Blog: May 2013

May 2, 2013. The Cardinals and Brewers will be wearing 1913 throwback uniforms on Sunday, 5/5. My sources tell me the Cards' uniform will be consistent in design with the team's attire from 1913, which means a blank jersey front and an STL logo on the sleeve (unfortunately, there also will be a Majestic logo below the STL; so much for historical accuracy). The hats will differ a bit from their century-old counterparts. The logo you'll see didn't exist on caps in 1913. I also hope to see some period-accurate hosiery... Jay was using one of Molina's bats tonight.

May 3, 2013. Two Redbirds made their MLB debuts tonight. Pitcher Carlos Martinez hopped off the plane from Memphis and into the game wearing #62. He was followed an inning later by pitcher Seth Maness, wearing #61.

May 4, 2013. Here's a photo of the cap the team will wear in Sunday's TBTC game. Clearly, accuracy took a back seat to marketing on this one. Don't know if that was a MLB, New Era or a Milwaukee call, but I know the Cards lobbied for a cap with no logo... We're also getting our first look at the jerseys, thanks to eBay. Tough to make mistakes with a shirt that features just one element -- a sleeve logo. Still, c'mon Majestic. You couldn't move your logo to the right sleeve? Or just forget about the logo on this one jersey? There is some debate whether jerseys in 1913 buttoned down all the way or just to the belt line, but even if the replicas are not accurate, it's still cool to see a modern jersey that needs to be pulled over and buttoned up. I also like the faux sun collar Majestic included... I have no idea yet if or when the jerseys worn today will be made available to collectors. I have a hunch they eventually may be auctioned by the Brewers.

May 5, 2013. The 1913 throwbacks looked pretty good today. Obviously, some concessions were made -- jerseys had uniform numbers, the caps had logos, batting helmets were contemporary and the jersey sleeve had the Majestic logo. Still, the uniform worked, primarily (in my opinion) because of the socks. Seriously, when you have a uniform that's plain gray except for the team logo on the sleeve, the socks are key. And these socks rocked. The few players who didn't show sock looked decidedly drab. Though I would have preferred era-accurate caps, the team's caps did look good with the jerseys... Jose Oquendo was not in uniform because he left the team to attend a friend's funeral. So, Bengie Molina made a rare, uniformed appearance as first base coach... I was reminded today that the last time Milwaukee had a "special" game involving the Cards -- the Spanish heritage game in which the Cards wore "Cardenales" jerseys -- the players were allowed to keep the jerseys and none made it into the collector's market. Hope that's not the case with this set, but I'm not holding my breath... Wigginton swung a black Marucci bat.

May 7, 2013. Take note of this jersey currently on eBay. When I see an older, blank pro-quality jersey, I always wonder how long it'll take before it resurfaces as a gamer. One thing about this one -- it should be easy to spot if it's altered because that strip tag is very unusual. It's the first 1989 jersey I've seen that didn't have a typical year flag. Also making it harder to fake, the lack of an authentic AAB memorial patch. And at size 46, it's too large to be made into an Ozzie Smith... Mother's Day is Sunday, meaning pink bats, batting gloves, wristbands, and this year, pink-laced baseballs with pink ink.

May 8, 2013. If you happened to peruse Grey Flannel's auction preview, you may have seen a 2003 Pujols Sam Bat. You won't find it now, though, because it's been pulled. I noticed the bat had a Wilson logo on the barrel. To my knowledge, the partnership between Wilson and Sam Bat began in 2004, so you shouldn't see the Wilson logo on a Sam Bat prior to 2004. I brought this to the attention of John Taube at PSA/DNA, who had authenticated the bat. John checked with Sam Bat and, sure enough, the bat was a fake. The folks at Sam traced the barrel-end code number, 2471, and determined it was a "dealer bat." Not sure what that means, but according to Sam Bat's person, any bat with the 2471 code should have a blank barrel. That means someone stamped Pujols' name and "St. Louis Cardinals" on the barrel in a very convincing fashion. Their mistake was including "Wilson" on a bat made in 2003. If you check back to a post I made in April 2012, I noted a 2002 Pujols Sam Bat that also had the Wilson logo being sold on eBay. I have to believe it's the work of the same forger. So, if you're looking at an older Pujols bat -- or any Sam Bat, for that matter -- remember: If it has a Wilson logo and it was made prior to 2004, or if it has a code of 2471, avoid it at all costs. These are some of the best forgeries I've ever seen (same goes for Taube), but as often is the case, forgers tend to mess up in some way. This is one we caught in time... Freese was swinging a Walker-finished Marucci. It was one of Matt Adams' bats... Westbrook used both his regular black ash LS and a natural LS M9.

