2013 Topps Update Jumbo Pack #5

With this pack, I'm half done with the box. Before this pack, I was already half done with the set.

2013 Topps
#US4 Matt Adams
#US67 Kyle McClellan
#US104 Matt Carpenter
#US165 A.J. Pierzynski
Emerald Parallel #US215 Travis Blackley
Franchise Forerunners #FF-7 Matt Harvey/David Wright
Gold Parallel #US108 Ryan Kalish #0169/2013
Making Their Mark #MM-42 Wil Myers
1971 Topps Mini #TM-27 Stan Musial
Thanks to the recent pickup of A.J. Pierzynski, this pack had 5 Cardinals in it, including a mini Musial. I mentioned when I pulled an Emerald parallel that I was hoping the Cardinals would pick him up to replace the injured Yadier Molina, and so far he seems to be worth the risk.

2013 Topps Update
Chasing History #CH-103 Anthony Rizzo
All-Star Stitches #ASR-DB Domonic Brown
Here's one of the hits in the box, a Domonic Brown jersey. I'm always a little ambivalent about the all-star jersey cards. On one hand, it's the wrong color for many teams. It'd be weird to have an orange Cardinals jersey swatch, but it's not quite as jarring for a guy that doesn't play for my home team. Still, he's a Phillie, and shouldn't be in orange. However, this jersey is from a specific day, and doesn't contain the standard disclaimer of most relic cards about not being from a specific game, event, or even season.

This pack had 41 base cards, and I already had all 41. On its face that feels a little disappointing, but I was bound to get that many doubles eventually, and I think it gives me a little insight into Topps' collation practices. Assuming my box contains a full set, this pack is completely unnecessary to build it. It would seem that the 330 cards are mechanically distributed among 9 or less packs, and this pack comes off of another line, which makes some sense because it contains one of the guaranteed hits of the box. I'm not sure I can explain how that relates to the other 2 hits, though, because even at 45 base cards per pack, 7 "regular" packs wouldn't quite finish the set. There must be just a bit more complexity at work.

Update Series Completion: 168/330 (50.9%)


eBay Wins #132

Today's eBay pseudo lot is 3 cards from 1989 Score. They're all AL teams, and all pitchers. Coincidence? Of course it is. One of them is Todd Stottlemyre, who was not only a Cardinal, but is my 2nd (I think) cousin.

1989 Score
#122 Dan Petry
#453 Todd Stottlemyre
#547 Don Gordon
Since he last played in 1988, this could be seen as a final-salute type card for Don Gordon, though I'm guessing at age 29 he wasn't really planning on retiring.

eBay Bargain Tracker
Total Cards Bought3047
Total Spent$49.00
Per Card1.608 cents
Change-0.001 cents


2013 Topps Update Jumbo Pack #4

Pack 4 has my first hit - of sorts - from this box, though it's not an autograph or relic. I also got 2 former Cardinals.

2013 Topps Update
#US67 Kyle McClellan
Emerald Parallel #US225 Chris Getz
Gold Parallel #US289 Kevin Correia #0168/2013
Making Their Mark #MM-35 Aaron Hicks
Postseason Heroes #PH-18 Bret Saberhagen
1971 Topps Mini #TM-32 Carlos Gonzalez
Even though Bret Saberhagen hung around in the major leagues into 2001, I still remember him best as the first reliever for the AL All Stars in RBI baseball. I spent quite a bit of time playing that game, either as the NL or the Cardinals. Usually I liked to play the AL when I was the NL, otherwise it just didn't seem fair.

2013 Topps Update
#US41 Dan Haren
Chasing History #CH-134 Tony Cingrani
League Leaders Pins #LLP-MT Mike Trout
You can't tell from the scan, but if you're familiar with the set, you know that Trout card is a shadow-box style card, probably as thick as 6-8 regular cards. I put it on the pile with the other two thick inserts from Series 1 and 2, and I figured, hey, it's time to go get some toploaders of the correct size, since they're probably 10 to a pack, and I need at least 3. But, after examining the cards, all 3 are a different thickness, leaving me with the choice to buy 3 different sizes, or storing 2 in a toploader thick enough to allow them to wobble. Oh, the woes of the frugal collector.

