Thursday, April 30, 2009

1993 Topps, Rusty Meacham

#321 Rusty Meacham

Sorry about the late post tonight, but I have been battling some food poisoning all day. I had to call into work, but at least I was able to see parts of the Royals game today when I was awake.

This is the third and final Rusty Meacham card that I got signed at a Staten Island Yankees game last year. Rusty was the pitching coach for the Vermont Lake Monsters then. He is not with them now and I am not sure what he is doing. But, you can see the first card of him that I posted here and the second card here.

While I do not really remember him as a player, Royals Retrospective has a good little piece about him. By their count, Rusty is the 98th best player in Royals franchise history. I'm not sure if that is good for him or bad for the Royals or somewhere in between.

The last two cards have both been the gold insert cards from the set. I probably have about twelve from this set and I just happened to get these two signed within a month of each other.

Speaking of the Staten Island Yankees, here are a couple of pictures of their beautiful ballpark that I took last year. It is deffinintely a uniquie looking ballpark with a breath-taking view, a view that was even better prior to 9/11.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

1993 Topps, Pete Incaviglia

#7 Pete Incaviglia

Here is the second card that I got signed by Pete before game one of the American Associations championship last year. Pete is the manager of the Grand Prairie AirHogs. The first card, his '87 Topps rookie card, can be seen here.

Speaking of that last card, when I first got my site tracker working on this blog, I noticed that I was getting a rather large amount of traffic directed straight to that card. Being new to analytics, it took a few weeks to figure out most of the stats they tracked (I still don't know how utilize all of the stuff on there). Eventually, I figured out that I was getting traffic directly from the AirHogs webpage. I thought that that was odd, so I headed over to it to investigate. After a short search, I found what I was looking for. They had a news article called "AriHogs in Cyberspace". Someone would look around the web for stories about different 'Hogs players, probably just to kill some time during the off-season. At the very bottom of the page was a reference to my blog. It was only a one line shout out, but it did have a link to my blog and to the Inky rookie card. I thought that was pretty cool. If you go to the bottom of this page, you can see what I am talking about.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Found some '09 Goudey

I stopped by the card shop to get some sheets and was surprised to find some '09 Goudey. The first thing I noticed was the price. They were $5 a pack with 8 cards per pack. Boxes were $75 dollars for 18 packs. To me, that seemed a little steep when compared to Topps Heritage. Maybe that is just me, though. But according to the box, there is one game-used card and one autograph per box, on average.

I ended up getting five packs of the stuff. No autograph or relic for me today. Overall, I think that the design is bland. I deffinitely like last years better. Here are nine ramdomly selected cards that I got.

I also got two minis. The Aviles card was the only Royals that I got in the packs. I wish that I would have had it yesterday so I could have got it signed. Both of these are blue backs.

I also got two Sports Royalty cards. I'm guessing that these are short prints. The Bird card uses the exact same photo that was used in last years set. Nice work UD.

Here are the two big head cards (that's what I call them at least) that I got. Nothing too special there, although I do like the little devil on Pedroia's card.

I only got one base card of a retired player and it is of Dave Concepcion. I think that it is the ugliest card that I got today. There just isn't any depth to his face.

I think that this is the first 2009 card of Ken Griffey as a Mariner, part 2. What I don't understand is why they put Griffey with his new team, but not Trevor Hoffman.

The last thing I have to show is a 4-in 1. That is what it is called on the back. I'm not sure how these things go as far as SPs or whatnot. I only got one of them, but the card shop owner pulled two out of one pack. Check out how much more detail is put into Jeter's face compared to Yogi's or Concepcion's.

That's it. The highlight for me was the Aviles card that I got in the last pack. I might go pick up some more of these tomorrow.

Also, when I got home from the card shop, I had this card waiting for me in the mailbox.

This card and a thank you note were sent to me after I sent Sean about a dozen old wax packs. I figured that he would enjoy opeing some ftuff that was older than he was. Sean's father, Paul, runs Wrigley Wax and when Sean broke his arm, Paul set out to make him feel better by asking other people to send Sean some cards. He apparently gets jealous of his dad always getting cool cards in the mail and Paul thought that this might cheer him up. If you haven't already, I'm sure that Sean wouldn't mind some more cards. Thanks for this one Sean!

