Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Getting That Baseball Feeling

Before I left on a very short and ill timed vacation 2 weeks ago, I tried to wrap up all my pending trades.  I have only completed 1 trade since returning home.  It is not due to the lack of spare time.  That I have plenty of right now.  Some of it may be due to the concern over if the virus can spread through mail, but I would say more has to do with a lack of baseball enthusiasm right now.  Not getting to see any spring training and the delay to the start of the MLB season put baseball in the back of my mind. 

I think I am over that feeling now.  My son and I have been practicing every other night even though his baseball season is in doubt. I have an indoor batting cage in my shed that we can throw and hit some bp.  I also do the same with my daughter for softball.  It is just fun spending time with each one and trying to teach them something.  No pressure to perform, just go out and get some exercise.

My one trade that I did complete since vacation arrived yesterday.  It brought a reminder of what we have been missing.

TCDB member nymarine914 sent me the Cardinals team set from 2020 Opening Day.  The Cardinals were scheduled to open the season Thursday in Cincinnati.  That is not going to happen, but I can still listen to Cardinals games.  Starting last night and lasting into May, my local radio station is replaying games from the 2011 season.  It should be fun to relive the last World Series title while we practice or I am going through cards.

The pwe also contained this 2018 Topps Gallery Artist Proof.  I am not a fan of the set, but the artist did a decent job with this one.  I could tell this was Bader without seeing the name. 

Monday, March 23, 2020

Sheltered In My Card Room

Last Friday afternoon Illinois residents were issued a stay at home order in an effort to slow the spread of Covid-19.  All non essential businesses (however you want to interpret that) were ordered to be closed effective Saturday at 5:00.  While going out for a drive yesterday, I noticed our local Family Video was still open.  Not sure how it qualifies as an essential business. 

The Illinois governor declared construction as an essential job, so I am still going to work for now.  We may shorten business hours, but at least I still have a job.  My wife is a teacher.  She has been home since March 17, but will still get paid until the next school year is scheduled to start in August.  We are doing fine health wise and supply wise.  Our area has experienced some shortages, but shelves seem to get restocked in 3-4 days.  All in all things are somewhat normal.  Just more time being spent at home.

With all the time at home, I will be spending quite a bit of it in my card room.  I have never shown any pictures of it, but with my lack of trading right now I decided today was a good time to do so.  My room/office is roughly 10 x 13.  When we built our house in 2003, I took the smallest extra room.  I could use a little more space, but it works for what I really need it for.

My computer desk takes up most of my west wall.  There is usually a pile of cards on top that I need to scan or file away, but I am all caught up right now.

Beside the desk I keep my shipping supplies.  The shoe box has all my sleeves, top loaders, and team bags.  The box has countless used bubble mailers.  It has been years since I bought a new mailer.  Always good to reuse them when you can.  Under the shoe box is some foam that I use for packing.  The Dr. Pepper can is my trash can.  I worked as a Pepsi salesman my first 2 years out of college.  Not all the promotional items found their way to customers.

Above the desk I have a autographed pictures of Keith Tkachuk and Tony Twist, my 2 favorite St. Louis Blues of all time.  The signs were from a St. Louis area flea market.  The two plaques are from the Cardinals 2006 and 2011 World Series teams.  Both were Christmas gifts.

My window takes up most of the south wall.  My mother made the Illini curtain.  My autographed Wainwright/Molina 11 x 16 picture from the last out of the 2006 World Series is in the corner.  My Cardinals Fan Parking sign is on the other side of the window.  That was my first Cardinals Christmas gift from my parents when I was 8.

The east wall is by far the most cluttered.  Lots of things to see on this wall.

I made the bookcase a year after we moved into the house.  Not too many books on it.  I have a lot of bobbleheads still in boxes that I need to get a display for.  For now some of them sit on a shelf.  I do have a few sports books on the bottom shelf, but they are behind the boxes. 

The locker is another item from my Pepsi days.  I keep autographed baseballs and empty boxes in it.  The stuffed husky next to the locker was a prize from Dave & Busters.  Before we had kids, we raised them.  Great dogs.  To the left of the locker is a quilt rack with my Cardinals blanket and bobblehead shelf that I use in my title bar.

