Saturday, April 18, 2020

2009 Upper Deck, Royals Team Leaders

#459 Zack Greinke/Gil Meche/David DeJesus

Anytime you can get a card signed by two players, it feels like an accomplishment. But completing a card with more than two players is almost indescribable. Sometimes, the stars have to align just right and they all came together to get this card done.

Gil was the first player to sign this card for me. The card came out in 2009 and, to be honest, I thought that I would get all three guys that year. That year, the Royals parking lot was a great place to get sigs as the players arrived to the park. That was how I got Gil and how I thought I would get the other two. But, for whatever reasons, Zack and David eluded me the rest of the season.

Fast forward to the following year. That is when I got Greinke on this card and I got him early- at Royals Fanfest. Oddly, the only sig on the card in blue is from a signing and the two black ones are provided by me. Oh, the good old days. It looks like Greinke's sig missed a beat after hitting that foil Royals logo, but it still came out OK. At least it is in blue. I just wish he signed on his photo and not over that big blue border.

It wouldn't be until 2013 that I could finish off this card with DeJesus. By that time, David was with the Cubs and the family made our maiden voyage to Arizona for Spring Training. We took in a Mariners night game there where they hosted the Cubbies. David, like usual, was real cool and signed for everyone when he came out of the game and passed through "Autograph Alley". When I handed him this card, he looked at it and actually said "ahh, cute". It is still the only interaction I have ever had with a player where cute came out of their mouth.

While getting this card done was somewhat of a milestone that night, the highlight of the evening came before the game. David passed through Autograph Alley, where I had set up with the fam. I made sure my kid, who was seven at the time, had a card of David to try to get signed. David passed through on the way to the field and stopped to sign a few autographs. He only signed a couple and then announced that he would get everyone after the game. My boy was right by him and seemed devastated that he wasn't going to get his card signed and cried out "can I PLEASE have your autograph?" in the most desperate voice I have ever heard from him in his life, before or since. David just chuckled and told him he would get him after the game, which he did. Seven years later, my wife and I still joke about that desperate plea from our son.

Monday, April 13, 2020

2010 Bowman Platinum, Mike Trout

#BPA-MT Mike Trout

Here is the best pull of my life! I had the pleasure of pulling this out of a pack in 2010 that I purchased at Target. At the time, Mike was the top rated prospect in baseball, so I was pretty happy to get this card. Ten years, eight All Star teams, and three MVPs has really amped up my appreciation for this card and I doubt that I will ever pull another autograph of a generational player again.

Mike's signature looks a lot different now than it did when he signed this card. He now has more loops and he doesn't lift his pen between his first and last name. He added his number to his signature for a bit, but that has been dropped off. Yesterday, I stumbled upon a Twitter post that chronicles the evolution of Mike's signature.

I have had the pleasure to see Mike play seven times. One of those was a Spring Training game in Tempe and one was at Safeco Field. The rest all occurred at Kauffman Stadium. Of the five games at The K, three were regular season games, one was the 2012 All Star Game, and one was the last postseason game that Mike appeared in. In case you aren't sure, that playoff game was back in 2014.

Thursday, April 2, 2020

2009 Tristar Projections, Daniel Hudson

#123 Daniel Hudson

Here is a card that I got signed at a Spring Training game in 2014. Daniel was with the Diamondbacks at the time and he stopped along the third base line to sign some 'graphs before getting to the dugout. He signed two out of three for me that day, including his 2012 Topps Heritage card.

Out of all the cards that I could have picked to blog about today, I picked this one for two reasons. The first is that it was in the album that I happened to grab to look for cards to scan. Once a came across this card, I knew I had to pick it because this is the lowest numbered card that I have got signed.

If you are unfamiliar with this 2009 Tristar product, this particular card happens to be a gold parallel. The difference is pretty subtle with just the two slivers of gold foil in the border. These parallels are numbered out of 25. To date, I have yet to get a lower numbered card signed. I have a Mike Moustakas card numbered to 10 and a Josh Hamilton printing plate that I thought I had decent chances of getting signed, but I was never able to get them done.

Josh finished out last season strong. After getting picked up by the Nationals in a deadline trade from the Blue Jays, he would go 3-0 with 6 saves and a 1.44 ERA to finish off the regular season. He then threw 9.2 innings of relief in the postseason, going 1-0 with 4 saves and 3.91 ERA en route to a World Series Championship.

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

1981 Donruss, Reggie Jackson

#228, 348, and 468 Reggie Jackson

I'm still alive and kicking! For whatever reason, I gave up on this blog. I guess a dozen years of blogging can do that to a person. But now, there really isn't a whole lot going one and I am stuck at home more than I would like. So, I figured I would dust this page off and randomly post some cards.

