Blog: Off season 2010-11

October 4, 2010. I doubt that any of you are considering this Pujols bat for $5,500, but I have to write about it. When I saw it listed on eBay, the first red flag was the claim a Sam Bat was used in 2009. Pujols hasn't used Sam Bat since 4/7/08, and hasn't used one with this particular finish since 9/1/07. The photo of the bat's end shows a 4/18/07 manufacture date. So, I contacted PSA/DNA and they said the LOA had a typo -- their worksheet says the bat was used in 2007 and "inspected by TECO for 2009." The seller was notified and is awaiting replacement LOA. All of that said, it's important to know Pujols used that particular model and finish during just three games in 2007 (10 plate appearances total) -- on 8/6, 8/7 and 9/1. To conclude Pujols used this bat in a game, you'd have to accept that he didn't use an April-manufactured bat until August; that a bat used for 10 plate appearances could show extensive wear; and that he removed the maple leaf sticker on the knob to write a silver "5" in its place (which looks inconsistent with any "5" I'd expect to see on a Pujols knob). Color me skeptical.

October 6, 2010. It's my pleasure to offer three outstanding Hall of Famers' bats for sale today. The first is a 1925-29 Billy Southworth bat. The bat is sidewritten by a Cardinals farmhand in 1929, which was Southworth's last year as a player and first as a HOF manager. Southworth's bats are tough to find, and when you do, even off-condition ones are quite pricy. This one, which comes with a letter from MEARS, is reasonably priced and easily the nicest-looking Southworth I've seen... The second bat offered is a 1938-39 Johnny Mize bat. Mize bats aren't particularly scarce, but this is the first I've seen from his Cardinals days. The bat is consistent with the H117 (Hornsby) model, but the knob has been shaved. Mize also ordered knobless bats during the era, so it's reasonable the modification was made by Mize himself. It has a repaired crack and other restoration work, and would be a great addition to any HOF collection... The third bat is a 1964-72 Lou Brock model. This possible 1964-season bat has had a significant professional restoration (see description below the photos) and, as a result, is offered for a fraction of the price of other vintage Brock bats. If you're interested in any of these bats, let me know.

October 7, 2010. Short eBay roundup today. Contrary to the seller's speculation, this glove cannot be the one Jeff Weaver wore in game 5 of the 2006 World Series. Photos from that game show Weaver's glove had red embroidery, not yellow, with his #36 noted. I did find photos of Weaver using a glove with yellow embroidery in 2004, but again, it looks like the #36 is stitched in... Here are some nice caps from Molina and La Russa... This Edmonds inaugural Civil Rights Game jersey was auctioned originally by MLB for $560, which makes the $395 BIN price a pretty good deal.

October 15, 2010. I have three brand new 2010 All-Star Game retail BP jerseys for sale at $60/each, delivered. They include one Pujols (XL) and two Wainwright (XL and L). They still have their retail tags and are identical to the jerseys the Cardinals are selling for $95.97. Please let me know if you'd like one, or more... I also still have a few 2009 St. Louis ASG press pins for $16/each delivered.

October 19, 2010. This is a Jim Edmonds bat, but it does not have Edmonds' signature tape job. Not only do the spirals run in the wrong direction, but there are way too many of them. Jim's bats should have 6/7 bands (viewed from the front), not 10... The XL Wainwright ASG jersey is sold, but the L Wainwright and XL Pujols are still available for $60/each, delivered.

October 26, 2010. It never fails to amaze me how large and supposedly legit auction houses not only conduct terrible research (if they do any at all), but often throw ethics to the wind. Case in point, SCP Auctions, which is conducting its next event on 11/13. This Chris Carpenter jersey (lot 1,000), for example, is billed as a 2004 "game-worn rookie road jersey." First, Carp was a rookie in 1997 with Toronto. Second, the jersey is from spring training 2003 (the second button is the giveaway). And third, Carp didn't play due to injury in 2003 -- so it can't be considered game worn. At least they got the "Cardinals" and the "road jersey" parts correct... This McGwire bat (lot 994, paired with a Sosa bat) is another piece of work. Forget that the pine tar pattern isn't even close and look at the barrel stamping. Rawlings used three different fonts on the barrel from 1998-2001, but this sure wasn't one of them. Pathetic. I also love how the most important features of the other Mac bat, lot 995, are not visible in the photo... But the very best, or worst, is lot 963, the 1962 Bob Gibson jersey. The description notes its proper tagging and "excellent game use." But, it conveniently fails to mention the Cardinals had names on the backs of their 1962 jerseys. I know the Cardinals examined this jersey, as did MEARS. In fact, Dave Grob published an article about it on 8/30/2008 on the MEARS site. There is no evidence it ever had a NOB. Does SCP have an obligation to mention 1962 Cards jerseys should have a NOB? Is omitting known facts that would hurt the jersey's marketability unethical? However you feel, I know this much -- I love that Brett Hull jersey (lot 1384), but I simply am not comfortable bidding on it based on these other lots. What a shame.

