Friday, July 20, 2018

2003 Fleer Focus, Guillermo Quiroz

#175 Guillermo Quiroz

Here is a card that I got signed at a Sacremento Rivercats game in 2015. Quiroz was playing for the Cats and the time and he was nice enough to stop and sign two cards for me. I opted to get him in black because of the blue jersey and I must say that I am pleased with the results.

Back then, I used to always take a black and a blue Sharpie with me when I would go 'graphing. Since I used to do well with the Royals, it was a must with all the cards with blue jerseys like this one. But now the Royals are crap signers and I rarely bother with a black Sharpie any more. It is now blue or nothing.

Quiroz played parts of ten seasons in the big leagues with six different clubs. He topped out at 56 games in a season and was mostly used as a team's third catcher. There were five seasons when he played in less than five games and only two where he played in more than seventeen. For his career, he hit .199 with 3 home runs and 34 RBI.

Thursday, July 19, 2018

2002 Upper Deck Honor Roll, Barry Wesson

#131 Barry Wesson

Here is a card that I got signed two years ago when the Kansas Stars competed in the NBC World Series. Barry was on the Stars team and was one of the first cards I got signed that evening. He was standing outside the batting cages taking practice swings and hanging out with his son. I asked him to sign and he seemed a little reluctant to, which surprised me. I would expect that from the bigger names at the event, but not from a guy that I had never heard of before he was put on the roster.

Barry played just 25 games in the Majors over parts of two seasons with the Astros and Angels. With the Angels, whom he didn't play a game with until the 2003 season, he got into 10 games and he was 2-11 with 2 runs, 1 home run, and 3 RBI. That dinger was the only one he hit in the Majors and it was hit in his final Major League game. Up to that point that September, Barry was 0-7 before getting the start in left in game 162. Batting ninth, he went 2-4 with 2 RBI in an Angels 4-2 win over the Rangers. Barry would play three more seasons in the minors, but never make a return to the highest level again.

Based off of this card, I do not think that Honor Roll is a good name for this set. I think that Upper Deck Mug Shot is a better description. The only thing missing is a placard with the player's info on it.

Monday, July 16, 2018

2002 Topps Total, Phil Nevin

#TTC24 Phil Nevin

Here is the fifth card of Phil Nevin that I have posted on here. I posted the first one back in 2011 after Rod had sent it to me. Then, I posted three in 2014 and 2015 after I had gotten them signed at Spring Training when Phil was the manager of the D-Backs AAA team. Now, here is this one, another gift from Rod. This one was given to me three years ago when we met up at a Hillsboro Hops game.

If you look at the number on this card, you will see that it has an insert-like number. This card is actually a team checklist. I don't think I ever bought any packs of 2002 Topps Total, but it seems odd that a team checklist card would be considered an insert. It is worth noting that '02 Topps Total was actually a glossy set unlike later sets. But, while the front of this card is glossy, the back of it is not. Also, this card and Phil's base card look exactly the same on the front.

Phil no longer works in the Diamondbacks organization. He is currently the third base coach of the Yankees.

Sunday, July 15, 2018

2002 Topps Total, Doug Henry

#611 Doug Henry

It feels like I have posted a dozen cards of Doug Henry on here. Since he was the Royals bullpen coach for five years, I would always head over in his direction whenever I was striking out with players at Kauffman Stadium. To my amazement, this is only the seventh card of Doug that I have posted. It will also be the last for some time as he no longer works for the big league club. I do have two more cards to post of him, but they are both minor league coaching cards.

Doug spent his final season pitching for the Royals. He did not do too well, but he still got a decent workload. He pitched 75.2 innings in 53 games and was 2-2 with a 6.07 ERA and 57 strikeouts. I saw him pitch eight times that season and he did slightly better when I was there. He picked up both of his wins during those games and had an ERA of 4.96.

With this signed Royals card, I have a signed card from Doug with every team he played for except the Giants. And the only reason I never got a Giants card signed by him is that there are none (as far as I can tell).

A few years back, I almost bought a game-used jersey of Doug's. It was only $10 at Royals Fanfest. Even though I knew I could get it signed, I did not buy it. Signed jerseys are kind of a pain and they take up a lot of room when framed. It would have been cool, but I resisted. I already have one jersey up in my room and I really don't have room for another.

Friday, July 13, 2018

2002 Fleer Tradition, Eddie Guardado

#U320 Eddie Guardado

Here is a card I got signed last year when the Twins were in Kansas City. Eddie is the Twins bullpen coach and he stopped to sign for me after getting off the team bus. I asked him how he was enjoying coaching and he told me that it was "OK". I asked him why it was just OK and he told me that players are just too soft these days. It seems that Eddie and Mike Matheny are on the same page.

Eddie pitched for the Twins for the first eleven seasons of seventeen year career. Over that time, he held about every role a left-handed pitcher could hold. He started, was a LOOGY, did middle relief, and was a closer. Counting the seven games he appeared in for the Twins after being acquired at the 2008 trade deadline, Everyday Eddie was 37-48 with 116 saves and a 4.53 ERA with the Twins.

Eddie had back-to-back 40 save seasons with the Twins in 2002 and 2003. He racked up 45 the first year and 41 in the second. He was rewarded both years with an All Star selection, the only two of his career. This card represents his first selection. In the 2002 mid-summer classic, Eddie struck out the only two batters he faced- Andruw Jones and Jose Hernandez. Maybe if he would have pitched longer, or not relieved Barry Zito after he faced just one batter, the game might not have ended in a tie.

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

2002 Fleer Tradition, Brandon Berger

#U173 Brandon Berger

Here is another former Royal that I got signed through the mail this year. I sent this card to Brandon in February and I had it back ten days later.

Brandon was 14th round pick by the Royals in 1996 out of Eastern Kentucky. While he was slowly moving up the organizational ladder, he wasn't even a blip on the radar. That all changed in 2001 when he had a monster year in AA. That season, he batted .308 with 40 home runs and 118 RBI. He got a September call-up from the Royals and continued his hot season, going 5-16 with four extra-base hits, including two dingers.

He made the Royals Opening Day roster in 2001 and it turned out to be a rough season for Brandon. Through July 20th, he hit .227 with 5 home runs and 14 RBI. He was then sent down to AAA for the second time that season and would stay there until the rosters expanded in September. It was a rough September for him and he finished the season with a .207 average with 6 homers and 17 RBI.

After that, Brandon would only play in 24 more Major League games over the 2003-2004 seasons. He never hit another home run and he finished his career a .212 hitter with 8 home runs and 24 RBI.

Friday, July 6, 2018

2001 Topps, Brian Meadows

#316 Brian Meadows

This is a card that I got signed through the mail earlier this year. For a bit, I was sending out TTMs to former Royals that I did not have signed cards from. This is the third one of those out of the last five card posts and my next one will be the same. It was fun adding Meadows, Reboulet, and McCarthy to the collection since they were members of the Royals team I grew to love, the 2000 squad.

Brian only pitched in Kansas City for two seasons and he had just 21 appearances, with all but one being starts. He went 6-2 in his first season there with two complete games and a 4.77 ERA. But, the next year, he dropped to 1-6 with an ERA of 6.97. That was that for Brian with the Royals.

