rookies/prospects are not everyone's cup of tea, but Bowman is always a fun break.  Last Friday my kids had the day off school so we went to St. Louis.  We hit up the  Science Center and Dave & Busters.  My wife and daughter stayed the night in St. Charles for a weekend volleyball tournament, but my son and I drove back home.  To help kill some of the time of the 2 hour drive, we stopped at a Wal-Mart for some snacks and bought a blaster and fat pack of 2019 Bowman.  I was itching to use the $1 off coupon from our Series 1 box.

It was disappointing to find only 6 packs in the box.  I always thought blasters had 7 or 8.  The fat pack had 19 cards.  When my son and I open cards, I always make sure to get an odd number of  packs.  Whoever gets the best card opens the last pack.  The base cards have more off a blueish border than what is shown.  Out of the 91 cards we received, 7 were Angels.  At least we did not get any duplicates.

The inserts are all Chrome.  I like the Talent Pipeline inserts that showcase a player at 3 different levels of a team's farm system.  I believe Ready for the Show is a new insert this year.  Not bad, but there is not much of a picture because of the name badge.

One constant Bowman insert is the Top 100.  These have been very sharp in the past, but I am not a fan of the bubble/bee hive background this year.  Give me something with a little more color.

 My son opened the pack with the Vlad Jr 1989 insert.  He noticed Vlad was on the box, so he assumed it was a good card.  He was right and it ended up being the best card.  I joked that it would have been great if he pulled his autographed card.  The Tucker was in the fat pack he opened, but it was not the best card.

It is not a Vlad Jr auto, but I will take a autographed #ed to 150 out of a fat pack any day.  We managed to kill about an hour opening and sorting the cards.  The only down side was we did not get a single Cardinal.  We took care of that later in the weekend.  All the cards are for trade except the Bishop which is on EBAY.  I can send a list of the base, prospects, and chrome if anyone is interested. 


Thursday, April 18, 2019

Base Cards from Cards on Cards

Today I will show off the huge stack of base cards that Kerry from Cards on Cards sent last week.  It took me a few days to go through the package and figure out what a few cards were.  That is always part of the fun for me.

Starting off with a well loved 1967 Topps Curt Flood.  My scanner cut off the right border for some reason.  One of these days I hope to read his book Well Paid Slave detailing his fight for free agency.

 A pair of 1978 SSPC cards and a 1981 TCMA.  The Simmons is my favorite of the bunch. 

You may wonder why I am showing a 1981 Fleer card.  This is the correct version that I did not have.  The error card has the same photo with Pete Vuckovich name on the front.  The Medwick card is my first from the 1980-1987 SSPC HOF set.  The George Hendrick is a 1984 Glossy Send In card. 

Look at all these great cards from Fleer box sets.  The 1988 Fleer Herr is my favorite.  The red and yellow border looks good with the batting practice jersey.

The Lindeman is a 1987 Fleer Glossy card, while the Brunansky is a 1989 Sportsflics card.  I wish Bruno played more than 3 years in St. Louis.  He was underrated in my book.

I am always a sucker for minor league cards.  From overproduced like the 1990 CMC cards to my first 2001 SP Top Prospect cards, they are all welcome to my collection.

Jumping into the 1990s with a trio of oddball cards.  I never knew Donruss made mini Cracker Jack cards like the 1992 Zeile card.  Seems you can always learn something new each day when you collect.

 I had never seen the McGee 1991 Topps box bottom card before.  It shows a little wear, but still is a cool card to have.  The Dayley is a Cardinals card in my book even though it says he is with the Blue Jays.  This is an 1991 O-PEE-CHEE card.

More oddballs with these 1992 cards.  Although they are not very expensive, the Conlon cards came be a challenge to find.  There are a ton Cardinals in the 1992 set.

If you need to brush up on your Spanish, I suggest 1993 Pacific cards.  The back includes a paragraph in English and Spanish.

Why Fleer needed to make the 1994 Extra Bases set oversized is beyond my understanding.  These things are a nightmare to store and try to keep mint.  Good thing there is not much value to them.

