Monday, June 26, 2017

1985 Fleer, Don Schulze


#454 Don Schulze

Here is the first of three cards that Don Schulze signed for me in 2015. Don was the pitching coach for the Nashville Sounds and he signed the cards for me before an Omaha Storm Chasers game.

Don pitched in the Majors for parts of six seasons with the Cubs, Indians, Mets, Yankees, and Padres. He was mainly a starter in the bigs and he compiled a 15-25 record with 5.47 ERA. He never won more than four games in a single season, but he did reach ten losses with the Indians in 1985.

I hate getting cards signed where the player is wearing a dark jersey. But, in this case, I was having a hard time fining three cards of Don. I was pretty happy with the first two I found and I ended up just settling on this one for lack of better options. It turns out that Don was in the '88 Topps set as a Met, and I never bothered to look for that card.

For a dark jersey card, though, the sig on this one actually came out looking fairly decent. It is not much of a signature, but there is not much that can be done about that.

Sunday, June 25, 2017

College World Series Contest Final Results

The College World Series is not over, but my contest is. With nobody picking LSU or Florida to win it all, there is no point dragging this thing on. Running away with the contest this year was Wilson! Great job! I do not think I have your address, so please email it to me at zman40 at hotmail dot com and I will get your prize out to you Thursday.

As for the prize, I have some bad news. The College World Series quit bringing in former star players to sign autographs at Fanfest. Those signed 8x10s were always my go-to prize for this contest. But, I did dig up an old Dennis Eckersly 8x10 that I still had an extra of. And I am throwing in an official CWS bobblehead stadium giveaway and a blaster of Topps Series 2.


Here are the final results. Total (phase 1, phase2)

B Man 9 (8,1)
Greg 4 (2, 2)
Lost Collector 8 (4, 4)
Rod 5 (1, 4)
NMC 9 (3, 6)
Joey 8 (5, 3)
Wilson 13 (5, 8)

Thanks again to all that participated. I hope to see each and everyone of you back next year!

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

College World Series Contest, Phase 2

In case you haven't noticed, I've been running a little contest here for the past two weeks that revolves around the College World Series. Seven people have already entered and have a tiny head start. But, it is not too late to get in on the action. There are plenty more points to be earned and no one is even close to locking this thing up yet. So here is all you have to do- fill out a College World Series bracket.

Keep in mind that this bracket is nothing like filling out a March Madness bracket. The reason for that is because of the loser's bracket. But, I am going to try to make this as simple as I can. Here is my homemade bracket. Click on it to hopefully see a bigger view.

Here is a how the bracket breaks down. There are two groups in the bracket- A and B. Each group has six games in it. All you have to do is guess who is going to win each of the games as they advance towards the championship round.

For instance, group A has Oregon St. and Cal St. Fullerton squaring off in game 1 and LSU and Florida St. going in game 2. Pick who is going to win each of those games and then those two teams will square off in game 3. The losers of games 1 and 2 will then square off in game 4. Then, the loser in game 3 plays the winner of game 4 in game 5.

At that point, there will be one team left in the group that is 2-0 (winner of game 3) and one that is 2-1 (winner of game 5). Those two teams play in game 6, which is an elimination game. If the 2-0 team loses, they play a game 7 and the winner advances to the championship. If the 2-0 team wins game 6, they go straight to the championship without game 7. BUT, for the sake of this bracket, I am going to count games 6 and 7 as one game. Just pick who you think is going to advance. It doesn't matter how they do it. I call it game 6/7.

After that, you should have a team advancing out of group A. Do the same for group B. Those two teams are your final teams. In the CWS, they play a best of three series for the championship. Pick who you think will win it all and if they will win it in two games or three. Then, for a tie breaker, guess how many runs will be scored in the championship series (the final two or three games).

It might be easier for you to fill it out on paper first. But to enter the contest, leave a comment looking something similar to this.

A1: CSF
A2: LSU
A3: LSU
A4: OSU
A5: OSU
A6/7: LSU

B1: L'ville
B2: TCU
B3: TCU
B4: Florida
B5: L'ville
B6/7: TCU

TCU over LSU in two games
8 runs

For the sake of the tie breaker, DO NOT pick a number already chosen by someone else. Even if your teams do not make it to the finals, the tiebreaker will still apply to you in the event of a tie.

If you guess every game right, including how many games will be played in the finals, you can come out with 22 points.

The CWS begins at 3:00 PM, eastern, on Saturday, June 17. So, all entries must be in by that point. If you have any questions at all, feel free to email me at zman40 at hotmail dot com. Or, just ask in the comments.

To see the standing through this point, see the bottom of the previous post.

This thing is anybody's to win. Good luck!

1985 Blue Jays Fire Safety, Willie Aikens


#24 Willie Aikens

Here is another oddball that I was able to get signed at Royals Fanfest in 2014. This is a very blue set that was distributed by the Toronto Star and Midas. I cannot find any info about the set, but they are readily available from COMC, where I got this card. It is fun to note that the only positions listed on the cards are pitcher, catcher, infielder, and outfielder.

By the time this card came out, Willie Aikens Major League career was pretty much over. He only played in 12 games in 1985, hitting .200 with a double, a dinger, and 5 RBI. That home run that he hit was pretty memorable, though. It was of the pinch hit variety in the top of the ninth to tie the game. The Blue Jays went on to win in the tenth and Willie never played another game in the Major Leagues.

The College World Series field is set. Every team that is in was picked by at least one entrant. There were six number one seeds that advanced. There was one two seed and one three seed. Both the two and the three seeds were picked by BMan, who happens to be in the lead. Here are the standings heading into the Series.

B Man- 8 (2CSF, LSU, 3Texas A&M, TCU, pimped)
Greg Z- 2 (OSU, TCU)
Lost Collector- 4 (FSU, LSU, Louisville, Florida)
Rod- 1 (OSU)
NMC- 3 (FSU, TCU, pimped)
Joey- 5 (OSU, FSU, LSU, Louisville, Florida)
Wilson- 5 (OSU, LSU, Louisville, TCU, Florida)

The bracket portion of the contest will be up shortly. If you see any errors I might have made, let me know in the comments.

Sunday, June 11, 2017

1984 Topps, Jeff Russell


#270 Jeff Russell

Here is the last of the three cards that Tom, from The Angels In Order, sent me. The cards were in exchange for getting some cards signed for him at Royals Fanfest.

I had gotten three cards signed by Jeff in 2014 when the Grand Prairie AirHogs came to Wichita. Jeff was the pitching coach for the 'Hogs and I got him to sign cards for me as a Ranger, Red Sox, and Athletic. With the addition of this Reds card, I got a signed card of him with every team he played for except the Indians.

