Wednesday, September 30, 2009

1990 Upper Deck, Xavier Hernandez

#26 Xavier Hernandez

Here is the card that was supposed to be the only post for today. But, I got lazy last night and didn't get the Jerry White one up.

I got this card signed a couple of months ago in Scranton, Pennsylvania. It was the same weekend that I went to the ARCA race at Pocono. Xavier is the pitching coach for the Durhamn Bulls and he was nice enough to sign the two cards that I took with me. I usually take three cards of a player/coach, but I was running short on time before I left and decided that two would have to do.

Xavier pitched for ten years on the Majors with five different clubs. His best season was probably in 1993 as an Astro. He appeared in 72 games that year and had a 2.61 ERA with career high 101 strikeouts. He had a good year in '92, as well, when he had a career best 2.11 ERA and 111 innings pitched. But I like his '93 stats better since he had more strikouts and fewer walks in 14.1 less innings.

1989-90 Pacific Senior League, Jerry White

#185 Jerry White

I meant to get this card posted last night, but I didn't get around to it. So, here it is today.

This is the third and final Jerry White card that was signed by the Twins first base coach in Arlington. You can see the first one here and the second one here. This is also the last Senior League card for now. I thought that it was pretty cool that I was able to get five of these cards signed and each one was on a different team.

Speaking of the Twins, I'm heading up to Minnesota this weekend to see a couple of games against the Royals. I wanted to go to what could be the final Twins game in the Metrodome, but I waited too long to get tickets. I was able to get tickets to the Friday and Saturday game, though. The Saturday game got picked up by Fox, so if you are lucky, you might get to see Zack Grienke pitch on national TV. He needs to throw seven scoreless innings to get his ERA under 2 and he needs to strikeout nine to get the Royals single season strikeout record. It should be a good time and I'm not sure if I will have any posts for those two days.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

1989-90 Pacific Senior league, Tippy Martinez

#144 Tippy Martinez

This is another Tippy Martinez card that Paul, of Paul's Random Stuff, got signed for me at an Atlantic League game last month. The last Tippy card was his '81 Donruss card.

I probably sent Paul at least 20 cards to try and get signed for me. I only sent one card per player, with the exception of Tippy. Obviously, I wanted the Donruss card signed. I also sent this one along since I had not had any cards from this set signed yet. So, I figured that this one would be my first. That wasn't the case. It may have been my second card signed from the set, but by the time I got back from my trip to Maryland, I had three cards signed from the set (and this one was still wrapped up in it's shipping box). So I consider this one as number four. Oh well, at least Paul was able to get it signed for me.

Monday, September 28, 2009

1989-90 Pacific Senior League, Bobby Ramos

#65 Bobby Ramos

Here is another card that I got signed in Baltimore a couple of weeks ago. Bobby is the Rays bullpen coach and he was the only Rays coach to sign for me that day whose autograph I did not already have. I got this card and one other card signed by him.

Bobby's big league career spanned a few years, but didn't really amount to much. He spent some time in the Majors for parts of six seasons with the Expos and Yankees. Unfortunately, the most games that he ever got into in one season was 27. For his career, he only played in 103 games. His last season as a Major Leaguer was 1984. But, he continued to play in AAA for four more years before calling it quits.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

1989-90 Pacific Senior League, Bill Lee

#28 Bill Lee

I got this card signed through the mail. I got it back last Saturday after sending it off to Bill in the beginning of April. I had pretty much given up on it until it arrived in my mailbox.

I had sent three cards to get signed- this card, a '75 Topps, and an '81 Donruss. Unfortunately, the '81 Donruss never made it home. The other two cards were signed, but there was no sign of the Donruss card. It was cool to get those two cards back, but I think that I was more disappointed than happy because of the loss of the Donruss card (I probably would have been just as disappointed if this card hadn't come back since it would have broke up my set). Now I have to acquire another card to send out to him again. Maybe he just doesn't like signing his Expos cards.

