Tuesday, June 28, 2011

1969 Topps, Dave Wickersham

#647 Dave Wickersham

Here is the final '69 Topps card that I got signed through the mail this past offseason. Dave was part of my "KC A's reunion TTM project" and I sent this card to him on January 13 and got it back on the 20th. I think that this was my first TTM that I have ever sent out to someone that lives in Kansas and I was hoping to have this one back super-quick. The seven day response was really good, but it wasn't the the super-quickness that I was hoping for.

Dave played in the Majors for parts of ten seasons and he spent time with the A's, Tigers, Pirates, and Royals. He split time as a starter and reliever and his best season came as a starter with Detroit. In 1964, Dave finished the season 19-12 with a 3.44 ERA. According to Wikipedia, Dave was ejected from his final start of the season in the seventh inning of a tied game. He apparently called time out three times in a row to prevent a base runner from advancing as Norm Cash was arguing with an umpire. A reliever came in and got the win as the Tigers scored three in the ninth. Dave had eleven complete games that season and a twelfth might have got him that elusive twentieth win.

Dave finished his career 68-57 with 18 saves and a 3.66 ERA. He is one of just four players that played for the Kansas City A's and the Kansas City Royals.

Prior to getting this card signed, a '71 Topps card was the oldest Royal card that I have signed. It is nice to have one signed from one of the original Royals. It's even better to have a higher number card that shows the player in an actual Royals uniform.

Monday, June 27, 2011

College World Series Contest Finale

The College World Series is not quite over, but my contest is. Cubsfan731 filled out a nearly perfect bracket and, no matter who wins the actual CWS, Justin brings home first place here. In case you thought that you might still have a shot at second, that spot is locked down too. Ryan, aka Orioles Magic, filled out a good enough bracket and picked enough teams to make the Series that he finished in second.

The way I score the bracket is that game three is worth two points, game 6/7 is worth three points, picking the champ is worth three points, and picking how many games they will win it in is worth an additional point. All other games are worth one point. That is a total of 22 points, plus another 9 points that could have been earned for picking the eight teams in the CWS.

Through games 6/7, cubsfan earned 16 points (he was wrong on two one point games). He had 3 bonus points from the first phase and that puts him at 19 points. He picked Florida to win and if they win it in three games, he would finish with 23 points.

Ryan picked up 10 points on his bracket and 6 from the first phase and he too picked Florida to win (but in two games). So, he could finish with 20 points. But, since he and cubsfan both picked Florida, there is no way that he will be able to gain any ground on first.

Third place is still up for grabs, but there is no prize for third. I will post the final standings on Thursday as well as the rest of the prizes. Congratulations Ryan and Justin and thanks to all who played along. I hope you had a good time with it.

Here is the best prize that I was able to bring back from Omaha.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

1969 Topps, Ken Boswell

#402 Ken Boswell

Here is the third of four 1969 Topps card that I I acquired over the offseason. Just like the other three, this one was acquired through the mail. I wrote to Ken because I have had this card sitting in a box for years and I figured it was time to add a signature to it.

When I was in grade school, I had a buddy that didn't collect cards. But, for some reason, he had a box of cards from the late '60s to the early '70s. Every once in a while, I would go through the box and pull out a couple of cards that he would give to me. This is one of those cards. The reason why I selected it is because of the Topps rookie trophy. When Topps brought back the rookie cup in 1987, all of the best rookies had the cup on it. That was my mindset when I chose this card and the Byron Browne card I posted a few days ago. But, when I got home and saw that both cards were considered commons in my Beckett, the two cards went straight into my commons box. And there they sat for almost twenty years until this past February when I finally sent them off and I could not be more thrilled with the results.

I sent this card to Ken on the 17th of February and I had it back on the 2nd of March.

Ken played with the Mets and Astros during his eleven year playing career. He was a .248 career hitter that clubbed 31 home runs during his career. He had season highs of a .279 average (1969), 9 home runs (1972), 44 RBI (1970), and 20 doubles (1971). He never made an All Star team, but he did play in two World Series with the Mets, winning it all with the 1969 team.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

1969 Topps, John Donaldson

#217 John Donaldson

Here is another card from my "KC A's reunion TTM project". This one features the former Athletic and Pilot, John Donaldson.

