Monday, January 30, 2017

From Cardinal Fan to Cardinal Fan

Another Christmas surprise came from a fellow Cardinals fan. 

Often times, a team collector will end up trading with the enemy, gathering up piles of cards representing a hated rival team, feeling a sense of relief when said cards are out of the house. Other times, like this one, it's a friendly exchange of ideas, er, ballplayers from the team you root for. Some of these friendlies arrived shortly before Christmas from Ray of All Cardinals All the Time, knocking some more Cards cards off the want lists.

No, this isn't a '64 Gibby with oddly sharp corners, coloring and lettering. Surprisingly, I needed this 2011 Topps 60 Years of Topps insert. My want list gets a little bit suspect around the 2011-2012 years, but I'm starting to clean things up a bit. Still, I was surprised to learn I needed this card.

Much of 2012 Topps is an undocumented mess, so look for me to be adding some parallel and insert needs to my list in the coming weeks. Jon Jay's blue Walmart parallel won't be among those, thanks to Ray. Jay was a very solid player in his time in St. Louis, someone who was often asked to make up for lack of productivity in other outfield spots or just cover for injured players.

Finally, here's a couple of Motte's. If you're sensing a theme here, these are all former Cardinals who were part of the Cardinals 2011 World Series run.

My scanner ate part of this 2012 Bowman Platinum insert, but you can at least see that this is a die cut of the former Cardinal closer. I didn't even know that these die cuts existed, but I feel like I never fully jumped on board the Bowman Platinum train.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

A Bunch of Jablonski

The trade winds blow from @adamk0310 and Infield Fly Rule. 

As I ponder another collecting organization dilemma (Zistle vs. The Trading Card Database), it's time to sort through some more stuff I received last month as part of a flurry of activities around the holidays. Infield Fly Rule is all about the Rockies, and a number of my personal collections involve players who came through Colorado at some point during their career, so it's a good trading fit.

In fact, this was a rare junk wax need, a card depicting the Big Cat's lost season in St. Louis -- complete with shiny new expansion team logo.

Matt Holliday is now a former Cardinal as well as former Rockie, which, again, is going to take some getting used to. I didn't Own this Own the Game insert, but now I do in fact Own it.

My DK collection has gone into a bit of a state of neglect, so it was nice to finally add something to it. I am lacking in cards from his Rockies days.

From the same set, Luis Ordaz didn't make much of an impact in his career, sporting a career .522 OPS. Yikes.

Adam also sent a whole pile of cards for Erin's collections, which will have to be sorted through on another rainier day. This is one of Tulo's last cards with Colorado, from 2015 Topps Archives in the style of 1983.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

All This and Steve Sax, Too!

My second ever card of 3-time All-Star Curt Simmons is a certified autograph. 

In the midst of endless reproductions of Hank Aaron, Willie Mays and Mickey Mantle cards (well, not him so much anymore), a lot of good to great players of the past end up getting lost in the shuffled. Topps Archives, in their various incarnations over the years, shines a light on some of the lesser known but still fondly remembered players. (This selection process also leads to some odd places, as I touched on last night.) I was honestly drawing a blank when I first pulled out this Curt Simmons card from 2016, courtesy of the legendary Night Owl.

It wouldn't be a Night Owl trade envelope without some quality want list needs. My massive, but quietly shrinking 2016 Ginter list took another dent. Mr. Brown here is an actor, as noted by the camera icon in the upper right hand corner. He was in Field of Dreams, which is clicking with me now, but I never would have made the connection without reading the facts on the back.

This, er, last year's Heritage was also taken down a peg. Here's a confident looking Dillon Gee, looking pleased that I have fewer cards to collect. He would be displeased at the current state of my closets, however.

In the Cardinals section of said closets, this David Freese insert from Panini's 2013 Hometown Heroes set ticks another box. I've been swimming in base cards from this set from kind traders everywhere, but I've barely even seen any of the non-base stuff since I was still holding a grudge against unlicensed MLB cards in 2013.

This is a really, really busy Allen & Ginter design, but the Wizard is doing his best to fit within the tiny frame that he's given.

Sometimes you get a Steve Sax card from a Dodgers collector! As quickly as I put down the 1993 Upper Deck set, the other junk wax(ish) era set that I dared put together through this blog still isn't complete. I'm an idiot for neglecting one of my first true (cardboard) loves, but I'm down to needing just Tom Brookens and Bob Freaking Dernier to finish off the set that taught 10 year old me about team colors.

Because I arrived super late to the 2015 Stadium Club (exclusive VIP) party, this... er... LAST year's set doesn't get enough love from me. It's great. I need more. But I have quite a few other things to think about at the moment, including those stupid closets.

Monday, January 16, 2017

Nothin' But Bangers

A-sides, hit singles, chart toppers, etc. 

