Saturday, July 28, 2012

2008 Upper Deck Masterpieces Brandon Phillips Jersey/Autograph

I was trying to complete a trade a few days back for a really small card.  A 1999 Fleer Premium Joe McEwing Autograph.  Joe Mac is kind of a cult hero around St. Louis for his phenomenal half season performance that year.  McEwing batted .305 in the first half of the season along with 4 homers and 30 RBIs.  Some even talked of "Super Joe" being in contention for Rookie of the Year.  The second half of the season appeared and McEwing disappeared hitting .223 with a .303 on base for the second half of the year.  The next spring training he was traded to the Mets for Jesse Orosco.

Anyway, I ended up with the card and helped a fellow collector complete a 2001 Topps HD set.

1999 Fleer Premium Joe McEwing Autograph 

While I was working on the trade I noticed the collector had a really nice Brandon Phillips autograph in the background of a picture.  The collector gave me a nice scan of the card, but didn't seem to really like the card too much.  Brandon Phillips is slightly unpopular in the metro St. Louis area.  Here's video proof.  Despite the fact, I still really enjoy watching Brandon Phillips play and consider him to be one of the better second baseman in the game.  I put a few more cards into the trade and walked away with a great looking on card autograph of the Reds All-Star.  

2008 Upper Deck Masterpieces Brandon Phillips Jersey/Autograph

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Prior and Maddux Prime Patches

I picked up a pair of 2005 Prime Patches cards last week.  I really enjoy these cards and was excited to get both of these cards even though they are both Cubs.  The first card is a Greg Maddux dual jersey card.  This card features a piece of his jersey from both the Braves and Cubs.

2005 Prime Patches Greg Maddux Dual Jersey

The second Prime Patches card I picked up is pretty sweet too.  The card features four pieces from Mark Prior.  The pieces include a bat, hat, shoe, and fielding glove.  The hat is the highlight for me since the piece shows the New Era logo from the inside of his hat.  

2005 Prime Patches Mark Prior Quad Relic Bat/Hat/Shoe/Glove

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Road Trip

The past week my blog has been quiet while I have been traveling.  There aren't many card shops in northern Michigan, but I still got a little baseball fix.  On my way to Michigan I stopped for a night in Cincinnati and checked out a Cardinals/Reds game.

I had great seats and really enjoy attending games at Great American Ball Park.  The stadium was pretty full and crowds at Reds games are usually pretty enthusiastic.  Definitely worth a trip if you live in the Midwest.  

I also got to attend a Tigers game with my father-in-law, brother-in-law and aunt.  I was really impressed with Comerica.  Nicer than Great American by a hair.  I got to boo Pujols and see Miggy and Trout hit home runs.  

I also picked up a couple of minor cards this past week which included three 2012 Tier One jersey cards and a pair of 1998 Donruss Signature autographs.  The three jersey cards were Ryan Zimmerman, James Shields, and Adam Wainwright.  The Donruss Signature cards were Ismael Valdes and Luis Ordaz.  

2012 Topps Tier One Adam Wainwright Jersey Card

2012 Topps Tier One James Shields Jersey Card 

2012 Topps Tier One Ryan Zimmerman Jersey Card

1998 Donruss Signature Ismael Valdes Autograph 

1998 Donruss Signature Luis Ordaz Autograph

Friday, July 13, 2012

2000 Fleer Showcase Sweet Sigs Greg Maddux Autograph

Rant of the Day:

I am feeling a little bit restless this week with my cards.  I've been trying to put together the rest of my Tier One cards and am getting a little bit aggravated about the lack of variety in players Topps gets to sign for some of its sets.  The Cardinals autograph line-up for every Topps set this year has basically been Allen Craig, Jon Jay, Jason Motte, and Stan Musial.  I should be excited about Stan, but his autograph has really gone down hill.  A lot of the other autographs in the set are the same too.  I saw something with a Wally Joyner today.  Hmmm....

On to the Maddux.  One of my all time favorite cards from yesteryears.  I bought cheap at a card store outside of St. Louis and have really enjoyed owning this card.  Maddux was one of the most unique and talented pitchers of the 90's.  He won multiple Cy Young awards and put up great numbers during the steroid era all while he was clearly not on steroids.

2000 Fleer Showcase Sweet Sigs Greg Maddux

Cardwise, Maddux is a great autograph to add to your collection.  He has a variety of different certified autographs on the market, but I would guess that the print run is short on almost all of them.  Maddux was a big sticker autograph guy in the mid 2000's, but there are several late 90s and early 2000s autographs that are on card and can be had for around $100.  

Remember to check out my July Baseball Card Contest!  

Thursday, July 12, 2012

July Baseball Card Contest

I haven't done a contest in a few months, so I have cooked up something cool to keep you busy for the next few weeks.  As many of you know who read my blog I love cards from the 90's and had a little bit of fun with several of them this afternoon.

Here's the contest:

I have scanned and cropped a total of 10 baseball cards from the years 1997, 1998, and 1999.  Each scan leaves some clue as to the player, the card brand, and the year.  You will need to identify all three for each of ten baseball cards.  If the card is from an insert set you will also need to identify the insert set name.

