Friday, October 18, 2019

The Rest of 2008 Upper Deck, Part I


#22 Lenny Dinardo
#36 Gregg Zaun
#146 Miguel Olivo
#162 Mike Bacsik
#185 Doug Brocail
#196 Chris Coste
#253 Kyle Davies
#336 Feilpe Paulino
#376 Brian Bannister

There are nothing but pitchers and catchers in this post.

Lenny Dinardo- Lenny signed this card for me before a game in Minneapolis in 2010 when he was with the Royals. It was at the final regular season series at the Metrodome.

Gregg Zaun- Lenny signed for me during batting practice at the K in 2009. He was with the Orioles at the time.

Miguel Olivo- I got this card signed by Miguel after a Royals game in 2008. He signed from the Royals parking lot.

Mike Bacsik- I got this card signed at a Wichita Wingnuts game in 2011. Mike was the starting pitcher for Ft. Worth that night and would not sign before the game. But, he came through afterwards, despite getting yanked in the first inning of the contest.

Doug Brocail- Doug signed this card for me at an Astros pre-season game at Minute Maid Park in 2009. Since it is dark picture, I thought that I would give the silver Sharpie a try. I did not like the results. Luckily, he was willing to go over it in blue for me.

Chris Coste- Last year, Chris got appointed to the coaching staff of the Fargo Moorehead Redhawks. So, I made sure to hit up a Wingnuts game while they were in town so I could get three cards signed. My two year old also got a card signed and he was thrilled as can be with it.

Kyle Davies- This is one of the many cards Kyle signed for me at the Royals parking lot in 2008.

Felipe Paulino- Felipe signed two cards for me at a Round Rock Express game in 2008. His unprepped '08 Topps card came out looking much better than this one.

Brian Bannister- Speaking of cards that came out looking bad, this one may take the cake. I am sure glad that I learned about prepping glossy cards at some point in 2009. This one was signed at a Royals game in 2008. He signed it after throwing 120 foot curveballs to Kyle Davies.

Thursday, October 17, 2019

2008 Upper Deck, Zach Duke


#UDJ-ZD Zach Duke

My name is Zach and, whenever I run into a Zach (or Zack or Zac) that plays ball, I like to get a card personalized to me. It may be a little weird and a bit creepy, but I call it my "To Zach, From Zach" collection. This is the first card that I have posted from this collection.

I got this card signed by Zach at a Royals game in 2015. He was playing for the White Sox at the time. It was a Sunday day game in early September and it was super hot. The 'graphing sucked as all I got was Duke. But, he did sign all three of my cards in addition to personalizing this one. Mike Sweeney was at the game for Sweeney bobbleheads. But, by the time I realized he was there and signing at the Hall of Fame, they had closed the line off.

To make matters worse, my wife was five months pregnant and battling a terrible migraine. The sun and heat weren't helping her out at all, so we left the game about the time it started. It was not the way I envisioned the day going, but I was not about to jeopardize my wife's and unborn son's health for a ballgame.

As for Zach Duke, he pitched for the Reds for half of the 2019 season before getting released in July after going 3-1 with a 5.01 ERA. It is quite possible that his career is over and, if it is, he lasted fifteen seasons and pitched for the Pirates, Diamondbacks, Nationals, Reds, Brewers, White Sox, Cardinals, Twins, and Mariners. He has a 69-91 record with 4 saves and a 4.31 ERA. In 2009, he represented the Pirates on the National League All Star roster.

Monday, October 14, 2019

2008 Upper Deck, Yasuhiko Yabuta


#729 Yasuhiko Yabuta

Anyone remember this guy? Yaz was the Royals first, and so far only, foray into bringing a Japanese player over to the States. It did not fare too well for the franchise or the player.

At the time, the Royals were under the helm of Trey Hillman, who himself had come over from managing in Japan. Trey had nothing but great things to say about Yaz and was surely instrumental in getting him for the Royals. But, Yaz struggled to find the strike zone in the Major Leagues and he struggled as a result.

In 2008, his first season in America, he appeared in 31 games for the Royals. He logged 37.2 innings of work and was 1-3 with a 4.78 ERA. While that ERA is on the high side, it was about par for the course for a Royals relief pitcher at the time. But, like I said, he struggled with the strike zone and walked 17 batters while only striking out 25. He did even worse in 2009 while only appearing in 12 games for the Royals. That year, though, he went 2-1 with a 13.50 ERA in 14 innings of work. His walk rate was a bit worse that time around as he walked 7 and struck out just 9 batters.

