Sunday, January 31, 2016

Card of the Day: 1/31/16

1998 Best Peoria Chiefs Britt Reames autograph

     William Britt Reames was born in Seneca, South Carolina on August 19, 1973. He was selected bu the Cardinals in the 17th round of the 1995 free agent draft. Britt played his rookie season for the Cardinals in 2000, but was traded in the off-season along with Fernando Tatis to the Montreal Expos for Dustin Hermanson and Steve Kline.

     In 2000, it appeared that Britt had a bright future waiting for him in the Major Leagues. He won two and lost only one in 7 games started for the club that season while posting a 2.88 ERA. In addition, he struck out 31 batters while only walking 23. After the Cardinals traded Reames, his career took a turn for the worst. Britt never posted an ERA lower than 5.00 and only won 5 games in the following five seasons. 

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Card of the Day: 1/30/16

1987 Kay-Bee #11 Vince Coleman

     Kay-Bee Toys was the hot spot in malls across America for kids in the 80s and 90s. They had everything a kid could want, even baseball cards. Heck, they even partnered with Topps (as many stores did in the 80s) to produce sets with their own logo. As Toys R Us became more prominent, Kay-Bee's sales faltered. Kids didn't have to let their parents drag them through the mall any longer (albeit a small price to pay). Thanks to Toys R Us, kids had their own stand-alone store to visit. In 2009, Kay Bee Toys closed its doors for the last time and sold the rights of the Kay-Bee brand to Toys R Us.

Friday, January 29, 2016

Card of the Day: 1/29/16

2003 Upper Deck Masters with the Leather #L11 Scott Rolen

       On January 18th, the Cardinals revealed the eight players who will be on this year's St. Louis Cardinals Hall of Fame ballot. Voting will begin in March. Let's have a look at the candidates and attempt to rank them.

   1.  Chris Carpenter
     Carp spent nine seasons with the Cardinals. During that time, he compiled a win-loss record of 95-44. He was an All-Star in 2005, the same year he won the NL Cy Young Award. Furthermore, he is the only Cardinals pitcher other than Bob Gibson to receive that honor. In addition, he was a member of the 2006 and 2011 World Series Champions. 

     Carpenter is a shoe-in in his first year on the ballot. He was the Cardinals ace for nine seasons and is beloved by fans. 

2. Mark McGwire

     McGwire was the Cardinals first baseman and premier power hitter for five seasons. In 1998, he led a home run race to break Roger Maris' single season record of 61. McGwire finished the season with the record, bashing 70 home runs. In 1999, he followed up with 65 home runs. It created a frenzy in St. Louis and across the nation. Baseball hadn't rebounded from the 1994 players' strike and Mark, Sammy Sosa, and Ken Griffey, Jr. spurred a nation to talk about baseball again. Since that time, two of those players were linked to use of performance enhancing drugs (PEDs). McGwire was one of those two players.

     We'll see what the sentiment of the voters is when the ballots are tallied. Mark's legacy is marred by the PED scandal, but trends start in St. Louis. The fans inducted Curt Flood in 2015 although he had been shunned by baseball for more than 50 years due to challenging the reserve clause. We'll look to St. Louis in August to see if it's time to heal the wounds of the steroid era.

3. Matt Morris

     Matty Mo pitched in St. Louis for the first eight seasons of his eleven-year career. During that time, he compiled 101 wins and 986 strike outs. He was an All-Star in 2001 when he posted 22 wins. In addition, Matt was a member of the 2004 NLCS Champions.

     When Matt was good, he was great. When he faltered, Chris Carpenter came along to steal the fans' hearts. We think Matt will fall just short this cycle due to being overshadowed by the presence of Chris Carpenter on the ballot.

4. Edgar Renteria

     Renteria played six seasons with the Cardinals. He had a career year with the Cardinals, hitting .330, driving in 100 runs, and scoring 96 runs. He was a three-time All-Star with the team. During the 2004 World Series, Edgar was one of the few Cardinals that hit well. He batted .333 while posting an RBI and scoring 2 runs. 

     Renteria was a fan favorite while he was in St. Louis. It helped that he was the guy who replaced the guy who replaced Ozzie Smith. In addition, Edgar provided a solid bat in the two-spot and added a little pop to the lineup. While with the club, he hit 71 home runs. That's 1 more than he hit in his other 10 seasons combined. It's difficult to gauge how voters will remember Edgar. He was part of the 2004 NLCS champions that were swept by the Boston Red Sox in the World Series, but who can forget about the way he approached his work and that infectious smile?

5. Jason Isringhausen

     Izzy was the Cardinals closer for seven seasons. He is the Cardinals all-time saves leader with 217. In addition, he posted a 2.98 ERA during that time while recording 373 strike outs. Isringhausen was also a member of the 2006 World Series Champions, but missed the postseason due to injury.

