2013 Topps Series 2 Jumbo Pack #8

Here's where I'd make a terrible Crazy 8s pun if I could think of one.

2013 Topps
#480 Lance Berkman
#603 Chris Perez
#631 Chris Carpenter
Chasing History #CH-63 Jordan Zimmerman
Gold Parallel #334 Derek Norris #0272/2013
Making Their Mark #MM-1 Yoenis Cespedes
This pack yielded 3 Cardinals, 2 of them who moved on, and one who is now retired. I've long lamented the Chris Perez trade that brought us Mark DeRosa (and we even threw in a player to be named later!), though his recent slide has lessened that sting a little bit.

2013 Topps
Chase It Down #CD-12 Carlos Gonzalez
Emerald Parallel #332 Cole Hamels
1972 Topps Mini #TM-77 Fred Lynn
Can we petition Boston to bring back the red batting helmets?

2013 Topps
Chasing History Autographs #CHA-BH Brock Holt
Speaking of Boston, here's a nice shiny Brock Holt autograph. It's not the flashiest name on the checklist, but I feel like I've seen his name in the sports reports a bit more this year. That could be the alleged New York/Boston bias, or maybe he's really that impressive. One thing is for certain, though: he writes his capital B funny.

Since the big insert of the pack was the regular-thickness autograph, there were the standard 42 base cards in the pack. Of those, 38 were new, pushing me even closer to completing the set. I now need just 45 new base cards in the final 2 packs.

Series 2 Completion: 285/330 (86.4%)


eBay Wins #125

1987 Fleer, along with Fleer Update, looks much better with blue teams, like the Dodgers seen below. Seattle was blue too at this time, but you could hardly tell from the crazy lighting in Mike Kingery's photo.

1987 Fleer
#28 Don Baylor
#455 Franklin Stubbs
1987 Fleer Update
#U-57 Mike Kingery
#U-127 Frank Williams
There are no Cardinal players in this bunch, though Don Baylor was our hitting coach for awhile.

eBay Bargain Tracker
Total Cards Bought2941
Total Spent$47.94
Per Card1.63 cents


2013 Topps Series 2 Jumbo Pack #7

Onward to Pack 7!

2013 Topps
#378 Joe Kelly
#562 Jason Marquis
Gold Parallel #348 Jonny Gomes #0936/2013
Making Their Mark #MM-24 Manny Machado
World Baseball Classic #WBC-9 Carlos Beltran
1972 Topps Mini #TM-86 George Brett
I'm back in the red - which is a good thing in this terrible-pun case - with this pack containing 3 current and former Cardinals. The George Brett mini isn't too shabby either. And the Making Their Mark with Manny Machado makes me want to write an M-based tongue twister, but I'm no writer, as any of my readers can attest.

2013 Topps
Emerald Parallel #456 Pablo Sandoval
Cut to the Chase #CTC-27 Ralph Kiner
All but one of the Emerald Parallels in this box have been horizontal cards. There's your useless fact of the day.

This box once again had the full complement of 42 base cards, and 38 of them were new. I'm hoping my 2 Auto's and 1 Relic are contained in packs 8, 9, and 10, because I haven't seen any in this box yet.

Series 2 Completion: 247/330 (74.8%)


eBay Wins #124

One of these cards is not like the others.

1987 Donruss
#68 Rick Sutcliffe
#69 Gary Carter
#70 Mike Moore
1987 Leaf #142 Hubie Brooks
If you're like me, and I hope for your sake that you're not, any time you hear that phrase, you have to finish the Sesame Street song in your head, or possibly out loud. Clearly, the outlier here is Mr. Brooks, in the Donruss lookalike set, Leaf. These are the type of sets that drive me mad when sorting through a trade package, along with 1980s O-Pee-Chee and Topps. I almost always put those cards in with Donruss/Topps at first, and only later notice what I have when the number doesn't match the checklist as I'm cataloging. It's generally a nice surprise though, because I have very few Leaf and O-Pee-Chee cards, and certainly many fewer than Donruss and Topps. In fact, this appears to be my very first and only 1987 Leaf card.

