Monday, July 14, 2014

All-Star Eve Trade Post

Hopefully, no one will be pitching though a cloud of "cognac".

Chunter of the Chipp 'n' Dale blog sent me a wonderful bunch of baseball and basketball cards that I'd like to show off as we get ready for tomorrow night's All-Star Game.

I've been coveting this insert card for a long time from last year's set, so I'm really happy to get a copy of my own. Topps really knocked it out of the park (GET IT?!) with these inserts, which really make me wish they'd take a quality-over-quantity approach with some of their inserts in the future.

These '89-style die cut minis, on the other hand, are not so great. It is great seeing cards of Lee Smith in a Cardinals uniform in 2014, though.

I'm sure there are plenty of disgruntled Dodgers fans who think they got robbed with Wainwright getting the starting nod tomorrow over Clayton Kershaw. I can't say I blame them, but I also find it nearly impossible to argue against Wainwright deserving it. After a number of near-misses in past seasons with major awards, Waino gets a little bit of the spotlight tomorrow to reward a stellar first half. As for Kershaw, well, it seems like it would help his cause a bit if his team... say... went ahead and won the pennant sometime. Interestingly enough, the last Cardinals starter to star the All-Star Game was Chris Carpenter in 2005. Before that, I believe you might have to go back to Bob Gibson if I'm not mistaken.

Well, now that I've managed to get that image out of my mind (although I'd be happy for Don Mattingly), let's look at a fantastic relic card of Erin fave Troy Tulowitzki. Tulo has been one of the best players in the game in the first half, so it was cool to see him named captain of one of the Home Run Derby teams. The only problem is that I seem to be growing really tired of the Home Run Derby. Maybe it's too much Chris Berman or maybe it really is just a tired event?

Chunter collects some basketball and he dug up a few jersey cards that were right up my alley. Jerryd Bayless didn't have the biggest run as a Blazer, but he's established himself as a solid combo guard and bench option in the league. D.J. Augustin has bounced around a bit, but he's also an established vet at this point.

This one is right up my alley, as we have both a (former) Blazer and a former Oregon Duck. Ridnour was a fantastic player in college and is about to enter his 12th season in the NBA, this time as a member of the newly rechristened Charlotte Hornets. I was a little confused about the color of Ridnour's jersey swatch, and when I read the back it turns out that while Webster's is supposedly from an NBA game, Ridnour's is from a Rookie Challenge. He was in his 5th season when this card came out, so that tells you that Upper Deck was probably sitting on piles of musty old barely "worn" Ridnour jerseys at this point. Still, it's a great card for my collection for multiple reasons.

Finally, here's a more clearly identified Rookie Challenge jersey, from current Blazer Wesley Matthews. Wes wasn't about to give up his #2 when the Blazers signed Steve Blake last week, never mind that Blake is joining the team for the third time and has worn that number for both of his previous terms with the team.

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