Thursday, June 29, 2017

Mail Day: Suckers for 63s

     On this edition of Mail Day, we bring you a couple more Listia finds. These arrived in the bird box courtesy of SultanofSleaze. They were offered at a price we couldn't refuse. What can we say? We're suckers for 63s.

1963 Topps #22

1963 Topps #172

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Binder Pages--Farewell Edition: Matt Adams

Matt "Big City" Adams

     Matthew James Adams was born on August 31, 1988 in in Philipsburg, Pennsylvania. He attended Philipsburg-Osceola High School and played baseball at Slippery Rock University in Slippery Rock, Pennsylvania.

2012 Bowman Chrome #23
 Matt was selected by the Cardinals in the 23rd round of the 2009 draft (699th overall). He spent 3 years in the Cardinals farm system before being called up by the big club.

2012 Topps Pro Debut #120
     Matt was a much anticipated prospect. The word coming out of the Minor Leagues was that Matt had a big bat and also hit for average. It was good news since, in 2012, the Cardinals core group of players were beginning to show their ages. 

2012 Topps Pro Debut All-Stars #AS-MA
Adams recorded a .315 batting average, 83 home runs, and 297 runs batted in while in the minors.

2012 Topps Update & Highlights #US-179

He played in his first Major League game on May 20, 2012. He went 2-for-4 and scored a run.

2013 Topps Making Their Mark #MM-37
On May 27, 2012, "Big City" hit his first major league home run. It came in the bottom of the sixth inning. Chad Quall was on the mound for the Philadelphia Phillies. Matt went 2-for-4 in the game with a home run and a double. The Cardinals won the game, 8-3.

2015 Topps 1st Home Run Silver and Gold Parallels #FHR-16

     Matt registered only 48 at-bats in 31 games with the Cardinals in 2017. During that time, he hit .292 with one home run, seven runs batted in, and four runs scored.

2015 Topps #372
On May 20, 2017 (exactly five years after playing his first game as a Cardinal), Adams was traded to the Atlanta Braves. It's a bittersweet parting because he never received enough playing time to show his full potential as a Cardinal. With limited playing time in St. Louis, it was the best that could possibly happen for him. The Cardinals also gave up some cash and received first baseman Juan Yepez. Most (sane) Cardinals fans believe it wasn't nearly enough, but with Adams' contract set to expire at least the Cardinals received something in return.

2015 Topps Heart of the Order #HOR-15

Since joining the Braves, "Big City" is hitting .299, with 12 HR, 31 RBIs, and 24 R in 134 AB through 34 games. Good luck in Atlanta, Matt. You will be missed and we at Cardinal Sauce are pulling for you.

Monday, June 26, 2017

In Memoriam: Charles "Old Hoss" Radbourne

     We know Old Hoss Radbourne was never a Cardinal, or a Brown or Perfecto for that matter, but when a member of the National Baseball Hall of Fame (1939 inductee) is practically buried in your back yard, it deserves some mention. 

     Old Hoss Radbourn was born on December 11, 1854 in Rochester, New York to Charles Radbourn and Caroline (Gardner) Radbourn. According to Brian McKenna and acknowledged by the Society for American Baseball Research(SABR), Charles and Caroline moved their family to Martin, Illinois (McLean County) in 1855. Old Hoss attended school in Bloomington, IL and strengthened his arm by throwing a baseball against the side of his family's barn. 

     Radbourne played for five Major League teams over the course of twelve seasons: the Buffalo Bisons, the Providence Grays, the Boston Beaneaters, the Boston Red Stockings, and the Cincinnati Reds. During the course of his career, he amassed a record of 309 wins, 195 losses, and a 2.67 ERA. In addition, he holds the record for most wins by a pitcher in a single season (1884). There is some conflict regarding the actual number of wins that Radbourne achieved in 1884; McMillan's Baseball Almanac reports 60 wins for Radbourn in 1884, the online Baseball Almanac credits him with only 59 wins in 1884, and a sign placed at his grave site in 1940 (seen below) mentions Old Hoss accumulated 62 wins in 1884. 

     After retiring from baseball, Old Hoss returned to Bloomington, Illinois and bought a fifty-percent share in a saloon and billiard parlor that was located in the basement of the Windsor Hotel that sat at 214 W. Washington Street. 

Ashley House was re-named The Windsor Hotel in the 1880s. It burned down in 1900 and the Illinois Hotel, now named Illinois House, was built in its place. (Courtesy of the McLean County Museum of History)

     During the last few years of his life, Radbourne fell ill. He was rumored to have contracted either syphilis or tuberculosis. All indications suggest syphilis. Carrie Radbourne, Old Hoss' wife, succumbed to the illness, as did her previous husband, Charles Stanhope. In the last year of his life, Charles Radbourne lived in a state of insanity caused by his untreated illness. He passed on from this world on February 5, 1897 and was lain to rest at Evergreen Memorial Cemetery in Bloomington, Illinois. 