On the last card I posted of Willie Wilson, I guessed that the picture was taken at the All Star Game in 1983. This is another example where it is easy to tell when the picture was taken. In the background, you can see a blurry image of Willie McCovey's retired number in San Francisco.

Jeff only pitched once in San Fran in 1983 and it was on September 5th. He started that game for the Reds and pitched an eight inning complete game, losing 3-2. He had a no-hitter going into the eighth inning before giving up a lead-off double that was followed by a home run. A runner had scored earlier in the game by walking, moving to second on a sac bunt, third on a wild pitch, and scoring on a sac fly. Jeff finished with just the two hits allowed and five walks and five strikeouts.

Three teams have clinched their spots in Omaha. Texas A&M, Oregon State, and Louisville are all in. We will see who gets in today.

Friday, June 9, 2017

1984 Fleer, Willie Wilson


#364 Willie Wilson

Here is a card of Willie Wilson that I got signed at Kauffman Stadium in 2015. On Sunday home games, the Royals bring in alumni to sign in their Hall of Fame. Willie happened to be there on that particular afternoon.

I was just looking at this card and noticed that the photo was taken at Comiskey Park. As a fan of the '81D, I know Comiskey Park. Then I noticed that Willie was in the Royals home whites and wondered what was going on. Turns out that Comiskey hosted the 1983 All Star Game, so that has got to be where this photo was taken. It is not that often that I spot things like that on cardboard.

In that '83 All Star Game, Willie got one at-bat and he hit an RBI double off of Pascual Perez. That RBI put the American League up 11-3 en route to a 13-3 victory.

The '83 Mid-Summer Classic was the second and final All Star Game that Willie would attend.

The Super Regionals started today. Long Beach State, Texas A&M, and Louisville all won their match-ups and Oregon State is about to win theirs. That means that I am a week away from being in Omaha.

Thursday, June 8, 2017

1984 Fleer, Tim Wallach


#291 Tim Wallach

Here is the second of three cards that Tim Wallach signed for me outside of Kauffman Stadium. If you do not remember the first one, don't feel bad. I posted it three years ago, shortly after Tim signed these. Tim was working for the Dodgers at the time and was the only Dodger coach that signed all three cards for me.

Having been going to Royals games for almost twenty years now, it has been a long time since I went to a game really excited to see a certain player play. But, that excitement returned on the evening that the Dodgers came to KC. The reason for that was because I had the privilege of seeing Clayton Kershaw pitch. And, on top of that, it was his first start after his brilliant no-hitter of the Rockies.

While Clayton obviously could not pull off the back-to-back no-no, he still pitched an excellent game. He pitched eight innings without allowing a run and struck out eight.

Tim is now a coach with the Marlins. He followed Don Mattingly to Miami and is in the same role he was in with the Dodgers, the bench coach.

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

1984 Donruss, Willie Aikens


#155 Willie Aikens

Here is another card of Willie Aikens that I got signed at Royals Fanfest in 2016. But, more importantly, here is a College World Series Contest Update.

Here are the Super Regional match-ups. Unless noted, all teams are a one seed. Teams in italics were teams that nobody picked to go to Omaha.

Slot One
2 Vanderbilt vs Oregon St

Slot Two
2 Cal St Fullerton vs Long Beach St

Slot Three
3 Sam Houston St vs Florida St

Slot Four
2 Mississippi St vs LSU

Slot Five
4 Davidson vs 3 Texas A&M

Slot Six
Kentucky vs Louisville

Slot Seven
2. Missouri St vs TCU

Slot Eight
Wake Forest vs Florida

Right now, everyone has one seeds alive except for BMan. He still has two twos and a three. Here is how many points everyone can come out with based on the teams that are still alive from their picks.

Bman-10
Greg- 2
Lost Collector- 4
Rod- 6
NMC- 3
Joey- 5
Wilson- 5

Good luck this weekend guys!

Monday, June 5, 2017

1983 Topps Gardner's Bakery, Ned Yost


#21 Ned Yost

Here is a fun card from what I am guessing is a regional set. Right now, there is only one other card from this set listed on COMC and it too is of a Brewer. Beyond that tiny bit of sleuth work, I know nothing about this set. Nevertheless, it is a unique look from Topps that has the same backs as their regular '83 set.

Since Ned is a fairly decent signer, I have to try to find some of these oddballs just to have something new for him to sign. I got lucky this past Fanfest as I was able to get this card and a minor league card of him signed. I would have been much more lucky to get Salvador Perez or Mike Moustakas at that signing, but that is how Royals Fanfest goes. It is a crapshoot.

I never understood how these older non-glossy cards get the ever so slight beading from the Sharpie. It does not happen very often, but my mind is always blown when it does.

It has been an exciting weekend of regional play. I do not think I have ever seen so many games being played on Monday. Hopefully the Super Regionals will be set in a few hours and I can give an update on Tuesday of who has teams still in it.

Sunday, June 4, 2017

1983 Topps, Jack Perconte


#569 Jack Perconte

Here is the second of three cards that Tom, from The Angels In Order, sent me for helping him out with some 'graphs from Royals Fanfest.

Jack played in the Majors for parts of seven seasons with the Dodgers, Indians, Mariners, and White Sox. He did not see a lot of playing time until he ended up in Seattle in 1984. He was then a regular there for two seasons before ending his career with the White Sox in 1986.

For his career, Jack was a .270 hitter with 2 home runs and 76 RBI. His best seasons was with the M's in 1984. That year, he had a career-best average of .294 with 24 doubles and 31 RBI. He even stole 29 bases that season.

Thursday, June 1, 2017

1983 Topps, Steve Carlton


#406 Steve Carlton

With regional play starting today, the first phase of the College World Series contest is closed off. Phase two will start in about ten days and you can get back into the contest then.

Speaking of the College World Series, here is a card that I got signed there in 2014. While I always get autographs when I make it to the opening weekend, I do not always get cards signed. Quite a few of the players will only sign the 8x10s provided. I got lucky in 2014 and got 8x10s and cards signed by both Steve Carlton and Dennis Eckersly.

I really like the 1983 Topps set. Having the second inset picture was a cool addition, in my opinion. Even though the All Star cards lack the inset picture, I still love the way they came out looking. I miss when the days when Topps had a redesigned All Star subset. Nowadays, they just add a logo to what basically looks like a base card.

I'll be heading up to Omaha two weeks from Friday. I am already getting a little anxious to see who AT&T is going to bring in for autograph sessions. I hope it is someone new that signs cards and is a need for the '81 Donruss set.

Monday, May 29, 2017

2017 College World Series Contest

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

Today, the NCAA announced the 64 teams that will be competing for the 2017 College World Series championship. To commemorate it, I am holding the eighth annual College World Series contest here at Autographed Cards. It is going to be a couple of weeks before the main phase of the contest starts, but you can earn some bonus points here that could make a difference when the main portion gets going. All you have to do right now is pick the eight teams that are going to be playing in Omaha. Here are the teams to choose from.

