Sunday, December 31, 2017
#470 Eric Bullock
About a month ago, I posted a card of Don Slaught that I won in a Twitter contest. This card is one of the two others that was included with the Slaught.
This one features former Astro, Twin, Phillie, and Expo, Eric Bullock. Eric played in parts of seven seasons in the Majors and appeared in 131 games over that time. At that level, he was a .205 hitter with a home run and 12 RBI.
The position listed on this card sums up Eric's career- pinch hitter. Despite appearing in 131 games, Eric only had 146 at-bats. Even with playing part of a season in the American League, Eric only started 17 games in the field. In fact, he only played the field 33 times during his whole Major League career. I have posted a card of a pinch runner on here before, but this is the first one listed as a pinch hitter.
I hope everyone has a safe and happy New Year. See you sometime in 2018!
Tuesday, December 26, 2017
#599 Rex Hudler
I just posted a card of Rex four days ago. In that post, I mentioned how good the signature was on that card and that it was the best I have gotten from him. This, on the other hand, is the complete opposite of that. This is one of Rex's hurried ballpark signatures that I got from him at a game in 2016. It is so different from the one that I got four months later that it is not even funny.
If I am not mistaken, this is the seventh card of Rex that I have posted on here and I still have two more to go. On top of that, I have one more card of Rex that I need to get signed, his '85 Donruss card. When I get that one signed, I will have a card signed by him with each team he played for- the Yankees, Expos, Cardinals, Angels, and Phillies. I even have a Japanese card signed by him. Hopefully I will be able to get the Yankees card signed at Fanfest, if I am able to go.
Even though the picture on this card was taken in 1990, it still seems like a pic from the '80s with the pullover jersey. It's too bad that it is not powder blue.
Sunday, December 24, 2017
#475 Chip Hale
Here is another card of Chip Hale. I just posted a card of him last week that I got in-person this past spring. This one, on the other hand, was given to me two years ago by Rod, from Padrographs. If you look at the two cards side by side, you will notice something. The signatures do not look similar in any way, shape, or form.
Usually, that is not a good thing. I got him in-person, so I know that card is good. So, I start to wonder about this card. But, after a quick peek at COMC, I find Chip's 1996 Leaf Signature Series card and that card is signed like this one. That makes me feel better. At some point, Chip drastically changed his signature. Or I just got the super hurried up ballpark version.
Friday, December 22, 2017
#411 Rex Hudler
By my best count, this is the sixth card of Rex Hudler that I have posted on here. Rex is the color commentator for Royals broadcasts and is a fairly easy autograph to get if you see him. That is why I have posted cards of him six times and still have a few more to post.
I got this card signed at Royals Fanfest this year. We were standing in line waiting for the doors to open and Rex was just walking around and talking to fans waiting. When he came by our area, everyone was trying to get a picture with him. I finally got up to him and asked for him to sign this card. He jokingly asked me something to the effect of "Why would you want me to sign this card and bring down its value? It's only worth a couple of cents as it is." That was just Rex being Rex as he was more saying it to get a reaction from the crowd around him than making a comment to me.
I will say that this is probably the best-looking signature that I have ever got from him, though. Some of his signatures are little more than his initials.
Thursday, December 21, 2017
#333 Pete Incaviglia
Here is the ninth card of Pete Incaviglia that I have posted on here. Pete used to manage in the American Association and I got him to sign for me three or four times during his tenure. I have one more card of Pete to post, but it is an Obak card and is obviously a long ways out right now.
But, here are the other eight cards of Pete that I have posted throughout the years.
Monday, December 18, 2017
#704 Chip Hale
Here is the first of three cards that I got signed by Chip Hale at an A's minor league game this past spring. Chip was the A's third base coach at the time and he stopped and signed by the dugout before the game started.
Preparing to go to Spring Training is a monumental task for me. After getting the easy parts done, figuring out which games to go to and getting a hotel, I then have to get cards ready for as many as six teams. I got lucky last year as the Brewers were the visiting team for each game we planned on attending, so I only had get cards for four teams.
I keep my cards somewhat organized. Current players are sorted by teams and past players are sorted by sets. The current players are sorted decently from Spring Training to the trade deadline. Once the deadline passes, I get behind and then fall even further behind during the free agent frenzy.
