Wednesday, January 23, 2019
#BCP170 Frank Herrmann
Here is a card that I got signed at a Royals game in 2010. Frank spent the second half of that season on the Indians roster and I was able to get him to sign the lone card I had of him at a late September game I attended.
Frank spent parts of four seasons in the Majors with the Indians and Phillies. Over that time, he appeared in 109 games and was 5-3 with a save and a 4.72 ERA. The last time he appeared in the Majors was with the Phils in 2016. He had a rough go in the National League, posting an 8.40 ERA in 15 innings of work.
After that season, Frank signed with Japan's Rakuten Golden Eagles and has done well in his two seasons there. This past season, he was 2-3 with 18 saves, a 1.99 ERA, and nearly a strikeout an inning. Those 18 saves lead the team and ranked fifth in the Pacific League.
Tuesday, January 22, 2019
#BCP149 Andrew Romine
In 2011, a work colleague and myself decided to make a mini ballpark roadtrip. That trip consisted of all of two ballparks- Sox Stadium in Amarillo, Texas and Security Service Field in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Neither park was very memorable, but I definitely liked the one in Amarillo better. Even though it was kind of a dump, it looked and felt its age which is exactly why I wanted to go there.
Amarillo was in the American Association at the time, so there wasn't too much 'graphing to be done there. Colorado Springs, on the other hand, was still in the Pacific Coast League, so that was were the action was at on that trip. Since each team came out onto the field by their respective dugouts, you can really only 'graph one side or the other there. So, I hit up the home side and made my buddy work the visitor side for me. The visitors that day happened to be the Salt Lake City Bees and this is one of the cards my friend got signed for me.
Andrew has played in the Majors for parts of nine seasons with the Angels, Tigers, and Mariners. Over that time, he is hitting .235 with 10 home runs and 81 RBI. His best season came with the Tigers in 2017. He hit .233 that year, but had career highs in home runs (4), RBI (25), and doubles (17).
Over the years, Andrew has had the chance (or misfortune) to pitch in seven Major League games. Over those games, he has logged 5.2 innings with a 12.71 ERA, 3 homers, 5 walks, and a strikeout. The unfortunate soul that struck out- Kurt Suzuki.
It appears that Andrew is going to try his luck in the National League this year. He is a non-roster invite of the Phillies.
Here is an updated 2008 Bowman map.
Monday, January 21, 2019
#BCP95 Matthew Buschmann
Here is a card that was given to me from Rod, of Padrographs fame. I am not sure how he has gotten so many of these, but he has given me three signed versions of this card. I have this one chrome card and then two of the non-chrome cards that are signed.
Matt pitched in the Majors for just a cup of coffee. He made it in 2016 with the Diamondbacks and got into three games for 4.1 innings of work. In those three games, he had no record with an ERA of 2.08 and three strikeouts.
Matt pitched a scoreless inning in each of his first two appearances. In his third and final appearance, he entered the game in the second inning after Shelby Miller walked in a run with the bases loaded. Down 2-0 with the bases full, Matt struck out Wil Myers to end the side. He then got his lone plate appearance to lead off the third inning, where he grounded out to short. To open the bottom of the third, he gave up a solo home run to Matt Kemp before getting the next three batters to ground out to third. In the fourth, he got a flyout to center before striking out the next two batters. He was then pinch hit for in the fifth and that was the end of his Major League career.
On paper, it seems like Matt did well in his limited big league action. I assumed these were all September appearances after the rosters opened up, but they were actually April games. More than likely, Arizona added him to the roster as an extra bullpen arm to start the season since there is usually an extra day off during the first week. Once a fifth starter was needed, back to the minors Matt went.
That was Matt's last season playing ball.
Saturday, January 19, 2019
#BCP92 Dan Cortes
Here is a card that I got signed at Royals Fanfest in 2009. If I remember correctly, that was the first year of Fanfest. Back then, they would bring in the minor league award winners to sign and that is how I got this card signed.
2008 was when I got back into collecting autographs and the chrome cards were kind of new to me. I didn't have any experience getting them signed before this card and I had no idea of the concept of prepping cards. So, I took two of these chrome cards with me, the only two cards of Cortes that I had, and got them both signed. This one turned out okay. The other one looks horrible. But, I now know about prepping cards and I do not have an issue with chrome cards anymore. But, if given the choice, I would prefer a non-chrome card.
