2013 Topps Jumbo Pack #3

Here we are on Opening Day (observed) 2014, and I'm still working on 2013. I promised to finish off this jumbo box by the All Star Break...and hopefully Series 2 and Update by the playoffs. On my last pack post, I got a few comments offering a trade if I wind up with any holes in the set, which is awesome. I think they both sensed my slight panic at the lack of set progress from the pack. I'll definitely circle back around and respond with a list once I've finished the box, because I don't intend to buy any more 2013 flagship, if I could even find it.

2013 Topps
#130 Jason Motte
#188 Brian Fuentes
#190 Daniel Descalso
This is my 4th (!) copy of the Motte card. The other 3 have come from Pack 1, a contest win, and an eBay win. Also in the eBay win and contest prize were a copy of the Fuentes and Descalso card. Oh well, more Cardinals to trade.

2013 Topps
#269 St. Louis Cardinals
Chasing History - #CH-9 Mariano Rivera
I try not to buy into the Mystique of the Yankees too much, as one Mr. Curtis Schilling once said, but even hype-adjusted (did I just invent a new Sabermetric coefficient?), Mariano Rivera had a very impressive career.

2013 Topps - 1972 Mini
#TM-6 Trevor Bauer
I kind of want all these minis, but I'll never complete the set unless I go on a buying spree.

2013 Topps
Calling Cards #CC-2 Brandon Phillips
Chasing the Dream #CD-18 Chris Sale
Emerald Green #271 Jeurys Familia
And here are 3 of the most common insert sets to finish off the pack, including White Sox Opening Day starter and winner Chris Sale.

I added 22 cards this time, which is not bad since I started with 111 cards before the first pack. I'm just over halfway there, with 7 packs and 162 cards to go.

Series 1 Completion: 168/330 (50.9%)


eBay Wins #107

Looking through my post history, this is my 4th largest eBay purchase in terms of the number of cards, and the top two were full 792-card sets. However, there were only 34 unique cards of the 81 I purchased, so the other 47 will go in my trade list. They're all from the Diamond Debut insert set in 2006 Upper Deck.

2006 Upper Deck - Diamond Debut
#DD-41 Takashi Saito
#DD-42 Kenji Johjima
#DD-45 Taylor Buchholz
#DD-46 Josh Barfield
#DD-47 Brian Bannister
#DD-48 Nick Markakis
#DD-49 Carlos Martinez
#DD-50 Macay McBride
#DD-51 Brian Anderson
This portion of the set is guys who actually debuted in 2006 or late 2005, so it's mostly some hit-or-miss prospects. Nick Markakis is obviously one of the hits.

2006 Upper Deck - Diamond Debut
#DD-52 Breddie Bynum
#DD-53 Kelly Shoppach
#DD-55 Ryan Shealy
#DD-56 Chris Resop
#DD-58 Mike Jacobs
#DD-59 Cody Ross
#DD-60 Jose Capellan
#DD-61 Dave Gassner
#DD-64 Paul Maholm
We're gradually moving towards 2004 and 2003 debuts, but I'd say Paul Maholm is the only widely known guy from this bunch.

2006 Upper Deck - Diamond Debut
#DD-65 Nate McLouth
#DD-66 Ben Johnson
#DD-69 Brandon Watson
#DD-70 David Wright
#DD-71 David Ortiz
#DD-72 Alex Rodriguez
#DD-73 Johan Santana
#DD-74 Greg Maddux
Now we're into the All-Stars. That may be my only card of David Ortiz as a member of the Minnesota Twins, since he came up right around the beginning of my collecting hiatus.

2006 Upper Deck - Diamond Debut
#DD-75 Ichiro
#DD-76 Albert Pujols
#DD-77 Hikeki Matsui
#DD-78 Vladimir Guerrero
#DD-79 Pedro Martinez
#DD-80 Mike Schmidt
#DD-81 Al Kaline
#DD-82 Robin Yount
Now we've got All-Stars and Hall of Famers. Guys like Vladimir Guerrero and Pedro Martinez changed teams relatively early in their careers, so we get some very young photos of them to illustrate their debut team. But, with Mike Schmidt and Robin Yount being single-team guys, they're clearly a bit older than the 22 and 19 years of age they were at their debuts.

