Saturday, February 28, 2009

1992 Ultra, Roberto Alomar

#143 Roberto Alomar

I got this card signed through the mail while Roberto was with the Blue Jays. This is the first Roberto Alomar card that I got signed. Rod, from Padrographs, gave me another one that I posted in December. You can see that one here. I posted that card on the 19th of December. It's a 1991 Fleer card. Today is the last day of February and I haven't even finished up my 1992s yet. But, I should be done with those in by Tuesday. Then I'll be showing some older cards that I got signed at Royals Fanfest and ones that I have received through the mail.

I'm glad that Rod gave me that other Alomar card. The signature on this one is hard to see (it actually looks better in the scan) as it is signed over the dark dugout. Any more, I try to avoid getting cards with dark areas on them signed, if at all possible. Sometimes, they are the only card I have. But, back then, I didn't really care what card I sent as long as I had doubles.

Friday, February 27, 2009

1992 Ultra, Juan Gonzalez

#132 Juan Gonzalez

I bought this card signed at a card show around 1993 or so. This is the only signed baseball card that I have ever bought. I guess that any more, I just don't trust people enough to know if it is an authentic autograph or not. I have a signed 8x10 photo of Mike Piazza and a signed ball from Mark McGwire and both of those are fakes. So, any more, I try to get my autographs in person and occasionally through the mail.

I paid $5 for this card. I'm pretty sure that I bought it since Juan didn't sign the card I sent him. It looks similar to the card on Baseball Almanac and a ball that I got signed at a Royals game in 2001.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

1992 Triple Play, Bobby Bonilla

#GS-1 Bobby Bonilla

I got this card signed through the mail this past November. I sent Bobby two cards to sign. You can see the other card that he signed here.

These Triple Play cards were made by Donruss and you can't have a Donruss product without a Diamond King-like insert set. That is what the Gallery of Stars is. The pictures were even painted by Dick Perez, so you know they are the real deal. I bought a box of this stuff and got four GoS cards- Danny Tartabull (Yankees), Jack Morris (Blue Jays), and Frank Viola (Red Sox). I don't know about any of you, but when I think of those players, I don't picture them with the teams that they are representing on those cards.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

1992 Triple Play, Royce Clayton

#123 Royce Clayton

Here's another card that I got signed through the mail in the '90s. I swear, once I get done with these 1992 cards, the "through the mail, early '90s" posts will start to thin out. So, just bear with me for another week or so.

Royce had an amazingly long career. It's hard to believe that he lasted as long as he did. He played Major League ball for 17 seasons. 2007 was his last year. I don't remember him retiring after the season, so maybe nobody decided to sign him and forced him into retirement. It seems like that is happening more and more each year. I wonder if he played any indy ball last year.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

1992 Triple Play, Travis Fryman

#86 Travis Fryman

Here is another through the mail success from the early '90s. Travis quietly had a very productive career. He mainly played on a crappy Tigers team and an Indians team at the end of its run. But during that time, he had three 100 RBI seasons, seven seasons of 20 or more home runs, and was a five time All Star. He even had one Gold Glove and one Silver Slugger. Last year, he was the manager of the Mahoning Valley Scrappers, a New York-Penn League affiliate of the Indians.

1992 was the first year of Donruss' Triple Play brand. It was a cheap set compared to the regular Donruss. It wasn't glossy at all. It would have been a good bunch of cards to get signed. For some reason, I only have a couple cards signed from this set and I bought a box of this stuff. But, I guess I bought boxes of many of the 1992 cards, so that might be a reason.

It is very odd how Travis signed the side of the card like he did. Also, I love the picture with the beltless pants.

Monday, February 23, 2009

1992 Topps, Benji Gil

#534 Benji Gil

I got this card signed through the mail in either 1993 or 1995. Luckily Benji had more common sense than I did and he signed on the edge of the card rather than on his shirt. Otherwise, it would have looked very similar to the Paul Molitor signature that I have.

