Friday, July 30, 2021

Big Deal for Me

I have never considered myself a high dollar collector.  I have never spent over $100 on a single card, nor have I ever spent over $150 on a box.  I believe the most I have ever spent on cards was at one of the first Cardinals Winter Warm Up conventions I went to .  I paid $125 for 10 different Ray Lankford printing plates.  

This is a hobby for me.  I wish I had the disposable income to spend thousands of dollars on cards, but with a house payment and 2 kids headed to college in a few years, my money is better spent elsewhere.  So what does all this rambling have to do with today's post?  

In early June, I was lucky enough to buy a couple of 2021 Bowman Mega boxes.  I ended up pulling an autograph of Cubs prospect Ed Howard.  I did not have any luck trying to sell in it, so it just sat in my trade box.  Over the weekend I worked out a trade with The Bench member biggun61 that included the Howard auto and an extra 2004 Yadier Molina Bowman Heritage rookie card I had.  Total book value on those 2 cards is $130.  The 3 cards I traded for arrived yesterday.

Neither of these 2 2019 Chrome refractors fit into my collection.  Of course the pink Altuve is for my son, while the blue Bell #ed to 150 is headed to long time trading friend Ron B.  Book value for these 2 are a little less than $10.  The third and final card made up most of the difference.

This awesome 2021 Tier One Carlson auto books for $120.  I am not a big fan of book values.  I could not tell you the last time I bought a Beckett price guide, or even if they still make them monthly.  The other trader has the online version.  Even if the values are a little off, I am still happy.  I was able to trade a Cub auto for a Cardinals auto.  

Thursday, July 29, 2021

Back to the TCDB

As my previous couple of posts have mentioned, I have not had much opportunity to work out trades the last few weeks.  Now that my son's baseball season is over, I hope to get back in the swing of things.  You know things have been slow when it has been almost 2 weeks since I recapped a TCDB trade.  My latest one arrived earlier this week from member alh.  He sent a huge stack of mostly 1980s Cardinals.

This may look like a regular 1987 Fleer card, but it is actually the last Glossy version I need to complete my team set.  It is nice to put the 25 card team set to bed.  It always seems like I need an Ozzie card to finish a team set from that time period.

I also received 16 different 1988 Fleer Glossy cards.  This team set has 28 cards, of which I still need 2.  Surprisingly they are Lance Johnson and a Tony Gwynn/Vince Coleman card.  You may wonder why I only scanned the Tudor and Herr cards.  Both of them are being inducted into the Cardinals Hall of Fame in August.  I have mentioned it a ton of times before, but I loved the Whitey Herzog teams of the mid 1980s.  These 2 were key parts of 2 World Series teams in 1985 and 1987.

Another team set hit was this short print from 2000 Upper Deck Legends.  Still need the McGwire and Musial sps to finish this one.

The insert portion of the trade included a 2020 Topps HR Challenge card and a 2019 Donruss Independence Day parallel.  I have 4 Goldschmidt codes to enter before 2021 ends.  I missed his hot streak a few weeks ago.

The last 4 cards were extras from the 1990 Bowman Tiffany set.  I really appreciate when others throw in a few extra cards, even if they are not the most valuable.  I only have a handful of Cardinals from this set, but I have now added the missing ones to my wantlist.  



Wednesday, July 28, 2021


Before I left for Lexington last week, I had a bubble mailer arrive on Wednesday.  I did not get a chance to open it until Sunday evening.  My informed delivery let me know it was an EBAY lot that I had won a while back.  It was a lot of close to 70 different Cardinals.  There were only a handful of cards I needed, but for a little over $5 delivered it was worth it to me. 

I thought it was a bit strange to have duplicates of an autograph in the same lot, but I will take them.  One is for my pc, the other will either be trade bait or headed to Kerry if he needs it.

There was a small handful of inserts.  I only needed 2 of them being the 2019 Pink Fernandez and 2019 Gallery Wood Helsley.  It was nice to finish my 2021 Bowman team set with the addition of the chrome Liberatore.