Slot One
1. Oregon State
1. Clemson
2. Nebraska
2. Vanderbilt
3. Yale
3. St. Johns
4. Holy Cross
4. UNC-Greensboro

Slot Two
1. Long Beach State
1. Stanford
2. Texas
2. Cal State Fullerton
3. UCLA
3. BYU
4. San Diego State
4. Sacramento State

Slot Three
1. Texas Tech
1. Florida State
2. Arizona
2. Central Florida
3. Auburn
3. Sam Houston State
4. Tennessee Tech
4. Delaware

Slot Four
1. Southern Miss
1. LSU
2. Mississippi State
2. Southeastern Louisiana
3. South Alabama
3. Rice
4. Illinois-Chicago
4. Texas Southern

Slot Five
1. North Carolina
1. Houston
2. Florida Gulf Coast
2. Baylor
3. Michigan
3. Texas A&M
4. Davidson
4. Iowa

Slot Six
1. Kentucky
1. Louisville
2. Indiana
2. Oklahoma
3. North Carolina State
3. Xavier
4. Ohio
4. Radford

Slot Seven
1. TCU
1. Arkansas
2. Virginia
2. Missouri State
3. Dallas Baptist
3. Oklahoma State
4. Central Connecticut State
4. Oral Roberts

Slot Eight
1. Wake Forest
1. Florida
2. West Virginia
2. South Florida
3. Maryland
3. Bethune-Cookman
4. Maryland-Baltimore County
4. Marist

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

This blog has been in the doldrums of late since I am lucky to post a card twice a week. So, to get a few extra contestants in the contest, you can get one bonus point just by pimping this contest on your blog and by retweeting my link on Twitter (@zmills40). Just leave a link in the comments and I will chalk you up a point. Yes, you can get two free points just by pimping and retweeting.

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

1. Yale
2. Texas
3. Arizona
4. LSU
5. Baylor
6. Indiana
7. TCU
8. Florida
Link to your blog (which can be left on a separate comment, but must be submitted by Wednesday night)

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

As for the contest winnings, I will be bring back some signed 8x10s from Omaha. Some of the ones that I have given out in the past include Bruce Sutter, Steve Carlton, Dennis Eckersly, Barry Larkin, Rollie Fingers, Jim Palmer, John Smoltz, and Frank Thomas. Who will be there this year is anyone's guess.

All entries have to be left as a comment on this blog. Also, all entrants need to have a blogger profile to enter. No anonymous entries.

If you have any questions, ask in the comments or email me at zman40 at hotmail dot com. The deadline to enter the first phase of this contest is 3:00 pm (central) Thursday and the retweet and link must be posted by midnight Wednesday. Good luck and thanks for playing.

1983 Topps, Rick Burleson


#315 Rick Burleson

Here is a card I got in a trade with Tom, from Angels in Order. Back in the day when I used to rake in autographs at Royals Fanfest, I would offer to get things signed from certain alumni if anyone needed them. Tom took me up on the offer a couple of times, though I was only able to help him out once. In return, Tom sent me three signed cards and this is the first of those three.

Rick Burleson played in the Majors for thirteen seasons with the Red Sox, Angels, and Orioles. After breaking in with the Sox in 1974, he was a mainstay in the Boston infield for seven seasons before being dealt to the Angels prior to the 1980 season. But, with the Sox, Rick played in one World Series and made three All Star teams.

He made one more All Star team with the Halos in 1981 before injuring his throwing arm in 1982, limiting his playing time for the next three seasons. He came back strong in 1986 in time for the Angels AL West title run.

For his career, Rick was a .273 career hitter with 50 home runs and 449 RBI. He hit .318 in three playoff series and won one Gold Glove and one Silver Slugger.

I have no idea how Tom got this card signed. I just know that I need to acquire Rick's card from the '81 Donruss set and get it signed.

Today is selection Monday, so the College World Series Contest will be up and running around seven o'clock tonight.

Sunday, May 28, 2017

1983 Topps, Jim Eisenreich


#197 Jim Eisenreich

It has been a little over two years since I last posted a card of Jim Eisenreich. Jim played for the Royals for six seasons and is a constant at Royals Fanfests, which is where I got this card signed in 2014. At that particular Fanfest, I was finally able to get him to sign a Dodger card and this Twins card. After getting those two signed, I had a signed card for each Major League team he played for. The Marlins and Phillies were the other teams.

This was almost the only card Jim ever had. He made his debut with the Twins in 1982 and he got into 48 games with them over three years. But, he kept going on the disabled list with a nervous twitch and even retired for two full seasons. His twitch finally got diagnosed as Tourette's Syndrome and, with proper medication, he was able to get back in the game and have a long, successful career.

As a member of the Twins, Jim hit .283 with 2 home runs and 12 RBI.

Tomorrow is selection Monday for the college baseball postseason. That means the College World Series contest will be kicking off this week. Stay tuned!

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

1983 Fleer, Willie Aikens


#104 Willie Aikens

Here is another Willie Mays Aikens from Royals Fanfest. Just like the last Aikens card I posted last week, this one was from the 2014 Fanfest.

I am not a huge fan of the '83 Fleer set. The tan border does not do too much for me. If it was not for the trio of rookies in that set, I think it would be a rather forgettable set. But, that it just my opinion. I'm sure there are plenty of people out there that think the same about '81 Donruss.

I only have four cards signed from this set and all four are of Royals. If I ever mix it up a bit, it will be by sending Wade Boggs his rookie card to sign.

If you look at that batting glove Willie is wearing in this picture, it looks like it has a Phillies logo on it. I'm not sure what is up with that.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

1981 Donruss Want List

I have finally put together an '81D want list. Why it took me so long is anyone's guess. Let's see if I can remember how to put a want list tab on my side bar.

1, 12, 17, 46 ,51, 60, 91, 95, 109, 122, 129, 175, 184, 188, 224, 227, 231, 239, 241, 247, 253, 255, 256, 259, 261, 267, 269, 270, 276, 281, 287, 288, 291, 292, 297, 298, 303, 304, 308, 309, 310, 315, 317, 318, 320, 321, 324, 325, 330, 331, 335, 353, 358, 361, 362, 372, 378, 381, 387, 393, 401, 404, 410, 411, 420, 422, 423, 426, 431, 432, 433, 434, 435, 444, 445, 446, 454, 455, 458, 465, 466, 467, 468, 476, 479, 480, 544

1982 Topps Squirt, Dennis Leonard


#10 Dennis Leonard

Here is a fun oddball that my dad got signed for me at Royals Fanfest last year. We took my son and one of his friends along and my dad found Dennis and got this card signed while the boys and I were standing in line to see the World Series trophy.

