Blog: July 2009

July 1, 2009. Rasmus was swinging a Gwynn-finished Sam Bat tonight. It was the first time he has used Sam this season, and it was the bat he used to hit the walk-off home run. Colby now has swung five different brands of bats (LS, X-Bat, CTG, Marucci and Sam), and we're not even halfway through the season.

July 2, 2009. Only three days remaining to buy a raffle ticket for the Jackie Robinson Day jerseys. The promotion ends July 5... If Jarrett Hoffpauir gets into a game before DeRosa heals, he'll be wearing #34. That number was made available by Chris Perez's trade to Cleveland.

July 3, 2009. Both teams were wearing the red Stars and Stripes caps tonight, and since it was the Cards and the Reds, they didn't look bad at all. Of course, I prefer red caps with the road gray uniforms... Hoffpauir did get into the game tonight. He used a natural LS M9... Duncan was using a Gwynn-finished LS M9. Very unusual for Duncan to use a Louisville Slugger.

July 4, 2009. The Cardinals, like all MLB teams, were wearing "4-ALS" patches on their jerseys (upper left chest) and stickers on their helmets (ear flap side). I heard suggestions the jerseys might be auctioned as a fund-raiser, but the patches seemed very temporary. They weren't all straight and the corners were raised on more than a few patches. In fact, Hoffpauir's patch fell off at some point during the game. I noticed Carpenter was wearing his patch on his pre-game windbreaker during the game... The team wore the Stars and Strips caps for a second day in a row.

July 5, 2009. If you want to attend the HR Derby next Monday and don't have a ticket, I have an extra in section 261. Face value is $205, but I'll listen to reasonable offers... The Stars and Stripes caps were out for a third straight day... Yadier Molina has a new chest protector with a gold Rawlings label. As recently as the last road trip, his chest protector still had the typical red label. Guess Gold Glovers get special perks.

July 7, 2009. I noticed Wainwright was using two different LS ash bats, one with the LS 125th anniversary logo and one without. It seemed he used the logo bat when bunting, but used the non-logo bat when he was swinging away.

July 8, 2009. Ludwick sent a broken bat barrel into the stands today... Hunt has made several amendments to the Cardinals items listed in their auction. Kudos to them for following up on collectors' concerns and doing more research.

July 9, 2009. Barden was using an LS ash bat with a Gwynn finish. It's the first time this season I've noticed someone using ash with the two-tone look... Many great items on display at FanFest, between the Hunt Auction, the Cardinals' HOF display and the Cooperstown HOF exhibit. I think my favorite, though, is Bob Gibson's 1968 glove. It was a store model Spalding endorsed by Carl Yazstremski, the star of the team Gibson and the Cards dispatched in the World Series a year earlier.

July 10, 2009. After showing Yadi's stylish cleats, broadcaster Al Hrabosky recounted a story from 1974 when the team switched from black shoes to red ones made by Adidas. He said the players were anxious to wear the red ones, but Lou Brock -- who was on a record pace stealing bases -- was slow to break his in. After a couple weeks, Brock finally was comfortable in his new shoes and the entire team was able to all wear red cleats.

July 11, 2009. Got Stan Musial to sign a 1958 bat today. It was an honor, as always, to see The Man in person... Hunt pulled the 2001 McGwire jersey from its Tuesday auction. I had an opportunity to examine it after that decision was made. The post-9/11 flag appeared to be retail and not added by the team, but nobody could tell me why it already had been pulled.

July 12, 2009. Prospect Brett Wallace broke a bat during the Futures Game, but I couldn't get a good look at what model he was swinging... Two lucky fans won signed jerseys by the Futures Game coaches, Ozzie Smith and Jose Oquendo. The jerseys were presented to them on the field between innings.

July 13, 2009. Pujols swung his Gwynn Marucci during the HR Derby. Actually, he swung two of them. I'm guessing the two bats he took to the plate were slightly different weights.

July 14, 2009. Albert used his typical Marucci bat during his three All-Star Game plate appearances. I couldn't determine which brand Molina was swinging, but it had a Gwynn finish... At the live Hunt Auction held at FanFest, a "used" 2009 Pujols bat (on which I could not find any real use) sold for $4,700; and a used 2009 jersey was hammered down at $8,000 (excluding buyer's premium). By comparison, a beautiful 1954 Schoendienst jersey sold for $7,000. A 1956 Musial road jersey sold for $29,000.

July 17, 2009. I'm fairly certain the flame-finished LS ash bat Carpenter is swinging is a Jason LaRue model... Duncan is using LS again... Yadi has a new home (red) chest protector with a gold Rawlings label... Whoever bought this Pujols bat obviously never read this thread on Game Used Universe... I've updated my list of bats for sale. More to come.

July 18, 2009. DeRosa was back in the lineup tonight and swinging a Gwynn-finished LS M9. I'm guessing his first shipment of Cardinals-branded bats have arrived... The winners of the Jackie Robinson Day jerseys were drawn on 7/14, so if you haven't been notified about being a winner, you're probably out of luck this year.

July 19, 2009. That didn't last long -- DeRosa is using his all-black maple bat again... Bob Gibson is selling several items from his career through Legendary Auctions, including World Series rings, his HOF ring, a couple contracts, a Gold Glove award, and his 1968 MVP and Cy Young awards. Details here.

July 20, 2009. This isn't the worst fake Pujols bat ever, but it's in the team picture. Interestingly, the seller recently bought a lot of five blank maple bats. Hmm... SCP Auctions is selling what's advertised as a 1962 Bob Gibson road jersey. The problem is, the Cardinals introduced names on the uniform backs during spring training in '62. No way Gibby wore this shirt in a game. What's worse? SCP sold the jersey last year, had it returned (presumably for a full refund) and is trying to sell it again. This thread and this thread have more information. The bid already is north of $12K. Sad.

