Thursday, October 31, 2019

First Taste of Update

Congrats to the Washington Nationals.  It was a great series for any fan to watch.  Nice to see some fresh blood win, even though my son and I were rooting for Houston because of his Altuve affection.
Now that the season is over, cards can be pushed aside for some until 2020 Topps comes out.  Not me.  Yeck I have barely started some of the newer sets like 2019 Topps Update.  Long time trading friend Ron B. got me started on that set with his latest trade package.

There are only 7 Cardinals in the set.  I have 2 more incoming soon, so there will only be one more to track down.  The Edman is the big card out of this batch.  I know he had a pretty good rookie season, but some of the prices for his cards are crazy.  It reminds me of the Bo Hart and Joe McEwing craze years ago.  I hope Edman has a longer career than those 2.

Ron threw in some nice 2019 inserts.  The Donruss Mik card is numbered to 150 naturally.  I love the different Prizm variations this year.  This one is my first Pink card.

I received more than just pink parallels.  One purple and one plum frame Matt Carpenter card.  I am not sure what to think of Carp, but I do know next year will be very important to his future as a Cardinal.

The 2018 cards include were also colored.   The purple refractor is numbered to 250, the gallery is a wood/ canvas parallel form Topps Gallery.

My son came away with a couple of Altuve cards, although he already had the Donruss card.  I have found another Altuve collector on TCDB that we can swap doubles with, so this one will be headed out shortly.     

Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Cool Trade

I have touched on this before in some previous posts, but I love seeing the unique usernames some collectors come up with on TCDB.  My latest trade envelope was courtesy of member aint56cool.  I am not sure why 56 is so cool, but I know he sent some nice Cardinals my way.  That makes him cool in my book.

Minor league cards are always cool with me, especially of guys who actually played for the Cardinals.  These 3 cards brought my 1992 Upper Deck Minors set down to needing 1 more card of Rene Arocha for completion.

I have seen the 1990 Collect a Book Ozzie Smith card, but never any from 1991 Line Drive.  I will have to track down the Lou Brock from this set to go along with Gibson.

1993 Action Packed is another set I know little about.  I traded for the Ken Boyer earlier this year, but still have 6 more Cardinals to track down.  Maybe I will get lucky and find them in a dime box someday.

I showed off a few 1996 Flair cards earlier this month. I added 3 more in this trade.  The top 2 are the gold foil, the Ozzie is from the silver set.       


Monday, October 28, 2019

Lots of Gloss

It has been a while since I received a big trade package.  My idea of big is more than 50 cards.  It  could be because of my lack of time the last few months, or the fact that I have not gotten much new trade material.  Sometimes you meet a trader who just loves to trade in bulk.  That was the case with TCDB member alh.  I sent a trade offer for about 30 cards going both ways.  He countered with an offer of  83 cards coming my way and 61 going his direction.  I jumped at the offer.  Nothing better than getting a huge chunk of new Cardinals.  The bulk of the trade consisted of cards from 4 sets.

I had a handful of 1987 Fleer Glossy cards before this trade.  Thanks to the 18 I received, I only need 2 more to complete the set.  It is hard to pick up the glossy finish from the scan, but easy to tell in hand.  Otherwise there is not difference between these cards and the regular set.   

The 1989 Fleer Glossy set is easier to distinguish from the regular set because of the stamp on the back.  Just like the 1987 set, the front is very glossy.  I received 25 of the 26 cards from the set in this trade.  Only need the Ozzie Smith card to complete it.

Moving away from Fleer and the 1980s, I received 23 Cardinals from the 2003 Topps Home Team Advantage set.  Nothing fancy about these other than the stamp.  These mirrored the 720 card regular set.  Still need 11 more to finish this set.

The 4 big chunk of cards came from the 200 Upper Deck Predictor Green set.  I received 12 of the 14 Cardinals, needing the base Pujols and Molina cards to finish it.  These would have been a lot sharper with an all green border.

This is the card that started the trade.  Big Lee Smith was the last card I needed to complete the 1992 Topps Gold Winners team set.  Not a very valuable set, but I love finishing big sets like this one that had 29 Cardinals in it.

The trade was got even better with a couple of oddball minor league cards from 1994 Action Packed.  Barber was in the news last week for being hired as the head of the Phillies scouting department.  Hope that works out better than his pitching career.  He was the Cardinals first round pick in the 1991 draft.  He only pitched in 10 games during the 1995 and 1996 seasons before joining the Royals.  He was out of baseball by 2000.

The icing on the cake was this 1986  Donruss pop up that was included for free.  Another card that is not very valuable, but I really appreciate when a trader sends something extra that I do not have.   

Monday, October 21, 2019

Trading with a Blogger/Birthday Buddy

I think I mention the Trading Card Database (TCDB) website in almost all of my posts.  The site has such a great trading tool that matches your wants and cards for trade to other collector's inventory.  I don't mind a blind trade, but this helps cut down on the number of Cardinals that get thrown in my duplicate box.