     Jason is a likely inductee. He was well-liked and lights-out during his time with the Cardinals. Although Isringhausen certainly personifies a St. Louis Cardinals Hall of Famer, he may be left out due to fans' fondness for Matt Morris or Edgar Renteria.

6. Keith Hernandez

     Hernandez spent his first ten seasons in a Cardinals uniform. He didn't display the typical power required of a first baseman, but was a run-producing machine. He posted 595 RBI while with the team and scored 662 runs. In addition, his defense has been compared to that of Brooks Robinson. Hernandez appeared in the All-Star Game twice while with the Cardinals and was a member of the 1982 World Series Champions.

     Keith might have a rough time earning the honor while fellow first baseman Mark McGwire is still on the ballot. In addition, Hernandez earned the ire of Cardinals fans during his time with the Mets. 

7. Scott Rolen

     Rolen spent six seasons in a Cardinals uniform. During that time, he batted over .300 only once, but hit 20+ home runs on three different occasions. Most believe that Scott was the most well-rounded Cardinals third baseman since Ken Boyer, not to mention arguably the best defensive third baseman to ever play the game. 

     We won't say that Scott has no chance of being inducted in his first year on the ballot, but he has stiff competition. Although Rolen was a solid player for the Cardinals, his performance may be overshadowed by the many injuries that plagued his tenure with the Cardinals and his inability to come through in the clutch during the postseason. Despite all that, he was a member of the 2006 World Series Champions and a 2-time All-Star while with the team.

8. Joe Torre

     Torre spent six seasons playing for the Cardinals and managed the team for six seasons. As a player, Joe was a solid hitter, never batting below .280 while with the club. In addition, he hit 98 home runs and posted 558 RBI. As a manager, Torre was less than acceptable, winning 351 games and losing 354. After leaving St. Louis, Joe redeemed himself with the Yankees, showing the world that if you give him a ton of talent he can get the job done. But then again, with players like Derek Jeter, Andy Pettite, Bernie Williams, Roger Clemens, Paul O'Neill, David Justice, and Mariano Rivera, who wouldn't win a few championships? 

     We think it's a long-shot that Torre gets inducted into the Cardinals Hall of Fame anytime soon. It has been over forty years since Torre took the field for the Cardinals and people who actually saw him play are getting fewer in number every day. On the other hand, the sour taste of hearing the words "former Cardinals manager, Joe Torre" still leaves a sour taste on the tongues of fans and will for many years to come.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Card of the Day: 1/28/16

2001 Fleer Tradition #5 Dave Veres

     Veres came to St. Louis from the Colorado Rockies along with Darryl Kile and Luther Hackman in exchange for a quartet of fameless players. In three seasons with the club, Dave recorded 75 saves. At the end of the 2002 season, the Cardinals released him to free agency. Dave played the next season for the Chicago Cubs, ending his 10-year Major League career. 


Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Card of the Day: 1/27/16

1981 Topps #523 John Fulgham

     John Thomas Fulgham was born in St. Louis, Missouri on June 9, 1956. He spent two seasons with the Cardinals, but his promising career abruptly ended after Fulgham injured his rotator cuff.

     John was signed by the Cardinals in the first round of the 1976 secondary free-agent draft. He made his debut for the team on June 19, 1979. While with the team he won fourteen games in thirty-three starts. He posted a 2.84 career ERA over the 1979 and 1980 seasons. The most impressive stat may be that all fourteen of John's wins were also complete games. It's a shame that injury ended his career and didn't allow him to reach his full potential as a big league pitcher. 


Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Card of the Day: 1/26/16

1959 Topps #26 Chuck Stobbs

     Charles Klein Stobbs was born in Wheeling, West Virginia on July 2, 1929. In 1947, the Boston Red Sox signed Chuck as an amateur free agent. He spent fifteen seasons in the Major Leagues.

     During that time, Chuck spent part of a season pitching for the St. Louis Cardinals. The Cardinals claimed Chuck off of waives from the Washington Senators on July 9, 1958. He pitched seventeen games for the Cardinals, winning one, losing three, and compiling a 3.63 ERA while with the club. The Cardinals released him after the season ended.

Monday, January 25, 2016

Card of the Day: 1/25/16

2009 Topps Commemorative Cap Logo Patch Johnny Mize 25/99

Ain't he a wonder? Why he's a big cat. -St. Louis Cardinals teammate, Joe Orengo

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Card of the Day: 1/24/16

2012 Bowman Sterling Prospects Autographs Steve Bean

     Stephen William Bean was selected by the Cardinals in the first round of the 2012 free-agent draft. He has struggled during four seasons in the Minor Leagues. He showed promise with the GCL Cardinals of the Gulf Coast League, posting a .320 batting average, but struggled with the Johnson City Cardinals in 2013. He played for the Peoria Chiefs during the 2014 and 2015 seasons and most likely will return to Peoria in 2016 unless he's traded. In four seasons, Bean has posted a cumulative .223 batting average and caught only 34% of runners trying to steal. Bean's Major League hopes look bleak if he doesn't get things turned around this season.

