Wednesday, November 15, 2017
#547 Tony Perezchica
Here is one of my most recent additions to my collection. Tony is the third base coach for the Diamondbacks and they finished off their regular season in Kansas City this year. I was able to make it up to two of those games and I got him to sign for me outside of the ballpark on the final day of the season. He made it be known to me that he was in a hurry for a meeting, but he still stopped and signed both of the cards I had of him.
Even though Tony only played in the bigs for four seasons and 69 games, he still had seven base cards printed of him between 1989 and 1992. I looked in my collection for every single one of those cards and I only had one. Luckily, I had this card of him and was able to get two cards signed.
Tony made his Major League debut with the Giants in 1988. He played in 34 games with them over three seasons and he hit .220 with no homers and 4 RBI.
Back in the day before the Diamondbacks came around, Phoenix hosted the Giants AAA team, the Firebirds.
Sunday, November 12, 2017
#148 Neil Allen
Here is the third and final card that Neil Allen signed for me in Kansas City this past season. Neil was the pitching coach for the Twins and he signed for me after stepping off the team bus outside of The K. You can see the first card I posted of him here and the second one here.
Even though the Twins captured the second Wild Card spot after finishing the year 85-77, Neil was let go by the club after the season was finished. He was replaced by Garvin Alston. That means that I will not be getting Neil to sign his '81 Donurss card next year when the Twins come to town. That is, if I actually had that card ('81D want list posted underneath blog header, hint, hint).
By the time this card came out, Neil's Major League career was over. He appeared in just three games with the Indians in 1989 and was 0-1 with an ERA of 15.00. With Nashville in 1990, he pitched in twelve games before calling it a career.
For his career, he was 58-70 with 75 saves and a 3.88 ERA.
Thursday, November 9, 2017
#75 Pete Rose, Jr.
Over the past two seasons, Pete Rose, Jr. has been the manager of the Wichita Wingnuts. Over those two seasons, his clubs won their division and advanced to the league championship, losing both times. The Wingnuts were 122-77 under Pete and they decided to not renew his contract for next season. That kind of seems like a Yankees, or Nationals, or Red Sox type of thing to do.
In the few Wingnut games I attended over the last two years, I only got Pete to sign for me once. That was at the first game I attended last year. I had one card of him in my collection and I bought this one and one other and he happily signed all three for me.
It is always an exciting time when the 'Nuts are in a managerial search. The next one will be the fourth one in eleven seasons. As an autograph collector, I always hope for someone with Major League experience that has plenty of cards out there. The last two managers had Major League experience, but only 25 games between the two of them.
This is an interesting card of Pete, Jr. He was drafted in 1988 and played his first pro season in '89. At two different stops that season, he hit .254 with 2 home runs and 33 RBI. I guess that Classic wanted him in the set just for the name, and quite possibly the batting stance. Another interesting thing about this card is that there is not a position listed for Pete. It looks like all the cards from the set might have been like that.
Tuesday, November 7, 2017
#178 Tom Martin
Over the last two summers, my 'graphing highlight each year was going to Wichita and seeing the Kansas Stars compete in the NBC World Series. The NBC World Series is supposed to be a tournament featuring some of the best summer college teams in the nation. While that used to be the case, the Northwoods and Cape Cod leagues do not send teams to it and that is where most of the premier college players play. So last year, Nate Robertson and Adam LaRoche decided to put a team of retired ballplayers together to compete in the tournament and the Kansas Stars were born.
The Stars were an instant hit and brought a new life to a tournament that wasn't what it once was. They brought the likes of Roger Clemens, Roy Halladay, Chipper Jones, Josh Beckett, and Tim Hudson to put the cleats back on and play for free and (maybe) sign some autographs. In their first year, the Stars sold out every game en route to a second place finish. This year, while not selling out every game, they went undefeated and romped every opponent they faced.
But, while most people went to Wichita to see these former Major Leaguers play, I went solely to try to get their autographs. All of the bigger names, I had seen play while they were in their prime. Instead, I was just looking forward to getting autographs from guys that played in The Show at a ballpark that hosts American Association games.
