Wednesday, June 28, 2017

1985 Fleer, Danny Darwin

#U-32 Danny Darwin

Here is the second card of Danny Darwin that I have posted on here. The first one, his '81 Donruss, was posted almost seven years ago. That one was obtained through the mail. This one, and the next two, were signed at Spring Training this past March. Danny is the pitching coach for the Reds AA affiliate in Pensacola and he was nice enough to sign for me during minor league workouts the day I was there.

Danny only pitched for the Brewers for a season and a half. He went there in 1985 as a free agent and pitched there until being traded to the Astros in August of '86. Over that time, he was 14-26 with 2 saves and a 3.70 ERA.

I am not sure that I have had a seven year gap between posts of a player on here before. Seeing that number makes me realize that I have had this blog going for nearly ten years now. I started this in 2008 and I always post my cards in order by year. After posting all my cards from a year, I go back and post any cards from previous years that I got recently. The sad thing is that after almost ten years, I still have yet to post any cards that were made during the year I started this blog. By the time I get around to my cards from 2008, it is probably going to be 2018 and very few of those players are going to be relevant anymore.

Monday, June 26, 2017

1985 Fleer, Don Schulze

#454 Don Schulze

Here is the first of three cards that Don Schulze signed for me in 2015. Don was the pitching coach for the Nashville Sounds and he signed the cards for me before an Omaha Storm Chasers game.

Don pitched in the Majors for parts of six seasons with the Cubs, Indians, Mets, Yankees, and Padres. He was mainly a starter in the bigs and he compiled a 15-25 record with 5.47 ERA. He never won more than four games in a single season, but he did reach ten losses with the Indians in 1985.

I hate getting cards signed where the player is wearing a dark jersey. But, in this case, I was having a hard time fining three cards of Don. I was pretty happy with the first two I found and I ended up just settling on this one for lack of better options. It turns out that Don was in the '88 Topps set as a Met, and I never bothered to look for that card.

For a dark jersey card, though, the sig on this one actually came out looking fairly decent. It is not much of a signature, but there is not much that can be done about that.

Sunday, June 25, 2017

College World Series Contest Final Results

The College World Series is not over, but my contest is. With nobody picking LSU or Florida to win it all, there is no point dragging this thing on. Running away with the contest this year was Wilson! Great job! I do not think I have your address, so please email it to me at zman40 at hotmail dot com and I will get your prize out to you Thursday.

As for the prize, I have some bad news. The College World Series quit bringing in former star players to sign autographs at Fanfest. Those signed 8x10s were always my go-to prize for this contest. But, I did dig up an old Dennis Eckersly 8x10 that I still had an extra of. And I am throwing in an official CWS bobblehead stadium giveaway and a blaster of Topps Series 2.

Here are the final results. Total (phase 1, phase2)

B Man 9 (8,1)
Greg 4 (2, 2)
Lost Collector 8 (4, 4)
Rod 5 (1, 4)
NMC 9 (3, 6)
Joey 8 (5, 3)
Wilson 13 (5, 8)

Thanks again to all that participated. I hope to see each and everyone of you back next year!

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

College World Series Contest, Phase 2

In case you haven't noticed, I've been running a little contest here for the past two weeks that revolves around the College World Series. Seven people have already entered and have a tiny head start. But, it is not too late to get in on the action. There are plenty more points to be earned and no one is even close to locking this thing up yet. So here is all you have to do- fill out a College World Series bracket.

Keep in mind that this bracket is nothing like filling out a March Madness bracket. The reason for that is because of the loser's bracket. But, I am going to try to make this as simple as I can. Here is my homemade bracket. Click on it to hopefully see a bigger view.

Here is a how the bracket breaks down. There are two groups in the bracket- A and B. Each group has six games in it. All you have to do is guess who is going to win each of the games as they advance towards the championship round.

For instance, group A has Oregon St. and Cal St. Fullerton squaring off in game 1 and LSU and Florida St. going in game 2. Pick who is going to win each of those games and then those two teams will square off in game 3. The losers of games 1 and 2 will then square off in game 4. Then, the loser in game 3 plays the winner of game 4 in game 5.

At that point, there will be one team left in the group that is 2-0 (winner of game 3) and one that is 2-1 (winner of game 5). Those two teams play in game 6, which is an elimination game. If the 2-0 team loses, they play a game 7 and the winner advances to the championship. If the 2-0 team wins game 6, they go straight to the championship without game 7. BUT, for the sake of this bracket, I am going to count games 6 and 7 as one game. Just pick who you think is going to advance. It doesn't matter how they do it. I call it game 6/7.

After that, you should have a team advancing out of group A. Do the same for group B. Those two teams are your final teams. In the CWS, they play a best of three series for the championship. Pick who you think will win it all and if they will win it in two games or three. Then, for a tie breaker, guess how many runs will be scored in the championship series (the final two or three games).

