Preliminary autograph details for the 2015 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 17 through Monday, January 19.
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.
Not surprisingly, last year’s big four of Yadier Molina, Adam Wainwright, Matt Holliday and 2013 rookie phenom Michael Wacha are joined by the newest Cardinals star, right-fielder Jason Heyward. It is good to see Molina among the confirmed participants, though the catcher’s signing times are not yet set.
Those in the middle tier of autograph prices earning an increase for 2015 include Matt Carpenter, Trevor Rosenthal, Lance Lynn, Kolten Wong and Matt Adams. Though Jhonny Peralta is on the list to participate, his details are not yet available.
Jon Jay is among those not attending but is pre-signing baseballs available for sale. Oddly, Carlos Martinez is one of the few signatures for which the price is down from 2014. I doubt that will happen again.
|Yadier Molina||$100||$100||$75||$75||$90||$75||$100||$90||Participation is always a hit-or-miss matter.|
|Adam Wainwright||$90||$80||$50||$50||$45||$50||$60||$80||Staff’s clear leader is one of the most popular Cardinals.|
|Matt Holliday||$75||$75||$75||$75||$100||$100||Consistency in play on the field and in autograph prices.|
|Michael Wacha||$70||$70||$5||The team’s number one question mark for 2015.|
|Jason Heyward||$60||New right fielder is bound to be very popular.|
|Middle of the pack||2015||2014||2013||2012||2011||2010||2009||2008||Commentary|
|Matt Carpenter||$50||$40||$15||free||One of the most consistent Cardinals.|
|Trevor Rosenthal||$45||$35||$15||A lot of saves, but a lot of baserunners too.|
|Mike Matheny||$40||$40||$30||$30||$10||$10||Three years as manager, three CS appearances.|
|Lance Lynn||$40||$20||$15||A big contract increase could be next. too.|
|Kolten Wong||$40||$15||Third in NL Rookie of the Year vote.|
|Jhonny Peralta||$30||$25||Came through strongly in 2014 despite pressure.|
|Jon Jay||$25*||$20||$20||$20||$10||* Unable to attend. Pre-signed balls only.|
|Matt Adams||$25||$20||$5||$5||Waiting for the big man to break out.|
|Carlos Martinez||$25||$30||Reporting as a starter; maybe will make it this time.|
|Peter Bourjos||$20||$20||Trying to put disappointing StL debut, hip injury behind.|
|Randal Grichuk||$20||free||You should have gotten his free signature last year.|
|Jordan Walden||$10||Signed two-year deal after trade from Braves.|
|Matt Belisle||$10||Free agent addition escapes Coors Field.|
|Marco Gonzales||$15||Pitcher of the Year in the system in 2014.|
|Kevin Siegrist||$15||$15||Lefty struggled with injury after breakout 2013.|
|Mark Reynolds||$10||New utilityman may miss the paper now and then.|
|Seth Maness||$10||$10||$5||Can he secure two autographs with one signature?|
|Tyler Lyons||$5||$5||Lefty looking to find a spot to contribute in 2015.|
|Pete Kozma||$5||$5||$10||free||free||free||Has never dropped a marker in five years of signing.|
|Sam Freeman||$5||$5||$5||free||Lefty looking to solidify MLB role in 2015.|
|David Bell||$5||Recently promoted to bench coach.|
|Bill Mueller||$5||Replaces Bell as assistant hitting coach.|
|Xavier Scruggs||$5||The big first baseman makes his WWU debut.|
|Sam Tuivailala||$5||Hard-thrower made MLB debut and will be back soon.|
|Greg Garcia||free||free||Returning to utility infielder battle.|
|Nick Greenwood||free||Underrated 2014 debut in lefty relief.|
|Tommy Pham||free||Outfielder finally reached bigs in September.|
|Stephen Piscotty||$5||free||Our top outfield prospect – just ahead of Grichuk.|
|Dean Anna||free||Former Yankee will fight to replace Descalso.|
|Ty Kelly||free||Versatle infielder acquired from Seattle.|
|Tim Cooney||free||Top prospect lefty getting very close to StL debut.|
|Charlie Tilson||free||2nd round OF from 2011 draft reached Double-A.|
|Magneuris Sierra||free||Cardinals minor league Player of the Year|
|Missing in action?||2015||2014||2013||2012||2011||2010||2009||2008||Commentary|
|John Lackey||Veteran joined team in July from Boston.|
|Jaime Garcia||DNA||$20||$25||$15||free||Another off-season, another rehab.|
|Randy Choate||DNA||$5||Still has one year remaining on contract.|
|Tony Cruz||$5||$5||$5||Another year being the least-used Cardinal ahead.|
Here are some other interesting and important groupings.
