Thursday, October 18, 2018

2005 Topps Total, Jason Repko

#299 Jason Repko

Here is a card that I got signed at a Wingnuts game in 2015. Jason was playing for the Sioux Falls Canaries at the time and was nice enough to stop and sign this lone card I have of him. What exactly he signed is unknown to me as this might be the worst looking autograph that I have ever posted on here. I have absolutely no clue what is going on with that signature.

Jason spent parts of seven seasons in the Major Leagues with the Dodgers, Twins, and Red Sox. Over that time he hit .224 with 16 home runs and 67 RBI. His best season was probably his rookie year with the Dodgers. Though he hit only .221, he played in a career-high 129 games and responded with 8 homers and 30 RBI.

Despite playing in 360 games for his career, this is the only card of Jason that Topps ever made. Besides this card, he has just a 2000 Bowman card and an Upper Deck card from each year from 2005-07. All of his cards picture him with the Dodgers.

Jason actually has two games of postseason experience, both in the Division Series. One was with the Dodgers in 2006 and the other was with the Twins in 2010. In both instances, he entered the games late as a pinch runner and failed to score.

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

2005 Topps Total, Troy Percival

#233 Troy Percival

Here is the second card of Troy Percival that I got signed at a Kansas State baseball game last year. I posted the first one back in April. You can see that card and read about the miserable conditions Troy and I endured here.

I, and I am assuming most people, associate Troy as an Angel. After all, he spent eleven seasons with that organization. During that time, he racked up a club record 316 saves while making four All Star teams and helping the club to its lone World Championship. But, that all ended after the 2004 season when the Angels let him leave via free agency.

He signed on with the Tigers for 2005 and it was not a good one for Troy. He recorded only 8 saves while posting a then career worst ERA of 5.76. The Tigers shut him down in mid-July and he missed the rest of the season. He then missed all of the 2006 season, as well.

Troy finished his time in Detroit with a 1-3 record and 20 strikeouts.

Troy is currently the head coach of the UC Riverside baseball team.

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

2005 Topps Total, Jack Wilson

#145 Jack Wilson

Here is the fourth card of Jack Wilson that I got signed at the Kansas Stars game last summer. While it isn't the last card of Jack that will be posted on here (I hope), it will be some time before I post another one since the next one in line is from 2011.

Jack spent parts of nine seasons with the Pirates from 2001-2009. Over that time, he hit .269 with 60 home runs and 389 RBI. In 2004, he was an All Star and won the Silver Slugger for National League shortstops.

In the last post about Jack, I talked about the new chapter of AAA baseball coming to Wichita. Since that time, the city has officially closed the books on the Wingnuts and they are no more. But, thanks to an auction and a farewell ceremony at Lawrence Dumont Stadium, I have acquired some neat memorabilia from the team and ballpark.

Two weeks ago, the Wingnuts held an auction and were getting rid of everything in the park that was not bolted down. Items varied from all the team store merchandise to grills and coolers to ladders to equipment to paper towel dispensers to office supplies to furniture used to furnish player apartments. There was quite an array of things to be bought. Here is a picture of the cool stuff that I came home with- a couple of section signs and a game-used batting helmet.

Then, three days ago, the city held a farewell ceremony for the park where fans could buy some of the seats. I had to work, but my wife, dad, and kids took a trip to Wichita and came home with four stadium seats.

Lawrence Dumont is going to be missed, but she had to go. The park was so out of date, fans couldn't even bring sunflower seeds in because they would clog up the drainage. While not having any minor league baseball nearby next summer is going to make for a long summer for me, it will be made up for when the Pacific Coast League comes to town the following year.

Friday, October 12, 2018

2005 Topps Total, Eli Marrero

#99 Eli Marrero

About ten years ago, I bought a box of 2005 Topps Total on Ebay. Because of that, I have a decent selection of cards from the set and it is a go-to whenever I need to find cards from someone that played in the mid-'00s. So here is the first in a long line of posts from this set that, knowing my posting routine, could very well last until Thanksgiving.

First up is this Eli Marrero card from his short tenure with the Royals. I got this card signed at the Reds minor league workout at Spring Training last year. Eli was the manager of the Reds Florida State League team in Daytona.