On a brighter note, I went to the Royals last home game of the year today. It was great weather, a great crowd, and a Royals win. I couldn't have asked for anything more. Zack Grienke looked great and I got to see the Royals win for only the second time this year. Nearly 30,000 people showed up to see a crappy Royals team and Grienke. I've been to many final home games this decade, but I had never seen anything close to 30,000 people at one. So, that was good to see. It would have been a great way to end my year, but I'll be seeing the Royals two more times in Minnesota next weekend. Hopefully they can repeat what they did today.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

1989-90 Pacific Senior League, Steve Henderson

#5 Steve Henderson

Here is a card that I got signed in Baltimore a couple of weeks ago. Steve is the Rays hitting coach. The only autographs that I got from the Rays were from the coaches and three out of the four coaches that signed for me I had gotten autographs from in Kansas City. That was the case with Steve here.

Last summer, he signed three cards for me. He played for four Major League teams during his career and I got a card signed by him as a Met, a Mariner, and an Athletic. He also played for the Cubs, but I don't have a card of him from then. Now, I have a card signed by him as a Pelican of the short-lived Senior League.

Back in the spring, I saw one of these cards on Paul's Random Stuff. I left a comment about how cool those cards were and Paul pointed out that you could usually find them on ebay for cheap. Why I was too stupid to think of that is beyond me, but luckily Paul showed me the way. So, I ended up buying this set for a buck plus shipping. It even has a $16.95 price tag, which is kind of funny.

I went most of the summer without getting one of these cards signed (I should have had a Dennis Leonard card signed, but I forgot about this set). But in the past month, I have accumulated five of them. So, that's what will be shown on here for the next few days. They are kind of cool and are definitely different.

Friday, September 25, 2009

1990 Donruss, Dan Gladden

#22 Dan Gladden

Here is a card that I was able to get signed underneath the pressbox at Rangers Ballpark last month. Dan works for the Twins radio broadcast, I believe.

I'm not sure if this is true or not, but it seems that Dan might only sign Twins cards. The reason I say that is because when I asked if he would sign, he said "what is it, cards?". I said that it was and kind of held my book up for him to see. He got up to and I handed my book to him and this was the only card that he signed. He didn't sign the card of him as a Giant or Tiger. He could just be a one card signer, but most players don't ask what they are going to be signing. Does anyone else have any experience with Dan Gladden?

I was surprised to see that Dan looked just like I remembered him. He even had the same hairstyle that he had as a player. It was a little thinner, but still the same style and color.

You can't go wrong with a signed Diamond King.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

1990 CMC, Orlando Mercado

#372 Orlando Mercado

Here is a card that I got signed in Kansas City last month. The Angels were in town and Orlando is their bullpen coach. I only got one card signed by him because this is the only one that I have. I thought that I would have had his '87 Topps card, and I did, but I didn't want to break a set to get it.

Orlando was pretty much a third catcher for his career. If a catcher got hurt on the big league club, he was the first one to get called up. He played in the Majors for parts of eight seasons with eight different teams (Mariners, Rangers, Tigers, Dodgers, A's, Twins, Mets, and Expos) and three seasons were actually with the same team (Mariners). He only got into 253 games in is Major League career, but I'm sure he enjoyed every minute of it.

His first Major League home run was a grand slam.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

1981 Donruss, Butch Hobson

#542 Butch Hobson

Here is the last '81 Donruss card, for now. As soon as I get another one, it will be the post of the day.

This card is another one from Paul. Butch is the manager of the Southern Maryland Blue Crabs. It seems kind of strange that a former Major League manager would be managing in the independent leagues, but I know that it is not the first time that it has happened. I hope that he still dreams of one day getting back to the Majors, too.

This card is interesting in that it pictures Butch in a Red Sox uniform, but lists him as an Angel. It appears that Butch was traded to California in the off-season, before the set came out. Rather than doing a Topps-like airbrush, Donruss just decided to list the current team with an old photo- a practice still used by Upper Deck. I like the idea, but I could imagine that it might have been a little confusing for a kid collecting in 1981 that was so used to Topps.

'81 Donruss Tracker: 33/100

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

1981 Donruss, Tippy martinez

#354 Tippy Martinez

Here is another card that Paul, of Paul's Random Stuff, got signed for me at an Atlanic League game. Tippy is the pitching coach for the York Revolution. Paul told me that Tippy doesn't like to sign cards of his where he has a mustache, so I am fortunate that he hadn't yet decided to grow the mustache in 1980.

Tippy was a left-handed relief pitcher for 14 seasons, mostly with the Orioles. He was an All-Star in 1983 for them. But, his claim to fame is that he once picked three runners off of first base in the same inning.