Benji only played in the Majors for eight years, split between the Texas Rangers and Anaheim Angles. He was basically a light hitting infielder that wasn't very adept with the glove, either. That's not a good combination. After hitting .192 for the Angels in 2003, he was released. He played in the minors for a couple more years before hanging it up. He was, however, an .800 career hitter in the World Series (4-5).

This is not the best looking draft pick card that Topps ever made. Most of the draft pick cards in the set showed the player with their amateur team. I have no idea why this card is different.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

1992 Topps, Jim Eisenreich

#469 Jim Eisenreich

I got this card signed at Royals Fanfest last month. I had three cards and Jim signed all three of them for me.

Jim started his career in 1982 with the Twins. He was hitting pretty good, but was having problems with hyperventilating and a nervous twitch. After 34 games in the Majors, he was placed on the DL with a nervous disorder. He came back in '83 as the Twins Opening Day centerfielder. But, he quit after two games. He was back in 1984, but he soon headed to the DL again. After just twelve games played that year, he retired.

Three years later, he was diagnosed with Tourette's Syndrome. With proper medication, his condition improved and he decided to give baseball another try. He was picked up on waivers by the Royals and, after a brief stint in Memphis, was back in the Major Leagues. He struggled his first two seasons in Kansas City. But in his third season, he lead the team in hitting (.293), doubles (33), triples (7), and steals (27). He won Royals Player of the Year for his effort. He played three more season in Kansas City before the Royals let him become a free agent. He spent seven more seasons in the Majors playing for the Phillies, Marlins, and Dodgers. He played in the 1993 and 1997 World Series.

His signature on this card looks a lot different than the one on Baseball Almanac. He seems to be shortening his signature as time goes by. I have an 8x10 that he signed in 2003 and it is kind of in between the two card signatures. Somewhere, I have an autograph on a program that I got in 1998. I need to find that and see what his signature looks like there.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

1992 Topps, Bert Blyleven

#375 Bert Blyleven

Here is another card that I got through the mail in 1992. This was the first TTM card I received that was personalized to me. I'm kind of surprised that this card even exists since Bert missed all of 1991 with an injury. It's a good thing I sent this card out when I did because 1992 was Bert's last season.

Bert finished his career with 284 wins and 3,701 strikeouts. Yet, for some reason, he has not been elected to the Hall of Fame. I guess the biggest complaint against him is that he never won a Cy Young award (I'm sure there are more, but I can't think of any). Well, I don't think Don Sutton ever won one and he is in. Bert is fifth all time in strikeouts and ninth in shutouts. If that doesn't put you in the Hall, I don't know what will. But, he is slowly climbing the ladder to get in. This year, he received 62.7% of the votes. He only has three more years to go before he is taken off the ballot. Maybe he'll pull a Jim Rice and get inducted in his final year of eligibility.

Today, Bert is a commentator with the Twins TV telecast. Whenever the Twins come to Kansas City, all of their fans show up with "Circle Me Bert" signs. I'm not sure what that means. It's just a Twins thing I guess. Also, Bert, who was born in the Netherlands, will be the pitching coach for them in the World Baseball Classic.

Friday, February 20, 2009

1992 Studio, Jeff Montgomery

#190 Jeff Montgomery

The first thing that I notice when I look at this card the is the senior photo-like pose. How cheesy. Other than that, I always liked the Studio cards. They were always a little different and had interesting facts on the back rather than stats. For instance, here's some of the stuff from this card:
Hobby is playing with gadgets...Favorite singer is Elton John; actor is Kevin Costner; movie is Top Gun; book is A Whole New Ball Game; talk show host is Johnny Carson...Pat Tabler is his closest friend in baseball...Would like to meet Elton John.
You just can't find that kind of information on a card anymore.

I got this card signed at Turkey Bowl IV, the charity flag football game, in 2003. That was the same year that Jeff was enshrined in the Royals Hall of Fame. He racked up 304 saves as a Royal, had a career high of 45 in 1993, and was a three time All Star.

