Thursday, April 2, 2020

2009 Tristar Projections, Daniel Hudson


#123 Daniel Hudson

Here is a card that I got signed at a Spring Training game in 2014. Daniel was with the Diamondbacks at the time and he stopped along the third base line to sign some 'graphs before getting to the dugout. He signed two out of three for me that day, including his 2012 Topps Heritage card.

Out of all the cards that I could have picked to blog about today, I picked this one for two reasons. The first is that it was in the album that I happened to grab to look for cards to scan. Once a came across this card, I knew I had to pick it because this is the lowest numbered card that I have got signed.

If you are unfamiliar with this 2009 Tristar product, this particular card happens to be a gold parallel. The difference is pretty subtle with just the two slivers of gold foil in the border. These parallels are numbered out of 25. To date, I have yet to get a lower numbered card signed. I have a Mike Moustakas card numbered to 10 and a Josh Hamilton printing plate that I thought I had decent chances of getting signed, but I was never able to get them done.

Josh finished out last season strong. After getting picked up by the Nationals in a deadline trade from the Blue Jays, he would go 3-0 with 6 saves and a 1.44 ERA to finish off the regular season. He then threw 9.2 innings of relief in the postseason, going 1-0 with 4 saves and 3.91 ERA en route to a World Series Championship.

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

1981 Donruss, Reggie Jackson


#228, 348, and 468 Reggie Jackson

I'm still alive and kicking! For whatever reason, I gave up on this blog. I guess a dozen years of blogging can do that to a person. But now, there really isn't a whole lot going one and I am stuck at home more than I would like. So, I figured I would dust this page off and randomly post some cards.

Here are my three most recent additions. With my Spring Training trip getting canceled and no sign of the season starting, I have had a hard time getting cards signed. Relief came on Monday when these three cards and Dave Winfield's 81D made it back from a private signing. The Jacksons were signed on the 3rd and I was starting to get a little worried about them. But they finally made it home and I could not be more happy with the results.

I have been officially working on this set for five or six years now and these new additions get me to 433 signed cards. Only 167 more to go! Reggie was one of the few guys in it with three cards and I am glad that I don't have to worry about him anymore.

Sorry about the crappy image. I normally scan my cards. But, I just posted these on Twitter the other day and figured I would save some time and work off of that photo.

Tuesday, December 17, 2019

1952 Topps, Carl Erskine


#250 Carl Erskine

For no apparent reason, I haven't posted a card on here for two weeks. It is Christmas time and my weekends off have been dealing with shopping and whatnot. Plus, we finally got our house a puppy last week. But, for whatever reason, I haven't felt like posting much lately, which is a shame because I have got a few '50s cards to show off and those are really hard to beat. So, I made time tonight to feature one last 1952 Topps card. This is now the sixth '52 that I have got signed and I got it through the mail two months ago. It took me a whole nine days to get back. If I am going to make it to nine signed cards from this set, I am going to have to purchase the remaining three signed cards.

This is only the second card of Carl that I have posted on here and it has been nearly eleven and a half years since I posted the first one. I originally posted a '55 Bowman of Carl way back in the first month of this blog. I got that card signed at a Brooklyn Cyclones game and it was a blast getting (at that point) my oldest signed card autographed in-person. Since then, I have added three more signed cards of him to my collection and even one to my son's, all through the mail. In fact, the next card that I have to post on here is one of Oisk.

In that first post many moons ago, I mentioned nothing of Carl's playing career. Back then, it was all about how I got the card signed. But, Oisk had great career, all spent with the Dodgers. He suited up for them for twelve seasons and got to call Brooklyn and Los Angeles home. He finished his career with a 122-78 record with 13 saves and a 4.00 ERA. He made one All Star team and pitched in five World Series, winning it all in 1955.

Wednesday, December 4, 2019

1952 Topps, Howie Judson


#169 Howie Judson

Here is another recent through the mail success of mine. I sent this card to Howie in September and I had it back two weeks later.

Howie pitched in the Majors for seven seasons with the White Sox and Redlegs. He both started and relieved, but spent the majority of his career coming out of the bullpen. Over his career, he went 17-37 with 14 saves and a 4.29 ERA. I didn't even realize they tracked saves in the '40s.

It is so odd to me to see the strikeout and walk numbers from guys that played in Howie's era. Just like Carl Sheib, Howie finished his career with more walks than strikeouts. He walked 319 batters while just striking out 204 over 615 innings of work. That is good for a about three K's per nine innings of work. Nowadays, a pitcher with that kind of K/9 wouldn't even sniff the Majors, especially as a reliever. It is crazy how the game changes.

I noticed that Howie and Eddie Robinson, who are both pictured with the Sox in this set, are rocking two different hats. According to Dressed to the Nines, this hat was last used in 1945. The hat Eddie is wearing was last used in 1950. I wonder how accurate that site is as Howie didn't make it to the Majors until 1948.

