Friday, February 26, 2021

2 PWEs to Finish the Week

Yesterday's mail was spot on for a change.  I received everything my informed delivery said I would .  Wish it was like that all the time.  Once I was done sifting through the sale flyers and bills, I found 2 small pwe trades staring back at me.  The first was from The Bench member David K.

David is the true definition of a baseball card COLLECTOR.  He is very easy to trade with.  He does not get caught up in the investor part of the hobby.  He runs numerous contests for autographs cards throughout the year, and often trades heavily in your favor.  For these 3 nice 2021 Topps cards, I sent him a couple of Twins refractors.  I offered more, but he declined.  Thankful that guys like him are still around to make this hobby so enjoyable.

The second trade was with TCDB member udelljaru.

The 2020 Topps Finest Flashbacks cards are simply awesome.  I hope Topps does not overdue the 1993 Finest design in the near future.  I have always been a fan of Ponce De Leon since watching him in Peoria.  He always had a cool demeanor on the mound back then.  I given anyone major credit for still wanting to pitch after taking a line drive to the head and almost dying.  I hope he gets a chance to stick with the Cardinals this year in the bullpen.  I think he would be more effective as a reliever due to his high pitch counts.  This 2020 A&G insert highlights his MLB debut of 7 no hit innings against the Reds.


Thursday, February 25, 2021

Pair of 5s

 After bragging about the post office getting things closer to normal, things are going back in the wrong direction.  My informed delivery never matches what is actually delivered.  On Monday I was supposed to receive 6 pieces of mail.  I received 1 and some sales flyers.  Tuesday I was due 4 pieces and got none.  The carrier is coming because the outgoing mail is being picked up.  Weather is not an issue right now as temps have been in the upper 40s all week.  I guess I should be thankful when anything is delivered, like yesterday when I received 2 pwes with 5 cards each.  

First up is a trade from TCDB member astrosammy.  

It is rare to see a Tino Martinez card on this blog.  He was not a fan favorite during his 2 years in St. Louis.  He really did not perform that bad, but it was nowhere close to his Yankee stats.  Topps gave him 3 different variations in the 2002 206 set.  Quite a few veterans were giving this treatment.  I am not sure if any is more rare than the others, but is is nice to cross 2 of my want list.

2021 Topps Gold cards are harder to find this year thanks to the supposed increased production.  They still look more bronze to me than gold.  I still need 1 more 2020 Holiday base card for my team set now that Ravelo is crossed off.  I am not having as much luck tracking down the Metallic parallels.  I need 2 more cards to finish the 2001 Topps Chrome Update team set.  Take a guess what high priced rookie cards those 2 are.

The next trade came from The Bench member scc76.

I have very few Heritage chrome or refractor cards in my collection.  It is nice to add one of Cardinal great like Wainwright.  This one is a 2014 Chrome numbered to 999.  The White Border Carpenter is from the 2015 Gypsy Queen set.  He is a man without a position this year thanks to the Arenado trade and no DH in the National League.  Barring injury he still should get a couple starts a week filling in at first, second, and third.

My son's march to 400 different Altuve cards got a nice bump with these 3 cards.  The 2020 Diamond Kings is a short print.  MLB Network picked Altuve as a strong candidate for Comeback Player of the Year.  Maybe he can put his injuries and trash can scandal in the past.




Monday, February 22, 2021

Fun Little PWE Trade

My onslaught of incoming pwe trades continued on Saturday with the arrival of a trade from TCDB member engine614.  Even though there were only 6 cards in the envelope, they hit a number of different Cardinals collections.

I love the oddball box sets that Fleer produced in the late 1980s.  I have never heard of this set before, so I am assuming it was one of those sets you bought from a local drug store.  

Some people may refer to these as junk wax, but I do not.  Parallels from the 1990s take me back to when it was fun to pull cards of your favorite team regardless of player.  Both Perez and Cormier only pitched a handful of seasons for St. Louis as relief pitchers, but they were big names to me back then.  The Perez finished my 1994 Upper Deck Electric Diamond set while the Cormier did the same for my 1994 Stadium Club Golden Rainbow set.

