Tuesday, October 31, 2017

1989 Topps, Mark Salas

#384 Mark Salas

Here is the seventh and final card of Mark Salas that I have to post for now. Mark is the bullpen catcher for the White Sox and I have got him to sign three times at Kauffman Stadium over the years. This particular one was signed in 2015, the last time he signed for me.

Here are all the rest of the cards he has signed for me.

Friday, October 27, 2017

1989 Topps, Ken Howell

#93 Ken Howell

Here is the second of three cards of Ken Howell that I got signed at a Royals game in 2014. Ken was the assistant pitching coach for the Dodgers at the time and he signed the cards for me from the bullpen. I posted the first card three years ago and it can be seen here.

Ken was with the Dodgers in 1988 when they last played in the World Series, but he was not a participant. He spent a majority of the season pitching for the Dodgers AAA team and only got into four games with the big league club- one in July and three in September. On top of that, he did not do well in those four games, going 0-1 with a 6.39 ERA. He got knocked around a bit on the one start he made, but actually did okay in the three relief outings. But, those three outings were not enough and Ken was left off of the Dodgers postseason rosters.

While not 100% readable, Ken does have a nice looking signature.

Thursday, October 26, 2017

1989 Topps, Neil Allen

#61 Neil Allen

Here is the second of three cards that Neil Allen signed for me this past season. Neil is the pitching coach for the Twins and he signed for me outside of Kauffman Stadium after stepping off of the team bus. I posted the first card back in July and that one can be seen here.

Neil had two stints with the Yankees. The first one lasted just half of a season after being purchased from the Cardinals in 1985. Over 17 games with Yanks, Neil was 1-0 with a save and a 2.76 ERA. That was the last save Neil would ever record.

After the season, Neil was dealt to the White Sox and he would play for them for a year and a half before getting released at the end of August in 1987. The Yankees picked him up and he would finish out the season with them and pitch for them for all of the '88 season. Over that time, Neil went 5-4 with a 3.80 ERA and 77 strikeouts. Neil was granted free agency after that season.

I still need Neil's '81 Donruss card if anyone has one to trade. See the tab up on the top right of the screen to see the rest of the '81 Donruss cards I need.

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

1989 Score, Bob McClure

#572 Bob McClure

Here is the second of three cards that Bob McClure signed for me at a San Francisco Giants game in 2015. Bob was the pitching coach for the visiting Phillies and he signed for me by their bullpen prior to the game. I posted the first card that he signed for me in August and that card can be seen here.

Bob pitched for the Mets during the second half of the 1988 season. After being released by the Expos in early July, the Mets picked him up eleven days later. With the Mets, he was 1-0 with a save and a 4.09 ERA in 14 contests. He walked 2 and struck out 7 in his 11 innings of work.

He was released after that season and would go on to sign with the Angels the following year.

With the Phillies currently looking for a new manager, Bob could possibly be looking for a new job next year if the new manager wants to go in a "different direction" with his pitching coach.

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

1989 Procards, Don Schulze

#753 Don Schulze

Here is the third and final card that I got signed by Don Schulze in 2015. Don was the pitching coach for the Nashville Sounds at the time and he signed for me prior to an Omaha Storm Chasers game. The first card of him that I posted can be seen here and the second one here.

Don pitched for four different teams in the big leagues- the Cubs, Indians, Mets, and Yankees. Of those four teams, he has a few Indians cards and one Mets card. I did not have the Mets card in my collection, but I was lucky enough to find this card from the 1989 Procards set.

This was the first minor league cards set that I ever found in packs and I could only find them at one spot. It wasn't at one of the local cards shops or at a big card show. I found these packs at a local gas station. Granted, it was a gas station with a really nice selection of cards, including a case with singles. But it was still a gas station, nonetheless. I only got a few packs from this set and about the only cards worth noting were of Jay Bell and Mark McGwire. I never understood why McGwire was in the set since he last played minor league ball in 1986, but I still thought it was a cool card. I ended up getting the Jay Bell card signed through the mail in the early '90s.

This is the fifth card of the Columbus Clippers that I have posted on here. I am not going to check, but that has got to be the most posts that I done for a single minor league team.

Monday, October 23, 2017

1989 Fleer, Pete Incaviglia

#523 Pete Incaviglia

I thought that this was going to be the last Pete Incaviglia card that I would post for some time and that I could take the easy way out by showing all of the other cards of Pete that I have posted on here. But, that is not the case. I still have one more after this one. So, here are a few random thoughts related to this card.

First off, I find the cropping on this card a little odd. Why allow Pete's head to peak over the border, but not his bat? Obviously, his head has to be in the shot. I just think it would make sense to have a little more bat in the picture. It looks like the bat would go behind his head anyway.

Out of the 1989 Fleer set, I only have ten cards signed. Of those ten cards, three of them are Rangers. No other team has more than one card. The other two are Ray Hayward and Steve Buechele. Like I said, random thoughts.

