The Secret Weapon is one of those Cardinals that every citizen of Redbird Nation adores. This season he has been away from his Third Base Coaches box because of some health issues.
Jose was born in Puerto Rico in 1963 and signed with the Mets in 1979 when he was only 15! Eventually traded to the Cardinals he would spend all of 1985 at Triple A Louisville. When he did make it the bigs the Wizard had shortstop locked up they would play Jose at different positions with 1987 being the season he played every position except catcher see above. As a Result Whitey Herzog would give him the nickname “The Secret Weapon”.
In 1988 he would actually complete the process and play catcher for a game. In 1989 he become the Redbirds starting 2nd baseman with only 5 errors in 851 chances. An injury in 1992 put him out for most of the season. After which he became a utility player until his retirement in 1996 when he failed to make the Birds roster out of Spring Training. After coaching in the Redbirds Minor League system he became a bench coach in 1998 for their MLB team and then 3rd base Coach.
St. Louis natives and Redbird Nation citizens the Sklar brothers had a one-hour comical special on ESPN where they went to the Baseball Hall of Fame to lobby for Jose to enter the hall. They collected signatures and gave a presentation to the HOF committee at the end of which a utility closet in the HOF was given his name. Here is the 5th part of the special when he gets his utility closet
Recently one of my favorite Ebay sellers had a lot of 31 al different Jose Oquendo up for bid for $3.76 w/$3.25 shipping. Unsurprisingly, I was the only bidder. Why would I spend $7.01 for this lot?
See the left hand corner card? Yep, that is a 2004 Topps Fan Favorites Auto. Score!
Well worth the price of the lot, sure I added a few base cards-6 in total in addition to the auto-to our collection. But adding to our Archives Auto Collection for less than the price of a value pack is always good.
Nineteen sixty marked the first year of the St. Louis Cardinals. The Cardinals would share the baseball Cardinals' Sportsman’s Park.
The Cardinals had a hard time selling seats since it was many years since they had a NFL team and interest was low. The Football Cardinals would finish the year with a record of 6-5-1, which placed them 4th in the NFL Eastern Conference. The 1960 roster included Sonny Randle (OE). He would have 365 career receptions, and a total of 5, 996 yards over 11 seasons, John David Crow (RB), 1957 Heisman Trophy winner as a halfback for the Texas A&M, and #1 Draft pick by the Chicago Cardinals in 1958 (2nd overall). Bobby Joe Conrad (WR/K) with 422 career receptions and 5,902 yards. Joe Childress (RB/WR), Mal Hammack (RB), and long time HOFer Cardinal Larry Wilson (DB) with 52 career interceptions.
There were two football card sets featuring the new Cardinals. The 1960 Topps set with 10 cards and one team sticker and the local 1960 Mayrose Franks Food issue consisting of 11 cards that were wrapped in plastic and inserted in packs of Mayrose Franks and Bacon. So condition is a challenge.
1960 Topps is a pretty straightforward vertical design-portrait and position and player/team name in a colored football on the front with bio repeated, previous year and life stats with a spot to rub that reveals a cartoon on the reverse, all of this on a green background.
I really like the Mayrose cards-the Red/White front with action shot, and short bio-are very attractive. The reverse gives details on how to get your free Cardinals tickets via mail in. I picked up three of these recently-they are remarkable. Here are the three-King Hill, Ted Bates, and Don Gillis.
Several months ago I picked up some inexpensive vintage STL Cardinals football cards at the annual TriStar show (Here). This triggered an interest in Cardinal Football cards-call it old man reminiscing, which it is, but it is also the ascetic of the cards themselves. Thus begins the first in a series of 28, or so, posts featuring the history, and cards, of the St. Louis Football Cardinals AKA “The Big Red” which called the STL its home from 1960 to 1988.
I know I have mentioned that I am not really a fan of modern professional football-this dislike began with the owner’s shenanigans that led to the Cardinals move to Phoenix. It was then at the age of 20 that I realized how F’ed up the NFL is.
More recently the abuse scandals, the extreme showboating, taunting, and excessive violence, and the loss of yet another team-this time the Rams-with even more owner shenanigans was the final straw. The only football I care about is the to U of Ms, University of Missouri and University of Michigan.
Obviously some Arizona fans have strong feelings about Bill Bidwill
Alas, as indicated above owner bribes, triangulation, and other manipulations led to the moving of the Cardinals to Phoenix following the 1987 season. However, this wasn’t the first time for this franchise. Nope, they pulled some of the same crap when the owners moved the team from Chicago, yes Chicago, to STL before the start of the 1960 season.
I am not going to give a long history of the Chicago Cardinals but I am going to give a brief look at how they got to the STL. Way back in the late 1890s a team started called the Morgan Athletic Club. The name was changed to the Racine Normals because of the team’s field located on Racine Ave. In 1901, the owner purchased some surplus uniforms from the University of Chicago. Apparently these were maroon in color-though the owner exclaimed the color to be Cardinal red and not maroon, which resulted in his changing the team’s name to the Racine Cardinals. This team went bye bye and another team started up and took the Cardinals name and claimed its history. In 1920 the team became a founding member of the American Professional Football Association, which in 1922 became the NFL.
Let us skip ahead to the 1950s. The owners of the Cardinals, the Bidwills, became anxious to get out of Chicago as they became second fiddle to the Bears and only won 33 games in 1950s though they did win the NFL Championship in 1947.
