Wednesday, December 4, 2013
Previously on the Cardinalpalooza: Willie McGee | Red Schoendienst | Enos Slaughter | Bruce Sutter | Albert Pujols | Ray Lankford | Mark McGwire | J.D. Drew | Colby Rasmus | Yadier Molina | Allen Craig | Stan Musial | Rick Ankiel | David Freese | Keith Hernandez | Steve Carlton
The MV3 era was great times. Scott Rolen was acquired by the Cardinals in the 2002 season to bolster their playoff chances, but his fateful meeting with Alex Cintron meant his full potential wouldn't be realized until the post-3 Nights in August season of 2004. That year, the Cardinals could do no wrong. It would be the finest offensive season of Rolen's career, though he was being overshadowed by his own teammates.
When healthy, Rolen was a terrific offensive player, but that always came secondary to his work with the glove. A second, more serious injury in 2005 would effectively doom his chances of ever driving in 100 runs again, but in his prime he was an extremely valuable commodity. The Cardinals improbable World Series win in 2006 when all of the cogs (save for Pujols) were seemingly broken down/old/Scott Spiezio meant that we'll never talk about Rolen the same way as people talk about Carlos Beltran. He did get the ring. So did Edmonds. So did So Taguchi.
Rolen apparently had an icy relationship with the icy Tony La Russa, so the rare "match trade" shipped him out of town for an even more doomed Troy Glaus. Glaus only had one productive season left in him, while Rolen resurfaced as a key member of the Reds, one of Walt Jocketty's first of many ex-Cardinal imports.
Fans of watching baseball likely appreciate Rolen's talents, especially in the field. I don't think he was the type of personality to cross the line between ballplayer and "star", but I can hardly think of any players that played his position better in the past decade-plus.
2002 Donruss Originals #88
2003 Donruss #346 [2 available]
2003 Fleer Tradition #393
2003 Playoff Portraits #122
2003 Upper Deck Honor Roll #77
2003 Upper Deck Standing "O" #73
2003 Upper Deck Victory #86 [4 available]
2003 Upper Deck Victory (Solid Hits) #124
2004 Bowman #11 [2 available]
2004 Donruss Diamond Kings #104
2004 Donruss Elite #145
2004 Fleer InScribed #66
2004 Fleer Platinum #128
2004 Fleer Tradition #139
2004 Leaf Second Edition #186
2004 Topps (Gold Glove) #709
2004 Topps (All-Star) #722
2004 Upper Deck Diamond Pro Sigs #48 [2 available]
2004 Upper Deck Play Ball #62
2004 Upper Deck R-Class #11
2004 Upper Deck Sweet Spot #83
2005 Donruss #342
2005 Donruss Diamond Kings #398 [2 available]
2005 Donruss Team Heroes #299
2005 Donruss Zenith #96
2005 Fleer America's National Pastime #30
2005 Fleer Classic Clippings #31
2005 Fleer Patchworks #61
2005 Fleer Tradition #171
2005 Leaf #184
2005 Skybox Autographics #51
2005 Topps (Gold Glove) #708
2005 Topps (All-Star) #722 [2 available]
2005 Topps Total #295
2005 Upper Deck All-Star Classics #43 [2 available]
2005 Upper Deck ESPN #81
2005 Upper Deck MVP #80 [2 available]
2005 Upper Deck Pros & Prospects #18 [3 available]
2005 Upper Deck Sweet Spot #21
2006 Fleer #94 [2 available]
2006 Fleer Smooth Leather #SL-12
2006 Fleer Tradition #50 [4 available]
2006 Fleer Ultra #42 [5 available]
2006 Topps #555 [3 available]
2006 Topps Update (All-Star) #UH255
2006 Topps Opening Day #19 [3 available]
2006 Upper Deck First Pitch #185
2007 Bowman #148 [3 available]
2007 Fleer #44 [5 available]
2007 Fleer Ultra #148
2007 Fleer Ultra Retail #148 [6 available]
2007 Topps #85 [6 available]
2007 Topps (Gold Glove) #302 [3 available]
2007 Topps Opening Day #53 [3 available]
2007 Upper Deck Elements #37
2007 Upper Deck Future Stars #87
2007 Upper Deck Goudey Green Backs #91
2007 Upper Deck SP Authentic #49 [2 available]
2007 Upper Deck Spectrum #95
2008 Topps #170 [7 available]
2008 Topps Opening Day #72 [2 available]
2008 Upper Deck Spectrum #88 [2 available]
Tuesday, December 3, 2013
The latest roundup of cards I've received in increasingly more expensive little white wrappers.
