Thursday, August 21, 2014

1993 Select, Mariano Duncan

#151 Mariano Duncan

Here is a card that I got signed by Mariano Duncan this past Spring Training. Mariano is the batting coach for the Cubs A+ team in Daytona and he was nice enough to sign two cards for me after the Cubs minor leaguers worked out the day I was there.

Mariano played in the Major Leagues for twelve seasons with five clubs- the Dodgers, Reds, Phillies, Yankees, and Blue Jays. He mainly played up the middle, spending a tad bit more time at second than at short. He was a .267 career hitter that had 87 home runs and 491 RBI.

I am glad that Mariano signed a Phillies card for me as he had his best season as a Phillie (he signed two of the three cards I had). In 1993, his second season in Philadelphia, Mariano hit .282 with 11 home runs and a career-high 73 RBI. It might have been a little late, but he was rewarded for his good season with a trip to the All Star Game the following season. That was the only All Star team that he ever made, but at least he got to start it. He was 0-1 in the game with a ground out off of Jimmy Key.

Mariano was lucky enough to play in three World Series. He played in it in 1990 (Cincinnati), '93 (Philadelphia), and '96 (New York). He did really well in the '93 Series (10-29 with a triple and 2 RBI), but not so hot in the other two (3-33). Strangely, the two he hit poorly in were the two he won.

It has been a bit of a Phillies parade of late. Three out of the last six cards I have posted have been of one.

I like this card because it features two other predominant middle infielders from the '90s- Micky Morandidi and Jay Bell.

This card lists Mariano as playing second base and left field. Surprisingly, in 1992, he started more games in left than at second.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

1993 Pinnacle, Dave Magadan

#237 Dave Magadan

Here is a card that I got signed in Kansas City last summer. Dave is the batting coach for the Rangers and I was able to get him to sign one card outside of the ballpark before the last Royals game of the season.

Dave played in the Major Leagues for sixteen seasons. He saw time with the Mets, Marlins, Mariners, Astros, Cubs, A's, and Padres. He was a corner infielder throughout his career who saw a tad bit more time from the left side of the diamond. Dave was a .288 career hitter with 42 home runs and 495 RBI. He finished his career with a .390 OBP and had about 150 more walks than strikeouts.

His best season came with the Mets in 1990. That season, he had career-highs in average (.328), home runs (6), and RBI (72).

I had three cards of Dave that day, but he just signed this one. I would have preferred that he signed his '87 Topps Future Stars card, but beggars can't be choosers. This is still a good looking card that commemorates the inaugural Marlins team. Plus, it is the only card that I have signed from this set.

Monday, August 18, 2014

1993 Leaf, John Kruk

#366 John Kruk

There has been quite a few repeat players on here of late, but that is changing for the next few days. First up is the first of five John Kruk cards.

John was one of the signers at this year's College World Series Fanfest. I usually head up to the CWS on Saturday morning, but this year we decided to check out the Henry Doorly Zoo next to old Rosenblatt. Every year I have been to Omaha, I always said that I wanted to go to the zoo. Finally, after seven years, it actually happened. Since I had the family and my dad this year, I figured the zoo would be some good non-baseball entertainment for them. To make that happen, we went up there Friday morning. But, since I was in Omaha on Friday, I made sure we left the zoo in time to get to Fanfest to get autographs from Aaron Boone and John Kruk.

John signed at the AT&T booth on Friday and then made a surprise visit to the Buick booth on Saturday. Because of the two signings, I think I came home with five cards signed and a couple of 8x10s.

John's signing at the AT&T booth was probably the slowest moving line I had ever been in at that tent. Normally, that it not a positive thing, but with Krukker it was. It was slow moving because John would talk to every single person for as long as that person would stand there and talk back. It was pretty awesome. Most of the guys that are there are friendly, but nobody has come close to John Kruk's level. For instance, when my fiance and kid got up to him, he was asking how old he was and what position he played. He just went out of his way to make everybody feel welcome and that is not something done by many former athletes.

John Kruk is an awesome dude!

