Sunday, October 25, 2015

2007 Topps, Chris Shelton

#479 Chris Shelton

Here is a card that I got signed at an Oklahoma Redhawks game in 2008. Chris, who played for the Redhawks, was nice enough to sign the one card I had of him before the game started.

Chris spent parts of five seasons in the Major Leagues and he put up some real decent numbers in Detroit in 2005 and '06. In '05, he hit .299 with 18 home runs and 59 RBI, all career highs. His numbers dipped just a bit the next season, but the still hit .273 with 16 dingers and 47 RBI. Then, in 2007, he did not make the Tigers roster out of Spring Training and spent the entire season in AAA. The tigers traded him to the Rangers after the season was over and that ended his tenure in Detroit.

Chris got called up to the Majors a couple of times with the Rangers and Mariners, but failed to have any significant impact. After hitting 35 home runs as a Tiger, he would hit just two more outside of that organization.

Chris last played professionally in 2010.

As far as I can remember, there are not very many horizontal cards in 2007 Topps. This is the only horizontal card from the set that I have got signed and it is the best-looking one by far.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

2007 Topps, Aaron Cook

#415 Aaron Cook

I got this card signed at a Royals game in 2008 while the Rockies were taking batting practice. I never would have thought that I was going to get Aaron's autograph that day as he was scheduled to start the game. But, there he was standing in the dugout during BP signing for people. When he got to me, I said "I thought you were starting today". He gave me a quizzical glance and told me that he was.

To this day, I am pretty sure that this is the only autograph that I have ever gotten from a starting pitcher during pregame on a day he pitches. Starters usually have a routine and that routine normally does not include signing autographs. Even at all of the Wichita Wingnuts games I have been to, I cannot remember ever getting an auto from a starter. It was very weird.

2008 was my first year back into autograph collecting after a long hiatus. All of the Topps cards from 2007 and 2008 had the pre-printed signature on them. But, back then, I was too naive to ever think about using a blue Sharpie to contradict more with the black pre-print. Because of that, I have a few cards from those sets where the real one and the fake one overlap. Some look better than others. This may just be the worst one I have, though, as they overlap so well that it is kind of hard to make out his actual signature. I, of course, got his '08 Topps signed that day, too, and it looks about the same.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

2007 Topps, Gereald Laird

#412 Gerald Laird

Here is a card that I was able to get signed at a Royals game in 2008 while Gerald and the Rangers were taking batting practice. He signed all three cards for me that day.

Gerald played for the Rangers for six seasons, which is twice as long as he played for any of the other four teams he played for. He played in 374 games for them, spending nearly all of that time at catcher. He hit .255 as a Ranger and tagged 25 home runs while collecting 134 RBI. His best season for them was his final season in Arlington in 2008. He played in just 95 games that year, but hit .276 with 6 home runs and 41 RBI. While he had a few more dingers and RBI the season before that, he also played in 25 more games and hit 50 points lower.

After that season, the Rangers traded Gerald to the Tigers for Guillermo Moscoso.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

2007 Topps, Kevin Kouzmanoff

#263 Kevin Kouzmanoff

I was supposed to post this card before the Miguel Olivo card, but I apparently got a little out of order. So, here it is.

This is another Kevin Kouzmanoff card that Padrograph Rod sent my way. I posted the first one a couple of weeks ago and it can be seen here. This one is cooler than the first one because that one was a sticker autograph. This one is most likely a TTM success as it is personalized to Rod.

This is the second card that I have posted on here of a card that is personalized to someone other than me. The first one was also from Rod, but it was an old '71 Topps card of Ron Slocum that is addressed to Gary. Maybe that should be a new collecting project of mine- collect personalized autographs addressed to other people. Surely those would go for a little bit lower price.

On the last post about Kevin, I talked about his career with the Padres. They dealt him to the A's prior to the 2010 season and that began the beginning of the end for him. He had a decent year in Oakland that season, hitting 16 home runs and driving in 71. But, his average drooped to .247. In 2011, he was hitting just .221 before the A's sent him to the Rockies mid-season. He finished up hitting .255 in Denver before being banished to the minor leagues for the next couple of seasons.

Then he caught a break last year when he was in the Rangers organization and Adrian Beltre got hurt. He got called up and went on a tear. In just 13 games, he hit .362 with 2 home runs and 10 RBI. His efforts were rewarded with his only Player of the Week Award. But, Beltre came back and it was back down to AAA to finish off the year. He was unable to parlay his success into a permanent spot or to force a trade. So, he finished off the year in AAA and then called it a career after the season was up.

Kevin finished his career a .257 hitter with 87 home runs and 371 RBI.

The signature on this card did not stick to the gloss too well. I had that problem with some of the '07 set, too. Most of the cards that I got signed in then set was back when I did not know about prepping. But, most of my cards came out OK until I got to the Update and Highlights set. Those were the ones that I had the most problems with.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

2007 Topps, Miguel Olivo

#375 Miguel Olivo

I believe that this is the fourth card of Miguel Olivo that I have posted on here, but the first one I have posted since 2011. The first one I posted of him was when he was with the White Sox and the second two were from his days with the Mariners.

I got this card signed by Miguel outside of Kauffman Stadium in 2010.

This is the only signed card of Miguel that I have of him as a Marlin, though he played in Miami for two seasons and then a third season six years later. During the first stint, he was their primary catcher and did well for them offensively. He hit 16 home runs each of the first two seasons while hitting at least 20 doubles and 58 RBI each year. His second stint got him into just 33 games for them and he hit .204 with 4 home runs and 9 RBI.

Miguel got a bit of a bad rap last season when he bit a teammate's ear off during a AAA game. Despite that fiasco, I liked him when he was in Kansas City. Though he struck out a lot, he had some pop and he signed quite a few cards for me. That is always a plus.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

2007 Topps, Robinson Tejeda

#221 Robinson Tejeda

Here is the second card of Robinson Tejeda that I have ever posted on here. The first one was posted five years ago and it was a Bowman card that showed him as a young Phillies minor league pitcher. Here is one that shows him as a Major Leaguer and it was signed outside of Kauffman Stadium in 2009 while he was playing for the Royals.

Robinson pitched for the Rangers for parts of three seasons from 2006 to 2008. He was mainly used as a starter and he posted a 10-14 record over 33 starts. His ERA in those games was 5.59. He pitched 6 innings of relief in 2008 and gave up 6 runs. The Rangers designated him for assignment and the Royals picked him up. He would go on to pitch for the Royals through 2011.

This past season, Robinson pitched for the Joplin Blasters of the American Association and did not fare well. Over 9 starts, he posted a 9.21 ERA before getting released.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

2007 Topps, Brent Clevlen

#59 Brent Clevlen

Here is the third and final Brent Clevlen card that I have to post on here. All three were done this year, with the first one, his 2002 Bowman, being posted back in January. The second one, his 2006 Topps '52, was posted in May. The first two signatures were obtained at Wichita Wingnuts games and this one is no different.

When I posted the last card of Brent, he was playing down in Mexico at the time. After the Mexican League season ended, he returned to Wichita to help them on their postseason push. After batting .301 in Mexico, Brent made it back north in time to play in eleven American Association regular season games. Over that stretch, he hit a whopping .444 with a home run, 5 doubles, and 9 RBI while helping the Wingnuts win their fifth straight division title. His hot finish cooled off in the playoffs, though, as the Nuts lost in the first round while Brent went just 2-21 in the series.

The photo on this card is kind of rare for Topps any more. While it is not uncommon to find a posed shot in a Topps product, most of those shots are taken at Spring Training. This posed shot is taken in Detroit.