I'm going to sound like the guy that complains about the size of candy bars these days, and airline peanuts and the decline of the service industry and all of that. I swear it used to only cost a buck or two to get yourself a whole box full of envelopes. Even with the advent of peel-'n'-stick envelopes (I don't want to suffer the same fate as Susan on Seinfeld), I never expected to be forking over so much money for the things. I guess that's what happens when it's been decades since I've written someone a proper letter. Snail mail, feh!
I've received a few PWEs in the past several weeks and thought I'd bundle them up in one package here. First up is a few cards I received, all very much needed, from Fantastic Catch. Superduperman99 is a fellow Cardinals fan, and Cardinals fans are always fun to trade with.
I haven't bought a single pack of 2013 Bowman Platinum, and I'm guessing not many others that I trade with have done the deed, based on the how few cards I've acquired from this set. This is a nice little gold parallel. I've never been a fan of Bowman Platinum and its difficult to decipher parallel scheme, but I'm always interested in taking on new Cardinals cards.
Next up is one of those "Take My Cards" dealies from Crackin' Wax. I snagged a single Allen & Ginter insert plus a few base cards from the latest Topps Chrome set. Crackin' Wax has a birthday giveaway going on this week, so you should probably get on over there.
I was very fortunate to get this Wacha rookie card as part of my "Take My Cards" haul before the hype train arrived. Actually, I think it was probably pulling into the station just about the time that this card was heading into its envelope. Nice!
This card actually has a fairly standard width, but Google/Blogger (Glogger?) does weird things to my images. This is an insert from this year's Panini Cooperstown set, something I know absolutely nothing about because I don't really pay attention to the non-licensed sets. That being said, this is great! Who doesn't love a circular-shaped Whitey card? Sports Cards from the Dollar Store sent this over, along with some great stuff from other sports. Not pictured are some Ducks NFL cards that will likely be saved for a future Good Luck Ducks post.
The other sport represented was the great game of basketball. The Blazers are off to a terrific start this season, with the best record in the West through nearly a quarter of a season. So there's hope, right? I finally made it down to my first game of the season last night to see Portland knock off Indiana, the team with the best overall record in the NBA. It was a thrilling game in what is hopefully part of a thrilling season. All I know is that it's been great so far, and that's all that matters right now.
Friday, November 29, 2013
Airbrushed Fridays: The Evening Edition
Who is he? Son of former major leaguer (and Cardinal) Steve Swisher, Nick is a free swinging and free spirited outfielder. After coming up with Oakland, he saw a resurgence in his career when he joined the Yankees, making his first All-Star team in 2010 and winning a World Series ring.
How did he get here? After Swisher's four seasons in New York, Cleveland signed him to a big multiyear deal last offseason.
Repeat offender? No
Other versions of this card: 2013 Topps Opening Day #90B
Airbrushed Score: 8
Comments: The 'C' on his helmet really blends into the navy blue Yankees helmet. You can clearly see the Yankees blue piping around the sleeves and down his pants as well.
The least anticipated Civil War in years happens on a Black Friday.
Well, the Ducks really outdid themselves last week. Seemingly in the driver's seat for the conference title and a second consecutive Rose Bowl berth, Oregon went down to Arizona and was completely demolished by a mediocre team that had just lost to Washington State the previous week. Multiple players expressed disinterest in their Rose Bowl prospects before the game, and that disinterest showed on the field. And if a team clearly is going to give a damn, then I don't think as a fan I should let myself get upset about it either.
