Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Auto-Free Cardinals from On Card Autos

Unfortunately, I've come to the realization that not only am I behind in posting packages (this one was postmarked March 7th) but I am also late in sending out packages. Here's a few cards from a generous stack of Cardinals sent my way by an unabashed Cubs fan who runs the blog On Card Autos. My end of the bargain will be out the door soon, I promise.

This is just a perfect card capturing two amazing moments in a perfect Game 7 of a perfect NLCS. (My view of perfection may differ a bit from the perspective of a Mets or Carlos Beltran fan.)

I'd never seen these inserts before, but I had Beckett to thank to know that they existed. I'm not sure that Cooperstown will be calling for Scott Rolen because of all of the injuries that sapped him of his power he had from earlier last decade, but if they paid more attention to the man's glovework, he'd be in for sure.

Ah, another baseball year on the horizon with a healthy Chris Carpenter around. I can't wait. I received a ton of cards from this set which has something like 1200+ cards in it. And here you thought that Topps Total was comprehensive. (Yes, I know that some players get multiple cards.)

Remember these things? I think the Wal-Mart black variations and the Target throwbacks are going to be highly sought after from the moment that Topps decided to only put them out in groups of 2 packs out of a $20 blaster. Why do I think this? Because no one ever sends me any that didn't come out of 2009 Topps Series 1. I was really hoping that some 2009 Topps blasters would hit shelves with discounted prices, but it hasn't happened yet. Curse that set's popularity!

Monday, March 29, 2010

Bracket Contest Update and Cards from Cardboard Heaven

We're down to the final four teams in the NCAA Tournament, which means the contest will be drawing to a close a week from tonight. I jumped ship on my bracket after the first couple of rounds and began rooting for the underdogs exclusively, which is what I used to do before I began filling these things out anyway. I tend to think that it was more fun. Dan ("Matchup Zone" - not sure if this is a reader or a fellow blogger) is hanging onto a slim lead in the contest, but, like the real world, basically no one has more than one Final Four team left still alive. If Duke takes it all, it looks like reader Timothy could walk away with the prize as he has the most possible points at this stage, while it looks like AJ (not A.J. - he's kinda like CC Sabathia) has last place locked up. I'll wait for the Yahoo robots to come up with those final results before I award any "prizes", however, because I didn't really read the scoring rules.

Meanwhile, I received a handful of cardboard gems from Cardboard Heaven recently that I thought I'd share.

J.D. (not to be confused with JD) Drew has so many cards to his name, mostly from the late '90s and early '00s. I really wish I liked him more... or at all, really. I won't turn any of them away, of course, unless they're not Cardinals-related. I don't really understand what the credit card craze was all about, especially when I thought that the '80s were supposed to be the era of excess. I guess they just didn't have the technology to produce cards like this back then.

That clear photo feeling that you see on this 2009 Chrome card? That's what a refractor looks like on a scanner. Those cold, soulless robot scanners that see no rainbowy colors... what must life be like for them?

It sounds like the Brewers may be parting ways with Jeff Suppan soon. I would never consider him a great pitcher, but he was a huge part of the Cardinals staff that won the 2006 World Series. He never really had many moments like he did with the Cardinals with anyone else.

This is a great looking card that's unfortunately messed up with a crooked piece of certified autograph tape. Brian Barton spent a little over a year with the Cardinals and was traded last April to Atlanta for Blaine Boyer when the team needed a little bullpen help. Boyer provided the kind of help that made me completely forget about him until I tried to do some research for this post and find out where Barton is now. He was a non-roster invitee to spring training with the Dodgers, but I haven't heard a thing about him and it seems likely he will spend another season in the minors.

Ahh! What is this?! This was regifted. I wonder how far back I can trace it. As much as I wouldn't mind some sort of token of the team that was stolen by a dirty liar and thief, I think I'd probably save that opportunity for something a bit more substantial and memorable than a guy who scored 103 points in his NBA career. I wonder if I should pass this card along to another unsuspecting collector. Hmm...