So, by the time Spring Training comes around, not only do I have to find cards to take with me, I have to sort all the cards I bought from June on just so I have a chance of finding the cards I need. As you can imagine, it is not an easy or fun task. By the time I get to finding cards to take with me, I just want to get through it as fast as possible. That is how I ended up getting three cards from this set signed at Spring Training last year. I was able to knock out three needs in one set and I took it. Otherwise, like most people, I am not a huge fan of this set.
But, having said that, all five cards from this set that I posted recently all came out looking good. So, the set has that going for it. I was a little worried about this card because of the dark warm up jersey Chip is wearing. But, to my surprise, the blue contrasted against the navy better than I would have imagined and you can make out the signature very easily.
Sunday, December 17, 2017
#458 Bob McClure
Here is the third and final card that I got signed by Bob McClure at a Giants game in 2015. Bob was the Phillies pitching coach at the time and he signed three for me by the Phil's bullpen. He was the only person that signed for me that day.
Bob spent parts of thee seasons with the Angels in the early '90s. Over that time, he appeared in 72 games and was 8-1 with 3 saves and a 3.11 ERA. He was having a rocky season with them in 1991 and got released mid-season. He was able to bounce back from it and still pitch in the Majors for two more years.
Bob's career spanned nineteen seasons. Over that time, he was 68-57 with 52 saves and a 3.81 ERA.
With this card, I now have cards signed by Bob as a Brewer, Expo, Met, Angel, and Cardinal. The only teams I am missing are the Royals and Marlins.
With the new manager in Philadelphia, some changes were made and Bob is no longer with the organization. He is now employed by the Twins as their special pitching adviser.
Saturday, December 16, 2017
#323 Willie Wilson
Here is the second of two cards that Willie Wilson signed for me at a Royals game in 2015. On Sunday games, the Royals always have an alumni or two signing at the Royals Hall of Fame. That was how I got the cards signed. I took my wife through with me and we each got a card signed. I posted the other card this past summer and it can be seen here.
This is Willie's next to last Topps card as a Royal. While a good-looking card to get signed, it is definitely not an exciting photo. It is just Willie chilling in the dugout. For some odd reason, Willie's '91 Topps card has another photo of him chilling in the dugout. Topps makes it seem like Willie was not playing much during his last two seasons in Kansas City.
Even though Willie hasn't played for the Royals in over twenty-five years, he is still a leader in many single season stats for the club. Willie had an amazing season in 1980 when he batted 745 times, had 705 official at-bats, recorded 230 hits that included 184 singles. All of those were single season franchise records. Plus, his 83 steals in '79 and his 21 triples in '85 are also franchise records. On top of that, he is the Royals all-time steals leader with 612, almost doubling second place.
Hopefully, I do not go over a week before I post the next card.
Friday, December 8, 2017
#59 Ted Power
Here is the card that I got signed by Ted Power at a Reds Spring Training game earlier this year. Ted is the team's assistant pitching coach and he stopped to sign one card for me by the dugout.
Ted pitched in the Majors for thirteen seasons with eight different clubs- the Dodgers, Reds, Royals, Tigers, Cardinals, Pirates, Indians, and Mariners. Over that time, he racked up a record of 68-69 with 70 saves and a 4.00 ERA. Ted bounced around a bunch towards the end of his career, but he did spend about half of his career in Cincinnati. It was with the Reds when he had his best season in 1985. He was 8-6 that season with a 2.70 ERA and a career high 27 saves.
I did not know it at the time that Ted signed this card, but we share a couple of things in common. We both grew up in Kansas and Ted went to high school about twenty miles from my home town. Also, we both went to Kansas State. How I did not know that he went there is beyond me.
Here is my dilemma. I have kind of started a little Royals autograph project. I have been sending out TTM requests to random former Royals that I do not have autographs from. All of the cards that I send out feature the player with the Royals. So, I obviously have Ted's autograph. But, I do not have a Royals card signed by him. Ted seems to be a good TTM signer. Do I send out a Royals card of him to sign or just be happy with the one?