October 27, 2010. I have some new stuff to offer on consignment, which is great if you're a Molina collector. To begin, we have three 2007 Molina spring training jerseys -- a home white, a road gray and a pregame red. All are signed by Yadi and I can tell from the closeups of the backs that they show good wear. Here are the team LOAs for the home, road and BP. Asking $600 each, $1,100 for two or $1,500 if you want the set of three... The seller also has Molina's 2004 World Series bat. The bat may have been used by Hector Luna, given the 7 centered on the knob. Looks like the 2 on the knob was added after the 7, suggesting additional use by someone else. Still a great and rare Molina bat. Asking $1,000... This last piece is for any Blues collectors out there -- a 2003-04 Dallas Drake jersey. It's photo matched to a playoff game and shows excellent use. Comes with an 8x10 photo and MeiGray letter for $400 shipped.

October 28, 2010. Need to update some previous posts today... The Yadier Molina 2004 WS bat listed on 10/27 has been sold, but the Molina jerseys are still for sale... The 1929 Billy Southworth bat mentioned on 10/6 also has sold, but the Mize and Brock bats in that post are still available... Since my 10/26 post on SCP's current auction, the company has opened bidding and is providing more photos. SCP has edited the Chris Carpenter jersey title and description to note 2004 was his first year with the Cardinals. Still wrong (he signed prior to 2003, but didn't play that season), but getting closer... The clearly questionable Bob Gibson 1962 jersey, sans NOB, already has attracted one sucker... The McGwire bat with the wrong font and tar now has a description noting it's 33.5" long, which is obviously too short. The knob also is suspect, with handwriting that looks nothing like that done at the Rawlings factory... And we can now see the tar on the Mac bat, lot 995. As suspected, it's nowhere close to correct.

November 4, 2010. I was contacted yesterday about the Pujols game-used bat in SCP's auction and asked what I thought about it. Didn't look at it closelybefore, but once I did, I realized this is another of the four Pujols bats I rejected back in May. Here's the letter I wrote about it. I think it's interesting how SCP doesn't note many of the flaws in its description, nor does it show any unflattering photos. Whoever wins this bat is going to look at it when they get it and wonder why nothing was said about the blue marks on the handle, the white residue on the barrel, the rough texture of the finish -- or the fact it could be in two pieces... The home Molina jersey listed in the 10/27 post has been sold. The road and pregame shirts remain available... The owner of the Johnny Mize bat posted on 10/6 has asked me to entertain offers.

November 8, 2010. In today's installment of "Do Auction Companies Even Try Anymore?," I submit this 2001 Pujols "game-used" jersey from the current Legendary Auction. I can spot a few fishy things with just a cursory glance, but all you need to see is the barrel end of the bat. Note the little line that suggests a rounded barrel end? You won't find that on a real Cardinals jersey, only on cheap retail shirts.

November 12, 2010. Well, one disappears and another shows up. Yesterday, the 2001 Pujols jersey in Legendary's auction was pulled (and the link deactivated). Received an e-mail from Legendary President and CEO Doug Allen saying, "You are absolutely right! We will pull it out and find out how our guys missed this"... No sooner than that jersey went away, I get an e-mail about a 2001 Pujols in Grey Flannel's auction. So I check it out, and guess what? Another piece of crap. Here's the tell -- the number on the front should be 1" below the logo. The width of the numbers is 7/8". Clearly, the 5 on front is way too low to be legit. The lettering on the name plate also is a bit off. Just another blank mocked up to look like a Pujols rookie jersey... Following up on a few items I've posted for sale -- the Johnny Mize bat (posted 10/6) has sold, as have the Wainwright and Pujols ASG jerseys (posted 10/15).

