Friday, December 8, 2017

1990 Topps, Ted Power

#59 Ted Power

Here is the card that I got signed by Ted Power at a Reds Spring Training game earlier this year. Ted is the team's assistant pitching coach and he stopped to sign one card for me by the dugout.

Ted pitched in the Majors for thirteen seasons with eight different clubs- the Dodgers, Reds, Royals, Tigers, Cardinals, Pirates, Indians, and Mariners. Over that time, he racked up a record of 68-69 with 70 saves and a 4.00 ERA. Ted bounced around a bunch towards the end of his career, but he did spend about half of his career in Cincinnati. It was with the Reds when he had his best season in 1985. He was 8-6 that season with a 2.70 ERA and a career high 27 saves.

I did not know it at the time that Ted signed this card, but we share a couple of things in common. We both grew up in Kansas and Ted went to high school about twenty miles from my home town. Also, we both went to Kansas State. How I did not know that he went there is beyond me.

Here is my dilemma. I have kind of started a little Royals autograph project. I have been sending out TTM requests to random former Royals that I do not have autographs from. All of the cards that I send out feature the player with the Royals. So, I obviously have Ted's autograph. But, I do not have a Royals card signed by him. Ted seems to be a good TTM signer. Do I send out a Royals card of him to sign or just be happy with the one?

Thursday, December 7, 2017

1990 Topps, Tony Fossas

#34 Tony Fossas

Here is the second of three cards that I got signed by Tony Fossas at Spring Training earlier this year. Tony was the Reds pitching coordinator and I got him to sign at the team's minor league workout. I posted the first card of him last month and that one can be seen here.

After making his big league debut with the Rangers in 1988, he joined the Brewers as a free agent prior to the 1989 season. He had a good season in Milwaukee that year and pitched in a career-high 61 innings. Over that span, he was 2-2 with a save and a 3.54 ERA. He struck out 42 batters, also a career high.

Things did not go as well the following season. Pitching in just 29.1 innings, Tony's record was 2-3 with a 6.44 ERA. It looks like the problem that year was that he wasn't missing many bats. He gave up 44 hits in those 29.1 innings compared to 57 hits the year before. The Brewers let him walk after the season and Tony was picked up by the Red Sox for the 1991 campaign.

Tony's transaction page is super-long. It is worth checking out. Over the course of his career, he was released or granted free agency fifteen times, four times before he even made his Major League debut.

I love the collared jacket in this card. This is probably one of the last times that fashion ever appeared on cardboard.

On an unrelated note, today is the day that Wichita is going to announce if they have lured an affiliated minor league team to the city. I really hope that they land one.

Monday, December 4, 2017

1990 Score, Mark Williamson

#332 Mark Williamson

Here is a random autograph that I got from Rod, of Padrographs, when I met up with him at a Hillsboro Hops game in 2015. While Rod is known for giving me random Padre autographs, this one was even more random than usual as Mark Williamson never played a game with the Padres.

Mark was, however, drafted by the Padres in 1982. But he and Terry Kennedy were shipped to the Orioles after the 1986 season for Storm Davis. It was with the O's in 1987 when Mark would make his Major League debut and he would play his entire career with the club.

Mark lasted eight seasons in the Majors. Over that time, he was 46-35 with 21 saves and a 3.86 ERA. In 65 relief outings in 1989, Mark was 10-5 with 9 saves and a 2.93 ERA. He came back in 1990 and was 8-2 with a save and an ERA to 2.21. Those were his best seasons of his career.

Sunday, December 3, 2017

1990 Pucko Welland Pirates, Marcus Hanel

#17 Marcus Hanel

Here is kind of an oddball minor league team set that I have laying around. I mentioned in a post from a couple of weeks ago that I stocked up on holiday card stockings a few years back. In each stocking was an older update/traded set, a minor league team set, and some junk wax. This card came out of one of those random team sets.

Before I got this set, I had never heard of the Welland Pirates before. I hadn't even heard of Welland before. It turns out that Welland is in Ontario and the Pirates played in the New York-Penn League for six seasons in the early '90s. The team never finished above .500 and ended up moving to Erie and joining the AA ranks.

My son got this card signed for me at Spring Training this year. Marcus is the bullpen catcher for the Brewers and he signed for us before a games against the Reds at Goodyear Ballpark. We never would have got this card signed if not for another father/son duo that spotted Marcus and got him to come over and sign for my kid. I was busy 'graphing the home team that day and I put the kid to work for me. He got paid a dollar an autograph.

Thursday, November 30, 2017

1989-90 Pacific Senior League, Dave LaRoche

#97 Dave LaRoche

Here is the most recent card from this set that I have got signed. I got this card signed this summer when Dave was the pitching coach for the Kansas Stars. This was the first card from this set that I have got signed in two years.

When I went to my first Stars game in 2016, I did not expect Dave to be there. I should have known better since Andy and Adam were both there, but I was not prepared. So, I came ready this year with the only two cards of him that I owned and one from the '74 set that I picked up beforehand. I was unable to get Dave prior to the game, but I stuck around and was able to get him afterwards. He signed all three for me.

At the games I went too both years, there was a fourth LaRoche there, Jeff. I am assuming that he is the eldest brother, but there is not a lot of info on him.

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

1989-90 Pacific Senior League, Dennis Leonard

#84 Dennis Leonard

To my surprise, this is only the eighth card of Dennis Leonard that I have posted on here. Dennis is such a huge part of the Royals family, it seems like he is always signing autographs at events, whether it is Fanfest, alumni autograph Sundays, or the old winter caravan. This signature was obtained at one of the autograph Sundays at The K in 2015.

This was the first time that I got a senior league card signed at a signing. All the rest were either by the dugouts at games or through the mail. Since this was the only card I got signed by Dennis, I asked him his thoughts on the short-lived league. He told me that it was a lot of fun, but they could not get much fan support and that is what did the league in.

Personally, I would think that the senior league would be an autograph hunter's go-to place in Florida in the years before Major League ball. They played longer than Spring Training clubs did and most of the guys were former established Major League players, which would be better than 'graphing the Florida State League. But, it was a different time then, so who knows what it was really like.

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

1989-90 Pacific Senior League, Leon Roberts

#30 Leon Roberts

This is the third card of Leon that I have posted on here. The first one was a TTM success from 2012. You can see that card here. The second one was his '85 Topps card that my best friend, Dustin, got signed for me while we were at a Sacremento River Cats game in 2015. That card can be seen here. This card was also signed by Leon that day.

Even though Leon played in the Majors for eleven seasons, I have very few cards of him. In fact, all four cards I own are now signed. Leon coached in the Royals system last year, and when I went to Surprise for Spring Training, I had nothing of Leon to get signed. That is too bad because he has some really good-looking cards from the '70s. It is just that I didn't start collecting cards until Leon's playing career came to a close. That is why half of the cards I have of him are from after he retired.

I have four signed cards of Super Sox from this set. All four of them feature less than spectacular action shots. The three batter shots look identical to this, with the one pitcher shot looking a little better. Every other team has nothing but posed shots, with the exception of the Tropics, which has a mixture. Again, I am only going off of the cards that I have signed, so it is a small sample size. But, it seems strange that all of the shots in the set are posed except the Super Sox and a few random others (Willie Aikens being one of those).