Sunday, January 31, 2021

Lucky Day

Fridays are always suppose to be good no matter what age you are.  Last day of the work week for most people and last day of school.  I am not sure I can think of anyone who does not like a Friday.  This past Friday was great for me.  On the heels of signing Adam Wainwright on Thursday, the Cardinals agreed to a trade for Nolen Arenado.  The deal is not complete yet, but it looks like they will also receive $50 million while giving up very little in return.  From what has been reported so far, just Austin Gomber, #9 prospet Jhon Torres, and 3 or 4 other prospects in the deal.  If it happens this way, it looks like a no lose situation for the Cardinals.

I lucked out earlier Friday on a trip to Walmart.  My son and I had to pick up some groceries and happen to stroll past the card aisle.  We were shocked to see 2 boxes of 2020 Topps Holliday and over 10 blister packs of 2020 Topps Heritage.  The Heritage was an easy pass for me as 27 cards for $25 is not a good deal.  We picked up one of the Holiday boxes that contained 100 cards for $22.

This is one of the best Holiday designs Topps has done.  The red and green really stand out.  It was nice to get the Altuve along with a couple of Cardinals we needed.

We pulled some nice base cards also.  It was nice to see no duplicates in the box.

Metallics are 1:2 packs.  The odds were correct as we received 5 out of the 10 packs.

Each box contains 1 ornament.  These are not as nice as the Pacific ornaments from the 1990s, but it was good to see something different in the box other than some type of manufactured relic.

We beat the odds on shortprints.  The Cabrera candy cane is a regular sp seeded 1:7 packs.  It was not hard to find it as it was backwards in the pack.  The McKary rare is a 1:20 pull.  We almost missed it until we were sorting the cards and noticed the snowball.

Each box contains a relic or autograph.  The autographs are pretty tough pulls, so it was no surprise to get a relic.  Not a bad design on these.  Overall it was a fun box to rip.  My wife went back on Saturday morning, but the other box was gone.  Still plenty of Heritage packs left.

If you see anything you like, drop me a message or email.




Wednesday, January 27, 2021

Back At It

While I was home with Covid earlier this month, I paused all of my trading.  From what I have read, there is a slight chance the virus can spread through the mail.  I did not want to take the chance of spreading anything, so I did not touch any of my trade boxes for 2 weeks.  I did however look for potential trade partners.  Once I was released last Wednesday, I was able to strike up a few trades.  The first one arrived Monday from TCDB member NYMHall.  

It was over a year ago that I worked out a trade for the 1981 Topps Coke team set.  When it arrived, the Hernandez card was the base version.  Now I can say the set is done.

Most of my OPC team sets from the 1990s are finished except for some Ozzie Smith cards.  It was nice knocking off the managers from the 1990 and 1991 sets in this trade.

That is an extreme close up of Bernard Gilkey on his 1995 Pinnacle Museum card.  The action shot on the 1995 Pacific would have been a better choice.

It has been awhile since I received any Ultra Gold Medallion cards.  There are still a ton of them to track down.

I bought a couple of tins of 1998 Donruss Preferred back in the day.  I remember one of them was Scott Rolen, not sure on the other.  I love the looks of this set.  Wish Panini would bring this set back.

I love getting cards of Caridnals Hall of Famers, but it is said to think none of these 3 are still with us.  Last week was the 8th anniversary of Musial's passing.  I always remember that day because it is also  my daughter's birthday.  

Monday, January 25, 2021

2 From The Bench, 1 From The Bay

Saturday's mail brought 2 small packages my way.  One was pwe from a trade on The Bench, the other was an EBAY purchase.  First up are the 2 cards I received from Bench member zlw1.

These refractors look awesome.  It is tempting to buy into a break to get more, but I think I will just stick with buying singles that I want.  Maybe I should start an Edman rainbow.  I was not sure I received the regular refractor when I opened it, but the scan confirmed it was.

I love getting autographs of obscure Cardinals players.  Carbo played close to 300 games for the Cardinals during 4 years in the 1970s.  Not exactly what you would call a fan favorite.  Kudos to Topps for getting some guys like this to fill out the product.  I doubt the seller was too thrilled with pulling this auto that only sold for about $11, but I love it.  