The Royals got Jeff in a trade with the Reds for Van Snider. That may be the best trade in Royals history.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

1992 Stadium Club, Brian McRae

#270 Brian McRae

I think that this is the final B-Mac card that I have on here, but I could be wrong. You can see the first three here, here, and here. I really have no clue how or where I got this card signed. It was probably at a Royals Caravan event, bit I'm not sure.

Brian was at Royals fanfest this year. But, he only appeared on Sunday and I went on Saturday. I was hoping to get some cards signed by him just so I would have some cards where I knew when I got them signed. Plus, I had some Cubs and Mets cards to get signed so that I could mix it up a bit.

This is one of the few Stadium Club cards that I have signed.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

1992 Skybox AAA, Ever Magallanes

#285 Ever Magallanes

I got this card signed last summer at a Rancho Cucamonga Quakes game. Ever was the Quakes manager. I wasn't able to spot him before the game, but I happened to run into his roommate and he pointed him out to me. He no longer had the mustache and had a shaved head, too. I waited around a little bit after the game and got this card signed while he was headed to the clubhouse. He would have signed more than this card if I would have had any since he started to sign the card of his hitting coach before I got him to stop. He chuckled about it, said something in Spanish to his hitting coach and then took off. I waited about ten more minutes to get Francisco Matos (the hitting coach) to sign. He was busy filling out charts, so I left with a defaced minor league card. Several months later, I found another card of Ever that I had in the 1991 Bowman set.

Ever only got a brief cup of coffee in the bigs. He got into three games in 1991 for the Indians and went 0-2 with a walk. He was drafted in 1987, but by 1989, he was in AAA. He played in AAA almost exclusively until 1994. Then he was out of baseball until 2004, when he played in 16 games with the AAA Tuscon Sidewinders at the age of 38.

Today, the Vancouver Canadians are a class A short season team. This is the last minor league card that I will have on here for at least a month or two. At least the posed shot on here is better than yesterday's card.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

1992 Skybox AAA, Henry Rodriguez

#19 Henry Rodriguez

I'm not one hundred percent sure how I ended up with two of these. I know that I got them through the mail while Henry was probably still with the Dodgers. But I think I sent him one card, he kept it, and returned these two instead. It's a little strange, but it's not the only time that has happened to me (although it's the only time I got two back).

Henry had four really good seasons from 1996-1999. His best season came in '96 when he had 36 homers and 103 RBI. I'm not sure what happened to him after the '99 season, but I assume it was injury problems.

Check out the pose on this card. It has an outfielder playing super-shallow in the infield. Henry must have thought that that was pretty funny, too, based on that grin.

Since I have two of these, I will give one of them away. If you would like it, all you have to do is be the first one to claim it in the comment section.

Monday, February 16, 2009

1992 Skybox AA, Pat Mahomes

#295 Pat Mahomes

Here's another card that I got signed at the Grand Prairie AirHogs game. It was game one of the American Association championship and Pat pitched for the Sioux Falls Canaries.

These cards look almost exactly like the the 1991 Line Drive cards. There are only a few subtle differences. I don't know if Line Drive was bought by Skybox or what. The picture on this card was even used on Pat's 1991 card. That is why Pat Mahomes is wearing a different jersey than Pat Meares.

I always thought that those were some neat jerseys. They are kind of like the late '90s Angels jerseys (the sleeveless look that wasn't sleeveless) and the '70s Braves jerseys (with the feather on the arms). My American Legion team had jerseys just like this. I thought that they were the most original ones in the state. I still have mine somewhere.

In 1993, the Sun Rays switched affiliation to the Cubs and became the Orlando Cubs. In '97, they switched their names to the Orlando Rays. In '98, they were affiliated with the Mariners and in '99 they were with the Devil Rays. In 2004, they moved to Montgomery and changed their name to the Montgomery Biscuits. They are still affiliated with the Rays.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

1992 Skybox AA, Pat Meares

#221 Pat Meares

Here is another card that makes the list as one of my favorites. Pat is one of four Major League ballplayers that's from my hometown, Salina, Kansas. He was the first one to make it to the show during my lifetime (the other one that made it didn't play here in high school). Pat went on to play at Wichita State before being drafted by the Twins.

