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 Beckett.com 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.  


  1. Glad you had a great trip! That's a jam packed baseball day- jealous! Really like the Leather and Lumber Carpenter. Going to look at that set's checklist now...