The extra-thick Trout card cost me a few base cards, so there were only 38 in the pack. Still, all 38 were new, so I'm now over halfway done with the set, after just 4 out of 10 packs.

Update Series Completion: 168/330 (50.9%)


eBay Wins #131

What is it with this Donruss All-Stars set? I have a very odd distribution of cards from it now. I have 2 copies of Paul Molitor, the other of which I received in a prize package from Jaybarkerfan's Junk. I also have a Bob Walk, which was in an eBay post just before I sorted out all my remaining penny cards, and I have 2 Ozzie Smiths, both received from Madding, one in a trade, and one in a prize package.

1989 Donruss All-Stars
#3 Paul Molitor
#20 Doug Jones
So if you're keeping score at home - and why wouldn't you be? - I have just 4 unique cards from the set, and the two duplicates are first-ballot Hall-of-Famers. In fairness, the other two guys were all-stars, but still, there should be a lot more of their cards floating around than Ozzie and Paul Molitor.

eBay Bargain Tracker
Total Cards Bought3044
Total Spent$48.97
Per Card1.609 cents
Change0 cents


2013 Topps Update Jumbo Pack #3

I'm up to my third pack of Update, and again, 4 Cardinals showed up. For some reason Matt Adams has 2 cards in this set.

2013 Topps Update
#US152 Randy Choate
#US168 Michael Wacha
#US213 Matt Adams
#US205 Prince George of Cambridge SP
Emerald Parallel #US165 A.J. Pierzynski
Making Their Mark #MM-38 Yasiel Puig
Gold Parallel #US159 Donald Lutz #/2013
Postseason Heroes #PH-16 Nolan Ryan
1971 Topps Mini #TM-34 Yu Darvish
Based on a very small N, it looks like the SP Variations are more common in Update than Series 1 and 2, much like they were in previous years. I've already got 2 in my first 3 packs, and maybe more...it's sometimes hard to notice the subtle ones. In my entire Series 1 and 2 boxes, I got 1 SP each. It's weird to think this baby could be King of England in my lifetime.

Among the rest of the inserts, there's A.J. Pierzynski, who I was sort of hoping the Cardinals would pick up when he was designated for assignment right around the time of Yadier Molina's injury. So far that doesn't look like it's going to happen. There's also a nice Nolan Ryan there, from an insert set I haven't seen yet.

2013 Topps Update
#US189 Kyle Lohse
Chasing History #CH-112 Johnny Podres
To close out this pack, here's Kyle Lohse in one of my favorite current throwback uniforms. I feel ok liking this uniform because it's from an era before the Brewers were division rivals. For the same reason, I much prefer Houston's current uniforms to anything from their NL Central Division days.

There were another 43 base cards in this pack, and all 43 were new. If this keeps up (it won't), i'll have the full set at pack 8. Unfortunately, my Wilson Betemit card has a significantly bent corner, so if I don't wind up with a duplicate, I'll probably seek out another copy before I call my set complete. For now, though, I'll count him in the numbers for simplicity's sake.

Update Series Completion: 130/330 (39.4.%)


eBay Wins #130

If you paid any attention to my last eBay post, you noticed the card numbers stopped right around the middle of the set. That's because I had a total of 88 cards from 1987 Topps in my penny card piles. Here are the rest.

1987 Topps
#433 Ed Hearn
#452 Dave Henderson
#462 Scott Fletcher
#464 Butch Wynegar
#476 Danny Tartabull
#480 Jim Rice
#495 Gorman Thomas
#499 Bruce Ruffin
#502 Dick Schofield

1987 Topps
#505 Bryn Smith
#520 Jack Clark
#524 Bob Shirley
#531 Astros Leaders (x2)
#555 Dennis Rasmussen
#556 Angels Leaders
#567 Greg Mathews
#573 Hal McRae
Hal McRae, like Don Baylor and Bengie Molina, is a player I collect because he coached for the Cardinals, even though he never actually played for them. In this block of 9, which only had 6 player cards, 5 of them were at one time Cardinal players or coaches.

1987 Topps
#575 Pat Tabler
#582 Bruce Berenyi
#593 Chuck Tanner
#599 Tony Gwynn
#604 Fernando Valenzuela
#610 Jim Rice
#622 Glenn Braggs
#650 Hubie Brooks
#660 Bob Horner
Fernando Valenzuela finished his MLB career as a Cardinal, and so did Bob Horner. neither managed a full season, though, which, I guess, isn't that uncommon at the end of a career.

