Monday, February 28, 2011

2000 Bowman, Bryan Edwards

#108 Bryan Edwards

Here is a card that I got in the mail about a week ago from Paul, of Paul's Random Stuff fame. Paul had sent me a package out of the blue and it included a healthy stack of Royals cards, a Nolan Ryan manu-pacth card from the 1973 All Star game in Kansas City (which was really cool), and a handful of autographs. Here is the first autograph from the bunch to be posted.

This one is of the former Red, Padre, and Mets farmhand, Bryan Edwards. Just by looking at Bryan's stats, it is hard to tell what kind of minor league career he really had. The reason for that is because Bryan did three separate stints in an independent league. He was drafted by the Reds in the ninth round of the 2000 draft and he pitched in 13 minor league games for them that season. The strange part is that he also pitched for Newark, of the Atlantic League, for 6 games that season.

He then spent 2001 with the Reds Midwest League team in Dayton before ending up in the now defunct independent Western League for all of 2002. He was back in affiliated ball in '02 with the Padres, but that gig lasted just one season. He then moved over to the Mets and he spent three seasons with them while spending a majority of the time at the AA level. His last season there was 2006 and he had 4-8 record with a 4.72 ERA.

After that, it was back to the Atlantic League and Bryan played for three different teams during the 2007 season. That appears to be that last year that he played.

It kind of makes me wonder if Bryan had some behavioral problems or if he just rubbed his coaches the wrong way. You just don't see guys that young bouncing back and forth from the affiliated leagues to the independent leagues.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

1998 Sports Illustrated, Shane Halter

#161 Shane Halter

Have you ever seen a card quite like this? I don't know what the set designers at Fleer were tripping on, but it was apparently some good stuff.

I got this card signed at Fanfest last month. Out of all the Royals alumni that were there, Shane was the only one that was making his first Fanfest appearance. That was kind of cool since he really didn't have a long career and his Royals tenure only lasted 160 games. It's always nice when they bring in a somewhat obscure player. It's a good change of pace.

This was the only Shane Halter Royals card that I could find, so my choices were to get two Tigers cards signed or get this card and a Tigers card signed. You obviously know which route I went on that one.

Shane's Royals career lasted just two Major League seasons, after playing his first five pro seasons in their farm system. Hit hit .276 in his rookie campaign with 8 extra base hits. The next season, his average dropped to .221, but he had 14 extra base hits. Plus, he even pitched a scoreless inning that season. Towards the end of Spring Training the following year, Shane was traded to the Mets for a guy that never made it to the Majors.

I really do not know what to make of Shane's signature. I see an "S" and maybe an "h". Maybe he is like Ichiro and he only needs one name. Or, maybe his signature has shortened so much that he just signs "S" and then a quick and short "Halter". It's really hard to tell. At least I can make out the number he wore.

Friday, February 25, 2011

1998 Fleer Tradition, Heath Murray

#215 Heath Murray

Here is the second Heath Murry card that I have posted on here. I posted the first Heath Murray card in December of 2009. Here is a link to the first card. Go there if you care to find out more about Heath because there really isn't much more to say about him except that he has a really squiggly signature.

I believe that this is the shortest post I have ever done.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

1997 Donruss Signature Autographs, Mark Kotsay

#63 Mark Kotsay

Here is a card that I bought along with most of the Leaf Signature cards that I posted last week. This is the first card that I have from this set and I do like it. It is a bit more colorful than the Leaf set, but the cards seems to cost a bit more as well. This one cost me $1.75. While that is not expensive in any way, most of the autographs are a little more pricey than the '96 Leafs. For instance, there are 145 cards from this set on sale at right now and only seven of them cost a dollar or less. For the '96 Leaf set, 84 of their 511 cards costs a dollar or less. It obviously seems like the difference in price has to do their availability.