Tuesday, January 19, 2021

Another From Kerry

I received my phone call from the local health department today releasing me from my quarantine.  It will be back to the real world tomorrow.  I am very thankful to have never experienced anything more than a fever for 1 day.  Will keep my fingers crossed that nothing else pops up later and the rest of my family does not become infected.

Another thing I am thankful for is a second mailing from Kerry during my time at home.  The post office must be getting back on track is this pwe only took 3 days to get from Oregon to Illinois.

Looks like I will be adding the Topps UK set to my wantlist now that I have my first Cardinals.  

Kerry also sent the 5 base cards I needed from Heritage High Numbers.  I will have to track down 2 short prints to finish this one.  Thanks again Kerry, something is headed your way tomorrow.

Monday, January 18, 2021

Almost Burned By Bowman's Best Box Break

Good thing I still have mail coming in, as my quarantine time is getting very boring.  If all goes well, I will get back to the real world on Wednesday.  In the meantime, I have a chance to highlight a recent box break of half a case of 2020 Bowman's Best from EBAY.  I spent my 4th quarter EBAY bucks on this purchase, so it cost me about $21 out of pocket for the 4 boxes worth of Cardinals.  

Each box contains 12 packs of 5 cards with an average of 4 autos per box.  The base set consists of 70 veterans and 30 top prospects.  

I was sure I would get all the Cardinals base, but I did not receive a Molina card.  Hope to trade for that one on TCDB.  Of course the coalition was bad, as out of the 4 boxes I do remember seeing 5 Bo Bichette cards.  Good for the Blue Jay collector, but not for me.  Maybe the other 4 boxes of the case had a Molina or two.

The main draw of Bowman's Best are the refractors, rookie/prospects inserts, and the autographs.  I believe the refractors are 1 per pack.  Each pack also has an insert or auto.

Jordan Walker was the Cardinals first round draft choice last year.  I do like how Topps used the team color in the background.  Out of 48 packs this was my only insert or refractor.  Things were looking pretty bad until the second to last pack of the last box.

Not thrilled about the redemption, but it is an auto of the Cardinals #2 prospect.  I am hoping this will be one of the colored refractor variations because there are a ton of Gorman base autos on EBAY right now.  I redeemed it on Saturday.  Wonder how long this one will take to come, if it does at all.


Sunday, January 17, 2021

Money Saved, Money Spent

 After writing my post yesterday about missing the Cardinals Winter Warm Up, I did come up with one positive.  I will have quite a bit of extra money to spend on cards this year.  In between hotels, food, autographs, and whatever else cool Cardinals things I find, I estimate I spend an average of $400-$600 during the 3 days in St. Louis.  That should come in handy with the crazy prices cards are bringing right now.  From what I have seen, a hobby box of 2021 Topps Series 1 will cost about $150 with taxes and shipping.  Hard pass for me.  I will stick to box breaks or trading to get my team set.

The thought of extra money made me go back and calculate my card expenses from 2020.  My grand total came to $967.38.  $661.89 was spent on card or supplies, while the last $305.49 went to postage.  I always like to keep track of what I bought.  Here is the break down of the $661.89:

Individual cards/Lots/ Box Breaks  $423.48

Packs/Boxes  $218.62

Supplies (storage boxes, top loader, etc.)  $19.79

Nothing to shocking there.  I was a little surprised I found that many boxes to spend money on.  I did buy 1 hobby box of 2020 Topps Big League.  Everything else went towards blaster boxes at my local Walmart.  Speaking of Walmart, here is where I spent my money:

EBAY  $416.56

Other Online Sites  $36.22

1 Card Show I attended in early March before Covid really hit $9

Walmart $198.11

Once again nothing amazed me with these totals.  I had forgotten about going to the card show before my family made our ill-fated trip to spring training.  Not sure when those will come back, so EBAY will most likely win out again in 2021.  Maybe I will go for a bigger purchase this year like my favorite from last year.

Maybe 2020 is the year I add a Pujols auto to the Cardinals collection.  Time will tell.