1987 Topps
#672 Chili Davis
#673 Don Sutton
#675 Ed Romero
#683 Gary Roenicke
#689 Darrell Porter
#691 Dave Parker
#698 Ernie Whitt
#704 Jesse Orosco
Jesse Orosco was Jamie Moyer before Jamie Moyer, playing from 1979 to 2003, including a grand total of 2.1 innings for the Cardinals in 2000. Also, I've always seen Darrell Porter in glasses, but these are nearly Harry Caray level frames.

1987 Topps
#705 Bruce Hurst
#711 Ken Griffey
#717 Ed Vande Berg
#746 Bob Ojeda
#766 Don Aase
#767 Ron Cey
#768 Dennis Lamp
#772 Harold Baines
Ron Cey is clearly sick and tired of this post. So I'll end it after pointing out that I crossed 3000 cards purchased via eBay with this lot.

eBay Bargain Tracker
Total Cards Bought3042
Total Spent$48.95
Per Card1.609 cents
Change-0.009 cents


2013 Topps Update Jumbo Pack #2

There's something about Update I just like more than Series 1 and 2. I'll have to consider only getting Update in 2014 and going back to buying the first 2 series directly.

2013 Topps Update
#US4 Matt Adams
#US55 Pete Kozma
#US104 Matt Carpenter
3 uniformed Cardinals showed up in this pack, though Pete Kozma has spent most of his time at AAA this year. And Matt Carpenter is a 2B on this card, but a 3B this year. In fact, he's now been to the All-Star game at 2 positions in 2 years.

2013 Topps Update
Emerald Parallel #US147 Charlie Morton
Francise Forerunners #FF-10 Jose Fernandez/Giancarlo Stanton
Gold Parallel #US2 Trevor Bauer #0191/2013
Making Their Mark #MM-43 Jose Fernandez
Miami always seems to have exciting young players, now they just need to hold onto them long enough to put together a winning team again.

Chasing History #CH Mike Trout
1971 Topps Mini # Buster Posey
Minis and a throwback design are a dangerous combination for collectors like me. I see these mini 1971s and I want them all, just as much as I do the 1972 minis from Series 1 and 2.

I had a high-water mark of 44 base cards in this pack, which caused me to go searching for any SP variations. I don't think I saw any, but that's assuming the Zistle list is complete. I'll have to flip through the full stack of ordered cards after I complete the box to see if any variations stand out.

Update Series Completion: 87/330 (26.4%)


eBay Wins #129

1987 Topps always reminds me of a wood-paneled station wagon. There's probably a deeper metaphor I could dive into about utility versus beauty, but let's just see some cards.

1987 Topps
#2 Jim Deshaies
#3 Dwight Evans
#15 Claudell Washington
#18 Dick Howser
#26 Greg Brock
#40 Dave Righetti
#68 Tony La Russa
#115 Donnie Moore
#130 Dwight Gooden
I'm always happy to add another La Russa card to my collection.

1987 Topps
#140 Bret Saberhagen
#155 Eddie Whitson
#166 Bob Boone
#174 Henry Cotto
#175 Bob Stanley
#181 Cardinals Leaders
#185 Roger McDowell
#193 Roger Craig x2
I didn't know Roger Craig played for the Cardinals until just now. He went 7-9 in 1964. I've even posted a card with him and Tony La Russa before.

1987 Topps
#194 Kirk McCaskill
#219 Cecilio Guante
#220 Joe Carter
#222 Denny Walling
#230 Don Baylor
#241 Danny Heep
#243 Whitey Herzog
#254 Bob Tewksbury
#266 Jeff Hamilton
Bob Tewksbury was probably the Cardinals ace - on a team that wasn't very good - when I started watching baseball, so I always have to remind myself that my memories of him are a bit twisted by my perspective at the time.

1987 Topps
#267 Howard Johnson
#276 Jackie Gutierrez
#283 Doug Drabek
#285 Dennis Boyd
#287 Dave Von Ohlen
#293 Bob Rodgers
#295 Len Dykstra
#316 Brian Fisher
#317 Clint Hurdle
Clint Hurdle is another manager I didn't realize played for the Cardinals.

