2013 Topps Jumbo Pack #7

With 4 packs and 113 cards to go, can I stay on pace to complete the set?

2013 Topps
#245 Jason Isringhausen
#305 Shelby Miller
I like to pretend former Cardinals in Angels or even sometimes Rangers uniforms are still Cardinals. Squinting just slightly at Izzy makes that pretty easy on this card.

2013 Topps
Calling Cards #CC-5 Jonathan Papelbon
Chasing History #CH-42 Alex Rodriguez
Chasing the Dream #CD-19 Yu Darvish
Emerald Parallel #303 Alex Rodriguez/Checklist
2 A-Rod inserts from a single pack would have been a bit more exciting before the whole year-long suspension thing.

2013 Topps
Cut to the Chase #CTC-16 Nelson Cruz
1972 Topps Mini #TM-27
These die-cuts are still weird, and the minis are still awesome.

Out of 42 base cards, 22 were new this time. The set-complete percentage is still slightly above the box-busted percentage, but it's getting closer.

Series 1 Completion: 239/330 (72.4%)


eBay Wins #113

I won 97 auctions for individual 1991 Leaf cards this time around. The seller couldn't find one of them, and asked if he could replace it with another card from the set, and since I was agreeable to that, he sent me two replacement cards. So this bundle is 98 cards for 97 cents. The cards were just curved enough to make them annoying to scan, so I've trimmed this post down to just the 11 Cardinals in the stack.

1991 Leaf
#23 Pat Borders
#45 Chuck Finley
#139 Delino DeShields
#193 Mike Morgan 

1991 Leaf
#226 Bryn Smith
#227 Todd Stottlemyre
#234 Mark Whiten
#268 Danny Jackson
Mark Whiten made me want to be an outfielder, because it was simply amazing to see him throw the ball from to the warning track to home plate on the fly. I'm not sure how many runners he actually threw out, but he certainly made runners think twice about tagging up, much like Molina seems to give would-be base-stealers pause.

1991 Leaf
#350 Danny Cox
#376 Ken Hill
#403 Lance Johnson
These cards really aren't curved that badly when I put them in sleeves, but for some reason it took me way too long to line them up on my scanner.

Before these 98, I had 23 cards from the 1991 Leaf set. There were a few duplicates, but now I have 116 cards from the set.

eBay Bargain Tracker
Total Cards Bought2821
Total Spent$46.74
Per Card1.657 cents


Another Long-Term Contest from Fuji

You know The Chronicles of Fuji, don't you?

If not, follow him or add it to your RSS reader, and especially if you're into the Athletics, the Sharks, the Packers, and a few other mostly west coast teams.

He's running a contest from now until June 7th, which you can enter by commenting on his posts from now until then. You may still have time to get in on the first one, which is here. The prizes will be 4 lots of cards, sized 100, 200, 300, and 400, which add to 1000, in celebration of his 1000th post.

Good luck to you, but better luck to me.


2013 Topps Jumbo Pack #6

We're on the downslope now, with the first pack of the second half of the box.

2013 Topps
#24 Dan Haren
#261 Trevor Rosenthal
#321 Allen Craig
#327 Jhonny Peralta
I pulled 5 current/former/future Cardinals from this pack, including new SS Jhonny Peralta, which is why I said "future".

2013 Topps
#207 Matt Holliday
Gold Parallel #81 NL ERA Leaders #0013/2013
Chasing History #CH-34 Robin Yount
Chasing The Dream Relics #CDR-CS Chris Sale
Here's the 2nd of the 3 hits promised in the box, a Chris Sale relic. It could simply be confirmation bias speaking, but there seems to be an awful lot of Chris Sale in this box.

2013 Topps
Chasing the Dream #CD-9 Devin Mesoraco
Emerald Parallel #318 Hiroki Kuroda
1972 Topps Mini #TM-45 Cal Ripken, Jr.
Of course, the 3 Chris Sale inserts are at least of a current player. This is the second Cal Ripken, Jr. insert in as many packs. I'm not complaining, just noticing.

