Saturday, October 31, 2009

1995 Topps, Kevin Seitzer

#309 Kevin Seitzer

I got this card signed at Kauffman Stadium this past April. It was the first Royals game of the year that I was able to attend. It was a day game at the end of the team's first homestand and, luckily, both teams took batting practice. I was able to get Kevin's attention as he was coming off of the field.

I ended up getting three cards signed by Seitzer this season. I got one signed at Fanfest in January. This was the second one that I got signed. The third one was the '87 Fleer that was a tag team effort between Ryan, of the Great Orioles Autograph Projest, and my dad.

From what I can tell of Seitzer, he seems to only sign one card per person. I took this card to get signed because I didn't have any cards from this set signed and I wanted a non-Royals card signed by him.

Friday, October 30, 2009

1995 SP, Raul Casanova

#20 Raul Casanova

This is another Padrograph from Rod. This one features journeyman backup cacher, Raul Casanova. Interestingly, Raul never played a game with the Padres. He was traded to Detroit before that could happen.

Raul played parts of nine seasons in the big leagues. He only appeared in more than 100 games in a season once. He spent time with the Tigers, Brewers, Orioles, White Sox, Devil Rays, and Mets. He also spent some time in the Padres, Rockies, Red Sox, Royals, and A's organizations. This season was spent playing for two different Mexican League teams.

Speaking of Padrographs, there is only a couple of days left to enter his contest. If you haven't already done so, check it out.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

1995 Signature Rookies, Matt Beaumont

#DD1 Matt Beaumont

Here is another card that I know nothing about. I am assuming that this card was in the same set as yesterdays card. Judging by the "1 of 10,000" line and the number on the back, this must be an insert card. Matt got off lucky and only had to sign just over a fifth of the 10,000 cards made of him.

Matt never made it to the Major Leagues. In fact, he really struggled at the AA level. He pitched in AA in parts of six seasons and only pitched in two games in AAA. For his career, he posted an ERA that is around 5 for the AA level.

I must say that this is one of the ugliest cards that I have ever seen. What is up with that border? The only good part to the design of this card is the imaginary Angles uniform that Signature Rookies invented.

I got this card earlier in the week from dayf, the Cardboard Junkie. I won a Gwinnett Braves schedule and he sent this card and a Dennis Leonard card along with it. Thanks!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

1995 Signature Rookies, Jason Hutchins

#14 Jason Hutchins

This card was given to me by Paul, of Paul's Random Stuff. I must have got my fill of Signature Rookies in 1994 because I did not own a single card from this set until I got this card. One of the first things I notice about it is that it has a "torn" edge on it with the player's name, just like the draft pick cards in yesterdays Pinnacle set did. At least I think that that is supposed to be a torn edge. I guess that it could be mountains since Jason was in the Rockies system.

As for Jason's career, it was a short one. He only lasted three years in pro ball. His third season was in AA and he posted a 3.86 ERA in 14 innings of work, striking out 14 and walking 14. I have no idea if he was just released or if an injury ended his career.

As for the "CV" on his hat, that must have been from his days with the Central Valley Rockies of the California League. The team was located in Visalia and for two years, decided against the Oaks moniker.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

1995 Pinnacle, Scott Elarton

#171 Scott Elarton

Here is another through the mail success, I think. This one was done by the Collective Troll who then sent it to me a few months ago. I have no idea when this autograph was obtained.

For me, I mostly remember Scott for being a Royal. He was the number one pitcher on a couple of very bad Royals teams. He had a lot of arm problems throughout his career and that trend continued during his time in Kansas City. He only pitched in 29 games in his two years as a Royal. 9 of those games were in the second year after coming back from an injury. He posted 10.46 ERA during those 9 starts and somehow he got 2 wins and only 4 losses. That is amazing. I was quite happy the day the Royals released him. He was, however, a 17 game winner in 2000 with the Astros before he started having arm problems.

The Indians picked him up after the Royals had let him go and he ended up getting into 8 games in 2008, all in relief. He pitched pretty well and posted a 3.52 ERA in 15.1 innings of work while striking out 15.

These draft pick cards remind me of the 1994 Score Select set with the torn edge in them. I think I like the base cards better, even though they had more foil on them.

Monday, October 26, 2009

1995 Pinnacle, Charles Johnson

#158 Charles Johnson

Here is another through the mail success that I had in the mid '90s. Just like Chipper Jones, I was expecting great things from Charles Johnson. While he did spend parts of twelve seasons in the Majors and made two All Star teams, I think that it is fair to say that he never lived up to the expectations. He was a career .245 hitter that showed signs of having some pop.

