Saturday, June 27, 2009

Refractor Lust

I'm going to just go ahead and blatantly show off some of the Cardinals I picked up at the monthly card show a few weeks ago. Unfortunately, the card show seems to be taking the rest of the summer off, but that's probably a good thing as far as my wallet is concerned.

There was the usual array of cheapie cards, and I picked up a variety of 10 cent Cardinals from a few different tables. I didn't go as wild on these as I have in the past because there were tons of other things to buy (packs, boxes, etc.) and, unfortunately, the 1 cent cards guy wasn't there this time. Someday I'll probably find that guy at a card show again, spend the entire day at a terrible mall and pass out from an eye strain induced headache.

I got a few 2009 Bowman Cardinals. I need to figure out what I'm missing and put it up on my want list. I thought I might buy a few Bowman packs this year after I was reasonably pleased with the first one, but I should probably save my money.

Ditto for Goudey. I think I've kicked the habit. Of course, I have a ton of last year's Goudey, but that's coming at a later time.

Actual 1986 Donruss card. I got a few of these, although I probably owned them all already. I'm hoping some of them will be condition upgrades.

Fake 1986 Donruss card. This is from some silly Donruss Originals set. I also got a Rolen card that looked like 1982 Donruss. One guy had a ton of Rolen cards... I think people are trying to dump him thinking that his career is almost over even though he's playing really well for the Jays right now.

The guy with the biggest selection of 10 cent cards also had an unpriced box of shiny baseball stuff. I didn't dare ask how much the cards were until I had already picked out some that I wanted, and it turned out his price scale was extremely reasonable (for the buyer, that is.) This Yadi card is numbered 200/250 and is going to my girlfriend for sure.

All of the refractors and most of the serial numbered cards ended up being 50 cents. He charged me a buck for the Pujols refractor, though, because it's Pujols. Not bad, though! Of course, no scanner seems to be able to capture the shiny rainbow effect of these cards.

This is my first Danny Haren card in Cardinals uniform, and it happens to be his Bowman Chrome Refractor rookie card... for 50 cents!

I picked up a couple of jersey cards, which he decided would cost $1.50. The t-shirt window for Bryan Anderson's jersey piece is really silly. I have a feeling Anderson will eventually be traded, as I don't think he hits well enough to move to another position and Yadi will be a Cardinal for life. The other jersey card was snagged for a blogger, and is a much bigger name than a Cardinal catching prospect.

At another table, a guy had a box full of 1993 Topps Finest cards that apparently were taken from a set he broke up. I now own all of the Cardinals from this pricey set but Lee Smith. He went on about how 1993 Finest produced the first refractor cards and how to this day they sell for a ton of money, but I was more interested in how much he was going to charge me for the cards I picked out. The Ozzie was price tagged at $5, and I also scooped up a handful of 1983 Topps cards, a few of the aforementioned 1986 Donruss as well as a few glossy 1987 Fleers.

The total price for that lot? $5.00 - and that included a Willie McGee rookie card. I am actually lacking in the '80s Cardinals rookies department, especially with McGee because my best friend from the neighborhood collected McGee cards and I was always trying to help him out. His Topps rookie is one of my favorite all-time '80s cards, because the photos are just a great balance of amazing and ridiculous. I hope someday the Cardinals forego their policy of only retiring numbers of Hall of Famers and just go ahead and retire #51. I don't think anyone has worn it since, anyway.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Draft Day Blazers

It's NBA Draft Day and it's also been awhile since I've done a basketball post. I'm sure everyone's missed those posts. All the cards featured here came from the legendary dayf of Cardboard Junkie fame. I can't remember when exactly I received the package, but I made sure to set aside the Blazers cards so I could milk multiple posts out of it.

Lamarcus Aldridge was the 2nd overall pick of the 2006 NBA Draft. He ended up getting swapped for the #4 pick (Tyrus Thomas) in what kicked off perhaps the most successful and wild draft day in league history (for one team.) Note that I said league history, not franchise history. The Blazers basically stole the two best players in the entire draft and have yet to look back. Brandon Roy was actually picked later at #6.

Upper Deck made player stickers? Nice. I have no idea what this is from. Kenny Anderson was the 2nd pick overall (Nets) of the 1991 draft. Dikembe Mutombo may end up being a Hall of Famer for his defensive prowess, but you can't really argue with picking Anderson when you look at some of the alternatives available at that point.

Darius Miles was the first player I was ever aware of who got regularly featured by ESPN as a mere high school player. He basically got the Lebron James treatment long before James was around. He was taken 3rd by the Clippers in the abysmal 2000 draft. When Portland traded for him, his career began to blow up (in a good way), but then he blew up (in a bad way) at his coach as the team was struggling listlessly. Eventually, his knee blueblew up (literally) and as the Blazers remade themselves as a wholesome group of homegrown players, Miles was left on the outside looking in and was the subject of much contract-related controversy that I don't feel like getting into now.

