Blog: August 2010

August 1, 2010. After using at least three different bats last night, Brendan Ryan swung a black LS M9 during today's game... New Cardinals pitcher Jake Westbrook is wearing #35. Bad news for Adam Ottovino, who owned those digits just a few weeks ago. But, good news for Jeff Suppan, whose #37 has been on Westbrook's back most of his career. I'm probably not the only one who thought Sup was in real danger of being released after the Westbrook trade.

August 2, 2010. Jake Westbrook made his Cards debut wearing #35. He used a natural ash LS bat during his two plate appearances... Rasmus broke a bat in two and the barrel actually hit Holliday's feet as he was running to second base... OK, somebody please tell me you recorded the pre-game show on FSM tonight. I've had two people tell me that broadcaster Mike Shannon called Astros first baseman Brett Wallace a "former Cardinals first-round prick." I must have that audio!

August 3, 2010. Dennys Reyes had a rare plate appearance tonight. He used a black LS M9... People who bought Civil Rights Game (CRG) jerseys from Steiner started receiving them this week. For the record, the Cardinals' jerseys have MLB hologram numbers LH 955461 to LH 955491. The Reds' jerseys are LH 955395 to LH 955427 and the Reds' pants are LH 955428 to LH 955460. The Cards' pants are not in the MLB database and still are MIA -- I've contacted Steiner, MLB auctions, the Cards and the Reds, but nobody claims to have the pants. I noticed baseballs, bases, lineup cards and even the on-deck circles from the game were authenticated, but no bats... Also for the record, the Cardinals received two sets of jerseys for the CRG. In theory, the used ones went to MLB/Steiner while players kept the unworn shirts. The shirts from Steiner were not washed, so if you bought one and want to make sure it was used, give it the smell test. If the shirt was worn for the whole game, you should be able to tell.

August 5, 2010. I received my Civil Rights Game jerseys worn by Jon Jay and Joe Mather. They were the last two batters of the game; Jay struck out and Mather hit a double on which Schumaker was gunned down at the plate to end it. Was pleasantly surprised after I ordered the shirts to find a photo I took of Mather and Jay side-by-side in the dugout. The laundry tags in both jerseys have the code "62TB" (versus "0062" in regular pro knits) with "0423" below it. I wonder if the second code indicates the date of manufacture. If you acquired one of the CRG jerseys and your code is different, please let me know.

August 6, 2010. I received a few e-mails and one call from fellow collectors regarding my 7/25/10 post about weak bat prices. Everyone agreed that it's definitely a buyer's market for bat collectors right now. My remarks were aimed at lower-end Cardinals bats, like this, this and this. But, a few guys noted higher-end sticks, unless they're very rare, also are depressed and buyers are making offers of "pennies on the dollar." Seems to be a consensus that supply is catching up with demand, a trend that's amplified by the economy... The seller of this Stan Musial bat appearently didn't get the message about the bat market. Great bat, but his price is three to four times the price at which I'd expect it to sell... Then again, who knows what a bat is really worth? I never expected to see this Braves-era Red Schoendienst bat sell for nearly as much as it did. I guess all it takes is two aggressive bidders.

August 7, 2010. Jake Westbrook is still swinging an ash Louisville Slugger, but tonight's bat was black, not natural... Here's a good looking McGwire game-used bat. It would be a bargain if the seller could document it being used to hit a home run. Without that documentation, though, the minimum bid might be a reach... You can save your e-mails regarding this Pujols bat and this one, too. They both look OK at a glance, but I just can't see enough from the photos to make a call one way or the other.

August 8, 2010. Rain out.

August 9, 2010. Upon further review, I don't think I can be indifferent about the two Pujols bats on eBay that I mentioned on 8/7/10. This 2007 bat has the wrong barrel font and inconsistent knob stamping. And this 2008 bat has far too much wear on the hitting surface for me to think of it as a gamer. Maybe a BP bat, maybe a cage bat, but the next gamer I see with this much use will be the first... Here's more evidence the bat market is crashing. Just $36.50 for Renteria? Really?

August 10, 2010. Skip Schumaker was swinging an X-Bat with a black handle and a natural barrel... The first 2010 Civil Rights Game (CRG) jersey has hit the secondary market -- Matt Holliday's. If he can attract one bid, the seller will double his investment. Let the flipping begin!... If you want a jersey from the first CRG in 2007, there's one of those on eBay, too.

August 11, 2010. Jason LaRue was injured during last night's brawl with the Reds, so the Cards called up AA catcher Steven Hill and assigned him #60. As always, I'll hold off adding him to the uniform number database until he actually sees playing time... Here's another bat bargain, one I couldn't resist, so I bought it myself. Henke was a 300-save guy when 300 saves meant something. Even though it likely was used by Oquendo, Henke bats are tough. Paying less than $30 is almost criminal.

August 13, 2010. No straight hem, no year flag -- no dice. This Pujols jersey almost certainly is an extra that Albert signed and gave away, in spite of the description of it having "light but apropos superstar wear." What the hell does that mean? Similar 2005 jerseys have surfaced in the hobby both with and without autographs. This GUU message board thread has a bit more detail.