John played in the big leagues for parts of six seasons, spending the majority of his time with Kansas City and Oakland. His best season came in 1967 when he played in 105 games and hit .276. That was his only season where he batted over .250. For his career, John hit .238 with 4 home runs and 86 RBI.

In my post yesterday, I noted how strange it was that that Norm Miller's Astros hat was blacked out. Luckily, Night Owl swept in and provided me with a little history lesson on that. But, that doesn't explain why Topps blacked out the A's hats. I understand that they are blocking the old KC logo. But, why didn't they use green? It would have been less noticeable and would not have looked so bad. It's not like Topps had not been airbrushing prior to 1969.

I sent this card to John on January 14 and I had it back on the 22nd. I thought that it was pretty cool that he included his number on the card. You do not see that very often from older ballplayers.

Those are some fantastic uniforms that the A's had in the late '60s.

Friday, June 24, 2011

1969 Topps, Norm Miller

#76 Norm Miller

Here is the second card that I have to post from last years Topps Million Card Giveaway. This one features the former Astro and Brave, Norm Miller. If I remember correctly, I unlocked Norm's 1970 card and then flipped it for this one just to have an older card. I sent this card out on January 15 and I had it back on the 26th.

Norm played in the Majors for parts of ten seasons. All of his time was spent with the Astros except the final year and a half. It looks like he was mainly a fourth outfielder-type as he only played in 90 or more games twice. The season where he got the most playing time was 1969 and he hit .264 with 21 doubles, 4 home runs, and 50 RBI. All of those numbers were career highs except for the home runs. He had hit 6 the previous year.

Norm's career ended after the 1974 season and he finished it with a .238 lifetime average with 24 home runs and 159 RBI.

I find it strange that Topps had to blackout Norm's hat on this card. Up to that point, the Astros were the only Major League team that Norm had played with. I doubt that the photo is a minor league shot because the ballpark looks pretty big. Maybe Norm had been in a lot of trade talks at the time and Topps was trying to make it easier for themselves if it did go through? I honestly cannot come up with a good reason as to why his hat is blacked out.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

1968 Topps, Bob Locker

#51 Bob Locker

I had one other TTM project going this past winter and it involved getting all of my Topps Million Card Giveaway cards signed through the mail. The only goal I had during the giveaway was to acquire cards of guys that signed through the mail. If I unlocked a card of a player that was deceased or did not sign TTM, then that card was up for trade. In the end, I did alright as all of the cards that I sent out came back and only one of them was a return to sender. The RTS was from Larry Gura and he appears to be signing again, so I need to send that card back out.

Bob pitched his entire career out of the bullpen and never made one start in the Majors. He pitched for the White Sox, Pilots/Brewers, A's, and Cubs. In 1967, as a member of the Sox, he lead the league in appearances with 77 and he finished second in saves with 20 while posting a 2.04 ERA over 124.2 innings. His posted a similar season in 1973 with the Cubs when he won 10 games, saved 18, and had an ERA of 2.54.

After that season was up, Bob was traded back to the A's. An arm injury kept him out of the '74 season and once that year was up, Bob was traded back to the Cubs. After a disappointing start to the '75 season, Bob was released and his career was over. But, he did post some good numbers for his career. He was 57-39 with 95 saves and a 2.75 ERA.

I sent this card to Bob on the 14th of January and I had it back on the 22nd.

I wish I would have kept track how each of the MCG cards were acquired. Some of them were unlocked by me while others were acquired through multiple trades.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

1967 Topps, Byron Browne

#439 Byron Browne

After doing my "KC A's reunion TTM project" and another project (that I will get into tomorrow) this past winter, I realized that I was having a good time getting some older cards signed through the mail. So, I started going through some of the older cards that I had sitting around and I decided to send some of them out as well. This card of Byron Browne was the oldest card I had of a guy that signed TTM, so he was the first card that I sent out.

I think I only got around to sending out cards like this to two other people, so this little project lost steam quickly. But, I didn't have too many older cards that weren't already signed, so I guess the project was a little limited to begin with.

I sent this card to Byron on February 17 and I got it back March 8.

Bryon played in the Majors for parts of eight seasons as a member of the Cubs, Cardinals, Astros, and Phillies. His best season came as a Cub in 1966. That year, he hit 16 home runs and 51 RBI while leading the league in strikeouts with 143. The season was good enough to earn him a Topps All Star Rookie trophy, but it wasn't good enough to get him playing time as he only played in ten games the following season with the Cubs. The rest were played for the Dallas-Ft. Worth Spurs in the Texas League.

