Thursday, August 28, 2008

Biggest Win of the Year

St. Louis beat Milwaukee 5-3 last night in what has to have been the game of the year for the Cards so far. Beginning the week 3 1/2 games out of the NL Wild Card spot, I figured that the Cards need to make up a game each week in order to be in good position to pull off a playoff berth. Tuesday night, however, the team may have hit a low point in the season. The results were bad enough, dropping them to 4 1/2 back in the Wild Card and 9 1/2 in the division, but it felt like they let up and completely failed to "play a hard nine" as is Tony La Russa's mantra after Todd Wellemeyer gave up his 4th and 5th runs of the night. 7 runs later, the Cards were on the end of a horrendous blowout.

Moving ahead to last night, the Cardinals still had not scored against the Brewers in the series going into the 6th inning, and were carrying an unprecidented 7-game losing streak to the Brew Crew. Ryan Ludwick, the anonymous baseball hero, hit a solo HR to finally the Cards on the board in the 6th, but it still felt like doom and gloom as there was still a 3-1 score heading into the 7th inning stretch. The Cards managed to load the bases with 2 outs in the bottom of the 7th, and after chasing starter Manny Parra, Carlos Villanueva struck out Joe Mather to end the inning. Cue the fist-pumping, the taunting, and the awakening of the Pujols...

Whoops. That's not a good idea, sir.

The Cards led off their half of the 8th with three consecutive doubles, and it felt like the team had just entered Stretch Run Mode. After it was all said and done, and after "Young Pitcher" Chris Perez had struck out the side in the 9th, the Cards were back to where they started on Sunday. Hopefully they can still gain the game I feel they need to make up this week to keep themselves well in contention. The Mets and Phillies are breathing down their necks now, so it's going to be a tough go no matter what ends up happening.

Next up is the hated Astros this weekend in the steamy athletic club known as Minute Maid Park. Hopefully they'll do something equally moronic to make Pujols mad, too.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

No More Duck Hooks

Former Portland Trail Blazers center Kevin Duckworth passed away Monday night. He was a two-time NBA all-star for the Blazers, the big man in the middle of "the best starting five in the NBA" as Bill Schonely would tell it every night in the glory years of the early '90s. He was an unknown quantity acquired by the Blazers from the Spurs for a complete draft flop, and became an impact player out of nowhere. He had a unique shooting style, which somewhat resembled a shot-putter and he developed a difficult to defend low post game that often included his patented "Duck Hook". In my memory, his most memorable performance was giving the Blazers an emotional lift in game 7 of the 1990 Western Conference Finals, making a surprise return from injury into the starting lineup just moments before tip-off. I've realized that my emotional connection with those early 90's Blazers teams far outweighs anything else I've felt about sports, and will likely continue to do so throughout life. As a kid, you can completely invest yourself in a big playoff run by your favorite team with minimal "real life" events ever coming into play to share in your emotions.

Duckworth was the first person I'd ever gotten an autograph from, and to this day remains the only authentic ("authentic" because I watched him sign it) sports-related autograph that I own. It was more a circumstance of time and place than a need to get an autograph, but I was thrilled to briefly share a table with a real life Blazer player.

Articles, tributes, and information from people that write better than me can be seen here, here and here.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Fun with 1993 Upper Deck

My first relapse from my ban on card collecting happened sometime around the late 90's or early 00's. I was organizing my collection (barely anything was sorted logically) in my parents' basement and got nostalgic for 1993 Upper Deck, prompting me to buy a box or two on eBay. I never managed to finish the set and still am not sure if I want to put one together, since that would require even more money out of my pockets for a binder/sheets/missing cards and the like. But I was going through some leftover unsorted stacks a couple of months back when I happened to notice some amusing looking photography, including Mr. Scary Face Dennis Cook up above. Cook always seemed to find his way onto a playoff team (a capable lefty reliever will do that) in October in the '90s, and his face is one of the most frightening to look at that I can ever remember. At least he seems to have a sense of humor about it on the back of his baseball card.

