Friday, July 01, 2011

My Top Three Most Underrated Pitchers, Based On Card Value

There is a huge discrepancy in baseball card values when it comes to starting pitchers. In my opinion, these three pitchers somehow fly under most collector's radars.

Justin Verlander. Rookie of the year. Has won 17 games in four (soon to be five) of seven seasons. Every season except for two (one being in his first season in which he pitched in two games) he has had a sub 4.00 ERA. Has led the league in strikeouts. Leads all A.L. pitchers with a .839 WHIP this season. All of that, and his rookie cards can be had for less than a buck and you'll find his base cards in the common bins.

David Price. 37-19 career record. 3.43 career ERA. Pitched very well in the post season as a rookie. Second in the Cy Young voting last season and an All Star. Like Verlander, you can find his rookie cards for well below a dollar. I've picked them up for a quarter before.

Dan Haren. Has won at least 14 games five times (soon to be six). Leads the league in strikeout to walk ratio. Three time All Star. A perennial 200 strikeout pitcher. Somehow the guy has played for four different teams over nine seasons, including my beloved Cardinals (that Mulder trade still haunts me). Like the previous two, you can get most of his rookie cards for under a buck and his base and insert cards are normally found in the common bin.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Is The Old Chris Carpenter Back?

Is Chris Carpenter "back"? I think everyone will agree that he has not been himself over the first three months of the season. His last two starts have made me think that he may have gotten back into form. From what I saw last night, he was dominant. He had command. His fastball had life. His curve looked like it should. I've heard it said that he fell in love with the cutter and his curve suffered because of it. I can't argue with that. He and Wainwright have two of the best curve balls in the league. I'm not sure why he wasn't throwing it but I'm glad he is now. Over his last 16 innings, he has given up only 12 hits and two earned runs. On top of that, he has only walked two. There is some concern about the number of pitches he is throwing. I come from the school of thought that pitch counts are overrated. I'll trust LaDuncan on this one.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

1951 Bowman Additions

I find 1951 Bowman cards to be one of the most attractive sets ever produced. It's because of this that I recently added them to my want list of Cardinal team sets. Without further ado, here are the two newest additions, courtesy of of a trade with cptnemo on Beckett.

Peanuts Lowrey had a lifetime average of .273 while playing for the Cubs, Reds, Phillies, and Cardinals. He amassed 1177 hits over 13 seasons.

Al Brazle played all ten of his seasons with the Cardinals, amassing a record of 97-64 with a 3.31 ERA. According to, he led the league in saves in 1952 with 16 and 1953 with 18.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

New Addition...1952 Topps

Here is the latest addition to my vintage Cardinals collection, Cliff Chambers himself. Mr. Chambers pitched from 1948-1953, compiling a 48-53 record with a 4.29 career ERA. His best season was in 1949 with the Pirates when he was 13-7 with a 3.96 ERA.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Card Show Blues

I went to my first card show in a very long time over the weekend. What a disappointment. Four tables. Four whole tables. Everything was overpriced, especially Cardinal stuff. I expect the Cardinal stuff to carry a small premium but most of it was ridiculous. It seems that "dealers" have ignored the fact that we have this thing called the internet now. I can find just about anything I want in a few seconds and have it delivered to my door within days. Now, I know that these guys are banking on the "instant gratification" ideal. I do like to be able to handle a card before purchase and inspect it and that's what they are hoping for. I was at first very hesitant to do trades and purchases online but after over 500 transactions, only a handful have been an issue and they were minor.

I was at the show for less than an hour. I decided to head to my local card shop to talk to the owner and peruse his stacks of cardboard. The place was packed. I have never seen it that way. It seems that everyone that was disappointed with the show had wandered there for consolation.

I did pick up a few things at the show for my Cardinal collection. I couldn't leave empty handed. Behold...

Two 1975 Topps Cardinals. I now only need the team card to complete the team set. I may now pursue the minis and have a few already.

1978 Topps Ted Simmons. This man should be in the HOF. He compares very well with Fisk and Carter.

Two Keith Hernandez Kellogg's cards. I don't know why I like Kellogg's so much, but I am like a moth to a flame with them.

That was my haul. Yep, five whole cards that cost $2.50. At least admission was free.