Sunday, July 31, 2011

1980 Topps, Chris Knapp

#658 Chris Knapp

Here is the final card from the Topps Million Card Giveaway that I was able to get signed through the mail. I sent this card to Chris on February 8 and I had it back eight days later.

I think I did alright with the MCG. I didn't unlock anything cool or really old, but I was able to add a few autographs from people I otherwise wouldn't have wrote to. The only thing I would have done differently is that I would have looked for Chris' '81 Donruss card to send along with this one. I had never heard of Chris until I unlocked this card, so I just assumed that I did not have his '81 Donruss. A few months after getting this card back, I came across my Chris Knapp '81 Donruss card. Now I am wondering if I have an '81 Donruss of Woddie Fryman that I missed out on.

Chris pitched in the big leagues for parts of six seasons with the White Sox and Angels. He was mainly a starter and his best season came in 1978 with California. He had career bests in nearly every stat including wins (14), ERA (4.21), complete games (6), innings pitched (188.1), and strikeouts (126). For his career, Chris was 36-32 with a save and a 4.99 ERA.

Speaking of '81 Donruss, I will start posting cards from that set tomorrow. But, I will not be posting as many as I would like as it has been a slow summer on the road to 100 signed cards from the set.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

1980 Topps, John Mayberry

#643 John Mayberry

Here is the second John Mayberry card that I got signed at Royals Fanfest this past off-season. I think that John is probably the player that I have posted the most cards of. So to celebrate (and because I really can't think of anything else to say about Big John), here are links to all of my other John Mayberry posts.

1971 Topps

1973 Topps

1975 Topps

1978 Topps

1981 Donruss

1983 Topps

My hyperlink button doesn't work on blogger, so I hope all of those came out alright.

Friday, July 29, 2011

1980 Topps, Jim Wright

#524 Jim Wright

Here is the next to last Topps Million Card Giveaway card that I have to post. This one features Jim Wright, one of three Jim Wright's to play in the Majors. I sent this card to Jim on January 15 and I got it back on February 4.

Jim had a very short Major League career- just two seasons. He did pretty well in his rookie year when he went 8-4 with a 3.57 ERA in 24 games (16 starts). He even recorded 5 complete games with 3 of them being shutouts. But, the following year, Jim must have ran into some arm trouble as he only appeared in 11 games and did not pitch in the minors that season. That was the end of his Major League career.

Jim still pitched in the minors for parts of three seasons before hanging them up during the 1982 season. Even though he only pitched in 35 games in the Show, Jim still had a fourteen-year career in pro ball.

Of the three Jim Wrights that played, I now have autographs from two of them. The third one pitched in four games with the Browns in the '20s, so I doubt that I am going to be obtaining his signature any time soon. Two out of three will have to work. The other Jim Wright can be seen here.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

1979 Topps, Woodie Fryman

#269 Woodie Fryman

Here is the next card that I unlocked or traded for on the Topps Million Card Giveaway site. I sent this card to Woodie on January 15 and I had it back in hand on the 27th. Then a week later, Woodie passed away.. That just goes to show how fragile life can be. Here one day and gone the next. I can't find a cause of death, but it appears that Woodie was signing up until his death.

Woodie has an interesting story. He didn't sign with a Major League team until he was 25-years old. The reason he held out so long was because he was making more money as a tobacco farmer than he would have been playing ball. But, he finally relented and he made his Major League Debut with the Pirates on his 26th birthday. It was the start to a long Major League career, one that had him pitching in three different decades.

Woodie spent time with the Pirates, Phillies, Tigers, Expos, Reds, and Cubs during his eighteen year career. But, it seems like his most talked about "season" was the final two months of the 1972 campaign. Woodie was 4-10 with a 4.36 ERA with the Phillies and they put him on waivers. The Tigers, in the midst of a pennant chase with Boston, picked him up and he went on a terror. He went 10-2 with the Tigers and he got his tenth win on the next to last day of the season by beating Boston and clinching the AL East title. He didn't do quite as well in the ALCS, but if it weren't for his run, the Tigers probably never even made it that far.