He went on to pitch five more years after that, mainly with the Pirates, where he found a home in their bullpen. Brian finished his career with a 47-62 record with 10 saves and a 5.05 ERA.

Prior to joining the Royals, Brian pitched with the Marlins and Padres. He also played one season, his final one, with the Devil Rays.

Thursday, July 5, 2018

2001 Topps, Joe Nathan

#292 Joe Nathan

Here is a card that I got signed last summer at the NBC World Series. Joe was playing for the Kansas Stars, a team of former players taking on college players in a tournament. Like many players on the team, Joe was very fan-friendly and spent a decent amount of time signing autographs the day I was there.

Joe spent the majority of his career pitching in the American League Central, so I had the chance to see him many times in Kansas City. Every time I tried to 'graph his team, I always took this card with me. It was the only card of him I had with the Giants. And, for a long time, it was the only non-Twins card I had of him. I obviously struck out every time as he had to retire and come to Wichita in order for me to get it signed.

Joe spent his first four seasons pitching for the Giants. He started 29 games for then his first two years before becoming firmly entrenched in their bullpen in the fourth year. That season, he made a career-high 78 appearances. He logged 79 innings with a record of 12-4 and a 2.96 ERA and 83 strikeouts. While he finished nine games, he did not record a save. Tim Worrell was getting all the saves that season for the Giants.

After the season, San Francisco shipped Joe and Francisco Liriano off to Minnesota for A.J Pierzynski.

For his career with the Giants, which included the last 4.1 innings of his career in 2016, Joe was 25-10 with a save and a 4.06 ERA.

Monday, July 2, 2018

2001 Topps, Jeff Reboulet

#141 Jeff Reboulet

Here is the card that I got signed through the mail by Jeff Reboulet. I sent this card to him at the end of January and I had it back in about a week.

I sent this card to get signed since Jeff is a former Royal and I never got his autograph when he was with the team. He spent one season in Kansas City in 2000. That was a fun offense to watch, though Jeff did not provide much of it. He hit .242 with 14 RBI and no home runs as a Royal.

Jeff spent twelve seasons in the Majors as a utility player with the Twins, Orioles, Royals, Dodgers, and Pirates. He played in 100+ games twice, but never got over 250 at-bats in any given season. He hit .240 for his career with 20 home runs and 202 RBI.

With the O's in 1997, he made his only trip to the postseason. In the two series, he was 1-7. His lone hit was a solo home run off of Randy Johnson in the fourth and final game of the Division Series.

The back of this card lists Jeff's position as SS-3B. That is odd since he played second base 50 times in 2000. He played third 11 times and short only 5 times.

Saturday, June 30, 2018

2001 Stadium Club, Scott Thorman

#159 Scott Thorman

Here is a card that I got signed at Spring Training last year. Scott is the manager of the Royals South Atlantic League affiliate, Lexington, and I was able to get him to sign two cards for me after the Royals minor leaguers worked out.

Out of all the Arizona League home's that I have been to, the Royals side of Surprise Stadium is one of my favorites. While you are not going to get any 'graphs from the big leaguers, it is a great spot to hit up the guys in the minors. The main reason for that is that the Royals put names on the back of the jerseys. Most of the teams do not do that and it is a pain trying to identify the lesser known guys. Also a plus is that the players have to walk quite a ways to get back to the clubhouse. There is no easy exit for them and you can get guys that you missed just by catching up to them.

The Lexington Legends finished up the first half of their season 2.5 games out of first place. It is still early into the second half, but they are off to a sluggish start. Through eight games, they are 2-6 and bringing up the rear of the South Atlantic League Southern Division.

I bought this card online as I wasn't really collecting cards in 2001. It just seems odd to me that Stadium Club would have draft pick cards. I know they did some draft pick sets early on in the brand, but this card feels out of place to me. This seems like something that should have been in Bowman.

College World Series Contest Finale

The CWS has been over for a couple of days and I am just now finding the time to update this. Sorry for the delay. It was a great finals this year with Arkansas being a foul pop-up from winning it to losing decisively in the third game. Oregon State won it in three games, which means we had to go to the tie-breaker for the first time in this contest and it was a nail-biter. Greg predicted 15 runs in the finals while Joey picked 20. So, 17 or fewer runs and it was Greg's; 18 or more and it was Joey's. In the bottom of the eighth inning of Game Three, OSU knocked in the fifth and final run of the game for the 18th run of the Series. Joey is the winner.

If you are one of the three other people that took the time to fill out a bracket this year, send me your address and I will get a consolation PWE out to you. Chances are that I probably already have your address, but send it to me anyways just to remind me. zman40 at hotmail dot com

I have decided that this year was the last year that I will hold this contest. I have been running it since 2010 and it has been a fun ride and something I have looked forward to every year. But, with only four people filling out brackets this year and no more free autograph signings at the CWS to fill the prize bucket, I think it is time to call it quits. Thank you to everyone that has ever filled out a bracket, no matter if you did just one or came back for multiples.

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

2001 Pacific, David McCarty

#200 David McCarty

Here is a card that I got signed by David McCarty earlier this year. For a bit, I was sending out cards TTM to former Royals that I did not have signed cards from. That was how I got this one. I sent it to David in February and I got it back about five weeks later.

David played for the Royals for about two and a half seasons. His first season in Kansas City was his best season as a Major League player. That year was the only season that he played in over 100 games and he responded with a .278 average with 12 home runs and 53 RBI, all career bests for him. That was in 2000 on a very talented offensive squad.

I got to see David play two dozen times as a Royal and he always seemed to do well when I was there. He hit .295 with 10 RBI and 3 dingers in those games.

In 2003, with the Red Sox, David had the opportunity to pitch. He actually got three chances that season and he did well, posting a 2.45 ERA with 4 strikeouts in 3.2 innings of work.

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

College World Series Contest Update

The College World Series finals are here. Unlike in past years, when the contest has been wrapped up by now, this one is still going strong and down to two contestants- Greg and Joey. Heading into the finals, Joey has a 17-13 lead. Joey got 3 points in the first phase and, having picked the finals participants, has 14 points through the second phase. Greg got 5 points in phase one and has 8 points through phase two.

In order for Greg to come back and win this thing, Oregon State has to win the Series in three games (which will tie the two at 17 points) with 17 or fewer runs scored in the three games. If Arkansas wins, Oregon State wins in two, or Oregon State wins in three with 18 or more runs scored, Joey will pull off the win.

It is going to be fun to watch how this thing plays out. I have never had to go to runs scored in this contest, so I am looking forward to putting that variable into play.

2001 Eugene Emeralds Greats, Brian McRae

#7 Brian McRae

Here is a unique card that was given to me unsigned by Rod, from Padrographs. He picked up this Emeralds All-Time Greats team set at an Ems clearance sale and was nice enough to give me some of the cards that featured Royals.

I got the card signed at a Royals game last summer at the alumni signing the Royals host on Sundays. To my amazement, Brian has never seen this card before and was wondering if I could get him one. He apparently has a nice collection of his cards and was wanting to add this one to it. I wish he would have told me that before he had signed it and I just would have gave him this one.

