Monday, May 31, 2010

The College World Series Contest

Earlier today, the NCAA announced the 64 teams that will be competing for the 2010 College World Series championship. To commememorate it, I am holding the first annual College World Series contest here at Autographed Cards. It is going to be a couple of weeks before the main phase of the contest starts, but you can earn some bonus points this week that could make a difference when the main portion gets going. All you have to do right now is pick the eight teams that are going to be playing in Omaha. Here are the teams to choose from.

Slot one
1. Arizona State
1. Arkansas
2. Kansas State
2. San Diego
3. Washington State
3. Hawaii
4. Grambling
4. Wisconsin-Milwaukee

Slot two
1. Auburn
1. Georgia Tech
2. Alabama
2. Clemson
3. Elon
3. Southern Miss
4. Jacksonville State
4. Mercer

Slot three
1. Virginia
1. Oklahoma
2. Mississippi
2. California
3. North Carolina
3. St. John's (NY)
4. VCU
4. Oral Roberts

Slot four
1. South Carolina
1. Coastal Carolina
2. Virginia Tech
2. College of Charleston
3. Citadel
3. North Carolina State
4. Stony Brook
4. Bucknell

Slot five
1. Texas
1. TCU
2. Rice
2. Baylor
3. Arizona
3. Lousiana-Lafayette
4. Lamar
4. Rider

Slot six
1. Florida State
1. Louisville
2. Connecticut
2. Vanderbilt
3. Oregon
3. Illinois State
4. St. Louis
4. Central Connecticut State

Slot seven
1. Cal State Fullerton
2. Stanford
2. LSU
3. UC Irvine
3. New Mexico
4. Minnesota
4. Kent State

Slot eight
1. Florida
1. Miami (FL)
2. Texas A&M
2. Florida Atlantic
3. Oregon State
3. Florida International
4. Bethune-Cookman
4. Dartmouth

All you have to do is pick one team from each slot for a total of eight teams. Don't worry about prizes or what the second phase is going to be. Just pick eight teams, one from each slot. For every team that you pick that makes it into the College World Series, you will get one point and that point(s) could be the difference between winning and losing in the second round. If you don't feel like participating right now, that's fine. You can enter the second phase without participating in the first, but you might have some ground to make up.

I'm going to be out of town and away from the internet for the whole time entries are allowed, so don't screw this up. If you do, there isn't anything I can do for you. If someone notices that a commenter only guessed seven teams or they picked two teams from one slot, please leave them a comment of their error so that they can fix it.

Here is how your entries (comments) should look.

Slot 1:Grambling
Slot 2:Mercer
Slot 3:VCU
Slot 4:Stony Brook
Slot 5:Rider
Slot 6:St Louis
Slot 7:Kent State
Slot 8:FIU
Bonus: 0

Try to be precise when spelling the team in case there are two schools in the same slot with similar abbreveations. If I'm not sure what team you are talking about, I'm going with what I think it is.

All entries are due by Friday, June 4, at 11:00 am, central. I hope everyone had a good Memorial day and good luck with your picks.

Here is the bonus, worth two points: Guess how many autographs I will get on my trip. If you don't know what trip I'm talking about, look back a couple of posts. Whoever comes closest without going over will get the points. Don't pick a number someone else picked or that pick will not count (but schools can be picked multiple times).

1985 Donruss, Kurt Kepshire

#382 Kurt Kepshire

Here is yet another card that I got signed at the '85 Classic (this is going to be a reoccurring theme over the next week or two). I could only find two cards of Kurt, but like every other formal Cardinal that day, he signed them all.

Out of all the guys that played for the Cards in the Classic, Kurt had the shortest Major League playing career. He pitched in 51 games, all with the Cardinals, over a three year span. 1985 was the year where he got the most work and he appeared in 32 games that season (three were starts) and he posted a 10-9 record with a 4.75 ERA in 153.1 innings of work. He walked 71 that year while striking out only 67. He did not get into any of the Cardinals post season games that season.

Kurt only appeared in two games for St. Louis in 1986 while he spent most of the season playing AAA. He missed the 1987 season, but he pitched at the AAA level in 1988 and 1989 before calling it a career.

Check back later today for a contest.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

The All-American Ballpark Tour and a contest

Early Tuesday morning, my buddy, Dustin, and I are heading off on our nearly annual All-American Ballpark Tour. We've been making these trips since 2001 and have gone every year except 2003 and last year. We've seen ballgames in three countries and on both coasts. We usually base our trips on Major League parks, but we have a different goal this year- The Rickwood Classic.

The Rickwood Classic is a single game that is played every year. It's takes place at Rickwood Field in Birmingham, Alabama. This year marks the park's one hundredth anniversary and it is the oldest park in the country that still hosts professional games (even though it is only one a year). The park was the home of the Birmingham Barons until 1988 when they moved to their current park in Hoover. This year, the Barons are going to be hosting the Tennessee Smokies and both teams will be wearing uniforms fom the early 1900s. Harmon Killebrew is supposed to be at the game, as well.