In all my years of collecting cards, I have never opened a pack of Finest.  That explains why I always have a Finest hole in my collection.  After adding the 2009 Ludwick, I only need to track down Albert Pujols to finish my team set.  My 2011 Finest team set is now done after adding the Sanchez card.

If I had to vote for a favorite set of 2020, it would be Big League.  Great photography, budget friendly, and nice parallels are just some of the positives of the set.  I remember how much fun my son and I had busting a hobby box and completing the set.  Once I track down the Kolten Wong card, the orange parallel team set will be complete.


Friday, February 19, 2021

2 2021 Blaster Boxes

Back on the 2021 Topps Series 1 release day of February 10th, I was lucky enough to score 2 blaster boxes from  This is the first time I have ever purchased blasters online, but with the uncertainty of finding any packs at my local Walmart I took the leap.  Of course I have been to Walmart 3 times since then and found some type of Series 1 packs each time.  Maybe retail is making a comeback, or the hoarders have moved out of my town.  At any rate, the blasters arrived yesterday.  My son and I had a fun time ripping, sorting, and scanning for a couple of hours last night.

Each blaster contained one 70th anniversary patch.  My son opened the Chipper first.  I was lucky enough to pull the only Cardinal in the set.  

1952 Chrome cards are seeded 1:10 packs.  My son pulled our only 1 out of 14 packs, but at least it was a Cardinal.

The regular 1952 cards are 1 per pack.  We received 14 different ones included some nice ones like Bichette and Bart.  

1986 Topps inserts are 1:4 packs.  We slightly beat the odds with a very nice group of players.  My son had knack of pulling Braves yesterday, as he pulled both the Acuna and Aaron to go along with the Chipper patch card.

70 Years of Topps Baseball inserts are 1:11 packs.  We beat the odds again, but with a little less star power than other inserts.

Rainbow foil odds were 1:10.  I have seen some of them almost look purple from scanning like the Astro card.  Along with the gold parallels, these seem to be harder to pull this year.

2 of our better inserts were the Jackie Robinson Double Headers seeded 1:30 packs, and the Odor green parallel numbered to 499.  No odds were given for the green or orange parallels.
I did not catch this short print variation until sorting the cards.  Good thing has a picture gallery of these cards.  Odds for a base short print are 1:79.  

I pulled all 3 of these Tatis cards.  The Blue 1986 card was the most rare out of our boxes, seeded 1:292 packs.  The Through the Years card was a 1:25 pull.  Overall we we pleased with the cards.  I paid a little of $36 delivered for them because I had about $6 left on a Christmas gift card.  I should be done breaking Series 1 now, unless I happen to find some on sale.  

Wednesday, February 17, 2021

Paul Sends Some Ink

Things are a little bit back to normal today after the blizzard on Monday.  I am back to work, but not doing very much.  The concrete industry is pretty slow when the temperature is below freezing and the ground is covered in 10 inches of snow.  I am guessing school will be out the rest of the week, but my kids are getting some homework virtually.  It looks like things will warm up by Sunday and start to melt all of this.  

In the meantime, I have some extra time to try to stay up to date on my card filing and scanning.  Scanning is almost done except for a few trades that should arrive later this week.  Filing will wait until then.  One of my biggest trades that I scanned over the weekend was a trade from Paul of Scribbled Ink fame.  Paul is not as active blogging, but he still trades quite a bit on TCDB.  

My TCDB inventory shows I need the 2004 Playoff Honors insert, but my spreadsheet says I already have it.  I will find out later this week.  I know for sure I needed the 2020 Topps Update 1985 gold insert #ed to 50.  

I almost completed a 2018 Topps Big League rainbow of Jordan Hicks.  The Rainbow Foil is #ed to 100.  The 2019 A&G Gold Border mini is my first of its kind.  

The package also contained plenty of Alex Reyes cards including 2 refractors, a pink parallel and a nice 1987 insert from 2017 Topps.  My fingers are crossed for another healthy year for him.  

There were other refractors as well going back to 2007 Topps Chrome.  The pink Mikolas from 2018 Topps Chrome Update is my favorite, although the blue Wisdom is a close second.

