Saturday, January 31, 2009

1992 Donruss, Brian McRae

#387 Brian McRae

Here is another Brian McRae card that I got signed at some point. I don't know when I got this card signed, but it was probably at a Royals Caravan event around 2000 or so.

I forgot to point this out earlier, but this Donruss set lists the outfielders actual position (left, right, center). You don't see too many cards that do this. I know that '90 Score did this, but I can't think of any others.

Tomorrow, I will be posting the coolest autograph that I have. Hopefully, I will also have a new scanner so that I can get a great scan of it.

Friday, January 30, 2009

1992 Donruss, Fred McGriff

#283 Fred McGriff

Here is another extremely cool Padrograph that Rod sent me. For me, this one is definitely in the top five out of all of the cards that he sent me. You can't beat the Crime Dog and his hat that sits high on his head.

McGriff is probably most famous for ending up 7 home runs shy of 500. I really thought that he was going to make it. In 2002, at the age of 38, Fred had a stellar year for the Cubs where he had 30 homers and 103 RBI. That was his sixth and final 100 RBI season for his 19-year career. But, his numbers fell dramatically the next season while with the Dodgers. He only had 13 homers and he average fell to .249, which was his lowest since his rookie season. The Dodgers let him go after the season and the Devil Rays signed him, hoping to add some excitement to their season as he closed in on 500. He started the season 9 home runs shy.

But, it wasn't meant to be. He only got into 27 games with the D-Rays and he hit only .181 with two homers. The Rays released him right before the trading deadline. He must have got hurt that year since he only played in 27 games throughout the first half of the season.

So, there he stands at 493, tied with Lou Gehrig.

I wrote to McGriff for some autographs back in November, but I still haven't received anything back.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

1992 Donruss, Jerald Clark

#144 Jerald Clark

Here is the latest Padrograph from Rod, Jerald Clark. Jerald played 7 seasons in the Majors, mostly with San Diego. In 1992, he played in 146 games with the Padres, hitting .242 with 12 home runs and 58 RBI. That off-season, he was the 7th overall pick by the Rockies in the expansion draft. He spent one season with the Rockies, playing in 140 games. He hit .282 with 13 dingers and 63 RBI. He became a free agent after that season and he went to Japan for a year. The next season, 1995, he was back in the U.S. and he got into 36 games with the Twins. That was his final season in the Major Leagues.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

1992 Donruss, Marquis Grissom

#137 Marquis Grissom

Here is another card that I got through the mail in the early '90s. Grissom played for the Expos franchise that was building momentum in the early '90s. Unfortunately, they got derailed by the strike and the team was never the same afterwards. If it wasn't for the strike, this team might have been still playing in Montreal.

Grissom had some really good years while with Montreal. He had 207 stolen bases in one three-year span. In 1993, he scored 104 runs and had 95 RBI. After his days with the Expos, he played for the Braves, Indians, Brewers, Dodgers, and Giants. He played in three straight World Series from '95-97, winning it in '95 with the Braves. He was with the Giants in 2003 when they went to the Series, but he did not play in it.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

1992 Donruss, Steve Avery

#81 Steve Avery

To be honest, I have no idea when when I got this card signed. I know that I got it signed through the mail in the early '90s, and it obviously wasn't before 1992. It was most likely '92 or '93, but that could be wrong.

Around 1993, this was a very good autograph to have. That season, Avery finished up with a 18-6 record to go along with a 2.94 ERA (that was his second 18 win season). He also finished with 223.1 innings pitched, which would be his last season with over 175 innings pitched. The next season, he finished with 151.2 innings pitched and the year after that, he was at 173.1 innings pitched. That was the last time that he finished over 150 innings pitched. It was downhill from there as arm injuries started to take its toll. After stints in Boston and Cincinnatti, as well as a comeback attempt with the Braves, again, Steve found himself jobless after the 2000 season.

In 2003, he tried to make a comeback with the Tigers. After 22 appearances in Toledo (only two of them were starts), he got the call to Detroit. After 19 appearances in relief in Detroit, he finished his last Major League season 2-0, with an 5.63 ERA.

