Wednesday, June 30, 2010

1992 Classic Draft Picks, Brant Brown

#58 Brant Brown

Here is the 45th, and hopefully final, post of the month. That may seem like chump-change to some of you hardcore bloggers, but I haven't had this many posts in a single month since December of 2008. But, I guess doing about a post and a half a day and running a drawn-out contest can do that to a person.

Anyway, here is the first of three Brant Brown signatures. I got this card signed in Springdale, Arkansas earlier this month while I was on my annual ballpark road trip. Brant is the batting coach of the Frisco Roughriders, the AA affiliate of the Texas Rangers.

By just looking at Brant's signature, it is easy to assume that this is just a hurried ballpark sig. While it is a ballpark sig, it was in no means hurried. Brant was very slow and deliberate in deciding where to sign each name on the card. I know that it looks like he signed the same thing for his first and last name, but he sure seemed to take his time about it and he tried to have the same spacing on all three cards. It may not be the best looking signature, but at least all three cards were consistent.

I now have two Classic draft pick cards signed (this one and a 4-Sport) and both of them feature a player from Fresno State. Since the College World Series just ended yesterday, I am going to throw out this tidbit of info- The 2008 CWS champions, Fresno State, were the lowest ranked team to ever win a national championship in any NCAA sport. They barely made it into the 64 team field. How 'bout that?

1991 Line Drive AAA, Bill Dancy

#499 Bill Dancy

Here is the second and final card that I got signed at the Rickwood Classic by the manager of the Tennessee Smokies. You can see the first card here.

Bill played professionally for six seasons in the Phillies and Mets systems. He made it up to AAA, mostly as a middle infielder, and he actually spent parts of four seasons at that level. But after his playing days, he went into coaching and that is where I cannot find much information on him. There is nothing on the Smokies site about him and all that Wikipedia has to say is that he was the Phillies third base coach from 2005-06. Other than that, I know nothing about his coaching career. I wish that there was some sort of site out there that listed all of the coach's stops. I'm sure that it would be hard to put together, but it sure would be a useful tool if it could be done.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

1991 Line Drive AAA, Andy Tomberlin

#445 Andy Tomberlin

Here is the third and final Andy Tomberlin card that I got signed at the Rickwood Classic. You can see the first one here and the second one here.

All three cards that I got signed by Andy are minor league cards. He had a few Major League cards available, but I do not have one. I could have picked one up on before I left for my trip. But, I spent $50 on the site buying cards of the minor leaguers that I would be seeing and I figured that the cards I had would work just as well. So I held off.

Speaking of Andy's Major League career, it spanned parts of six seasons with the Pirates, Red Sox, A's, Mets, and Tigers. The most games that he ever got into in one season was 63 with the Mets in 1996. He finished his career with a .233 average with 11 home runs and 38 RBI.

I like the team logo on this card. It is different than the one used by CMC in 1990. Any team logo that puts the ballpark's name in it is alright by me.

The Richmond Braves are no longer around. They moved to the Atlanta suburbs and are now the Gwinnett Braves. Richmond has a new team and they are the Flying Squirrels. They play in the Eastern League (AA).

1991 Line Drive AA, Steve Foster

#158 Steve Foster

Here is the second of three cards that were signed for me earlier in the year by the Royals bullpen coach. Speaking of him being their bullpen coach, every time I see Steve on TV, he always has on a pair of catcher's shinguards. He obviously is a former pitcher and I have never seen him behind the plate in the bullpen, but he always looks like he is ready. I was amazed when I got this card signed that he didn't have them on yet. I thought that I wasn't going to be able to recognize him without them, but I got lucky and he was the only person in the pen at the time.

Steve is playing for the Chattanooga Lookouts on this card. The Lookouts are still playing in the Southern League, but they are no longer affiliated with the Reds. They are now part of the Dodgers organization.

Monday, June 28, 2010

1991 Bowman, Ever Magallanes

#61 Ever Magallanes

Here is a card that I got signed in Birmingham prior to the Rickwood Classic. Ever, or Mags as I heard someone else call him, is the manager of the Birmingham Barons. He signed both cards that I had of him.

This is actually the second time that I have got Mags to sign for me. The first time was in 2008 while he was managing the Rancho Cucamonga Quakes in the California League. The Quakes are an Angels affiliate and the Barons are affiliated with the White Sox. So, at some point, he changed teams.

I had this card in 2008, but I didn't realize that Mags had a Major League card until later in the summer. That was in the days before I knew about I tried to get this card signed last year in St. Louis where he coaching at the Futures Game, but I was unsuccessful there. So, I was happy to finally get it signed earlier this month.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

1990 Winter Haven Red Sox Star, Al Sanders

#24 Al Sanders

Here is a card that was given to me by Rod, of Padrographs. This is only the second time on here that I have featured a card that was given to me by Rod of a player that never played for the Padres. I know, it is pretty crazy. But, you had better get used to it because there are a few more on the way.

When I first saw this card, I thought that it was out of the 1989 set. I had no idea that Star turned this border out two years in a row without changing it. I don't think that Star produced a pack based set in 1990, only team sets.

As for Al, he never made it to the Major Leagues. His professional career lasted five seasons in the Red Sox organization as he advanced up to AA. In 1991 with the New Britain Red Sox, Al had the misfortune of finishing the season 4-15. While he led the team in losses, he was one of three pitchers that had double-digits in that category on a team that finished 47-93. His 4 wins were good enough to tie him for third on the team lead. He went on to pitch one more season at AA before calling it quits.

I know it is hard to see, but this card is autographed. It was signed in ballpoint and it looks like it might have faded a bit over time.