According to Wikipedia, the O's replaced their catcher and backup catcher in the ninth inning while rallying to tie the game against the Blue Jays. The emergency catcher on the team was Lenn Sakata, who moved from second base to behind the dish in the tenth. Tippy entered the game with a runner on and quickly picked him off when he left for second too early. He then walked a batter and picked him off before giving up a hit to Willie Upshaw. He, of course, then picked off Upshaw. Apparently, they all wanted to steal off of Sakata and were getting bigger than usual leads.

Sakata ended up hitting a walk-off home run in the bottom of the tenth to give Tippy the win. You can see the box score and play-by-play for the game here.

'81 Donruss Tracker: 32/100

Monday, September 21, 2009

1981 Donruss, Lonnie Smith

#295 Lonnie Smith

I got this card signed through the mail last week while I was on vacation in Maryland. A few weeks ago, I had sent out a batch TTMs, mainly focusing on '81 Donruss cards. This is the only one to come back so far. I sent the card out on the 31st of last month and got it back in about two and a half weeks.

Lonnie was fortunate enough to play in five World Series with four different teams while winning it three times. He won it with the Phils in 1980, the Cards in '82, and the Royals in '85. He lost with the Braves in '91 and '92. He was a .277 hitter in the Series with 18 runs and 14 RBI.

For some reason, when I first starting collecting cards, I was certain that Lonnie was Ozzie's brother. I have no idea why besides the obvious fact that they have the same last name. To this day, I assumed that they were related somehow, so I went to Wikipedia to check it out. They are not related.

But, while I was on Wikipedia, I did learn something that I didn't know about Lonnie. Apparently, after the 1987 season, Lonnie was having a hard time finding a new team. He blamed this on the Royals GM, John Schuerholz, whom he believed was blackballing him. So, while depressed and high on weed, he planned on killing Schuerholz and even bought a gun to do it with before coming to his senses. I had not heard that one before. That might be a good "Did you know?" for 30-Year Old Cardboard.

'81 Donruss Tracker: 31/100

Sunday, September 20, 2009

1981 Donruss, Dan Graham

#233 Dan Graham

When I went to the Orioles game last week, Ryan, from the Great Orioles Autograph Project, had this card for me. He gave it to me after we went through the alumni signing line while we were heading along the concourse to the visiting team dugout. My first thought when I saw this card was "sweet, another signed '81 Donruss card!". My next thought was "who is Dan Graham?". I had never heard of him and I don't think that I even have this card.

Since we were still walking along the concourse, I flipped the card over to see what Donruss had to say about him on the back. That is one of the neat things about the '81 Donruss set. The stats take up very little of the back. The rest of the space is dominated by the players career highlights that are broken down by season. The first highlight on his card says "(Dan) broke into the majors in spectactular fashion, finishing 4th on Orioles in HR despite sharing catching duties with Rick Dempsey". That sounded pretty impressive to me- a rookie catcher hitting 15 homers in only 86 games. Whay hadn't I heard of this guy, again?

It turns out that Dan had a sophomore slump the following year where he only hit .176 with 5 home runs and 11 RBI. He spent the next season in AAA and called it quits after that.

It kind of makes me wonder. If Dan were playing today and had the same stats that he had when he played, would he still have called it quits? There are certainly more opportunites today with four more teams and their influx of minor league affiliates, not to mention all of the independent teams that are out there. Or, maybe Dan wanted to put the degree that he had earned from La Verne College to use. Who knows?

Thanks Ryan!

'81 Donruss Tracker: 30/100

Saturday, September 19, 2009

1981 Donruss, Joe Ferguson

#177 Joe Ferguson

Here is another card that Paul was able to get signed for me. Joe is the manager of the Camden Riversharks.

When Paul made the offer to get cards signed for other collectors, I started checking the rosters of the Atlantic League teams he was going to be seeing. The first people I look for on those rosters are the manager and the coaches. While there a few players in the Atlantic League like Carl Everett, most of the players have little or no Major League experience. But, most of the time, they have coaches or managers that played in the big leagues for some time.

When I saw Joe Ferguson listed as the manager of the Riversharks, I assumed that he was one of the few managers in the league that never played in the Majors. When I did a quick search for him on, I was shocked to see so many cards of him. He played in the Majors for 14 years, but I had never heard of him. The reason for that is the fact that he was mostly a backup catcher in the '70s. His career was over by the time I started collecting

I'm pretty sure that that this is the only card of him that I own, so I am glad that it is from this set. Also, this is one of the few action shots in this set and is only the fourth one that I have posted on here.

