Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Yadi card of the week #13


In honor of Albert Pujols’ 500th career home run this week’s Yadi card is 2007 Topps' flagship #329 Classic Combo. Yadi shares this card with his good friend and former Cardinal Albert Pujols. This card is interesting for several reasons; first Yadi is a wee bit chubbier than he is now, baby got back. Second it looks like they are doing an elbow pump versus a fist pump. I seem to remember the bash brothers did this back in the day. All of this is framed in black with three groupings of four squares, one in blue on the bottom and one each in red in the top corners. Not sure what the purpose of these is? They remind me of a scan survey I will be doing with clients this week. I think the black is a good change from the white that Topps has been using for the last few years. At the top is the Topps’ logo above the team name both in silver. The bottom has a colored border with Classic Combo, then Yadi and Albert’s names in opposite corner separated by the four square box. Since I don't have a scanner I will spare you the reverse this week. This card comes in a number of different versions and parallels which include a red back variation, gold numbered to 2007 (pictured), bronze numbered to 56, and a 1st Edition too. We have the regular, red back, and gold.



Better than a Blaster logistics

I like the idea of reviewing lots of cards of Cards I pick up on the inter web but I have been kicking around how best to rank them. I am leaning towards a 1 to 3 blaster box rating based on quality, value, and expectations. A rating of one blaster for unsatisfied, two blasters satisfied, and three blasters very satisfied. Quality is based on the quality of cards, for example too much junk wax? Too many doubles? Damaged cards? Value is doubles subtracted from promised total divided by actual number of cards. I will deduct those cards I know we have. Expectations are those I have for the item based on the item description.

The format may look something like this:

Number of cards in lot: 400
Cost of lot with shipping: $10.00
Cost per card of unduplicated cards: .03 cents per card.
Quality: 3 Blasters
Value: 3 Blasters
Expectations: 2 Blasters

Way Way back I seem to recall there used to be checklist books for teams in which all cards of a particular team are listed. I sure could use one for the Cardinals.

Monday, April 28, 2014

STL MLB Player of the Week #11


Ryan James Howard was born in STL on November 19, 1979.  He went to Lafayette High School the same school that David Freese attended. No surprise he grew up a Cardinals’ fan. After graduation from high school he went to Missouri State University in Springfield. A word about MO State, before I moved to Michigan it was called Southwest Missouri State and to be honest this is where the really hot, but not really smart, girls went. OK, back to the player at hand. He played at MO State from 1998 to 2001. In college he had a total of 50 home runs, 183 RBIs, and a .335 BA in 172 games. In 1999 he was MO Valley Conference Freshman of the year. His number was retired by the school on December 18, 2010. He was selected by the Phillies in the 5th round of the 2001 draft. He had a spectacular minor league carrier and quickly worked his way up to the big club.  For example he became the 5th minor league player since 1956 to hit 46 home runs. The only hold up for Ryan was a guy named Jim Thome.

On September 1, 2004 he made his d├ębut with the Phillies and promptly struck out at his first at bat. But that was a hiccup as he finished the season very strong. On July 1st, 2005 an injury to Thome gave Ryan the opening he needed and this culminated in his being named NL Rookie of the year for 2005. Ryan became the starting first baseman for the Phillies opening day 2006. On September 3 he went 4-for-4 with three home runs. He was the first Philly to do this and only the 24th in MLB history. For 2006 he would have a .313 BA, 58 home runs, 149 RBIs, and over 100 walks. Ryan won several awards for his performance in 2006 including being named a silver slugger, and more importantly NL MVP. I am not going to give a detailed history of his MLB career, but it is important to note that he and the Phillies were World Series Champions for 2008. Over the last few years he has been plagued by injuries and hasn’t played to his ability.