Next to the rack is my baseball display case.  All balls are autographed by Cardinals except for the top left.  It is a batting practice home run ball hit by Mark McGwire that I caught at Busch Stadium in 2001.  On top of the case is an autographed Springfield Cardinals mini bat.  It is signed by Oscar Taveras, Kolten Wong, and Carlos Martinez.  I received these autos during a weekend series in 2012.  The autographed Ray Lankford sign is from the first year I attended Cardinals Winter Warm Up in 2010.

The north wall has a homemade bat rack, a work table, and my card closet.  The bat rack has a game used autographed Lankford bat and another bat that we use for in person autographs.  A few more of my bobbleheads are on top of it along with another Lankford Winter Warm Up sign.  The card boxes beneath the table are empty. Not sure why I keep those.  Besides the table are another 20 or so bobbleheads that need to be displayed.  I hope to replace the table with some type of display unit, but have not found one I like yet. 

That leaves my closet.  This is where all my cards are kept.  It has a couple of larger shelves because it is built over my basement stairs.  The boxes on the left have my Cardinals inserts, the middle base cards, and the right are trade bait.  The binder has part of my Lankford collection.  There is another binder behind it sitting on a box with some score cards and other Cardinals magazines.

The bottom of the closet has a few more bobbleheads.  The boxes on the left have more game used Lankford bats.  I rotate them in and out of the wall rack every few months.

 The top shelf is a catch all.  I have some autographed posters, caps, and a seat back.  The race track on the bottom left is from Christmas 1986.  It still works.  On top of that is a table top hockey game.  One of these days I may drag it out for a better pictured.  And that is about it.  As you can tell I have a ton of things not displayed, but in the long run that should help preserve them. 


Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Almost Forgot One

In my haste to leave last Wednesday for Florida, I checked the mailbox.  I knew an EBAY package was delivered that day, but did not take the time to open it.  I had other things to take care of Sunday when we returned home, so it sat on my desk for a couple of days.  Last night I had plenty of spare time to open it and scan the contents. 

The auction contained 11 Cardinals from 2019.  I will get the base cards out of the way.  I already had these 4.  If anyone wants any, lmk.

While this is also a base card, it is one of the many variations from 2019 Topps Holiday.  I had to look twice to notice the arm sleeve.

The package was Yadi heavy.  I love the look and feel of the Leather & Lumber die cut.  It reminds me of the Flair Hot Gloves inserts.

I scored an EBAY 1/1 with the Optic Blue.  It is numbered 75/75.  The Topps Fire Orange is numbered to 299.  It made me a little said since it shows Yadi in a spring training uniform.   

The best card of the bunch was these great looking 2019 Topps Tribute card.  I have very few patch cards in my collection, let alone one with 2 other swatches and an one card autograph.  Great bunch of cards for about $6.50 delivered.

Monday, March 16, 2020

Bad Timing

Well my spring training trip did not go as planned.  I should have followed my gut and turned around Wednesday evening after we stopped half way through the 16 hour drive.  I was listening to ESPN radio and heard about the NBA suspending the season.  Instead we continued on and arrived in Jupiter, Florida about the same time everything was cancelled on Thursday afternoon.  Instead if 3 days of baseball, we spent Friday at Palm Beach zoo and the beach.  After some mini golf that evening, we decided to leave Saturday morning.  All the public places were closing anyway.

The trip home was horrible.  Due to 2 accidents, we sat on the interstate for 3 hours.  My son got carsick, and it rained most of Sunday morning.  On the positive side, we arrived home safely Sunday afternoon and everyone is healthy.  Things could be a lot worse though.  Everything here in Illinois is closing to the public.  My wife and kids both have at least the next 2 weeks off from school.  Restaurants can only offer drive through or delivery service.  Even our local little league has cancelled all practices and games until May 1. 

Life will be a lot different for awhile.  I think we will all be ready for a nice vacation this summer.  Just not in Florida.

Wednesday, March 11, 2020

Time To Go

Since I am all caught up on trade recaps and have no more in the works, I have decided it is time to leave. 

In a few hours, the family and I will be headed south to Jupiter, Florida for Cardinals spring training.  I do not plan on attending any games, just practices.  I am sure most of you have heard about the limited player/fan interaction due to the coronavirus scare.  I will not lie that it will be disappointing not getting any autographs, but I do understand the situation.  We are well stocked in hand sanitizer and plan to wash our hands a lot.  Unless the virus changes our plans, we will be back on Monday.  I hope to at least have some pictures from minor league practices. 