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Anatomy of a Trade: Knowing When Fair Is Fair

     Seven days ago, our regularly scheduled broadcast was interrupted to make a special presentation of a special card that had made its way into my possession. That card was this:
2015 Topps Heritage Real One Dual Autographs Sandy Koufax/Clayton Kershaw 7/25

     Once I received the card, it posed an interesting challenge for me. Although it's an amazing card, it didn't fit in our collection which is devoted solely to the St. Louis Cardinals. I thought about selling it on eBay, but as mentioned in "Why Would a Grown Man Collect Baseball Cards," I'm completely disenchanted with the business of buying and selling baseball cards, especially through eBay. I thought about taking it to the local card stores around here and seeing what it might bring, but to be honest, the card stores around here leave a lot to be desired. My next step was to contact Blowout Cards and Dave & Adams Card World to see if I could work out a deal for store credit. Chris at Blowout wasn't interested and Steve at DA Card World low-balled me. I realized that I may have to brave the eBay fees if I wanted to move this card. It was a realization that made me shudder in distaste, I brainstormed to think of more alternatives and was left with only two other options: consign with Beckett (even more fees, yuck) or trade it. Honestly though, who can appreciate this card for what it is, who wouldn't immediately flip it for some quick cash, and who has the type of card portfolio that could even come close to filling my Cardinals needs on this level? I could think of only one person: aceecards at Trading Card Central.

     I did a quick scan of his Photobucket and let me tell you this guy's bucket is almost as inspiring as walking into Cooperstown itself. And that's just the baseball. It's the same for the other major sports as well as boxing, golf, Olympics, you name it. The first Cardinals card that I came across was a Dizzy Dean cut autograph. I knew I was in the right place. I sent acee a message and he replied that he was, indeed, interested in the Koufax/Kershaw dualie, but Diz was unavailable. I understood. Although the cards were in the same value range, it isn't every day you see a Dizzy autograph. Koufax is a little easier to come by. I took some time to look through the rest of his Hall of Fame autos and made a list of cards that interested me. It looked like this (in order of priority):

1) Frisch cut auto
2) Medwick cut auto
3) Brock Sterling auto 5/10
4) TTT Ozzie auto
5) SS Sutter auto
6) Gibson/ Brock dual 7/100
7) SS LaRussa auto
8) Tribute Musial auto
9) SS Musial auto
10) Heritage Musial auto
11) Gibson Sterling auto 5/10
12) SI Brock auto
13) Heritage Schoendienst auto

     I sent this amazing list to acee and asked him to make me an offer. It didn't take long before he replied with this:

the ozzie white whale 1/1 from triple threads
the tribute musial
and the gibson sterling
and the brock sterling
     At first, I was disappointed that neither of the cut autos were part of the deal, but I understood for the same reason as the Dizzy. When I had made the list, I didn't realize the Ozzie was a 1/1. That was the sole factor in taking the offer seriously and to acee's credit, he admitted that he wasn't sure what the value on the Koufax was. I asked for some time to think about it and I started crunching the numbers. When all was said and done, we were a couple hundred bucks apart in value by my estimate. I asked acee if he could throw in either of the other Musial autos or the Sutter along with the LaRussa and he replied that he could throw in the Sutter, but the others were off the table. I sensed that he thought I was beginning to ask too much. In contrast, I was struggling with the idea that I wasn't getting enough. We were still over a hundred dollars apart in value and I began thinking that I could sell the Koufax, buy all the cards he was offering, and have a little left over. I thought about it a little longer and realized that I was never going to find all those cards in one place, I wanted the Ozzie 1/1, the only way I could get it was by making a deal with acee, and he was saving me a lot of time of searching through listings to find those cards. After I put it into perspective, it didn't seem like such a bad deal. I messaged him back and told him that if he threw in the Sutter it was a deal. For four days, I second-guessed myself, wondering if I was getting enough in the trade. Today, I received a package containing these cards:

2007 Sweet Spot Classic Signatures Silver Lace Bruce Sutter 3/42

2008 Topps Sterling Career Stats Triple Relic Autograph Lou Brock 5/10

2008 Topps Sterling Quad Relic Autograph Bob Gibson 5/10

2002 Topps Tribute Marks of Excellence Autographs Stan Musial

and the card that became priceless the minute that it was added to the Wall of Cards

2006 Topps Triple Threads White Whale Autographed Relic Printing Plate Ozzie Smith 1/1

     It wasn't until I had these cards in my hand that I truly appreciated how much acee gave up for that one card. Sure, I gave up value, but he gave up four amazingly beautiful cards plus a more than decent throw-in. Seeing that we were both seemingly at a point where I may have been asking too much, but by the numbers I was getting the short end of the deal, I can only surmise that this deal worked because of these three reasons:

         1) Mutual respect for each other and each other's situation
         2) A mutual appreciation for the game AND the cardboard, and
         3) A realization that there are more important things than money.

