Birdbats blog...

March 9, 2015. Voting is open for the fan segment of the Cardinals Hall of Fame. The eight candidates this year include Steve Carlton, Bob Forsch, Keith Hernandez, Mark McGwire, Matt Morris, Edgar Renteria, Ted Simmons and Joe Torre. I encourage you to vote early and often -- especially if you're voting for Ted Simmons. The guy belongs in Cooperstown, yet he didn't even make the team HOF in his first season of eligibility. With Willie McGee and Jim Edmonds out of the way, let's hope the Millennials casting the votes realize how great Simmons was. For the record, my second vote goes to Bob Forsch, who ranks highly in almost every team career pitching category... I've updated my bat "want list." If you can help me complete my 1926, 1964, 1967, 1982, 2006 and 2011 team sets, I'd love to hear from you!

March 2, 2015. Does anyone recall another instance of a Cardinals player with a modified mask on his batting helmet? Will Jason Heyward be the first?

February 10, 2015. Here's everything you wanted to know about 2015 spring training number assignments, courtesy of our friend Brian Walton at the Cardinal Nation blog.

January 20, 2015. At the Winter Warm Up this past weekend, I had discussions with a couple different people about uniform numbers, specifically regarding when the team might take a few unused -- but not retired -- numbers off the shelf. Well, we learned today, courtesy of the Cardinals Nation Blog, that #25 will have a new owner in 2015. Bench coach David Bell will be switching from #23 to Mark McGwire's old #25... In that same article, Brian Walton writes that Mark Reynolds will wear #12; Matt Belisle will don #37; and Jordan Walden will be #53.

December 17, 2014. A week after the team made it official that Carlos Martinez will honor his late friend, Oscar Taveras, by wearing #18 in 2015, Mike Matheny announced today that he will wear #26 to honor his friends' son. Trevor Rosenthal, who has been #26, will take Martinez's former #44... Recent acquisition Mark Reynolds has worn numbers 27, 12, 39 and 7 during his career. Peralta and Holliday own 27 and 7; bullpen catcher Jamie Pogue has #39; but #12 is available with the departure of A.J. Pierzynski. So, I'm guessing we'll see #12 on Reynolds' back.

November 24, 2014. Jason Heyward will, indeed, wear #22. Mike Matheny agreed to give it up because of Heyward's strong attachment to it. When Matheny gave up #22 in 2000, he opted for #44. That number is currently assigned to Carlos Martinez, but there is speculation he may change to #18 to honor his close friend, Oscar Taveras. Stay tuned.

November 17, 2014. Today's trade that brings Jason Heyward and Jordan Walden presents some interesting number-related questions. Heyward has worn only one number in the majors, #22, which currently is donned by manager Mike Matheny. Back in 2000, Matheny gave up his #22 when Will Clark joined the team. Will he be willing to do it again now that he's a manager? Or will Heyward take Allen Craig's vacated #21? Heyward seems pretty attached to #22; even his Twitter handle is "jheytwotwo." As for Walden, he's worn two numbers -- #51 (not happening) and #52, which is currently worn by Wacha. I assume either Walden or Wacha will assume Shelby Miller's #40.

October 26, 2014. Crushing news tonight regarding the death of Oscar Taveras. It's interesting that just a few days ago, my buddy Jason was with Oscar as he signed and sold most of his 2014 game-used equipment to a Florida dealer. Seeing the photo of Jason and Oscar smiling -- surrounded by bats, cleats, caps, jerseys, batting gloves and more -- makes the thought of Oscar being gone seem surreal. We will never know what might have been. RIP, 18.

October 16, 2014. Well, another season comes to a close. Circumstances kept me from posting as often as I'd like this year, but I did eventually watch every game on the DVR and documented all of the memorabilia-related items I could see. There are a few large auctions on the horizon, so I plan to address some of the many Cardinals items that will be available. Stay tuned.

October 11, 2014. Again, not much note during NLCS game one. The players wore the same postseason patches and used their typical bats.

October 6, 2014. Noticed that Molina was swinging a Jon Jay model bat during Game 3. He broke it during the second inning, but was using another Jay bat later in the game... Interestingly, Jay was using a Molina bat.

October 3, 2014. I didn't post down the stretch, one because I was busy, and two because I didn't notice anything new. The same can be said for NLDS Game 1 -- other than the postseason patches on the jerseys and caps, nobody used a bat out of the ordinary. To see what bats everyone uses in the postseason, go to the bat use tracker.

September 18, 2014. Tony Cruz was using a Gwynn-finished Chandler bat tonight.

September 12, 2014. The team returned home from Cincinnati today and, though 9/11 was yesterday, players again wore flags on their caps.

September 11, 2014. Holliday used a Nnywg Marucci bat in his last plate appearance today; a close-up look revealed it was a Descalso model... The team wore flags on their navy caps above the left ear.

September 10, 2014. Tyler Lyons, who doesn't bat that much, is up to his third brand. Tonight, he was using a black Tucci Lumber bat.

September 9, 2014. Two MLB debuts tonight. Sam Tuivailala is wearing #64, while Tommy Pham is the proud owner of #60. Pham, whose NOB jersey letters featured some unusual spacing, swung a black Max Bat... Taveras was swinging a Nnywg-finished Marucci with Carlos Martinez's name on the barrel.

September 8, 2014. Well, add another Nnywg-finished bat to Matt Adam's arsenal. He's now swinging a Dinger bat. That makes eight different brands he's used this season, and seven had the Nnywg finish.

September 7, 2014. Taveras was swinging a natural Louisville Slugger. It was his personal model.

September 4, 2014. Xavier Scruggs made his MLB debut tonight wearing the #59 that was abandoned by George Kottaras when he was released. Scruggs started at first base and swung a Nnywg-finished Old Hickory bat with criss-crossing white tape that extended far up the handle. It's interesting the guy Scruggs replaced tonight, Matt Adams, has used Nnywg-finished bats made by just about everyone except Old Hickory (and Louisville Slugger)... Scruggs later used a black Old Hickory with the same tape job... Pierzynski swung a black Marucci bat tonight... A Cardinals Care source told reader Jason Vahling that jerseys were, indeed, ordered for a jersey-off-the-back day on Monday, but the promotion was canceled due to the late arrival of the uniform tops. The source also says the jerseys have been signed -- unworn, I assume -- and will be auctioned in coming weeks and at the Winter Warm Up in January... If you're in the market for game-used Matt Adams bats, cleats or batting gloves, let me know. I might be able to hook you up.

September 2, 2014. Thanks to MLB auctions, we know that Jon Jay has used Daniel Descalso bats, while A.J. Pierzynski used a Red Sox-branded bat against his former mates... The Cards called up five players from the minor leagues now that rosters can be expanded, but all have already played at the major league level this season, so no changes needed for the uniform number database... A reminder -- if you have a 1998 Mark McGwire bat, I need photos and information for the project I'm working on. Thanks!

September 1, 2014. Lance Lynn had consistently used a black LS bat this season, but today, he switched to a Nnywg-finished LS... The Cardinals were supposed to have a "jersey-off-the-back" game today, but for some reason, it was not held. Rumor had it that instead of employing scratch-off raffle tickets, as they've done before for Labor Day games, there was going to be a silent auction this year. In the end, neither happened. I'll try to get an explanation from the team, but I'm sure it will provide little solace to a few collectors who traveled many miles for the game, just so they could bid on a game-used jersey.


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