Saturday, October 21, 2017

1989 Fleer, Ray Hayward

#521 Ray Hayward

Here is the third and final card that Ray Hayward signed for me at the College World Series in 2014. Ray was the pitching coach for Texas Tech and he signed for me on the field as he was watching his guys get loosened up. You can see the first card I posted of him here and the second one here.

Ray started 12 games for the Rangers in 1988, his last season in the Majors. Over those starts, he went 4-6 with a 5.46 ERA. He lasted 62.2 innings and gave up 63 hits while walking 35 and striking out 37. The highlight of that season was the complete game shutout he hurled in Toronto. Over the 9 innings, he scattered just 6 hits while walking 3 and striking out 5. That win improved him to 3-0 on the year. His ERA was 1.63 after that contest.

Ray began his tenure at Texas Tech in 2013. Under his tutelage, the Red Raiders pitchers have lead the team to the College World Series twice and won the Big 12 championship in 2016. On top of that, prior to the 2017 season, seventeen Tech pitchers have gone on to get drafted or sign free agent minor league contracts with clubs.

It looks like Ray will be taking on a new role next season. Though he will still be with Tech, he will no longer be their pitching coach and is instead listed as a special assistant.

I am glad that I got this card signed in black. Since I rarely get autographs from Royals anymore, I hardly bother with a black Sharpie. But, I was still carrying one around in 2014 and it came in handy on this card.

Thursday, October 19, 2017

1989 Donruss, Rick Dempsey

#432 Rick Dempsey

Since Rick played on the last Dodger team to play in the World Series, I was hoping to post this card earlier today after a Dodger sweep. That obviously did not happen. But, the Dodgers are up 9-1 now in the ninth inning, so I figured that this was as good a time as any to post this card.

I picked this card up in a trade two years ago. I pulled a Jackie Robinson manu-bat knob out of a pack and had no interest in it. I offered it up to Night Owl and told him to send some autographs for it. I was expecting to get some certified autos from Greg since he doesn't really collect autographs. But, he surprised the heck out of me by sending me a couple of cards like this. Apparently he has a stash of Dodger autos that other collectors must have sent him.

Rick played for the Dodgers for for three seasons, serving as Mike Scossia's back-up. Over that span, he played in 218 games and hit .211 with 13 home runs and 61 RBI. He even got into two games in the '88 Series, starting one, and went 1-5 with a double and an RBI.

This is the second card of Rick that I have posted on here. I posted the first one, his '81 Donruss, earlier this year and it can be seen here.

It looks like the Dodgers are up 11-1 now and are two outs from the World Series. I wish I had some way of watching TBS right now.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

1989 Donruss, Pete Incaviglia

#3 Pete Incaviglia

By the best that I can tell, this is the seventh card of Pete Incaviglia that has graced this blog. Pete managed in the American Association for many years with Grand Prairie and Laredo, so I have had him sign for me at least three times. Even though the general manager of the Wichita Wingnuts cannot stand Pete, he was always great with fans and never turned down an autograph request.

Pete managed the Laredo Lemurs during all five years of their existence. During that time, he had a winning season every year and made the playoff three times. His club even won the American Association championship in 2015. But, prior to last season, the Lemurs had to cease operations just weeks before the season began. They were replaced by a sub-par traveling team in the league and Pete was left without a job.

He was lucky to catch back on with the AirHogs, this time as their hitting coach. Unfortunately, the 'Hogs had a rough season and Pete did not last the entire summer. With a new season around the bend, it will be interesting to see if he will find a new spot in the league or move on.

I got this card signed by Pete at a Nuts game in 2014. It is always fun to add another signed Diamond King to the collection.

Monday, October 16, 2017

1988 Topps, Mark Salas

#99T Mark Salas

Here is the last card from 1988 Topps that I have to show, for now. But, it is not the last card of Mark Salas. Mark is the bullpen catcher for the White Sox and I have got him to sign for me three times in Kansas City. This one is from the second time he signed for me in 2014.

This is the first card I have posted of him as a member of the White Sox. Add that to the Twins and Tigers cards I have of him and I have three out of the five teams he has cards from covered. Now I only need a Cardinal card (he has one) and a Yankee card (he has two) to have all of his teams covered (he does not have a card as an Indian).

Mark played with the Sox for just the 1988 season. That year, he played in 75 games and he hit .250 with 3 home runs and 9 RBI. While it was not his worst year in the Major Leagues, it definitely was not his most productive either.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

1988 Topps, Mark Parent

#80T Mark Parent

Here is the second card of Mark Parent that I have posted on here. I posted the first one last month and that one can be seen here. This card, like the last one, was signed at a Royals game two years ago. Mark was the bench coach for the White Sox at the time.

Right now, I am really getting into the part of my blog that I do not like. That part is posting cards of guys multiple times. If possible, when I get a guy's signature, I present three cards to him. Some will sign all three, some will only do one, and a few will do just two. You never know. On the autograph collecting aspect of it, the more the merrier. Sometimes I want cards signed of the player with different teams and sometimes he is in a few different sets that I really like. Sometimes, I only have three cards of him and want to get them knocked out in one swoop.

But, while I like three sigs for the collection, sometimes those three cards are difficult to do posts on. The first one is always easy, but that is not always the case for the second and third. Right now, this is the second post out of the next sixteen that involves the second and third card. And a few of them are the second or third card from the second or third time the individual signed for me. So, there might be some short and uninteresting posts coming up over the next three weeks. I am sorry about that, but bare with me.