Of these 4 players, only Rick Sutcliffe was a Cardinal, pitching in 16 games in the strike-shortened 1994 season. I vaguely remember him playing for us, in fact, it's so vague I could have sworn he was here for a few years. But, I haven't ever seen baseball-reference.com proven wrong on anything in the modern era.

eBay Bargain Tracker
Total Cards Bought2937
Total Spent$47.90
Per Card1.631 cents


2013 Topps Series 2 Jumbo Pack #6

And now we have the opening pack of the second half of the middle box of 2013 Topps. Much like discovering your father's brother's nephew's cousin's former roommate, that means absolutely nothing of consequence.

2013 Topps
#414 Mark Buehrle
Chasing History #CH-60 Derek Jeter
Cut to the Chase #CTC-28 Al Kaline
Gold Parallel #623 Alexi Ogando #0938/2013
Making Their Mark #MM-2 Mike Trout
1972 Topps Mini #TM-97 Josh Johnson
This is my second consecutive pack with no Cardinals base cards or inserts, but I did get a Mark Buehrle, a guy I casually collect, by virtue of his attendance at a high school mere blocks from my house. Other than that there were some of the standard inserts, and the slightly more rare Cut To The Chase. I've said it before, but Al Kaline still reminds me of being a dumb kid and assuming that was a made up name someone pulled off an alkaline battery. That Jeter Chasing History mentions sort of an odd milestone, 3500 hits and 350 stolen bases. As the card mentions, going into 2013 he only needed 2 SB, but 196 hits (less than 2012's total) to reach those marks. Of course, no one ever counts on season-limiting injuries, so Jeter is still well short of the hits mark, and may not reach it before he retires at the end of 2014. 3300+ hits, however, is nothing to sneeze at.

2013 Topps
Chase It Down #CD-2 Pablo Sandoval
Emerald Parallel #396 Aroldis Chapman
The back of the Sandoval card feels like Topps thought they needed to justify featuring the big man on a set about great fielding plays. "After taking extra ground balls during an off-day for the team, Sandoval was sharp when it counted." Big guys can be quick, even if they're not as fast around the bases. We believe it happened, Topps, it's OK.

This pack had the full 42 base cards expected. Only 2 were duplicates, so I added 40 cards to my Series 2 set, which is more than the 10% I must average per pack. All in all, I'm still on track to finish the set.

Series 2 Completion: 209/330 (63.3%)


eBay Wins #123

Today I have 30 cards from 1986 Topps, the big black banner set.

1986 Topps
#82 Tippy Martinez
#89 Randy St. Claire
#161 Lee Tunnell
#198 Ken Dixon
#209 Randy Ready
#226 Lee Lacy
#240 Tommy John
#302 Greg Gross
#317 Ed Romero
How have I never heard of Tippy Martinez before? That's gotta be one of the great names in sports. In the first bunch, only Lee Tunnell was a Cardinal, in 1987.

1986 Topps
#324 Dan Schatzeder
#382 Ivan Calderon
#393 Chris Pittaro
#440 Alvin Davis
#466 Tom Foley
#472 Joe Hesketh
#503 Mike Fitzgerald
#526 Charlie Lea
#562 Joe Beckwith
These 9 are decidedly common cards. At least Alvin Davis and Ivan Calderon were All-Stars once each.

1986 Topps
#598 Jim Presley
#623 Floyd Rayford
#626 Roy Thomas
#633 Jackie Gutierrez
#644 Mark Gubicza
#648 Steve Bedrosian
#703 Tim Wallach
#739 Dave Rozema
#775 Al Oliver
Floyd Rayford and Roy Thomas were both Cardinals I didn't know before looking it up for this post. One guy I really knew well was Steve Bedrosian, who was my go-to closer in RBI Baseball for NES.

1986 Topps
#321 Earl Weaver
#390 Tom Seaver
#780 Robin Yount
And, because the 30 cards didn't fit evenly into scanning groups of 9, here are my 3 favorite cards of the bunch. These guys, or at least their names, would also make a great law firm: Weaver, Seaver, and Yount. Just try to tell me you wouldn't trust that name.

eBay Bargain Tracker
Total Cards Bought2933
Total Spent$47.86
Per Card1.632 cents


Baseball Card Breakdown's Anniversary Extravaganza

To celebrate 1 year of blogging at Baseball Card Breakdown, a contest has been announced! The winner will get a choice among several lots of certified autographs. Go comment to enter, and if you're not following him, do that too, because if the follower count reaches 100, a second chance drawing will be held as well.