Byron only saw substantial Major League playing time in one other season and that was in 1970 with the Phillies. He played in 104 games that season and he had 10 dingers and 36 RBI.

Out of Byron's eight Major League seasons, he played on 100 or more games twice, 50-99 games once, 11-25 games twice, and 10 or fewer games three times.

This is the oldest Topps rookie cup/trophy card that I have signed.

Byron has an interesting way of signing his "B"s in his name. To me, they each look like an "S".

Monday, June 20, 2011

1966 Topps, Ron Tompkins

#107 Ron Tompkins

Well, I am back from Omaha and it is time for another card from the "KC A's reunion TTM project". This one features Ron Tompkins, a promising young pitcher (based on the card) that played in only five games for the Kansas City Athletics in 1965. He pitched 10.1 innings and gave up four earned runs while walking three and striking out four. He would then return to the minor leagues until the Cubs gave him a job in their bullpen in 1971. He threw 39.2 innings with them and posted a 4.08 ERA while walking one more batter than he struck out. He then pitched two more years in the minors before calling it quits. So, this 1966 "Rookie Star" began his Major League career as a rookie in 1965 and finished it as a rookie in 1971. Baseball can be such a cruel game.

I sent this card to Ron on the same day as the previous card (1/14/11) and I got it back four days sooner than Gentile's (1/25/11). The only difference is that the Gentile card came back in the same condition as when I sent it. This one, on the other hand, came back in less than ideal shape. There are too many creases in this card to count and if I set the card on a table, the bottom right comer points to the sky (it used to, I got it flattened out now). I knew I was going to have a problem when I saw the envelope and I was right. All of the damage came on the return trip because the creases on the card matched those on the envelope and I do not send my cards in the SASE when I send them out.

When I noticed that Larry Stahl is a great TTM signer, I had planned on sending this card to him after I got it back. Now I don't know what to do. Should I send it to Stahl as is, keep it with just Ron Tompkins' signature, or buy a new card and try my luck again?

From what I can tell, Ron Tompkins has two cards. There is this one and a 1968 "Rookie Stars" card. You can buy his '68 from checkoutmycards.com right now for $46.50. I wouldn't send that card to get signed by Ron, though, as the other half of the card features Johnny Bench.

Friday, June 17, 2011

1966 Topps, Jim Gentile

#45 Jim Gentile

Here is the fourth success from my "KC A's reunion TTM project". This one features the former Dodger, Oriole, Athletic, Astro, and Indian, Jim Gentile.

Jim's best years came while he was a member of the O's from 1960-1963. He made three All Star teams while with Baltimore and he had a career year in 1961. That season, Jim clubbed 46 home runs and drove in 141 RBI. His 46 homers included a record five grand slams (which Don Mattingly broke). Normally, those numbers might be good enough to bring home MVP honors. But, Jim finished third that year behind a couple of guys named Marris and Mantle.

Unfortunately, Jim's numbers started to drop after that season. He hit 33 home runs the following season and he never hit more than 30 in a season again. He also never reached the 100 RBI plateau. The most he would get after driving in 141 was 88 and, again, that happened the very next season.

I sent this card to Jim on January 14th and I got it back on the 25th.

There are only a few more hours left to get in on the my College World Series Contest. Of the 25 that originally entered, only about half of them have filled out a bracket. If you didn't enter the first phase, you can still win the contest by just filling out a lights-out bracket. It's that easy.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

College World Series Contest Standings

Through the Super Regionals, here are how many points each of the twenty-five contestants has.

