Friday, July 30, 2010

Airbrushed Fridays: 1989 Topps Traded #63T

Today's Airbrushed Fridays post comes with a poll at the end. Don't fret - it's a fun one.

John Kruk was a former all-star first baseman that has become something of an even bigger figure far removed from his big league career. You can see him on Baseball Tonight, of course, and of all of the legendary stories the lasting one is probably his scared antics versus Randy Johnson in the 1993 All-Star Game. He was a prolific hitter despite (or because of?) his size, but he supposedly retired in the middle of a game in 1995, only 10 years into his MLB career.

Why did Topps airbrush John's photo? Kruk was dealt to the Phillies in early June (or May if you believe Wikipedia) and would find his career really take off after that point. Topps had enough problems catching up to players who were dealt in the offseason, so it's not surprising that they weren't all over an in-season deal.

What's wrong with this picture, anyway? Here's where I turn it over to you, the readers. Tell me what's going on with Krukky here:

a. This is actually a mugshot, and they had to airbrush an entire baseball cap and uniform on him.
b. Clearly, this is a blackmail photo. The camera is practically shoved far up his nose.
c. "Please don't kill me, Randy Johnson!"
d. That look of anguish on Kruk's face is because he's trying to protect his stash... of food, guys. Food.
e. I just can't stop staring at that mullet!

Of course, feel free to leave a comment if you have a better suggestion.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Middlin' Cards

A few weeks ago, there was some unpleasantness. I don't want to "talk about the past" or anything, but things got so bad that I decided I need to kick a bunch of Colorado Rockies cards to the curb. Fortunately, I was able to obtain the address of Shellie of The Middle Child, a poor misguided Rockies fan who I will grudgingly give a pass to because of her proximity to Coors Field.

Since I have yet to see a single pack of 2010 Bowman in my area (still!), I had completely forgotten about Chrome cards this year. Then, it dawned on me. What happened to 2010 Topps Chrome? After a few seconds of Google searching, I found out that Topps Chrome isn't coming out this year until the end of the baseball season, which seems really weird. I wonder if there's an issue with the "Chromium" technology this time around, as I've seen several mention that these Bowman cards seem a little bit different than usual, qualitywise.

Albert has been a bit slumpy lately. I think he needs to have a talk with his wife again.

Man, I really love the way the early Flair cards look. If only the Cardinals had better players in the Joe Torre era, although Mabry came back to the club several times over the course of his career.

Here's one for the Ozzie binder. In fact, this might be too good for the binder. I've never understood where the "medallion" is supposed to be in the Gold Medallion Edition Ultra cards. Some are more "gold" than others.

This has to be the oldest serial numbered card I've ever received. It's numbered 9690 of 9799! That's like a 1 of 1 in 2010 years. (I don't think that last sentence made sense.) I know that I pulled an Elite Mike Piazza serial numbered card a couple of years ago from a mid-'90s pack, but this is the first old serial numbered card that I actually care about.

I haven't been a huge fan of most of the Topps Gallery designs that I've seen, but I really like the few cards that Shellie sent from 1997. That frame is great. You could even say that it's golden.

Finally! Someone is paying attention. I am not making a whole lot of progress on my 1993 Upper Deck set, but I did get this restaurant quality Tim Salmon Star Rookie card. Is anyone up for some junk wax style trading?

Finally, Shellie sent this amazing Ryan Ludwick jersey card from 2010 Heritage. This is just a great looking card. I haven't pulled any "hits" to speak of from this year's Heritage myself, so I didn't know that these looked so good.

Thanks again! (P.S. I actually don't mind the Rockies all that much. I just wish they would stop beating the Cardinals senseless...)

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Panini Sticker Project

No, I'm not trying to do a Fleer Sticker Project, but thanks to a donation from a friend (thanks, Kevin!) I working on putting together a 1990 Panini MLB sticker album. My interest in sticker albums was piqued at an early age when I fell for the 25 cent 1986 Topps sticker packets at the neighborhood grocery/variety store. Those Topps stickers were split into two segments for most of the players, but the star players would get one dedicated sticker that was cut in an oval shape. You knew you had something special when you'd get an egg-shaped sticker.

I seem to remember Panini overtaking Topps in the sticker album racket in 1988, but I also think it came with an increased cost. With several dirt cheap options containing actual baseball cards (hello, 1988 Donruss!), I lost interest in buying packets and putting together albums that were not going to be worth anything, unlike my precious Gregg Jefferies rookie cards.