1993 Ted Williams, Al Dark

#52 Al Dark

I got this card signed through the mail this past December. When I got it, two things stood out to me. The first thing is that Al tried to sign the card with a ballpoint pen. You can see that on the scan pretty easily by his A. The second thing I noticed is his signature. Al is creeping up on 90 years old and it looks like he was having a little bit of difficulty signing this card. It is very cool that he still signs through the mail at his age.

Al was a three time All-Star in the early '50s with the New York Giants. After his playing days, he went on to manage four different clubs (with two stints with the A's) and won one World Series title with the A's in 1974.

As for this Ted Williams set, I don't have too many of these cards. The only place that I ever found them was at a card show in '93. Most of the cards were of older players and they even included some Negro League cards, retired players in their minor league uniforms, and cards of the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League. I think that they might have even included some cards of Juan Gonzalez and Frank Thomas.

I like the design of the card. It reminds me of 1992 Studio, but without a border and with a better picture than the posed senior portrait.

Monday, April 27, 2009

1993 Ted Williams, Sal Bando

#42 Sal Bando

This card was a gift to me, I guess you could say. Back when I was basically given the '69 Topps Frank Howard card, this card was thrown in. I had the Howard card on my want list and Scott, from A Pack A Day, filled that void for me. I sent him a self-addressed stamped envelope and he sent the card to me. When I got the card back, I noticed a weird inscription under his return address. It said "You stole my A's". I had no idea what that meant until I opened the envelope and saw this card. Scott is from Philly and I live in Kansas and am a Royals fan. Once I put two and two together, I thought that it was pretty funny. Thanks, again, Scott.

Speaking of funny, I have had kind of a funny day. I woke up early and drove for three hours to Kansas City for the Royals game. I got there just before noon and set up shop by the Royals parking lot. When I got there, it was cool and cloudy, just like the weather report predicted. Then, it started to mist and then rain (not in the forecast). Then it stopped. I got a couple of Royals to sign for me while it was dry. Then it started misting again and that continued for the next two hours. By the time that I had had enough, I was up to 21 signed cards and I was cold and wet. So rather than go get something to eat and get ready for BP (which I was pretty sure they would not be having), I got in my car and drove the three hours back home. What a day. Only a couple of the cards smeared because of the persipitation. After the best pitcher in baseball (right now) signed my three cards, I figured that I had had a good enough day.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

1993 Studio, Todd Hundley

#206 Todd Hundley

I got this card signed through the mail in the early or mid '90s. I probably got it before 1996, the year Todd set the catchers home run mark when he hit 41. For some reason, I thought that Mike Piazza broke that record. Come to find out, the most Mike ever hit was 40. It was Javy Lopez that broke the recod when he hit 43 in 2003. What was I thinking?

It is kind of funny that Mike Piazza replaced Todd in New York and Todd ended up replacing Mike in Los Angeles. It is also funny to see that Charles Johnson was in the package to LA in the Piazza trade. After that season, Johnson was traded to the Mets for Todd. The Mets then flipped him to the Orioles for Armando Benitez. I'm sure that Johnson wasn't feeling too popular that year.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

1993 Studio, Charlie Hough

#205 Charlie Hough

Here is the third and final Charlie Hough card that I got signed through the mail last December. He signed three cards for me- a Dodger card, a Ranger card, and this Marlins card. Just like Brian at 30-year Old Cardboard, I had to get a Marlins card signed. Charlie was the starting pitcher in the very first Marlins game.

I will always remember the first Marlins game. I missed most of it because I had school and I don't even know if Hough was still in the game when I got home. But, I was pretty excited because they were playing the Dodgers. The fans looked like they were having a great time and the most memorable part of the game was when they were doing their Darryl chant for Darryl Strawberry.

As for this card, I really liked this Studio set. It was a big step up from the previous sets. They got rid of the posed senior photo shots and used more candid photos. They used jerseys and hats for the background, which really brightened this set up. With no borders and only a foil autograph and logo on the front, this set came out looking really nice. I wish I had more than two of them signed.

Friday, April 24, 2009

1993 Stadium Club Marlins, Nigel Wilson

#1 Nigel Wilson

Here is the first Marlin, not just on this blog, but for the franchise. Nigel was the first pick for the Marlins (second pick overall) in the 1992 expansion draft. While the Marlins had drafted some players in the regular draft before this, I've always considered Nigel to be Marlin number one.

I got this card at Wal-Mart a long time ago. This card was packaged alone and signed and cost around ten dollars. The only other card that they sold like this was the Soaring Stars Robin Ventura.