There were 41 base cards in this pack, and 25 were new to me. The set is starting to come together, and with 60% of the box busted, I've got over 60% of the set. I will need a little over 28 new cards per pack to finish it off.

Series 1 Completion: 217/330 (65.8%)


Easy as ABC

Andrews Baseball Cards, that is. He's running a little contest for some pink parallels from 2013 Topps Minis. Will the puns never stop?

2013 Topps Mini
#611 Drew Storen #20/25

2013 Topps Mini
#647 Adam Dunn #12/25
Go comment and promote it on your blog to enter. You've got until April 30th.


eBay Wins #112

Another day, another card, another penny.

1990 Upper Deck
#577 Matt Williams

I'm not generally a sore loser, so I had no problem posting this today, after the Matt Williams-managed Nationals beat the Cardinals on a walk-off sacrifice fly. However, if the series was still going on, I might have let superstition move this card down my stack a bit.

eBay Bargain Tracker
Total Cards Bought2723
Total Spent$45.77
Per Card1.681 cents


2013 Topps Jumbo Pack #5

Let's open another pack, and I'll be halfway done with my Jumbo box.

2013 Topps
#205 Ryan Theriot
#235 Jake Westbrook
#266 Albert Pujols
Hmm, pack #1 also gave me all 3 of these guys. This one lacked Jason Motte and Jaime Garcia among Cardinals, though.

2013 Topps
Chasing the Dream #CD-25 Mike Moustakas
Emerald Parallel #185 Rob Scahill
1972 Topps Mini #TM-14 Chris Sale
I know it's not original, but Handlebar Moustakas has to be the best fantasy baseball team name in my league. Also, I think it's time Topps started considering their parallels when choosing photos. Purple and green together make me go cross-eyed.

2013 Topps
Gold Parallel #76 Brandon Inge #0638/2013
Chasing History #CH-4 Cal Ripken, Jr.
Chasing History Autographs #CHA-JH Joel Hanrahan
Now a Gold Parallel on Oakland's gold jerseys works nicely, even if it's not the same gold. The second card in this bunch is nothing to sneeze at either, Hall of Famer Cal Ripken, Jr., but forgive me for jumping straight to the last one. Just before I opened this pack I said to myself "I haven't seen any autos or relics yet, I wonder if they'll all be here." Sure enough, the autographed card is. I knew Hanrahan wasn't still on the Pirates, but I was having trouble placing him, so I did a quick search. As you may know, he spent 2013 with Boston, but as you may not know, he just worked on on Thursday (April 17) for the Mets and Yankees. So, I don't think this auto is going to put anyone's kid through college, but, they can't all be superstars.

I got 43 base cards in this pack, thanks to the regular-thickness auto and other inserts. But, for some reason, almost all of them until the higher numbers were duplicates. My total unique cards went up by just 4, to 192. I'm starting to worry a bit more about completing the set with this box. At least I can say that if the collation is pretty good I still have a chance, since I have 250 more cards (200 or so base) to complete the 138 left.

Series 1 Completion: 192/330 (58.2%)


eBay Wins #111

These cards don't really go together, except I got them about the same time. Enough logistics, on with the cards. 

2000 SP Top Prospects
#62 Tony Armas, Jr
Shiny cards come out weird in scans, but that's okay. This is my first 2000 SP Top Prospects card.

2010 Upper Deck
#395 Jason Jaramillo
#214 Emilio Bonifacio
This post is devoid of MLB logos (mostly), due to these unlicensed 2010 Upper Deck cards, and the minor league card above. So that's sort of a connection, right?

eBay Bargain Tracker
Total Cards Bought2722
Total Spent$45.76
Per Card1.681 cents


Cubs Cardboard Contest

Cubs Cardboard has been around since January of 2013, but for some reason I didn't have it in my RSS reader until today, when I saw a contest post on another blog. The contest is for these 4 cards.

2013 Gypsy Queen - Mini Relics
#GQMR-JZ Jordan Zimmerman

2013 Allen and Ginter - Framed Mini Relics
#AGR-JHK Jeremy Hellickson

2013 Bowman Chrome
Cream of the Crop Mini
#CC-AD5 Stryker Trahan

2013 Bowman Chrome
Cream of the Crop Mini
#CC-A3 Nick Maronde

Just leave a comment daily to enter, and/or promote it on your blog.

