Monday, May 29, 2017

2017 College World Series Contest

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

Today, the NCAA announced the 64 teams that will be competing for the 2017 College World Series championship. To commemorate it, I am holding the eighth annual College World Series contest here at Autographed Cards. 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. Oregon State
1. Clemson
2. Nebraska
2. Vanderbilt
3. Yale
3. St. Johns
4. Holy Cross
4. UNC-Greensboro

Slot Two
1. Long Beach State
1. Stanford
2. Texas
2. Cal State Fullerton
3. BYU
4. San Diego State
4. Sacramento State

Slot Three
1. Texas Tech
1. Florida State
2. Arizona
2. Central Florida
3. Auburn
3. Sam Houston State
4. Tennessee Tech
4. Delaware

Slot Four
1. Southern Miss
1. LSU
2. Mississippi State
2. Southeastern Louisiana
3. South Alabama
3. Rice
4. Illinois-Chicago
4. Texas Southern

Slot Five
1. North Carolina
1. Houston
2. Florida Gulf Coast
2. Baylor
3. Michigan
3. Texas A&M
4. Davidson
4. Iowa

Slot Six
1. Kentucky
1. Louisville
2. Indiana
2. Oklahoma
3. North Carolina State
3. Xavier
4. Ohio
4. Radford

Slot Seven
1. TCU
1. Arkansas
2. Virginia
2. Missouri State
3. Dallas Baptist
3. Oklahoma State
4. Central Connecticut State
4. Oral Roberts

Slot Eight
1. Wake Forest
1. Florida
2. West Virginia
2. South Florida
3. Maryland
3. Bethune-Cookman
4. Maryland-Baltimore County
4. Marist

All you have to do is pick one team from each slot for a total of eight teams. In the past, for every team that you picked that made it into the College World Series, you got one point. I mixed it up a bit a few years ago and I am going to stick with that format. Now, any team you pick that makes it to Omaha gets as many points as their seed. So, if you make the safe bet and pick the one seed correctly, you get one point. But, if you pick the dark horse four seed and get lucky, you get four points for that pick. 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 will have some ground to make up.

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 and by retweeting my link on Twitter (@zmills40). Just leave a link in the comments and I will chalk you up a point. Yes, you can get two free points just by pimping and retweeting.

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

1. Yale
2. Texas
3. Arizona
4. LSU
5. Baylor
6. Indiana
7. TCU
8. Florida
Link to your blog (which can be left on a separate comment, but must be submitted by Wednesday night)

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.

As for the contest winnings, I will be bring back some signed 8x10s from Omaha. Some of the ones that I have given out in the past include Bruce Sutter, Steve Carlton, Dennis Eckersly, Barry Larkin, Rollie Fingers, Jim Palmer, John Smoltz, and Frank Thomas. Who will be there this year is anyone's guess.

All entries have to be left as a comment on this blog. Also, all entrants need to have a blogger profile to enter. No anonymous entries.

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 3:00 pm (central) Thursday and the retweet and link must be posted by midnight Wednesday. Good luck and thanks for playing.

1983 Topps, Rick Burleson

#315 Rick Burleson

Here is a card I got in a trade with Tom, from Angels in Order. Back in the day when I used to rake in autographs at Royals Fanfest, I would offer to get things signed from certain alumni if anyone needed them. Tom took me up on the offer a couple of times, though I was only able to help him out once. In return, Tom sent me three signed cards and this is the first of those three.

Rick Burleson played in the Majors for thirteen seasons with the Red Sox, Angels, and Orioles. After breaking in with the Sox in 1974, he was a mainstay in the Boston infield for seven seasons before being dealt to the Angels prior to the 1980 season. But, with the Sox, Rick played in one World Series and made three All Star teams.

He made one more All Star team with the Halos in 1981 before injuring his throwing arm in 1982, limiting his playing time for the next three seasons. He came back strong in 1986 in time for the Angels AL West title run.

For his career, Rick was a .273 career hitter with 50 home runs and 449 RBI. He hit .318 in three playoff series and won one Gold Glove and one Silver Slugger.

I have no idea how Tom got this card signed. I just know that I need to acquire Rick's card from the '81 Donruss set and get it signed.

Today is selection Monday, so the College World Series Contest will be up and running around seven o'clock tonight.

Sunday, May 28, 2017

1983 Topps, Jim Eisenreich

#197 Jim Eisenreich

It has been a little over two years since I last posted a card of Jim Eisenreich. Jim played for the Royals for six seasons and is a constant at Royals Fanfests, which is where I got this card signed in 2014. At that particular Fanfest, I was finally able to get him to sign a Dodger card and this Twins card. After getting those two signed, I had a signed card for each Major League team he played for. The Marlins and Phillies were the other teams.