His best season in baseball was deffinitely his 2000 season, spent with the Orioles and the White Sox. He hit 21 dingers in 84 games as an O. He then hit 10 more in 44 games with the Sox. He finished the season with 91 RBI and a .304 average. Those were all career highs for him.

Johnson was traded to the Dodgers in 1998 in the big Piazza trade. After his one season in LA, he bounced around a bunch. He ended up playing for a total of six teams in his career and did two stints with the Marlins. His final season was 2005 with the Devil Rays. He played in 19 games for them before being released.

The World Series is set

A few minutes ago, I was checking out the Bushmaster site. While I was there and looking at weapons, I couldn't decide what I wanted. So, I went and looked through some old photos of mine to see what my old M-16 used to look like. While I was looking, I found a few pictures of Iraqis wearing hats of the two teams that will be appearing in the World Series. Here they are.

First up is the first team to clinch, the Phillies. Check this out. Notice the one kid there with the Phils hat. He is accompanied by a few friends and my old gunner, SGT Burgess.

Unfortunately, the Yanks held off the Halos tonight. I would have preferred that the Angels had won, but ultimately, it would not have fit this post (I have no pictures of an Angels hat in Iraq). So here is an Iraqi kid that will surely be cheering on the Yankees on Wednesday.

Damn, I found another Yankee fan in the bunch. I guess that means the Yankees are going to win, 4 games to 2. I hope that is not the case. But if it is, at least we have someone to blame.

On a side note, these are the only two teams that I can find in my Iraq picture albums. I know that I saw more, but I do not have pictures of them. For instance, I saw two different Royals shirts there. One looked like a kids stadium giveaway. The other was a polo that looked like it belonged to an employee of the supermarket that used to sponsor the team. So, in the end, I think that it is kind of ironic that the only photos that I have of MLB teams in Iraq feature the two teams that will be facing each other next week. What are the odds?

Sunday, October 25, 2009

1995 Pinnacle, Chipper Jones

#111 Chipper Jones

This is another awesome TTM that I got back in the mid-'90s, most likely 1995. Looking back, it is great to see a few successful TTMs from young players that turned out to be really good. More often than not, you end up with the Ted Woods and Phil Hiatts.

I don't think that I need to say much about Chipper. His career speaks for itself. His batting average did fall 100 points from last year, though. For most players, that would be catastrophic. But not for Chipper. He still finished at .264, which was the second lowest of his career. It makes me wonder if it was an off year or is his age catching up with him?

So, what do you think? If Chipper retired today, would he be Hall of Fame worthy?

The back of this card lists Chipper's position as "Infield/OF". He can do it all.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

1995 Old Judge, Karim Garcia

#14 Karim Garcia

This card was given to me as a Christmas gift from my dad when I was in high school. Why he picked this particular card is beyond me. I liked the Dodgers at the time, so I am sure that the local card shop owner talked-up this card to my dad. Either way, it is still a cool card to have. I wish I still got random autographs for Christmas.

Karim had a ten year Major League career with seven different teams. The most games he ever played in one season was 113. That was in 1998 with the exspansion Diamondbacks. After the 1999 season, he was pretty much up and down from AAA to the Majors for the rest of career. He might best be described as a AAAA player. He dominated AAA (.288 average, 205 home runs), but not the Major Leagues (.241 avg, 66 HR).

As for this set, I know nothing about it. This is the only card that I have from it. All I know is that it was made by Signature Rookies and the card is small (slightly bigger than an A&G mini). I have no idea if these cards made up their own set or of they were inserts in another set.

Friday, October 23, 2009

1995 Leaf, Brian McRae

#347 Brian McRae

This is the fifth Brian McRae card that I have posted on here. But this one is different. Unlike the previous four, I actually know when and where I got this card signed. The rest of them had been accumulated over the years and they just seemed to blend together. But not this one. Also, this is the first B-Mac card where he is not a Royal.

I got this card signed this past spring at the youth baseball clinic here in town. B-Mac was one of the five former Royals helping to teach the kids. They weren't any infielders in the group, so Brian did the infield and base running teaching.

On a side note, I got my first ever 1 of 1 today. I got a Josh Hamilton magenta printing plate out of a pack of Topps U&H. I will be trying to get it signed next summer.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

1995 Leaf, James Mouton

#101 James Mouton

This is the third and final James Mouton card that I got signed at Astros Fanfest last spring. You can see the first one here and the second one here.