     Sometimes, the numbers don't match up and the deal is still fair. I gave up a little value in acee's favor because I knew he was giving up a fair amount even though, at the time, I didn't realize exactly how much I was gaining. What I lost in value, I gained in these ways:

   1) 1st 1/1 added to the Cardinal Sauce collection,
2) 1st Sutter autograph in the Cardinal Sauce collection,
3) 1st Brock autograph in the Cardinal Sauce collection,
4) The top three cards in the Cardinal Sauce collection,
5) 2 other excellent additions to the Cardinal Sauce collection, and
6) convenience.

     There is another gentleman at Trading Card Central  who we don't see much of anymore, but whose mantra is: Collect Hard! I'd say, in this instance, acee and I did just that and, in closing, I wish to pass that same sentiment on to you readers.

Collect Hard!


Card of the Day: 1/23/16

1986 Quaker #3 Vince Coleman

     Have you ever seen a nine-year-old boy wrestle with a fifteen-year-old boy? That was the scene in our household during the summer of 1986. Mom and Dad worked and my tormentor, I mean babysitter, was my older brother. We went through extreme measures to be the first to open the new box of Quaker Chewy Granola Bars just so we could get our hands on these gems. I can't even tell you how many boxes of granola bars we consumed that summer. On several occasions, it sparked wrestling matches of No Holds Barred Battle Royal proportions. Big brother had weight and muscle that little brother couldn't match, but little brother wasn't afraid to launch a flying forearm off the kitchen chair the minute big brother turned his back. These cards certainly bring back memories and hold a special place in the Cardinal Sauce collection.

Friday, January 22, 2016

Card of the Day: 1/22/16

2010 Topps Turkey Red #TR-36 Matt Holliday

     Matthew Thomas Holliday was born in Stillwater, Oklahoma on January 15, 1980. After graduating from Stillwater High School in 1998, Matt was selected by the Colorado Rockies in the 7th round of the free-agent draft. He made his rookie debut for the Rockies on April 16, 2004 at the age of 24.

     The Cardinals acquired Matt from the Oakland A's on July 24, 2009 in exchange for three Minor League players. Matt garnered the distaste of fans by making a few crucial errors in left field during the 2009 postseason. The Cardinals still re-signed him at the end of 2009 for a sum that seemed excessive.We have to admit that we were part of the crowd calling for Holliday's departure from St. Louis. Since that time, Matt has made amends on numerous occasions.

     For three seasons, Holliday reaped the benefits of Albert Pujols batting behind him. Since Albert's departure, Matt has become the premier hitter in the Cardinals lineup. Holliday, a hit-before-power guy, is a line drive hitter who consistently posts decent power numbers while nurturing his career .307 batting average. He may never reach 500 HR or 3000 H (due to his penchant for walks), but he will forever be remembered as one of the Cardinals best hitters. 


Thursday, January 21, 2016

Card of the Day: 1/21/16

2001 Fleer Futures #203 Esix Snead

     As mentioned in a previous Card of the Day segment, Snead didn't play much in the Major Leagues, only two seasons with the Mets. He posted a career MLB batting average of .308 and that leads us to question why his career was so limited. The answer came when we looked at his Minor League statistics. In nine seasons in the Minor Leagues, Esix batted over .250 only once and posted a career Minor League batting average of .231. It appears that Snead is one of those players who showed flashes of brilliance, but ultimately didn't measure up.


Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Card of the Day: 1/20/16

1981 Topps #489 John Littlefield

     John Andrew Littlefield was born on January 5, 1954 in Covina, California. He only played two seasons in the Major Leagues, his rookie season in St. Louis and the other in San Diego. The Cardinals traded John after his rookie year along with six other players to the Padres for Rollie Fingers, Gene Tenace, Bob Geren, and Bob Shirley.

     John led the Cardinals in saves with nine during the 1980 season. It's unclear why he was released by the Padres after the 1981 season after posting a 3.66 ERA. John's career ERA is 3.39 which leads us to wonder why his career was cut short.


Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Card of the Day: 1/19/16

1959 Topps #6 Alex Grammas

     Alexander Peter Grammas was born on April 3, 1926 in Birmingham, Alabama. He made his rookie debut for the Cardinals on April 13, 1954.

     Alex spent ten seasons in Major League Baseball, posting a career .247 Batting Average. Alex is still living in Birmingham, Alabama and has a great reputation for completing through-the-mail autograph requests.

Monday, January 18, 2016

Card of the Day: 1/18/16

2003 UD Patch Collection Stan Musial Manufactured Patch

     In St. Louis, Stan is the Man. Let's see where he lands on the All-Time MLB leader boards.

H- 4th (3630)
HR- 30th (475)
RBI- 7th (1951)
R- 10th (1949)
AVG- 30th (.3308)
2B- 3rd (725)
3B- T-19th (177)
WAR- 8th (128.1)

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Card of the Day: 1/17/16

2013 Topps Tribute Autographs Lance Lynn 79/99

     Michael Lance Lynn was born in Indianapolis, Indiana on May 12, 1987. He was selected in the first round of the 2008 free-agent draft.

