Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Doom and Gloom

After seven straight losses, I figured it was time to post again. Also, Yadi is hurt.

I already have another Night Owl package in the queue, eagerly awaiting me to write something about it. Before I get to it, I had to dust off this stack of cards from the Night received back in mid-June, when folks were still excited about what summer had in store for us. A bunch of the cards filled needs in the most recent Heritage set, and I fittingly selected Lance Berkman's card to show off here. Why is he fitting? His season began with promise, but his continued knee troubles are causing all kinds of retirement talk.

In brighter news, Night Owl brought me my first look at 2013 Topps Archives. Topps did a (somewhat) better job with the card stock this year, taking it up from last year's thin-and-bright flimsy mess to something more akin to Ginter Lite. It's a really weird idea to put Stan Musial on a 1990 Topps design, but not as weird as the decision to dig this set up from the grave it was rightly buried in to begin with. It could be that Topps doesn't have as many classic baseball card designs as we thought, but I think it's more likely that they've just beaten all of the good ones to death already.

1986 was sort of an ugly year if you were to survey the masses, but it will always have a special place in my collecting heart because it was the year I first started buying packs. It's confusing to me that these are considered reprints. It's confusing to me that the copyright year on the back is 2012 instead of 2013. Mostly, it's confusing to me that the only thing "reprint" about the card is supposedly the card back, which actually resembles his Record Breakers card from the '86 set instead of the base design.

I believe I now have two Mike Garman 1975 Topps minis. They are going to fight to the death.

Well, this season has surely taken a turn for the worse. Only Jose Jimenez can see what the future holds.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Airbrushed Fridays: 1976 Topps Traded #120T

This week's airbrushed card asks the pivotal questions: What's a Staub? And why is it corroded?

Who is this week's victim, and why do we care? Rusty Staub has the rare distinction of being a beloved Montreal Expos icon, despite the fact that he only played there for 3 seasons and change, and also despite the fact that the Expos haven't really existed in awhile. If Rusty was elected to the Hall of Fame, he'd go in as an Expo, and they are the one team that has retired his number. That probably won't happen, but he'll have a seat at a table next to Larry Walker, Edgar Martinez and Jim Edmonds I suppose.

Why is this a thing? Before the 1976 season, the six-time All-Star was sent from the Mets to the Tigers in a trade that included Portlander Mickey Lolich. All told, Staub's 23 year career saw him play for 5 franchises, including two stops in Montreal. He was also the first player whose baseball card I flipped over that ever prompted me to ask what the heck a Colt .45 was.

Airbrushed Fridays is a weekly feature as the name seems to imply. If you know of a card with an altered photograph that you'd like to see featured, please contact me. You probably won't win anything other than tasty, tasty steroids, but you never know!

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Up For Grabs Cardinalpalooza: Keith Hernandez

Previously on the Cardinalpalooza: Steve Carlton | Lance Berkman | Lou Brock | Dennis Eckersley | Matt Holliday | Bob Gibson

Time has a funny way of changing the perception of someone. Keith Hernandez was once an MVP, World Series champion and Gold Glove extraordinaire who had a bit of a coke problem in the '80s (but who didn't?). Now he's the Seinfeld guy who does Just For Men commercials and hams it up on Mets TV broadcasts. His time with the Cardinals seems several lifetimes ago, but in the times I've caught him in the broadcast booth recently he's had nothing but glowing things to say about St. Louis for whatever reason.

As always, the list follows at the end of the rest of the words.

I suppose this is the appropriate time to say that none of my '70s extra Keiths are in great shape. This is an interesting shot that almost looks like he stepped in front of a camera that was originally aimed at something further in the background. Or, perhaps, I'm just crazy.

Keith isn't in the cage, but he still has his batting helmet on. Any guesses as to whether he just finished up and is giving pointers to (or heckling) a teammate, or he's just getting ready to get his swings in?

The list:

1976 Topps #542 [creased, soft corners]
1977 Topps #95 [2 available: 1 is creased w/ soft corners and 1 has soft corners]
1980 Topps (Batting Leaders w/ Fred Lynn) #201
1981 Fleer #545
1981 Topps #420 [2 available]
1982 Donruss #278
1982 Topps #210
1982 Topps Kmart #36 [4 available]
1983 Donruss #152
1983 Donruss (Diamond Kings) #20
1983 Fleer #8
1983 Topps #700
1983 Topps All-Star Send-In #4
1983 Topps Stickers #188 [2 available]
1983 Topps Stickers #290 [2 available]
2004 Fleer Greats #140

[updated 10/2/13]

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Chipp 'n Dale Sends Matt 'n Tim 'n Tulo

Some cards are die cut. Some cards are not. All cards are roughly rectangular in shape.