Here are my three most recent additions. With my Spring Training trip getting canceled and no sign of the season starting, I have had a hard time getting cards signed. Relief came on Monday when these three cards and Dave Winfield's 81D made it back from a private signing. The Jacksons were signed on the 3rd and I was starting to get a little worried about them. But they finally made it home and I could not be more happy with the results.

I have been officially working on this set for five or six years now and these new additions get me to 433 signed cards. Only 167 more to go! Reggie was one of the few guys in it with three cards and I am glad that I don't have to worry about him anymore.

Sorry about the crappy image. I normally scan my cards. But, I just posted these on Twitter the other day and figured I would save some time and work off of that photo.

Tuesday, December 17, 2019

1952 Topps, Carl Erskine

#250 Carl Erskine

For no apparent reason, I haven't posted a card on here for two weeks. It is Christmas time and my weekends off have been dealing with shopping and whatnot. Plus, we finally got our house a puppy last week. But, for whatever reason, I haven't felt like posting much lately, which is a shame because I have got a few '50s cards to show off and those are really hard to beat. So, I made time tonight to feature one last 1952 Topps card. This is now the sixth '52 that I have got signed and I got it through the mail two months ago. It took me a whole nine days to get back. If I am going to make it to nine signed cards from this set, I am going to have to purchase the remaining three signed cards.

This is only the second card of Carl that I have posted on here and it has been nearly eleven and a half years since I posted the first one. I originally posted a '55 Bowman of Carl way back in the first month of this blog. I got that card signed at a Brooklyn Cyclones game and it was a blast getting (at that point) my oldest signed card autographed in-person. Since then, I have added three more signed cards of him to my collection and even one to my son's, all through the mail. In fact, the next card that I have to post on here is one of Oisk.

In that first post many moons ago, I mentioned nothing of Carl's playing career. Back then, it was all about how I got the card signed. But, Oisk had great career, all spent with the Dodgers. He suited up for them for twelve seasons and got to call Brooklyn and Los Angeles home. He finished his career with a 122-78 record with 13 saves and a 4.00 ERA. He made one All Star team and pitched in five World Series, winning it all in 1955.

Wednesday, December 4, 2019

1952 Topps, Howie Judson

#169 Howie Judson

Here is another recent through the mail success of mine. I sent this card to Howie in September and I had it back two weeks later.

Howie pitched in the Majors for seven seasons with the White Sox and Redlegs. He both started and relieved, but spent the majority of his career coming out of the bullpen. Over his career, he went 17-37 with 14 saves and a 4.29 ERA. I didn't even realize they tracked saves in the '40s.

It is so odd to me to see the strikeout and walk numbers from guys that played in Howie's era. Just like Carl Sheib, Howie finished his career with more walks than strikeouts. He walked 319 batters while just striking out 204 over 615 innings of work. That is good for a about three K's per nine innings of work. Nowadays, a pitcher with that kind of K/9 wouldn't even sniff the Majors, especially as a reliever. It is crazy how the game changes.

I noticed that Howie and Eddie Robinson, who are both pictured with the Sox in this set, are rocking two different hats. According to Dressed to the Nines, this hat was last used in 1945. The hat Eddie is wearing was last used in 1950. I wonder how accurate that site is as Howie didn't make it to the Majors until 1948.

Tuesday, December 3, 2019

1952 Topps, Irv Noren

#40 Irv Noren

Next up in the '52 Topps procession is this beautiful looking horizontal card of Irv Noren. I sent this card, along with ten bucks, to Irv in October and I had it back two weeks later. Sadly, Irv passed away three weeks after I got the card back.

Irv played in the Majors for eleven seasons with the Senators, Yankees, A's, Cardinals, Cubs, and Dodgers. Over that time, he was a .275 hitter with 65 home runs and 453 RBI. His best season was probably his rookie campaign in Washington. That year, he hit .295 with career-highs in homers (14) and RBI (98). Despite those impressive numbers, Irv did not receive a single vote for Rookie of the Year. Four years later, with the Yankees, Irv would get his lone All Star team nomination in a season in which he finished with a .319 average, 14 homers, and 66 RBI.

Irv appeared in three World Series as a Yankee, all against the Dodgers. The Yanks triumphed in two of the three and Irv hit .148 in eleven World Series games. He was also a member of the Yankees 1956 championship team, but missed most of the season and the Series to injuries.

Irv played in three NBA games in 1946 with the Chicago American Gears.