When I got home, I looked online for this card and even contacted Rod to see if he had an extra. I came up empty handed with both of those endeavors. I saw Brian earlier this year at a Royals game and told him I couldn't find another one and he had the same experience with his own search. I again offered this one up to him, but he told me not to worry about it. So, if anyone has this card in their collection, I know a fellow collector that needs it.

The neat thing about this set is that the images appear to be airbrushed. It is hard to tell with the signature on this card, but all the lines on the jersey have over-spray around them.

Friday, June 22, 2018

2001 Bowman, Jason Marquis

#291 Jason Marquis

Here is a card of Jason Marquis that was given to me by Rod, from Padrographs, when we met up at a Hillsboro Hops game in 2015. Jason pitched for the Padres for two seasons, so I am assuming Rod picked up this card with a signed Padres card to add to his collection.

Jason pitched in the Majors for parts of fifteen seasons with nine clubs- the Braves, Cardinals, Cubs, Rockies, Nationals, Diamondbacks, Twins, Padres, and Reds. Over that time, he amassed a 124-118 record with one save and a 4.61 ERA. He pitched in five postseasons and won a Silver Slugger Award.

Jason pitched for Atlanta for four seasons, going 14-15 with a 4.45 ERA. He also picked up his lone save as a Brave. After the 2003 season, he and Adam Wainwright were dealt to St. Louis for JD Drew and Eli Marrero. The Cardinals went on to play in two World Series over the next three years, so I would say that they fared better from that trade. Interestingly, when the won the Series in 2006, Jason did not appear in a single postseason game.

Thursday, June 21, 2018

2000 Fleer Tradition, Jeff Montgomery

#244 Jeff Montgomery

I cannot believe that it has been nearly four years since I have posted a card of Jeff Montgomery. When I posted that last card, the ninth signed card from Jeff, I complained that I had too many signed cards from him. While I don't mind a lot of different signed cards of the same person, it gets really hard to posts those cards with meaningful commentary on here after the third post. Luckily, I haven't had to worry about that the last four years.

I got this card signed at the last Royals Caravan that the team held in 2015. The team was fresh off their American League pennant run and they threw a less than spectacular Caravan together. The leg that came through Kansas consisted of Monty, Lane Adams, and Brandon Finnegan. It wasn't completely awful since I did not have an autograph from Adams or Finnegan. But, I had to find a card of Finnegan quick since he was drafted in 2014 and didn't have any mainstream cards yet. I ended up with a Panini Draft card and all was well.

The Royals went on to win it all in 2015 and they did a rather unusual Caravan in 2016. Rather than take players around, they took their World Series trophy. Knowing that the trophy was going to be displayed for eternity at Kauffman Stadium, I did not bother with that. In 2017 and 2018, the Royals did nothing and, as of right now, the Royals Caravan appears to be dead in the water. But, with how awful the team is right now, it might not be a bad idea to get something restarted next year. We will have to wait to see what happens.

Friday, June 15, 2018

Contest Reminder

The College World Series starts tomorrow, so you had better get a bracket filled out soon. Remember, there is a Topps Series 2 blaster up for grabs this year. Just read the post before this one to see what you have to do.

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

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. Eight 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 UNC squaring off in game 1 and Washington and Mississippi 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.

A2: Washington
A4: Oregon St
A5: Washington
A6/7: UNC

B1: Arkansas
B2: Florida
B3: Florida
B4: Texas Tech
B5: Arkansas
B6/7: Arkansas

Arkansas over UNC in two games, 9 runs scored

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 16. 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.

Here are the standings so far. All correct guesses were worth one point and nobody picked the two and three seeds that made the CWS.

Greg- 5 points- Florida, Texas, UNC, and two points for pimping the contest, one on blogger and one on twitter
Kin- 5 points- Florida, Texas Tech, Texas, UNC, Oregon St
Wilson- 5 points- Florida, Arkansas, UNC, Oregon St, and pimped on blogger
Joey- 3 points- Florida, UNC, Oregon St
Jeff- 3 points- Florida, Texas Tech, Oregon St
Lost Collector- 2 points- Texas, UNC
Rod- 1 point- Oregon St
John- 0 points

There is only a five point differential between first and last, so this is still anyone's to win. Even if you didn't enter the first phase, you can still get in on the action and have a legitimate shot at winning. Again, the winner of this will be taking home a blaster of Topps Series Two.

Good luck and thanks for playing!

1999 Topps Chrome, Ryan Christenson

#88 Ryan Christenson

Here is a card that I got signed by Ryan Christenson at a Spring Training game earlier this year. Ryan is the bench coach for the A's and he was nice enough to sign my one card for me prior to the start of the game.

Ryan played in the Majors for six seasons with the A's, Diamondbacks, Brewers, and Rangers. Over that time, he got into 452 games and he hit .222 with 16 home runs and 102 RBI. His best season was his rookie campaign with the A's in 1998. That year, he hit .257 with 5 homers and 40 RBI, all single season highs for him.

Ryan's playing career overlapped the time when I was in college and not actively collecting cards. Still, I somehow ended up with a decent amount of Topps product from 1999 and was lucky enough to have this lone card of him to get signed. Ryan has a long last name and I am amazed whenever I see a plaery sign every single letter like he does. That is a rarity in this day and age.

Friday, June 8, 2018

1999 Topps, David Dellucci

#179 David Dellucci

Here is the first of three cards that David Dellucci signed for me when he played of the Kansas Stars last summer. The Stars were a group of former pro players that competed in the NBC World Series against predominantly college athletes.

David played in the Majors for thirteen seasons with the Orioles, Diamondbacks, Yankees, Rangers, Phillies, Indians, and Blue Jays. Out of all those teams, he spent the most time with the D-Backs, playing with them for parts of five and a half seasons. Over that time, he got into 503 games and he hit .272 with 25 home runs and 156 RBI. He was with the club when they won the World Series in 2001 and was mainly used as a defensive replacement during the playoffs. He got into six games and was 2-4 at the dish. Just prior to the 2003 trade deadline, David was traded to the Yankees. He would make his second and final World Series appearance with them and go 0-2 in four games.

The Kansas Stars are no more this year, which is pretty disappointing for me. I had quite a time 'graphing them the last two years. But, the team is still going to be playing together this summer at the Bluegrass World Series in Louisville as the Louisville Stars. I have no idea who they will be competing against, but it is sure to be a good time. So, if you are going to be in the Louisville area between July 30th and August 4th, it may be worth checking out.

Thursday, June 7, 2018

1999 Topps, Jeff Fassero

#117 Jeff Fassero

Here is the second of three cards that Jeff Fassero signed for me at a Reds Spring Training game last year. Jeff is the pitching coach for the Reds AAA affiliate in Louisville and he was nice enough to stop and sign three cards for me before a game at Goodyear Ballpark. I posted the first card earlier this year and it can be seen here.

After having a career-year with the Expos in 1996, Montreal shipped Jeff to Seattle shortly after the season for almost nothing in return. Jeff had two solid seasons in his first two years in Seattle, hitting double-digit wins each year and helping the club to a playoff birth in 1997. He made one start in the Division Series that season and pitched eight inning of one run ball for the win.

