Friday, June 15, 2018

Contest Reminder

The College World Series starts tomorrow, so you had better get a bracket filled out soon. Remember, there is a Topps Series 2 blaster up for grabs this year. Just read the post before this one to see what you have to do.

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

College World Series Contest, Phase 2

In case you haven't noticed, I've been running a little contest here for the past two weeks that revolves around the College World Series. Eight people have already entered and have a tiny head start. But, it is not too late to get in on the action. There are plenty more points to be earned and no one is even close to locking this thing up yet. So here is all you have to do- fill out a College World Series bracket.

Keep in mind that this bracket is nothing like filling out a March Madness bracket. The reason for that is because of the loser's bracket. But, I am going to try to make this as simple as I can. Here is my homemade bracket. Click on it to hopefully see a bigger view.

Here is a how the bracket breaks down. There are two groups in the bracket- A and B. Each group has six games in it. All you have to do is guess who is going to win each of the games as they advance towards the championship round.

For instance, group A has Oregon St. and UNC squaring off in game 1 and Washington and Mississippi St. going in game 2. Pick who is going to win each of those games and then those two teams will square off in game 3. The losers of games 1 and 2 will then square off in game 4. Then, the loser in game 3 plays the winner of game 4 in game 5.

At that point, there will be one team left in the group that is 2-0 (winner of game 3) and one that is 2-1 (winner of game 5). Those two teams play in game 6, which is an elimination game. If the 2-0 team loses, they play a game 7 and the winner advances to the championship. If the 2-0 team wins game 6, they go straight to the championship without game 7. BUT, for the sake of this bracket, I am going to count games 6 and 7 as one game. Just pick who you think is going to advance. It doesn't matter how they do it. I call it game 6/7.

After that, you should have a team advancing out of group A. Do the same for group B. Those two teams are your final teams. In the CWS, they play a best of three series for the championship. Pick who you think will win it all and if they will win it in two games or three. Then, for a tie breaker, guess how many runs will be scored in the championship series (the final two or three games).

It might be easier for you to fill it out on paper first. But to enter the contest, leave a comment looking something similar to this.

A2: Washington
A4: Oregon St
A5: Washington
A6/7: UNC

B1: Arkansas
B2: Florida
B3: Florida
B4: Texas Tech
B5: Arkansas
B6/7: Arkansas

Arkansas over UNC in two games, 9 runs scored

For the sake of the tie breaker, DO NOT pick a number already chosen by someone else. Even if your teams do not make it to the finals, the tiebreaker will still apply to you in the event of a tie.

If you guess every game right, including how many games will be played in the finals, you can come out with 22 points.

The CWS begins at 3:00 PM, eastern, on Saturday, June 16. So, all entries must be in by that point. If you have any questions at all, feel free to email me at zman40 at hotmail dot com. Or, just ask in the comments.

Here are the standings so far. All correct guesses were worth one point and nobody picked the two and three seeds that made the CWS.

Greg- 5 points- Florida, Texas, UNC, and two points for pimping the contest, one on blogger and one on twitter
Kin- 5 points- Florida, Texas Tech, Texas, UNC, Oregon St
Wilson- 5 points- Florida, Arkansas, UNC, Oregon St, and pimped on blogger
Joey- 3 points- Florida, UNC, Oregon St
Jeff- 3 points- Florida, Texas Tech, Oregon St
Lost Collector- 2 points- Texas, UNC
Rod- 1 point- Oregon St
John- 0 points

There is only a five point differential between first and last, so this is still anyone's to win. Even if you didn't enter the first phase, you can still get in on the action and have a legitimate shot at winning. Again, the winner of this will be taking home a blaster of Topps Series Two.

Good luck and thanks for playing!

1999 Topps Chrome, Ryan Christenson

#88 Ryan Christenson

Here is a card that I got signed by Ryan Christenson at a Spring Training game earlier this year. Ryan is the bench coach for the A's and he was nice enough to sign my one card for me prior to the start of the game.

Ryan played in the Majors for six seasons with the A's, Diamondbacks, Brewers, and Rangers. Over that time, he got into 452 games and he hit .222 with 16 home runs and 102 RBI. His best season was his rookie campaign with the A's in 1998. That year, he hit .257 with 5 homers and 40 RBI, all single season highs for him.

Ryan's playing career overlapped the time when I was in college and not actively collecting cards. Still, I somehow ended up with a decent amount of Topps product from 1999 and was lucky enough to have this lone card of him to get signed. Ryan has a long last name and I am amazed whenever I see a plaery sign every single letter like he does. That is a rarity in this day and age.

Friday, June 8, 2018

1999 Topps, David Dellucci

#179 David Dellucci

Here is the first of three cards that David Dellucci signed for me when he played of the Kansas Stars last summer. The Stars were a group of former pro players that competed in the NBC World Series against predominantly college athletes.

