Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Night Moves

Sure, the St. Louis Cardinals may have won the 2011 World Series, but did you know that they also won the 1985 National League Championship Series? I know that Night Owl Cards did, and it also means he wanted to get this sticker the hell out of his house seeing as how these guys with the red and blue stripes defeated his own team that season. Though that year was best known for the botched Don Denkinger call, I do have fond memories of the Dodgers being laid to waste on the path to World Series heartbreak.

Other cards were sent as well, including a nice clump of Allen & Ginter goodness and some Cardinal radness. Here's a few...

Boog Vomitfractor! I am planning on being a Brendan Ryan Supercollector (if those things still happen to exist) but I've been too lazy to add him to the sidebar. He's a character.

This is some sort of clothy stickery like card from the 2011 Topps Lineage set, from what I gather. I never bought a single pack of this stuff because I thought the base design was beyond terrible, but I've noticed that they have some intriguing inserts and parallels. It's too bad how a cruddy base look can ruin things, for me at least.

I guess the only reason I'm posting this is because it's a gold parallel. I like the gold! I am a weak man.

I have high hopes for Lance Lynn after his impressive relief appearances and interesting starts last season. The Cards are so pitching rich right now that they couldn't even find room for Roy Oswalt, which just sounds ridiculous. That's not to say that a healthy Oswalt isn't leaps and bounds better than Jake Westbrook and Kyle Lohse, but at the salary he's likely looking for I can see why it didn't make much sense.

My scanner absolutely hates black bordered minis, so I consider it a minor victory that this image came out only slightly skewed and showing its border around the entire card. Matt Holliday becomes the de facto best hitter on the team in this year's version of the Cardinals, but I'm pretty okay with that. Yeesh, just look at a team like the A's or the Mariners...

Oh, the Ginter Code! If no one cracks the code, does that mean that there will be no 2012 set? That actually might be a good thing if you ask me. I am having trouble completing these things. I now have two of these Jaime Garcia code parallels, which is good, but I don't have 2 (or even 1) of the base version, which is not so good.

Chordates! Er... I've got nothin'.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Airbrushed Fridays: 2010 Topps Opening Day #109

For the sake of this blog, and also because I actually happen to like this cheap set for some reason, I was happy to learn that there will indeed be a 2012 Topps Opening Day set. Let's hope those packs are still 99 cents a pop. A tip of the ol' airbrushed cap to hiflew for the lowdown on these developments.

Akinori Iwamura was a defensive minded third baseman who played in the Japanese Central League for the first 10 years of his professional career before being posted to MLB, signing with Tampa Bay. The Rays moved him to second base after the arrival of Evan Longoria, and a subsequent conversion to second base was ultimately rather unsuccessful - not helped, of course, by major injuries suffered in the 2009 season.

Why did Topps airbrush Akinori's photo? The usual Opening Day narrative applies here, with Iwamura being dealt to the Pirates in the offseason and this set (which took a hiatus in 2009) released prior to the start of the 2010 season.

What's wrong with this picture, anyway? Pirates uniforms are consistently an inconsistent mess, but it's pretty goofy to try to airbrush a home team photo of Aki playing at Tropicana Field into pseudo home team Pirates gear. I can see you, Rays dugout! We also get a bonus, second Photoshopped image of Iwamura on the back. Nice.

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.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Smed's Sparkling Sparkles

Smed's Baseball Card Blog sent over a nifty (do people still use that word?) package last month containing a bunch of fun Cardinal things and a few set needs. If you're not already familiar for some reason, Smed's pretty much has the one card post thing down to a science and also is a prolific trading blog.

I am not softening my stance on the sparkly inserts or their vomitous cousins, but it doesn't mean that I don't want them in my Cardinals binders. I'm having a hard time actually keeping track of which 2011 Topps cards I still need, but I hope to have a handle on that soon.

So far, all is well on the Wainwright front. Let's hope it stays that way. I am sure that his innings will be a bit limited this season, but it will be great to have him back.

