Blog: August 2012

August 1, 2012. Edward Mujica, the Cards' lone trade deadline acquisition, became the third player this season to wear #44. Erik Komatsu and Chuckie Fick were the others (Koyie Hill wore #44 in spring training)... If you exclude retired numbers and "on-the-shelf" numbers (5, 32, 51, 57), the Cardinals have used every number through #66 this season except for #8, #18, #29 and #38. Obviously, nobody is getting Chris Carpenter's #29. Mark Hamilton apparently still owns #38. The #8 jersey likely is reserved for Eugenio Velez, in case of a September call up. That leaves #18, Dave Duncan's former digits. Is leaving #18 unassigned a signal the Cards are hoping Papa Dunc will return to the nest? Or just a gesture of respect?... For the record, numbers 67 and 68 have not been used since 2008; #69 likely won't see the light of day; and numbers in the 70s are rare. Since 2000, two guys have donned #73 and three have worn #77.

August 2, 2012. Tomorrow, the Cards will open a weekend series with the Brewers and recognize the 30th anniversary of the 1982 World Series. The team will wear home throwbacks on Saturday, but in an interesting twist, they'll wear the Victory Blue throwbacks on Sunday. Unless I'm mistaken, I think that will mark the first time since 1944 that the Cards have worn road jerseys in their home ballpark. Of course, in 1944, the Cards played the Browns in the World Series, with every game played at Sportsman's Park.

August 3, 2012. Rafael Furcal used a black Sam Bat tonight... The first photos of the throwbacks scheduled to be worn this weekend have emerged. Not only will they appropriately feature the black armband (in memory of Ken Boyer), but they also have a 3oth anniversary patch on the right sleeve.

August 4, 2012. As planned, the team wore white 1982 throwback uniforms today. The Brewers reciprocated by wearing throwbacks, also. If you've read my blog before, you're probably not expecting me to be complimentary of Majestic's effort. Good assumption. Once again, I feel the uniform manufacturer mailed it in on this design. I hope someday to be able to measure the neck and sleeve trim, along with the pant stripes, because just looking at them, they all appear to be the same width when they should be very different. I'm happy Majestic included the black memorial band, but it's too narrow and too far from the sleeve trim (here's how it should be; the yellow blocks represent the band width). The letters on the back are the larger, current font, not the squarer font of '82. And, of course, everything is too baggy by 1982 standards. As for the patch, it was OK, not great, not terrible... Nice group photo of the 1982 players, coaches, staff and family members of Darrell Porter, Bob Forsch and Dave Ricketts.

August 5, 2012. The team wore its Victory Blue throwbacks at home today, but the Brewers wore their regular attire. After my complaints about the uniform worn yesterday, I think it's only fair to point out a couple good features of these jerseys. For example, they used the correct birds-on-bat logo for the era, and placed it at nearly the appropriate height. Also, the shade of blue was on target, expecially when compared with some past TBTC efforts... It seems Majestic had issues with front number placement on some jerseys. I noticed Jose Oquendo's jersey had the 11 starting under the "S" (consistent with the "1" on Ozzie's replica jersey), which meant the second "1" was way right of the logo (just as the "3" is on Matt Carpenter's shirt). This photo of Glenn Brummer shows where the 11 should have been. If I can find this kind of reference photo on the Internet, why can't Majestic?... I don't know what will happen to the uniforms from this weekend, but based on these Tweeted photos from Descalso and Jay, I'm guessing the players will keep a jersey and a second jersey will be sold or auctioned. If you look closely at both photos, you can see each player has two shirts.

August 6, 2012. Furcal was using a Marucci bat with a black handle and natural barrel. It was a Skip Schumaker model with handle tape... Also using handle tape was David Freese on his natural Marucci. The Furcal model Easton bats Freese has been using have tape, consistent with Furcal's preference. But, this was the first time I noticed Freese using handle tape on a Marucci.

August 7, 2012. Furcal must be looking for a slump buster. Tonight, he swung a natural ash LS for all of his at-bats except one -- when he used a maple LS M9 and it snapped in two, with the barrel coming to rest at the shortstop position... Majestic is averse to including any kind of memorial patch on retail jerseys, I assume because it would require paying royalties to the deceased's family. That's why the Boyer memorial band appeared on the TBTC game jerseys worn this past weekend, but it's not included on the retail version being sold at the stadium.

August 8, 2012. Barrett Browning made his first plate appearance tonight. He was swinging a natural LS M9... For a while, Tyler Greene was using Molina's bats. But, I got a good look at his black handle/natural barrel Marucci tonight and it's Greene's personal model.