Ouch! Someone honestly thought this would make a good photo for a baseball card. I wonder how Andy, the former Cardinal, felt about it.

Just Ozzie being Ozzie, I guess? Even mentioning this man to my girlfriend makes her blood boil, so I wonder what kind of reaction I'll get for showing his picture here.


This sequence of photos is priceless. This is Morandini several years after the Olympics.

As for me, I guess I need to decide if it's worth it to compile a want list and actually go after the missing cards. From what I remember, I think I have a ridiculous amount of duplicates and major gaps. At least I have (multiple) Derek Jeter cards, so there's nothing actually "valuable" that I'd need.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

1988 USA Olympic Baseball: Where Are They Now?

On the heels of the US Olympic baseball team's bronze medal winning performance in the 2008 games, I thought I'd take a look back at the 1988 team which won the gold (as a demonstration sport) and simultaneously look at the 1988 Topps Traded set. When I started collecting cards in 1986 at the ripe old age of 10, I would get a "traded" set as a gift (or in my stocking) each year. This was one of the rare times my dad would take an interest in something I was into, most likely because it was sports-related, and actually would make sure I got a present I liked for my birthday. Being a Halloween baby, my birthday would usually coincide with the season-end releases and I would always report to my dad as far as what set I wanted to go after. Topps was usually the standard, but I also ended up with the 1988 Fleer Update set (I must have gotten a set for Christmas and my birthday) and 1990 Score Rookie/Traded set (because of the silly Eric Lindros card, I guess?) The 1988 Topps Traded set seemed to have the best investment potential, and if I recall correctly it actually retailed at most shops for 19.99, quite a premium price at the time. The most exciting thing was the inclusion of USA Olympic Team cards for the first time since the subset that came with the 1985 Topps set (Shawn Abner, anyone?).

1T - Jim Abbott
Abbott is a story all by himself. Drafted by the Angels with the 8th pick of the 1988 draft, he was born without a right hand and still managed to excel at the major league level as a starter. He was 18-11 in 1991 with a 2.89 ERA and threw a no-hitter with the Yankees in 1993. Unfortunately, he also produced one of the worst full seasons as a starter in history in 1996, going 2-18 with a 7.48 ERA in 27 appearances. He was amazing to watch- very memorable in the way he'd flip his glove from resting on his right arm to his pitching hand so he could field the ball if needed. WHERE IS HE NOW (WIHN)? Abbott is now a motivational speaker, according to his Wikipedia entry.

9T - Bret Barberie
Barberie was a 7th round pick of the Expos in the '88 draft. He had a six year career as a middle infielder with 4 different major league teams including the inaugural Florida Marlins team. He might be best known as the former husband of FOX NFL Sunday idiot Jillian Barberie. WIHN: No idea.

14T - Andy Benes
Benes "signed a AA-Wichita contract with the Padres, June 20, 1988 as a 1st round Draft selection" according to the back of his card. I'm not sure how that differs from a regular contract, but who am I to question Topps? He was actually the #1 pick in the draft and went on to win 155 games in the majors, a pretty solid career. Benes spent 5 of his last 7 seasons with the Cardinals, only leaving for Arizona in 1998 for 2 years because the contract he signed with the Cardinals was signed after the midnight deadline for resigning with his current team that season. Needless to say, I was pretty upset at the time, but understood why he opted to leave instead of sit out for a month (plus spring.) WIHN: Benes is back in college and is a family guy now (but not a "Family Guy", bleh.)

19T - Jeff Branson
Branson was a 2nd round pick of the Reds in '88. He spent a 9 year major league career as a middle infielder for the Reds, Indians and Dodgers. He made one World Series appearance, literally, as he had one at-bat with Cleveland facing the champion Marlins team in 1997. According to, he was 2nd in the NL in intentional walks in 1995 with 14. WIHN: No idea. Apparently he shares a name with an All My Children actor that is more famous than him.