For example:

is really this card:

So your answer would be:

Mark McGwire
1998 Leaf
State Representatives

The Rules:

You must answer all ten pictures correctly to be entered into a drawing for the prize card.  The prize card for this month is a Sweet Spot Matt Kemp autograph.  The card does have a smudge, but is still a really cool card to own.  Your answers can be submitted to me via pm on Facebook, direct meesage on Twitter, or emailed to me at  If you answer in a post you either on Blogger, Facebook, or Twitter you will be disqualified from the drawing.  Responses must be submitted by August 1st at 8pm EST.

The Pictures:

Picture 1

Picture 2
Hint: Part of the card is actually clear

Picture 3
Hint: Card is actually clear

Picture 4

Picture 5

Picture 6

Picture 7
Hint: Die-Cut

Picture 8

Picture 9

Picture 10

2005 Prime Patches Larry Walker Dual Patch Card

Larry Walker was never great while he was riding out the final days of his career as a Cardinal, but I always loved watching him play as an Expo and Rockie.  Early in his career Walker was a great combination of power, defense, and average.  During his last season strike shortened in Montreal, 1994, Walker hit .322 with 19 homers and 86 RBIs.  He also lead the National League in doubles with 44.  Once he signed with the Rockies his numbers took off in the thin air of Coors.  All Rockies have a home/road split, but he wasn't Vinny Castilla or Dante Bichette where all of his damage came in the thin dry Denver air.

Walker would spend ten years on the Rockies which included an MVP award in 1997, a home run title, and three batting titles.  After the trading deadline in 2004 he cleared waivers and was traded to the Cardinals for the mighty Chris Narveson.  Tony LaRussa batted Walker second in front Pujols, Edmonds, and Rolen during their MV3 year and the team made a World Series appearance and a National League Championship Series appearance too.  His last season and a half did not met his usual numbers and he retired after the 2005 season.

Walker has a fair number of relic cards out on the market, but most of the jumbo and patch pieces are exclusive to the 2005 Prime Patches set.  Which is where my my newest card hails from:

2005 Prime Patches Larry Walker Dual Patch Card

There are a few early 2000 Fleers, but they are pretty plain.  Walker also has some autographs which can be pretty tough to find.  My two favorites are the 1997 Donruss Signature Series which features a whole card signature.  They are all like that.  I also love the Stadium Club Co-Signers with Andres Galarraga.  Both cards pictured below.

1997 Donruss Signature Series Larry Walker Autograph 

1998 Topps Stadium Club Co-Signers Larry Walker/Andres Galarraga Autograph 

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

2011 Topps Triple Threads Ichiro Suzuki Jersey

I spent my childhood watching the 1980's Cardinals and appreciate the toll that speed puts on another team's defense.  The Cardinals ran their way to a World Series title in 1982 and also appeared in the 1985 and 1987 Series.  The majority of the players, not named Jack Clark, hit few homers and were either defensive stars or a major threat to steal a few bases.  There are a few documented videos of the 1985 team here and here complete with 1980's music.  

The 80's came to an end and so did the Cardinals era of small ball.  The style of play the Cardinals used hasn't really been duplicated by an entire team, but there are players that I occasionally see whom I think could fit.  

Ichiro could have definitely fit in as an 80's Cardinals players.  Fast, good hitter, and good fielder.  Whitey Herzog would have had him running all over the astroturf.  It's hard to follow a West Coast player while living on the East Coast, but Ichiro is a player I always look for in the box scores.  

He even has a cool connection to St. Louis. 

Anyway, I was trading a few Tigers cards last weekend and ran into this gem from the 2011 Triple Threads set.  It's a pretty sweet card, but I wish the jersey pieces had more contrast with the card.  Can't win them all and it's a great add to the collection.  

2011 Topps Triple Threads Ichiro Suzuki Jersey  

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

2012 Topps Tier One Jeremy Hellickson and Cal Ripken Jersey Cards

Tier One is exactly the kind of high end product I cringe.  The cards are cool and there are lots of good autographs, but I always seem to turn up the duds on high end products.  Minus my Matt Kemp pull from Topps Tribute.  This year I am putting together a few Tier One jerseys, bats, and autographs through trades.  First up this year are these cool Jeremy Hellickson and Cal Ripken jersey cards.   I have a few autographs on the way over the next few days, but I am happy with my start.  Off to put away a few cards around my house.

2012 Topps Tier One Cal Ripken Jersey Card

2012 Topps Tier One Jeremy Hellickson Jersey Card

Friday, July 6, 2012

Purchases from Facebook

I had a little extra Paypal money at the end of last week and was able to buy a few cards off of some collectors on Facebook.  My first card I picked up was a 2011 Topps Triple Threads Sapphire Matt Holliday Patch/Autograph.  I have a couple different versions of this card, so I was pretty excited to end up with a copy numbered to 10.  The patch piece is a nice added bonus.

