Blog: September 2011

September 1, 2011. Brandon Dickson used a natural Marucci bat during his spot start in Milwaukee. Rosters could expand today, but Dickson was the only call up from Memphis.

September 2, 2011. Pujols finally used his black handle/natural barrel Marucci model tonight. We know he's had them all season; Molina used one as early as 4/14. But, this marks the first game Albert actually used one himself... Shane Robinson made his return to the majors tonight after injuries in 2010 and early '11 prohibited his call up from the minors. His old #33 is now worn by Daniel Descalso, so Robinson was assigned #43, worn earlier this year by Trever Miller. Robinson swung a natural ash LS with a flame finish. He wore a regular batting helmet and a Cool Base jersey... The clubhouse seats mentioned in the 8/31 post have been sold, pending payment and pickup.

September 3, 2011. I noticed Gerald Laird used a natural Max Bat today. He was one of the few guys who regularly used the same bat (natural LS M9)... Shane Robinson's flame-finished LS bat has such a dark burn that, from a distance, it looks like it has a Walker finish.

September 5, 2011. Today was another jersey-off-the-back day at Busch. Years ago, the Cards wore MDA patches on Labor Day, but I'm not sure that's happened since 1999... After using the black handle/natural barrel Marucci bat for a while, Albert went back to his regular Gwynn finish for his last AB... Holliday has pulled his natural Old Hickory bats out of mothballs.

September 6, 2011. Adron Chambers made his MLB debut as a pinch runner. He wore #56, digits surrendered by Brian Tallet after his trade to Toronto... Descalso used a natural ash LS; not the first time, but rare... Just a reminder that the Buddy Fund is hosting its 2nd annual "Champions for Children" event at Busch on Thursday. Details here.

September 7, 2011. I have 12 tickets for the Buddy Fund event tomorrow night to give away to Birdbats' readers -- first come, first served, limit 4 tickets per person. It will be held at the Busch Stadium Champions Club beginning at 6 p.m. You can park in the lot north of the ball park enter on the Clark Street side. No ticket needed -- I'll give your name to event organizers and they'll take care of you at will call. Free autograph guests include Jack Clark, Whitey Herzog, Andy Van Slyke, sportswriters Rick Hummel and Rob Rains, and broadcaster Jay Randolph. There will be food, auctions and a roundtable discussion. Interested? Contact me at birdbats@charter.net.

September 8, 2011. I still have tickets for tonight's Buddy Fund event. Contact me and they're yours -- a $50 value, free!

September 11, 2011. Both teams wore American flags just below the rear collar, similar to those worn in 2001 after the 9/11 attacks. Don't know if they were sewn on or attached with adhesive, but I'm betting the latter because Tim Hudson's flag clearly was coming off of his Braves jersey. The teams also had flags attached above the left ears on their respective caps. Again, assuming those were stuck on... Adron Chambers had his first career plate appearance. He used a B45 bat with a black barrel and brown handle... I'm getting tired of people listing Pujols bats with #19 on the knob and not acknowledging it in the item description. Here's one on eBay now, and here's another that ended a week ago. Also misleading to say the bats have LOAs from the Pujols Family Foundation. Neither do; the PFF was not involved with the sale of these bats. Also interesting that both have PSA/DNA letters stating probable use by Matt Pagnozzi. In fact, they likely were used by Nick Stavinoha, who wore #19 in 2009 and is known to have used Pujols models. When Pagnozzi was called up later in the season, he took his uncle's #19, but used only ash Louisville Sluggers.

September 12, 2011. Skip Schumaker used a natural LS M9 tonight... Matt Holliday used a Gwynn-finished Marucci in his last AB... Pujols broke one of his black-handled Marucci bats in two pieces in the eighth inning. Not only could I see splinters flying on impact, but the dugout camera caught the batboy pulling other slivers off the barrel. If this bat ever hits the market, it's going to need some serious work.

September 18, 2011. I realize I haven't posted in a while, but there's been nothing new in terms of bat use or uniform numbers... I listed several jerseys from my "for sale" page on eBay tonight. Please bid early and often... A friend of mine is selling the bulk of his Cardinals nickname bat collection. Included is lumber from "Ducky" Medwick, "Chick" Hafey, "Pepper" Martin and other vintage stars, as well as more recent guys like "Bake" McBride and "Skip" Schumaker. I hope to have a list posted soon, but if you can't wait and want to know about a particular player, please contact me at birdbats@charter.net.

September 20, 2011. I attended the game tonight and Cardinals Care had their auction kiosks out. Only one game-used bat -- an Allen Craig A-Bat, signed, with just a minor crack. It sold for $150.

September 22, 2011. Tony Cruz used a black ash Louisville Slugger... The Cardinals honored Jason Isringhausen before the game for being the team's all-time saves leader. Then they blew a four-run lead in the 9th inning. Coincidence?

September 24, 2011. David Freese used a natural Max Bat today... I've had the opportunity to see two 2011 knit (not Cool Base) jerseys this week, one made for Molina and the other worn by Pujols during the most recent jersey-off-the-back day. Both jerseys had set tags sewn inside next to the laundry tags; Molina was a set 4 and Pujols was a set 9. Molina's also had an extra-length tag. Both jerseys had Velcro sewn behind the bat on the placket, something I haven't seen since 2003. The most interesting thing, though, was the laundry tag in Pujols' jersey. Instead of the typical 0062 code, it has a 0620 code (note that 6200 designates retail shirts). I've never seen the 0620 code before. Odd, but no doubt the jersey was legit.

September 26, 2011. In Pujols' first plate appearance, he used his typical Gwynn-finished Marucci. In his second AB, he came to the plate with the brown handled, black barreled Marucci -- and it had white handle tape, something that's very rare for Albert. Third time up, he was swinging a natural Marucci. Then he returned to the Gwynn finish his last two plate appearances. Very strange... Laird used a natural ash LS for the first time this season.

September 27, 2011. Sanchez used a black BWP bat... If you have interest in one of the 1953 throwbacks the Cards wore in Tampa on 7/2, let me know. The Rays are selling them for $200 each. Remaining jerseys include coaches Pettini, Murphy and Lilliquist, Allen Craig (was on the DL), Adron Chambers (not yet called up) and Raul Valdez (pitched to one hitter).

September 28, 2011. Pretty sure Pujols used an all-black Marucci during his third plate appearance... Speaking of black bats used by Pujols, it doesn't get much better than this one, in terms of provenance. As far as I know, it's the first bat ever sold on eBay by the Pujols Family Foundation.