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2015 Cardinals Winter Warm-Up Autograph Prices

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.

Noticeable absentees include Jaime Garcia, Randy Choate, John Lackey and Tony Cruz. Of course, these and others may still be added to the lineup between now and the event.

Top dogs 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 Commentary
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.
Value picks 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 Commentary
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.
Future Cardinals? 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 Commentary
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.
Later additions 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 Commentary
TBA

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.
Ex-Cards players 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 Commentary
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!
Not signing 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 Commentary
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.
Moved on 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 Commentary
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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Brian Walton

Brian Walton runs The Cardinal Nation and The Cardinal Nation Blog, covering the St. Louis Cardinals and minor league system.
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5 Responses to “2015 Cardinals Winter Warm-Up Autograph Prices”

  1. blingboy says:

    The astute observer can gleen much from the WWU autograph prices, backed up by a sound working knowledge of the depth chart on the official site.

    1B is clearly a problem area, with a $25 dollar guy backed up by a measly $10 guy. CF has a $25 pre-signed ball guy backed by a $20 guy, but the next guy on the depth chart, Pham is a freebe, while the next 1B, Skruggs is a $5 man. Both positions are undoubtedly keeping Mo up at night.

    Backup infield is a shambles, with two sub-Descalso ($15 last year) guys, Reynolds at $10 and Kozma at $5 (equal to an Ellis last year)

    The depth chart has a total of 13 pitchers, with $5 Freeman looking like the bubble guy. But that includes Garcia, so Sam may snag a spot after all.

    Pop Warner will attend WWU if he can scrape up the price of admission.

  2. blingboy says:

    It would be an interesting excersize to figure out the most obscure autograph signer, now that Neil Fiala no longer appears.

    • Brian Walton says:

      I’ll go with Stan Royer. As a player only, it would have been Hacker, but he is pretty well remembered as a coach, I imagine. Then again, how often did coaches sign? hmmm…..

      • blingboy says:

        I remember him as a perenial September call-up who was a Cubs killer. We had a share of season tickets in the early 90s and by September we were out of it so nobody really was too interested in going downtown to the games, so I went to almost every home game. Really a poor contrast to Fialla, who I would swear never took the field for the Cards, even though the record book says he did, and his younger brother was a highschool classmate of mine.

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