He also asked for a mention of his 2014 Allen and Ginter break for a bonus entry. You get 2 teams from 2 boxes for $15. There are a few slots left, including the Cardinals, which I'm contemplating. Or I may get silly and try to complete the whole set this year.


Fernando Vina Autographed Ball

Fernando Vina
2x Gold Glove
Another Menards opened in the St. Louis area a few weeks ago, and they brought in Fernando Vina to sign autographs. After getting there too late to make the line worth it for David Eckstein at my previous Menards try, I decided to show up about an hour early. I wound up about 75 minutes early due to low traffic, and about 10th in line. When Fernando arrived, early no less, he actually walked from the back of the line all the way up to his table, waving and saying hi the whole way. He definitely seemed to appreciate that people came out to see him. When signing the completely empty ball, he even asked me whether I wanted his autograph on the sweet spot, which I always take as sort of a humble question, since I assume that means he knows I might want to get multiple guys from a team he played for, and put the bigger star in that spot. I'm pretty much a one-auto-per-ball collector though, so I told him, absolutely.

Vina played for the Cardinals during a time they gave away a lot of bobbleheads, because I saw at least 2 distinct variations that some fans brought, and he only played here 4 years. The woman behind me was a big Vina fan, and actually had an authentic jersey for him to sign, along with her bobblehead, which she asked him to sign on the butt. He obliged, and she couldn't have been happier.

Between my spot at the front of the line and Fernando's early arrival, I was out of the 6pm signing by about 6:05 and on my way home, with another ball for my collection.


eBay Wins #110

I won 6 auctions for cards, each stating they were random cards from a given set. The first two were 1986 Topps, and the last 4 were 1994 Topps. That wasn't exactly what I got, but I'm not complaining.

1986 Topps #241 Tony Fernandez
1986 Topps #252 Bobby Castillo
1994 Topps #67 Alex Gonzalez
1994 Topps #555 Chuck knoblauch
1994 Topps - Black Gold #7 Juan Gonzalez
1994 Finest #1 Mike Piazza
The Juan Gonzalez is from 1994 Topps, but it's a Black Gold insert. The Gold and Black Gold from 1992-1994 are some of my favorites, so this was a definite upgrade from some of the possibilities of a "random" card, like, say, Bip Roberts. That last card is from Finest, and I can't imagine why the seller would lump that into a random auction instead of selling it alone. I'd think it'd fetch better than the 1 cent gamble I placed on it. It is missing the protective covering, so maybe it was perceived to be in bad condition. Whatever the reason, I now have a nice shiny Piazza.

eBay Bargain Tracker
Total Cards Bought2719
Total Spent$45.73
Per Card1.682 cents


2013 Topps Jumbo Pack #4

In my ongoing effort to get to my 2013 Series 2 box before 2014 Series 2 hits the stores, here's the 4th pack of Series 1.

2013 Topps
#68 Colby Rasmus
#96 Edward Mujica
#315 Rafael Furcal
The Greats #TG-25 Albert Pujols
There were only 2 uniformed Cardinals in this pack, and one former Cardinal among the base cards. A subset I hadn't yet seen appeared, though. "The Greats" is on needlessly thick cardstock for some reason. I figured I had found a relic when I first opened the pack, and was pretty excited to see Pujols. So there was a slight letdown when I realized it was just a thick card.

2013 Topps
Calling Cards #CC-13 Aroldis Chapman
Chasing History #CH-40 Mike Schmidt
Chasing the Dream #CD-19 Yu Darvish
Emerald Parallel #45 Travis Ishikawa
Here we have the rest of the standard inserts. The more I see the Chasing History set, the more I like it, despite Mike Schmidt's powder blue uniform.

2013 Topps - 1972 Mini
#TM-20 Justin Verlander
And finally, a tiny Tiger.

This pack had 41 base cards in it, and 20 were new to me. I'll need to average a little better than that to complete the set by pack 10. I need 23 2/3 new cards per pack for the next 6 packs to reach 330.

