Blog: April 2010

April 5, 2010. The Cards won on opening day for the first time since 2006. Hope that's an omen... Joe Mather debuted his #22 while Felipe Lopez did, indeed, switch to #3. Though they didn't play, I could see that Allen Craig was wearing Lopez's spring training #8 and Nick Stavinoha had #34 on his back. You may recall his old #19 was given to Matt Pagnozzi last September... Bat use in 2010 looks similar to 2009. Marucci was used by Pujols (Gwynn finish), Ryan (Gywnn), Freese (black), Lopez (Gwynn with black tape) and Mather (natural with white and black tape); X-Bat was swung by Schumaker (Gwynn), Molina (Hornsby/black) and Carpenter (Gwynn); Holliday used a black Sam Bat, Ludwick used a black Rawlings and Rasmus used a black LS M9... Looking at that list, it seems every player used a maple bat today... Seeing more black maple bats this season, though they all have natural wood "windows" where the slope test can be done. Most "windows" are rectangles, but Freese's Marucci had a round void.

April 7, 2010. The only player batting tonight who didn't bat on opening day was Wainwright, who used his normal, unfinished LS ash bat... At least three bats were broken tonight, including one by Pujols, one by Freese and one by Schumaker, which absolutely shattered... Is it just me, or does the logo on Rasmus' helmet look off center?... Once again this year, Molina is the only player opting for the Cool Flo helmet.

April 8, 2010. Brad Penny used a Hornsby/Black Sam Bat in his Cardinals debut. Jason LaRue was swinging a black LS M9 while Felipe Lopez used a black Old Hickory. I couldn't get a good look at Allen Craig's bat. It had a Gwynn finish and white handle tape. Craig used A-Bat in spring training, so there's a good chance this also was an A-Bat... Matt Holliday traded his black Sam Bat for a natural one and promptly hit a home run... If you have any photos of a Cardinals player wearing a road jersey circa 1922-25, I'd love to see a copy. Robert Edward Auctions is featuring a 1922-23 jersey in its current auction, but as you can see, the team's logo in 1922 is much different than that of the offered jersey. That's Austin McHenry, who died after the 1922 season. Since '22 was the first year of the birds on bat logo, we know the photo is from 1922. The first evidence I have of the logo on REA's shirt is an early 1924 team photo. It's assumed that road unis had pinstripes starting in 1924, and it's known that at least home jerseys had uniform numbers on the left sleeve in 1923-24. With that as background, I have no idea how to explain the REA jersey. A 1923 road? Possibly. So, if you can help, it would be appreciated.

April 9, 2010. Just one strike away from having to witness Milwaukee's little untucking routine, Nick Stavinoha golfed a game-winning home run to steal a victory. He used a Gwynn-finished Marucci bat... Kyle Lohse also was swinging a Gwynn-finished Marucci... Schumaker used a rare bat for him -- an ash LS with a Gwynn finish. Don't see Skip straying from X-Bat often... I've noticed only Ludwick is wearing the gray undershirt from last season. Everyone else has migrated to solid red or navy shirts with a Nike Swoosh (ugh) on the collar. Pujols and Molina are wearing navy shirts; everyone else is in red. The NFL would never allow that kind of non-uniformity.

April 10, 2010. Schumaker led off the game using a Marucci with a Gwynn finish. It's the first time I've noticed him using Marucci... Jaime Garcia was swinging a natural LS ash bat... Mather used a Gwynn-finished LS M9 bat with the H&B 125th anniversary logo. Since H&B stopped putting that logo on bats by September 1, 2009, we know Joey Bombs' bat is a little dated... I was missing Joel Piñeiro's red glove, but Garcia took care of that.

April 11, 2010. Three catchers tonight, three different color combinations. Molina was decked out in navy, with just a touch of red on his helmet. LaRue used navy shinguards, but had a red chest protector and red (with some navy) headgear. Stavinoha was clad totally in red, using a Wilson mask and borrowing Yadi's red chest protector... Mather was using a natural LS M9... Didn't get a good look at Carpenter's bat, but it was black, a change from opening day.