Another TCDB feature I discovered last week is the birthday feature.  You have the option to put in your date of birth minus the year.  Normally I do not pay attention to that, but last week I happened to make a trade with Robert from 30aWeekHabit blog.  This weekend while I was leaving him feedback for a trade package I received, I noticed we share the same birthday.  Not sure who is older, but I am guessing he may have a few years on me based on some of the sets he collects.  On to the cards.  We both sent some green to each other.
I had a handful of 2019 Gypsy Queen green parallels for Robert while he had these nice 2018 Donruss Holo Green Cardinals.

I also scored a blue parallel from 2011 Topps.  I love picking up any Topps parallel from that year since it was the last time the Cardinals won the World Series.  Speaking of the Fall Classic, I would be happy to see either team win.  My son is a big Altuve fan so he is rooting for the Astros, but it would be nice to see Scherzer win a ring. 

Last card in the package was from 2009 Upper Deck O-PEE-CHEE.  Yadi does not wear the blue gear anymore, so this one picture you may not see on a card again.  Now if it was a Topps cards, I am sure it would be used at least 3 or 4 more times. 

Thanks for the trade Robert, hope you have a good birthday coming soon.

Monday, October 14, 2019

Silver and Gold

Well today is do or die for the Cardinals.  Down 2 games to 0, they have their ace Jack Flaherty going against Steven Strasburg.  The way the Cardinals are not hitting, I don't give them much of a chance.  If the Nationals do win the series, good for them.  They have a solid team with guys that may not be the biggest names, but sure do produce. 

To help ease the pain of the Cardinals losses, I opened a nice trade package yesterday from TCDB member Killtaker.  It arrived on Friday, but a busy weekend kept me from getting to it until last night.

The bulk of the trade were 1996 Flair cards.  That was the year that Fleer put out cards that were silver and gold.  These are the silver cards.

It is hard to tell from the scan, but these are the gold cards.  It is a lot easier to see in person.

 The silver card is on the left.

I did receive a few other cards like these 1999 Upper Deck SP Signature cards.  Most collectors prefer the autographed versions, but the base cards are still nice.

I was never a fan of the Turkey Red sets like this one from 2005.  The gray borders just make the card look dull.  There were also numerous short prints in the set.  I still need the Rolen and Pujols cards to finish the team set.

These are my first 2 cards from the 2004 Just Rookies set.  Not a great design, but I am a sucker for anything minor leagues.  It is a small set with only 90 cards total, which includes 4 Cardinals.  The player selection is not that great.  Dustin Pedroria and Ben Zobrist are the 2 biggest names.   Must be why I have never seen these cards before.

Thursday, October 10, 2019

One for the Archives

Boy was I ever wrong about yesterday's game 5.  I would have never imagined the Cardinals scored that many runs in a game, let alone in 1 inning.  Great to see the bats come alive, but I hope they saved some for Washington.  Should be another great series.

What better way to celebrate a playoff win than opening a PWE full of Cardinals.  This one came from TCDB member jimsisco.  He put a major hurt on my 2019 Topps Archives team set.

The 1958 design is my least favorite of the 3 used this year.  It is not horrible, just not much to look at.  Plain background and plain border makes for a pretty boring design.

The 1975 design is my favorite.  I love the colorful borders.  Seems to fit right in with the 1970s era.

The 1993 design is in the middle.  I love the Dizzy Dean card.  It has been a while since Topps had him in a set.  These 8 cards left me with 5 more to finish the set.  Hope that happens before the end of the year. 

The lone insert was a Topps Magazine card.  I do not remember ever reading the magazine, but the cards look great.       

Wednesday, October 9, 2019

1 of These Guys Does Not Fit In

In just a few hours the Cardinals and Braves will start Game 5.  It has been a fun and nerve racking series to watch for both sides.  I would be shocked if it was not a close game, but will not say who will win.  Flip a coin and you can decide.  The Cardinals offense has not really came through all series, but they do have Flaherty on the mound.  I hope he shows he belongs with the group of elite post season pitchers.

Speaking of groups, one thing I always try to do when showing off cards in a post is group the cards in some way.  It can be by player, position, or parallel.  Anything to try to find a common theme.  Sometimes that is not possible though.  A recent trade with TCDB member nwcardsupplies left me with 1 card that just did not fit in with the other 4. 

These 2019 Topps inserts have a lot in common.  Both cards are from the same insert set and of 2 of the greatest Cardinals players.  Obvious choice to put these 2 cards in the same scan.

These 2 cards are a little more of a stretch being from different brands and 14 years apart, but both are former Cardinals greats who are members of the Hall of Fame.  They also have their numbers retired and won multiple gold gloves.