I still really like the idea of putting together sticker albums, however. Panini stickers have always looked nice, and I jumped at the chance to play with 20 year old stickers. I haven't put together a want list yet (don't tell anyone, but I am planning on buying a box), but I am at least doing well in the Royals department. As you can see by the "1989 Highlights" page, however, I still have a lot of work to do.

If anyone has any extra 1990 Panini stickers burning a hole in their closet, you know how to find me.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Grand Cardinals

Grand Cards did a week long "trade away" recently where people could bid on certain baseball card-related items with other baseball card-related items. It was a generous effort for certain, even though I'm convinced the entire thing was some sort of scheme to get rid of mass quantities of unwanted cards quickly. (That sounds like something I should strongly consider.) My lot was a group of non-Topps Cardinals, as I hoped to get some cool oddball-type stuff. Here are some of my favorites.

We did not have Rite Aids in the area until the mid-'90s, when they bought out Payless drug stores. Certainly, we never had Rite Aid baseball cards and I didn't know such a thing existed until I got John Tudor and Jack Clark in this package. Incidentally, Payless's presence in the area meant that Payless ShoeSource went by the name of Volume ShoeSource to avoid confusion.

On first look, I assumed that this was not a legitimate release but instead something that some company doctored with a gold stamp on it to promote whatever it is they were trying to promote. In this case, it was something called the East Coast National. This begs the question: How could something be called the "East Coast National" when it's supposed to be, y'know, national. I looked this up on Beckett, however, and they do have this stuff cataloged.

This set is either Kahn's or Hillshire Farms, whichever you prefer I suppose. The card stock is very thin, but it's apparently a nice little set of Hall of Famers that you could send away for with proofs of purchase (or is that proof of purchases?)

It took me a minute to figure out why I was sent this card in particular, but once I noticed the Cardinals cap I remember Tweety's stint in the Cardinals infield in the early '90s during the dreadful Joe Torre era.

Tweety was always threatening to take away some of Jose Oquendo's "utility" playing time until he just disappeared one day. Huh.


I wasn't invited to the big party this year. Either that, or I'm pouting because I can't afford $183 to buy a hobby box from a hoity-toity hobby store where all of the packs are lined with gold and the dealers give you chocolate truffles and Justin Morneau relics when you enter as long as you know the secret handshake. Either way, as is Cards on Cards tradition, the 2010 Allen & Ginter set will be built brick-by-frustrating brick (you can substitute "base card" for "brick" if you'd like) the old (?) fashioned way. We do it blaster style. In any case, I am not letting this stop me from assigning arbitrary points to each card and tallying it up like I might win something. Like my Go-Bots to their Transformers, or like my "every other wooden train set" to their Brio, I present to you: Gint-A-Bluffs!

Pack 1:

270 - Max Poser (-3 for the picture, +2 for his name matching his picture)
143 - Jorge Posada (+3 for being a Yankee who came up in the Yankees system. Sorry, chumps, these are MY rules!)
36 - Victor Martinez (-2, Red Sox)
345 - Stephen Drew (+2 for being an SP, -1 for being related to J.D. Drew)

328 - Jered Weaver Mini (+2 SP, x2 for being a Mini)
TDH6 - Brian Roberts This Day in History
- Checklist 4 of 4

Surprise! There's more... for some reason.

WB1 - World's Biggest Animal (+7 for being a World's Biggest anything, x2 mini. Nice bonus mini.)

Pack 2:

287 - Drew Brees (+3 for beating the Colts in the Super Bowl, -5 for being a football card in a baseball set)
292 - Chris Pettit
276 - Daniel Runzler
19 - Tommy Hanson (-6 for hiring Scott Boras recently, -1 for causing me to link to Twitter.)
TDH35 - Josh Johnson This Day in History (-1 for having a boring name, +1 for wearing a cool number... double nickels!)

Where is my mini?! The last pack ate it, I guess.

Pack 3:
20 - Sacagawea (+70. Why? Because she's Sacagawea, fools.)
194 - Nyjer Morgan
273 - David DeJesus (-9 for getting DL'd for the season barely a week or so after I swooped him up and away from Erin on the waiver wire in a fantasy league.)

303 - Trevor Cahill (+2)

25 - Max Scherzer Black Mini (+10 because black bordered minis look awesome even when I can't scan them properly, x2 mini.)
TDH63 - Alfonso Soriano This Day in History (-12 for being a lousy Cub.)

Pack 4:
216 - Jordin Sparks (-5 because I've never heard of her, -3 because her name is spelled J-O-R-D-I-N.)
274 - Nick Markakis
145 - Jim Thome

AGHS1 - Chase Utley Baseball Sketches (No points... because what is so exciting about sketch cards in a set that is already all drawn.)
- Crack the Code insert

NA17 - Camel National Animals (+3 for fun, x2 mini.)
TDH74 - Carlos Lee This Day in History (-5 for being an Astro, -1 for having a .659 OPS this year.)

