Wednesday, July 7, 2010
1993 Topps, Mark Strittmatter/Lamarr Rogers
#746 Mark Stritttmatter and Lamarr Rogers
Here is a card that I was able to get both signatures on in about a month and a half. That is the second quickest dual signature card that I have completed. The quickest one took about a week, while others have taken me a couple of years or more.
I'll lead off with Mark Strittmatter. Mark is actually the bullpen catcher for the Colorado Rockies. I first discovered this card by checking out SCN and I saw that someone sent this card to Mark, care of the Rockies. When I saw that, I went over to the Rockies site to see what position he held and I didn't see his name on there. I obviously didn't check to see who their bullpen catcher was. But, when the Rockies came to Kansas City for the first weekend of interleague play, I checked their site again and I noticed Mark on there. So I took this card with me to the game and I was able to get it signed while the '85 Classic was going on.
While I was watching the old-timers softball game, I made sure to sit in the left field foul territory in case any Rockies pitchers went to the outfield to get some work in. It was a decent place to be and I got a few autographs from pitchers and coaches out there.
At one point, this guy was walking out to the bullpen and he had a big gear bag with him. I assumed that it was the bullpen catcher because of the size of the bag and because I knew it wasn't Miguel Olivo or Paul Phillips. So, from my seat, I yelled out "Mark!" to see if it was him or not. He instantly looked over to me, so I held up this card and asked if he would sign it for me. He said something to me that I couldn't make out and pointed to the bullpen. He kept on walking and headed to the pen to catch a bullpen session for Jhoulys Chacin. As soon as Jhoulys had finished his session, Mark took off his mask and chest protector and then ran over to where I was to sign my cards. I thought that was an extremely nice gesture on his part. Not too many guys will hustle over to you to give an autograph. After he signed, he ran back to the pen to get back to work.
As for Lamarr, the plan was to get him to sign the card the very next day at a Wichita Wingnuts game. Lamarr was the batting coach of the visiting St. Paul Saints. But, unfortunately, the six hours in the sun the day before, on the hottest day of the year, wore me out and I did not make it to the game. But, the Saints were back in town this past weekend and I was able to finish the card then.
I was a little leery of asking Lamarr to sign when I did, but I figured that the worst that was going to happen was he would ignore me or say no. The reason I say that is because I intercepted him between the clubhouse (in left field) and the dugout (first base side) and Lamarr's hands were full. He had his coaching helmet, a line-up card, and some other paper work all in one hand and a coffee in the other. He came over and set his coffee down on a ledge and signed the card while I held it in my book.
While they are not the most noticeable names in the game, I am still glad to have both of their signatures on this card.
As for their playing careers, they vary greatly. Mark actually wore a Major League uniform as a player, while Lamarr never got above AA. Mark got called up to Denver in 1998 as a September call-up and he made it into 4 games. He got 4 at-bats and struck out 3 times without recording a hit. Lamarr was out of affiliated ball after four seasons in the minors and he ended up playing a couple of seasons with the St Paul Saints, the team he coaches today.
What is up with these cards? What was Topps thinking when they decided to turn a card sideways and then put two photos on it that each had a regular border around them. To make it worse, they even put a Topps logo on each picture like you were supposed to cut it in half or something. That might make a little sense if there were two different card numbers on the back. But, there is only one number on the back and it is on Lamarr's side. Plus, the Rockies cards are awful for autographs since every single player has on a black batting practice jersey. But, I made due with what I had. It's not like there are many cards out there of these two guys.