I got this card signed by Pete at a Wingnuts game in 2015 while he was the manager of the Laredo Lemurs.

Saturday, October 21, 2017

1989 Fleer, Ray Hayward

#521 Ray Hayward

Here is the third and final card that Ray Hayward signed for me at the College World Series in 2014. Ray was the pitching coach for Texas Tech and he signed for me on the field as he was watching his guys get loosened up. You can see the first card I posted of him here and the second one here.

Ray started 12 games for the Rangers in 1988, his last season in the Majors. Over those starts, he went 4-6 with a 5.46 ERA. He lasted 62.2 innings and gave up 63 hits while walking 35 and striking out 37. The highlight of that season was the complete game shutout he hurled in Toronto. Over the 9 innings, he scattered just 6 hits while walking 3 and striking out 5. That win improved him to 3-0 on the year. His ERA was 1.63 after that contest.

Ray began his tenure at Texas Tech in 2013. Under his tutelage, the Red Raiders pitchers have lead the team to the College World Series twice and won the Big 12 championship in 2016. On top of that, prior to the 2017 season, seventeen Tech pitchers have gone on to get drafted or sign free agent minor league contracts with clubs.

It looks like Ray will be taking on a new role next season. Though he will still be with Tech, he will no longer be their pitching coach and is instead listed as a special assistant.

I am glad that I got this card signed in black. Since I rarely get autographs from Royals anymore, I hardly bother with a black Sharpie. But, I was still carrying one around in 2014 and it came in handy on this card.

Thursday, October 19, 2017

1989 Donruss, Rick Dempsey

#432 Rick Dempsey

Since Rick played on the last Dodger team to play in the World Series, I was hoping to post this card earlier today after a Dodger sweep. That obviously did not happen. But, the Dodgers are up 9-1 now in the ninth inning, so I figured that this was as good a time as any to post this card.

I picked this card up in a trade two years ago. I pulled a Jackie Robinson manu-bat knob out of a pack and had no interest in it. I offered it up to Night Owl and told him to send some autographs for it. I was expecting to get some certified autos from Greg since he doesn't really collect autographs. But, he surprised the heck out of me by sending me a couple of cards like this. Apparently he has a stash of Dodger autos that other collectors must have sent him.

Rick played for the Dodgers for for three seasons, serving as Mike Scossia's back-up. Over that span, he played in 218 games and hit .211 with 13 home runs and 61 RBI. He even got into two games in the '88 Series, starting one, and went 1-5 with a double and an RBI.

This is the second card of Rick that I have posted on here. I posted the first one, his '81 Donruss, earlier this year and it can be seen here.

It looks like the Dodgers are up 11-1 now and are two outs from the World Series. I wish I had some way of watching TBS right now.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

1989 Donruss, Pete Incaviglia

#3 Pete Incaviglia

By the best that I can tell, this is the seventh card of Pete Incaviglia that has graced this blog. Pete managed in the American Association for many years with Grand Prairie and Laredo, so I have had him sign for me at least three times. Even though the general manager of the Wichita Wingnuts cannot stand Pete, he was always great with fans and never turned down an autograph request.

Pete managed the Laredo Lemurs during all five years of their existence. During that time, he had a winning season every year and made the playoff three times. His club even won the American Association championship in 2015. But, prior to last season, the Lemurs had to cease operations just weeks before the season began. They were replaced by a sub-par traveling team in the league and Pete was left without a job.

He was lucky to catch back on with the AirHogs, this time as their hitting coach. Unfortunately, the 'Hogs had a rough season and Pete did not last the entire summer. With a new season around the bend, it will be interesting to see if he will find a new spot in the league or move on.

I got this card signed by Pete at a Nuts game in 2014. It is always fun to add another signed Diamond King to the collection.

Monday, October 16, 2017

1988 Topps, Mark Salas

#99T Mark Salas

Here is the last card from 1988 Topps that I have to show, for now. But, it is not the last card of Mark Salas. Mark is the bullpen catcher for the White Sox and I have got him to sign for me three times in Kansas City. This one is from the second time he signed for me in 2014.

This is the first card I have posted of him as a member of the White Sox. Add that to the Twins and Tigers cards I have of him and I have three out of the five teams he has cards from covered. Now I only need a Cardinal card (he has one) and a Yankee card (he has two) to have all of his teams covered (he does not have a card as an Indian).

Mark played with the Sox for just the 1988 season. That year, he played in 75 games and he hit .250 with 3 home runs and 9 RBI. While it was not his worst year in the Major Leagues, it definitely was not his most productive either.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

1988 Topps, Mark Parent

#80T Mark Parent

Here is the second card of Mark Parent that I have posted on here. I posted the first one last month and that one can be seen here. This card, like the last one, was signed at a Royals game two years ago. Mark was the bench coach for the White Sox at the time.