The Winter Haven Red Sox are no longer around. Their last season was 1992. They operated in the Florida State League and moved to Ft. Lauderdale for one season before moving on to Sarasota. After 2005, it looks like the Red Sox moved their high-A team to Lancaster, California. Currently, their high-A team is in Salem, Virginia.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

CWS Contest Finale

Well, the College World Series isn't over, but this contest is. Nobody picked South Carolina or UCLA to make it to the finals, so there is no point waiting for a champion.

Here is the final tally.

Ryan- 9 pts
Brian- 6 pts

Captain Canuck- 5 pts
PAB- 5 pts
Skoormit- 4 pts
Dave- 2 pts
Rod- 2 pts

Ryan racked up 4 points by picking half of the teams that would make it to Omaha and Brian guessed more game winners than everyone else, so I guess it is appropriate that they are the two winners. If TCU would have knocked off UCLA, Brian would have won by even more points and PAB would have scooted into second. But that was not the case. Brian and Ryan will each be getting a signed '07 A&G Augie Garrido card. Some more prizes will be made available at the end of the CWS and you two can divide them up then.

Congratulations to the winners and I want to thank everybody for playing along. I'm already looking forward to next year's contest and I would appreciate everyone's feedback on how I could make it better/easier/simpler. I was a little disappointed in the lack of participants, but I wanted all the points to come from the CWS, not from pimping my blog. Maybe I will change that next year, though. Let me know what you think.

1990 Score, Curt Ford

#183 Curt Ford

Here is the third and final Curt Ford card that I got signed at the '85 Classic. You can see the first one here and the second one here.

Curt only spent two seasons with the Phillies organization and the second season only consisted of 18 at-bats in 22 games. In his first season with them, he played in a career high number of games, 108. But, he only batted 142 times. So, it looks like he was mainly used as a pinch hitter/defensive replacement that year. Doing that job, he hit .218.

1990 was his last season in the Majors, but he still played AAA ball for three more years and some independent ball for another four. 1997 was the last season that he played professionally. Today, Curt is the manager of the Springfield Sliders, a collegiate summer team that used to be managed by Jack Clark.

1989-90 Pacific Senior League, Tito Landrum

#168 Tito Landrum

Here is the third and final card that Tito signed for me at the '85 Classic. You can see the first one here and the second one here.

Do you think that a Senior League would do well today? With the success of all of the independent leagues, I don't see why it couldn't. I don't think that Florida would necessarily be the most ideal spot, but maybe Texas, Arizona, or California would. Or maybe a league that is spread out over the three states. I know that I would rather go to a Wichita Wingnuts game if it was a team full of former Major Leaguers rather than a team full of career minor leaguers. But, that is just me and my autograph mentality thinking.

What do you think? Would a Senior League work today? Or would it just be a one year wonder like the original league was?

Friday, June 25, 2010

1989-90 Pacific Senior League, Paul Mirabella

#165 Paul Mirabella

Just like todays earlier post, this is another TTM that was included with an '81 Donruss card. After '81D, this may be my favorite set to get signed. You can see Paul's '81D here and listen to a lame song while you are at it.

Out of all the teams that participated in the Senior Professional League, or whatever it was called, the Tropics probably have the most outlandish uniform. The palm tree "T" is certainly unique, but it looks out of place by itself on the hunter orange hats. While their road unifroms do not look bad, I cannot say the same thing for the orange jersey with white trim and orange undershirt. I hope that they were just a warm-up jersey and not something that was worn in a game.

I like how Paul is still wearing a batting glove under his fielding glove, just like he was on his '81 Donruss card. I wonder if he takes it off to shower.

1989-90 Pacific Senior League, Joe Sambito

#18 Joe Sambito

Here is the second card that I had sent to Joe in the middle of May. The first one was his '81 Donruss card and you can see that one again here.

I can't think of anything to say about Joe that I didn't say in his first post, so I'm going to talk about a couple of other things. The first thing I want to bring up is the the St. Pete Pelicans uniform. Call me crazy, but I swear that the Tampa Bay Rays have worn that uniform before as a turn back the clock uniform. For a team as new as the Rays, they sure seem to have a lot of turn back the clock nights. Since they usually turn the clock back to before their existence, they wear some odd-ball uniforms from former minor league teams in the area and I'm pretty sure that they wore this one once. Are there any Rays fans out there that can confirm that? What they need to do is have a turn back the clock night to 1998 and put on the original D-Rays unis.

The second thing I wanted to bring up is Joe's signature. His "J" almost looks like a "T" and his "S" looks more like a horseshoe than anything else. His "S" is more developed on the Donruss card and looks more like an actual "S", but that is not the case on this card.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

1990 Leaf, Danny Jackson

#279 Danny Jackson

Here is a card that my dad was able to get signed for me at the '85 Classic. When we got to the game, I went down by the Royals dugout and I had my dad head go over to the visiting dugout to hold a spot for me in case I needed to be over there. As soon as the '85 Cardinals came out of the Royals dugout, they all headed over to the opposite dugout. I followed them over there and I gave my dad my Royals cards and told him to see what he could get signed by the '85 Royals. He wasn't happy about it, but he went over there anyways.

Only a couple of the Royals ended up signing and Danny Jackson was obviously one of them. Dane Iorg was the other guy who signed and I needed him on an '81 Donruss. Dane signed for a bit and I assumed my dad got my '81D signed by him. But, that was not the case. My dad got so flustered trying to find the card that he ended up dropping some cards. By the time he got those picked up, Dane was through signing. I still give my dad crap about that every once in a while, but I am glad that he was able to get this card signed because it is the first and only 1990 Leaf card that I have signed.

Remember when these cards first came out? It was like 1989 Upper Deck all over again. To this day, I still do not have many cards from this set because they were so expensive.

