Saturday, January 31, 2015

2002 Topps Heritage, John Rodriguez

#107 John Rodriguez

If it was not for a wallet card sighting, it would have been back-to-back John Rodriguez posts. This one was signed at a 'Nuts game in 2012, John's first season with the team.

John was signed by the Yankees as a non-drafted free agent in 1996. He moved steadily through their system and got his first taste of AA action in 2000. He played all of 2001 in AA and hit .285 with 22 home runs and 31 doubles. His power must have been the main contributor for him getting a couple of Topps cards in 2002.

Unfortunately, he had to repeat AA in 2002 and he regressed a bit. Though he only hit .215, with 15 homers and 18 doubles, he still got promoted to AAA in 2003. And AAA is where John Rodriguez would spend the majority of the remainder of his career.

John played in 546 AAA games with the Yankees, Indians, Cardinals, Mets, and Rays systems (and in Mexico). Over those nine seasons at the level, John hit .271 with 88 home runs and 315 RBI. In 2005, John split the season between the Indians and Cardinals AAA teams before getting his initial big league call-up. With the Memphis Redbirds, John got into 34 games and hit a staggering 17 home runs and drove in 47. He slugged 1.227 in the process. The Cardinals pretty much had no choice in calling him up so see what he could do at the Major League level.

Today is the day I was supposed to go to Royals Fanfest. I have been to every Royals Fanfest until this year. At the last minute last night, I decided not to go. After following the event on Twitter, I felt like it was not going to be worth my time.

The Royals have never had an efficient system for the Autograph sessions at Fanfest and they seem to get worse every year. For starters, there is no set schedule of who is going to be signing when and where. People just have to get in a line and hope for the best. When they first started the event, there was four players/alumni at each autograph station. Last year, there was just two people at the tables.

This year, there is only one person signing at each table. That was what made up my mind to not go. Last thing I want is to wait in a line for an hour just find out that Brandon Finnegan is the person signing. Now, there is nothing against Finnegan, the Royals top draft pick this year. He made history last season by being the first person to ever play in the World Series and College World Series in the same season. But, I don't have any cards of him. I don't have any cards of Lane Adams. I have one card of Terrance Gore. I didn't feel like dragging my family to Kansas City in crappy weather and then waiting in lines all day for the chance of maybe getting someone I needed was going to be worth it.

I am a little sad. But, I am sure that I would have been extremely disappointed if I went.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Wallet card at Royals Caravan

2002 Topps Gold Label, John Rodriguez

#191 John Rodriguez

Here is a card brand that I have never seen before- Topps Gold Label. It almost sounds like a fine American whiskey. Nevertheless, it is one of the many cards that were available in the early 2000's. The only reason why I have this card is because John Rodriguez played for the Wichita Wingnuts in 2012. You are probably seeing a pattern right now as most of the recent signatures I am showing off are from Am-Ass players. That is because I was not collecting at the time and have bought cards from that period to get cards signed at Nuts games.

I posted my first John Rodriguez card just over two years ago. That card was posted way back when I was posting 2006 cards. It was made after John made his Major League debut with the Cardinals. This card, however, came out a few years before that one. This one was made when John was still a prospect in the Yankees organization.

John must have been playing in a warm-weather league since he is wearing shorts in this picture.

Today, the Royals Caravan hits the area. I am looking forward to getting some cards signed in-person!

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

2002 Topps 206, Jason Botts

#272 Jason Botts

Take a look at that signature. That is something unique. While it is definitely not readable, it does look cool. How one symbol, repeated three times, equals Jason Botts is beyond me. But, I like it anyhow.

If you click on the link above to Jason's Baseball Almanac page, you can see what his signature looked like around 2007. Based on that, you can kind of understand his progression to what the signature is today.

I got this card signed at a Wichita Wingnuts game this last season while Jason was playing for the Grand Prairie AirHogs. He signed three cards for me that day.

