Blog: June 2011

June 1, 2011. Went to the game tonight and dropped into the Authentics Store. The St. Pat's Day jerseys that didn't sell via the MLB auction were there and on sale for the minimum bid prices -- so you won't see those online again if you were thinking about getting one... The only other new item was a Lance Berkman bat -- $500 and it had numbers marked out on both ends with #8 written. According to the store manager, the MLB database says it was used by Berkman, not Punto. Hmm.

June 2, 2011. Two MLB debuts tonight for a couple Cardinals pitchers. Starter Lance Lynn wore #62 and used what seems like standard issue for most Redbird pitchers, a black LS ash bat. Reliever Maikel Cleto wore #63. Both hurlers wore Cool Base jerseys.

June 3, 2011. I need to move some inventory, so I'm offering an exclusive deal to Birdbats.com readers. If you contact me at birdbats@charter.net by 10 p.m. CDT Monday, June 6, you can take 20% off any and all items available in the for sale section. I'm not offering this discount via Game Used Universe or any other outlet. It's my way of saying "thanks" for supporting my site... Schumaker added a Gwynn-finished Marucci bat to his arsenal tonight.

June 4, 2011. Matt Carpenter made his MLB debut today wearing #19. He swung a Marucci bat with a Gwynn finish, and wore a Cool Base jersey and a standard helmet... Mark Hamilton used a black LS M9 in his first plate appearance upon his recall from Memphis... Jon Jay took a rare break from LS to use a natural Rawlings bat... 13 bats already have been sold during my weekend 20% off sale, so if you're thinking about something on my list, don't wait too long.

June 5, 2011. If you saw the Lance Berkman bats offered on eBay by seller "realsuperdave" and wondered if they were legit, we now have an answer. They're not. The unusual knob stamping had people asking me questions I couldn't answer, and the cupped ends clearly were not typical for Berkman. Brian Hillerich from H&B cleared things up in this thread from Game Used Universe. In short, they're Ball Player Assorted Selection (BPAS) bats -- basically factory overruns and mistakes that are sold to minor leaguers.

June 6, 2011. Today is the last day to take advantage of Birdbats.com's 20% off sale. The sale list is shrinking, but still not short enough (which means my basement isn't clean enough).

June 7, 2011. Matt Carpenter switched to a black Marucci bat during tonight's game.

June 8, 2011. The Cardinals announced today that the June 17-19 series with Kansas City will be part of an event to raise money for tornado-devistated Joplin, Mo. Both teams will wear a special patch during the first two games of the series, and those jerseys will be auctioned to raise funds for Joplin. Interestingly, the team already had a jersey-off-the-back day scheduled for June 19. No word whether those shirts, which will be raffled to benefit Cardinals Care, will have the sleeve patch... Garcia used a Gwynn-finished A-Bat, while Hamilton swung a natural ash LS.

June 10, 2011. Rasmus became the first Redbird this season to swing an Old Hickory bat... Tony Cruz also used a different bat; it was black with a thin band around it, but I couldn't make out the brand... If you catch the Cardinals game Saturday, pay close attention to their jerseys. I hear rumors that you'll see something you've never seen before.

June 11, 2011. As part of Hispanic Heritage Night at Miller Park, the Cardinals wore jerseys bearing the "Cardenales" logo. This is so much cooler than simply putting "LOS" before the regular team name, as many teams have done in the past. Maybe next time the team will honor its own Hispanic heritage and call itself the "El Birdos." Sure, it's not correct gramatically, but does that really matter? For the record, I understand the players kept their jerseys from the game, so this will be a very tough shirt for collectors to get their hands on... For the record, McGwire and Holliday were not wearing the Cardenales shirts. I also spotted a few non-starting pitchers who opted for sweatshirts and windbreakers... Rasmus was using a black BWP bat.

June 12, 2011. Andrew Brown made his MLB debut, the sixth Cardinals player to do so this season. He's wearing #64 and used a natural D-Bat... Jon Jay switched to a black ash LS.

June 15, 2011. Tony Cruz is using a black BWP tonight.

June 16, 2011. Rasmus is using a black LS ash bat, while Holliday appears to have switched to a natural Sam Bat.