'81 Donruss Tracker: 29/100

Friday, September 18, 2009

1981 Donruss, Tom Herr

#68 Tom Herr

When I got home from the airport yesterday, I had a nice little package waiting for me from Paul, of Paul's Random Stuff. In it were more cards of current Atlantic League players and coaches that Paul was nice enough to get signed for me. He also threw in a bunch of Royals cards and a healthy stack of autographed cards that I am assuming are current and former Atlantic League players. Between the 22 signed cards that he sent, the 48 cards that I got signed at games in Wilmington and Baltimore, and the lone TTM I got while I was away, I'd say that I had a pretty good week. Plus, I have finally broken the 1000 signed cards mark.

So here is a Tom Herr card that Paul was able to get signed for me. Tom is a coach for the Lancaster Barnstormers. Tom played in three World Series with the Cardinals in the '80s and was an All-Star in 1985. That season, Tom drove in 110 RBI while only hitting 8 home runs. No other player in the National League has done that since (more than 100 RBI with fewer than 10 HR).

Thanks Paul!

'81 Donruss Tracker: 28/100

1989 Topps, John Shelby

#175 John Shelby

I am finally back from my week long excursion to Maryland. I had planned to post an autograph on here earlier today, but I decided to wait until I got home so that I could post this one. This one fell right into the time frame that I try to use on here.

I got this card signed on Monday at the Orioles game. John is their first base coach. He signed all three cards for me and even told me something very interesting (and hard to believe) about one of the cards he signed. But, I'll save that one for later.

At the game, someone had asked John to come over to sign. He came over and kept asking everyone "what if I don't want to sign today?". He did that for a few minutes, just messing with everyone, before he finally decided to sign. He then signed for everybody.

He has a very interesting signature. I'm not really sure what is going on with this one. If you check out his Baseball Almanac link up top, the signature that they have looks nothing at all like this one.

Before I move on to the cards from the '90s, I will have about a weeks worth of '81 Donruss coming up.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

1989 Score, Mark McLemore

#208 Mark McLemore

I got this card signed in Arlington, Texas, just like yesterday's card. Mark works for Fox Sports and he does the pre- and post-game shows. I found out about this last year from my uncle, buy it was after I had got to Texas without any cards of him. So I came prepared this year with three cards.

I found out last year that there is a special booth set up on the concourse by the left field foul pole where he does his shows. So this year, I went over to that area after after getting the cards signed from the broadcasters and waited for Mark to show up. It was some good timing because I had to wait less than a minute before I saw him. I went up to him and he signed all three cards for me.

Of the three cards that he signed for me, this one looks the best. The card has so many light colors on it that the signature really stands out.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

1989 Score, Jose Guzman

#143 Jose Guzman

Here is another card that I got signed underneath the press box in Arlington last month. Jose helps out with the Rangers Spanish-speaking broadcast. It is because of him that I even knew of the press box trick. When I went to a game there last year, a local 'grapher gave me one of his cards and told me where to get it signed.

He was in the same booth this year. I originally was just planning on taking one card of him as a Cub. But while I was looking for some cards of the player featured in tomorrow's post, I ran across a few extra Guzman's and took them anyway.

So, if anyone needs a Jose Guzman autograph, just let me know.

Monday, September 14, 2009

1989 Bowman, Floyd Youmans

#396 Floyd Youmans

Here is the second Youmans card that I got signed at the Kansas City T-Bones game last month. This is only the second card from this Bowman set that I have got signed. I try to avoid them because of the odd size. But, this is the only card of him as a Phillie, so I took it with me anyway just to mix it up a bit.

I went to an Orioles game tonight and had a great time. I got about twenty cards signed and even met up Ryan from the Great Orioles Autograph Project. He was nice enough to provide the tickets (which were great seats) and a few cards of the O's alumni that were signing before the game. Plus, he even had a signed '81 Donruss card for me. So it was a fun night and it's always great to meet up with another blogger.