This is the second Danny Jackson card that I have posted on here. The first one was posted almost two years ago and you can see it here.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

The Joy of a Completed Page, 1990 CMC

Here is a completed page of what may have been the first mass produced minor league set in the history of baseball cards. If you want to see more cards from this set, you have to check out The Greatest 21 Days. It is a blog that focuses exclusively on this set and it is worth checking out. I just wish that I would have found it earlier.

Here is the breakdown.

Game: 7 (5 at Kauffman Stadium, 1 at Rangers Ballpark, and 1 at Minute Maid Park)
TTM: 2, and both were in the early '90s

1990 CMC, Mike Benjamin

#549 Mike Benjamin

Here is a card that I got signed last Friday in Omaha. Mike is a first year assistant coach for Arizona State and I was able to get this card signed after they practiced at Rosenblatt that day.

After each team's practice session, they all sit down on the concourse and sign autographs for a half hour or so. I was hoping to get Mike's autograph then, but he was nowhere to be seen. I looked around in the stands to see if he might have been watching Clemson practice, but I didn't find him. I went back to the autograph line and found a team trainer and asked him if he knew where Mike was. He told me that Mike was in the dugout watching Clemson practice. So, I went down there and I still couldn't find him. I looked around a bit more before I headed back to the autograph line. When I got there, I found Mike grabbing his stuff to head to the bus. That is when I got him to sign.

While I was trying to find Mike, I found a kid that had already got some cards signed by him. He told me to just look for the guy in the ASU uniform with some nice-looking pork-chop sideburns. You can't miss him, he said. Sure enough, that was how I found him. He was probably the only guy in town sporting them that weekend. Even the head coach mentioned the 'chops while he was signing my two cards, but I will save that story for the next one.

The two cards that Mike signed for me were the only two cards that I got signed over the weekend.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

CWS Contest Update

We are seven games into the CWS and it is time to look at how the brackets are going. It is safe to say that, with ASU's loss today, nobody is doing great. Before I go into that, I first want to explain how the scoring is going to work for the contest.

Games 1, 2, 4, and 5 in each bracket are all worth one point. Game 3s are worth two points and games 6/7 are worth three points. The championship is worth three points and you can earn a fourth point by guessing the number of games correctly. So if you ran the table on the bracket, you can earn 22 total points.

So far, through seven games with nine points available, everyone has received between one and three points. Ryan and Brian each have scored three while Dave and Skoormit have scored one. Captain Canuck and PAB have each scored two.

With UCLA winning last night, Brian and PAB can get a point on Wednesday if TCU beats Florida State. If TCU goes on to beat UCLA twice in a row, Ryan and PAB will get three points. Or if Florida State beats TCU and then beats UCLA twice, Dave and Captain Canuck will each get three points. Other than that, no other points can be awarded for group A.

As for group B, everyone but Skoormit got a point for Oklahoma knocking off South Carolina. But, everyone picked Arizona State to win game 2 and 3. Everyone picked Clemson or Oklahoma to win game 4 and since they are playing in game 3, they cannot win game 4. So there are no points to get there. The only real point left to get out of group B is the one available in game 5. If Clemson loses game 3 tonight and wins game 5, Ryan and Brian will each get one point. If Oklahoma loses game 3 and wins game 5, Dave and Captain Canuck will each get one point. If South Carolina wins game 4 and 5, then Skoormit will get one point. After that, everyone has ASU advancing to the finals.

So, here are the total standings so far.

Ryan- 9 points
Brian- 5 points
Captain Canuck- 5 points
PAB- 4 points
Skoormit- 3 points
Dave- 2 points

Unless Florida State can advance to the finals, this may be a battle for second place.

I went to Omaha on Friday to watch all of the teams work out and I got some custom cards signed. I was planning on having some of these for prizes, but my printer was fighting me at the last minute when I printed these out and they did not come out as good as I had hoped. But here they are anyway.

I also got these signed and each one of them will be available as a prize.

I was hoping to get some cards signed by these guys, but they would only sign the 8x10s provided.

(Disclaimer: I typed this up while Arizona State was down 10-0 in the fifth inning. If they somehow came back to win, disregard most of the group B predictions. Also, if you think I may have made an error in scoring the points, let me know and I will look into it.)

1990 CMC, Jim Wright

#249 Jim Wright

Here is the second and final card that I got signed by Jim Wright prior to the '85 Classic. You can see the first card here.

Like I said in the first post, I got the cards signed by the players entrance as they were arriving for the game. After Jim signed my cards, I went over to where my buddy was having a beer and he asked me if I got Jim Wright's autograph. I was amazed that he knew who Jim was since he isn't much of a baseball fan. I asked him how he knew who it was and he said his name was embroidered on his luggage. I wasn't as amazed after that.

This card is the third Red Barons card that I have signed from this set. The cards feature the manager, the pitching coach, and a player at the end of his career that would eventually be a coach. All three cards have the close-up mug shot with the player/coach wearing his navy warm-up jacket. I just went through the rest of the Red Baron cards that I have from the set and they are all similar. These cards are the worst to get signed since most guys don't sign across their face and the dark colored jacket makes it hard to see the signature. But, when it is the only card you have of a player, it is either that or nothing.

Monday, June 21, 2010

1990 CMC, Bill Dancy

#244 Bill Dancy

Here is another card that I got signed at the Rickwood Classic. This one was signed by the visiting dugout since Bill is the manager of the Tennessee Smokies. I tried to get him to sign earlier that day as he was coming onto the field from the clubhouse, but he either didn't hear me or he ignored me. But I was able to get him to sign a little bit later as he was standing by the dugout and chatting with his players. He must not see too many baseball cards of himself because the players that were sitting on the dugout next to him made sure to take a good look at the cards he was signing. So, I guess it is his players that don't see too many cards of him.