Dan never made it to the big leagues with the Royals, but he did see a bit of action with the Mariners. He got dealt to them for Yuniesky Betancourt during the 2009 season and made his Major League debut the following year. In his two stints with the Mariners in 2010-11, he pitched in 14 games in relief and was 0-3 with a 5.06 ERA. Sadly, the Royals won that trade.
Dan is no longer playing ball, having thrown his last inning in 2014 in the Atlantic League.
Friday, January 18, 2019
#BCP36 Ryan Khoury
Here is a card that I got signed at a Wichita Wingnuts game in 2012. This is the only mainstream card of Ryan that was made, so I went ahead and got the x-fractor version to get signed. I think I got a regular version of the card signed, too, but that card was given away at some point.
Ryan has a stylish autograph, but this one is lacking a bit. At Lawrence-Dumont Stadium, the clubhouses are in left field. So, whenever players take the field, they usually come out carrying their bat, helmet, and glove. When Ryan signed this card, he was holding all that stuff in one hand while I held my card book for him to sign with his free hand. It still came out looking good, though.
Ryan played in the Red Sox system for six seasons, seeing action in AAA three different times. Over those six years, he was a .246 hitter with 24 home runs. He got released by the Sox during the 2011 season and caught on with a team in the Frontier League to finish the season. He then came to Wichita in 2012 and spent three years on the squad.
Ryan hit about .250 during his first two years in Wichita before breaking out in 2014. He had a career year that season, hitting .315 with 11 homers and 61 RBI en route to Wichita's lone American Association title. Ryan retired after that season.
Thursday, January 17, 2019
#BCP25 Danny Duffy
Here is a card that I got signed at Kauffman Stadium in 2011. Unlike the last card that I posted that I got signed at that park, this one was actually obtained inside of it.
When I had my last job, I usually had to work on Saturday and had Sunday off. So, for about eight years, most of the Royals games I attended were Sunday day games. It was not ideal for me since Sunday batting practice is rare and BP is the best time for 'graphing. But, you could usually count on pitchers hitting the field to get their work in, so I would mostly take cards of pitchers.
On this particular day in 2011, it was overcast with off and on rain. The White Sox were in town and the action on the Sox side of the field was not very good. I ended up on the Royals side and did much better over there. While I only got three Royals to sign for me, it was three times better than I did with the Sox. My dad spotted Danny signing, so I went over there and he signed three for me. I got lucky because it was still misting out and all three sigs came out without any issues.
Danny has been very hit and miss during his tenure with the Royals. The once prospect has dealt with some personal issues and injuries throughout his career. He is supposed to be Kansas City's top starter, but he has yet to log more than 28 starts or 180 innings. He has one double digit win season and that was the year he got demoted to the bullpen and made nearly as many relief outings as starts.
Nonetheless, I like Duffy and keep rooting for him. Every year, I am hoping it is the year that he figures it out and dominates. Hopefully 2019 is that year because the Royals are going to need him.
Wednesday, January 16, 2019
#BCP3 Darren Ford
Two posts ago, I mentioned the ballpark roadtrip that my buddy and I made to the Rickwood Classic in Birmingham, Alabama in 2010. The roadtrip was something we did nearly every year. But, he had a kid shortly after that and our roadtrips came to a stop. We managed a dual family roadtrip to Wrigley Field for its 100th anniversary in 2014, but it was pretty weak compared to how we used to do it.
In 2015, I jokingly texted him asking what parks we were going to check out that summer. He thought it was funny that I asked him that because he had to fly out to Seattle in a couple of months for a work seminar. The gears started turning and we managed to throw together a four day roadtrip. I flew up to Seattle to meet him and we hit up Safeco Field before renting a car and driving to Portland for a Hillsboro Hops game. We then drove down to a Sacramento River Cats game before finishing up with a Giants game. Even though the trip was on the short side by our standards, it was still the most unique one that we have had in that we flew there and back and had to rent a car. To date, that was the last trip we have been on. We might try to work out another dual family trip next year when the Rangers open their new ballpark.
Anyways, I bring all of that up because I got this card signed on that 2015 trip out west. Darren was playing for the Cats at the time and he was nice enough to sign three cards for me that evening.
Darren played in 33 games with the Giants in 2010 and 2011. Over those two short stints, he never started a game and he only got 14 at-bats. But, he did manage to get 4 hits, score 7 runs, and steal 9 bases.
Darren is still playing ball, but last season was spent in the Atlantic League. Speed is a big part of his game. He stole 36 bases last season, which gives him over 450 steals for his professional career.
Here is the updated 2008 Bowman map.