Thursday, December 7, 2017
#34 Tony Fossas
Here is the second of three cards that I got signed by Tony Fossas at Spring Training earlier this year. Tony was the Reds pitching coordinator and I got him to sign at the team's minor league workout. I posted the first card of him last month and that one can be seen here.
After making his big league debut with the Rangers in 1988, he joined the Brewers as a free agent prior to the 1989 season. He had a good season in Milwaukee that year and pitched in a career-high 61 innings. Over that span, he was 2-2 with a save and a 3.54 ERA. He struck out 42 batters, also a career high.
Things did not go as well the following season. Pitching in just 29.1 innings, Tony's record was 2-3 with a 6.44 ERA. It looks like the problem that year was that he wasn't missing many bats. He gave up 44 hits in those 29.1 innings compared to 57 hits the year before. The Brewers let him walk after the season and Tony was picked up by the Red Sox for the 1991 campaign.
Tony's transaction page is super-long. It is worth checking out. Over the course of his career, he was released or granted free agency fifteen times, four times before he even made his Major League debut.
I love the collared jacket in this card. This is probably one of the last times that fashion ever appeared on cardboard.
On an unrelated note, today is the day that Wichita is going to announce if they have lured an affiliated minor league team to the city. I really hope that they land one.
Monday, December 4, 2017
#332 Mark Williamson
Here is a random autograph that I got from Rod, of Padrographs, when I met up with him at a Hillsboro Hops game in 2015. While Rod is known for giving me random Padre autographs, this one was even more random than usual as Mark Williamson never played a game with the Padres.
Mark was, however, drafted by the Padres in 1982. But he and Terry Kennedy were shipped to the Orioles after the 1986 season for Storm Davis. It was with the O's in 1987 when Mark would make his Major League debut and he would play his entire career with the club.
Mark lasted eight seasons in the Majors. Over that time, he was 46-35 with 21 saves and a 3.86 ERA. In 65 relief outings in 1989, Mark was 10-5 with 9 saves and a 2.93 ERA. He came back in 1990 and was 8-2 with a save and an ERA to 2.21. Those were his best seasons of his career.
Sunday, December 3, 2017
#17 Marcus Hanel
Here is kind of an oddball minor league team set that I have laying around. I mentioned in a post from a couple of weeks ago that I stocked up on holiday card stockings a few years back. In each stocking was an older update/traded set, a minor league team set, and some junk wax. This card came out of one of those random team sets.
Before I got this set, I had never heard of the Welland Pirates before. I hadn't even heard of Welland before. It turns out that Welland is in Ontario and the Pirates played in the New York-Penn League for six seasons in the early '90s. The team never finished above .500 and ended up moving to Erie and joining the AA ranks.
My son got this card signed for me at Spring Training this year. Marcus is the bullpen catcher for the Brewers and he signed for us before a games against the Reds at Goodyear Ballpark. We never would have got this card signed if not for another father/son duo that spotted Marcus and got him to come over and sign for my kid. I was busy 'graphing the home team that day and I put the kid to work for me. He got paid a dollar an autograph.
Thursday, November 30, 2017
#97 Dave LaRoche
Here is the most recent card from this set that I have got signed. I got this card signed this summer when Dave was the pitching coach for the Kansas Stars. This was the first card from this set that I have got signed in two years.
When I went to my first Stars game in 2016, I did not expect Dave to be there. I should have known better since Andy and Adam were both there, but I was not prepared. So, I came ready this year with the only two cards of him that I owned and one from the '74 set that I picked up beforehand. I was unable to get Dave prior to the game, but I stuck around and was able to get him afterwards. He signed all three for me.
At the games I went too both years, there was a fourth LaRoche there, Jeff. I am assuming that he is the eldest brother, but there is not a lot of info on him.
Wednesday, November 29, 2017
#84 Dennis Leonard
To my surprise, this is only the eighth card of Dennis Leonard that I have posted on here. Dennis is such a huge part of the Royals family, it seems like he is always signing autographs at events, whether it is Fanfest, alumni autograph Sundays, or the old winter caravan. This signature was obtained at one of the autograph Sundays at The K in 2015.