I always remembered Pat being a light-hitting shortstop. I was surprised when I just looked over his stats. He had double digit home run totals three different times. In 1998, he had 70 RBI. Not bad for a light-hitting shortstop.

I'm not sure what Pat is up to these days. I think that he lives in Wichita. I faced his brother a few times in alumni games when I was playing American Legion. Last summer, I ran into his dad at Target (I didn't know who he was until I got to the car; my buddy was talking to him).

Oh yeah, I got this card signed through the mail after he got called up by the Twins. Also, I like the SunRays jerseys. It's hard to see in this picture, but they were much better than the ones they wore the previous year (don't worry, you'll get to see that one tomorrow).

Saturday, February 14, 2009

1992 Score, Will Clark

#51 Will Clark

Here is another through the mail success of mine from the early '90s. I was pretty happy when I got this one back. Will was one of the big guns from the great 1986 rookie class. While he didn't have a great rookie season, he made up for it his sophomore year. He went to five straight All-Star games with the Giants and added another one while he was in Texas.

He never had the same success after he left the Giants. He had a great season in 1998 and was always around the .300 mark. In his last season, he was traded from the O's to the Cardinals and went on a tear. In the 51 games he played as a Cardinal, he hit .345 with 12 homers and 42 RBI. In a three-game sweep of the Braves in the Divisional Series, he hit a homer and knocked in 4 runs. In the NLCS, he was 7-17 with a solo home run. He retired after that series.

In 17 NLCS games, Will the Thrill hit .468 with 7 doubles, 1 triple, 4 home runs, 14 runs scored, and 12 RBI. That is a nice stat line.

This card was a insert card that you could get in certian '92 Score packs. I can't remember which ones, though. I find it funny that they were making ""90s Impact Player" cards in 1992. Seems to me that they should have waited to make those in 1999 or 2000. Imagine how different the checklist would have been then.

It's kind of hard to see because of the dugout, but that is a sweet-looking signature. I love how he underlines his last name like a baseball jersey (like the Royals, Dodgers, and Marlins for example). That is pretty cool. I remember seeing that Will got a job this year with the Giants. It will be interesting to see if he still signs through the mail.

Friday, February 13, 2009

1992 Score, Tyler Green

#810 Tyler Green

I got this card signed through the mail in either 1993 or 1995 (most likely '95). Green was a first round pick out of a local school, Wichita State. I'm a big WSU fan and try to go to at least one game a year and more if they host a regional. So, I was pretty excited when I got this card back. I wish that I would have had doubles of his '92 Topps card, which pictured him in the Shockers uniform. But, I didn't, so I sent him this one.

Tyler had an unsuccessful Major League career. He got called up to the big leagues within a year of being drafted. He pitched in three games (two starts) and gave up 6 earned runs in 7.1 innings. He was sent back down and spent the rest of the season and all of 1994 in AAA. He made the Phillies team out of Spring Training in 1995. He finished that year 8-9 with a 5.31 ERA. He only made 25 starts that year and missed all of '96, so he must have hurt his arm. He did, however, make the National League All-Star team that year. On July 1st, Tyler was 8-4 with a 2.75 ERA. He pitched one inning in the All-Star game and gave up hits to the first two batters he faced (Ripken and Boggs). He then struck out Kirby Pucket and got the next two batters to ground out. It was all downhill from there. On August 18th, he gave up 3 home runs and 4 runs in a 1.1 inning start. On September 8th, he had his last (and worst) start of the year. He gave up 5 earned runs in only a third of an inning. After that, he made one relief appearance and was shut down.