Moving into the 2000s is a four pack from 2002.  The Topps Chrome look a lot better in hand.  The gray borders do not scan well.

I liked the 2003 Donruss Team Heros set.  I reminded me of Topps Total with its inclusion of relievers and bench players.  I was not pleased to find out Total is now an online exclusive product.  $10 for 10 is not what the original Total set was like.  Leave it to Topps to mess up a good thing in order to make a few extra bucks.

Upper Deck did Sweet Spot sets well.  The 2005 Classics set is a throwback to retired players like Dizzy Dean.  I like the use of the pennant at the bottom.

 I should have scanned a back of these 2006 Topps cards to show they are from the team set instead of the regular set.  I have never bought any of these upon release, but have found them discounted a year or two later for a couple of bucks.  The Morris is a base card, just one I did not have yet.  Since I do not open very many packs, I did not know he was pictured in a Cardinals uniform.

Nothing two flashy with these UD and Bowman cards, but both Bowman cards did finish team sets.  The Cardinals drafted stock as a catcher in 2009, but he switched to pitching a couple of years later.  He is now a reliever for the Padres.

Now we get to the current decade.  The 2016 Chrome Update Hazelbaker reminds me of a Bowman bubble refractor card.  The Ozzie is my first Allen & Ginter X card from any year.

Lots to like in these 4 cards.  First you have a reliever card from a Honus Bonus set that is not very common, followed by a nice 2018 Topps photo variation.  The bottom 2 finished my 2018 Topps  Fire set and started my 2018 Topps Heritage Minors set.

Thanks again to Kerry for the great Cardinals lot.  Hope we can swap again before the end of the year.


Monday, April 15, 2019

Lots of Cards from Cards on Cards

It is always fun trading with fellow Cardinals fans.  In most cases I can get rid of Cardinals doubles for cards that I need.  Such was the case with a recent swap with Kerry from Cards On Cards.  We both were able to thin out our extras in exchange for a ton of new Cardinals.  My package was so big that today I will just highlight the inserts.

Starting off with some early 1990s inserts and parallels.  I have never seen the 1994 SP Holoview card before.  Sweet looking card.  The Ozzie Gold Winner was the last one I need to finish the 1992 set.

Jumping a few years to the late 1990s and early 2000s that saw a ton of McGwire inserts.  I wonder if anyone actually displays the 1997 Pinnacle Stand Up guys. 

Edmonds also had a ton of Cardinals inserts.  The 2003 Moonshots cards is my favorite.  Stadium Club was not nearly as sharp in 2008 as it has been the last few years.  The first day issue card is not bad card, but the photo is rather boring.  The 2008 Topps Looper is a gold foil parallel.

Chris Duncan is battling brain cancer for the second time.  He was co hosting a sports radio show in St. Louis until January.  Best of luck to him as he continues to fight.  His card is a 2009 Topps Target throwback.  Tuivailala came up as a shortstop, but was later turned into a relief pitcher because he could not hit.  I think that switch worked out well for him.  One of the nicer players I have ever met.

It is amazing how things can change in baseball in 5 years since these cards came out in 2014.  Carp just signed an extension last week.  We all know the tragic story of Taveras passing away during the 2014 World Series.  Piscotty was traded to Oakland in 2017 to be closer to his dying mother.  Nice to see him doing well.  Cooney pitched a in a few game in 2015 before missing all of 2016 with a shoulder injury.  I do not think he is in baseball anymore.

I believe 2015 was the first year Topps starting giving inserts different colored backgrounds to confuse collectors.  I still do not see the need for it.  Just stick with the different colored borders like Gypsy Queen.

Here is what Topps does right.   Topps Chrome refractors are simple and look great.  The colored parallels can be a bit much for some people, but I like them.  The 2015 Update MLB All Star Game Molina is one of the few cards not showing him in catcher's gear.  Kind of nice to have see change every now and then.

I cannot complain about any of these inserts.  I like colored parallels like the DeJong, cards with a nostalgic feel like the Reyes and Flaherty, and cards that have a outer space type background like the Martinez.  O for the days of Metal Universe.