This was the first time that I got a senior league card signed at a signing. All the rest were either by the dugouts at games or through the mail. Since this was the only card I got signed by Dennis, I asked him his thoughts on the short-lived league. He told me that it was a lot of fun, but they could not get much fan support and that is what did the league in.
Personally, I would think that the senior league would be an autograph hunter's go-to place in Florida in the years before Major League ball. They played longer than Spring Training clubs did and most of the guys were former established Major League players, which would be better than 'graphing the Florida State League. But, it was a different time then, so who knows what it was really like.
Tuesday, November 28, 2017
#30 Leon Roberts
This is the third card of Leon that I have posted on here. The first one was a TTM success from 2012. You can see that card here. The second one was his '85 Topps card that my best friend, Dustin, got signed for me while we were at a Sacremento River Cats game in 2015. That card can be seen here. This card was also signed by Leon that day.
Even though Leon played in the Majors for eleven seasons, I have very few cards of him. In fact, all four cards I own are now signed. Leon coached in the Royals system last year, and when I went to Surprise for Spring Training, I had nothing of Leon to get signed. That is too bad because he has some really good-looking cards from the '70s. It is just that I didn't start collecting cards until Leon's playing career came to a close. That is why half of the cards I have of him are from after he retired.
I have four signed cards of Super Sox from this set. All four of them feature less than spectacular action shots. The three batter shots look identical to this, with the one pitcher shot looking a little better. Every other team has nothing but posed shots, with the exception of the Tropics, which has a mixture. Again, I am only going off of the cards that I have signed, so it is a small sample size. But, it seems strange that all of the shots in the set are posed except the Super Sox and a few random others (Willie Aikens being one of those).
Saturday, November 25, 2017
#12 Roy Howell
Here is the second of two cards that Roy Howell signed for me through the mail in 2014. I posted the first card, his '81 Donruss, back in April and that one can be seen here.
Most times, when I send out an '81D in the mail, I will only send that card. But, after that set, this one might be my second favorite one to get signed. So, I will throw in this card with the '81D occasionally. In fact, I did that this morning when I sent cards to Doug Corbett to get signed.
I have about thirty cards from this set signed. I do not really send them out to get signed unless I send them with another card. But, I am seriously thinking about changing that strategy. I might start concentrating on this set more and send them out by themselves to guys that were not in the '81D set. That may be my new focus for 2018.
Wednesday, November 22, 2017
#354 Don Slaught
Here is a card that I won in a Twitter contest a couple of years ago. This card, and a couple of others, were being given away by Autograph Rob and I was fortunate enough to win. I believe this is the only contest Rob ever held and his Twitter account has been dormant for the last eight months. To date, this is the only thing I have ever won on Twitter.
With the Milt Thompson 1990 Leaf and this one, I now have four whole cards signed from this set. Dan left a comment on the Thompson card and he hit it on the head- these cards were expensive in 1990. Because of that, I do not have a ton of cards from this set. Back then, I could buy one pack each of Topps, Donruss, Fleer, and Score, or I could buy one pack of Leaf. When I was eleven years old and on a budget, that was an easy decision to make.
I always thought it was odd that they just called this set Leaf. For all of the '80s, Leaf was to Donruss what O-Pee-Chee was to Topps. They were just a Canadian clone. You would have thought Leaf would have came up with a better name, something flashy that justified the price increase.
Don played in the Majors for sixteen seasons with the Royals, Rangers, Yankees, Pirates, Angels, White Sox, and Padres. Over that time, he was a .283 hitter with 77 home runs and 476 RBI. His best season was with the Pirates in 1993. That year, he hit .300 with career highs of 10 home runs and 55 RBI.
Monday, November 20, 2017
#308 Milt Thompson
Here is the third and final card that I got signed by Milt Thompson at Spring Training earlier this year. Milt was the hitting coordinator for the Reds and I was able to get him to sign while switching fields at the Reds minor league workout. At first, he told me he couldn't sign because he was working. But, once he realized I was by myself, he motioned for me to come over and he signed all three cards for me. You can see the first card I posted here and the second one here.
That first card had Milt with the Braves and the second one had him with the Phillies. Here he is with his third team, the Cardinals. He played with them from 1989-'92 and had some productive years there, hitting .274 with 20 home runs and 149 RBI with the club. His best offensive season was with them in 1989 when he hit .290 with 8 homers and had career highs in doubles, 28, and RBI, 68.