Friday, March 26, 2010

Airbrushed Fridays: 1986 Topps Traded #124T

I'm not really much of a mustache guy, but if you have the ability to grow a thick white mustache, you must be onto something. Besides, who am I to argue with Dick Williams?

Speaking of which, Dick Williams was an outfielder, corner infielder and a manager whose career spanned three decades. He was frequently outspoken and never seemed to last for more than a few years with any team he played for or managed. He did win two titles with Oakland in the early '70s, but I'll always remember him for his mustache.

Why did Topps airbrush Dick's photo? Dick took over the Seattle job about a month into the season, and managers are primarily found lurking in the dugout rather than out in the shiny sun (unless arguing a call), apparently providing for few photo ops while donning the M's trident.

What's wrong with this card, anyway? The trident logo appears to be someone's "interpretation" of how a Mariners logo might look, rather than the real thing. Additionally, I know this was 1986 and all, but I think Williams might be wearing a snuggy, or at least that's what the artist had envisioned.

(If you are interested in obtaining a card featured here - but not this one - 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, March 25, 2010

Catching Up: The Last Great Tribecards Giveaway

The end of spring training is near! Actual baseball is on the way. In the meantime, I enjoyed a bit of some meaningless Cardinals action on ESPN this morning and I have to say that I'm pretty excited about this season. There are a ton of question marks surrounding this team, but for once the thing I'm worried about the least this season is the offense. Meanwhile, in completely unrelated news, I received the bounty from The Last Great Tribecards Giveaway. I hope everyone who has ever received anything from David has paid their respects by this point. Just because the man has finally given away the excesses of his collection doesn't mean that he won't appreciate some of your Tribe cards sent his way. I've highlighted just a few cards here in a really generous package of Cardinals (and bonus) goodies.

Dmitri Young is one of those guys that has seemingly thousands of rookie cards. He was first noticed by card companies in 1992, yet took quite a few years before he logged regular playing time and was considered a true "rookie" by MLB. By the way, I'm certainly glad that the Cardinals don't use these warmup jerseys anymore. They have red jerseys these days and they don't even them in spring training games because of "tradition".

I really like this set. I really, really want to collect this set. I just can't collect them all, though, you know?

Cards like this were just made for J.D. Drew, I think. I'm not sure what else to say about it other than the obligatory comment about how the scanner doesn't do the card justice in terms of shiny craziness.

Here's a great action shot of Scott Rolen. The Cards could really use the 2004 version of Rolen at 3rd base this year, or even last year's Rolen to be honest. I am hopefully that David Freese will turn out to be the "RBI machine" that a certain hitting coach has hyped him up to be, though.

Speaking of said hitting coaches, I've found that McGwire's son appears on a ton of his Cardinals cards that I've acquired over time. It's pretty hard to hate the guy when he has adorable photo ops like these.

David threw in a couple of treats. There were three strips (I scanned them all together) of some B.A.T. foundation cards from Upper Deck that were apparently produced in 1993. I had never heard of these, but they look pretty amazing especially considering the era they were produced in. I must have mentioned the Yankees at some point in the giveaway, because these weren't the only Yankee prizes.

I spotlighted a couple of Davco cards in the past that I also received from Tribecards. Those were Cardinals cards, and this one is Mickey Mantle himself.

Finally, here was the lone Blazers card in the lot and a really good one as far as I'm concerned. My collection is very light on the current players, so I'm always excited to see an L-Train card.

Thanks again to Tribecards!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Catching Up: Turkey Red? More Like Turkey RAD!

With this post I will be officially done with all packages received in February and I can finally move on to March. I've got a box break in the works, if the thing ever shows up in my mailbox, and I still have a few more ideas of things I've been kicking around since I started this blog. After that, I'm done.