Saturday, January 16, 2021

Missing the Warm Up

Well Covid managed to cancel another baseball activity for me.  I am not talking about me being in quarantine until Monday.  I am feeling fine by the way, no ill effects so far.  I am referring to the cancellation of the Cardinals Winter Warm Up (WWU).  Like most other teams, the Cardinals cancelled their team fan fest a few months ago.  I do not blame them at all, as it would not be wise to pack thousands of people into a hotel right now.  

I guess it is not entirely cancelled, as their is a virtual event going on this weekend that I chose not to participate in.  The Cardinals have various online auctions to bid on autographed merchandise, but for me the thrill is meeting the player in person.  They also have hosted several zoom meeting with players that fans could buy for a donation, but the players have zero interaction with the fans so I skipped that part also.  The only thing I did was watch a few videos of talks by team personnel about the minor leagues and last year's draft.  

I have been to the previous 10 WWUs.  I have spent some of my quarantine time looking through the last 5 years of them thanks to my blog archive.  There have been a ton of great autographs, bobbleheads, and some baseball cards throughout the years.  Here are some of my favorites.

Yadier Molina signed this 2006 World Series commemorative ball in 2016.  At $125, it is the most I have ever spent on an autograph.  

Adam Wainwright signed this baseball in 2017.  It did not have a ticket for him that year, but Matt Carpenter's flight was cancelled due to weather, so I exchanged his ticket for a Waino.  The inscription is 06,11 World Champs.  I believe this auto was $75.

Jack Flaherty signed this Futures Game ball in 2018.  At $10 each, I bought 4 of his autographs that year.  I am pretty sure I cannot get 1 for that price now.

This 2011 World Series ball was signed by Cardinals owner Bill Dewitt and team president Bill Dewitt the third in 2018.  Former GM and now team president John Mozeliak signed it in 2019.  All of these autos were free.  

Paul DeJong signed this All Star baseball last year.  I paid $45 for this auto.  You may wonder if the players sign anything else other than baseballs.  The answer is yes.  They will sign almost anything including cards, photos, bats, and even body parts.  A few years ago I watched a lady pay $150 for Molina to sign her foot.  I chose to show baseballs because I spent time this week taking pictures of all my autographed baseballs for insurance purposes.

I will leave you with a picture from my first WWU in 2010.  This was the first time I had ever met Ray Lanford.

  Excuse the really bad selfie.  34 year old me was a little excited to finally meet my favorite player.


Thursday, January 14, 2021

3 Welcome Additions From Ron B

It seems like forever since I have been able to trade with good friend Ron B from Trading Bases.  He moved to a different state in the middle of all the chaos last year.  In addition to all the headaches that go with relocating, he also had to quit his part time job at a local card shop.  But he is settled in now and starting to find some cards he did not know he had, or just had forgotten about.  He offered up 3 great Cardinals to me that arrived about an hour a ago.

I do not actively seek out the veteran short prints from Topps, but I will gladly take them when I can find them.  Ozzie is from the 2010 set, Gibson 2011 Update.  

This is my first so called bat card of Goldschmidt.  This 2019 Topps Series 2 card looks to be airbrushed in my opinion.  I doubt Topps rushed out the first couple of months of the season to get a photo for this one.  His undershirt looks too much like the maroon Dbacks color.  Still a nice looking card though.

Wednesday, January 13, 2021

Trade Long Time in the Making

 Day 2 of quarantine has been pretty productive.  I spent the morning scanning a few cards that were missing on the TCDB website, while also putting away Cardinals from recent trades.  In the process, I managed to consolidate my trade boxes to eliminate a 1600 count box.  Any time I can make room in my closet for more Cardinals, it is a win.  

Some of the Cardinals I put away were from a great trade with Trading Bases member Michael M.  We have been talking off and on for a few months about working out an Indians for Cardinals trade.  He travels for his job and also had some family issues, so the trade was put on hold a time or two.  We finally completed a deal last week.  Kudos to the post office for a 3 day delivery from Ohio to Illinois that brought the package to my mailbox yesterday.  

Only 2 base cards in the package, but they are from a couple of tough sets for me to get in 2020 Inception and Topps Utz.  

