Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Four Terrific Cards

From Scott Crawford on Cards!

This is the type of trade I need to find more of. I sent some cards over to Scott Crawford on Cards and received four lookers in return. No scrubs here, folks. (Not that I have anything against scrubs, exactly. I still have common base cards of has-beens and never-weres on my want list.) It also doesn't hurt that this package was 75% Musial.

It's easier to ignore the lack of a license when the card is a tribute to an old oddball food (?) issue. This actually looks kind of right.

More die cut Musial, this time of the shiny modern Topps variety.

And finally, here's Ozzie #557. I could see myself getting to 600 before the year is over. Crazy!

Monday, March 30, 2015

2x3 Cardinals and a Radness Update

Just a few games remain to be played in the big contest.

With just the Final Four looming, it's a tight race for the top, between P00PSH00TER, brianp1913, and Homer_J_Fong23. With so many people picking Kentucky to win it all, it looks like it would be a lock for brianp1913 if Duke pulls it off. Otherwise, it's going to be a bit dicey. Meanwhile, FRED ROBERT DURSTED has the fewest number of points, but Caitlin J has a good shot of losing the whole thing as she has no more possible points left to gain. It's been quite a year.

The good thing is, we have plenty of baseball left this year. Like, um, all of the baseball! The regular season begins in earnest on Monday with the Cardinals kicking things off the night before on Sunday Night Baseball against the small bears. And what goes better with baseball than baseball cards? Nothing, that's what! Tonight we have a few cards that I received from 2x3 Heroes last month. Marco Gonzales had a nice spring but essentially finished 7th out of 5 pitchers competing for a spot in the rotation, so it appears that he's due to start things off in Memphis. Jaime Garcia's latest setback opened up another spot, but it will be Carlos Martinez who takes it to start with.

I'm not sure that this blue color suits the Cardinals so much, but these looked a lot better than the weak blue Walmart parallels that Topps has finally buried. I can always use more Wainwright cards, especially those of the serial numbered variety!

Friday, March 27, 2015

Airbrushed Fridays: 2014 Topps #506

He was more of an idea than an actual physical presence on the field.

Who is he? Rafael Furcal is a 3-time All-Star shortstop who could hit and field. He was absolutely one of the league's best at his position in his time with Atlanta, the team that signed him out of the Dominican Republic and raised him. Furcal struggled to stay healthy past the age of 30, missing significant chunks of every season outside of his All-Star seasons with the Dodgers and the Cardinals.

How did he get here? Furcal was a trade deadline pickup by the Cardinals in 2011 that helped solidify the SS position of a team on the verge of a surprising World Series win, but he wasn't around down the stretch the following year. Eventually, Furcal would get Tommy John surgery, which is less of a horror show for a young pitcher these days but probably not the ideal situation for a 35 year old shortstop. After rehabbing for all of 2013, the Miami Marlins signed him to hopefully be their new starting second baseman last season. He didn't appear in a game until June and only logged 9 games played in total. He's now in Kansas City on a minor league deal.

Repeat offender? No

Other versions of this card: None, but here's the source image:

Airbrushed Score: 7

Comments: Those Marlins uniforms are always going to look goofy to me, Photoshop or otherwise.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Spring Cleaning is Coming

I need to get rid of cards. Plus, a trade post. Why not?

I'm a team collector who has made the unfortunate dabble into collecting sets on occasion. Because of this, I have a lot of doubles and triples that I have absolutely no use for. While my want lists are pretty easy to find, even longtime followers of the blog might not know that I also list my unwanted cards below each want list. My plan is to flush all of these extras completely out of my possession, and I'm going to do it "group break" style.

Before I start burning things down, anyone who tries to collect these types of sets much like I do should go to the lists and check the things out. Since my sidebar links don't seem to be available in the mobile phone view of this blog, I'm going to put some links here:

The links within the links correspond to a particular year where you can view what cards I need from a particular set and, more relevant to this particular blog post, what cards I absolutely do not need. If you find something you'd like, let me know and we'll work something out. By about next week at this time I'm going to start removing those lists of extras and sorting them by team to mail around the country.

But what would be a desperate midweek blog post without showing off a few cards from a trade. Phillies Phan Dawgbones sent me this really nice on-card auto/"event worn" jersey swatch of Allen "King" Crabbe from his rookie year. Crabbe has been a spot starter this season praised primarily for his defensive chops, though the former Pac-12 Player of the Year is a legitimate scorer when given the opportunity.