I guess that this card came from a team set. I don't have any other cards that look like this and the design is different than the regular Stadium Club.

As for Nigel, he never really accomplished much in the Majors, let alone for the Marlins. In 1993, he went 0 for 16 with 11 strikeouts for the expansion Marlins. In 1995, he went 0 for 7 with the Reds. In 1996, he finally got his first big league hit and ended up 3 for 12 with the Indians. That was his last stop in the Majors. After that, he went to Japan. According to Wikipedia, he had a very successful career there.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

1993 Stadium Club, Brian Williams

#714 Brian Williams

I got this card signed at the Astros Fanfest earlier this month. Brian was one of the Astros from the '90s that appeared. He only pitched for the Astros for four seasons, so I was kind of surprised that they had him attend (the same can be said for James Mouton).

For some reason, part of the right side of this card got clipped of while scanning. But, overall, I really like the design of this set. It is probably my favorite Stadium Club design. But, just like the SP, I do not have too many of these. I finally got one signed, though. When I was getting my autograph book ready, I noticed that there was a crease at the top of the card that went through Brian's head. Normally, I wouldn't take it to get signed. But, I wanted one of these cards signed bad enough that I took it anyways.

Cards from Padrographs

Every once in a while, I will get some cards from fellow bloggers. I have always tried to give them a shout-out during one of my posts, but I never felt like that was enough. So, from now on, I will be including some scans of the new cards. I should have started this a couple of months ago when I first got my scanner. Oh well. I have started it now. But, I will not include any autographed cards sent to me. Those will fall in line with all of the rest of the autographed cards.

So, without further delay, here are some highlights of a package that Rod, from Padrographs, sent me a couple of days ago. First up is a postcard from Virginia. I am assuming that he took this along with him to the post office with my address on it to make it easier for himself. I wonder how many of these he has. Check out the little Teddy Roosevelt strumming the banjo.

The first card out of the shoot was this oddball Kevin Appier. I have never seen these before. It was made by Fleer and is the same width as a normal card. But, it is over an inch longer. It was issued in '94. Any ideas where these came from?

After that was a nice stack of Royals cards. The very top card was this one. This is my very first card of a Royal from '69, their first year. My first impression when I pulled it out was that it was a reprint. Besides it being mis-cut (but not as badly mis-cut on the bottom as it looks), it was in pristine condition. After checking it out, I found that it was actually from the '69 set. I can't believe how well this 40 year-old card has been preserved. Plus, it is of the Royals first manager and 2009 Hall of Fame inductee, Joe Gordon. This was a great start to the stack.

Next up were some current Royals that I needed. I had two Tony Pena, Jr. cards prior to this package arriving and got another one that day that I ordered. So, my TPJ collection ballooned from two to five cards in one day. I also got an Alex Gordon Mockumentary (not pictured) that I did not have.

Next up are some awesome Bo Jackson rookie cards. Here are his '86 and '87 Donruss, The Rookies, cards.

To be perfectly honest with you, I pretty much grew up a Dodger fan. In 1986, at the age of seven, I made the Dodgers my favorite team (mostly because my dad was from the LA area and that was his team). But, for some reason, by the time I was in fifth grade (1990), I was switching my affiliation over to the Royals. The only reason for that was because of Bo. He was all over TV and all over magazine ads. I starting buying up every single card of him that I could afford. The two pictured above were two that I never had (I don't even remember the '87). Anyway, the Royals got off to a crappy start that year and I quickly fell back to my team, the Dodgers.

I was a Dodger fan until they traded away Piazza. After that, I gave up on them and went a season without a team, though I was still a Dodger fan at heart. At the end of that season, I went to my third Royals game ever (it was less than a two hour drive from my college town). I got to see Mike Sweeney, Jermaine Dye, Carlos Beltran, Johnny Damon, and Mark Quinn. After the home opener the next year, I was officially a Royal fan and, boy, has it been a rocky ride.

Anyways, here are three more Bo's that I did not have (Rod also included all three of his '87 rookies).

Since I grew up a Dodger fan in Royals territory, I knew a ton of Royals fans. I was able to trade Royals for Dodgers for awhile until I got so sick of hearing about the Royals that I started giving them away, mostly to my best friend, Dustin, and my cousin, Matt. Twenty years later, I still have a few Royals from back then, but I have hardly any George Brett's. Well, Rod helped to alleviate that problem. Here are a few that I know that I do not have.