The plan is to leave at four o'clock in the morning on Tuesday and drive fourteen hours to Birmingham and catch a game at the Barons current park, Regions Field. The next day will be the Rickwood Classic and then we will head to Arkansas after the game. On Thursday, we are going to go to a Northwest Arkansas Naturals game. On Friday, we may go to a college game if Arkansas hosts a regional. We'll then head over to Tulsa to check out the Drillers brand new ballpark, ONEOK Field. We'll get home late that night.

So, we'll be catching four games (possibly five) in four days. It's not as grand as some of our trips in the past, but it should still be a good time. I have a few posts scheduled to appear on here throughout the week, so keep checking back.

Also, I'll be starting a contest tomorrow. So make sure to check that out.

1985 Donruss, Jack Clark

#65 Jack Clark

Here is the first of three cards that Jack Clark signed for me at the '85 Classic last week. Unlike John Tudor, I actually had an '81 Donruss card of Jack. But, the damned thing has a gigantic gum stain on the front of it. So that was a no-go.

When I got my cards signed by Jack, it was just me and another guy trying to get his autograph. Later on, Jack signed again for a larger crowd and I tried to get three cards signed for another guy there, but Jack only signed two of them. I don't know if he only signed two because it was me again or if he was just trying to get as many people as possible. It didn't matter and that guy was able to get his third card signed when the crowd had thinned out. I thought that it was pretty cool that Jack was adding "The Ripper" to his autograph on balls, 8x10s, and programs. I wish he would have added that to one of my cards.

In case you missed it a year and a half ago, I had posted a card of Jack as a Padre. You can see it here.

I learned at the game that Jack has been coaching the Springfield Sliders, a summer collegiate team in Springfield, Missouri, the past two years. He recently stepped down from that position and is now their general manager. But, there is still a picture of him on their websites banner.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

1983 Donruss, Jim Sundberg

#7 Jim Sundberg

Twelve days ago, I posted an '81 Donruss that was signed by Jim. I had sent that to him since I didn't figure I would be able to get his autograph at the '85 Classic. It turns out that that assumption was wrong since I got this card signed by Jim at the game last week.

When the gates opened up to the ballpark that day, I went straight down to the Royals dugout since that is where everyone warmed up last year. Jim Sundberg was one of the first players to come out of the clubhouse and I was able to get him to sign before he even got out of the dugout. He signed both of my cards and signed for other people, as well. About that time, the Cardinals started to take the field and they all went over to the visiting teams dugout. So, I switched to that side so I could focus on getting some autographs from them.

This is now my oldest signed Diamond king. For a minute, I even thought that this was an '82 since that is what the copyright date said. But, I double checked and it is an '83, the second year that Diamond Kings were made.

Friday, May 28, 2010

1982 TCMA, Steve Shirley

#343 Steve Shirley

Here is a card that I got signed at a Wichita Wingnuts game last week. Steve was the visiting manager for the Sioux Falls Pheasants. I got this card signed between games of a doubleheader. The clubhouses in Wichita are in left field and I was hanging out by the Pheasants dugout. Steve walked up with his hands full of rosters and whatnot, but I asked him to sign anyway. He told me to give him a minute and a minute later, he popped back out to sign the card. I was hoping I would get some kind of response from him for having an oddball card like this, but I didn't.

I found this card on ebay earlier this month. The seller was trying to get $7 for it with $1.95 shipping and handling. I offered him $5 for it with $2 shipping and he accepted. It's still more than I wanted to spend on it, but I'm glad I did. This is now my oldest signed minor league card.

Speaking of this card, I know nothing about it. It has a copyright date of 1982 and it shows his '81 stats. But, the card isn't listed on I'm not even a hundred percent sure that 343 is the card number.

Steve pitched in the minors for thirteen seasons while getting a brief cup of coffee with the Dodgers in 1982. He pitched in 7 games in relief and posted a 1-1 record with a 4.14 ERA. He pitched in Japan in '83 and '84 before coming back to the States in '85 and pitching for four more years at AAA. 1988 was the last season he played.

Steve is pictured as an Albuquerque Duke in this photo. The Dukes moved to Portland in 2001 and Albuquerque is now the home of the Isotopes. But, they are again affiliated with the Dodgers after a six year break.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

1981 Topps, John Tudor

#14 John Tudor

Here is a card that I got signed at the '85 Classic on Saturday. This year is the 25th anniversary of the Royals 1985 championship team and the team is hosting all sorts of promotions to commemorate the event. The '85 Classic was a softball game between some members of the '85 Cardinals and '85 Royals, with a few sponsers thrown in.