The Ducks play a reeling Beavers team today that suffered from its own beating, a historic one at the hands of the Washington Huskies. UW put up 69 points on Oregon State's own home field, a new low for a school that has had some significant lows. When OSU started the season with a loss to an FCS team, I predicted that this would finally be the end of long time head coach Mike Riley's tenure. Something happened to them after that loss, as they developed into the nation's top passing game, the Sean Mannion-to-Brandin Cooks connection that knew no rival. And then something else happened to them when I wasn't paying attention, because the Beavs have lost 4 straight, each defeat more sour than the previous.
Something is going to break today, and it could easily be either team. I have no idea how to predict this game, but I like to think that Oregon has the talent on their side. They also have the home field on their side. The effort hasn't been there, however, especially on the defensive side of the ball. With expectations lessened considerably, and nothing greater than a berth in the Alamo Bowl at stake, I probably won't enjoy this Civil War as much as ones in the past. I'll still be wearing something Ducks related, rooting them on.
Jeremiah Johnson's devastating touchdown was one of the many highlights of the 2008 Civil War, presented in full-rendered 240p splendor.
Game time is 4:00 PST in Eugene with national coverage on Fox Sports 1. Go Ducks!
Thursday, November 28, 2013
Tuesday, November 26, 2013
Some Cardinals cards from a Group Break spanning multiple decades.
Last month I bought in on a group break that didn't seem to have a central theme. Nachos Grande purchased some boxes with combined fun and value factors, including some products I haven't seen much of.
I don't have the largest Eric Davis Cardinals collection, so it's always fun to pull one of his cards. Of course, in this case it wasn't me that did the pulling, but it's mine now and that's what counts.
I almost always enjoy Fleer Tradition. It's a step up from basic Fleer (which all but disappeared) but is usually still very affordable. Dan Haren was recently signed by the Dodgers on a very low risk contract. Gall had a cup of coffee but didn't make it, and I've never heard of the other guy.
The 2005 Origins set is a total mystery to me. It was produced by Upper Deck but doesn't look or feel like anything they usually do. This must have been one of the smaller boxes, because Larry Walker's card was one of only two cards that were pulled for me here.
Unfortunately, one of the boxes was 1993 Upper Deck. It's one of my favorite sets, but I actually collected and completed the whole thing. I gave some thoughts to collecting the inserts, too (they're fantastic) but decided instead to focus on other things. This Hometown Heroes insert will fit nicely in Erin's collection, though. The Expos were my randomly assigned team, which means I also ended up with a few Vladimir Guerrero cards if you're into that sort of thing.
Here is one of the nicer inserts that were pulled, from the extra shiny 2000 Topps Gold Label.
This apparently isn't an insert, but it looks like one. I wonder if there are Fleer Maximum Impact memorabilia cards.
Finally, it's classic Pujols in a vintage style.
Monday, November 25, 2013
They don't make this stuff like they used to.
I was just trying to clear some space off my desk when I discovered that I still had one last pack of 2001 Topps Archives (Series 2) to post here. So here it goes.
397 - Cecil Cooper (1988)
433 - Norm Cash / Elston Howard / Al Kaline / Jim Piersall AL Batting Leaders (1962) - Lots of floating heads here, but only one flat top floating head. The best kind!
437 - Johnny Bench / Dick Allen RBI Leaders (1973) - Allen's sideburns are coming dangerously close to touching his mustache. You can't come back from that.
435 - Nolan Ryan / Tom Seaver Strikeout Leaders (1977) - I could probably get behind the concept of a whole set of reprinted League Leaders cards. Who says I'm not easy to please?
287 - George Foster - So pissed.
257 - Dave Parker (1974) - This is one of the later designs that you'll find in this set.
276 - Jim Palmer (1966) - In the history of Topps cards, I wonder how many players have made this pose.
261 - Jim Bouton (1962) - The Ball Four guy!