This Topps Embossed card is obviously a rookie card as Aaron McKie is pictured in a fairly generic looking Blazers t-shirt. One of my few "in person" Blazers experiences involved unintentionally tailgaiting McKie's convertible heading north on I-205 in the mid-'90s. His license plate? MCKIE23. The Blazers took him 17th in 1994 over such luminaries as B.J. Tyler and Dickey Simpkins.

Stadium Club cards aren't quite as appealing in basketball to me as I don't think there's as much of a lack of quality NBA photos as there are in baseball. Full bleed action shots are always nice, but they don't stand out as much here, I guess. Still, this is a nice looking card. Robinson was a 2nd round pick in 1989 and logged more than 42,000 minutes in the NBA in his career, significantly more than anyone else in the entire draft.

This is just gaudy. I'm glad that later Ultra Gold Medallion cards were more subtle. Strickland was the 19th overall pick in 1988 and had two stints as a Blazer.

Ime Udoka was undrafted out of Portland State University. He was the starting SF for a rebuilding Blazers team a few years ago and may be on his way out of San Antonio after they recently acquired Richard Jefferson. He's a nice perimeter defender, something that's been sorely lacking since he left the Blazers, so I wouldn't mind seeing him return in a reserve role if there's actually space for him somehow.

This is actually a mini Bazooka rookie card, but for some reason blogger made it appear larger than the other cards. The picture is pretty fitting for Telfair, who already had his own book and movie in the works by the time the Blazers drafted him out of high school. He may yet be a serviceable point guard in the league as long as he can stay relatively healthy, but I'm glad the Blazers didn't sit on him for long. Other players that could have been had at #13 in 2004: Al Jefferson, Josh Smith, J.R. Smith, Jameer Nelson, Kevin Martin, Trevor Ariza... er, wait, cancel that last one. Yikes.

Finally, here's Martell Webster from the amazing looking 2008-09 Topps Murad set. I love these cards. They're extremely different from anything else I've seen. I watched a good portion of the 2005 NBA Draft on NBATV yesterday afternoon and got to see Webster get picked at #6. Portland actually traded down to get Webster as they had the #3 pick, which turned out to be Deron Williams. In hindsight, it's difficult for me or for anyone to defend this pick, as much as I dislike Deron Williams. He plays for the Jazz, so I can't be expected to be unbiased here. Going into this draft, the Blazers still thought they had a future ace point guard in Telfair for some reason, so I suppose it made sense at the time. I've seen Marty light it up like crazy at times, though, and coming off of missing all of last season I really wish him the best and hope that he can be a big contributor.

Chris Paul was taken at #4, though.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Jumbo! Topps

Nothing fancy here - just a jumbo pack from 2009 Topps Series 2. This was part of my first and only purchase so far of Topps Series 2 product. (I haven't bought any cards in a week and a half. Be proud of me.) If you look closely, you can see the legendary Bobby Crosby peeking through the plastic.

464 - Bobby Crosby
426 - Pablo Sandoval (Sandoval has hit at every level so far, but the Giants are still trying to figure out what position works best for him.)
386 - Jonathan Papelbon (At least he's not squatting.)

340 - Joe Mauer (I think I like any card featuring that helmet. I'm so glad I didn't trade Mauer on draft day.)
354 - Mike Aviles (This is the card with the lousy photoshopped rookie cup that I don't feel like showing because I've seen it a bunch of times on other blogs.)
539 - Miguel Olivo
384 - Bob Melvin
606 - Nick Johnson (Horizontal cards seem to come in a pattern. This is the third in a row. I'm not sure why that is.)

LGCB-JR - Jackie Robinson Career Best Legends

466 - Wilson Betemit Gold 0716/2009 (I'll have to toss this in with a White Sox trade or something. Betemit sure seems to float around a bit.)
TTT42 - Kevin Youkilis Topps Town
477 - Josh Willingham ("A high school shortstop who was drafted as a catcher, he can help Washington as either an outfield or first baseman. Since '06, he's hit the seventh-most homers of NL leftfielders." Dude, pick a position!)

579 - Rocco Baldelli (Bleh, I know... a Red Sox card. I'm not used to Baldelli being on that team yet, though, and I like the picture.)
387 - Adam Everett
335 - Chris Young the outfielder
624 - Ben Francisco
475 - Chipper Jones (Wearing the silly orangey-red alternate uniform the Braves sometimes wear.)
494 - Gary Matthews
462 - James Loney
562 - Cecil Cooper (Being that he's the Astros manager now, I kinda feel bad for him.)
578 - Adam Kennedy (Ugh, get this guy out of my face. This card catches him in his short-lived Rays career. Now he's putting up some ridiculous 1.000-ish OPS for Oakland.)
618 - Brandon Backe (Get him out of my face, too, please. I'll sic a Pujols card on him, I swear.)
410 - Lou Pinella (Both Chicago managers are basically cartoon characters.)

517 - Kevin Frandsen (I have no idea what's going on here, but it looks awesome.)
555- Joe Girardi (More horizontal cards. This is the first of four straight.)
433 - Coco Crisp (I wonder if Kaufmann Stadium has breakfast cereal giveaways. Feel free to pay me, if you can afford it, if you use my idea.)