I always find it strange when I get a card like this signed. The thing I find strange is that Bill was a AAA manager in 1990. Twenty years later, he is managing at the AA level. I would think that if he was a AAA manager, he would be a canadate for a Major League slot. But instead, he is Ryne Sandberg's replacement in AA. I guess that some guys are just better at developping the younger players than others.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

1990 Best, Andy Tomberlin

#265 Andy Tomberlin

Here is the second of three cards that I got signed by Andy at the Rickwood Classic last month.

The reason why I picked out this card to get signed is simple. Prior to this autograph, I did not have a card from this set signed. Now I have one and I doubt that I will be able to add many more.

I got this card in a pack in 1990 or 1991. I'm not one hundred percent positive, but I think that the these were the first minor league cards that I ever bought. I'm not even sure where I bought these, but for some reason I want to think that I picked them up at a flea market. I bought one or two packs of these and I haven't seen any more since. So, I only have a small handful of cards from the set and I am now lucky enough to have one signed.

Can anyone tell me what kind of bat Andy is holding in the photo?

1989 Topps, Jack Clark

#410 Jack Clark

Well, I ended up getting back from Omaha a little earlier than I planned. The original plan for today was to go to the 1:00 game and then come home after that. But it was raining when I got up and it was still raining when I got to the park at 9:30. So my dad and I walked around a bit and got some souvinirs. We went to the card shop across the street from the ballpark, which had Bowman packs for $6.50, and the owner greeted me with a beer. He had the weather channel on in there and it wasn't looking too good for getting the game started on time. So, we decided that we would head home. It's almost 4:30 now as I type this and the game has yet to start. So, I think that we made the right move. But overall, it was still a good time.

Here is the third and final Jack Clark card that I got signed at the '85 Classic last month. You can see the first one here and the second one here.

When I saw that Jack was going to be at the game, the first thing I did was look for Jack's '81 Donruss card. I had one with a bad gum stain on the front, so I didn't take that one. The next thing I did was I looked for this card. Why this card? Well, this is the first card that I really noticed as a youngster that was airbrushed. How I never noticed the '88 Topps Tito Landrum card, I do not know. But I sure was able to notice Jack's airbrushed hands and wrists. To this day, I still wonder why Topps thought that they needed to do that.

It almost looks like Jack has some G.I. Joe hands that swivel at the wrist.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Closed for CWS

I am heading up to Omaha here in a few minutes. There will be no posts until I get back on Sunday. Make sure you get in on the CWS contest in the previous post.

See you Sunday!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Contest Time

In case you haven't noticed, I've been running a little contest here for the past two weeks that revolves around the College World Series. Seven people have already entered and have a tiny head start. But, it is not too late to get in on the action. There are plenty more points to be earned and no one is even close to locking this thing up yet. So here is all you have to do- fill out a College World Series bracket.

Keep in mind that this breacket is nothing like filling out a March Madness bracket. The reason for that is beacuse of the loser's bracket. But, I am going to try to make this as simple as I can. Here is my homemade bracket. Click on it to hopefully see a bigger view.

The abbreviations on there are: TCU=Texas Christion, FSU=Florida State, UCLA=UCLA, OU=Oklahoma, USC=South Carolina (NOT Southern Cal), and ASU=Arizona State. Any questions yet?

Here is a how the bracket breaks down. There are two groups in the bracket- A and B. Each group has six games is it. All you have to do is guess who is going to win each of the games as they advance towards the championship round.

For instance, group A has TCU and FSU squaring off in game 1 and Florida and UCLA going in game 2. Pick who is going to win each of those games and then those two teams will square off in game 3. The losers of games 1 and 2 will then square off in game 4. Then, the loser in game 3 plays the winner of game 4 in game 5.

At that point, there will be one team left in the group that is 2-0 (winner of game 3) and one that is 2-1 (winner of game 5). Those two teams play in game 6, which is an elimination game. If the 2-0 teams loses, they play a game 7 and the winner advances to the championship. If the 2-0 team wins game 6, they go straight to the championship without game 7. BUT, for the sake of this bracket, I am going going to count it as one game. Just pick who you think is going to advance. It doeasn't matter how they do it. I am going to call it game 6/7.

After that, you should have a team advancing out of group A. Do the same for group B (I forgot to label game 5 in group B, but it is there; don't forget it). Those two teams are your final teams. In the CWS, they play a best of three series for the championship. Pick who you think will win it all and if they will win it in two games or three. Then, for a tie breaker, guess how many runs will be scored in the championship series (the final two or three games), without going over.

It might be easier for you to fill it out on paper first. But to enter the contest, leave a comment looking something similar to this.

A2: Florida
A5: Florida
A6/7: TCU

B1: OU
B3: OU
A6/7: ASU

ASU over TCU in 3, 41 runs scored (DO NOT pick a number that was picked by someone before you)

If you guess every game right, including how many games will be played in the finals, you can come out with 22 points. There will be a winner and a runner-up. They will have some things to spilt up amongst them. As for what kind of things, I do not know for sure. Here are a couple I posted the other day.

Both winners will get one of the Augie Garrido signatures. Augie in the winningest coach in NCAA division 1 baseball history. I think that the other guy might be in the Hall of Fame.

Here are a few more cards that will be up for grabs.

If that is not enough for you to bother filling out a bracket, don't worry. I always come back from Omaha with loads of loot. I will be adding prizes on Monday when I get back. Speaking of which, I am leaving for Omaha Thursday evening. So, if you have any questions, you need to ask them by about 3:30 Thrusday.

The CWS begins at 2:00 PM, eastern, on Saturday, June 19. So, all entries must be in by that point. Like I said, I will be gone from Thursday evening on. So if you screw up your entry before then, I might catch it and be able to help you out before I leave. If you screw it up after I am gone, there is nothing I can do for you. So, make it count and good luck!