I bought this card of Mark just because of his college career. Growing up in Kansas in the late '80s and early '90s, there was always one baseball constant and that was Wichita State baseball. Sure I wanted to be a big league player when I was growing up, but I would have rather played in the College World Series than the MLB World Series. That was just the way I grew up. Because of that, I was always watching the CWS and it was during the 1995 CWS that Mark Kotsay became a known name to me. He had an outstanding season that year as he won the Golden Spikes Award and was named the Most Outstanding Player at the CWS.

In 1996, Mark's Cal State Fullerton team went to Wichita for regional play and, even though his '96 season was less spectacular than his '95 season, I wasn't going to miss the chance to see the future star in action. So, a buddy and I drove down to Wichita to see Fullerton take on Rice. While I no longer remember who won the game, I do know that I got to see Mark play in college.

That is one of the fun things about D1 baseball. It is a lot like the lower level minor leagues. There are hardly any household names and at least 95% of the players are not going to make it to the Majors. But, when you do catch lightning in a bottle, it is always fun to look back and say "yep, I got to see that guy play when he was in college".

As for the most recent Major Leaguer that I saw play in college, here is a grainy picture of one Buster Posey leading off of first base at the 2008 CWS.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

1997 Circa, Kevin Seitzer

#152 Kevin Seitzer

Here is the second Seitzer card that I got signed at Fanfest last month. The first card, which I posted one month and one day ago, can be seen here.

I bought this card for cheap from just prior to Fanfest. I have a few Royals cards and a Brewers card signed by Kevin, but I still needed an Indians card signed by him. When I saw this card, I just assumed that it had to be from the incredibly crazy 1995 Fleer set. That is the only thing that I thought when I saw this card. So, I bought it and when I saw it in person, I could tell just how wrong I was. Maybe I should pay a little more attention when I buy my cards online.

As it turned out, this card is from Skybox's Circa set. Who would have thought it? If this crazy-looking set wasn't modeled after '95 Fleer, than I am losing my mind. Sure, this set may be a little toned down from the '95 Fleer, but just barely. They scrapped the biography information (height, weight, birth year) for a quote and threw some foil on the card and now we have Circa instead of Fleer. I guess it should come as no surprise that Skybox was owned by Fleer at the time. No wonder Fleer is not around anymore. They couldn't learn from their past mistakes. Maybe Topps could learn a little lesson from this.

But, overall, I am completely happy with the way this card turned out. Now, I just need to get an A's card signed by Kevin and then I should be good to go.

Monday, February 21, 2011

1996 Leaf Signature Extended Autographs, Mike Magnante

#117 Mike Magnante

Here is the final 1996 Leaf Signature card that I will post for at least six months.

This was one of the other cards I bought with my hockey cards last week. The reason why I bought this card is simple. It cost me $.49. It was the cheapest signed card from the two '96 Leaf sets and I wasn't going to pass it up for that cheap.

When I bought the card, I was barely familiar with Magnante. I had seen the name before, since he played for the Royals, but I just figured that he played a couple of less than inspiring seasons and was never heard from again. I was wrong on that assumption. It turns out that Mike's Major League career lasted twelve seasons. The first half of his career was spent with the Royals before playing for Houston, Anaheim, and Oakland in the second half of his career.

Mike spent a majority of his time serving out of the bullpen and he appeared in 484 games in his career. He finished his career 26-32 with 3 saves and a 4.08 ERA. He had three sub-3.00 ERA seasons, and with him being a reliever, it is hard to say which was his best. But, since I am a bit biased, I am going to go with his rookie campaign as his best season. That year, Mike pitched 55 innings in 38 games and he posted a 2.45 ERA, which ended up being the second best ERA of his career.