I really like this Leaf set. It's from 1995, so of course it has some foiling. But, it is pretty minimal. I like how the team name and inset picture have a foil-like look to them without using the typical foil process. I don't know what this is called, but it looks good. You can still see James' foot underneath the "A". Plus, when the light hits these cards right, the silver has a prism effect, almost like a refractor.

Click on the card and check out James' right forearm. Does that look freaky or is it just me?

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

1995 Donruss, Shane Reynolds

#307 Shane Reynolds

This is the second Shane Reynolds card that I have posted on here. The last one was a minor league card of him from his days in the Texas League. There is still one card of him coming up, but it probably won't appear until early 2010. Like the last Reynolds card, this one was obtained at Astros Fanfest.

I'm not a big fan of 1995 Donruss. The cards all look good, I just don't like the foil. Usually, I don't mind foil, but I have a hard time reading the name on the cards when I'm going through them quickly looking for a certain player.

This blog is in a bit of a funk right now. Starting with the Joe Randa card on Monday, all of the posts up to Friday feature players that have been on here before. That will end on Saturday, though.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Cards from Padrographs and the Collective Troll

A couple of weeks ago, I got a couple of packages in the mail. One was from Rod, of Padrographs, and the other was from Marck, The Collective Troll. I've been meaning to post these the past two weeks but I haven't gotten around to it for various reasons. Sorry about that. But, here they are now.

First up is the package from Rod. It was a nice assortment of Royals and it even contained one Padrograph. Besides the Padrograph, here were a few of the highlights.

2000 Topps, Brett Laxton: I like this card because I actually remember Laxton. I saw him pitch once in Kansas City and he threw 3 scoreless innings in relief. He is best known for recording 16 Ks in the College World Series as a freshman for LSU.

2009 Goodwin Champions, Zack Grienke: I'm pretty sure that this is the only current Royal in the set. Now I don't have to buy any packs of GC.

1997 Topps, Joe Randa: I didn't know that he was on the Topps All-Rookie Team. Cool card.

2008 Razor, Mike Montgomery: I have bought a few of these cards to get signed and they look great. I'm sure that this one will, too.

1989 Pacific, Bo Jackson: You can never have enough Bo Jackson cards. Never.

2009 Phungo, Luke Hochevar: This is actually a double, but it is still cool. It's not every day that you get a Phungo card in the mail.

2009 A&G, Zack Grienk mini: I bought a box of A&G this year, but I never got this card. This card is definitely heading to Fanfest with me.

Next up are some of the cards from the Troll. He sent me all of the Royals and '81 Donruss cards that he had. Here is just a peak at some of the goodies.

Like I said, he sent me all of his '81 Donruss cards. I'm not sure which ones I don't have, but I do know that I need that Pattin card.

There were even some '82 Donruss thrown in (both Pirates and Royals). It's good to see that Donruss kept their Chicago theme going in '82.

He threw in some cards from the '92 Classic/Best set. Those are always good cards. You never know when you night run across a former minor leaguer coaching in the minors.

He sent a few Frank Whites that I didn't have. That In Action card is sweet. I have never seen it before. It will be going to Fanfest with me as a back-up.

He sent me quite a few Dennis Leonard cards, too. I probably have more autographs from Dennis Leonard than from other player. Now I got some more cards to get signed in case I run across him at an alumni signing.

Out of all of the cards that he sent, this one is by far my favorite. You might be wondering why this one is my favorite. Surely I have three of these and at least two of them do not have that small stain in the top right corner. Truth be told, I only have one of these cards. And I took it to Minneapolis with me to get signed since Frank works for the Royals broadcast. My little autograph book holds three cards per page and I put Frank on the same page as two John Mizerock cards. I got John to sign for me and he started signing away. He signed his '87 Topps card. He then signed his '87 Donruss card. I saw where he was going and tried to tell him to stop before he started to sign my '81 Donruss Frank White. I got his to stop alright, right after he signed "John M" on it.

When he had realized what he had done, he just stopped and stared at it, then looked up at me and said "oh, man, I'm sorry. I'm sorry about that". Since there was nothing to be done, I just told him not to worry about it and thanked him for signing. He got fired a week later*. But, on a positive note, I got a replacement for it much sooner than I ever thought I would.

All in all, there were some great cards in both packages. There were way too many to scan, so these were the ones that intrigued me the most. Thank you Rod and Marck!!

*Obviously, John Mizerock's firing had nothing to do with him signing my Frank White card. He has managed at every level in the Royals organization and I was sorry to see that they let him go.