The rest of the 50 plus cards were mostly rookie cards including these 5 2021 Topps Dylan Carlson cards.  A lot of the cards were of pitchers, but there were a couple Randy Arozerana 2020 Topps cards included.  Good value in my book for about $5.   

Tuesday, July 27, 2021

Long but Fun Day in Louisville

The blog has been silent for a week for good reason.  Last Wednesday after I got off work, me, my wife, and my son headed to Lexington, KY for his Cal Ripken 12U Regional Tournament.  His team played 2 games on Thursday and 1 on Friday.  They went 1 and 2 in pool play, but lost the 2 games by 3 runs combined.  Not bad for a team that has only been together a month.  They were disappointed they did not advance to the single elimination tournament on Saturday and Sunday, but a lot of great memories.

One positive that came from not playing on Saturday was we had a full day to spend in Louisville.  Before we made the trip, I researched various baseball stops in town.  We managed to hit up 4 different places.  This was after making the 1 hour drive from Lexington and spending a couple of hours at an outlet mall.  Have to keep the wife happy to. 

The first stop was a card show that listed as having 60 tables.  I would guess that was pretty accurate.  I was shocked to see over half of the tables were nothing but basketball.  We ended up buying cards from 4 different dealers.  First up was a small lot of cards for $3.

These are my first 2021 Stadium Club Cardinals.   Wish I could have found more.  If my phone had good service in the convention hall, I would have been able to access my TCDB page and find out I did not need the Ozzie.  At least it did not set me back much.  The Flaherty is my first 2020 Topps Chrome Black card.  It is great to see him making a rehab start tonight.  With any luck he will be back in St. Louis soon.

I found some nice trade bait in his box that included some premium brands like Museum and Tribute and a nice 2021 Finest refractor.

The second dealer I bought from had a few display cases full of vintage cards.  Vintage is usually not my thing, but I noticed a 1971 Topps Steve Carlton card that I needed for a team set.

It s badly off centered, but not quite as bad as my scanner shows.  For $5, it was well worth it to me.  

The third dealer had a couple of monster boxes full of cards 3 for $1.  Not quite as good as the dime or quarter boxes I usually look for, but there were some good finds.

Chrome and colored parallels Cardinals are always nice to find.

Once again I bought some Cardinals that I already had, but these should not be very difficult to trade.  

My son looks for 2 things in the monster boxes:  Cardinals and Altuve cards.  He found some of both.  The top 3 were needs, bottom 2 duplicates.  Good thing there are a couple of Altuve collectors on TCDB who I can trade with.  

Mojo refractors are easily tradeable, even older ones like the top 3 from 2017.  

The last of the 3 for $1 cards were mostly for another collector I owe.  Once again shiny and colored are usually good buys for less than 50 cents a card.

The final dealer I bought from had numerous boxes of game used and autographs.  He was one of the most organized dealer I have ever seen.  The boxes were separated by sport and alphabetical order.  They were also sorted by retired, current, and rookies.  He was also one of the nicest guys to talk to.  I was hoping to find an Altuve for my son, but settled for a nice Cardinals for my collection.

Even though Wong now plays for the rival Brewers, he is still one of my favorites.  This great looking Tribute card set me back $6.  I spent a total of $22 in the 1.5 hours at the show.  I did witness a lot of high end deals being done.   The largest was a $3,200 lot of Mike Trout cards.  That is well above my budget.

We planned on visiting the Louisville Slugger Museum next, but tickets were not available for the factory tour for another 2 hours.  A quick google search showed we were only 10 minutes away from Louisville Sports Cards.  For some reason my phone worked great outside of the card show.  What better place to kill time than going to a card shop.  Upon entering, we quickly went through a few $1 boxes before finding a huge row of monster boxes full of recent cards.  The worker said most cards would be either a dime or a quarter.   Wish I had more time to go through them, but I managed to pull a quite a few nice cards.

