Tuesday, September 21, 2021

I have been Pinked

I almost forget to open my mail that came Saturday while my son and I was in St. Louis.  My wife laid it in my office that day, but put some junk mail over the card packages.  Good thing The Bench member dlackey used a bubble mailer to ship my cards from our trade.  A pwe may have ended up in the trash with the rest of the mail.  I received a colorful Cardinals lot in return for some of the Topps Chrome refractors from the blaster break.  

Who does not like a nice pink refractor.  These are from the 2015 Topps Chrome set.  Speaking of pink, it is almost October.  I sure hope Bryan continues his Saving Second Base posts.  It always brightens my day to see the lovely ladies he features.

I also scored a pink refractor from 2020 Chrome.  I really hope DeJong comes back strong next year.  He is a likeable guy who does a lot in the St. Louis community.  He also has a great autograph.

Moving away from pink into some blue and gold.  The Freese is from 2013, the Tavarez 2006.  Though not as sharp as Chrome, flagship parallels are always nice to add to the collection.  One of these days I will finish a Topps Gold team set.

My 2021 Topps Chrome set is down to needing just 1 card after receiving this Carlson.  Topps has been busy cranking out the Carlson cards this year.  I won't complain though.  Inserts like the 2021 Bowman ROY Favorites are plentiful on the trade market.    

Monday, September 20, 2021

Saturday Signings

I have been a member of the Cardinals Hall of Fame Museum for 3 years now.  I first signed up at the 2019 Winter Warm Up after attending a few presentations where the staff gave out some nice bobbleheads.  That was a big draw for me as the bobbleheads are very nice and can be hard to come by.  They are only given out to members or a few people who attended the presentations.  

Another benefit is early access to Saturday Signings.  If the Cardinals have a home Saturday game, the Museum will bring in a former player to sign autographs.  I have attended a couple of these before, but never when they had a popular player.  This past Saturday Chris Carpenter was in town as part of the 2011 World Series reunion.  Autograph prices were $40, but Museum members were able to buy them for $20.  I bought 2 tickets a few months ago.  The signing was at 2:00.  

My son and I left the house about 7:30 that morning because we wanted to hit a flea market about 20 minutes from St. Louis.  I saw a Facebook post from a vendor who would have some Cardinal items for sale.  The main one that caught my eye was a Memphis Redbirds Dylan Carlson bobblehead that was given out the night before to the first 2,000 fans at the Memphis game. 

I picked this one up for $30.  It is very well made for a minor league give away.  I saw one other vendor have them for $50.  We walked around the flea market for about an hour after buying the Carlson.  There was just about anything for sale that you could collect.  Old signs, beanie babbies, legos, you name it.  We saw a lot of other Cardinals items, but I only bought 1 other thing.

Hard to pass up a bobblehead for $4.  The packing is torn to pieces, but the bobblehead itself is in great shape.  After grabbing lunch and hitting up a couple of stores, we arrived in St. Louis about 1:15 for the Carpenter signing.  He came out promptly at 2 and starting signing away.  We had tickets 39 and 40 so we did not wait long.

Inscriptions were not allowed, otherwise I would have requested Carpenter add 1st ASG to the 2005 All Star Game ball on the left.  I also had him sign a 2006 World Series Ball.  He got the win in game 3 giving up 3 hits and no runs.  Both balls turned out great.

After leaving the Museum, we killed another 1.5 hours before attending another signing.  I found a post on Twitter detailing a small 2011 celebration in Ballpark Village.  It stated Jason Motte and a few other players would be signing autographs for free from 3:30-5.  I never found out who the other players were until the walked out on stage.

Daniel Descalso and Jake Westbrook also signed.  Autographs were limited to 1 person, so both my son and I received a card.  Pretty nice autographs for free.  

After going through the line, I meet up with another member of a Facebook bobblehead group.  I traded him a David Freese bobblehead in exchange for this nice Jack Buck.

If you press down on the binoculars, you will hear Buck's call of the 1985 Ozzie Smith home run against the Dodgers and the final out of the 1982 World Series.  

We also had 2 tickets to the Cardinals game that night.  Gates opened at 4:15 and it was another David Freese bobblehead giveaway.  My son was pretty exhausted already and decided he did not want to go.  Normally I would not be in favor of this, but he had 2 soccer games on Sunday.  I went through the gates twice to get our new Freese bobbleheads.

Not a bad depiction of Freese getting ready to cross home plate after hitting the home run in game 6 of the 2011 World Series.  These were limited to fans 16 and older, so my son did not go through the gates.  Instead he went back through the autograph line for the 3 players and received this ball.