1989 Star Durham Bulls, Andy Tomberlin

#23 Andy Tomberlin

Here is a card that I got signed at the Rickwood Classic last month. Andy is the batting coach for the Birmingham Barons. The only cards that I could find of him were minor league cards and when Andy saw them, he said "wow, you've got some old ones".

This card is actually out of a team set that I got at a card shop in the early '90s. The scan didn't come out too well, but the borders are actually orange and blue, like the Bulls colors. The only other notable names in the set (that I can think of) are Steve Avery and Kevin Costner. Unfortunately, the Costner card got lost in a TTM attempt. Other than that, the rest of the set is still intact.

I thought that it was kind of neat that Star changed up their borders between the team sets and the set that was available in packs. The two-toned team color border is a nice improvement over the single color borders.

Come back later tonight to find out how to get into the second and final phase of the CWS contest.

Monday, June 14, 2010

CWS contest update

The field is set for Omaha. These are the eight teams that will be playing there.

South Carolina
Florida St
Arizona St

Here is how everyone did with their picks.
Ryan led the bunch and got four teams right. Add on his two bonus points and that gives Ryan a total of six points right now.
Captain Canuck got three teams correct and that puts him in second place.
PAB, Play at the Plate, Skoormit, and Rod all got two teams correct.
Dave got one team correct.

Out of all of the schools, Arizona State was the one that was picked correctly the most. Clemson wasn't chosen once.

Here is the current tally.

Ryan- 6 points
Capt Canuck- 3 points
PAB- 2 points
Skoormit- 2 points
Rod- 2 points
Pat at the Plate- 2 points
Dave- 1 points

Check back tomorrow for details on the final phase of the contest.

1989 Star, Steve Foster

#194 Steve Foster

Here is a card that I got signed at a Royals game in April. Steve is the Royals new bullpen coach and I was able to get three cards signed by him in the bullpen prior to that game. It rained most of the day that day, so niether team took batting practice. Beacuse of that, Steve was the only person that I got an autograph from that day. It wasn't quite what I was looking for, but at least I didn't go home empty-handed.

On the day of that game, it was kind of cool after all the rain had passed. When I went over to the bullpen, I found Steve playing with some wierd-looking little green things. I called over to him and he came over to me still playing with the green thing. Have you ever seen "Cops" when they are trying to do their little test they do to confirm that a powder is a controlled substance? That is what it looked like he was doing. He crushed something and then started to flick it like the cops do. Before I could even ask him what it was, he told me to check it out and then threw it up to me. What he had was some fancy hand warmer called a Chilly Billy. I ended up checking out their website and the main thing they sell is a shoulder and arm ice pack for pitchers. The funny thing about it was that Steve was one of the guys endorsing the ice pack on the main page. So I'm guessing that he might be getting the hand warmers at a reduced price. Either way, it was still something neat that I have never seen before.

Steve is representing the Cedar Rapids Reds in this card. The Reds are no longer playing in the Midwest League, but there is a new team called the Kernals that are affiliated with the Angels.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

1989 Fleer, Steve Buechele

#515 Steve Buechele

Here is a card that I didn't get signed at the '85 Classic. I got this card signed in Springdale, Arkansas when I went on my little road trip. Steve is the manager of the Frisco Roughriders and I got him to sign three cards for me before the game started.

1989 Fleer, Curt Ford

#450 Curt Ford

Here is the second of three cards that Curt Ford signed for me at the '85 Classic.

I would say more, but I had a long day at work and I have another card that I need to post.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

1989 Donruss, John Tudor

#195 John Tudor

Here is the third and final John Tudor card that I got signed at the '85 Classic. You can see the first one here and the second one here.

John was the losing pitcher in the seventh game of the 1985 World Series. After the game, he ending up cutting his hand after punching an electric fan. Because of that, I always assumed that he wasn't the nicest person. I ended up associating him with the bad sinsay (I have no idea how to spell that) in the Karate Kid that punched out Miyagi's windows in what I believe is the opening scene in Karate Kid 2.

But after watching him play in the '85 Classic, I think of him in much higher terms. John signed a bunch of autographs prior to the game and out of all the ballplayers there, it looked like he was enjoying himself the most. He was jokingly getting on the umpires and jawing with the crowd from his spot in left field. After a close play at first that went against the Cardinals, he looked up into the stands and shouted "here we go again". It was fun to see.

1988 Topps, Tito Landrum

#581 Tito Landrum

Here is the third and final 1988 Topps and the second of three Tito Landrum cards. Like the rest, that autograph was obtained at the '85 Classic.

When I was looking for which Tito cards I wanted to take with me to the game, this is one I knew I had to find. Like the Chris Speier card I posted a week and a half ago, I just couldn't resist getting an ugly-looking airbrushed card signed. What was Topps thinking when they did that hat? It looks like a Tito is wearing an old Dodgers hat that was screen printed and is now fading. Is that what Topps thought that Major League teams were wearing in 1987? Granted, it is a huge improvement over some of the late '60s and early '70s airbrushed cards. To be honest, I'm not even sure that this card stood out to me as a nine year old in 1988. But looking back now, this card sticks out like a sore thumb.

As a Dodger, Tito only got into 51 games in the partial season he spent with the team. He hit .239 with 1 home run and 4 RBI. He would go on to play only 13 more Major League games.

Tito's given name is Terry.

Friday, June 11, 2010

1988 Topps, Jim Sundberg

#516 Jim Sundberg

Here is the fourth and final Jim Sundberg card that I got signed in the week leading up to the '85 Classic. This one, like the Diamond King card, was signed at the '85 Classic. The other two were acquired through the mail. It's really hard to tell, but if you look at the TTMs and the in-persons side-by-side, you can see that the in-person ones are much more rushed than the TTM ones. They all look like a jumbled mess, but the two TTMs are more consistent than the in-persons. I guess even retired ballplayers have a hurried ballpark signature.