Overall, I am very happy with my forty-nine cent autograph.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

1996 Leaf Signature Extended Autographs, Jose Hernandez

#78 Jose Hernandez

I had been planning on going to a hockey game yesterday and, just recently, it was announced that they were going to have an alumni game prior to the actual game. On Wednesday night, I noticed that one of the guys playing in the alumni game had actually played in the NHL and there were some cards of him from the early '80s. So, I went over to and I was able to find three cards of him for less than a dollar. But, since I needed them on such short notice, I had to pay the higher shipping charge of nine dollars so they would get here by gametime. Since my total for the cards was so cheap, I ended up buy three more cards from the 1996 Leaf sets. I'll post one of them tonight and one tomorrow and the third one will be posted whenever I get around to posting it.

The first one is of the much traveled Jose Hernandez. I got this card for $1.28. I bought this card for a couple of reasons. The first is because I remember Jose for striking out so much. Why that is a reason to go out and buy a card of him, I don't know. But, I did it anyway. The second reason why I bought the card is because I got Jose's autograph at a game in 2000. Back then, I wasn't collecting baseball cards, so I got him to sign a ball signed by three other Brewers. Now, I finally have a card signed by him, too. I think I may start looking for certified autographs of guys that I only have their autograph on baseballs.

Jose played in the Majors for fifteen seasons and he saw time with the Rangers, Indians, Cubs, Braves, Brewers, Pirates, Rockies, Dodgers, and Phillies. He was an All Star for the Brewers in 2002 and he had three seasons where he had more than 20 home runs. But, like I said earlier, Jose struck out a bunch. He racked up 1,391 strikeouts in his career while collecting 1,166 hits. He was a .252 career hitter, but imagine how much better he could have been if he could have made a little bit better contact. Oh well, he was still good enough to last fifteen seasons in the Majors, so he was obviously doing something right.

I got to see Jose play four times, and in those games, Jose had three hits versus two strikeouts.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

1996 Leaf Signature Extended Autographs, Dave Hansen

#71 Dave Hansen

Here is the final 1996 Leaf autograph for the time being. This one features the former pinch hitting extraordinaire, Dave Hansen. I bought this card because I admire guys that can succeed in specialized roles, like pinch hitting. It isn't a role for everyone and it takes a certain mindset to be comfortable in that spot and to be successful in it. Dave was all of that and I was happy to add this card to my collection for ninety-eight cents.

Dave played in the Majors for fifteen seasons and he spent the majority of the time with the Dodgers, though he did play for the Cubs, Padres, and Mariners, too. He got into 100 games in a season five times, but he exceeded 200 at-bats only twice. In 1999, Dave appeared in 100 games with the Dodgers and he got 107 at-bats. If that doesn't sum up the role of a pinch hitter, than I do not know what does.

For his career, Dave was a .260 hitter that racked up 138 pinch hits, which ranks him sixth on the all-time list. In 2000, Dave set the record with seven pinch hit home runs in a season and that record was tied the following year by Craig Wilson.

I like the sponsorship of Dave's Baseball Reference page. It reads- "A great pinch hitter, a better guitar player, and a terrific human being. Another promising career screwed over by Tommy Lasorda".

Actually, I just checked my mailbox and there are going to be two more days of '96 Leaf.

Friday, February 18, 2011

1996 Leaf Signature Extended Autographs, Pat Borders

#11 Pat Borders

Here is the next to last 1996 Leaf card that I have to post for the week. This one features the 1992 World Series MVP, Pat Borders, and him winning that award is the only reason I bought this card. It set me back one dollar.

I was shocked to see that Pat played in the Majors for parts of seventeen seasons. I had no idea. He made his Major League debut in 1988 and he played his final game in 2005. That is a long time to be playing, especially for a catcher. Plus, it looks like he played in more minor league games in his career than Major League games. That is insane.

Pat was the starting catcher for the Blue Jays in the early '90s. By 1995, he was relegated to backup duties and after 1998, he was mainly a minor league catcher that would come up whenever a catcher got injured. But, it seems like Pat took it all in stride and was fine with it. You don't see enough players like that anymore.

On a strange side note, Pat was released by the Dodgers just last month. I guess that he had been on the restricted list since 2006 and the Dodgers just got around to releasing the forty-seven year old then. Here is the link, just scroll down to the Dodgers transactions.

