Thursday, August 25, 2016

1963 Topps, Don Lock


#47 Don Lock

Here is a card that I got signed at a card show almost three years ago. Rock's Dugout, the oldest card shop in Kansas, hosts a bi-monthly card show by his shop in Wichita. Most of the vintage cards I get signed through the mail are bought at his show. Occasionally, Rock will bring in a local former athlete to sign and that is how I got this card signed.

I did not have a card of Don prior to the show, so I made sure to get there early enough to scrounge a few up from the dealers. I was lucky enough to find three that day and this one happens to be the third one that Don signed. He also signed a couple of 8x10s for us. As soon as he got done signing the first two cards and the 8x10s, the Sharpie Don was using crapped out on him. The signature on this card is the result from that crapped out Sharpie.

It's okay, though. This card still looks better than it did before it was signed. It just so happens that the other two cards he signed for me look a little better. Maybe if I can get myself in gear, I will post those two cards before the end of the year.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

1963 Fleer, Ray Herbert


#9 Ray Herbert

Here is the second card of Ray Herbert that I got signed through the mail. I posted the first card almost three months ago and it can be seen here. I sent that one out in 2014. This one was sent out in 2012. The first card I posted was sent out because it was a Kansas City A's card. This one was sent out because it was a card from a set that I did not have a signed card from, the fabled 1963 Fleer set.

I really do not know much about this set. I have known about it my entire collecting life thanks to Becketts in the late '80s. Until I picked up this card, I had never owned a card from the set. But, thanks to some research, I have found a couple of things about the set. It is limited to 66 cards because Topps sued Fleer and prevented the rest of the series from coming out. Also, Fleer put cherry flavored cookies in with the cards to separate themselves from Topps.

As for Ray, he pitched for the White Sox for just three and a half seasons. But, his best season came with them and it was a good one. It was his 1962 campaign, which is why he is even in this small set. That season, he made his lone All Star team and finished the season 20-9 with a 3.27 ERA and 115 strikeouts. In the All Star game, Ray pitched three innings of relief to pick up the win.

For his career, Ray pitched fourteen seasons with the Tigers, A's, White Sox, and Phillies. He had a 104-107 record with 15 saves and a 4.01 ERA.

Friday, August 12, 2016

1962 Topps, Joe Azcue


#417 Joe Azcue

It's that time again! It's time for another in-person autograph! It has only been four posts since the last in-person graph, but with all the TTMs dominating my posts, it seems like it has been an eternity.

I got this card signed at the same time as the last in-person auto. That was at the Royals annual Negro League game and I was lucky enough to have cards for three of the gentleman that were signing that day. Though Joe never played in the Negro Leagues, it was still cool that he was there to commemorate the event.

This is actually the second card of Joe that I have posted on here. I posted the first one six years ago after getting it signed at a Kansas City A's event that was hosted by the independent Kansas City T-Bones. That card can be seen here.

Joe played in the Majors for eleven seasons with the Reds, A's, Indians, Red Sox, Angels, and Brewers. Playing with those teams in the '60s and early '70s, he never played in a postseason game. But, he did make one All Star team as a member of the Indians in 1968. That season, he hit .280 with 4 home runs and 42 RBI. He got one at-bat in the mid-summer classic and he struck out against Tom Seaver.

This is a funky photo of Joe. The A's never wore pistripes, so it is obviously airbrushed. He played for the Reds in 1960, so maybe it is a Reds uniform he is wearing.

Thursday, August 11, 2016

1962 Topps, Russ Snyder


#64 Russ Snyder

Here is the second of two cards that Russ Snyder signed for me through the mail in 2014. I posted the first card last month and it can be seen here.

After just two seasons in Kansas City, Russ got traded to the Orioles and he went on to spend a majority of his career in Baltimore. He played there for seven seasons and did well as an Oriole, hitting .280 with 26 home runs and 189 RBI. His best season was with the O's in 1966. That year, he hit .306 with 3 home runs, 21 doubles, and career highs in runs (66) and RBI (41). Snyder's career year contributed to a spectacular run by the Orioles that culminated with a sweep of the Dodgers in the World Series. Russ was 1-6 with a run and an RBI in the series.

After the '67 season, Russ was traded to the White Sox. He played there for just one season before spending two seasons in Cleveland and then his final season in Milwaukee. For his career, Russ was a .271 hitter with 42 home runs and 319 RBI.

I believe that this is my oldest signed Orioles card.