A few recent Cardinals including a 2017 rainbow foil card.  Hard to believe I paid for a Brett Cecil card.

The top 4 Altuves came from the bargain boxes, the bottom from the $1 box.  

I am not a huge fan of college cards, but these 2020 Prizm Draft cards look great in person.  

The inserts look even better.  My total for these 15 cards was $4.  I also bought a pack of 100 sleeves for $2.  I will definitely go back to this shop anytime I am in Louisville.

Our third stop in Louisville was the Slugger Museum.  We had been there before in 2010 when my son was only 2.   He got a lot more out of the factory tour this time.  One bonus of the tour is the miniature bat given away at the end.  For the month of July only, a 25th anniversary blue bat is being given out.

Of course when you visit the Slugger Museum, you have to get your picture taken outside with the world's largest bat.

Our fourth and final stop was the one I was looking forward to the most.  As luck would have it, the Memphis Redbirds were in town to play the Louisville Bats.  How lucky can you get to see the Cardinals Triple A team  twice in a year without having to make the 5 hour drive to Memphis.  Earlier this summer we also saw them play in Indianapolis.  I have driven by Slugger Stadium a few times, but have never attended a game there.  Upon entering the stadium you see quite a few pictures and banner of former players.   One in particular caught my eye.

Second from the right is none other than Ray Lankford.  He played for the Louisville Redbirds in 1990.  Louisville was the Cardinals Triple A team from 1982-1998.  The Bats have been a Reds team since 2000.  The Redbirds won the game 8-4 thanks to 3 home runs and 3 scoreless innings from rehabbing Miles Mikolas.  It was their 14th win in a row.  They would make it 15 on Sunday.  

Of course my son and I packed some cards along in case we could get autographs.  They was very little chance inside the stadium though as the nets extend all the way down the foul lines.  Once again we had some luck as while in the card shop, a fellow collector gave us some tips on where to be after the game.  We had never done this before, but wanted to give it a shot.  In the 20 minutes we waited, quite a few players from both teams stopped.   We ended up getting 2 of them.

Kramer Robertson walked out with Nolan Gorman.  Most guys went for Gorman who did sign a few, but we have gotten him quite a few times while he played in Peoria.  Robertson is not a big prospect, but he is someone we did not have on a card.  

Matt Liberatore is a big prospect.  #27 in all of baseball.  He gave a beautiful autograph on the sweet spot.  Most of his Bowman autographs are just a capital M and L.  We could have stuck around longer to get more autographs, but I decided to make the 2.5 hour drive home that night.  3 nights in a hotel is long enough for me.  

Overall it was a great day in Louisville.  Lots of nice cards and a great autograph.  Memphis does not play there again this year, but we are already planning our trip for next year when they come back.  

Tuesday, July 20, 2021

Bench Trade

My first and most likely only trade for this week arrived yesterday courtesy of The Bench member DoubleAZ.  I sent a few 2021 Topps Home Run Challenge cards his way in return for 5 Cardinals.

It is nice that other collectors buy Topps online exclusive sets and break them up.  This Wainwright is from the 2021 206 set.  Topps sells these in 10 card packs for $14.99.   That is a little too rich for my collecting budget.


I am starting to see more Arendao cards in a Cardinals uniform.  I like the looks of this Series 2 1965 Redux insert other than the fact he has his eyes closed.  

The Panini portion of the trade features a lime green and pink parallel from 2020 Optic and a purple parallel from 2021 Donruss.  I like the Molina photo, but the blue catcher's gear does not go the greatest with the green border.  

Friday, July 16, 2021

Ask And You Shall Receive

I mentioned in Wednesday's post that I was hoping to find the last 4 Cardinals I needed from Series 2 from one trader.  As luck would have it, a package arrived later that day from Trading Bases member Matt S. that contained those 4 cards and a couple more.