When you deal with Baseball Card Breakdown, you know you're gonna get the good stuff. We completed a trade all the way back in the fall of 2016 involving a George Brett relic that I pulled, as well as some other items in my trade box, and Gavin responded in kind with a whole mess of shiny Cardinals.

Jack Flaherty is, the internet assures me, a starting pitcher and not a base burning infielder as his photo might suggest. He just completed his third season of pro ball at the age of 20, so it may be awhile yet before we know what kind of player he is.

David Freese, former World Series Hero and the pride of St. Louis, appears here on this gold plated Triple Threads card numbered to 99.

I'm not sure that I'd ever seen one of these gold parallels from the inaugural Bowman Platinum set from way back in 2010. This one features... sigh... former Cardinal Matt Holliday. That's going to take some getting used to.

Another one of my favorites of the bunch is this snazzy blue Prizm Matt Carpenter from 2015. Does everyone else work "snazzy" into your casual conversation at least once a day? No? Well, you should.

Adam Ottavino, when healthy, has been a surprisingly effective reliever with the Rockies after washing out as a Cardinal. Of course, it's that whole health thing that he needs to work on now.

Hopefully this is the year that Michael Wacha rebounds and can show some more of what he previewed back in 2013 when he was the NLCS MVP, but I am afraid my brain is copy-pasting these same words from another post from a year ago, and another one from two years ago, and probably another one from three years ago. We'll see.

I thought that Eduardo Perez was a really strange choice for the 2016 Archives Fan Favorites autographs set. He spent a number of years with the Cardinals, but mostly served as a backup/pinch hitting type. His most prominent playing time with the Redbirds came in replace of an ailing Scott Rolen as I recally. I can only assume he's in here because of his post-playing career broadcast work with ESPN.

Finally, Gavin is known for his inventive custom cards, and this is as good as it gets if you ask me. Here's 1990 Donruss-style Ozzie Smith, from the beloved Homer at the Bat episode of the Simpsons.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Contest Results!

I'm gonna need some addresses from a few of you. 

Before I get into the details, I am going to need the following people to send me an email with your current mailing address:

  • MrHaverkamp
  • Raz
  • Rhubarb_Runner
  • Need More Cardboard
Got it? Good. Collectively, our group was not very good at picking bowl games, but some were better than others. Raz picked the most games correctly, but it's MrHaverkamp who came away the overall winner by scoring the most points.

And yes, Rhubarb_Runner was last again. Someone is really going to have to start drinking heavily and take him down next year with some faulty predictions. (By the way, I finished in 65,337th place nationally.)

As mentioned previously on the blog, Need More Cardboard and were the co-winners of the Belk portion of the contest. I still need addresses from all.

Thanks for playing!

Monday, January 9, 2017

A Glance at December's Loot

Another trip to @thelootlocker reveals another hit. 

Since I knew I wouldn't be receiving any cards as gifts this holiday season (people tend to know better than to do something like that), I purchased myself a gift once again at The Loot Locker. Here's a brief look at some of the stuff I pulled.

2016 Bowman's Best

The first pack was my first look at 2016 Bowman's Best. I hadn't really read or seen anything about this product prior to my puchase, but I was pleasantly surprised. Pulling an Alex Reyes card will do that. To check out the whole pack, head over to APTBNL.

2016 Bowman Chrome

This pretty much says it all. Huang is a 23 year-old pitching prospect from Taiwan. He spent some time with the Hillsboro Hops last season, which is now, sadly, the closest professional baseball team in proximity to Portland.

2016 Topps Chrome (x2)

I've pulled this before, but I'm sure it will make some Cubs fan (besides Twitch) happy.

These are fun looking. Do people like Kiermaier?

And this one was a double to me, but I had to scan it since it was a Cardinal card. 2 Cardinals cards pulled out of 18 is a pretty good ratio.

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

'Twas the Season

Still cleaning up the wrapping paper. 

I don't get many traditional Christmas cards, but I did end up with a couple of surprise little white envelopes around the holiday from kind bloggers out there. I'm sure their generosity will be rewarded in the new year. One such holiday gift came from Trevor of Bump and Run, who included a Press Proof auto parallel of the young Cardinals prospect Luke Weaver. Weaver found his way into the rotation for 8 starts last season, and will no doubt be competing for a spot on this year's roster.

Martell Webster was plucked straight out of high school, back when they used to allow that sort of thing. Injuries more or less forced him out of pro basketball in recent years, and he's focusing on a new career in hip-hop.

Josh Huff, seen here on a gorgeous looking card from the 2014 Topps Valor set, recently got the boot from the Eagles after being arrested due to some sort of combination of guns and high speed traveling. He was quickly signed by Tampa Bay and will remain in my collections as he's also a former Duck. Hopefully he slows down and leaves the guns behind next time.

I've been working on my want lists lately and am slowly creeping up on the mid-'90s. This Stadium Club card from 1995 was missing from my collection until it was sent to me with some more fine holiday wishes by Stealing Home. (P.S. -- I am missing a lot of 1994 Fleer.)