Tuesday, October 6, 2015

2007 Topps, Robinson Tejeda

#221 Robinson Tejeda

Here is the second card of Robinson Tejeda that I have ever posted on here. The first one was posted five years ago and it was a Bowman card that showed him as a young Phillies minor league pitcher. Here is one that shows him as a Major Leaguer and it was signed outside of Kauffman Stadium in 2009 while he was playing for the Royals.

Robinson pitched for the Rangers for parts of three seasons from 2006 to 2008. He was mainly used as a starter and he posted a 10-14 record over 33 starts. His ERA in those games was 5.59. He pitched 6 innings of relief in 2008 and gave up 6 runs. The Rangers designated him for assignment and the Royals picked him up. He would go on to pitch for the Royals through 2011.

This past season, Robinson pitched for the Joplin Blasters of the American Association and did not fare well. Over 9 starts, he posted a 9.21 ERA before getting released.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

2007 Topps, Brent Clevlen

#59 Brent Clevlen

Here is the third and final Brent Clevlen card that I have to post on here. All three were done this year, with the first one, his 2002 Bowman, being posted back in January. The second one, his 2006 Topps '52, was posted in May. The first two signatures were obtained at Wichita Wingnuts games and this one is no different.

When I posted the last card of Brent, he was playing down in Mexico at the time. After the Mexican League season ended, he returned to Wichita to help them on their postseason push. After batting .301 in Mexico, Brent made it back north in time to play in eleven American Association regular season games. Over that stretch, he hit a whopping .444 with a home run, 5 doubles, and 9 RBI while helping the Wingnuts win their fifth straight division title. His hot finish cooled off in the playoffs, though, as the Nuts lost in the first round while Brent went just 2-21 in the series.

The photo on this card is kind of rare for Topps any more. While it is not uncommon to find a posed shot in a Topps product, most of those shots are taken at Spring Training. This posed shot is taken in Detroit.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

2007 Topps, Todd Greene

#44 Todd Greene

Here is the third and final card that I got signed by Todd Greene in 2009. Todd signed for me twice that summer, once in Kansas City and once in Baltimore. He was the Rays quality assurance coach at the time. I posted the first card from Baltimore in 2009 and it can be seen here. The lone card from Kansas City was posted in 2011 and that one can be seen here. This one was signed along with the first one while I was in Baltimore in September of 2009.

As far as I can tell, Todd only coached with the Rays for one season. After 2009, he got into scouting. He scouted for the Mariners for a few years before joining the Diamondbacks in 2013 as a scout and a special assistant to the general manager. But, according to some, he is apparently a Major League managerial candidate. That is news to me, but I just found this article from Baseball Essential that backs that up. According to it, Todd would be a cross between Mike Sciosca, Mike Matheny, and Joe Maddon. It will be interesting to see if he gets a shot at the Majors without any minor league managing experience.

I had no idea, but, according to that Baseball Essential article, Todd caught the ceremonial first pitch that president George W. Bush threw out prior to game three of the 2001 World Series.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

2007 Topps, Joey Gathright

#27 Joey Gathright

Here is the first of many cards from 2007 Topps that I will be posting in the coming months. Considering that I have over thirty cards from this set signed, and I only post about a dozen cards a month, I am going to be posting cards from this set all the way to Christmas.

This is the third card from Joey Gathright that I have posted on here. The first one was obtained in 2008 at a Royals Caravan stop. I got the second one a couple of years ago while Joey was playing in the American Association and his signature changed dramatically over the five years. Joey went from signing his initials in 2008 to doing an actual full signature in 2013. Based off that bit of info, you can tell that Joey signed this card for me in 2008. He signed around the time of the first card, but at Royals Fanfest.