23T - Jim Campanis
Campanis was drafted by the Mariners in the 3rd round of the '88 Draft. He spent 3 years in the minors as a catcher, but never made it higher than AA. His father of the same name had an unremarkable 6-year career as a reserve catcher in the late 60s. WIHN: It's hard to find out information on either player.

30T - Pat Combs
Combs was the #11 pick by the Phillies. (Let's just note that all of the players in this group, other than the coach, were '88 draft picks. The other members of the team that were not drafted or did not sign were not included in the set, most likely due to professional rights issues.) Combs lasted just 4 major league seasons and was out of professional baseball by 1995, despite being a highly touted prospect. WIHN: Combs apparently resides in Richmond, TX and may or may not be a real estate agent.

38T - Mike Fiore
Fiore was sort of my inspiration for this post. "What happened to him?", I wondered. "Why doesn't he really have any Cardinals cards?" He was a 15th round pick for the Cards, and I am still not able to find any information about him other than the fact that he never made the majors. There is another Mike Fiore that briefly was a Card in 1972, however.

44T - Ty Griffin
Griffin was the 9th pick overall by the Cubs, but never made it past AA. You can read much more about him than I could find about most of these guys that never made it to the bigs here.

65T - Mike Marquess
Marquess was the head coach. According to the back of his card, he "guided Stanford to two consecutive College World Series championships." I can't find out anything else about him other than what's on the card. He apparently played "pro ball" from 1969-1973, but I'm guessing that doesn't mean major league pro ball.

66T - Tino Martinez
Martinez, the 14th overall pick by Seattle, is probably the most decorated member of this team. He played for 16 major league seasons, hitting 339 career HRs and 1271 RBI. He played in 5 World Series, winning 4. As a Cardinal, he was the bridge between Mark McGwire and Albert Pujols at 1st base, though he drew the ire of many Cardinals fans with his unspectacular (but I contest- still not super-horrible) two seasons of numbers. WIHN: Martinez was an ESPN Baseball Tonight guy in 2006, but is now Special Assistant General Manager to the General Manager of the Yankees.

67T - Billy Masse
Masse was a 7th round pick of the Yankees. He was a AAA mainstay for a bit, but never made it to the big leagues. (FYI, everyone who drafted someone before the 8th pick of the 7th round passed up on Jim Edmonds. That's just something to think about here.) WIHN: Masse currently managers the AA San Antonio Missions, a Padres affiliate.

71T - Mickey Morandini
Morandini was a 5th round pick of the Phillies who lasted for 11 seasons in the majors a second baseman. WIHN: He currently coaches for Valparaiso High School in Indiana.

74T - Charles Nagy
Nagy was the 17th pick overall by Cleveland and spent almost all of his solid 14 year career there. He was a 3-time All-Star, including 1999 where he went 17-11 but finished with a "steroid era" 4.95 ERA. Nagy was on the losing side of two World Series. WIHN: redirects to here.

88T - Jim Poole
I have no recollection of Poole, a 9th round Dodgers pick, but he apparently lasted in the majors through 2000 as a LOOGY with 6 different teams. WIHN: According to this blog, he works with propane and propane accessories.

95T - Doug Robbins
I don't even remember this card. Even though I got this set 20 years ago, and poured over it relenetlessly for what seemed like an eternity, Robbins just looks like some doofy frat guy that got inserted into my wonderful 88 Topps Traded set just to throw me off. Well, whether that is true or not, the internet says that he was a 10th round pick of the Orioles as a catcher. He made it as high as AAA in 1992 and 1993. WIHN: I'm not convinced that he really exists.

106T - Scott Servais
Servais, a 3rd round pick of the Astros, had a nice 11-year career as a catcher for two of my least favorite teams: those Astros and the Cubs. WIHN: He is currently the Director of Player Development for the Texas Rangers.

