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Tuesday, September 17, 2019

2019 Blake Snell Autograph Count: 20

It has been almost a month since I have posted a Blake Snell autograph.  Just waiting for a good one to post for number 20.  I actually have had some other successes with Blake Snell cards during the past week.  Still hoping for a year end total around 25. 

Snell actually appeared locally last week in a rehab start. 





It was on a school night, so the little man and I watched from the comforts of our sofa. 

For my 20th Snell autograph of the year I went with a nice Five Star.  Great looking card. 




This is a Golden Graphs. 

I am not sure that I love the gold pattern around the edges of the card, but I do like the contrast between the gold color and the dark signing surface in the middle of the card.  I also like that Snell autographed the pen using gold colored ink. 

Well done design by Topps. 

Back of the card. 




So, you got an autograph from Topps.......

Monday, September 16, 2019

A 1980s Card Part 18 - Topps Circle K All-Time Home Run Kings Stan Musial

Stan Musial is currently 31st all-time in home runs. When Musial retired from baseball in 1963 he was considerably higher up the list.  Stan The Man ended his career with 475.  He's also still 3rd overall in doubles and 19th in triples on top of all the home runs.  Stan hit a lot of extra base hits, some went over the wall.  I think that's a fair way to describe his home run total.

Anyway, Circle K made a set of home run hitters in 1985.  They are essentially the same design as the Glossy Mail-In sets that Topps used to put on their wrappers back at this time, but the photos were a mix of black and white and color photos. 



White border, name in small print in the bottom corner, similar finish too.  Mine is not really well centered, but I picked this set up for next to nothing a card show long ago.  The set is great, Stan is just a little off.  Might need to fix this at some point.

The back of the card is odd.




I am sure if I sat here and thought about it a little longer I might be able to think of another set that has player stats in two different columns, but one is not popping into my head at the moment.  Just a really bizarre way to design the back of the card.  If the point of the set is to show the players with the highest home run totals, I am sure that they could have come up with a better way than to list all 22 years that Stan played.  Even Ralph Kiner, who only played 10 years, has his stats split into two different columns.

I just look at the front of the card.  It's nice. 

Sunday, September 15, 2019

Trending Up

I have avoided really committing to collecting a Cardinals player in recent years, more of just a general interest in their cards.  There will always be Ray Lankford cards.......




There will always be Albert Pujols cards.......




and Stan Musial too.....




The second half of this season really has me contemplating spending a little bit of time and money working on Cardinals starting pitcher Jack Flaherty.  He has pitched really well......





There are already some Jack Flaherty cards hanging out in my card room that are pretty nice.  




They are just kind of cheap considering he is one of the better pitchers in the Majors at the moment.  He's right up there with pitchers like Max Scherzer and Jacob deGrom.  

I mean he's only won 10 games.  Snark.  

I found a new Five Star autograph of the talented 23 year old for less than $10 last week.  Great looking card of a great pitcher.....



The card stock on these is still super thick, hopefully the edges won't the chip the way that some of the older sets did.  Even if they do, this is probably my favorite Flaherty autograph that I have added to my collection this year.  Not saying he's going to reach the same status as Blake Snell, but for the moment Flaherty is going to be my go to Cardinals player.  

Monday, September 9, 2019

A 1980s Card Part 17- 1989 Topps Ames 20/20 Club Pedro Guerrero

Discount retailer Ames teamed up with Topps in 1989 to offer a small set of cards featuring players who had reached 20 home runs and 20 steals in a season.  No doubt a likely follow up to the Jose Canseco 40/40 season that took place in 1988.  We were still five years away from Carlos Martinez hitting a home run off the top of Jose's head.....




People were still taking him seriously at this point.  

There are plenty of not so surprising names in this small box set like Andre Dawson, Kirby Puckett, Eric Davis, Dale Murphy, and plenty of others.  I was actually a little surprised that Pedro Guerrero ever stole 20 bases.  I remember him being a good player on the Dodgers, but not really a base runner.  