Dawgbones also sent over a few Topps Opening Day Stars inserts (so fun!) including Big Prince and the dastardly Alex Rodriguez. A-Rod is back, baby! Can't you just wait for spring to end? Uh... can you?

Monday, March 23, 2015

March Radness Update and Factory Set Exclusives

It only took a few hours for all the brackets to bust.

Here's a quick contest update. After a very destructive first day and a few other surprises, only a few of you actually lost your champion after the first week of games. I suppose that's not bad. The one and only P00PSH00TER is currently in first place in what has so far been a very close contest, with Off Hiatus bringing up the rear. However, when you factor in PPR (Possible Points Remaining or something to that effect), brianp1913 appears to have the best shot at winning this thing while ROBERT DURSTED may as well hole up with the actual Robert Durst before his bookie gets to him.

You're seeing baseball cards here, however, so let's get back on track. I'm showing off a few additions to the collection courtesy of the Cardboard Collections blog.

I always love the throwback jersey look.

I picked up a nice chunk of the special Diamond Anniversary Factory Set Cardinals team set. Yeah, I know, I'm getting excited about an otherwise identical to its base counterpart card just because it has some extra foil on it. This is just the way these things work.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015


Vince Coleman is disappointed with me.

The stacks of cards are growing all over my living space. I need to do some spring cleaning soon as well as catch up on my blog. This will hopefully be a start, as I'm going to take a look at a few cards I received from Tracy's Box Breaks from... you guessed it... a box break!

There's been a lot of talk recently about unnecessary releases and products, so this should be relevant. You can't tell by the scan, but it's a slimmed and trimmed down version of Marco Gonzales's regular Bowman (Draft) card in the form of one of the cards from the 2013 Bowman Chrome Mini factory set. This is a thing that exists, apparently. I had no idea, but the team collector in me was excited to receive a bunch of these. Marco Gonzales may be the odd man out of a rotation competition this spring if all accounted for are deemed healthy. That's not bad news for the Cardinals, and Gonzales certainly has an exciting future ahead of him even if his immediate future is more of the AAA variety.

I'm not the only one who had the idea to buy some 2014 Topps Mini while they were deeply discounted, so I was able to pick up some more Cardinals for my collection here. Again, this looks like a regular sized Wacha insert but is in fact a slightly smaller Wacha insert. Trust me.

Tracy threw in some extra stuff besides the minis, including this 2012 Topps Opening Day Freese parallel. This reminds me that the 2015 Opening Day set just went live. I am contemplating not buying any of it and just doing the boring thing by buying up the team set from some website. Of course, if you're an Opening Day case breaker (do those exist? probably not...) you could always hook me up. Just sayin'.

Let's pour one out for Bowman Platinum. RIP Bowman Platinum (2010-2014). You were gone before your time.

Just kidding. Foilboard cards are kind of terrible.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

March Radness Reminder

Just a reminder, guys, but time is running out to make your selections for this year's Radness! You've got until the crack of dawn Thursday morning, essentially, to make all your picks. Unlike the football thing, all the picks need to be made now and locked in. Go forth and prognosticate!

Monday, March 16, 2015


Here are some pictures of baseball cards for you to enjoy.

As we continue on with the packages I received as a result of December's mini group break, long time trade partner and friend of the blog Garvey Cey Russell Lopes (or GCRL if that's too many players to memorize) sent over a nice stack of Cardinals needs, set needs, and player collection needs. That's a lot of needs. I am needy.

Jose Altuve is probably a popular player to collect these days, but I swear that Erin was an early adopter. I had to convince her to add Altuve to her official list after it was determined that Tim Lincecum had worn out his welcome, so a new collection begins. I think this is like Altuve #8. She likes athletes that are short, and Altuve definitely fits the bill.

I am always excited to add to my large (yet miniscule in the grand scheme of things) Jimmy Edmonds collection. This is the first time I've ever laid eyes on a 2003 Donruss Super Estrellas card, and I can certainly say without question that these look better than the 2002 set. I bought a box of those once and it was easy to see why they were heavily discounted.


I believe they are going to make a dreaded reality show out of the saga of Cole Hamels and whether he will or won't be traded.