By the time Jim joined the Cubs, he was 36 years old. But, he still played for them for year and a half before getting released early in the 1988 season. He was quickly snagged up by the Rangers and he was able to finish his career right where he started it.

Brian, at Play at the Plate, has left a couple of comments saying that Jim is now part of the Rangers postgame show (and I'm guess pregame too). So if you ever go to a game at Rangers Ballpark, you might want to take a Jim Sundberg card with you since the show is shot right off of the concourse. I've had success there before with Mark McLemore, but Brian got ran off by security last month. Either way, it is always worth a shot.

1988 Topps, Jack Clark

#100 Jack Clark

Here is the second of three Jack Clark cards that I got signed at the '85 Classic. I figured that if I were going to get some cards signed by '85 Cardinals, I had better get some Cardinal cards signed.

Paul left a comment on my last Jack Clark post saying that he always forgets that Jack played for anyone but the Cardinals and Yankees and, to be honest, I am in the same boat. The funny thing is that he was only a Cardinal for three sesaons and a Yankee for one. But, that is how we remember him. I don't know how it is for Paul, but I remember Jack as a Cardinal becuase that was who he was playing for when I started getting into collecting.

In his three seasons with St. Louis, Jack won two Silver Sluggers. He got the first in 1985 and the second in 1987. That '87 season was the best of his career as he went on to hit 35 home runs and drive in 106 RBI (both career highs). He finished the season third in the MVP vote.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

1988 Iowa Cubs Procards, Jim Wright

#542 Jim Wright

Here is a card that I got signed on the day of the '85 Classic. I got to the game early to attend a tailgate party. But when I found out that the party was on the opposite side of Arrowhead Stadium and that the players were still arriving for the game, I opted to stay by Kauffman to get some autographs. That is how I got this card signed. Jim is the bullpen coach for the Rockies and he was nice enough to sign for everyone that wanted his autograph. The only two cards that I had of him were minor league cards, so I was surprised to see so many people wanting his autograph. It looked like most of the people had his '82 Topps card that Beckett lists as an error because it has a picture of a different Jim Wright. But Jim signed those cards nonetheless.

Jim's Major League career only lasted parts of two seasons with the Royals in 1981 and 1982. He was a pitcher and he has a career line of 2-3 with a 4.04 ERA and 36 strikeouts in 75.2 innings of work.

I've had this Iowa Cubs teamset for almost twenty years and I had forgot about it until I found it in a binder last year. Some notable names in the set include Mark Grace and Bob Tewksbury.

I have no idea who the I-Cubs could be honoring with the black armband. Any ideas?

I wonder what Fleer thought about this set.

The Iowa Cubs are still around today and they are still the AAA affiliate of the Chicago Cubs. They play in the same ballpark that this photo was taken in, but you couldn't tell if you went there today because of massive renovations.

1988 Donruss, Jeff Reardon

#122 Jeff Reardon

This is the second card that I included when I sent Jeff his '81 Donruss card. I figured that Jeff isn't really remembered as a Met, so I had better send a card of him on a team that he is remembered for. I already had an Expos card signed by him, so a Twins card was my best option.

Jeff finished his career with 367 saves and was the all-time saves leader after breaking Rollie Fingers mark of 341. He has been passed a few times since then and he is currently in seventh place on the all-time list. He saved over 40 games three times (and with three different teams) and he was an All Star four times. He won one championship with the '87 Twins.

Jeff has been a very good TTM signer over the years, even while dealing with some personal issues. He always signed for free, but he included a note with my return stating that he would appreciate donations to his sons's memorial fund on future autograph requests. So, keep that in mind if you are looking to add him to your collection through the mail.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

College World Series contest update

I had a long day at work today and I'm not sure if I'm going to get a regular post up. But, I did want to update everyone (all seven of you) on how you are doing in the CWS contest. The first round is over and the stage for the super regionals is set. So, let's see who has teams remaining.

PAB has six out of eight teams still in the mix. If things go his way, he could have a nice lead going into the CWS

Captain Canuck has five teams still in it, so he is looking good.

Dave has four teams still left.

Play at the Plate has five teams.

Skoormit has five teams.

Ryan has five teams, too.

Rod has four teams left.

So, basically everyone has a chance to get at least four points. The way it is looking, everyone should get at least a point. We'll have to wait until next weekend to find out for sure, though. By next Monday, we should know the final eight teams and I'll start taking entries for the final phase of the contest. Even if you missed the first phase, you can still get in on the second phase. So make sure to check back next week if that is something you might be interested in.

Finally, since I am back from my trip, I guess I can announce who gets the two bonus points. For these points, all you had to do was guess how many autographs I was going to get on my trip. For some reason, a couple of people forgot this part. Personally, I was pulling for Captain Canuck in this segment since his guess was along the lines of my goal. But I fell a little short and that ended up helping Ryan who guessed 58. My final tally was actually 59, so nice job on that one Ryan. It's still early, but Ryan has an early lead.

Ryan: 2 points

Here are a couple of cards that Ryan could be going home with if he can maintain his lead.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

1987 Topps, Curt Ford

#399 Curt Ford

Here is some new blood for the blog. It's Curt Ford, the last Cardinal player from the '85 Classic to make his debut here.

The funny thing about Curt Ford is that he probably shouldn't have taken part in the game since he didn't play in the '85 World Series. He made his Major League debut for the Cardinals in 1985 and he got into 11 regular season games for them, but he did not play in any postseason games. But, they were short on players as it was, so they probably needed all of the help that they could get.

Curt played six seasons in the Majors with the Cardinals and the Phillies. He hit .245 for his career with 7 home runs and 89 RBI. His best season was probably 1987 when he had career highs in at-bats (228), runs (32), hits (65),triples (5), home runs (3), and average (.285).

Curt's "t" that he signs in his first name doubles as his "F" in his last name.