Saturday, October 7, 2017

1988 Topps, Ray Hayward

#47T Ray Hayward

Here is the second card that Ray Hayward signed for me at the College World Series in 2014. Ray is the pitching coach for Texas Tech and I got him to sign on the field during pregame. I posted the first card of Ray a couple of months ago and that one can be seen here.

It is not too often that you can get baseball cards signed at college games. Off the top of my head, the only former Major Leaguers that I have gotten are Ray, Darin Erstad, Vance Law, Tim Stoddard, Robbie Wine, Ed Sprague, Troy Percival, Mike Benjamin, Chris Valaika, and Blake Hawksworth. Ten guys doesn't sound too bad. But, with all of the colleges that are out there, it is a very tiny percent compared to minor league ball. One trend that I have noticed the last few years is that a guy will take a position at a school and do that for a year or two before getting a gig in the minors. Some of the guys that I have seen do that are Valaika, Ryan Garko, and Chad Cordero. All three of them coached at California schools and all three now coach in the minor leagues.

Besides those guys, there are a few others coaching in college that I either haven't seen play or got turned down from. Kirk Saarloos is the pitching coach for TCU. He turned me down once. Andy Stankiewicz is the head coach at Grand Canyon and Andy Cannizaro is the head coach at Mississippi State. Shawn Marcum is the pitching coach for Missouri Southern State, a DII school.

Thursday, October 5, 2017

1988 Topps, Don Mattingly

#386 Don Mattingly

I have been excited to post this card ever since I got it signed in 2014. Don was managing the Dodgers at the time and my dad was able to get this one signed for me outside of Kauffman Stadium when Don showed up. Andre Ethier was also signing at that time, so I stayed with him while my dad got Don. I probably could have got another one signed by Don, because he signed for everybody, but I was so ecstatic about this one that I did not bother with a second.

This is the only '88 Topps All Star card that I have gotten signed and it came out looking wonderful. I will definitely get more from the subset signed if the opportunity arises.

Don had a typical Don Mattingly season in 1987 to earn this card. He hit .327 with 30 homers and 115 RBI. He got the start in the All Star Game and went 0-1 with two walks.

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

1988 Topps, Rick Rodriguez

#166 Rick Rodriguez

Here is a card that I got signed at an Omaha Storm Chasers game last season. The Nashville Sounds were in town and Rick is the teams pitching coach. He was nice enough to stop on his way out to the field and sign this one card for me.

Rick saw time in the Majors for parts of four seasons with the A's, Indians, and Giants and he had a rough go of it. He appeared in 31 games and logged 77 innings. He had a decent record at 3-4 for his career, but that might be the best part of his stat line. His career ERA is 5.73 and he gave up 97 hits, walked 41, and struck out only 22. That is good for a WHIP of 1.79.

At first glance, it looks like Rick had a decent '87 season and I am guessing that is why he got a card in this set. He was 1-0 with a 2.96 ERA in 15 relief outings. But, in 24.1 iinings pitched, he gave up 32 hits, walked 15, and struck out 9. While he only gave up one home run that season, I think it is safe to say that he got lucky and his ERA should have been higher. I guess that is why they started using advanced metrics because 1-0 with a 2.96 ERA looks really good. The rest of his numbers from that season do not.

Rick only had two main cards come out, this one and one in the '88 Fleer set. He had a few minor league cards, but this was the only card I had of him to get signed.

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

1988 Score, Randy Ready

#512 Randy Ready

It has been nearly nine years since I last posted a card of Randy Ready. I got him to sign three cards for me in 2008 when he was the manager of the Portland Beavers. I started this blog a few months later and those three cards got posted during the first three months of the blog. That was back when I thought I was going to eventually run out of autographs to post. Now it is nine years later and I still have not got to my signed cards that were printed in 2008.

This card was given to me from Rod of Padrographs. I met up with him outside of Portland two years ago and he had a fat stack of autographs for me. In that stack was a bunch of slabbed cards from Historic Grading and Authentication. I posted one of those cards a couple of years back and this is what the slabbing looked like. Needless to say, all of those cards are now unslabbed.

You can see the original three Randy Ready cards I posted here, here, and here. I was using a slightly different format back then.

I cannot believe that I have been running this blog for nine years.

Friday, September 29, 2017

1988 Iowa Cubs Procards, Damon Berryhill

#537 Damon Berryhill

Here is the third and final card that I got signed by Damon Berryhill at Spring Training in 2014. Damon was the manager of the Dodgers AAA affiliate at the time and he was nice enough to stop and sign while moving between practice fields. I posted the first card of him later that season and it can be seen here. The second one was posted Sunday and that one can be seen here.

Damon Berryhill is a guy I remember from my younger days and I was surprised to see that he was usually a backup catcher. Backup catchers usually do not stick with me over the years. Damon could have stuck with me because of his unusual last name. But, I am willing to bet that I remember him because he played with the Cubs and so many Cubs games were on WGN when I was a kid.

Back then, I would watch a lot of Cubs games just because there was never anything good on in the middle of the afternoon. While I do not have cable or satellite TV these days, I highly doubt that the Cubs get airtime on WGN like they did in the '80s and '90s. I wouldn't even be surprised if they were not televised on that channel at all.

This is just the second card from this team set that I have got signed. Jim Wright signed one for me in 2010 and that card can be seen here. I would like to get the Mark Grace card signed for the set, but that has not happened yet.