All of the Cardinals signed for me except for one. They were really good about signing and a couple of them even climbed up into the stands to sign. John didn't get into the stands, but he still signed all three cards for me.

Each card that John signed for me featured him on a different team. The only reason why I got this card signed is because I do not have his '81 Donruss card. I was kind of bummed out about it at the time, but there was nothing I could do about it. With my luck, I probably do have the card and I just skipped over it when I was searching.

John pitched for the Red Sox from 1979-1983. He won 13 games twice and he struck out 146 batters in 1982. Both were career highs at the time. After the '83 season, John was traded to the Pirates for Mike Easler. He would only spend one season in Pittsburgh before moving on to St. Louis.

John has a very unique signature and about the only I can make out from it is what appears to be a "T". Other than that, it's hard to tell what's going on.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

1981 Donruss, Rich Dauer

#232 Rich Dauer

Here is one of the cards that I got signed at the Royals game on Saturday. The main reason why I went to the game that day was because I was able to get discounted tickets from my Chamber of Commerce. The Royals were hosting Salina appreciation day and they had a color guard and anthem singer from here at the game. They also hosted a pre-game tailgate party for us. So, our plan was to go to the tailgate party for a bit before heading into the ballpark. But when we realized that the tailgate party was on the other side of Arrowhead Stadium, we scrapped that idea since it was such a long walk and the gates were opening in forty-five minutes. But luckily, many players were still arriving at the park at that time. That is how I got this card signed. Rich is the third base coach for the Rockies.

I was very impressed with many of the Rockies signing habits. Clint Barmes and Jim Tracy were the top two signers outside the ballpark before the game. Those two signed everything for everybody. It was very cool. I wish I had something for Tracy to sign, though. I have his '81 Donruss card signed and I'm not sure if I have any other cards of him.

Barring an '81 Donruss card sitting in my mailbox tomorrow, this will be my final post from the set for some time. I've spent enough time on it over the past couple of weeks and I'm starting to get backlogged on cards from 1982-2003. So, I will probably move on tomorrow.

'81 Donruss Tracker
: 73/100

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

1981 Donruss, Joe Sambito

#21 Joe Sambito

This card was waiting for me in my mailbox on Saturday when I got home from the Royals game. Counting this card and the other card Joe signed for me, I ended up getting fifty-one cards singed that day. I had sent this card to Joe on the 12th and I had it back ten days later.

Joe pitched for eleven years in the big leagues with the Astros, Mets, and Red Sox. He pitched mostly out of the bullpen and he had a career record of 37-38, with 84 saves, and a 3.03 ERA. In 1979, Joe had a career high 22 saves, which placed him fourth in the league that year. He also made his lone All Star team that season.

'81 Donruss Tracker: 72/100

Monday, May 24, 2010

1981 Donruss, Ken Macha

#540 Ken Macha

This is the third and final card that arrived in my mailbox last Thursday. I had sent this card to Ken on the 26th of last month, so it took a little over three weeks to get back to me.

Ken has a most unusual signature. He has a weird "K" that flows into his last name without lifting the pen. He then has an odd "M" that looks more like a "W" than anything else. After that, it is just some scribbles to make out the rest of his last name.

Ken's Major League playing career spanned parts of six seasons with the Pirates, Expos, and Blue Jays. Throughout the time, he managed to get into 180 games with 380 at-bats. He was a .258 hitter that racked up 35 RBI while hitting one home run.

I think it is funny that the card lists his position as infield/outfield. In 1980, he played outfield once, caught once, played first twice, and spent the rest of the time at third. That sounds more like a third baseman than an infielder/outfielder (I mean INFIELD/O-F) to me. I guess that is just one of the reasons that I like this quirky set.

'81 Donruss Tracker: 71/100

Sunday, May 23, 2010

1981 Donruss, Keith Smith

#539 Keith Smith

Here is one of the three '81 Donruss cards that I got back in the mail on Thursday. Unfortunately, I forgot to write down when I sent this card out, so I don't really know how long it took to get back home. I know I sent it out sometime this month, so it didn't take too long.

Keith had a short Major League career that lasted 53 games over three seasons with two teams. He is a career .207 hitter with three home runs and 8 RBI. He only appeared in 24 games in 1981, so I guess he is lucky to even have a card. Fleer also made a card of him that year, but Topps did not.

It's kind of hard to make out Keith's signature. The only thing I can make out is an overlapping "K" and "S". After that, it just looks like some scribbles.

On a side note, I went to a Royals game yesterday and I raked in the autographs. They had an old-timers softball game before the game featuring players from the '85 Cardinals against some '85 Royals. I went to the old-timers game last year and I nearly got shut out on autographs. Because of that, I really wasn't looking forward to this year's game and wasn't even planning on going to it until two weeks ago. Luckily, I changed my mind and I came home with 49 autographed cards! I got signatures from 23 different players. 7 (players, not cards) were from the '85 Cardinals, 2 were from the '85 Royals, and the rest were from Rockies players and coaches. I was even able to upgrade my '81 Donruss card of Don Baylor that got smeared on my TTM attempt. If anyone would like that card, let me know.