Mark Hamilton's Cardinal career was certainly stunted by the emergence of Allen Craig, and to a lesser extent, David Freese. Hamilton absolutely destroyed the PCL last season, but he doesn't really play any defense and at age 27 he's probably running short on time.

And on to the non-Cardinals section, here's a nifty Mantle insert card from a set I like to collect. Speaking of which, when does 2012 Heritage come out?

Dude, it's a dude!

And yes, here's a whole bunch of Murph cards. I guessing Bipping is still a thing? The man with the extremely long neck is a Portland native, so I wonder if that factored in at all?

Monday, February 20, 2012

30 Teams in 30 Posts: #10

We've reached the upper crust, if you will, of the countdown that I started a long, long time ago. If this has convinced me of anything, it's that I probably should never attempt anything that involves as many as 30 posts here again. So much for ambition, right?

This is one team that may not end up in my top ten by the time this season gets going. You have to hand it to the Angels for stepping up and throwing down the requisite amount of cash to land the big time free agent first baseman that they did. I would be really nervous, however, if the Angels were my team after they committed so much of their payroll for such a long period of time to just one player.

Favorite current Angels player: Dan Haren. I hold no ill will towards the ex-Cardinal Haren and I even think the Mulder trade was the right move at the time, depending of course on how much the front office knew about Mulder's physical condition. Let's just hope that his steep downfall was more of the "shock" variety than some cynical fans believe.

Least favorite current Angels player: N/A. I'm just going to leave this one alone for now.

Favorite Angels player of all-time: Jim Edmonds. Sure, Edmonds played for a lot of other teams besides my Cardinals, but he came up through the Angels organization and spent all of his '90s seasons with them.

Least favorite Angels player of all-time: Francisco Rodriguez. He's kind of a jerk, if you haven't heard. His jerkish ways probably hadn't become public knowledge until after he left the Angels, but that doesn't make me any more of a fan.

The Los Angels Angels of Sunny Southern California exist at #10 in my reverse-ranking of favorite teams as of the moment I picked them a long, long time ago on October 4th, 2010. All of these cards are very much up for trade, so please contact me if you're interested.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Super Star Specials Sunday Spectacular

Reader Jim was kind enough to indulge my trade leanings recently by sending over some Cardinals and set needs of the mid-80s Fleer variety. Hopefully Jim is also a patient guy, as I am just now getting around to mailing his package (I think we agreed on this trade a month ago. Oops.)

I'm a huge fan of '80s Fleer cards, and I have to say the Super Star Special cards are a big reason why. This one, featuring three pitchers who threw no-hitters the previous season, is more reminiscent of the current Topps cards that show league leaders.

I prefer this type of Super Star Special card. I imagine most of the photos for these are taken during an All-Star Game, which is why you see cards of star players from opposing teams posed together. Also great? '80s uniforms!

I know I must have owned this card before - probably several times over, actually. I just never liked Ripken. This one goes towards my 1985 Fleer set. I'm still missing a lot of the key rookies, but they seem to be a lot more affordable these days than in the past. I have a feeling getting a good copy of the Clemens card will be a bit annoying, though.

Finally, here's a lone straggler from the 1993 Upper Deck set, which is pretty much done. Incidentally, Wakefield recently announced his retirement and Deadspin had a pretty interesting article on his short run with Pittsburgh recently. I believe I just need one of the weird SP cards to complete what I set out to complete, though I'm still tempted to go after the insert cards at some point even though I've traded a lot of them away in the past.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Airbrushed Fridays: 1978 Topps #263

It's still Friday night somewhere... like here, for instance. By the way, I've been running short on airbrushed cards from the '80s. I've hit most of the obvious ones already (Mike Laga, anyone?) but if anyone who follows this feature regularly or just happens to be passing through, let me know if you have any awesome '80s suggestions.

Danny Walton spent nine seasons in the majors in eight different uniforms. This very informative webpage details his career much better than I could ever hope to. What a fascinating player!