November 15, 2010. Recession? What recession? Apparently, there are still enough people with an abundance of cash and a lack of research skills to keep the auction houses in business. In SCP's auction, the 1962 Gibson jersey with no NOB sold for $21,260. The Sosa/McGwire bat package (the Mac bat has the wrong font, is the wrong length, and has the wrong tar) sold for $2,448. When you consider a legit Sosa bat fetches about $200 these days, well, ouch! The other Mac lot that included cleats and a bat (with inconsistent pine tar) was hammered down at $2,225... On the other hand, some nice, legit items drew rather reasonable bids at Hunt's Louisville Slugger Museum auction. For example, a game-used Ozzie Smith glove sold for $2,200 -- less than either of SCP's awful McGwire lots. Personally, I think that was a steal. The ultra-rare 1927 Cardinals jersey offered in Louisville also was a bargain at $20,000. And five Cardinals-worn 2010 All-Star game workout day jerseys sold from $1,500 for Carpenter to $5,500 for Pujols.

November 16, 2010. One of my readers brought it to my attention that the All-Star jerseys auctioned by Hunt (mentioned yesterday) were not actually worn by the players. So, I guess those prices weren't so great after all... The prices for the Yadier Molina road and pregame jerseys I listed on 10/27 have been dropped to $475 each, per the consignor... I was able to acquire a small, but very nice lot of bats recently. It included signed, 2010 lumber from Yadier Molina, Jon Jay and Matt Holliday (issued); a 2009 signed Ryan Ludwick; a 2005 Reggie Sanders that I've photomatched to games in late June of that season (likely used for three HRs); and a fake Pujols Max Bat with a legit signature. The lot also included a 1958 Gene Green game-worn cap and one of Green's bats.

November 19, 2010. Leland's has a 2006 Pujols bat in its current auction with a description that makes me smile. It says, "Based on photographs, it appears that this bat was used in the May 5th-7th, 2006 series against the Florida Marlins." So, I checked out photos from those games on Getty Images. Albert was, indeed, using a natural Sam Bat. Unfortunately, he was batting label up, as expected. The ink transfer on Leland's bat is all on the left-hand hitter's side -- which couldn't happen unless Albert was batting label down. You draw your conclusions, I'll draw mine. For the record, Pujols used a natural Sam Bat in 38 percent of his plate appearances in 2006. It's not like he used that model for only three days in Florida... Legendary just sold a 1979 Brock bat with absolutely no use for $1,540. Makes this Brock bat look like a real bargain, don't you think?

November 22, 2010. The Bill Mastro collection is now available to be viewed on Legendary Auction's website. As you may know, Legendary decended from Mastro Auctions, and Bill Mastro has one of the most noteworthy collections in the hobby. As these two lots demonstrate, though, even a guy like Mastro bought items that don't measure up: First is a 1998 McGwire bat that apparently isn't cracked and clearly doesn't have the correct tar pattern (the tar doesn't extend far enough up the barrel and there's no gap where Mac would have gripped it); and second is a 2001 Pujols Mizuno bat. I've written multiple times that Pujols didn't use Mizuno after spring training 2001, and calling this a batting practice bat doesn't make it any more legit. The darked grip area and the humorous fives on each end don't help. As one collector wrote to me in an e-mail, "The Mizuno Pujols really cheapens the auction by its very presence."

December 8, 2010. Speculation about what numbers Lance Berkman and Ryan Theriot will wear came to an end today when Derrick Goold reported Berkman will wear #12 and Theriot will wear #3. Each player's preferred digits have been retired by the Cardinals -- Berkman's #17 for Dizzy Dean and Theriot's #2 for Red Schoendienst... Attended the Pujols Family Foundation's annual Christmas dinner this past weekend. Great event, but disappointed to report there wasn't a single Pujols game-used item available at auction... This Pujols bat showed up on eBay today. The tar looks right and the signature is perfect, but the ink transfer seems odd to me. Anyone agree or disagree?... Here's another Pujols bat on eBay with a perfect signature, but where's the pine tar?... One more Pujols bat. Again, looks close, but the ball marks seem unusual. Just so hard to know what's good and what's not based on photos alone.