It was a rough night for the Braves tonight, who saw the dean of their pitching staff go down to what I've heard was a rather ugly ankle fracture. Let's just say that I haven't worked up the nerve to read cardjunk's Twitter feed yet. Another Atlanta fan, Chunter, recently sent me cards which I have prepared a few notes about this evening.

In addition to a handful of a Cardinals, included a much needed gold parallel of the lumbering Matt Holliday, Chunter sent some nifty inserts and parallels for some of Erin's player collections. This is yet one more reminder that I need to get my own PCs in order and online very soon.

Remember these? Check the logo, folks, that's a real gen-u-ine Target Throwback parallel right there. These are so much nicer than the red parallels they switched to in time for the 2011 Update set. I imagine that these were vastly more expensive to produce and never got a ton of notoriety, so that's probably why they went away quietly.

I almost cut myself on this card. It's sharp! It could probably open a beer bottle. Well, almost anything will do that these days.

Up For Grabs Cardinalpalooza: Steve Carlton

Even today I'm still mildly surprised that Steve Carlton was ever a St. Louis Cardinal. I never think of him as such and I've seen very few photos of young Lefty wearing the Birds on the Bat. It's hard to think of the Brock-for-Broglio steal without proper perspective. After all, the Cardinals did let this Hall of Famer go for two years of a solid Rick Wise. I never knew much about him until this recent unearthing of an article showed that he is kind of a nut.

I have just a few Carlton-as-a-Card cards and you are welcome to any of them.

Your mom threw this out, probably.

I have always been a fan of these 1983 Topps Super Veteran cards. Topps did a good thing for two straight years when they issued a second card of certain players (in 1982 they were "In Action") before abandoning the idea. I wasn't smart enough to include this in my Cardinals collection back when I was a kid, but I am smarter than a kid now!

The list:

1983 Topps (Super Veteran) #71
2006 Fleer Greats of the Game #86
2009 Topps Legends of the Game Update #LGU13 [2 available]
2010 Topps The Cards Your Mom Threw Out #CMT-19

[updated 10/2/13]

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Now With 30% More Steroids

Big time Orioles fan Jason has worked out a few deals with me, and he recently claimed my extra Dylan Bundy / Manny Machado Heritage rookie card from my trade bait pile. While Bundy hasn't been so fortunate this season considering his recent Tommy John surgery, Manny Machado has quickly blossomed into one of the finest third basemen in the league. Good for him. I have to say that it's nice to see an AL East guy break out that doesn't play for Boston or New York.

Jason sent over some needed Heritage and Ginter cards (surprise, surprise) as well as a few extra Cardinals (shocking!) Included in the exchange was a souped up short print of souped up slugger Nelson Cruz. Cruz could be in some hot water for the same reason that this guy is, and I'm not talking about (lack of) fashion sense.

Pete Kozma ended up being the Cardinals starting shortstop this season because Rafael Furcal fell in a sewer and is probably becoming the new Master Splinter and the only shortstop they bothered to sign was Ronny Cedeno, who has now been disowned by two teams (including the Astros!) this season for failing to be better than Ronny Cedeno. I actually didn't have a single copy of this card, which means I still need a second one for my Heritage set.

Speaking of falling into sewers and disappearing, Jason Motte has... well... he's been working on his beard this season, at least. As long as he stays far, far away from Brian Wilson, I'll be okay with this. Good luck to you, sir, and I hope that you return to a steady role somewhere in the Cardinals pen in 2014.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Up For Grabs Cardinalpalooza: Lance Berkman

Lance Berkman only really spent a full season with the Cardinals, while barely able to find his way on to the field in the second year of his two year contract. History will probably remember his Cardinals tenure as much more lengthy than it was, and Berkman was a fan favorite as he has been wherever his career has taken him, outside of New York I suppose. The list of his available cards follows at the end of the post.

I wish these cards didn't appear to be fading away at the bottom.

Perhaps the most interesting thing about Berkman's run with St. Louis, aside from his being a key contributor to a championship winning team, is the fact that very late in his career he was sent to patrol the outfield regularly after having primarily been a first baseman for years. Nutty.

