Thursday, July 25, 2019

'90s Cardinals Doing '90s Things

So excited! 

As I get ready to catch a few more Cardinals games (this time at Busch!), here's some good stuff from a huge stack of cards sent by All Cardinals All The Time that I received back in late February. The Ray Lankford collector extraordinaire sent me a ton of his dupes from some very neglected areas of my '90s section. (I'm pretending here that I have a section specifically for the '90s.)

Brian Jordan is just signing a helmet. He has big arms! Well, I can only confirm here that he has one big arm. It would be weird if the other one was normal sized.

I don't have a ton of Eck cards seeing as how his time with the Cardinals was a bit limited, so it's always nice to get one that I didn't have.

Having the most Ray Lankford cards on the planet (I imagine, at least) means that you've even got dupes of 1st Day Issue parallels. That's awesome.

I am not really sure what Ray is doing right here.

I clearly wasn't paying as close attention to the team as I do now back in 1997, since I used to get Mark Sweeney confused with Mike Sweeney on a regular basis. I should have remembered Sweeney from the EA game Triple Play '97, which I played a ton on the PC at the time (instead of watching real baseball, apparently.)

It wouldn't be the '90s (and specifically the '90s in Cardinals) without a fancy Big Mac card. He'll never be one of my favorite players, but this scanned well and I like it.

Early Matt Morris! With an unpeeled protector!

We finally say goodbye to the '90s (not that these cards were in any significant order) with this Metal Universe Edgar Renteria from 2000. These scan a bit better than most of your typical foilboard cards. Is that because of the unique texture?

Finally, I collected quite a bit of the 1990 Panini Sticker album set, but I didn't realize that the following year's stickers were so small. These are just slightly wider (and shorter) than a "tobacco" mini.

Go Cardinals!

Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Winning Cards

A winning slot in a @CrackinWax group break netted me some free cards. 

I've had a very weird week both personally and professionally, which is neither here nor there because... hey, look! Free cards! Every purchase in a Crackin' Wax box break gains you an entry into a monthly free box break (assuming they hit some sort of sales goal), and I managed to win one of these spots. The break involved some fancy cards that don't fit into my personal collection, so these will all be added to my trading coffers.

This is probably a good time to mention that I own zero Bowman High Tek cards. If you have any (Cardinals, of course) that you're willing to spare, I'd love to hear about it.

The bulk of the cards I received were from the latest Museum Collection set, like this Canvas Collection reproduction card of Gleyber Torres. That makes two Torres cards that I acquired. My slot ended up being a triple team White Sox/Mets/Yankees package deal, apparently.


I invoked the name "Mets" and didn't immediately gets swallowed up into a dark black void, so I'll say it again. Here's a Mets pitcher. Mets, Mets, Mets!

Give Crackin' Wax a shot if you're looking to throw some (group break) money around. They're kind of the best.

Monday, July 22, 2019

The Week in New Cardinals Cards

I bought new packs and pulled a few new Redbirds. 

Each one of these pickups could probably have been part of a separate post, but I don't have a lot to say about the newest releases right now that tons of others haven't probably already said. Allen & Ginter continues to be Allen & Ginter, with the added bonus of a weird card numbering snafu that I assume Topps will never cop to. Does Topps ever apologize for anything? Do they have to? I guess that's what happens when you're a monopoly.

I ended up liking the cards in hand a lot more than I liked the samples, though. It probably helps that two of the three Cardinals I pulled had weird old-timey dudes in the background. Minis are the same as always, and come in several variants including the usual black bordered version like Hudson here.

Miles Mikolas just looks like he belongs on an Allen & Ginter card. He's feeling right at home.

In any case, I'm sure I'll collect this set. It'll probably be a better idea, however, if I wait until blasters drop to $15 and retail boxes drop to $40 like they have in the recent past.

I did actually post something about Stadium Club here, but I didn't pull any Cardinals in my pack. I did get this horrendous Photoshopped card in my pack tonight, however. Stadium Club should be for the photo purists, but sadly it is not.

I also bought a blaster (?) of Topps Stickers (?!) immediately after I left the card show a week ago. In case you hadn't heard, these are full-sized this year and have card-like backs (of other players, of course.)

This is one of the sticker backs. It's fine. It's nice to see Topps trying something different again. I think they switched back to making the stickers themselves after several years of farming these out to Panini (I presume) like the good ol' days. These no longer seem to say "Made in Italy" anywhere on them.

I'd love to see a Fleer Sticker Project style deep dive into Topps Stickers on the internet someday. I know there's some info out there, but not nearly enough, at least for me.

Friday, July 19, 2019

The "Best" Set

Literally the Best. 

One of my quests this summer has been to buy at least one minor league team set every paycheck or so. Of course, I'm hitting all of the low-hanging fruit right now, searching for low priced deals on stuff that has probably been sitting around in someone's old dusty basement for a spell. (That's where I used to keep my cards.) One of my latest acquisitions was the 1987 Best Springfield Cardinals set. It is glorious, but for all the wrong reasons I suppose.

Minor league sets, especially early ones, are especially known for awkward amateur photography as much as they're known for not-quite-seen-everyday cards of future major leaguers. This is expected with a set like this, but these cards are hilariously awful in different way. Best, which would go on to be the preeminent minor league card manufacturer of the '90s (for whatever that is worth), made a pretty sad effort at some of their earlier releases. These cards are almost magazine thin. They're somehow much flimsier than the '86 Donruss release that they ripped off in the first place.

Ballboy or real ball player?

My scanner is less than great, but this does do well to show the great variance in color shades used on these cards. I can imagine someone constantly messing with the toner tray at the Best factory when these were rolling off the presses.

Here are some of the guys that you've heard of. Bernard Gilkey (not sure why some of these names were so formally written) would go on to become a staple of the '90s Cardinals teams.