Jason saw time with the Rangers over parts of four seasons. He made his debut in 2005 and hit .296 in 10 games. He got into 20 games the next season, but hit just .220. In 2007, he played in a career-high 48 games and hit .240. Then in 2008, his last season as a Major Leaguer, he hit just .158 in 15 games.

For his Major League career, Jason was a .230 hitter with 5 home runs and 28 RBI.

Three days until Royals Fanfest...

Monday, January 26, 2015

2002 Fleer Tradition, David Espinosa

#U-272 David Espinosa

Here is the third and final card from the 2002 Fleer Tradition set that I have to post. Like the previous post of Angel Berroa, this card is from an American Association game on a card from the Fleer Tradition Update set. But this card is not like the Berroa card. This card is numbered 63/200. What makes this card so different that it needs to be numbered? This card is glossy! Why Fleer thought it needed to take this fine looking set and add gloss to it is beyond my comprehension. Plus, to make matters worse, it appears that the card stock is no different from regular Fleer Tradition. In order to get the gloss feel to the card, it appears that a clear layer was added on top of the card. I noticed that because some of that layer is bubbling up around some edges making it very obvious. It looks like in fifty years, I may have an unsigned, yet numbered, Fleer Tradition card that is not glossy. Who came up with these ideas? That must be one of the reasons why Fleer is no longer around.

Since I was not collecting in 2002, I am very curious how glossy cards of the Update set were even obtained. Did the Update cards come in packs? If so, were the numbered cards inserts?

I believe that this is the fourth card of David Espinosa that I have posted on this blog. The other three were obtained at the 2010 American Association All Star Game in Wichita. All three cards were posted shortly after that game.

This autograph was obtained towards the end of this past season in Wichita. David was playing for the Wingnuts at the time. He was picked up for their stretch run and was a key member to their championship squad.

Four more days until Royals Fanfest...

Saturday, January 24, 2015

2002 Fleer Tradition, Angel Berroa

#U179 Angel Berroa

Here is another Royals card from the 2002 Fleer Tradition set. Unlike the last one of Joe Randa that was signed at Royals Fanfest, I got this one signed at a game a couple of years ago. In 2012, Angel Berroa, the 2003 American League Rookie of the Year, was playing for the New Jersey Jackals of the Can Am League. Since the Can Am and the American Association each had an odd number of teams in the leagues, they had interleague play all season long. The Jackals happened to be the team that came to Wichita that season.

This time around, Angel signed all three cards for me. I had met him at a AAA game in 2008 in Albuquerque. While he was nice enough to stick around and sign for me, he only signed one item. I posted that card four years ago.

I enjoyed talking to Angel while he was signing for me. He used to play for the Wichita Wranglers back in the day and the 'Nuts use the same park that they vacated. I asked him about the upgrades that they made to Lawrence-Dumont Stadium and he was impressed with what had been done. It was a fun, but brief, conversation and afterwards, Angel shook my hand before taking the field for warm-ups.

Six more days until Royals Fanfest...

Thursday, January 22, 2015


Royals Fanfest is next weekend. As usual, they are trotting out the normal Royals alumni for the event. Since I have so many autos from most of those fellas (and some of the younger guys with few cards), I am willing to get some cards signed for other collectors. Just read my previous post (you'll have to scroll down through my rant on the Royals Caravan) for info.

2002 Fleer Tradition, Joe Randa

#342 Joe Randa

Here is the latest Joe Randa installment from Fanfest last year.

Speaking of Fanfest, this year's edition is next weekend. Surprisingly, Joe Randa is not going to be there this year. And as far as Royals alumni goes, the only new name I see is Al Fitzmorris. All the rest are retreads that are there just about every year. There are a couple though that I have missed out on that I hope to get this year. Those two would be Shawn Sedlacek and Jerry Terrell. It would be nice if the Royals could bring in some new names once in a while.