The list:

2011 Bowman #45 [3 available]
2011 Bowman Gold #45
2011 Topps Update (All-Star) #US52 [4 available]
2011 Topps Lineage #47 [5 available]
2011 Topps Opening Day #69 [3 available]
2012 Bowman #36
2012 Bowman Platinum #15
2012 Topps #466 [2 available]
2012 Topps Golden Moments #GM-27
2012 Topps Gypsy Queen #185
2012 Topps Opening Day #128 [3 available]

Friday, July 19, 2013

Airbrushed Fridays: 2013 Topps #368

Here we go, second half baseball! Can the Cardinals sustain their two out run production? Will the Pirates collapse again? Will we see Manny Ramirez in an MLB uniform again? Will that Puig guy talk to the media?

Who is this week's victim, and why do we care? Chris Young is one of the Chris Youngs, the one who is an outfielder. He spent his entire career with the Diamondbacks failing to repeat the prolific home run output of his rookie year.

Why is this a thing? Young was involved in a three-team offseason deal that moved some pieces around without really impacting any of the teams involved. Young ended up in Oakland, Cliff Pennington wound up in Arizona, and Miami got rid of Heath Bell. Topps Photoshopped another card, and life moved on.

Airbrushed Fridays is a weekly feature as the name seems to imply. If you know of a card with an altered photograph that you'd like to see featured, please contact me. You probably won't win anything other than a hyperlink and some of those useless Million Dollar Chase codes, but you never know!

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

A Blazer Detour

Frequent APTBNL later contributor jafronius is part of the Guilt-Free Basketball Card Club (free invites are always open!) and recently sent me a package of hoops cards (and a Duck that goes in a pile of Ducks that could be featured in the future). I don't get a lot of exclusively non-baseball packages, but I figured that while we're in the midst of some hot Summer League action, I may as well show off some (ex) Blazers.

The "combo guard" position is a weird thing that I think the league as a whole is still trying to figure out. Typically it means a player is deemed to be too small to be a shooting guard (or off-the-ball guard) in the NBA, but not skilled enough in the ways of ballhandling and distributing to be a true point guard. Hell, there are probably only a handful of "true point guards" in the NBA that can play a lick anyway. Basketball purists are the worst, sometimes. Anyway, Jerryd Bayless was one of several combo guards that the Blazers drafted in recent years. He and Jarrett Jack are the best known examples of them. Jack has made a name for himself lately and even Bayless randomly became a bit of a contributor late last season, but neither of them are doing it for Portland anymore. Both of them have worn quite a few different uniforms already.

Look out, Kelvin Cato! There's a much larger, black & white Super Kelvin Cato right behind you, ready to devour you whole!

It's hard to tell with the scan, but this is a really weird die cut insert. The only real text printed on the back are two pseudo-interview questions for Mr. Cato. I don't get it.

I don't have many Jim Jackson cards as a Blazer, so it was nice to get this one. I'm always intrigued by base set Topps designs that don't have a baseball equivalent.

So... '90s. What are those orbs, exactly? Are they volleyballs? Indoor soccer balls? Something straight out of Marble Madness? So many questions.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

I'm Done with Series 2

No, I haven't completed collecting the 2013 Topps Series 2 set (as the title may imply), but I am putting my foot down and not buying any more packs. So far, I've purchased a rack pack, 5 loose Target packs, 3 loose hobby packs, 2 loose packs at Rite Aid and a blaster. Guess how many Cardinals I've pulled...

Here are just a few of the cards I pulled from the blaster I bought on Saturday. Pretty much everything I got from the box is available, and I pulled the usual pile of inserts and Target parallels if anyone is collecting the base cards, inserts or just stuff of of your favorite team(s)/player(s). Just let me know what you need.

This one is earmarked for Night Owl if he wants it. I don't often pull base card variations/short prints/whatevers, and there's a very good chance I would have overlooked this card's rarity if it wasn't for the fact that I'd already gone through the entire Series 2 checklist to see which Cardinals I need.

Big Papi will someday probably be the first player elected to the HOF primarily as a DH. In a sense, this will be disappointing to me, because it will overshadow the contributions of Edgar Martinez, who was a phenomenal hitter.

No Angels Pujols cards in my binders!

This is a great Rickey card. I like the older style A's jersey. It's hard for me to tell for some reason if this is actual an early photo or if he's just wearing more of a throwback design. Rickey did have four separate tours with Oakland, after all.

People seem to like Ripken. I guess when all is said and done that I like the Chasing History inserts the most out of the flagship set.

Finally, here's a nice looking half-full bleed (is that a term?) photo of the oft-injured Nationals third baseman.