1987 Topps, Jeff Lahti

#367 Jeff Lahti

Here is the second and final Jeff Lahti card that I got signed at the '85 Classic. You can see the first one here.

In the first Lahti post, I commented on some of his regular season achievements. Today, let's take a look at what he did in the postseason.

Jeff only pitched in one LCS and it was in 1985. In that series, he made two appearances out of the pen and pitched two scoreless innings while giving up two hits and striking out one. He was even the winning pitcher in game five. Unfortunately, his World Series line doesn't look nearly as good.

He pitched in two World Series, 1982 and 1985. Combined, he 0-0 with a save and a 11.81 ERA in 5.1 inning of work. He only has one walk, so he just got plain hit in his World Series work. In game two of the '85 series, he pitched one scoreless inning for a save. In game five, he pitched two innings, allowing two runs (one earned) and five hits. Then, in game seven, he gave up four runs on four hits in only .2 of an inning as the Cardinals went on to lose 11-0.

Stay tuned tonight for another '87 Topps card from the Classic. It will actually feature a new player.

Also, I have all of the pictures from the AABT trip, so I'll start on a recap soon.

Monday, June 7, 2010

1987 Topps, Ken Dayley

#59 Ken Dalyley

Here is the second and final Ken Dayley card that I got signed at the '85 Classic last month. You can see the first one here.

There really isn't much for me to say about Dayley that I didn't say in the first post. But, like Tito Landrum, he also climbed up into the stands to sign some autographs. You don't see that very often and it is even rarer to see it happen twice in one day. The last time I saw that was in 2003 when Jeremy Affeldt and Mike MacDougal climbed into the stands to sign during as April rain delay.

Normally, I would post another card today since this one is a repeat. But, something came up and I don't think that I will have time for that today. Hopefully, I will make up for it tomorrow.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

1987 Donruss, Jim Sundberg

#280 Jim Sunberg

This is the second card that I sent to Jim, along with his '81 Donruss card, in April. I figured that if I was going to send a card to the catcher on the Royals lone championship team, I had better include a Royals card as well.

The funny thing about Jim's tenure in Kansas City is that it was so short. He only played there for two seasons and hit hit under .250 in both. But, to this day, he is still remembered by most Royal fans as the catcher on the '85 championship team. I guess he went to the right spot at the right time when he was traded to the Royals from the Brewers.

Jim won five straight Gold Glove awards from 1976 to 1981.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

1986 Topps, John Tudor

#710 John Tudor

Well, I finally made it back from my trip and I had a great time. I'm still waiting on some pictures that Dustin took so I can write a little trip recap. But I hope to get that up by the middle of the week or so. In the meantime, I still have some '85 Classic sigs to catch up on.

Here is another card of John Tudor. A while back, Rod, of Padrographs, decided that he wanted to collect the '86 Topps set again and he bought a box off of ebay for cheap. I have a decent selection of '86 Topps, but I was only seven years old when the set came out and the cards I have are not in the best of shape. So, following Rod's lead, I headed over to the bay and picked up a box for about $15. I still have all the cards in the box, sorted by team, and that was one of the first places I went to check for cards of the '85 Cardinals. That is why I have four cards in a row to show on here from the set. I guess I didn't think I would actually get all four signed. Otherwise, I might have expanded my search a bit.

I'm pretty sure that I had this card in 1986 and I probably still have it today, but in worse condition. All this time, I thought that John was an All-Star in 1985 because that is what the card says. But when I posted my first Tudor card, I discovered that he never made an All Star team, not even in 1985.

John finished the '85 season 21-8 with a 1.93 ERA. That certainly is All Star caliber and would have been Cy Young caliber if it wasn't for a young Dwight Gooden. But, apparently, John started off the season with a 1-7 record through the first two months. His poor start eventually killed his All Star chances. But after the shaky start, he went on a tear by going 20-1 throughout the rest of the season. I have no idea what his record was around the All Star break, but I would guess that he was only a few games over .500.

So here is the question I have. Are all Topps All Star cards from the '80s of players that they thought should have been an All Star or do some sets actually have only All Star cards of players that made the All Star team? I always assumed that the cards were of actual All Stars, but after this discovery I, do not know what to think.

Usually, I would post another card since this card is a repeat player, but I am still gettting back into the swing of things and one card will have to do for tonight. Stay tuned for two new ones tomorrow.

Friday, June 4, 2010

1986 Topps, Tito Landrum

#498 Tito Landrum

Are you tired of '86 Topps Cardinal cards yet? Does every team from that set have this bad of a photo selection?

If you can't figure out where I got this card signed, read the previous posts and you should be able to figure it out.

Tito was one of the better signers for the Cardinals at the '85 Classic (there was only one bad signer there). He signed at least two different times and the last time he signed, he did it in the stands. He climbed into the the $190 Crown Seat section by the dugout and crawled over a few rows to get closer to the fans. One guy beside me told him to be careful so he doesn't pull a hammy and Tito told him "I wish I still had a hammy to pull". All in all, Tito seemed like a class-act and I'm glad that he was able to take part in the event.

To Tito's credit, he really doesn't look much older now than he does in this card.

Tonight is the final night of the trip and we are spending it at a game in Tulsa, Oklahoma. The Drillers are hosting the Midland Rockhounds. I should make it back home late tonight and then I will probably not post anything on Saturday (but that may change). I will definitely have something up on Sunday and I hope that will include a road trip recap.

1986 Topps, Kurt Kepshire

#256 Kurt Kepshire

Here is the second and final Kurt Kepshire card that I have to post on here. I posted the first one on here Monday.

I wrote all of this week's posts on Sunday night and I'm starting to get a bit of writers block. Because of that, I can't think of anything else to say about Kurt. Just bear with me for now. I hope the next post has a little bit more life to it.