July 21, 2009. As readers of this blog know, I'm happy to help collectors and share my opinions, at no cost, whenever Pujols items show up on eBay and other places. The whole purpose of this blog is to share information with Cardinals collectors. Unfortunately, it's getting a bit overwhelming. I get about a half-dozen e-mails a day that go something like, "This Pujols bat/jersey just popped up. What do you think?" Of course, 98 percent of the time, the item is suspect or flat out bogus. So, let's try a new approach. When a Pujols "gamer" appears on eBay or in some other auction, rest assured I'll see it. If I think it could be legit, I'll post a link on the blog. But, if I have questions or concerns about it, I'll probably just ignore it (unless it's so bad it's funny, like the bat discussed yesterday). In other words, assume I have issues with every Pujols bat and jersey on eBay unless I post otherwise. Sound fair?

July 22, 2009. The underarm gussets on a few of the road Cool Base jerseys are starting to yellow, just as they did last season. Apparently, Majestic hasn't figured out how to fix that... Khalil Greene's pink Mother's Day bat didn't receive a minimum bid of $300 in MLB's recent pink bat online auction, so it's back this week with a $150 minimum.

July 23, 2009. New Cardinal Julio Lugo joined the team in D.C. tonight, but he wore a windbreaker during the game, hiding his jersey number. The team Web site lists him as #12, which would be bad news for David Freese. Why would the team give Freese's number away if they expected him back this season? It's not like #12 was Lugo's number -- he has worn #3, #4 and mostly #23 during his career. And it's not like another low number -- #16 -- wasn't available. Interesting.

July 24, 2009. Matt Holliday -- who clearly wasn't getting his preferred #5 -- is wearing Jimmy Ballgame's former #15. That means Hal McRae will be donning a new number again. You'll recall McRae started with #8 in 2005, but surrendered that digit to Troy Glaus last season. I'm betting McRae will switch from #15 to Chris Duncan's former #16. He wore a windbreaker during tonight's game, so no number was visible... Lugo made his debut wearing #12 as expected... Lugo used a Gwynn-finished Mizuno bat. He's the first Cardinals Mizuno user since Scott Rolen and So Taguchi in 2007... Holliday used two bats, a Gwynn-finished Marucci that appeared to be a Pujols model, and a natural Rawlings.

July 25, 2009. In just his second game with the Cards, Holliday has now used three brands of bats. Today, he swung an SSK with a Gwynn finish. He could be the first St. Louis player to swing SSK in a game. Many of the coaches use SSK fungo bats, but I've never noted a player using one... More brands could be on the way for Holliday. I reviewed several photos of Matt playing in Oakland this season and saw him using Sam Bat, Louisville Slugger and Old Hickory. Holliday could make bat watching interesting again... Holliday said after last night's game that he had to wear Wellemeyer's cleats and use DeRosa'a batting gloves. Didn't say anything about his bats... Congrats to FOB (friend of Birdbats) Wade Hampton, who was notified yesterday that he's a winner of a #42 jersey. I guess I was premature in suggesting we should give up hope if we hadn't heard anything by now. Wade will find out Tuesday which jersey he gets. Any other lucky winners out there?

July 26, 2009. Rick Ankiel was using an ash Rawlings bat with a black (or very dark blue) band today. Clearly not one of his Cardinals bats. Wonder where he got that one... Hal McRae is still wearing his windbreaker, so his new number remains a secret... Holliday definitely is using one of Albert's Marucci sticks. Not only was it clear on television today, but the Associated Press published this photo online.

July 27, 2009. It's official -- Hal McRae is wearing Chris Duncan's old #16... Ankiel is back to his red-ringed Rawlings model... On television, the "5" isn't visible on the knob of Holliday's Pujols-model bat. Holliday hasn't written his own number either, but the heavy pine tar will serve as an easy way to distinguish the bat Matt is using from those Albert has used.

July 28, 2009. The Jackie Robinson Day jerseys were distributed before tonight's game. My buddy, Wade Hampton, won Kyle Lohse's jersey. Congrats, Wade!... Rasmus was using a new model -- looked to be a natural maple Verdero bat. Verdero was purchased from FILA by Controlling the Game a couple years ago. For those of you keeping track, that's six brands of bat used by Rasmus this season -- unless you consider Verdero and Controlling the Game one in the same.

July 29, 2009. You'd think in 15 innings that at least one guy would use a different bat, but not tonight. Great game, but from an equipment standpoint, about the only observation is that several bats seemed to break. Pujols broke at least two, and Rasmus' bat snapped in two when he delivered his game-tying hit in the bottom of the ninth. I was at the game and got a decent photo of that.

July 30, 2009. Both Rasmus and Holliday added new bats to their inventory tonight. Rasmus swung a natural LS M9. It's the first time I've seen him use a maple LS since the black one he employed in spring training... Holliday used a black ash Louisville Slugger. That makes four brands in his first week.

July 31, 2009. A few All-Star related notes. Several items from the event are available through auctions. These include balls, bases and oversized Topps cards that decorated the outside of Busch... Light pole banners that were displayed throughout downtown will be sold by the city at a cost of $250 each... Because MLB owned just about everything used during the events, the Cardinals don't have much to sell related to All-Star week. However, I understand the Authentics Store will soon be selling cushioned, folding chairs that were used in the temporary seating areas of Busch. Fewer than 500 seats will be available. Details to come once I know more.