Not buying it? Neither am I. Justin from a blog I will just refer to as The Wasteland (think big Tampa Bay Rays and Lightning enthusiast) sent over a sizeable chunk of the 2009 Topps Turkey Red inserts from my wantlist. I don't remember exactly what I sent in return, but I certainly hope it was something useful. (P.S. - Don't tell anyone, but I think it involved some 1990 Donruss.)

What is strange to me about the Turkey Red inserts is how, with each base series producing 50 insert cards, they all have a completely different finish to them. The Series 1 cards (like Million Dollar Mauer at the top of the post) have your expected matte style finish that is more in line with the 2005-2006 set which uses the same design. Series 2 (see Johnny Mize, not that you'd be able to tell by the scan or anything) has some icky excess glossy UV finish to the surface of the card. Most of the cards that Justin sent were of the Series 2 variety. The Series 2 base cards, incidentally, have a slightly different finish than Series 1 - they're still glossy, but they're noticeably different even to the touch.

50 more cards were released, thank goodness, along with Updates & Highlights. These cards (Jimmie Foxx represents) are more similar to Series 1, which got it right, but they're still a bit shinier when held up to the light.

Justin also tossed in a few Cardinals, but these were no throwaways. I received a Rogers Hornsby cereal box refractor card from one of the 2009 Topps sets. I'm not sure if I ever found a comprehensive checklist of all of these things as there were different checklists depending on what store you purchased the boxes at. It got pretty confusing. The only cereal boxes I bought had either Cy Young or (I think?) Roberto Clemente in them, so I was excited to see a Cardinal.

Finally, there was another unexpected gem. Sure, I know that manufactured patches embedded in cards are sort of a bizarre concept. Granted, the fact that it is serial numbered to 50 likely only means that there are 50 of this particular letter. I still think this is pretty cool. I just wouldn't invest a lot of money in stuff like this.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Pacific Crown Royale is Back!

Oh wait, no it's not. It's Panini.

You can get the details here.

There's gotta be other names out there for sets that haven't been taken, right?

Monday, March 22, 2010

Catching Up: Surprise Box from Howard

I just wanted to take a moment to thank everyone for making my daily trip to the mailbox a far more rewarding endeavor than it used to be. In the past, it was always Comcast ad, Comcast, bills, bills, nothing, Comcast, nothing, bills. These days, I can at least look forward to throwing manila envelopes and the occasional cardboard box into the mix. (Plus, Qwest ads have replaced the Comcast ads since I dropped their services entirely.) The surprise packages, as I'm sure everyone agrees, are the best because you generally have no idea what's going to show up inside. This isn't always a great thing (hello, Mr. Leon Roberts) but it always proves to be exciting.

One such box came by way of Howard who I had previously completed a very generous trade with. This included my second (I think?) 2010 Upper Deck card. I am not ever going to add that set to any of my want lists, so it will be interesting to see how close I get to completing the Cardinals team set without making so much as a minimal effort. (Don't tell anyone, but the stadium card looks really nice. I am not authorized to tell you what stadium it is, however, and you can never prove any Major League Baseball transpires within it.

Aside from the Turkey Reds, which I would collect no matter what, the Legendary Lineage inserts are pretty much the only inserts that I like from this year's Topps. Yes, that includes the Yer Mom cards. For some reason I'm just not wild about reprinted cards on the current UV-coated flimsy Topps stock.

This Chris Duncan jersey card was as much of a surprise to see as the box was itself. It's my first Duncan solo relic (I have a card he shares with Pujols) and I heard recently he's going to start the season in the minors. I'm hoping he rebounds and gets some decent time in the majors for some team, though I'm sure he'd be a better fit in the American League than he would with the Nationals. I wonder if there are any Duncan relics that are soaked with tobacco spit...

Howard sent over a big stack of 2007 Bowman Heritage cards including this Ryan Braun rookie. Expect to see my 2007 Bowman Heritage want list finally show up here on the blog in the next couple of days.