Then, in 1999, his third season with the Mariners, Jeff's numbers took a gigantic plunge. Over a 139 innings, Jeff was 4-14 while posting a 7.38 ERA. He ended up back in the bullpen for the first time since his second year in the Majors. The M's ended up trading him to the Rangers for a player to be named later and that later named player never played an inning in the Major Leagues.

For his nearly three seasons with the M's, Jeff was 33-35 with a 4.62 ERA.

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

1999 Topps, Darryl Strawberry

#18 Darryl Strawberry

Here is the fourth and final card that I got signed by Darryl Strawberry when he was preaching in Wichita two years ago. There are four of us in the family and we all got one card signed. My wife and my then eight month old baby got extra cards signed for me. My oldest son got to pick out a card of Darryl for himself. This is the card he picked out and it is currently in my collection as he didn't really care for it. Had I known that before the event, I would have just picked out another Mets card of my choosing.

This was not the first time that had happened. I have a signed '84 Topps Ken Oberkfell in my collection that my kid abandoned.

I was hoping to post the picture that we all took with Darryl, but I am not even sure if we even have it anymore. It was on my wife's phone and that thing got wiped clean around that time. She is in bed now, but if she does happen to have it still, I will post in on here soon.

You can see my first three cards of Darryl here, here, and here.

The Super Regionals are set and there were a decent amount of upsets. No one has a chance of locking up all eight spots, but every one has a chance for points. Here are the teams that every one has a chance of getting in. They are all one seeds unless otherwise noted.

John- 2.Auburn, Stetson, Minnesota
Greg- Florida, Texas, 3.Cal St Fullerton, 2.Vanderbilt, UNC
Rod- 2.Tennessee Tech, Stetson, Oregon St
The Lost Collector- 2.South Carolina, Texas, 3.Cal St Fullerton, UNC
Kin- Florida, Texas Tech, Texas, UNC, Oregon St
Joey- Florida, UNC, Oregon St
Jeff- Florida, Texas Tech, 2.South Carolina, Oregon St
Wilson- Florida, Arkansas, UNC, Oregon St

Monday, June 4, 2018

1999 Fleer Sports Illustrated, Bob Feller

NN Bob Feller

Here is a card of Bob Feller that I won in a contest three years ago. Brian, from Play at the Plate, picked up some cards and happened to get a couple of autographed cards from Hall of Famers. All you had to do to win one of them was guess who he got. I threw Bob Feller out there and came home a winner.

I have actually posted an autograph from Bob Feller on here before. In 2009, I stopped at Van Meter, Iowa to visit the Bob Feller Museum. Back then, I had a lot more time on my hands and I actually did a write-up on the visit and my trip to the Metrodome. You can read about it and see the signed card of Bob that I bought there here.

I thought I had heard rumblings about the museum closing after Bob passed away in 2010. But, it looks like it is still up and running.

Bob pitched for the Indians for eighteen seasons. During that time, he went 266-162 with 21 saves. He was a 20 game winner six times and had a career high of 27 in 1940. In 1946, he struck out 346 batters and was the first pitcher to hit the 300 strikeout mark in over thirty years. He finished his career with 2581 Ks and was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1962.

Monday, May 28, 2018

2018 College World Series Contest

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

Today, the NCAA announced the 64 teams that will be competing for the 2018 College World Series championship. To commemorate it, I am holding the ninth 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. Florida
1. NC State
2. Jacksonville
2. Auburn
3. Florida Atlantic
3. Northeastern
4. Columbia
4. Army

Slot Two

1. Texas Tech
1. Georgia
2. Louisville
2. Duke
3. Kent State
3. Troy
4. New Mexico St
4. Campbell

Slot Three
1. Arkansas
1. East Carolina
2. Southern Miss
2. South Carolina
3. Dallas Baptist
3. Ohio St
4. Oral Roberts

Slot Four
1. Texas
1. Ole Miss
2. Indiana
2. Tennessee Tech
3. Texas A&M
3. Missouri St
4. Texas Southern
4. St. Louis

Slot Five
1. Stanford
1. Coastal Carolina
2. Baylor
2. UConn
3. Cal St Fullerton
3. Washington
4. Wright St
4. LIU Brooklyn

Slot Six
1. Clemson
1. Florida St
2. Vanderbilt
2. Mississippi St
3. St. Johns
3. Oklahoma
4. Morehead St
4. Samford

Slot Seven
1. North Carolina
1. Stetson
2. Purdue
2. South Florida
3. Houston
3. Oklahoma St
4. NC A&T
4. Hartford

Slot Eight
1. Minnesota
1. Oregon St
2. LSU
3. Gonzaga
3. San Diego St
4. Canisius
4. Northwestern St

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 this 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.

Slot 1: Army
Slot 2: Duke
Slot 3: ECU
Slot 4: Indiana
Slot 5: Baylor
Slot 6: Clemson
Slot 7: Stetson
Slot 8: LSU
Link to your blog (which can be left on a separate comment, but must be submitted by Thursday 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 prize of this contest, I will be giving out a blaster of 2018 Topps Series 2. I used to give out signed photos that I got at the CWS, but they have quit bringing guys in to sign. But, at least you know what the prize is up front instead of waiting to see what I come home with.

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 (or message me on Twitter). The deadline to enter the first phase of this contest is 11:00 AM (central) Friday and the retweet and link must be posted by midnight Thursday. Good luck and thanks for playing.

Thursday, May 24, 2018

1998 Topps, Pete Rose, Jr.

#240 Pete Rose, Jr.

Here is the third and final card that I got Pete Junior to sign for me at a Wingnuts game in 2016. Pete was the manager of the Wingnuts at the time and he signed all three cards for me before an early season game. You can see the first card he signed for me here and the second one here.

After spending nearly a decade playing in the minor leagues, Pete Junior got a cup of coffee with the Reds in 1997. He was a September call-up and he made his first start on September 1st against the Royals. He batted seventh and played third base. He finished the day 1-3 with a single and two strikeouts. He got one more hit two games later and was 2-5. He then went hitless the rest of the season and finished 2-14 with two runs and two walks. That was the only time he would play in the Majors.

Pete managed the Wingnuts for two seasons and he lead the team to two division championships and a 122-77 record. But, for whatever reason, the Nuts wanted to go a different direction this year and Pete's contract was not renewed.

While there are a lot of cards of Pete Junior, this is the only one from his time in the Majors.

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

1998 Pacific Online, Rex Hudler

#562 Rex Hudler

I believe that this is tenth card of Rex Hudler that I have posted on here. Rex took over the Royals color commentator role in 2012 and I seem to get him to sign at least once a year. But, I am slowing running out of cards of him. And, at this point, he is not a priority anymore. I got the cards signed by him that I wanted signed. But, I still take cards of him to games just in case he might be the only autograph I get.

This card was first Phillies card that I got signed by Rex. I got it signed at a Royals game two years ago. I thought it would be the only Phils card of him that I would own, but I picked one up from a former co-worker last year and got that one signed at Spring Training this year. I posted that card last month and it can be seen here.

Rex spent his last two seasons in the Majors with the Phillies. He saw limited playing time and had less than spectacular results. He got 175 at-bats with the Phils and he hit .196 with 5 home runs and 12 RBI.