June 17, 2011. Both the Cards and Royals wore jerseys with special "Teams Unite for Joplin" patches. The Cards wore the patch on the left sleeve while KC wore it on the front of their jerseys.

June 18, 2011. The Joplin patches were worn again tonight. Both teams also wore Joplin High School baseball caps during batting practice... Several players, including Schumaker, Theriot, Holliday and Molina, went high cuffed in an effort to break the team's recent bad streak.

June 19, 2011. For the third day, both teams had the Joplin patches on their jerseys. Because it was Father's Day, there also was an abundance of light blue wristbands and ribbons... Jerseys worn by the players were given to lucky fans after the game who purchased winning scratch-off tickets. I understand this was the only set of jerseys used during the weekend series. So, like the Cardenales jerseys, these will be tough for collectors to track down.

June 21, 2011. Maikel Cleto had his first MLB at-bat tonight. Like most Cardinals pitchers, he used a black ash LS.

June 22, 2011. Went to the game tonight. The Authentics Store has more than a dozen GU Rasmus bats for sale at $350 a pop. It has four Berkman bats (one used by Punto, one M9 BP, two ash gamers), but they're still $500. Yadi's bats also are still $500... The store didn't get any items from the Joplin weekend -- the balls, bases and other items went to Cardinals Care and are being auctioned on the team's website.

June 23, 2011. Jon Jay is using a black Sam Bat. He homered in his first AB using that model.

June 24, 2011. Hamilton is swinging a Gwynn-finished A-Bat.

June 25, 2011. Sorry for being MIA since 6/10. Too much work, too little time, but we're caught up now... I'm shocked and disgusted by the sale price on this alleged Pujols 2000 jersey. As I've noted here multiple times, Pujols likely wore #21 for that event, since there is actual video proof of him wearing #21 during the HR derby. I wonder if the people at Leland's really thinks they did all the necessary research to earn the almost $5K they made off that shirt... If you really want a legit Pujols jersey, check out Hunt's upcoming auction, because it has two of them. The 2005 shirt was sold previously after the 2005 season, while the 2003 jersey apparently was gifted to Curt Schilling... There are three legit Pujols GU Marucci bats on eBay at the moment.

June 26, 2011. Raul Valdes made his Cardinals debut today wearing #37... If you're looking at this Pujols jersey on eBay, keep looking. I suspect it's a retail shirt with a 0062 wash tag added; the giveaway is the way the tag is sewn on top of the seam instead of under it. A few years ago, several fake jerseys surfaced in the hobby, all with the same "over the seam" stitching and all with the same "0503B2" code below the 0062.

June 27, 2011. On Saturday, 7/2, the Cardinals will participate in a turn-back-the-clock game with the Tampa Bay Rays. The Rays will play as the Smokers and their jersey has been the cause of some controversy because a cigar that should be part of the logo has been eliminated by the PC police. There's no debate about the Cards' unis, though -- they will be nearly faithful replicas of the team's 1951-55 jersey, the only real change being the use of buttons instead of zippers (boo!). The two-tone caps will be similar to Cards road caps starting in 1953. Here's a photo of both team's jerseys and caps from Tampa Bay's website. I understand the Rays will auction both teams' full uniforms on the team's website... Forgot to mention a tidbit I read about last week. When several players started going high cuffed, Matt Holliday didn't have a pair of pants that would work. So, he borrowed a pair made for Red Schoendienst. If you see Matt's red socks, you can assume he's wearing Red's pants.

June 28, 2011. Caught this screen grab of Punto using one of Berkman's bats tonight. Also stumbled across this photo, taken by Braves collector (and photog extraordinaire) Kyle Hess, of Punto using one of Lance's bats on 5/1 in Atlanta. Guess that explains why the Authentics Store at Busch has a Berkman bat with #8 on both ends.

June 29, 2011. If you've been waiting for that holy grail of grails -- shower shoes worn by Albert Pujols -- then, boy, are you in luck. There are two pairs currently on eBay, here and here. The sellers of those slippers also have listed several caps, pants and other items this week... Bidding for two PSA-graded 10 Pujols game-used bats ends tomorrow.

June 30, 2011. Tony Cruz used a natural ash Louisville Slugger tonight.