Sunday, August 17, 2014

1993 Fleer, Mike Gallego

#648 Mike Gallego

This is the third and final card that I got signed by the A's third base coach during Spring Training this year. The first two cards were both A's cards and you can see the first one here and the second one here.

Mike signed with the Yankees prior to the 1992 season. He played with them for three seasons. For two of the three seasons, he was either a part time player or was hurt. In 1993, though, he had one of his most productive seasons of his career. That season, he had career-highs in average (.278), RBI (54) and doubles (20). In his three seasons in the Bronx, Mike hit .262 with 19 home runs and 109 RBI.

After his time with the Yankees, Mike played one more year with Oakland before spending his final two seasons with the Cardinals. Mike finished his career a .239 hitter with 42 home runs and 282 RBI.

Friday, August 15, 2014

1993 Flair, Pete Incaviglia

#103 Pete Incaviglia

Here is the next card that Pete Incaviglia signed for me this summer. Pete is the manager of the Laredo Lemurs of the American Association and I was able to get him to sign three cards for me when his team visited Wichita earlier this season. I posted the first card about a month ago and it can be seen here. It will be a long time before the third card gets posted.

Pete played for the Phillies for three seasons. His best season came in his initial season there in 1993. That year, he hit a career-high .274 while clubbing 24 home runs and notching a career-best 89 RBI. Unfortunately, Pete hit a bit of a skid in the playoffs that fall. He was 2-12 with a solo home run in the NLCS. Then he went 1-7 in the World Series.

Pete has got his Lemurs playing some good baseball right now. They have won seven straight and are positioned atop the Wild Card right now. With a five game lead over St. Paul, the Wild Card is their's to lose.

This is Flair's inaugural set and it is a beauty. This is just the third card from the set that I have got signed and the first one that was not a Royal.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

1993 Bowman, Les Norman

#673 Les Norman

Here is a card that I got signed at Royals Fanfest this past winter. Les played for the Royals for parts of just two seasons, so it is kind of neat that he attends even though he spent just a little bit of time with the team. A little variety at Fanfest is always good and it is always nice to add a new autograph to the collection.

I thought that I didn't have any cards of Les, so I picked up a couple from COMC. Then, of course, a couple of months later, I was thumbing through some minor league cards and I came across a card of Les. Oh well. At least I have one for the nest time he is there.

Les was drafted by the Royals out of St. Francis (Illinois) in the twenty-fifth round of the 1991 draft. He signed that year and played in 30 low-A games, hitting .245. He was moved up to high-A the following season and did good enough to get a mid-season promotion to AA in Memphis. He then played in Memphis for another two seasons before getting bumped up to AAA at the end of the 1994 season.

Through three AA seasons, Les hit .278 with 33 home runs and 156 RBI.

In 1995, Les made his Major League debut. But, I still have one more card of him to post, so I had better save something for that card.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

1993 BBM, Rex Hudler

#327 Rex Hudler

This is just the second Japanese card that I have gotten signed. The first one had some Royal ties and it was obtained five years ago. This one was acquired this Spring Training.

My family went to Arizona for the second straight year to watch some spring ball. We of course hit up a Royals game and I decided to 'graph the Rangers side. But, to not miss out, I sent my fiance and kid to see what they could get on the Royals side. None of us were doing very good, but I noticed that Rex was out on the field doing a pregame show. I called my soon to be better half to let her know because I really wanted this card signed. She said that she would do what she could.

So, she kept an eye on Rex while watching out for any other Royals that came her way. While trying to flag down a player, Rex started to leave the field. At the last second, she noticed this, and sent our kid over to the dugout. He is just nine-years old, but he was able to get Rex to sign before heading up to the booth and Rex signed two cards for him/me.

Rex spent just one season in Japan and he did really well. He hit .300 while hitting 14 home runs and driving in 64. He did good enough there to get a job back in the states the following season.

This card is slightly smaller than a normal card. It it no where near mini-card small, but it is not quite full sized. The border on the card reminds me of some early '90s Pro Set football cards.