This is the only card from this set that I own, so I know nothing about it. By the looks of it, I would guess that the cards came in a three card sheet that were inserted into a twelve pack of Squirt. I think that because there is a bit of perforation on the bottom edge of this card. This card is the same width of a standard card, but it slightly shorter.

Dennis pitched for the Royals for parts of twelve seasons. Over that time, he was a twenty game winner three times and is still one of the top pitchers in club history as he is in the top three for wins, strikeouts, and shutouts. He is a constant at Royals events and I even ran into him once just watching a Royals game.

It looks weird seeing Royals in green on this card. This set was made for A's players.

It appears that today happens to be Dennis Leonard's birthday. Happy Birthday Dennis!

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

1982 Topps, Willie Aikens


#35 Willie Aikens

The last card before I started my '81 Donruss recap was of Willie Aikens. While he wasn't the first one after the recap, he was the second.

By my best count, this is the fifth card of Willie that I have posted on here. Since his release from prison in 2008, he has been a fixture at Royals Fanfest. Not only does he now coach a Royals minor league team, but he also wrote a book, "Safe At Home", that he sells and signs every year at Fanfest. Because of that, I am usually able to get a card or two signed by him every year. It has gotten to the point that I think I am running out of cards for him to sign.

Speaking of his book, if you ever get a chance to pick it up, it is a good read.

I got this card signed at Fanfest in 2014. I think I have three more cards of him to post. Two are going to be run of the mill and the third will be a fun oddball.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

1982 Donruss, John Mayberry


#25 John Mayberry

Here is another Donruss card, just not of the '81 variety. This one comes from their sophomore set and the one major improvement in 1982 for Donruss was the Diamond King subset. While I did not buy my first Donruss pack until 1987, I was instantly hooked on the Diamond Kings when I saw them then. I still like the set and try to get them signed when I can.

I got this card signed by John at a Royals game last year. At Sunday games, the Royals bring in a former player or two and they sign for free in the team's Hall of Fame. That is one of the reasons I like going to Sunday games. Even if I strike out getting player autographs, I know I can always fall back on the alumni signing.

On the day John was there, I had two cards I wanted signed by him. But, I went to the Hall of Fame by myself and could only get one card signed. This one won out over his '76 SSPC card. That just goes to show how much I like Diamond Kings because that SSPC set is legit.

By my best count, this is the eighth card of John Mayberry that I have posted on here.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

1981 Donruss, Dave Edwards


#595 Dave Edwards

After five months of nothing but 1981 Donruss posts, it saddens me to say that this will be the last one for some time on here. While I look forward to posting some new stuff, I really like the '81D.

I got this card signed by Dave Edwards through the mail earlier this year. I saw a success from him on another blog, so I made sure to send my card shortly thereafter. I sent the card in February and I had it back five weeks later.

Dave played for the Twins and Padres during his five year career. Over that time, he hit .238 with 14 home runs and 73 RBI. His best season was with the Twins in 1979. That year, he hit .249 with career-highs in homers (8) and RBI (35).

Dave was traded by the Twins to San Diego in early December of 1980, just in time for Donruss to update the team on this card.

'81 Donruss Tracker: #223

Monday, May 8, 2017

1981 Donruss, Bo Diaz


#517 Bo Diaz

This is the fourth and final card that my wife bought me for Christmas this past year. All four cards were slabbed '81 Donruss autographs from deceased players/managers that were all DNA/PSA certified. While Dan Quisenberry was my favorite of the bunch because of the Royals connection, this one was probably the coolest just because Bo passed away less than ten years after this set came out.

Bo died in 1990 while adjusting his satellite dish on his home in Venezuela. He was only 37 years old at the time.

Nonetheless, Bo had a successful Major League career. He played in the league for thirteen years with the Red Sox, Indians, Phillies, and Reds. He was a .255 hitter that slugged 87 home runs and drove in 452 RBI. He played in one World Series and two All Star Games.

His best season was with the Phillies in 1982. That year he hit .288 and had career highs with 18 dingers and 85 RBI.

'81 Donruss Tracker: #222

Sunday, May 7, 2017

1981 Donruss, Mick Kelleher


#513 Mick Kelleher

This card is one of my longer waited TTM returns for this set. I sent this card to the Yankees, whom Mick was a coach for, in 2013. I got it back three days shy of a full two years later. The only other card I got signed from this set that was out for that long was my Paul Molitor card. Unfortunately, I do not know exactly how long that one took to come back.

Mick played in the Majors for eleven seasons with the Cardinals, Astros, Cubs, Tigers, and Angels. He was a light hitting middle infielder that never hit a Major League home run in just over 1,000 at-bats. He was a .213 hitter for his career.

Since most of the photos used for the '81 Donruss set were shot in Chicago, it is rare to see a Cubs road uniform. That is too bad since the Cubbies were rocking some powder blue road unis in 1980. I am pretty sure this is the only instance of a road Cub that I have posted from this set on here. It looks like the photo was taken at Veterans Stadium in Philadelphia, but I might be wrong.

'81 Donruss Tracker: #221

Thursday, May 4, 2017

1981 Donruss, Jim Essian


#503 Jim Essian

Here is the card of Jim Essian that I got signed through the mail last year. It took about three weeks to get this card back.

Like I have said in previous posts, I haven't taken the time to collect the complete set of '81 Donruss. Because of that, I miss out on guys that could be easy to get (like Neil Allen last week). But, when I see a guy signing that I need a card of, I usually try to pick it up from Sportlots. While I love buying from COMC just because of the ease of ordering, I usually go with Sportlots when I am needing a single card. Their low prices are tough to beat for one card. I bring Sportlots up because that is how I obtained this card.

Jim played in the Major Leagues for twelve seasons with the Phillies, White Sox, A's, Mariners, and Indians. He was a .244 hitter for his career and he finished with 33 home runs and 207 RBI. His best season came with the White Sox in 1977. That year, he hit .273 with 10 home runs and 44 RBI.

This is one of a handful of cards in this set that shows a player with one team, but lists a different team on the card. In this instance, Jim signed with the Sox early in free agency after the 1980 season, just in time for Donruss to recognize his new team on this card. Jim's 1980 Topps and Fleer cards do not mention the White Sox at all.

'81 Donruss Tracker: #220

Monday, May 1, 2017

1981 Donruss, Jose Morales


#495 Jose Morales

I said in yesterdays post that the card was a recent addition to my collection since I obtained the signature within the past year. Based on that, this one is practically brand new. I mailed this card to Jose in February and I had it back a week later.