107T - Dave Silvestri
Silvestri managed to squeeze 8 MLB seasons out of 336 career at-bats. He was born in St. Louis but never was a Cardinal. He was drafted in the 2nd round, #52 overall, by the Astros. WIHN: Welcome to This domain may be for sale. Buy this Domain

109T - Joe Slusarki
Slusarski logged 7 years of MLB service over the course of the 90s. He was the #46 pick overall by Oakland and became a relief pitcher after starting for the first two years of his major league career. WIHN: Slusarski was last season as a pitching coach for AA Corpus Christi in the Astros organization where enjoyed his last few playing years.

113T - Ed Sprague
Sprague was the #25 pick in the 1st round by the Blue Jays. He was a 1999 All-Star and crushed 36 HRs in 1996. Who knew? I certainly didn't. I only remember him as a low-average catcher/3B for one of those wacky Canadian teams (now there's only one.) Sprague hit 152 HRs in his 11-year career, but only managed a .247 BA which I guess isn't shocking for a catcher. But he wasn't really a C. His stats remind me that he primarily played 3B, including those back-to-back Blue Jays champion teams in the early 90s. WIHN: Well, his wife is a gold medal-winning synchronized swimmer. Does it matter what he's up to these days?

124T - Robin Ventura
Ventura was the golden boy of the '88 Olympic team, or at least one of the top prospects to collect from this set. In 16 major league seasons, he fell just shy of 300 career HRs, made 2 All-Star appearances and hit for a .267 average. He's also infamously known for getting the crap beaten out of him by Nolan Ryan in 1993. I don't ever advocate violence, but for some reason it's hard not to be amused by Ryan taking down someone half his age at the time. WIHN: It's hard to tell what he's up to these days, but he was inducted into the College Baseball Hall of Fame in 2006.

130T - Ted Wood
The 28th overall pick by the Giants, Wood logged 109 ABs over three seasons as a reserve outfielder. WIHN: Whereabouts unknown.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Random Old-School Post o' the Day

Just a quick update here from Cards on Cards central. Bob Brenly, Chicago Cubs color commentator, has many interests outside of baseball.

Who knew? This is hilarious. They may as well have written: "Bob extracts pleasure from college basketball."
"Bob has been known to enjoy a cheeseburger from time to time."
"Bob has two dozen pairs of socks."

Stickers are awesome. This is the lid (underside) of the first 3200 ct. box I ever owned, back before they came with separate lids. This lid is attached and folds over the top, with flaps that fit inside the box. You can see here what teams I was interested in back then.

Friday, August 15, 2008

What is Walt Jocketty Doing?

It's readily apparent that the Cincinnati Reds are in "sell mode" and Walt Jocketty is the guy pulling the trigger. Ken Griffey, Jr. and Adam Dunn are now gone, and you have to wonder what marquee players Reds fans are going to continue to come out to the games to see. It's hard to really argue against these trades considering that both players are at the end of their contracts, but did the Reds even get returns that were better or at least comparable to the draft picks they would have received had Griffey and Dunn become free agents as Reds? The striking thing to me, though, is that it's pretty strange to see Jocketty in the position of trading off marquee veteran players when he has such a legacy of being on the other end of these types of mid-to-late season deals. This is the guy that got Mark McGwire in a Cardinals uniform. Will Clark, Scott Rolen, Larry Walker... all household names amongst baseball fans, and Jocketty snatched them up in order to put contending Cardinals ballclubs in better positions down the stretch and on into the playoffs.

The Adam Dunn deal has me scratching my head. Really, both Griffey and Dunn had been the subject of midseason trade rumors for the past few years, but dealing Dunn especially after Griffey seems like it's going to make it hard for Reds fans to show their support. I'm not much of a fan of Dunn's game. Excessive strikeouts are probably my least favorite thing to see of a major league player. But the guy is definitely a force when you boil everything down, and it seems like the Reds will get breadcrumbs in return. There are whispers that they may end up with Micah Owings, which would be interesting considering that Jocketty was a major influence on Rick Ankiel's second go-around as a converted outfielder. Owings is a pitcher that can certainly hit.

