Birdbats blog...

April 23, 2015. There was a Tony Cruz sighting today. Molina finally took a day off, allowing Cruz to see some playing time. He swung a Chandler bat with a black handle and cherry barrel... Dean Anna made his Cardinals debut as a pinch hitter in the 9th inning. He used a black Louisville Slugger... Mark Reynolds appears to have swapped his natural Old Hickory bat for a black one... At least three guys today were using multiple bats. Jay swung both Reklaw and Gwynn Maruccis, Holliday used black and natural Sam Bats, and Peralta swung Nnywg and black Marucci bats.

April 22, 2015. Some online popularity contests are more important that others. For instance, this week, fan voting to choose the two newest members of the Cardinals Hall of Fame wrapped up. Next week, we'll know who will get plaques on the wall for eternity. That's meaningful. The "Franchise Four" voting, on the other hand, will be forgotten by next season. And that's just as well, considering the current tally places Lou Brock and Ozzie Smith ahead of Rogers Hornsby and Albert Pujols. Nothing against Lou and Oz -- they're great -- but Hornsby and Pujols are two of the greatest righthanded hitters in baseball history. Leaving them off the Cardinals "Mount Rushmore" would be almost as bad as the fan vote that overlooked Stan Musial for baseball's All-Century Team in 1999. [Climbing down from my soap box now.]

April 21, 2015. Holliday has switched to using a natural Sam Bat... Lynn is still using Wacha's bat... With Grichuk on the DL and Bourjos on paternity leave, pitcher Mitch Harris (#40) and infielder Dean Anna (#65) are on the bench, hoping to make their Cardinals debuts.

April 19, 2015. I've received a few emails about the two Mark McGwire jerseys being sold in SCP's upcoming auction. I'm probably the wrong person to ask because I operate under the assumption that all Cardinals Mac jerseys a're probably all fake -- or at least extras purchased by Mac to give to friends. I'm guessing that's the deal with the jersey given to Tony Gwynn. It's generally accepted that Mac's jerseys had straight hems, not tails (except for one-off shirts, like jersey-off-the-back-day shirts). When I see tails, I think "give away." I could be wrong, but that's my assumption. What I know for sure is the numbers on the back of this jersey are way too close together. They should be the thickness of a number apart. Look at photos of Mac in '98 -- it's obvious. This is a common mistake made by forgers -- they use the template employed by the team in later years; but in '98, the numbers were much farther apart.

April 18, 2015. Well, that didn't take long. The one Schoendienst base made available to the public is already on eBay.

April 17, 2015. The Cardinals honored Red Schoendienst tonight, marking the 70th anniversary his his MLB debut. The team wore a #2 patch, there was a #2 in the dirt behind second base, the pregame bases had #2 on them, and thre was even a social medial campaign with the hashtag #LoveRed2. Funny thing is, Red wore #6 in his debut and throughout the 1945 season. Minor detail. We all remember the redhead as #2. I've been told the jersey patch was applied with adhesive and removed after the game, so you won't find any gamers with the patch. I've also been told the family received everything used in the game related to Red except for one pregame base, which was given to Cardinals Authentics... Wong switched to a natural Marucci tonight. The grip tape was yellow with a black pattern.

April 16, 2015. Lackey was swinging a Rawlings with a black barrel and cherry handle. The bat tracker doesn't have a column for that finish, so I put it under Gywnn and noted the cherry handle in the notes section.

April 15, 2015. In honor of Jackie Robinson, as has become custom, everyone wore #42 tonight... Holliday was using a black Sam Bat... Lynn appears to still be swinging Wacha's lumber.

April 13, 2015. Happy home opener! Wong was swinging a new Marucci today with the Reklaw finish. It was a signature model, and it appears it could be his mom's name, something he did last season on his Chandler bats... Wainwright's bat had an even deeper flame finish on the barrel today -- so dark, it almost looked like a Walker finish.

April 12, 2015. Pete Kozma got his first swing of the season today; he used a black Sam Bat... Carlos Martinez appeared to be using a Nnywg-finished Marucci... Let's have a moment of silence for Ed Easley. He was called up Friday to back up Molina with Tony Cruz on paternity leave. Unfortunately, Easley didn't get into a game this weekend, so his #23 will not qualify for the uniform database. Maybe he'll get another opportunity down the road.

April 11, 2015. Adams left his Max Bat in the rack and switched to Marucci -- and promptly homered... Wacha was swinging a natural Marucci... Only four games into the season and the closer, Rosenthal, already has an at-bat. He used a Gwynn Marucci... Don't forget to check the bat use chart to keep up with what the Redbirds are swinging this season.

April 10, 2015. Wong has switched to a Walker-finished Chandler bat... Grichuk used a black Max Bat in his 2015 debut and went yard in his first PA... Bourjos swung a black Louisville Slugger... Lackey appeared to be using a Gwynn-finished Marucci... Because they were in Cincinnati, the team broke out their navy caps and helmets for the first time this season.

April 8, 2015. Lynn was swinging Michael Wacha's natural Marucci bat... If you're thinking about bidding on this McGwire bat, don't. It's a replica -- too short, wrong knob, wrong tar, and no visible stamping or writing on the knob. But hey, the signature looks good.

April 7, 2015. Rained (or, more accurately, frozen) out today, which raises a question I ask every year -- Why are games scheduled in cold-weather cities in early April? Isn't it possible to schedule the first week's games in warm climates and covered stadiums?... Please give a read to this well-researched piece by designer Todd Radom regarding the debut of the "birds-0n-bat" logo's debut in 1922. My favorite line: "It will be by far the gaudiest bit of baseball heraldry that ever dazzled a fan’s eyes"... I challenge anyone to show me a photo of a Cardinals player in this style of uniform. It's certainly not from 1923-24; aside from those jerseys having uniform numbers, the crest isn't correct and the placket trim shouldn't run below the crest. In fact, you won't see placket trim below the crest until the 1928 World Series, and the jersey at auction doesn't match that, either. And the line about Leacock making the Cardinals' jerseys for only two seasons is pure hogwash. Leacock was a sporting goods store and distributor, not a manufacturer. Here's a tag from a 1928 jersey that shows Leacock's label next to that of Rawlings, the manufacturer. I don't know what this jersey is -- a salesman's sample, a minor league shirt, or something else. But, I do know it's not from 1923-24, nor any other year from that decade.

April 5, 2015. Opening day! The team is wearing the OT patch in memory of Oscar Taveras... Marucci is the weapon of choice again this season, apparently. Carpenter, Jay, Molina, Peralta and Wong were all swinging it. Two were using the Nnwyg finish; Peralta's was black, Carpenter's was Gwynn, and Jay's was Reklaw... Wong was using a Matt Adams Marucci model, while Adams swung a Max Bat... Heyward swung a black LS (breaking it on his last AB) while Wainwright used a flame burned LS. Holliday used his grayish Old Hickory. Reynolds also used Old Hickory; his was natural.


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