Tuesday, December 3, 2019

1952 Topps, Irv Noren


#40 Irv Noren

Next up in the '52 Topps procession is this beautiful looking horizontal card of Irv Noren. I sent this card, along with ten bucks, to Irv in October and I had it back two weeks later. Sadly, Irv passed away three weeks after I got the card back.

Irv played in the Majors for eleven seasons with the Senators, Yankees, A's, Cardinals, Cubs, and Dodgers. Over that time, he was a .275 hitter with 65 home runs and 453 RBI. His best season was probably his rookie campaign in Washington. That year, he hit .295 with career-highs in homers (14) and RBI (98). Despite those impressive numbers, Irv did not receive a single vote for Rookie of the Year. Four years later, with the Yankees, Irv would get his lone All Star team nomination in a season in which he finished with a .319 average, 14 homers, and 66 RBI.

Irv appeared in three World Series as a Yankee, all against the Dodgers. The Yanks triumphed in two of the three and Irv hit .148 in eleven World Series games. He was also a member of the Yankees 1956 championship team, but missed most of the season and the Series to injuries.

Irv played in three NBA games in 1946 with the Chicago American Gears.

Monday, November 25, 2019

1952 Topps, Eddie Robinson


#32 Eddie Robinson

A few months ago, I decided to start a new project. My leads on 1981 Donruss were drying up and I needed a new excuse to send out some TTMs. So, I came up with my Topps Prime Nine project. The goal of the project is to get nine cards from every Topps base set signed, starting with this one. I picked nine because there are nine slots in a sheet and all of these are going in their own album. It is like the history of Topps, but with autographs added.

With the exception of the early Topps sets, it was going to be an easy task to accomplish. But, I made one stipulation and that has proven to make the task much more difficult than I anticipated- a player can only appear in the album one time. So, while my log says that I have thirteen 1976 Topps cards signed, a few of those guys are Royals alums that I have many autographs from. Then I have to choose if I use that player for that set or if he is needed to fill up a page in another set. Because of that, some Royals greats are in my Prime Nine album in uniforms other than the Royals just so I can fill up a page. John Mayberry is a Blue Jay and Willie Wilson is a Cub. That isn't right, but that is the way it is for now.

Anyways, the Prime Nine album is why I got this card signed. Before I started it, I had just two 1952 Topps cards signed. I figured I had better start sending out some cards for this set because there are not too many guys from it still around. Eddie, for instance, turns ninety-nine in three weeks. I sent this card to him in September, along with ten bucks, and I had it back in eight days.

Eddie played in the Majors for parts of thirteen seasons with the Indians, Senators, White Sox, A's, Yankees, Tigers, and Orioles. He was a big first baseman that could really swing the stick. The .268 lifetime hitter had four straight seasons in the early '50s with 20 or more homers and three straight years of 100+ RBI. He made the All Star team in each of his 100 RBI campaigns as well as the 1949 season. Eddie's best year was with the Sox in 1951 when he hit .282 with 29 homers and 117 RBI. Besides the four All Star games, he also played in the World Series twice.

Follow me on Twitter to see all of the Prime Nine TTMs as they arrive in my mailbox. @zmills40

Sunday, November 24, 2019

1951 Topps, Wally Westlake


#27 Wally Westlake

Around the same time I decided that I needed a signed '51 Bowman for the collection, I also decided that I needed a signed '51 Topps. So, I found this card of Wally Westlake at a reasonable price and dropped it in the mail. The beautiful, small, squarish piece of cardboard made it back home one month later. Wally even included three signed postcards commemorating highlights of his career.

Wally played in the Majors for parts of ten seasons with the Pirates, Cardinals, Reds, Indians, Orioles, and Phillies. He came up with Pittsburgh in 1947 at the age of twenty-seven and would go five straight seasons of hitting double digit home runs, including a single season best of 24 with the 1950 squad. Over that time, he also had two 90+ RBI campaigns and topped out at 105 in 1949.

Then, in June of 1951, Wally got traded to the Cardinals. Despite making his first and only All Star team that season, that trade signaled the beginning of the end for Wally's career. In 1952, Wally got traded twice more and eventually ended up in Cleveland. He stuck around there for for two and half seasons, but only as a part time player. It was with the Indians in 1954 where Wally played in his lone World Series. He got into just two games and went 1-7.

In 1956, Wally played in five games for the Phillies and then called it a career. Like many young men of Wally's generation, he lost three years of playing time to the War. That obviously delayed his Major League debut, but he had a fine start just the same. Besides playing in an All Star game and a World Series, he also hit for the cycle twice and was the first white batter ever hit by a black pitcher. That last part felt really weird typing, but is a true statement.

As for 1951 Topps, the set was actually some type of game. It consists of just 52 cards, just like a card deck. You can tell on the top of this card that the card has some perforation to it, so I have no idea how these cards were distributed. But, I am willing to bet that they did not come with gum. That is just a guess, though.

Here are the postcards Wally sent me.


Wally passed away a little over two months ago.