The preliminary autograph details for the St. Louis Cardinals Winter Warm-Up have been posted on the team’s official website. The three-day fan event – for which all proceeds go to charity – is held each January over Martin Luther King weekend. This year’s dates are from Saturday, January 18 through Monday, January 20.
In my annual just-for-fun endeavor, I look at rising and falling autograph prices from year to year. These values are set by someone within the Cardinals hierarchy, and apparently reflect at least some estimation of the expected supply and demand for the signatures.
Three Two of last year’s big four of Matt Holliday, Yadier Molina, David Freese and Carlos Beltran are not participating in 2014. Joining Holliday among the top tier of current players at $75 or more are Adam Wainwright and 2013 rookie phenom Michael Wacha.
Noticeable absentees include Molina – whose attendance at the event has been more miss than hit anyway - Jaime Garcia, Lance Lynn, Randy Choate and newly-signed infielder Mark Ellis. (see update below)
Of course, those and others may still be added to the lineup between now and the event.
|Adam Wainwright||$80||$50||$50||$45||$50||$60||$80||The staff’s clear leader and one of the most popular Cardinals.|
|Matt Holliday||$75||$75||$75||$100||$100||Consistency in play on the field and in autograph prices.|
|Michael Wacha||$70||$5||You should have gotten it last year when the price was right!|
|Middle of the pack||2014||2013||2012||2011||2010||2009||2008||Commentary|
|Mike Matheny||$40||$30||$30||$10||$10||Price increase to go with new contract after 2nd year as manager.|
|Allen Craig||$40||$30||$30||$5||free||Team leader in RBI despite late injury.|
|Matt Carpenter||$40||$15||free||Stock is rising in every way imaginable.|
|Trevor Rosenthal||$35||$15||Not bad for a closer with just three regular-season saves!|
|Jason Motte||$30||$30||$25||$5||$5||$10||Already a veteran of charity efforts.|
|Jhonny Peralta||$25||One of the newest Cardinals has a lot of pressure on him.|
|Shelby Miller||$25||$15||$10||free||Could be the bargain autograph of the event.|
|Joe Kelly||$25||$15||Priced like a starter without the sure job and just keeps delivering.|
|Jon Jay||$20||$20||$20||$10||Steady in most measures, including autograph price.|
|Peter Bourjos||$20||Though not replacing Freese directly, expectations are high.|
|Matt Adams||$20||$5||$5||Big man, still a relatively small price.|
|Oscar Taveras||$20||$10||The “next big thing” is another bargain autograph.|
|Daniel Descalso||$15||$10||$10||free||free||A utility signer can fill in for a number of others!|
|Kevin Siegrist||$15||An aggressive signing debut price for the valuable lefty.|
|Kolten Wong||$15||Another bargain autograph for the second base leader.|
|Seth Maness||$10||$5||I wonder if you get two signatures for one price?|
|Tyler Lyons||$5||Lefty looking to find a spot to contribute again in 2014.|
|Shane Robinson||$5||$5||free||free||free||Does the speedy outfielder sign fast as well?|
|Tony Cruz||$5||$5||$5||Even the Maytag repairman used to get autograph requests!|
|Pete Kozma||$5||$10||free||free||free||Price down as projected role diminishes, but sure-handed with marker.|
|Sam Freeman||$5||$5||free||The name is Free, but the autograph is not!|
|Keith Butler||free||Made his debut in the 2013 pen.|
|Eric Fornataro||free||Injury-limited 2013, but we could see hard-thrower in StL in 2014|
|Greg Garcia||free||Ready to take next step into utility infielder battle.|
|Missing in action?||2014||2013||2012||2011||2010||2009||2008||Commentary|
|Yadier Molina||$75||$75||$90||$75||$100||$90||WWU participation is always a hit-or-miss matter.|
|Jaime Garcia||$20||$25||$15||free||Disappointing he won’t be there to answer questions about his rehab.|
|Lance Lynn||$15||Second year in a row he apparently will not be present.|
|Randy Choate||$5||Still has two years remaining on that contract.|
|Mark Ellis||Here is hoping the new infielder will be a late addition to event.|
Here are some other interesting and important groupings.