Fanfest time means that the Royals Caravan is also hitting the road. While the Caravan is actually hitting up my hometown this year, the participants are less than spectacular. My leg of the trip includes Brandon Finnegan, Lane Adams, and Jeff Montgomery. While Finnegan is a top prospect for the Royals, and made history last year as the first player to play in the World Series and College World Series in the same season, there are no cards of him. Topps didn't put him in their Update set or Bowman Draft Pick and Prospects set. Lane Adams only played in parts of five games last season, mostly as a pinch runner, and only has one Bowman card out. And I have plenty of Jeff Montgomery autographs (see here).

While I would like to think that I got bad luck on the draw of participants, the other two legs do not fair any better. One leg gets back-up infielder Christian Colon and relief pitcher Louis Coleman and the other gets back-up catcher Eric Kratz and pinch runner Terrance Gore (each also has a Royals Hall of Famer). In the past, the bigger names on the team have always participated. This is the worst line up I have seen since the early '90s when Steve Shifflett, Kevin Koslofski, and Keith Miller came to town.

Hopefully Fanfest will suck less than the caravan.

The good news about all of the Royals alumni retreads (and some of the younger players) is that I will be able to get some cards signed for people, if needed. So, if you need an autograph from one of these guys, let me know. Email me at zman40 at hotmail dot com. I will pay for return shipping, but it is going to cost you one autograph. I don't care who the autograph is of or if it is certified, in-person, or TTM. Just send me one autograph and the cards you want signed. Because of the randomness of Royals Fanfest, there is no guarantee that your items will get signed. In the event that your cards do not get signed, the autograph sent to me will not be returned. Your cards, however, will be. If you have any questions, email me or ask in the comments.

Willie Aikens
Lane Adams
Jamie Bluma
Christian Colon
Brandon Finnegan
Shane Halter
Brian McRae
Les Norman
Jamie Quirk
John Wathan
Jeff Montgomery

I would also take an '85 Donruss Rex Hudler if any one has an extra.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

1939 Play Ball, Bobby Doerr

#7 Bobby Doerr

I got it back today!! It had only been gone for less than two weeks, but it seemed like a lifetime. And now I have my first signed card from the '30s and my oldest signed card.

It all began on Christmas Day when my lovely wife bought me this card.

I had been asking her for Doerr's '38 Goudey for a couple of years, but that card was out of her price range. I figured that would probably be the case and told her that this one would work just as well. She found one for me and it showed up on Christmas Eve before I got home from work. She wrapped it up and then hid it underneath presents so I didn't know it was there. It was the last present opened on Christmas morning and I was shocked when I saw it. I really was not expecting her to buy me a card. I guess it shows that it doesn't hurt to ask.

Now that I had the card, the next step was unslabbing it. Luckily, there were plenty of videos on youtube about the subject and, after watching a few, I decided to give it a go. I was going to do it in front of my wife, but she couldn't bear to watch. She went to bed and told me not to make a mess. I got it out of its case fairly easily.

The next morning, the card was off in the mail. Little Mack was there to say goodbye.

Today, I got home from work and I went and greeted my wife. She told me there was something for me by the TV and I instantly knew what it was. I went over there and picked up the opened envelope. Since she paid for the card, and knew what was in the self-addressed stamped envelope, she figured that she had first dibs at opening it. And I am completely fine with that. Then she says to me "If I had known it was going to be that easy to get it signed, I might have bought you the Goudey card".

As if there was ever a doubt in my mind...

Sunday, January 18, 2015

On the Road With the Wallet Card

Went on a little road trip with the family yesterday and brought Little Mack along. The destination? The Wizard of Oz Museum in Wamego, Kansas.

Here he is with Tinman.

Here he is with the Scarecrow.

Here he is with the Cowardly Lion.

Here he is with the Wicked Witch.

Lastly, here he is with the cast of Seinfeld.

Little Mack does not like my wallet. He has got a nice crease running along top edge and another one running down the right edge.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

2002 Fleer, Phil Nevin

#160 Phil Nevin

Here is the second card that Phil Nevin signed for me at Spring Training last year. Phil is the manager of the Diamondbacks AAA team and I got him to sign this card after conducting some infield practice with some of the big leaguers.