Monday, January 26, 2009

1992 Donruss, Eric Karros

#16 Eric Karros

Here is yet another card that I got signed through the mail in the early '90s, probably 1992. Eric won the National League Rookie of the Year in 1992, so I was able to get both league's ROYs that year. Eric was the first of four consecutive ROYs for the Dodgers.

Eric had a good career that lasted 14 seasons. All but two of them were with the Dodgers. He hit over 30 home runs five times and had over 100 RBI five times as well. He now works for Fox and helps out with their pregame show on Saturdays.

Either this card or the previous one (Nilsson) was my very first Rated Rookie that I got signed. Eric has a good looking signature. I know that Night Owl will appreciate it.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

1990 Donruss, Dave Nilsson

#4 Dave Nilsson

What ever happened to Dave Nilsson?

I got this card signed through the mail in 1992 or 1993. This was one of my first Rated Rookie cards that I had got signed.

The reason I asked "what ever happened to Dave Nilsson" is because after looking at his career stats, it looks like he fell off the face of the Earth. His last season in the Majors was 1999. That year, he had career highs in home runs (21) and average (.309). Plus, that was the one year that he made the All-Star team. He apparently became a free agent after that season.

Well, according to Wikipedia, he quit playing professional ball so that he could play for Australia in the 2000 Olympics. He also helped Australia to a silver medal in the 2004 games and he played for their 2006 WBC team. It takes a lot of guts to quit playing in a league that pays extremely good money to represent your country in a week-long tournament. I wonder if he'll be playing in the WBC this year. He'll be 39 years old.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

1992 Classic/Best, Cliff Floyd

#380 Cliff Floyd

Here is another card that I got signed through the mail around 1994. I was just looking at Cliff's stats and I was a little disappointed in them. I guess that I was expecting bigger numbers from someone that has been around as long as he has. He has played 16 years in the big leagues, but he has only topped 30 homers twice, and he has only topped 20 homers five times. I guess that I was expecting a some bigger numbers there. Plus, he has only broken the 100 RBI plateau once.

To me, the coolest part about this card is the team, the Albany Polecats. How sweet of a name is that? Their logo is basically a skunk. They only played in Albany, Georgia for four years before packing up and moving to Maryland to become the Delmarva Shorebirds.

This is the last card of the '92 Classic/Best set. Tomorrow, I'll be moving on to some Dunruss cards.

Friday, January 23, 2009

1992 Classic/Best, Lance Painter

#313 Lance Painter

I got this card signed a few days before the Tim Garland card I posted yesterday. I was on my west coast trip at the time and I got this card signed at a Rancho Cucamonga Quakes game. Lance was the pitching coach for the visiting High Desert Mavericks.

I just checked his stats page and the only thing that really stood out to me is that Lance was born in England. I did not know that. This is probably the only card that I have signed by an Englishman.

What I love about this card is that the picture is taken at Lawrence-Dumont Stadium. That is the closest professional ballpark to me. According to a postcard that I received from the Wranglers in 2003, LD Stadium is the eighth oldest ballpark still being used in minor league baseball. It was built in 1934 and has hosted AA and AAA baseball (and probably lower levels) and even the 1949 College World Series. The most unique feature of LD Stadium is the turf infield/grass outfield. You can kind of see it in the card at the top, but here is a better view. Interestingly, Wrigley Wax did a little tidbit on the turf and grass years at old Comiskey Park just a couple of days ago.

After the 2007 season, the Wranglers moved to Springdale, Arkansas, where they became the Northwest Arkansas Naturals. In 2008, the Wichita Wingnuts of the American Association moved into LD Stadium and it is now the most annoying spot in America to watch a game. But, that is just my opinion. The 'Nuts drew better last year than the Wranglers did for years, so I must be in the minority.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

1992 Classic/Best, Tim Garland

#222 Tim Garland

Here is another player that never made it to the Majors. Unlike the previous two that I have shown who didn't make it, Tim Garland didn't even get close. His first pro season was 1989. By 1992, he was still playing A ball. I don't know if he wasn't very good or if he got hurt all the time, but he never played in more than 71 games in a season. After 1992, he was out of baseball until 1996. In 1996, he went back to A. In 1997, he stole 85 bases for the San Jose Giants. Then, in 1998, he had finally made it to AA. He was probably the oldest player in the league. He played in AA in 1999, too. After that, he was out of baseball again until 2003. Then he reemerged in the independent Atlantic League. 2004 was his last season playing, for now.