For his career, Woodie was 141-155 with 58 saves and a 3.77 ERA. He was a two-time All Star.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

1979 Topps, Paul Dade

#13 Paul Dade

Here is the next Million Card Giveaway TTM success. This one features the former Angel, Indian, and Padre, Paul Dade. I wish that the Million Card Giveaway site was still up and running so that I can see what card it took for me to land this beauty. Once I saw that he signed TTM, I knew I had to have this card just because of that fantastic Indians uniform. I doubt that I have a card that features that uni and I know I don't a have a signed card of one. But, now I do, and it is spectacular. The only thing that could have made this card any better is if Paul would have included his jersey number with his signature. He wore 00 while with the Tribe. That would have been another first for me.

Paul played in the Majors for parts of six seasons. He only got into a hundred or more games twice in his career and that was with Cleveland in 1977 and a season split between Cleveland and San Diego in 1979. With the Indians in '77, Paul put up career numbers in hits, RBI, and average. Then in his split season, he had career highs in doubles, home runs, and stolen bases. He would only play one more season in the Majors after that and he hit .189 in just 53 at-bats.

I sent this card to Paul on January 15 and I got it back February 7.

Monday, July 25, 2011

1978 Topps, Gary Lavelle

#671 Gary Lavelle

Here is the next card that I got via the Topps Million Card Giveaway. This one features the two-time All Star, Gary Lavelle. I sent this card to Gary on the third of February and I had it back nine days later.

Gary pitched in the Major Leagues for thirteen seasons. He spent the majority of the time with the Giants, but he did also play briefly for the Blue Jays and A's. In 1978, Gary won a career high 13 games and he did not start a single game that season. His best season probably came in 1977. He only won 7 games that year, but he did record 20 saves and he posted a career-best ERA of 2.05. He made his first All Star team that year as well.

Gary never had more than 20 saves in a season, but he did hit the 20 save plateau three times. He was an All Star the first time he had 20 and he was an All Star the last time he had 20 in 1983. For his career, Gary was 80-77 with 136 saves and a 2.93 ERA. His 127 saves as a Giant ranks him fourth on their all-time list, right behind Brian Wilson (who could be at the top by the end of next year).

Thursday, July 21, 2011

1978 Topps, Jerry Mumphrey

#452 Jerry Mumphrey

Here is the next Topps Million Card Giveaway card that I unlocked last summer. It was because of the the TMCG that I decided to sign up for's premium service. Before that, I would use the free features and it suited me just fine. But, when the TMCG came around, I needed to know instantly whether or not that player signed through the mail. If he did, I kept the card. If he didn't, I tried to trade the card. Jerry Mumphrey signed TTM, so I kept this card. I sent it to him on January 19 and I had it back on the last day of that month.

On an unrelated note, this will be my last post until Sunday. I'm going ballparkin' for a few days and I will be away from the computer. I'll be seeing the Iowa Cubs tonight, the Twins tomorrow, and the Omaha Storm Chasers on Saturday.

Justin and Ryan- I still have not mailed out your prize packages and I am sorry. It has been a hectic last few weeks here and I am behind on everything. I will get them out to you sometime next week, though. Just bear with me.

Monday, July 18, 2011

1976 Topps, Jim Colborn

#521 Jim Colborn

Here is the third installment of my Topps Million Card Giveaway TTM project. Just like yesterdays post, I had sent this card to Jim without realizing that he had a no-hitter on his resume. But, the worst part about it is that Jim had his no-hitter while playing with my favorite team and I had no clue.

Jim was signed as an amateur free agent by the Cubs in the late '60s. He only played in a handful of games with them before being dealt to the Brewers before the '72 season. He pitched for the Brew Crew for five seasons and he had his best season with them in 1972. That season, Jim was a 20-game winner and he had career bests in wins, ERA (3.11), and strikeouts (135). He also made his lone All Star team that season.

After the '76 season, Jim was traded to the Royals and he quickly impressed his new fans and teammates by throwing his no-no at home against the Rangers in an early May game. The no-hitter was the third in Royals history and Jim was the second pitcher to throw one (Steve Busby had the first two). It was also the first no-no thrown by a Royal at home. Jim finished the season with 18 wins, the second most of his career, and yet he only went on to pitch just one more season and it was with the Mariners.