So the move to STL begins -the Bidwills didn’t want to pay the high relocation fee required by the NFL to leave Chicago, and they couldn’t reach a deal with many interested buyers-who would go on to form the American Football League (AFL). When the AFL was formed the NFL became worried that STL would become an AFL City and it became easier for the Cardinals to relocate. So the Bidwills took the Cardinals to the STL, which in the long run sucked for my hometown as it blocked the AFL from expanding to the Gateway City-which in hindsight probably would have been better off with an AFL expansion team.
The Chicago Cardinals transformation to the St. Louis Cardinals was complete.
As far as football cards go-from 1960-1987 the Trading Card Database (TCDB) tells us there were about 636 cards issued during the Cardinals time in STL. I have not counted odd balls such as stamps, or Topps Stickers. The posts to follow will not be this long. Here are some Chicago Cardinal Cards. A 1935 National Chicle Mike Mikulak,
Charles Trippi 1953 Bowman, love that look on his face,
Hopefully I do not offend anyone but as I sit here recovering from Rotator Cuff surgery (hence more frequent posts) I am browsing vintage St. Louis Cardinals (Football) cards on COMC. I am struck by how, for the most part, over the top prices are. I know many readers sell on COMC and I have considered it myself so I recoup some of the money spent on cracking boxes etc. However, I rarely buy from them. I think I have-twice, once some cheap Redbird autos and another some odd ball cards including a few OPC. But for vintage there is no way I would shop on the site. Below are some examples of what I have found.
A raw NM/MT copy of Jim Hart 's 1968 Topps rookie card on COMC has a list price of $45.25. On the Bay a raw NM/MT copy has a BIN price of $16.15 from a dealer that I have bought from.
Another example is a raw NM 1963 Topps #153 Jimmy Hill. On COMC this will set you back $30.25. On the Bay the below PSA 8 NM/MT copy is yours with a BIN price of $14.95.
Finally, a brief example from the '70s. A high number raw NM/MT 1972 Topps #327 Miller Farr on COMC will set you back $50.25. This PSA 9 copy has a BIN price of $47.99 on the Bay.
I am not trying to rip on COMC. When I ordered from them I received excellent service. From what I understand they offer better seller terms? I am interested on how others utilize COMC. What am I missing? What do others typically buy from COMC? I know many folks swear by them but I need a little more convincing and guidance.
So I am sitting here scanning the Bay when I come across the whopper.
PSA 1 NAPOLEON REYES 1945 1946 Caramelo Deportivo Cuban League #73 Pop 1/1 RARE!
This eBay listing is for the RAREST BASEBALL CARD OF ALL-TIME! Forget the T206 Honus Wagner card! PSA has 32 of those, including 1 that is a PSA 8 grade! THIS CARD is the most scarce baseball card in existence! In fact, THIS IS THE ONLY PSA-GRADED EXAMPLE (IN ANY GRADE!) of the 1945-46 Caramelo Deportivo Cuban League card #73, Napoleon Reyes! This card is graded PSA 1 mk (mark) and that's it -- there are no others graded higher, no others graded lower, no others in the same grade! THIS IS A POP 1 CARD, PERIOD. I have been on quest for this card for many, many years, and now here it is! The story behind this card is amazing! At the time the cards of this set were issued, they were only issued in Cuba, and, to obtain the Reyes card, you had to collect all the other 72 cards in the set, stick them in an album, and bring the album to a building on a certain day when a public official was there to verify your set and then personally glue the Reyes card into your album to complete the set. So, as you can imagine, very few of these Reyes cards survived at all -- I AM A LIFELONG COLLECTOR OF ALMOST 50 YEARS AND I HAVE ONLY EVER SEEN 2 OTHER EXAMPLES OF THIS REYES CARD -- BOTH UNGRADED AND UNABLE TO BE GRADED BECAUSE THEY WERE UNABLE TO BE REMOVED FROM THE ALBUM THEY WERE GLUED IN TO! Now, here is THE CARD -- THE ONLY CARD OF ITS KIND GRADED BY PSA -- EVER! WHAT A FIND! Be sure to check out my other eBay listings for other rare sports cards and memorabilia of all-time great players like Babe Ruth, Ty Cobb, Michael Jordan, LeBron James and Wayne Gretzky!
Price:US $85,500.00!!!!!!!!!! Shipping $49.99!!! (I haven't altered the above text)
So what does 86K get ya? It must be a real rare card? One of a kind? Yeah?
Yes a NAPOLEON REYES 1945 1946 Caramelo Deportivo Cuban League #73.
Here is my 1945 1946 Caramelo Deportivo Cuban League Mike Gonzalez. Set me back $9.99.
Admittedly I have a man crush on Jim Edmonds, perhaps it's his movie star good looks, his Orange County lifestyle (probably not),
and/or his amazing defense and offense.
For what ever reason I really enjoyed Jimmy Ballgame when he played with the Birds. Unfortunately, he came to the Cardinals after I moved to Michigan so I didn't see him as much as I wish I could of. I will however ignore his time with the Cubs. I forgot which blogger asked a few years ago about who we have accidentally began a PC of. Well Jimmy is that guy for me.
So I pick up lots of his cards for reasonable prices. So for $8.80 I won a lot of 203 Jimmies. Though not all Redbirds I was able to add a number of Redbirds, Angels, and even a Padre to the unofficial PC. Out of 203 cards I added 111 in all, or 8 cents per. Here are some of my favorites.