That Donruss Threads card looked pretty cool to me until I looked at it closer. The Royals have never wore jerseys like that until last year. They always had Royals in white until the new alternates came out last year (unless this is just a bad picture where it looks like George is wearing blue instead of white). No wonder MLB was suing them.

Mixed in with the Brett cards was this sweet 1991 Spring Training schedule with Brett pictured on the front.

And last, but not least (and trust me, there were too many cards to post on here) was a 2008 Topps Update and Highlight card of Brett Tomko. I already had this card. The only reason why I am showing it is because I want to know why this card was even published. By the time Topps, series 2, was distributed, Brett had already been released by the Royals. So, why did they make a card of him in the '08 U&H as a Royal? He had pitched in six games with the Padres since his release from the Royals and the U&H came out after the season was over. Oh well. I guess this goes in the same book as why did UD make a 2009 card of Richie Sexson.

So, thank you Rod. As always, I am in dept to you.

I also got a 1993 Classic/Best card that was signed by a former Royal. I will post this card before I get to my 1994s.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

1993 SP, Tim Bogar

#145 Tim Bogar

This is the final card that Tim signed for me last season in Kansas City when he was coaching for the Rays. For a refresher, you can see the first one here and the second one here.

It was hard for me to find three cards of Tim before I headed up to KC. This is one that I wasn't expecting to find since I had so few of them. Without digging out the box that I store these in, I would guess that I had bought maybe three packs of these premium cards.

They are a funky, but, good-looking card. It is hard to see the foil half circle going over the top of the picture that has a batman ear. The orange and blue half border give them the funky look that I was referring to. I have no idea why they felt that they had to put that line in the middle of ss. These were definitely some unique cards.

Does anyone know what SP stands for?

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

1993 Score, Eric Wedge

#561 Eric Wedge

Here is another card that Eric signed for me in Houston earlier this month. This was the first card that he signed and it took me a second to realize that I had accidentally given him a silver Sharpie (which I officially retired after the road trip). I got that corrected and he started over in blue. You can see the silver around his "E".

Eric was the 48th pick by the Rockies in the expansion draft and only appeared in nine games for them. This is the first Rockies card on here.

Monday, April 20, 2009

1993 Score, Michael Tucker

#498 Michael Tucker

I got this card signed at a Royals Caravan signing at the mall around 1995 or '96. I was probably a sophomore at the time. That was the last caravan that I went to until 2001.

As for Michael Tucker, he never lived up to the expectations. He played two years in Kansas City before being shipped off to the Braves for Jermain Dye (who was at the 2001 Caravan). That was a great trade for the Royals and would have been even better if they could have held on to Dye. But, they were unable to and the Royals ended up bringing Tucker back to KC for two more seasons in 2003.

While Tucker was not a bad player by any means, he just did not put up the numbers to be a starting corner outfielder. The most home runs that he ever had in a season was 15 and the most RBI he ever drove in was 62. Plus, he was a .256 career hitter. He would have been a great fourth outfielder to have on a team, but not necessarily a starter.

Tucker was, however, a pretty good hitter in games that I attended. I saw him play in 35 games (once with the Cubs and the rest with the Royals) and he hit .331 in 124 at-bats, with 19 runs, 18 RBI, 14 extra base hits, and five steals. What can I say? I guess that I bring out the best in some people (Chris Singleton was 11 for 15 in games I saw him play).

Also, Michael has an interesting signature. It is impossible to make out and I have a hard time believing that the signature starts out with an "M". It is also funny to see that he was drafted as a shortstop. That may explain his light hitting.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

1993 Score, Bob McClure

#434 Bob McClure

For some reason, I posted the Select cards before the Score cards. I'm not sure what I was thinking there.

Anyway, here is the third and final card that I got Bob to sign for me last year by the Royals parking lot. So far, that is the only success that I have had with him. I've asked him to sign four or five other times without any luck. I will keep trying, though. I have a card of him as an Angel and a Met that I want to get signed. Plus, I just picked up a '78 Topps card of him that I would like to get signed. He doesn't have a mustache on that card.

Bob had a long career, primarily as left-handed specialist. He never made an All-Star team, but he did pitch for 19 seasons. While his career might have been unspectacular (I don't even remember him as a player), I do enjoy him as the Royals pitching coach. He has been the best coach that the team has had in a while.