I don't send out Sharpies when I send out my TTM requests, so Jim picked red for me. I'm more of a blue kind of guy, but the red looks pretty good on this card. Good choice, Jim.

I sent this card out on January 15 and I got it back a month later on February 17.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

1973 Topps, Milt Pappas

#70 Milt Pappas

Here is a card of Milt Pappas that I got from the Topps Million Card Giveaway. I sent this card to Milt on January 15 and I had it back ten days later.

When I unlocked or traded for this card, I had no idea that Milt had a no-hitter under his belt. I had seen the story about his no-no on MLB Network a few times before, but I didn't put two and two together. For those of you who haven't heard about it, Milt had a perfect game going with the Cubs on September 2nd of 1972. After retiring twenty-six straight batters, Milt had a 2-2 count on Larry Stahl. The next two pitches were close to the zone, but they were both called balls by home plate umpire, Bruce Froemming. He lost the perfect game with two outs in the ninth, but he still got the no hitter. By all accounts, it seems that Milt is still a little upset that he didn't get the perfect game.

Milt had long career in the Majors as he spent time with the Orioles, Reds, Braves, and Cubs. He was never a 20 game winner, but he did reach 17 wins twice and he hit double digit wins in twelve of his seventeen seasons. He made two All Star games as an Oriole and he finished his career with a 209-164 record.

Milt has an interesting signature that is a little hard to make out. I can see an "M" in there and that is about it.

Milt's birth name is Miltiades Stergios Pappastediodis. I think I like Milt Pappas better, too.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

1973 Topps, Paul Spilttorff

#48 Paul Splittorff

Here is the final Paul Splittorff card that I will be able to post on here. I got this card signed on Opening Day this year at Kauffman Stadium. Paul was part of the Royals pre-game show and I was able to get this card signed between filming at Rivals Sports Bar. I was pretty excited when I got it because it was the only card that I got signed that day. But, more importantly, it signaled the beginning of autograph season.

Just over a month later, it was announced that Paul had been admitted into the hospital for oral cancer. That came as a shock to everyone. People knew something was wrong with Paul that was worse than announced. The papers said that he had an oral virus that he had been battling, but on TV, it honestly looked like Splitt had had a stroke. Just before his admittance to the hospital, Paul had filled in for Frank White as the color man on the Royals broadcast and his speech was more garbled than ever. I knew something was wrong, but I had no idea that it was a serious as it was. It wasn't until his hospital stay that everyone found out that Paul had been battling oral cancer and melanoma for two years.

Nine days after being admitted into the hospital, Paul passed away. You are missed, Splitt.

Paul is the Royals winningest pitcher and he was the first Royal to win twenty games in a season.

Monday, July 11, 2011

1971 Topps, Marty Pattin

#579 Marty Pattin

Here is a quick pre-home run derby post about Marty Pattin. This signature was obtained at Royals Fanfest this past winter. I took three cards of Marty that I wanted to get signed there and this was the last of the three that I got signed. In fact, I didn't get this card signed. I had already gone through Marty's line twice and, since Jeff Montgomery recognised me as a Sean O'Sullivan look alike, I didn't feel like going through the line again. So, I waited for my dad to get out of the Billy Butler line and get into the Pattin line to get this card signed. By the time that happened, it was about time for Marty's line to close. My dad got about halfway through the line when they started to shut it down.

Lucky for my dad (and me), Marty asked what was going on. When he was told that they were closing down his station, Marty said "but I want to sign some more autographs". The two ladies running the booth gave each other a confused look and then said OK. They didn't let any one else in the line, but they did allow everyone that was already in it to go through.

I thought that was fantastic. How often do you see a player complain about his autograph station shutting down? It just doesn't happen very often. Most guys will pop smoke and disappear the first chance they get. But, not Marty Pattin. The guy is a class act.

This card was provided to me by the Night Owl. It took me over a year to get it signed, but it was well worth the wait. Thanks, Greg!

Friday, July 8, 2011

1971 Topps, Joe Grzenda

#513 Joe Grzenda

Of all the cards that I sent out through the mail this past winter, this is the one that took the longest to get back. I sent this card out on January 13 and I did not have it back until 82 days later. Luckily, I only had to wait 82 days. I always laugh whene I see people posting successes on SportsCollectors.Net that took 500+ days to get back.