Ryan-6 (Virginia, South Carolina, Florida, Vanderbilt, North Carolina, plug)
Sportscardblog.net-5 (Virginia, South Carolina, Florida, Texas, North Carolina)
Play at the Plate-5 (South Carolina, Florida, Texas, Vanderbilt, plug)
Derek-4 (Virginia, Texas, Vanderbilt, North Carolina)
Matt Pederson-4 (Texas A&M, Texas, Vanderbilt, plug)
Dhoff-4 (Virginia, Texas A&M, Florida, plug)
Card Hobbyist-4 (Virginia, South Carolina, Texas, plug)
The Diamond King-3 (Virginia, South Carolina, plug)
Kirk Jacobson-3 (Virginia, Texas, plug)
The Dimwit-3 (Virginia, South Carolina, Texas)
Cubsfan731-3 (South Carolina, Florida, plug)
Lost Collector- 3 (Texas A&M, Texas, North Carolina)
Nathan-3 (California, South Carolina, plug)
Greg Zakwin-2 (South Carolina, plug)
Angels in Order-2 (Texas, plug)
Spankee-2 (North Carolina, plug)
hiflew-2 (South Carolina, Texas)
Eric L-2 (Texas, plug)
DGreen-2 (Virginia, California)
Matt-1 (plug)
Kazi-1 (Florida)
Anthony-1 (plug)
Joey Dean-1 (Florida)
Uncle Moe-1 (Vanderbilt)

If you think that I made an error in scoring, let me know and I will look into it.

Now, make sure you fill out a bracket for the second phase to increase your score. There are twenty-two points available in the second phase. So, even if you didn't do too hot in the first phase, you are not out of the running. You just need to get lucky with your bracket. Last year, everyone who entered the contest picked Arizona State to at least make it to the finals. They were two and done and it threw everyone's barcket off. As a result, Ryan was able to win the contest with just nine points.

A lot can happen in the second phase, but you need to fill out a bracket.

1961 Topps, Jerry Lumpe

#365 Jerry Lumpe

Here is the third installment from the KC A's reunion TTM project. I sent this card to Jerry on the 13th of January and I had it back a month later on the 14th of February.

Jerry played in the Major Leagues for parts of twelve seasons. He spent time with the Yankees, A's, and Tigers. His best season was with Kansas City in 1962. That year, he hit .301 with 34 doubles, 10 triples, 10 home runs, and 83 RBI. I obviously wasn't around in the sixties, but that seems like a very good season for a second baseman in that era.

Unfortunately, he didn't do enough in '62 to make the All Star team. But, he made up for it three years later as he made his lone All Star team as a member of the Tigers in 1964. He did not get to play in the game, though.

Jerry played in two World Series while with the Yankees, winning the second one in 1958.

There is still plenty of time to get a bracket filled out for the College World Series contest. If you entered the first phase, make sure you fill out a bracket to get into the second phase. If you didn't participate in the first phase and still want to fill out a bracket, that is fine too. Just keep in mind that you are going to have a little bit of ground to make up. Tonight, I will post the standings through the Super Regionals.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

2011 CWS Contest, Phase II

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. Twenty-five 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 bracket is nothing like filling out a March Madness bracket. The reason for that is because 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.

Just for clarification, Vandy=Vanderbilt, UNC=North Carolina, A&M= Texas A&M, and USC=South Carolina. If you are unsure about any of the others, just ask.

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 Vandy and UNC squaring off in game 1 and Florida and Texas 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 doesn'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. 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: Texas
A3: Texas
A4: Florida
A6/7: UNC

B1: Cal
B2: A&M
B3: Cal
B5: A&M
B6/7: A&M

UNC over A&M in two games, 17 runs scored.

For the sake of the tie breaker, do not pick a number already chosen by someone else. Even if your teams don't make it to the finals, the tiebreaker will still apply to you in the event of a tie.

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. But, here are a few things that will be up for grabs in some way, shape, or form. I know it may not look like much now, but I always come home with some loot from Omaha. It is going to be a little different this year with the new ballpark, but I am hoping that the AT&T Fanfest tent is still the place to be.

The CWS begins at 2:00 PM, eastern, on Saturday, June 18. So, all entries must be in by that point. If you have any questions at all, feel free to email me at zman40 at hotmail dot com. Or, just ask in the comments. Good luck!

I will post the standing through the Super Regionals at a later date. But, the leaders have six points and there are a few people that didn't pick a team that made it. But, I will get into that tomorrow (hopefully).

Monday, June 13, 2011

1960 Topps, Bill Fischer

#76 Bill Fischer

Here is the second card from my "Kansas City A's reunion TTM project". Just to recap, the project was to take most of the cards that I didn't get signed at the reunion and get them signed TTM this past winter.