I got the Walt Jocketty baseball card shown above from Ben of the very excellent The Baseball Card Blog. It was part of a huge box of Cardinals cards that I received awhile back, but something about a general manager on a baseball card made me borderline hysterical. Why does this exist? It's part of a Fan Favorites set from 2005, with the card design being a mock-up of what a 2004 Topps card of Jocketty might look like. It's very silly.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Trading with Eric from Iowa

I received a nice box of Cardinals from a commenter named Eric from Iowa. He sent me more than 100 cards from recent sets, most of which I didn't have. Rather than bore you with the details of every single card that I was able to add to my collection, I've chosen to spotlight some hand-picked Cards on cards here. Right out of the box, the first card on top was a 2005 Fleer Classic Clippings Jim Edmonds. I have no idea what this set is, but the card looks great. Unfortunately, I have decided to put a moratorium on intentionally collecting Edmonds cards for the indefinite future because of the illness he contracted by becoming a member of the Chicago Cubs. This, of course, happens while I'm awaiting several Edmonds-related eBay auctions to show up in the mail.

2008 Upper Deck Cesar Izturis - Cesar is looking smooth with the sunglasses on top of the cap. Full bleed photos are nice.

2008 Bowman Troy Glaus - This is officially my first 2008 Bowman base card. This set looks like an old TV screen.

2005 Fleer John Mabry - Mabry hates getting his picture taken for baseball cards, even moreso than School Picture Day. He is clearly doing this in protest.

2008 Albert Pujols Starquest Common Series 1 and 2 - Home and road unis. Two inserts I didn't have. Albert Pujols. Enough said.

2008 Spectrum Chris Carpenter - A shiny Carp card from a set I can just about guarantee I wouldn't even buy a pack of. There were two of them, in fact. Carp pitched so well on Sunday, only to end up with soreness in his triceps. I hope the triceps are well and I hope he gets to pitch again soon. Sometimes it's rough being a fan.

2008 Upper Deck Skip Schumaker - Schumaker, the righty-crusher, in his first full major league season.

2008 Topps Chrome Chris Carpenter - More shiny Carp.

2008 Topps and Upper Deck Kyle McClellan RCs - I had been looking forward to finally getting a McClellan card, and here's both of the base set rookies. He has been a bright spot in the pen this year and I definitely think he has a lot of talent. His future may be as a starter, though.

2005 Topps Total - (Silver) Stuart Pomeranz / Jason Motte and Chris Lambert / Rick Ankiel - Ah, Topps Total. I wish this set still existed. I would love for Opening Day/First Edition type sets to go away and for this affordable idea to persist. Jason Motte is shown as a position player (C) here, but he is now a promising relief pitcher for the AAA Memphis Redbirds. Everyone knows the Rick Ankiel story, of course, but I am wondering if this is one of the first OF cards of Ankiel here. In any case, this documents his fall from rookie staff ace to hitting "prospect" sharing a card with Chris Lambert. Lambert, by the way, was the PTBNL in the Mike Maroth deal last season. I had wanted to forget that Mike Maroth even existed, but there was a Maroth card in the stack that Eric sent me (which I did not scan.)

2008 Topps Heritage Cesar Izturis - Here's Izturis again. He can't believe he's being photographed again. He may or may not have stomach cramps. This is a card I need in a set that I pretend like I am collecting, so this is nice.

2007 Bowman Heritage Prospect - Jarrett Hoffpauir - I saw Hoffpauir play in Portland last season with the Memphis Redbirds and I figured that he would figure into the Cardinals plans this year. He has yet to get a call. The internet will tell you that he's hitting .267 with an OPS of .713 this season. Stupid internet.