1995 Donruss, Pat Meares

#185 Pat Meares

This is the last Pat Meares card that I have to show on here. Like I've said in the two or three previous Meares' posts, he is a local guy and was the talk of the town in the when I was in middle and high school. Now, the talk of the town is Terence Newman of the Cowboys.

I got this card signed at the same time that I got the last Meares card signed. It was at the local AMBUCS boat and RV show that they have here every year. Though I had been to one of the shows before, I'm pretty sure that I only went to this specific one since Pat was going to be there.

I just went back and checked. I only have one other signed Meares card and it was a TTM from right after he got called up.

Monday, October 19, 2009

1995 Collector's Choice, Joe Randa

#14 Joe Randa

This is the second or three Randa autographs that I got at Royals Fanfest. You can see the first one that I posted here. At the rate I am on, the third Joe Randa should pop up sometime in 2011 (although a Padrograph might make an appearance next year).

Joe was a fan-favorite during his time in Kansas City and I enjoyed watching him play. One of the reasons he was so popular was because he was always smiling. In fact, I think it is impossible for him to frown. He was called the Joker because he had the same permanent grin that Jack Nicholson's character had in the original Batman movie. If you don't believe me, just take a look at that card. He is in the act of throwing, yet appears to have an odd smile on his face. That's the Joker for you.

Joe had two stints with the Royals. Many KC fans were sad to see him go after the 2004 season. But the Royals front office wanted a youth-movement and they didn't see Joe in the plans. So Joe signed with the Reds and did good enough to get traded to the Padres before the trade deadline. With San Diego, Joe got his only playoff appearance as the Padres lost in the first round to the Cardinals, 3-1.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

1995 Classic 5 Sport, Chad Hermansen

#122 Chad Hermansen

I pulled this card out of a pack, maybe in 1996. I bought a box of this stuff for cheap at a KB Toy Store when I was out of town at a baseball tournament. The box was a year old, so I probably paid 10-15 bucks for it. It sounded like a good idea at the time and it gave me something to do on the ride home.

I was very surprised to find this card in there. I didn't even know that there were autographs in the box. I pulled two, this one and some hockey player that never made it to the NHL. There is no number on the card back (I got the number from his regular card). All it says on the back is "Congratulations! You Have Just Received A Limited-Edition Autographed Card."

Chad played in 189 Major League games with the Pirates, Cubs, Dodgers, and Blue Jays. He was a .195 career hitter who tallied 13 home runs.

I have no idea how many of these cards he signed for Classic. I just hope that all of them are not as hard to see as mine is.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

1995 Classic 5 Sport, Todd Greene

#109 Todd Greene

I got this card signed in Baltimore last month. Todd was a coach for the Rays at the time. Unfortunately, the Rays recently chose not to bring him back for next season.

Todd seems like a great signer. I got this card and one other one signed in Baltimore. I also got a card signed by him outside of Kauffman Stadium when the Rays were in Kansas City this summer. I would have gotten all three signed in KC, but I didn't know that I even had this card then. It was hiding in a small binder of mid-90s minor league cards. I guess that I should go through my binders more often.

This is the first 5 Sport card on here. I posted one 4 Sport card on here last year, but we are not talking about 4 Sport. We're talking 5. For some reason, Classic thought that they should include NASCAR drivers in this set. That is the 5th sport.

Friday, October 16, 2009

1995 Bowman's Best, Dennis Eckersley

#58 Dennis Eckersley

Here is another great through the mail success that I got in the mid-90s. I'm not too sure about my card selection on this one, but an autograph from a Hall of Famer is an autograph from a Hall of Famer. Usually, my scanner can make a bad card look better, but that is not the case with this one. It looks much better in person. I guess my scanner couldn't handle all of the foil.

I don't think that there is much I can tell you about Dennis that isn't already known. He, of course, was the first player to ever have a 20 win season and a 50 save season during his career. The difference between Dennis and John Smoltz (the other guy to have accomplished that feat) is that there was a 14-year span between the two seasons. There was only a 7-year gap for Smoltz, who ended up moving back into the rotation.

Eck finished his career a six time All Star with 390 saves. In 1992, the year he recorded 51 saves, he was awarded the American League Cy Young award and the MVP award. So far, he is the last pitcher to be named MVP.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

1981 Donruss, Tim Raines

#538 Tim Raines

This is the card that I referenced yesterday in the Ron Karkovice post. Tim is the Newark Bears manager and somehow, Paul was able to get this card signed for me before the Bears season came to a close.