This card features the former White Sock, Tiger, Senator, Athletic, and Twin, Bill Fischer. Bill pitched in the Majors for parts of nine seasons and he spent the majority of the time in the bullpen. In the one season that he appeared mostly as a starter, he went 9-11 with a 4.28 ERA. His career record is 45-58 with 13 saves, a 4.34 ERA, and 313 strikeouts. Bill's final season in the Majors was 1964, but he still pitched professionally for the White Sox AAA team for four more seasons.

I sent the card out to Bill on the 13th of January and it had made its way home on the 22nd.

Seven out of the eight teams that are advancing to Omaha are known and it is going to take at least nine runs to keep Texas A&M from being number eight. When that game is final, I will get around to posting the second phase of the CWS contest. I hope to have that up by tomorrow.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

1959 Topps, Lee Tate

#544 Lee Tate

Here is a card that I got signed through the mail last month. The reason that I went through the trouble of buying a card of Lee Tate and sending it to him is because Lee is the only person that I could find that played professional ball in my hometown, has a card of himself, and signs through the mail.

In 1952, Lee was the second baseman for the Salina Blue Jays. The Jays were in the Western Association and were affiliated with the Phillies. I really do not know much about the professional teams that played here in the '40s and '50s, so I sent along some questions with my card that Mr. Tate was nice enough to answer for me.

When I asked him if he had any fond memories (good or bad) of his time in Salina, he replied-

"I liked Salina
The bugs were plenty
It was hot"

When I asked how the pro ballplayers were treated by the locals, he said-

"We were treated real good"

I then asked him if there was anything that he liked or disliked about the ballpark in Salina and he said-

"I was young and it was a ball park to play in"

The last question I asked was what was his favorite memory from his playing career at any level and he wrote-

"Playing in the Major Leagues
Taking 2 month trip with the Cardinals to Hawaii and Japan"

So, I didn't learn as much about about pro ball in Salina as I had hoped when I decided to do this, but it is still cool that I have an autographed card of guy that played here professionally.

Lee played in 51 games with the Cardinals in 1958 and '59. He hit just .165 in that stretch, but he did drive in five runs and hit one home run.

I love the inscription that Lee included on the card. "To Zach, Wishing you the best, always, Lee Tate, '58 & '59 Cardinals" That is pretty cool.

Here are a couple of pictures of the old ballpark. Both of these were found at a local BBQ restaurant. It is a pretty unique layout and if you look close enough, you can see that some light poles are actually in play. Today, the grandstand is still standing and the site hosts rodeos, monster trucks, and demolition derbies. But, for me, it is always fun to attend one of those events and think that "if I were here right now in 1950, I might be watching Mickey Mantle play".

This card is of the black numbered variety and it set me back six dollars.

As for the CWS contest, North Carolina and Vanderbilt have advanced to Omaha. There should be a few more teams that punch their ticket today and then we will know them all by tomorrow night (barring any inclement weather).

Friday, June 10, 2011

1955 Topps, Johnny Gray

#101 Johnny Gray

Last summer, the Kansas City T-Bones hosted their third annual Kansas City A's reunion. There was not an autograph signing for the event, but I bought some cards of all of the players that were scheduled to be there anyway. I got about half of my cards signed at the game and, this past winter, I decided to send off the other half to get signed through the mail. This was the first card that I sent off and it just happened to be the last one that I got back. It took just over two months to get this card back.

Johnny pitched in the Majors for parts of four seasons with the A's, Indians, and Phillies. He went 3-12 in his rookie season and posted a 6.51 ERA. In 105 innings of work, he walked 91 batters while only striking out 51. But, just to show how different the game is today, Johnny pitched five complete games that season.

Johnny pitched out of the bullpen in his final season in the Majors and he did a little bit better there. In 15 games (17.1 innings), Johnny posted no record and a 4.15 ERA. That was the only time that he had an ERA under 5 while in the Major Leagues.

For his career, Johnny was 4-18 with a 6.18 ERA. What really hurt him was his control. In 169 innings of work, Johnny walked 142 batters while striking out just 75.

When I got this card back in the mail, my letter that I sent with it came back home, too. That is not the first time that had happened. But, Johnny left me a little note at the bottom of the letter. He let me know that he was unable to attend the event last summer and then he said that he had never been to Salina (where I live) before. The first part I understood since that was the whole reason for writing him in the first place. But, the second half still doesn't make any sense to me. I reread the letter and I never even mentioned my hometown in it. It was kind of strange.

Speaking about my hometown, my next post will have a lot to do with it.

