Blog: May 2011

May 1, 2011. No new bats tonight, but there was one new glove. Because of injuries and substitutions, Pujols was inserted at third base during the late innings of today's game. He used a Rawlings fielder's glove, mostly black with a brown web.

May 3, 2011. Colby Rasmus employed his third bat brand of the year, opting for a black Rawlings... Yadier Molina is again using a natural Marucci with a black handle. But this time, the bat has his name on the barrel, not Pujols'.

May 7, 2011. Tyler Greene came to the plate with a black Rawlings bat for his last plate appearance. David Freese's name was on the barrel.

May 8, 2011. Unlike past years on Mother's Day, the Cardinals used pink bats in force today. Of the nine players who batted, only Molina went with his regular stick. Theriot used a pink LS M9, but only for his first AB. Pujols used a pink Marucci for his first two ABs. Everyone else stayed with the pink bats throughout the game. Rasmus used a pink Sam Bat. Holliday had a pink Rawlings. Tyler Greene used a pink LS M9. Berkman, Punto and McClellan all used pink LS ash bats. Nobody pinch hit, so those are the only guys who had the opportunity to go pink... Derrick Goold of the PD reported that Allen Craig had his mom's name, Kim Craig, on his bat so he could give it to her as a gift. Unfortunately, he didn't get to use it. I assume it was an A-Bat, since that's all Craig uses... Most of the players wore pink wristbands... I noticed that Molina -- while not using a pink bat -- did have pink in his batting gloves... Berkman rocked the pink cleats. Apparently, if players have contracts with Under Armour, like Berkman, they were "strongly encouraged" to wear the pink shoes.

May 11, 2011. Ryan Franklin had his first plate appearance of the season. He used a black Marucci... Four Cardinals road jerseys showed up on eBay today from the same seller; already received an e-mail about them, so here are my thoughts. The '96 La Russa has the wrong number font on front, and the space between the numbers (front and back) looks too narrow; it should be equal to the width of the "1." The '97 Eckersley is missing the Jackie Robinson patch and has the same number spacing problem as the La Russa on back. The '02 Edmonds is sans memorial patches on both sleeves, has numbers on back that appear too close together, and maybe I can't see it, but it appears there's no name plate. NOBs weren't direct-stitched until 2006. Finally, there's a '96 Ozzie Smith with no special tailoring. On the surface, it doesn't look that bad -- but considering the length, the tails and the other three jerseys offered by the seller, there's certainly a dark cloud hanging over it.

May 18, 2011. Pete Kozma made his MLB debut tonight wearing #47. He swung a black Marucci bat, wore a Cool Base jersey and batted with a CoolFlo helmet... In my 2/23/11 blog entry, I wrote about a Pujols Midwest League all-star jersey that was on eBay at the time. It sold for a shade less than $700. That same jersey is now in Leland's current auction. What's also the same is the video on YouTube that shows Pujols wearing #21, not #29... Leland's also has a 2002 Pujols bat, made in October of that year, that has black ball marks. Remember, all MLB baseballs were printed with blue ink beginning in 2000... I'm sure you've noticed I haven't been updating the blog daily. Workloads and a hectic personal schedule have made it tough lately to do so. However, I still am (eventually) watching every game and noting new bats and other happenings. When those occur, I'll post about them.

May 19, 2011. The last of the St. Patrick's Day jerseys went on the block tonight. This lot includes both Berkman and McGwire... I won the Daniel Descalso jersey in last week's auction and received it yesterday. It has some interesting features. For example, the green material is thin and almost silky. It's so delicate, in fact, that it appears the manufacturer put a hole in it while stitching on the NOB. The white venting material has very large holes. The tag in the tail, which used to be ironed on Cool Base jerseys, is sewn on and actually is customized for the Cardinals. And the logo patch is much different than the one Majestic used the last time the team wore a button-up pregame jersey in 2006. It's not embroidered, but is more like the twill material used on retail shirts, which allows for more details (see the birds' eyes, for instance). It's smaller -- the bat shrunk from 14" long in 2006 to 12" now. And the part of the logo that is hidden by the placket now is included on the left side, making a "double D" effect possible. That wasn't the case before. I don't own a red pregame jersey yet, but it's clear from this photo that those shirts have some of the same features as the St. Pat's jerseys. Reader Jason Scott tells me that some of the St. Pat's shirts don't have sewn-on NOBs, but instead have heat-pressed letters like those used last year. His Adron Chambers jersey is one. I'm assuming that's something they did on the fly for the younger players who weren't anticipated to still be around by March 17.

May 21, 2011. Albert broke out another new finish today. It's a Marucci with a natural handle and a Hornsby (dark maroon) barrel. That's the fifth different finish he's used this year, and we know there's a sixth (black handle, natural barrel) that he hasn't used... Rasmus used a black ash Louisville Slugger.

May 22, 2011. Rasmus started showing his socks today. Unfortunately, they're solid red, not the striped stirrups one would hope to see. His pants also seem to hang in an unusual manner. I really miss the days when ballplayers knew how to dress from the waist down.

May 23, 2011. The final St. Patrick's Day jersey auction went off last night. Lance Berkman's jersey ended at $618 while Mark McGwire's shirt fetched $611. Jerseys from Wainwright, McClellan and Lance Lynn all broke $200. But, again, several shirts didn't attract a minimum bid; they included Dickson, Cruz, King, Miller, Punto, Cazana and Aldrete.

May 24, 2011. Tony Cruz made his MLB debut a memorable one with three hits. He swung a Walker-finished Mizuno bat, and wore a Cool Base jersey and a CoolFlo helmet. He is wearing #48... Rasmus was using a Gwynn-finished A-Bat. Since Allen Craig is the only A-Bat user on the team, there's a good chance Rasmus was borrowing one of Craig's bats.

May 26, 2011. A few Mother's Day items appeared on MLB's auction site today. Included are bats used by Rasmus, Theriot and Holliday, a bat issued to Jay, batting gloves used by Molina, and batting gloves issued to Descalso. The auctions run through June 8.

May 30, 2011. The Stars and Strips caps are back, and I think it's official -- it's time to retire this "tradition." The first S&S cap in 2008 was solid navy and looked fine. In 2009, the solid red caps were hardly noticeable (unless you have the Oakland A's colors). Last season, the white domes and red bills actually looked pretty cool with the home uni. But, I think creativity has hit a wall with these '70s-looking, white-panel caps. Honestly, if you saw one of these caps on the clearance rack at Walmart, would you even bother to try one on? Ugh... Any clue what that is on Miguel Batista's belt? Looks like the round hologram you see on MLB-approved merchandise.

May 31, 2011. X-Bat apparently is still in business. Yesterday and tonight, Skip Schumaker used one with a black handle and natural barrel. It's the first X-Bat sighting in St. Louis in 2011... In what is probably a first for the Cards, three guys (in a row) used a bat with a black handle and natural barrel. Schumaker followed Molina and batted ahead of Carpenter,both of whom used Marucci bats with the same, nontraditional finish.