Why did Topps airbrush Danny's photo? Danny Walton was, presumably, minding his own business when he was dealt by the Dodgers to the Astros in early September of the season previous to this card's release. He was probably used to this side of the business at that point, as he was traded five other times during his career.

What's wrong with this picture, anyway? Printing quality wasn't what it is now back in 1978, but I think there's more going on with Walton's construction worker-like batting helmet than bad ink could explain away.

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.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Cards on Cards Rummage Sale II

Welcome to the second Cards on Cards Rummage Sale. Send me an email if you're interested in any of these cards. If you're a first-time trader, don't be shy. I'm not looking for much here. While this is not actually a sale per se (no cash is expected to change hands) I still have the following sundry items available that have been previously showcased in a "30 Teams" post:

Click the links for a better view:

[updated 02/19/12 02:40 PM]

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Oops at the Plate

I try to be a good blogger and post about the packages I receive from others more or less in the order that I receive them. Every once in awhile, something ends up slipping through the cracks, which is the case with what we're looking at tonight. I found a small envelope sitting among my highly disorganized chaos from a frequent flyer, Play at the Plate. Sadly, I got this thing before Christmas and here we are counting down the final minutes of Valentine's Day.

(Side note: Thanks to PatP, I was clued into the fact that the Topps Willy Wonka Golden Ticket Parade is now underway. I picked up a few codes thanks to a group break I bought in to, and if I get anything worth mentioning I'll update this post.)

While the Cards ponder what their rotation might look like with Roy Oswalt in it (and subsequently someone forced out of it), odds are looking longer that Shelby Miller will be in the mix this year. It would be fun to see him pitch for the Cards this year, but let's just hope it doesn't come at the expense of someone's terrible injury.

I believe I've made passing mention of how disappointed I am in these blue parallel cards, but they are still necessary and valid in my collection. Maybe I need to get my priorities in order. There's been a lot of talk this offseason about Yadi's extension prospects, and I do hope that they do the sensible thing and lock him up for years to come.

I have absolutely zero expectations for Berkman this year, beyond the dry witty quotes he gives the overbearing St. Louis media from time to time. Last season was amazing for Berkman. I'll be happy with something approaching decent this time around.

Masterpiece barely begins to describe this.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Airbrushed Fridays: 2011 Topps Opening Day #104

Every night is friday night without you!

Victor Martinez is one of the premier offensive catchers in the league, but he's not known as much of a defensive presence. For this reason, as well as competition at the position, he's been relegated to a lot of 1B and DH duties. Unfortunately, V-Mart is out for the season with an all too common torn anterior cruciate ligament.

Why did Topps airbrush Victor's card? After a productive season and a half with Boston that culminated in an All-Star appearance in 2010, Victor signed with the Tigers as a big time free agent. Detroit's payroll is gargantuan this season after they inked Prince Fielder to a 9 year deal.

What's wrong with this picture, anyway? As is the usual deal, the Tigers had not taken the field with V-Mart in tow when the Topps Opening Day set was released last year. (As a side note, does anyone know if there is a 2012 Opening Day set?)

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.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

More From The Troll

The Collective Troll blog, or "Troll Might Rule!!!" as it's called these days, has been very good to this Cards on Cards blog over the past couple of years. I received yet another package from the Troll last month and it was almost entirely Cardinal-focused. As is my usual schtick, I've posted images of a few of the cards in the package because that's what these blogs tend to do.

By the way, I could really use another copy of this Jaime Garcia Topps Hertitage card as I am still in need of a lot of the SPs from this set and this copy only counts towards my (more important) Cardinals collection.

I haven't been really impressed with the inserts that I've seen coming out of the 2012 Topps product, but last year's crop weren't so impressive, either. That being said, these are better than the dual player inserts that just seem really forced.

Many of the cards in the package were of the late '70s and early '80s variety, and there are and were a number of holes in my collection from those years to fill. Tony Scott's 1978 Topps card seems to typify cards of this era: closely cropped and kind of boring.