I got this card signed last summer in Lancaster, California. Tim was the hitting coach for the Stockton Ports.

Looking at his stats from the year before this card came out, I am surprised that he even got a card made of him at all.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

1992 Classic/Best, Phil Hiatt

#181 Phil Hiatt

I got this card signed through the mail, probably in 1993. This is the first baseball card that I ever had that was signed with a ballpoint pen and I hate it. I do not like ballpoint pen signatures unless it is on a ball. My Mark Fidrych card looks OK in ballpoint, but that is the one exception. You can barely even see this one.

Phil only played in 170 Major League games where he hit .216 with 13 home runs. But, he played in 1535 minor league games where he hit .270 with 334 homers. Phil is the definition of AAAA.

This is the second Memphis Chicks card that I have shown on here. When I was little, I thought that the Chicks had the girliest name in baseball. I didn't know at the time that Chicks was short for Chickasaws.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

1992 Classic/Best, Aaron Sele

#175 Aaron Sele

Here is another card that I got signed through the mail. This will be a recurring theme here throughout my 1992 cards. I got this one when Aaron was a young pitcher with the Red Sox. He never did much with the Sox, but in his first season with the Rangers, he won 19 games and made his first All-Star team. The next three years, he won 18, 17, and 15 games and made another All-Star team along the way. He has been to as many All-Star games as Carlos Delgado. After that, he never reached double digits in wins again.

Aaron even personalized this card to me. It says "Zach God Bless!" Here is another instance when the autograph that I have and the one that Baseball Almanac has do not look even remotely similar.

This card shows Aaron as a Lynchburg Red Sox. The team in Lynchburg today is the Hillcats and the are affiliated with the Pirates.

Monday, January 19, 2009

1992 Classic/Best, Carlos Delgado

#90 Carlos Delgado

I got this card signed through the mail around 1994. Luckily, I had my Canadian stamps. When I started getting back into autographs last year, I went through my autograph album and saw this card. I had completely forgot that Delgado came up as a catcher. Apperantly, he only caught in two games in the Majors. The Jays tried to move him to left field before he finally stuck at first base. That turned out to be a good move.

Delgado is 31 home runs away from 500. If he stays healthy, he may reach it this year. I was suprised that he was only an All-Star twice (2000 and 2003). He has hit over 35 homers seven times and has had over 100 RBI nine times. I would have thought that he would have been to more All-Star games as a Blue Jay.

I have no idea if Delgado still signs through the mail. It would suprise me more if he did than if he did not.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

1992 Bowman, Tim Scott

#454 Tim Scott

I am starting out 1992 with a Padrograph. I do not remember Tim Scott at all. But if I looked hard enough, I am sure that I could find a handfull of cards of him. He pitched in the big leagues for seven seasons, mostly with the Padres and Expos. He made 276 appearances and they were all in relief. He finished his Major League career with a 4.13 ERA.

This is the only '92 Bowman that I have signed. For some reason, Topps made Bowman one of there premium sets in 1992 and took them out of my price range. They were some good looking cards; I just do not have very many of them.

This is completely off-topic, but I could not resist. My dad has always said some strange things and some of them remind me of Yogi Berra's Yogi-isms. For instance, I mentioned to him how good a year Kurt Warner was having and how amazing it was since I thought that he was washed up years ago. My dad replied "yeah, guys like that will always come back sometimes". Classic!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

1986 Fleer, Steve Balboni

#1 Steve Balboni

This was the first through the mail success that I got this year. I sent the card out on Christmas Eve and I had it back in my mailbox on January 2nd. That might be some kind of record considering that there was two holidays and one Sunday in between those dates.

Steve Balboni has some sort of cult following in Kansas City. In 1985, he bashed 36 home runs. That is still the Royals single season mark for homers. But, the best part about him is his appearance. To me, Balboni makes John Kruk look like a ballplayer. One does not think of athlete when they look at Balboni. That is probably why he still has so much appeal. He's an everyman. He didn't make tons of contact with pitches, but when he did, watch out. I'm not going to go and look up stats, but his 181 home runs with only a .229 career average has to rank him somewhere interesting.