It might be easier for you to fill it out on paper first. But to enter the contest, leave a comment looking something similar to this.

A6/7: LSU

B1: L'ville
B4: Florida
B5: L'ville
B6/7: TCU

TCU over LSU in two games
8 runs

For the sake of the tie breaker, DO NOT pick a number already chosen by someone else. Even if your teams do not make it to the finals, the tiebreaker will still apply to you in the event of a tie.

If you guess every game right, including how many games will be played in the finals, you can come out with 22 points.

The CWS begins at 3:00 PM, eastern, on Saturday, June 17. So, all entries must be in by that point. If you have any questions at all, feel free to email me at zman40 at hotmail dot com. Or, just ask in the comments.

To see the standing through this point, see the bottom of the previous post.

This thing is anybody's to win. Good luck!

1985 Blue Jays Fire Safety, Willie Aikens

#24 Willie Aikens

Here is another oddball that I was able to get signed at Royals Fanfest in 2014. This is a very blue set that was distributed by the Toronto Star and Midas. I cannot find any info about the set, but they are readily available from COMC, where I got this card. It is fun to note that the only positions listed on the cards are pitcher, catcher, infielder, and outfielder.

By the time this card came out, Willie Aikens Major League career was pretty much over. He only played in 12 games in 1985, hitting .200 with a double, a dinger, and 5 RBI. That home run that he hit was pretty memorable, though. It was of the pinch hit variety in the top of the ninth to tie the game. The Blue Jays went on to win in the tenth and Willie never played another game in the Major Leagues.

The College World Series field is set. Every team that is in was picked by at least one entrant. There were six number one seeds that advanced. There was one two seed and one three seed. Both the two and the three seeds were picked by BMan, who happens to be in the lead. Here are the standings heading into the Series.

B Man- 8 (2CSF, LSU, 3Texas A&M, TCU, pimped)
Greg Z- 2 (OSU, TCU)
Lost Collector- 4 (FSU, LSU, Louisville, Florida)
Rod- 1 (OSU)
NMC- 3 (FSU, TCU, pimped)
Joey- 5 (OSU, FSU, LSU, Louisville, Florida)
Wilson- 5 (OSU, LSU, Louisville, TCU, Florida)

The bracket portion of the contest will be up shortly. If you see any errors I might have made, let me know in the comments.

Sunday, June 11, 2017

1984 Topps, Jeff Russell

#270 Jeff Russell

Here is the last of the three cards that Tom, from The Angels In Order, sent me. The cards were in exchange for getting some cards signed for him at Royals Fanfest.

I had gotten three cards signed by Jeff in 2014 when the Grand Prairie AirHogs came to Wichita. Jeff was the pitching coach for the 'Hogs and I got him to sign cards for me as a Ranger, Red Sox, and Athletic. With the addition of this Reds card, I got a signed card of him with every team he played for except the Indians.

On the last card I posted of Willie Wilson, I guessed that the picture was taken at the All Star Game in 1983. This is another example where it is easy to tell when the picture was taken. In the background, you can see a blurry image of Willie McCovey's retired number in San Francisco.

Jeff only pitched once in San Fran in 1983 and it was on September 5th. He started that game for the Reds and pitched an eight inning complete game, losing 3-2. He had a no-hitter going into the eighth inning before giving up a lead-off double that was followed by a home run. A runner had scored earlier in the game by walking, moving to second on a sac bunt, third on a wild pitch, and scoring on a sac fly. Jeff finished with just the two hits allowed and five walks and five strikeouts.

Three teams have clinched their spots in Omaha. Texas A&M, Oregon State, and Louisville are all in. We will see who gets in today.

Friday, June 9, 2017

1984 Fleer, Willie Wilson

#364 Willie Wilson

Here is a card of Willie Wilson that I got signed at Kauffman Stadium in 2015. On Sunday home games, the Royals bring in alumni to sign in their Hall of Fame. Willie happened to be there on that particular afternoon.

I was just looking at this card and noticed that the photo was taken at Comiskey Park. As a fan of the '81D, I know Comiskey Park. Then I noticed that Willie was in the Royals home whites and wondered what was going on. Turns out that Comiskey hosted the 1983 All Star Game, so that has got to be where this photo was taken. It is not that often that I spot things like that on cardboard.

In that '83 All Star Game, Willie got one at-bat and he hit an RBI double off of Pascual Perez. That RBI put the American League up 11-3 en route to a 13-3 victory.

The '83 Mid-Summer Classic was the second and final All Star Game that Willie would attend.

The Super Regionals started today. Long Beach State, Texas A&M, and Louisville all won their match-ups and Oregon State is about to win theirs. That means that I am a week away from being in Omaha.