Autograph details for the 2017 St. Louis Cardinals Winter Warm-Up have finally been posted on the team’s official website – just before the tickets go on sale Wednesday. Perhaps the delay was due to Monday’s NHL Winter Classic at Busch Stadium. There is also a lot of coordination required.
The three-day Winter Warm-Up 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 14 through Monday, January 16.
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 Top Dogs. Of course, anchor Matt Holliday has left the team. New additions to the top tier for 2017 include newly-signed Dexter Fowler plus Aledmys Diaz, Carlos Martinez and Stephen Piscotty. Some kid named Alex Reyes slipped in there, too. Bargains compared to last year are Adam Wainwright and Michael Wacha.
Most all of those in the middle tier of autograph prices were there before. New additions are lefties Brett Cecil and Zach Duke. Better deals this year include Mike Matheny, Mike Leake and Trevor Rosenthal.
A difference from recent years is that instead of being free as in the past, autographs of minor leaguers on the cusp of the majors will cost $5 this year. A small price to pay for potential future stars like Harrison Bader.
|Yadier Molina||$150||$125||$100||$100||$75||$75||$90||$75||$100||$90||The current face of the franchise turns 35 in July|
|Adam Wainwright||$75||$100||$90||$80||$50||$50||$45||$50||$60||$80||Always one of the most popular Cardinals|
|Matt Carpenter||$75||$60||$50||$40||$15||free||Keeps getting better and better|
|Dexter Fowler||$75||Biggest winter addition signed for five years to play CF|
|Aledmys Diaz||$75||Big-time debut for team’s top rookie in 2016|
|Carlos Martinez||$75||$35||$25||$30||The autograph of the new ace of the staff costs more|
|Stephen Piscotty||$75||$35||$5||free||Almost as steady as Carpenter|
|$60||One of baseball’s top prospects is ready for rotation|
|Michael Wacha||$50||$70||$70||$70||$5||Lingering health and role questions|
|Kolten Wong||$50||$50||$40||$15||Needs to step up in 2017|
|Middle of pack||2017||2016||2015||2014||2013||2012||2011||2010||2009||2008||Commentary|
|Randal Grichuk||$35||$35||$20||free||Hopefully someone told him he is the left fielder|
|Jedd Gyorko||$35||$10||Team leader in home runs in 2016|
|Jhonny Peralta||$35||$35||$30||$25||Looking for health in final year on his contract|
|Brett Cecil||$35||Signed big contract to anchor left side of bullpen|
|Mike Leake||$30||$40||Back for year two of five-year deal|
|Trevor Rosenthal||$25||$45||$45||$35||$15||Will he get his chance to start?|
|Mike Matheny||$25||$40||$40||$40||$30||$30||$10||$10||Missed playoffs for first time in five years|
|Matt Adams||$25||$25||$25||$20||$5||$5||Big or small – does he have a 2017 role?|
|Lance Lynn||$20||$20||$40||$20||$15||Is a big comeback ahead prior to free agency?|
|Jonathan Broxton||$20*||$10*||* Unable to attend. Pre-signed balls only.|
|Zach Duke||$20||Slated to miss entire 2017 season after nice debut|
|Marco Gonzales||$15||$15||$15||Looking for rebound for second straight year|
|Matt Bowman||$15||Rule 5 pitcher was pleasant 2016 addition|
|$10||$10||free||Seems clear number four outfielder|
|Greg Garcia||$10||$5||free||free||Returning to utility infielder battle|
|Luke Weaver||$10||free||TCN’s #2 Cards prospect likely to lead Memphis rotation|
|Carson Kelly||$10||free||Molina’s clear heir-apparent|
|John Gant||$10||Acquired in Jaime Garcia trade with Braves|
|Tyler Lyons||$5||$5||$5||$5||Still has some rehab ahead|
|Bill Mueller||$5||$5||$5||Back to assistant hitting coach this year|
|Miguel Socolovich||$5||Still looking for a spot in the back of the pen|
|Sam Tuivailala||$5||$5||$5||Hard-thrower is up and down to Memphis|
|Jose Martinez||$5||free||Nice September debut and Memphis depth in OF|
|Mitch Harris||$5||$5||Removed from 40-man roster after injury|
|Mike Mayers||$5||Earned MLB debut in 2016|
|Luke Voit||$5||Power-hitting first baseman ready for Triple-A|
|Harrison Bader||$5||Top hitting prospect closest to St. Louis|
|Ryan Sherriff||$5||free||Lefty reliever pushing for St. Louis debut|
|Patrick Wisdom||$5||free||Third baseman’s career has leveled off|
|Austin Gomber||$5||free||Top lefty starting prospect in the system|
|Paul DeJong||$5||Move to shortstop could increase his value|
|Rowan Wick||$5||Former slugger now 40-man roster reliever|
|Missing in action?||2017||2016||2015||2014||2013||2012||2011||2010||2009||2008||Commentary|
|Kevin Siegrist||$15||$15||$15||Continues to receive heavy workload|
|Seung-hwan Oh||Solidified closer role in second half of 2016|
Here are some other interesting and important groupings.