Monday, September 25, 2017

1988 Fleer, Alan Trammell

#9 Alan Trammell

Here is the card of Alan Trammell that I got signed at Spring Training in 2014. Alan was the bench coach for the Diamondbacks at the time and he signed for fans by the Major League practice field. Alan would only sign one card per person and this is the card that he signed for me. But, he signed for quite a few people, and I was able to send my son up there to get another card signed. I posted that card three years ago and it can be seen here.

This is the third card of Alan that I have posted on here. While I only got two cards signed by him at Spring Training that year, I did get him through the mail in 2009. He was working for the Cubs then and I sent him his '81 Donruss to sign for me. That card can be seen here.

This is a fun card of Alan. These All Star cards were randomly inserted into Fleer packs back when insert wasn't even a term in the hobby. I am surprised that I even have this card because I have virtually no cards from the '88 Fleer set. Looking at what I have, I could not have bought more than four packs of Fleer that year. Why that is the case, I have no idea. I loved Fleer in '87 and I do not hate the '88 design. I just barely bought any that year.

This insert set was limited to twelve cards and it is a random assortment of "All Stars". Eight of the cards are American League players and only four are from the National League. Only four of the cards feature players that started in the '87 All Star Game and there are three cards of players that weren't even on the All Star team. I guess these are just guys that would have been on Fleer's All Star team. Still, it is a fun card to have signed.

Sunday, September 24, 2017

1988 Donruss Rookies, Damon Berryhill

#31 Damon Berryhill

Here is the second of three cards that Damon Berryhill signed for me at Spring Training in 2014. Damon was the manager of the Dodgers AAA team at the time and I got him during the minor league morning practice. I posted the first card the same year I got it signed and it can be seen here.

Damon spent parts of five seasons with the Cubs. Over that time, he saw significant playing time for two seasons. And by significant, I mean that he started nearly half of the games behind the plate. That was during the 1988 and '89 seasons and he did well those years. He hit .259 in '88 and .257 in '89. Those were two of the four seasons in his ten year big league career that he hit over .250. That is not too bad for a .240 lifetime hitter.

Damon left the Dodgers system after the 2015 season and he ended up managing the Braves AAA team this summer. The Gwinnett Braves finished the season at .500, 71-71, 15 games back of the International League champion Durham Bulls. Make that the AAA champion as the Bulls beat the Memphis Redbirds tonight to take the crown.

Saturday, September 23, 2017

1988 Donruss Rookies, Mark Parent

#8 Mark Parent

Here is the first of three cards that Mark Parent signed for me at a Royals game two summers ago. Mark was the bench coach for the White Sox at the time and he was nice enough to sign for me before the game started.

Mark played in the Majors for parts of thirteen seasons. Over that span, he saw time with the Padres, Rangers, Orioles, Cubs, Pirates, Tigers, and Phillies. The man got around. In fact, he even did two separate stints with the Cubs and Orioles. He was the quintessential journeyman backup catcher. The most games he ever started in a year was 71 and those games were split between two clubs.

Despite playing for seven different teams in his career, I could only find Padres cards of him and two of those were in 1988 boxed sets. He has a couple of Orioles, Cubs, Tigers, and Phillies cards, but all of them are from the mid '90s when there were a billion card sets out and I was barely collecting. That is why I only have Padre cards.

While Mark's signature is not legible, it still looks nice.

Monday, September 18, 2017

1987 Topps, Dave Leiper

#441 Dave Leiper

Two summers ago, I flew out to the west coast to meet a buddy out there and watch some baseball. When we were traveling from Seattle to San Francisco, we stopped outside of Portland to take in a Hillsboro Hops game. Prior to going on the trip, I reached out Rod, from Padrographs, about meeting up in Hillsboro. He obliged and brought a care package with him to the game. In it was a large assortment of Padrographs. There were even a few non-Padre autographs and this is one of those.

I have no idea how Rod got this card. Dave did pitch for the Padres for a few seasons, so I can see Rod's interest in Dave's signature. My best guess is that he bought this card because it came with a signed Padres cards that he needed for his collection. But, that is just a guess.

Dave pitched in the Majors for eight seasons with the A's, Padres, Expos, and Phillies. He never started a Major League game and he never pitched more than 70 innings in a season. Over his career, Dave was 12-8 with 7 saves and a 3.98 ERA. His best season was with the Padres in 1988. That season, he pitched 54 innings and was 3-0 with a save and a 2.17 ERA.

Saturday, September 16, 2017

1987 Topps, Don Schulze

#297 Don Schulze

Here is the second card that Don Schulze signed for me at an Omaha Storm Chasers game two years ago. Don was the pitching coach for the Nashville Sounds at the time and he signed three cards for me while heading to the field. I posted the first card in June and that one can be seen here.

I can't believe that I was posting cards from 1985 in June. It is halfway through September and I haven't even made it through 1987 yet. If I ever get caught back up and get to posting my cards from 2008, it might take me three years to get all the way through them.

Don played for the Indians for three seasons and in each season, he pitched in 19 games. He started most of those and over his time in Cleveland, Don was 11-20 with a 5.30 ERA and 109 strikeouts.

On the last card of Don I posted, I complained about him being in the dark Indians batting practice jersey and how sigs on dark jerseys do not always work out. The sig on this card is obviously a lot easier to make out. It turns out that this is Don's only Indians card where he is not wearing the dark jersey. The other five Indians cards that he graces all have him in the warm-up jersey.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

1987 Topps, John Kruk

#123 John Kruk

Here is the fifth and final card of John Kruk that I got signed at the College World Series in 2014. I posted three cards of him with the Phillies later that year and those can be seen here, here, and here. I posted one other Padres card of him last month and that one can be seen here.

