Preliminary autograph details for the 2016 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 16 through Monday, January 18.
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.
There is considerable shake up in last year’s Big Six. Adam Wainwright and Matt Holliday remain, but Jason Heyward has left the team and Yadier Molina and Michael Wacha are not listed on the 2016 WWU roster. Oddly, there is a note that Molina tickets are limited to one per person, so perhaps he will join later. New additions to the top tier of pricing for 2016 are Matt Carpenter and Kolten Wong.
Those in the middle tier of autograph prices earning an increase for 2016 include Carlos Martinez, Randal Grichuk, Jhonny Peralta and Stephen Piscotty. A signature from injured Lance Lynn will cost just half its 2015 price.
Along with Molina and Wacha, other noticeable absentees include Jaime Garcia, who often passes on the event, and reliever Jordan Walden. Also surprisingly absent are new free agent signees Mike Leake and Brayan Pena. Less surprising are the no-mentions for reliever Miguel Socolovich and Rule 5 addition Matt Bowman.
Of course, these and others may still join the lineup between now and the event.
|Adam Wainwright||$100||$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||$75||$100||$100||Consistency in play on the field and in autograph prices|
|Matt Carpenter||$60||$50||$40||$15||free||Keeps getting better and better|
|Kolten Wong||$50||$40||$15||Joins the big boys in $50 and up price|
|Middle of the pack||2016||2015||2014||2013||2012||2011||2010||2009||2008||Commentary|
|Trevor Rosenthal||$45||$45||$35||$15||Perhaps most unheralded star of 2015 team|
|Mike Matheny||$40||$40||$40||$30||$30||$10||$10||Four years as manager, four playoff appearances|
|Carlos Martinez||$35||$25||$30||To build on breakout 2015|
|Randal Grichuk||$35||$20||free||Next great power bat hope|
|Jhonny Peralta||$35||$30||$25||All-star first half in second year with Cards|
|Stephen Piscotty||$35||$5||free||Huge jumpstart to banged up 2015 team|
|Matt Adams||$25||$25||$20||$5||$5||Looking for health and a way to beat the shift|
|Lance Lynn||$20||$40||$20||$15||Signing left-handed explains lower price|
|Marco Gonzales||$15||$15||2014 minors Pitcher of the Year looking for rebound|
|Kevin Siegrist||$15||$15||$15||Led NL with 81 relief appearances|
|Tommy Pham||$10||free||Outfielder finally made impact in bigs|
|Jonathan Broxton||$10*||* Unable to attend. Pre-signed balls only.|
|Seth Maness||$10||$10||$10||$5||Another highly-used reliever|
|Tyler Lyons||$5||$5||$5||Will the lefty start or relieve?|
|Jedd Gyorko||$10||New utilityman acquired from Padres|
|Brandon Moss||$5||One of the biggest X factors on 2016 team|
|Bill Mueller||$5||$5||Replaced Bell as assistant hitting coach last year|
|Tim Cooney||$5||free||Good first impression before appendectomy|
|Sam Tuivailala||$5||$5||Hard-thrower should be back in majors soon|
|Greg Garcia||$5||free||free||Returning to utility infielder battle|
|Mitch Harris||$5||Looking for a spot in the back of the pen|
|Charlie Tilson||$5||free||2nd round OF from 2011 draft had strong AA campaign|
|Dean Anna||free||free||Former Yankee held his spot on 40-man roster|
|Carson Kelly||free||Minor league catching Gold Glover|
|Dean Kiekhefer||free||Lefty reliever added to 40-man roster|
|Austin Gomber||free||Co-Pitcher of the Year for organization|
|Michael Ohlman||free||40-man roster catcher to make AAA debut|
|Arturo Reyes||free||Former 40th-rounder quietly advanced to Memphis|
|Jacob Wilson||free||Led system in home runs, tied for #1 in RBI|
|Patrick Wisdom||free||Third baseman had ups and downs in 2015|
|Luke Weaver||free||2014 first-rounder pitched in Arizona Fall League|
|Missing in action?||2016||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 anyway|
|Michael Wacha||$70||$70||$5||Had strong 2015 before late season fade|
|Jaime Garcia||DNA||DNA||$20||$25||$15||free||Great season ended badly in NLDS flu game|
|Jordan Walden||$10||Big health question won’t get answered here|
|Mike Leake||Free agent starting pitcher signed five-year deal|
|Brayan Pena||Replacing Tony Cruz behind Molina|
|Miguel Socolovich||Unheralded relief man|
|Matt Bowman||Rule 5 pitching addition from Mets|
|Yadier Molina||$125||$100||$100||$75||$75||$90||$75||$100||$90||Limit one ticket per customer|
|Michael Wacha||$70||$70||$5||Had strong 2015 before late season fade|
|Mike Leake||$40||Free agent starting pitcher signed five-year deal|
|Brayan Pena||$10||Replacing Tony Cruz behind Molina|
|Jaime Garcia||TBD||DNA||DNA||$20||$25||$15||free||Great season ended badly in NLDS flu game|
Here are some other interesting and important groupings.
