Tuesday, September 2, 2014
Check out this beauty. You will never believe how I got this card. One day, I got a random email inquiring about a 1996 Fleer Andres Galarraga autograph that I had posted. The person was collecting a signed set of '96 Fleer and was still needing the Big Cat. Since the card was just given to me, I didn't have any real attachment to it, so it was available. The person sent me a short list of cards that were available for trade and this one was on there. By that point, it was a no-brainer and I was all in on the deal.
I have nothing at all against Andres Galarraga, but he is no Bob Gibson.
Besides the awesome fact that I have a Bob Gibson autograph now, I know nothing about this set. I thought that there were just four cards in the set- Duke Snider, Jim Palmer, and Frank Robinson. But, when I do an image search, I keep finding other players like Jim Wynn, Bill Mazeroski, Al Oliver, Tug McGraw, and Sparky Lyle. There is so little information out there about this set that the best I could find was from Dodgers Blue Heaven. In a post about the Snider card, Ernest says that there was about 5,000 cards signed and they could be obtained by mailing in a proof of purchase and five bucks. What a deal. How did I miss this promotion?
Bob was an eight time All Star with two Cy Young Awards and an MVP. He was elected into the Hall of Fame in 1981.
I have seen two statues of Bob at ballparks. The first one was in St. Louis at Busch Stadium. He is one of the many mini statues there. This pic was from a game I attended in 2007.
The second statue is located outside of Werner Park, home of the Omaha Storm Chasers. Bob is an Omaha native and they honored him with a statue at the park. This picture was taken last year when we stopped by the park to get a Chasers team set before seeing them play in Des Moines the next day. I have no idea why it came out as bad as it did (the picture, not the statue).
Monday, September 1, 2014
#2083 Bob Baxter
#2086 Steve Hoeme
#2095 Rob Fitzpatrick
Last year, I got a package in the mail from Ryan of The Great Orioles Autograph Project. The package consisted of a few Royals cards and many autographs. Most of the autographs had an Orioles connection, but there were a few random ones as well. I would catagorise these as some of the randoms. The funny thing was that there are a few more Harrisburg Senators cards coming up. Even though Ryan is an O's fan, these Sens cards are from their days as an Expos farm team. I am pretty sure Harrisburg was Ryan's nearest team when he was growing up, so it is very likely that these cards were ones Ryan got signed in person in 1994. That is pretty cool.
None of the guys here made it to the Major Leagues. Baxter and Hoeme pitched some games in AAA, but Fitzpatrick never made it past the AA level. Baxter pitched in 97 AAA games and went 8-8 with 3 saves and a 4.90 ERA. Hoeme pitched in just 15 AAA games and he was 0-2 with 1 save and a 4.62 ERA. Fitzpatrick was a .234 hitter in 209 AA games.
Out of these three cards, the Steve Hoeme card is my favorite. Hoeme is a fellow Kansan and he played college baseball at the same school that I did, Pratt Community College. I did not realize this until I now when I looked up his stats on Baseball Reference.
Sunday, August 31, 2014
#U17 Rex Hudler
Here is the fifth and final card of Rex Hudler that I have to post. And by final, I mean that it is currently the last one. But, that will hopefully change at some point as I have a couple more that I want signed by him. I have got an Orioles Crown card that I need signed and then I need to obtain a Yankee and Phillie card of him to get signed. If I can make that happen, I will then have all of those to go along with a signed Expos, Cardinals, Swallows, and this Angels card. But, first I need a Yankees and Phillies card of him.
Rex played for the Angels for three seasons. Like the rest of his career, he was a utilityman. But, he saw most of the time at second base. Over those three seasons, he hit .293, his best average with any franchise. He also had 30 home runs, including a career high of 16 in 1996, his final season in Anaheim.
For some reason, I seem to have a lot of signed Angels cards. This is the sixtieth one that I have posted. That is the third most of any team, behind the Royals and the Padres.
It was a good month of posting for me. Somehow, I was able to post twenty-three cards. That is the most I have posted in a single month since early 2011. Hopefully I can keep that up.
Wingnuts game today! Hopefully I can bring home a dozen more signed cards for the collection.