'81 Donruss Tracker: 70/100

Friday, May 21, 2010

1981 Donruss, Steve Renko

#337 Steve Renko

Here is a card of a fellow Kansan that I got in the mail two days ago. I sent this card to Steve on the twelvth, so it took one week to go halfway across the state and back.

Steve pitched in the Majors for 15 seasons with the Expos, Cubs, White Sox, A's, Red Sox, Angels, and Royals. Even though he bounced around a bit, he spent his first eight seasons in the Majors with the Expos. Because of that, he is still in the top five on many of the Expos/Nationals all-time pitching leaderboards. He is in the top five for wins, innings pitched, games started, complete games, home runs given up, walks, hits, losses, earned runs, wild pitches, and batters faced. If it wasn't for Steve Rogers, who threw about 1500 more innings as an Expo than Steve, he would lead the franchise in losses, wild pitches, and earned runs.

Steve ended up finishing his career with a 134-146 record with 6 saves, a 3.99 ERA, and 1455 strikeouts. 1983 was his last season playing.

'81 Donruss Tracker: 69/100

Thursday, May 20, 2010

1981 Donruss, Paul Mirabella

#151 Paul Mirabella

If you were up late enough last night to read my post, you may have saw that this week's '81 Donrussfest may be about over. Luckily, that is not the case since I got three of them in the mail today. So, I should be good to go into next week.

This card is one of the cards that I got back today. I sent it to Paul on the twelfth, so it took just over a week to make it back home. Paul signed this card and one other one for me.

Paul pitched in the Majors for parts of 13 seasons. He spent time with the Rangers, Yankees, Blue Jays, Rangers, Orioles, Mariners, and Brewers. He pitched primarily out of the pen and he finished his career with a 19-29 record with a 4.45 ERA and 13 saves.

Out of the three cards I got in the mail today, this one has the best signature. I like how he draws out his "M" of his last name and then the last letter of his name almost comes back to the "M", but on the top. That's kind of cool.

Speaking of three autographs in the mail, I also got eleven cards signed tonight at a Wichita Wingnuts game. They got rained out last night, so I got to see parts of a doubleheader today against the Sioux Falls Pheasants. The 'Nuts won game one with a walk-off single in the seventh before dropping the nightcap 5-3. Plus, I got to see Reggie Abercrombie hit a dinger. But the best part of the night was hearing this song every time Reggie came up to bat (and winning two free Chipotle burritos).

'81 Donruss Tracker: 68/100

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

1981 Donruss, Glenn Adams

#566 Glenn Adams

Here is what may be my next to last '81 Donruss card for a while. I have one to post tomorrow that came in the mail today. But, if I don't get another one in the mail by Friday, I will have to move on. Right now, I have nine '81 Donruss cards circulating in the mail and all of them have been out at least a week. So, there is still hope. What I need to do is send out another batch, but I just haven't gotten around to it.

Glenn is the batting coach for the Erie SeaWolves and I sent this card to the team's ballpark on the 28th of last month. I got it back twelve days later on the tenth.

For some reason, this autograph decided to smear. This is the second '81 Donruss that I have had this problem with and it is kind of bizaar in my opinion. Most older cards are great for autopraphs. Why I have had two of these smear is beyond me. I didn't notice any smudges on the inside of the envelope, so I have no idea what it got smeared on.

Glenn played in the Major League for eight years with the Giants, Twins, and Blue Jays. His best season was in 1979 when he had career highs in games played (119), home runs (8), RBI (50), and batting average (.301).

'81 Donruss Tracker: 67/100

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

1981 Donruss, Dave Ford

#552 Dave Ford

Here is a card that came in the mail yesterday. I sent this card to Dave on the eleventh, so it took a whopping six days for this card to go to Cleveland and back. That's not too shabby.

As, for Dave, I know nothing about him. Luckily, this card has this bit of info on the back in the career highlights section- "1980- Saw the least amount of work of any Oriole pitcher, but pitched the first complete game of his big league career and also chalked up a save." So, that is good to know.

Dave's Major League career lasted parts of four seasons with the O's and his 1980 season was the season that he appeared in the most games. He finished his Major League career with a 5-6 record in 51 games (8 starts) with 3 saves, and a 4.02 ERA. 1981 was his last season in the Majors, but he kept on playing in the minor leagues until 1985.

'81 Donruss Tracker: 66/100

Monday, May 17, 2010

1981 Donruss, Jim Sundberg

#385 Jim Sundberg

Here is the next in line on the '81 Donruss trek. It is Jim Sunberg, the starting catcher for the '85 Royals World Championship team. I sent this card to Jim on the fifth of this month and I got it back a week later.