Throughout his career, Pat played for the Jays, Royals, Astros, Cardinals, Angels, White Sox, Indians, Mariners, and Twins. If he had only played with the Tigers, he would have played for the entire AL Central. Pat was a .253 career hitter.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

1996 Leaf Signature Series, Ken Hill

#103 Ken Hill

Here is the third card from this set that I have posted this week. This one features the former Cardinal, Expo, Indian, Ranger, Angel, White Sock, and Devil Ray, Ken Hill. The previous two cards that I posted from this set were bought for a certain reason. The only reason why I bought this card was because it was of a guy that I knew of and the fact that it only cost me one dollar.

Ken had a fourteen year career in the Major Leagues and he posted a 117-109 record and a 4.06 ERA over that time. His best season came during the strike-shortened 1994 season when Ken went 16-5 with a 3.32 ERA. That was one of three 16 win seasons that he had in his career and it was also the only year in which he made an All Star team.

Ken appears to be the only Major League player to have played college ball at North Adams State College (now Massachusetts College).

For three straight posts now, the Baseball Almanac page that I link to has had the same three cards that I have posted. I guess that whoever runs that site likes this set as much as I do. I wonder if it will continue tomorrow.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

1996 Leaf Signature Series, Mark Grudzielanek

#86 Mark Grudzielanek

Here is a card of Mark Grudzielanek that I picked up from for $1.15. I bought this card because I thoroughly enjoyed Mark's tenure with the Royals. Yet, for some reason or another, I was never able to get his signature at the ballpark. So, I bought the cheapest one that I could find and I am completely happy with it.

Mark began his career with the Expos in 1995. In just his second season in the Majors, he made his lone All Star team. He stayed with the Expos until they traded him to the Dodgers at the trade deadline in 1998. As a Dodger in 1999, Mark hit a career high of .326. He played with the Dodgers through the 2002 season before they traded him to the Cubs. He played for the Cubs for two seasons before signing with the Cardinals in 2005 and then the Royals in 2006. As a Royal in 2006, Mark won his only Gold Glove award. He is the last Royal to have won one.

I thought that 2008 was going to be Mark's final season in the Majors since he had a hard time finding a team for 2009. Eventually, he was picked up by the Twins with a minor league deal, but they released him shortly afterwards when it became obvious that there wasn't a spot for him on the Major League roster. Then the Indians signed him prior to the 2010 season and Mark played in 30 games for them and was hitting .273 when they released him. I doubt that he will be back for 2011, but you never know.

According to Steve Stone's book "Where's Harry?", Mark had one of the most troubling names for the legendary sportscaster, Harry Carey. In the end, Harry just called him Mark G.

Mark hit for the cycle while with the Cardinals in 2005 and, according to Wikipedia, he was a regional skee-ball champion in 1987. Where would we be without Wikipedia?

Monday, February 14, 2011

1996 Leaf Signature Series, Darren Dreifort

#59 Darren Driefort

Here is the second Leaf Signature Series card that I have to post for the week. This one features the Wichita State alumni, Darren Dreifort.

For a lot of Dodgers fans, Darren Dreifort might not be a name that they want to remember. The former number two pick, who made his professional debut at the Major League level, spent a good portion of his career injured. He missed all of his second professional season to injuries and then missed all of 2002 after having elbow reconstruction surgery. The second missed season came just two years after the Dodgers signed him to a five-year/$55 million contract. Darren finished his career after the 2004 season with a record of 48-60 with 11 saves and a 4.36 ERA.

Darren is from Wichita and he was the hometown boy on the Wichita State squad. He had quite the collegiate career and was a two-time All-American and the 1993 Golden Spikes winner (best college baseball player). I remember going to my first WSU game in 1993 and I got to see Darren play. But, he didn't pitch in the game. He came on to pinch hit in the bottom of the ninth with two outs and the Shockers down one. He struck out swinging to end the game, but you could tell that he was trying to tie the game up with one cut. It turns out that Darren was quite a hitter in college. Not only was he the all-conference starting pitcher, but he was the all-conference DH as well.