My favorite lot of the 8 up for grabs


2013 Topps Series 2 Jumbo Pack #5

After this pack I'll be half done with the Series 2 box. And half-done with the 3-box combo I bought: Series 1, 2, and Update.

2013 Topps
Gold Parallel #580 Jordan Danks #0730/2013
Making Their Mark #MM-21 Jurickson Profar
The Elite #TE-7 Reggie Jackson
World Baseball Classic #WBC-4 Robinson Cano
With the World Cup in full swing, the World Baseball Classic cards seem especially cool.

2013 Topps
Chasing History #CH-79 Hank Aaron
Emerald Parallel #449 Michael Cuddyer
1972 Topps Mini #TM-67 Tim Lincecum
There were no Cardinal base cards in this pack - not even former Cardinals. The Elite insert is a bit thicker than a regular card, but not as thick as the Rookie of the Year card from the last pack, so there were 38 total base cards in the pack. Of those, 30 were new, leaving me still just above the 10%-per-pack mark.

Series 2 Completion: 169/330 (51.2%)


eBay Wins #122

Today I add 2 more penny cards to my collection.

1986 Fleer
#398 Tim Laudner
#458 Jim Beattie
The cards may not be flashy, but powder blue Sansabelt pants just scream 1980s baseball, along with the 1980s logos for the Twins and Mariners. I've said before how much I like that trident logo, and I'm starting to think I might want to purchase a throwback Mariners hat if I can find one. I'll just tell everyone it's M for Matt.

eBay Bargain Tracker
Total Cards Bought2903
Total Spent$47.56
Per Card1.638 cents


Red Cardboard's Contest

There are a ton of prizes in Red Cardboard's contest, which he has rightfully dubbed a Mega Contest, so I'll keep this short. Go leave him a comment to enter. And if you haven't heard of his blog before, mention I sent you if you feel like giving me a bonus entry.

OK fine, one prize preview image, but then you have to go enter. Deal?

2013 Topps - Parallels


2013 Topps Series 2 Jumbo Pack #4

So far, I'm still resisting the urge to just open every pack at once. Here's the 4th pack of 10 in my Jumbo box.

2013 Topps
#562 Jason Marquis
Emerald Parallel #405 Hector Sanchez
Gold Parallel #473 Josh Johnson #1928/2013
I'm not a big fan of camo uniforms, but I'm glad to get another former Cardinal in Jason Marquis.

2013 Topps
Making Their Mark #MM-14 Lance Lynn
Rookie of the Year Tropy #ROY-JB Johnny Bench
I also got a current Cardinal, Lance Lynn. And this Rookie of the Year trophy card is going to cause me to have to buy a pack of extra-thick toploaders. That's a nice looking picture of Johnny Bench, though.

2013 Topps
Chasing History #CH-73 Robinson Cano
1972 Topps Mini #TM-58 James Shields
Finally here are two more of the standard inserts. I still really like those minis.

Due to the thick Johnny bench card, this pack only had 36 base cards. I also saw the first duplicates in the box, with only 18 of the 36 adding to my set. Still, I'm on pace to finish the set by pack #10, which is all I'm hoping for. All the inserts are just gravy.

Series 2 Completion: 139/330 (42.1%)


eBay Wins #121

Marching inexorably forward, I'm now at 1986 in my eBay pseudo-lots.

1986 Donruss
#20 Gary Ward
#104 Jerry Reuss
#159 Toby Harrah
#211 Bill Schroeder
#180 Harold Baines
#347 Don Baylor
#378 Dave Schmidt
#379 Bob James
While Don Baylor was never a Cardinal player, he was the first hitting coach I remember. And kid-me figured he must have been pretty good to have been hired away as the Rockies first manager. Also in this first bunch is Cardinal and St. Louis native Jerry Reuss.