This is actually my second Tim Raines autograph. I got the first one TTM in the early '90s while he was with the White Sox. But, I probably sent him the worst card that one could send to get signed. As a result, I ended up with a signed card of him where you can barely make out the signature. That is not the case with this card. This autograph looks fantastic. I like how he added his number, as well. He didn't add his number on my TTM autograph.

That is a sweet picture of Tim. I like how you can see his entire forehead because his hat is just sitting in his head. Also, check out those wristbands. Those are classic.

The funny thing about this card is Tim's position- second base. I never noticed that before until Paul posted this card on his blog a few months ago. It's hard to believe that Tim Raines has played second, but it is true. He played second in 53 Major League games.

Thanks Paul!

'81 Donruss Tracker: 35/1000

If you want a quick laugh, check out this old post where some anonymous jokester has a man-crush on Tim Garland.

1994 Ultra, Wally Whitehurst

#284 Wally Whitehurst

Here is the third and final Wally Whitehurst card that I got signed in Wilmington, Delaware. This was the only card of him that I could find where he is not a Met. Also, this is one of the few Padre cards that I have that wasn't sent to me by Rod, of Padrographs (who is running a contest right now). You can see the first card here and the second card here.

I'll have one more card up tonight (an '81 Donruss) and then I will start with my 1995s tomorrow.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

1994 Select, Ron Karkovice

#33 Ron Karkovice

I thought that this post was going to be the last one before I started onto the 1995 cards. But, I got a few autographs in the mail today. So 1995 is going to be delayed until Friday.

This card came in today from Paul, of Paul's Random Stuff. Amizingly, this Select card fell in between the '94 Score I posted earlier and the '94 Ultra I had planned for tonight. Good timing Paul.

Ron is a coach for the Newark Bears, Paul's local Atlantic League team. When Paul offered to help out people with autographs from the Atlantic League teams, he made a few rules. One of the rules was there were a few coaches that didn't seem to like signing and he tried to avoid- don't send cards of them. Another rule was don't send cards of pitchers since they were hard to get to. The final rule was not to send cards of the Bears because they were not great signers.

Well, like the good gremlin owner that I am, I only broke two of the three rules. I sent him one pitcher and a handful of Bears. The pitcher was a former Royal and I told him if he could get it, that would be great. If he couldn't, it is not a problem. As for the Bears, it was kind of the same deal, except I told him to go ahead and keep whatever he was unable to get signed (with the exception of tomorrows card).

When I got all of my cards back from him last month, I noticed I was missing a couple of cards that I sent him. I figured that he was just unable to get them signed and he kept them like I told him to do. But, I didn't get back the one card that I wanted back regardless, so I emailed him. To my pleasant surprise, he was still trying to get those cards signed for me.

Paul- Thank you very much! I owe you one.

1994 Score, Jose Guzman

#178 Jose Guzman

Here is the third (actually fourth) and final card from Jose Guzman that I got signed in Arlington. You can see the first one here, the second one here, and the one that started it all here.

Whenever I do one of these Jose Guzman posts, I always type out Juan Guzman at least once. Sometimes, I have to look at the card to make sure I am writing about the right Guzman.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

1993-94 Fleer Excel, Jose Herrera

#145 Jose Herrera

This is another card that Paul was able to get signed for me at an Atlantic League game. Paul got this card signed for me while Jose was playing with the Long Island Ducks.

Jose's professional career closely resembles that of Kevin Baez. Both made it to the Major Leagues fairly early in the careers in the '90s. But, with less than two years of Major League service time, they would never appear in another Major League game. Yet, their dream of one day getting back would last for some time.

For Jose, he had a slow start in the pros and had to repeat Rookie ball. But, in his fifth season, he got called up from AA and made it into 33 games with the A's. He started the next season in AA, but was quickly called up to the A's. This time around, he appeared in 108 games and hit .269. That was his last stint in the Majors as he started out the next season playing for Oakland's AAA team. That was his first tour for a AAA team in his career.

He spent the next three seasons in AAA. He sat out for two seasons before appearing in the Mexican League. He sat out the next season before becoming a Newark Bear in 2005 (plus fives games with Bowie of the Eastern League). He stayed with Newark until at least the 2008 season. I can't find any stats of him from this year and he is not on Long Island's current roster, so I am not sure how much time he spent with them. But, he has done a good job of keeping his dream alive. I hope that he can get into coaching at some point.

As for this card, the back of it lists Jose as an Athletic. But, he is obviously wearing a uniform of a Toronto affiliate. Apperantly, Jose was part of an August waiver trade that sent him and Steve Karsay to the Oakland organization for Rickey Henderson. As a result of that, he only played in four games that season as a A's minor leaguer.