1987 Topps
#319 Greg Swindell
#343 Hal Lanier
#374 Glenn Hoffman
#399 Curt Ford
#401 Billy Jo Robidoux
#404 Doug Sisk
#412 Eric Davis (x2)
#426 Floyd Rayford
Eric Davis played 2 of his last 3 seasons for the Cardinals, but he was definitely on the downslope of his great career. Still, he was a good, consistent veteran to have around, which is always helpful in a game so focused on bringing up 19-to-21 year old prospects as soon as possible.

Since I like to tag all former Cardinals that I post so that I can quickly access any post by player, I'll have to stop here for the 1987 Topps pile. This is still part of my massive penny card re-shuffling, so these 45 cards add another 45 cents to my eBay Bargain Tracker.

eBay Bargain Tracker
Total Cards Bought2999
Total Spent$48.52
Per Card1.618 cents
Change-0.009 cents


2013 Topps Update Jumbo Pack #1

I decided to go ahead and start going through my 2013 Update jumbo box. At the rate I've been going, it'll take 40 days or so to finish it, and it'll nearly be time to start posting my football projections and power rankings.

2013 Topps Update
#US306 Pat Neshek
#US250b Yasiel Puig SP
Emerald Parallel #US310 Boone Logan
Franchise Forerunners #FF-3 Manny Machado/Cal Ripken, Jr.
Gold Parallel #US152 Randy Choate #0496/2013
Making Their Mark #MM-32 Matt Harvey
The first pack started off nicely, with a base card of All-Star Pat Neshek, and a Gold Parallel of Randy Choate. There's also a SP of Puig. I seem to remember SPs being more common in Update than Series 1 and 2 in the past, so we'll see if more show up. I've already equaled each of those boxes, which yielded 1 SP Variation each.

2013 Topps Update
#US175 Carlos Martinez
1971 Topps Mini #TM-43 Frank Thomas
Chasing History #CH-129 Clayton Kershaw
Carlos Martinez is another good get from this box, and I hope he's one of the duplicates. I don't really have a good reason to want a second copy, but I do. Kershaw's no slouch either, and Frank Thomas was one of my favorite non-Cardinals in the 90s.

There were 43 base cards in this pack, up from the Series 1 and 2 norm of 42, probably due to the lack of Million Dollar Giveaway cards in each pack. There were, of course, no duplicates in the first pack, so much like a player with 2 home runs on opening day, I'm well ahead of the pace.

Update Series Completion: 43/330 (13.0%)


eBay Wins #128

One of these things is not like the other, and if you really scrutinize, you might be able to spot it.

1988 Fleer
#41 Greg Mathews
#169 Paul Molitor
#177 Bill Wegman
#320 Glenn Wilson
#337 Bob Patterson
#340 John Smiley
#403 Bill Lindsey
1998 Score #292 Randy Bush

Okay, I guess you could pick a few of these cards for that distinction, such as one Hall-of-Famer, one Cardinal, one third baseman, one catcher, and one guy who played less than 10 games in MLB (Bill Lindsey), but I meant the 1988 Score card I used to round out my pile of 7 1988 Fleer cards. I detest wasted space in scanning, and I only had one card from the Score set in my sorted piles. It was a no-brainer.

I never before noticed that 1988 Fleer has different colors - mostly team colors it appears - below the photos. I guess the blue and red of most teams blends into the overall design, and I just never spent much time looking at teams like the Pirates. And of course this was before the purple Rockies or teal Marlins. That's one trivial detail I'll never be able to not notice again.

eBay Bargain Tracker
Total Cards Bought2954
Total Spent$48.07
Per Card1.627 cents
Change-0.002 cents


2013 Topps Series 2 Jumbo Pack #10

I'm at the end of the box. Did I finish the set? First, let's see the Cardinals and inserts.

2013 Topps
#465 Placido Polanco
#615 Mark Ellis
Chasing History #CH-65 Gary Carter
Gold Parallel #485 Ruben Tejada #1544/2013
Making Their Mark #MM-19 Bryce Harper
1972 Topps Mini #TM-91 Stephen Strasburg
Both Polanco and Ellis were missing from my set so far, so I was glad to see them turn up. I also got a card of each of the Nationals wonder-kids, Bryce Harper and Stephen Strasburg.