222 - Craig Gentry Mini A&G Back (Ahhh! -11 for being mangled, -5 because I've never heard of him, x2 for mini.)

Pack 5:
205 - Meb Keflezighi
33 - Bengie Molina (+2 for being a Molina.)
198 - A.J. Pierzynski (-1 for being a jerk, +3 for punching Michael Barrett... oh wait, I had that wrong. -57 for getting punched by a Cub.)
65 - Andre Ethier

MM17 - Dilophosaurus Monsters of the Mesozoic (+105 for a DINOSAUR, x 2 mini.)

TDH17 - Joe Mauer This Day in History (+1 because everyone seems to like him.)

Pack 6:

6 - Madison Bumgarner (+2 for being a Bumgarner.)
253 - Adam Moore
206 - J.D. Drew (-10 for being J.D. Drew, -2 Red Sox.)

164 - Kyle Blanks (+3 for having cool hair.)
333 - Roy Oswalt (-5 for being an Astro, +2 SP, -17 for not being a Cardinal, -10 for commanding too much in trade value anyway.)
172 - Ian Desmond Mini (x2... I guess 0 times 2 = 0.)
TDH62 - Kevin Youkilis This Day in History (-2 Red Sox)

Pack 7:
251 - Chase Headley
69 - Clay Buchholz (-2 Red Sox)

AGA-CR - Colby Rasmus Framed Auto (+13287!!!, +55 for being a Cardinal, +823 for bringing joy to Southeast Portland, +99 for making the world a better place, +256 because I have this card and you don't, +36 because... extra exclamation points!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)

Just in case you wanted to see the back...
256 - Rick Porcello Mini (0 x 2 = 0)

TDH75 - Mariano Rivera This Day in History (+3 Yankee Who Came Up a Yankee)

Pack 8:
Woo! Who cares?! Let's talk about pack 7 some more!!

Okay, fine, here we go...

211 - Johnny Strange (-2 for not being named Poser and looking like this.)
296 - Barry Zito
347 - Orlando Cabrera (-7 for being a scary Red, +2 SP)

10 - Gary Stewart Mini (-1 for not being Rod Stewart, -1 for not being a golfer... Payne Stewart?, x2 Mini)
TDH24 - Joey Votto This Day in History (-7 Scary Red, +3 for refusing to congratulate a Cub, -2 for being a bit of a jerk and lousy at sportsmanship, -1 for not being super bright.)
- Checklist 3 of 4

Alright... now for the final tally...


I win, right?

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Two Trades, Three Cards and a Random Plug

I'm not normally one to combine trade posts, but it seems appropriate in this case. The always generous Matt F. from Heartbreaking Cards/APTBNL sent over a couple of surprise Cardinal relics of players I love. Chris Carpenter is currently locked in a battle with the hated Chicago Cubs on Sunday Night Baseball, so it's appropriate to show off a Carpenter Masterpieces jersey swatch. Masterpieces surely had some nice looking cards for a such a short-lived set.

Jim Edmonds is still my overall favorite player who is still active in the league. He took all of 2009 off, in which I assumed he was retired, only to resurface this season with yet another NL Central division foe. He's talking retirement now, however. (Best quote from this article? "I'm going to play until I explode.")

I recently snagged some stuff from Colbey at Cardboard Collections in a group break he had. After seeing the results, I talked my way into a Matt Holliday rookie card from 1999 Stadium Club. This is my first Holliday rookie card, making a great addition to my still very meager collection of cards of the Cardinals left fielder for the next 38 years.


I promised a random plug, and I shall deliver. I killed a couple of hours on this blog in the wee hours of Sunday morning and I think it's worth checking out if you collected cards in the era that I grew up in. I long have wondered if I would ever run across a comprehensive site that was dedicated to error cards, particularly in variation cards, and Junk Wax Gems seems to be the place for me. While I have no interest in collecting variation cards that aren't Cardinals (or my favorite players), I do find it all very interesting to read about. This post in particular led me to dig out all of my 1991 Upper Deck baseball cards to find that a small stack of them contain holograms on the back from the 1990 set instead of the expected 1991. In the meantime, hopefully I'll find some suitors for my intimidatingly large piles of junk wax cards. Yikes.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Who is John Fourcade?