April 12, 2010. During the home opener pregame ceremony, we got to see two coaches we seldom see in uniform. Assistant hitting coach Mike Aldrete, wearing #61, usually spends the game in the batting cage. Per MLB rules regarding the number of coaches in the dugout, I'm not sure he can even be on the bench in uniform during a game. And Mark McGwire was wearing his familiar #25. Every time I'd seen Mac before today, he was wearing a red sweatshirt in the dugout. And during today's game, he was in a short sleeve windbreaker... Freese was using a black Old Hickory bat... The Cardinals Authentics Store and the Cardinals Care auctions at Busch are no longer issuing LOAs with game-used and signed items. Items now will have MLB holograms affixed to indicate authenticity.

April 14, 2010. Just eight games into the season, and we already have a "nothing new" to report... I did notice that Holliday has a dark dirt/tar spot developing on the right side of his helmet. The Cards' clubhouse staff typically takes pride in keeping the batting helmets clean, so they must have orders from Matt to let the grime accumulate... Bryan Anderson was called up today and assigned #16... I've dropped the Google search bar in the left column and replaced it with one from Yahoo. It seems to do a better job of searching the blog archive.

April 15, 2010. As has become the custom on Jackie Robinson Day, every player and coach on the team wore #42 today. The #42 jerseys will once again be raffled off at local Mobil on the Run locations. Details here. As far as I could tell, every player who saw action wore a Cool Base jersey, except for Pujols and Molina... McGwire was wearing a jersey instead of a sweatshirt or windbreaker... Matt Holliday used a black Marucci today, his first departure from Sam Bat this season. Here's a shot of Holliday's dirty helmet, mentioned yesterday... Finally got a good look at Craig's bat and it, indeed, appears to be an A-Bat... Bryan Anderson swung a natural LS M9 for his first MLB at bat. Obviously, he made his debut wearing #42, not the #16 that was given to him.

April 16, 2010. Holliday used a new bat tonight, a black Old Hickory... Got a good look tonight at the black bat Carpenter has been using. It's a Marucci... I have the 2010 uniform number list up to date, but still need to tackle the numerical and alphabetical lists.

April 17, 2010. Some games are just painful to watch, but I do it anyway for the sake of this site. Today's game (or should I say tonight's game) was one of them. And after 20 innings, two position players pitching and one pitcher playing outfield, I have only two things to report. Blake Hawksworth had his first MLB at-bat; he used one of David Freese's black Marucci bats. And Jason Motte had his second career plate appearance. He used a black LS ash model. Both whiffed in extra innings with the based loaded. Painful... Interesting that Motte was swinging a maple Marucci bat in the on-deck circle, but traded Carpenter for an ash LS when it was time to hit. That suggests the bat Motte used might have been a Carpenter model... Holliday used three brands in the game -- Old Hickory, then Sam Bat, then Marucci.

April 18, 2010. Ryan Ludwick used a Gwynn-finished Rawlings (with a gold band) for the first time this season. But, after swinging it the entire game, he switched back to his black Rawlings in the 8th inning -- and hit his first home run of the season, a game winner.

April 19, 2010. Nothing new in tonight's games, so let's look at the auction circuit... This is a tragedy... Not sure how this Pujols jersey made it through MEARS. The number on front is too large and too far right. It looks like the LOA says the number is 5" tall; it should be less than 4" tall. Also note from the buttons that it's a spring training jersey... Somebody paid a lot of money for this, and I'm not sure why. Jerseys in 1962 had names on the back, starting in spring training. This jersey has no evidence of letter removal and the number is too high to accommodate a NOB. Not sure how to explain this jersey, given the chain stitching, but the lack of a NOB is not consistent with 1962 jerseys... Someone also paid big bucks for a 1931-ish jersey with a felt patch on the front. As every Cards collector knows, the birds on bat have been embroidered since 1922. I'm guessing the sold jersey is a salesman's sample since Rawlings was trying to win the Cardinals business back at that time... Finally, I'm still trying to figure out what this jersey is in REA's current auction. I know for certain it's not from 1922-23, based on photos I've been able to find from those seasons. That style of birds-on-bat logo was used from 1924 through the 1926 regular season (not in the '26 World Series). However, road jerseys in those seasons were pinstriped. Plus, the '24 jersey would have a uniform number on the left sleeve, and the '25 jersey would have the National League's Golden Anniversary patch. Any ideas?