David played in the Majors for thirteen seasons with the Orioles, Diamondbacks, Yankees, Rangers, Phillies, Indians, and Blue Jays. Out of all those teams, he spent the most time with the D-Backs, playing with them for parts of five and a half seasons. Over that time, he got into 503 games and he hit .272 with 25 home runs and 156 RBI. He was with the club when they won the World Series in 2001 and was mainly used as a defensive replacement during the playoffs. He got into six games and was 2-4 at the dish. Just prior to the 2003 trade deadline, David was traded to the Yankees. He would make his second and final World Series appearance with them and go 0-2 in four games.

The Kansas Stars are no more this year, which is pretty disappointing for me. I had quite a time 'graphing them the last two years. But, the team is still going to be playing together this summer at the Bluegrass World Series in Louisville as the Louisville Stars. I have no idea who they will be competing against, but it is sure to be a good time. So, if you are going to be in the Louisville area between July 30th and August 4th, it may be worth checking out.

Thursday, June 7, 2018

1999 Topps, Jeff Fassero

#117 Jeff Fassero

Here is the second of three cards that Jeff Fassero signed for me at a Reds Spring Training game last year. Jeff is the pitching coach for the Reds AAA affiliate in Louisville and he was nice enough to stop and sign three cards for me before a game at Goodyear Ballpark. I posted the first card earlier this year and it can be seen here.

After having a career-year with the Expos in 1996, Montreal shipped Jeff to Seattle shortly after the season for almost nothing in return. Jeff had two solid seasons in his first two years in Seattle, hitting double-digit wins each year and helping the club to a playoff birth in 1997. He made one start in the Division Series that season and pitched eight inning of one run ball for the win.

Then, in 1999, his third season with the Mariners, Jeff's numbers took a gigantic plunge. Over a 139 innings, Jeff was 4-14 while posting a 7.38 ERA. He ended up back in the bullpen for the first time since his second year in the Majors. The M's ended up trading him to the Rangers for a player to be named later and that later named player never played an inning in the Major Leagues.

For his nearly three seasons with the M's, Jeff was 33-35 with a 4.62 ERA.

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

1999 Topps, Darryl Strawberry

#18 Darryl Strawberry

Here is the fourth and final card that I got signed by Darryl Strawberry when he was preaching in Wichita two years ago. There are four of us in the family and we all got one card signed. My wife and my then eight month old baby got extra cards signed for me. My oldest son got to pick out a card of Darryl for himself. This is the card he picked out and it is currently in my collection as he didn't really care for it. Had I known that before the event, I would have just picked out another Mets card of my choosing.

This was not the first time that had happened. I have a signed '84 Topps Ken Oberkfell in my collection that my kid abandoned.

I was hoping to post the picture that we all took with Darryl, but I am not even sure if we even have it anymore. It was on my wife's phone and that thing got wiped clean around that time. She is in bed now, but if she does happen to have it still, I will post in on here soon.

You can see my first three cards of Darryl here, here, and here.

The Super Regionals are set and there were a decent amount of upsets. No one has a chance of locking up all eight spots, but every one has a chance for points. Here are the teams that every one has a chance of getting in. They are all one seeds unless otherwise noted.

John- 2.Auburn, Stetson, Minnesota
Greg- Florida, Texas, 3.Cal St Fullerton, 2.Vanderbilt, UNC
Rod- 2.Tennessee Tech, Stetson, Oregon St
The Lost Collector- 2.South Carolina, Texas, 3.Cal St Fullerton, UNC
Kin- Florida, Texas Tech, Texas, UNC, Oregon St
Joey- Florida, UNC, Oregon St
Jeff- Florida, Texas Tech, 2.South Carolina, Oregon St
Wilson- Florida, Arkansas, UNC, Oregon St

Monday, June 4, 2018

1999 Fleer Sports Illustrated, Bob Feller

NN Bob Feller

Here is a card of Bob Feller that I won in a contest three years ago. Brian, from Play at the Plate, picked up some cards and happened to get a couple of autographed cards from Hall of Famers. All you had to do to win one of them was guess who he got. I threw Bob Feller out there and came home a winner.

I have actually posted an autograph from Bob Feller on here before. In 2009, I stopped at Van Meter, Iowa to visit the Bob Feller Museum. Back then, I had a lot more time on my hands and I actually did a write-up on the visit and my trip to the Metrodome. You can read about it and see the signed card of Bob that I bought there here.

I thought I had heard rumblings about the museum closing after Bob passed away in 2010. But, it looks like it is still up and running.

Bob pitched for the Indians for eighteen seasons. During that time, he went 266-162 with 21 saves. He was a 20 game winner six times and had a career high of 27 in 1940. In 1946, he struck out 346 batters and was the first pitcher to hit the 300 strikeout mark in over thirty years. He finished his career with 2581 Ks and was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1962.