Four Hall of Famers continue at the $75 amount – Red Schoendienst, Whitey Herzog, newly-named Tony La Russa and Bob Gibson, though the latter is not attending in person. (Lou Brock and Ozzie Smith were also added later to the pre-signed list.)
|Hall of Famers||2015||2014||2013||2012||2011||2010||2009||2008||Commentary|
|Red Schoendienst||$75#||$75||$75||$75||$75||$75||$75||$60||# Will only sign baseballs and photos.|
|Whitey Herzog||$75||$75||$75||$75||$60||$60||$40||$50||One of the most popular – for good reason.|
|Tony La Russa||$75||$75||$40||$40||$30||$30||$30||$30||Now fitted for the red jacket, but not Arizona’s red.|
|Bob Gibson||$75*||$75*||$125||* Pre-signed balls for sale only.|
|Lou Brock||$75*||$75||$75||$100||* Pre-signed balls for sale only.|
|Ozzie Smith||$75*||$75*||* Pre-signed balls for sale only.|
|Mike Shannon||$20||$10||$10||$10||New member of team Hall of Fame|
|Jason Isringhausen||$10||$40||Ex-closer back in the fold.|
|John Mabry||$5||$5||$5||free||Former player and current hitting coach in one!|
|Bruce Sutter||$75||$100||Hall of Fame excitement has long since worn off.|
|Chris Carpenter||$50||$50||$50||$40||$50||$60||$75||Decided to stay home for 2015 WWU and season.|
|Brian Jordan||$10||$5||$15||Now broadcasting for the Braves.|
|Jack Clark||$5||$5||$5||$5||$5||$10||Made up with Albert Pujols, sort of.|
|Donovan Osborne||$5||Surprised they charged last year.|
|Allen Craig||$40||$30||$30||$5||free||Traded to Boston.|
|Jason Motte||$30||$30||$25||$5||$5||$10||Popular free agent signed with Cubs.|
|Shelby Miller||$25||$15||$10||free||Traded to Atlanta.|
|Joe Kelly||$25||$15||Traded to Boston.|
|Oscar Taveras||$20||$10||Passed away in tragic auto accident.|
|Daniel Descalso||$15||$10||$10||free||free||Non-tender signed with Colorado.|
|Shane Robinson||$5||$5||free||free||free||Released, signed minors deal with Minnesota.|
|Mark Ellis||$5||Free agent currently unsigned.|
|Jermaine Curtis||free||free||Free agent signed minors deal with Cincinnati.|
The list of those signing for free again includes over 20 former Cardinals.
|Alan Benes||Andy Benes||Scott Cooper||John Costello|
|Danny Cox||Ken Dayley||Cal Eldred||Rich Hacker|
|Al Hrabosky||Mike Jorgensen||Tom Lawless||Cliff Politte|
|Ken Reitz||Kerry Robinson||Stan Royer||Jason Simontacchi|
|Scott Terry||Brad Thompson||Mike Tyson||Todd Worrell|
|Later adds:||Kyle McClellan||Rick Horton||Jeff Lahti|
|Pat Perry||Glenn Brummer|
Other no-charge autographs include five 40-man roster players noted above in Greg Garcia, Nick Greenwood and Tommy Pham along with new arrivals Dean Anna and Ty Kelly. Two other top-10 prospects in Tim Cooney and Charlie Tilson will also sign at no charge. (Cody Stanley was added later.)
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 Tuesday, January 6. Each individual typically signs for just two hours on one of the three days only, so check the schedule before buying your tickets.
The 19th Annual Winter Warm-Up, a three-day event, will take place on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. weekend; Saturday, Sunday and Monday, January 17-19, 2015. Three-day event passes are $40 for adults and $10 for children 5-15 years of age, same prices as the last four 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 5 update: Amounts for Jhonny Peralta, Matt Belisle and Jordan Walden have been established. Lou Brock pre-signed baseballs have been added to the list. Among free minor league signers, Nick Greenwood has been replaced by Cody Stanley. Glenn Brummer and Kyle McClellan join the former Cardinals list while Al Hrabosky is off.
January 7 update: Cardinals minor league player of the year Magneuris Sierra has been added to the free list and will sign on Sunday.
January 10 update: Ozzie Smith was added to the pre-signed ball list. Former Cardinals Rick Horton, Jeff Lahti and Pat Perry will sign for free.
January 14 update: Greenwood is back on the free autograph list, signing from 1-3 PM on Saturday.
All of these changes have been made above.
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