After the Cardinals, he went back to the Phillies for a couple of years before finishing up with the Astros, Dodgers, and Rockies. Unfortunately, I do not think there are any mainstream cards of him playing for those last three teams.
Sunday, November 19, 2017
#U-117 Ozzie Canseco
Here is the second of three cards that Ozzie Canseco signed for me at a Wingnuts game in 2015. He was the hitting coach for the Sioux Falls Canaries at the time, but has since been replaced. I posted the first card of Ozzie a few weeks back and that one can be seen here.
About seven or eight years ago, I got a Christmas gift from my best friend. It was a pre-packaged baseball card stocking that he bought at Ace Hardware. In it was some junk wax packs, a minor league team set, and a boxed update or traded set. The boxed set was the highlight of the stocking and I went to Ace the next day and bought four more of them. Out of them all, I ended up with '85 Fleer Update, '86 Topps Traded, '88 Donruss Rookies, '91 Score Traded, and this set. The Topps set was missing the main top rookies, but all the rest were complete sets.
Out of all of those sets, I have at least four cards from each one signed. They are still in their boxes and they are small, so they are really easy to look through to find a card to get signed. But, this Canseco card is the only one from the '90 Fleer Update set that I have signed. I am not sure why that is exactly. I know I have taken a few cards out to get signed and had no luck, so it is not because I overlook the set. It must be because I don't really like 1990 Fleer. There is just too much white on them.
That is probably why '91 Fleer is blinding yellow. They got too much grief for this set being boring, so the spiced things up the next year.
Saturday, November 18, 2017
#457 Tony Fossas
Here is the first of three cards that I got signed by Tony Fossas at Spring Training this year. Tony was the Reds pitching coordinator last season and I was able to get him to sign while the club's minor league players were participating in their morning practice.
Tony pitched in the Majors for twelve seasons. He pitched for seven teams during that span- the Brewers, Red Sox, Cardinals, Mariners, Cubs, Rangers, and Yankees. It looks like he bounced around all the time, but that really didn't happen until the last two years of his career when he played for four different teams, including three alone in the 1998 season.
It is amazing that he had such a long career considering how long it took him to get to the Major Leagues. Tony was drafted by the Rangers in 1979. He would get released or granted free agency four times before finally making his big league debut in 1988 at the age of 30.
Over his career, Tony never started a game and he was not a closer. He was mainly a left-handed specialist who logged 415.2 innings over 567 appearances. During that time, he racked up a 17-24 record with 7 saves and a 3.90 ERA.
Wednesday, November 15, 2017
#547 Tony Perezchica
Here is one of my most recent additions to my collection. Tony is the third base coach for the Diamondbacks and they finished off their regular season in Kansas City this year. I was able to make it up to two of those games and I got him to sign for me outside of the ballpark on the final day of the season. He made it be known to me that he was in a hurry for a meeting, but he still stopped and signed both of the cards I had of him.
Even though Tony only played in the bigs for four seasons and 69 games, he still had seven base cards printed of him between 1989 and 1992. I looked in my collection for every single one of those cards and I only had one. Luckily, I had this card of him and was able to get two cards signed.
Tony made his Major League debut with the Giants in 1988. He played in 34 games with them over three seasons and he hit .220 with no homers and 4 RBI.
Back in the day before the Diamondbacks came around, Phoenix hosted the Giants AAA team, the Firebirds.
Sunday, November 12, 2017
#148 Neil Allen
Here is the third and final card that Neil Allen signed for me in Kansas City this past season. Neil was the pitching coach for the Twins and he signed for me after stepping off the team bus outside of The K. You can see the first card I posted of him here and the second one here.
Even though the Twins captured the second Wild Card spot after finishing the year 85-77, Neil was let go by the club after the season was finished. He was replaced by Garvin Alston. That means that I will not be getting Neil to sign his '81 Donurss card next year when the Twins come to town. That is, if I actually had that card ('81D want list posted underneath blog header, hint, hint).
By the time this card came out, Neil's Major League career was over. He appeared in just three games with the Indians in 1989 and was 0-1 with an ERA of 15.00. With Nashville in 1990, he pitched in twelve games before calling it a career.