My greatest Pedro Guerrero memory on the Dodgers is him throwing his glove, he was playing left field, when Jack Clark hit his home run at the end of Game 6 in the 1985 National League Championship Series.  




Yes, after checking the stat sheet, also the back of the card, I can tell you that Pedro Guerrero did steal bases at one point during his career.  Obviously prior to being traded to the Cardinals.  

Here is the front of the card.  




It's a decent design for something that was sold exclusively at a discount retailer.  I don't love the Ames logo going across the bottom, sort of the weak point of the card design here, but I understand why it is there.  

The back of the card confirms that Pedro once had wheels.  




I like that they highlighted the years he went 20/20 and the little factoid down at the bottom of the card.  I feel like this card could use a baseball card cartoon in the worst way, but those were out of fashion in the late 1980s.  Good little set if you are looking for something fun with some good names from the 1980s.  

A good song from 1989.....



Sunday, September 8, 2019

I'm Fine With The Expos

In my new tradition of not buying current products, I skipped doing much with this year's Topps Archives product.  You know that they always have great autographs in that set though, so I had to go check out what was available on Ebay.  The Cardinals selection was underwhelming, but there were former Cardinals in the set wearing other uniforms. 

They are in the Expos Anniversary Set. 

I'm fine with the Expos.  It's not like it's the Cubs Anniversary set, but even then, if it's the right Cardinals player I am going to go for it.  Let's check out the cards. 



This is Ken Hill's second appearance on the blog this week.  Personal best for writing about Ken Hill.  Solid starting pitcher during the 1990s, he actually made his Major League debut as a Cardinal, but was traded to the Expos after a few years.  Hill's best years were as an Expo, so it's probably pretty fair to put him in an Expos set.  Although, I am not sure how many people would associate him with that team? 

This guy is definitely an Expo, or maybe a Rockie. 




Nobody remembers Andres Galarraga playing for the Cardinals, and I have a feeling that if you asked Andres about it he would prefer you forget about it too.  Not his best year.  Interestingly enough he was traded to the Cardinals for Ken Hill.  Kind of connects my two former Cardinals cards here.  Hill ended up getting traded back to the Cardinals, Galarraga went on to hit a lot of home runs and win a batting title or two with the Rockies.  

All the Expos cards in the Topps Archives set are on the 1969 Topps design.  There are also non-autographed versions of all these cards.  Might have to get the Bartolo Colon Expos cards, not willing to shill out for the autograph.  

Saturday, September 7, 2019

One And Only Clydell

Clydell is not a common name, and according to the name search on the Social Security website its never really been.  However, one of the better pitchers on the 1933 Durham Bulls was a 19 year old by the name of Clydell Castleman.  He went by Slick.  

He would end up pitching for the Giants during the second half of the 1930s.  In 1935, he won 15 games for the Giants, and in 1936 he would help them win the National League before losing to the Yankees in the World Series.  

Along the way there were a few Clydell "Slick" Castleman baseball cards.  Some are a little pricy just because they are from the 1930s.   However, I recently was able to find a 1936 Goudy Wide Pen Premium of the former Giants pitcher.  Here is a scan of the card front.....




I am not sure why they are dubbed "wide pens", perhaps something to do with the signature on the front.  These were also more baseball cards for the sake of being a baseball card than the plain Goudey cards, which were actually a card game.  They also have a glossy finish over the photo. 

Here's the back, plain with no words like "Double" or "Wild Pitch".




Not a very expensive card, and another successful addition to my developing collection of older Durham Bulls players.  Also the first 1936 Goudey Wide Pen card in my collection.  The set has a pretty long checklist, and some solid names for not very much money.  

Friday, September 6, 2019

Predictable Marcell

The Topps products sometimes run together these days and they the cards have become all too predictable. 

I got a new Cardinals autograph. 

It's Marcell Ozuna.  He's just swung his bat and likely hit a fly ball.  Can't really tell. 



He signs a lot for Topps.  Topps uses him in every product.  

This card could be better if they showed Marcell missing a fly ball.....





or when the television cameras use his signature neon green arm band as a green screen.  





Marcell is interesting.  Let's try a little harder on these baseball cards.