Funny all 4 cards were of pitchers.  What is not so funny is that these 4 could all be in the starting rotation before too long.  I have no problem with Kim and Wainwright being there, but Oviedo and Woodford need more time in the minors before joining the rotation long term.  Injuries may prevent that.

Speaking of injuries, it is looking more likely that Jordan Hicks is going to miss the rest of the 2021 season .  Since the Cardinals do not appear likely to make the playoffs, I am ok with him resting up for the 2022 season and a return to the closer's role.  Alex Reyes has done a great job this year, but I am guessing he will be given a shot to start next year.  

Thursday, July 15, 2021


It has been a while since I showed off an EBAY purchase.  It has been a little over 2 months since I won an auction for cards that were not part of a box break.  It is not that I do not look or cannot find something I want.  It is more that I tend to look for bargains unless I have some Paypal funds to spend.  I had close to $10 in my account just waiting to be spent, so last week I looked to add a new Cardinals autograph to my collection.

Topps has started to crank out the Whitley autographs the last couple of months.  Glad I did not jump on some of his Topps Inception autos that were selling for more than $10.  This Series 2 1986 card was about $7 delivered.  His Stadium Club autos are a little cheaper, but the 1986 look takes me back to when I first started collecting cards.  He does not have much of an autograph to brag about, but it does count.

Wednesday, July 14, 2021

More Series 2

With my lack of trading lately, I have yet to complete the Cardinals Series 2 team set.  With any luck, I should get it done in the next couple of weeks.  A trade last week with TCDB member brodiescomics brought a couple of base cards and some inserts.

I need 4 more base cards for the team set.  I hope I can find a trader who has all of them.  

I have 3 Goldschmidt Home Run Challenge cards now that I plan on using before the end of the season.  Goldy usually hits better in the second half of the season so maybe I will get lucky.  I like the 2004 design Topps used for the Carlson 70 years of Topps insert.  Nice action shot of the young outfielder.  I have very few of the Walmart blue parallels from this year.  This Martinez cards makes 3 out of the 21 from both Series 1 and 2.  Lots of work left to be done with that set.

Monday, July 12, 2021

2 Smalls

Mother Nature was not a big baseball fan in Illinois this weekend.  The Cardinals and Cubs game was rained out yesterday.  My son's All Star team was playing in a state tournament that was about an hour and half away from home.  By Saturday at 2 they field was not playable.  We are scheduled to go back tonight at 6 for the championship game.  Regardless of the result, both teams advance to play in Lexington, KY next week.  

What does this have to do with baseball cards?  Not much, other than my spare time will be next to nothing.  Trading has been very slow due the last few weeks.  I have 2 envelopes arrive this week.  One was from a trade, the other was a nice surprise from a long time trading friend.

First is the trade from The Bench member Trishlp.

Single card trades are not my favorite, but I only gave up one of the dime cards I found at the last card show.  So really this Carlson card cost me less than $1.  That is a lot better than EBAY rates.

Next up is a pwe from Trading Bases member Ron B.  Ron just recently moved to a different state, but found the time to send a couple of cards my way.  One for me, one for my son.

This 2020 Topps Heritage buyback Schoendienst card is in better condition than the original 1971 Topps I have in my collection.  It really pains me when Topps stamps such a nice vintage card.  The Altuve card is the first 2021 Finest card my son and I have in hand.  As always Topps does a nice job with this brand.

Thursday, July 8, 2021

2 Small Trades

It has been over a week since I did a trade recap.  One reason is my lack of time due to my son's baseball schedule.  The other is a lack of trading also for the same reason.  Kids come first though, and I would not change a thing.  I did find some time last week to work out a couple of smaller trades that arrived earlier this week.   First up was a pwe exchange with The Bench member MITCHIEHO.  I sent him a Wander Franco card in exchange for 2 Cardinals.

Yes I said the trade was for 2 Cardinals.  He threw in the Carlson 1952 Chrome.  The Neshek is a 2014 Topps Update Black numbered to 63.