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Mailday: Sweet Listia Find

1987 M&Ms #24 Ozzie Smith

     We've been purging unwanted items via Listia over the last month. As a result, we've been looking to use our credits to bring in needed items for our collection. When it comes to Ozzie Smith, our largest player collection, it's becoming more and more difficult to find items other than autographed and memorabilia cards. When we came across the lot containing this card, we had to have it, but we didn't really want the other cards in the lot. Luckily, our plan panned out. Rather than taking a shot at winning the lot or bidding the lot up to our maximum ability, we backed off and let the user Fischman win it for half of what we were willing to bid. After it ended, we contacted him and proceeded to make an offer that he couldn't refuse. We generously offered roughly four times the credits than the card is valued. Our viewpoint: we saved a ton of credits by not going after the lot and a ton of time by not having to individually list the cards that were in it. Not to mention, the time to get an oddball card is when you finally find it. We aren't sure how we missed this sweet oddball the first time around. 1987 was the first year we collected on a serious level and food issue promos have always been favorite additions to the collection.

     When the envelope came, we quickly realized that Fischman evened out the deal a bit by throwing in a couple extras. The first of which was a 2015 Donruss Mark McGwire card. Since we haven't been purchasing many new issues other than the obligatory box of birthday Topps, this card was a welcome addition to the collection.
2015 Donruss #184 Mark McGwire
          And he didn't stop there. Fischman also threw in this beautiful offering from 2016 Diamond Kings. The vibrant colors make this an outstanding card and it's even textured like an oil on canvas. It ended up being our favorite card in the bunch.

2016 Diamond Kings #52 Adam Wainwright
     All in all, we're very happy with the new additions. We leave you with these thoughts: Go after what you want, but be smart, honest, and fair. Everything else will work itself out.

Collect Hard!

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Binder Pages--Cardinals Hall of Fame Edition: Lou Brock

Lou Brock aka "The Franchise"

     Louis Clark Brock was born on June 18, 1939 in El Dorado, Arkansas. His parents, Maud and Paralee Brock, were sharecroppers. When Brock was two years old, his father, Maud, abandoned the family. Lou's mother, Paralee, moved Lou and his eight siblings to Collinston, Louisiana where she worked as a field hand and housekeeper.  

     As a youth, Lou showed athletic and academic talent. He attended Union High School in Monroe, Louisiana where he played baseball and basketball. Despite the fact Brock was not scouted by collegiate baseball or basketball teams, Brock earned a scholarship to Southern University in Baton Rouge, LA based on his academic record. 

     According to the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame, Brock worked as a janitor and mowed lawns until baseball season began. He tried out for the team, but wasn't getting much attention from the coach. One day, he collapsed in the outfield while shagging fly balls and it caught the attention of coach, Emory Hines. Brock asserted that he wanted to play baseball and Hines asked him to hit. Lou got five swings and hit four balls over the fence. Brock had a lackluster freshman year, but, as a sophomore, led the Southern University Jaguars to a National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) championship. On August 22, 1960, Lou was drafted by the Chicago Cubs and was offered a $30,000 signing bonus. For a young man who had grown up in poverty, it was more than enough to coax Lou out of returning to school for his senior year.

Chicago Cubs (1961-1964)

     Lou spent the 1961 season in St. Cloud, Minnesota playing for the Rox, a Class C affiliate of the Chicago Cubs. He posted a .361 batting average, scored 118 runs, and stole 38 bases. It earned him a late-season call-up. Brock experienced little success with the major league club, only acquiring one hit in eleven at bats over four games. 

     Despite his dismal debut in 1961, Lou earned a spot on the Cubs roster out of spring training in 1962 and, subsequently, cracked the starting lineup. He struggled with the Cubs, establishing himself as a .250 hitter and only stealing fifty bases over the course of two and a half seasons. On June 15, 1964, the Cubs traded Brock, along with Jack Springer and Paul Toth, to the St. Louis Cardinals for Ernie Broglio, Bobby Shantz, and Doug Clemens. It seemed like a good deal for the Cubs at the time. Broglio won 18 games in 1963, but wasn't able to match his prior production with the Cardinals. He won only seven games during his time with the Cubs from 1964-1966. By the end of the '66 season, Broglio's major league career was over. Brock, on the other hand, was just hitting his stride.

St. Louis Cardinals (1964-1979)
1966 Topps #125
     Brock made an immediate impact after he joined the Cardinals in 1964 by posting a .348 batting average, scoring 81 runs, and stealing 33 bases. According to The Encyclopedia of Arkansas, the Cubs limited his baserunning, but when he reached St. Louis he was turned loose and told to take as many bags as he could. The advice paid dividends for Lou and St. Louis. The Cardinals bested the New York Yankees in the 1964 World Series. In seven games, Lou batted .300, scored two runs, and drove in five.