John played for San Diego for three full seasons. After hitting over .300 for his first two seasons, John's average dipped to .241 in his third season. In his fourth season, he got off to a slow start and was hitting just .184 over 31 games and the Padres decided to make a change. They shipped him and Randy Ready to the Phillies in exchange for Chris James. John finished his tenure with the Padres hitting .281 with 36 home runs and 179 RBI.

John went on to play for the Phillies for five and a half seasons. Over that time, he made three All Star teams and helped the club to the 1993 Wolrd Series. After the 1994 season, John signed with the White Sox and played his final season with them that year. John finished his career a .300 hitter with 100 home runs and 593 RBI. His best season was with the Phillies in 1991 when he hit .294 and had career-highs in homers (21) and RBI (92).

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

1987 Topps, Mark Salas

#87 Mark Salas

I cannot believe that it has been over a week since I have posted last. It has been some time since I have gone that long without a post. I was posting daily for a bit while I was looking for a job. While I am still on the job hunt, I found a job to keep me busy and bring in some kind of income; it's just not the job I want and it tends to take up more time than I like.

So, here is Mark Salas card number five. This one, like the last two of Mark, were signed at Kauffman Stadium by the visiting team's bullpen. Mark works for the White Sox and one might assume that he is the bullpen coach for the club. That is not the case. Mark is actually the bullpen catcher. Mark is 56 years-old and he is still able crouch down behind a plate. I am not even 40 yet and I could not do that job.

Mark played with the Twins for two and a half seasons. Over that time, he hit .279 with 20 home runs and 83 RBI. His best season came with them in 1985 when he hit .300 with career-highs in homers (9) and RBI (41).

Monday, September 4, 2017

1987 Topps, Dave Lopes

#4 Dave Lopes

In April, I posted an '81 Donruss of Davey that I got signed through the mail in 2014. I got this card signed that same year, but this one was in-person. The Dodgers, whom Davey coached for at the time, made a rare visit to Kansas City that summer. My Dad and I went up early so I could do some 'graphing and this was the one card of Davey that I got signed that day. As you can tell, I was having fun getting subset cards signed that year. Just look at the Steve Carlton Superstar Special that I posted last week for evidence of that.

Dave's career was practically over by the time this card came out. 1987 was his last season as a player and he only got into 47 games with the Astros and had just 43 at-bats. He hit .233 that final season with a home run and 6 RBI. For his career, Davey hit .263 with 155 home runs and 614 RBI. Plus, he stole 557 bases while making four All Star teams and winning one Gold Glove.

This card is commemorating Davey's feat of having the most stolen bases in a season for a 40 year-old. The season was split between the Cubs and Astos and Davey was able to swipe 25 bags on 33 attempts. The previous record was 23 and set by Honus Wagner in 1914. I still find it odd that Topps made this card, but did not do one for Steve Carlton's 4,000th strikeout.

Sunday, September 3, 2017

1987 Procards, Jerry Terrell

#2248 Jerry Terrell

This is the second card of Jerry Terrell that I was able to get signed at Royals Fanfest last year. I posted the first one about nine months ago and that one can be seen here. My dad actually got that card signed for me while Jerry was doing some instructing by the wiffleball field. I got this one signed later on that day when Jerry appeared at an autograph table.

That was my first encounter with Jerry and he was a super-friendly individual. Even though most people that had a card of him had one from his playing days, he seemed to reminiscence a little more when he saw this card. I guess that could be because there are not too many minor league cards of him out there.

1987 was Jerry's first season as a minor league manager and it did not go so well. His Royals finished the season 54-87, 30.5 games back of the St. Petersburg Cardinals. The Kansas City Royals left Ft. Myers for Baseball City for Spring Training in 1988 and did not put a Florida State team back in Ft. Myers. I am not sure where they moved their affiliate, but I do know that they did not take Jerry with them. He would not manage a minor league team again until 1999.

I have had this team set for over twenty years and this is just the third card that I have been able to get signed. Still, it is always fun when I am able to add another sig to the set.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

1987 Fleer, Steve Carlton

#635 Steve Carlton

Here is a fun card of Steve Carlton that I got signed at the College World Series in 2014. This is the third and final card that I got signed that day. The first one, his '81 Donruss, can bee seen here and the second one here.

On August 5th, 1986, Steve struck out Eric Davis to record his 4,000th career strikeout. In my opinion, that is quite a milestone. At that point, he was just the second pitcher to ever record 4,000 strikeouts. Yet, for some reason, this is the only base card of Steve commemorating that feat. While Donruss never really had a subset for milestones or record breakers, Topps did at that time and this one went unrecognized by them. I think it is funny that Steve broke the record while with the Giants, but us shown with the White Sox on this card, though.

In case you are wondering, Steve is now fourth on the all-time strikeout leaderboard with 4,136 K's. Nolan Ryan is first, followed by Randy Johnson and then Roger Clemens.

It is so strange seeing Steve with the White Sox. It is about as strange as seeing Tom Seaver with them.