Now, it's onto the disasters. I will mention that when I say "disasters", I do not mean that I am not appreciative of the cards mentioned here. In fact, they are among my favorites because above all else, they provide me with much amusement and entertainment.

2008 Upper Deck Matt Clement - All we have of the Matt Clement Era is a studio photo on a baseball card. Look at what is on his chin. Why does he do that? The Cards took a flyer on him and gave him a major league contract. They also expected him to be ready in April. He never got ready. I really don't know the details of what happened there, and at this point I guess I don't care, but there are baseball cards to document these things. I suppose that this is the Padres equivalent of a Mark Prior card.

2007 Topps Updates and Highlights Todd Wellemeyer and Troy Percival - Now, I cannot complain about cards of the Colonel and Percy. Welley has gone above and beyond what you can expect from a scrap-heap reliever pickup and Percival, coming out of retirement, was lights out last season in the bullpen. But what makes these cards disasters is their horrible Photoshop doctoring. The Colonel's red warmup jersey and cap blends the logos in with the red background to make them nearly invisible, which is just wrong. And Percival's Cardinals lettering is correct (but probably copy-and-pasted from someone else) but the number 40 is totally off.

Eric gets a new stack of Yankees from me as soon as I can get a package together and in the mail.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

2007 Turkey Red Blaster

I bought a blaster of 2007 Turkey Red off eBay recently. I decided that I need to get these cards off of my desk soon and sorted into my collection, so I am going to post the results here. Pack 1 was spotlighted on A Pack A Day, so here I will talk about packs 2 through 8. In some cases the "bonus pack" in a blaster is just a few exclusive inserts or a memorarelic card, but this one just adds one extra pack to the 7 you are already paying for, saving $1 or something.

Pack 2:
147 - Joe Mauer
30 - B*rry B*nds
41 - Barry Zito
59 - Carlos Beltran
56 - Chase Utley Ad-Back SP
148 - Joe Nathan
28 - Alejandro De Aza RC

42 - "Dice-K" Daisuke Matsuzaka Checklist

Pack 3:

11 - Kenji Johjima
12 - Orlando Hernandez
97 - Don Kelly RC
46 - Billy Wagner
122 - Roy Oswalt
58 - Carl Crawford
6 - Corey Patterson
23 - Adrian Gonzalez

Pack 4:
1 - Ryan Howard (loves St. Louis, born in St. Louis, kills St. Louis)
104 - Eric Chavez
181 - Mark Teahen
137 - Jason Schmidt
99 - Dustin Moseley
19 - Mickey Mantle (one of many)
129 - Jack Wilson

69 - Nick Swisher (Nick seems to be saying "dawwww...")

Pack 5:
91 - Delmon Young RC
34 - Mickey Mantle (2 in a row)
159 - Johan Santana
154 - Travis Buck RC

160 - Ivan Rodriguez (can't complain about him being a Yankee because, well, has he ever been associated exclusively with one team?)
110 - Daisuke Matsuzaka RC (probably the card in the box with the most "value" and hence the only card with significant visible damage)
54 - Brian Giles
112 - Ramon Hernandez

Pack 6:
150 - Ken Griffey Jr.
141 - Kevin Kouzmanoff RC

186 - Yovani Gallardo RC (helped me out on my fantasy team last year... not so much this year)
95 - Derek Jeter
167 - Mickey Mantle (same guy, different card)
171 - Kelly Johnson SP
79 - Curtis Granderson

26 - Frank Thomas

Pack 7:

15 - Ichiro Suzuki (I'm pretty sure he's on speaking terms with the devil)
126 - J.D. Drew
100 - Gary Sheffield
114 - Gary Matthews Jr.
24 - Akinora Iwamura RC
156 - Travis 1/2ner
86 - David DeJesus
145 - Jim Thome

Pack 8:
45 - Billy Butler RC
52 - Brandon Wood RC
130 - David Ortiz

88 - Tim Lincecum RC (he looks like an awkward young guy... not sure this card looks anything like him, though)
39 - Micah Owings RC

162 - Troy Glaus (posing one last time before he gets ready to be a Cardinal)
38 - Tim Hudson
48 - "Prince Albert" Albert Pujols Checklist

As seems to be the case these days, there was only one Cardinal in the bunch and it waited until the very last card of the very last pack to show its face. The base set is fairly small, so hopefully I am close to completing it. I don't really want to think about what it will cost me to get the SPs that I don't have. Does anyone want any early 90s Pro Set football cards? I have plenty of those!