On the Royals broadcast last night, Rex was telling a story about how he once ate a June Bug at a game on a dare. Plus, he made $800 by doing so. It tasted like bacon he said.

Monday, May 21, 2018

1998 Multi Ad Sports, Wichita Wranglers

#1 Jamie Bluma
#24 Dan Reichert

A few years back, I came across this Wranglers team set at the oldest card shop in Kansas, Rock's Dugout. It was only a dollar, so I could not pass it up. There are no big names in it, but I am always needing cards of Jamie Bluma.

I got Bluma to sign his card at Royals Fanfest in 2016. Even though Jamie only pitched 20 innings with the Royals, he is always at Fanfest and showing up for alumni events. That is why I am always on the lookout for cards of him.

I got Dan to sign this card at a Lincoln Saltdogs game last summer. We stayed in Lincon when we went to the College World Series last year and decided to take in a Saltdog game the night before the Series started. We only stayed three or four innings before a massive storm rolled in, but I was able to get this card signed before the game started.

I finally attended my first Major League game of the year this weekend. I went and saw the Yankees whoop up on the Royals. I took cards to get signed, but came home empty-handed. It has been a while since that has happened. Turns out the Yankees aren't great signers. Who would have thought? Aaron Judge signed for a bit, but he was on the opposite side of the dugout that I was on. Clint Frazier signed for some people that had on-field passes. And Neil Walker signed two autographs for some kids in the $500 seats. That was the only signing I saw. I even called for Reggie Willits and Marcus Thames to come and sign. Reggie just waved at me and Marcus told me he had to get to a meeting. Oh well, it was worth a shot.

Sunday, May 6, 2018

1998 Mother's Cookies, Donne Wall

#27 Donne Wall

Here is the second card from the 1998 Mother's Cookies Padres set that I referred to in the last post. For me, Donne Wall is not nearly as big a name as the guy in the last post, Greg Vaughn. But, it is a signed Mother's Cookies card, so it is cool regardless.

Donne pitched in the Majors for eight seasons with the Astros, Padres, Mets, and Angels. After beginning his career as a starter for the 'Stros, he pitched out of the bullpen for the last five years of his career. Over that time, he racked up a 31-28 record with 2 saves and a 4.20 ERA.

Donne's best season was probably during the Padres pennant winning 1998 campaign. That year, he was 5-4 with a save in 46 outings and had a career-best 2.43 ERA. He pitched in all three of the Padres postseason series that fall and he was 0-1 with a save and a 5.40 ERA in 6.2 innings of work. That was Donne's only postseason action during his Major League career.

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

1998 Mother's Cookies, Greg Vaughn

#7 Greg Vaughn

Here is a cool card that was given to me by Rod, from Padrographs, when we met up at a Hillsboro Hops game in 2015. You never know what you are going to get when Rod gives you a care package. You know there are going to be signed Padre cards, but who or what kind are always a mystery. It is mostly standard issue stuff, but every once on a while you get a gem like this.

This is a Mother's Cookie card that was a Stadium Giveaway in 1998. From what I can tell, Mother's Cookie made at least five teams sets in 1998. All of the sets were for California based teams except for one, the Astros. Naturally, I did not go to any Padres games in '98, so it is really cool to get a signed one to add to my collection. Rod actually gave me two signed cards from this set, but this is my favorite of the two.

Greg was a monster hitter that played for 15 years with the Brewers, Padres, Reds, Devil Rays, and Rockies. Over that time, he hit .242 while mashing 355 homers and driving in 1072 RBI. He made two All Star teams, going 2-2 with a run and 2 RBI in his Mid-Summer Classic appearances. He played in the postseason twice, both with the Padres, and helped the team to the 1998 National League pennant.

His best season was with the Pads in 1998. That year, he hit .272 and had career highs with 50 home runs and 119 RBI.

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

1998 Donruss, Miguel Cairo

#320 Miguel Cairo

This is the first Devil Rays card I have posted on here in over two years and is only the third Devil Ray on here to feature the team's inaugural uniforms. Needless to say, but I bet there are not too many Rays fans that check out this blog.

I got this card, and two others, signed by Miguel last year at Spring Training. At the time, he held a front office title and I was able to find him in the back fields helping out the minor league players.

Miguel was an original D-Ray and he spent three years with the club after being taken from the Cubs in the expansion draft. Despite being a utility player for most of his career, he was the Rays everyday second baseman while he was there and he never played any other defensive position. Over those three years, Miguel would hit .275 with 9 home runs, 116 RBI, and 69 stolen bases. His 48 RBI for the inaugural Rays were a single season high for him.

Friday, April 27, 2018

1997 Ultra, Darryl Strawberry

#103 Darryl Strawberry

Here is the Yankees card that I picked out to get signed by Darryl two years ago when he came to Wichita to preach at a local church. I already posted a card of him with the Mets and Dodgers and I did not have a Giants card of him to get signed.

Darryl spent his last five seasons wearing Yankee pinstripes. Those five years were riddled with injuries and his treatment for colon cancer, but the Yankees kept bringing him back every year. The reason for that was because, unlike his Dodger days, he did real well.

Darryl played in 231 regular season games with the Yankees and he hit .255 with 41 home runs and 114 RBI. That is a 162 game average of 29 homers and 80 RBI. Who wouldn't want that in their lineup? That is even more impressive considering that Darryl played for the Yanks in his age 33-37 seasons.

Though past his prime during his second go-around in New York, Darryl still accomplished some feats. He had a three home run game in 1996, which was only the second of his career. He hit 24 homers in '98, he next to last season. He got to play in the postseason three more times and came home with a ring each time. Though his postseason numbers with the Yankees were not that great, he was red hot during the 1996 ALCS. In the four games he played against the Orioles, Darryl was 5-12 with 3 home runs and 5 RBI.

Thursday, April 26, 2018

1997 Pinnacle, Craig Paquette

#58 Craig Paquette

Here is another former Royal player that I was able to get through the mail earlier this year. I sent this card to Craig in January and I had it back eight days after I sent it.

Craig played in the Majors for eleven seasons with the A's, Royals, Mets, Cardinals, and Tigers. He could play just about anywhere, but spent most of his time at a corner infield or outfield spot. For his career, he was a .239 hitter with 99 home runs and 377 RBI. He got to play in three playoff series with the Cardinals in 2000 and 2001.

Craig spent just two seasons in Kansas City. He had a career year there in his first season, 1996. That year, he mainly played third and left and he hit .259 with a career high of 22 home runs and 67 RBI. His production fell off the following year and the Royals let him walk after the 1997 season.

I did not buy very many cards in 1997. I am not even sure if I bought any from this set or not. I never noticed all the words in the gold foil on this card until I was getting ready to send it out. All of the words on the card are specific to Kansas City or the Royals. Some of the things on there are- George Brett, fountains, Ewing Kauffman, and Negro League Hall of Fame. That is kind of cool. I am have tempted to see if I have any other cards from that set just to see what it says for other teams.

Monday, April 23, 2018

1997 Fleer, Glendon Rusch

#567 Glendon Rusch

Here is another new addition to the collection. This signature was obtained through the mail two months ago. It took exactly one month to make it back home.