As for the Hagerstown Suns, they are still in the South Atlantic League. They are currently affiliated with the Nationals.

Monday, October 12, 2009

1993 Ted Williams, Bert Campaneris

#44 Bert Campaneris

This is the third and final Bert Campaneris card that I got signed at the Willie Wilson Hall of Fame Classic in Kansas City. The game was held in July after the All-Star break. You can see the first card that he signed here and the second one here. Also, you can see the one card that I got signed by him the previous year here.

There really isn't anymore to say about this autograph that I didn't say in any of the other Campaneris posts. But, like I said in the last Wills post, this set is great for autographs. This one is black and white and the black Sharpie really stands out. The Wills card had some color and the blue Sharpie really went well with the Dodger Blue in his uniform. I wish that I could say I planned it that way.

1993 Ted Williams, Maury Wills

#17 Maury Wills

Here is the third and final Maury Wills card that I got signed at a Ft. Worth Cats game in August. You can see the first one here and the second one here. I got all three cards signed by Maury after he made his way up to the concourse after catching the ceremonial first pitch from some former Indy car driver. Of the three cards, this one probably looks the best. It seems like these cards were made for autographs.

During the game, they had a table set up where Maury was signing. Even though I had my cards signed, I decided to go through the line so that I could get team-issued photocard signed. It is not the best looking card that I had ever seen (the main picture is modern day Maury in a suit, with two smaller pictures as a Cat and Dodger), but I figured that I would get it signed. When I got to the front of the line to get the card signed, Maury looked up at me and then looked at the usher and said like "I don't what it is about baseball, but it has a way of making grown men smile like little boys". I can't remember if he said smile or gleam or what, but it was something like that. I thought it was pretty funny.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

1993 Leaf, Mark McLemore

#512 Mark McLemore

Here is the second Mark McLemore card that I have posted on here. Like I mentioned on the first post, this autograph was obtained prior to the Rangers pregame show. The show is done right off the concourse down the left field line.

When I did the first McLemore post, I was in Maryland and I didn't have all of my ballpark photos with me. Now that I am home, here is a picture of the pre/post-game set with Mark and his co-host doing their thing.

That was from a game in 2008. Because of that, I knew to take some cards of him this year.

They even have some TVs set up in that area. I was able to get a picture of myself on TV. Pretty lame, huh?

1993 Leaf, Jose Guzman

#266 Jose Guzman

Here is another Jose Guzman card from my trip to Arlington in August. I had planned on only taking one Guzman card with me on the trip. I had wanted a card signed by him as a Cub since I got a Rangers card signed last year by him. When I started looking for cards, I quickly found a card of his as a Cub- a '94 Score. So, I set it to the side and started looking for cards of Mark McLemore. I started in '89 Score and I found another Jose Guzman, so I set it to the side. I eventually found the McLemore I was looking for and headed to this set to find another one. Again, before I found the McLemore, I stumbled onto another Guzman and set it to the side also.

So, that it how I ended up getting three cards signed by Jose Guzman. It was an accident.

I do like this card, though. Jose really stands out against the blue wall.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

1993 Fleer, Joe Orsulak

#549 Joe Orsulak

I got this card signed in Baltimore last month. I went to an Orioles game on a Monday, which just happens to be the day the team has their alumni signing. Luckily, Ryan, of the Great Orioles Autograph Project, knew in advance who was going to be there and he brought some cards for me. He gave me a stack of Orsulaks and told me to pick out whichever one I wanted. I almost took the '86 Topps card of him as a Pirate, but I decided to get one signed with him as an Oriole.

Joe even gave me a team-issued photocard that he signed.

Friday, October 9, 2009

1993 Donruss, Kevin Baez

#361 Kevin Baez

Here is a card that Paul, from Paul's Random Stuff, got signed for me at an Atlantic League game. Kevin was a coach for the Long Island Ducks.

Kevin only played in 63 Major League games over a three year span. All of them were with the Mets. He hit .179 for his career with 7 RBI. He even obtained one intentional walk, so he must have been hitting eighth that game, right in front of the pitcher.

1993 was his last season in the Majors, but his playing career lasted until 2005. He played eight more seasons in AAA with the Orioles, Tigers, Twins, Reds, and even the Mets (eight years after they traded him to the O's). After that, he played four more seasons in the Atlantic League with the Ducks.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

1993 Bowman, Brian Rupp

#700 Brian Rupp

Here is another card that I got signed in Wilmington. Brian is the Blue Rocks manager.