Friday, August 8, 2008

Trading with Thorzul

Thorzul Will Rule ran a contest recently where you would trade him 20 Brewers with certain requirements, the most qualifying of which is that he must not own any of the cards in order to score points. You can see what I sent him here; I think I'm sitting in 4th place currently. I received my end of the trade in the mail yesterday and thought I'd post what I got here. I decided to scan all of the cards that I didn't already have in my collection, except for the Juan Agosto card above which just had to be scanned... no explanation required!

Here's the list:

2008 Bowman Prospects #BP91 - Sean Danielson
This is my first 2008 Bowman card. Danielson is a speedy, light hitting 26-year old outfielder who came over to the Red Sox organization this year and is currently at AAA Pawtucket. I'm not sure how they acquired him... possibly he was the PTBNL in the Joel Piñeiro deal? (Edit: Wikipedia says he was.)

2008 Upper Deck #61 - Adam Wainwright
Wainwright did a wonderful job in becoming the "replacement ace" much as he did as the "replacement closer" in the 2006 playoffs. I'm hoping he comes back as a starter, rather than the team's vague threat to put him in the bullpen.

2006 Bowman Heritage #18 - Mark Mulder
I was too sad about Mulder to write anything about his latest comeback attempt. Still am...

2004 UD Diamond Pro Sigs Gold #43 - Edgar Renteria
This one's a gold parallel. Nice. I still like Edgar, even though he "joined 'em" after he couldn't "beat 'em".

2004 Fleer Tradition #139 - Scott Rolen
I'm not sure what vintage set this is supposed to be aping, but it reminds me of '80s Fleer, which isn't bad.

2001 Topps #400 - Will Clark Division Highlights
Nice card of Will the Thrill and the revenge exacted on the Braves after the horror that was the 1996 NLCS.

2001 Topps #252 - Dave Veres
No one seemed to like Veres much when he was the closer, but I'd certainly take him now.

2001 Topps Opening Day #86 - Rick Ankiel
The high socks... #66... he was fun to watch.

2001 UD Evolution #55 - J.D. Drew
I have nothing good to say about him.

2001 UD Victory #325 - Darryl Kile
Kile was one of my favorite pitchers even before he was a Cardinal, back when I barely paid attention to baseball (mid 90s). His curveball was amazing.

2007 Topps Heritage #351 - Cards Fence Busters (Pujols/Belliard/Eckstein/Rolen)
This is a great card, but I don't seem to remember Belly or Eck busting a whole lot of fences.

2007 Topps #329 - Classic Combos (Molina/Pujols)

2007 Goudey #6 - Albert Pujols
I love this set, and I didn't have Pujols yet. Now I do. Awesome.

1991 Ultra #299 - Todd Zeile

1991 Score #709 - Bernard Gilkey

1991 Fleer #640 - Jose Oquendo

1991 Donruss #25 - Pedro Guerrero Diamond King

1992 Topps #421 - Juan Agosto

2008 Upper Deck #653 - Juan Encarnacion
The best thing to happen would be if Juan could live a normal life again after the horrible injury last season. Everything else must be gravy, right?

2008 Upper Deck #655 - Troy Glaus
The Rolen for Glaus trade was a great one. Rolen just flat out cannot hit like he used to and can't stay healthy. I expected Glaus to be a solid run producer, but no one expected to see him challenge for a Gold Glove like he is this year.