For his career, he was 58-70 with 75 saves and a 3.88 ERA.
Thursday, November 9, 2017
#75 Pete Rose, Jr.
Over the past two seasons, Pete Rose, Jr. has been the manager of the Wichita Wingnuts. Over those two seasons, his clubs won their division and advanced to the league championship, losing both times. The Wingnuts were 122-77 under Pete and they decided to not renew his contract for next season. That kind of seems like a Yankees, or Nationals, or Red Sox type of thing to do.
In the few Wingnut games I attended over the last two years, I only got Pete to sign for me once. That was at the first game I attended last year. I had one card of him in my collection and I bought this one and one other and he happily signed all three for me.
It is always an exciting time when the 'Nuts are in a managerial search. The next one will be the fourth one in eleven seasons. As an autograph collector, I always hope for someone with Major League experience that has plenty of cards out there. The last two managers had Major League experience, but only 25 games between the two of them.
This is an interesting card of Pete, Jr. He was drafted in 1988 and played his first pro season in '89. At two different stops that season, he hit .254 with 2 home runs and 33 RBI. I guess that Classic wanted him in the set just for the name, and quite possibly the batting stance. Another interesting thing about this card is that there is not a position listed for Pete. It looks like all the cards from the set might have been like that.
Tuesday, November 7, 2017
#178 Tom Martin
Over the last two summers, my 'graphing highlight each year was going to Wichita and seeing the Kansas Stars compete in the NBC World Series. The NBC World Series is supposed to be a tournament featuring some of the best summer college teams in the nation. While that used to be the case, the Northwoods and Cape Cod leagues do not send teams to it and that is where most of the premier college players play. So last year, Nate Robertson and Adam LaRoche decided to put a team of retired ballplayers together to compete in the tournament and the Kansas Stars were born.
The Stars were an instant hit and brought a new life to a tournament that wasn't what it once was. They brought the likes of Roger Clemens, Roy Halladay, Chipper Jones, Josh Beckett, and Tim Hudson to put the cleats back on and play for free and (maybe) sign some autographs. In their first year, the Stars sold out every game en route to a second place finish. This year, while not selling out every game, they went undefeated and romped every opponent they faced.
But, while most people went to Wichita to see these former Major Leaguers play, I went solely to try to get their autographs. All of the bigger names, I had seen play while they were in their prime. Instead, I was just looking forward to getting autographs from guys that played in The Show at a ballpark that hosts American Association games.
Over the two games I was able to attend, I came home with at least seventy signed cards. Most of the guys would sign more than one, so it is probably between twenty and twenty-five guys that I got signatures from. In retrospect, it was unreal. You cannot go to two Major League games and get seventy cards signed. It just isn't possible.
The worst part about it is that the Kansas Stars will not be participating in the NBC World Series next year. In an official press release, they blame it on the Kansas Star Casino, their sponsor, booking a convention during the Series next year and not having room for the players. That sounds like a load of crap to me. My guess is that people griped about these professional ball players whooping up on college kids and that not being what the tournament is about. But, that is pure speculation on my part. Either way, I am going to miss the opportunity to 'graph the Stars next summer.
I got this card signed by Tom at the game I attended this summer. In that game, I had the pleasure of watching Doc Halladay take the bump one last time. It was a masterful performance and one unlike any I had ever seen. Roy pitched four innings and struck out five batters. He only allowed one hit and he did not throw one single pitch that resembled a fastball. Every pitch was dipping and diving or moving right to left. The fastest speed to hit the radar gun was 79 MPH. Those poor kids from Everett had no chance against him.
Obviously, I was saddened to hear the news of his death today. He was a phenomenal pitcher.
Sunday, November 5, 2017
#756 Ozzie Canseco
It has been a month since I have posted a card on here of a player for the first time. A month ago, it was Don Mattingly. Here is Ozzie Canseco, the lesser of the Canseco brothers. The difference between Mattingly and Ozzie is that I only have one card signed by Donnie Baseball. Ozzie signed five cards for me over the two encounters I had with him.