Over the two games I was able to attend, I came home with at least seventy signed cards. Most of the guys would sign more than one, so it is probably between twenty and twenty-five guys that I got signatures from. In retrospect, it was unreal. You cannot go to two Major League games and get seventy cards signed. It just isn't possible.
The worst part about it is that the Kansas Stars will not be participating in the NBC World Series next year. In an official press release, they blame it on the Kansas Star Casino, their sponsor, booking a convention during the Series next year and not having room for the players. That sounds like a load of crap to me. My guess is that people griped about these professional ball players whooping up on college kids and that not being what the tournament is about. But, that is pure speculation on my part. Either way, I am going to miss the opportunity to 'graph the Stars next summer.
I got this card signed by Tom at the game I attended this summer. In that game, I had the pleasure of watching Doc Halladay take the bump one last time. It was a masterful performance and one unlike any I had ever seen. Roy pitched four innings and struck out five batters. He only allowed one hit and he did not throw one single pitch that resembled a fastball. Every pitch was dipping and diving or moving right to left. The fastest speed to hit the radar gun was 79 MPH. Those poor kids from Everett had no chance against him.
Obviously, I was saddened to hear the news of his death today. He was a phenomenal pitcher.
Sunday, November 5, 2017
#756 Ozzie Canseco
It has been a month since I have posted a card on here of a player for the first time. A month ago, it was Don Mattingly. Here is Ozzie Canseco, the lesser of the Canseco brothers. The difference between Mattingly and Ozzie is that I only have one card signed by Donnie Baseball. Ozzie signed five cards for me over the two encounters I had with him.
This one was signed the first time I met him. It was at a Wingnuts game two years ago. The Nuts were hosting the Sioux Falls Canaries. When the season started, Roosevelt Brown was the Canaries hitting coach. I knew I was going to see them play, so I picked up a card of Roosevelt from COMC. When game time came around and I started rounding up cards for the game, I was pleasantly surprised to see that Roosevelt had been fired and Ozzie took his place. Even though Roosevelt had significantly more playing time in the Majors than Ozzie did, I actually had cards of Ozzie. Plus, he is a Canseco. And he was super nice, too.
Friday, November 3, 2017
#474 Randy Ready
Here is another card of Randy Ready that was given to me by Rod, from Padrographs. Like the last one I posted a month ago, this one was also slabbed by Historic Grading and Authentication. So, according to their services, this is an authentic signature from Randy Ready. Why someone felt the need to pay eight bucks to get this card authenticated is beyond me, but that is how much HG&A charges.
I got Randy to sign three cards for me in 2008 while he was the manager of the Portland Beavers. He held that position for a season and a half before being promoted to the Padres hitting coach during the 2009 season. He had that role through the 2011 season. But, with the Padres finishing the season last in the league for home runs and average, he was let go.
After coaching in the Rangers and Braves organization for a few years, Randy found himself working for the Marlins last season. He started as the manager of their Florida State League team, the Jupiter Hammerheads, before moving to the AA Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp this past season. The Shrimp made the playoffs this season after winning the second half, but were swept in the first round.
Thursday, November 2, 2017
#738 Darnell Coles
This is the second of three Darnell Coles cards I got signed at Spring Training and it is the last of the '89 Topps cards that I have to show. We would be heading into the '90s with the next post, but a new card company hit the market in 1989 and I have two cards from that set to show before advancing to the next decade.
This card is one of the fourteen cards my oldest boy got signed for me this past spring. At all the games we went to, the Brewers were the visiting team. So, I tasked my kid with 'graphing them for me and I would pay him a buck a signature. Darnell was the Brewers batting coach and he signed three for us before a game against the Reds at Goodyear Ballpark. I posted the first card three months ago and it can be seen here.
When this card came out, Darnell was on his second stint with the Mariners. He made his debut with them in 1983 and played in 102 games with them over three seasons. He was then dealt to the Tigers and then the Pirates before landing back in Seattle prior to the 1988 trade deadline.
Darnell was as hot as could be after his return to the M's. He got into 55 games over the final two months of the season and hit .292 with 10 home runs and 34 RBIs. Unfortunately, that hot finish would not sustain itself through the following season. In 1989, Darnell played in 146 games and hit .252 with 10 dingers and 59 RBI. It was the last season that he would play more than 100 games. He would be traded back to the Tigers during the 1990 season.