December 9, 2010. The Cardinals have released the list of players -- past and current -- who will be signing at the 2011 Winter Warm Up. Past players include most of the usual suspects, though Bill Virdon, Fernando Vina and Mark Whiten are welcomed additions. Most of the current players already are confirmed, though Lance Berkman isn't on the list yet. Mark McGwire is absent, too. I know the Cards usually give their coaches a pass on the WWU, but I'm surprised Mac isn't scheduled to sign. Prices aren't available yet, but I hear they will be quite reasonable for most players.

December 15, 2010. Autograph prices for the Winter Warm Up have been released, and fellow blogger Brian Walton has assembled an interesting analysis of the pricing here... You may have noticed several Albert Pujols signed items showing up on eBay and through select distributors. I was able to discern the MLB hologram on one bat and learned the signing was done with Steiner on December 4. The bats and balls also have low-number Pujols holograms that are not from the Pujols Family Foundation. That suggests Albert's representation is marketing him as a for-profit venture. I scrolled through the MLB hologram database and determined Pujols signed 345 items for Steiner; they are as follows:

FJ 293501-293572 -- 72 Baseballs
FJ 293573-293607 -- 35 16 x 20
FJ 293608-293706 -- 99 Bats
FJ 293707-293782 -- 76 Batting Gloves
FJ 293783-293801 -- 19 Cleats
FJ 293802-293813 -- 12 Wristbands
FJ 293814-293833 -- 20 Destroyed holograms
FJ 293834-293843 -- 10 16 x 20
FJ 293844-293845 -- 2 Caps
FJ 293846-293848 -- 3 Fielding Gloves
FJ 293849-293850 -- 2 Jerseys
FJ 293851-293865 -- 15 Bats

December 16, 2010. I've received a couple e-mails asking if any of the Pujols-signed items from the 12/4 Steiner event were game-used. I have no way of knowing. MLB authenticators won't certify anything as "game used" unless they actually see it in use -- so even if there were legit, game-used items signed that day, the MLB database won't reflect that. The 15 bats at the end seem to be of particular interest to people. I went through them one by one:

FJ 293851-293857 -- "Bat"
FJ 293858-293863 -- "Sam Bat"
FJ 293864 -- "TPX Bat"
FJ 293865 -- "Old Hickory Bat"

We can assume the TPX Bat isn't a gamer because there's no documented proof of Albert using one. We also know Albert signed souvenir Sam Bats for UDA, so we can't assume these are gamers, either. In the end, we may never know if any of these bats are gamers. It's entirely possible they're owned by people involved in the signing, who took the opportunity to get their personal collectables autographed.

January 9, 2011. OK, the holidays are history and my head cold has subsided; time to blog again. Let's start with the Pujols items that are flooding the market, at least by Pujols standards. Since my last post, I've noticed several bats from the 12/4 signing are actual gamers, not just replicas. Asking prices range from $3,200 (sportsmemorabilia.com) to $3,800 (JT Sports) to $5,000 (eBay). One eBay seller offered 17 game-used bats, but that listing was pulled after a day. So far, here are the MLB hologram numbers I've seen on gamers (all starting with FJ 2936): 35, 40, 59, 61 and 71. No way to know yet if all bats between 35 and 71 are gamers, or whether there are more beyond that, but it seems clear that many, many Pujols game-used bats are becoming available... Now, the question is, what will happen to prices? Most savvy collectors understand $3,200 for a signed, no-doubt Pujols gamer is a good price, but how many legit buyers are out there at that price? Personally, I don't believe older Pujols gamers will be affected. Those remain rare and highly desirable. But, I'm not convinced that the price of all of these 2010 gamers can be supported with so many bats now available. Time will tell... If you're looking for a no-doubt Pujols gamer with a team LOA from his first MVP season -- and want to spend about a third of what these 2010s are fetching -- this could be the bat for you... The Winter Warm Up is next weekend. I plan to be there all three days, bidding up auctions that I probably won't win, standing in autograph lines for other people and buying stuff I don't need. The schedule of events is available here. Unfortunately, Cardinals Care still has not published a list of auction items.