Happy All-Star night, everyone. It would have been nice to see the Senior Circuit get more than 3 hits, though. Just like it would be nice if, out of all of those packs mentioned above, I had pulled more than 4 Cardinals cards. (Two Stan Musial inserts and two Joe Kelly base cards for those who are curious.) I am stopping with this madness because the checklist is just far too short on Cardinals to make it interesting to me, so I'd love to hear from any of you that have trade offers for me involving 2013 Cardinals cards. Please check the want list to see which ones I need.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Trading with Card Buzz

It's late on the eve of this year's rendition of the All-Star Game, and the Cardinals will have as many as 5 participants in addition to Adam Wainwright, who opted not to pitch as he just pitched yesterday. I'm hoping for an interesting game, although considering what's at stake for the winning league, I wouldn't mind another blowout like last year if it helps the Cardinals in the playoffs.

I recently traded with Laurens from Card Buzz, acquiring two more much needed SPs from the 2007 Topps Heritage set and a few Redbirds.

It seems weird that this will be the third consecutive All-Star Game without Albert Pujols. He likely would have made the 2011 team were it not for injuries, but his numbers have not been there at the break to justify his selection in either of his seasons with the Angels. I could see him having a stronger second half this season, but he's clearly very limited in his mobility which seems to affect all sorts of things.

Here's to hoping Adam Wainwright has a strong second half. I'd love to see him finally win the Cy Young Award this year after he came so close to doing it in 2009 and 2010.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Airbrushed Fridays: 1978 Topps #645

After a bit of a "soft open" period, I'm going to go ahead and announce that Cards on Cards, for whatever it's worth, is now on the Twitter. You can follow me at @cardsoncards. The account is mostly just autoposting links to my posts here on the blog, which may be useful to some of you, but I will probably find occasion to use it for other things as well. I've finally succumbed and decided to embrace the more useful aspects of the Twitter machine (real-time information, thoughts and musings from my favorite musicians) while rejecting the things I choose to reject (hashtags, being a dick to people for no reason.) I promise to respond to inquiries and trade requests in that platform as much (or more?) than I do to emails, so if you're more comfortable with that sort of thing, go for it.

Who is this week's victim, and why do we care? Mike Torrez is an MLB lifer, and also the kind of guy who can spend 18 seasons in the bigs with 7 teams while having nearly zero name recognition whatsoever. That's a special kind of talent. He was a right-handed starting pitcher who won slightly more games than he lost, notching nearly 500 appearances and wearing at least 6 different uniform numbers. His peak season was 1975, when he won 20 games with Baltimore while managing to lead the league in bases on balls.

Why is this a thing? Torrez was involved in transactions with the likes of Ken Singleton, Don Baylor, Reggie Jackson and Dock Ellis, but his move to Boston was by way of a free agent signing. This card is, admittedly, one of the best airbrush jobs from the '70s that I've ever seen. I applaud Mike, and the "artist" involved, for bringing this card to the world.

Airbrushed Fridays is a weekly feature as the name seems to imply. If you know of a card with an altered photograph that you'd like to see featured, please contact me. You probably won't win anything other than a hyperlink and eleven Twitter followers, but you never know!

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Trading with The Dutch Card Guy

I pulled off my first international trade in awhile late this past spring when I swapped cards with The Dutch Card Guy. I sent over (wayyyy over) some Yankees and cards for his player collection, and I received some my-te-fine Cardinals cards in return.

This rare black bordered David Freese card is a thing a beauty, or at least as much as a baseball card can be one of those things. I really need to own more black bordered Topps parallels. I only have a few and they are really impressive.

I'm pretty lukewarm on the blaster manupatch cards, but this is an Ozzie card, so it's automatically amazing.

I can't even begin to talk about how awesome this card looks. It's has blinding streaks of light that don't begin to show up on a scan. If you don't own any of these Passing the Torch cards, you're really missing out on something special.

Speaking of something special, Adam Wainwright appears to be in the lead as far as NL Cy Young candidates go. He has a chance to go for victory #13 (for whatever that's worth) on Sunday, which means we won't be seeing much of him in the All-Star Game.

This deal wasn't exclusively Cardinals, however, as I received a nice chunk of Allen & Ginter cards to boot. Balut apparently involves boiling a fetus, which is somehow less disgusting than the other Culinary Curiosities card that I received. Betcha can't guess which one that was! (hint: maggots.)

I'm really not a fan of most of Ginter's sketch cards, or many sketch cards in general, but this isn't the worst thing I've ever seen. I don't know if they are part of the 2013 set or not, but I wouldn't miss them. It's nice to knock a couple more of these off my want list, however.