The cards I have chosen for this post is the 2001 Upper Deck Prospect Premier #62. This is a bad A*& photo of Ryan. He is telling the camera I dare you to pitch to me ‘cause I will crush it, the other card is a 2009 O-Pee-Chee mini. Readers probably remember how much I love the 2009 O-Pee-Chee issue and if I get the promotion I am up for at work a box will be sent my way. Back to the card, I love the color; the photo shows his preparation for an at bat. The obverse is clear, simple, and to the point as other OPCs.
I have always rooted for Ryan not only because he is a hometown boy but because when he is healthy I love to see him do well. I hate to see him go out due to an injury.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

1000 Congrats to Fuji and a contest

I am sure most of us read the The Chronicles of Fuji but if you don't you are missing out. To celebrate his 1000 posting he is a having a contest. Please click his link above and good luck!

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Better than a Blaster #1

I am starting an irregular series of postings titled “Better than a Blaster”. The purpose is to highlight lots of cards for about the price of a blaster ($19.99). This is a result of not picking up many Yadi cards lately due to the high prices of the newer cards and lack of supply of others. So trolling EBay I have been picking up lots of Cardinals cards for good prices. Please keep in mind as I begin to blog these lots that I stopped collecting in about 1985. This resulted in not having most of the Cardinals’ cards from the “Junk Wax” era.

Recently I came  across a BIN lot for $19.99 that had only been listed for a few minuets. What drew me to this lot were 2014 Topps Series 1 Matt Adams and Kolten Wong autos!

Boom worth the price of a blaster to me. They are sticker autos but autos nonetheless. How about a 2014 Series 1 Matt Carpenter black bordered parallel #29 out of 63! Wait there is more numbered goodies to come, 2013 Topps Triple Thread purple Bob Gibson #211 out of 650, and a David Freese purple #551 out of 650.
To wrap up the numbered cards is a 2008 Topps Chrome bronze Rico Washington #435 out of #599.  Wiki tells us that he was on the Cardinals’ roster for about 3 weeks in April 2008. After this he went on to play for a year for Uni-President 7-Eleven Lions of the Chinese Professional Baseball League and he is now with the Kansas City T-Bones.
The lot also included two unnumbered but equally as cool Topps' buybacks 1960 Joe Cunningham (6 years with the Cards) and a 1960 Solly Hemus (8 years as a player and 3 as a manager for the Birds).
Other cards included in the lot were four 2014 Topps Series I red-hot foils of Yadi (already have), Lance Lynn, Kolten Wong, and Matt Adams.  Two 2014 Topps' Ozzie Smith and Waino mini inserts were included as well. I am almost tempted to start two more PC collections of Waino and Al “The Mad Hungarian” Hrabosky. The last insert is a Shelby Miller The Future is Now from 2014 Series I. There were other cards included most of which were Topps and Bowman Chrome, which I may need but I am uncertain. This lot was well worth the price of blaster and I would rate the value at A+.

Where are your team's fans?

Check this NY Times Map out that it details who roots for what team. Surprisingly the Yankees and Red Sox have fans in many places. Is this because of transplants? I suspect this is a good many of the fans for these two teams, perhaps old timers rooting for the team of Mantle, or the not so bad anymore Red Sox.

Yadi card of the week #12

This week’s card is last year’s flagship card #4 which is his number. The horizontal card is framed in white with Yadi wearing the home uniform with his mask in his arms. He shares this card with his good friend Waino. The reason I picked this card is because it does a solid job of showing the relationship he has with Adam Wainwright. They are both smiling and have their hand on each other with illustrates their intimacy. Yadi also shows his trademark smile. The card has Yadi’s name is capitalized along the bottom left with the STL logo in the bottom right.  I am fed up with the white borders of the Topps main product line. Hopefully next year they will go in another direction. So this is a short post but I wanted to make sure I put the Yadi card of the week post up.

Friday, April 25, 2014

2014 Gypsy Queen Case Brea

Recently I participated in a case break of 2014 Gypsy Queen. I have only participated in one previous group break of 2013 A&G and I didn’t think I got my money's worth. So I reluctantly joined another one after strongly considering buying a box for myself, however the price of buying into the break was cheaper than a box so figuring all I wanted is the Cardinals so I bought in. What did we get as a result? Let’s get the most important cards out of the way. The break provided me with a base Yadi
                           , a regular Yadi mini,and a blue-framed Yadi # out of 499.