Sunday, August 27, 2017

1987 Fleer, Dennis Eckersley

#563 Dennis Eckersley

Here is the second of three cards that I got signed by Hall of Famer, Dennis Eckersley, at the College World Series in 2014. Those were the good days when they brought in former players to sign autographs. I got a lot of great signatures over the years while they were doing that. But, on the other hand, it is kind of nice that they don't do it anymore. The signings were kind of a distraction and made it hard to watch baseball. I would leave games early to get in line or hang out in line while the people I was with went into the game to get a seat. Now I just get to relax and watch competitive college baseball. And not get autographs from Hall of Famers.

My wife actually got this particular card signed for me. In fact, she got two signed. I gave her this one and an A's card and told her to pick one out. Being indecisive, she was unable to do that, so Eck went ahead and signed both for her. Since he signed two, he did not add the Hall of Fame inscription like he did with the '81 Donruss he signed for me.

Dennis pitched for the Cubs for two and a half seasons. He was dealt to Chicago for Bill Buckner during the '84 season. After starting the season 4-4 with the Red Sox, he went 10-8 with the Cubbies and posted a 3.03 ERA. The next season, he was 11-7 with a 3.08 ERA. In 1986, he went 6-11 with a 4.57 ERA. The Cubs traded him to Oakland right before the start of the '87 season for three minor leaguers that would never play in the Majors. Eckersley would never start a game again and would go on to punch his ticket to Cooperstown as the A's closer.

Friday, August 25, 2017

1987 Fleer, Dale Sveum

#358 Dale Sveum

Dale Sveum has been the Royals hitting coach since 2014 and this is the only autograph that I have gotten from him. I was lucky enough to catch him outside The K before a game late last season and he was nice enough to sign one of three for me.

Dale played in the Majors for twelve seasons with the Brewers, Phillies, White Sox, A's, Mariners, Pirates, and Yankees. Over that time, he was a .236 hitter with 69 home runs and 340 RBI. He had one monster season with the Brew Crew in 1987. That year, he hit a robust .252 with 25 dingers and 95 RBI. It was only one of two seasons that he hit double digit home runs and the only one where he hit more than 15.

Dale spent his first five seasons in Milwaukee and then bounced around a ton after that. Even though he played with seven different teams, good luck finding a card of him not with the Brewers. From what I have seen, he only has a couple of Phillies and A's cards, one Yankee card, and not a single card of him with the White Sox, Mariners, or Pirates. The lack of a Pirates card surprises me since he got 306 at-bats with them in 1997. That was the most he had in a single season since 1988.

I find it funny that Dale has 59 more strikeouts than hits as a Major Leaguer. That is funny to me because he is the hitting coach for a team that won a World Series two years ago by not striking out. How does that work?

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

1987 Fleer, Bob Melvin

#281 Bob Melvin

Here is the third and final card of Bob Melvin that I got signed at Spring Training in 2014. Bob and his A's were visiting the White Sox that day and I did pretty well with the A's coaches. I only got a few players to sign that day since the bigger named A's did not make the road trip. Along with Bob, I also got Chili Davis, Curt Young, Ariel Prieto, and Mike Gallego.

With this card, I have signed cards from Bob as a Giant, Oriole, and Tiger, the first three teams he played with. He also played for the Royals, Red Sox, Yankees, and Red Sox over the final three seasons of his career. Of those four teams, I don't think he has a Yankee or White Sox card and he only has a couple of Royal and Red Sox cards. When I went and saw the A's this past Spring Training, the three cards I took with me to get signed by him were all managers cards. I took one of each team he managed, the Mariners, Diamondbacks, and A's. I did not get him this year, so I still have some work to do to get a card signed for each team he was with.

Bob played for the Giants for three seasons. Over that time, he played in 265 games and hit .220 with 24 home runs and 83 RBI. His only postseason action came with the club in 1987. That fall, he got into three games of the NLCS and was 3-7.

Monday, August 21, 2017

1987 Donruss Opening Day, Mariano Duncan

#84 Mariano Duncan

Here is the second card of Mariano Duncan to be posted on here. The first one was posted in 2014 and it can be seen here. The two cards were signed at the same time, during a Cubs minor league Spring Training workout in 2014. Mariano was the hitting coach for the Daytona Cubs at the time. The Daytona Cubs are no more and Mariano has moved up to AAA to fill the same role for the Iowa Cubs.

Mariano played for the Dodgers for parts of four seasons before being dealt to the Reds for Lenny Harris and Kal Daniels. Over that time, he hit just .234 with 20 home runs and 95 RBI. More impressively, he stole 100 bases for the Dodgers, including a career high of 48 in 1986. The most bases he would steal in a season with any other organization was 23 with the Phillies in 1992.

Mariano did not do as well as Franklin Stubbs did on Opening Day in 1987. While Franklin went 3-4, Mariano went hitless in four at-bats while striking out three times.

Friday, August 18, 2017

1987 Donruss Opening Day, Franklin Stubbs

#83 Franklin Stubbs

Here is the third and final card of Franklin Stubbs that I have to post on here. The first two were posted in 2014, shortly after I got them signed at a Dodger minor league Spring Training workout. You can see his Astros card here and Brewers card here.

Franklin spent parts of six seasons with the Dodgers, his longest tenure with any club. Over that time, he would play fist base and outfield and hit .227 with 59 home runs and 178 RBI. His best season with them was in 1986 when he clubbed 23 homers and drove in 58. He was a member of the '88 World Championship team and hit .294 with two doubles and two RBI in the Series.

