Sunday, December 4, 2016

1976 Topps, Toby Harrah


#412 Toby Harrah

Here is a card that was given to me a few years back by Ryan, from The Great Orioles Autograph Project. Most of the autographs Ryan has sent me over the years fit one of two categories. They are either extra Oriole autographs that he has or are extra cards that he got signed at Harrisburg Senators games when he was younger. I know Toby never played for the O's and I cannot find a connection with him to Harrisburg. So, the best I can come up with is that Ryan sent me this card just to rid himself of a fading ballpoint signature from a guy that never played for Baltimore. And I am completely fine with that.

When I think of Toby Harrah, I think back to the first set I ever collected, 1985 Topps. I was fascinated with Toby's stats on his card because the Senators were listed on the back. The only thing I knew about the Senators was that they were not around any more and I thought it was cool that I had a card of guy that once played for a team that no longer existed. Being six years old, I had know idea that they packed up and moved to Texas.

Toby had a seventeen year career an played with the Senators/Rangers, Indians, and Yankees. He was a .264 hitter with 195 home runs and 918 RBI. He had five 20+ home run seasons and made four All Star teams.

The signature on the card looks slightly better in person.

Friday, December 2, 2016

1976 SSPC Dennis Leonard


#164 Dennis Leonard

Here is the sixth card of Dennis Leonard that I have posted on here, but just the second SSPC card. Dennis is such a regular at Royals events that it feels like I should have a dozen cards signed by him. I only have eight, but I have a couple of unique odd balls signed by him. I am really looking forward to showing the next one and that is not something I usually say about the seventh card I have posted of a player.

As for SSPC, I went in to detail about the set when I posted the first card of Cookie Rojas in early 2103. Check out that post if you would like to know more about the set. Or, head over to Night Owl Cards and look for some posts he did on the set. There have been some good ones over there.

I got this card signed at a Royals game in 2015. Dennis was in the Royals Hall of Fame for the Sunday alumni autograph signing. This is one of the rare times that I wish the card was signed in black and not blue. But, for a blue on blue signature, it still stands out fairly well.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

1975 Topps Mini, Jerry Terrell


#654 Jerry Terrell

Here is another '75 Topps Mini that I was able to get signed this year. Actually, my dad got this one signed for me at Royals Fanfest. I was in line with my boy and his friend to get pictures with the championship trophy and my dad was just wandering around. He came back because he saw Jerry and Les Norman by the wiffleball field. So I gave him a couple of cards and he got one signed by each player.

Unfortunately, that was how the 'graphing was going at Fanfest following the World Series victory. The only current player I got that day was back-up catcher Drew Butera and I got that one by the whiffleball field, too. All of the autograph lines filled up super-quick and I did not want to stand in a line for three hours not knowing who was going to be signing there after the long wait. So I just grabbed who I could when I could. Besides Butera, it was all alumni. But, this was the first time that I had got Jerry and, since it was on a '75 mini, I was pretty happy about it.

I could not have done it without my dad, so props to him for helping me out.

After that experience with Fanfest, I am still undecided about heading back up there this year. Deep down I want to go as it might be the last time I see Eric Hosmer and I still do not have a card signed by Salvador Perez. But at the same time, I usually get really annoyed at the event because the Royals do not run the autograph lines as well as they should and I miss out on some people I should have been able to get. I still have time to decide, though.

Monday, November 28, 2016

1975 Topps Minis, Marty Pattin


#413 Marty Pattin

Here is the first '75 Topps Mini that I ever got signed. I have only known about this set for about eight years it is still something that I have never seen in-person, except for the three cards that I have bought. So, if I can find a good deal on them from COMC when I am buying cards that I think I can get signed, I cannot pass these up.

A couple of years ago, the Royals started having alumni come to their Sunday home games. That is pretty nice as Sundays are usually the games I go to. Autographs have been getting harder to obtain at the ballpark on Sundays, so it is good to know that I should be able to come home with at least one autograph as long as I have a large, varied selection of Royals alumni cards with me at every game. That is how I got this Marty Pattin card signed. I bought the card for Fanfest a few years back and was able to get it signed at a Sunday game in 2015.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

1975 Topps, Gene Lamont


#593 Gene Lamont

Here is something I haven't posted in some time- a recent addition to my collection. Most of the cards I have been posting have been waiting to make it on here for up to three years. Not this one. I got this card signed in Kansas City less than three months ago when the Tigers came to play the Royals. Gene is the Tigers bench coach and he was nice enough to sign two cards for me after hopping off of the bus at Kauffman Stadium.

Gene spent his entire Major League playing career with the Tigers. That career spanned five seasons, but he only got into 87 games over that span. He spent most of those summers playing for the Tigers AAA affiliate, with one summer playing for the Braves top minor league team. It seems that Gene was just the Tigers third catcher and they would call him up when they needed him.

Gene made his Major League debut in 1970 and did well in the 15 games he got into. He hit .295 with 3 doubles, a triple, a home run, and 4 RBI. That one home run he hit came in his first Major League at-bat. But, the following season, he would only get into 7 games with the Tigers. The year after that, he got into one game and did not even bat. He spent the '73 season playing for the Braves organization before rejoining the Tigers in '74.

That season, he got into a career-high 60 games. He .217 with 4 doubles, 3 home runs, and 8 RBI. He was back in AAA the following season, though, and got into just 4 big league games that year. He would play one more full season of AAA before calling it a career and joining the coaching ranks.

For his career, Gene hit .233 with 4 homers and 14 RBI.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

1975 Topps, Barry Foote


#229 Barry Foote

Here is the second card of Barry Foote that I got signed through the mail in 2013. I posted the first one, his '81 Donruss, not long after it made it back home. The two cards took Barry ten days to get back to me.

While this card is not the best card to get signed because of the dark background, it does have two things going for it. The first is that it is from the '75 Topps set and the second is that it has a Topps Rookie Cup. I am not sure when Topps switched from the trophy to the cup, but this has got to be my oldest signed card with the actual "cup" on it.

Barry earned that Rookie Cup that year by hitting .262 while driving in 60 and hitting 23 doubles and 11 home runs. On top of that, he lead the league in sac flies and assists by a catcher. Those 60 RBI and his .262 average would end up being career-highs for him.

Barry went on to play for eight more seasons after that with the Phillies, Cubs, and Yankees. After leaving Montreal during the '77 season, he was mostly relegated to back-up duty. The one exception was with the Cubs in '79. He played in 132 games for them that season and hit a career-high 16 home runs.

Barry finished his career a .230 hitter with 57 home runs.

Thursday, November 17, 2016

1972 Topps, Steve Kealey


#146 Steve Kealey

Here is the third and final card of Steve Kealey that I got signed at Rock's card show last year. You can see the first card of Steve that I posted here and the second one here.

Those first two cards showed Steve with the Angels. After three up and down seasons in California, the Angels shipped Steve to the White Sox just prior to the 1971 season. He would go on to play with the Sox for three seasons and get the bulk of his Major League time.

With the Sox, he pitched in 101 games and went 5-4 with 10 saves and a 4.50 ERA. In 1971, he had career highs in innings (77.1), strikeouts (50), and saves (6). Counting his time with the Angels, Steve had a career line of 8-5 with 11 saves and a 4.28 ERA.

The three cards I posted of Steve show a nice progression of eye-wear. His '69 Topps has him in sports goggles. He then swapped those out for some wire frame glasses on his '71. Then, when this card came out, Steve was either wearing contact lenses or forgoing glasses altogether.