Jim was one of the guys I missed at Royals Fanfest this year. So, when I saw that he has been signing TTM recently, I had to hit him up. He's supposed to be in Kansas City on Saturday when the Royals celebrate the 25th anniversary of their lone championship. They are hosting the Willie Wilson Classic that day and it is going to be a softball game between some of the '85 Royals and '85 Cardinals. I thought about just saving the card for then, but I didn't do too well at last year's Classic and the mail seemed like the better bet.

Jim has an unusual or mordern-looking signature for a guy that played in the '70s and '80s. Most of the guys from that era have a fairly readable signature, but that is not the case with Jim. He just has a bunch of loops and the signature reminds me a lot of Kyle Snyder's.

'81 Donruss Tracker: 65/100

Sunday, May 16, 2010

The Joy of a Completed Page, 1985 Topps

I may be sending out a lot of '81 Donruss TTMs lately, but I've also included a few '85 Topps with them. Because of that, I now have a full page (actually more than a full page now) of '85 Topps that are signed.

Here is the breakdown.

Game: 3.5 (2 at Kauffman Stadium, 1 at Camden Yards, and .5 at a Kansas State game)
Royals Fanfest: 2
TTM: 1.5
Royals Caravan: 1
Collective Troll: 1

1981 Donruss, Chris Speier

#329 Chris Speier

Last summer, I got Chris to sign three cards for me when the Reds made a rare interleague appearance in Kansas City. Unfortunately, I did not have this card at the time to get signed. Luckily, Chris is still coaching for the Reds and he is a good TTM signer for stuff sent to Great America Ballpark. That is how I got this card and one other signed and it only took about ten days to get them back.

I bought this card from For some reason, most of the '81 Donruss that they have on that site cost fifty cents, yet you can get some '70s Topps stuff for a quarter or less. Is '81 Donruss really that more special than some earlier Topps stuff? If so, I may be on to something.

This card looks like one of the rare cards in the set where the photo isn't taken in Chicago. I can't tell where the shot was taken, but it looks like the field has astroturf. Any guesses?

Also, as you may have noticed, I changed up the color scheme on here. If anyone has a hard time reading the blog with the new color scheme, let me know and I will fix it.

'81 Donruss Tracker: 64/100

Saturday, May 15, 2010

1981 Donruss, Bob Watson

#225 Bob Watson

Here is a card that I got in the mail yesterday. I sent Bob two cards on the 28th of last month, so it took about two and a half weeks to get them back, along with a couple of extra signatures.

Prior to sending these cards to Bob, I knew nothing about his career. I didn't know that he was a two-time All Star and I didn't know that he was the first player to ever hit for the cycle in both leagues. I didn't even know that he was the first black general manager in the game. About the only thing I knew about him was that he replaced Frank Robinson as the guy that fines players (Vice President of Rules and On-Field Operations).

So, after noticing that he signs from his office in New York, I was happy to find this card in my collection. I've been getting these cards signed since May of 2008 and this is my first signed '81 Donruss card of a Yankee. If it takes me another two years to get a second Yankee card signed, I'm probably not doing too good on the '81 Donruss front.

Here is one of the extra signatures that Bob sent. It's like a business card except his name isn't printed on it. Since it is signed in black and the other three autographs are in blue, it is probably safe to say that Bob has a stack of these that are already signed. But, it is a real autograph and not something that is printed on the card. I wish Gene Garber would have signed his business card.

'81 Donruss Tracker: 63/100

Friday, May 14, 2010

1981 Donruss, Frank Tanana

#171 Frank Tanana

At the rate I am going right now, I should still be posting '81 Donruss cards well into next week. They keep coming in and I am out of stamps, so there are none going out right now. But that will change shortley.

Here is one of the three cards that Frank Tanana signed for me earlier in the week. This card is from his glory days with the Angels. Apparently, Frank used to throw some gas in the '70s. From 1976 to 1977, Frank struck out at least 200 batters a season including his career high of 269 in '75. Add Nolan Ryan to that rotation and you have got a ton of Ks coming from the first and second starters.

Frank was a three-time All Star in the late '70s with the Angles and he won a career high 19 games for them in 1976. The All Star game that summer was the only one that he actually played in and he had a rough outing. He pitched two innings, allowing three runs on three hits, while walking one and striking out none. That's not the way you want your lone appearance to go.

After the 1981 season, Frank and two other players where shipped to Boston for Fred Lynn and Steve Renko. Frank pitched in Beantown for one year before moving on as a free agent.

'81 Donruss Tracker: 62/100

Thursday, May 13, 2010

1981 Donruss, Jim Morrison

#158 Jim Morrison

This is actually the second Jim Morrison card that I have posted on here. The first one was posted in August of last year and it was given to me by the Collective Troll.