|Hall of Famers||2014||2013||2012||2011||2010||2009||2008||Commentary|
|Red Schoendienst||$75||$75||$75||$75||$75||$75||$60||Never take for granted one of the greatest ever.|
|Whitey Herzog||$75||$75||$75||$60||$60||$40||$50||One of the most popular – for good reason.|
|Tony La Russa||$75||$40||$40||$30||$30||$30||$30||Ready to be fitted for the red jacket.|
|Mike Shannon||$10||$10||$10||Hopefully 2013 health problems are behind him.|
|Brian Jordan||$10||$5||$15||Now broadcaster for the Braves.|
|John Mabry||$5||$5||free||Former player and current hitting coach in one!|
|Bruce Sutter||$75||$100||Hall of Fame excitement has worn off.|
|Lou Brock||$75||$75||$100||A most noticable absence.|
|Bob Gibson||$75*||$125||* Pre-signed balls for sale only last year.|
|Ozzie Smith||$75*||$75*||* Pre-signed balls for sale only.|
|Carlos Beltran||$75||$75||Now a New York Yankee.|
|David Freese||$75||$75||$5||free||Will be missed by Cardinals fans.|
|Chris Carpenter||$50||$50||$40||$50||$60||$75||Too bad he won’t be around, but not surprising.|
|Rafael Furcal||$30||Did not attend last winter, anyway|
|Jake Westbrook||$10||$10||$10||Will he retire or keep pitching?|
|Alan Benes||Ernie Broglio||Glenn Brummer||John Costello|
|Danny Cox||Ken Dayley||Cal Eldred||Ryan Franklin|
|Rick Horton||Al Hrabosky||Mike Jorgensen||Tom Lawless|
|Cliff Politte||Kerry Robinson||Ted Savage||Jason Simontacchi|
|Scott Terry||Brad Thompson||Bill Virdon|
As always, the proceeds go to charity, Cardinals Care, so the needy are the true winners. Autograph tickets will go on sale online at cardinals.com at 9 A.M. on Monday, January 6.
The 18th Annual Winter Warm-Up, a three-day event, will take place on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. weekend; Saturday, Sunday and Monday, January 18-20, 2014. Three-day event passes are $40 for adults and $10 for children 5-15 years of age, same prices as the last three years.
In addition, members of the military, police and fire departments with an active ID will receive one free adult pass which must be obtained in person at the Official Cardinals Team Store at Busch Stadium.
For full WWU information, including signing schedules and ticket ordering, follow this link.
January 2nd update
The Cardinals have added Molina and Ellis, representing opposite ends of the price spectrum. At $100, the superstar catcher is the new top dog, while the newly-signed second baseman is a bargain at $5. They join those for whom autograph tickets will go on sale on Monday, January 6.
|Yadier Molina||$100||$75||$75||$90||$75||$100||$90||Participation is always a hit-or-miss matter.|
|Mark Ellis||$5||The new infielder is a late addition to the event at a nice price.|
January 3rd update
Check the official WWU site as signing times for all fee-autograph players have been announced, with the exception of Yadier Molina and Jhonny Peralta.
Other changes include the availability of Ozzie Smith pre-signed baseballs as updated above and the addition of Jack Clark to the former Cardinals list at $5.
The freebie list of prospects has been doubled with the addition of Randal Grichuk, Zach Petrick and Stephen Piscotty. On the old-timers list, Brad Thompson has been removed, with Kyle McClellan and Stan Royer coming on.
|Randal Grichuk||free||Acquired from Angels in Freese trade.|
|Zach Petrick||free||Minors Pitcher of the Year.|
|Stephen Piscotty||free||Top outfield prospect after Taveras.|
|Jack Clark||$5||$5||$5||$5||$5||$10||They’ll be no lawsuit talk, ok?|
January 4th update
Lance Lynn has joined the roster, scheduled to sign on Saturday. I had missed him in the 1/3 update.
|Lance Lynn||$20||$15||Returns after a year absence.|
January 8th update
Chris Carpenter is the latest late addition to the autograph lineup. Tickets for a number of the most expensive autographs have already been sold out. So if this is your thing, don’t wait.
|Chris Carpenter||$50||$50||$50||$40||$50||$60||$75||I am guessing his post-retirement role will be ready to be announced.|
January 9th update
Two former Cardinals from very different eras have been added. Donovan Osborne, who last pitched for St. Louis in 1999, is making his WWU debut. His signature is not free, though.
|Donovan Osborne||$5||First-timer status must be behind the charge.|
Infielder Jermaine Curtis made his MLB debut with the 2013 Cardinals and joins the free autograph list.
|Jermaine Curtis||free||Former 40-man player trying to fight his way back to the bigs.|
January 17 update
Fresh off his winter ball success in the Dominican Republic, Carlos Martinez will be part of Sunday’s signing schedule. Due to the late addition, tickets will be on sale at the event only, not online.
Other current players shown on the official website as still having autograph tickets available to purchase at WWU are Tony Cruz, Daniel Descalso, Sam Freeman, Lance Lynn and Tyler Lyons, along with coaches Mike Matheny and John Mabry.
|Carlos Martinez||$30||Reporting to camp as a starter, but 2014 role unclear.|
Remember to check the official WWU site for signing times and to purchase autograph tickets.