Phil spent a good chunk of his career with the Padres. In parts of seven seasons, Phil hit .288 with 156 home runs and 573 RBI. He broke the 100-RBI barrier three times and topped 30 home runs twice. His best season was with them in 2001 when he hit .308 with 41 home runs and 126 RBI. The 126 RBI are the second most by a Padre. Phil made his lone All Star team that summer.

Phil is on several of the Padres all time lists including average (7th), slugging (4th), home runs (3rd), RBI (3rd), and extra base hits (5th).

I do not have many cards from this set, but I like it. It is the first post-9/11 Fleer set, hence the patriotic theme. Plus, there is no gloss whatsoever on the cards which make them great for autographs. Too bad this is the only one I have signed.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Guns don't kill people. And neither do wallet cards

Little Mack at the gun range

Little Mack sharing a margarita and chips.

2002 Bowman, Chris Smith

#BDP53 Chris Smith

Here is the third straight card of a former Wichita Wingnut. This one is of the former Red Sox and Brewer, Chris Smith. Surprisingly, with such a common name, only one other Chris Smith has ever played in the Major Leagues. This Chris Smith signed three cards for me before a 'Nuts game in 2013.

Chris was drafted by the Sox in the fourth round of the 2002 draft out of UC-Riverside. He progressed up the organizational ladder and made his first stop at AAA in 2006. He spent most of the time at that level in 2007 and 2008. But, he did get the call to Boston in '08 and made his debut in June. He got called in to the second inning in a game against the Cardinals. Diasuke Matsuzaka got roughed up in the first inning, and was walking people in the second, so Chris was in for damage control. He pitched four innings and gave up three hits, one run, and had three strikeouts. The homer he gave up was a grand slam to Troy Glaus, but all three base runners belonged to Dice-K. It was smooth sailing after that.

Chris finished that season, his only one with Boston, 1-0 with a 7.86 ERA. He walked 7, struck out 13, and gave up 6 long balls.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

2002 Bowman, Brent Clevlen

#BDP49 Brent Clevlen

Here is another card that I got signed at a Wichita Wingnuts game. This one features the former Tiger and Brave, Brent Clevlen. Brent spent three out of the past five years playing in Wichita and was a key part to last seasons American Association championship team. He signed this card for me before a game in 2013. The sig got smudged a bit from his sweat, but it didn't turn out horrible.

Brent was drafted out of high school by the Tigers in the second round of the 2002 draft. He progressed through the Tigers minor league system and made his Major League debut in July of 2006. He had quite a game in his debut, going 2-3 with a walk, double, two runs and an RBI against Twins starter, Johan Santana. Three days later, he hit his first Major League home run, a solo shot off of Rays reliever, Travis Harper. He added another solo home run later that game. After his first three games, Brent was slugging 1.500.

Brent came back to reality after that super start he had and ended up finishing the season with a .282 average with 3 home runs and 6 RBI. Though the Tigers went to the World Series that season, Brent was not on any of their playoff rosters.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

2001 Upper Deck Prospects Premieres, Mike Conroy

#47 Mike Conroy

Here is a card that I got signed at a Wichita Winguts game in 2012. Mike was playing for Wichita at the time and signed the card for me before a game. He was impressed to actually see a card of himself and commented that it was an old one and that it was taken twelve years ago.

Mike was the 43rd player selected in the 2001 draft by the Indians. He came out of Boston College High School and signed quickly enough to get into 43 minor league games that summer. Mike struggled making the adjustment to pro ball and, in five seasons in the Indians organization, barely made it above A ball. The Tribe cut him loose after the 2006 season. Mike hit just .247 in affiliated ball.

After missing the 2007 season, Mike caught on in the American Association. He would continue to play in the independent leagues through 2012, also seeing time in the Atlantic League and Can Am League. He had his best season with the Wingnuts in 2011. That year, he got into 99 games and hit .302 with career bests in doubles (23) and RBI (48). Though he was just a .247 hitter in affiliated ball, Mike hit .285 in the independent leagues.