     Whether you love him or hate him, Lance has been a consistent pitcher for the Cardinals over the last four seasons. His current career ERA is 3.37 and over the last four seasons, he has accumulated 60 wins and 766 strikeouts, He will be missed during the 2016 season while he recovers from Tommy John surgery.

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Card of the Day: 1/16/16

1992 McDonald's/Pacific #25 Bill White

     We interrupt this post for a special presentation. We had planned to review Bill's book, Uppity: My Untold Story About the Games People Play, but it has been preempted to bring you this breaking news.

     Sometimes, a collector receives a card that is too special not to share. Even when it doesn't feature players from one's said team, in our case the Cardinals. That card is this:

2015 Topps Heritage Real One Dual Autographs Sandy Koufax/Clayton Kershaw 7/25

     Ok we know these guys aren't Cardinals and, be certain, we despise the Dodgers (even more than the Cubs) but we have great respect for the Dodgers organization and especially the greatest left-handed pitcher that ever took the mound.

     Sanford Braun Koufax was born in Brooklyn, New York on December 30, 1935. A hometown boy, he signed with the Brooklyn Dodgers on December 14, 1954. He made his Major League debut just six months later at the age of 19.

     Sandy compiled some impressive stats in a career shortened to just twelve seasons by arthritis in his pitching arm. He posted a career 2.76 ERA. In addition, Koufax rung up 2396 batters on strikeouts while striking out more than 300 in a season on three different occasions. He won the World Series four times with the Dodgers (1955, 1959, 1963, and 1965), is a 4-time NL MVP, is a 7-time All-Star, is a 3-time Cy Young Award winner, and won the NL MVP in 1963.

     That Kershaw guy, he's not Sandy, but he isn't too bad, either.



Friday, January 15, 2016

Card of the Day: 1/15/16

2012 Topps Archives Gold #125 David Freese

     David Richard Freese was born in Corpus Christi, Texas on April 28, 1983. He graduated from Lafayette High School in Wildwood, Missouri and attended the University of South Alabama.

     The Cardinals acquired Freese on December 14, 2007 in the deal that sent fellow fan-favorite Jimmy Edmonds to San Diego. Although it was tough to see Jim leave the team, Freese proved to be a welcome addition to the Cardinals lineup. His heroics at the plate during the 2011 NLCS and World Series earned him three awards: NLCS MVP, World Series MVP, and the Babe Ruth Award (postseason MVP).

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Card of the Day: 1/14/16

2001 Fleer Focus #196 JD Drew

     If it seems like there is a recurring theme to our Throwback Thursdays, blame it on the card companies. In the early part of the 21st century, the companies capitalized as much as they could on the booming card market that resulted from insertion of autographed and game-used cards by producing as many sets as they could. Most of the sets had a checklist of 250 or 300 cards and as a result featured only a few players from each team. In the case of the Cardinals, those players were: Mark McGwire, Jim Edmonds, Fernando Tatis, JD Drew, and Ray Lankford. If you were really lucky, you could grab one of the various Rick Ankiel insert cards.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Card of the Day: 1/13/16

1981 Topps #485 Garry Templeton

I think if you look back on it, you could say, "Well he could have done things differently." But people don't realize I was young. It was a transitional period for me. Once I came to San Diego, I matured a little. I don't know. I guess it was just bad timing. - Garry Templeton on his altercation with fans that ultimately punched his ticket out of St. Louis.


Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Card of the Day: 1/12/16

1958 Topps #476 Stan Musial All-Star

          Topps dedicated the final 21 cards in the 1958 set to the All-Stars. It is one of the best All-Star subsets ever produced. The design is beautiful and the checklist is amazing. Besides Musial, it includes Mickey Mantle, Willie Mays, Ted Williams, Casey Stengel, Hank Aaron, Ernie Banks, Frank Robinson, Warren Spahn, Eddie Mathews, Nellie Fox, and Luis Aparicio. It's almost as spectacular as an induction-day mixer.

Monday, January 11, 2016

Card of the Day: 1/11/16

2001 SP Game Used Edition Authentic Fabric Fernando Tatis

     2001 SP Game Used Edition was packaged in three-card packs. Each pack contained an Authentic Fabric card. The set contained 82 subjects, three of which were Cardinals: Tatis, JD Drew, and Jim Edmonds. 


Sunday, January 10, 2016

Card of the Day: 1/10/16

2014 Topps Triple Threads Jumbo Jersey Autographs Kolten Wong

     The Cardinals have a long history of outstanding second basemen. Kolten Wong is the current torchbearer in that line. He's played 2+ years at the position and continues to amaze fans with his glove while adding a little pop with the bat. We thought it would be fun to play a game and see how his first 3 seasons stack up against those of Hall of Famers Rogers Hornsby, Frankie Frisch, and Red Schoendienst along with fan-favorites Tommy Herr and Julian Javier.

