Sunday, January 29, 2012

2006 Topps, Sam Perlozzo

#593 Sam Perlozzo

Here is a card that I got signed at a Royals game in 2008. I was 'graphing the Royals parking lot that day when a group of Mariners coaches pulled up in a rental car. Sam was the only coach of the four that I recognised out of uniform and I thought that it was pretty cool that he actually came over and signed when I asked him to. That was the only non-Royal autograph that I got that day in the lot. Come to think of it, I'm pretty sure that is the only non-Royal autograph that I have ever got from that lot.

At the time, Sam was the Mariners third base coach. He held that gig for two years before moving on to the Phillies organization in 2009. With the Phillies, he has coached third and first and he is currently listed as their first base coach.

Sam played in the Majors for twelve games. He got into ten of those games with the Twins in 1977 and he hit .292 in limited action. He played the last two games two years later when he went hitless in two at-bats with the Padres.

It appears that Sam has two cards from his playing days. But, both of them are Topps rookie stars cards that feature Sam with two or three other guys. That could explain why he has such a small signature- he is used to signing a small area.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

2006 Topps, David DeJesus

#565 David DeJesus

Here is the second David DeJesus card that I have posted on here. I posted the first one back in May and, despite both cards being signed at the same event, the first one had a slightly better signature on it. I can't complain though as you never know which DeJesus signature you are going to get. I've seen some hideous ballpark signatures from him, but his sigs at signings are generally a bit nicer.

David had an off year this past season with Oakland. He posted a career low in average (.240) and all of his offensive numbers were down. Yet, he somehow parlayed a bad season (by his standards) into a two-year deal, with an option for a third, with the Cubs. By all accounts, it appears that David is going to be the Cubs starting right fielder this season.

When David was with the Royals, he played all three outfield positions. I thought that he was best in left field because, while he had a good arm, it wasn't a dominant right field arm. But, that is just my opinion and I hope that David has a good tenure with the Cubbies. I look forward to seeing him play a few times on WGN this summer.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

2006 Topps, Runelvys Hernandez

#471 Runelvys Hernandez

Here is a quick post about the former Royal and Astro, Runelvys Hernandez, aka Elvis, aka Dos Chins. This is the third and final card that I got him to sign for me during a Round Rock Express game in 2008. You can read about what I had to go through to get this card signed here and my thoughts on Elvis here.

I'm not quite sure what is worse- Topps choosing this photo for the card or me choosing this card to get signed.

Runelvys (I somehow still know how to spell his name without looking) last pitched in the Majors in 2008. He spent 2009 pitching in Korea and 2010 pitching in Mexico. I can't find any stats from him since that season, so I am going to assume that his career is over.

Monday, January 23, 2012

2006 Topps, Paul McAnulty

#325 Paul McAnulty

Here is the second card of Paul McAnulty that I got signed after a Colorado Springs Sky Sox game last July. Paul was playing with the visiting Salt Lake Bees and he was nice enough to sign for me after his team lost a ten inning heart-breaker.

Paul has spent parts of five seasons in the Majors and he has logged playing time in 133 games. Nine of those games were spent with the Angels and the rest were with the Padres. Through those 133 games, Paul is hitting .201 with 6 home runs and 23 RBI in 234 at-bats. Paul hasn't played in the bigs since 2010.

It's not too often that I post an autograph of a Padre that was not given to me by Rod from Padrographs. But this is one right here. To be fair, Rod did give me a signed copy of this card. But, it is always more fun to have an autograph in the collection that was obtained in person. So, if anyone needs this card, I have an extra.

I'm always surprised when I see Paul listed as an outfielder. He just doesn't look like the outfielder type to me. He is short and round and I always think of him as a catcher, even though he has never caught a professional game in his ten-year career.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

2006 Topps, CJ Wilson

#321 CJ Wilson

Here is another unprepped card from 2006 Topps. This one features one of the newest additions to the Los Angeles Angels, CJ Wilson.

I got this card signed before a Royals game in 2008. It was a weekday day game, so there was no batting practice. Luckily, a majority of the Rangers pitchers were on the field getting their workouts in.

At the time I got this card signed, I had no idea who CJ Wilson was. In fact, this was the only card that I even had of him. The only reason that I was able to identify CJ out of the crowd of Rangers pitchers was because he pitched against the Royals the night before and I noticed that he wore an interesting necklace.