I got this card this past summer out of a cello pack, so it was mint when it left the house. On the way to Balboni's, it must have got hit with some wet weather. Now, all of the edges are faded. It is hard to tell in the scan, but you can definitely see the bottom edge.

It is kind of fitting that I am posting a Royals player since I attended Royals Fanfest today. Tomorrow, I am going to get to my 1992 autographed cards. Those should carry me over until early March. Then I will show the Fanfest cards after that. As for Fanfest, I did pretty well for myself today. Somehow, I got lucky and they weren't enforcing the one autograph per person very well today. I think that I came home with 51 signed cards. With these, my signed Royals cards should have taken over the lead from the Padrographs.

Also, if you haven't already noticed it, head over to Goose Joak and check out the first ever Mike Jacobs Royals card. A couple of weeks ago, he asked me if I had any Royals requests for him. So, I challenged Dave to come up with an airbrushed Jacobs card that showed him as a Royal. After seeing the result, I realized that "challenged" was not the right word. If it weren't for me getting everything ready for Fanfest at the last minute, I probably would have saw this last night and printed out a copy to take with me to get signed today. That is how good it is.

One last thing. I took a bunch of extra cards with me today in case some people needed some extras. As a result of that, I made my first in-person trade in over 15 years. I found this high school-aged kid that needed a Coco Crisp card since he only had two of the same card. I didn't have any Crisp doubles, but I gave him an '06 Topps for an '07 Topps. Later on, we were in a line that Kyle Farnsworth was signing in. He said that he didn't have any Farnsworths and I knew that I had an extra '08 Upper Deck one, so I gave it to him. The next time I saw him, he had his doubles binder out and told me to pick one. So, I grabbed an '08 Bowman Brian Bannister. After I had grabbed it, I looked at it and it has Luke Hochevar pictured on the front. This card is new to me. Was this ever corrected? Either way, it was fun trading in-person, even though we were both in a hurry. I was just glad to help the kid out.

Friday, January 16, 2009

1984 Topps, Ralph Houk

#381 Ralph Houk

I don't know what it is about me. But when I find addresses for guys that were before my time, I try to send them a card to sign. For instance, this Ralph Houk card here. I found his address on the internet and with the name of Ralph, he sounded like an old-timer. So, I looked up his stats and everything and figured that I should go ahead and write him. Luckily, I had this card of him. It took about a month to get the card back. That's not bad considering it was around the holidays.

The first thing that I noticed about him was that he was a Yankee manager. He took them to the Series the first three years that he managed and won it the first two years. He went on to manage about 17 more seasons, but his clubs never won another pennant.

I am currently reading Jim Bouton's "Ball Four" and there are many references to Houk in it since he was Bouton's manager while with the Yankees. I just started to read this about a week ago, so it was kind of neat to learn a lot about a guy that I had barely heard of.

I have an '86 Fleer card scheduled to be posted tomorrow and then it is on to 1992.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

1984 Topps, Charlie Hough

#118 Charlie Hough

Here is the second of the three Hough's that I got signed through the mail last month. For me, this one is more like it. When I think of Charlie Hough, I think of him as a Texas Ranger. I pulled this card out of a rack pack last summer.

Unlike the Dodgers, the Rangers used Hough as a starter. From 1982 to 1988, Hough won at least 14 games a year and pitched over 225 innings every time. In 1987, he racked up 18 wins and recorded an astounding 223 strike outs, which was almost 50 more than he had ever recorded in a single season. He also issued 124 walks that year. He gave up 238 hits that year, but since he pitched nearly 300 innings, his WHIP was only around 1.27. That doesn't sound too bad for a knuckleballer.

What is up with the yellow lettering on the card? I realize that they were using bold neon colors around the head shot, but yellow? The Royals cards on here had Royals in blue and the Phillies card on here had Phillies in red. I guess that Topps was not a Ranger fan that year.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

1977 Topps, Charlie Hough

#298 Charlie Hough

I got this card signed through the mail last month. Of course I didn't have this card, but I picked it up on ebay for a decent price. I sent him three cards and he signed all three.