College baseball is back this weekend and one game is already underway. By Monday night, we should know the eight teams that are headed for Omaha.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

2005 Upper Deck Update, Luis Hernandez

#137 Luis Hernandez

Here is the second of three cards that Luis signed for me during batting practice at a Royals game in 2009. But, more importantly, this is the final 2005 card that I have to post. Starting Friday, I will be posting a couple of cards from the '50s. Then, there will almost two weeks worth of '60s cards followed bu just as many cards from the '70s. It will be a nice change of pace and I am looking forward to it.

I posted the last Luis Hernandez card at the beginning of April and Luis had yet to play in a game for the Buffalo Bisons. He has now played in 47 games with them and he is hitting just .213 through 47 games. But, he did go 3-4 yesterday.

For some reason, I never got any cards from 2005 Upper Deck. I am not even sure what the set looks like. Do they look just like this card or is this Update set completely seperate from the base set?

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

CWS Contest Update

The super regionals are set. Here are the sixteen teams that will be squaring off.

Arizona St(8) @ Texas(11)
Stanford(4) @ North Carolina(5)
UC Irvine(0) @ Virginia(9)
Connecticut(2) @ South Carolina(10)
Mississippi State(1) @ Florida(7)
Oregon State(8) @ Vanderbilt(5)
Dallas Baptist(0) @ California(4)
Texas A&M(3) @ Florida State(10)

Here is how all of the entries are looking. If you have a school listed after your name, then you still have a chance to earn some points.

Greg Z(1): South Carolina
Nathan (3): Cal, South Carolina, Miss St
Uncle Moe(2): Arizona St, Vandy
Play at the Plate(5): South Carolina, Florida, Texas, Vandy, Stanford
SCB.net(7): Virginia, Florida St, South Carolina, Florida, Texas, Oregon St, UNC
Angels in Order(2): Texas, Oregon St
Lost Collector(5): A&M, UConn, Texas, Oregon St, UNC
Padrographs(3): Cal, Arizona St, Oregon St
Derek(4): Virginia, Texas, Vandy, UNC
Cubsfan(2): South Carolina, Florida
Joey D (3): Florida State, Florida, Arizona St
Dimwit(4): Virginia, Florida St, South Carolina, Texas
Spanker(3): Florida St, Arizona St, UNC
hiflew(3): Florida St, South Carolina, Texas
Ryan(7): Virginia, Florida St, South Carolina, Florida, Arizona St, Vandy, UNC
Eric L(2): Texas, Stanford
Matt P(3): A&M, Texas, Vandy
Dhoff(6): Virginia, Cal, A&M, UConn, Florida, Oregon St
Anthony(3): Florida St, Arizona St, Stanford
Kirk J(3): Virginia, Texas, Oregon St
Kazi(1): Florida
dgreen(4): Virginia, Cal, Florida St, Arizona St
Diamond King(5): Virginia, Florida St, South Carolina, Arizona St, Oregon St
Matt(1)t: Florida St
Card Hobbyist(4): Virginia, South Carolina, Texas, Oregon St

If you think that I might have screwed up your score, I probably just did it on here (not on the chalkboard). But, just in case, let me know so that I can double check.

Monday, June 6, 2011

2005 Ultimate Collection, Devon Lowery

#160 Devon Lowery

Here is a card from the former Royals prospect, Devon Lowery. I got this card signed at Royals Fanfest in 2009, which, of course, was before it was known that Devon was going to miss the entire season. This is probably the only card that I own from the Ultimate Collection set and it is unfortunate that I was unaware of "prepping cards" early in 2009. For some reason, though, Devon's number didn't bubble as bad as his signature did. I wonder if that is because he signs his name faster than his number.

Devon was a 14th round draft pick of the Royals in 2001. He steadily progressed through the Royals system and in 2008, he got a September call-up by them. He pitched 4.1 innings that month and he gave up 5 runs while striking out 6.

Then Devon ended up missing the entire 2009 season and he only pitched 25.1 innings last season. The Royals released him after the season was up and it looks like Devon is still a free agent right now.