1986 Donruss
#403 Bill Stein
#417 Dan Pasqua
#435 Ivan Calderon
#446 Jerry Royster
#458 Bob Shirley
#488 Juan Agosto
#544 Steve Buechele
#601 Joe Niekro
1986 is still a bit before I really started watching baseball, so I still have to look up each non-All-Star player on baseball-reference if I want to know for sure if he ever played for the Cardinals. One guy I found that way was Bill Stein, who only has Rangers stats on his 1986 card, but started out with the Cardinals in 1972-1973. Bob Shirley did have some Cardinals stats on his card, otherwise he would have been another one I didn't know played for my favorite team. I was previously aware of Juan Agosto, since he was in St. Louis in 1992.

eBay Bargain Tracker
Total Cards Bought2901
Total Spent$47.54
Per Card1.639 cents


2013 Topps Series 2 Jumbo Pack #3

2013 Topps
#569 Ryan Ludwick
Chase It Down #CD-15 Giancarlo Stanton
Chasing History #CH-90 Prince Fielder
Emerald Parallel #597 Marco Scutaro

Even though Ryan Ludwick is celebrating with the division-rival Reds, I'm happy to have a Ryan Ludwick card, since he's a former Cardinal. I've heard trade rumor of Giancarlo Stanton coming to the Cardinals, but we're so heavy on outfielders, I can't really see that happening, unless Miami needs 2 OFs in return.

2013 Topps
Making Their Mark #MM-9 Tyler Skaggs
Gold Parallel #568 Steve Lombardozzi #1366/2013
1972 Topps Mini #TM-85 Matt Williams
Black Parallel #540 Michael Bourn #28/62

All you collectors who hate the number of parallels out there can blame people like me. I like them. In fact my most desired set of all time is 1992 Topps Gold, a gold-foil parallel set. I'll never complete the 2013 sets of all 990, but maybe I can track down a few Cardinals in black, and gold.

Once again, all 42 base cards were unique to my set, so I'm well on pace to complete Series 2. But we'll see what happens in the later packs. For now, it's looking good.

Series 2 Completion: 121/330 (36.7%)


eBay Wins #120

Today I've got 2 cards from 1985 Donruss, with black, chipped borders and all. I've kindly cropped the image by about millimeter around each edge, so as not to offend your eyes.

1985 Donruss
#111 John Denny
#454 Storm Davis
John Denny played for the Cardinals from 1974 to 1979, which wasn't a very successful time in team history. He played 1985 with the Phillies as shown, and 1986 with the Reds before retiring.

Storm Davis wasn't a Cardinal, but he definitely has one of the great baseball nicknames. For some reason names like his make me think of an interview I saw by Stone Phillips of Garry Shandling, in which he riffed for a few minutes on how Stone's parents must have arrived at his name. He ultimately decided it's because Rocky was already taken.

eBay Bargain Tracker
Total Cards Bought2885
Total Spent$47.38
Per Card1.642 cents


2013 Topps Series 2 Jumbo Pack #2

Onward to Pack 2!

2013 Topps
#350 Albert Pujols
#658 David Freese
Both of these guys are Angels now, and it still stings a bit to see them at the same time on the same team again. But, winning cures all, so a good 2014 for the Cardinals will make it OK.

2013 Topps
#507 Lance Lynn
Chasing History #CH-57 Cal Ripken, Jr
Emerald Parallel #468 Anthony Gose
Here I have my third Cardinal base card, Lance Lynn, and 2 of the standard inserts.

2013 Topps
Gold Parallel #450 Jay Bruce #0568/2013
Making Their Mark #MM-18 Wade Miley
World Baseball Classic #WBC-7 Adrian Gonzalez
I think Mexico has some of the best baseball uniforms. They usually have really good soccer uniforms too, for that matter. I wonder why that is.

2013 Topps
Cut to the Chase #CTC-31 Matt Holliday
1972 Mini #TM-71 Reggie Jackson
I like the base cards, but a Cardinal insert is always an indicator of a successful pack for me.

All 42 base cards in this pack were new, which is great. I'm even further ahead of the 10%-per-pack pace than I was after pack 1. I'm fairly confident I'll get a full set from the box after successfully getting one for Series 1, but you never know.

Series 2 Completion: 79/330 (23.9%)