Blog: October 2011

October 2, 2011. I haven't noticed anything out of the ordinary during the first two games of the NLDS... For reference, I'm noting post-season bat use on the 2011 bat use table. If there's a "D" in a cell,that means the player used that model in the NLDS. Let's hope I get to add a "C" for the NLCS and a "W" for the World Series.

October 5, 2011. Matt Holliday did something very unusual tonight; he used a natural ash Louisville Slugger with a dark flame finish. I find that odd because he did not use that kind of bat during the entire regular season. I can't say I've seen him use anything but maple in 2011 until this game. Wonder what would cause him to switch during the most important game of the year... Descalso also used a heavily flame-burned LS ash. He, too, normally is a maple guy... Apparently, I was just a little late getting to the Cardinals Authentics store tonight. The bat rack had one vacant spot; a Colby Rasmus pink Mother's Day bat had been there, but had sold -- for $175. Darn.

October 9, 2011. As I noted on 10/2, I'm adding a "C" to the bat use table to denote bats used in the NLCS... The Pujols bat offered by the Pujols Family Foundation on eBay sold for more than $5,400... Um, no.

October 10, 2011. Nothing new tonight, but a couple guys were swinging bats they hadn't used in a while. Most notable was Pujols, who banged out a HR and three doubles with a black-handle, natural-barrel Marucci. He broke it into two pieces during his last at bat... Holliday also swapped his natural ash LS for a black LS M9.

October 13, 2011. When Furcal came over from the Dodgers, you may have noticed some of his bats had decals on the knobs. The Dodgers were one of six teams using stickers provided by Pro Helmet Decals, so the bats Furcal brought with him had the stickers. Now, some of Furcal's Cardinals bats have the stickers, which clearly are rendered in the appropriate colors; I took that photo tonight at the Authentics Store (bat is in two pieces and missing a large chunk). To date, he's the only St. Louis player I've noticed using the decals.

October 14, 2011. Eagle-eyed reader and Pujols collector Bert Magladry noticed that Albert's bat tonight apparently has his signature laser etched on the barrel. I wondered how long this would take since Pujols has an ownership stake in Marucci. He never signed a contract with any other bat company during his 11-year career... The Cardinals are auctioning several jerseys worn during the September 23 loss to the Cubs. Included is a Pujols shirt, which is the subject of a bidding war between two motivated individuals. I've never seen a Pujols jersey sell for anything close to the current bid.

October 16, 2011. Jon Jay used a black LS M9, a model he didn't swing all season. It appeared to be a Skip Schumaker R161 model... Adron Chambers also used a black LS M9. Like Jay, he did not use that model until tonight... World Series bound, baby!

October 18, 2011. This segment ran on the local Fox affiliate in St. Louis tonight. It shows the folks at Liebe Athletic Lettering attaching World Series patches to Cardinals jerseys. The key takeaways: patches are being attached to existing shirts, not new ones; Pujols' jerseys have straight hems across the bottom; and Liebe's seamstresses are not exactly fluent in English.

October 19, 2011. Rafael Furcal swung a natural LS M9 tonight, a model he did not use with the Cardinals before the Series. It had black handle tape and a #15 knob sticker. Unlike this decal, the one tonight had a navy background with a red and white logo... Here's the annual "making of the World Series bats" video news segment from a Louisville television station. Unfortunately, all you see being made are Rangers bats.

October 20, 2011. Furcal swung another natural LS M9, but this one didn't have handle tape -- or if it did, it was white. I wonder if those are WS-issued models... Haven't noticed much turnover in game-used items at the Authentics Store at the stadium. A Berkman bat sold Wednesday, but it's hole in the rack was filled tonight with a Javier Vazquez Marlins bat. Inventory must be low... A signed David Freese bat was auctioned at the Cardinals Care kiosk for more than $700. That is quite the charitable donation, since Freese's unsigned bats sell for (I believe) $150 at the Authentics Store.

October 22, 2011. Three WS games, four bats for Furcal. He's using Easton and a black LS M9 tonight, along with a natural M9... Suspected Pujols might switch bats after going hitless the first two games. He did, opting for the black handle/natural barrel Marucci. Guess it worked.

October 23, 2011. Got a good look at Holliday's bat knob tonight. The "A" in the center means he's using an Amish maple LS M9. Couldn't make out the date exactly, but pretty sure it was made 10/10 or later... There's a Pujols game-used bat on the Cardinals' website, but it is not being offered by the team. It's being marketed by Steiner. They call it a 2011 bat, but Pujols hasn't used a two-tone Sam Bat since 2007 -- and even then for only 10 plate appearances (1.47%)... Here are photos of the bat, the jersey and the batting gloves Pujols wore during game three. That's the first good look I've had of his signature on the barrel.

October 24, 2011. David Freese swung a natural Rawlings bat, a model he had not used all season... Furcal used his fifth bat of the WS, a natural ash LS. He had not used that model since coming to the Cards, but it appeared to have a Dodgers knob decal, so it's apparently from older stock... Speaking of knob decals, I've been trading emails with David Sulecki of Pro Helmet Decals. David confirmed he sent Furcal some Cardinals decals after the trade (see 10/13/11 blog entry) and that Furcal is the only Redbird currently using them.

October 27, 2011. The Shredder got hold of David Freese's jersey... The majority of Freese's jersey and his walk-off HR bat are on their way to Cooperstown. The HR ball itself was returned to Freese by a fan in trade for a signed bat and a signed team ball... The Authentics Store had Kyle Lohse's broken bat (two pieces) from game 4 of the NLCS for $200. It was a natural Rawlings Chris Carpenter model.

October 28, 2011. Congratulations to the 2011 World Series Champion St. Louis Cardinals!... Among the items ticketed for Cooperstown, in addition to Freese's memorabilia from last night, are Carpenter's game 7 jersey, Craig's bat, Berkman's bat, Pujols' bat from game 3, and Carp's cap from the duel in Philly with Halladay... After Freese surrendered his black Rawlings bat to the HOF after game six, he used a natural Marucci tonight.

October 29, 2011. I've updated and posted Pujols' bat use log for 2011. This past season, Albert again used Marucci exclusively. Unlike the past three years, when he used the Gwynn finish 97-99.6 percent of the time, Albert used seven different finishes. He still used Gwynn the most -- 82 percent of all plate appearances. But, he also used what I call the Bonds finish (cherry handle/black barrel), a natural barrel/black handle, a natural handle/Hornsby barrel, an all-natural finish, a pink bat and a black bat. My advice to Albert for 2012 -- other than "re-sign in St. Louis" -- is to stick with the natural barrel/black handle bat. He hit .458 with that model during the regular season and .423 with it (including 4/5 of his HR) during the post season. He also was at his best late in the season, after Marucci began etching Albert's signature on his bats... Just a reminder, Lance Berkman uses ash bats during games and maple bats during BP. He did it in Houston and he did it this year in St. Louis. Something to keep in mind if you're considering this bat.