     1965 marked a couple firsts in Lou's career. It was the first time that he scored 100 runs with one team (Brock scored 100 runs in 1964 with the Cubs and Cardinals) and it was also the first time that he stole 50 bases in one season. 

     In 1966, he grabbed 74 bags, the best in the National League and began a four-year stretch of leading the league in stolen bases.
1968 Topps #520
     Brock became an All-Star in 1967, his first of six All-Star appearances. Lou batted .299 that year while blasting 21 home runs, scoring 113 runs, and stealing 52 bases. Lou and the Cardinals found themselves, once again, in the World Series--this time against the Boston Red Sox. Brock batted .415, scoring 8 runs, and stealing 7 bases as the Cardinals defeated the Red Sox in 7 games.

     Brock improved upon his 1967 World Series performance by batting .464 while belting two home runs and, once again, stealing 7 bases in the 1968 World Series. Despite Lou's heroic performance, the Cardinals fell to the Detroit Tigers in seven games.
1970 Topps #330
     Brock continued to steal 50+ bases per season in the early 70s and batted over .300 in each season from 1970 to 1972. Lou returned to the All-Star Game in 1971 and 1972 when he recorded his final two 200+ hit seasons.
1972 Topps #200
 Brock put up strong numbers in 1973 by hitting .297 and scoring over 100 runs for the fifth time in his career while stealing 63 bases, but in 1974, Lou did what some thought would be impossible. He broke Maury Will's single-season stolen base record of 104 bags by nabbing 118 bases.
1973 Topps #320


1974 Topps #60

1975 Topps #2
     Lou's record stood untouched for eight years before it was surpassed by Rickey Henderson in 1982.
1975 Topps #309

In addition, Brock made his fifth All-Star appearance.

To Be Continued

1975 Topps #540

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Bringin' The Sauce

     Summer is here, the baseball season is underway, and Cardinal Sauce is back, baby! The last year has been crazy; filled with making home repairs, selling a house, buying a house, moving, and job changes. During that time, we never lost sight of our true mission: bringing the Cardinal Sauce and sharing it with all of you.
     Due to the new venue, there have been some changes, but change begets growth and we're growing here at Cardinal Sauce. First of all, The Wall of Cards in its previous form is a thing of the past. It's a bittersweet parting for us here at Cardinal Sauce because it was the original premise of this blog. 

     We have a new Cardinal Sauce bunker that is still under construction and we decided that marring the walls with stick-on Velcro pads wouldn't be appropriate or cost-effective. Not to mention, it took some time removing all those pads from the previous Cardinal Sauce bunker and, subsequently, re-painting the walls. The good news is: Instead of housing The Wall of Cards, the new Cardinal Sauce Bunker will act as a staging area for The Wall of Cards housed within the new Cardinal Sauce Bar.

         We're currently in the process of filling the bar with our favorite beverages and memorabilia. Stan the Man holds the position of honor in the Cardinal Sauce Bar. He's center stage in an autographed poster featuring a progression photo of his 3000th hit. The previous owners even helped out by leaving behind the fully functional Busch neon sign that you see hanging next to our libations.

          In addition, we're excited to begin expanding our collection of autographed 8 X 10 photos. We currently have seven Cardinals keeping watch over the bar: St. Louis Cardinals Hall of Fame members, Enos Slaughter and Mike Shannon; World Series Champions, Scott Rolen and Mike Ramsey; fan favorite, Fernando Tatis; and 1990s starters, Bernard Gilkey and Donovan Osborne. We look forward to adding more players to the current lineup.

     The only parting from the St. Louis Cardinals theme is College Corner. College Corner is an alcove above the fireplace in the Cardinal Sauce Bar that presented the perfect place to display some of our favorite collegiate items. The centerpiece is an autographed jersey of Hall of Fame Coach, Ara Perseghian. In addition, Illinois State University (my wife's alma mater) is represented with the decorative lamp and Doug Collins bobble head. My alma mater, the University of Illinois, is represented with a scale replica of Memorial Stadium. It was a gift in the 90s and, for the first time in twenty years, is now on display. The final piece is an autographed football by Mike Ditka that we wanted to display, but didn't know where it fit. It landed here to commemorate the work he did at Pitt and in the NFL to revolutionize the Tight End position.

     Well, that's the limited tour. We're excited to be able to share more with you in the future. We're in the planning stages of adding a variety of entertaining content. We'll re-establish the Wall of Cards as it fits into our new vision. And as always, we'll continue to bring the Cardinal Sauce!