This was almost the only card Jim ever had. He made his debut with the Twins in 1982 and he got into 48 games with them over three years. But, he kept going on the disabled list with a nervous twitch and even retired for two full seasons. His twitch finally got diagnosed as Tourette's Syndrome and, with proper medication, he was able to get back in the game and have a long, successful career.

As a member of the Twins, Jim hit .283 with 2 home runs and 12 RBI.

Tomorrow is selection Monday for the college baseball postseason. That means the College World Series contest will be kicking off this week. Stay tuned!

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

1983 Fleer, Willie Aikens

#104 Willie Aikens

Here is another Willie Mays Aikens from Royals Fanfest. Just like the last Aikens card I posted last week, this one was from the 2014 Fanfest.

I am not a huge fan of the '83 Fleer set. The tan border does not do too much for me. If it was not for the trio of rookies in that set, I think it would be a rather forgettable set. But, that it just my opinion. I'm sure there are plenty of people out there that think the same about '81 Donruss.

I only have four cards signed from this set and all four are of Royals. If I ever mix it up a bit, it will be by sending Wade Boggs his rookie card to sign.

If you look at that batting glove Willie is wearing in this picture, it looks like it has a Phillies logo on it. I'm not sure what is up with that.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

1981 Donruss Want List

I have finally put together an '81D want list. Why it took me so long is anyone's guess. Let's see if I can remember how to put a want list tab on my side bar.

1, 12, 17, 46 ,51, 60, 91, 95, 109, 122, 129, 175, 184, 188, 224, 227, 231, 239, 241, 247, 253, 255, 256, 259, 261, 267, 269, 270, 276, 281, 287, 288, 291, 292, 297, 298, 303, 304, 308, 309, 310, 315, 317, 318, 320, 321, 324, 325, 330, 331, 335, 353, 358, 361, 362, 372, 378, 381, 387, 393, 401, 404, 410, 411, 420, 422, 423, 426, 431, 432, 433, 434, 435, 444, 445, 446, 454, 455, 458, 465, 466, 467, 468, 476, 479, 480, 544

1982 Topps Squirt, Dennis Leonard

#10 Dennis Leonard

Here is a fun oddball that my dad got signed for me at Royals Fanfest last year. We took my son and one of his friends along and my dad found Dennis and got this card signed while the boys and I were standing in line to see the World Series trophy.

This is the only card from this set that I own, so I know nothing about it. By the looks of it, I would guess that the cards came in a three card sheet that were inserted into a twelve pack of Squirt. I think that because there is a bit of perforation on the bottom edge of this card. This card is the same width of a standard card, but it slightly shorter.

Dennis pitched for the Royals for parts of twelve seasons. Over that time, he was a twenty game winner three times and is still one of the top pitchers in club history as he is in the top three for wins, strikeouts, and shutouts. He is a constant at Royals events and I even ran into him once just watching a Royals game.

It looks weird seeing Royals in green on this card. This set was made for A's players.

It appears that today happens to be Dennis Leonard's birthday. Happy Birthday Dennis!

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

1982 Topps, Willie Aikens

#35 Willie Aikens

The last card before I started my '81 Donruss recap was of Willie Aikens. While he wasn't the first one after the recap, he was the second.

By my best count, this is the fifth card of Willie that I have posted on here. Since his release from prison in 2008, he has been a fixture at Royals Fanfest. Not only does he now coach a Royals minor league team, but he also wrote a book, "Safe At Home", that he sells and signs every year at Fanfest. Because of that, I am usually able to get a card or two signed by him every year. It has gotten to the point that I think I am running out of cards for him to sign.

Speaking of his book, if you ever get a chance to pick it up, it is a good read.

I got this card signed at Fanfest in 2014. I think I have three more cards of him to post. Two are going to be run of the mill and the third will be a fun oddball.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

1982 Donruss, John Mayberry

#25 John Mayberry

Here is another Donruss card, just not of the '81 variety. This one comes from their sophomore set and the one major improvement in 1982 for Donruss was the Diamond King subset. While I did not buy my first Donruss pack until 1987, I was instantly hooked on the Diamond Kings when I saw them then. I still like the set and try to get them signed when I can.

I got this card signed by John at a Royals game last year. At Sunday games, the Royals bring in a former player or two and they sign for free in the team's Hall of Fame. That is one of the reasons I like going to Sunday games. Even if I strike out getting player autographs, I know I can always fall back on the alumni signing.

On the day John was there, I had two cards I wanted signed by him. But, I went to the Hall of Fame by myself and could only get one card signed. This one won out over his '76 SSPC card. That just goes to show how much I like Diamond Kings because that SSPC set is legit.

By my best count, this is the eighth card of John Mayberry that I have posted on here.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

1981 Donruss, Dave Edwards

#595 Dave Edwards

After five months of nothing but 1981 Donruss posts, it saddens me to say that this will be the last one for some time on here. While I look forward to posting some new stuff, I really like the '81D.