We'll give you the numbers; you try to guess who posted them.

Batting Average

.316  .302 .291  .270 .260  .250

Home Runs

23  14  14  13  4  0  

Runs Batted In

201  135  129  103  101  62

Runs Scored

274  210  199  154  129  83  

Stolen Bases

98  56  44  38  34  33

Fielding Percentage

.987  .978  .977  .969  .960  .936



Batting Average          Home Runs                Runs Batted In (RBI)      
Hornsby- .316             Wong- 23                   Frisch- 201                      
Frisch- .302                 Hornsby- 14               Hornsby- 135                  
Herr- .291                    Frisch- 14                  Schoendienst- 129           
Schoendienst- .270     Javier- 13                    Wong- 103                      
Javier- .260                 Schoendienst- 4          Javier- 101                      
Wong- ,250                 Herr- 0                        Herr- 62                         

Runs Scored                    Stolen Bases                         Fielding Percentage  
Schoendienst- 274           Frisch- 98                             Herr- .987
Javier- 210                       Javier- 56                             Schoendienst- .978
Frisch- 199                      Schoendienst- 44                 Wong- .977
Hornsby- 154                  Wong- 38                             Javier- .969
Wong- 129                      Hornsby- 34                         Frisch- .960
Herr- 83                           Herr- 33                               Hornsby- .935

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Card of the Day: 1/9/16

1992 McDonald's/Pacific #53 Lee Smith

     On January 6, The National Baseball Hall of Fame announced the members of the 2016 induction class. In Smith's 14th year on the ballot he was left out again, appearing on only 34.1% of the ballots (75% is needed for induction). In the meantime, Trevor Hoffman skyrocketed to 5th in voting, appearing on 67.3% of ballots in his first year on the ballot. It isn't surprising considering Hoffman posted 601 saves vs. Smith's 478 saves and a career 2.87 ERA vs. Smith's 3.03 lifetime ERA. The only argument that one could make for Smith is that he posted those numbers while playing for some terrible Cubs teams in the 1980s and some equally poor Cardinals teams in the 1990s. He'll have one more year to get it done before he's removed from the ballot. After that, it's up to the Veterans Committee.

Friday, January 8, 2016

Card of the Day: 1/8/16

2006 Bowman Heritage Mini #103 Chris Carpenter

     The Cardinals took a chance by signing Carpenter to a 1-year deal in December of 2002. Chris had never posted an ERA lower than four and he was coming off an injury plagued season in which he underwent Tommy John surgery. That risk paid off with dividends.

     Chris recorded 15 wins and a 3.46 ERA in 2004--his first full season with the Cardinals. In 2005, he won they Cy young Award and is the only Cardinals pitcher to have received that honor other than Bob Gibson.

     Carpenter anchored the Cardinals pitching staff for a decade which included two World Series Championships (2006 and 2011). Speaking of the World Series, Chris had 3 wins, no losses, and a 2.00 ERA in the Fall Classic. That's a winner. 


Thursday, January 7, 2016

Card of the Day: 1/7/16

2001 Fleer Focus #152 Fernando Tatis

     The Cardinals received Tatis from the Texas Rangers along with Darren Oliver and a player-to-be-named later (Mark Little) on August 9, 1998 in exchange for Todd Stottlemyre and Royce Clayton. It seemed like a lop-sided trade at the time. Stottlemyre was once a force in the rotation, but was battling injuries. Clayton was the man that pushed Ozzie Smith out of St. Louis.

    While Darren Oliver didn't provide much for the Cardinals (but we'll get back to him), Tatis was a welcome addition at third base, providing some pop with the bat and recording an MVP-like season in 1999.

     As mentioned, Oliver didn't do much for the Cardinals and he was allowed to leave via free agency after the 1999 season, but that isn't where this story ends. After bouncing around the Major Leagues for ten years, Oliver landed back in Texas with the Rangers in 2009. His stay there lasted long enough for him to make an appearance in Game 6 of the 2011 World Series against (who else) the St. Louis Cardinals. Darren gave up a two-run lead in the bottom of the tenth inning, allowing the Cardinals to tie the game. Coincidence? We think not.  

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Card of the Day: 1/6/16

1981 Topps #441 Ken Reitz

      Reitz (an All-Star in 1980) was packaged with Leon Durham and a player-to-be-named-later (Ty Waller) and sent to the Chicago Cubs on December 22, 1980 for Bruce Sutter. The Cardinals won a World Series championship two years later. Consequently, Leon Durham made a crucial error in the 1984 NLCS that kept the Cubs out of the World Series. Coincidence? We think not.

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Card of the Day: 1/5/16

1957 Topps #380 Walker Cooper

     William Walker Cooper was born on January 8, 1915 in Atherton, Missouri. He was signed by the Cardinals as an amateur free agent in 1935. 
      Cooper served two tours with the Cardinals during his career. The first spanned from 1940-1945. During that time, he was a three-time All-Star(1942, 1943, and 1944), three-time NL Pennant winner(1942, 1943 and 1944), and two-time World Series champion (1942 and 1944). The Cardinals sold Walker to the Giants for $175,000 on January 5, 1946.

