Monday, May 27, 2013

College World Series Contest!

It's that time again! It is time for my fourth annual College World Series Contest.

Earlier today, the NCAA announced the 64 teams that will be competing for the 2013 College World Series championship. To commemorate it, I am holding the fourth annual College World Series contest here at Autographed Cards (yes, that is the actual name to this blog). It is going to be a couple of weeks before the main phase of the contest starts, but you can earn some bonus points here that could make a difference when the main portion gets going. All you have to do right now is pick the eight teams that are going to be playing in Omaha. Here are the teams to choose from.

Slot One
1. North Carolina
1. South Carolina
2. Florida Atlantic
2. Clemson
3. Towson
3. Liberty
4. Canisius
4. St. Louis

Slot Two
1. North Carolina St
1. Oregon
2. Ole Miss
2. Rice
3. William and Mary
3. San Francisco
4. Binghamton
4. South Dakota St

Slot Three
1. Cal St Fullerton
2. Arizona St
2. Cal Poly
3. New Mexico
3. San Diego
4. Columbia
4. San Diego St

Slot Four
1. Virginia Tech
1. LSU
2. Oklahoma
2. Louisiana-Lafayette
3. Coastal Carolina
3. Sam Houston St
4. Connecticut
4. Jackson St

Slot Five
1. Vanderbilt
1. Louisville
2. Georgia Tech
2. Miami (FL)
3. Illinois
3. Oklahoma St
4. East Tennessee St
4. Bowling Green

Slot Six
1. Indiana
1. Florida St
2. Austin Peay
2. Alabama
3. Florida
3. Troy
4. Valparaiso
4. Savannah St

Slot Seven
1. Virginia
1. Mississippi St
2. UNC Wilmington
2. South Alabama
3. Elon
3. Mercer
4. Army
4. Central Arkansas

Slot Eight
1. Kansas St
1. Oregon St
2. Arkansas
2. Texas A&M
3. Bryant
3. UC Santa Barbara
4. Wichita St
4. Texas-San Antonio

All you have to do is pick one team from each slot for a total of eight teams. For every team that you pick that makes it into the College World Series, you will get one point and that point(s) could be the difference between winning and losing in the second round. If you don't feel like participating right now, that's fine. You can enter the second phase without participating in the first, but you might have some ground to make up.

I haven't figured out what the prizes are yet, but some of the prizes from the previous years include autographs from Hall of Famers Harmon Killebrew, Jim Rice, Rod Carew, and Bruce Sutter. Here is a link to last years prizes. I have a few things laying around that I plan to give away, plus I usually end up with some really good stuff at the College World Series. I just probably won't know what they are until I get back from Omaha on the 17th of June.

This blog has been in the doldrums of late since I am lucky to post a card twice a week. So, to get a few extra contestants in the contest, you can get one bonus point just by pimping this contest on your blog. Just leave a link in the comments and I will chalk you up a point (yes, I use a chalkboard for scoring this contest).

Here is the format that your entry (comment) should look like.

1. Clemson
2. Rice
3. Arizona St
4. Coastal Carolina
5. Miami
6. Alabama
7. Army
8. Kansas St
Link to your blog (which can be left on a separate comment).

Keep in mind that San Diego and San Diego St are up for grabs in slot three. If you pick either of those schools, make sure you specify which one you want. And make sure you specify which Carolina you want should you go that way with slot one.

If you have any questions, ask in the comments or email me at zman40 at hotmail dot com. The deadline to enter the first phase of this contest is 11:00 am (central) Friday and the link must be posted 24 hours prior to that. Good luck and thanks for playing.

Keep in mind that the main portion of this contest is filling out a College World Series bracket when that field is determined in a couple of weeks. Every year, there are a couple of people that enter the first phase of the contest that never end up filling out a bracket. Those people have yet to win this contest.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

1981 Donruss, Chris Knapp

#173 Chris Knapp

This is the second card of Chris Knapp that I have posted on the blog. I posted the first one nearly two years ago when I was showing off cards I unlocked in the Topps Million Card Giveaway. I unlocked Chris' '80 Topps card and I sent it out to him without realizing that he was also in the '81 Donruss set. Whoops.

But, I made up for it this past November by finally sending him his '81 Donruss card. I had it back about a week later.