I got this card signed by Dave Edwards through the mail earlier this year. I saw a success from him on another blog, so I made sure to send my card shortly thereafter. I sent the card in February and I had it back five weeks later.

Dave played for the Twins and Padres during his five year career. Over that time, he hit .238 with 14 home runs and 73 RBI. His best season was with the Twins in 1979. That year, he hit .249 with career-highs in homers (8) and RBI (35).

Dave was traded by the Twins to San Diego in early December of 1980, just in time for Donruss to update the team on this card.

'81 Donruss Tracker: #223

Monday, May 8, 2017

1981 Donruss, Bo Diaz

#517 Bo Diaz

This is the fourth and final card that my wife bought me for Christmas this past year. All four cards were slabbed '81 Donruss autographs from deceased players/managers that were all DNA/PSA certified. While Dan Quisenberry was my favorite of the bunch because of the Royals connection, this one was probably the coolest just because Bo passed away less than ten years after this set came out.

Bo died in 1990 while adjusting his satellite dish on his home in Venezuela. He was only 37 years old at the time.

Nonetheless, Bo had a successful Major League career. He played in the league for thirteen years with the Red Sox, Indians, Phillies, and Reds. He was a .255 hitter that slugged 87 home runs and drove in 452 RBI. He played in one World Series and two All Star Games.

His best season was with the Phillies in 1982. That year he hit .288 and had career highs with 18 dingers and 85 RBI.

'81 Donruss Tracker: #222

Sunday, May 7, 2017

1981 Donruss, Mick Kelleher

#513 Mick Kelleher

This card is one of my longer waited TTM returns for this set. I sent this card to the Yankees, whom Mick was a coach for, in 2013. I got it back three days shy of a full two years later. The only other card I got signed from this set that was out for that long was my Paul Molitor card. Unfortunately, I do not know exactly how long that one took to come back.

Mick played in the Majors for eleven seasons with the Cardinals, Astros, Cubs, Tigers, and Angels. He was a light hitting middle infielder that never hit a Major League home run in just over 1,000 at-bats. He was a .213 hitter for his career.

Since most of the photos used for the '81 Donruss set were shot in Chicago, it is rare to see a Cubs road uniform. That is too bad since the Cubbies were rocking some powder blue road unis in 1980. I am pretty sure this is the only instance of a road Cub that I have posted from this set on here. It looks like the photo was taken at Veterans Stadium in Philadelphia, but I might be wrong.

'81 Donruss Tracker: #221

Thursday, May 4, 2017

1981 Donruss, Jim Essian

#503 Jim Essian

Here is the card of Jim Essian that I got signed through the mail last year. It took about three weeks to get this card back.

Like I have said in previous posts, I haven't taken the time to collect the complete set of '81 Donruss. Because of that, I miss out on guys that could be easy to get (like Neil Allen last week). But, when I see a guy signing that I need a card of, I usually try to pick it up from Sportlots. While I love buying from COMC just because of the ease of ordering, I usually go with Sportlots when I am needing a single card. Their low prices are tough to beat for one card. I bring Sportlots up because that is how I obtained this card.

Jim played in the Major Leagues for twelve seasons with the Phillies, White Sox, A's, Mariners, and Indians. He was a .244 hitter for his career and he finished with 33 home runs and 207 RBI. His best season came with the White Sox in 1977. That year, he hit .273 with 10 home runs and 44 RBI.

This is one of a handful of cards in this set that shows a player with one team, but lists a different team on the card. In this instance, Jim signed with the Sox early in free agency after the 1980 season, just in time for Donruss to recognize his new team on this card. Jim's 1980 Topps and Fleer cards do not mention the White Sox at all.

'81 Donruss Tracker: #220

Monday, May 1, 2017

1981 Donruss, Jose Morales

#495 Jose Morales

I said in yesterdays post that the card was a recent addition to my collection since I obtained the signature within the past year. Based on that, this one is practically brand new. I mailed this card to Jose in February and I had it back a week later.

Jose played in the Major Leagues for twelve seasons with the A's, Expos, Twins, Orioles, and Dodgers. Though he played in over 700 games for his career, Jose took the field in only 104 times. He was a DH for 265 games and spent the rest of the time pinch hitting. Jose was a professional hitter that hit .278 for his career with 26 home runs and 207 RBI.

In 1976, Jose set the Major League record for pinch hits in a season. With the Expos, he racked up 25 pinch hits that year. His record stood for nineteen years before being broken by the Rockies John Vander Wal.

It is kind of funny that Jose is listed as a catcher on this card. He caught just two games in 1980 and played first base just as much. But, he did DH 86 times. Sounds like Jose is a designated hitter to me.

'81 Donruss Tracker: #219