These balls were handed out to fans who did not have anything else to get signed.  I was a little surprised there were still some left with only 20 minutes to go in the signing.  I was more shocked that my son got through the line so quickly.  All 3 players signed the ball.  I must note that local gas station chain Phillps 66 sponsored the free signings and game away the ball.  Their logo is on another panel. 

We left St. Louis shortly after 5 and got back home in time to hear Tyler O'Neill hit the go ahead home run in the 8th inning.  It would have been fun to be in the stadium that night, but I think we still had a pretty good day.


Friday, September 17, 2021

1 of the Larger Chrome Trades

I managed to make 2 large trades from my Chrome blasters.  One should arrive this weekend, while the other came a few days ago from The Bench member smitha1.  I sent him 17 base and 3 inserts in exchange for 12 Cardinals.

Timeless Treasure base cards are not the easiest to find.  I am not sure if it is because they are numbered, or because they are almost 20 years old.  The top cards from 2004 are numbered to 999, while the bottom 2005 card is numbered to 799.  

More numbered cards from 2004.  Unlike the retail version, Absolute Memorabilia hobby cards are numbered to 1349 and have a refractor like finish.  I like how the Schoendienst card used an older team logo.  

Chrome cards are always nice to add to the collection.  The 2005 Motte is back from his days as a catcher.  The 2003 Haren finished a team set.  The 2017 Reyes is a photo variation.

The remaining inserts really do not have anything in common, but I was too lazy to scan them individually.  The 2015 Finest Musial is pretty sure, but I am a sucker for the 2013 Emerald parallels.


Thursday, September 16, 2021

Another Trio of Bench Trades

 Keeping up with my trade posts from the 2021 Chrome blasters, today I have 3 more small trades from The Bench members.  First up is a single card from David K.

David is a very generous member who runs  a monthly contest for an autographed card.  I have won 2 of his contests including one for a Musial auto.  When he reached out to me wanting a base card to help with his set build, I was happy to work out a 1 for 1 swap.  Arenado's head looks to small for his body, but I love the card anyway.  

Next I received 3 cards from member t.rooster.  

Nothing high dollar about this trade, but I was able to complete the 1995 Ultra team set by adding the checklist.  It is nice to knock off a couple of base cards from the 1990s.  

The third trade was the largest with 4 cards coming from member jordanrulz.  I sent him a Trout refractor in exchange for these.

The blue Goldschmidt numbered to 150 is the highlight of this group.  2 more base cards were crossed off my 2021 set needs along with a 1996 Collector's Choice Silver Signature.  That wraps up the small trades.  I have a couple of larger ones to go yet.  Hope to post about the first tomorrow.

Wednesday, September 15, 2021

Trio of Duos

 A lot of the trades I made from the Chrome blaster break are of the smaller variety.  Usually I do not like trades of less than 5 cards, but if what I am getting back has decent value I am ok with it.  3 such trades arrived over the weekend from The Bench members.  First up is a pair of Topps Gold Cardinals from member roger16.

Every now and then I will find Gold parallels in the dime or quarter bins at card shows, but almost never any Cardinals.  Glad to cross these 2 off the want list , especially an older one like the 2005 Sanders.

Next up is a pair of Trevor Rosenthal refractors from member pmknox.

I am not sure which of these 2013 Chrome refractors I like better.  The orange looks great, but the black is numbered to 100.  I will call it a tie.

The final pair of cards came from member bblair_2002.

The pink Flaherty is from 2020 Chrome, while the Kim is a 2021 Heritage short print.  I need to find the Bader short print to complete the team set.  Kim got the win last night in a wild extra innings game against the Mets.  If the playoffs started today, the Cardinals would be the second wild card.  Never thought I would be saying that after such a bad season.


Tuesday, September 14, 2021

Chrome for Chrome

Trades have started to roll in from the 2 2021 Topps Chrome boxes that my son and I busted a couple of weeks ago.  I still have a handful of inserts left, but all of the base have found better homes.  I worked out a trade with The Bench member bostonsox77 with a 10 base cards and a Trout insert headed his way in exchange for some shiny Cardinals.  A couple were Chrome, while others were Panini's version of Chrome, Prizm.

I need 2 more base cards to finish my team set.  One should arrive later this week.  The other I am working out a trade for on TCDB.

It was great to get a chunk of my 2021 Prizm needs in 1 envelope.  I need 4 more to finish this one off, 3 of them being rookie cards that are harder to pull.

My third Goldschmidt card of the package was a nice Fearless insert.  The Carlson insert is pretty sharp also.  I like the looks of Prizm this year.  I am tempted to buy into a group break with the hopes of getting some nice colored parallels, but I would be money ahead just to buy them.  That is not as much fun though.

