Tuesday, December 25, 2018

2008 Allen & Ginter, Roy Oswalt

#225 Roy Oswalt

In the two years of the Kansas Stars, I made it to two games and I did really well 'graphing. With the help of my dad, I came home with over seventy cards signed. It was a mixed bag of players that signed for me. Some were guys that I had gotten during their playing days, like Brad Penny. Others were guys that I got both years AND during their playing days- I now have fifteen cards signed by Brandon Inge after my dad and I each got three signed each year, plus the three I had from his playing days. Then there is Roy Oswalt. I had never gotten him before and he was nice enough to sign multiples for us. He was on the team both years, but I only got him to sign the first year. He was a two-per signer and my dad and I both got him. I believe I got two Astros cards signed, as well as a Phillies and Rockies card. Unfortunately, I do not have a Ranger card of him in my collection.

Roy was definitely one of the better 'graphs that I got from the Stars. He is up there with Josh Beckett and Tim Hudson. While Roy never brought home any hardware or a title, he was a dominate pitcher for nearly a decade that won twenty games twice, hit double digit wins for eight straight seasons, struck out 200+ twice, and made two All Star teams. Plus, he helped guide his clubs to four postseason appearances.

Roy finished his career after the 2013 season with a record of 163-102. He logged over 2,200 innings and had an ERA of 3.36 with 1,852 strikeouts.

Merry Christmas!

Saturday, December 22, 2018

2008 Allen & Ginter, Yuniesky Betancourt

#207 Yuniesky Betancourt

Here is a card that I got signed at Royals Fanfest in 2010. Yuni had come over from the Mariners midway through the 2009 season and by Fanfest 2011, he had been traded to the Brewers in the Zack Grienke deal. As much as I loved Lorenzo Cain, the best part of that trade was getting the Brewers to take Yuni.

To be honest, I really do not remember why I didn't care for him. Before he was dealt to Milwaukee, he had a career year in Kansas City. That season, he hit .259 and had career-highs in home runs (17) and RBI (78). Those are some decent numbers for a shortstop. Those 78 ribbies tied him for the team lead and he also hit three grand slams that year.

Yuni finished his career after the 2013 season a .261 hitter with 80 dingers and 457 RBI.

Thursday, December 20, 2018

2008 Allen & Ginter, Scott Kazmir

#146 Scott Kazmir

Here is a card that I got signed at a Royals game in 2009. Scott had just been traded to the Angels about a week before that and I got lucky by spotting him mulling around in the dugout while the Angels were taking batting practice. I called over to him and he came over and signed one of the three cards I had of him. I do not remember what other two cards I had at the time, but I doubt that they were better than this card.

While looking at Scott's stats, I was surprised to see that he hasn't pitched since 2016. I knew he was traded this past off-season from the Dodgers to the Braves in the great salary dump trade. I guess I just never realized that the Braves released him in Spring Training and nobody ever picked him up.

If Scott's career is indeed done, he had a nice one. Playing twelve seasons with six teams, he racked up a 108-96 record with a 4.01 ERA. The three time All Star played in three postseasons. His best year was with the Devil Rays in 2007 when he went 13-9 with a 3.48 ERA and a league leading 239 strikeouts. That was his only 200 strikeout season.

This is the first card on here that features a Tampa Bay Ray. I have posted a handful of Devil Rays, but this is the first one without the Devil moniker.

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

2008 Allen & Ginter, Geovany Soto

#118 Geovany Soto

Here is a card that I got signed at a Royals game in 2012. And by I, I really mean my future wife at the time. The two of us went to a weekday game against the Rangers and Geo was the starting catcher that night. He was out in the visiting team bullpen loosening up and I talked my future wife into asking for his autograph. I like getting autographs by the bullpen, but they usually consist of coaches or back-up catchers catching a bullpen session. Geo was down there by himself and I made my future wife ask for him to sign. I figured that he wouldn't sign since he was getting ready, but, in the off chance he did, he would be more willing to sign for a cute little female than my big, bearded ass. It actually worked and he even signed all three cards for her.

Unfortunately, my wife's autographing days are behind her. Ever since we had a little one, she gets tasked with watching over him while I do my 'graphing. One of these days, though, he will be 'graphing at my side and I may once again be able to put her to work for me.

Geo is one of those guys that had a monstrous rookie season and was never able to replicate it. He went off in 2008 with a .285 average, 23 home runs, and 86 RBI en route to an All Star Game selection and winning the National League Rookie of the Year. Even though he would play in the league for nine more seasons, he would never come close to those numbers again. By the time I saw him play that day in 2012, he wasn't even a .200 hitter any more. In fact, he barely reached double digit home runs in a season that he was traded for a minor league player that would never make the Majors.

