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