Wednesday, August 14, 2019

2008 Tristar Projections, Eric Duncan

#175 Eric Duncan

It was bound to happen. When you make a minor league set, you know going into it that not every player is going to make it to the Majors. Here is the first player from this set that I have posted that never made it.

Eric is pictured with the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees on this card and I actually got it signed at a SWB Yankees game. What are the odds of that? Well, to be exact, my buddy got it signed at the game. I was busy 'graphing the visiting Durham Bulls and he was nice enough to grab a few 'graphs for me from the Yankee side.

Eric was the Yankees first round pick in 2003. He was a top 100 prospect for a couple of seasons and got his first taste of AAA in 2006. Then he got stuck in AAA and was there through the 2009 season, which is when he signed this card. The Yankees released him after that season and he went on to play three more years of AA ball with three different organizations before calling it a career.

It is hard to tell in the scan, but this card is a reflective parallel.

The Yankees still have their AAA team in SWB, but they have ditched the Yankee name. They are now the Rail Riders.

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

2008 Tristar Projections, Jordan Brown

#170 Jordan Brown

Here is a card that I got signed at an Iowa Cubs game in 2011. Jordan was playing for the visiting Nashville Sounds at the time and was nice enough to sign three cards for me that day.

Jordan spent parts of two seasons in the Majors. He saw time with the Indians in 2010 and the Marlins in 2013. During those two seasons, he hit .225 with 7 RBI. Though he never hit a dinger at the Major League level, he did manage to swat 8 doubles and those made up a quarter of his hits. Jordan last played professionally in 2014.

For whatever reason, it seems like the Nashville Sounds are the minor league team that I have seen play the most, with the exception of Omaha. And I have never been to a game in Nashville. That will all change next year when the Baby Cakes move to Wichita. They should pass Omaha and Nashville unless the 'graphing their is just terrible. They are going to have netting from foul pole to foul pole, so who knows.

Speaking of Wichita baseball, they are slowly releasing seven finalists for the team name. The first one came out last week and it is the Wichita River Riders. While I do not hate the name, AAA baseball already has the Rail Riders and I don't think it needs another name that sounds so similar. To make matter worse, the River Riders have an awful logo that looks more like a logo for the River Festival than a professional sports franchise.

As for the Akron Aeros, whom Jordan is pictured with here, they are still the AA affiliate for the Indians. But, they changed their name and are now the Rubberducks. In case you didn't know that Rubberducks was one word, now you know.

Friday, August 9, 2019

2008 Tristar Projections, Matt Antonelli

#124 Matt Antonelli

Here is a card that I purchased when making a COMC order in 2012. For the longest time, I always felt like I needed to buy an autograph whenever I made a purchase on there. Because of that, I bought a lot of Bowman and Topps Pro Debut autos that I really didn't need. So, I have discontinued that practice. But, I will occasionally buy an auto with my purchase. Those, though, tend to be of guys I collect in some way, shape, or form. On the bright side, this card only set me back 95 cents. It's listed as $2.43 right now.

Matt had the privilege of playing 23 Major League games with the Padres in 2008. During that time, he hit just .193 with a homer and 3 RBI. His one dinger was a two-run shot off of Jason Hirsch at Coors Field.

Despite never making it back to the Major Leagues, Matt continued to play ball up into the 2013 season.

This card features Matt with the San Antonio Missions, who were the Padres AA team at the time. The Missions are still around and they got bumped up to AAA this season, though they still play in an AA ballpark. The Missions are now the Brewers top affiliate.

For some reason, Tristar did not list a position on cards for this set.

Thursday, August 8, 2019

2008 Tristar Projections, Duane Below

#62 Duane Below

First off, I fianlly made it back home after a little ballpark trip with the family. I have always wanted to take my dad to Wrigley Field and I finally had that chance last week. Chicago is about twelve hours away from here. So, with my three year old, I had to break the drive down in segments so we would all survive. Because of that, the five day trip took us to four ballparks. Besides Wrigley, we took in Busch Stadium, Bosse Field in Evansville, Indiana and Impact Field in Rosemont, Illinois. Personally, I had a blast. I am not too sure about my fourteen year old and wife, though. But, I am glad that they came along, nonetheless.

As far as this card, I got it signed at a Royals game in 2011. Duane was with the Tigers at the time and he signed two of these cards for me before the game started. I still have the other one he signed, so it is available to anybody that needs it.

Duane pitched in the Majors for parts of three seasons with the Tigers and Marlins. In that time, he pitched in 44 games (3 starts) and was 2-4 with a 4.27 ERA. He last pitched in the Majors in 2013 and has pitched in Korea and Japan since then. He is still playing now as he is working on stepping off of the rubber to throw to first in the Atlantic League.