The second trade was with TCDB member Rdbade.  I sent him all the 2021 Bowman Chrome cards I find in a dime box at the last card show along with a handful of Cardinals duplicates in exchange for 1 card.

This 2019 Topps Heritage Real One autograph features a player with only 6 career games for the Cardinals.  Nye only pitched in St. Louis for one season, but still manages to get a nice autograph.  I love adding obscure guys like this to my team collection.

Wednesday, July 7, 2021

Man I Missed Peoria

The last 2 weekends I have done a couple of things that Covid put a stop to in 2020.  The first was attending a card show with my wife and son.  That was a ton of fun, but this past Friday was even better.  My entire family attended our first Peoria Chiefs game in almost 2 years. 

I almost forgot how great it was to watch a game in person.  Everything was almost perfect.  The weather was beautiful.  It was about 77 degrees with cloudy skies and a nice breeze.  Almost unbelievable for the second of July.  The Chiefs won the game 7 to 4 thanks to a 7 fun 6th inning.  Before that time, they only had 1 hit.  The crowd was announced to be about 1,100, but I would guess there were 500-600 people who were there.

One of the deciding factors for me in choosing what games to attend are the promotional give aways.  With 2020 being a lost year, some teams have cut back this year.  The Chiefs are no different.  Friday night was one exceptional, as it was advertised as mystery bobblehead giveaway to the first 500 fans.  In past years on bobblehead nights, there would be a few hundred people in line at least 30 minutes before game time.  Friday we arrived about 15 minutes early to find about 25.  After a short wait, the gates opened.  There were 4 different bobbleheads being handed out that were supposed to be given out last year: Dylan Carlson, Tommy Edman, a Joey Turkey Friends, and some character from the Office TV show.  It was nice they let everyone pick out which they wanted.

I already have one of these Carlson bobbleheads, but hope to trade or sell these 4 to get a couple that will be given out at a Springfield Cardinals game in August.  

Being our first game since the pandemic, I had no idea if autographing would be allowed.  It seems to vary from park to park.  I brought along 6 cards and a ball just in case.  Good thing I did.

I read somewhere earlier in the week that Jose Oquendo would be in Peoria most of the week.  When we walked in, most of the team was down by the bullpen going over the game plan.  After the broke up, Oquendo stuck around talking to a couple of the infielders.  Another fan asked him for an auto first, so I followed suit.  He was happy to sign.

Besides the bobblehead give away, another reason to make the 3 hour drive was to see the Cardinals 2020 first round draft pick Jordan Walker.  Walker was promoted to the Chiefs earlier in the week.  

My son was camped out by the dugout before the game, while my daughter and I were down the first base line where the players warm up.  My son scored first by having Walker sign this 2021 Bowman card.

After he finishing warming up, Walker, also signed for my daughter and I.

Last fall my local Walmart had Rawlings offical MLB baseballs on clearance for $5.  I think I bought all 14 they had.  This one turned out great.  Shortly after Walker signed, the game started.  We had seats 4 rows off the field next to the Chiefs dugout.  It was a great view to see Walker playing 3rd base.

He had one nice play ranging to his left to field a grounder, then doing a 360 to throw the runner out at first.  Wish I could have taken some nice photos of him up to bat, but the netting got in the way.  Next time I will move to a different seat.  I mentioned earlier the Chiefs won the game 7-4.  Walker was 0-4 on the night.  One thing I noticed during the game was the absence of bat boys.  A coach from each team was in charge of retrieving any foul balls and keeping the home plate umpire supplied.  The Chiefs coach tossed my son one after a player broke his bat.

I have never seen a broken bat rip a baseball cover before.  This one even went into the stitching some.  After the game a few players remained on the field to talk to family and sign a few more autographs.  My son was able to get one before we left.

Cedeno was signing before the game at the same time Walker was.  Good thing he stuck around afterwards.  To finish things up we got 4 of our 6 cards signed along with a ball and 4 bobbleheads.  Not sure when we will go back, but I hope we get the chance before too long.