If you are not familiar of the '87 Donruss Opening Day set, let me tell you about it. It was only available as a set and it only featured players that started on opening day in 1987. I wish Topps Opening Day set was like that. The back of the card even tells how opening day went for the player. On the back of this card, we learn that Franklin went 3-4 with a double and a run in a 4-3 loss to the Astros.

One of my local card shops in 1987 broke up a few sets of these and sold team sets and grab bags. Because of that I have a few cards from the set, but not many. I have only posted one other card from this set and it can be seen here.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

1987 Donruss, Ray Hayward

#632 Ray Hayward

Here is the first of three cards that I got signed by Ray Hayward at the College World Series in 2014. Ray is the pitching coach for Texas Tech and was nice enough, and a little surprised, to sign for me before the Red Raiders opening game of the series.

This is the only Padres card of Ray that is out there. He made three starts for San Diego in 1986 and did not fare too well. He only lasted 10 innings and went 0-2 with an ERA of 9.00. He gave up 16 hits, walked 4, struck out 6, threw 5 wild pitches, and even balked once.

Two of those three starts were really bad. But, he did have one quality start in there against the Dodgers where he pitched six innings, allowing two earned runs on four hits and a walk while striking out six. The Padres were down 3-1 when he came out, but he got the no-decision when they rallied for a 7-6 victory.

Ray made four relief appearances with San Diego in 1987 and posted a 16.50 ERA in 6 innings of work.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

1986 Topps, Milt Thompson

#112T Milt Thompson

It has been a nice run with the '86 Topps set, but this is the final one this time around. I already got a new '86T that is ready to go whenever I make it back to this set.

Here is the second card of Milt Thompson that I got signed at Spring Training this year. The first one was his '86 Fleer card and it can be seen here. I originally wanted both of his '86 Topps cards signed, but the base card that I had was not in the best of shape. So, I settled with the Fleer just to have a card of him as a Brave.

Milt was traded to the Philliies after the '85 season. The Phils sent over Pete Smith and Ozzie Virgil and got got back Milt and 1987 Cy Young Award winner, Steve Bedrosian. I think the Phillies got the better deal in that trade.

Milt stayed in Philly for just three seasons before heading to St. Louis, only to end up back in Philly four years later. Thanks to the two stints with the team, that was the club that he played for the most. Over his years as a Phillie, Milt hit .279 with 22 home runs and 173 RBI. His best season was with them, too, when he had career-highs in hits (159), home runs (7), and stolen bases (46) during the 1987 season.

Milt's lone postseason exposure was with the Phils in 1993. In the Fall Classic, Milt had a very respectable series, hitting .294 with a home run and 6 RBI in the six games.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

1986 Topps, Bob McClure

#71T Bob McClure

This is the fourth card of Bob McClure that I have posted on here. Ten years ago, Bob was the pitching coach for the Royals and I got three cards signed by him one day at The K. Those three cards were posted on here back in the early years of this blog. When I posted Bob's '81 Donruss card on here, it was just the eleventh '81D to be posted. I have now posted 223 cards from the set.

Bob was the pitching coach for the Phillies in 2015 and I got him to sign three more cards for me at a Giants game I attended that year. To my dismay, those were the only autographs that I got that day. But, at least I didn't come home empty handed.

With the first three posts of Bob, I had two Brewers cards and a Cardinals card. With these new additions, I added this Expos card and a Mets and Angels card. I only need a Royals card and a Marlins card signed by him to have all of his teams covered. The only problem is that I do not own a Royals or Marlins card of him and I have no plans on seeing the Phillies play anytime soon.

Bob pitched for the Expos for one full season and two partial seasons. Over that time, he went 9-9 with 13 saves and a 3.63 ERA.

That is a fantastic airbrush job on this card. Just look at the size of the top button on the jersey.

Monday, August 14, 2017

1986 Topps, John Kruk

#56T John Kruk

Here is the first John Kruk card that I have posted on here in three years. I posted three Phillies cards of him the last time around and now I finally have a Padre card to show off. This card, like the previous three, was signed at the College World Series in 2014. That was during the good old days when corporate sponsors brought in former players to sign autographs.

Unlike Pete Incaviglia in the previous post, John played some minor league ball before making his Major League debut. And I am sure that there was much less hype around his debut than Inky had. Nevertheless, John had a solid, yet unspectacular, rookie campaign with the Padres in 1986. He got into 122 games that year, but only started 68 of those. The rest of them he entered as a pinch hitter. He only had 4 home runs and 38 RBI, but he did hit .309. Surprisingly, John received a vote for Rookie of the Year while Pete did not.

On a side note, I recently chose to become unemployed. So, I am hoping that this downtime will allow me to do some catching up on this blog and get a card a day posted until I find a new job. But, I am so far behind on here that, even if I go forty days without finding work, I will only be posting cards from the early '90s at that point.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

1986 Topps, Pete Incaviglia

#48T Pete Incaviglia

In some cases, this card is almost like a draft pick card. Pete was taken eighth overall by the Expos in the 1985 draft. But, he refused to play in the minor leagues and never played a game with the Expos. Montreal ended up trading him to the Rangers after the '85 season and Pete spent the entire '86 season with the big league club. Because of that fiasco, there are no stats on the back of this card.

For never playing a pro game before his Major League debut, Pete did not do too bad. He hit .250 and had a career high of 30 home runs. It's pretty bad when you max out your dingers during your rookie season. The one drawback was that he lead the league in strikeouts with 185.

