Monday, May 29, 2023

Around The Card Room, Take 7.

My card room is lined by shelves of bobbleheads. At this point, I add sparingly to the collection. There is not an infinite amount of space around the room and I am picky about which bobbleheads make the cut. It's got to be a great bobblehead of a player that I really like to get a space these days.  

For this week's post, I thought it would be fun to revisit my first bobblehead.  

Here's Jimmy.........

The Cardinals gave away this Jim Edmonds bobblehead at some point in 2001 to celebrate his 2000 Gold Glove Award. As previous discussed in another post, all the early Cardinals bobbleheads were attached to some sort of award. The Cardinals gave away three bobbleheads in 2001. Mike Matheny and Jim Edmonds were two of three, along with Mark McGwire.  

This bobble has started to show its age.

The red piping around the edges of Edmonds sleeves and the middle of the jersey has faded to a pink color. The Cardinals logo is a sticker, which has started to crinkle and is slipping on the right side.  

The back is similar.  

You can see the edges of the sticker, especially on the left side of the bobble.  

The rest of the color on the bobblehead has stayed true. Edmonds shoes, hat, and belt are all still red. The baseball diamond and Coca-Cola logo on the bottom have also maintained their color, as has the gold on his glove.  

The bottom of the bobblehead is labeled for his Gold Glove.  

I think some of the black paint from my shelves has ended up on the base. Might try to clean that up a bit while I have it off the shelf.  

Overall, not the best looking bobblehead, nor my favorite, but certainly a memorable one.  

Saturday, May 27, 2023

Just Hope Willson Can Help The Team.....

I was waiting for Topps to put out a Willson Contreras card in a Cardinals uniform.

Sure, I was excited the Cardinals signed him to replace Yadier Molina, but Willson was not super high on my baseball card fandom list. Add a historically bad start to the season by the Cardinals and some ridiculous drama by the team's front office, and I am a huge Willson Contreras fan.  

To summarize.......

It's been an infuriating season for the 10-24 (!) Cardinals, but removing Willson Contreras from behind the plate signifies the biggest red flag to date.

More on the most bizarre turn of events yet in St. Louis:

— Katie Woo (@katiejwoo) May 7, 2023

The Cardinals pitchers were (are) terrible at the beginning of the season and it was all Willson's fault according to the team's management, so they stopped using him as a catcher one month into a five year contract he signed to be the primary catcher. 

In reality, Willson has been just fine and he's handled the situation really well. My Willson Contreras fandom has been elevated enough that I am willing to take on some Cubs cards.  

Let's start.  

I picked up a copy of the 2019 Topps Heritage Willson Contreras autograph. Nice looking card.  

I just hope Willson can help the Cardinals win some games.  

Sunday, May 21, 2023

Welcome, Middle School Graduates

I am a big fan of the USA Baseball cards, at least I used to be.  

I could always find some great autographs of local college players.  

Carlos Rodon. 

Marcus Stroman.  

and Trea Turner. 

and when there weren't local players, I could always find some players who ended up in the Majors and were enjoyable to watch.  

Tanner Houck is fun.  

The more recent USA Baseball sets have been a little thin on college players. 

I bought a few packs of Panini's latest USA Baseball Stars and Stripes product this past week. 

I am only going through the "hit" cards. The base cards have a decent checklist and the quality of the cards is much improved. They feel a lot like Topps Chrome base cards......

If only the cards were attached to a product that also had a decent autograph checklist. 

First up.....

is an autograph of Ayden Lockett. He is going to graduate high school in 2026. Do the math on that number, Mr. Lockett is a freshman in high school, or he's closer to his middle school graduation than his high school graduation.  Good for this kid for already having a baseball card, but I was not overly excited to pull this card.  

Maybe in five or six years I will feel differently.  


Ross Felder is a junior in high school and is committed to play baseball at Arkansas.  

Easily the best card in my packs, which is a little sad. No actual college kids.  

The last card is different.......

Italian National Baseball Team?  

Under 18? 

I completely wasted my money.  

Sunday, May 14, 2023

Pujols Post - 2002 Upper Deck Vintage

I am going with a checklist this week, because it is one of the few cards that has Albert Pujols and Mark McGwire pictured together as teammates during their active careers. Few may remember the two were teammates on the 2001 Cardinals team. Pujols was a rookie, McGwire was in his final season. Pujols was a joy to watch that summer, McGwire was not anything resembling his usual self.  