That is how I like to remember Darren Dreifort.

I picked up this card for $1.15.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

1996 Leaf Signature Series, Andujar Cedeno

#41 Andujar Cedeno

Here is one of six cards from this set that I picked up from back in September. I was buying some Royals cards to try to get signed during the final month of the season and I ended up buying about ten certified autographs at great prices as well. I picked this card up for $0.99. The reason why I bought this card is because Andujar died in a car accident in 2000 and I could not pass up an unpossible autograph that cost less than a buck.

Andujar played in the Majors for parts of seven seasons as a member of the Astros, Padres, and Tigers. Incidentally, he played for all three of those teams during the 1996 season. His best season probably came as an Astro in 1993. That year, he had career highs in hits (143), average (.283), home runs (11), RBI (56), and just about every other offensive category except doubles. But, his career highlight would have to be the cycle that hit for in 1992.

For some reason, 1996 was the last season Andujar played in the Majors. He was completely out of baseball for 1997 and 1998 before reappearing as a Yankee AAA player in 1999. 2000 was split between the Mexican League and the Atlantic League. He was playing winter ball in his native Dominican Republic at the time of his death.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

1996 Fleer, Andres Galarraga

#363 Andres Galarraga

Here is a signed card from the Big Cat that Rod had sent to me. This is the third Rockies card that I have posted in the past week or so that was given to me by Rod. He must have been cleaning out his Rockies binder or something. Whatever the reason, it sure works for me.

Andres had much better stats and achievements than I had realized. For starters, he was a five time All Star for three different franchises. He won two Gold Gloves and two Silver Sluggers. He was also the National League Comeback Player of the Year twice. As for his stats, he finished with 399 home runs and a career average of .288. In 1988, he led the National League in hits, total bases, doubles, and extra-base hits. In 1993, he won the National League batting crown by hitting .370. In 1996, he led the NL in home runs and RBI and he led the league in RBI again in 1997. Overall, I would say that Andres had a very successful career.

This is the only signed card that I have from the 1996 Fleer set. I was in high school in '96 and collecting cards was not a priority for me. I bought a pack here and there just to see what was out there, yet I somehow never came across this set until just a couple of years ago. If you have never seen this set in person, it is a little strange. The cards are the most unglossy cards that I have ever seen in my life. I really do not know how to describe them. They almost feel soft to the touch. Also, they are printed on some of the thinnest card stock that I have ever seen. They are quite an unusual set by today's standards.

Friday, February 11, 2011

1995 Upper Deck Minors, Stoney Briggs

#146 Stoney Briggs

Here is a card that Rod sent me from the '95 Upper Deck Minors set. I liked this set a bunch when it came out, but for some reason or another, I didn't get too many packs of it. Because of that, this is my first signed card from the set.

Stoney was drafted by the Blue Jays in the eighth round of the 1991 draft. He played in the Jays system for two years before being moved to the Padres. He played in the Padres system for five years and he made it up to AAA in 1997. He hit .269 with 11 home runs in what would be his only real look at AAA.

After that season, Stoney started bouncing around a bit. He spent most of 1998 in the Mexican League and the Atlantic League, as well as two games in the Pacific Coast League. He played in South Korea in 1999 before heading back stateside the following year to play some AA ball for Detroit. He played for Baltimore's AA team in 2001 and then he seems to have sat out the 2002 season. He resurfaced in 2003 and he spent his last two seasons playing for the Camden Riversharks of the Atlantic League.

It is hard to tell which minor league team Stoney is representing on this card because of the All Star game t-shirt. But, it looks like the shirt says California League, so I am guessing that he was with the Rancho Cucamonga Quakes at the time. I wish it would say that on the front of the card.