Tuesday, March 10, 2020

Golden Trades

I had my last 2 pending trade come in yesterday, both from TCDB members.  The first was a pwe from member 49ants.

I recently added quite a few Ultra Gold Medallion cards to my wantlist.  All of these are from the 1995 set. 

49ants went ahead and filled up the envelope with a couple of other gold parallels.  The 1994 Score Gold Rush Perez gives me 20 out of 21 in that set.  The 1995 Embossed Golden Idols Pagnozzie also brought that set down to 1 card needed.  That set is not nearly as big with only 5 Cardinals in it.

The other pwe came from member Dmalshere1. 

The gold cards in this trade came from 2015 Topps and Update.  I should add all of my needs for these parallels to my wantlist sometime soon.  I know there are a ton of them.

I also received a couple of rainbow foil parallels from 2015.

My son should hit 300 different Altuves in the next month or two.  This one puts him at 280.  I have not really noticed a flood of his cards on the market, but I really do not check EBAY either. 

Monday, March 9, 2020

More Of The Same From Ron B

I am not sure how many times I have highlighted a package from Trading Bases member Ron B since I started blogging.  I am not 100% sure, but I would guess he has sent me the most trade packages by far.  His latest bubble mailer contained the usual blend of great Cardinals for me, and some Altuves for my son.

This is my first relic card of Paul Dejong.  Not a flashy card from 2020 Topps, but it is numbered to 199. 

I have a handful of other 2020 Heritage Cardinals from a box break I was in.  I am not a fan of the black borders.  Chipping is a big issue with these. 

A Cardinals fan can never have too many Musial cards in his collection.  I have 270 of his cards now.  One of these days I will have to add one from his playing days. 

 Altuve does not have a base card in 2020 Series 1, but he does have plenty of inserts to chase.

I had no idea that Topps made a Turkey Red box topper this year.  It is a cool card, but the Bat Patrol inserts is the best of the bunch.

Thursday, March 5, 2020

Unexpected Mail Leads to a Trade

I am sure most of us have received cards in the mail that we were not expecting.  The card collecting community is a very generous one.  I love it when I receive these.  A while back, Trading Bases member Pete P sent me a nice numbered Stan Musial card.  I was able to find quite a few cards from his wantlist that started a bigger trade.

I crossed off one of the many needed Edmonds cards with this 2002 Flair.  I am not a fan of the profile pic in the background.  Just give me a nice action shot.  The Drew card completed my 2001 Pacific team set.

I wish Panini would bring back the Golden Age or Cooperstown sets.  For some reason, the lack of logos does not bother me as much for sets with retired greats.

How cool is it to have a card of your team's most famous announcer?  I had no clue Jack Buck even had any cards made other than his 2001 Cardinals Police card.  It would have been awesome if Upper Deck included him as a cut auto in on of the SP Legendary Cuts sets.  I can settle for a nice Enos Slaughter base card from the 2003 set instead. 

Wednesday, March 4, 2020

Another Small One

The same day trade #300 arrived, trade 301 also came.  This was my third package from TCDB member stoob in 2020.  He is very easy to deal with and is lightning quick shipping cards. 

We agreed to a trade that would have finished my 2019 Optic team set.  Stoob instead sent the Holo version, but that is ok with me.  He sent me a message before he mailed explaining his mistake.  Communication is always key when trading. 

Prizm will have more crazy parallels in its 2020 set.  There are still a ton of 2019 cards that I can track down.  The top 2 are Cosmic Haze parallels, the bottom is a Red even though it looks more orange in hand.

I am so happy to be finished with 2019 Gallery.  I hate to knock the artist because I cannot draw anything but a stick figure, but the Musial reminds me of Sloth from the Goonies movie. 

Tuesday, March 3, 2020


I hit a milestone over the weekend with the arrival of a trade package from TCDB member trading4vintage.  I have completed 300 trades on the site since I joined on 1/20/17.  About 100 trades a year has kept my mailman busy. 

A nice oddball Ozzie from the 1987 Burger King set started our trade discussion. 