He made it back to the Majors in 1997 and '98, but he never regained that All-Star form again. In 1999 and 2000, he posted extremely high ERAs (over 7.50) for two different AAA teams and was eventually released and done with baseball.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

1992 Score, Bruce Hurst

#111 Bruce Hurst

This is the second Bruce Hurst card that Rod sent me. As for the first one, I ended up giving it to 30-Year Old Cardboard when he won the contest on here.

To me, these are some decent looking cards. Some of the colors are a little goofy, but they are definitely a unique-looking card. The box on the side takes away from the pictures (and adds to the border), but at least the players picture goes over the box. Dave, from Goose Joak, liked this set enough to make a card of Scott Rolen in the style of '92 Score.

As for this autograph, I do not know how it was obtained. It would be fitting if it was acquired through the mail, like most of the other cards from this year that I have signed.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

1992 Pinnacle, Tim Raines

#605 Tim Raines

I dropped the ball on this one. Of all the Tim Raines cards out there, I just had to send him this one. This dark one. This dark one where he isn't an Expo on it.

Here is another card that I got through the mail in the early '90s. I thought that this was a pretty cool card back then. I loved the Oakley M Frames and loved these cards. They got the idea for these cards (I think) from a subset that they put out in the hockey cards that featured goalies masks. Boy, was I stupid. You can hardly see the signature on it. For once. the scan looks great. It looks much worse in person. I don't know why I sent such a dark card to get signed. I'm sure that I had some junk wax from the late '80s I could have sent. I guess I sent this one because it was a cool card. I wouldn't know what to think if cards like this came out today.

Either way, Raines was a great player and I am glad that I have his autograph in my collection. Now that Rickey Henderson is off of the ballot, Raines might get a little more support for the Hall of Fame.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

1992 Pinnacle, Jose Guzman

#98 Jose Guzman

I got this card signed through the, wait no I didn't. Sorry. I had been in a rhythm for a week or two now. I actually got this card signed at a Rangers game last September. Jose works for one of the Spanish speaking radio stations as a color man.

An autograph seeking Rangers fan helped me out on this one. We were standing around trying to get some of the Rangers pitchers autographs. I mentioned that I didn't come as prepared as I usually do. He asked what I meant and I told him that I completely forgot about the rosters expanding on the first (I had been on the road for for five days seeing four ballparks). He asked who I needed cards of and I told him. He went through his stack and pulled out a card for each person I named. I thanked him and asked if he would like a couple of hot dogs or a beer or something, but he politely declined. Well, none of those guys signed after their workout, so I gave the cards back to him. He didn't want them back but after I explained that I already had all of those cards and that he may need them before I would, he took them back. Then, he pulls out this Guzman card. He tells me to go up to the club level (or mezzanine or what ever it's called there) and walk under the booth with all of the flags. That is Jose's booth and he'll sign if you ask. So, I thanked him again and he got ready to leave and turned to this little boy that wasn't having much luck getting autographs. He hands the boy an '08 Topps Heritage card that he had gotten signed by Josh Hamilton that morning. What a nice guy!

So, after I did a few things that I needed to do, I went up by the booths. This is the only ballpark that I can think of where you can reach up to the booths from the seating area. Jose wasn't there, so I left and came back a little later. He still wasn't there. But, the guy that gave me the card was. He was getting one of the Mariners TV guys to sign (it was either Randy Velarde or Mike Blowers, I'm not sure why I can't remember which). He pointed out which booth it was again and told me to wait. The usher there was super-nice and she told be to have a seat until he got there. Eventually, he came and signed this card.

I never got the guy's name who gave me this card, but thank you.

Monday, February 9, 2009

1992 O-Pee-Chee Premier, Albert Belle

#100 Albert Belle

Through the mail. Early '90s. As for this card, I beleive that this was the second year that OPC made a set that was independent of the Topps set. If I remember right, both the '91 and '92 set looked exactly the same except this set had the '92 on it. There was no year on the '91's front. Also, the players name and position were slightly different in '91. On the '91s, there was two lines of text. The name was on top and the team and position was on bottom. The only place that I remember seeing these was at card shows at the mall.