Thanks, again, Ryan!!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

1988 Topps, John Wathan

#534 John Wathan

As odd as it may seem, I did not get this card signed at the Willie Wilson Classic. This card is actually from the Collective Troll. I thought that I had the first half of his cards wrapped up a couple of days ago, but I obviously forgot about this one.

This card is cool because it is the only manager card that I can think of that has him wearing a batting helmet. I took this card with me to Royals Fanfest last year, but I was unable to get it signed. I got a few cards signed by him, but they were all older cards. While I was standing in another alumni autograph line that day, I was going to try to get this card signed as John was leaving the signing area. But, he ended up going the opposite direction. Well, I have one signed now.

Thanks Troll!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

1987 Topps, Willie Upshaw

#245 Willie Upshaw

Paul, of Paul's Random Stuff, got this card signed for me early last month. Shortly before then, he made an offer to the readers of his blog that he would be willing to get some cards signed for them at Atlantic League games. I quickly jumped at that offer and this is one of the first cards he sent back to me. Willie is the manager of the Bridgeport Bluefish.

Willie had some good years in the early '80s with the Blue Jays. 1983 was probably his best year. He had career highs in average (.306), home runs (27), and RBI (104). He was the first Blue Jay to ever collect 100 RBI in a season. According to Wikipedia, he also has the most home runs by a player whose last name begins with "U".

Thanks Paul!

Friday, September 11, 2009

1987 Fleer, John Stefero/Kevin Seitzer

#652 John Stefero/Kevin Seitzer

First off, I want to say that I got a ton of help on getting these two signatures on this card. I actually did not get either one of them. But, before I get into that, I want to get into the card itself.

Growing up in Kansas during the summer of 1987, this was the card to have. Kevin was having a great rookie season that was overshadowed by Mark McGwire's monster rookie season. Kevin hit .323 with 85 RBI (a career high), but finished second to McGwire's 49 home runs in the Rookie of the Year vote. Nonetheless, this card booked in the $5 to $6 dollar range by the time 1988 came around. I didn't have the card, so I bought it at the card show that Danny Tartabull was at. I paid book value for it, even though it wouldn't have graded an 8 by today's standards. But, I wanted the card. I even bought a few packs of '87 Fleer from the same dealer and, of course, I got this card in one of the packs. So, I ended up with two of these cards before that day was over.

Obviously, neither player completely lived up to the hype. Kevin certainly had a decent Major League career that lasted twelve seasons. John, on the other hand, only played in parts of three seasons in the Majors. I'm sure that this card is practically worthless today, but I found a way to breath new life into it.

Earlier this season, Ryan, of the Great Orioles Autograph Project, mentioned some of the former players that would be signing during the season at the Orioles alumni signings at certain games at Camden Yards. One of the names on the list was John Stefero. I got in touch with him and he was more than willing to try to get this card signed for me. He ended up getting it signed in less than a month and had it back to me in June.

The card then sat in my binder, half signed, until last Saturday. I went to the Royals game that day and took a bunch of Angels cards and this lone Royal card. Kevin is the Royals batting coach. I was mainly interested in getting some Angel autographs, but I decided to take this card with me just in case. When I got to the ballpark, the Royals were still taking BP. I thought about going over to that side of the field, but the Angel side was quickly filling up and I was in the prime spot for getting cards signed (plus, I didn't want to miss out on Mickey Hatcher). About that time, my Dad met up with me. I asked him if he would go over and try to get it signed. He said that he would and I had to double-check to make sure he knew which one Seitzer was. He pointed him out and then headed over to the Royals dugout. My dad doesn't mind getting autographs while he is standing in line, but he hates doing it at games by himself. It just doesn't fit his personality. So I figured that he had a one in three chance of actually coming through for me.

He went on his way and I kept trying to get some Angel autographs. Bobby Abreu signed a few things and I was lucky enough to get a couple cards signed by him. By the time Abreu quit signing, I looked over to the Royals dugout and I saw my card being handed back to my dad from the dugout. I knew that he had got it signed and I was pretty happy. First it was an '81 Donruss card, then Bobby Abreu, and now the completion of this card.

When my dad finally made it back to the visiting dugout, he was pretty proud of himself. He thought that he was going to surprise me with the autograph, but he didn't know that I saw him get it signed. I don't know how many times that I told him how impressed I was with him that night, but he never tired of telling me his story.

So, here is his side.