January 10, 2011. Received a call from Pujols Family Foundation (PFF) CEO Todd Perry this morning about the 12/4 signing and the items that are appearing in the market. He wanted me to clarify that the holograms attached to these items are not from the PFF. Information contained on documentation accompanying some items could lead collectors to believe the PFF is the source of the game-used items that are surfacing because the only contact information are website addresses for the PFF. That is not the case. There is no doubt that the signatures are legit, and the game-used items were, in fact, used and came from Albert. Still, there are things about the situation that remain a mystery. For example, even though Steiner's name is attached to every item in the MLB database, Steiner claims it is not involved at all. If that's true, why is Steiner's name being used by MLB? Also, why don't any LOAs contain contact information other than two website URLs that lead to the PFF, which has no connection to the items? Doesn't it seem strange that the entity that guarantees the item isn't identified? Whoever it is, it's not PFF -- so please don't call them if you're looking to buy a bat.

January 11, 2011. The mystery is over. The company behind the 12/4 Pujols signing is KLF Sports Investments out of Florida, which is run by Kevin Freistat. I spoke with Kevin on the phone last night and he helped clear up the confusion shared my many collectors. For example, KLF is not MLB licensed, so Kevin uses Steiner Sports as his conduit to MLB -- that's why Steiner's name is attached to every item in the MLB database instead of KLF's name. Other tidbits from our conversation:

  • The new Pujols hologram belongs to Albert and his agent, not KLF (or the Pujols Family Foundation, as discussed yesterday). Not sure who will manage the database of hologram numbers or how that person can be contacted if collectors want to confirm authentication using the hologram number.
  • KLF's name and contact information is not on any of the LOAs from the signing, which Kevin admitted was an oversight on his part. He also agreed that including the two URLs directing people to the PFF could be misleading.
  • According to Kevin, the game-used items were supplied by Albert and are now owned by KLF.
  • Kevin wouldn't confirm amounts, but said there were far fewer than 35 game-used bats signed during the session (so not every bat from FJ 293635-71 is a gamer). He also said the two jerseys were not worn, but that one fielding glove (already sold) was used for an entire season.
  • KLF is primarily a wholesaler, which is why most of the items signed on 12/4 are being distributed by companies like sportsmemorabilia.com and sportsintegrity.com.
  • KLF will be doing another session with Albert, though Kevin says that will be mostly balls and photos; no bats.

I assume that should answer most collectors' questions about the signing... The auction items from the upcoming Winter Warm Up have been posted on the Cardinals' website. No Pujols-used jerseys or bats in the live auctions this year. The big-ticket auctions seem to have moved away from high-end memorabilia toward experiences, like "broadcaster for a day" and "guest of the GM." Also interesting how no item is described as "game used," even though many surely are. As we've discussed here before, the team doesn't do LOAs anymore, opting for MLB authentication on everything. And, unless a MLB representative sees the item in use, he cannot call it "game used." So, when you look down the list of auction items, it's probably safe to assume that when you see the word "issued," the item probably was used.

January 12, 2011. Since yesterday's post, I've been getting e-mails asking if KLF will entertain any mail order business with its next Pujols signing. Obviously, there are many collectors who would willingly pay to have their game-used bats, jerseys and other items signed. I sent Kevin Freistat an e-mail last night and he replied this morning that he needs to see where he's at and will let me know in a week or so. I'm assuming KLF may have limits on the number of particular items that Albert will sign -- only so many bats, so many jerseys, so many gloves, etc. So, contractually, KLF may not be able to accommodate many more bats, for example. Stay tuned... After going through the list of auction items at the upcoming Winter Warm Up, I was struck by the complete absence of Mark McGwire items. No game-worn jersey, no fungo bat, no signed balls or photos -- nada. It's disappointing enough that he's not signing at the show, but to not have McGwire items in any of the auctions is just odd.

January 14, 2011. According to Brian Walton and B.J. Rains (via Twitter), here are the uniform numbers assigned to the newest Cardinals: Theriot 3; Berkman 12; Laird 13; Batista 44; Snell 48 and Tallet 56... If you're a young player in the Cards' organization, 84 seems to be the number you'd want to be assigned at spring training. Since top prospect Colby Rasmus wore those digits in 2007 and 2008, #84 has been given to the prospect du jour. In '09, Brett Wallace had the honor, followed by Daryl Jones in '10. This spring, top pick Zach Cox will have the distinction of wearing #84, according to KTRS's John Marecek.