I swore I had the Pujols Update insert already, put it was a different one that had the same picture from Series 2.  Nicely done Topps.  At least they used photo I have not seen on the Ozzie insert.

I wish rainbow foil cards scanned better.  These 2020 cards look like the regular base cards.  

Purple cards do scan well.  I give Topps credit for moving the border on the Opening Day card to the right side in an effort to easier tell them apart from the flagship cards.  

More color with this four pack of cards.  Donruss and Topps orange is a little different, but not far off.  The GQ is a silver parallel, while the Goldy looks like a yellow parallel from 2020 Bowman Platinum, but the proper name is chartreuse.  I have never heard of the world so I looked it up.  Google says it is a French liqueur in green and yellow versions.  I can see that, but it is a weird name for a baseball card.

There is no question this is a black parallel from 2019 Stadium Club.  It is somewhat hard to see, but it is numbered to 99 above the TSC logo.  

I will finish with another great looking Paul DeJong auto.  This 2018 Topps Chrome card is numbered to 50.  

Tuesday, January 12, 2021

Welcome Distraction

Like so many others, I was happy to turn the page on 2020.  There is a lot of hope that 2021 will offer brighter skies.  Mine became a little more cloudy yesterday with a positive Covid test.  Saturday afternoon I developed a low fever and a sore throat, but the fever was gone by Sunday morning and I felt fine otherwise.  I went to work Monday morning as usual.  A fellow coworker called in sick first thing at 7, but by 10:30 called back to say he was positive.  Having been in contact with him on Friday, I played things safe and went for a rapid test after lunch.  Rapid is an understatement as it took only 4 minutes for the test to come back positive.  Long story short, I feel fine but cannot leave the house until the 19th as long as I feel well.  

One positive from yesterday is I had a surprise package in the mail from Kerry waiting for me in the mailbox.  He emailed me a few days ago asking if I had many 2020 Bowman Draft.  At the time, the answer as none.  He put a huge dent in my needs.

Kerry sent the last 5 paper Cardinals I needed for the set.  He either had extreme luck pulling duplicates of the 5 I needed, or took the time to view my wantlist to see I had received a few cards in trade before he mailed. 

Kerry was very generous in sending 5 of the hard to find Chrome cards.  I just need 2 more to finish the set.  There are 5 different Cardinals autographs to chase, but I am going to wait until prices settle down before buying those.  I will not pay $10 for a pitcher drafted in the 4th or 5th round who has yet to throw a minor league pitch.  

Kerry also sent my first cards from the 2020 Allen & Ginter Chrome set including a Dejong mini.  These cards look awesome in hand.  I have tried a few times to win an EBAY break for these, but have not bid high enough.  Now I just need 3 more to track down. 

Thanks Kerry for killing some of my down time.  I have stopped trading during my quarantine as I realize there is the chance the virus can still spread through the mail.  I have a few packages still coming in that hopefully will arrive this week.  

Friday, January 8, 2021

Black Auto From The Bench

 It is finally Friday.  This is my first 5 day work week since the middle of December.  Since the weather has turned colder, there are fewer things to do.  I am lucky to have unlimited internet access at work, so a lot of my down time is spent looking at baseball related sites.  Of course I surf numerous sites looking to add to my Cardinals collection.  Last week a member from The Bench busted a case of 2020 Topps Chrome Black.  He had quite a few nice autographs for less than EBAY prices.  I was lucky to claim the only Cardinal in the lot.  

This is my third DeJong auto.  I have mentioned it before, but I love the way he takes the time and effort to write out his complete name.  Some players with shorter names do not put forth that much effort.  One of the first players that come to mind is former Cardinal Jon Jay.

6 letters in his name and this is what he scribbles down.  I know players sign thousands of autos at a time for card companies, but surely they can do a little better.  Makes you really appreciate guys like DeJong.  I paid $8.50 delivered his Chrome Black auto.  Great price in my book.

Thursday, January 7, 2021

My Biggest Saturday Package

Today I will highlight the largest and last of the 5 packages I received on Saturday.  This was my first trade with TCDB member prozach.  We both mailed our packages on December 29.  I received mine Saturday.  As of this morning his is still in Florida.  Why a package headed to Montana from Illinois is stuck in Florida makes no sense to me.  