"The Royals were coming off of the field and I followed Kevin the whole way. When he came down the dugout steps, I said his name (kevin). He kept walking, so I said it again (KEVIN). Still nothing, so I said it one more time (KEVIN!!!!) He heard me that time and came over to me. I asked for his autograph and he said sure."

I asked my dad if he said anything about the other autograph already on the card and he said "no, he apparently didn't notice it".

Obviously, it is great to have these two signatures on a cool card from my youth. Thank you Ryan and thank you Dad!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

1987 Donruss, Alvin Davis

#75 Alvin Davis

Here is another card from the Troll. I think that this will be the last one from him until I get up to cards from 1995 or '96. I would have guessed that this was a Spring Training autograph. But, after the comment that he left on the Phil Bradley autograph, I am willing to bet that this signature was obtained at the card show in New Britain, Connecticut. The show had an odd group of ballplayers there- three Mariners (Bradley, Davis, and Spike Owen) and Jim Bouton and Don Mincher. Sounds like it would have been a cool show to have attended.

As for Alvin Davis, I remember him because of a card in this set. It wasn't this card; it was his Diamond King card. 1987 was the first year that I collected Donruss and I really loved the Rated Rookie cards and the Diamond Kings. I figured that the DKs were of the guys that had the best season the year before. It wasn't until they came up with the MVP subset that I realized that that was not the case.

Tomorrow, I am heading to Baltimore to visit a buddy for a week. I'm hoping to take in a Wilmington Blue Rocks playoff game tomorrow if the weather cooperates. Then I will go to an O's game on Tuesday and hopefully meet up with Ryan of the Great Orioles Autograph Project. It should be a good time and I hope to have internet access and still put out a post a day.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

1987 Donruss, Kevin McReynolds

#14 Kevin McReynolds

Amazingly, this is an autographed Padres card that did not come from Rod, of Padrographs. I can hardly believe it myself. This card actually came from the Collective Troll. This is the second Diamond King card that he sent me and this one is of a player that even spent a couple of seasons as a Royal.

In fact, Kevin was part of the deal that sent Bret Saberhagen to the Mets. It was him, Gregg Jefferies, and Keith Miller for Saberhagen and Bill Pecota. At the time, it was probably considered the worst deal in Royals history. Kevin only spent two seasons in KC, Jefferies was traded away after one year, and Miller spent most of his time in Omaha. But at the same time, Saberhagen started having arm troubles. While he did pitch for eight more seasons, he also missed two because of injury and pitched in less than ten games in two others.

So, looking back, the Royals traded Saberhagan at the right time.

I am going to guess that this card was signed during Spring Training. But, I could be wrong.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

1986 Topps, Floyd Youmans

#732 Floyd Youmans

I got this card signed last month when I went to the Kansas City T-Bones game. Floyd was the pitching coach for the visiting Joliet Jackhammers.

At Community America Ballpark, the locker rooms are in right field. That makes it easier for me since I can catch both teams heading for the field from the same spot (as opposed to moving from dugout to dugout). The locker rooms open up on the concourse and the players head down the berm seating area to the field. I was set up at the bottom of the berm that day so I would have more time to identify the players as they came down.

Floyd was the first person to come down that I had cards of. It seemed like he spotted me at the halfway point of the berm and he watched me the rest of the way down. It was kind of strange. It's like he was thinking "there's one of them". But, when he finally got to the bottom, I went up to him and asked for his autograph. He seemed real nice and signed both of my cards and one that I had from Paul of Paul's Random Stuff.

1986 Topps, Rollie Fingers

#185 Rollie Fingers

Here is the second Fingers card that I got signed in Omaha. Just like with the first one, I picked this card up as a Brewers team set at the card shop across the street. I think it cost me $5 for this set, so I ended up spending $12 for two mid '80s Rollie Fingers cards.

Incidentally, I wrote to Rollie Fingers in the spring. I got my card back unsigned with a note saying that he charges $10 for an autograph. So, I guess I did alright getting two cards signed for $12. I just wish I would have known about him in advance so I could have got my '81 Donruss card signed. Oh well, I may send him the card and $10 one of these days.

Monday, September 7, 2009

1986 Donruss Rookies, Steve Lombardozzi

#18 Steve Lombardozzi

Here is another card from the Troll. This one features the former Twins light-hitting second baseman, Steve Lombardozzi. Steve spent parts of four seasons in Minnesota before being dealt to Houston. While with the Astros, Steve only played 23 games over two seasons while spending most of the time in the minors.