Also, when I first saw Al Kaline's name as a kid, I assumed it was a made-up placeholder, since I knew of alkaline batteries. I think my Dad finally set me straight on that once he realized what I was thinking.

eBay Bargain Tracker
Total Cards Bought2709
Total Spent$45.65
Per Card1.685 cents


Play at the Plate Contest Winnings!

Brian from Play at the Plate generously offered up roughly half of his recent contest double win, and the randomizer chose me. He even allowed us to pick whether we wanted the vintage cards shown in the post I linked, or a full set of 2007 Upper Deck Masterpieces. Vintage was the overwhelmingly favorite pick of the many entrants, but I went with the Masterpieces set.

I didn't really want to scan all 90 cards, so here's a sampling of Cardinals from the set.

2007 Upper Deck Masterpieces
#9 Roger Maris
#50 Carlos Beltran
#60 Bruce Sutter
All 3 of these are pre-Cardinals photos. And 2 out of 3 are Cardinals World Series winners (1967 for Maris, 1982 for Sutter), since we couldn't quite pull out a win for Carlos Beltran in 2013.

2007 Upper Deck Masterpieces
#19 Ozzie Smith
#49 Albert Pujols
I love this Ozzie card. Later in his career he'd only do his flip on opening day, and maybe the last game of the year, and for that reason I specifically convinced my Dad to go to the game on those days. Back in the early 90s when they weren't that good, that was an easy ticket to get, not like now when the game sells out in minutes.

2007 Upper Deck Masterpieces
#38 Albert Pujols
As I mentioned in a previous post on 2007 Masterpieces, when I participated in a group break, there are only 90 cards in the checklist, yet Pujols got 2 cards. Babe Ruth has 3, Cal Ripken, Jr. has 4, Reggie Jackson, Sandy Koufax, Jackie Robinson, Ryan Howard, David Ortiz, Ken Griffey, Jr., Chase Utley, and possibly more all have 2 each. It's a little odd, but the look of the set makes it one I really appreciate.

I also appreciate Brian at Play at the Plate for offering up some of his winnings. Thanks to him for all the great contests, and especially this one.


eBay Wins #106

I bid on some more "Lot of 2 cards" auctions, this time winning 10 1992 Leaf auctions for the minimum bid of a penny each. That's 20 cards for a dime. They're not all stars, of course, but 1992's when I started obsessing over baseball, so they're mostly at least familiar to me.

1992 Leaf
#269 Lance Parrish
#280 Brian Hickerson
#283 Ivan Calderon
#285 Mickey Tettleton
#288 Bret Barberie
#290 Frank Castillo
#292 Tommy Greene
#369 Dan Pasqua
#377 Mike Stanton
Fun Fact*: Mickey Tettleton was named for Mickey Mantle, who was named for Mickey Cochrane, who was also a catcher for the Tigers. Which is similar but different from the way Jamie Foxx named himself after Redd Foxx, who named himself after Jimmie Foxx. Anyone know any 3rd-level namesakes other than kings, popes, and George Foremans?

*Fact (noun): a thing I looked up on Wikipedia which may or may not be true.

1992 Leaf
#379 Eric Bell
#380 Walt Weiss
#385 Ryan Bowen
#386 Kevin Ritz
#387 Curtis Wilkerson
#438 Wally Joyner
#444 Chris Jones
#485 Scott Bankhead
#382 Manuel Lee
When I hear Wally Joyner, I always think of the Angels, and I always forget that he played so many years with other teams, especially the Royals and Padres.

1992 Leaf
#272 Royce Clayton
#381 Danny Jackson
As usual, I'll give the 2 Cardinals of the bunch their spotlight. Royce had only played 9 games in the 1991 season when this card was printed, but in just a few more years he'd come to St. Louis and be part of quite the controversy in Ozzie Smith's last season. Danny Jackson was here for that too, actually, in 1996.

eBay Bargain Tracker
Total Cards Bought2628
Total Spent$44.84
Per Card1.706 cents


2013 Topps Jumbo Pack #2

The 2014 card releases are in full swing, but I've got to get through my 2013s first. Let's see how the set building quest is going.