Looking back on it now, I am surprised that I got this card signed through the mail. Albert didn't have the best reputation. To me, he doesn't seem like the kind of guy that would be an avid signer. Maybe I underestimate the guy (heck, supposedly Milton Bradley signs TTM). Or maybe I just got lucky and got to him early enough in his career. I don't know. Did anyone else out there have any success with him?

Sunday, February 8, 2009

1992 Leaf, Terry Pendleton

#245 Terry Pendleton

Yep, I got this card signed through the mail over a decade ago. I probably got this one in 1992, the year after he was named the National League MVP.

I don't really remember much about Pendleton. I know that he was a third baseman for the Cardinals and the Braves. I don't remember him playing for the Marlins or the Reds, though. I barely remember him playing in Kansas City. I only remember that because I saw him play one time. The only reason that I wrote to him was because won the NL MVP.

But, he sure has a nice looking signature. I like how he doesn't lift up the pen between names. He just keeps on going.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

1992 Leaf, Mo Vaughn

#103 Mo Vaughn

As you might have guessed, I got this card signed through the mail in the early '90s. There is something weird about this signature. You can't tell on the scan, but this signature has depth. You can kind of feel the signature if you rub your finger over it. It's like it was signed with a paint marker or something.

Mo Vaughn could mash. He had some great numbers until he started getting hurt. He had six seasons with over 30 homers and six with over 100 RBI. His career highs were 44 home runs and 144 RBI, both put up in 1996, the year after he won the American League MVP.

I have two memorable memories (if that makes sense) of seeing Mo Vaughn play in person. The first one was a game in Kansas City in 2000 while Mo was with the Angels. The game was tied with one out in the bottom of the ninth. Carlos Beltran was on third and Joe Randa was up for the Royals. Randa hit a pop-up into foul territory on the first base side that drifted back towards the tarp. Mo went after it and made a really nice catch bouncing off of the tarp. Beltran tagged up beat the throw to the plate. It's the only time that I have seen a walk-off sacrifice fly to the first baseman.

The second memory was at a Mets-Yankees game at Shea in 2002. David Wells was pitching a great of a game for the Yanks until Mo came up in the eighth. Roberto Alomar was on third and Piazza was on first with no outs, Yankees up 2-0. Mo hit an 0-1 pitch for a three-run home run. Wells walked the next batter and was out of the game. Armando Benitez closed the game in the ninth for a Mets 3-2 victory. That was one of the most fun games that I have ever been to.

Friday, February 6, 2009

1992 Hieronimus & Co, Leon Day

NN Leon Day

First off, I know nothing about this card. There is no number and no stats. I think that it is was made in 1992 since it has "Leon Day's Honors in 1992" on the bottom and those end in September. Either he didn't get any more honors that year or this card may have been made in 1993. The back only has tidbits about records he holds and feats that he accomplished. The picture on the front is pretty cool. It has a Goudey feel to it.

Leon Day pitched mostly in the Negro Leagues. He also played some in Canada and Puerto Rico. Most of his career was with the Newark Eagles, but he also played for the Baltimore Elite Giants and the Baltimore Black Sox. It looks like the picture is from one of the Baltimore teams.

Leon was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1995. He died seven days after learning that he had been selected. According to Wikipedia, he is the only player in the Hall to wear a cap on his plaque that is from a team that is not in the U.S. or Canada. The cap is of the Los Tiburones de Aguadilla, a Puerto Rican team.

I got this card signed through the mail around 1994, I think. I got this card signed in the same way as Brooks Robinson and Hoyt Wilhelm. All three of them were in the same Beckett article about retired players that will sign for a small donation. When I wrote about the Wilhelm card, I thought that I may have got these signed around 1996. Leon Day died in 1995, so it was obviously before that.