Six Cooperstown Hall of Famers continue at the $75 amount – Red Schoendienst, Whitey Herzog, Tony La Russa, Bob Gibson, Lou Brock and Ozzie Smith, though the latter three are not scheduled to attend in person.
Former Cardinals shortstop David Eckstein joins the signees for 2016, but in a major surprise, will be fetching $100 per signature. Tim McCarver (pre-signed balls only) and third base coach Jose Oquendo are welcome additions.
The list of those Cardinals who have moved on from last year is quite long – 14 names to be exact.
|Hall of Famers||2016||2015||2014||2013||2012||2011||2010||2009||2008||Commentary|
|Red Schoendienst||$75||$75#||$75||$75||$75||$75||$75||$75||$60||A true treasure|
|Whitey Herzog||$75||$75||$75||$75||$75||$60||$60||$40||$50||One of the most popular – for good reason|
|Tony La Russa||$75||$75||$75||$40||$40||$30||$30||$30||$30||His job is with Arizona, but still loved in StL|
|Bob Gibson||$75*||$75*||$75*||$125||* Pre-signed balls for sale only|
|Lou Brock||$75*||$75*||$75||$75||$100||* Pre-signed balls for sale only|
|Ozzie Smith||$75*||$75*||$75*||Too bad The Wizard stays away|
|David Eckstein||$100||Wow! Highest price signature with Wainwright|
|Tim McCarver||$25*||* Pre-signed balls for sale only|
|Mike Shannon||$25||$20||$10||$10||$10||Joined team Hall of Fame in 2014|
|Jose Oquendo||$10||Good to see him signing|
|John Mabry||$5||$5||$5||$5||free||Former player and current hitting coach in one!|
|David Bell||$5||$5||Second year as bench coach coming|
|Jason Heyward||$60||Free agent joined Cubs|
|John Lackey||DNA||Him, too|
|Jon Jay||$25*||$20||$20||$20||$10||Traded to San Diego|
|Peter Bourjos||$20||$20||Moved to Philadelphia on waiver claim|
|Matt Belisle||$10||Free agent|
|Mark Reynolds||$10||Signed with Colorado|
|Pete Kozma||$5||$5||$10||free||free||free||Minor league deal with Yankees|
|Sam Freeman||$5||$5||$5||free||Traded to Texas last spring|
|Xavier Scruggs||$5||Minor league deal with Marlins|
|Randy Choate||DNA||DNA||$5||Free agent|
|Tony Cruz||DNA||$5||$5||$5||Traded to Kansas City|
|Nick Greenwood||free||Minor league free agent|
|Ty Kelly||free||Released last summer|
|Cody Stanley||free||Non-tendered after suspension|
Finally, those who will be signing for free, along with the Future Cardinals listed before, follow. This alumni list is shorter than in years past, but again, others could join later.
|Alan Benes||Andy Benes||Danny Cox||Rick Horton|
|Al Hrabosky||Tom Lawless||Kyle McClellan||Kerry Robinson|
|Jason Simontacchi||Brad Thompson|
|Glenn Brummer||Scott Cooper||John Costello||Ken Dayley|
|Rich Hacker||Cliff Politte||Stan Royer||Ted Savage|
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 10 A.M. on Tuesday, January 5. Each individual typically signs for just two hours on one of the three days only, so check the schedule before buying your tickets.
The 20th Annual Winter Warm-Up, a three-day event, will take place on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. weekend; Saturday, Sunday and Monday, January 16-18, 2016. Three-day event passes are already on sale for $40 for adults and $10 for children 5-15 years of age, same prices as the last five 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 or at the event.
For full WWU information, including signing schedules (when announced) and ticket ordering, follow this link.
January 4 Update
With autograph tickets set to go on sale on Tuesday, January 5, a number of additions have been made to the roster of signees. All changes have been made to the tables above, but here is a summary.
Adjusted: Jedd Gyorko from $5 to $10.
Additions: Yadier Molina $125, Michael Wacha $70, Mike Leake $40, Brayan Pena $10.
Free additions: Glenn Brummer, Scott Cooper, John Costello, Ken Dayley, Rich Hacker, Cliff Politte, Stan Royer, Ted Savage, Mike Tyson.
January 13 Update
Jaime Garcia was a late add to the roster, but his tickets sold out before I learned the price.
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