Jose played in the Major Leagues for twelve seasons with the A's, Expos, Twins, Orioles, and Dodgers. Though he played in over 700 games for his career, Jose took the field in only 104 times. He was a DH for 265 games and spent the rest of the time pinch hitting. Jose was a professional hitter that hit .278 for his career with 26 home runs and 207 RBI.

In 1976, Jose set the Major League record for pinch hits in a season. With the Expos, he racked up 25 pinch hits that year. His record stood for nineteen years before being broken by the Rockies John Vander Wal.

It is kind of funny that Jose is listed as a catcher on this card. He caught just two games in 1980 and played first base just as much. But, he did DH 86 times. Sounds like Jose is a designated hitter to me.

'81 Donruss Tracker: #219

Sunday, April 30, 2017

1981 Donruss, John Castino


#488 John Castino

Here is another somewhat recent addition to the '81 Donruss set. And by recent, I mean that it was obtained in the last year. I got this card signed through the mail last summer. It took just six days to get this card back.

John played in the Majors for six seasons, all with the Twins. Over that time. he was a .278 hitter with 41 home runs and 249 RBI. His best season was the 1980 campaign where he had single season highs in average (.302), home runs (13), and RBI (64).

Speaking of the Twins, I had the pleasure seeing them play Friday in Kansas City and I did really well 'graphing that day. I came home with two cards signed from most of their better players including Miguel Sano, Joe Mauer, and Brian Dozier. Plus, I got another card signed by Bert Blyleven. I had a ball that I wanted Paul Molitor on. He didn't sign and I kind ofregret not getting Bert on in.

'81 Donruss Tracker: #218

Thursday, April 27, 2017

1981 Donruss, Steve Carlton


#481 Steve Carlton

Here is a card of Hall of Fame pitcher, Steve Carlton, that I was lucky enough to get signed at the College World Series in 2014. Steve was signing at the always popular AT&T tent and was one of the few Hall members that would sign anything. Most of the guys in that tent will only sign the provided 8x10.

Steve was the first big name player that I had seen there more than once. I had the pleasure of getting an 8x10 signed by him at the CWS in 2007. That was my first trip to the CWS in ten years and I had no idea that they brought players in to sign. But, the big names that show up are one of the main reasons I keep going back every year.

Steve has two cards in the '81 Donruss set, his base card and this Cy Young card. I unfortunately do not have his base card, so I got a couple other random cards signed by him. Still, it would have been nice to have knocked off both of his cards from the set in one setting. All the more reason I need to put a want list up and get the set knocked out. One of these days.....

'81 Donruss Tracker: #217

Monday, April 24, 2017

1981 Donruss, Glenn Hubbard


#469 Glenn Hubbard

Here is something I have not posted in over four months. This card was not signed through the mail or purchased for me. This card was signed in-person! I had probably gone four years without getting an '81 Donruss card signed in-person. But, that slump came to an end last month when I was able to get two cards from the set signed at Spring Training in Arizona.

Glenn, who is a good TTM signer, is a minor league manager in the Royals system and he signed this card for me after minor league practice. Normally, I take three cards of a player to get signed. But, since not everyone will sign three at a time, I only took this one card of Glenn just to make sure I got my '81D signed.

The other card I got signed in Arizona was of Mario Soto. That one might not turn up on here for four years.

'81 Donruss Tracker: #216

Saturday, April 22, 2017

1981 Donruss, Dick Williams


#453 Dick Williams

This is actually the second card of Dick Williams that I have posted on here. I posted the first one in 2008. It was a cool '84 Fleer checklist card that Rod, from Padrograhs, gave me. Less than three years after that post, Dick passed away. But, I was still able to add him to my Donruss set thanks to my wife stepping up her game this past Christmas. This is the third card, out of four, that she bought me to help me out with the project. All four cards were of deceased players.

Dick managed in the Majors for 21 years. He was a constant presence with some team every year from 1967 to 1988, with the exception of 1970. Over that span, he managed the Red Sox, A's, Angels, Expos, Padres, and Mariners. He took the Sox, A's, and Padres to the World Series and won in twice with the A's in the early '70s.

One of the best seasons he had was with the Expos in 1979. That club finished 95-65. Those 95 wins were the second most victories he had in a single season. Unfortunately, the Expos came up two games short to the eventual World Series champion Pittsburgh Pirates.

Dick finished his managerial career with a 1571-1451 record. He won manager of the year three times and was elected into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2008.

'81 Donruss Tracker: #215

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

1981 Donruss, Dave Lopes


#416 Dave Lopes

Here is the Davey Lopes card that I got signed through the mail 2014. Davey was coaching for the Dodgers at the time and I got the card signed care of the team. It took just over two weeks to get this card back.

Davey played for the Dodgers for ten seasons and he had a great run with the team. Over that time, he made four straight All Star teams, played in four World Series, stole over 400 bases, hit double digit home runs five times, scored 100+ runs twice, and won a Gold Glove. Along the way, he hit .262 with 99 home runs, 384 RBI, and 759 runs scored.

And, if all of that was not good enough, Davey went to college just down the road from my hometown at Washburn University in Topeka, Kansas.

Dusty does not work for the Dodgers any more. He is currently the first base coach for the Washington Nationals.

'81 Donruss Tracker: #214

Monday, April 17, 2017

1981 Donruss, Dallas Green


#415 Dallas Green

I know it is hard to tell, but this card really is signed. While I am not a huge fan of ballpoint pen signatures, they usually turn out OK on the thin '81D card stock. That was not the case with this card. I'm not sure what kind of pen was used, but that thing had seen better days.

Dallas managed in the Majors for parts of eight seasons. The Phillies were his first gig and he had the most success with them. He took the team to the playoffs in each of the two seasons he started the season out at the helm and won it all in 1980. He then became the Cubs general manager for a bit before going on to manage the Yankees for less than a season and then the Mets for about four seasons. He ended his managerial career with a record of 478-487.

Sadly, Dallas passed away last month from kidney failure. He was 82.

This card was signed through the mail in 2014.

'81 Donruss Tracker:
#213

Sunday, April 16, 2017

1981 Donruss, Roy Howell


#392 Roy Howell

Here is the card of Roy Howell that I got signed through the mail in 2014. Roy was the manager of the Tacoma Rainiers at the time and I mailed the card to the team. I sent the card to him in April and didn't get it back until right after the season got over in September.

Roy played in the Majors for eleven seasons with the Rangers, Blue Jays, and Brewers. Over that time, the third baseman hit .261 with 80 homers and 454 RBI. He made one All Star team and played in a World Series with the Brewers in 1982.

Roy's best season came the year following his All Star Game selection. As a Blue Jay in 1979, he had career highs in both home runs (15) and RBI (72). He also tied his single season high in doubles with 28. That was one of four seasons where he hit 28 doubles.