I usually wait until the last picture of a post to show off any Altuve cards.  This is a Cardinals blog first and formost, but the pink refractor and Finest card look too good to wait until last.  I will not say much about the blandness of the Optic card other than is shiny.  Nothing else really good to say about it.

These are my first cards from 2020 Panini Contenders.  I like the idea of a ticket stub on a card.  Reminds me of 2009 Topps Ticket to Stardom cards.

These are also my first 2020 Bowman Platinum cards.  It was difficult at times to resist the urge to buy a box of these at Walmart, but I held off.  Thankfully they are now gone along with just about everything else.  When I check last night, there were just a few hanger packs of 2020 Update.

These are both purple parallels even if they do not look the same color.  I prefer the 2018 Optic better than 2019 Donruss.  It is a lot easier to hide logos on a catcher's card.

I have been getting quite a few refractors in lately, even some from the hard to find 2020 Topps Chrome set.  Topps Pink looks very similar to Optic Purple.

The last 3 cards have nothing in common, but I did not want to make a scan of each one.  One of my big hopes for Topps in 2021 is to make Topps Total a hobby/retail product.  I doubt it will happen as long as people keep buying it online.  I really do miss the 20+ card team sets from the early 2000s.


Wednesday, January 6, 2021

Two 3 Packs

Keeping up with my recaps of Saturday's big mail day, today I will show a pair of pwe's that each contained 3 cards.  First up is trade with TCDB member Waino2Yadi.  As you can guess from his user id, he is a fellow Cardinals fan.  

It is nice to have another collector to trade my Cardinals duplicates to.  There should be more trades coming with this one as he is a relatively new TCDB member who is still entering his wants and trade list.  Gorman was the last 2020 Bowman Chrome base card I needed.  The Mikolas is a refractor, while the Altuve is my son's first card from 2020 Gold Label.  He was a little confused trying to understand the different classes and colors that went with each one.  In the end, he is just happy to have more cards to go after.

The next 3 cards were an unexpected trio from Trading Bases member Pete P.

I love when someone takes the time to dig through their cards to find me a handful of Cardinals.  Does not matter if it is a Hall of Famer like Hornsby, or a couple of guys who never made the Majors like Ferris and Haerther.  Seeing the Ferris cards brought back fond memories of attending my first minor league baseball game in 2007.  At the time my daughter was about 2.5 years old.  She loved Cars the movie.  Ferris's walk up song was Life is a Highway.  I remember she kept looking at the video board waiting to see Lighting McQueen every time she heard the song that weekend.  

Tuesday, January 5, 2021

2 Bench Trades

I mentioned in yesterday's post that I received 5 trade envelopes on Saturday.  That is a great way to start the trading year.  I will have to brag on the post office a bit because tracking showed 2 of the packages were not to be delivered until Monday.  Maybe that balances out all the packages that were late in December.  Anyway, today's post shows off 2 pwe trades from The Bench members.  First are 2 cards from member 7timecy.

Nothing is really fancy about either of those 2020 Panini Contenders inserts, but Carlson is the Cardinals #1 prospect so I will take any cards of him I can get.  He should play almost everyday in the outfield this season, but it will be most likely in different spots depending on which of the other outfielders needs a break or is not producing.  He may also start quite a few games in center, then switch to right field later in the game.  I don't think he will be a superstar, but he should be pretty solid.  I can see him hitting .280-.290 with 20 home runs and 15 stolen bases.  

Next up are 4 cards from member bblair_2002.

These are my first cards from 2020 Bowman's Best.  I have always liked this brand.  The Gorman Franchise 2020 die cut is really just silver, but the scan gives it a rainbow effect.  The Goldy is a base refractor.  You have to look hard to see the Cardinals logo by his left hand.

I continue to peck away at the 2020 Stadium Club team set.  I still may get into a EBAY break for the set because the refractors look great.  Speaking of refractors, I completed the 2019 Topps Chrome pink refractor team set with this Molina card.  I am still guessing Molina will resign with the Cardinals by the end of this month.  Neither really wants to see the other leave, but money is always an issue.