2013 Topps
#54 Jaime Garcia
#68 Colby Rasmus
#266 Albert Pujols
There were 3 base Cardinals this time, and two were duplicates from Pack #1. That's not a great start, as much as I like the Cardinals

2013 Topps
Chasing History #CH-43 CC Sabathia
Emerald Parallel #256 Madison Bumgarner
While the Chasing History cards didn't mention specific projections for the milestones, CC's certainly implied he should get his 200 wins soon, since he had 191 going into 2013. I'll save you the trip to baseball-reference: he now has 205. That Madison Bumgarner's not too shabby of a LHP either.

2013 Topps
Chasing the Dream #CD-23 Jose Altuve
1972 Mini #TM-42 Willie Mays
When I see young, hyped, talented players like Jose Altuve on bad team, I can't help but root for their teams to get better or for them to find a home elsewhere. That largely comes from realizing a few years ago that, in all of Steven Jackson's career with the Rams, they were never better than 8-8, and only made the playoffs in his rookie season when he was a backup.
As for the Mays card, I didn't realize the '72 minis included retired players. That was a cool card to see come out of the pack.

2013 Topps
Cy Young Award Winners Trophy #CY-JS
First, let me say this is a nice card. It's actually a little shadowbox with a real metal emblem of the trophy. However, it's as thick as 19 base cards (I measured!). That means there were only 33 cards in the pack. Clearly, at 1:, I shouldn't expect to see another one of these in my box, but that's going to put a bit of a damper on my attempt to complete the set. Luckily, like I said before, I already had some base cards going into this, so Series 1 will still likely get finished by the box, but I only added 13 new cards this time.

Series 1 Completion: 146/330 (44.2%)


eBay Wins #105

I won 34 cards from 2006 Upper Deck, and they were all inserts from the Player Highlights set. There were some doubles since I bid on multiple auctions, but here are the 22 unique cards.

2006 Upper Deck - Player Highlights
#PH-2 Manny Ramirez
#PH-4 Johnny Damon
#PH-6 Chris Carpenter (x3)
#PH-7 Derrek Lee (x2)
#PH-8 Jason Bay
#PH-9 Jason Varitek
#PH-10 Ryan Howard (x2)
#PH-11 Mark Teixeira

2006 Upper Deck - Player Highlights
#PH-12 Carlos Delgado (x4)
#PH-13 Bartolo Colon
#PH-14 David Wright
#PH-15 Miguel Tejada (x2)
#PH-17 Paul Konerko
#PH-18 Jermaine Dye (x3)
#PH-19 Ichiro
#PH-20 Brad Wilkerson

2006 Upper Deck - Player Highlights
#PH-21 Hideki Matsui
#PH-23 Chris Burke
#PH-25 Brian Roberts
#PH-26 David Ortiz
#PH-28 Ken Griffey, Jr. (x3)
#PH-34 Scott Podsednik
At a penny each, that's 34 cards for 34 cents. Not bad for some big stars.

eBay Bargain Tracker
Total Cards Bought2608
Total Spent$44.74
Per Card1.715 cents


Superbowl Winnings, Part 2

Part 1

Here's the rest of what I won for nailing the Superbowl result at the beginning of the playoffs.

2005 eTopps
#198 David Eckstein
This is my first eTopps card, since I wasn't collecting while it was going on. It's in a thick plastic holder with a holographic seal. And it's World Series MVP David Eckstein, so that's a nice addition to my collection.

2006 SPX -
#186 Matt Leinert #113/399
#190 Laurence Maroney #0188/1650
And now we have the football hits. It was a Super Bowl contest, after all. Laurence Maroney is from St. Louis, so he always gets a little bonus coverage on the local news' sports segment when he makes a particularly good play, so that was a nice card to get.

1996 Laser View - Inscriptions #8 Jim Everett #0248/3100
2006 SP Authentic - Rookie Authentics Signature #255 Tarvaris Jackson
2013 Panini Limited - Monikers Silver #187 Nick Kasa #051/299
Here we have 3 more autographs, one of which is also a relic: Jim "Don't call me Chris" Everett, formerly of the LA Rams, Nick Kasa, and Tarvaris Jackson. The Jackson card was the one promised in the original contest post, and he actually made it into the game. He's one of the few backup QBs to ever play in a Super Bowl, and I think the first since Tony Banks in an almost-as-lopsided Super Bowl XXXV, for the Ravens against the Giants.