January 17, 2011. Well, another Winter Warm Up has come and gone. This one was maybe the worst ever in terms of game-used memorabilia. The live and silent auctions were weak, and even the Cardinals Care store had practically nothing. Man, I miss the days of rummaging through racks of jerseys and barrels of bats... I did make one nice acquisition. The Cardinals Authentics booth had a pro stock bat with #91 on both ends and a MLB hologram dating the bat to an authentication session in April. I have no doubt the bat was used by #1 prospect Shelby Miller during spring training 2010. Sometimes, it really pays to have otherwise useless knowledge in your head, like the numbers worn by prospects in the spring... The Miller bat was my only WWU purchase, but that's partly because I acquired a huge collection this weekend -- more than 100 bats, 30 jerseys, caps, cleats, pants, batting gloves, wristbands, helmets, jackets, stirrups, undershirts, seats and more. I have everything but the bats in hand; plan to pick up the bats this week. Most items from this exclusively Cardinals collection date from the mid '80s through the '90s, but there are a few older items that date to the '60s (like a Bob Gibson signed wool undershirt that he actually wore). It will take a while for everything to make it to my For Sale page, but it'll get there eventually. Stay tuned.

January 20, 2011. When I examine a 2002 Cardinals jersey, the first things I look at are the memorial patches on the sleeves. There is a definite difference in quality between the patches used by the team and those sold via retail outlets, which often are used to fake jerseys from 2002. I've been asked, "You mean you could buy those patches in stores?" The answer is yes, but until this weekend, I didn't have an example for proof. Now I do.

February 7, 2011. It's truck day! They're loading the equipment at Busch in preparation for its journey to Jupiter. This shot shows some of the labeled boxes of equipment, including Molina's catcher's gear... Derrick Goold of the Post-Dispatch reports the Cardinals had their choice of pregame jersey styles for 2011. He posted photos of both the fronts and the backs of each style. The players' choice? The one with the red shoulders. A couple noteable changes to the jersey -- the front will be full button-down again, and the NOB and numbers will be sewn on again; no more heat-pressed lettering. Also looks like the birds on bat is an embroidered patch again... Derrick also reports that Jim Edmonds is getting his #15 back from Jon Jay, who will wear Joe Mather's old #22. Other assigned numbers include Nick Punto, 8; Allen Craig, 21; Raul Valdes, 37; and Ramon Vasquez, 19.

February 8, 2011. Was contacted by three people today wanting to consign items. Haven't had time to take photos of everything, but wanted to list things asap... First guy has an Albert Pujols batting helmet with a team LOA from 2009 ($4,000); a signed Pujols Marucci bat from 2007 authenticated by MLB, PFF and UDA ($4,500) -- it was cracked on 8/25/07 and the seller will include a CD with 70 photos of AP using the bat; and a pair of signed Pujols batting gloves ($1,100). For the record, I know of very few Pujols bats with MLB holograms that deem the bat "game used" on a certain date... The next guy is offering the visitor's dugout bat rack from Busch II ($5,800 plus shipping)... And finally, if you're a fan of nickname bats, these may be up your alley: Lou "Chuck" Klein, Rocky Bridges, Stubby Clapp, Skeeter Barnes, Jose "Cheo" Cruz and Ken "Miss" Dayley. Details, prices and photos available upon request.

February 23, 2011. There are a couple Pujols jerseys on eBay people have been asking me about, so let's discuss them and maybe save some e-mails. First is this 2000 Arizona Fall League jersey. My opinion is that it's no good, and here's why. First, I know the owner of Albert's AFL home jersey; I've seen the shirt and have confidence in its provenance. But second, and most importantly, whoever sewed the numbers on the back of the eBay jersey didn't realize that the digits were spaced farther apart in 2000 than they are today. Through 2004, the numbers were about 1.5" apart, or roughly the thickness of the numbers. In 2005, they were moved closer, to about 0.75". I've done the analysis and compared the photos -- these numbers are way too close... The other Pujols jersey is from the 2000 Midwest League All-Star Game. Everything seems in order, including the LOA from the host team. However, the only visual evidence of Pujols I can find from that event shows him wearing #21 (his number at Peoria that season) instead of #29. Certainly something to consider before you bid... The Pujols bat offered in the 2/8 post has been sold, but the batting helmet and batting gloves are still available. Batting helmets with team provenance are quite rare. And while I've seen several pairs of Pujols batting gloves on eBay recently, it's worth noting that both of these gloves are signed, not just one.