You can see the previous two cards here and here.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

1993 Select, Eric Wedge

#561 Eric Wedge

Here is the second autograph of the Indians manager that I have shown on here. The last one that I posted was just over two weeks ago. That was the day before I left for Houston to see the Inians and Astros play a preseason game. Well, at that game, I got Eric to sign three more cards for me.

I wasn't impressed with the setup in Houston in regards to getting autographs. There really wasn't a good place to stand for someone trying to get cards signed. If I wanted to get some balls signed, I could have just stood anywhere behind the dugout. So, I just went to the outfield side of the dugout to try to get some pitchers to sign after they came in form BP. As soon as I got over there, Eric headed to the same place I was at to talk to a buddy of his. It was an interesting conversation to listen in on. Apparently the guy was a childhood friend of Eric's (he told his son that they played little league together). The friend asked him if he ever makes it back to Ft. Wayne and Eric said that he did once or twice a year to see the folks. Then he asked Eric how the team was going to do this year and Eric didn't really know what to say. He basically said that they have the talent, but they need to pull it together. They were pretty sloopy in their final games in Arizona and were hoping to get it all worked out in Houston before the season started.

Apparently, that didn't happen as they started the season 1-5. But they seem to be rolling now, at least offensively, after scoring 22 against the Yankees tonight.

Also, look how nicely this card looks signed after sitting around for 16 years. It looks much better than the previous Score Select cards.

Friday, April 17, 2009

1993 Select, Juan Guzman

#180 Juan Guzman

Out of the three '93 Selects that I got signed through the mail in the ear;y '90s, I think that this one turned out the worst of the three. After getting this one back, I ended up sending him another card to sign later in the year.

Juan was a very good pitcher in his first few years in the Majors. In his second season, he made the American League All-Star team and finished with a 16-5 record with a 2.64 ERA. The next season, he recorded 194 strikeouts. His ERA ballooned the next couple of seasons, but bounced back in 1996 with a 2.93 ERA (but with an 11-8 record). He struggled the next couple of seasons and started to bounce around a little bit. He made one start in 2000 with Tampa Bay and got lit up. That was his last appearance in the Major Leagues.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

1993 Select, Chuck Knoblauch

#36 Chuck Knoblauch

Here is another card that I got signed through the mail. Again, I got this in the early '90s, probably in 1993 or '94. The main reason why I sent for Chuck's autograph was because I saw something in Beckett that said that he signed TTM. I was thinking about sending him my 1992 Fleer Rookie Sensation insert card. Those were some high dollar insert cards at the time and thankfully I didn't send him mine. The reason for that is because I did not get the same card back that I sent to him. It has been over fifteen years since then and I do not know what card I sent him, but I am 100% positive that it wasn't this card. With my luck, I probably sent him a low-gloss card and got this high-gloss card in return. Either way, I was still pretty happy about it.

I was a pretty big Knoblauch fan back in the day. If I search through all of my albums, I know that I could find one that had a Knoblauch player collection going in it. Luckily, I was pretty much out of card collecting when he was traded to the Yanks. I was even more lucky to be almost completely out of card collecting when he signed with the Royals. Unfortunately, I do have a Kauffman Stadium poster that I got for cheap at the K that has Knoblauch up to bat in it. Oh well, it's still a cool poster. It is even cooler now after the renovation.

I think that this is the first horizontal card that I have posted on here since the '55 Bowman Carl Erskine. I could be wrong though (and probably am).

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

1993 Select, Larry Walker

#27 Larry Walker

Here is another early '90s card that I got signed through the mail. One thing that I always thought was weird is how the card is signed sideways. This was probably the first time that I had ever seen that before. Baseball Almanac's signature is also sideways. There's turned out better since the card they used wasn't as glossy as mine. The next two cards that I'll have on here look about the same because of the gloss. The third one was signed a week and a half ago and looks much better.

As for Larry Walker, I got this card signed early in his career. I remember going to some Rockies games towards the end of his career and hearing horror stories about him tearing cards in half. I have no idea if there is any truth to those stories or not. Has anyone else heard or read about his signing habits?

Well, my Royals fell to the Indians today, but I had a lot of fun. I was having a ton of fun until Kyle Farnsworth came in to pitch. But hey, that's baseball. Unfortunately, I spent too much time trying to get autographs that I didn't have much time to explore the renovated ballpark. I made one quick lap around the new outfield area, checked out the new Dick Howser statue, and then headed up to the upper deck to get a quick bight to eat and find a seat. But, it turned out to be a nice day and I came home with a very slight sunburn and seventeen autographed cards, including two from Kerry Wood. Plus, I think that I saw Mike Jacobs hit the longest home run that I have ever seen at that ballpark. So, even though the home team loss, it wasn't a bad day at all.