     Cooper played for the Giants, Reds, Braves, Pirates, and Cubs before returning home to St. Louis in 1956. He made three more All-Star appearances with the Giants in 1946, 1947, and 1948. Walker retired from baseball after playing the 1956 and 1957 seasons with the Cardinals. He passed away on April 11, 1991 in Scottsdale, Arizona.


Monday, January 4, 2016

Card of the Day: 1/4/16

2009 Topps Allen & Ginter Framed Mini Relics Ryan Ludwick Jersey

     Ryan Andrew Ludwick played for the Cardinals from 2007-2010. He was traded to the Padres for pitchers Jake Westbrook and Nick Greenwood during the 2010 season. Ludwick posted a career year with the Cardinals in 2008, batting .299 while belting 37 home runs and driving in 113 RBI. It earned Ryan his only All-Star appearance. Despite being left off the All-Star roster, Ludwick produced respectable numbers with the Padres and Reds, but he was often plagued by injuries. 

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Card of the Day: 1/3/16

2005 Bowman Sterling John Nelson Jersey/Autograph

     John Clark Nelson was selected by the Cardinals in the 8th round of the 2001 free agent draft. He played eight games for the Cardinals in 2006, going hitless in five at-bats. The Cardinals shipped him off to the Cubs in July of 2007. He couldn't even make it as a Cub and never played another Major League game.

Card of the Day: 1/2/16

1992 McDonald's/Pacific #24 Keith Hernandez

          Hernandez had some great years in St. Louis. He was a member of the 1982 World Series champions and is still a fan-favorite. He did well for himself after leaving the club as well, landing in New York as a member of the Mets. He also won a World Series Championship in New York with the Mets in 1986, cementing his legacy with that team. 

      After retiring in 1990, Hernandez landed a few acting gigs. The most notable are three memorable episodes from the award-winning television series Seinfeld. He also appeared on an episode of Law & Order and made his big-screen debut in The Scout starring Brendan Fraser and Albert Brooks. Since 2006, Hernandez has provided analysis for Mets telecasts. 

Friday, January 1, 2016

Card of the Day: 1/1/16

2012 Bowman Gold #36 Lance Berkman

Great Moments in Cardinals History

Busch Stadium. St.Louis, Missouri

October 27, 2011

     The Cardinals trailed the Texas Rangers three games to two going into Game 6 of the 2011 World Series. The Rangers got out to an early lead in the top of the first inning on a single from Josh Hamilton that scored Ian Kinsler. The Cardinals snatched the lead back in the bottom-half of the inning when Lance Berkman hit a two-run, two-out homer off Rangers starting pitcher Colby Lewis.

     The top of the second inning came and went with the Rangers scoring another run on a ground rule double from Ian Kinsler that scored Craig Gentry from second base. The Cardinals went away quietly in the bottom of the inning and the score remained tied 2-2 until the Rangers came up in the top of the 4th.

     After nine straight batters were sat down between the two teams, Nelson Cruz led off the top of the fourth inning with a flyball to left field. It was almost certainly the first out of the inning, but Matt Holliday misplayed the ball and Cruz reached second base on the error. Mike Napoli took his place at the plate and singled to right field, scoring Cruz. The Rangers gave the Cardinals another scare in the inning when Cardinals pitcher Fernando Salas made a bad throw to first base on a bunt off the bat of Colby Lewis. So often errors made lead to runs scored especially when the opposing pitcher is involved, but the Cardinals defense held up and retired the last two batters without any more damage being done. They headed into the bottom of the fourth trailing the Rangers, 3-2.

     The Cardinals answered in the bottom of the fourth when Berkman reached first base on an error by Rangers first baseman Michael Young. He advanced to second base on a walk to Matt Holliday and to third base on a ground out to second by David Freese. Yadier Molina advanced to the plate with Berkman on third base and Freese at first base. Yadi hit a chopper to third baseman Adrian Beltre whose only play was to get the force-out at first. Berkman scored, tying the game at three runs apiece.

     The top of the fifth inning began with another Cardinals error; this time from shortstop Rafael Furcal which allowed Josh Hamilton to reach first base. Michael Young hit a line drive to left field that allowed Hamilton to score from first. The Rangers took the lead, 4-3. After that, the bats went quiet on both sides until the bottom of the sixth inning.