This one was signed the first time I met him. It was at a Wingnuts game two years ago. The Nuts were hosting the Sioux Falls Canaries. When the season started, Roosevelt Brown was the Canaries hitting coach. I knew I was going to see them play, so I picked up a card of Roosevelt from COMC. When game time came around and I started rounding up cards for the game, I was pleasantly surprised to see that Roosevelt had been fired and Ozzie took his place. Even though Roosevelt had significantly more playing time in the Majors than Ozzie did, I actually had cards of Ozzie. Plus, he is a Canseco. And he was super nice, too.
Friday, November 3, 2017
#474 Randy Ready
Here is another card of Randy Ready that was given to me by Rod, from Padrographs. Like the last one I posted a month ago, this one was also slabbed by Historic Grading and Authentication. So, according to their services, this is an authentic signature from Randy Ready. Why someone felt the need to pay eight bucks to get this card authenticated is beyond me, but that is how much HG&A charges.
I got Randy to sign three cards for me in 2008 while he was the manager of the Portland Beavers. He held that position for a season and a half before being promoted to the Padres hitting coach during the 2009 season. He had that role through the 2011 season. But, with the Padres finishing the season last in the league for home runs and average, he was let go.
After coaching in the Rangers and Braves organization for a few years, Randy found himself working for the Marlins last season. He started as the manager of their Florida State League team, the Jupiter Hammerheads, before moving to the AA Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp this past season. The Shrimp made the playoffs this season after winning the second half, but were swept in the first round.
Thursday, November 2, 2017
#738 Darnell Coles
This is the second of three Darnell Coles cards I got signed at Spring Training and it is the last of the '89 Topps cards that I have to show. We would be heading into the '90s with the next post, but a new card company hit the market in 1989 and I have two cards from that set to show before advancing to the next decade.
This card is one of the fourteen cards my oldest boy got signed for me this past spring. At all the games we went to, the Brewers were the visiting team. So, I tasked my kid with 'graphing them for me and I would pay him a buck a signature. Darnell was the Brewers batting coach and he signed three for us before a game against the Reds at Goodyear Ballpark. I posted the first card three months ago and it can be seen here.
When this card came out, Darnell was on his second stint with the Mariners. He made his debut with them in 1983 and played in 102 games with them over three seasons. He was then dealt to the Tigers and then the Pirates before landing back in Seattle prior to the 1988 trade deadline.
Darnell was as hot as could be after his return to the M's. He got into 55 games over the final two months of the season and hit .292 with 10 home runs and 34 RBIs. Unfortunately, that hot finish would not sustain itself through the following season. In 1989, Darnell played in 146 games and hit .252 with 10 dingers and 59 RBI. It was the last season that he would play more than 100 games. He would be traded back to the Tigers during the 1990 season.
Wednesday, November 1, 2017
#719 Danny Darwin
The Houston Astros are the World Champions and it just so happens that the next card I have to post features an Astro. Sure, it is an Astro that has nothing to do with this year's team, but it is an Astro nonetheless.
Even though Danny was traded to the 'Stros during their great 1986 season, he was not on the postseason roster and never appeared in a postseason game in his career.
Danny ended up pitching for Houston for about five seasons during his long career. Over that span, he was 47-35 with 12 saves and a 3.21 ERA.
Congratulations Astros, especially former Royals Carlos Beltran and AJ Hinch.
And no, I was not saving this card for the possibility of Houston winning. This card was supposed to be posted Sunday, but I fell behind this weekend and fell more behind when the week started with a sick kid.
Tuesday, October 31, 2017
#384 Mark Salas
Here is the seventh and final card of Mark Salas that I have to post for now. Mark is the bullpen catcher for the White Sox and I have got him to sign three times at Kauffman Stadium over the years. This particular one was signed in 2015, the last time he signed for me.
Here are all the rest of the cards he has signed for me.
Friday, October 27, 2017
#93 Ken Howell
Here is the second of three cards of Ken Howell that I got signed at a Royals game in 2014. Ken was the assistant pitching coach for the Dodgers at the time and he signed the cards for me from the bullpen. I posted the first card three years ago and it can be seen here.