Monday, September 13, 2021

Disappointing Card Show

I mentioned in Friday's post that my son and I had planned to attend a card show on Saturday.  Those plans came true as we were able to make it early Saturday afternoon.  We had somewhere to be later in the evening, so I wanted to make sure we had a couple of hours to spend flipping through cards.  If it was anything like the show in June , we would need it.

Unfortunately, this show did not live up to our expectations.  The number of tables was about the same, but the quality was not.  I can count on one hand with a closed fist how many dime boxes we found.  Yes a big fat 0.  There were a handful of quarter boxes, but some of those were filled with junk wax from 1988-1992.  We did find 1 dealer with a few quarter cards we bought.


Other than the Altuve Bowman's Best that my son needed, the rest of the cards are trade bait.  It may look like a strange lot, but most of them are either serial numbered, or players from popular teams.  I doubt if I have many of these left by the end of the week.

The same dealer also had a few boxes of various $1 to $5 cards.  I made picked up this game used card for $3.

Yes it is a boring 2019 Topps Heritage card, but I did not have a game used card of Mikolas.  Most current players I try to get 1 auto and 1 game used card.

We made our rounds twice before finding 1 other dealer with a handful of cards we wanted.

We spent $11 on these 4 cards.  I did not have an autograph of Perez yet.  His Bowman Chrome autos are selling for about twice as much as I want to give, so I settled for a Pro Debut sticker auto.  The Altuve jersey card is numbered to 99, while the Update card is a Rainbow foil parallel.  

Our total for the 45 minutes there was $17.  There were too many guys trying to sell the latest and greatest.  One had 2 8 foot tables full of nothing but Ohtani and Vlad Jr cards.  He had some high end graded rookies in cases, but also a lot of 2021 base cards for $5 a pop.  There were also a handful of guys selling blasters for $35 on up.  One dealer wanted to cut us a break and give us 2 Allen & Ginter blasters for $60.  My Walmart has plenty of them for $20 each.  Not sure when the next show at this location is, but we may have to think hard about making the hour drive before we attend.    

Friday, September 10, 2021

Carded by Kerry

My card desk is finally cleaned up after scanning the cards for today's post, but it will not remain like that for long.  My son and I plan to attend a card show tomorrow, and next week I should have quite a few trades rolling in.  At least things are nice and neat for a day or two.

Today's Cardinals package is from Kerry .  I believe it was late last week when these arrived.  It looks like Kerry has been involved in some box/case breaks that have produced some duplicates.  Glad he thought of me when figuring out what to do with them.  

I will start with a couple of former Cardinals first baseman from the 2002 206 set.  Their careers are somewhat similar in that Pujols played great for the Cardinals, then not so much once he left.  Martinez was a great Yankee, but then slumped very badly as a Cardinal.

I wish Topps would stick with just 1 Allen & Ginter set instead of the 3 or 4 them seem to crank out.  I do like the hot box foil version the best.

Topps has not went overboard with the Stadium Club brand yet with Chrome being the only spin off.  I hope it stays that way.

I am surprised there is not a Gypsy Queen Chrome set.  The inserts from this year look pretty sharp.  The Oviedo cards just leaves me 2 short prints short of the team set.  

Refractors are nice regardless of what brand they are from.  Flaherty comes from the same bulldog type mold as Carpenter.  He does not show as much intensity, but he is just as tough.  Hope his Cardinals career is just as good as Carp's.  That would mean a Cy Young and 2 World Series titles are in his future.

The non Topps portion of the package featured 2 inserts from 2021 Diamond Kings.  This is my second copy of the Carlson card.  My son thinks we should save it to get autographed some time.  Not a bad idea.

Thursday, September 9, 2021

3 Freebies

Just a short post today highlighting an unexpected pwe from Trading Bases member Pete P.  Pete has been busy send out quite a few of these mailings to various members.  Always nice to get something when you are not expecting anything.

Brock and Gibson will be forever thought of together by Cardinals fans.  Both were members of the great 1960s World Series teams, elected to the Hall of Fame, and passed away the same year.  I am surprised Topps has not made another Super Teams set other than the 2002 issue.  There are so many other great teams to highlight other than the 11 teams used that year.  

2 more Cardinals greats share this 2008 UD Heroes Black card, the final one I needed for my team set.  Most people know Musial's nickname was "The Man".  Besides "The Machine", Pujols was also called " El Hombre", Spanish for The Man.  Pujols returned to St. Louis this week as a member of the Dodgers and hit a home run in his first at bat.  A lot of people are hoping he will return next year if the National League adopts the DH rule.  I would not be opposed to it, but it should not be for very much money or cost Goldschmidt much playing time.  