Unfortunately, I wasn't in a picture taking mood and I only came home with two new pics. I thought that this one was the better of the two.

Here is the other one. Everything in this picture is brand new except the fountains, the lights, and the video board (it was put up last year, but its crown is new).

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

1993 Leaf, Sid Bream

This is the second card that I got signed through the mail by Sid. The first one can be seen here. Just like the first one, some of the signature came off somehow. On this one though, the signature faired better than the inscription. I'm still baffled about how this happened. I would think that the signature would come off easier on this card than the older Topps card.

I love the photo on this card. It looks like Sid is charging to field a bunt. Good choice of a picture, Leaf.

Last week a fellow blogger sent me another Sid Bream signed card since mine did not turn out too well. I'll be posting that one in a couple of weeks.

Tomorrow, I'll be heading to Kansas City for my first real game of the year. I'm pretty excited to see the "new" Kauffman Stadium and to see the first place Royals (I know it's early, but it's the Royals) go for the sweep against the Tribe. I'll be bringing my broom.

Monday, April 13, 2009

1993 Leaf, Curt Schilling

#4 Curt Schilling

I got this card signed through the mail sometime in the late '90s, maybe as late as 1997. This was one of the final cards that I got through the mail while I was in high school.

I just noticed the card that Baseball almanac had on its page and the two autographs look pretty different. Has anyone else had any luck with Schilling TTM or in person to compare to this one?

Schilling recently retired after a 20 year career where he was a 20 game winner three times, a six-time All Star, and had over 3,000 strikouts. He also has three World Series rings and was 4-1 with a 2.06 ERA in seven World Series starts.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

1992-93 Fleer Excel, Joe Randa

#177 Joe Randa

I got this card signed at Royals Fanfest this past January. I was always a fan of Randa, so it was great to see the Joker back in Kansas City. I didn't recognise him when I first saw him, though. His hair was much longer than it was in his playing days. Anyway, he singed all three cards that I had and even gave me one of the Royals provided 4"x6" cards that was also signed. I told him that it was great to see him back in KC and he said something of the sort that it was great to be back. I saw him on TV Friday at the Royals home opener, so I have a feeling that he is going to be a many more Fanfests.

As for the Baseball City Royals, they were only around from 1989 to 1992. They might have moved to Wilmington and became the Blue Rocks, but I am not really sure about that. This is the last minor league card from 1993. Back to the Majors tomorrow.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

1992-93 Fleer Excel, Mike Lansing

#61 Mike Lansing

Here is the second Mike Landing card that I have signed (here is the first). I think that I got the '91 Classic Best card signed first and then sent this card to him after I pulled it from a pack. I guess that I wanted a card signed that had him with an affiliated team.

If you read my first post about Mike Lansing, you'll know that I thought that the signatures that I got from him and the one Baseball Almanac have are pretty different. Does anyone else have any Mike Lansing autographs to compare with?

Check out the giant Mountain Dew can in the background. It is amazing how much minor league baseball has changed since the early '90s.

Friday, April 10, 2009

1992-93 Fleer Excel, James Mouton

#48 James Mouton

Here is another card that I got signed last week at the Astros Fanfest. James has a funky signature. I like how he signs his first name (or at least what appears to be his first name) inside of the J. His last name is impossible to make out. It look like there is a capitol H in the middle of his last name.

For a minute, I didn't think that I was going to get this card signed. The Astros had two alumni lines going at one time and they were each signing for 50 minutes. When I got to this line after being in the other line, I still had about 35 minutes to spare. When I finally moved up close enough to see the autograph table, James wasn't there. Terry Puhl was up there signing by himself. So, I started watching the Astros game, that I was missing, on a flat screen that I was next to. By the time I moved away from the TV, I looked back up at the table and James was up there signing. I guess it was a good thing that I got in the other line first.

This card depicts James as a Osceola Astro. This team is no longer a part of the Florida State League. For a short time, they changed their name to the Kissimmee Cobras. Their last season was in 2000. The Astros still use the ballpark for Spring Training, though.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

1992-93 Fleer Excel, Matt Walbeck

Here is the second of three cards that Matt signed for me last summer as the thrid base coach for the Rangers.

