Sunday, August 20, 2017

Fightin' Archives

Long ago I often tried to put together team sets of Cardinals cards from those per pack autograph sets.  I think it probably started with the 1999 SP Signature set which had a Musial autograph and also featured the hot rookie prospect of the day, J.D. Drew........

with those two crossed off the list, I was left with tracking down Fernando Tatis and the memorable Chris Haas.  Not much of challenge.  

I went on collecting Cardinals autographs like this for a long time, but at some point I started to loop back around and pick up the players' autographs who ended up on the Cardinals.  I kind of think it was probably some point around 2005 or 2006 when I was really into players like Scott Rolen and Jim Edmonds.  Initially it didn't really seem like it was that hard of a challenge.  Aaron Miles, David Eckstein, Juan Encarnacion.....

They all seemed to be fairly inexpensive and easy to track down.  Then I started digging deep.  Have you ever seen a 1999 SP Signature Ron Gant?  I have seen one too, they are expensive.  They also don't pop up that often.  Do I have one?  Nope.  There are other sets where I have expanded out my collection to include players who were not in a Cardinals uniform on their card, but appeared with the team at some point during their career.  

One of my longer running efforts has been tracking down the former Cardinals players in the 2001 Topps Archives set.  Like always, some were easy to find, but others have been really hard.  

Earlier this summer I finally managed to track down a George Hendrick card from the Archives set.  I had been looking for a copy of that card for several years now, but could never find one at a price that I really wanted to pay.  It took time, but it was worth the wait.....

While I was crossing George off of my Cardinals list I also spotted a card that had inadvertently been crossed off my list of cards needed from the 2001 Archives set.  As I recall I had found this particular card at one point, bought it and crossed it off my list, and then was stiffed by the Ebay seller.  I had to double check to make sure it hadn't ended up in one of my autograph boxes in the wrong spot, but after that was ruled out, I went back and looked for another copy of the Curt Simmons autograph.

I found one.  

Now, of course I would always prefer to find cards of a former Cardinals in a uniform with the birds on the bat.  Not always possible though.  In Simmons case, there are actually Cardinals certified autographs of him, but this is a great looking card.  I know the P on his hat looks goofy and out of proportion, but everything else about this card is outstanding.  

You've got the 1951 Topps design, the cool old fashion Phillies uniform (hat doesn't bother me that much, and that cool painted/art card look that appeared on many early 1950s Topps cards.  I am not sure how many times Topps has reprinted different players 1951 Topps cards, but I like that in the 2001 Archives set they used the actual same design, but just left the facsimile signature out of the box in favor of the autograph.  

Most of all I like the Fightin' Phils logo down at the top of the player name plate.  I know that there are people who think that some of the older logos look ridiculous, but I wish teams would bring them back every once in awhile.  Sure the Fightin' Phils logo looks like it might have been designed by a high school kid....

Which brings me to Simmons and the Cardinals.  He was traded over the Cardinals during the 1960 season and had some very good seasons with the Cardinals culminating in helping the 1964 team comeback to overtake the Phillies and defeat the Yankees in the World Series.  Pretty nice player on a very nice piece of cardboard.  


  1. 1999 SP Signature is one of my all-time favorite autographed sets. Great design. Love how the autographs pop off of the card. I almost enjoy them as much as I enjoy Archives autographs.

    1. I agree. Definitely one of the better large scale per-pack autograph sets in my opinion.

  2. I wish Silent George had an auto in a Cardinals uniform. I have the Stadium Club relic, but an auto would be very sweet.

    1. I had a Stadium Club George Hendrick card, traded it to someone ten years ago, and have never found another one. If I had known I would have never traded it.

  3. I agree. That's a great set. If I hadn't started collecting the Decades autos I probably would have gone after those.