May 10, 2013. Freese went from using Matt Adams' bat to using Matt Holliday's black Old Hickory model... If you're disappointed that the TBTC jerseys worn Sunday had numbers on the back when jerseys in 1913 didn't, there's a good reason. It's a rule -- 1.11 (a) (1) All players on a team shall wear uniforms identical in color, trim and style, and all players uniforms shall include minimal six inch numbers on their backs... I hear the TBTC jerseys were washed, folded and given to the players when they returned to St. Louis. So, there's another jersey that will be next-to-impossible to get.

May 11, 2013. Today was a jersey-off-the-back game, and it wasn't just any jersey. It was the new Saturday alternate. One of my friends won Fernando Salas' shirt. Hoping to get my hands on it soon to get photos for the archive... I've been told Cardinals jerseys have new tagging this season, similar to this Mets jersey I saw on Game Used Universe's site. The only difference is, the new information -- which includes the year, set number and a scanner code -- is below the Majestic tag on Cardinals jerseys... This article suggests we won't be seeing as many pink bats on Sunday as we have in years past.

May 12, 2013. It's Mother's Day, so that means lots of pink on the field. There were pink sleeves and wristbands, pink cleats, more pink cleats, coaches in pink cleats, pink necklaces and ribbons and, of course, pink bats (though it's tough to find photo proof). Even the baseballs had pink laces, pink ink and featured a pink breast cancer awareness ribbon... The pink Louisville Slugger bat users today included Jay, Robinson, Wigginton, Descalso (broke in two) and, surprisingly, Garcia, who typically uses Marucci bats... While going to commercial after an inning, a closeup shot focused on a Tony Cruz pink bat in the grass, but when Cruz pinch hit, he used a black Marucci.

May 13, 2013. Two weeks ago today, we learned my wife has early stage breast cancer. So, the Mother's Day/breast cancer awareness festivities had a deeper meaning for our family this year. We attended the game wearing shirts made by our kids, and today I was able to acquire a ball used in the game (thrown by Garcia to Tulowitzki in the first inning). My wife's prognosis is good; she is scheduled for surgery next Monday. If you know anyone who is overdue for her mammogram, tell her to get her butt (and boobs) to the doctor. Early detection saves lives.

May 14, 2013. John Gast made his MLB debut wearing #64. He used a black Tucci Lumber bat... In the eighth inning, I believe all three batters were swinging Yadier Molina's bats. Tony Cruz led off with a Nnwyg Marucci with Yadi's tar pattern. He was followed by Yadi, then by Jon Jay, who has been using Yadi's bats for several days.

May 15, 2013. Got a good look at Cruz's bat knob tonight and it clearly has a "4" stamped into it. However, the Molina bat being used by Jay has one of Jon's custom knob decals on it.

May 16, 2013. I had the opportunity this week to see one of the authentic (but not worn) jerseys from the 1913 TBTC game played on 5/5. Here's a good look at the sleeve logo. Not quite as sharp as the original. And here's a shot of the tagging... Can't wait to see where the bidding on this 1956 Tom Alston jersey ends up. Alston, of course, was the first African-American to play for the Cards. Combine that with a rare, one-season jersey in top condition, and you've got the ingredients for a pricey shirt.