Glendon pitched in the Majors for twelve seasons with the Royals, Mets, Brewers, Cubs, Padres, and Rockies. Over that time, he amassed a 67-99 record with 4 saves and a 5.04 ERA. His best season was with the Mets in 2000. That year, he was 11-11 and those 11 wins were a career high. He also had career bests in strikeouts (157) and ERA (4.01). He even got to pitch in three games of the World Series that season and he allowed one run in four innings of work.

But, the only reason that I wrote to Glendon was because he was once a Royal. That only lasted for about two and a half seasons. In that time, he was 12-25 with a save and 5.80 ERA.

Even though Glendon was only a .151 hitter for his career, he did manage to smack three home runs. Two of those came in the same season while with the Cubs in 2004.

While I am not one to complain about a free autograph, especially when someone takes the time to respond to my request from the comfort of their own home, I must say that Glendon's signature is really lacking. I am not sure if this is typical of him, but clearly all I got from him were his initials.

Sunday, April 22, 2018

1997 Donruss, Marcus Jensen

#238 Marcus Jensen

Here is one of my most recent autographs. Marcus is the bullpen coach for the A's and I was able to get him to sign at Spring Training this year. I had planned on 'graphing the Angels that day at their home spring ballpark. But, by the time we got into the park, the Angels side was completely full. I looked over at the visiting A's side and there was not a soul to be seen. So, I went with the A's instead and it was a wise choice. I got about twenty cards signed over there and even came home with a Marcus Semien signed batting glove.

Marcus played in the Majors for parts of seven seasons. Over that time, he played in 145 games with the Giants, Tigers, Brewers, Cardinals, Twins, Red Sox, and Rangers. The most games he ever played in a single season was 52 with the Twins in 2000. That year, he hit .209 with 3 home runs and 14 RBI.

Marcus finished his career a .184 hitter with 6 home runs and 29 RBI.

In 2000, Marcus had the pleasure to represent the USA at the Olympics in Australia. He came home with the gold.

Saturday, April 21, 2018

1997 Collector's Choice, Rex Hudler

#422 Rex Hudler

Here is one of my newest Rex Hudler autographs. My older son got this card signed for me at Spring Training this year. The two of us had the same arrangement as last year where I would give him a dollar for every card that he got signed. Unfortunately, he had a rough time this year and only netted five bucks. Three dollars of it was courtesy of Rex.

A couple of years ago, I found out that a work colleague of mine used to collect cards. We had worked side-by-side daily for a year before she transferred to another store. Somehow, during that whole year, I had no clue that she had ever collected cards. I didn't even realize she knew anything about baseball. The only reason I found out about it was that she gave a few cards for Christmas one year. When she told me that they came from her collection, my mind was blown.

Last year, she dropped off a container of cards that were from 1995-1998 and she told me to take anything I wanted. There were a lot of star cards from the day in the box, but those weren't the ones I was looking for. I was looking for cards that I could get signed. That is where this card came from.

I like the vague position listed on this card- IF/OF. In case you were wondering, The Hud played mostly second base in 1996 and he appeared at that position 53 times. He also played first 7 times, center field 15 times, and left field 8 times. I think that they probably could have just listed him as a second baseman.

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

1996 Upper Deck, Glenn Dishman

#186 Glenn Dishman

Here is a card of Glenn Dishman that was given to me by Rod, from Padrographs, when we met up at a Hillsboro Hops game in 2015.

Glenn pitched in the Majors for three seasons with the Padres, Phillies, and Tigers. He made his Major League debut with the Padres in 1995 and saw the majority of his big league action that season. He appeared in 19 games, starting 16, and pitched 97 innings with a 4-8 record and 5.01 ERA.

He would go on to only throw 38 more innings at that level over two more seasons. Glenn finished his career with a record of 5-10 and a 5.25 ERA.

Glenn is now into coaching and is currently working as the pitching coach for the Giants AA team in Richmond.

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

1996 Pinnacle, Troy Percival

#296 Troy Percival

Here is a card of Troy Percival that I got signed at a Kansas State game last year. Troy is the head coach for his alma mater, UC Riverside, and they had the misfortune of playing baseball in Kansas in March.

I had planned on going to the game as soon as the schedule was released and I saw Troy was coaching. But, come game day, it was freezing out. I do not remember the exact temperature, but it had to have been between 30-35 degrees with a strong wind. I did not want to go to a game in those conditions and I certainly wasn't taking my one year-old out in that. So, I did the next best thing. We all drove to the park. The family stayed in the car and I went and bought one general admission ticket. I went in, got Troy's autograph, used the restroom, and then left. I was in and out in five minutes. We then left and enjoyed the day in lovely Manhattan, Kansas.

As for Troy, he was real easy to talk to as I asked him about coaching and the weather. He was clearly disappointed that they were not playing in California where it was 80 degrees at the time. I can't say that I blame him.

I got three cards signed by Troy, but this was the only Angel card. This card kind of reminds of some current Donruss cards, with the exception of some barely visible logos.

Troy is the Angels all-time save leader with 316 of them. He has 108 more saves than the second place closer and no current Angel is even in the top ten. I am sure his team record will be intact for some time.

Thursday, April 12, 2018

1996 Leaf Signature Series Extended, Carlos Hernandez

#77 Carlos Hernandez

Here is another card I got from Night Owl a while back in exchange for a Jackie Robinson manu-bat knob. Other autos he gave me were of Rick Dempsey, Billy Ashley, and Todd Hollandsworth. The other three cards were all base cards that had been signed at some point. This, an autographed insert, is more of what I expected to get in the trade since Greg isn't an autograph collector.

Carlos played in the Majors for parts of ten seasons with the Dodgers, Padres, and Cardinals. He spent the better part of his career in Los Angeles in the back-up catcher role. But, in 1998 with Padres, he was the team's primary catcher and he had a good season. He ended up playing in 129 games while starting 102 of those. For the year, he hit .262 with 15 doubles, 9 home runs, and 52 runs driven in.

For his career, Carlos was a .253 hitter with 24 homers and 141 RBI. He got to play in all four of the Padres 1998 World Series games and was 2-10.

Monday, April 9, 2018

1996 Donruss, Keith Lockhart

#386 Keith Lockhart

Here is a card that I got signed through the mail earlier this year. For whatever reason, I have hit the TTM front hard since last season ended. My three main focuses have been the '81 Donruss set, the Pacific Senior League set, and former Royals. Guess which category this one falls into.

After making his Major League debut with the Padres at the age of 30 in 1994, Keith ended up in Kansas City the following year. His tenure there would only last two seasons, but they were two fairly productive seasons. In '95, though he played in just 94 games, Keith hit a career-best .321. That was the only time he would ever hit over .300 in a season. Then, in '96, Keith played a career-high 138 games. Because of that, he set a few single season bests like doubles (33) and RBI (55). Then, right before the '97 season began, he was shipped to Atlanta with Michael Tucker for Jaime Walker and Jermaine Dye.

Keith played with the Braves for six seasons. While he was never an everyday player in Atlanta, he was a key contributor that helped the Braves make the playoffs every season he was there. With the Braves, Keith hit .248 with 26 home runs and 166 RBI. In the postseason, he played in 37 games and hit .287 with one dinger and 8 RBI.

