Sunday, June 28, 2015

2007 Bowman, Gregory Porter

#BC112 Greg Porter

Here is the first of three cards signed by Greg Porter from his time in the American Association. All three cards are some sort of a 2007 Bowman. This one was signed at the Am-Ass All Star Game that was held in Wichita in 2010. Greg was playing for the Grand Prairie AirHogs at the time.

Greg Porter was a stud in the Am-Ass and was a joy to watch. He played for Wichita for a season and a half and he absolutely tore up the league with them in 2009. In 95 games, Greg hit .372 with 21 home runs and 86 RBI. He was the first big-time player the Nuts had and was a huge part in helping to build the team into the franchise that it is today. He won the batting title that seasons and was named the MVP of the league and Baseball America's Independent Player of the Year. It was quite a season.

But, being an independent league, the Nuts traded Greg to Grand Prairie during the offseason so Greg could be close to home.

Saturday, June 27, 2015

2007 Bowman, Desmond Jennings

#BP106 Desmond Jennings

Here is a card that I got signed at the 2009 Futures Game in St. Louis. At that point, this was the only card of Desmond that I could get my hands on to take with me.

Desmond made his Major League debut the next season when he was a September call-up for the Rays. He got the start on the first day of September and went 0-3 with a strikeout against the Blue Jays. He got his first hit ten days later and finished that first month hitting .190.

He started 2011 in AAA before getting the call in July. He got off to a blistering start for his second go-around in the Majors. After a 2 for 3 day for his first start, he went on to have multi-hit games game in five of his first six games that year. That sixth game was a 3 for 4 game where he had four RBI and hit his first Major League home run. He went on to finish the season hitting .259 with 10 home runs and 25 RBI in just 63 games.

He would be an everyday player for the Rays after that season and has put up consistent numbers every year. He usually hits about .250 with 10-14 home runs and about 50 RBI. He did knock in 64 runs in 2013, his best total to date.

Things took a turn for the worse this year, though, when Desmond was battling some knee soreness. He missed some games before being put on the disabled list in May. He tried to rehab the knee, but ended up having surgery on it earlier this month. As of right now, there is no timetable for his return.

Desmond was hitting .222 before the surgery.

Friday, June 26, 2015

2007 Bowman, Gabriel Medina

#BP87 Gabriel Medina

Now that the College World Series is over, it is back to my normal posting schedule. I am already looking forward to next year's contest, though.

Here is a card that I got signed at a Wichita Wingnuts game in 2010. Gabe was pitching for the Nuts that season and I was able to get a couple of these signed during the course of the year.

Gabe was drafted by the Yankees in 15th round of the 2006 draft out of Emporia State, a school just down the road from me. He played in the Yankees system for three seasons, never advancing above A ball. He finished his affiliated career with a 9-6 record with 2 saves and a 3.94 ERA.

After getting released by the Yankees, Gabe joined the Wingnuts and pitched for them for two seasons. With the Nuts, he went 13-12 with a 4.80 ERA. Gabe's final season was 2010.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

College World Series Contest Final Results

I have been meaning to post this for the past two days, so here it finally is. After counting and recounting to make sure everything is correct, it is time to announce the winner of the College World Series Contest. This year's winner is Superduperman99!

I know the CWS is still being played, but it doesn't matter. Nobody picked Virginia to even be in the finals. Three people picked Vanderbilt to be in and they all picked them to win in three games. This contest has been over since Saturday night, but I have just been too busy to tally and post.

It was a close finish this year. Greg Z had the best bracket with nine points heading into the finals. Unfortunately, he did not pick too well in phase one. Superduperman and B Man each had eight points heading into the finals. But, Superduper edged out Bman by picking two seed Arkansas to head to Omaha. That pick won it for him.

Superduperman- Email me your address to zman40 at hotmail dot com and I will get your prizes mailed out to you as soon as possible.

Thanks to all that entered. I hope to see you all back next year!

Saturday, June 20, 2015

College World Series Contest Prizes

Here is the majority of the prizes for this year's CWS Contest. The prizes consist of 8x10s signed by Dave Winfield, Curt Schilling, and Frank Thomas. I may also throw in a pack of Series 2 or Archives and there may be an added prize that I throw in a month later. But, that remains to be seen. Just expect these three photos and a pack of cards.

As for as the tourney, Vanderbilt is in the finals. Florida and Virginia are duking it out right now with Virginia with the late lead. If they hang on to win, this contest is already done. If Florida comes back, the contest will then be done. Three people picked Vandy in the finals and all three picked them to win it. Nobody picked Virginia or Florida to win. So, barring a tie, the contest will wrap up tonight. I haven't taken the time to tally points, so a tie is still a possibility. My family is taking me to Kansas City tomorrow for Father's Day. If I get back at a decent time, I will post the results. Otherwise, I will post them tomorrow.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

2007 Bowman, Will Venable

#BP84 Will Venable

Here is a card of Will Venable that I got signed in Salt Lake City in 2008. Will was playing AAA ball for the now defunct Portland Beavers at the time. He signed this lone card for me prior to the start of the game.

Will made his Major League debut a couple of months after signing this card and he has been a mainstay in the Padres outfield ever since. He has spent most of his time playing right field, but not this season. This year, he has predominantly played center with Will Myers hurt for much of the season.

Will is a career .252 hitter at this point in his career. His best season came in 2013 when he had career highs in average (.268), home runs (22), and RBI (53). Will was also a stolen base threat for a bit, swiping 20+ bags for four straight seasons. He seems to have tailed off on attempted steals over the past couple of seasons, though.

Will is currently hitting .258 with 5 home runs and 18 RBI. He is the son of former Major Leaguer Max Venable and he played his college ball at Princeton.

Speaking of college ball, Miami got eliminated yesterday. LSU and TCU square off again today with the loser going home. There will then be four teams left in Omaha- Vanderbilt, Florida, and Virginia. Nobody picked Virginia to make it to the finals.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

2007 Bowman, Neal Musser

#BP70 Neal Muuser

Here is a card that I got signed at Royals Fanfest in 2009. It is kind of strange that Neal was even at Fanfest that year. For starters, he only appeared in one Major League game the previous season. Then, about a month after Fanfest, Neal got released by the Royals really early on in Spring Training.

Unlike some of the guys that I have got to sign their 2007 Bowman cards, Neal did get a little bit of big league service time. He made his Major League debut with the Royals in 2007. That season, he got into 17 games and went 0-1 with a 4.38 ERA. He struck out 19 and walked 14. Neal then pitched one scoreless inning in 2008 and that was the extent of his Major League career.

After that season, he spent some time with the Astros AAA team and the independent Lancaster Barnstormers. He retired after the 2010 season.

I only saw Neal pitch one time with the Royals and it was not a good outing. In one inning of work, Neal gave up four runs on four hits to the A's. The Royals were already down 12-3 when they brought Neal in and then bad went to worse.

On the College World Series front, two team have been sent home. I hope nobody had Arkansas or Cal St. Fullerton making it to the finals.