This is a cool card. It is the only Negro League card that I have signed. The only other autograph that I have from a Negro League player is a signed ball from Buck O'Neil.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

1992 Fleer, Kenny Lofton

#655 Kenny Lofton

Here is another card that I got signed through the mail back in the day. If it wasn't for this card, I would have forgotten that Lofton ever played for the Astros. I remember him playing the first half of his career in Cleveland (with one year in Atlanta) and then bouncing around to different teams every year in the second have of his career. He played for eleven teams in his 17-year career. The Indians were the only team he ever played with for more than one season and he played for them in three different stints.

This was the first baseball player's autograph that I had ever recieved that wasn't signed in blue or black (I had a footbal card signed in silver and a basketball card signed in gold). This was the only red autograph that I had until Rod sent me a few more.

Kenny has a pretty slopping signature. Usually, I don't care for these, but I have always liked this one. This was the first one that I had ever received that made me say "wow, look at that". It was so simple. Within a few days, I had the Kenny Lofton signature down to where I could have reproduced it without even looking at it. I don't know why I did that, but I did.

When I was playing ball in college, there were guys on my team that would practice signing their names all nice and neat. When they saw my signature, they told me mine was bush league. I told that that they have obviosly never seen Kenny Lofton's. I think that I may have started signing my last name the way that I do after I got this card. Kenny was a bad influence on me.

I just noticed this. Lofton's signed last name looks like the "A" that starts Steve Avery's last name.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

09 UD: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

I bought my first packs of 2009 cards today. I bought three hobby packs of Upper Deck. I think that this is the first time that I have ever bought UD hobby before. I was shocked when I got to the card shop and was told that the packs were $5 a pop. Then he told me that there was 20 cards per pack. So my three $5 packs were like six $3 packs from Wal-Mart. Plus, there are sixteen packs per box and one auto and two relics per box. So here is what I liked and what I didn't like.


Brian McCann Dual Swatch- GJ-BM (37/149)

Not only this, but I got an autograph of a crappy reliever, but I'll leave that for later on. Two hits in three packs. Not bad.

Nolan Ryan 20th Anniversiry- 208

This is a cool looking card. I'm not sure if this is an insert or part of the regular set. But, I would guess insert.

Nick Franklin USA baseball- 18U-NF

I have no idea who Nick Franklin is, but I got two USA cards in the three packs. Both were from the under 18 team. I'm hoping that they put last years Olympic team in packs. I have a friend who was on the team and I haven't pulled a card of him in six years.


Pat Burrell gold card- 294 (63/99)

I have no use for gold cards. I didn't even realize that this one was different from the rest until my second time through. This is borderline ugly to me, but I needed something in the bad catagory.


Gas price plummets Historic Firsts Predictor- HP-2

My first thought when I saw this was WTF. Why waste cardboard on this stupid card? This is pointless and I doubt that anybody will care that this card exists. It's just another worthless gimmick card. Plus, gas used be $0.99 a gallon. So how can this be a first?

A 2008 Documentary card in '09 UD- 4926

Here is another one where I said WTF and then added "why is this in here". I was starting to think Topps Heritage high numbers until I saw that this one is from the ALCS. This one takes off where the original set left off with a photo from interleague play. But, at least Jason hit a home run in this game. I bought one pack of this crap last month, got an auto, and I figured that I would quit while I was ahead.

A-Rod Yankee Stadium Legacy- 6720

When I got this card, I thought "Noooooo, not these again." I never paid any attention to these last year, but by looking at this one, I just realized that they must have made one card for every game at Yankee Stadium (I'm quick, huh). This one shows A-Rod for a game that the Yankees got spanked. The backs talk about him and have a boxscore of the game that has nothing to do with A-Rod. This may be where they got the idea of Documentary.

So, there they are. I didn't get much base cards that stood out to me besides an Alex Gordon card with him in the powder blue jersey. Most of the stars that I got were on team checklists.

1992 Fleer, Chris Haney

#483 Chris Haney

I got this card signed at a Royals Caravan stop in 1993. I got two cards signed that night. You can see the other one here. How about that red jersey/powder blue pants combo?