I was hoping for a mini variation but alas no. What next you say? How about some hall of famers, a base Lou Brock, a base Stan “The Man” and base and variation minis. A base Gibby as well as a blue-framed # out of 499.


No too shabby. How about the vets?  Craig base and variation minis. Did we get any Waino love? Why yes we did. We received a base Waino, a variation mini, a Dealing Aces insert, and the best of all Waino’s black printing plate!





I tried to buy the yellow this week but I didn’t go above $26 and lost it.  How did the young guns fair? The break gave us a black Matt Carpenter Mini # out of 199, but oddly no other Marps, not the SP base card or regular mini.  A Michael Wacha base and a Dealing Aces, a Matt Adams large relic X2, Carols Martinez auto, and Shelby Miller’s SP Base, variation and red bordered mini # out of 99.



I think we got our money’s worth. Sure we didn’t pull any big Yadi hits, but I will take Matt Adams relics, Carlos Martinez autos, and Waino printing plates all day. I am bummed that we didn’t get any base Marps so we don’t have the complete team set. We did receive several mini variations of Waino, Miller, and Craig. So again we don’t have the complete mini set. Up for trade are these variations for a Yadi variation, Marp mini and base.

Monday, April 21, 2014

STL MLB Player of the Week #10

I think we over use terms like hero, courage, tragedy, etc. However, the term pioneer is not used enough. This brings us to this week’s player Elston Howard. As we memorialize Jackie Robinson this time of the year let us not forget the first African-American to play with the Yankees Elston Howard. Elston Gene Howard was born in St. Louis on February 23, 1929. He was a star at Vashon High School a school known for its’ out standing sports programs. In 1948 he was offered scholarships to several Big 10 schools. Let me repeat this, in 1948 at the age of 19 he could have attended a number of Big 10 schools which given the racism at the time was amazing and a testament to who he was as a player and a person. Instead he opted to play in the Negro Leagues with the Kansas City Monarchs as an outfielder for three years. His roommate was Ernie Banks! He signed with the Yankees on July 19, 1950. On April 14, 1955, he became the first African -American to play for the Yankees. He would spend 12 seasons (catcher, 1st base, out fielder) with the Yanks during which he was a 12 time All-Star, 4 times World Champ, 2 times Gold Glove winner, 1963 AL MVP, and his number was retired by the Yanks. His stats with the Yanks were as follows 1492 games played, 5488 plate appearances, 588 runs, 1405 hits, 161 home runs, 733 RBIs, 8 stolen bases, 342 walks, 717 Ks, .279 batting average, and a .760 OPS. He would return to the Yanks as a first base coach in 1969 becoming the first African-American coach in the American League. He would remain a coach with the Yanks for 10 years and would win two more World Series.
On August 3, 1967 he was traded to the Red Sox for a player to be named later. With the Sox for little more than a year he played in 13 games, had 358 plate appearances, 31 runs, 66 hits, 6 home runs, 29 RBIs, 1 stolen base, 31 walks, 69 Ks, a .207 batting average, and an OPS of .564. He would be release by the Sox on October 29th, 1968.

Due to rapid heart failure Elston Howard passed away on December 14, 1980 at the young age of 50. Perhaps I don’t know the Hall of Fame process but it isn’t working if Elston Gene Howard isn’t in it, and he isn’t.

His Rookie card 1955 Bowman #68. 

His last regular issue 1968 Topps #167.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Are you freaking kidding me...

So I am sitting here now watching the 2014 Gypsy Queen Crackin' Wax case break ( I have the Cardinals, of course) and what is pulled? A Carlos Martinez auto! The same one! So when I receive the one from the break it will be up for trade.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

eBay Pick up of the week.

