Blog: July 2011

July 1, 2011. Matt Holliday was using a natural Old Hickory bat tonight... Got two new looks at the early '50s throwback the Cards will wear Saturday. The first shot was tweeted by the Cardinals (notice there's no year flag), while the second photo was provided by the Cardinals HOF/Museum's Brian Finch. In that pic, you can see the TBTC shirt side-by-side with the '52 Musial road jersey that served as its inspiration.

July 2, 2011. The Cards looked outstanding in their early '50s throwbacks tonight. Some general thoughts... Good: The birds on bat logo was very similar to the original. Not good: Buttons down the placket instead of zippers. Good: High cuffs. Not good: Solid red socks instead of Cardinals striped stirrups. Good: No MLB logo on the back collar. Not good: Majestic's logo on the sleeve. Good: 1953-era caps. Not good: 2011-era batting helmets. Isn't there a red, static-cling decal they could temporarily apply to the bill? Good: No NOB and appropriate back number placement. Not good: Tackle twill numbers instead of felt. Good: These uniforms will be auctioned by the Rays, so collectors will get a fair shot at them. Not good: The amount of money I'll have to spend to get one of them. In spite of my nit-picking, these unis deserve high marks... I noticed McGwire WAS wearing his TBTC jersey... Brandon Dickson made his MLB debut wearing #65. Good luck outbidding his parents for that uniform.

July 4, 2011. The '70s truckers' Stars and Stripes caps were back in use today. Seriously, who thought that design was a good idea?... Carpenter was using a natural Old Hickory bat. It looked like a contract/signature model, but I couldn't make out the name on the barrel.

July 5, 2011. Several players from around the majors selected to play in the upcoming all-star game are wearing stars on their jerseys and caps. They also have the all-star game logo on the sides of their caps. The Cardinals are not doing this (so far); Berkman, Holliday and Molina are all sans stars... I'm just as curious as you are about when the 7/2 throwbacks will show up on the Tampa Bay website. Trust me, I don't have any inside info. I'm just checking the site daily.

July 6, 2011. Brandon Dickson singled in his first MLB at bat. He used a Gwynn-finished LS M9. It was interesting to see La Russa, after the ball was retrieved and tossed to him in the dugout, hand the ball to the MLB authenticator, who placed a hologram on it... Jon Jay used at least four different bats during the game, including two new ones for him this season -- a natural LS M9 (used for his game-tying HR) and a Gwynn-finished bat used in the 13th inning. I couldn't see the brand on that one.

July 7, 2011. Noted on 7/5 that the Cards' all-stars were not wearing stars on their jerseys or caps. Here's why... McClellan used a Gywnn-finished LS M9... P.J. Walters made his 2011 debut wearing the same #40 he donned at the end of last year.

July 9, 2011. Chris Carpenter used a natural Old Hickory bat tonight... Here's the best shot I've seen so far of Tony Cruz's BWP bat... Berkman threw a bat into the crowd. A woman was hit in the head, but it seems the guy behind her got the souvenir.

July 10, 2011. If you've been looking for a game-used Pujols jersey with team provenance, you probably would have liked this jersey. It didn't last long; was listed at $4,500 and an offer of $3,700 was accepted soon after it hit eBay.

July 11, 2011. In the ASG Home Run Derby, Matt Holliday used a black Rawlings bat. He also wore victory blue Nike cleats with red accents that would have made the '82 Cardinals proud.

July 12, 2011. In the ASG, Lance Berkman swung a natural LS ash bat. He wore a regular batting helmet and a regular knit jersey. Matt Holliday, on the other hand, wore a CoolFlo helmet and Cool Base jersey. He swung a black Marucci bat, which was interesting since he hasn't used Marucci at all in 2011. His cleats were different from those he wore in the Derby, with black uppers and baby blue soles... Berkman was supposed to wear these cleats, but his actual shoes were mostly white with red accents... Molina swung his usual black-handled Marucci bat. He wore a regular knit jersey, a CoolFlo helmet, and red and white Nike cleats.

July 15, 2011. Matt Holliday used a black LS M9 for the first time this season, while David Freese started using a natural Marucci bat.

July 16, 2011. Daniel Descalso was swinging a natural ash Louisville Slugger.

July 19, 2011. Catching up a bit on some recently completed auctions... Two legit Pujols GU jerseys sold at Hunt's All-Star Game auction. A 2005 jersey from the final game at Busch II -- which sold for more than $13K with juice in Leland's Busch Farewell auction -- topped out at $9,000 this time around... A 2003 road jersey gifted to Curt Schilling fetched $8,500... A sweet '98 McGwire bat with a La Russa/ARF letter sold for $3,500, a far cry from it's value of a decade ago... And an early Musial GU bat was hammered down at $6,500... The Tampa Bay Rays still have not listed the jerseys from the TBTC game played on 7/2. Once they are online, which I assume will be soon, I've been told the auction probably will last more like a month than a week... I know Pujols' name isn't on the barrel, but I'm shocked that serious Pujols collectors have ignored this 2005 GU bat with team LOA. With newer, signed gamers selling in the $3K neighborhood, $600 for a documented MVP-season bat seems like a steal.