After I got my three autographs from Wally Whitehurst, it started to sprinkle. The sprinkle turned to rain and the I thought that I wasn't going to get anymore autographs before the game. But it was short-lived and once I thought that it had stopped, I got this card signed by Brian. It was still apparently sprinkling, although barely, and you can see a few spots in this signature that got hit (you'll have to click on the image to see a larger version). I had a buddy with me at the game that was trying to get autographs from the Hillcats in the pouring rain, so this one is great compared to some of his attempts.

Brian never made it to the Major Leagues. He played in the Cardinals organization his entire career, mostly as a first baseman. He had good on-base numbers, but his power numbers were pretty weak. Maybe he will eventually make it as a coach. His Hillcats did win the Carolina League championship this year.

I got this card from It is one of the funky foil bordered cards that look like an oil spill with the sun shining on it right. The card commemorates Brian being the player of the year in the Arizona League. He lead the league in batting (.386), total bases (102), slugging (.493), and doubles (20).

1992 Upper Deck, Wally Whitehurst

#414 Wally Whitehurst

Here is the second autograph that I got from Wally in Wilmington, Delaware. He was P.J. Forbes' pitching coach for the Lynchburg Hillcats. He was also the one that said that it wasn't going to rain anymore when the Blue Rocks grounds crew was pulling the tarp back onto the field. But, I'll have more on that in the next post, which will be up tonight sometime.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

1992 Classic/Best, P.J. Forbes

#376 P.J. Forbes

I got this card signed at the Wilmington Blue Rocks playoff game. PJ was the manager of the visiting Lynchburg Hillcats. At the game, I was trying to get autographs from the Rocks. I had my buddy getting autographs from the 'Cats for me. He wasn't able to get PJ's before the game because he didn't know which one he was. I was able to get the card signed after the game. It was easier to spot him then since he still had on his coaching helmet.

PJ had a long minor league career. He had two brief call-ups to the Majors. The Orioles called him up in 1998 and he got 10 at-bats in 9 games and got one hit. The second call-up came in 2001 with the Phillies. With them, he only got 7 at-bats in 3 games with 2 hits. That was it for his Major League career. He played one more year of AAA ball and that was the end of his playing career.

I like PJ since he played for Wichita State and was on their lone NCAA championship team in 1989. This is the fifth player from that team that I have an autographed card of.

On this card, PJ is playing for the Quad City River Bandits. The Bandits are still around even though they changed their name to the Swing of the Quad Cities for a few years. They play in a beautiful ballpark in Davenport, Iowa that gets flooded from the river occasionally.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

1991 Topps, John Shelby

#746 John Shelby

Now that game 163 has started, I figured that I would post a Tiger card (even though I am pulling for the Twins).

This is the second John Shelby card that I have posted on here. Like the first one, I got this card signed in Baltimore last month. John is the O's first base coach. Also like the first one, it has his crazy, impossible to read signature. I would think that that scribble would be hard to duplicate, but John has it down.

I like this card because the picture was taken at Royals Stadium. You can see the bright orange seats (which look red here) that were put in when the park was built in the '70s and part of the stadium club. Plus, it is always fun to see some older pictures from the turf days. There are some years when the Royals have fast outfielders that I wish they still had the turf. But, you can't beat the look of real grass.

Miguel Cabrera just went deep to put the Tigers up by three.

1991 Topps, Xavier Hernandez

#194 Xavier Hernandez

Here is the second card that Xavier signed for me in Scranton, Pennsylvania when his Durham Bulls were in town. You can see the first card here.

Again, I was in a hurry to get ready to go on the race/baseball trip, so I only took two cards of Xavier. I wish that I would have taken the time to find a third card of him as a Yankee. Oh well,I probably wouldn't have found one anyway.

This card reminds me of '81 Donruss. From now on, any card that has the ivy in the background will probably remind me of '81 Donruss.

Monday, October 5, 2009

The Bob Feller Museum

Yesterday, on the way home from Minneapolis, I decided to cut through Nebraska rather than drive through Kansas City. The Sprint Cup race was in KC, and I wanted to avoid that traffic at all costs. Shortly after getting on I-80 in Des Moines, I was low on gas and looking for a gas station. I saw a sign for the Bob Feller Museum in Van Meter, Iowa and there happened to be a gas station in the town as well. So, I stopped for gas and then headed to the museum.
(click on pictures for an enlarged view)

The museum was very small and the one thing that stood out to me the most was the outside wall by the small parking lot.

It may not look like much, but the wall has a 3D look to it. From the side shot here, you can see that everything sticks out from the wall. Technically, I think that this is called a relief.