'81 Donruss Tracker: #212

Friday, April 14, 2017

1981 Donruss, Ernie Whitt


#390 Ernie Whitt

This card is kind of a rarity for 1981 Donruss. First off, it is not a posed shot. It looks like an action shot, but it is hard to tell what is going on with the way Ernie is holding the bat. The second thing is that, unlike most of the cards in the set, the photo was not taken in Chicago. Ernie is in his home whites, so the picture was taken at Toronto's Exhibition Stadium. As far as I know, this is only the second '81D that I have posted on here that features a shot from Toronto. The first is a posed shot of John Wathan that I posted some time ago.

I got this card signed through the mail in 2013. It took ten days for Ernie to sign the card and get it back to me.

Ernie played in the Majors for fifteen seasons, spending all but three of them with the Blue Jays. Over that time, he racked up 938 hits, 134 long balls, and 534 RBI. He made the 1985 American League All Star team and went to the playoffs twice.

Despite being born in Michigan, Ernie seems to be Canadian from his long tenure with the Blue Jays. He is in the Canadian Hall of Fame and recently managed Canada in the WBC.

'81 Donruss Tracker: #211

Thursday, April 13, 2017

1981 Donruss, Doc Medich


#386 Doc Medich

Here is one of my latest additions to this set. Why I did not get it signed a few years back in my heyday for sending out TTM requests for this set is unknown to me. But, I noticed some successes from Doc on SCN a couple of months ago, so I gave it a shot. Obviously, it worked out in my favor and I had this card back to me in just two weeks.

Doc pitched in the Major for eleven seasons. While spending most of his time with the Yankees and Rangers, he also had short stints with the Pirates, A's, Mariners, Mets, and Brewers. His tenures with the A's, M's, and Mets were all squeezed into one season.

Over those eleven seasons, Doc won 124 games and hit double digits in wins eight times, including a career high of 19 with the Yankees in 1974. He also had his best strikeout season that year when he fanned 154 batters.

Doc finished his career with a winning record, a 3.78 ERA, and 955 strikeouts. Over that time, he never made an All Star team, but he did pitch one game in the World Series with the Brewers in 1982.

'81 Donruss Tracker: #210

Monday, April 10, 2017

1981 Donruss, Tim Corocoran


#367 Tim Corcoran

This is the second card of Tim Corcoran that I have posted on here. The funny thing is that this Tim Corcoran card is of a completely different Tim Corcoran than the first one posted. Who knew that two different Tim Corcorans played Major League Baseball? The first post I did can be seen here.

This Tim played in the Majors for nine seasons with the Tigers, Twins, Phillies, and Mets. He played first base and right field and hit .270 with 12 home runs and 128 RBI over his career.

His best season was with the Phillies in 1984. That year, he got into 102 games and had 208 at-bats. He hit a career-best .341 that year with 5 home runs and 36 RBI.

I mailed this card to Tim last summer and he had it back to me four months later.

Surprisingly, both Tim Corcorans have good looking signatures.

'81 Donruss Tracker:
#209

Sunday, April 9, 2017

1981 Donruss, Brian Kingman


#360 Brian Kingman

Here is the last of the three straight A's. This one is of pitcher Brian Kingman. I got this one signed through the mail last year or the year before. For some reason, when I logged the return into my spreadsheet, I forgot to save it. So he is now logged in as "TTM, date unknown".

If you are unfamiliar with Brian Kingman, his claim to fame was being the last 20 game loser. He held that title until 2003 when Mike Maroth of the Tigers lost 21 games.

Brian lost those twenty games during the 1980 season, a season where the A's went 83-79. So, Brian lost over a quarter of his teams games all by himself.

Brian's big league career spanned five seasons with the A's and Giants. During that time, he went 23-45 with a save and a 4.13 ERA with 273 strikeouts to 205 walks. During the 1980 season, Brian finished the year with 8 wins and a 3.83 ERA. Somehow, he managed to pitch ten complete games that season with one of them being a shutout.

'81 Donruss Tracker: #208

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

1981 Donruss, Bob Picciolo


#357 Bob Picciolo

Back-to-back light-hitting A's infielders. Based off of the last two cards, you would think that the 1980 A's were not a good ball club. You would probably think that even more after my next post on here, which also happens to be an Athletic. But, the '80 A's finished in second place in the AL West that season. Sure, they were fourteen games back of the first place Royals. But, that second place finish was thirty wins batter than the previous year and helped springboard their playoff team in the strike-shortened '81 season.

I sent this card to Rob in 2013 and he had it back to me in less than two weeks.

Rob was a .234 hitter throughout his career that drove in 109 RBI and blasted 17 home runs over his nine year career with the A's, Brewers, and Angels. He saw regular playing time during his rookie season of 1977, but was mainly a utility infielder every year after.

'81 Donruss Tracker: #207

Sunday, April 2, 2017

1981 Donruss, Dave McKay


#350 Dave McKay

Here is the card of Dave McKay that I got signed through the mail in 2013. Dave was coaching with the Cubs that year and I sent this card to the club. He signed it and had it back to me in just two weeks. I was a little disappointed that I had to send this to him as I saw the Cubs play in Spring Training that year. But, my dumb ass forgot to take this card with me.

Dave played in the Majors for eight seasons with the Twins, Blue Jays, and A's. He mainly played second, though he did see some substantial time at third and a little time at short. For his career, he was a .229 hitter that had 21 home runs and 170 RBI.

Dave was mainly used as a utility player throughout his career. The one exception was the 1978 season with the Blue Jays. That year, he was the everyday second baseman and, with the extra at-bats, he put up his best offensive numbers. He had career-highs in doubles (20), triples (8), homers (7), and RBI (45).

Dave is currently the first base coach for the Diamondbacks.

'81 Donruss Tracker:
#206

Thursday, March 30, 2017

1981 Donruss, Rich Gossage


#347 Rich Gossage

Sorry about the lack of posts lately. But, on a whim, the family decided to go to Spring Training this year. So, all of my free time in the the two weeks leading up to that was finding cards for the trip. All the time sorting paid off as I was able to get 94 cards signed in Arizona this spring.

Here is the Goose Gossage card that I got signed through the mail last summer. It was fairly well know that Goose charged for his signature through the mail ever since his induction to the Hall of Fame in 2008. But, last summer, I started noticing successes from him for free. So, like my Spring Training trip, I sent this card to him on a whim, without a donation, and it came back signed about five weeks later.

Needless to say, I was very excited to get this card back. While I have a few sigs from Hall of Famers from this set, this was the first one that was signed through the mail. On top of that, just look at that signature. That sig on this card is hard to beat.