May 17, 2013. Freese, who has been experimenting with other guys' bats (Adams, Holliday) used a Nnwyg-finished Beltran bat to hit his grand slam tonight... Holliday is swinging a brown Louisville Slugger... Jay has gone back to his ash LS bat.

May 18, 2013. This 1956 Tom Alston jersey stalled and sold for $5,500. Thought it would go higher... The 1951 Harry Brecheen jersey in REA's auction was hammered down at $3,750... Mark McGwire's 51st homerun ball from 1998 sold for $2,500.

May 19, 2013. Add Jon Jay's natural LS M9 bat to David Freese's arsenal; that's what Freese was swinging today... John Gast's bat is a Shelby Miller model.

May 20, 2013. On Monday, for Memorial Day, the Cards apparently are wearing this jersey (back view) and this cap. Ugliest. Uniform. Ever. At least for the Cardinals. Camo look aside, who decided the jersey elements should be outlined in blue, but the cap logo should be outlined in red? If you're going for hideous, at least be consistently hideous.

May 22, 2013. Tyler Lyons made his MLB debut wearing #70, digits that haven't been worn since Miguel Mejia in 1996. Lyons swung one of Shelby Miller's black Tucci Lumbers bats... Some Mother's Day game-used items hit the auction block on today. Among them, the bat Descalso broke in two. Unfortunately, somebody decided to connect the two halves with duct tape, which is not forgiving. I fear any efforts to remove the tape and repair the bat will end up removing the pink paint and the pad-painted logo. Not smart... This just doesn't look right. Busch, if you didn't know, is hosting a soccer match this week. The Cards have a great photo gallery of the field transformation on the team's Facebook page.

May 24, 2013. Bases and locker name plates from opening day are currently being auctioned on the team's website... The Saturday alternate jerseys scheduled to be worn on June 1 vs. the Giants will be auctioned on the team's website from June 13-16. This will be collectors' first chance to buy actual gamers. Of course, a full set of alternates already were raffled at a jersey-off-the-back event on May 11.

May 26, 2013. The team has called up pitcher Michael Blazek. He will wear #67.

May 27, 2013. Ugly. Ugly. Ugly. Ugly. Though, in fairness to today's starting pitcher, he is a big fan of camo... The Cards recalled pitcher Victor Marte, who will wear #66 again this season... Players continue to use each others' bats. Today, Freese was using a Beltran model, while Jay swung both Molina and Descalso models.

May 28, 2013. A third of the lineup tonight was using other guys' bats... There apparently was an edict from MLB for teams to wear their BP caps during games tonight in an effort to sell merchandise. The Royals complied, but the Cardinals, thankfully, did not... Shelby Miller and Matt Adams have been added to the autograph event scheduled June 22 at Collector's Corner in O'Fallon, Ill. Allen Craig already was scheduled. Details here.

May 29, 2013. Went to the game tonight and was happy to see new inventory -- and old inventory. Spring training jerseys hit the shelves, but the key prospects (Taveras, Wacha, Wong) were nowhere to be found. Names like Wainwright, Beltran and Holliday were there for $400 each. What shocked me, though, was the presence of some old bats in the rack, including a Molina X-Bat circa 2006, a 2004-05 Molina Louisville Slugger with #41 on the knob, and a Rolen Mizuno bat. Don't know where those bats were hiding this whole time, but glad they found their way out of the shadows... Apparently, Michael Wacha has inherited Eduardo Sanchez's #52.

May 30, 2013. Michael Wacha made his debut wearing #52. He swung a black Chandler bat with a gold center brand/logo. The bat was a contract (signature) model, which makes me wonder if it's his own model (unusual for a rookie pitcher), or whether it belonged to someone else. The scribble did look a little like the one on Oscar Taveras's bats... Bengie Molina was in uniform tonight, coaching first base... I mentioned in a previous post that regular-season jerseys in 2013 have a second jock tag. Here's what it looks like, below the traditional Majestic tag. I tried to scan the code with my iPad, but it didn't read.