That was a pretty great prize pack, full of nothing but Cardinals and autographs (and autographed relics). Thanks to the one and only cynicalbuddha of Collector's Crack!


Superbowl Winnings, Part 1

Remember that awful, lopsided game back in February? It won a contest for me at Collector's Crack, properly know as Almost the Easiest Superbowl Contest on the Web IV. Going into the game, I knew I had a decent chance of winning since I had chosen Seattle to win and Denver as their opponent, which no one else did. However, even if it had come to the 2nd and 3rd tiebreaker, I'd have done alright. I forecasted 50 total points in the game - which wound up 43-8 if you don't remember - missing the total by just 1. Or, as I prefer to think of it, I predicted everything except the fact that Denver would go for 2 on their TD when down by 30. I also went with 4 turnovers as the final tiebreaker, and hit that dead on.

It sounds a little like I'm bragging, so to be completely clear, I did use my projections to pick the the teams, but the points and turnovers were pretty much just guesses, and I got lucky. Better lucky than good, some say.

Let's see the prizes!

1998 Finest - Refractors
#127 John Mabry
Look at that shimmering Refractor, still protected - and blurred - by Topps Finest protective coating. I've said it before, one day I'm going on a peeling rampage, and freeing most of my Topps Finest cards for the first time.

2004 Donruss Classics
National Trading Card Day
#DP-1 Albert Pujols
Here's the second card in a row I thought was a base card at first, but turned out to be a parallel. The Donruss Classics set included a parallel with the National Trading Card Day logo.

2011 Topps Chrome
#32 Yadier Molina
#141 Lance Berkman
#150 Albert Pujols
Shiny shiny Chrome. I'm surprised I didn't have any Cardinals from the set yet. I'll be adding the others to my want list now.

2008 Allen & Ginter - Mini A&G Backs
#44 Adam Wainwright
#88 Troy Glaus
2010 Allen & Ginter - Mini Black Border
#51 Matt Holliday
And I'll close it with some Allen and Ginter minis. That's a lot of white space on the horizontal Adam Wainwright card. He's in a very vertical pose for a horizontal card, so I kind of wonder why Topps did that. Also, both of the 2008s are Allen and Ginter backs.

I'd keep going, but I like to tag my posts with all the sets and Cardinal players pictured, and I'm at the limit. There's more good stuff left for tomorrow, though.


eBay Wins #104

I bought this card by itself, so I figured I'd post it by itself, rather than aggregating it together with some of the rest of the eBay wins still sitting on my desk. It cost me one whole penny.

1988 Donruss #592 Curt Wilkerson

Curt Wilkerson was part of the big trade that brought Rafael Palmeiro - and Jamie Moyer -  to Texas from Chicago. The best thing the Cubs got in that deal was Mitch Williams, who they only kept for 2 seasons.

On another note, fans who consider themselves baseball "purists" tell me there's no sacrifice bunting in the AL due to the DH. So what's going on here? He could be trying for a sneaky infield hit I suppose, but that seems like a stretch for a guy who only stole 44 bases in 5 seasons before 1988.

eBay Bargain Tracker
Total Cards Bought2574
Total Spent$44.40
Per Card1.725 cents


2013 Topps Jumbo Pack #1

When I started collecting in 1992, I immediately decided factory sets were the way to go. I bought or received as a gift the Topps factory set from each year, even when I started losing interest a bit, through 1999. In 2010 I started buying factory sets again, but decided for 2013 to try something different. I bought a jumbo box of Series 1, Series 2, and Update. Now, this is considerably pricier than a factory set. But, I'll get a sampling of the insert cards, and a 500-card box should give me most of each 330-card series if there's good collation. Let's see how it starts off.