As for the College World Series contest, most of the 16 teams that are advancing to the Super Regional are known. But, there are still a few more games to be played. Therefore, I will recap which teams still have a chance to advance to Omaha tomorrow night.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

2005 Turkey Red, Dewon Brazelton

#257 Dewon Brazelton

Here is the third and final Dewon Brazelton card that I got signed at a Wichita Wingnuts pre-season game last season. Dewon was with the Kansas City T-Bones at the time and he only appeared in two regular season games for them before getting released. Unfortunately, that may have been the end of his career because I cannot find anything about him pitching this season.

You can see the first Brazelton card I posted here and the second one here.

Now, on to some college baseball news.

There were sixteen teams eliminated from the tournament yesterday and, of those sixteen, seven were picked to advance to the CWS. The biggest upsets were Oklahoma State and Oklahoma. Both teams were picked by four contestants. The other teams to get knocked out included Navy(1), Fresno St.(1), Florida International(1), Southern Miss(2), and Kansas State(2). It wasn't a good day for the Big 12.

There were also a few upsets yesterday. The biggest, in my opinion, was Dallas Baptist beating TCU for the third time this year. The Patriots are now 2-0 and they are one win away from advancing to the super-regionals. No one picked Dallas Baptist to advance (and I wouldn't have either), so they are going to be the dark horse team that I am pulling for today and, hopefully, next weekend.

Other upsets included Texas losing to Kent State, Cal State Fullerton losing to Stanford, and Rice losing to Baylor.

Out of all of the unbeaten teams, Florida State and South Carolina were the ones picked by the most people (10). After Dallas Baptist and UC Irvine (who nobody picked), Mississippi State(1) and Kent State(2) are the two unbeatens that were picked by the least people.

The games are about to start and it is looking like it will be another exciting day of college baseball. If you are interested in watching any of the action, head over to ESPN 3. You can watch up to four games at a time there.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

2005 Topps Total, Terry Tiffee

#TS-TT Terry Tiffee

Here is another signed Terry Tiffee card that I picked up from checkoutmycards.com. This one cost a tad more than the last Tiffee card I posted, but only seventy cents more.

Speaking of the last Tiffee card I posted, thanks to a comment left by Paul, I found out where Terry is playing this season. He got picked up by the Lancaster Barnstormers of the Atlantic League. So far this year, Terry is hitting .255 with a team leading 6 home runs and 26 RBI. The last time I had checked, he was hitting in the .230s, so it is good to see his average come up a bit. So far, Lancaster has a four game lead on the second place York Revolution.

In college baseball news, UCLA lost last night. UCLA was the only team picked by over half of the contestents to make it to the College World Series. They can still make it, but they have to win their next four games and then take two out of three in the Super Regionals to advance. Other upsets yesterday include Arizona's loss. Arizona was highest picked number two seed to advance and they lost to Seton Hall. The other teams that were picked to advance and lost include Navy(1), Fresno St.(1), Oklahoma(4), Cal(4), UCF(1), North Carolina St.(3), UConn (2), Georgia Tech(10), Southern Miss(2), Arkansas(3), Oklahoma St.(4), Georgia(4), FIU(1), and Kansas St.(2). The number in parentheses are how many people picked that school. Again, these teams are not officially out of it, but they do have an uphill climb to advance.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Contest Closed

It is 11:00 here and the first phase of the contest is officially closed. No more entries. The games are about to start and I'm looking forward to see how this plays out. Thanks for playing and good luck!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

2005 Topps Total, Ron Mahay

#639 Ron Mahay

This is the second Ron Mahay card that I have posted on here. I posted the first one back in December and it can be seen here. That one was a card that I bought off of Ebay that I got signed in 2009. This one was signed in 2009, too, but I didn't have to overpay to get this one card. I was having a hard time tracking this card down, so I ended up just buying a box of 2005 Topps Total and I was lucky enough to get this card in it. I got this card signed by the Royals parking lot after a game.

Ron pitched for the Twins the past year and a half. He was signed by the Dodgers this spring, but he was released before Opening Day. The Diamondbacks picked him up on a minor league deal, but he was released in the middle of last month after posting a 9.58 ERA in ten appearances. So, Ron is currently a free agent. He is 39-years old, so it may be hard for him to find a job. One bright note is that he is a lefty.

I really have no idea what is going on with Ron's signature. I think I can make out the first letter of is first name and the last letter of his last name and that is about it.

There is still about 48 hours left to get in on the College World Series contest. Don't worry, you don't have to know anything about college baseball to play, you just have to be lucky.