Blog: July 2012

July 1, 2012. Freese was using his Furcal-model Easton bat tonight, but split it into two pieces. The television camera showed the bat in the camera pit with the MLB authenticator, so look for it to be on sale soon... Speaking of Furcal, I and a couple other readers have noticed he seems to favor Marucci when batting left handed, but Louisville Slugger M9 bats from the right side.

July 2, 2012. Talked to Pat Daly in the Authentics Store tonight. He said a full set of home jerseys will be authenticated this coming weekend and will be auctioned on the team's website in the near future. Remember, after the All-Star Game, the World Champions patch will disappear. The online auction may not be your only chance to get a patched 2011 jersey -- there's still another home set, as well as two road sets that one assumes may surface via Cardinal Care. Of course, there are no guarantees... I finally determined tonight that bullpen catcher Jamie Pogue is wearing #39. I saw him on the field and also spotted one of his spring training jerseys in the store.

July 4, 2012. Today's game marked the return of the ugly camo-logo caps, though we were treated to the home reds instead of the road navy caps. Still can't believe anyone thought this was a good idea.

July 5, 2012. David Freese won the All-Star Game final vote and was added to the NL squad today... Furcal, who seems to favor a LS M9 from the right side of the plate, was swinging a natural Easton tonight.

July 6, 2012. With Molina on family emergency leave, Bryan Anderson was recalled to back up Cruz at catcher. He has been assigned #16, the same digits he wore during his last MLB stint in 2010... With Molina's departure, Matt Holliday has been added to the All-Star Game roster... Cardinals and Marlins players headed to the mid-summer classic were presented with their ASG pregame jerseys before tonight's tilt... Furcal was using his Easton bat from both sides of the plate tonight.

July 8, 2012. Bryan Anderson was on deck today when Furcal got the game-winning hit, but that's as close as he got to seeing action this weekend. When the season resumes after the break, Molina will return and Anderson likely will be shipped back to Memphis. As a result of not appearing in a box score, Anderson's #16 will not be added to the uniform number database.

July 9, 2012. Carlos Beltran represented the Cardinals in the All-Star Game Home Run Derby tonight. He swung a natural Marucci bat and wore some stunning gold cleats.

July 10, 2012. Four Cardinals saw playing time during the All-Star Game tonight. Beltran swung a natural Marucci bat. Holliday used a black Old Hickory for his RBI, pinch-hit single; he also wore gray cleats. Furcal swung a natural LS M9 (with blue grip tape) from both sides of the plate; he also wore gray cleats, but with red soles. I didn't see what bat Freese used because my DVR malfunctioned. Lynn did not get into the game.

July 13, 2012. The team is still wearing its 2011 WS Champion patch. I was told by two team sources that jerseys were going to be sans patch after the All-Star break, but that's apparently not the case. At least not yet.

July 14, 2012. Lohse swung a Gwynn-finished Marucci bat tonight.

July 15, 2012. Furcal used a black Marucci for the first time. It had #48 on the knob, suggesting it could be a Tony Cruz model... The team apparently has had a change of heart about removing the World Champion patch from jersey sleeves. My team source doesn't know the reason; he only knows it was going to happen and now it's not.

July 16, 2012. This Paul "Daffy" Dean jersey showed up on eBay today, which was kind of exciting -- until I did some homework. A collector friend of mine insisted he'd seen it before, and later sent me this link to the same jersey in a December 2010 Grey Flannel auction (it was hammered down at $4,608). The GF item description explains: "This was an experimental jersey to wear as a cooler alternative to the normal heavy wool flannel of the era. Many teams experimented with variations of Palm Beach material from the 1930s to the 1950s and the Cardinals were no exception." Except the Cardinals have no record of ever using that material. One might suggest the team did experiment with the Palm Beach material and there's just no surviving evidence. Here's the problem with that theory: Paul Dean played for the Birds from 1934-39 and he wore #21 from 1934-37. In 1934 and 1935, the placket piping stopped above the bat. And in 1936 and 1937, the team had dual-colored piping. I can find no photo evidence of the team wearing narrow, red piping that extends to the belt line during Dean's time with the Cardinals. If you have proof to the contrary, please share.

