Blog: June 2013

June 1, 2013. In game one of a split double-header, Keith Butler made his MLB debut wearing the #65 Saturday alternate jersey... Matt Adams swung a black Marucci bat... Jerseys from today's game were scheduled to be auctioned on the team's website later this month. However, due to Friday's rainout, there were two Saturday games. The Cards wore alternates for both games, but I'm assuming there were two different sets and suspect the set to be auctioned was worn in the second game. I hope to have clarification on that soon.

June 2, 2013. The Saturday alternate jerseys that will be auctioned June 13-16 on the team's website are the ones that were worn yesterday during game two only. The game-one jerseys were a different set. So, if you really wanted Shelby Miller's jersey because he pitched such a great game, sorry. All he did was watch game two in the jersey that will be offered... Here are the caps the team will wear on July 4. They are similar to the caps worn in 2010, except New Era has opted for the batting practice cap material. The logo also is different, featuring a gray outline and red shadowing instead of a much better looking red outline. I do like that they're wearing a gray dome to match the gray road jerseys. I recall wishing they'd done that on 9/11/10, and even altered a photo to make my point.

June 3, 2013. Lance Lynn used a black Louisville Slugger bat tonight... My, how the mighty have fallen. This 2011 Pujols bat just sold for $1,580. I paid $2,800 for an almost identical bat only a year ago. The values on older Pujols items are holding up better, simply because they're much harder to find. But, bat prices from the past 2-3 seasons are really slumping. Kind of like Pujols.

June 4, 2013. Seth Maness had the distinction of using two bats during his first MLB plate appearance. Both were LS ash bats with a flame finish. He broke the first bat on a weak foul ball and had the second bat on his shoulder as strike three passed over the plate. Both bats were non-contract models and may have belonged to either Adam Wainwright or Shane Robinson.

June 5, 2013. Maikel Cleto was recalled from Memphis before the game and appeared as a reliever. He again is wearing #63. Batting in the eighth inning, Cleto used a black (dark gray) Tucci Lumber bat. I have to wonder if, like Gast and Lyons, he was swinging one of Shelby Miller's sticks... Joe Kelly was swinging a natural ash LS. It was his own non-contract model.

June 6, 2013. The Memphis Express keeps chugging along. Today, Cleto was sent back to AAA and Kevin Siegrist was brought up to make his MLB debut. Siegrist wears #46, which is interesting since most call ups have been assigned digits in the 60s... Tony Cruz was using his own Marucci Nnwyg model tonight, not a Molina model.

June 7, 2013. As expected, the Cards went back to their navy caps and helmets for the series in Cincinnati... This navy pregame jersey sold on eBay yesterday, but it just doesn't smell right. To my knowledge, the team wore navy BP jerseys in 1984, but the collars were different (scroll down on this site to view Dave Von Ohlen's 1985 Fleer and Donruss cards for examples) and the numbers had serifs, unlike the eBay jersey. If anyone has a photo of a player in a jersey like the one on eBay, I'd love to see it.

June 8, 2013. This 1968 Red Schoendienst home jersey was hammered down by Grey Flannel early Thursday morning for $4,875 ($5,850 with juice). Yet, the same jersey is still being offered on eBay for $13,000. It's been on the Bay for several months and, interestingly, ended and relisted after Grey Flannel's own auction concluded. Maybe they're just covering their bases until the money arrives, but wouldn't it be fun to hit the "buy it now" button on eBay, just to see what happens?

June 9, 2013. I have decided to part with my two game-worn Futures Game caps from last year's game in KC. The Oscar Taveras cap has been signed and has both MLB and JSA authentication (stickers under the bill). The Kolten Wong cap is not signed. I'm asking $550 for Taveras, $325 for Wong, or $750 for both. Prices include shipping. If you're interested, contact me at birdbats@charter.net... Kozma used a Gwynn-finished Rawlings bat tonight. It's the first time this season he swung anything other than a black Sam Bat.

June 11, 2013. The team packed two sets of headgear for this road trip. After donning the navy caps and helmets in Cincinnati, they broke out the red lids tonight in New York... This Musial bat on eBay is the same bat that was offered recently in a MEARS auction. It was pulled from that auction (after bidding ended) because of multiple discrepencies I pointed out to MEARS. Those included markings that dated the bat to 1964 or later and a style of signature that was consistent with souvenir bats, but not with known gamers.

June 12, 2013. Freese is now swinging his own non-contract Old Hickory model. Earlier this season, I spotted him using one of Holliday's bats.

June 14, 2013. A good deal of bat-related activity tonight. Matt Adams pinch hit using a Nnywg-finished Sam Bat... Carlos Beltran is swinging a black Louisville Slugger, his first departure from Marucci this year... Ty Wigginton used a Nnywg Marucci. It was one of Tony Cruz's bats... David Freese used a natural Marucci for the first time in 2013.