2011 Topps Triple Threads Sapphire Matt Holliday Patch/Autograph 

The second card I bought last week was a cool 90's/early 2000's insert card.  I've posted a few batting glove cards from the 2001 Upper Deck MVP in the past, but that same set had another cool insert too.  The Souvenirs insert featured dual relics of teammates.  There are tons of these cards now, but in 2001 I assure you it was really cool.  Plus, the cards were every 1:144 packs.  Not a few per box.  Throw in the fact that the Yankees were coming off a World Series win in 2000 makes this card really sweet.

2001 Upper Deck MVP Paul O'Neill/Bernie Williams Dual Bat Card

I also received a bunch of throw-ins including a pretty sweet Michael Bourn autograph. 

2007 Upper Deck Exquisite Michael Bourn Autograph 

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

2004 Fleer EX Ozzie Smith Autograph

I picked up a cool last week and was excited to see it arrive safely in the mail earlier in the week.  The card comes from the 2004 Fleer EX set which was a high end, one autograph per pack release with lots of cool autographs, patches, and jersey pieces.  This card looked rather ordinary at first glance, but I still kept looking since it was an Ozzie Smith autograph.  

In fact, I almost passed it by since it was a sticker autograph.  Ozzie has plenty of on-card autographs and I would really prefer to keep as many of my Hall of Fame autographs that way if possible.  The really cool part of this card to me was the jersey swatch.  It polyester, it's brown, it's from the 70's.  Sure, I like cool patches better than a generic piece of white or grey jersey.  However, I like when you can look at a jersey piece and tell exactly when and where it comes from.  Why aren't there powder blue Ozzie Smith jersey cards?  I am not sure, but this is clearly a Padres piece from early in Ozzie's career.  The autograph is a nice bonus, even if it's a sticker.   Have a good 4th!  

Monday, July 2, 2012

Two Gold Labels and Two Autographs

This past Friday I made a small trade that netted me four really nice cards for my collection.  The first pair come from the 1998 Topps Gold Label set.  If you've read my previous blog entries you've probably noticed I really like the 90's card sets.  Most of them.  The Gold Label set ran from 1998 through 2002 and featured a tier set similar to some of the late 90's Fleer sets.  In fact, the card design and the tiering remind many people of the Fleer Showcase sets.  The first tier, or Class 1, of the Gold Label set are the easiest to find and the Class 3 are the toughest at four per case.  The two cards I picked up come from the first and third tier of the set.

1998 Topps Gold Label Class 1 Jeromy Burnitz Red Label 26/100
1998 Topps Gold Label Class 3 Ray Lankford 

The Jeromy Burnitz card is labeled to 100 and is part of the Red Label parallel.  Burnitz was a great masher in the late 90s and a fun player to watch.  Here's a video of him, Mike Piazza, and Joe McEwing trying to beat up Guerillmo Mota.  Ray Lankford is self explanatory.  

I also picked up two autographs in the trade too both from the 2011 Bowman Sterling set. 

2011 Bowman Sterling Nathan Eovaldi Autograph

 2011 Bowman Sterling Maikel Cleto Autograph

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Insert Catchy Non-Quitting Phrase.

Sometimes while trying to make trades, post cards, and chat with collectors you run into people from what I like to call "The Fringe".  Meaning people who say stuff like, "I used to collect cards fifteen years ago, but I quit.  Will you buy my 1988 Topps Set for $50?"  or "I have a Kevin Maas rookie card.  Are you interested?"  Almost one hundred percent of the time you should run in the opposite direction because the person is going to have absolutely no interest in selling you any cards once you break the news to them you could find a 1988 Topps Set, factory sealed on Ebay for a $1.00 plus shipping.

Last week I was taking my son out for a walk on Saturday morning.  We have a 3 mile path that we follow through a few nearby neighborhoods.  The one street we walk down was packed and apparently having a block yard sale.  I pushed my son down the street in his stroller and passed by many of the houses.  Most had the usual assortment of bad vinyl records, dated furniture, and other odds and ends I don't need.  Finally, I saw a house with a giant sign that read: "Kick My Kids Out, Buy Their Stuff".  I had to know.  I walked up the driveway and talked to the homeowners.  There kids were apparently done with college and had left an odd assortment of "stuff" behind.  The parents did not feel like being used as a storage locker and had decided to sell their kids stuff.  So, I asked my usual garage sale question, "Do you have any baseball cards?"

"The fringe" speech started.  "Well, my son really liked baseball cards, but he picked through a bunch of boxes and left one.  He collected for about 10 years and stopped last year."  I was offered an 800 count box for $5.  I took him up on and found plenty of bad stuff from the past ten years.  The first card in the box was a Pablo Ozuna autograph and I also found a Ramon Ortiz jersey card.  I was a little down about the box until I got towards the middle and found this:

2009 Bowman Xfractor Matt Moore RC

The card generally sells for about $25 on Ebay and sells grade for north of $40 graded.  Not a bad find for walking around the neighborhood.  By the way, if you are looking for any 2005 Topps base cards...I am loaded.