I bought this card because I didn't have a card of him as a Dodger. He broke into the Majors with the Dodgers in 1970. He pitched there until the middle of 1980 when he was sold to the Rangers. With the Dodgers, he was mainly a relief pitcher, having made only 16 starts with them. It seems kind of strange to have a knuckleball pitcher used in relief since they have no idea where the ball was going to go. For most of his career, he averaged nearly a walk for every two innings pitched. I know that Jim Bouton and Tim Wakefield have been relief ptichers, but I wouldn't want a knuckleballer coming in with men on base. But, I am currently reading "Ball Four", so I may just be regurgitating what I have been reading.

Here is another great '70s Topps shot where the picture is askew. Either that or that fence in the background is going up a hill.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

1954 Topps, Bobby Shantz

#21 Bobby Shantz

I got this card signed in November through the mail. It just took me a little while to actually get the scan of it. I wrote to Bobby a few months before when I sent him a modern card. He sent it back real quick, so I decided to pick up a older card of him on ebay. This is the card that I ended up with, for about $4. I was trying to get a 1950 Bowman, but I didn't want to pay what they were going for. I found one that was in great shape on the front, but most of the back was missing because it was glued to a book. I thought that that might have been the way to go, since I only wanted it for the front anyway. But I quit watching after it got to around $7. I am more than happy with this card.

In Bobby's fourth season in the Major Leagues, he won 24 games, posted an 2.48 ERA, and had 152 strikeouts. Since the Cy Young Award hadn't been invented yet, he was named the 1952 AL MVP. He would never win more than 11 games in a season after that or strike out over 100. He must have had some arm problems because in '53, he only had 16 starts. In '54, he only had 2 appearances. After that, he was mostly used as a reliever. He went on to pitch through the 1964 season.

The original card that I sent him did not have the "1952 AL MVP" inscription on it. I asked him to put it on here and he obliged. I now have the signature of the '52 and '53 AL MVP on a card. I also have a card signed by an Athletic from Philadelphia, Kansas City, and Oakland.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Best Man

I mentioned that I was at my best friend's wedding on Saturday. For a little background, I was the best man for Dustin. He is the one that does all of my scans for me. We've been friends since the second grade and we have been on a baseball road trip nearly every year since 2001. Since our first trip, we have been to games in 32 different ballparks in three countires. So, we are both fans of the game. And for being his best man, this is the gift that I recieved.

How cool is that? All of the guys in the wedding got the ball with their own title and name in it. Next thing I know, Dustin is bringing over a big box to me. I jokingly asked if that was the bat to complete the set. It sure was.

Dustin got all of the guys to sign his Most Valuable Groom ball. I decided that I should get the bat signed after the wedding. So that signature on the right is the very first time that his lovely new wife, Becky, got to sign her new last name. This is truly a 1/1 item that I am happy to have in my collection. Thanks Dustin.

And if anyone is wondering where he found these items, he stummbled upon them on the internet.

1991 Upper Deck, Jim Presley

#791 Jim Presley

Here is a Padrograph from Rod. When I think of Jim Presley, I think of his 1987 Donruss Diamond King card. That card is the only reason why I know who he is. That was the first year that I collected Donruss and I was fascinated by the Diamond Kings. I even liked the Jose Canseco DK, even though I didn't think it really looked like him.

Presley had really good seasons in his first two full years in the Majors. In 1985, he had career highs in homers and average. In 1986, he knocked in over a hundred runs for the only time in his career. After that, it was all downhill and he would never hit higher than .247 in any other season and he finished his career as a .247 lifetime hitter. His final season came in 1991 when he played in 20 games with the Padres. Rod, I am curious how you obtained this card.

This is way off topic, but I was hoping that someone out there may be able to help me out. I was watching the '89 ALCS today on the MLB Network and I heard Bob Costas state something that I had never heard before. He said that the AL tallies attendence by the number of tickets sold and the NL goes by the numbers at the gate. Does anyone know if that is still true? I've been to many more AL games than NL. Last year I went to a Rangers game on a Thursday afternoon in September that was against the Mariners. The attendence was listed as nearly 12,000 and I was guessing that there may have been 5,000 people there. When I saw the actual figure, I just figured that I suck at guessing the attendence. Now I am not so sure.

This is the final card from 1991.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

1991 Upper Deck, Tom Glavine

#480 Tom Glavine

Sorry I didn't post yesterday. My best friend got married, so I was pretty busy. But, I got a sweet autographed bat out of the deal that I will post on here tomorrow night.