The Topps Glossy All-Stars and Rookies inserts that showed up in the '80s were some early examples of insert cards before inserts really blew up. I don't remember these or their All-Star counterparts in 1991 packs at all, and I bought a ton of cards in 1991. I guess this means that the rack packs and jumbo packs didn't make it out to my corner of the world, but I have also noticed that the so-called Beckett value of these cards is significantly higher than those of previous years. I've also noticed that these things have been showing up in repacks a lot lately.

Friday, March 13, 2015

Airbrushed Fridays: 2013 Topps Stickers #42

It's Friday the 13th. Do you know where your baseball cards are at?

Who is he? Josh Johnson is a generically named lefty hurler who was one of the most talented pitchers in the game during his career with the Florida Marlins. The fact that he pitched for the Marlins also mired him in relative obscurity, even as he led the league in ERA and made two consecutive All-Star teams.

How did he get here? Johnson was part of the Marlins dramatic on-field restructuring which coincided with its on-and-off-field rebranding as the Miami Marlins. Johnson was swept up in the blockbuster trade that saw the likes of Mark Buehrle and Jose Reyes switch teams, and wound up in Toronto where he was doomed by serious injuries. The Padres took a flyer on him last season and lost as he didn't pitch a single game, but have brought him back for the upcoming season in hopes that maybe he'll appear in someone's scorecard in San Diego someday. Somehow.

Repeat offender? No

Other versions of this card: None, but the same photo was Photoshopped for his Gypsy Queen card in 2013 as well. You can probably find the original photo on Getty images.

Airbrushed Score: 5

Comments: Maybe he shouldn't have thrown like he did in the photo? That elbow takes a lot of stress.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

March Radness VII: The Contest Returns

Fill out a bracket, get free cards... soon you'll be profiting off The Internet!

For the seventh straight year, I am holding a NCAA bracket contest. Invites have been sent out via an automated ESPN form to every patient person who participated last season while we determined we can no longer trust Yahoo. (I still use Yahoo for the bowl game contest because the stakes are lower and they don't demand your blood samples for it, I guess?) If you're new, curious or just didn't get an invite for some reason, this is just another reminder that the contest is open to all Cards on Cards readers, passers-by and lookie-loos. Read further on for instructions.

One thing I should clarify up front if you don't follow college basketball (and as anyone who might be familiar with my own bracket-picking history should know, I really don't)... the field hasn't been selected yet. Conference tournament games are still happening. Everything will be set by this Sunday evening, at which time I will send out some more reminders. You'll have a few days to make your picks at that point.
One of the requirements is having an ESPN account. ESPN should not ask you for any creepy information as part of the conditions for signing up. If they do, please tell me immediately and I'll consider other options. If you absolutely, positively refuse to sign up for one of those things, go ahead and send me your bracket before the deadline in some sort of legible form and I'll send you a prize if you manage to pick a lot of winners. 
ESPN's default scoring rules apply. Play-in games do not count because they are still incredibly stupid. Should you choose one of the play-in winners to advance in the real part of the tournament, not only do you do so at your own peril but you also have the advantage of showing success no matter which play-in team makes it in. Please, please, PLEASE make sure you fill out the entire bracket, including the tie-breaking final score of the final game. (There are actually 8 total tiebreakers in ESPN's official rules.) I hate to disqualify people for not filling everything out, but it always seems to happen.
What's the incentive here? Other than bragging rights, the first prize winner will receive a 2015 Topps Heritage or Gypsy Queen baseball blaster (your choice!) Three runners-up (runner-ups?) will receive prize packs for their MLB or NBA team of their choice including no less than one certified autograph or memorabilia card (or both?!). Worst place will receive something truly terrible. You will be scared to check your mailbox for weeks.
Anyone who hasn't received an ESPN invite should click here and click on the "Get Started" button (password = marchradness). The deadline is the morning prior to the first real (non play-in) tournament game on Thursday, March 19th, though I would suggest getting your bracket done by the night before just to be safe. Leave a comment here or send me an email if the invite link doesn't work or if you are otherwise having trouble joining up so I can send you a direct invitation.

Monday, March 9, 2015

Trading With Steve H

No new Topps Heritage here. Nothing to see here, folks. Move it along...