Chris has shortened his signature since the last time I wrote to him. On the first autograph, you could make out every letter of his name. On this one, his last name remains the same while his first name is shortened to just the first two letters and maybe the dot to an invisible "i".

'81 Donruss Tracker: 116/100

Monday, May 20, 2013

1981 Donruss, Fred Patek

#170 Fred Patek

Here is the '81 Donruss card that my dad got signed for me at All Star Fanfest last summer. Usually my dad and I are in the same line, but there were a couple of times over the three days that we went where we had to split up. One of those times was during the last signing of the week.

It was on Tuesday afternoon, the day of the All Star Game. Freddie Patek and Hal McRae were signing at the same time, but at different locations. Both guys are Royals Hall of Famers and they both had cards in this set. There were not many people left at Fanfest at that point, so we could have gone through each line together fairly easily. But, like I said, it was the day of the All Star Game, and I wanted to get to the park early to try to get some autographs. So, we split up and we both were towards the very front of our lines. We each got an '81 Donruss card signed and we met up and took off for the K.

This was the first time that I had got an autograph from Freddie. It is too bad that I could not have gone through the line with my dad to get a Royals card signed. Maybe next time.

The worst part about it was that, although we got to the park super-early and were some of the first ones in, we did not get a single autograph there. They would not let anyone into the lower seating bowl if they did not have a ticket for seats down there. So, I basically skipped out on getting a Freddie Patek Royals card signed for nothing.

But, I did get a cheesy briskit-acho while I was standing around not getting autographs at the park. It is a rather new dish at the K and it is freaking amazing. It is tortilla chips covered in cheesy corn, baked beans, brisket, barbeque sauce, and topped with cole slaw. If you ever make it to a game in Kansas City, it is a must have.

'81 Donruss Tracker: 115/100

Thursday, May 16, 2013

1981 Donruss, Jim Beattie

#166 Jim Beattie

Here is the Jim Beattie card that I got signed through the mail in December. I sent this card to him at the end of November and I got it back the day after Christmas. Gotta love TTMs. They are like sending gifts to yourself.

Jim pitched in the big leagues for nine seasons with the Yankees and Mariners. He had a losing record every season he pitched except for 1981 when he only appeared in 13 games. He was a double digit loser four times and winner twice. He struck out a 100 or more batters three times in his career, with a career high of 140 in 1982. That season was probably the best he ever pitched, though he finished the year with just a 8-12 record and a 3.34 ERA. I'm sure his record would have been better if he wasn't pitching for a team in its fifth year of existence.

Jim pitched in one World Series game and it came in his rookie season of 1978 with the Yankees. In that start, Jim ended up pitching a complete game while surrendering two runs and striking out eight Dodgers.

'81 Donruss Tracker: 114/100

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

1981 Donruss, Del Unser

#164 Del Unser

Here is a card of Del Unser that I got signed through the mail in December. It took two weeks for this one to make it back home.

Del played in the Majors for fifteen seasons with the Senators, Phillies, Mets, and Expos. He was an everyday outfielder for all of those teams at one point or another and he played a pretty good center field. In 1968, he had the most assists by an outfielder with 22 and he lead the National League in assists by a center fielder for three straight seasons in the early '70s. He was a decent enough hitter, too, hitting .258 for his career with 87 home runs. He even lead the American League in triples in 1969 when hit hit eight of them.

Del finished second in the 1968 Rookie of the Year Award to the Yankees Stan Bahnsen.

In 1979, Del hit three consecutive pinch hit home runs.

'81 Donruss Tracker: 113/100

Sunday, May 12, 2013

1981 Donruss, Richard Wortham

#161 Richard Wortham

Here is another White Sox card from the golden age of uniform design. Unfortunately, you cannot see the white socks in this photo. But, you do get a good glimpse of the collar and jersey front. It is kind of odd that they put Chicago on the home jersey instead of the team name. But, I guess when you want to try something new, you might as well go all out.

Richard pitched in the Majors for parts of four seasons. He got into 84 games and all but one were spent with the White Sox. The other game was with Oakland three seasons after his time in Chicago. He was mainly a starter, though he did see a lot of time in the bullpen in 1980. For his career, Richard was 21-32 with a save and a 4.89 ERA. He struck out 189 batters and walked 182. Ouch.