I got this card signed through the mail in the early '90s, just like the Molitor card. Luckily, this card was not signed with a green marker or it would have been as hard to see as Molitor's.

Glavine is the most recent pitcher to collect 300 wins. After Randy Johnson reaches that mark this season (hopefully), it might be a very long time until we see another 300 game winner.

As of right now, Glavine is still unsigned. I have heard that it's either going to be the Braves or retirement, but I don't know how factual that statement really is. I have also heard that he still signs through the mail. So if he comes back next year, you might have another chance to get a future Hall of Famer's signature.

Friday, January 9, 2009

1991 Upper Deck, Paul Molitor

#324 Paul Molitor

I got this card signed in the early '90s through the mail. It was probably when Paul was still in Milwaukee, but it could have been after he left for Toronto. This is about the worst card that I could have possibly sent to him. You can barely see the signature on it. He signed on top of the blue outfield wall with a blue sharpie. About the only thing that you can see is part of the P on the pant leg. If it would have been signed in black or up around his waist, it would have been perfect.

I don't know this for sure, but I have heard that Paul works for the Twins. If that is the case, I will send him a card to sign this season.

According to Wikipedia, Paul is one of four players that has 3000 hits, a .300 lifetime average, and 500 stolen bases. The other three players are Ty Cobb, Honus Wagner and Eddie Collins.

That is two Pauls in a row on here.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

1991 Ultra, Paul Faries

#302 Paul Faries

Paul played parts of four seasons with the Padres and Giants. He only made it into 96 games and he was a .201 hitter for his short career. He hung around and played AAA ball for four more seasons after he last appeared in the Majors.

If you click on the link above to head to Paul's Baseball Almanac page, you will see that they show a 1991 Fleer card of him. The picture on that card looks like it was taken at about the same time as this one.

This is the only 1991 Fleer Ultra card that I have signed. I don't have too many of these cards. They kind of remind of the early Leaf cards with the cheap silver foil-like stuff. But, looking back on them, they are a nice relief from all of the new millennium Ultra that they kept regurgitating year after year.

This is one of the cards that Rod from Padrographs sent me.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

1991 Topps, Lee Smith

#660 Lee Smith

This is the second card that Lee signed at the Willie Wilson Classic. I had three cards for him to sign, but he only signed two of them. You can see the other one he signed here and the one that I got signed through the mail in the '90s here.

This card shows Lee as a Cardinal. During his tenure in St. Louis, he recorded over 40 saves three times, including his career high of 47 in 1991. In about five days, we will find out if Lee made the Hall.

This is a pretty nice card. It shows him making the "T" that I'm always trying to get my little leaguers to do.

And the winners are...

I finally got done counting and tallying. Here are the final results. As of 12/31/08, I had 570 signed baseball cards. Of those 570, I got 415 of them in 2008.

So, here are the winners.

Contest 1
Actual number: 570
Closet guess: 590 from Brian of 30 Year Old Cardboard.

Contest 2
Actual number: 415
Closest guess: 372 from Dayf of Cardboard Junkie

So, you two can email me your addresses and I'll get all of those packs out to you (sorry Dayf, but I can't find your address). I'll be pretty busy for the rest of the week, so I probably won't get the packages out until sometime next week. Here is my email- zman40 at hotmail dot com.

As for the final numbers, I was kind of disappointed in the first number. I knew that I had gotten about 400 signed cards this year. So that means that I only had 155 signed cards at this time last year. I guess that number wasn't too bad since a majority of them were through the mail. But, I went all-out this year and it really helped to rekindle my interest in card collecting. All of the great blogs out there helped out, too. Of the 415 cards that I got this year, 124 were Padrographs that Rod sent me.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

1991 Topps, Brian McRae

#222 Brian McRae

This is the second, of four, McRae cards on here. This card has been in my collection for a long time, so I must have got it signed at a Royals Caravan while he was a player. That is just pure speculation, though. As I pointed out in the first McRae card, I do not know for sure how I got any of his cards signed. It's just pure guestimation on my part.