July 20, 2011. Kyle McClellan mistakenly wore his "Cardenales" jersey from the June 11 Hispanic Heritage game played in Milwaukee. Why it's still traveling with him is a mystery. After one inning in wearing the wrong jersey, McClellan took the mound in the second wearing the correct jersey... Matt Holliday used a black Marucci. It's the first time during the regular season, though he did use the same bat in the All-Star Game.

July 21, 2011. Noticed today that the Cardinals TBTC jerseys from the 7/2 game in Tampa Bay are now up for auction on the Rays' website. Looks like the gamers all have minimum bids of $250, which means a few of these likely will go unsold. Note there are a few guys who have both gamers and signed/issued jerseys. There also are a couple Pujols "replicas" -- remember, he was on the DL when the game was played. No pants or caps are included, which is disappointing; Tampa's Smokers jerseys come with pants.

July 22, 2011. Tomorrow is Negro League Heritage Day in Pittsburgh. Look for the Cards to wear some pretty sharp throwbacks.

July 23, 2011. The Cards and Pirates honored the Negro Leagues tonight, wearing uniforms of the Grays and the Stars. In past years when the Cards wore Stars jerseys, the throwbacks were somewhat generic and not necessarily based on any actual jersey. The uniforms tonight, however, attemped to replicate this team photo, which I believe is from around 1931. The pinstripes, piping, letter font and sleeve numbers were faithful to the design. However, the numbers on back were a concession to MLB rules; the Stars probably didn't have numbers on their backs. The red cleats and current batting helmets were a necessary evil. And the color scheme, I assume, is just an educated guess. Overall, though, I thought the unis were outstanding. And, yes, I did travel to Pittsburgh to see the game... Garcia used a natural Marucci bat. Later in the game, Motte used a natural ash LS during his first plate appearance of 2011.

July 25, 2011. Descalso used what looked like a natural Max Bat, but I can't be sure. He took only one swing before flying out... A couple photo galleries of Saturday's TBTC game can be found here and here. Based on what I'm hearing, it seems the throwbacks were kept by the players -- so don't hold your breath waiting for any of them to show up at auction.

July 26, 2011. Tony Cruz used a Marucci with a black handle and natural barrel. Possible it could have been a Molina or Pujols model.

July 27, 2011. Today's trade raises the question of who will wear which number. Rzepczynski wore #34 in Toronto, a number currently reserved for, but not used by, Nick Stavinoha. Patterson's #16 belongs to Bryan Anderson, but like Stavinoha, he hasn't been called up this season. Dotel won't be getting his #29 (Carpenter), but #28 (Rasmus) is now available. Jackson's #33 is being worn by Descalso, but he favored #36 in past seasons. Coach Derek Lilliquist could surrender his #36, or Jackson could take a number vacated by Miller, Walters or Tallet. UPDATE: Jackson will wear #22 (formerly Augenstein's), Patterson will wear #44 (Batista), Rzepczynski will take #34 and Dotel will inherit Rasmus' #28.

July 28, 2011. Corey Patterson made his debut wearing #28. He swung a Gwynn-finished Marucci, and wore a Cool Base jersey and a regular helmet... Marc Rzepczynski and Octavio Dotel also made their Cards debuts wearing #34 and #28, respectively. Both wore Cool Base jerseys... Theriot and Garcia both were swinging a natural Marucci bats with black handles... Kyle Lohse pinch hit with a natural Rawlings bat. It had Chris Carpenter's name on the barrel.

July 29, 2011. Edwin Jackson made his St. Louis debut wearing #22. He wore a Cool Base jersey and regular batting helmet, and swung a natural ash LS bat. The bat had black handle tape, a blacked-0ut number on the knob and may have been a Gerald Laird model.

July 31, 2011. During his career (I saw him turn an unassisted triple play at Busch way back in 2003), Rafael Furcal has worn basically two numbers, #1 and #15. He obviously wasn't getting #1 upon his trade to the Cards, and #15 was being worn by Jon Jay. However, Jay deferred to Furcal's seniority and let him have #15. As a result, Jay took the field tonight with new digits, #19. Wonder what that means for Matt Carpenter... Furcal wore a Cool Base jersey and standard batting helmet, and swung a natural Easton bat with blue handle tape.