February 24, 2011. Another day, another fake Pujols jersey on eBay. This purported 2001 road jersey is so bad it makes me laugh. Here's the one thing you need to know -- the bat barrel on Cardinals jerseys does not have a little line suggesting 3D roundness at the end. Real jerseys have solid yellow bats. I think this may be the same jersey from Legendary's November 2010 auction (lot 1313), which was pulled after I contacted Legendary. The seller of this jersey recently sold what allegedly was a Pujols-used bat from the 2006 World Baseball Classic. Hope the provenance on the bat was better than the provenance on this cheap, retail fake. What's really concerning is that such an obvious fake made it past both 100% Authentic (Lou Lampson) and Legendary Auction's authenticators.

March 8, 2011. Received an e-mail from Kevin Freistat this weekend about another private signing with Albert Pujols. Kevin did the 12/4/10 session with Pujols and has another one upcoming in Florida. This time, he says he will accept mail order items. Pricing will depend on the item. I asked how much for a game-used bat or jersey, but didn't get an answer. Hope you have more luck. If you want to give it a shot, contact Kevin asap at sales@klfsports.com... I think fake 2002 road Pujols jerseys now outnumber home 2001 shirts. Here's another one. You could nuke this one based on the extra name plate material alone, but it has other issues... Another Pujols X-Bat with a flag has surfaced. Run away... Here's an oldie but a goodie. This 1977-tagged George Hendrick jersey is odd on many levels. First, George joined the Cards in '78 and wore #27, not #25 (Jerry Morales wore #25 throughout '78). By the time Silent George switched to #25, the team wore numbers on the sleeves, not the front. The earliest Hendrick wore #25 on the front and not the sleeves was 1981, and by then, he likely was receiving customized jerseys, like this one from 1982. My guess? It's a 1979 spring training jersey. The '79 Cardinals yearbook has a photo of George in Florida wearing #25 on the front (next to two action shots from '78 with him wearing #27).

March 11, 2011. I've added a significant number of new items to the for sale/trade page, including bats, jerseys, jackets, pants, caps and more. Still more to add, not to mention photos, but wanted to get the list posted. Among the more noteworthy items are an undershirt worn by Bob Gibson, a bat used by Darryl Kile and a jersey worn by Danny Sheaffer in the Cards' first TBTC game in 1997. Tons of affordable items, especially for collectors who have fond memories of the mid-'80s Runnin' Redbirds. If you're interested in anything or want more details, contact me... The owner of a 2005 Yadier Molina Sam Bat used by Albert Pujols -- with a team LOA stating such -- is looking to sell. If you're interested, let me know.

March 12, 2011. More items added to the for sale/trade page today, including batting gloves and wristbands. Many more photos, too. Still some things to add, including cleats, but we're getting there.

March 15, 2011. The Cards will wear green jerseys for St. Patrick's Day on Thursday, and today we got our first look at them. Interesting how they'll have a white yoke on the back, even though the team rejected the navy yoke for their regular BP shirts. The game will be televised on the MLB network... If you're looking for signed, game-used Pujols cleats, here's a pair at auction... Birdbats will be shut down the rest of the week as I attend to family matters. If you want to buy something and I don't get back to you right away, please have patience. Thanks.

March 24, 2011. This Pujols rookie bat showed up on eBay today. I received one e-mail about it a couple weeks ago, but thought mentioning it here might save some time. Since I reviewed photos previously, the seller sent the bat to PSA/DNA for a letter of opinion. Regardless of that letter, I believe this bat was used by someone other than Pujols, primarily because of the heavy use on the front and left hand hitter's sides of the barrel... In that Pujols eBay listing, you'll also see a black I13 from 2004. However, no black I13 bats are noted in Pujols' H&B records that season, or any season... In my 3/8 post, I mentioned how George Hendrick didn't wear #25 in 1978 because Jerry Morales did. Lo and behold, Morales' 1978 road jersey is on eBay... Time is running out for Birdbats' readers to get an exclusive shot at my new inventory. Next week, I plan to offer everything on Game Used Universe and list a few items on eBay.