Continuing on with the return packages from my Mini Group Break, here's a few cards that reader Steve H sent me. Steve snagged the Bay Area teams as well as the Astros, and was kind enough to send some nice Cardinals cards my way as well as some 2014 Ginter set needs.

I like these cards, but I still don't feel like they belong with the Allen & Ginter product line. I hate to say it, but I'm starting to think that this brand should have ended a long time ago. I have the most affection for the 2008 set and am vastly more interested in the first few years of its revival than any of the more recent offerings.

Topps dramatically scaled back the number of colors in their rainbow of parallels this year, but we'll always have 2014. Green, blue, red, purple, yellow, whatever that weird color that yellow turned into for Series 2... and that's not even considering the serial numbered stuff. They were headed down the path towards an actual vomit color scheme before pulling out of the tailspin and getting things somewhat back on track this year.

Mini Ozzie! But look how busy this design is! There's barely enough room to fit the actual player on it.

Friday, March 6, 2015

Airbrushed Fridays: 2008 Topps #432

Spring Training continues!

Who is he? Jason Kendall was a three-time All-Star catcher who spent 15 years in the big leagues, most of which were spent with teams in the NL Central. Kendall was a bit more offensive minded than most catchers, but you don't get to last as long as he did behind the plate without knowing how to call a game. He is still the all-time Pirates leader in games caught.

How did he get here? Kendall was traded to Oakland as his peak years were ending, and struggled mightily towards the end of his time there. The A's sent him to the Cubs for Chicago's playoff run in 2007, but he through free agency he found his was to another NL Central team when he signed with the Brewers in the offseason.

Repeat offender? No

Other versions of this card: None

Airbrushed Score: 7

Comments: It's just not very good.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Feel The Pain

It was a rough night, with one of my favorite NBA players going down with a serious injury. Let's look at cards to try and cope.

This has nothing to do with this post, really, but Wesley Matthews tore his Achilles on national TV tonight during the second half of TNT's famed doubleheader. It sucks. I just bought the guy's jersey (doubling my sports jersey collection) so I am taking full responsibility. This made it really hard to enjoy the decisive Blazers win over Dallas.

Anyway, this is neither here nor there, but I thought I'd take a look at some cards I got awhile back from RAZ. He's a participant in my free-ish Basketball Card Club (still plenty of teams left!) and also claimed a spot in last December's group break.

In addition to taking down cards from my Top 10 Most Wanted (I still see you, Bowman Jaime Moyer), RAZ also sent along a pile of Clydes for my troubles. I should probably stick to retired players when choosing jerseys to buy. Incidentally, my only other jersey is an '80s Ozzie Smith batting practice jersey.

I really love these customs. 2008 Ginter is the best Ginter.

RAZ also sent a big pile of 2010 Turkey Red inserts. At one point the Strasburg was a tough card to come by as it came during his MLB-sanctioned RC year. I'm down to needing just 4 of these inserts from the 150 card set, although I still have a ton of work to do on the 2009 set.

Speaking of that batting practice jersey...

Monday, March 2, 2015

Old School Like That

Old stuff.

I don't show off vintage cards here nearly enough, so I thought I'd focus this post on the elder statesmen of the cards that Night Owl Cards most recently sent me. I have slowly been working on my want list behind the scenes here over the past several months, and I think the vintage years are worth tackling soon as I really have no idea what I actually need. (I'm going to go with "anything expensive" as the answer to that.) Here are a few flawed beauties that I received from what is widely accepted as the best of all of the blogs out there, or at least one of the best.

Mike Shannon is still the radio voice of the Cardinals, the resident drunken uncle that tells the story of the St. Louis Nine night after night with reckless abandon. He just seems like a guy you'd want to watch a game and have a beer with. He was a hell of a ball player in his days as I've read and heard, so I'm excited about adding any Shannon card to my collection.

I never seem to remember that Roger Craig was ever a Cardinal, on the other hand. This would certainly be a prime candidate for an Airbrushed Friday, but it's too late for that now. Craig actually pitched for the 1964 championship Cardinals team but is probably best known for his time with the Giants as manager in the '80s and early '90s. Someone decided to write on this card, too, for reasons unknown.

Even more interestingly, one Bill Wetmore felt it necessary to stamp his name on the back. Either that, or someone who wasn't Bill Wetmore stamped it. I'm going to guess it was Bill. I wonder what ol' Bill is up to these days.