Apperently, CJ is a hunter. The necklace that he wore was a homemade one made up of turkey spurs and antler tips. If it wasn't for that necklace, CJ would have walked on by unnoticed by me, like a majority of the Ranger pitchers did that day.

Even though CJ was an unkown to me when I got this card signed, this is now probably the best 2006 Topps autograph that I have. I guess that goes to show why I am not too picky when getting people to sign for me. You just never know how a person's career is going to turn out.

Now, if only I could make out anything from his signature besides his number.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

2006 Topps, Brayan Pena

#318 Brayan Pena

Here is another card that Brayan Pena signed for me before my first Royals game in 2009. If you would like to read about the encounter, go here to see my first Brayan Pena post.

Brayan started this past season as the Royals back-up catcher and he remained in that role until Matt Treanor suffered a concussion half-way through the season. Brayan took over the catcher duties until the Royals called up Salvador Perez in August.

As a result of Treanor's concussion, Brayan did see the most playing time in his career. He played in 72 games this year and got 222 at-bats, which beat his 2009 totals of 64 and 165. Unfortunately, though, his numbers didn't rise with the increased playing time. His average dropped to .248, which was the lowest he has batted with at least 100 at-bats. He only had 3 home runs (and all were hit in Arlington), which is half of what he had in '09. And, he only had one more double than he had that year. About the only thing that did go up was his RBI total, and that only rose by 6 despite getting almost 60 more at-bats.

But on a bright note, Royals fans got to see the emergence of Salvador Perez last season. So that means that Brayan should be relegated to back-up duties again this season, though even that is not a lock as the Royals want to take a good look at Manny Pina.

As bad as Brayan's signature appears, I actually have a card signed by him that looks at least twice as worse. It is kind of sad considering that his signature once looked like this.

And no, Brayan does not bat like that. He is a happy-go-lucky guy and he was probably just having fun with the photographer that day.

Monday, January 16, 2012

2006 Topps, Clint Hurdle

#274 Clint Hurdle

Here is a card that I got signed by Clint Hurdle in 2008. He was managing the Rockies at the time and I got this card signed in Kansas City when the Rox came to town for interleague play. Clint signed three cards for me that day and this is actually the last card of the three that I have posted. I posted the first two about three and a half years ago during the infancy of this blog. Back then I was a blogger of few words, but at least I was able to get a new post in daily. I wish I could say that about this blog now. Anyway, if you want to check out the first two Hurdle cards I posted, the first one can be seen here and the second one here.

Clint got his first managerial job with the Rockies in 2002 when he replaced Buddy Bell early in the season. He managed the team into the 2009 season before he started the season 18-28 and was relieved of his duties. During that span, he lead the team to just one winning season. It just so happened, though, that that one winning season included winning the Wild Card in the 163rd game of the season and then advancing to the World Series. I actually had a ticket to game five of that Series, but it wasn't meant to be as the Red Sox swept the Rox in four.

Last season, Clint was hired on to manage the Pirates and he almost made a contender out of an over-achieving team. Some say the team's demise came on the blown call against the Braves, but I guess that is arguable. The team did slip a bunch after that game and the Bucs finished with a 72-90 season, fourth in the division.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

2006 Topps, Kyle Davies

#239 Kyle Davies

Here is a card of Kyle Davies that I got signed at Royals Fanfest in 2009. At the event that year, all of the autograph stations were equipped with silver Sharpies. Since this card is dominated by the Braves dark warm-up jersey, I decided to give the silver Sharpie a shot. Unfortunately, it was barely noticeable and, before I left his station, I had Kyle resign the card in black. He did a good job of staying over his silver signature, but you can still see part of it and it kind of gives the sig a two-tone look to it. I wasn't into prepping cards yet at that point in 2009 and I wonder if prepping the card would have made a difference with the silver.

Kyle, a Georgia native, was drafted by the Braves out of high school in the fourth round of the 2001 draft. He ascended through the Braves system quickly and he made his Major league debut for them in 2005 at the age of twenty-one. He pitched in 21 games for the Braves that year (14 starts) and he finished the season 7-6 with a 4.93 ERA.

In 2006, Kyle split his time between the Atlanta Braves and the Richmond Braves. In 14 Major League starts that season, Kyle went 3-7 with a 8.38 ERA. The following season, Kyle was 4-8 through 17 starts with the Braves before being dealt to the Royals for Octavio Dotel.

Sorry about the recent lack of posts. I really have no excuse for it and I hope to pick it up a bit during the second half of this month.