I like how Stoney crosses his "t" before he even signs it.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

1995 Topps, Dante Bichette

#140 Dante Bichette

Here is the second signed Rockies card, that was given to me by Rod of Padrographs, that I have posted in as many days. This one features their four-time All Star, Dante Bichette.

Dante started out with the Angels and Brewers before becoming a star for the Rockies. Prior to his arrival in Denver, Dante had never hit .300, clubbed more than 15 home runs, or drove in more than 60 runs. That all changed in the thin Rocky Mountain air.

In Dante's seven seasons with the Rockies, he hit under .300 once (.298 in 1999), clubbed 25 or more home runs five times (with a high of 40 in 1995), and drove in at least 118 runs for five straight seasons (1995-1990). If it wasn't for Tony Gwynn's .368 average or Mike Piazza's .346 average, Dante would have won the triple crown in 1995. He paced the league with 40 home runs and 141 RBI, but his .340 average was only good enough for third in the league. Despite those impressive numbers, Dante was only the runner-up in the MVP vote behind Barry Larkin.

After his years in Denver, Dante played most of a season with the Reds before being traded to the Red Sox at the deadline. He finished that season in Boston and played there all of the following year, 2001. That was Dante's final season in baseball.

There is a lot going on in this card that makes it difficult to see the signature. But, I can't help but laugh to myself when I see those stupid glasses that Dante is wearing. Hopefully, that is what he is laughing at too.

1995 Stadium Club, Jeff Montgomery

#286 Jeff Montgomery

This is the third and final Jeff Montgomery card that I got signed at last months Royals Fanfest. I went through Jeff's line two times and, rather than go through for a third time, I sent my dad through at the tail end of it. This was the card that I had him get signed. If I had remembered that I already had a signed 1990 Leaf card, I probably would have got this card signed first if for no other reason than that it is so cheesy.

The fire truck in the photo looks a little out of date, even by 1995 standards. I hope that is not what the KCPD was running around in during the '90s.

Since this is the third Jeff Montgomery post in as many weeks, there will be another post up in a few hours or so.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

1994 Topps, Mark Thompson

#286 Mark Thompson

Here is a non-Padre Padrograph that was sent to me by Rod. This one is a little unusual in that this is one of two non-Padre autographs that he has sent me of a guy that I had already had an autograph from beforehand. I wrote to Mark in the mid-90s and got his 1993 Topps draft pick card signed. It's good to see that he progressed from just a draft pick in '93 to a full-blown Future Star in '94.

I konow it is kind of hard to see the signature over the black jersey, but it is great to see the consistancy of his signature from this card to the one I posted in 2009.

This card has one wacky design. It has a digital camo-like background and a circuit board border. If it wasn't for the signature, I might label the card as "one that I wished Mom had thrown out".

Monday, February 7, 2011

1994 Signature Rookies, Robbie Beckett

#23 Robbie Beckett

Like yesterday, this post is of a Padrograph that I posted about two years ago. The very first package of Padrographs arrived with 150+ different signed Padre cards and one of them was a 1991 Score card of Robbie. I didn't have much to say about Robbie then, so I will look into him a little more this post.

Robbie was drafted out of high school in the first round of the 1990 draft. By '94, Robbie had advanced up to AAA and it wasn't pretty. He posted an 11.79 ERA in 23 relief appearances. He ended up spending all of '95 at the AA level.

In 1996, he was picked up on waivers by the Marlins coming out of Srping Training.He pitched for their AA team for less than a month before getting claimed by the Rockies. He pitched for the AA and AAA teams for the remainder of the season and then got a September call-up. He made his Major League debut on September 12th of that season against the Braves and he pitched a scoreless inning while recording his first Major League strikeout. The victim of the K just happened to be Chipper Jones. Robbie finished that month with 13.50 ERA in 5.1 innings of work. It obviously went downhill from his debut.

Robbie pitched in AAA for most of the '97 season, but he did get another call-up in September. That month, he only got into two games and he posted an ERA of 5.40 in 1.2 innings of work. He went on to play in the minors for three more seasons, but he never reached the Major League again.