This is the final card that I am posting from my "KC A's reunion TTM project".

Joe pitched in the Majors for parts of eight seasons. Over those eight years, Joe pitched for six different teams- the Tigers, A's, Mets, Twins, Senators, and Cardinals. He pitched in 219 games over his career and 95 of those games were with the Senators. He finished his career with a 14-13 record with 14 saves and a 4.00 ERA. His best season came with the Senators in 1971. That year, he threw 70.1 innings and posted a 1.92 ERA.

I'm going ballparkin' this weekend in Amarillo, Texas and Colorado Springs, Colorado and I doubt that I am going to get any posts up. But, at least I have an excuse. Have a good weekend everyone!

This is probably the last time I will ever get to post Senators cards on consecutive days.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

1971 Topps, Ed Stroud

#217 Ed Stroud

This is the last card that I sent out to get signed TTM. I sent it out on February 23 and I got it back on March 4.

I have had this card in my collection since I was in grade school. Back in the day, the local card shop had a commons bin with random cards in it. I think that the only cards I ever bought out of it were a few '71 Topps cards. But, I didn't buy just any old '71. I would only buy cards of the Senators. When I was that young, I thought it was pretty cool that I could buy cards of a team that no longer existed. I doubt that I had any clue that the franchise had moved to Texas and I know I didn't know that this was the second Senators franchise. But, even if I had known that, I doubt that it would have mattered much.

Ed's Major League career lasted just six seasons and it was spent with the White Sox and the Senators. He played in just 529 games and he hit .237 with 14 homers and 100 RBI. His best season came in 1970 when he had career highs in just about all the offensive categories except triples.

When I got back into autographs a few years ago, I always hated ballpoint pen signatures. But, over the years, I have grown to appreciate them on older cards. I still do not like them on this set, though, just because of the pre-printed signature. This set looks OK signed in Sharpie, but the pre-printed signature drowns out the ballpoint.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

1971 Topps, Mike Hershberger

#149 Mike Hershberger

Here is a card of Mike Hershberger that I was unable to get signed at the Kansas City A's reunion last summer. So, I did what I did with all of my unsigned cards from that event and I mailed it to him to get signed. I sent it out on 1/14/11 and I had it back eight days later.

Mike played in the Major Leagues for parts of eleven seasons. He spent time with the White Sox, A's, and Brewers. It looks like Mike was an everyday player for six seasons, spending the rest of the time as a back-up. He never made an All Star team and he never played in the playoffs. Not one season that he played really stands out to me, so I will list his career highs instead.

His best average was .279 ('63). The most home runs he had was 5 ('65 & '68). The most doubles he had was 27 ('66) and the most RBI was 57 ('66). For his career, Mike was a .252 hitter with 26 homers and 344 driven in.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

1971 Topps, John Mayberry

#148 John Mayberry

By my best count, this is the sixth John Mayberry card that I posted on here since starting this blog in the summer of 2008. I honestly thought that I had more than that. But, by using the search on the blog, it only turns up five John Mayberry cards.

John must feel the same way as I do. When I got this card signed at Royals Fanfest (and it was the only card that John signed for me there), John looked up at me with a surprised look on his face as he asked me something to the effect of "you made it through again?", like it was my second trip through that line. When I told him that that was the first time he signed for me all day, he said "must have been in Omaha where I saw you" (referring to the Caravan visit there). I obviously wasn't in Omaha either, but I just said "must have been".

After all that was out of the way, John looked at this card and kind of chuckled. He said "I've seen a few of these today" before adding "I've even seen a couple of my rookie cards". He must get a kick out of seeing his first two baseball cards.

Speaking of his 1970 rookie card, the card features him and Bob Watson. When Bob was working for MLB, he was a great TTM signer. I haven't checked to see if he is signing from a home address now. But, if he is, I need to acquire that card to see if I could get both guys to sign it. I hardly have any '70 Topps cards signed, so it would be a cool addition to the collection.