Wednesday, July 31, 2019

2008 Topps Opening Day

#166 Brian Bannister
#205 Brandon Jones
#210 Josh Anderson

Brian Bannister- Man, does this card look good or what? Brian probably has the best looking signature from anyone that has played in the past ten years with the exception of Mariano Rivera. All three of these cards are signed in blue, but this one just stands out more because of that majestic signature. Brian signed this card for me at Royals Fanfest in 2010. When he was signing it, I told him what a good looking signature he had and he told me that he got it from his dad and that I should take a look at his dad's signature. So, I did that and Floyd has a nice sig, but not quite as nice as Brian's.

Brandon Jones- Brandon played in the American Association for three seasons, so I was able to get him a couple of times in Wichita. This one was signed there in 2012 while he was with the Kansas City T-Bones.

Josh Anderson- Josh signed for me at the final regular season series at the Metrodome while playing for the Royals. If I would have gotten the regular issue Topps card signed that looked like this, I would have had both of his 2008 Topps cards signed. But, I had to be a bit different and go the Opening Day route.

This set is way different that Opening Day sets are now. Anymore, they look just like the base set with two exception- the Opening Day logo and no foil. This set added foil instead of taking it away.

Tuesday, July 30, 2019

The Rest of 2008 Topps Heritage, Part II

#472 Manny Corpas
#479 Tony LaRussa
#532 Willie Bloomquist
#561 Mike Aviles
#628 Esteban German
#670 Joakim Soria
#672 Taylor Teagarden
#RP2 Mike Aviles

Manny Corpas- This is the second card that Manny signed for me at a Royals game in 2010 while he was still with the Rockies.

Tony LaRussa- I got this one signed through the mail in 2009. I sent him his '81 Donruss card to sign and threw this one in with it. I still need to get an A's card signed by him and maybe even a card from his playing days. In case you are wondering, it looks like Tony still signs through the mail. If you need his autograph, send it care of the Boston Red Sox.

Willie Bloomquist- Willie signed this card for me in Minneapolis when I went to the Twins final regular season series at the Metrodome. Willie was playing for the Royals at the time.

Mike Aviles- I got this card signed by the Royals parking lot in 2009. Before leaving for Kansas City that week, I went by my local card shop to see if he had this card. He did not, so he opened packs until he pulled this one for me.

Esteban German- Esteban signed this one for me at Royals Fanfest in 2009.

Taylor Teagarden- I got this one signed in Springdale, Arkansas in 2010 while Taylor was playing for the Frisco Rough Riders. He was nice enough to sign for me from the dugout after the game.

Mike Aviles- In case you couldn't tell by the super thin signature, this card was signed at the same time as the other Aviles card on here. It was a regular Sharpie, so I am not sure why it came out so thin. He must have just been grazing the surface of the card with it.

On a side note, I almost posted one of these cards of Mike Aviles as its own post. Then, after a quick search, I realized I posted his 2006 Bowman card way back in 2011. Yikes! It took me eight years to get from my 2006 cards to my 2008s.

Friday, July 26, 2019

The Rest of 2008 Topps Heritage, Part I

#7 Joey Gathright
#42 Jason Jennings
#96 Mark DeRosa
#123 Sam Fuld
#144 JR Towles
#152 Brian Bannister
#211 Mike Sweeney
#269 Horacio Ramirez
#417 Nate Robertson

Joey Gathright- I got this card signed by Joey by the Royals parking lot in 2008. Back then, he was signing just his initials. I got him five years later at an American Association game and he was signing his full last name at that point.

Jason Jennings- Speaking of the American Association, Jason did some time there in 2011. He signed this card for me at an Amarillo Sox game in 2011 while he was a member of the Grand Prairie AirHogs.

Mark DeRosa- I got this card signed at a Royals game in 2009. Mark was with the Indians at the time and he signed during batting practice.

Sam Fuld- Sam signed this card for me between games of a doubleheader in Des Moines, Iowa in 2009. He was playing for the Iowa Cubs.

JR Towles- JR signed this card for me after a Round Rock Express game in 2008.

Brian Bannister- I got this card signed at a Royals game in 2008.

Mike Sweeney- This card was given to me by Uncle Moe in 2009. I probably sent him some cards for his 2008 Topps set and he hooked me up with a few autos in return.

Horacio Ramirez- Horacio signed for me from the Royals parking lot after a game in 2008.

Nate Robertson- I got this card signed by Nate at a card show in Wichita in 2015.