July 18, 2012. Trevor Rosenthal made his MLB debut tonight wearing #64... I noted on 7/15 that Furcal was using a bat with #48 on the knob. Here's a good shot of that from tonight's game.

July 20, 2012. Several game-used items have hit the auction block on Available first-half home jerseys, authenticated on 7/8, include Wainwright, Matheny, Furcal, Jay, Kelly and Lohse. All-Star workout day (and HR derby) shirts also are offered, including Beltran, Furcal, Holliday, Lynn and Freese. Home helmets from Beltran, Craig and Lynn; and caps from Freese, Holliday, Furcal, Descalso, Browning and Pogue also are up for bid.

July 21, 2012. Back when the season started, I noted the team was using three types of batting helmets -- the traditional style, the COOL FLO model, and a new design I wasn't able to identify. Turns out, it's called the S100 Pro Comp model; it's noted as such in the description for the Beltran helmet currently at auction. The Craig helmet is a COOL FLO, while the Lynn helmet is a traditional model. The S100 has come a long way since its initial iteration, which was comicly oversized.

July 22, 2012. The jerseys, helmets and caps auctioned on were hammered down this evening. The most expensive jersey? Adam Wainwright's at $965. At $387, Lohse's shirt was the most affordable. Beltran's helmet sold for $415, just topping Craig's lid at $365. And at $310, Holliday's cap just nudged out Freese's hat by $10.

July 23, 2012. Is this a legit, issued 1997 Mark McGwire Cardinals bat? Yes, it is. But, was it used by Mac? Probably not, based on the pine tar.

July 25, 2012. Matt Carpenter used a Gwynn-finished Marucci tonight. That was his regular bat in 2011, but tonight marked the first time he used that finish in 2012... Furcal used a black Marucci; not the first time, but it's rare to see him using a black bat.

July 26, 2012. More game-used memorabilia is being auctioned on starting today. Jerseys being offered were worn by Freese, Holliday, McGwire, Schumaker and Matt Carpenter. Helmets at auction were used by Freese and Wainwright. And caps on the block were worn by Beltran, Craig, Motte, Kelly, Matheny and Maloney. The auctions end on Sunday, 7/29.

July 27, 2012. Brian Fuentes made his Cardinals debut wearing #40, digits he has worn most of his career. That number had been reserved for Scott Linebrink, but it became available with his release in June. You may recall Linebrink made the team out of spring training and was in Miami when the squad opened the season, playing a single game in the Marlins' new stadium on 4/4. But, he was placed on the DL on 4/6 and ended his Redbird career without appearing in a game. If you come across a Linebrink road jersey, it technically could be considered "game worn" (assuming it's the shirt he wore in Miami), but because he never appeared in a box score, Linebrink's name will not be included in the uniform number database... Lance Lynn used a natural LS M9 bat today.

July 28, 2012. Joe Kelly was swinging a black Chandler bat today... With a day to go at auction, it's clear that Cardinals fans are still infatuated with David Freese. His 2012 game-used jersey already is at $2,760 and his helmet stands at $760. Amazing.

July 29, 2012. Freese used Marucci, Rawlings and Old Hickory bats today. The OH bat may have been a Matt Holliday model... This Darrell Porter jersey just doesn't smell right. Don't know if it's the font, the number spacing or the size, but when it's next to an '81 home Porter shirt, it just looks off... Interesting thread here about a 1991-worn Cardinals jersey that could have been made as early as 1986.

July 31, 2012. Tonight, Freese used Easton and Louisville Slugger bats. That makes five different bat brands he's swung the past two games. Normally, you see that kind of swapping when a guy is struggling and looking for a bat with hits in it. But, Freese has been hot the past few weeks, which makes his choice of bats unusual.