Ken was with the Dodgers in 1988 when they last played in the World Series, but he was not a participant. He spent a majority of the season pitching for the Dodgers AAA team and only got into four games with the big league club- one in July and three in September. On top of that, he did not do well in those four games, going 0-1 with a 6.39 ERA. He got knocked around a bit on the one start he made, but actually did okay in the three relief outings. But, those three outings were not enough and Ken was left off of the Dodgers postseason rosters.
While not 100% readable, Ken does have a nice looking signature.
Thursday, October 26, 2017
#61 Neil Allen
Here is the second of three cards that Neil Allen signed for me this past season. Neil is the pitching coach for the Twins and he signed for me outside of Kauffman Stadium after stepping off of the team bus. I posted the first card back in July and that one can be seen here.
Neil had two stints with the Yankees. The first one lasted just half of a season after being purchased from the Cardinals in 1985. Over 17 games with Yanks, Neil was 1-0 with a save and a 2.76 ERA. That was the last save Neil would ever record.
After the season, Neil was dealt to the White Sox and he would play for them for a year and a half before getting released at the end of August in 1987. The Yankees picked him up and he would finish out the season with them and pitch for them for all of the '88 season. Over that time, Neil went 5-4 with a 3.80 ERA and 77 strikeouts. Neil was granted free agency after that season.
I still need Neil's '81 Donruss card if anyone has one to trade. See the tab up on the top right of the screen to see the rest of the '81 Donruss cards I need.
Wednesday, October 25, 2017
#572 Bob McClure
Here is the second of three cards that Bob McClure signed for me at a San Francisco Giants game in 2015. Bob was the pitching coach for the visiting Phillies and he signed for me by their bullpen prior to the game. I posted the first card that he signed for me in August and that card can be seen here.
Bob pitched for the Mets during the second half of the 1988 season. After being released by the Expos in early July, the Mets picked him up eleven days later. With the Mets, he was 1-0 with a save and a 4.09 ERA in 14 contests. He walked 2 and struck out 7 in his 11 innings of work.
He was released after that season and would go on to sign with the Angels the following year.
With the Phillies currently looking for a new manager, Bob could possibly be looking for a new job next year if the new manager wants to go in a "different direction" with his pitching coach.
Tuesday, October 24, 2017
#753 Don Schulze
Here is the third and final card that I got signed by Don Schulze in 2015. Don was the pitching coach for the Nashville Sounds at the time and he signed for me prior to an Omaha Storm Chasers game. The first card of him that I posted can be seen here and the second one here.
Don pitched for four different teams in the big leagues- the Cubs, Indians, Mets, and Yankees. Of those four teams, he has a few Indians cards and one Mets card. I did not have the Mets card in my collection, but I was lucky enough to find this card from the 1989 Procards set.
This was the first minor league cards set that I ever found in packs and I could only find them at one spot. It wasn't at one of the local cards shops or at a big card show. I found these packs at a local gas station. Granted, it was a gas station with a really nice selection of cards, including a case with singles. But it was still a gas station, nonetheless. I only got a few packs from this set and about the only cards worth noting were of Jay Bell and Mark McGwire. I never understood why McGwire was in the set since he last played minor league ball in 1986, but I still thought it was a cool card. I ended up getting the Jay Bell card signed through the mail in the early '90s.
This is the fifth card of the Columbus Clippers that I have posted on here. I am not going to check, but that has got to be the most posts that I done for a single minor league team.
Monday, October 23, 2017
#523 Pete Incaviglia
I thought that this was going to be the last Pete Incaviglia card that I would post for some time and that I could take the easy way out by showing all of the other cards of Pete that I have posted on here. But, that is not the case. I still have one more after this one. So, here are a few random thoughts related to this card.
First off, I find the cropping on this card a little odd. Why allow Pete's head to peak over the border, but not his bat? Obviously, his head has to be in the shot. I just think it would make sense to have a little more bat in the picture. It looks like the bat would go behind his head anyway.
Out of the 1989 Fleer set, I only have ten cards signed. Of those ten cards, three of them are Rangers. No other team has more than one card. The other two are Ray Hayward and Steve Buechele. Like I said, random thoughts.
I got this card signed by Pete at a Wingnuts game in 2015 while he was the manager of the Laredo Lemurs.
Saturday, October 21, 2017
#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
#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.