Saturday, May 31, 2014

1990 Topps, Curt Young

#328 Curt Young

This is the first of three cards that Curt Young signed for me before an A's Spring Training game this year. The A's were the visiting team at Camelback Ranch and I decided to 'graph their side over the White Sox. I think I made the right choice as I got signatures from all of the A's coaches and a couple of the players. Curt is the team's pitching coach.

I am guessing that this is the "hurried ballpark signature" version of Curt's autograph. There is an example autograph from him on his Baseball Almanac page and, while they are similar, that one is much cleaner looking. In fact, it is almost readable.

Curt pitched for the A's, Royals, and Yankees during his eleven year career. All but one of those seasons was spent with Oakland.

The college baseball regionals are underway and there have been three teams eliminated so far. One of those was Florida State, the number five national seed. They were picked by thirteen people to advance to Omaha. The other two teams eliminated were not picked by anybody to advance.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

College World Series Reminder

We've got almost a couple dozen entrants so far, but that there is still time left to get in on the annual College World Series Contest. Scroll down to the previous post and get your picks in. Here is a recap of some prizes from previous years.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

College World Series Contest!!!!

It's that time again! It is time for my fifth annual College World Series Contest.

Yesterday, the NCAA announced the 64 teams that will be competing for the 2014 College World Series championship. To commemorate it, I am holding the fifth annual College World Series contest here at Autographed Cards. It is going to be a couple of weeks before the main phase of the contest starts, but you can earn some bonus points here that could make a difference when the main portion gets going. All you have to do right now is pick the eight teams that are going to be playing in Omaha. Here are the teams to choose from.

Slot One
1. Oregon St
1. Oklahoma St
2. Nebraska
3. UC Irvine
3. Cal St Fullerton
4. North Dakota St
4. Binghampton

Slot Two
1. Rice
1. LSU
2. Texas
2. Houston
3. Texas A&M
3. Bryant
4. George Mason
4. SE Louisiana

Slot Three
1. Florida St
1. Louisville
2. Alabama
2. Kentucky
3. Kansas
3. Kennesaw St
4. Kent St
4. Georgia Southern

Slot Four
1. Indiana
1. Vanderbilt
2. Indiana St
2. Oregon
3. Clemson
3. Stanford
4. Xavier
4. Youngstown St

Slot Five
1. Florida
1. Miami (FL)
2. Long Beach St
2. Texas Tech
3. North Carolina
3. Columbia
4. College of Charleston
4. Bethune-Cookman

Slot Six
1. Cal Poly
1. TCU
2. Arizona St
2. Dallas Baptist
3. Sam Houston St
3. Pepperdine
4. Siena
4. Sacramento St

Slot Seven
1. Louisiana-Lafayette
1. Ole Miss
2. Mississippi St
2. Washington
3. San Diego St
3. Georgia Tech
4. Jackson St
4. Jacksonville St

Slot Eight
1. South Carolina
1. Virginia
2. Maryland
2. Arkansas
3. Old Dominion
3. Liberty
4. Campbell
4. Bucknell

All you have to do is pick one team from each slot for a total of eight teams. In the past, for every team that you picked that made it into the College World Series, you got one point. But, I am going to mix it up this year. Now, any team you pick that makes it to Omaha gets as many points as their seed. So, if you make the safe bet and pick the one seed correctly, you get one point. But, if you pick the dark horse four seed and get lucky, you get four points for that pick. If you don't feel like participating right now, that's fine. You can enter the second phase without participating in the first, but you might have some ground to make up.

I haven't figured out what the prizes are yet, but some of the prizes from the previous years include autographs from Hall of Famers Harmon Killebrew, Jim Rice, Rod Carew, and Bruce Sutter. I usually end up with some really good stuff at the College World Series. I just probably won't know what they are until I get back from Omaha on the 15th of June. Last year, I gave away signed photos of Ivan Rodriguez and John Smoltz.

This blog has been in the doldrums of late since I am lucky to post a card twice a week. So, to get a few extra contestants in the contest, you can get one bonus point just by pimping this contest on your blog. Just leave a link in the comments and I will chalk you up a point (yes, I use a chalkboard for scoring this contest).

Here is the format that your entry (comment) should look like.

Slot 1- Oregon St
Slot 2- Rice
Slot 3- Florida St
Slot 4- Indiana
Slot 5- Florida
Slot 6- TCU
Slot 7- Ole Miss
Slot 8- South Carolina
Link to your blog (which can be left on a separate comment).

Make sure you specify which school you want. For instance, in slot one, Oregon St and Oklahoma St are up for grabs. DO NOT PICK OSU OR O ST. Be specific!

If you have any questions, ask in the comments or email me at zman40 at hotmail dot com. The deadline to enter the first phase of this contest is 11:00 am (central) Friday and the link must be posted 24 hours prior to that. Good luck and thanks for playing.

Keep in mind that the main portion of this contest is filling out a College World Series bracket when that field is determined in a couple of weeks. Every year, there are a couple of people that enter the first phase of the contest that never end up filling out a bracket. Those people have yet to win this contest.

1990 Score, Bobby Thigpen

#694 Bobby Thigpen

The College World Series tournament field was announced today. But, I had to work and then take in a Wingnuts game, so I haven't gotten around to posting my annual contest yet. So, here is a card of Bobby Thigpen until I can get the contest post up later today.

I posted a couple of Thigpen cards earlier this year that were signed at Spring Training last year. You can see his '87 Fleer here and his '88 Donruss here. This next round of Thigpen cards were all obtained at a Royals game this season.