I never bought a single pack of Donruss in 1996. I am pretty sure that the only Donruss cards I have from that season were Royals that were sent to me by other bloggers. I have one other card signed from that set and it is a Jeff Montgomery card that I got signed at Fanfest in 2009.

Friday, April 6, 2018

1996 Collector's Choice, Steve Scarsone

#718 Steve Scarsone

Here is the second of two cards that I got signed by Steve Scarsone in 2015. Steve was the skipper of the Nashville Sounds at the time and he signed for me at an Omaha Storm Chasers game. I posted the first card last month and it can be seen here.

Steve played in the Majors for parts of seven seasons with five different clubs- the Orioles, Phillies, Giants, Cardinals, and Royals. Over that time, he was a .239 hitter with 20 home runs and 86 RBI.

The Giants were the only team that Steve saw any significant time with. He played with them for four seasons. He never played in more than fifty games with any other club and played in less than a dozen games with three clubs. With San Francisco, Steve played in 281 games and hit .247 with all 20 of his home runs and 80 of his RBI. Even though he got into 103 games with the 1996 squad, 1995 was his best season. That year, he hit .266 with 11 home runs and 29 RBI.

From what I can tell, all of Steve's Major League cards are of him as a Giant, except for two. There is one of him as a Phillie and one as an Oriole.

The signature on this card came out looking much better than I ever would have expected. The black warm-up jersey and shadowy backdrop are usually not a good combo, but I guess I got lucky on this one.

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

1995 Topps, Phil Clark

#298 Phil Clark

Here is another Padrograph that was given to me by Rod when we met up at a Hillsboro Hops game in 2015. Rod has always sent me goodies in the mail and that hospitality was carried over when we finally met.

Phil played in the Majors for parts of five seasons with the Tigers, Padres, and Red Sox. The former first round pick made his big league debut with the Tigers in 1992 and did very well in limited action. He would get 54 at-bats and hit a robust .407 with a home run and 5 driven in. That home run came in his first start and just his second Major League game.

Phil wound up in San Diego in 1993 and he had his best season in the Majors. He got into a career high 102 games and he hit .313 in 240 at-bats with 9 dingers and 33 RBI. He would play two more seasons with the Padres after that, but his at-bats dwindled each year as he only hit about .215 for those two seasons.

He wound up with the Red Sox organization in 1996 and spent most of the year at AAA. He did get into three games with the Sox and he went 0-3 to end his Major League career. The Sox then sold him to the Kintetsu Buffaloes and he would go on to have three monstrous seasons in Japan. In 1998, Phil hit .320 with 31 home runs and 114 RBI. He also had 48 doubles that season, which was a record that stood for just three seasons.

Phil is currently the assistant hitting coach for the Detroit Tigers.

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

1995 Topps, Doug Henry

#131 Doug Henry

I am pretty sure that this is the last card of Doug Henry as a Brewer that I will ever post on here. While it seems like I have posted about ten of them already, this is only the fourth one. But, I did post cards of him as an Astro and Met. I still have three more cards to post of him, but two of them are newer minor league cards that may never see the light of day on this blog at the rate I am going.

This card was signed by Doug last season in St. Louis when the Royals, whom Doug was the bullpen coach for, made their annual cross state trek to play the hated Cardinals. I got to the ballpark nice and early to try to 'graph the Royals during BP. But, right after the gates opened, the Royals wrapped up BP and left the field. Brandon Moss was the only player that I saw sign and he just signed a few and not for me.

So, I did what I always do when it is a bad day of 'graphing- I went looking for Doug Henry.

Sadly, Doug is no longer the bullpen coach for the Royals. He has been replaced by Vance Wilson and I do not have any cards of Vance that aren't signed already.

I never noticed this until just now, but this set is kind of hard to judge how well the cards are centered.

Sunday, April 1, 2018

1995 Score, Mike Aldrete

Here is the second card that Mike Aldrete signed for me at Spring Training last year. I posted the first back in July and that one can be seen here. It is pretty sad that I have only made it to my 1995 cards since July. I need to find time to post more.

When I got this card signed, Mike was the A's hitting coach. He has since been demoted to the team's assistant hitting coach. I saw him again this spring and he signed three more cards for me. One of those will be showing up here in the coming months. The other two are older, so it will be years before they make an appearance on here.

Mike played for the A's for two and a half seasons. During his time in Oakland, he played in 231 games and he hit .260 with 18 home runs and 72 RBI. During the 1993 season, Mike clubbed a career high 10 home runs while with the A's.

This is the only card from this set that I have signed and it seems perfect that it is of an Athletic. This set seems like it was meant for that club.

Saturday, March 31, 2018

1995 Bowman, Jaime Bluma

#239 Jaime Bluma

Here is a super foily card of Jamie Bluma that I got signed at a Royals game last year. It was a Sunday game, so I was able to hit up the alumni signing at the Royals Hall of Fame. This card is foiled out to the max and I wasn't too sure how good it would come out. But, it turned out much better than I anticipated. Nonetheless, I am glad that they don't make cards like this anymore.

Jaime was once a highly touted Royals prospect. As a result, he got a few cards made of him before he ever appeared in the Major Leagues. Unfortunately, he only appeared in 17 games at that level, but he did do a respectable job. He came out of the bullpen in all 17 contests and was 0-0 with 5 saves and a 3.60 ERA in 20 innings of work. He ended up missing all of the following season due to injury and pitched three more seasons in the minors before calling it a career.

Even though Jaime only threw 20 Major League innings, it is still cool that he attends a bunch of Royals alumni events. Now I just need to find some more cards of him. All five that I had have been signed.

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

1994 Upper Deck, Jason Bere

#146 Jason Bere

Here is the third and final card that Jason Bere signed for me at Kauffman Stadium in 2016. Jason was the bullpen coach for the Indians at the time. You can see the first card I posted of him here and the second one here. Out of the three, this one is my favorite because Jason isn't wearing a black jersey in the photo and the signature is more visible because of that.

Even though Jason got released by the White Sox midway through the 1998 season, he would still go on to pitch for another six seasons. He bounced around a bit, seeing time with the Reds, Indians, Brewers, and Cubs. He never was able to regain the magic he had with the Sox during his first two seasons in the Majors, but he did have one more good season.

That was with the Cubs in 2001. His arm must have been feeling good that season as he started more games and threw more innings than any other season he ever pitched. He posted an 11-11 record to tally his third double-digit win season and his 4.31 ERA was the lowest he had had since his second season in the Majors. On top of that, he struck out a career-high 175 batters.

Jason finished his career with a 71-65 record with a 5.14 ERA. He pitched in one playoff game and one All Star Game.

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

1994 Stadium Club, Jason Bere

#212 Jason Bere

Here is the second card that Jason Bere signed for me at a Royals game in 2016. Jason was the Indians bullpen coach at the time and he signed for me from the visiting team's bullpen.