Paul included other colored parallels, not just refractors.  I had to do a double take on the 2019 Bowman Platinum Baker card to realize it was the Sky Blue card.  

These 2 Altuve cards bring my son's collection to 371.  We spent a couple of hours yesterday afternoon organizing them in his binder and verifying his total was correct on TCDB.  We ended up only finding 1 mistake.  His goal of 400 different cards is getting within reach.



Tuesday, February 16, 2021

2020 Bowman Heritage 2 Box Break

The snow got pretty deep here in Southern Illinois yesterday.  I has close to 11 inches.  I bladed my drive twice yesterday to try to keep up with the drifting.  I will have to do it again today if I want to go back to work tomorrow.  Even with a 4-wheel drive truck it is not easy getting around in this.  I know a lot of other areas got hit hard also.  At least we did not get any ice and our power is still on.

With 2 days in a row off work, I have plenty of time to catch up on mail days.  On Saturday I had a package arrive with the results of a 2 box EBAY team break from 2020 Bowman Heritage.  I claimed the Cardinals for a little less than $10 delivered.

The base set is split up into veterans and prospects.  I received all the Cardinals veterans plus extras of Fernandez and Flaherty.

I received 5 of the 6 Cardinals prospects.  I am still missing the Nolan Gorman card.  I did get duplicates of Thompson and Montero.

Each packed contained 2 Chrome cards or a Chrome and a refractor.  I did well getting 4 different Cardinals and a duplicate of Carlson.  I find it hard to believe his 2021 Topps base cards sell for more on EBAY than this nice looking parallel.  I guess the little RC in the corner of the Topps card matters quite a bit to some collectors.

I did received a base refractor of Gorman numbered to 199 and a black and white parallel of Fenandez.  Overall I thought I did well.  It is tempting to enter into another break for Heritage because it is cheap, but I will most likely stick to buying the singles I like.

Saturday, February 13, 2021

Just Could Not Wait

I am sure I was not the only collector looking forward to 2021 Topps Series 1 being released on Wednesday.  For me it signals the beginning of baseball season.  With spring training starting next week, hopefully it will be no time before the real games start.  With the uncertainty of finding retail packs, I went the online route and was able to get 2 blasters from Target before they sold out.  I did not realize I still had part of a gift card left, so they cost a little less than $40.  They should arrive next Tuesday or Wednesday.

That is a long time to wait to open some new packs.  Yesterday I volunteered to make a quick Walmart run for the wife so I could cruise by the card isle.  The first time went by I quickly checked for blasters, but did not see any so I did my regular shopping.  Good thing I went back to check out in the same isle.  No blasters, but plenty of fat packs and loose packs.  I chose 3 fat packs that contained 40 cards for $6.98 each.  That is a little better deal than the blaster boxes that contain 99 cards for $19.99.  Lets see what I got.  

Each fat pack contained 1 blue parallel.  It was nice to score a Cardinal out of those.  I was really excited to pull the Carlson base card.  I already have most of the Cardinals base set coming from a hobby box break, but it is always nice to get an extra of a hot rookie.

The other 2 blue cards were not that outstanding.  Maybe I can find a team collector to trade them to.

I received 2 1952 cards in each pack. I assume that is the stated odds.  The print was so small on the back of the backs I was not for sure.  Some nice names there, but not thrilled to pull a duplicate.

The 1952 Chrome cards are nice.  Seems like Topps incorporated a few other brands into Series one by including these cards and the ice parallels from the Bowman line.

My first pack of cards I ever opened was 1986 Topps.   These bring back great memories for me of trying to track down the Vince Coleman rookie card from that set. 

My other inserts included a Home Run Challenge card and a 70 Years of Topps insert.  Nothing too flashy here.

One of the big selling points of Series 1 is the deep rookie class.  I pulled some nice ones to go along with the Carlson.  The best one was not a base card though.

I was shocked to see how much the Rainbow Foil parallel of Adell was selling for on EBAY.  I know they will come down some once the newness dies down.  I am not a fan of selling on EBAY, so I sold this to another collector on the Bench for $30.  That more than paid for my 3 packs.