I'm also hoping that we are going to be able to see a ballgame today at the Arkansas regional. Like I said, I wrote this on Sunday and all I know is that Arkansas is hosting. The teams were not announced until Monday and I have no idea what the schedule looks like. But, that is the goal. You'll have to wait a couple of days to find out if we made it or not.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

1986 Topps, Jeff Lahti

#33 Jeff Lahti

Here is a new player for the blog, so this is the only post I'll have for today. This, of course, is another card from the long line of them that I got signed at the '85 Classic.

Jeff spent his entire Major League career with the Cardinals, a career that lasted parts of five seasons and included 205 appearances. His best season was his 1985 campaign where he went 5-2 with 19 saves while posting a 1.84 ERA over 68.1 innings. He finished his career with a 17-11 record with 20 saves and a 3.12 ERA.

In 1986, he pitched 2.1 scoreless innings before retiring. I have no idea if he got hurt or what, but that just seems like weird way to go out. Regardless, he still has a ring from the '82 Cardinal championship team for his efforts.

Remember, tonight is the last night to get entered into the first phase of the College World Series contest. The games start tomorrow, so make sure you get any final guesses in before midnight, central time.

Tonight, I am in Springdale, Arkansas to see the Northwest Arkansas Naturals (or as I like to call them, the NWA Natties) host the Frisco Roughriders. Steve Buechele is the manager of Frisco, so hopefully I will get a few cards signed by him to help spread out some of these Cardinal cards.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

1986 Donruss, Ken Dayley

#303 Ken Dayley

Here is the next card that I got signed at the '85 Classic last month. After a brief break from them for three posts, the '85 Classic cards will be coming on strong for the next week or so.

Here is the first of two Ken Dayley cards that I got signed at the game. Both of the cards feature him as a Cardinal and that may be why I only took two cards of him with me. I searched for cards of him as a Brave or Blue Jay, but I came up empty handed. I guess that the massive search drained me and I never bothered to find another Cardinal card of him. Oh well, it's one less Dayley card for me to write about this month.

Dayley pitched for eleven years, seven and half of them with the Cardinals. He never made an All Star team, but he did pitch in two World Series. He finished his career with a 33-45 record with 39 saves and a 3.64 ERA. In eight World Series appearances, he is 1-0 with a save and a minuscule 0.84 ERA over 10.2 innings.

After today's game, it is a five hour drive to northeast Arkansas where we will be camping out for the night.

If you haven't entered the contest yet, there is still time.

1985 Topps, Chris Speier

#577 Chris Speier

Here is the second Chris Speier card that I sent to him in April. I was planning on only sending him one card to sign, his '81 Donruss, untill I came across this card while searching for a Bob Watson card. Once I saw this card, I knew I had to get this card signed. The airbrushing on this card is so noticable and blatant that I thought that it would be a great signed card to add to my collection. I think I have even started a new collecting theme for myself- getting airbrushed cards signed. I can add this one to the likes of Maury Wills, Hoyt Wilhelm, and Marty Pattin.

For those of you keeping score at home, I now have five autographs from Chris. I have his '72 Topps "In Action" card, his '81 Donruss, his '84 Topps, his '88 Score, and this one. That is two Expos cards, two Giants cards, and this one Twins card. I'm not sure if he has a card as a Cardinal or not, but I know he has a card as a Cub. Whether I not I ever get one signed is another matter.

Today is the day of the Rickwood Classic. I am really looking forward to the game and seeing the ballpark. This game has been on my to do list for the past three years and I am glad that I am finally able to make it.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

1985 Topps, Frank Tanana

#55 Frank Tanana

Just like the card I posted earlier today, and like the first one I am posting tomorrow, this is an extra card that I threw in when I sent off an '81 Donruss. I knew that it wasn't the best card to get signed since it is so dark, but I couldn't resist it.

When I was sending out these cards, I had eight cards from the set that were signed. That is one short of a complete page. So, I sent three cards from the set along with the '81 Donruss cards and the race was on to see which one was going to make it home in time to be the ninth card on the page. Today's cards didn't win. Frank came in second and Bob came in third. It was a good race, though.

Frank pitched for the Rangers for three and a half seasons. His numbers in Arlington weren't great and he lost 18 games one year and went 15-15 another. But, 13 starts into the 1985 season, with a 2-7 record and a 5.91 ERA, Frank was dealt to the Tigers for a minor leaguer named Duane James. I think that the trade might have worked out better for the Tigers.

It's a Smokies/Barons game tonight followed by a rematch tommorrow at historic Rickwood Field.

1985 Topps, Bob Watson

#51 Bob Watson

Here is the second card that I sent Bob at the end of April. The first one was his '81 Donruss card. I sent this card along with it since this is probably my second favorite set from the '80s. The reason why I like it so much is because the first pack of cards I ever opened was '85 Topps.

I mentioned in the first Bob Watson post that he added a couple of signatures with my request. The first one was a signed business card. Here is the second one.

That is not a signed indez card. He actually signed and returned the letter I sent him. I've had a few players return letters to me before (I think they do it to help protect the card), but this is the first time I have had one returned signed. I love how he added "MLB/TEAM USA!!" to it as well. That is a unique touch.

A couple of people commented on my first post that Bob scored the one-millionth run in MLB history. According to his Wikipedia entry, that is not the case anymore. In fact, nobody knows who scored that historic run.

Today is the first day of the All American Ballpark Tour's trip to Alabama. We are supposed to leave for Birmingham at 4:00 in the morning. It looks like it is going to be a fourteen hour drive, but we should get there in time to see the Barons host the Tennessee Smokies in the Barons everyday ballpark, Regions Park.

Since I have already posted a Bob Watson card on here recently, I will have another post popping up here later tonight.

Don't forget to check out the contest in the previous post.