'81 Donruss Tracker: #205

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

1981 Donruss, Gary Lavelle


#314 Gary Lavelle

This is the third card of Gary Lavelle that I have posted on here. I originally wrote to Gary in 2011 when I obtained his '78 Topps card in the Topps Million Card Giveaway. I did not own this card at the time, so I added a card from the '85 Fleer Update set to get signed. I finally bought this card three years later and sent it to him in early 2014. Gary had it back to me in less than ten days.

Gary was a two-time All Star for the Giants as a reliever. Over his career, he had three 20 save seasons. He racked up 136 during his career, with all but 9 coming with the Giants.

When I posted my first card of Gary in 2011, he was fourth on the Giants all time saves leaderboard. At the time, he was behind Brian Wilson and I speculated that Brian might be in first after the 2012 season. It turns out I was completely wrong on that guess as Brian only pitched in two games in 2012 before joining the Dodgers in 2013.

It looks like Gary's fourth place spot should be secure for the time being. I have no clue who the Giants closer is now, but Sergio Rome and Santiago Casilla have both joined other teams and they were the two closest active players to Gary. Casilla was only four saves behind him.

I am heading to Arizona next week, so this might be my last post until I get back from Spring Training. Follow me on Twitter (@zmills40) to see all the cards I am getting signed down there.

'81 Donruss Tracker: #204

Thursday, March 9, 2017

1981 Donruss, Manny Mota


#299 Manny Mota

How cool is this card? If you are not sure, just look at the position listed on it- coach/OF. By 1980, Manny was the Dodgers batting coach. But, once the rosters expanded in September, he got activated as a pinch hitter. He went 3-7 down the stretch with 2 RBI. Manny did not play at all during the strike-shortened 1981 season, but he did get one more at-bat in '82 at the age of 44.

Somehow, Topps failed to capitalize on making a card of Manny in 1981. The two new kids on the block did, though Fleer left out the coach part of the position.

I got this card signed through the mail in 2014. Manny is a broadcaster for the Dodgers and I mailed the card to the team. It took less than three weeks to get it back.

Are you tired of '81 Donruss yet? This card basically marks the halfway point of the set. Even though I have posted about 25 cards from the set, I think I only have 18 more to go and two of those are of Hall of Famers.

'81 Donruss Tracker: #203

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

1981 Donruss, Bobby Grich


#289 Bobby Grich

Last night, I posted a card that I got signed through the mail last summer and I referred to it as one of my more recent additions to the '81 Donruss collection. Well, here is my most recent addition. I got this one signed through the mail just last month. I have had this card for nearly eight years, so I have no idea why I never sent it to Bobby before. But, I noticed a success from him in early February and gave it a shot. Two weeks later, I had this back to me.

When I first got into cards in 1985, Bobby Grich was not a big deal to me. He was at the end of his career and would only appear in sets through the 1987 season. All I knew about him then was that he had a big mustache.

All of these years later and I know that Bobby was a hell of a ballplayer in the '70s and early '80s. Playing for the Orioles and Angels, Bobby made six All Star teams over the years and he won four Gold Gloves at second base. He probably would have won more if it wasn't for Frank White. His teams made the playoffs five times, but could never clinch the pennant.

For his career, Bobby was a .266 hitter with 224 home runs and 864 RBI. His best offensive season was with the Angels in 1979 when he clubbed 30 home runs, 30 doubles, and drove in 101 RBI. Frank White never hit 30 dingers or drove in 100 runs.

'81 Donruss Tracker: #202

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

1981 Donruss, Ted Cox


#238 Ted Cox

Here is one of the more recent '81 Donruss additions to the collection. This one was obtained through the mail just last year. I sent this card to Ted at the beginning of July and I had it back three weeks later.

Ted played in the Majors for just five seasons with the Red Sox, Indians, Mariners, and Blue Jays. Out of those teams, the Indians were the only team that he played with for more than one season. Over his five seasons, Ted hit .245 with 10 home runs and 79 RBI.

The former first round draft pick of the Red Sox got off to a good start when first called up in 1977. He got four hits in his Major League debut before getting two more hits in his first two at-bats the next night. As far as I can tell, Ted still holds the record for six straight hits to start his career. He ended up hitting .362 in his 13 games with Boston that season.

'81 Donruss Tracker: #201

Sunday, March 5, 2017

1981 Donruss, Rich Dotson


#280 Rich Dotson

Here is the next TTM success from the '81 Donruss set. This one was sent to Rich in 2013 and I got it back a week and a half later.

Rich pitched in the Majors for twelve seasons with the White Sox, Yankees, and Royals. All but two and a half of those seasons were with the Sox and he spent the majority of his career as a starter. Though he had a losing record for his career, which was a result of an 0-4 record in his final season, he still had seven seasons with double digit wins. He finished his career with a 111-113 record with a 4.23 ERA and 973 strikeouts.

Rich's best season was with the Sox in 1983. He was pretty good that year, going 22-7 with a 3.23 ERA and 137 strikeouts. The wins, ERA, and K's were all career bests for him. Despite the great season, he did not make the All Star team that year. Instead, he got his lone All Star selection the following season.

I love those White Sox jerseys.

'81 Donruss Tracker: #200

Friday, March 3, 2017

1981 Donruss, Jon Matlack


#266 Jon Matlack

This is the second card of Jon Matlack that I have posted on here. I posted the first one about four years ago and it can be seen here. That one was a card that I redeemed through the Topps Diamond Giveaway. Unfortunately, I did not own this card at the time or I would have sent it along with that one and posted it four years ago. I am not exactly sure how I acquired this card, but I most likely bought it since I am too lazy to post an '81 Donruss want list on here.

When I sent that first card to Jon in 2012, it came back "return to sender". I waited a bit and resent it to the same address and I got it back the second time. That time, I mailed the card to Texas and I got it back from New York. When it was time to send this card out, I could not find Jon's address. Luckily, Ryan from The Great Orioles Autograph Project, hooked me up with Jon's new New York address and I got this card, and one other, signed in eight days.

Jon spent the second half of his career pitching for Texas. Through six seasons, Jon logged just 200+ innings twice and ended up finishing up his career mostly pitching out of the bullpen. He had two double digit win seasons as a Ranger and finished his time in Texas with a 43-45 record with 3 saves and a 3.41 ERA.

'81 Donruss Tracker: #199

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

1981 Donurss, Bob Boone


#262 Bob Boone

Here is another player from the '81 Donruss set that would later go on to manage. This is the card of Bob Boone that I got signed through the mail in 2014. It took about three weeks to get this card, and one other, back from Bob.

Bob had a nineteen year career catching in the Major Leagues. Over that time, he did it all. He won one World Series, played in seven postseasons, made four All Star teams, caught a perfect game, and won seven Gold Glove Awards. That is an impressive resume. On a side note, I had no idea that the Phillies made the playoffs so many times in the late '70s. They were like the National League version of the Royals which would have made the 1980 Series that much better.