I've been in the middle of a highly competitive Tecmo Super Bowl season along with a few friends lately. Tomorrow will be the third and final session, where someone will walk away with a virtual 1991 Super Bowl ring while the rest will be lamenting their defense's ability to properly time and execute a dive tackle. My original intent all along was to do a post about all of the real life versions (on football cards, of course) of the principal players, but as is often the case I got rather lazy. There was one name, however, that stood out and that name is John Fourcade. I won't claim to have a great enough memory now to remember who the majority of the players were from the 1990 NFL season, but I found it surprising that the team that I drew out of a hat (the Saints) had a backup quarterback that I'd never heard of. Naturally, I dug up my overflowing box of crappy early '90s football cards and found this little gem.

First of all, just take in this picture for a minute. What was Pacific thinking? Not willing to conform to one of the two logical choices for back of card orientation, someone broke out of the box (probably the same someone who chose this color scheme) and decided that there was no need to use convention. "Let's like... rotate it man... it could be all... y'know... diagonal!" If no amount of drug intake influenced this, I think I would be a bit disturbed.

Anyway, back to Mr. Fourcade. I was just killing some time the other night reading about replacement players during the 1987 NFL strike. It turns out that Fourcade was one of those players. I found this pretty fascinating in contrast to the way picket line crossers were treated in the MLB, who to this day still aren't allowed admission to the Players Association or any of its benefits including inclusion in video games. Fourcade played at pretty much every level of professional football in his career, but saw the end of his NFL days by 1991. He's been less frustrating than Steve Walsh in our Tecmo season, however.

Airbrushed Fridays: 1987 Topps #383

Here's another one from reader Scott. At this point, people are going to start to wonder why he isn't on the Cards on Cards payroll. I've already got AJ doing banners for peanuts (er, spare Dodgers cards) and Erin as a consultant, after all.

Scott writes this about Ron Davis: "You can airbrush him into a different uniform, but you can't airbrush the stink of the 1986 season off of him." He then launched into a tirade about Ron's historically awful 1986 season that finally saw his exodus from the Minnesota Twins. He may not have been around for the Twins title season, but he still managed to get a contract nonetheless.

Why did Topps airbrush Ron's photo? Davis was acquired just six weeks prior to the end of the season, before what would now commonly be referred to as the non-waiver trading deadline. The former closer was traded in part for former Airbrushed Fridays subject Ray Fontenot and ex-Cardinal George Frazier.

What's wrong with this picture, anyway? Well, aside from the fact that it shows a lousy reliever - er, make that a lousy Cub reliever - it looks like this card got the watercolor treatment something fierce.

(If you are interested in obtaining a card featured here, please send me an e-mail. If you have a card you would like to nominate for Airbrushed Fridays, please get in touch as well. I will require that I am able to see the card in person, either on loan or as a donation, so that I can examine the card and experience it in all its cruddiness.)

Thursday, July 22, 2010

2010 Donruss Elite Extra Edition Preview

I hadn't seen these anywhere yet, and since it is somewhat baseball related I figured I'd post this.

Click on the images for details, or better yet, visit Panini's website.

I won't even begin to pretend who any of these players are, but maybe a few of them will be good enough to make the majors in 5 years or so. I'm going to have to say that for me, personally, it's a little out of my price range to be buying cards of college players at $1 per card. I also wish companies would provide samples of the base cards, because that's mostly what you're going to get when you open a pack if it's not one of those packs that costs $100.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

First Time Trade with a '71 Topps Enthusiast

I recently completed a trade with mrtrentd who runs the 1971 Topps Baseball Cards Blog, one of many enthusiasts of the tough-to-satisfy 1971 Topps set. I didn't end up with any vintage cards of my own, but I did get plenty of vintage-inspired cards from the 2010 Topps Heritage set including some key Cardinals.

Yadi is on fire! If I didn't already have good catching situations on my various fantasy teams (I almost always end up with McCann and Buster Posey was my go-to prospect gamble this year) I would definitely think about snapping up the bestest of the Molina brothers. He had a very sub-standard first half, but things are going well for him of late.

Someone apparently half-heartedly edited Delgado's Wikipedia page to make him a member of the Los Angeles Angels today. Last week, someone decided Chris Paul was a Portland Trail Blazer, though, so go figure.

Along with the Heritage loot was a formidable pile of Cardinals cards including most, if not all, of the 1991 Fleer team set. Why did I choose to show a checklist, then? For whatever reason I completely forgot that Fleer breaks their checklists up by groups of teams. Most of the past sets have the team logos on them as well, but I now realize that I have some digging to do as far as finding these cards as I definitely do want the ones with Cardinals team checklists on them. Yes, a team collector has a right to be picky at an obnoxious level.

Here's a 1989 Panini sticker, which reminds me that I have a post about stickers that I need to attend to soon. It's not actually about this set, but it's very close.