Series 1 Completion: 188/330 (57.0%)


eBay Wins #109

Today's post has no baseball, technically, but two other subjects in which I'm somewhat interested. I bid on this Alan Bean card from 2012 Goodwin Champions, was the only bidder, and therefore won it for the starting bid of a penny. I really bought this card because it fills a hole in a mostly-baseball set I may try to complete at some time in the future, not just because it has an astronaut, even though I've always been interested in the space program. I even applied for a summer job at NASA in college, despite living several hundred miles from the nearest location. And, visiting the Kennedy Space Center a few years ago is probably one of my favorite vacations I've ever taken.

2012 Goodwin Champions
#30 Alan Bean

It might be interesting to see long-term how well the non-sports subjects hold their value in sets like Goodwin Champions and Allen & Ginter. At least in the short term, I know of at least 2 such cards I've purchased for a penny; this card, and Mary Shelley from 2008 Ginter.

For some reason, the seller threw in two Jurassic Park movie trading cards. This was probably the first movie I saw in theaters that scared me. Luckily I was with a big group of kids who were all being slightly distracting, so I wasn't too lost in the moment.

1993 Jurassic Park
#66 A Long Clime to Freedom
#68 No Escape
Even though I wasn't seeking the cards, I'll call this 3 for a penny, because it brings my average per card down further. And, it's my blog, so I make the rules.

One more thing. This is now stuck in my head, so I'll pass it along to you.

eBay Bargain Tracker
Total Cards Bought2713
Total Spent$45.67
Per Card1.683 cents


Three Contests from Chavez Ravining

Alex at Chavez Ravining is running one of his contests again, and you have until Monday evening to go comment to enter. 3 different people will each win one Team USA relic card.

Now for the other two contests, those are in the past. That is to say, I won two consecutive contests at Chavez Ravining. The first contest was an effort to get Dodger Penguin up to 50 followers, which was achieved. I got my pick of Alex's trade bait, and I went with a shiny Pujols.

2013 Topps Chrome
1972 Refractors #72C-AP Albert Pujols
A week later, I won again! This time the prize was a nice relic from 2014 Topps of Ben Zobrist.

2014 Topps
Trajectory Relics #TR-BZ Ben Zobrist
At least Alex saved some postage by sending the two cards together. In both contests, I also won some Chavez Code points, which I'll have to get around to redeeming one of these days.

Also in this package, Alex sent the 4th McGwire card from the Mother's Cookies set. He sent the other 3 in our previous trade.
1988 Mother's Cookies Mark McGwire Set #1/4
As a Midwesterner, these are tough to find locally, since Mother's Cookies never quite made it this far. I'm keeping this one in its original wrapping too, since I can see both sides.

Thanks to Alex for the contests!


Big 44 Sports Cards Contest

There's a contest going on over at Big 44 Sports Cards. Just leave a comment with your favorite active player, and/or answer whether or not you're also a football card collector. The prizes are 3 Chrome cards and a Heritage relic.

2013 Topps Chrome #57 Jurickson Profar
2013 Topps Chrome #39 Mike Zunino
2010 Topps Heritage - Clubhouse Collection Relics #CCR-JF Jeff Francis
2013 Topps Chrome - Connection Die-Cuts #CC-MHO Matt Holliday
Of course, you can promote it on your blog for a bonus entry too. Good Luck!


eBay Wins #108

Today's win is a single minor league baseball card, for a penny. He's shown as a member of the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Red Barons, which might be one of the the longest names in baseball, as well as the only one to include a slash and a hyphen.

2000 Q Cards
#12 Larry Huff

Larry Huff spent part of 1999 and all of his 2001 games at AAA, but never quite got the call to the majors. His first 6 years were in the Phillies system, then he played at AA for Wichita (Kansas City) in 2000, and AAA for Edmonton (Minnesota) in 2001. He's pitched a total of 4 times, presumably in an emergency mop up role.

eBay Bargain Tracker
Total Cards Bought2710
Total Spent$45.66
Per Card1.685 cents