Bobby is the bullpen coach for the White Sox and I got three cards signed by him by the Sox bullpen prior to the first Royals game I attended this year. It was a pretty slow day of 'graphing for me as all I got were Bobby and Mark Salas. This year continued last years trend of pitchers not working out on Sunday and me being relegated to bullpen mop-up duty.

That all changed at the last game I went to as the Orioles actually took batting practice on Sunday, though all I took were cards of pitchers. Tommy Hunter and Miguel Gonzalez were nice enough to sign and Chris Tillman did not sign, but he gave my kid a ball. So, it turned out alright, especially since I did not have any cards of the O's bullpen or pitching coaches.

This card is from Score's Dream Team subset. I love how it lists Bobby's position as RRP. I'm glad that did not stick. The write-up on the back of the card even refers to long-time White Sox organist, Nancy Faust. It says "when a team finishes last, as the Sox did, they could have just as well done it with Nancy Faust". It then goes on to mention that Bobby finished second in the league in saves and finishes with "Bobby's superb work in relief for the '89 White Sox was a waste in excellence". Ouch. That was written by Alan Solomon of the Chicago Tribune. According to the Tribune's site, Alan is now a travel writer after being thrown out of the sports department in 1994.

Here is a picture of Nancy from my lone trip to a Sox game in 2007.

Stay tuned. The CWS contest is coming up shortly!

Sunday, May 25, 2014

1990 Score, Dave Eiland

#652 Dave Eiland

Here is the second card of Dave Eiland that I have posted on here. Dave is the pitching coach for the Royals and I got this card signed before a Royals card in 2012. The first card I posted of him is a minor league card and it can be seen here.

Dave made his Major League debut with the Yankees in 1988. He got called upon to start a game in early August in Milwaukee and he was lights-out in his debut. He threw seven innings and allowed just three hits and one run. The run was a lead-off home run to start the game by none other than Paul Molitor. He settled down after that and walked two while striking out three. He got a no-decision, though, as Dave Righetti came on in the eight and allowed five runs in a third of an inning.

Dave made just two more starts that season for the Yankees and he gave up five more home runs in 6.2 innings.

Dave pitched parts of four more seasons with New York, but he never really found a home there. The only time he appeared in more than six games was the 1991 season when he made 18 appearances (13 starts) and went 2-5 with a 5.33 ERA.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

1989-90 Pacific Senior League, Dyar Miller

#211 Dyar Miller

Here is the final card that I have to post from this unique set. The set dragged on a little longer than I wanted it to, but there wasn't much I could do when my computer crapped out on me.

I got this card signed at a Royals game in 2012 when the Cardinals visited the K. Dyar was the Cards bullpen coach at the time. Even though he has a few cards out from his playing days, those days were before my time and this was the only card that I had of him. But, since it was just one of the two cards I got signed that day, I am glad that I had it.

Dyar pitched in the Majors for seven seasons in the '70s and early '80s. He pitched for the Orioles, Angels, Blue Jays, and Mets and he relieved every game he was in except for one. For his career, he was 23-17 with 22 saves and a 3.23 ERA.

As you can see on this card, Dyar was a coach in the SPBA. He was also a player in the league, where he posted a 0-2 record with a 3.18 ERA. I have no idea how many appearances he made, but I do know that he finished the season as the Juice's manager. The club started off 9-12 before he took over and went 28-23 the rest of the season.

Dyar is currently the minor league pitching coordinator for the Astros.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

1989-90 Pacific Senior League, Sal Butera

#209 Sal Butera

Here is the second card that Sal Butera signed for me through the mail last winter. The other card was of course his '81 Donruss card which can be seen here. Sal took just two weeks to get the cards back to me.

Sal has a World Series ring from his time with the Twins. He was on their championship team in 1987, though Sal was used sparingly. He appeared in just one game against the Cardinals and it was as a defensive replacement in the eight inning in game four. He did not bat. But, he did start a game against the Tigers in the ALCS. In game three, he went 2-3 in a game the Twins lost 6-7.

In the SPBA, Sal hit .283 with no home runs and 22 RBI. His 5 stolen bases lead the team. That was five more than he had in his Major League career, In fact, Sal never even attempted a stolen base in the big leagues. I wonder if that SPBA stat might be a typo.

Monday, May 19, 2014

1989-90 Pacific Senior League, Bob Shirley

#207 Bob Shirley

I finally have a new computer, so now I can get back to my semi-regular posting.

Here is the Bob Shirley card that I got signed when I sent him his '81 Donruss card in November of 2012. Bob signed both of the cards and had them back to me in a month.

Bob's Orlando Juice (the OJ's?) finished the season 37-35, just missing the playoffs by one game to the Bradenton Explorers. Bob contributed by going 6-6 with a 4.93 ERA.

I made it to three ballgames last week, seeing the Wichita Wingnuts, Kansas State Wildcats, and Kansas City Royals. It was an OK week as I got thirteen cards signed at the Nuts game, one at the Cats game, and four at the Royals game. But, the best part was that all three home teams won. The Nuts came back from an early 6-2 deficit to win. The Cats scored three in the bottom of the ninth to walk off with a victory. Then I got to see Alex Gordon go 4-4 with two home runs and six RBI in the Royals win. Not a bad week.

Friday, May 9, 2014

Contest at Play at the Plate!!

Sorry I haven't posted in a couple of weeks, but my computer crapped out on me. So, while I wait for a replacement to arrive, head over to Play at the Plate and enter his cool contest. It is his 2000th post and Topps was nice enough to donate him a hobby box of Bowman to give away. All you have to do is leave a comment and you can leave one Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. So check it out!

Sorry I couldn't leave a hyperlink, but my iPad is being stupid. Hopefully I will have a better means of posting before too long.