After getting this card signed, I now have a card signed by John with each of the teams he played for in the Majors- Astros, Royals, Blue Jays, and Yankees.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

1970 Topps, Marty Pattin

#31 Marty Pattin

Here is the third Marty Pattin card that I have posted on here. This signature was obtained at Royals Fanfest last winter. I got this card signed on my second trip through his line. On my first trip, he did not say a word to me. But, when I came through with this card, Marty's eyes lit up and he said "oh, to be that young again and know what I know now".

Marty's claim to fame may be that he was the fabled Duck in Whitey Herzog's Hungo, Mingo, the Bird, and the Duck bullpen quartet. Al Hrabosky, the Mad Hungarian, was Hungo, Steve Mingori was Mingo, and Doug Bird was the Bird. Marty was the Duck because of the great Donald Duck impersonation that he does. If you get lucky, you can sometimes hear him do that impersonation during signings.

Marty was an All Star with the Brewers in 1971, a season where he finished 14-14 with a 3.13 ERA. That was his lone All Star selection and it was probably his best season as a starter.

With the Royals in 1976, Marty pitched in 44 games (15 starts) and he finished the season with an 8-14 record with 5 saves and a career-best 2.49 ERA.

For his career, Marty is 114-109 with 25 saves and a 3.62 ERA.

Friday, July 1, 2011

CWS Final Standings and Prizes

I know I was supposed to do this yesterday, but I was a little busier than I had planned. Better late than never.

Here are the final standings from the contest.

cubsfan: 19
Ryan: 16

Play at the Plate: 13
Nathan: 12
Derek: 10
Dhoff: 10
Joey D: 9 8
card hobbyist: 7
Spankee: 7
Dimwit: 6
Eric L: 5
Greg Z: 5
lost collector: 5
Matt: 3

Here are the prizes that Justin and Ryan get to choose from.

Rod Carew signed 8x10

2011 Topps Heritage stamp card #4/62

A pack of 2009 BBM Softbank Hawks Japanese cards

Signed customs from 2010 CWS players/draft picks. For the most part, these are uncut sheets or portions of uncut sheets. Here is a list of the players and what team drafted them and in what round. Not all players are pictured.
TCU: Bryan Holaday (Det 6), Matt Curry (Pit 16), Greg Holle (Mil 11), Steven Maxwell (Min 12), Paul Gerrish (Hou 42)
Clemson: Kyle Parker (Col 1), Mike Freemann (AZ 11)
Arizona St: Merrill Kelly (TB 8), Jordan Swagerty (StL 2)
Florida St: Mike McGee (AZ 41), Tyler Holt (Cle 10), Stephen Cardullo (AZ 24)
South Carolina: Sam Dyson (Tor 4), Whit Merrifield (KC 9)
UCLA: Rob Rassmussen (Flo 2)
Florida: Mett den Dekker UER(NYM 5), Kevin Chapman (KC 4)
note: these cards were printed on my printer and it was kind of acting up that weekend

Signed cards of Royals Hall of Famers Frank White and Bret Saberhagen.

Signed cards of college coaches Darin Erstad (Nebraska) and Robbie Wine (Penn St)

Five duplicate autos I have: Indy leaguers Raul Gonzalez and Jose Acsanio, Royals minor leaguer Buddy Baumann, Padrograph of Ramon Vazquez, and Royals Rule V draft pick Nate Adcock.

Signed Robin Ventura 8x10

Chad Billingsley manupatch from 2011 Topps Series 2

Coin given out to the first 6000 fans at the very first CWS game at TD Ameritrade Park

Some duplicate Royals signed postcards- Brian McRae, Dee Brown, Dan Riechert, Jermaine Dye, Dave Owen, Kris Wilson

Maury Wills signed postcard

Brand new CWS t-shirt, size XL

These are the thirteen prizes that are up for grabs. I do this like a draft. Justin geta the first pick, Ryan the second, Justin the third, Ryan 4, Justin 5, Ryan 6, Justin 7, Ryan 8, Justin 9, Ryan 10, and Justin with the final pick (not all prizes will be picked).

Just leave a comment on this thread to make your pick. Congrats to the winners and thanks to all that played.

Justin, you are on the clock. You guys can do this in a day or a week. Doesn't matter either way for me.