Mike Perez became of the better St. Louis relievers and appeared on that sorta but not quite iconic 1993 Upper Deck card.

Todd Zeile, of course, played the game at a high level and lasted for sixteen seasons. He somehow didn't make an All-Star team in all of those years, which probably puts him into a weird category.

If for some reason you have any old minor league team sets (or single cards, I'm not picky!) of Cardinals affiliates or Portland Beavers, let me know. There's a good chance I'm interested.

Monday, July 15, 2019

Card Show Foundlings

A dead indoor mall is the place to be one Saturday a month. 

I go through the motions about once a month, tempted to peruse the wares at the monthly card show but also wanting to sleep in as long as I want and generally be lazy after a long work week. Sometimes the card show wins the battle, as was the case this past weekend.

I'll start things off by showing the last cards I snagged. I was on my way out the door when I decided to look at one last table, and was about to pay for a stack of things I found in a 5-for-$1 bin when I decided to take a quick glance at a different, dollar box. Standing out from the rest of the bunch was a stash of Cardinals jersey cards -- these Cardinals jersey cards! -- and no others to speak of. I believe there was only one non-Cardinal card that got left behind. I am pretty sure I own at least one or two of these, but I decided (at the time) that these were meant for me.

Most of my pick-ups were for pocket change, though, like a pair of Allen Iverson Topps rookie cards. I don't collect him, but I couldn't pass these up. I'm not sure what I am doing with them yet, but I decided they might be useful to someone someday. Iverson always seemed like he was mad... even in his rookie year, apparently?

This is a special swirly parallel of a rookie card of a Ducks guy I collect. Bell wreaked havoc on the Blazers in the playoffs with the Warriors lineup a bit depleted, so it was kind of surprising to me that they moved on from him. I'll be seeing even more of Bell next season as he signed on with the Timberwolves, who are in the Blazers division.

Some of you may have seen me post a picture of this ridiculous card on Twitter over the weekend. Apple had already fazed out their old-school Macintosh font (Chicago!) by the time of this card's release (1999), but Fleer still believed they were living in the future here. A future of infinite J.D. Drews. This actually came along with its own screw down case, which was certainly worth more than the card itself.

I snagged a few interesting 1980-81 Topps cards in pristine shape for just a couple of dimes a piece. You might think the opportunity to get a dirt cheap card with Dr. J on it was my main incentive, but I actually wanted the card for the airbrushed ex-Trail Blazer Abdul Jeelani. You can see a portion of the Blazers team name showing on Jeelani's teammate behind him.

I actually bought quite a few newer Blazers cards, as this show started to buck the trend of me avoiding the (usually overpriced) cards of the local heroes in favor of baseball guys that are less of a local interest. I'm not really that interesting in dropping a dollar on a new Blazers base card, but inserts and parallels at five-for-a-buck? I'll take it!

I wasn't aware of this, but Fleer made an entire Albert Pujols insert set to go with their 2004 Showcase product, with each card numbered to 1000. I now own two of them. These also cost me $1, which is usually more than I prefer to pay for Pujols cards these days. The numbering didn't hurt, though. I'm sure there are thousands more Pujols cards that I don't even know about, though.

Back to basketball with another Ducks guy. Dorsey was traded to the Grizzles in the middle of last season and saw his playing time increase quite a bit.

I had to buy this card. No explanation necessary.

I'll leave you with this one from 51 years ago. I really need to spend more time acquiring older cards, as my collection has way more needs than haves in this area.

Monday, July 8, 2019

Stadium Club of Thrones

It's a pack break of that new stuff. 

I blew through a lot of money on my vacation that week, so card funds will probably be a bit limited this month. Of course, this always the time that I actually managed to find something interesting on the shelves. I managed to keep myself to just a single "value" pack of the new Stadium Club set during some errands last night. Let's take a look at those cards right now.

104 - Corbin Burnes - Burnes is new, but he will always remind me of the L.A. Law (and Psych!) actor Corbin Bernsen.

26 - Cal Ripken Jr. - One of the great challenges of these sets must be finding new photos to use every season for their crop of retired players. This shot of Ripken isn't immediately familiar to me, though a fan of his would probably recognize this from somewhere.

126 - Billy Hamilton - It looks like the already offensively limited Hamilton has struggled even by his standards so far with his new team.

63 - Dustin Pedroia - The player name font reminds me quite a bit of a certain recently ended HBO series.

108 - Willians Astudillo - I honestly have no real idea who this is, so it was a bit surprising to not see an RC logo on the front of this. I've only heard his name mentioned in passing among folks in one of my fantasy leagues.

245 - Lou Gehrig - I don't mind colorized photos on cards for some reason, but this one seems a bit weird to me for whatever reason.

44 - Alex Bregman - I had Bregman winning the Home Run Derby tonight in a contest, but he didn't make it out of the opening round. I suppose I was impressed with what he did last year? I'm not really sure.

BT-22 - Christian Yelich Beam Team - These inserts have long been the jewel of the Stadium Club experience, at least since they premiered (in NBA cards maybe?) This one seems a bit less fancy to me.

32 - Trey Mancini Sepia - Topps brought back their sepia/orange parallels for another year.

193 - Byron Buxton - Not a bad photo from what I assume was an on-field stretching exercise and not totally posed or anything.

192 - Sandy Koufax - Are there really not that many photos of Koufax? This one seems very familiar. He wasn't a pre-war guy or anything.

246 - Juan Soto - I don't think much of the Nationals, but I love this card. It looks great.

So there we have it. I do post the occasional pack break over at APTBNL, but I hadn't done one here in awhile. I'll probably hang on to most of these (inserts aside) for awhile and then talk myself out of collecting this set in a couple of months, because I never finish anything.