I took my boy to his first Winguts game the same day that Mike signed this card. He wanted something to wear that said Wingnuts, so I let him wear my hat. After I got Mike to sign my card, some kids came up and had him sign their stuff. One kid got his cap signed. My boy saw that and promptly ran down and got his hat signed. He came back up grinning and then asked me if it was alright that he got the hat signed. He went on to add a few more signatures to that hat that day and it has been his ever since.

I hate how this card looks like the base Upper Deck set. They must have got that from Bowman.

Monday, January 12, 2015

2001 Upper Deck, Bruce Chen

#239 Bruce Chen

Here is the latest autograph from Bruce Chen. As far as I can tell, it has been two and a half years since the last time I posted a card of him. It will not, however, be the last. I have one more coming up next month and then I have some newer ones that may or may not ever be posted on here.

I got this card signed this past season at the first game of the year I attended. It was a Sunday game and the Royals brought back their autograph afternoons for Sunday games. My family got in one of the lines that day and it ended up being Bruce's. I ended up with two new autographs from Bruce and they are the last items I got signed by him.

I had bought this card a couple of years ago just to try to get a card signed by Bruce that pictures him on a different team. I already had cards of him that I have posted as a Brave, Met, and Oriole, not to mention Ranger and Royals cards that haven't been posted yet. Now I can add the Phillies to that list, too.

Bruce pitched for the Phils for two half seasons. He was traded to them mid-season in 2000 and he went 3-4 with a 3.63 ERA. In 2001, he was 4-5 with a 5.00 ERA before being dealt to the Mets in July. In Bruce's "season" in Philly, he was 7-9 with a 4.28 ERA over 31 starts.

On an unrelated note, the Royals announced their Royals Caravan route today. Much to my surprise, they are rolling through my hometown this year. They have not yet announced who was going to be on that leg of the trip. But, since I have that day off, I know I will be there.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

2001 Topps, Dan Riechert

#259 Dan Riechert

Here is the third and final Dan Riechert card that Dan signed for me at a Wichita Winguts game in 2013. Dan was the pitching coach for the Lincoln Saltdogs. You can see the first card that he signed for me here and the second one here.

I mentioned in the last Riechert post that he got claimed off of waivers by the Devil Rays at the end of the 2002 season, ending his Royals career. He never pitched in the Majors for the Rays and they released him in Spring Training the following year. He was picked up by the Blue Jays and made his Major League curtain call with them that season. With Toronto, Dan got into 15 games, all in relief. He had no record and a 6.06 ERA over 16.1 innings. He did have his best strikeout to walk rate of his career, though, 13:8.

Dan continued to pitch through the 2012 season, splitting most of his time between AAA and the independent leagues.

For his Major League career, Dan was 21-25 with 2 saves and 5.55 ERA. He struck out 240 and walked 223.

It looks like Dan is still listed as the pitching coach for the Saltdogs.

The signature on this card looks a little weird, like it was signed with a Steadtler. It was signed with a Sharpie, so I have no idea why it looks that way. Maybe Dan just signs so fast that the Sharpie could not keep up.

When Dan was a rookie with the Royals, I thought he was going to be a good pitcher. Because of that, I had him sign one of my official balls.

I also took my picture with him on photo day. I wasn't signed until the Wingnut game where I got the cards signed.

Sorry it is a picture of a picture, but I was too lazy to take it off the wall to scan.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

2000 Just, Chris George

#BA14 Chris George

Here is another COMC pick up. This one features the Chris George that played for the Royals, not the one that played for the Brewers. This card set me back $1.09.

Chris pitched for the Royals for parts of four seasons. The former first round draft pick got his first call up in 2000 when he was just twenty-two years old. He made 13 starts and went 4-8 with a 5.59 ERA. That would be the lowest ERA he would post as a Major Leaguer. He made just six starts for Kansas City the following season and was 0-4.