Yes I know it is only Tuesday but since I haven't been bidding much I know no other card will be better than this 2014 Gypsy Queen Carlos Martinez auto. I don't generally buy any Cardinals' autos because they tend to be more $ than I want to spend on non-Yadis. But I put a bid in for this card for the heck of it really. If I don't win it is OK if I do it is a steal. So for little more that than the price of a Opening Day blaster I picked up this Carlos Martinez auto plus three others, Pettibone of the Phillies, Webster of the Bo Sox, and some guy named Jake Odorizzi of the Rays. Jake is from a small town across the river (highland) from STL in Illinois. Highland a town of less than 10K in population produced three other Major Leaguers Ken Oberkfell former Cardinals and World Series champion (1982), Harry Parker, pitcher for the St. Louis Cardinals, New York Mets and Cleveland Indians; Aaron Rakers, relief pitcher for the Baltimore Orioles and San Diego Padres. All but the Martinez card is up for trade.


Yadi card of the week #11

I have always enjoyed Fleer even in the way back early 1980s. 2006 will be remembered for Yadi’s game winning Home Run against the Mets in the 9th inning of game 7 in the LCS and the World Championship. This card is simple but not unattractive. The card is framed in white with rounded corners and the Fleer crown is in the top right hand corner Yadi is photographed in profile and he is in the Cardinals’ white home uniform. He’s standing with his face mask raised above his eyes and appears to be looking down. At this point he has been in the Majors for two years and is still chubby and sans neck tattoo. There is much Cardinal red on this card. The bottom has a bar of red with catcher in the right hand corner. His name is slightly to the left and above in a white bar with a red border along the top. A single bird on a bat is located to the left of his name. This is a very interesting logo and one until recently had been on our car until it was ripped off…by the wind. Don’t worry we will get another for the VW.

The obverse of the card is again very to the point no bells and whistles here. At the top of the card is a grey banner with the card number. To the left is the Cardinals logo again but this time bigger. His name and position is in a band of whit with grey mesh. Below this are his statistics for 2004 and 2005 plus his vitals. There is also a blurb indicating he threw out 25 would-be base stealers in 2005 which helped the Cardinals have the best record in the NL.


For 2006 Yadi played in 129 games, had 417 at bats, 29 runs, 90 hits, 6 homeruns, 49 RBIs, and a batting average of .216. For fielding he caught 1037.1 innings, .995% fielding average, caught 29 would be base stealers, and had 37 successful steals.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Some Pirate booty arrr....

I received a sweet PME from Matt over at Bob Walt the Plank. If you haven’t checked out his blog please do so and take a look at his incredible collection of Andrew McCutchen auto and relics!

Would treasure did the chest reveal? First up 2014 Yadi! I love this card it really shows how mature Yadi has become from his baby face days. Two Yadi cards…nice. The 2014 Topps insert Upper Class is nice insert set. I guess it is suppose to be a yearbook picture? Also included were two 2005 All-star Stitches from Topps’ relic cards from two of my favorite Cardinals. First relics we have for these two Cards.
First is Jimmy “Ballgame” Edmunds who according to my wife may be the best-looking guy to every play baseball. With 217 saves we have the all time saves leader for the Cards Jason Isringhausen.

In 2006 it was painful to watch him close out games as he blew several but all in all a great Cardinal. Then we have a trio of Wainos!



2014 Waino All Fired Up insert from this years Opening Day set, the 2014 Topps base NL Wins leader, and finally a Supper Veteran insert with Waino then and now, wow he looks so young which I guess is the point.  Matt also included some always appreciated Stan “the Man” Musial and David Freese 2013 A&G.
As we all know David is now with the Angels of whatever. When he arrived he took Stan’s number 6 as a tribute to the “the Man”. A pair of Matt “Dreamy Eyes” Carpenter a base 2014 and a Target. Matt  is one our favorites and a player I could build PC of, plus he is a grinder. When we saw the Cards in Oakland we were pretty close to the field and we were surprised how tall and lanky he is.
I know the parallels are designed to suck money from us but I generally like them. Last but not lease the treasure chest included this beauty!