Rather than just end this post here, I'll get into this set a little bit. '91 Topps was the 40th anniversary of Topps. They apparently didn't think too much of their 1951 Red Backs or Blue Backs (which only had 52 cards in the set). Otherwise, 1990 would have been the 40th anniversary. That is probably a good thing since the 1952 set was their first true set and it featured 407 cards.

Anyways, when this set came out in 1991, I decided that I wanted to have at least one card from all 40 Topps sets. I was doing pretty well in this venture. Then one day my dog knocked a soda over while I was away. Right next to the glass was my album that had this collection at the end of it. As a result of that, my 1952 and 1953 cards have a nice Coke stain on them. How only these two got stained and not the rest is beyond me. At the time I was pissed at my dog. But it was completely my fault. I knew better than to leave the drink out when no one else was home. After getting my two oldest cards ruined, I gave up on my quest of getting one card from every Topps set.

There is only about twelve hours left to enter the contest. I might go to a hockey game tonight. If I do go, I'll post the results and winners tomorrow. If I don't go, I'll post the winners late tonight.

Monday, January 5, 2009

1991 Topps, John Olerud

#168 John Olerud

I got this card signed through the mail sometime in the early '90s while John was still with the Blue Jays. Back then, my dad had met a salesman at work that was from Canada. Dad talked him into bringing some stamps back for me the next time that he came to town. With those, I could write to Blue Jays and Expos, as well as Canadian hockey clubs, and use the Canadian stamp on the self-addressed stamped envelope. In this case with Olerud, I did just that. However, when the card came back (after the season was over), it was mailed from Washington. So I wasted a Canadian stamp.

I don't think that I really need to introduce John Olerud. But, I will point out one cool fact about him. He played his first minor league game in his 17th season of professional ball.

I also have a ball signed by him that I got at a game in KC while he was playing for the Mariners.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

1991 Topps, Dave Martinez

#24 Dave Martinez

This is the third and final Dave Martinez card that I got signed in Kansas City back in July. Dave was the the Rays bench coach last season. You can see the first two here and here.

That day wasn't a very good day for me, in terms of getting signatures. I only came home with nine signed cards- three from Dave here, three from Steve Henderson (hitting coach) and three from Tim Bogar (the quality assurance coach). I didn't get one autograph from a player. I could have gotten back-up catcher Shawn Riggans, but I didn't have a card of him. Matt Garza signed a few on the other side of the dugout, but I didn't want to lose the spot that I was in. Longoria signed for a couple of people, including the guy right next to me. But, he stopped after him and went into the clubhouse. And, the bullpen coach, Bobby Ramos, said that he would sign for me after batting practice, but he blew me off. So, it wasn't my best day at the ballpark, but it certainly wasn't my worst, either.

Dave played for sixteen seasons in the Major Leagues. During that time, he played for nine different teams. In 2000, he started off the season in Tampa Bay. He was traded in May to the Cubs for Mark Guthrie. Less than a month later, the Cubbies shipped him off to Texas for Brant Brown. Less than two months after that, the Rangers sent him to Toronto for Peter Munro in what must have been a waiver wire deal. For the year, he played in 132 games, but no more than 47 with one team. Those games were with the Blue Jays where he had a .311 average. That was the best stint that he had that year.

Also, there is only about 48 hours left to enter the contest.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

1991 Swell Baseball Greats, Al Rosen

#78 Al Rosen

I got this card signed through the mail a couple of weeks ago. I happened to find his address on the internet and this was the only card that I had of him. He returned it in less than two weeks.

To be honest, while his name sounded familiar, I knew nothing about him. It turns out that Al won the 1953 AL MVP. He hit .336, had 43 homers and knocked in 145 RBI for the Indians. That is a pretty good year. He missed the triple crown by one batting average point. He put up over 100 RBI from 1950 (his first full season in the Majors) to 1954. 1956 was his last year playing baseball. According to Wikipedia, he retired at the age of 32 because of back problems and leg injuries.

As for this card set, I don't know much about it either. I only have about ten cards from the set. I think that I might have bought a pack of them at a gas station in a small town around 1991. Some of the other cards that I have are Ernie Banks, Earl Weaver, Joe Garagiola and Doug Decinces. The highest numbered card is 94, so it must be a small set. The cards were copyrighted in 1990, but Beckett lists them as a 1991 set. Interestingly, this set is made by Impel, the same company that made the Line Drive minor league set.