2013 Topps
#54 Jaime Garcia
#130 Jason Motte
#235 Jake Westbrook

2013 Topps
#205 Ryan Theriot
#266 Albert Pujols
 First, as always, we have the current and former Cardinals base cards.

2013 Topps
Calling Cards #CC-15 Albert Pujols
Emereld Parallel #237 Brandon Lyon
Chasing The Dream #CD-17 Addison Reed
Chasing History #CH-5 Yogi Berra
Some of the more common inserts, including a nice Pujols card, where he's turned just far enough I can almost pretend he's in a Cardinals uniform.

2013 Topps
1972 Mini #TM-7 Craig Kimbrel
Cut To The Chase #CTC-14 David Price
 I like to call these two the "Awkward-to-Scan" sets, so I threw them together.

2013 Topps
Silk Collection #SC-97 Josh Johnson #22/50
And here's the prize of the pack, a Silk Collection card of Josh Johnson.

Before opening this pack, I actually already had 111 unique cards from Series 1, thanks to some cheap eBay finds and some contest winnings. Hopefully that means this box will easily complete Series 1 for me. Series 2 will be more challenging, since I currently have zero base cards. Another difficulty will come from the extra thick inserts, which can reduce the pack size by 1 to 9 cards, according to the disclaimer. This pack had 39 base cards and 7 inserts.

Series 1 Completion: 136/330 (41.2%)


eBay Wins #103

When I look for cheap cards on eBay, I don't often find any that are 30 or more years old. This seller had a bunch of auctions for 1982 Fleer, and I won 18 of them for the minimum bid of a penny each.

1982 Fleer
#384 Vida Blue
#389 Tom Griffin
#390 Larry Herndon
#410 Larry Gura
#412 Mike Jones
#452 Juan Beniquez
#453 Rick Burleson
#459 Ken Forsch
#463 John Harris

1982 Fleer
#472 Steve Renko
#473 Mike Witt
#53\26 Tom Hausman
#527 Rod Hodges
#528 Randy Jones
#529 Mike Jorgensen
#532 Mike Marshall
#533 Lee Mazzilli
#587 Tim Blackwell
Mike Jorgensen was probably the reason I learned what the word Interim meant, when he took over for the fired Joe Torre to finish out 1995 as Cardinals manager, before Tony La Russa arrived in 1996.

eBay Bargain Tracker
Total Cards Bought2573
Total Spent$44.39
Per Card1.725 cents


Trading for McGwires

Alex at Chavez Ravining was kind enough to scour my Zistle list for McGwires I didn't have, and in return I sent him some Dodgers for his Topps Team Set project.

1988 Mother's Cookies Mark McGwire Set #2/4
1988 Mother's Cookies Mark McGwire Set #3/4
1988 Mother's Cookies Mark McGwire Set #4/4
1989 Mother's Cookies Mark McGwire Set #3/4
I always see Mother's Cookies cards, but I haven't owned any until now. These arrived still in the plastic wrapper that protected them from the cookies, so I figured I'd leave the 25-26 year old plastic intact...for now.

1991 Upper Deck #656 "The Bashing Years"
1995 SP #185 Mark McGwire
1995 SP - Platinum Power #PP13 Mark McGwire
1996 Metal Universe #101 Mark McGwire
1996 Topps #145 Mark McGwire
1997 Topps #62 Mark McGwire
It's kind of funny to me that a 1991 card referred retrospectively to the late 80s as "The Bashing Years", since McGwire's 97-99 total was 193 Home Runs. In his 4+ seasons before 1991, he "only" hit 156. I know it's a reference to the Bash Brothers, but he had plenty of power left for his later years.

1996 Leaf Preferred - Steel #14 Mark McGwire
This card is actually printed on steel. These were inserted 1 per pack in 1996 Leaf preferred, so I'm surprised I didn't own any. That seems like exactly the type of gimmick that would have convince me to buy quite a few packs in 1996. I even only have 2 cards from the main set, both of which came in contest prizes. Maybe my LCS never had any for some reason. The printing is surprisingly high-quality for being on a metal substrate, and I've added a few Cardinals from the set to my want list.

That's all. Thanks to Alex for adding to my McGwire collection!


eBay Wins #102

I bought more "filler" cards on eBay, this time from 1992 Studio. I won 5 auctions for lots of 2 cards, for a total of 10 cards. With such a small set, I was bound to find a few stars, or at least recognizable names.