August 9, 2012. With Tyler Greene's trade to Houston, it was announced that Ryan Jackson will take his place on the roster, backing up Furcal at shortstop. If Jackson is given #8, that won't bode well for Eugenio Velez, who wore #8 during the spring and has been toiling dutifully at AAA with Jackson... If you're considering this Pujols jersey at American Memorabilia, you have to accept that Pujols wore Cool Base; that the jersey was worn in April only; and that American Memorabilia is a reputible company. I won't expand on the third point -- you can Google them or check Game Used Universe's archives. As for the other points, I recall Pujols wearing Cool Base with the Cards just once, in June 2007 for a jersey-off-the-back game. It can't be the same jersey on AM because a June jersey would have the Hancock patch. Speaking of which, if a 2007 jersey doesn't have the patch, you have to ask yourself, "Why?" Hancock died on 4/29, so any non-spring training jersey, sans patch, would have to have been "retired" after a few weeks of use. And, no, the Pujols on AM can't be a spring training shirt because those didn't have the 2006 World Champion patch.

August 11, 2012. Ryan Jackson made his MLB debut at second base. He wore a Cool Base jersey and a COOL FLO helmet, and he swung a black Tucci Lumber Company bat. Jackson is wearing #8, a digit worn by Nick Punto last season.

August 14, 2012. Schumaker used a Gwynn-finished Rawlings model bat tonight... One of the things that makes players' gloves special as collectibles is the custom embroidery. For example, here's the glove used by "Suga" Shane Robinson.

August 15, 2012. Now Freese is using a Gwynn-finished Rawlings bat. Either he and Skip are using Craig's bats, or a new shipment of Rawlings bats arrived at Busch this week.

August 17, 2012. The team announced today that Mark Hamilton was released from AAA Memphis. Back on 8/1, I noted that #38 had not been used this year and the team likely was saving it for Hamilton come September. That obviously won't happen now.

August 19, 2012. Several jerseys, caps and batting helmets were hammered down tonight on cardinals.com. The most in-demand jersey was Beltran's ($785), followed by Craig ($552), Motte ($340), Browning ($320), Cruz and Descalso ($260 each). Jay's helmet brought $447, while Beltran's drew $409. Garcia's lid sold for $210. Three of the six caps drew bids, led by McGwire at $445. Wainwright's hat attracted $280 while Berkman's cap sold for $225.

August 21, 2012. Furcal swung a Max Bat with a natural barrel and black handle tonight. The bat was unusual in that it had a silver center brand decal -- you don't often see that on natural wood... It's been reported that all players in 2013 will be required to wear the S100 Pro Comp helmets. Several Cardinals already are using that particular style. For collectors, the switch could mean many traditional and COOL FLO helmets could hit the market after the season... I have a hard time believing this jersey could have been worn for more than spring training 1981, assuming Sutter wore it at all... Freese is definitely using a Craig model bat.

August 22, 2012. Furcal used a black Tucci Lumber Company bat tonight, joining Matt Adams and Ryan Jackson as Tucci users. I don't know if the bat was Furcal's or one of Jackson's black models... Anytime I see something like this, I always wonder what the buyer has in mind. If the buyer is a reader of this blog, please let me know that your intentions are good and that we won't see it down the road as a "game-used" jersey. One thing we do know -- not many guys in '81 wore size 48. Heck, Whitey Herzog wore a 44 and George Hendrick wore a 42 (extra length). They liked them tight back in the day.

August 23, 2012. If ever a jersey needed to have the signatures (and other writing removed), it's this one. What a shame... So, if you bought a Carlos Beltran jersey for $785 on Sunday, why would you have it on eBay for $1,499 on Thursday? If a Beltran or Cardinals fan wasn't willing to go to $795 four days ago, why would he almost double his bid now? I just don't get it... Another team auction went online this evening. Jerseys include those worn by Boggs, Lynn, Oquendo, Westbrook and Chris Carpenter. Helmets offered were used by Berkman, Schumaker and Motte (Motte? With no plate appearances this season?). And caps on the block were donned by Jay, Lynn, Robinson, Marte, Rzepczynski and Lilliquist.

August 26, 2012. Chris Carpenter's jersey was the top attraction at the team's online auction that ended tonight. Even though Carp has not played in 2012, his shirt fetched $762. The other four available jerseys drew bids from $310 to $350. Among the helmets, Berkman's was tops at $399. Motte's helmet attracted one bid of $150. I'm still trying to figure out how it was authenticated as "game used" when Motte has not batted in 2012. Three of the caps earned bids between $120 (Rzepczynski) and $155 (Jay); the other three caps did not get bids.

August 28, 2012. Brandon Dickson used a Marucci bat when he last visited the plate in May, but tonight he used a natural ash LS. I'm not completely sure, but he may have worn Ryan Jackson's helmet; it appeared to have an 8 on the back.

August 30, 2012. Bryan Anderson finally made it into a game. You may recall Anderson was recalled just before the All-Star break, but never made it past the on-deck circle. Today, he used a black ash LS, and wore a Cool Base jersey and COOL FLO helmet.

August 31, 2012. Pete Kozma made his 2012 debut today wearing the #38 made available by Mark Hamilton's release. Kozma wore #47 last season. He used a natural Sam Bat with a silver brand decal, not the typical black decal. He wore a traditional helmet and a Cool Base jersey.