As for these cards, I believe that this set is Fleer's only minor league set that they ever made. The weirdest part about the set is that they are listed as '92-93 on the top of the card, just like a hockey or basketball card would be. That has never made any sense to me. On the back, they have a '92 copyright date which makes them sound like a '92. But, they have the '92 stats back there too, which makes them sound like a '93. They are basically a '93 card that got printed in '92. I do not know why they felt like they had add both years to the card front.

As for the team, the Charlotte Knights, they are still playing today in Ft. Mills, South Carolina. Yes, they are still the Charlotte Knights. They just play their games outside of Charlotte. The only difference is that they are now part of the International League and are affiliated with the White Sox. In 1992, they were in the Southern League and were the AA affiliate of the Cubs. That was their last season in that league.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

1993 Fleer, Cal Eldred

#248 Cal Eldred

Apparantly, I screwed up. This card should have been posted yesterday instead of Kevin Bass. Oh well. I'm sure no one would have ever noticed if I had not brought it up.

Here is another TTM from the early '90s. I probably got this card signed in 1993, the year after he finished fourth in the Rookie of the Year voting (11-2, 1.79 ERA).

Just like Carlos Baerga, here is another player that I thought dropped off the face of the Earth. He appears to have had arm problems in 1995 and 2001. He didn't pitch at all in 2002 (Tommy John surgery maybe?). But, he came back strong in 2003 with the Cardinals. That was the first year that he ever pitched exclusively out of the bullpen and he ended up appearing in 62 games with 8 saves. He was just as effective the next season. In 2005, he only appeared in 31 games. But, he posted his best ERA since his rookie season (2.19). I'm not sure if he got hurt again or what, but it is good to see him go out on top.

Like I said yesterday, this signature looks much worse than the Baerga (and obviously worse than the Bass). At least they both turned out better than the Tim Salmon. That is probably the worst looking signature that I ever got.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

1993 Fleer, Kevin Bass

#466 Kevin Bass

I got this card signed at Astros Fanfest on Saturday. Kevin was one of the many Astros alumni that were signing during the game. He was at the same table as Enos Cabell, Brian Williams, and Alex Trevino. When I first got into the line, it was moving pretty slow. When I got about half way through it, a guy from the Astros staff started going down the line telling everyone that it was only one autograph per person. After that, the movement picked up a bit. When I got up to the table, Enos Cabell signed all three cards I had and the other three guys signed both of the cards I had of each of them. So, it ended up working out just fine.

You can tell that this sixteen year-old card signed a little better than the Baerga that I posted yesterday. This just helps out my theory of cards losing their gloss over time. Tomorrow's card, another '93 Fleer, looks even worse than the Baerga card (but not as bad as the Salmon).

Monday, April 6, 2009

1993 Fleer, Carlos Baerga

#213 Carlos Baerga

Here is another through the mail success from the early '90s. Carlos was a very good second baseman early in his career. He was a three-time All Star and had four consecutive seasons with over 80 RBI (two of those were over 100). That was pretty impressive for a second baseman in the early '90s. Today, it is not that unusual.

By the late '90s, I thought that Baerga was washed up. I was amazed one day in 2003 when I saw him playing for the Diamondbacks. I thought that he had been out of baseball for years (which was only partially correct). He had a pretty good season that year when he posted a .343 average while mostly coming off of the bench. He ended up playing into the 2005 season. He now does some work for ESPN Deportes.

I mentioned last week how similar the '93 Classic/Best looked like the '93 Fleer. The only difference is that the C/B card has a strip on the bottom for the name and that the vertical strip is on the opposite side. What are the odds of two companies coming up card designs that are so similar?

On a side note, I got a card in the mail today from Ryan of The Great Orioles Autograph Project. If you have never been by his blog, check it out. He just recently started it. He is trying to get a card signed by every Oriole that ever played. I'm looking forward to seeing his progress. As, for the card he sent me, I will post it after I finish up with the '93s. Thanks Ryan! I think I might have a card for you. I'm going to wait a few days and see if you already have it.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

1993 Donruss, Tim Salmon

#176 Tim Salmon

Here is my first autograph on a glossy card. As you can see, it didn't go too well. I got this one signed through the mail around 1993. I was pretty shocked when it came back looking like this. I ended up sending a different card out to him the next season and it ended up looking much better. It is kind of weird how these cards loose their gloss over the years. I guess the Eric Wegde card got moved around enough throughout the years that it turned into a signable card.