In 2003, Chris made the Royals rotation out of Spring Training and got off to a splendid start. He won his first two games while allowing only 3 earned runs over twelve innings. The wheels started to fall off, though, in his third start when he gave up eight earned runs to the White Sox in under five innings. His season flamed out of control after that and he was sent down to Omaha in July. Even though he was leading the team in wins at the time, his ERA had ballooned to 7.11. It didn't help that he had walked 44 batters and given up 22 home runs in 93.2 innings.

Chris got a shot with the Royals in 2004, but continued to pitch poorly. In just 42.1 innings, he had a 7.23 ERA and a strikeout to walk ratio of 3:5.

Chris never pitched in the Major Leagues after that stint, but he continued to pitch at the AAA level through the 2012 season. He finished his career with 1244.1 AAA innings pitched with a 68-74 record and a 4.98 ERA. That was slightly better than his big league numbers, 14-20 and a 6.48 ERA.

This is a funky looking card that Just put out. I am not sure if they were trying to be artsy, or what, but I am not a big fan of this blocked-out look. Chris does have a good looking signature, though.

Friday, January 9, 2015

2001 Bowman, Mike Burns

#315 Mike Burns

Here is a card that I got signed at a Wichita Wingnuts game in 2013 while Mike was playing for the Lincoln Saltdogs. Mike was originally signed by the Wingnuts to start that season, but he was cut before the season began. I had bought this card to get signed that summer, so I was happy to see that he latched on to another team. It worked out for both of us.

Mike spent parts of three seasons in the Majors, playing for four teams. He saw time with the Astros, Red Sox, Reds, and Brewers. He posted a 3-5 record in the Majors with a 5.82 ERA. He saw a majority of his playing time with the Brewers in 2009 when he split the season between the rotation and the 'pen. He recorded all of his decisions that season and had an ERA of 5.75 with 39 strikeouts over 51.2 innings.

Unlike the last two young pitchers I posted, Mike actually had a decent strikeout to walk ratio. It was almost 3:1.

Despite pitching in 103 Major League innings, Mike never got a card during his big league career. This is the only non minor league card of him.

It appears that Mike did not pitch this past season. I am guessing that his playing career is now over.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

2000 SPx, Rob Ramsay

#100 Rob Ramsay

Here is a card that I picked up in a grab bag from a card show in 2013. The first card shop in Kansas, Rock's Dugout in Wichita, holds a card show every other month at the bowling alley where the shop is located. There are always dealers there that have a decent amount of singles from the '50s and '60s and I have gone through a few of those boxes looking for some TTM bait. I usually end up at a show in the winter when there are no new packs out, so one time I bought two grab bags that were guaranteed to contain one auto in each bag. I let my kid pick out the one he wanted and he ended up with an '08 Topps Jason Nix. I got this cool SPx card of Rob Ramsay.

I will admit that I had never heard of Rob when I got this card. But, it turns out that he had a decent Major League season with the Mariners in 2000. That year, he got into 37 games and held opponents to a 3.40 ERA while posting a 1-1 record. That is pretty good considering that he walked more people than he struck out (40 to 32). While his WHIP wasn't very good, he and the other M's relievers were able to keep most of his base runners from scoring.

He then spent all of 2001 in the minors before missing the 2002 season. He played in the Padres organization in 2003, but made just two appearances above A-ball.

For his career, Rob was 1-3 with a 4.19 ERA over parts of two seasons with Seattle.

I have no idea how SP and SPx differ. I am just saying.

Wallet Card Wishing My Oldest Card a Bon Voyage

Here is my first wallet card photo. Steve Macko has only been in there for a couple days and he is already hating my wallet. Steve made an appearance to send off my oldest card to get signed. What card is that?

It is this beauty

As soon as that envelope left my hand and dropped down the shoot, I started having second thoughts. What if it is too cold and a stamp falls off? What if it ends up at a neighbors house and they keep it? What if, what if? My wife paid a handsome sum for that card and she will probably kill me if it does not make it home.