Bob managed the Royals and Red for six seasons and did not do too hot. He finished with a 371-444 record as a Major League manager.

I got this card signed by sending it to the Washington Nationals, Bob's current employer. He serves as the the team's Vice President, Senior Advisor to the General Manager.

'81 Donruss Tracker: #198

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

1981 Donruss, Art Howe


#258 Art Howe

We go from a player turned manager for the '81 Donruss set to a player from the set that later became a manager. I wonder how many future managers are in this set. Off of the top of my head, I can only think of Bruce Bochy, Jim Tracy, Clint Hurdle, Bob Baylor, Dusty Baker, and Bob Boone, but I am sure there has to be a few more.

Art played for eleven seasons with the Pirates, Astros, and Cardinals. He got some regular playing time with the Astros, but was mainly a utility infielder throughout his career as he could man all four positions. He spent he most time at third base during his career while batting .260 with 43 home runs and 293 RBI.

After his playing days were over, he managed the Astros, A's, and Mets for fourteen seasons. Over that span, he had a 1129-1137 record. He made the playoffs three times with the A's and came in second place for the AL Manager of the Year Award for four straight seasons.

The Astro cards from this set look great when they are signed with a blue Sharpie.

Other players from the set that would go on to manage that I just looked up- Alan Trammell, Bill Russell, Cecil Cooper, Pete Rose, Larry Bowa, Paul Molitor, John Wathan, Jerry Narron, Dave Lopes, Hal McRae, Jim Essian, and Ken Macha. There might be a few more in there, but that is all I could come up with from my list of autographs from the set.

'81 Donruss Tracker: #197

Sunday, February 26, 2017

1981 Donruss, Chuck Tanner


#257 Chuck Tanner

Here is the second of four '81 Donruss cards that my wife bought for me for Christmas this past year. This one features long time manager, Chuck Tanner, who passed away in 2011.

Chuck had played in the Major Leagues for parts of eight seasons with the Braves, Cubs, Indians, and Angels. He appeared in just 396 games over that time and hit .261 with 21 home runs.

Chuck got into managing after his playing career and managed four different clubs over nineteen consecutive seasons. He lead the White Sox, A's, Pirates, and Braves. Over those nineteen seasons, his clubs had five second place finishes and his 1979 Pirates team won it all. For his career, his clubs posted a 1352 and 1381 record. He won American League Manager of the Year with the White Sox in 1972.

'81 Donruss Tracker: #196

Saturday, February 25, 2017

1981 Donruss, Kent Tekulve


#254 Kent Tekulve

I got this card signed through the mail, but I went about it in a different way than usual. Rather then send this card to Kent's residence, I mailed it out last year to the Pirates Spring Training complex. I saw some returns coming from him from there and I gave it a shot and got my card back ten days later. While I have mailed cards to Spring Training for coaches and managers, this was the first time that I had ever sent one to a former player and got it back signed. Let's hope I can repeat that success this year with Ron Guidry.

Kent pitched in the Majors for sixteen seasons with the Pirates, Phillies, and Reds. He spent most of that time in Pittsburgh and became a staple in the Pirates bullpen. During his time with the Bucs, he went 70-61 with 158 saves and a 2.68 ERA. He won one World Series with them and made one All Star team.

For his career, Kent was 94-90 with 184 saves and a 2.85 ERA.

'81 Donruss Tracker: #195

Friday, February 24, 2017

1981 Donruss, Dan Quisenberry


#222 Dan Quisenberry

Obviously, I did not get this card signed through the mail as Dan passed away from a form of brain cancer in 1998. Instead, my lovely wife bought me this card for Christmas two months ago. She couldn't figure out what to get me, so I talked her into buying me some signed '81 Donruss cards from deceased players. She ended up getting me four of them, which was really cool of her. All four were PSA/DNA certified and all four will be unslabbed and put into my binder with the rest of the '81 Donruss.

Growing up in Kansas in the '80s, I certainly knew who Dan Quisenberry was. Even though I didn't realize how great of a closer he was in that era, I knew of him because of his side arm delivery. Playing catch in the backyard usually turned into imitating your favorite pitchers windups. At some point, you always had to uncork a Dan Quisenberry side arm pitch in there and it usually wound up ten feet to the left of the person you were trying to throw it to.

Dan pitched for the Royals, Cardinals, and Giants during his twelve year career. Over that span, he racked up 244 saves while making two All Star teams and leading the American League in saves five times.

'81 Donruss Tracker: #194

Thursday, February 23, 2017

1981 Donruss, Andre Thornton


#198 Andre Thornton

Here is a card of Indians slugger, Andre Thornton, that I got signed through the mail in 2014. It took Andre about three weeks to get this card back to me.

Andre played in the Majors for fourteen seasons with the Cubs, Expos, and Indians. The bulk of that time came in Cleveland as he was a regular there for most of his ten seasons on the team. Over his career, Andre had three 30 home runs seasons and two 100 RBI seasons and all of those came with the Indians. Since he was in Cleveland during the '80s, he obviously was on some bad clubs. Nevertheless, he continually put up good numbers on a regular basis there.

For his career, Andre logged 253 home runs and 895 RBI. He made two All Star teams and was 1-2 in his two at-bats in those games. He struck out against Steve Carlton in the '82 game and singled against Fernando Valenzuela in the '84 game.

Andre's best season was probably his 1982 season when he hit 32 home runs while hitting .273 with 116 RBI.

I haven't got a clue what is going on with Andre's signature. For a guy that played in the '70s and '80s, it is unusual that all, or at least part, of his signature is not legible. I think I see the last letter of his first name and a "t" in the last name.

'81 Donruss Tracker: #193

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

1981 Donruss, Brian Asselstine


#186 Brian Asselstine

When I send out a card from the '81 Donruss set, I usually send to some pretty good signers. I don't even have a complete set of '81 Donruss, so I don't send out to people deemed a long shot to get the card back. Because of that, I typically know what I am getting myself into when I send one off. That normally means that I have the card back within a month. That was not the case with this card here. This one took me just over eight months to get back. That was by no means the longest wait for a card from the set, but it is longer than normal. In fact, I had planned on having this card back in time for my last go-around here with the '81D in 2013. But, it just missed the cut-off and had to wait almost four years to finally make it on here.

Brian spent six seasons in the Majors, all with the Braves. The first round pick would go on to hit .254 with 12 home runs and 68 RBI for his career. Brian's best season was probably the 1980 season. That year, he got into more games and had more at-bats than in any other season. While his power numbers obviously were at an all-time best with the increased playing time, his average was also a career-high of .284

'81 Donruss Tracker: #192