2013 Topps Gibby Commemorative Pin honoring his 1968 1.12 ERA. Gibby is the reason the pitching mound was lowered. Will we ever see an ERA this low again? What a magnificent card. Thank you Matt! Be one look out for booty coming your way. Note to self, never try to mail something the day before taxes are due. Duh..

STL MLB Player of the Week #9

This week’s player is a big one. No not really but his name was James Thomas "Jumbo" Elliott. Jumbo was born in STL on October 22, 1900 and died in Terre Haute, Indiana, IN on January 7, 1970. Jumbo was a left-handed pitcher who played in about 10 seasons in the majors. He debuted with the STL Browns on April 21, 1923. He played in one game and had an ERA of 27! After this performance he was let go by the Browns and signed with the Brooklyn Robins, the who? What the..wait the Dodgers were the Robbins from 1914 until 1931 when they became the Dodgers? I learned something new.  So why didn’t the Dodgers change their name when they shuffled off to LA? Ditto for the Giants and the As. Leave those names where they belong in NY and Philly. With the Robbins AKA Dodgers he played in 115 games, pitched 608.1 innings, had a record of 26 and 38 with an ERA of 3.89, and had 242 Ks and 219 walks, and one save. He was traded to the Phillies on October 14, 1930 with two other players for Lefty O’Doul and one other player. With the Phillies he played in 129 games, pitched 582 innings, had a record of 36 and 35 with an ERA of 4.53, he had 205 Ks, 183 walks, and 7 saves. On May 16, 1934 he was purchased from the Phillies by the Boston Braves (shoulda changed the name). With the Braves for one season he was in 7 games, pitched 15.1 innings, had an ERA of 5.87, struck out 6 and walked 9. On June 14, 1934 he was purchased from the Braves by the Southern League’s Atlanta club. His final game was on June 9, 1934.Jumbo he resided in Terre Haute, IN where he played in 1922 with a minor league team. In 1968 he ran as mayor of Terre Haute but didn’t win.

1933 Goudey #132                                                                   1928 W513




Thursday, April 10, 2014

Topps be lazy

Other bloggers such as Wriglywax have noted the reuse of photos for various Topps issues. So Topps is at it again with the 2014 flagship issue and the 2014 Gypsy Queen Mini Photo Variation. Come on Topps do you think someone isn't going to notice?


Tuesday, April 8, 2014

STL MLB Player of the Week #8

I remember the name Juan Eichelberger from my youth and didn’t know he was born in the STL. Juan was a right-handed pitcher who played 7 seasons in the bigs. Juan Tyrone Eichelberger was born October 21, 1953 in STL. However, he grew up in San Francisco and attended Balboa High School (isn’t this school real close to Ghirardelli Square?). Following graduation in 1971 he attended UC Berkley where he played ball. In the 1975 amateur draft he was drafted in the 1st round (19th pick) by the San Diego Padres. He debuted with the Padres on September 7, 1978 and for the rest of the season had a 10.80 ERA. He spent four more seasons with the Padres where he pitched 432 innings, went 20 and 25, had an ERA of 3.88, 212 SO, and 213 walks. He was traded with one other player to Cleveland on November 18, 1982 for Ed Whitson. He spent one year with the tribe and was 4 and 11, had a 4.90 ERA, 56 Ks, and 59 walks. The Tribe released him on April 1st, 1984 (not an April fools joke). He went on to play with the Brewers, Pirates, ended his career with Atlanta. His final game was June 20,1988. Following the Majors he played one season in Japan with the Yakult Swallows. His career stats were a 26 and 36 record, pitched in 125 games, 603.1 innings, ERA of 4.10, 281 Ks, and 283 walks. The Chicago Cubs drafted his son Jared in 2001 as a right-handed pitcher. Together they now run the youth baseball-training program Baseball ASAP in San Diego, CA.



1981 Topps #478. Sweet A$$ Old school Padres' uni. Let's not mention the even older old school facial hair!