There were a few foil cards from the set included as well. They're easy to obtain at one-per-pack, so I may as well collect them too.

I believe Howard is the first person to ever send me a Portland Beavers card through this thing I have set up here. Even better, this is Kurt Kepshire - a former Cardinal. It's increasingly likely that this will be the last season of Portland Beavers baseball... AGAIN... and it's so upsetting that I haven't brought myself to write anything that one could construe as rational here about what is transpiring. Let's just enjoy Kurt's card with the old Civic Stadium outfield in the background as we count down the final days of (what is now called) PGE Park's baseball use before it's converted into a full-time MLS outfit.

Okay, onto bigger and sunnier things - the Portland Trail Blazers. Oh... ugh. There's been a black cloud hanging over this team lately, too. There's another thing I don't really want to talk about. I had forgotten about Kevin Thompson, the Blazers second round draft pick in the month I graduated from high school... all 14 NBA games of him.

I won't stop posting Arvydas Sabonis cards. In fact, had I come to start this thing up 7 or 8 years ago, there's a fairly good chance this would have been an Arvydas Sabonis blog.

Does anyone miss the old-school NBA All-Star uniforms? No? I guess I don't, either, but it would be fairly entertaining if they used retro all-star jerseys in one of the games sometime in the near future.

I'm not sure what the Skytech Force is, but I'm sure glad Uncle Cliffy is a part of it!

Thanks again to Howard. Next up are some cards from a certain Wasteland...

Catching Up: Trading with For Cards Sake

Here's a quick contest update: Kansas lost and nearly everyone's brackets exploded. On top of that, a bunch of other teams won that shouldn't have and everything is all upside-down. At this point, I'd have to say that the Washington Huskies may as well be the favorites because nothing else is making sense. ToddUncommon is currently in 1st place in the Cards on Cards contest while reader Timothy has the most possible points at this stage. Also, I really hate to do this, but I'm afraid I'm going to have to disqualify anyone who didn't completely fill out their bracket from the last place prize. However, if I end up finishing last (very possible at this point) then I will enter all non-winners in a random drawing to select who gets the "prize".

Meanwhile, I'm in full-on catch-up mode on the blog. If I don't post at least a trade post a night for the next week or so, I'm never going to catch up. This package came courtesy of For Cards Sake. Go check out his 2003 Finest master box break here. I'm not sure what that is, but I'm drooling over the cards. Figuratively.

I really like the idea of the Fleer Box Score set, even though the design on the front is pretty busy. You can see a portion of a box score (clearly reprinted from USA Today) on the front of a game between the Mets and the Marlins, which is rather confusing. Even more confusing is the fact that the box score highlighted on this card over on the back is from an Angels game in 1998. I caught myself thinking, "when did Darin Erstad play for the Cards?"

This is a really nice looking card. If you want to know how to use sepia toned photos and shiny foil together on a baseball card without it looking like garbage, this is how it's done. If only there was some sort of HOT TUB TIME MACHINE to take us back to 2004 to save Upper Deck...

I never get tired of receiving posting looking at Jim Edmonds cards. This is also a reminder to myself that I need to get around to updating my Zistle Edmonds collection.

Here is the big surprise: a Chris Haas certified autograph! I found out through my own research that Haas was a mid-'90s first round pick who never cracked the big leagues. I really need to stick with my promise to do another Who Are These Guys post again.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Airbrushed Fridays: 1978 Topps #301

I just have a quick post this week as I have a few loose ends to wrap up before the week is out. This card comes courtesy of Night Owl Cards (and yes, I do want your 1985 Fleer extras.) I received a package from Night Owl a couple of days ago and will devote a full post to it at a later point.

Buddy Schultz was a relief pitcher who logged a total of 5 seasons in the majors. He made three starts as a spot starter, all in the 1977 season which proved to be his best by far. He was also one of a seemingly endless line of players who had the unfortunate distinction of wearing both a Cubs and a Cardinals uniform at one time. (I never thought it would happen to a great man like Jim Edmonds!)