516 - Brian Anderson (Another will-he-or-won't-he shot here. I'm going to say that he swings and misses.)
594 - Milton Bradley (I love the Cubs getting rid of stable players and getting guys like Bradley. I'd cross my fingers and hope that they got Manny Ramirez, too, but he'd probably do really well at Wrigley if he wasn't suspended.)
TR76 - Jay Bruce Turkey Red (Argh... 50 Turkey Red cards possible in the set and I already have this one!)

333 - Sowers & Laffey Chief Lefties (I get it.)
396 - Alex Cora (I always get Alex Cora mixed up with Joey Cora and think that he's been around for 20+ years.)
447 - Freddy Sanchez
646 - Chris Iannetta
590 - Johnny Damon

502 - Yovani Gallardo (Great photo here. I might have to cool it with the Brewers scans, though, as the Cardinals are locked in with them in a tight race.)

421 - B.J. Ryan (Woo!! Blue Jays Forever!!!)

I also have a cereal box to post another time.

Epic Trade with Chris from OH

I try to limit my use of the word "epic" to describe anything, lest I feel like I'm part of a Bill and Ted's Excellent movie. But I'm not sure how else to describe a trade I went through with awhile back with reader Chris from OH. Chris has a robust want list and trade list set up at his website, which I literally spent nearly a week's worth of after-work time poring over until I figured out what I wanted and what I could send him. I seem to get rather intimidated by these large packages when I receive them, but then I have to realize that the posts that are primarily about Cardinals cards are some of the easiest (least time consuming, anyway) for me to write. Of course, to keep things relatively brief, I hand-picked some favorites to show here.

I'm not sure where you get "Jeff" when you mean "Terry". It's not like this is a typo. This is Pendleton's rookie card, and there's also a corrected version. I'm not certain that either card is significantly more difficult to find than the other. I did not own either (I'm very lacking on a lot of key Cardinals '80s rookies for whatever reason) so I'm very happy to see this one.

This is an absolutely perfect card of Yadi laying down a bunt. The ball looks like it's glued to the bat.

Here's Willie McGee in late career mode. The photo is a perfectly framed close-up shot. You don't see this a lot anymore.

I scanned this Ken Hill Topps Finest card mostly just to see how it would scan. I love getting gaudy high-end cards like this, knowing that it probably came out of a really expensive pack at one time but is now worth no more than a nickel or so because it's just Ken Hill.

I'm starting to go through my collection to pull out the non-Cardinals Darryl Kile cards so that I can add them to my binders for actual keeping. I need a lot more of his cards.

HoloGRFX is apparently the actual name of a real baseball card set. This card looks like a cut scene from a video game.

I really like the dark black & gold look of this set. This is one of 3 cards I got from 2007 SP Legendary Cuts. Very classy. It's like the fine wine of baseball card sets that many make a huge fuss about but I tend to just smile and nod and look at from afar.

I only chose to show this Yadi card because it's from 2007 and he's wearing #74 like he is a AA fringe prospect playing spring ball. Molina has worn #4 since 2006 when Braden Looper came back to the team and took Yadi's old #41. I would guess that this photo is from 2004 or earlier, which is rather moronic. You can even look back to a card from an earlier Upper Deck produced set that captured Yadi in his current uniform.

This is an Albert Pujols card from 2009 "A Piece of History". I'm not sure why anyone would bother with a set like this. The photo only barely takes up about half of the card space.

Here's a candidate for most boring Pujols card of all-time. This is from 2005 Upper Deck, which is not a design I can get behind. However, I didn't have the card previously, so it's a good one nonetheless.

Brendan Ryan has been playing some exemplary baseball of late as he's finally getting regular playing time at the major league level. This was a nice card to get as it's supposedly a first year "rookie" card.

It turns out that I already own this Ozzie Sportflics card, but I felt like I needed to scan it anyway just to see how the image turned out. I need more Sportflics.

In the waning days of Fleer, before Upper Deck tookover and killed it, it seems that they used to like to recycle designs of their '80s glory days. These cards are pretty faithful to the '87 design, but the glossy coating on the cards ruins it a bit for me.

This shows why Stadium Club cards are awesome. Lankford is nowhere near hitting the baseball, which is funny.

I'm not sure what this set is ("E-XL"?) but it's a pretty cool looking framed card. I wouldn't mind more of these.

This isn't the best looking design, but it's "Chrome" and it's Skip Schumaker's "first year" so that counts for something.

I also got a stack of 2008 Topps Heritage cards from Chris. I have a feeling that I'll be working on that set long after computers and "the internet" are deemed completely useless and obsolete. There were also several other Jim Edmonds, Darryl Kile and Chris Carpenter cards that I picked out for the trade even though they were pictured in previous team's uniforms. That's perfectly okay, though, because I've decided that I want to collect DK and Carp no matter what team they're pictured with. I had already decided long ago to do this with Edmonds. If anyone out there has any cards of these guys that you want to part with, please let me know. In the meantime, I picked out my favorite non-Cardinal photo of the lot. I definitely need to update my Edmonds Zistle collection.