This is the card that has little to no connection with the other four.  Other than being from 2019, I found nothing in common.  Unlicensed product, parallel that is nice but has nothing to do with the other inserts, and a player that is not the same caliber as the others.  No offense to Mr. Martinez, but I do not see him making the Hall of Fame.   

Thursday, October 3, 2019

A Few Packs from Saturday

Today I will finish up my recap of my son and I's Saturday trip to St. Louis.  After the card show, a quick fast food lunch, and a few hours at the Cardinals Museum, we headed home.  About 15 minutes into the ride, my son informed me we did not open any packs yet.  This is somewhat of a ritual for us anytime we take a road trip.  After short discussion of what he wanted to open, we hit up a Target in hopes of finding Topps Fire.  We do not have a Target within an hour's drive of our home, so this may be the only chance for us to get any. 

There were no blaster boxes of Fire to be found, just so hanger packs.  My son switched gears somewhat and decided to get 2 hangers of Topps Chrome that included 3 packs and 3 pink refractors.  To get our odd number of packs, he chose a single Topps Fire.  As in the past, who ever got the best card could open the odd number pack.  We did not do very well with the Chrome.

 Each pack of Chrome had an insert in it.  The bottom 2 are regular refractors.  My son pulled the Thor 1984 card, so I needed something good out of the pink packs to beat him.

Once again he topped me, pulling the Verlander and Schwarber.  The pink refractors always look great.  Speaking of pink, make sure to check out Collecting Cutch's Let's Save Second Base posts during the month of October.  He has a lot of nice pink cards to show off, as well as some great eye candy.

My son liked the looks of Topps Fire and thought about getting nothing but Fire to open, but he is also a shiny fan.   Chrome just looks good he said.  Can't argue with him on that.  The Fire pack was not any better than the Chrome packs.

The Blue Chip inserts are nice, but the players were not the best.  I will not even comment on the Fired Up card other than it is available for trade along with just about everything else.

The lone Cardinal in all the packs was our first Fire card.  Hudson's role in the NLDS will be interesting.  He will be in the bullpen for the first 2 games, but could also start game 3.  I would rather see him start and hope the Cardinals do not have to pull Mikolas or Flaherty early in the first 2 games.  Game 1 starts in about 1 hour.  I know where I will be for a few hours. 

Wednesday, October 2, 2019

Saturday Signings at the Cardinals Museum

I mentioned in Monday's post that my son and I went to St. Louis on Saturday.  We hit up a card show first, but that was not the primary reason for our trip.  It was the last Saturday home game for the Cardinals.  For the last couple of years, the Cardinals Museum hosts a former player to sign autographs when there is a Saturday home game.  I have only attended one of these signings before.   Being a museum member, I was guaranteed to get an autograph.

Steve Kline is not the greatest Cardinals reliever ever, but he had a run of good years in the mid 2000s and is also a great character.  I also have never gotten his auto.  He was very talkative and cracking jokes with everyone.

The bigger draw for me was it was Fan Appreciation Day.  Before the Kline signing, museum members were treated to a small presentation about how the Cardinals stay in touch with their alumni and some stories about their community involvement.  We were served light snacks of popcorn, pretzels, cracker jacks, and chex mix to go along with tea and lemonade.  Not over the top by any means, but a nice touch.  The presentation was held in the Redbird Club, an area of the Museum I had never been to before.  After it was over, we lined up for the signing.

My son and I both received a free 8x10 from the 2014 Hall of Fame ceremony.  Another perk of being museum members.  There was a line of about 75 people in front of us for the Kline signing.  As it was slowly moving along, the Museum staff hosted a trivia contest with some nice prizes.  The multiple choice questions were pretty easy in my opinion.  Each person could win 2 prizes.  It was nice to have my son with me that day.

When they started the trivia, I was tempted just to stay in line so we could leave early, but then they brought out the prizes.  These 22x26 autographed corrugated signs hang outside the Museum the day of the signing.  Of course the Lankford one caught my eye.  I answered the first question correct and snagged this bad boy.  Not sure where it will hang, but I will find a good spot in my man  cave.

There were also 11x16 posters that were autographed.  This one will be a little easier to display.  I reached my 2 prize limit pretty quick, but my son still had 2 to go.  I helped him answer one and he picked out this poster:

I will never complain about getting a Hall of Fame autograph for free.  My son answered his second question on his own.  At that time, there were only 2 other prizes to choose from.  He did not pick the autographed copy of Rick Ankiel's book.  Instead he chose another poster:
Izzy was inducted into the Cardinals Hall of Fame this year.  Another guy I did not have an autograph from.  After we finished trivia and got through the autograph line, we were able to choose another poster on our way out.  It was a blind draw.

McClellan is not a huge name and he does sign a lot in the St. Louis area, but once again I will not turn down a free autograph.  So we ended our day with 7 autographs in about 2 hours time.  We had a great time and I hope I can remember to hit this day up again next year.