Steve was a .233 career hitter. But, in the 1987 World Series, he was the man. He was 7-17 in 6 games with a double and a home run with 3 runs and 4 RBI. Plus, he didn't have any errors in the field. It's too bad he couldn't carry that run into the next season.

The autograph on this card looks like some of the signatures that I have on some newer cards that are unprepped. After a second look at it, I was surprised to see that the card actually is glossy. The regular '86 set wasn't and neither is the '87 set. Was this the first set of cards to have gloss on them?

Sunday, September 6, 2009

1981 Donruss, Mickey Hatcher

#526 Mickey Hatcher

I got this card signed yesterday in Kansas City. The Angels were in town to take on Zack Grienke and the Royals. Mickey is the batting coach for the Angels.

Before BP started, I asked Mickey if he would sign. He said that he was busy and he went over the the BP balls and took them over to the mound. After that, he came over to me and signed my card. I only took this card of him with me just in case he was only a one card signer. But he apparently wasn't because he was about to sign the other card that I had on the page of another coach. He caught it before he signed and handed my book back to me and I thanked him. I wish I would have taken one more card of him as a Twin, but at least I got my '81 Donruss card signed.

I took one other '81 Donruss card with me to the game (I should have taken one of Paul Splittorff, but I didn't even think about it). It was of Alfredo Griffin and he didn't sign at all.

'81 Donruss Tracker: 27/100

Saturday, September 5, 2009

1986 Donruss, Phil Bradley

#22 Phil Bradley

Here is another card that was given to me by the Collective Troll. This one features the former Mariner, Phillie, Oriole, and White Sock, Phil Bradley.

I always liked Phil as a kid because he grew up in the same town that some of my cousins were from, Macomb, Illinois. I always hoped that they would run into him on the street some off-season and get an autograph for me. But, it never happened. But, he is now part of my collection thanks to the Troll.

Phil was an All-Star in 1985. For the year, he hit .300 with a career high 26 home runs and 88 RBI. Those numbers started to decline in the following years and he was out of the Majors after the 1990 season.

He didn't play in 1991, but he was able to latch on with the Cubs AAA team in '92. He hit .248 with them in 42 games before being let go and picked up by the Angels AAA team. For them, he hit .299 in 41 games. That was his last season playing ball.

According to Wikipedia, Phil now works for the player's association and is an assistant coach for the softball team at his alma mater, Missouri. While Phil was at Mizzou, he was also the schools starting quarterback for two years.

Again, I believe that this autograph was probably obtained during Spring Training. Also, you can't go wrong with a signed Diamond King card.

Friday, September 4, 2009

1985 Topps, Johnny Ray

#96 Johnny Ray

Here is another card that was given to me by the Collective Troll. This one features former Pirate, and Angel, Johnny Ray.

Johnny spent ten seasons in the Majors, mostly in Pittsburgh. He is a .290 career hitter who had 70 or more RBI in a season three times. He hit between 5 and 7 home runs every year except for his rookie year and was an All-Star in 1988. Those seem like pretty decent numbers for a second baseman in the '80s.

I am guessing that this was obtained by the Troll during Spring Training. The red really works well on this card.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

1985 O-Pee-Chee, Rollie Fingers

#182 Rollie Fingers

Here is another card that I got signed at the College World Series this year. Rollie was a last-minute addition to the AT&T signing booth and I didn't have a card of him with me. So, I had to scramble over the card shop across the street to find one. I asked the shop owner if he had any and he went to check. When he came back, he said that he couldn't find his A-F box. And that was that. So, I started looking through boxes of cards that were sitting on counters. I made it through one box while only finding a couple of cards from the '80s. I gave up on that approach when I noticed a big box of team sets. I started going through those and eventually found a couple of mid 80s team sets of the Brewers. I think he charged me $7 for this '85 OPC team set. If anyone needs some '85 OPC Brewer cards, I'm your man.

This is the only Topps look-alike OPC card that I have had signed. So, it is a nice addition to the collection. I would have preferred to have had my '81 Donruss card signed instead, but this one still looks good.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

1985 Fleer, Orel Hershiser

#371 Orel Hershiser

Here is the thrid and final Orel Hershiser card that I have, for now (maybe I'll pick up a signed Indians card sometime). I got the first autograph that I posted at the College World Series this year and I got the second one TTM in the mid-90s. So, where did I get this one? This one also came from the College World Series.