Jason pitched with the White Sox for the first five and a half seasons of his career. Over that time, he was 39-32 with a 5.21 ERA. His career got off to a great start with Chicago. In his rookie season, Jason went 12-5 with a 3.47 ERA. He followed that season up with a 12-2 mark and a 3.81 ERA the next year and earned himself his lone All Star Game invite. But, the wheels fell off the next season and Jason went 8-15 with a 7.19 ERA. He started having arm problems after that and would make only eleven appearances over the next two seasons. He was back for the 1998 season and had a 3-7 record and a 6.45 ERA when the Sox released him mid-season.

Jason got to pitch in the All Star game that he made in 1994 and it did not go too well for him. Jason got the nod in the tenth inning of a 7-7 game. He gave up a lead-off single to Tony Gwynn (who started the game) and followed that up with a double to Moises Alou that scored Gwynn. Game over.

Monday, March 26, 2018

1994 Score, Chip Hale

#609 Chip Hale

If you have been wondering where I have been the last couple of weeks, I was prepping for my Spring Training trip last week. We left for Arizona last Monday and got back Saturday morning. We ended up going to three Spring Training games, two minor league camps, and one college game. I did okay on the 'graphing front, bringing home seventy-five signed cards and a signed batting glove. My goal was 100 cards, so I came up a bit short. I had planned on hitting the White Sox minor league camp hard, but it wasn't open the day we where there. So, we ended up in Maryvale for the Brewers and I was not as prepared for them as I was for the Sox. But, overall, it was a good trip.

Speaking of Spring Training, here is a card that I got signed at Spring Training last year. Chip was the third base coach for the A's at the time and he signed three cards for me before a game. I posted the first one three months ago and it can be seen here.

As for the A's, I really like 'graphing that club at Spring Training. I have hit them up three times over the years and I always do really well, especially with the coaches. It was the same this year as I got twenty-one cards signed by them at the Angels game I attended. On top of that, I got one of Marcus Semien's batting gloves and he signed that for me as well.

As for Chip, he is no longer with the A's. He is now the bench coach for the Nationals.

Sunday, March 11, 2018

1994 Pinnacle, Greg Gagne

#354 Greg Gagne

Here is a card that I got signed through the mail this past November. Greg seemed like a good TTM signer, so I sent this card to him just to have an autograph from him on a Royals card. It took him just eight days to get this one back to me.

Even though Greg spent three seasons in Kansas City, I still always think of him as a Twin. I guess that is because he spent his first ten seasons as a big leaguer in Minnesota. Over that time, he helped the club to two World Series titles as the starting shortstop in all fourteen Fall Classic games.

Even though Greg built his reputation with the Twins, he was a very solid player when he came to Kansas City in 1993. In fact, he probably had his best season ever that summer. He set career-highs in average (.280), doubles (32), and RBI (57) en route to being named the Royals Player of the Year.

Greg finished his career with a .254 average with 111 home runs and 604 RBI. In 2009, he was named to the All-Metrodome team.

Friday, March 9, 2018

1994 Leaf, Jason Bere

#241 Jason Bere

Here is the first of three cards that I got signed by Jason Bere at a Royals game in 2016. Jason was the Indians bullpen coach at the time and he was the lone signer for me on a warm July afternoon.

Even though Jason pitched in the Majors for eleven seasons with five different clubs, I could only find White Sox cards of him to get signed. Plus, all three cards were from 1994 sets. So, there will be a nice little dose of Jason on here over the next four posts.

After three seasons as the Tribe's bullpen coach, Jason has moved on to other things this year. What those other things are, I do not know. But, I do know that the new bullpen coach in Cleveland is Scott Atchison. It looks like Scott only has two cards and I do not have either one.

To my surprise, this is the only card from the '94 Leaf set that I have signed.

Monday, March 5, 2018

1994 Fleer, Steve Scarsone

#701 Steve Scarsone

Here is the first of two cards that I got signed by Steve Scarsone when I was in Omaha in 2015. Steve was the manager for the visiting Nashville Sounds and he stopped to sign for me on the way out to the field.

Omaha's Werner Park has a cool set-up where both the home and visiting clubhouses are in left field. To get to the field, both teams use a ramp that leads down under the concourse to the field. Because of that, it is one of the best spots in baseball to do some 'graphing because you can get players from both teams in one area. It can get a little hectic, though, when there are a bunch of guys heading to the field at once, so you have got to be real organized there. But, other than that, it is a great set-up that is rivaled only by the Round Rock Express, who have a similar set-up.

As for Steve, he is no longer with the Sounds. But, he is still in the A's organization. He is currently listed as their coordinator of baserunning/defense.

Saturday, March 3, 2018

1994 Fleer, Darnell Coles

#328 Darnell Coles

Here is the third and final card that Darnell Coles signed for my oldest boy at Spring Training last year. Darnell is the batting coach for the Brewers and he signed at Goodyear Ballpark at a game against the Reds. We saw the Brewers twice last spring and I tasked my son with 'graphing them for me. He didn't do great, but I have definitely had far worse days than he had.

We are going to see the Brewers play again this spring. Only this time, I will be 'graphing the club. Darnell is not a high priority this year, but I have pulled a Pirates card of him if he happens to sign. He already signed a Tiger and Mariner card for me. I will only need a Reds card signed by him if I get the Pirates one done.

Darnell played for the Blue Jays for two seasons. Over that time, he hit .234 with 8 home runs and 41 RBI. Despite playing for the World Champion Blue Jays in 1993, Darnell was not on any of their playoff rosters.

Friday, March 2, 2018

1994 Bowman, Todd Hollandsworth

#359 Todd Hollandsworth

This is the second time that I posted a card of Todd Hollandsworth on here. I picked up a signed Signature Rookies card of him for sixty cents once and I posted that card almost four years ago. This one, on the other hand, was picked up in a trade with Night Owl a couple years back. I pulled a Jackie Robinson manu-bat knob out of a pack of Topps and I offered it up to him. In return, he sent me a small handful of signed Dodger cards. It was win-win for everybody.

If you compare this card to the Rick Forney card I posted yesterday, you will notice that this card is a bit different than Forney's '94 Bowman. This one is almost metallic with the Dodger logo etched into the backdrop. I looked up to see that this parallel was called and it turns out that it is not a parallel. It is just a cool looking base card.

Todd actually had two base cards in this set. The other one was just a normal card, though. It looks like both cards used the same photo, but this one is cropped a little tighter.

Thursday, March 1, 2018

1993 Bowman, Rick Forney

#327 Rick Forney

Here is a card that I got signed at a Wichita Wingnuts game in 2015. Rick is the manager of the Winnipeg Goldeyes and I was able to get him to sign this lone card prior to the game.

Rick never reached the Major Leagues, but he did pitch in the Baltimore organization for six seasons. Over that time, he amassed a 47-32 record and a 3.54 ERA. He reached as high as AAA, getting three starts with the Rochester Red Wings in 1995. He was released after that season and spent five more seasons pitching in independent leagues, with a brief stop in the Southern League with the Braves affiliate.

Rick has been the manager of the Goldeyes since the 2005 season. Under his helm, the team has made the playoffs nine times and have won three championships, including back-to-back wins the last two seasons. His clubs have had a losing record only twice since he took over.

I barely have any 1994 Bowman in my collection, so I had to venture over to COMC to pick this one up.