Just by looking at this signature, I would never guess that Richard's last name begins with a "W".

'81 Donruss Tracker: 112/100

Friday, May 10, 2013

1981 Donruss, Glenn Borgmann

#159 Glenn Borgmann

Here is the second Glenn Borgmann card that I got signed through the mail in November. I posted the first card in December, and it was a card that I picked up just to send along with this one. This '81 Donruss card was obviously the main reason why I wrote to Glenn.

Glenn's tenure with the White Sox lasted just one season. That year, he got into 32 games and hit .218 with 2 doubles, 2 home runs, and 14 RBI. Luckily, we have this card of him in that wonderful uniform to forever remember his time with the Sox.

'81 Donruss Tracker: 111/100

Thursday, May 9, 2013

1981 Donruss, Rick Bosetti

#152 Rick Bosetti

Here is the card that I sent to Rick Bosetti this past November. I got it back from him in nine days.

Rick played in the big leagues for parts of seven seasons. He saw a majority of his time with the Blue Jays, though he did see some Major League action with the Phillies, Cardinals, and A's, as well. In 1979, he was the Jays everyday center fielder. And by everyday, I mean that he started every game that season in center for the Jays. Because of the large workload, he obviously had a career year at the plate, setting most of his career bests that season including doubles (35), RBI (65), and average (.260). But, he also lead the league in some defensive categories, too. That season, he lead the American League in outfield assists (18), putouts by an outfielder (466), and outfield errors (13).

Rick was a .250 career hitter that tallied 17 home runs. His first home run, though, was a grand slam that tied the game in the top of the eighth inning.

According to Wikipedia, Rick's goal was to urinate in every outfield in the American League. Now that is setting some high standards!

'81 Donruss Tracker: 110/100

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

1981 Donruss, Dennis Walling

#144 Dennis Walling

Next up from the '81 Donruss set is Dennis (AKA Denny) Walling. Denny played in the Majors for eighteen seasons with the A's, Astros, Cardinals, and Rangers. He spent the bulk of his career in Houston and played both corner infield and outfield positions as well as a bit of center field. He was basically a fourth outfielder/fifth infielder type that racked up 456 appearances as a pinch hitter in his career.

He did see some significant playing time in the mid-'80s, though, when he played in 100+ games and had 300+ at-bats from 1985-1987. His best season during that span was the Astros NL West winning 1986 season. That season he had career highs in games and at-bats and that resulted in career highs in home runs (13) and RBI (58). He also hit .312. Not bad for a career .271 hitter.

I sent this card to Denny at the end of January and I had it back a week later.

'81 Donruss Tracker: 109/100

Friday, May 3, 2013

1981 Donruss, Ed Ott

#133 Ed Ott

This card is kind of a rarity for me as I move through my latest additions to my '81 Donruss collection. Most of the cards from that set that I have posted on here recently where signed through the mail. This one, however, was obtained in person at a Wichita Wingnut game last season. Ed is the pitching coach for the New Jersey Jackals and he was kind enough to sign three cards for me before the game. I posted one of those cards already and it can be seen here.

Ed played in the Majors for parts of eight seasons with the Pirates and Angels. He was the everyday catcher for the Bucs for four seasons and was their main catcher in 1979 when they won the World Series (though he only caught three of the seven World Series games). His best season came in that 1979 season when he had career highs in games (117), at-bats (403), average (.273), and RBI (51).

For his career, Ed was a .259 hitter with 33 home runs and 195 RBI.

'81 Donruss Tracker: 108/100

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

1981 Donruss, Richie Hebner

#125 Richie Hebner

It is late and I'm stuck at the airport in Houston waiting on my flight home. So, I figured that I might as well try writing up another post on my phone. So, here it is. Richie Hebner.

Richie had a long Major League career, spending eighteen seasons in the league. He spent time with the Pirates, Mets, Phillies, Tigers, and Cubs. He played in over a hundred games a season for twelve straight seasons, which included the entire decade of the '70s. He never made an All Star team despite having a few solid seasons. He had career highs of 25 home runs as a Pirate in '73 and 82 RBI as a Tiger in '80. For his career, he had 203 home runs and he hit .276.

I sent this card to Richie in November and I had it back sixteen days later.

'81 Donruss Tracker: 107/100