April 20, 2010. Bryan Anderson became the fourth player to catch for the Cards this season. In spite of being on the road, he was clad in red gear, head to toe (except for some blue accents on his helmet). His Mizuno chest protector made him look like a red stormtrooper... I'd like to thank the readers who responded to my March 31 post requesting donations to keep the site going. Because of the generousity of some very kind people (you know who you are), birdbats.com will keep the content coming. Thank you so much!

April 21, 2010. Schumaker was using a new bat tonight -- still an X-Bat, but instead of a natural handle, it had a Hornsby handle. Must have helped -- he went deep... On the last homestand, I bought a 2009 Rasmus bat because I wanted an example with the Louisville Slugger 125th anniversary logo. As a result, I no longer need the Rasmus bat I bought from the team last May (and got signed in January at the Warm Up). It's a great bat -- black LS ash with heavy use, a very minor crack and a team LOA. Best of all, it's one of the first bats Colby used for the Cards. I'm asking $400. Will post photos soon. Let me know if you're interested.

April 23-25, 2010. Please excuse the abbreviated entry this weekend, but time is short and there isn't much to report from San Francisco... On Friday, Jaime Garcia used a Walker-finished LS M9. Don't see the Walker finish much anymore... That's it. Really. Three games and one bat variation. Let's hope something happens Monday.

April 26, 2010. Felipe Lopez was sent to the DL and Allen Craig was shipped to Memphis. To replace them, Tyler Greene and hot prospect Jon Jay were recalled from AAA. Greene was assigned his familiar #27 while Jay inherits the #15 vacated by Matt Holliday... Jay appeared in the game, using a flame-finished LS ash bat... I received reports from the ballpark that the Authentics Store now has spring training jerseys for sale. They also have a new batch of bats, some used as recently as the 20-inning game on 4/17... Birdbats.com received its 50,000th hit just before noon today. I'm sure some sites get that many hits per minute, but for this rinky-dink blog, that's a pretty cool milestone. Thanks everyone for reading!

April 27, 2010. Freese was using a Gwynn-finished Marucci tonight, a slight change from his typical black... I experienced one of the negative aspects of the Cards' switch from LOAs to MLB holograms tonight. I'd thought about buying a Holliday bat for a friend, but the hologram number identified the bat as being "game issued." The bat was clearly used and cracked, but because the MLB rep didn't see it used, it can't be authenticated as game used. When hologram numbers can pinpoint a bat to a certain game -- such as the Jaime Garcia bat I bought from the 20-inning game on 4/17 -- they're great. But, when they identify a solid gamer as "game issued," well, I'd rather have the team LOA.

April 28, 2010. Schumaker must be trying to change his luck. He went high cuffed tonight, ala Brendan Ryan and Brad Penny. Looked great, and maybe it even helped -- Skip was two for three with a couple walks... If you ever get the chance to buy a "game-used" McGwire jersey from this season, you should keep in mind that he almost always looks like this during games. The ol' #25 jersey isn't getting much game use.

April 29, 2010. Tyler Greene made his 2010 debut swinging a black LS M9 with extremely heavy pine tar caked on... Joe Mather was swinging a dark Marucci. It could be black, but I think it might be the deep burgandy color Marucci uses. I'm going to call it a Hornsby finish on the bat use chart... Jon Jay was swinging an ash LS with a flame finish -- and the H&B 125th logo on the sweet spot. It was a 2009 bat with Mather's name clearly visible on the barrel... Hawksworth used an Adam Wainwright model LS natural ash bat during his plate appearance.

April 30, 2010. Brendan Ryan used a natural Marucci tonight. It's the first time this season he hasn't used the Gwynn-finished Marucci... I've finally updated the alphabetical and numerical uniform number lists. It took a little longer this year because I reformatted all 127 of those pages as tables instead of multiple columns of text. So, if you ever had trouble with the columns lining up correctly, that issue should be fixed. Next step is reformatting all the uniform numbers by season.