Why did Topps airbrush Buddy's photo? No excuses this time, Topps! The Cardinals picked up Schultz from the Cubs organization before the 1977 season even started. He appeared in 40 games with the Cards that season, nearly a quarter of the team's season schedule. He did make 2 appearances with the AAA club (New Orleans? Really?) that season, but it wasn't like he was never around. He even likely was around for spring training, which is when Topps has obtained a lot of their baseball card photos and still does to this day.

What's wrong with this picture, anyway? Three words: Mangled cap logo. The '70s apparently were ripe with these. I should come up with a mangled cap logo set, or at least complete a page or two of them. The coloring of the cap itself also shifts seemlessly between red and pink blotches. It's no magic hat, but it's pretty hilarible.

(If you are interested in obtaining a card featured here - but not this one - 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, March 18, 2010

These Cards are Mine!

Yes, yes, I bet you know where this post is going already. Sometimes I enjoy writing the post titles. Most of the time, however, I just cringe after I read it. This might also be a good time to confess that I don't really proofread anything I write here because all of my writing generally makes me cringe. Feel free to point out any typos, poor sentence structures, incorrect usage of words or outright slanderous lies (unless they pertain to the Lakers in which case they're absolutely true!) that you may find along the way.

Oh, yes, the cards! The cards came courtesy of BigD from Hey, That's Mine! I actually received them well over a month ago, which goes to show how I've fallen even further behind on posting about this stuff. I'm making it a goal of mine to get more or less caught up on trade posts by the end of the month, so you may be seeing a lot of these posts for awhile. BigD sent a mix of Cardinals including this Yadier Molina 2006 Ovation insert. I like the card a lot, but it seems like it belongs with something more suitable like the base set. Ovation cards are fancier than this and seem to usually have baseball stitches or some sort of etching to them.

I received both a Sweet Spot and Sweet Spot Update card of Jim Edmonds. I don't think I'm ready to see him in a Brewers uniform. I also haven't really looked to find out what his chances are of making the team out of spring training. I would be shocked if Jimmy accepted any sort of minor league assignment and I don't imagine that there would be a ton of other teams calling, unfortunately, if he doesn't work out with Milwaukee. The Cardinals are actually rather thin in terms of 4th and 5th outfielder types going into the season, so I actually started to get my hopes up that he might rejoin the team for a short spell.

This card does not look like Albert Pujols. That's all I can really say about it.

Here's a card of the Braves new first baseman. Hopefully can rebound from his career-threatening injuries and have a solid year for Atlanta. The 2008 version of Troy Glaus would be incredibly useful to the Cardinals this season, but unfortunately he can't really throw anymore. By the way, this card is one of the "perforated" parallel cards, but my scanner is unable to scan those without making them look... well... not perforated. So there you go.

I unloaded all of my Dallas Mavericks cards (minus the doubles) on BigD and he paid me big time in mid-to-late '90s Topps Finest Blazers cards. I've never seen so much peel-off protective coating in one place in my life. Some of the Finest cards from this era are as goofy as their baseball counterparts, like this "Heirs" card of Isaiah "J.R." Rider. What was J.R. an heir to, exactly? It must have been some sort of throne of the King of all of the Morons.

Great looking card of my second-favorite Blazer of all-time. I tend to think all Sabas cards are great, though.

Topps apparently can't tell the difference between the Detroit Pistons and the Portland Trail Blazers. They're nearly spelled the same and their logos are pretty much identical.

Finally, there were a few cards from the current Panini base set thrown in. This is only my second Travis Outlaw card in my collection as far as I can tell. It was a bit sad to watch him and Steve Blake playing for the Clippers last night on ESPN. I wouldn't normally stay tuned to a Clippers/Bucks matchup for more than a few seconds, but I had to stick around to watch those guys play.

Thanks again to Hey, That's Mine!