According to Baseball Almanac, Rosen's nickname is the Hebrew Hammer.

If you haven't been on here in a couple of days, I have a contest going on. Scroll down a little ways to see what is up for grabs.

Friday, January 2, 2009

1991 Score, Robbie Beckett

#673 Robbie Beckett

To be honest, I don't remember Robbie Beckett. I had a bunch of cards from 1991, but I never had this one. This is another Padrograph that Rod sent me. He has already posted a Robbie Beckett card, so I'm not going to say anything else about him. If you want to know more about Robbie Beckett, you can check out Rod's post here.

This is the last card from the '91 Score set. Boy, do I have a swell card picked out for tomorrow. Also, I started a contest last night. There is still plenty of time to enter if you haven't already.


Time is running out. You have less than six hours to enter.

I'm starting off the new year with the first ever Autographed Cards contest. But first, here is what I'm giving away.

I'm actually having two contests at the same time. Here's the packs that I'm giving away. The left number goes to winner #1 and the right number goes to winner #2.
07 Topps 2- 4/4
03 UD First Pitch- 1/0
03 Topps Opening Day- 1/1
92 Baseball Inquirer- 1/0
90 Fleer 3/4
90 Donruss- 3/4
90 Score 1/1
89 Donruss 1/1
89 Topps 1 plus jumbo/2
88 Donruss 2/2
87 Topps 1/0

So, overall, I'm giving away 39 packs of cards- 20 packs to contest 1 winner and 19 packs to contest 2 winner (plus, I'll probably throw in a few autographed cards or some cards from your want list if you have one). All of these packs I got in repack boxes. Some of the older Donruss and '89 Topps look like they may have been re-wrapped. See the picture to see what I mean. The cards that look like individual cards are actually sections from rack packs. That is how I recieved them in the repack box. I know that these aren't the hottest cards that you could possibly win, but surely someone out there will enjoy them. Maybe you have a kid or nephew or something that would love some cards that are older than them. But, these are what they are, so you can do whatever you want with them.

I've been trying for a few weeks to think up a good way to do this. But, I couldn't think of anything cool, so I am just going to keep it simple. Basically, you have to guess a number. Whoever comes closest to the actual number wins that contest. Trust me, it is an actual number and not one that I am making up or changing to help someone win. So here it goes.

Contest 1- Guess how many autographed baseball cards I have signed as of 12/31/08. It is more than 300, but less than a 1000.

Contest 2- Guess how many autographed baseball cards that I obtained in 2008. It is more than 124, but less than 556.

Leave your guesses in the comments and please enter both contests. Only one guess per person. Just to make it fair, the contest 1 winner cannot win contest 2. This contest is open to everybody. I don't care if you read this everyday or if you are just here to win some free stuff. In the event of a tie, whoever is closer to the second answer will be the winner. Don't pick the same number that someone has picked. The second guess will be voided, but you can re-submit another answer for it. A tie will only occur if say one person is over by 20 and one is under by twenty. This contest will close 11:59 pm (central time) on January 6. Good luck to all! I need to get to counting.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

1991 Score, Derek Lilliquist

#571 Derek Lilliquist

Today's autograph is a Padrograph from Rod. Derek only pitched in 22 games with the Padres over two seasons. Interestingly, the Padres got Derek from the Braves when they sent Mark Grant to Atlanta. I showed a Mark Grant card on here last week. Anyway, after San Diego, Derek went on to Cleveland where he posted two very decent seasons in relief. It was all downhill from there. All in all, Derek pitched 8 seasons in the Majors and made 262 appearances. His career ERA was 4.13 and he had 17 saves.

Now, on to other things. I bought one pack of Upper Deck Documentary today just for the sake of buying something new and I got an autographed card in it. That's how I like to start off the new year. It's not a great player, but it's a good looking card and he has a nice signature. Now that I think about it, Rod sent me a card that was signed by this player.

Also, who's been checking out the MLB Network today? Is that sweet or what? The Don Larsen perfect game was pretty cool to watch. To commemorate Don Larson, here is a card signed by him. This was actually the first card that I posted on here. Don Larsen on the First day of Autographed Cards and on the first day of the MLB Network. To quote Mel Allen "How about that?".