According to Royals Retrospective, Chris Haney is the 87th best Roayls player in their 39-year history. You can read all about Chris Haney's exploits in Kansas City here.

I realize that this is a very short post, but since I have a scanner now, I will be posting my first packs of 2009 here shortly.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

1992 Fleer, Mike Mussina

#20 Mike Mussina

Here's another card that I got through the mail in the early '90s. I got this when Mike still played for the O's. I've seen a couple of recent Mike Mussina autographs pop up recently at 30-Year Old Cardboard, OMGautos, and Taste Like Dirt Baseball. It's good to see that he continued signing through the mail throughout his career.

In the 15 or so years that separate my autograph from theirs, Mike's signature hasn't changed too much. His first name now looks like "Mile" instead of "Mihe" on my card. The "u" in his last name in mine has changed to an "i" in the recent ones. And on mine, he signs his "ina" with an underscore and a backwards "c". Today, he adds a few scribbles before he does the backward "c". But overall, he has a very nice signature that has stayed pretty consistent over the years, especially his "M".

I know Mussina retired recently. What I didn't realize was what a great season he had last year. Not only did he win 20 games, but that was the first time in his career that he had won 20. It took him 18 seasons to achieve the 20 win mark. Plus, he finished with a 3.37 ERA. Way to go out on top Mike!

I had the privilege to see Mike pitch three times, all as a Yankee. I saw him pitch once in Kansas City and once in Toronto. He won both games (8 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 6 K in Toronto in 2001). I also saw him pitch once in St. Petersburg where he gave up 6 runs (only 2 earned) and took the loss in 4.2 innings of work in 2006. You win some and you lose some.

Monday, February 2, 2009

1992 Donruss Rookies, Rusty Meacham

#76 Rusty Meacham

This is the second of three cards of Rusty Meacham. I got this card signed at a Staten Island Yankees game back in August. Rusty was the pitching coach of the visiting Vermont Lake Monsters.

Rusty has a very interesting signature. I'm not sure what to make of it. It looks like he starts his signature on the right side of the card and loops it around to the left side to start signing.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

1992 Donruss, Cal Ripken Jr.

#3032/5000 Cal Ripken Jr.

If I would have participated in the blog bat around, this would have been listed as the centerpiece of my collection. I got this card in a pack in 1992 and to this day, it is still my best pull. This was the second year that Donruss inserted signature cards in their packs. There is a lot of gold foiling on the card front, but I think that it looks pretty good for 1992 standards. Actually, I like the gold foil. It gives off a prism effect that adds a lot of color to the front.

It is kind of funny how I ended up getting this card. Back in 1992, my dad was headed to the supermarket and I told him to grab some cards for me. I told him to get one pack of baseball cards, one pack of football cards, one pack basketball cards, and one pack of hockey cards. To my dismay, my dad came home with two packs of '92 Donruss and I was pissed. I refused to open them up because they weren't what I wanted. So, my dad opened them up. When he got to this card, he said "what's this, a Diamond King?". That was the first year that the DKs were inserts, so they were cool cards to pull. So, I got up to check it out and I think that my heart skipped a beat when I saw this card.

In '92, this card booked for about $400. Last time I checked, it was at $250. That kind of surprised me since most of the certified autos today aren't worth a whole lot, especially if there 5000 of them printed. I just looked for one of these on ebay to see what they were going for, but I didn't see any.

The photo here reminds me of some '70s Topps pictures (it's tilted). Also, I finally got myself a scanner, so all of the scans are going to be much better looking. I am going to re-scan all of the cards that I have shown on here so they will look better. I have already got all of the pre-1980 cards redone.

Last year, Cal came to my hometown to speak at the annual Chamber of Commerce dinner. He took photos with everyone after the event and then when that was over, he signed for less than five minutes. I didn't get my ball signed. But when he was leaving, I noticed which exit he was going to use and intercepted him outside. He was nice enough to sign my 1998 All-Star game ball. However, he was in a hurry and he signed it with a Sharpie. We'll see how that turns out.