Right now, I am really getting into the part of my blog that I do not like. That part is posting cards of guys multiple times. If possible, when I get a guy's signature, I present three cards to him. Some will sign all three, some will only do one, and a few will do just two. You never know. On the autograph collecting aspect of it, the more the merrier. Sometimes I want cards signed of the player with different teams and sometimes he is in a few different sets that I really like. Sometimes, I only have three cards of him and want to get them knocked out in one swoop.

But, while I like three sigs for the collection, sometimes those three cards are difficult to do posts on. The first one is always easy, but that is not always the case for the second and third. Right now, this is the second post out of the next sixteen that involves the second and third card. And a few of them are the second or third card from the second or third time the individual signed for me. So, there might be some short and uninteresting posts coming up over the next three weeks. I am sorry about that, but bare with me.

Saturday, October 7, 2017

1988 Topps, Ray Hayward

#47T Ray Hayward

Here is the second card that Ray Hayward signed for me at the College World Series in 2014. Ray is the pitching coach for Texas Tech and I got him to sign on the field during pregame. I posted the first card of Ray a couple of months ago and that one can be seen here.

It is not too often that you can get baseball cards signed at college games. Off the top of my head, the only former Major Leaguers that I have gotten are Ray, Darin Erstad, Vance Law, Tim Stoddard, Robbie Wine, Ed Sprague, Troy Percival, Mike Benjamin, Chris Valaika, and Blake Hawksworth. Ten guys doesn't sound too bad. But, with all of the colleges that are out there, it is a very tiny percent compared to minor league ball. One trend that I have noticed the last few years is that a guy will take a position at a school and do that for a year or two before getting a gig in the minors. Some of the guys that I have seen do that are Valaika, Ryan Garko, and Chad Cordero. All three of them coached at California schools and all three now coach in the minor leagues.

Besides those guys, there are a few others coaching in college that I either haven't seen play or got turned down from. Kirk Saarloos is the pitching coach for TCU. He turned me down once. Andy Stankiewicz is the head coach at Grand Canyon and Andy Cannizaro is the head coach at Mississippi State. Shawn Marcum is the pitching coach for Missouri Southern State, a DII school.

Thursday, October 5, 2017

1988 Topps, Don Mattingly

#386 Don Mattingly

I have been excited to post this card ever since I got it signed in 2014. Don was managing the Dodgers at the time and my dad was able to get this one signed for me outside of Kauffman Stadium when Don showed up. Andre Ethier was also signing at that time, so I stayed with him while my dad got Don. I probably could have got another one signed by Don, because he signed for everybody, but I was so ecstatic about this one that I did not bother with a second.

This is the only '88 Topps All Star card that I have gotten signed and it came out looking wonderful. I will definitely get more from the subset signed if the opportunity arises.

Don had a typical Don Mattingly season in 1987 to earn this card. He hit .327 with 30 homers and 115 RBI. He got the start in the All Star Game and went 0-1 with two walks.

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

1988 Topps, Rick Rodriguez

#166 Rick Rodriguez

Here is a card that I got signed at an Omaha Storm Chasers game last season. The Nashville Sounds were in town and Rick is the teams pitching coach. He was nice enough to stop on his way out to the field and sign this one card for me.

Rick saw time in the Majors for parts of four seasons with the A's, Indians, and Giants and he had a rough go of it. He appeared in 31 games and logged 77 innings. He had a decent record at 3-4 for his career, but that might be the best part of his stat line. His career ERA is 5.73 and he gave up 97 hits, walked 41, and struck out only 22. That is good for a WHIP of 1.79.

At first glance, it looks like Rick had a decent '87 season and I am guessing that is why he got a card in this set. He was 1-0 with a 2.96 ERA in 15 relief outings. But, in 24.1 iinings pitched, he gave up 32 hits, walked 15, and struck out 9. While he only gave up one home run that season, I think it is safe to say that he got lucky and his ERA should have been higher. I guess that is why they started using advanced metrics because 1-0 with a 2.96 ERA looks really good. The rest of his numbers from that season do not.

Rick only had two main cards come out, this one and one in the '88 Fleer set. He had a few minor league cards, but this was the only card I had of him to get signed.

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

1988 Score, Randy Ready

#512 Randy Ready

It has been nearly nine years since I last posted a card of Randy Ready. I got him to sign three cards for me in 2008 when he was the manager of the Portland Beavers. I started this blog a few months later and those three cards got posted during the first three months of the blog. That was back when I thought I was going to eventually run out of autographs to post. Now it is nine years later and I still have not got to my signed cards that were printed in 2008.

This card was given to me from Rod of Padrographs. I met up with him outside of Portland two years ago and he had a fat stack of autographs for me. In that stack was a bunch of slabbed cards from Historic Grading and Authentication. I posted one of those cards a couple of years back and this is what the slabbing looked like. Needless to say, all of those cards are now unslabbed.

You can see the original three Randy Ready cards I posted here, here, and here. I was using a slightly different format back then.

I cannot believe that I have been running this blog for nine years.