2013 Topps
#520 Peter Bourjos
Chase It Down #CD-8 Chase Headley
Emerald Parallel #534 Alberto Cabrera
Making Their Mark Relics #MMR-WR Wilin Rosario
I also needed the Peter Bourjos card. Along with Ellis, both of those represent future Cardinals in this weird time-shifted scenario. I also found the promised relic of the box, a nice purple pinstripe jersey from Wilin Rosario.

With the relic insert, this pack had 2 less base cards than most of the rest, at only 40. I needed 38 of them to be new, and Topps' collation came through again. I've successfully completed Series 1 and 2 from their respective jumbo boxes. I may take a break before I break open my 2013 Update box, or I might get bored in an hour and start on it. After all, 2013 isn't quite complete, since Update is a de facto Series 3.

Series 1 Completion: 330/330 (100.0%)
Series 2 Completion: 330/330 (100.0%)


eBay Wins #127

Today's lot is 3 penny cards from 1988 Topps. None of them were former Cardinals.

1988 Topps
#124 Ray Knight
#685 Ron Darling
#711 Bill Gullickson
I really don't remember Ray Knight as a player, but I do remember him managing the division rival Reds in the mid 1990s. I knew Ron Darling played for the Mets, but in my mind he's still a member of the Oakland A's, since that's where he was when, as a kid, I started paying attention to even the opposing teams.

eBay Bargain Tracker
Total Cards Bought2946
Total Spent$47.99
Per Card1.629 cents


2013 Topps Series 2 Jumbo Pack #9

I've made it to pack 9, which means there's just one left after this one to complete Series 2.

2013 Topps
#527 Carlos Beltran
#27 Mike Trout SP
Chasing History #CH-100 Phil Niekro
Gold Parallel #479 Kelly Johnston #0811/2013
Making Their Mark #MM-25 Stephen Strasburg
World Baseball Classic #WBC-13 Joe Mauer
I didn't even blink the first time I saw the Mike Trout card above. When I open my packs, I usually flip through them face-up, separate out the inserts and Cardinals, and then look at the backs to sort them by number. 27 was a suspiciously low number for Series 2, so a quick search online showed me there is 1 SP variation of his card in Series 1, and 2 different variations inserted in Series 2. Things like that always make me paranoid that I should re-check my other Topps sets, especially since the variation doesn't stand out that much. Usually I just double check any duplicate I'm trading, and assume that I wasn't lucky enough to pull 2 or more of a given SP.

2013 Topps
Emerald Parallel #486 Jason Kubel
1972 Topps Mini #TM-75 Willie Stargell
The streak of horizontal Emerald parallels continues with this pack, and I got one more of the minis I might one day get ambitious enough to chase.

Only 7 of the 42 base cards were new this time, leaving me in danger of not completing the set without a near-perfect pack for #10. If I was betting, I'd say I won't finish the set, but maybe the collation is good and I just happened to leave a pack chock full of non-doubles for last.

Series 2 Completion: 292/330 (88.5%)


Chavez Ravining's Giant Contest

Alex from Chavez Ravining is offering a contest right now, and you can enter by following him, commenting on his contest post, promoting it on your blog, promoting it on Twitter, and/or sending him some cards. The Grand Prize is a team in his 2014 Topps Chrome box break, but there are a total of 9 prizes, and I think I might be shooting for this one:

1982 Kmart - Complete Set

So go enter...but not too many times. I want to win this thing!


eBay Wins #126

It's Canada Day, so of course I've got some O-Pee-Chee cards to show.

1988 O-Pee-Chee
#50 Hubie Brooks
#271 Ken Gerhart
Actually this was basically a coincidence, since these cards were next up in my piles of eBay pseudo-lots. Since these penny-per-card lots are essentially random commons, of course O-Pee-Chee yielded a card from a Canadian team, since about 20% of the set is Montreal and Toronto. Also unsurprising for a penny: a Baltimore Oriole who only lasted 3 seasons in the majors, for a total of 215 games.

eBay Bargain Tracker
Total Cards Bought2943
Total Spent$47.96
Per Card1.63 cents