When the Royals acquired Joey from the Rays, I was expecting tons of plays like the one on this card. Unfortunately, even with Joey's amazing speed, he did not do that great in the spacious outfield of Kauffman Stadium. In 2006, the year Joey joined the Royals, he lead the league in range factor/game for outfielders with a 2.66 rating. But, he was at a 2.91 as a Ray and then slipped to a 2.49 with the Royals. That number, as a whole, slid to 2.40 in 2007 and then 1.98 in 2008, his final season with the Royals. By that time, he was -5 in total zone total fielding runs above average (Rtot).

The Royals and him parted ways after that season and it would four seasons before the Royals landed the centerfielder that I thought Joey was going to be. Plus, the new centerfielder, Lorenzo Cain, could hit.

Nonetheless, this is a cool photo to start 2007 Topps.

Monday, September 28, 2015

2007 SP, Kevin Kouzmanoff

#164 Kevin Kouzmanoff

Here is another card in the long line of Padrographs that Rod has sent me. Rod sent me my initial Padrographs in 2008 and this was not one of those. This one came from Rod in 2011. To date, this is the only card that he has sent me that features a sticker autograph.

Kevin Kouzmanoff played for the Padres for parts of three seasons after coming over from Cleveland for Josh Barfield. He was the everyday third baseman for San Diego while he was there and he put up some decent numbers. He consistently hit around .260 and had at least 18 home runs, 30 doubles, and 74 RBI every year for the Friars. He topped off with 23 home runs in 2008 and 88 RBI in 2009.

Then, prior to the 2010 season, he was dealt to the A's, with Eric Sogard, for Scott Hairston and Aaron Cunningham. His numbers slipped a bit in his first season back in the American League as his average dipped to .247. But, he still hit 16 dingers and 32 doubles while driving in 71. That was his last season as an everyday player.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

2007 Multi Ad Sports, Omaha Royals

#4 Brian Bannister
#14 Shane Costa
#20 Mike Jirschele
#26 Neal Musser

At Royals Fanfest in 2009, the Omaha Royals had a booth set up. They had a bunch of freebies sitting on their table, including random cards from this 2007 team set. Neal Musser and Shane Costa were both at Fanfest that year and, since I only had one card of each, I made sure to grab their cards. I also grabbed the Bannister and the Jirschele. I am not really sure why I grabbed the Jirschele. It was probably because he was the AAA manager and he usually gets called up to the big leagues after the AAA season is over. Either way, I grabbed four cards and I was able to get all four signed in 2009. I got Costa and Musser at Fanfest, Bannister at the Royals Caravan, and Jirschele after an O-Royals game in Des Moines.

I really like this set. Though the photography needs some help to make it look less "foggy", the layout is really good. I love the way the bat is used for the name, position, and team. The fact that it is a black bat makes it even better. Multi Ad did a good job with adding the gold ring on the bat that matches the font color.

Out of all of these guys, Jirschele is the only one that is still in baseball. Musser and Bannister have not pitched since 2010 and Costa last played in 2012. Jirschele is currently the third base coach for the Royals.

This is the last card of Shane Costa that I have to post on here. You can see his first one here and the second one here. There will be one more Neal Musser, a couple more Mike Jirscheles, and quite a few more Bannisters.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

2007 Just, Jason Berken

#JA-04 Jason Berken

This is the second card of Jason Berken that I have posted in here. The first one was posted in 2011 and that card was given to me by Ryan, from The Great Orioles Autograph Project. This one, too, was given to me by Ryan. But this one came from him in 2013.

Jason pitched in the Majors for parts of four seasons. He mainly played for Baltimore, but he did have a brief stop with the Cubs in 2012. Over those four seasons, Jason pitched 248.2 innings, splitting them almost equally as a starter and a reliever. He holds a career 10-20 record with a 5.36 ERA and 163 strikeouts. His best season was his first season coming out of the pen for the O's in 2010. That year, he was 3-3 with a 3.03 ERA.

Jason still pitches and has spent the past three seasons playing AAA for three different organizations. He just finished up the 2015 campaign pitching for the Phillies AAA team in Lehigh Valley. He went 5-8 with a 4.61 ERA for them.