Five Cooperstown Hall of Famers continue at the $75 amount – Red Schoendienst, Whitey Herzog, Tony La Russa, Bob Gibson and Ozzie Smith, though the latter two are not scheduled to attend in person. Sorry to see Lou Brock off the list.
It is exciting to see former star first baseman Orlando Cepeda added to WWU for the first time since at least 2008. He joins stalwart Mike Shannon among a list of former Cardinals with prices for their signatures.
The list of those Cardinals who have moved on from last year’s WWU includes at least nine players, headlined by Holliday and Jaime Garcia, as well as several veterans. Along with Brock, three other former Cardinals are not among this year’s signees after participating in 2016.
|Hall of Famers||2017||2016||2015||2014||2013||2012||2011||2010||2009||2008||Commentary|
|$75||$75||$75||$75||$75||$75||$75||$75||$75||$60||A true treasure|
|$75||$75||$75||$75||$75||$75||$60||$60||$40||$50||One of the most popular – for good reason|
|Tony La Russa||$75||$75||$75||$75||$40||$40||$30||$30||$30||$30||His job is with Arizona, but still loved in StL|
|Bob Gibson||$75*||$75*||$75*||$75*||$125||* Pre-signed balls for sale only|
|Ozzie Smith||$75*||$75*||$75*||$75*||* Pre-signed balls for sale only|
|Orlando Cepeda||$100||Great new addition to WWU!|
|Mike Shannon||$30||$25||$20||$10||$10||$10||Joined team Hall of Fame in 2014|
|David Bell||$5||$5||$5||Third year as bench coach coming|
|Jack Clark||$5||$5||$5||$5||$5||$5||$10||Back after a year absence|
|Brian Jordan||$5||$10||$5||$15||Ditto for Braves’ broadcaster|
|Ray King||$5||$5||Burger time returns!|
|Matt Holliday||$75||$75||$75||$75||$75||$100||$100||Free agent signed with Yankees|
|Jaime Garcia||Unk.||DNA||DNA||$20||$25||$15||free||Traded to Atlanta|
|Seth Maness||$10||$10||$10||$5||Non-tendered free agent|
|Jordan Walden||DNA||$10||Minor league signing by Atlanta|
|Brandon Moss||$5||Free agent|
|Tim Cooney||$5||free||Claimed by Indians off waivers|
|Charlie Tilson||$5||free||Traded to White Sox|
|Dean Kiekhefer||free||Claimed off waivers by Seattle|
|Not back for 2017||2016||2015||2014||2013||2012||2011||2010||2009||2008||Commentary|
|Lou Brock||$75*||$75*||$75||$75||$100||* Pre-signed balls for sale only|
|Tim McCarver||$25*||* Pre-signed balls for sale only.|
|Jose Oquendo||$10||Off to minor league work|
Finally, those who will be signing for free follow. They include hitting coach John Mabry and new Memphis manager Stubby Clapp.
Notice there is a change this year. For these individuals only, tickets will be available in the lobby of 100 North Broadway (previously Bank of America), located across 4th Street, west of the Hyatt. Check the website for further details.
|Alan Benes||Stubby Clapp||Scott Cooper||John Costello|
|Danny Cox||Randy Flores||Rick Horton||Al Hrabosky|
|Larry Jaster||Tito Landrum||Tom Lawless||John Mabry|
|Kyle McClellan||Cliff Politte||Kerry Robinson||Jason Simontacchi|
|Brad Thompson||Scott Terry|
As always, the proceeds go to charity, Cardinals Care, so the needy are the true winners. Autograph tickets go on sale online at cardinals.com on Wednesday, January 4 at 10 a.m. Central time. Each individual typically signs for just two hours on one of the three days only, so check the schedule before buying your tickets.
The 21st Annual Winter Warm-Up, a three-day event, will take place on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. weekend; Saturday, Sunday and Monday, January 14-16, 2017. 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 six 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 and ticket ordering, follow this link.
Updates 1/6: Added to the list of free autographs are Bill DeWitt Jr. and Bill DeWitt III, along with Todd Worrell.
Sold out autograph tickets include stars Yadier Molina and Dexter Fowler. Others sold out are young and cheap – Harrison Bader, Paul DeJong, Aledmys Diaz, Austin Gomber, Carson Kelly and Luke Weaver. Tickets for three Cardinals veterans in Jack Clark, Brian Jordan and Mike Shannon are also no longer available.
Updates 1/11: Alex Reyes and Tommy Pham, both committed to play winter ball, have canceled out. Also, 93-year-old Red Schoendienst has been removed from the updated autograph list. The only additional sold out autograph signer in the last five days is Jose Martinez.
Update 1/12: Whitey Herzog has also bowed out, reportedly due to health concerns.
Update 1/13: With the cancellation of Saturday’s Winter Warm-Up events due to the ice storm in the area, all Saturday autograph ticket sales will be refunded by the Cardinals through the credit cards used for their purchase.
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