     Albert Pujols led off the bottom of the sixth with a strikeout. He dropped to 0-3 at the plate for the game. The Cardinals big bat had been retired, but that didn't discourage Berkman who legged out a groundball to third for a single. Matt Holliday hit a ground ball between first and second. First baseman Michael Young fielded the grounder, but made an errant throw to the bag that allowed Holliday to reach safely and Berkman to advance to second. The errors took their toll on Colby Lewis and he walked David Freese to load the bases. Rangers manager Ron Washington pulled the plug on Lewis and gave the ball to Alexi Ogando.Ogando had been nearly un-hittable during the 2011 postseason, but the Cardinals didn't need a hit to tie the game. Ogando walked the next batter, Yadier Molina, and Berkman scored. Nick Punto advanced to the plate with the one out, the bases loaded and the score tied, 4-4. Mike Napoli helped his pitcher by picking off Matt Holliday at third base on a throw from the plate for the second out. Rather than getting the final out, Ogando threw a wild pitch that advanced the runners and then walked Punto to load the bases once again. Ron Washington was beside himself. Derek Holland received the call from the bullpen to finish out the inning. He did just that when Jon Jay grounded a ball back to the mound and Holland made the throw to first for the final out.

     Lance Lynn took the mound for the Cardinals in the top of the seventh, looking to shut the Rangers down and give his team a chance to take the lead. What Lynn,the Cardinals, and Cardinals fans wanted couldn't have been farther from what actually happened. Adrian Beltre led off the seventh inning with a home run to right-center field. Nelson Cruz advanced to the plate and hit a solo home run. The Rangers led 6-4. After getting a quick strikeout from Mike Napoli, Lynn gave up a single to David Murphy. With a man on first and one out, Rangers pitcher Derek Holland laid down a sacrifice bunt that turned into a force out of Murphy at second base. Cardinals manager Tony LaRussa had seen enough from his young pitcher, replacing Lynn with the veteran reliever, Octavio Dotel. No sooner than Dotel began his work, he threw a wild pitch that allowed Holland to move to second base. With two outs and Holland on second, Ian Kinsler grounded up the middle and the runner scored from second. 

     The Cardinals trailed the Rangers, 7-4, going into the bottom of the seventh. Although an unfavorable situation, Cardinals fans were optimistic since the top of the lineup was due to bat. Their hopes were dashed when Holland retired Rafael Furcal, Ryan Theriot, and Albert Pujols in order. The Cardinals chances seemed bleak moving into the eighth inning, down three runs and their best player, Albert Pujols, hitless with little chance to bat again.

     The Rangers were unable to increase their lead in the top of the eighth inning, but at the time it didn't seem like they needed to. Allen Craig made some noise in the bottom half of the inning with a solo home run, but the Rangers went into the bottom of the ninth with a two-run lead, three outs away from a World Series championship, and with their lights-out closer, Neftali Feliz, on the mound.

     Feliz earned a quick strikeout against Ryan Theriot to lead off the inning and Albert Pujols stepped into the batter's box. Refusing to be held hitless for the game, Albert lined a double to center field. The Rangers set up the double play by walking Berkman, but Allen Craig couldn't touch the ball and struck out. Down to their last out, the situation seemed grim for the St. Louis Cardinals, With Pujols at second and Berkman at first, David Freese set his sights on being a hero and walked to the plate. Holland delivered a pitch away and Freese went with it, hitting a triple to right field, scoring Pujols and Berkman, and tying the game at seven each. But, the Cardinals were unable to get the walk-off winner that they were looking for.

     The game now in extra innings, the Rangers were determined to finish off the tenacious Cardinals. Elvis Andrus singled to center field. The Rangers star, Josh Hamilton, strode to the plate, bat in hand. All too many times we've heard the story of the mighty Casey and how there was no joy in Mudville, but not on this occasion. Hamilton blasted a two-run shot to right-center field and the Rangers regained the lead, 9-7. It seemed the Cardinals were finished as the game went into the bottom of the tenth inning.

     Former Cardinals pitcher, Darren Oliver, took the mound for the Rangers. The Cardinals got two runners on when Daniel Descalso singled to right field and Jon Jay singled to left field. The Cardinals made the statement that they weren't going to go quietly. Kyle Lohse laid down a sacrifice bunt that advanced the runners. With one out and runners in scoring position, Ron Washington made another pitching change. Scott Feldman took the mound and Ryan Theriot eyed him from the batter's box. Feldman caused Theriot to ground out to third base, but Descalso scored on the play. The Rangers lead was down to one run and the Cardinals were down to their last out, but Albert Pujols was in the batter's box. Unwilling to let Albert beat them, the Rangers intentionally walked him. With two outs and runners at first and second, Lance Berkman dug in and waited for his pitch. It came and Berkman lined a single to center field. The Cardinals tied the game, 9-9, but once again, failed to get the walk-off winner that they needed.

     Crafty veteran, Jake Westbrook, took the mound and stifled the Rangers hitters in the top of the eleventh. It seemed that the Cardinals needed to make their move if they were going to have a chance at winning the game. 

     Mark Lowe was sent out to face the Cardinals in the eleventh. He faced one batter. On a pitch up and over the plate, David Freese blasted a home run to center field. In a game full of heroic comebacks off hits from Freese and Berkman, Freese hit the walk-off winner.