Overall I will give the 2021 design a solid 8.  I like the borders, but the name plate is very small.  From what I have read, Topps produced a ton of these because parallels like Gold and Rainbow Foil are tougher to pull this year.  



Friday, February 12, 2021

6 years

I noticed earlier this week that today is my 6th year blogging anniversary.  It does not seem that long.  Time flies when you are having fun with your baseball cards and other Cardinals related items.  I may not have the gift of gab, but I do enjoy sharing my collection with others.  Speaking of which, today's recap is a 6 pack from TCDB member kapa64.

1995 Pacific is a very nice and clean design.  I really like the full photo and team logos.  About the only thing I would change are the diamond before the name plate.  I had completed the 1999 Fleer Tradition team set long ago, but used my first Acevedo card for an in person autograph .  The set is complete once again.

This card was a much appreciated extra in the pwe.   The 1999 Skybox Premium set featured 50 rookies who had 2 cards.  The portrait pose is the base card, while the action pose like this McEwing card was a little harder to find.

I am almost finished with 2020 Bowman Platinum.  I have 1 more base card that should arrive next week.  It is not a bad design.  I just wish the background was not so dark.

2020 Big League was a great set.  Very affordable, but yet offered good value.  The orange and blue parallels are really sharp.  I need to track down 2 more orange cards for my team set.  

That is all for the recap.  I will leave you with the first card I ever showed on the blog. Nothing high dollar, but it was my first card of my all time favorite player.



Thursday, February 11, 2021

Another PWE Mailday

 For some reason my mailing habits go in cycles.  One week I am all bubble mailers, then next it is the pwe variety.  Last week I worked out mostly smaller trades, so the pwes have been coming in pretty steady this week.  The latest was from TCDB member stdolan1.  

Thought I would change pace today and show my son's latest Altuve additions first.  He loved the  2020 Topps Fire base card, the 2020 Gallery Foil not so much.  

The 2020 Gallery Artist Proof card is a little better than the Foil.  I prefer the simple classics like the Pujols 2004 Topps Total Checklist.  

My favorite card of the bunch is the 2020 Heritage Then and Now insert.  Torre has been showing up in more sets recently as a Cardinals.  Maybe Topps will have his sign some autographs in the near future.  I have not touched on Yadier Molina since he was resigned earlier this week.  I thought the contract was fair to both sides.  $9 million might be a slight overpay, but it would not be right for Molina to finish his career with another team.  Of course he is a free agent next year so Cardinals fans may go through this again.  My scanner did not show the purple parallel from 2020 Contenders too well.  Nice idea for a card, but give me a little more photo and a little less ticket.  

Wednesday, February 10, 2021

Happy Topps Day!

Unless you have been away from the internet for a few weeks, you know today is the official release date for 2021 Topps.  I have surfed EBAY just to see what the Cardinals cards look like and see some of the crazy prices the cards are going for.  I have high hopes for Dylan Carlson, but will not pay $15 for his base card.  I am in a hobby box break tomorrow night that hopefully will get me a team set.  Until that time, I will have cards from a trade with TCDB member herkojerko to keep me busy.

Brock and Gibson will be forever linked as teammates on 2 World Series Championship teams, HOF members, and Cardinals greats who passed away in the same year.  These 1987 SSPC HOF cards sure are colorful.  

Have I mentioned lately I miss minor league baseball?  Without a season, you do not get great cards like these 2 from 1990.  Maybe by the end of summer fans will be allowed to watch in person.  It sound like the minor league season will run into October instead of ending around Labor Day.

It is another minor league card, but this one from Topps Heritage Minors.  Unlike the team sets, Topps managed to crank out Pro Debut and Heritage Minors last year.  The 2002 Diamond Connection Rolen is a card I was sure I had, but I was wrong.  I believe this card was part of an update set.

2021 will be a big year for Martinez.  The Cardinals have 2 options for him in 2022 and 2023.  I doubt they will be picked up unless he returns to being a #2 starter.  I am guessing Goldschmidt will have a huge year if healthy with Arenado batting behind him.  Not sure he still has 40 home runs in him, but 30+ with over 100 rbis should be doable.

When the 2020 Topps UK set, I really did not have any intentions of going after the team set.  With these 6, it is now complete.