Saturday, April 23, 2016

2007 Upper Deck Elements, Marcus Giles

#CCE-MG Marcus Giles

This is a card that I bought off of Check Out My Cards three years ago. I bought this card because I needed a signed card of Marcus Giles. The reason why I needed this card is because I once got an autograph from Marcus at a game. I am pretty sure I got it at a Rockies game in 2002 or '03. The one problem was that I got that autograph on a ball. So, I needed a signed card to rectify that problem and this was the cheapest one I could find at that time. This card set me back $2.74. Right now it is going for $8.24, but there are a few signed Giles cards on there going for less than two bucks.

When I was prepping for this post, I was a little surprised how short of a career Marcus had. He only played in the Majors for seven seasons. For some reason, I just figured that he was up there for a little longer than that.

Marcus played for the Braves for six of his seven seasons. He was their main second baseman for four seasons and he hit .285 for them with 72 home runs and 294 RBI. He then signed with the Padres for the 2007 season to play with his brother Brian and things just went south there. He hit a career-worst .229 with only 4 dingers and 39 RBI. The Padres released him after the season and, though he played in Spring Training games for two more years, he never played another Major or minor league game.

Marcus' best season was 2003 when he made the National League All Star team. That year, he had career highs in average (.316), home runs (21), doubles (49), and RBI (69).

While this is a neat card and I am glad that I got it cheap, it is a nasty-looking sticker autograph. If you look real closely, you can see some slight bubbling in the signature. And, of course, the sig disappears off of the sticker in a couple of spots.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

2007 Upper Deck, Bruce Chen

#976 Bruce Chen

After only a month and a half, I have finally finished my signed 2007 Upper Deck cards with this post. Why a set needs almost a thousands cards, I have no idea. But, because there are so many cards in this set, I have this beauty to show off. I am sure you are wondering what is so special about this card. Well, it is the only card that I know of that features Bruce Chen as a Ranger.

To date, I have posted cards of Bruce as a Brave, Phillie, Met, Astro, and Oriole. I know that he has a card as a Red and Expo, but I was never able to acquire one of those. But, I did have a few of these cards to get signed. In fact, I have an extra one if anybody needs one. Just let me know.

I got this card signed at a Royals game in 2010. I went to that game with a friend and I 'graphed the visiting team. I sent him over to get anything that he could from the Royals and he got two out of three cards signed by Bruce. Bruce was still signing by the time I made my way over there and I got him to sign this one for me.

Bruce pitched for the Rangers for all of five games and they were all relief appearances. In those games, he had no record and a 7.20 ERA over ten innings of work.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

2007 Upper Deck, Rob Bowen

#908 Rob Bowen

Unlike yesterday's card of a Padre, which was acquired in-person, this one is the more common variety around here. Yes, this is another installment of Padrographs. If you are not familiar with that term, it is a card that comes from Rod. Rod runs Padrographs and every now and then he will send some of his extras. And by some, I mean that he has easily given to me more than 200 signed Padre cards. He is an awesome dude and one that I had the pleasure of meeting up with last summer.

As for Rob Bowen, he played in the Major Leagues for parts of five seasons with the Twins, Padres, Cubs, and A's. He appeared in only 216 games and over half of those came with the Padres in 2006 and '07. He got into 94 games with them in '06 and had exactly 94 at-bats. He only started eight games that season, so he mainly joined the game as a pinch hitter or as a defensive substitution. That season, he hit .245 with 3 home runs and 13 RBI. One of those home runs was a pinch hit home run and another was a walk off.

For his career, Rob was a .209 hitter with 9 home runs and 43 RBI. He walked away from the game after the 2008 season at the age of 27.

Monday, April 18, 2016

2007 Upper Deck, Scott Linebrink

#902 Scott Linebrink

This is a card that I got signed by Scott Linebrink at a Royals game in 2009 while Scott was playing for the White Sox. Like most Royals games I am able to attend, it was a Sunday day game and there was no batting practice. So, I was relegated to trying to get pitchers. Scott was the lone player to sign for me that day and he only signed one of the three cards I had on hand. But, I did not come home empty handed.

Scott pitched in the big leagues for parts of twelve seasons with the Giants, Astros, Padres, Brewers, White Sox, and Braves. His best years were with the Padres from 2003-2007. He made over half of his appearances with them over that time and was 27-12 with 4 saves and a 2.73 ERA. That is pretty good considering that he was 42-31 with a 3.51 ERA for his career. If it was not for a man named Trevor, I am sure that he would have racked up more saves in San Diego.

His best season was probably the 2005 campaign. That year, he went 8-1 with 2 saves and a 1.83 ERA.

Friday, April 15, 2016

2007 Upper Deck, Kameron Loe

#890 Kameron Loe

Here is a card that I got signed at an Oklahoma City Redhawks game in 2008. Somehow, I was lucky to snag a couple of signatures from Kameron after the game as he was making his way from the bullpen to the dugout.

Kameron pitched for the Rangers for parts of five seasons as a starter and reliever. He was average, at best, for them, going 19-23 with a save and a 4.77 ERA. His best season with them came in 2005, his first full season in the Majors. That year, he got into 48 games, starting 8 of them. He posted a 9-6 record with a save and a 3.42 ERA.

After the 2008 season, Kameron went to Japan for part of a year and pitched for the Hawks. In 5 starts there, he went 0-4 with a 8.67 ERA. He came back stateside for 2010 and has played for the Brewers, Mariners, Cubs, and Braves since then. Last season, he pitched in the Atlantic League.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

2007 Upper Deck, Tony Graffanino

#793 Tony Graffanino

Here is the third and final card that Tony Graffanino signed for me before a Royals game in 2009. Tony was with the Indians at the time and he was nice enough to sign the cards during batting practice.

Speaking of batting practice at Kauffman Stadium, I do not think that fans will be able to get 'graphs there from here on out in the good spots. By good spots, I mean the home plate side of the dugout. I have not been to a game at The K yet this season, but I know that the Royals said they were going to put extra netting up that spanned from dugout to dugout. It is just another example of how it continues to get harder to 'graph that ballpark. The glory years of me 'graphing the parking lot in 2008 and '09 are long gone.

The previous two cards of Graffanino showed him with the Braves and Red Sox. Despite playing for them, the Brewers, Indians, Devil Rays, and White Sox, I mostly remember Tony from his time with the Royals. Despite that fact, I was unable to find a card of him as a Royal before heading to that game.

Tony finished his career in 2009 as a .265 hitter with 58 home runs and 302 RBI over parts of thirteen big league seasons.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

2007 Upper Deck, Yhency Brazoban

#768 Yhency Brazoban

Here is a card that I got signed at a Wingnuts game in 2014. Yhency was with the Grand Prairie AirHogs at the time. This is the second card of him that I have posted on here and the first one can be seen here.

When I posted that first card, I talked about Yhency's time with the Dodgers from 2004-08. In Spring Training in 2009, he got released by the Dodgers and ended up not pitching at all that summer. He came back in 2010 and saw time in the International League and the Mexican League. He then made even more stops in 2011 by playing in Japan, the Pacific Coast League, and the Majors with the Diamondbacks. He got into six games with them and posted no record with an ERA of 6.00 in six innings of work while walking four and striking out eight. That was the last time he would ever pitch in the Majors.

After that, it was back to Mexico in 2012 before not pitching in 2013. He came back to some independent leagues in 2014, but called it quits after 6.2 innings with two different clubs.

For his career, Yhency was 10-12 with 21 saves and a 4.76 ERA.