Wednesday, September 8, 2021

Brewers for Cardinals

The Cardinals have been stuck behind the Brewers in the NL Central for the better part of this season.  I believe early May was the last time the Cards were ahead of them.  The Brewers have excellent pitching to go along with a decent offense.  The Cardinals have neither right now, and I do not think that is going to change the rest of the year.  They need a lot of luck to squeak into the wild card game.  Even if they make the playoffs, I do not see them going far.  As another fan base from the NL Central says, there is always next year.  

Last week I was able to trade a Brewers lot that included some cards from my Prizm box break to TCDB member ntlwhlr.  He gladly sent me some unwanted Cardinals from his collection.  

The 2005 Bowman Sterling set is made up of rookie cards and memorabilia cards.  I need 3 more memorabilia cards and 1 rookie card to finish my team set.  This one will not be finished anytime soon.

Showing a 2021 Stadium Club base card along with a 2005 Bowman Chrome Draft base card may not seem logical, but it does to me when these 2 made their 300th start together last week.  Tonight will make 301.  Yesterday Wainiwright announced he plans to play in 2022.  I cannot see it being anywhere other than St. Louis.  If they both stay healthy, they should break the all time record of 324 starts together some time next year.  

I hope DeJong has a bounce back season in 2022.  Despite not hitting over .200 so far this year, I believe the Cardinals will give him every chance to be the starting shortstop next year even though there are quite a few good free agent short stops available.  It would be fun to see Trevor Story play next to Nolen Arenado in St. Louis, but I almost guarantee the Cardinals will not spend the money needed to sign him.

This 1994 Signature Rookies card looks like something Panini would produce.  Even for a minor league card, the lack of logos is very obvious.  Young will be in St. Louis this weekend signing autographs for free on Saturday.  As tempting as it is to make the 2.5 hour drive, my son and I will instead be hitting up a card show about an hour away.  


Tuesday, September 7, 2021

First of Many from The Bench

I hope everyone enjoyed their holiday weekend.  Mine was full of softball and trading.  The softball is an annual slow pitch tournament that takes place every Labor Day weekend.  We finished 4th out of 10 teams.  That is about where we should place.  The good thing was it only lasted Saturday, so I had plenty of spare time on Sunday and Monday to play with cards.  

I decided to post the results of my Topps Chrome blasters on The Bench website.  I ended up making 10 different trades for all but 5 of the cards.  It will be a few days before any of the trades come in, but I did receive a nice bubble mailer from The Bench member HoosierBuddy last week that was full of my usual favorites.

My son gained 4 new Altuve cards.  I did not realize he already had the Heritage Scratch Off.  He liked the 2021 Donruss Holo Orange the best.  

Moving on to my portion of the trade, I received 3 nice Dylan Carlson inserts.  Panini did a nice job of hiding the logos on the top 2 cards.  With the Hot Rookies insert had orange flames.   That would have made the card look very sharp.

Finest Refractors are always sharp no matter what the year.  These are my first from 2021.

Finishing up the package is a 2021 Stadium Club Superstar Duos insert.  I did not scan the front Molina pic.  Goldschmidt is playing so well lately that he deserves a scan all to himself.



Saturday, September 4, 2021

Topps Chrome Blaster Battle

Usually when my son and I open packs together, we take turns opening them.  One for him, one for me.  If there is an odd number of packs, whoever pulled the best card gets to open it.  We decided to change things up earlier this week when my Target order of 2 2021 Topps Chrome blasters arrive.  

I got a great deal on these.  Back in July Target ran a promotion for new Red Card members.  Sign up a card and receive $40 off a $40 purchase.  You already save 5% on all your purchases at Target and get free shipping, so by using this offer, the 2 blasters cost me $20.17 delivered.  Far better deal than the retail price of $29.99 each.  

We each picked a box to open.  I will let you decide who did better.  I do not think you will have much trouble deciding.  My pulls will be on top, my son's on bottom.

I won the Cardinal round by pulling a base and a refractor. 

The base cards were pretty even.  I did pull a nice Hayes card, but my son pulled more rookies.

My son pulled more quantity and quality inserts.  He beat the 1:4 odds for the 1986 inserts.  Hard to go wrong with 2 Trout inserts.

I pulled more refractors if you count the Molina, but once again my son pulled a nice Trout.  The Vlad Jr. is not bad either.  

I beat the 1:4 odds by pulling 3 pink refractors, but my son pull another Vlad Jr.  I would say he is firmly in the lead right now.

He pulled way ahead by pulling this autograph.  Odds are 1:71.  Not the biggest name, but there are plenty of Yankee collectors out there who should like this one.  Overall it was a fun time.  I do not mind losing the battle.