Well, I am back from Texas. I had a great time at my cousin's wedding. I was also successful on the autograph front as I came home with 46 autographed cards. I saw most of an Indians/Astros game and attended the Astros fanfest. The Fanfest was pretty cool since it was going on at the ballpark while a game was being played. The Astros did some things better than the Royals and some things worse. The one thing that I didn't like was that they were charging money for the autographs. It cost $20 to get in an autograph line. In the line would be 2-4 players or coaches. So, assuming you actually had enough time to go and get all of these guys to sign, it would have cost $180 plus whatever price you paid for your ticket to get in. At the Royals Fanfest, they charged about $10 for a ticket, but all of the autographs were free. The Astros did have about ten alumni that signed for free throughout the game, though. Those were the guys that I got to sign and all of them were willing to sign more than one card.

The thing I did like about the 'Stros Fanfest was that it was more geared to adults than the Royals one was. They had a silent auction, last years left over promotional give-aways were being sold for cheap, and they had a card show. It wasn't the largest card show ever, but I didn't care. I hadn't been to a show in fifteen years, so I loved it. I just wish that I would have actually had more time to browse through it. I got about half way through the tables when I noticed that the Indians had taken the field for batting practice. Technicly, it was a day game on a get-away day so I wasn't expecting them to take BP. So, I ran through the rest of the tables and then headed down by the dugouts. But, I did grab about twelve packs of Topps and Bowman Heritage from years that I was out of the card collecting game. I also picked up some Tri-Star blasters for cheap. They sponsored the show and had a little booth set up. They were selling blasters of their '08 and '09 minor league packs for $10 a pop and they each had six packs and you were guarenteed an autograph. That sounded like a great deal, so I picked up a couple of them as well. They even had the 1869 Red Stocking team card there to see. That was pretty cool.

Overall, I had a great time. I may try to make it a habit of going to one extra Fanfest each year. I will start showing the older cards that I got signed after I get through my 1993 cards.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

1993 Donruss, Eric Wedge

#44 Eric Wedge

I got this card signed at a Royals game last year when the Tribe came to town. It was a bad day for getting autographs (for me at least). I was standing around watching BP and I had to take a piss. No one was signing, so I went and took a leak. I left a buddy in my spot to hold it for me. When I got back, I asked if anyone had signed yet and he said that Ryan Garko was just here. I asked him if he got one of my cards signed for me and he said that he hadn't because he didn't know what to do. Oh well. He did hold my spot and Eric signed all three of my cards for me. Those were the only autographs that I got that day.

This blog will be on a hiatus until Monday. I'm heading to Houston for my cousin's wedding and it's going to be a hectic little trip and I will not have any time to post. But it is fitting that I have an Eric Wedge card up today since I will be seeing Eric and the Tribe take on the Astros tomorrow in an exhibition/spring training game. Plus, I am hoping to go to the Astros Fanfest on Saturday if my grandma doesn't complain about me driving eleven hours and not spending any time with her. So, I'll just have to wait and see about that.

One last thing. I wanted to thank Steve from The Easy Life for some Royals cards that he sent me yesterday. I forgot to mention it in my last post.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

1993 Classic Best, Joel Chimelis

#161 Joel Chimelis

Here is the latest card on here of a player that never made it to the Majors.

I got this card signed at a Brooklyn Cyclones game last summer. Joel was the hitting coach for the visiting Tri-City Valley Cats. He was nice enough to sign the one card I could find of him, but he didn't say much. He did still have the same style mustache.

Joel played nine years in the minor leagues before calling it quits. He spent most of the time in the Giants organization. He played part of four seasons in AAA, but never got the call.

When I was getting ready for my New York trip, I was rounding up cards of some of the coaches I was going to see. Somehow, I came across this card. I was pretty lucky to find it since I don't have too many from this set. I probably have only three or fours packs worth. The funny thing about this set is how closely they resemble '93 Fleer. But, I'll get into that more next week.

As for the Phoenix Firebirds, they were forced out of town by the Arizona Diamondbacks. So, they moved to Tuscon and became the Sidewinders. I've seen Firebird jerseys and hats before, but I have never seen the ones depicted on this card. I don't know if they changed their logo of if the team had a turn back the clock game. I'll go with changing the logo. I wish I had a better picture of the jersey front. They look retro.