Here is the front of the 2002 Upper Deck Vintage card.  

Upper Deck Vintage ran for a few years in the early 2000s. Basically, they ripped off a random Topps design and threw a bunch of modern players on the front of the cards. In this case, the design was bottow from the 1971 Topps set. Love those black borders. Upper Deck Vintage were nice enough cards and I put together a few of these sets.  

The picture on the front of the card is decent. Kind of looks like Pujols is ignoring McGwire, but it's in game and not airbrushed. Upper Deck did not participate in that sort of nonsense. I wish the photo weren't so tightly cropped. It would be nice to see what is happening in the background and who the Cardinals were playing. Is this after a home run?  

If you don't remember what happened with Pujols and McGwire in 2001......

McGwire only played half a season with the Cardinals, missing most of the first half of the season. He hit 29 home runs in a limited number of at-bats, but also hit under .200 and struck out 118 versus just 56 hits. At the end of the season, he retired from baseball by sending a fax to ESPN. Meanwhile, Pujols hit almost .330, 37 home runs, drove in 130 runs, and won the National League Rookie of the Year. I heard a stuck around for a few years more and did alright for himself.  

Back of the card......

It's a checklist.  

Small set, so really hard to argue with the names on the checklist. My only gripe is the prospect card. The early 2000s were lean years for the Cardinals Minor League system, but I would have gone with Placido Polanco over either Ortega or Saturria.  

Thursday, May 11, 2023

Around The Card Room, Take 6

 I think I posted this item on here seven or eight years ago as an item I picked up from Topps Vault.  

I am not sure if the Topps Vault is still a store on Ebay, but it was more or less where Topps dumped out all of their odds and ends. I am certain that 90% of the listings on the Topps Vault were blank back versions of sports cards that were released between 1995 and 2015 along with tons of photo proofs.  

I loved the Topps Vault and bought all kinds of stuff off of there. Most of it was 1990s Cardinals and current Durham Bulls players.  

It always surprised me how cheap some of the items on the Topps Vault would end up selling for considering they were very unique. 

My favorite item by far is my Topps baseball card contract with Ray Lankford.

I framed the contract and have it hanging my card room next to my card closet.

Here is a better scan of the contract without the glare off the glass.  

Note the date of the contract ends on January 31st, 2003. Lankford played the 2004 season with the Cardinals as a left-handed bat off the bench, but never had a baseball card produced during that season. It was always kind of surprising that a veteran player like Lankford was excluded from the Topps set in 2004 and 2005, especially given how good the Cardinals were during that time. 

Guessing this was Ray Lankford's last baseball card contract with Topps.  

Wednesday, May 10, 2023

Random Ray - 1995 Stadium Club Members Only

I was into Stadium Club, but I was not in the Stadium Club.

Stadium Club had some exclusive club of card collectors who could buy fancier versions of Topps products in the mid 1990s. At some point during the year, for the low price of just $200, Stadium Club members could purchase said-fancy set, and not feel a sliver of doubt in their sound purchase. 

Feels like this "Stadium Club" should have had an infomercial.  

Every other great consumer product of the 1990s had one. 

Fortunately for me, there were other people who did spend $200 to join the "Stadium Club" in the 1990s and all of their Stadium Club Members Only cards are now in all the quarter boxes at card shops across the country.  

Here is my Ray Lankford......

I love the picture of Ray Lankford in his batting stance. Not sure about the four colored boxes, and I was trying to figure out what they colored over in the background. No idea?  It's like someone at Topps figured out how to put a picture of a baseball card in the Apple Photo Booth Warhol filter.  

Not sure I am a huge fan of this look on a baseball card.  

Back of the card.  

No stats, but this is a nice write up.  

Ray was certainly a talented player. Too bad a was stuck on a team with Tripp Cromer and Tom Urbani. 

Not my favorite card and I am still trying to figure out how Topps got people to join the Stadium Club.   

Saturday, May 6, 2023

Oscar. Popsicle. Joey Votto.

Yesterday was the start of Teacher Appreciation Week at my school.  

I received an Oscar. 

I also got a raspberry cheesecake popsicle after lunch.  

I also got a pack of 2023 Topps Big League from one of my students. I should have taken a picture of the pack of cards, but did not.  I borrowed one from the internet.  

I made a post about these cards a few weeks back. Fun cards that are kid-friendly. You're not likely going to pull something to big from one of these packs.

Somedays you beat the odds.  

I feel appreciated.