August 14, 2010. The Cardinals have three game-used bats at auction on the team's website -- a Wainwright, a Holliday and a Molina. They rarely auction bats on their site... Wonder if Brendan Ryan is using one of Colby Rasmus' bats. I noticed Ryan's black LS M9 had tape around the knob, ala Colby. But, Ryan's bats also seem to have gold foil stamping instead of silver. Difficult to tell.

August 15, 2010. Steven Hill made his MLB debut and hit a home run in his second AB. He was wearing #60 and used a Gwynn-finished D-Bat... Some poor soul spent $762 on this alleged Pujols bat. Its issues are described in detail on my 8/9/10 blog entry.

August 16, 2010. OK, this is a rare off-day post, but I have an opportunity for Birdbats' loyal readers I want to share. On Thursday evening (8/19), the Buddy Fund will host a fund-raiser at the Busch Stadium Champions Club. Details are here. Some of the free autograph guests will include Jack Clark, Kerry Robinson and Jim Hanifan. There also will be stadium tours. Tickets are $40 each, but I have 20 tickets to give away (which include parking passes) -- first come, first served, limit 4 tickets per person. Interested? Contact me at birdbats@charter.net.

August 17, 2010. Two things you should know if you're considering bidding on this 1976 cap. First, gray under bills were pretty rare on the '76 pillbox caps. To date, I've found just one photo, of pitcher Tom Walker, that shows a gray under bill. In most shots, you'll find green under bills (plenty of great shots in this Picture Pak, if you have one). Second, and more noteworthy, the logo on those pillbox caps almost always touches the top and bottom rings going around the cap. The logos I see in photos also look bolder and the bottom stroke of the "S" looks different, too. Compare and decide... The price might be stupid high, but I think this '88 Willie McGee jersey could be the real deal. Read more here.

August 18, 2010. Felipe Lopez set aside his Old Hickory to use a black Marucci bat today... Stopped in the Authentics Store today to examine the bats, and found some interesting variety. For example, there were Schumaker bats from Marucci, X-Bat and Rawlings; there were Rasmus bats from H&B and Old Hickory; there was a Lopez Marucci with a Gwynn finish; and there was an unfinished LS ash with Allen Craig's name on it (Craig uses A-Bats). Also saw Miles bats from his days in Oakland and with the Cubs, and a Winn bat from the Yankees... My buddy who collects nickname bats grabbed a Steven "T-Bone" Hill D-Bat. It was not the bat Hill used to his a home run in his MLB debut.

August 20, 2010. Pedro Feliz made his Cardinals debut wearing #77. He's the third Redbird to wear that number and the first player since Jimmy Journell, who wore #77 for 12 games total in 2003 and 2005. Memphis manager Chris Maloney also wore #77 in late 2007 when he unofficially joined the coaching staff after the AAA season ended... Feliz's bat is right at home in the St. Louis dugout. Like many of his new teammates, he uses a Marucci. The one he swung tonight had a natural finish.

August 21, 2010. I've decided to sell my Joe Mather Civil Right's Game TBC jersey; asking $400 shipped. Didn't intend to move it so quickly, but I hadn't planned on buying a '91 Ozzie Smith shirt and draining my mad money account. I'll also include an 8 x 10 I took of Mather batting in the game. As you may recall, Joe had a pinch-hit ninth-inning double, but was denied an RBI when Skip Schumaker was thrown out at the plate to end the game. The jersey has a MLB hologram and an LOA from Steiner Sports. If you're interested, let me know... I know I've mentioned this before, but if you're not checking out Scott Rovak's website after every game, you're missing some of the best photos available of the Redbirds in action.

August 22, 2010. Pedro Feliz switched to a black Marucci today... Do you think the Cardinals have too many retired numbers or not enough? The shelving of Whitey Herzog's #24 got me thinking about whether the correct numbers are retired and, in the broader picture, about how the Cardinals honor their legends. I think there's room for improvement, and offer some of my thoughts and ideas here.

August 23-30, 2010. Since I started this blog, I've always had separate entries for each game played. But, after being gone a week and catching up by watching eight games on the DVR, I've decided to consolidate everything into one post. Here goes: Pedro Feliz used a Gwynn-finished Marucci. That's it -- the only new thing I noticed. Of course, by the eighth game, the guys could have been wielding blue and green lightsabers and my eyes were too glazed over to see... Just one more thing. I noticed while I was away that this POS Pujols jersey sold for more than $7,000 with juice. And yet another 2005 jersey showed up at auction -- this one with the year flag, but with the tails cut off... Birdbats will return to its regularly scheduled daily posts on 8/31.

August 31, 2010. Noticed Colby Rasmus has abandoned his maple bats for a black LS ash bat... Ray King's 2004 NL Championship ring currently is for sale on eBay. The cost will be stiff, no doubt, but how often do you get a shot to own an actual player's ring instead of some front-office employee's cheaper version?