Pete ended up playing five seasons with the Rangers before getting released. He hit .248 during the tenure and he had at least 21 home runs each season.

For the record, Pete would eventually play in the minors. It wasn't until 1997 that it first occurred, though.

I got this card signed by Pete at a Wichita Wingnuts game 2014. Pete was the manager of the Laredo Lemurs.

Friday, August 4, 2017

1986 Topps, Mike Heath

#46T Mike Heath

Here is the second card that I got signed by Mike Heath through the mail in 2014. The other card was his '81 Donruss card and that one can be seen here.

After spending seven seasons with Oakland, Mike got traded to the Cardinals after the 1984 season concluded. It was Mike's first foray into the National League and it did not go as well as he would have hoped. Through 65 games with the Cardinals, Mike hit just .205. He was doing so bad for them that they traded him to Detroit in August. Because of that, I feel like this card should feature Mike as a Tiger instead of a Cardinal.

Mike did better, though, back in the American League. He got into 30 games with the Tigers and managed to hit .265 to raise his season average up to .226. That was the lowest single season average Mike ever posted until his final season, which happened to be with another National League team (Braves).

I love the photo on this card. If that picture does not scream action shot, than nothing does. Plus, this kind of shot is rare in this traded set. If you do not believe me, just wait for the next three or four posts.

Thursday, August 3, 2017

1986 Topps, Darnell Coles

#26T Darnell Coles

Here is the first of three cards of Darnell Coles that my oldest boy got signed for me at Spring Training this year. Darnell is the hitting coach for the Brewers and he was nice enough to sign before a game against the Reds at Goodyear Ballpark.

We were supposed to go to three Spring Training games this year, but ended up skipping the third one. But, in all three games, the Brewers just happened to be the visiting team. So, I made a deal with my boy and I put him in charge of 'graphing the Brewers for me. For every card that he got signed, I would give him a dollar.

I gave him a fat stack of Brewers cards and he thought he was going to really cash in. The only problem was that 'graphing is not his thing. I tried to set him up with some 'graphers to help him out and a father/son duo at the Reds games helped him get more than he would have otherwise, like this card. But, in the end, over the two games he made $14. He was a little bummed, but I certainly appreciated the effort. I ended up getting him a cheap $20 skateboard from Wal-Mart and I think everyone was happy.

Darnell had a career year for the Tigers in 1986. After being sent there from the Mariners in the offseason, he would end up playing in 142 games and hit .273 with 30 doubles, 20 home runs, and 86 RBI, all career highs. The following season did not go as well, though. Darnell was hitting .181 through 53 games before being shipped off to Pittsburgh for Jim Morrison.

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

1986 Topps, Mark Salas

#537 Mark Salas

Here is the second of three cards that Mark Salas signed for me from the visiting team's bullpen at Kauffman Stadium in 2014. I posted the first card three years ago and it can be seen here. I had posted two cards prior to that and those two can be linked to from the last Salas card I posted.

For those of you that are unaware, Mark is the bullpen catcher for the Chicago White Sox. Not the bullpen coach, but the bullpen catcher. That still amazes me every time I say it, think it, or type it. The reason for that is that Mark is fifty-six years old. I have no idea how his knees are still able to squat down like that still.

Mark played for the Cardinals, Twins, Yankees, White Sox, Indians, and Tigers during his career. Yet, for whatever reason, I only have Twins and Tigers cards signed by him. While he doesn't appear to have a single Indians card, he does have one Cardinal card, three Yankees cards, and a handful of White Sox cards. Considering that the Sox come to Kansas City pretty regularly, it looks like I need to grab a Cardinal and Yankee card of him.

The White Sox website points out that Mark is one of five players to have a last name that is a palindrome. Any ideas who the other four are?

Thursday, July 27, 2017

1986 Topps, Joe Carter

#377 Joe Carter

Here is the second card of Joe Carter that Rod, from Padrographs, gave me at a Hillsboro Hops game in 2015. I posted the first one earlier this month and it can be seen here.

After looking at these last two cards of Joe, I might be starting to doubt their authenticity. The reason for that is because of the star shaped "t" that is scribbled on each card. The two cards that I got signed by Joe in-person had nothing like that. In fact, those two cards had two distinct letters after his "t", while the signature on this one stops after the star shape. Plus, I looked at a bunch of Carter autographs on COMC and I did not see anything that resembles the star shape.

But who knows? My cards were signed in a controlled environment. Maybe these newer ones are actually hurried ballpark sigs from Joe's playing days. Or, maybe they are not.

When I was about five or six years old, my grandparents bought me a Cleveland Indians helmet as a souvenir from their trip to Disneyland. I thought it was pretty cool except nobody in my family really knew which team it was from. I didn't figure it out until I saw the Indians hats on an '85 Topps card.

Speaking of Joe's autographed cards on COMC, they must be a hot commodity. COMC has sold over thirty different autographs of Joe Carter. But right now, there is only one for sale and it is listed at $65.25. It is numbered 2/2, though.

Monday, July 24, 2017

1986 Topps, Razor Shines

#132 Razor Shines

Here is the second card that Razor Shines signed for me at Spring Training in 2014. Razor was the manager of the Dodgers AA team in Chattanooga at the time and he signed my two cards after the minor league workouts. I posted the first card of Razor in 2014 and that card can be seen here.

Razor's time in the big leagues consisted of 68 games over four years with the Expos. Over that time, he got 81 at-bats and had 15 hits, good for a .185 average. All of his hits were singles except for a lone double. He never scored a run, but he did drive 5 in.