This one is another TTM that I sent out recently. Jim is the manager of the Charlotte Stone Crabs of the Florida State League. I sent this card to him on the 26th of last month and I got it back on the 4th of this month.

If you compare the autograph on this card with the one I linked to, you can see the difference that a Sharpie can make for autographs.

'81 Donruss Tracker: 61/100

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

1981 Donruss, Jeff Reardon

#156 Jeff Reardon

I've been hitting up the '81 Donruss lately via through the mail. Anymore, I'm pretty lazy about TTMing and I would rather get cards signed in person, when possible. But, money is tight this year and I do not see myself going to as many ballgames as I did last year. I've got a mini-trip to Birmingham planned, as well as the usual College World Series trip. After that, there isn't much on my agenda for the rest of the summer. Because of that, I have sent out almost twenty '81 Donruss TTMs in the past two weeks. Plus, I have addresses for another twenty, although I may not have cards for all of them.

The first one I have to show you is this Jeff Reardon rookie. I sent this card to Jeff at the end of February and I got it back at the end of April. For a bit there, I thought that this card got lost in the mail. The reason why I thought that is because Jeff is such a great and quick signer. Yet, it took me two months to get this card back while other people where getting theirs back around the same time frame after two weeks. But, it made it home safe and I am very happy with the results.

This was actually the second time I wrote to Jeff. I wrote to him the first time in the fall of 2008. When it came to sending him a card, it came down to this one and a card that had him as an Expo. I ended up picking the Expo card and I put this card on the back-burner before temporarily losing it. Luckily, Ryan from the Great Orioles Autograph Project was able to hook me up with this card to get signed. I actually found my missing card last weekend, but I don't seem to need it now thanks to Ryan.

'81 Donruss Tracker: 60/100

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

1967 Topps, Vern Law

#351 Vern Law

Here is the second card that I sent to Vern along with the Buc Hill Aces card. Vern will sign one card for free. But since I sent him two cards, I sent him a ten dollar check so that he would sign them both.

I bought this card off of ebay last year so I could send it to get signed. But for some reason, I either got really lazy or really busy becuase this card sat in a box until last month. Then, after getting the BHA card signed, I finally sent this card with it and I had it back two weeks later.

I didn't realize it when I bought this card, but this is the very same card that is pictured on the '85 Topps father/son card that I got signed last year.

With this card, I now have a signed card from every Topps base set from 1967 to 2010, with the exception of the 2000 set (I have three cards signed from 2000 Topps Traded set).

Notice the tall building in the background? If Topps is still churning out Heritage in 2016, we better get more than just boring Spring Training shots. They better include some boring regular season shots, as well.

Monday, May 10, 2010

1961 Topps, Roy Face

#370 Roy Face

Here is the second card that was signed for me by Roy Face. Roy was a reliever for the Pirates in the '50s and '60s. I had never heard of him until late last year when I noticed that he did a lot of TTM signing. So, I bought some cards to send to him and they just sat around on my desk for a few months. Then, I read this article on the Collective Troll's second blog, The Nitty Gritty, and I wanted his autograph even more. So, I'm not going to say anything more about Roy since the Troll did such a great job of it the first time. Check out the read to find out all that you need to know about Roy Face.

I will say this about Roy- I lke his autograph. For all of the autographs that I have, this is the first time that I have ever seen an "F" look the way his does.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

1961 Topps, Buc Hill Aces

#250 Buc Hill Aces (Vern Law-Roy Face)

Here is a card that I got signed through the mail twice. I first sent it to Roy Face and he signed it and another card in about a week. I then sent the card to Vern Law, and he had it back to me two weeks later. The card is not in the best shape and the picture is a little faded, but it sure looks great with both of the signatures on it.

Come to think of it, I don't remember the card being that faded when I bought it. So the two trips through the mail might have had a little impact on it.

The next two cards are of these two players, so I will talk about them then.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

1952 Topps, Eddie Joost

#45 Eddie Joost

Here is a card that I got signed through the mail earlier this week. I sent this card to Eddie on the 28th of May and got it back Monday. Not a bad turnaround.

Unlike most of the cards I post on here, this card has a bit of a story. It all starts in 1991 when Topps was celebrating it's 40th anniversary. I was twelve at the time and I decided that it would be cool if I could get at least one card from each of the Topps base sets starting in 1952. I had all the cards I needed from the '70s, '80s, and '90s, but many of the older cards were causing me some problems. It wasn't that I couldn't find them, it was just that the older ones were a little out of my budget. Luckily, I was able to find this card at one of the local shops. I have no idea what I paid for it, but whatever it was was a small price to pay for a forty-year old card.

To me, getting this card out of the way was going to make my 40 card Topps collection easy. Then disaster struck.