The wait begins.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

2000 Bowman, Dan Reichert

#352 Dan Reichert

Here is the second of three cards that the Lincoln Satdogs pitching coach signed for me at a Wingnuts game in 2013. The first one can be seen here. The third one should be coming next week.

Dan pitched for the Royals for parts of four seasons. He split time between starting and relieving, but he got the bulk of his innings as a starter. He was 21-25 with 2 saves as a Royal and had a 5.53 ERA. He walked 215 batters while striking out 227. That is not the best K/BB ratio I have ever seen. Dan's best season was probably his rookie season in 2000. He was 8-10 with 2 saves and posted his lowest ERA for a season, 4.70. He happened to record his only complete game shutout and his two career saves that season.

I got to see Dan pitch a dozen times with the Royals. He was 1-2 in 31 innings (three starts) with a 5.81 ERA. He walked 24 batters and struck out just 17 at the games I was at.

In September of 2002, Dan was claimed off of waivers by Tampa Bay. That was the end to his Royals career.

Check out the Royals Spring Training hat in this photo. The hat actually says Royals across it.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

1999 Upper Deck, Jim Eisenreich

#120 Jim Eisenreich

Here is the final card that I got signed by Jim Eisenreich at Royals Fanfest last year. I bought this card off of COMC just so I could get a Dodger card signed by him. After getting this card signed, I now have a card signed by Jim for every team he played for- the Twins, Royals, Phillies, Marlins, and now Dodgers. I have not posted the Twins card yet, but I do have it. It just may be a few years before it gets posted.

Jim played for the Dodgers for the better half of his final season. He was shipped there from the Marlins in the famed Mike Piazza trade. Jim was thirty-nine years old at the time and his best days were behind him. With LA, Jim hit just .197 in 127 at-bats with no home runs and 6 RBI. He managed to steal 4 bases while he was at it. Jim called it a career after the season. His final numbers are a .290 average with 52 home runs and 477 RBI.

Jim got a kick seeing this card of himself. He laughed at the photo and commented that talking to fans was all he did that summer since he "couldn't hit a lick". I thought that was pretty funny because I saw him that summer as a Dodger at Busch Stadium. He didn't play that night, but he did sign autographs before the game. He is a picture I took of him that day that I eventually got signed.

Monday, January 5, 2015

My Wallet Card

Here is the card that I picked out for the wallet card game. It's a 1981 Donruss Steve Macko. I picked this card out for a couple of reasons. For starters, I have four of these cards. Plus, it is from my favorite set to get signed. But, what sets this card apart from all the rest is that I will never get this card signed. It is my white whale and the reason I have never gone all in on getting the '81 Donruss set completely signed.

Steve's career ended after the 1980 season after being diagnosed with testicular cancer. He died in November, 1981. I have no clue if there are any of these cards signed by him. But, if there are, I am sure they would fetch a pretty penny.

With the flimsy '81 Donruss card stock and the tight confines of my twelve year old wallet, I do not think this card is going to fare too well. Only time will tell.

Sunday, January 4, 2015

1999 Topps Gallery, Eric Chavez

#GA3 Eric Chavez

Here is a card of Eric Chavez that I bought from COMC just to add an autograph to my purchase. This one was a little more than the Leaf Signature Series cards that I usually buy for about a buck. But, for only $2.99, I was not going to complain. The complaining came three months later when I got Eric to sign a couple of cards for me at Spring Training.

I am not really familiar with Topps Gallery, but I do like the look of this card. It has a nice framed look to it with ample white space for the on-card autograph.

Now on to other things. Here was the prize from Christmas haul.

My loving wife bought me this beauty. I had been asking for his '38 Goudey for a couple of years now, but those are a little pricey. This one is going to work just fine. Now I need to unslab this thing and get it out in the mail! I'm a little nervous. Actually, I am very nervous.