Razor even had the privilege of pitching one inning for Montreal in 1985. The team was getting shelled by the Phillies 11-0, so they threw Razor out to pitch the ninth. He ended up giving up a single to Steve Jeltz while getting the other three batters to ground out.

Saturday, July 22, 2017

1986 Leaf, Bert Blyleven

#88 Bert Blyleven

Here is the third card of Bert Blyleven that I have posted on here. I posted the first two cards in 2009, though one was a TTM success from the early '90s and the other was in-person at a Rangers game that year.

This one, on the other hand, was signed in-person this year at the Twins/Royals game I attended in Kansas City this May. Bert is the color commentator for the Twinkies and I was lucky enough to get him to sign one of three when he got off the team bus outside the park.

I had a buddy with me at that game and he was helping me get some Twins autographs. Many of the bigger names on the Twins would only sign one card and my buddy would go and get a second card signed for me. When Bert only signed the one card, my friend came over to grab a card to get signed by Bert. I told him not to worry about is as I now have three of him. What I didn't realize until later was that I should have sent him over with my ball to get signed. I was saving the ball for Paul Molitor and he had already entered the park without signing for anyone. Why I did not think of getting Bert on it is still has me kicking myself in the butt.

I have no clue why I grabbed this card to get signed by Bert. I guess I still consider '80s Leaf as more oddball than mainstream and who does not like an occasional signed oddball? The only thing I do not like about is that I sort my autographs by year and set. Within the year, I sort the sets alphabetically. My Fleer cards separate this Leaf card from its Donruss twins and it just looks lonely and out of place in my binder.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

1986 Fleer, Neil Allen

#U-3 Neil Allen

Here is the first of three cards that I got signed by Neil Allen earlier this season. Neil is the pitching coach for the Twins and I was able to get him outside of Kauffman Stadium when the Twins bus rolled up.

The one bad thing was that I did not get his '81 Donruss signed that day. The reason for that is because I do not have it. So, you will notice that I have a want list up on the top right side of the screen underneath the header. Take a look at it and help me out if you can. If you are wondering, Neil Allen's card from that set is #276.

Neil pitched in the Majors for eleven seasons with five different clubs- the Mets, Cardinals, Yankees, White Sox, and Indians. Over that time, he accumulated a 58-70 record with 75 saves and a 3.88 ERA. He never made an All Star team and he never appeared in the playoffs.

When Neil joined the White Sox for the '86 season, they decided to move him into the rotation. He made 17 starts with the club and did well, going 7-2 with a 3.82 ERA. Things did not go that good the following season, though, as he was 0-7 through 10 starts and 5 relief appearances. On top of that, he had a 7.07 ERA. The Sox released him in August and Neil would finish up the season pitching out of the bullpen in the Bronx. He fared a little better there, going 0-1 with a save and a 2.76 ERA over 29.1 innings.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

1986 Fleer, Mike Aldrete

#U-1 Mike Aldrete

Here is the second card of Mike Aldrete that I have posted on here. But, unlike the first one, his '96 Leaf Signature Series card, I got this one in person. Mike is the hitting coach for the A's and he was nice enough to sign two cards for me at a Spring Training game this year.

At that game, there was a decent crowd 'graphing the A's at home. I was mixed in with that crowd on the outfield side of the dugout. I got a couple of players there, but there wasn't too much action. The game was about to get underway, so I went over to the home plate side of the dugout to see if I could get anyone over there. Mike was nearby and I asked him to sign. He came over right as the players were leaving the dugout for the National Anthem. Now he had to hurry, but he has a nice and slow deliberate signature. So, he only signed two of the three cards and ran up the stairs to get on the field. He ended up tripping on the top step and fell onto the field. At that point I cringed and felt bad for him because he was in such a hurry because of me. Lucky for him, his team had their backs to the dugout and no one noticed.

I stayed in that spot after the anthem and thanked him for signing and to make sure he was okay, which he was.

Monday, July 17, 2017

1986 Fleer, Milt Thompson

#530 Milt Thompson

Here is the first of three cards that I got signed by Milt Thompson at Spring Training this year. Milt is currently the hitting coordinator for the Reds and he was nice enough to sign the cards for me while walking from field to field at the Reds minor league complex.

When I first asked him to sign, he told me he couldn't then because he was working. Then he looked around and, since I was all by myself, he told me to go ahead and come over. He even took the time to chitchat while he was signing. I knew he had worked for the Royals the year before because I saw him at a Storm Chasers game. I asked him how he was liking it with the Reds and he told me he loved it because he got to concentrate on the one thing he loved, hitting. I wish I could say that about my job right now.

Milt was a second round draft pick by the Braves and played for them for two seasons. Over that time, he hit .302 with 2 home runs and 10 RBI. He was traded to the Phillies after the 1985 season.

You just do not see cards miscut like this anymore. Every once in a while, you will see some gold foil misprinted, but that is about it.

Saturday, July 15, 2017

1986 Donruss, John Wathan

#496 John Wathan

By my count, this is the eleventh card of John Wathan that I have posted on here. One gets to the point where they really do not need anything else signed by a player. I am at that point with a few Royals alumni. But, these guys are at so many events that I always take a card of them with me just in case I run into them and they are my best, or only, option.

That was the case at Royals Fanfest in 2014. I hopped in a line and John Wathan appeared before me and signed this card.

Here are the other ten cards that he has signed for me over the years.