Now, compared to yesterdays Joe Carter rookie, there wasn't much of a debate as to whether or not to take the card. The only debate was whether I actually had it or not. Once I found it, it was a sure thing that it was going on vacation with me.

I have no idea how long I have had this card. I pulled it out of my very first binder that I started (no, I don't like to reorganize). I probably picked this gem up in a trade with the neighborhood sixth graders when I was in first grade. Who knows what I had to give up to get it. I won some and I lost some in trades those days. I traded away a McGwire USA rookie, but I was also able to snag an Ozzie Smith rookie. Unfortunately, that was the only great year of trading for me. A couple of the kids lost interest in cards after that and one (the kid with the best cards) moved away.

1984 Topps, Chris Speier

#678 Chris Speier

Here is the third and final card that I got signed by Chris Speier in June. Chris is the Reds bench coach and I got this card signed on the way to Omaha when I stopped in Kansas City. You can see the first card here and the second one here.

When I go to type Chris' last name, I can never remember if it is e-i-e or i-e-i. So, I use this helpful little tune below (and drop the "o"). Skip to the 1:59 mark to see what I am saying.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

1984 Donruss, Joe Carter

#41 Joe Carter

Here is the second card that I was able to get Joe Carter to sign for me in Omaha in June. When I handed this card to him to get signed, he said "ooohh, a rookie card".

Before I went to Omaha, I had a decent debate with myself on whether I should take this card with me or not. I've had this card since the early '90s and it was always one of the better cards in my collection. The Beckett that I just dug up from 1992 lists it as $32. I have no idea what it books for now, but since it is an '84 Donruss, I bet that it books for at least $10 (but I could be wrong). I wasn't sure if I wanted to get a $10+ card signed, so I headed over to ebay to see what they were going for. You can find auctions for this card starting out at $.99 and buy it nows for $4 with free shipping. After seeing that, I decided to get this card signed. If I ever wanted to get a new one, I knew where I could find one.

Are there any Beckett readers out there that can tell me the book value of this card (before it got signed)?

I thought that it was kind of cool that Joe changed Sharpie colors when signing my two cards. He signed this one first and the Pinnacle card second. The Pinnacle card has a lot of blue in it, so it is good to see that he switched to black for that one.

Contest Winnings from APAD

A couple of weeks ago, I won a contest at A Pack A Day. If you haven't been following APAD lately, you are missing out. Skoormit has been a one-man posting machine on there. He's been averaging close to a pack a day while also updating his own blog, EX-MT.

A few weeks ago, he had a contest where he bought some packs of '88 Topps. You had to guess if there would be more California-born players or more foriegn-born players in the packs and you had to guess how many more there would be. The name of the contest was "Cali vs World". Cali won by 23 and I had the closest guess at 14.

Skoormit asked me what I wanted and I told him that I would take some Royals cards, but if he had any junk autos sitting around, I would rather have them. He ended up sending me some cool Royals cards and one autograph (which isn't junk). I'll show the Royals here and save the auto for a later date. If you really want to know who it is, go to Skoormit's blog. He posted the winnings on there.

Here is the first scan. There is a bunch of gold Royals here. But, the one card that really stood out to me was the Joey Gathright mini. I have never seen those before. Were they randomly inserted into packs of Fleer that year, or what?

Here is the second scan. There is some new OPC, a Fleer Greats Bo, a couple of Royals legends out of the '84 Topps set, and a couple of '71 Topps Royals. Check out that Rich Severson card. It has a few wrinkles in it and some bent corners. But the one feature that really stands out to me is the tack hole in it. Look just behind his head and you can see a nice exit wound from a tack. The tack entered the photo on the back by his cheek and came out on the other side in the back of the head. Someone didn't like Mr. Severson as a kid.

Here is the highlight of the package.

A Bo Jackson bat card form 2008 Playoff Prime Cuts, numbered 25/99. How cool is that? This is my first game used card of a former player and it's Bo! For about four months in 1991, I became a Bo player collector. I had nearly all of his cards up to that point except for some Traded/Update rookie cards. So this is a very cool addition. Thanks Skoormit!