After that season, the Yaz Yabuta experiment was over and he went back to Japan. In 2011, he had his best season ever when he had a 1.75 ERA and 31 saves for the Chiba Lotte Marines.

Yaz signed two cards for me after a game in the Royals parking lot in 2008.

Sunday, October 13, 2019

2008 Upper Deck, Callix Crabbe


#706 Callix Crabbe

Back-to-back Padrographs! Ten years ago, that was a regular occurrence. Nowadays, they are few and far between. But in 2009, they were so common that I started to post two cards a day- one Padrogarph and one non-Padrograph. That was back in the day when not only did I have time to post daily, but I could bust out two a day. The times sure have changed. Anyways, here is the card of Callix Crabbe that Rod sent me way back when.

Callix was a Rule V pick of the Padres prior to the 2008 season. He made the team's roster out of Spring Training and got into 21 games with them. Unfortunately, those 21 games would be the only time that Callix would see the Major Leagues. During that time, he hit just .176 with a double and 2 RBI. On May 16th of that season, the Padres returned Callix back to the Brewers organization.

He would spend the rest of '08 in AAA before getting let go by the Brew Crew. He would play three more years of professional ball before hanging up the cleats.

Unlike many of the guys that I have posted that had rookie cards in this set, Callix actually got a Topps base card as well.

Wednesday, October 9, 2019

2008 Upper Deck, Scott Hairston


#633 Scott Hairston

Here is a card that was given to me by Rod, from Padrographs, many years ago. If I remember correctly, it was in his initial package he sent me that included over 125 signed Padre cards. That has been over ten years ago now. It is truly hard to believe that I have been at this blog for that long.

As for Scott, he had a long eleven year Major League career. During that time, he played with the Diamondbacks, Padres, A's, Mets, Cubs, and Nationals. He was a .242 career hitter that knocked 106 home runs and drove in 313 RBI. His best season was with the Mets in 2012. That year, he played in a career high 134 games and responded by batting .263 with 20 home runs and 57 RBI. Despite the long career, Scott never appeared in the postseason.

It looks like Rod and I were in the same boat in 2008 and getting glossy cards signed without prepping them first.

Tuesday, October 8, 2019

2008 Upper Deck, Bill White


#356 Bill White

Here is a card that I got signed by one of the four Bill White's to play Major League Baseball. This Bill White is the only one to play the game in this century and he signed it for me at a Rangers game in 2008.

Bill pitched in just 17 Major League games, all in relief with the Rangers. Over those 17 outings, he was 2-0 with a 9.45 ERA in 13.1 innings of work. He did well in his initial call-up in 2007. That season, he got into 9 games and pitched 9.1 innings. While he walked 7 batters, he did record 9 strikeouts while collecting his pair of wins and posting a 4.82 ERA for the season. But, the wheels fell off in 2008 when he walked 11 batters and gave up 9 earned runs in just 4 innings of work. 2008 was Bill's last season in affiliated ball.

I find it odd that Upper Deck did not use a picture of Bill as a Ranger on this card. He never played in the Majors with Washington and he logged big league action with Texas in 2007. They used a picture of him as a Ranger in their Artifacts set that year, but not this set.

This is another classic example of why you need to prep glossy cards.

Friday, October 4, 2019

2008 Upper Deck, Chris Seddon


#342 Chris Seddon

Here is a card that I got signed at a Round Rock Express game that I attended in 2008. Chris was playing for the visiting Albuquerque Isotopes at the time. I did not catch him pre-game, but he was pointed out to me later as he was charting pitches in the stands. You never know how a player is going to be while he is charting pitches, but Chris was nice enough to sign this one card for me.

Chris played in the Majors in parts of three seasons that were spread out over five years, seeing time with the Marlins and Indians. Over that span, he appeared in 38 games and was 2-3 with a 5.47 ERA. His best season was with the Tribe in 2012 when he racked up a career best 34.1 innings and a 3.67 ERA.

After his stint in Cleveland, Chris took to the international circuit and played one year in Japan and three in Korea before calling it a career after the 2016 season. He coached in the Angels organization in 2018, but I could not find any info on him for this past season.

I wish I would have prepped this card and then used a blue Sharpie. Luckily, his great looking signature helped to make up for my short-comings. It almost seems that his sig was made to sign horizontal cards.