Let's keep in mind that Fleer was only in its second year of issuing a full blown baseball card set, but many of the photos in the 1982 Fleer set were just terrible in quality. If you combined the photos from 1981 Donruss and 1982 Fleer into one huge photo array, let's just say you would have a huge blurry mess on your hands.

The only Jim Kaat Cardinals card that ever comes to mind for me is that Fleer card where the old school ESPN mic is clearly visible in the shot. I know I have some Topps cards of his, but this one is new to me. I always liked the 1982 and 1983 Donruss designs even though they were pretty similar. They remind me of when I first started collecting as packs from those sets were still reasonably priced in 1986 for some reason.

Monday, February 6, 2012

30 Teams in 30 Posts: #11

With tonight's post, we're finally two-thirds of the way through the countdown and have officially reached the territory of teams that I don't really mind watching. Washington's team is full of high profile up-and-comers. They also made a bit of a splash in the offseason, but ultimately did not shell out the Prince Fielder level bucks to improve their team. Still, with Philadelphia continuing their decline and some question marks in Atlanta, it will be interesting to see what develops over at the District this year.

The Nats, of course, used to be the Expos, but I'm excluding the Montreal days from consideration. If you want to know who my favorite Expo of all-time it is, it would probably come down to a three-way battle royale between... say... guys like Dawson, DeShields and Walker. Instead, I will just look at the 2005-present franchise.

Bryce Harper has a legitimate shot at becoming one of my least favorites in the game, but he too is excluded from consideration as he has yet to appear in a big league game. Snot-nosed brat.

Favorite current Nationals player: Michael Morse. You have to love the story of a former minor league Mariners shortstop becoming a de facto star out of nowhere. It remains to be seen if Morse, who will be 30 by Opening Day, becomes the next Jose Bautista or regresses to the norm.

Least favorite current Nationals player: Brad Lidge. Yes, I made special consideration for excluding Bryce Harper even though he's technically on the 40-man roster because we've yet to see him out on the field in Nats gear in a game that counts. Brad Lidge just signed with Washington and hasn't yet donned their gear, either, but he's Brad Lidge.

Favorite Nationals player of all-time: Dmitri Young. With such a short history to mine, I figured I could make an arbitrary pick here. Da Meat Hook, the former Cardinals draft pick, is kind of a goofball and made as much sense as anyone else I could come up with.

Least favorite Nationals player of all-time: Jayson Werth. It's not fair to go with Lidge again, I suppose, so Jayson Werthless gets my pick instead. The real losers are the Washington fans who are stuck with this guy and his enormously bloated contract for years on end.

The Washington Nationals usurp a spot at #11 in my reverse-ranking of favorite teams as of the moment I picked them a long, long time ago on October 4th, 2010. All of these cards are very much up for trade, so please contact me if you're interested. Also, Stephen Strasburg.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Airbrushed Fridays: 1974 Topps #287

How strange is it that a Topps baseball card featuring, kind of, a fringe member of the St. Louis Cardinals is suddenly national news. And by national news, I don't mean the front page of beckett.com. Schumaker is being brought back for the 2012 incarnation of the Cards as a backup outfielder, although I don't think any Cardinals fan believes for a second that his days at the keystone position are a thing of the past.

Clay Kirby was a right-handed starting pitcher for all eight of his big league seasons, putting up respectable numbers despite suffering through a 20-loss season as a rookie. His life was cut tragically short at the age of 43 when he died from a heart attack.

Why did Topps airbrush Clay's photo? I'm starting to feel like the entire 1974 Topps set might be airbrushed. Kudos (whatever those things are) to Topps for attempting to get everyone in this set into their current team's digs, but even today there is no great way of accomplishing this feat when a set is released before a season actually starts. Kirby was traded in the offseason by the Padres to the Reds for the legendary Bobby Tolan and Dave Tomlin.

What's wrong with this picture, anyway? There's not a ton to complain about here. It feels like Clay's hat is unusually large, but you never know what's going on behind that cap there. He might have had a slight Conehead affliction. Aside from the fact that the airbrusher may have run out of red paint a bit too soon, this one doesn't look so bad.

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.