Sunday, August 7, 2016

1961 Topps, Paul Foytack


#171 Paul Foytack

This is a card of Paul Foytack that I got signed through the mail in 2013. I sent this card to Paul mid-April and I had it back just eight days later.

Paul pitched in the Majors for eleven seasons. He spent the majority of the time with the Tigers before spending his final two seasons with the Angels. He spent time in the rotation and the bullpen, but got most of his appearances as a starter.

For his career, Paul was 86-87 with 7 saves and a 4.14 ERA. He had four straight seasons of 100+ strikeouts and six seasons with double-digit wins. Unfortunately, he also posted six straight double digit loss seasons. His best season was probably the 1956 season when he went 15-13 with a save, a 3.59 ERA, and a career high 186 strikeouts.

Last night, I went to Wichita to attend my very first NBC World Series game. It was a special event as Nate Robertson and Adam LaRoche put together a team of former Major League players to take on the college kids. I went, of course, just to get autographs and I did pretty well. With my dad's help, I came home with autographs from former All Stars Brandon Inge, Roy Oswalt, Brad Penny, Josh Beckett, and Tim Hudson.

I got there early and found the spot to be by the clubhouse. My dad and I were the only ones there for some time and were doing well. Then a couple more people came over and then a few more and a few more. At the peak, there might have been ten people over there getting autographs over or under a ten foot fence. At that point, security guards came out and erected a new plastic fence to keep us away from the big fence and prevent us from getting autographs. I was pretty bummed over it, but it was still a fun experience, overall.

The game didn't get started until about 10:30 PM, so we only stayed for four innings. But we got to see Tim Hudson throw three innings and Josh Beckett one. It took a while for the former big league hitters to get their bats going, but we did see JD Drew rip a RBI double in the first. The Kansas Stars, as they are called, went on to win 8-0, so they obviously got their bats going later on in the game.


Thursday, August 4, 2016

1961 Topps, Leo Posada


#39 Leo Posada

After one in-person signature, it is back to the good ol' TTMs. This one was signed by Leo Posada at the end of 2013. I sent it to him in November and I had it back just nine days later.

Leo had a short big league career. He spent just three seasons at that level, all with the A's. He made his debut in 1960 and got off to a good start. Over 10 games, he got 36 at-bats and had 13 hits, good for a .361 average. Out of those hits, he had a pair of triples and a home run.

The next season, he got into 110 games. That year, he batted .253 with 7 dingers and 53 RBI. That turned out to be his career year as he struggled mightily in 1962. That year, he got into just 29 games and he hit a measly .196 over 46 at-bats. The A's traded him to the Braves in August and they sent him down to AAA. Leo would go on to play professionally for seven more seasons, but would never make it back up to the Major Leagues.

I love the backdrop for this photo. You have palm trees on the left and wooden bleachers on the right. That is a classic Spring Training shot right there.

Friday, July 29, 2016

1961 Post, George Altman


#195 George Altman

Here is something that I have not posted on here in some time. This card was not signed through the mail. It is an honest-to-goodness in-person autograph!

I got this card signed at a Royals game earlier this year. It was their annual Negro League game where the team sports some retro Kansas City Monarchs uniforms. I had been to a few of those games in the past and at the last one I attended three years ago, I noticed that there was an autograph line with some former Negro League players. Since I knew I was going to the game this year, I just assumed that they would have the Negro League guys there again. So I googled who was on the list last year and was lucky enough to have three of the four gentlemen return this year.

George was on the list and I did not have any cards of him. Actually, I had one, but I had already gotten that one signed TTM in 2011. I posted it four years ago and it can be seen here. So, I needed to find a new card of George. Usually, when a player plays for multiple teams, I try to mix up the teams when I get a second card signed. George played for the Cardinals and Mets, but only had one card with each. Both of those have generic looking hatless photos. So, I instead went the oddball route and got my very first Post card signed.

The Post cards are odd in that they have everything on one side. The back side is blank. I assume that is because they were probably cut out of a cereal box. But, the photo, write-up, and stats all on one side is a unique look and I was more than happy to get one signed in-person. As usual, I was very pleased with the results.

George was a very nice individual. After he signed my card, he asked me what I thought of the Cubs this year. That question caught me completely off guard and I actually looked down to see if I was wearing any Cubs apparel. Why I would think that I would ever wear Cubs gear to a Royals game remains unclear. That just goes to show how bad he threw me off. I then figured that he asked that because I was one of the few people that actually brought a non-generic item for him to sign. I do wonder, though, if he would have asked me about the Mets had I brought his Mets card.