June 16, 2013. The owner of this Pujols bat on eBay seems to have a problem with me. My reply to his comments can be found here... Still no blue bats or blue-laced balls for Father's Day. Just several blue wristbands and adhesive blue ribbons on players' jerseys.

June 18, 2013. Freese used three different bats tonight. Not important, just interesting... If you were an early bidder in the team's jersey auction over the weekend, you may have noticed Adam Wainwright's jersey skyrocketed in early bidding, then disappeared and reappeared as a "game issued" shirt with no bids. Turns out Adam didn't wear the jersey earmarked for the game, but instead, wore his regular Saturday jersey. Pitchers can be a superstitious lot. Once the Authentics Store manager realized the jersey being offered was not worn, the bidders were contacted and the auction changed.

June 19, 2013. Jon Jay is using handle tape covering the entire grip area. It's dark -- black or navy -- and has a white band at the top.

June 20, 2013. Beltran is using a dark Louisville Slugger. It looks black, but could be hickory (dark brown).

June 21, 2013. Joe Kelly was using Adam Wainwright's bat... With the Rangers in town for the first time since the 2011 World Series, I thought it was interesting that David Freese choose to swing a black Rawling bat. That's the model he used for his now-famous hits in game six.

June 22, 2013. Michael Blazek, who was called up in May but sent back to the minors before he ever made an appearance, made his debut tonight wearing #67... I attended an auction today featuring the collection of former scout Randy Benson, son of former Cards' coach Vern Benson. The two marquee pieces were a 1963 Musial game-used glove that Stan gave to Benson, and a 1965 Steve Carlton home jersey that was repurposed with #6. Though it was billed as having a connection to Musial, I find that dubious, knowing how jerseys were recycled through the minors. The glove received a high bid of $18K while the jersey was bid up to $8K. However, neither item met its reserve. When I left, the high bidder on both items was negotiating with Benson. I was happy to walk away with two Vern Benson game-used bats from the late '40s and a 1962 Cardinals team-signed baseball.

June 23, 2013. If you're thinking about bidding on this Stan Musial bat in Leland's current auction, you might want to consider this passage from "Crack of the Bat: The Louisville Slugger Story" by Bob Hill (p. 116): "I never used tar and I didn't like wax. I'd scrape up the handle a little bit so I could hold it better." -- Stan Musial

June 24, 2013. When Michael Wacha made his debut on May 30 and swung a Chandler bat, I questioned whether it was his own bat or someon else's model. Turns out it was Kolten Wong's bat. That piece of information is courtesy of Matt Adams. I had the pleasure of meeting Matt this morning, and he couldn't have been friendlier or more humble, the kind of guy you feel good rooting for. As for Matt's own lumber, while you'll find his signature on Max Bats, his bat of preference currently is Marucci because "it has the hardest wood."

June 25, 2013. The past couple of games, I've noticed Freese is using dark tape on his bat handles... I won Tony Cruz's alternate jersey in the most recent team auction. Here's what the laundry tag looks like in the Saturday shirts, and here's a shot of the jock tagging. Note the labeling -- 48 SOYB '13. I assume that means "Shirt Off Your Back," with 48 being the size and '13 being the season. Compare that with my road jersey, which has "46 S1 '13" -- the S1 signifying "Set 1." Down the road, it'll be helpful for collectors to differentiate between "regular" jerseys and one-game jerseys using those codes.

June 26, 2013. Matt Holliday swung a heavily flame burned ash Louisville Slugger tonight.

June 27, 2013. I just acquired a 1986 Willie McGee spring training/pregame jersey that has a subtle variation I hadn't noticed before. On McGee's 1985 BP jersey, made by Majestic, the "1" is very wide and has a straight 45-degree angle at the top. This '86 jersey, though, has a slightly different "1" that features a curved line at the top. I found a 1986 spring training game on YouTube between the Cards and Mets and, lo and behold, both styles are being worn (yes, they wore the mesh red jerseys during the actual games). The differences are clear when comparing #31 to #13 and #51 to #15. At some point in '86 -- I assume opening day -- Sand Knit BP jerseys replaced Majestic and the "1" evolved again. I also noticed the numbers on the '85 McGee shirt are very similar to the digits on the Braves' 2004 BP shirt, which also was made by Majestic. Not important to research on Cardinals jerseys, but interesting nevertheless.

June 29, 2013. It's funny that since Monday, when Matt Adams told me how much he liked Marucci bats, he has used a Sam Bat almost exclusively -- including today's game, when he hit two homeruns.

June 30, 2013. Ty Wigginton used a Nnwyg-finished Sam Bat today.