Saturday, August 30, 2014
#527 Tim Wallach
Here is a card that I got signed by Tim Wallach earlier this summer. Tim is the bench coach for the Dodgers and I was able to get three cards signed by him when the Dodgers came to Kansas City.
On that day, there were a lot of people out 'graphing the parking lot, much more than I am used to. Very few players signed that day, but I got a few cards signed by some of the Dodger coaches. When Tim arrived in his cab, everyone gathered around to see who it was. Tim popped out and everyone faded away. Everyone except for me, of course. I recognized him from his picture on the Dodgers website and I asked him to sign. Once people saw him signing, a small group came over to get in on the action.
It is not too often that I am the one identifying opposing players outside of the ballpark. It is hard enough figuring out who is who during batting practice when most of them have jackets on hiding their name and number. It is even harder when they pull up in normal clothes in the parking lot. You don't know if it is an actual player or a trainer half of the time.
I had gotten Tim's autograph through the mail about twenty years ago and I posted that card in the first year of this blog. It is amazing how little his signature has changed over time.
Tim spent three and a half of his final four seasons playing with the Dodgers. During that time, he hit .251 with 48 home runs and 200 RBI.
Friday, August 29, 2014
#423 Ed Sprague
Here is one of the three cards that I got signed by Ed Sprague in 2012. Ed is the head baseball coach for the University of the Pacific in Stockton, California. I was able to get him when the Tigers came to Kansas to play Kansas State. I posted the first card of him shortly after getting it signed and you can read more about that day here. Here is the second card I posted.
Ed played in the Majors for eleven seasons. He spent a majority of the time with the Blue Jays, but he also played for the A's, Pirates, Padres, Red Sox, and Mariners. Ed was a .247 career hitter with 152 home runs and 558 RBI. His best season was with the Jays in 1996. That season, he hit 36 home runs with 35 doubles and 101 RBI, all season highs.
In 1999, Ed made the All Star team as a member of the Pirates. That season, he had 22 home runs (the second most of his career) with 81 RBI.
Next season will mark Ed's twelfth season at Pacific. It looks like he will be coaching his son, Jed, this season, too.
Thursday, August 28, 2014
#326 John Kruk
Here is the second card that John Kruk signed for me at the College World Series this summer. The first one can be seen here.
Most of the time, when I am trying to find cards for a signing, I will hit up checkoutmycards. I don't usually go there to buy cards. I mostly got there to look at the pretty pictures. Basically, I use the site to give me a general idea of where I need to look when starting my card hunt. While there are better sites available as a card database, I choose COMC for the large pictures. I go on there to see which cards look the best to get signed and then I start digging through my cards for the ones I like.
That is how I came to choose this card to get signed. I saw it on COMC and it looked familiar, so I figured I had it in my collection. Turns out I was right. I do not usually go out of my way to find checklists to get signed, but I could not pass this card up. And, I must say that I am extremely happy with the results.
Wednesday, August 27, 2014
#220 Doug Henry
Wow. Doug Henry is the bullpen coach for the Royals, and has been for a couple of years now, but I just now realized that he actually pitched for the Royals at one time. The bad part is that he didn't pitch for them in the '90s when I was too busy playing baseball to go to pro baseball games. He actually pitched for the Royals in 2001. I became a Royals fan in 2000 after my first year at Kansas State. Manhattan is less than two hours away from Kansas City, so I probably averaged at least a dozen games a year while going to school there. In 2001, I just happened to see Doug pitch in person eight times. He was 2-0 in those games with a 4.96 ERA in 16.1 innings of work. I thought I was pretty good with the Royals of my generation, but I apparently am not nearly as good as I thought I was.
Before coaching with the Royals, Doug was the pitching coach for their AAA team in Omaha. On a whim one day in 2012, I wanted to go to a ballgame and the closest one being played to me that day was in Oklahoma City. So, I made the four hour trek down there and watched the Storm Chasers whoop up on the Redhawks. It was a fun game as I had great seats and got to see my favorite team's top farm club pull out a victory. Plus, I got my then new girlfriend, now fiance, to get her first autographs for me. This was not one of the ones she got, though.
Doug has a simple, yet effective, autograph. While it is by no means readable, if you know who signed that signature, you can say "yeah, I can see that".