I got to the museum just before it closed and watched most of a video about Bob. It was kind of funny since it was probably made in the early '80s and was hosted by Tom Seaver.

There were only two rooms in the museum. One had tons of memorabilia from his youth, his Navy years, and his playing days. It was obviously the better of the two rooms. They even had the bat that Babe Ruth held during his retirement ceremony at Yankee Stadium in 1948.

That artifact had the best story in the museum. The Indians were in town that day. For some reason, before the Babe went onto the field, he grabbed a bat. The bat that he grabbed just happened to be Bob Feller's (why he was in the Indians dugout, I do not know). After the ceremony, one of the Indians players got the bat and got the Babe to sign it (the signature is just barely visible now). I think that Bob ended up giving the bat to the player that had got it signed (I don't quite remember that part) and Bob signed it as well. Many years later, the bat ended up in an auction and Upper Deck bought it for $107,000. They ended up giving it away in a sweepstakes and a teacher in Seattle won it. The teacher was pretty happy with it until he learned that he would have to pay over $30,000 in taxes to keep it. He tried to raise money for it, but he ended up reaching an agreement with Bob for an undisclosed amount. Now the bat is on display at the museum.

The other room had some oddball stuff in it. One of the things was the Bob Feller Award which is given to the best high school pitchers in Iowa every year. They also had some memorabilia from all of the Hall of Famers at Yankee Stadium last year for the All-Star game.

They had a small, but nice, gift shop. They had the usual t-shirts and things like that. They also had a ton of autographed memorabilia from former players that had been there for signings. They had autographed balls, bats, jerseys, and 8x10s. They also had many things there signed by Bob.

I talked to the guy that ran the place and he told me that the autograph signings were what kept the doors open. He also said that he was amazed at how many autograph requests Bob still gets through the museum every week. I asked if there was a charge for the autographs and he said that it was $25 and another $5 for an inscription. I looked down in the case that I was leaning on and noticed some autographed cards and I asked how much those were. He said that they were $10.

Most of the "cards" were just pictures cut so that they were card size. There were even a few '08 Goudey cards of him. But unfortunately, those were not signed. I finally noticed an oddball card that was more than just a picture (there was an actual back to it) and decided to get it. It is numbered 10/100, but I do not recognise the logo at all. There is no date or any other useful information on the back besides the card number- 4. Does anyone know anything about this card? All I know about it is that it saved me $15 by not having to send my own card for him to sign.

The card briefly talks about Bob enlisting into the Navy two days after Pearl Harbor. In 2006, I was driving to Georgia from my grandparent's home in Texas. When I got to Mobile, Alabama, I decided to take a break and check out the USS Alabama that was on display there. The Alabama was an old battleship and one of the main things that I remember about it was that Bob served on the ship. They had a few pictures and autographs on display there. (Another thing that I remember about it was that the movie "Under Siege" was filmed there). It wasn't mentioned in the museum, but I thought that I read in the Alabama that Bob was the first Major Leaguer to join the service after Pearl Harbor. That is something worth appreciating and here is a picture I took of the ship on that trip (it's Bob Feller related).

As for what could have been and still might be the final days of the Metrodome, I had a really good time. I went to the game on Friday and Saturday. I waited too long to get tickets to the Sunday game and I am kind of glad that I didn't go to it since it wasn't the last game at the dome. But here is a picture from Fridays game. Notice the retired numbers in the upper deck in the outfield.

Here is a picture from the game on Saturday. They opened up the seating in the upper deck and pulled up the curtains that the banners and retired numbers were on.

I also had time on Saturday morning to check out Target Field, the Twins new home next year. I had a hard time getting around the outside of the park, but that could have been because some of the areas were closed off because of the construction. Hopefully, it will be easier to get around it next spring. But, I liked the look of the ballpark. There was no red brick to be seen. That is always a plus in my book. Also, check out the roof. There are no light towers sticking up from it.

The reason there are no light towers is not because they have not added them yet. Instead, they tucked all of the lights into two continuous rows underneath the upper deck's cover (I took this picture from the top level of a nearby parking garage).

All in all, I had a great time this weekend. It was also sad since my baseball season is now officially over. There will be no in-person autographs until Royals Fanfest in January. But don't worry, I have enough autographs to get the blog through the off-season. Plus, I will be trying to add some '81 Donruss and vintage TTMs along the way.

Tomorrow, I will have a couple of '91 Topps to post. Hopefully, I will be starting my 1995 cards next week. I'm looking forward to it since the very first one is of a Hall of Famer.