Monday, January 9, 2012

2006 Topps, Jason Frasor

#197 Jason Frasor

Here is a card that I got signed during the Royals final home-stand this past season. Jason was pitching for the White Sox at the time and I got him to sign this prior to a Sunday afternoon game in September.

I almost didn't get this card signed that day because of inclement weather. It is almost a three hour drive to Kansas City for me and, although it was overcast the whole way there, it did not rain at all. But, as soon as I made my way down to the seating bowl inside the ballpark, it began to sprinkle. I've had some autographs ruined because of Sharpies hitting one little speck of moisture on the card, so I don't even try to get cards signed in those conditions any more. Because of that, I missed out on Matt Thornton and Sergio Santos that day. But, I waited out the weather and the workouts and I was able to get Jason to sign a couple of cards for me before heading to the clubhouse. I then went over to the Royals side because I thought the Sox were done and I ended up missing out on Chris Sale signing.

Overall, it was not a great day on the autograph front. But, there is only so much one can do when Mother Nature is not cooperative.

Jason was acquired by the White Sox from the Blue Jays in July last season. Since the season has ended, he has been traded back to the Jays.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

2006 Topps, Mike Cameron

#128 Mike Cameron

Here is a card of the veteran outfielder, Mike Cameron, that was given to me by Rod, from Padrographs, a few years back. Just like the last 2006 Topps card I posted, the signature on this card did not take stick too well. I doubt that this card was even prepped, yet the signatures from the two are pretty similar as they are hard to make out.

Personally, I can't believe that Mike Cameron is still playing. That is not a knock on him, it's just that he has been in the league for seventeen seasons. I mostly remember Mike from his early years with the White Sox and Mariners and, since he's been mostly in the National League since 2004, I have not seen him play in-person for some time. I think that is the main reason that I have a hard time believing his career is still going. Maybe if I saw him play every other year or something, I'd be less surprised to see that he has a minor league contract with the Marlins set up for next season.

I honestly have no clue what is up with Mike's signature. Even though it is hard to see, I still can't make out any letters besides what kind of looks like a "D".

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

2006 Topps, Tony Graffanino

#76 Tony Graffanino

Here is a card that I got signed by Tony Graffanino at a Royals game in early 2009. Tony was playing for the Indians at the time and he signed this card for me during batting practice.

He signed two or three cards for me and I posted the first one about two years ago. While both cards were prepped, the signature on this one still bubbled up a bit. It sucks when I prep fifty cards before a game and get none of them signed. But, it sucks even more when I prep a card and the signature still bubbles. Tony signed the card at about the lowest part possible, so I don't know if I didn't spread the baby powder low enough or what. I guess that is just part of the game.

It appears that Tony retired after the 2009 season. In his thirteen year Major League career, Tony played in 981 games for seven teams and he it .265 with 58 home runs and 302 RBI. It is hard to pick out the best offensive season for a utility infielder, but I would have to go with his 2005 campaign. He began the year with the Royals and he hit .298 with 3 homers and 18 RBI. The Royals traded him to the Red Sox in July and he hit .319 with 4 home runs and 20 RBI.

I'm pretty sure that the photo on this card was taken at Kauffman Stadium while Tony was still with the Royals.

Monday, January 2, 2012

2006 Sweet Spot, Zack Greinke

#86 Zack Greinke

Here is another card from the 2009 American League Cy Young Award winner that I got signed in April of that season. This is now the fourth Greinke card that I have posted on here and the last two were both signed by the Royals parking lot before a game. I never bought any Sweet Spot in 2006, so this card was most likely given to me by another blogger with some random Royals cards. It is always cool to get some higher end base cards to get signed since I am not willing to shell out the money for the higher end stuff.

I meant to post this yesterday on my day off, but I could not think of anything to say. I enjoyed Zack's time with the Royals, but his chronic bitching over his final season in Kansas City got old and I was happy to see him go. Do I wish he was still a Royal now that they have some talent surfacing at the Major League level? Of course I do. But he didn't want to be a part of it and I think everyone is better off after the trade.

When I first heard of the trade, I thought that Royals could have gotten a little more in the deal. But when I saw that they included Yuniesky Betancourt in the deal with Greinke, I was happy with it. Two clubhouse cancers gone in one swoop. That is I was happy with it until the Royals signed Betancourt to be their utility infielder next season. Yuni has never played third in his life and hasn't played second in about five years. How does that make him a utility infielder? He can only play shortstop. I'm starting to not like the Greinke trade as much as I did a year ago.