One day, my dad took me out to eat. For some stupid reason, I left my 1991 binder setting on the end table right next to a full glass of Coke. I had my 40 card collection in the back of that binder with the older cards on the very bottom page. While I was gone, my dog ended up knocking over the glass of Coke. This card did a good job of soaking some of it off of the table. While the creases and dings have been on this card for many years, that nice brown stain was acquired in 1991. After that instance, I gave up on the 40 card collection. I was just too bummed out about my '52 and '53 cards getting messed up.

Fast forward nineteen years later and I finally discover that Eddie is a great TTM signer. I figured that this would be the best way to throw some new life into the card and I couldn't have been more right. I am super-happy about the way it looks now and I am glad that the card is still a part of my collection.

Cards from Padrographs

I was a little bit surprised when I checked the mail the other day and found a package waiting for me. It was from Rod, of Padrographs, and in it was a healthy stack of 2010 Topps Pro Debut, a couple of Royals, and about a dozen autographs. The autographs will be saved for later, but most of the other cards are visible in the photo above. I was especially excited about this package because the Topps minor league cards never made their way to this area and it was a product that I was looking forward to. So, thank you Rod for passing some along my way. I really do appreciate it and I can't wait to get some signed.

Friday, May 7, 2010

2002 Upper Deck 40 Man, Alan Embree

#846 Alan Embree

Here is the final 2002 card. Tomorrow, I hope to start recapping all of the older cards that I have got signed since I started on the '02s. I have work and a Wingnuts game tomorrow, but I hope to get something up late at night after the game.

This card is a Padrograph of Alan Embree. It was sent to me about a year and a half ago and this whole time, I never realized that Alan is still an active player until yesterday. I was looking at his career stats and was shocked to see that he pitched for the Rockies last year. Then, while I was checking out MLB Trade Rumors, I noticed that the Red Sox released Alan recently. He was pitching for their AAA team and I guess he had a clause in his contract that entitled him to his release if he wasn't called up by a certain date. So, Alan is now an unrestricted free agent. Maybe the Royals will give him a shot.

I think one of the reasons that I thought Alan wasn't playing any more is because I haven't seen a card of him for a few years. That was one of the neat things about Topps Total and UD 40 Man; you would get cards of all of the relief pitchers and bench players. Why both companies steered away from this concept is a mystery to me. That would be the one set that I would be interested in today.

Speaking of Padrographs, I got an awesome package from Rod yesterday. I will try to post some of its contents tonight after I get home from the K-State/Texas game. GO CATS!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Most Wanted: 1982 Topps Denny Lewallyn

Here before you is the number one card that I am looking for right now. I have tried to trade this on the TMC giveaway, but have had no such luck. Only one of these cards have been given away and the person that has it isn't looking to trade with me.

So, I am looking for some help from the blogging community. If you have this card, I will trade you a Jeremy Giambi jersey card or a Todd Helton jersey card. If you are interested, let me know by May 12th.

And if you have the 1990 Target card (or a minor league one), the trade still applies.

If there are any other cards you would want in return, just let me know.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

2002 Upper Deck, Bob Malek

#46 Bob Malek

Here is the "Futuer Gem" that I referenced yesterday and it was sent to me by Paul, of Paul's Random Stuff.

Bob was a first team All-American at Michigan State. He was drafted by the Mets in the fourth round of the 2002 draft and he signed quickly enough to get into 28 Brooklyn Cyclones games that year. He moved up to their Sally League team the next season and even got promoted to the Florida State League before the halfway point in the season. Amazingly, his average rose after each promotion.

He spent most of his third season in the FSL, but he did get into 14 AA games. The following season was spent entirely with the AA team and he hit .277 with 37 RBI and 4 home runs in 116 games. At some point during that season or sometime during the next season, Bob must have hurt himself.

The reason why I say that is because Bob did something in 2006 that doesn't happen too often. That season, Bob played in at least two games with almost every minor league team the the Mets have. He played two games with the GCL Mets, three with Brooklyn (low-A), six with St. Lucie (high-A), sixty-three with Binghamton (AA), and eighteen with Norfolk (AAA). Since I have started this blog, that is first time that I have noticed that. Granted, I don't look at too many minor league stats for the average Major Leaguer, but I still thought that that season looked interesting.

After that whirlwind season through the Mets system, Bob played in six FSL games the next year before his apparent release. He then found himself playing for the Bridgeport Bluefish of the Atlantic League for the majority of the season. After that, he was picked up by the Dodgers and he played in 28 AA games before getting released. That was in 2008 and that appears to be the last season that he played.

Bob has a neat looking signature. If you look at his Bowman card that is used on the Baseball Cube page that is linked at the top, you can see that his signature changed a bunch after going pro.