1992 Studio
#73 Darren Daulton
#108 Gary Sheffield
#134 Tim Naehring
#137 Jeff Reardon
#138 Jody Reed
#140 Frank Viola
#141 Jim Abbott
#227 Mike Moore
 Were flat-tops still big in 1992? Both Sheffield and Mike Moore have one here.

1992 Studio
#98 Ozzie Smith
#135 Tony Pena
I'd consider 20% Cardinals (current or former) a good ratio for a stack of mystery cards. Of course, it's also at least 50% Red Sox by that measure. Still, the Ozzie Smith card is worth more to me than I paid for the whole pile. I declare this mystery lot a success.

eBay Bargain Tracker
Total Cards Bought2555
Total Spent$44.21
Per Card1.73 cents


Giant Pile of Prizes from Jaybarkerfan's Junk, Bonus Round!

Sometimes when I win a contest, I set the prize aside until I have time to fully rummage through all of it. In this case I won a contest back in late September, and I think the "Small Flat Rate Box" arrived by early October. I opened it immediately, but it's been sitting on my desk, too daunting of task to sort, since then. I finally felt the need to dive into it, and give jaybarkerfan his proper thank you post.

Part 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7

I honestly had no intention of opening these packs, but they sat in a nice pile on my desk, taunting me. I started by opening 1, and in a few minutes had opened the rest. So, why not, here's the content of the packs from part 7.

1988 Donruss
#654 Ron Gant
#626 Pat Perry
#602 Don August
#523 Al Nipper
#432 Rick Schu
#421 Jon Marzano
#411 Shane Mack
#375 Calvin Schiraldi

1988 Donruss
#320 Kent Hrbek
#243 Phil Bradley
#209 Craig Reynolds
#131 Brook Jacoby
#130 Ken Howell
#97 Curt Young
#42 John Farrell
Puzzle Pieces 13, 14, and 15

1988 Donruss
#60 Danny Cox
#65 R.J. Reynolds
#182 Ivan Calderon
#187 Stan Jefferson
#305 Bob Boone
#310 Tracy Jones
#314 Glenn Hubbard
#427 Greg Harris

1988 Donruss
#432 Rick Schu
#436 Mike LaCoss
#437 Gerald Perry
#550 Mike Loynd
#554 Rocky Childress
#558 Jeff Robinson
#559 Jose Uribe
Puzzle Pieces #43, 44, and 45
2 packs of 1988 Donruss yielded just 2 Cardinals, and only one actually in the St. Louis uniform, Danny Cox. Ron Gant is the other. 

1989 Topps
#9 Tim Teufel
#186 Pat Perry
#195 Ozzie Guillen
#275 Danny Tartabull
#346 Rex Hudler
#388 Bobby Bonilla
#450 Roger Clemens
#457 Mackey Sasser

1989 Topps
#565 Jeff Russell
#584 Randy Velarde
#616 Steve Rosenberg
#635 Willie Randolph
#677 Dave Schmidt
#702 Jamie Quirk
#706 Pete Incaviglia
Contest Card
The 89 Topps pack also had 2 Cardinals, but this time neither was in uniform. They're Rex Hudler and Bobby Bonilla.

1985 Fleer Stickers
#52 Kevin Bass
#77 Mike Schmidt
#87 Dwight Gooden
#97 Rick Rhoden
#110 Dave Steib
#114 Fernando Valenzuela

1985 Fleer Stickers
Logos - Orioles
I didn't have any 1985 stickers, so the size of these surprised me. The long edge is just about as long as the short edge of a full-sized baseball card.

1986 Fleer Stickers
#4 Juan Beniquez
#10 Phil Bradley
#14 Tom Browning
#21 Steve Carlton
#76 Paul Molitor
Logos - Cardinals
The 86 stickers are back to full card size. I got a nice Cardinals "hipster bird" logo (that's what the Busch Stadium tour guide called it), and Steve Carlton, who is probably more famous for playing in Philadelphia, but started out as a Cardinal, and even got his personal catcher Tim McCarver traded to the Phillies with him.

Ok, that's really it now. There won't be anything else out of the box. Thanks again, jaybarkerfan.