When I think of Eli Marrero, I think of a catcher with the Cardinals, not an outfielder with the Royals. Unfortunately, this was the only card of Eli that I could scrounge up before last year's Spring Training trip.

Eli played in the Majors for ten seasons with the Cardinals, Braves, Royals, Orioles, Rockies, and Mets. Over that time, he was a .243 hitter with 66 homers and 261 RBI. His best season was with the Cardinals in 2002. That year, he played in a 131 games and hit .262 with 18 home runs and 66 RBI.

I got to see Eli play in the big leagues on nine different occasions. Ironically, none of those were with the Royals. His tenure in Kansas City lasted just 32 games in 2005.

Thursday, October 11, 2018

2005 Topps, Andy LaRoche

#687 Andy LaRoche

Here is the first of several cards that I got signed by Andy LaRoche over the past three years. Andy played a partial season with the Wichita Wingnuts in 2015 and I got him on two or three occasions in Wichita. He then played for the Kansas Stars for the two years they were around and I got him once more that way. No matter how many cards you had of Andy to get signed, though, he was a strict two-per guy.

This was one of the last cards that I got signed by Andy during his tenure with the Wingnuts. At one point during that season, I had stopped by my dad's house to look for something and I found a blaster box full of cards from 2005 that I did not know I had. In it was this card and I was able to get it signed at a playoff game that fall.

Andy's tenure with the Dodgers lasted 62 games over two seasons. During that time, he hit just .217 with 3 home runs and 16 RBI. At the trade deadline in 2008, he was dealt to the Pirates in the three team trade that landed Manny Ramirez in Los Angeles.

On a curious note, the Royals signed Andy to a minor league deal this past season even though he had not played affiliated ball since 2014. He was assigned to AAA Omaha, but was on the disabled list the entire season. What makes it even more odd was that he was on the Louisville Stars roster to play in the Bluegrass World Series in August. Whether or not he appeared in any of those games, though, I do not know.

Monday, October 8, 2018

2005 Topps, Guillermo Quiroz

#329 Guillermo Quiroz

Here is the second card that I got signed by Guillermo Quiroz at a Sacramento Rivercats game in 2015. I posted the first card three months ago and that one can be seen here.

On the first card of him, it is a close-up photo of him in a blue jersey. Because of that, I decided to have him sign in black. It worked out great for that card, but not so much with this one. With the limited space and dark gray jersey, a blue Sharpie would have came out looking better.

Guillermo played in the Majors for parts of ten seasons with six different clubs- the Blue Jays, Mariners, Rangers, Orioles, Red Sox, and Giants. Yet, despite playing for so many teams, Guillermo did not get into very many ballgames. For his career, he played in 148 games. Over that time, he hit .199 with 3 home runs and 34 RBI. His biggest season was in 2008 with the Orioles. That year, he played in a career-high 56 games and he hit .187 with 2 home runs and 14 RBI.

One of these days, I would like to get this card finished. Right now, Gabe Gross is coaching at Auburn. I was hoping I would have been able to get it done at the College World Series this past summer, but Auburn got knocked out in the Super Regional. Maybe next year will be different.

Saturday, October 6, 2018

2005 Topps, Al Pedrique

#268 Al Pedrique

Here is a card that I got signed at a Spring Training game earlier this year. Al was the first base coach for the A's and they were the away team at the Angels Tempe Diablo Stadium. Prior to entering the park, my plan was to 'graph the Angels side and send my oldest boy over to grab some A's for me. Once I got inside, though, my plans changed. The Angles side was lined with people from dugout to foul pole while there wasn't a soul on the visiting side. So, I took the A's side and my kid took the day off and it worked out great. I think I got nearly twenty cards signed that day, along with a Marcus Semien batting glove.

Al managed in the Major Leagues for half a season. The Diamondbacks finished with a winning record in 2003, but they were a disaster come 2004. They started off the year 29-50 before Bob Brenly, the manager of their lone World Championship team, got the ax. Al took over and did just a bit worse than Bob did. He finished the year with a 22-61 record. The D-backs finished the year 51-111. So far, that is the only season that the D-Backs have lost 100 or more games.

Al was replaced with Bob Melvin the following year and has never been given another chance to manage a Major League team. But, he seemed to do alright in his first season as the A's first base coach as they grabbed a Wild Card spot this year.