For his career, Robbie was 0-0 with an 11.57 ERA with 10 walks and 9 strikeouts. He gave up 7 hits and 3 of them went for home runs.

All in all, this is an interesting card. It is kind of weird how the photo is cropped and doesn't take up all of the card. It is also strange that it points out that Robbie is a first round draft pick even though that happened four years before the card was made. I also like how Signature Rookies announces that there are only 45,000 of these cards out there. For the record, Robbie didn't sign 45,000 cards. Rod got this card signed some other way. It didn't come out of a pack signed.

Robbie is playing for the Rancho Cucamonga Quakes in this card. It appears that the smog was nice and thick on the day this photo was taken, just like it was when I was at a Quakes game in 2008.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

1994 Pinnacle, Luis Lopez

#259 Luis Lopez

Here is another Padrograph from the latest package that Rod sent me. Technically, I think this is the first actual Padrograph from the bunch that I have posted. All of the others were non-Padres cards. The one exception might be the Thomas Howard minor legue card that shows him as a member of the Padres AAA team, the Las Vegas Stars.

This is the second Luis Lopez autograph that Rod has sent me. The first one was posted about a year and a half ago and it can be seen here. In that post, I suggested that Luis' signature looked like three "support our troops" ribbon magnets all orientated at different angles. I still stand by that claim with this card.

This is a great looking card and I doubt that Rod could have found a better one to get signed.

I tried.

1993 Flair, Jeff Montgomery

#222 Jeff Montgomery

In case one signed Flair card wasn't enough for you, here is a second. This card was signed by Jeff a few hours after I got the Macfarlane card signed at Fanfest. I chose blue for the Sharpie color for this card and I wish I would have made that choice with the Macfarlane card as well. The blue just pops off the card and looks really good with the Royals colors.

I wish I would have taken a better look at this card before I had Jeff sign it. If I would have noticed that great grimace on Jeff's face in both photos beforehand, I would have asked to see if he still had it. I'm sure he does and maybe I will find out next year.

I like how Fleer floats their Flair logo around the top of the card. They don't seem to care where it is as long as it is at the top and is not covering the player's head. Mike had the logo on the left, Jeff's is in the center, and the George Brett card sitting on my desk has it on the right.

Since I posted a card of Jeff recently, I will have another card coming up later today.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

1993 Flair, Mike Macfarlane

#220 Mike Macfarlane

Do you remember these cards? These babies made Upper Deck, Leaf, and Stadium Club look like child's play. I don't remember how much they cost, but I know that they were expensive enough that I could only afford four packs of them. They were so fancy that they didn't even come in wax, cello, or foil wrappers. They came in a little vacuum-sealed box. I was so impressed by the little boxes that, to this day, my common cards from the packs are still sitting in the boxes that they came in. That is how I remember that I only bought four packs of this set.

Eighteen years after the set debuted, I finally got one signed and it was signed at Royals Fanfest. This card wasn't even one of the cards I got in my four packs. This card is one of the many Royals cards that I have accumulated since joining the blogging community. I just wish I could remember who sent it to me.

I took four cards of Mike to get signed at Fanfest and this was the only one that I really wanted signed. He signed at the second alumni session and he was signing by himself. Since he was alone, coupled with the fact that I have at least four cards signed by him already, I went through the line by myself and I sent my dad to get in another line to hold my spot. I must say that I am very happy with the results.

I think it is kind of funny that the last three cards I have posted from Fanfest are all former Royals catchers and I have nearly 20 cards signed by the three. I can't wait until Mike Sweeney starts attending these things so that I can add him to the group.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

1993 Classic Four Sport, Jermaine Allensworth

#273 Jermaine Allensworth

Here is a card that was given to me by the Bob Apodaca Day contest #3 winner, Steve. He was the skillful winner of the Mickey Mantle bobblehead and he told me that he would send me this card as a way of saying thanks. I told him that it wasn't necessary, but he sent it to me anyways. Since I am not one to turn down autographs, I graciously accepted. Steve said that he pulled this card out of a pack back in the day.