You may not remember Olivares pitching for the Cardinals, but he made news recently.  If I was looking to make a profit from a former player, I would have chosen one a little more successful.  This card is from the 1990 ProCards AAA set.  Back then the Cardinals Triple A team was in Louisville, KY instead of the current home in Memphis.

I should try to work harder to complete some of the Topps Chrome Update team sets.  I need 2 more from the 2005 set and 3 from the 2001 set.  That one will be a little tougher with 2 Pujols rookie cards left to get.

I have plenty of cards to track down from Bowman Chrome sets also.  All these cards are from 2006.

I have 76 different Jim Edmonds cards on my TCDB wantlist.  Some are short prints or numbered, but quite a few are just common base cards like this 2004 Leaf Certified cuts.  The Schumaker is another common card from 2010 Topps Attax.  I have all the code cards, but not very many from the actual game. 

Monday, March 2, 2020

Leap Year Card Show

I was able to attend my first card show of 2020 on Saturday.  My wife wanted to go shopping in Evansville, IN for some clothes for an upcoming trip.  I found a card show in Newburgh that was about a 15 minute drive from the mall.  My son and I hit it up while the women shopped.  Fair trade off that made everyone happy.

This was the first show held at the American Legion.  The promoter said he hoped it would become a regular show.  Maybe not every month, but at least every quarter.  It was advertised as 50 tables, but a handful of them were coins.  The admission was free, and free donuts were provided.  Can't beat that.  On to the cards.

We were in heaven as soon as we walked in the door.  The second dealer table had a 3200 count dime box of nothing but baseball.  Lots of newer products including some 2020 Topps base and insert cards.  The Helsely Camo and Heritage SP were 2 of my favorite finds.

Two rows of the box contained 2019 cards like this Fire Gold Minted and Topps Significant Stats.

There was a handful of 2018 cards also.  Although these are not numbered, I love the Opening Day blue foil cards.

These are my first 2016 All Star Game cards.  I was surprised there were not more of these. 

There were also quite a few random Cardinals from the 1990s.  This 1996 Gallery card completed my team set. 

The table was ran by 2 of the most friendly dealers I have ever came across.  Not only did they talk to me about cards and sports, but they made sure to include my 11 year old son in the conversation.  The 2020 Turkey Red and 2019 Franchise Feats were in the dime box.  The 2019 Topps Utz was in a $3 pile, but one of the dealers gave it to my son for free. 

I found quite a few random inserts throughout the box.  There were a ton of 2018 Bowman Platinum base cards that I did not need, but it is hard to base up numbered cards for a dime.  There will be trade bait along with the rest of the dime box purchases.

  Refractors and Topps Gold

More refractors, but with some pink added.

Purple parallels are not that common.  It should be easy to trade these with other team collectors.

Yankees are never hard to trade.  The top 2 are already spoken for.

Mets are also easy to move.  Not sure why since they have not been that good of late, but they have a ton of team collectors.

I will even pick up Cub cards for a dime.  Th Almora is a rainbow foil.  I pulled 40 cards in all.  I did not show some of the Cardinals I pulled because I already had them.  Wanting to make it an even $5, I picked up this Topps Black numbered to 67 for a $1.

I have a couple of Blue Jays collectors on TCDB that should need this.  Before leaving the table, I made sure to get the dealers contact info.  They hope to set up at a few more shows in the area.  I told them to keep the dime boxes stocked.

We walked the rest of the show floor, but nothing much stood out.  No more dime boxes to be found.  There were quite a few dollar boxes, but they were stocked with cards that I found in the first dime box.  Hard pass for me.  We did stop at 1 other dealer who had stacks of current players laid out.  My son flipped through the Altuve stack looking for a hidden gem.

The Player's Weekend patch was marked at $5, the Leather & Lumber $3, and the Musial was from the $1 box.  We settled on $5 for the 3 of them.  The Musial is an sp and the last 2019 Gallery card I needed for my team set.  The Altuves were priced a little high, but once again this dealer was very nice so I felt obligated to buy something.  I wish he had his $1 box sorted.  It was a 5000 count box that was mixed with all 3 major sports.  I was lucky to find the Musial in the first row.

We spent about an hour at the show.  If the dime box dealer was not there, it would have been a lot less.  If they set up again, I will try to hit up the show.