This is the last '02 UD card that I have for here and I must say that this is a good looking set, although based on a small sample size. After the last few years of UD, this close-up shot almost looks out of place.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

2002 Upper Deck, Cory Aldridge

#31 Cory Aldridge

I had no idea that Cory Aldridge played in the Major Leagues until about ten minutes ago. I was looking at the two cards that are signed from this set and I noticed that one said "Future Gem" and the other said "Star Rookie". Having assumed that niether player played in the Majors, I started to wonder what the difference was between the two. Well, it seems that Cory's five Major League at-bats are the difference.

Cory was drafted by the Braves in the fourth round of the 1997 draft. It took him five seasons to reach AA and he ended up hitting .246 there with 19 home runs and 56 RBI. The Braves organization was pleased enough with those results that they gave him a September call-up. During that month, Cory got into 8 games. He was mostly a defensive replacement, but he did get 5 at-bats. In those 5 ABs, he struck out 4 times and grounded out once.

That was in 2001 and Cory hasn't recieved a second chance to redeem himself since. It looks like he was hurt for most of the 2002 season since he only played in 17 games for the Braves GCL team. Since then, he has bounced around the Royals, Mets, White Sox, and Angels systems, as well as a brief stint with the Newark Bears. He is currently playing for the Angels AAA team, the Salt Lake Bees. He is off to a good start so far with a batting average over .300 with 5 homers and 23 RBI. It would be nice to see him get another shot at the Majors.

I got this card signed last season in Des Moines, Iowa while Cory was playing for the Omaha Royals. It's not the best card for getting signed, but it was the only one I could find on Cory signed it between games of a doubleheader.

Monday, May 3, 2010

2002 Topps Total, Brian Adams

#185 Brian Adams

Here is another card that was sent to my by Paul this past Christmas. It features the former Red Sox farmhand, Brian Adams.

Brian was drafted by the Sox in the 8th round of the 2000 draft. He advanced his way up to AA and in May of 2003, he was traded to the Brewers to complete an earlier deal (yes, he was a player to be named later). He pitched for a year and a half with the Brewers AA team before being released after the 2004 season.

After that, he pitched for two seasons with the Fargo-Moorhead Redhawks of the Northern League. He then went to the Atlantic League for three seasons while he pitched for the Somerset Patriots. In his first season there, he went 15-2 for the year. That was his first where he pitched primarily as a starter since his first season of pro ball.

Brian had been pitching for the Broncos de Reynosa of the Mexican League this spring. He had a 2-0 record and a 1.07 ERA in six starts. He is now listed on their roster as a reserve, though. The Mexican League starts play in March and it is likely that Brian was using that time to get ready for this season. However, I didn't see his name on any of the Atlantic League rosters, so I have no idea what he is up to this season.

In 2002, I probably bought four packs of cards. None of them were Topps Total, so I had no idea that this product was available then. In fact, I did not know that there was an '02 Topps Total set until I got this card from Paul. This is the only card from the set that I own (that I know of).

Sunday, May 2, 2010

2002 Topps Chrome, Leonard DiNardo

#691 Leonard DiNardo

I thought that this was a cool card before I even got it signed. For one, it's a Topps Chrome card that looks so much different in color to the base set. The base set was a bronze color and this one is silver. I don't buy many Topps Chrome cards, but I don't think that they chrome them up like they did in this set. The second thing I like about it is that it calls him Leonard, rather than Lenny like he goes by. The final thing I like about it is that it features him as a Met. I didn't know that he was ever a Met. It turns out that he was drafted by them, but taken by the Red Sox in the Rule V draft two years later. I had no idea.

I got this card signed last summer on my College World Series trip. Lenny was playing for the Omaha Royals at the time and I was able to get this card signed in betwen games of a double header in Des Moines, Iowa. It's kind of a sloppy autograph because Lenny had a hot chocolate in one hand and my Sharpie in the other. I had to hold my book for him while he signed. But, that's how it goes sometimes when 'graphing.

Lenny was the pitcher of the year last season in the Pacific Coast League.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

2002 Topps, Demetrius Heath

#T200 Demetrius Heath

Here is the seventh and final 2002 Topps card. This one features Demetrius Heath and it was sent to me by Paul, of Paul's Random Stuff.

Heath was a 31st round selection of the Tigers in the 2000 draft. He played in the Tigers organization from 2001-2003 and he never got above high-A ball. He got released by the Tigers after the '03 season and he ended up playing for the Atlantic City Surf in 2004. He did good enough with them that the Angels signed him in August of that year assigned him to their California League team. He hit .338 with them in 74 at-bats, but it wasn't enough and he got released after 22 games.

After that, Heath bounced around the independent circuit. He went back to Atlantic City for two seasons. He then split the 2007 season with the Saint Paul Saints of the American Association and the Schaumburg Flyers of the Northern League. 2008 was spent with the Ft. Worth Cats (AA) and the Winnipeg Goldeyes (NL). He didn't play at all last year, so his career is likely done.