Jermaine was the Pirates first round compensation pick in 1993, out of Purdue. He rose quickly through the minor league ranks and made his Major League debut in 1996. In 61 games that season, Jermaine hit .262 with 4 home runs and 31 RBI. In '97, he played 5 AAA games and spent the rest of the season with the Pirates, hitting .255 with 3 home runs and 44 RBI. He spent all of '98 at the big league level, but he ended up spending the time with three different franchises.

He started the season with Pittsburgh and was hitting .309 in 233 at-bats. The Pirates then shipped him to the Royals and he stayed there for 30 games and he hit .205 with them. The Royals then flipped him to the Mets and he finished the season with them, hitting .205 in 54 games. Jermaine played in 40 more games for the Mets the following season and that was the conclusion of his Major League career. He finished up as a .260 hitter with 15 homers.

Even though, Jermaine never made it back up to the Majors, he never quit trying. He retired just over two years ago after spending the final five years of his career playing in the now defunct Northern League.

Thanks Steve!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

1992 Mother's Cookies, Jamie Quirk

#15 Jamie Quirk

Here is one of the two Jamie Quirk cards that I was able to get signed at Royals Fanfest last month. Like John Wathan, I have quite a few Quirk autographs and I believe that this is the sixth one that I have posted. This is the second Quirk A's card that I have posted, but you just can't beat a Mother's Cookies card. They are a real treat. I was happy to get my first two signed at Astros Fanfest in 2009 and it is great to finally have a third MC card signed. It's too bad that they do not make these cards anymore.

If you would like to see the other card that Jamie signed for me that day, head over to Ryan's The Great Orioles Autograph Project as he posted his new Quirk auto earlier today. Getting that card signed for him really made my Fanfest.

Jamie is currently the Astros bullpen coach. At Fanfest, someone asked him what he was up to these days and he told them that he was with Houston and that he now has a new pitching staff to screw up. I couldn't help laughing to myself when he said that.

I picked up this awesome card from for a quarter.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

1991 Topps Desert Shield, John Wathan

#291 John Wathan

Here is a card that my dad got signed for me at Fanfest a week and a half ago. We were standing in line waiting for the players to come out for the next to last autograph session when I noticed that Billy Butler had just appeared in the other line across the room. He was with a Royals alumni that I couldn't identify from that far away. About that time, the guy in front of me got a call from his wife who said that it was Billy and John Wathan. Then the players came out for our station and it was Royals prospects Derrick Robinson and Mike Moustakas. I had gotten a couple of cards signed by Mike earlier in the day and I had a few autographs from both of them from visits to Royals minor league games. At that point, I thought I only had one unsigned card from each prospect, so my dad joked that there was no point for him to be in the line. I told him that he was right and he could go sit down for a bit if he wanted. He then got the idea that he would head over to the Butler line and try to get into it before it was closed off. I thought that was a great idea, though I didn't think that he would get there in time, and I dug out two cards for him to get signed. To my amazement, he got in the line with time to spare since there were about twenty people behind him.

I gave him this card for John and a jersey card of Billy and my dad got them both signed. I asked him if either guy said anything about the cards and he said no, but added that he doesn't really talk to them besides telling them thanks. He did say that another collector that he was line with noticed the cards and he pointed out to my dad that this card was a Desert Shield card. So, I am glad someone noticed and thought that it was a neat card.

This is the only Desert Shield card that I own and I picked it up from for less than a dollar. My memory about these cards are a little fuzzy, so somebody correct me if I am wrong. But, I believe that these cards were only issued to American troops in Saudi Arabia before they ousted the Iraqi soldiers out of Kuwait.

I think that this is the eighth John Wathan card that I have posted on here. But, out of the eight, this one is by far my favorite.