In 2009, I went to an Iowa Cubs game and was impressed enough by a catcher's chest protector that I took a picture of it. It is Geovany's from the 2007 season when he was the Pacific Coast League MVP.

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

2008 Allen & Ginter, Jayson Nix

#82 Jayson Nix

Way back when in 2008, I started this blog. That was the year I got back into collecting autographs and I thought this blog would be a fun way to show off my cards. About a year into it, I thought I was going to eventually run out of cards to post on here. Well, long story short, it is ten years later and I am just now getting to cards that were made the year I started this thing. I started getting too many autographs and quit posting on a daily basis. Now, in 2018, I am posting a rookie card that was released in the year I started this blog and that guy doesn't even play any more.

Here is a card that I got signed by Jayson Nix at the Kansas Stars game in 2016. I was pretty lucky to get Jayson to sign because I did not recognize him at all. He was sporting a large beard at the time and he had always seemed pretty clean cut while he was playing. Eventually, he got close enough to me that I could barely make out his name on his bat. He came over and signed three cards for both my dad and myself.

Jayson had a whirlwind career. In his seven year Major League career, he saw time with eight teams. He started out with the Rockies before playing with the White Sox, Indians, Blue Jays, Yankees, Phillies, Pirates, and Royals. Before this post, I had forgotten he played briefly for the Royals in 2014. I guess he didn't stand out too much when he went 0-11 in ten regular season and postseason games.

Jason finished his career a .212 hitter with 38 home runs and 130 RBI. His best season was probably during the 2010 campaign, which was split with the White Sox and Indians. He got off to a rocky start in Chicago, but ended up hitting .234 with 13 homers and 29 RBI after the Tribe claimed him on waivers in June.

Thursday, December 13, 2018

2007 Upper Deck, Joe Beimel

#767 Joe Beimel

Here is the second and final card that I got signed by Joe Beimel at the Kansas Stars game last year. I posted the first card three months ago and it can be seen here.

Joe pitched for the Dodgers for three seasons and did really well. He started off as a middle reliever before transitioning to the left-handed specialist role. Over that time, he had a record of 11-4 with 3 saves and a 3.14 ERA. That was the lowest ERA he had with any single franchise.

In 2008, Joe was 5-1 with the Dodgers and posted a career-best 2.02 ERA. By that time, he was in full LOOGY mode, logging just 49 innings of work in 71 appearances. He also got his first taste of the postseason that year. He appeared in three games of the NLCS and worked a scoreless two-thirds of an inning while walking two batters.

For his career, Joe was 29-34 with 5 saves and a 4.06 ERA.

Joe has an interesting signature where the first letters of each name are made with the same stroke. You really can't make out much more after that, though, and it looks like his name ends with a capital "S".

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

2007 Upper Deck, Chris Coste

#390 Chris Coste

Here is the first of three cards that I got signed by Chris Coste this past summer. Chris joined the Fargo-Moorhead Redhawks coaching staff prior to this past season and I was able to get him at a Wingnuts game one morning. That's right, it was at a morning game. The Nuts hosted camp day at the park and a bunch of daycares and YMCA clubs showed up to a really hot day of mid-week morning baseball.

Chris is from the Fargo-Moorhead area and it was cool to see him with the Redhawks, a team he used to play for. Tim was born in Fargo and played college baseball in Moorhead. He then played with the Redhawks for four years before getting signed by the Indians prior to the 2000 season. He then played mostly AAA ball for five years before making his Major League debut with the Phillies in 2006 at the age of thirty-three.

The best season for Chris was probably his rookie season. Though he played in just 65 games, he hit .328 with 7 homers and 32 RBI. He would never hit over .300 again and he would only top his home run and RBI numbers in 2008 when he would play in a career-high 98 games.

For his career, Chris hit .272 with 23 home runs and 108 RBI.

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

2007 Upper Deck, Delwyn Young

#23 Delwyn Young

Here is the first of three cards that I got Delwyn young to sign for me at the Kansas Stars game I attended in 2017. Unlike most of the cards I got signed that day, I had to wait around until after the game to get him to sign.

Delwyn played in the Majors for parts of five seasons with the Dodgers and Pirates. Over that time, he hit .258 with 17 home runs and 81 RBI. His best season was with the Pirates in 2009. That year, he got into a career-best 124 games and he hit .266 with 7 home runs and 43 RBI.

Delwyn would spend most of 2010 in Pittsburgh before spending all of 2011 in AAA. The following year, he would end up in the Atlantic League and spend the next four seasons there before retiring.

Monday, December 10, 2018

2007 Tristar Prospects Plus, Josh Donaldson

#59 Josh Donaldson

Here is one of my most recent in-person autographs. If you recall, Josh Donaldson was traded to the Indians late this past season. Even though he was pretty much injured when he got traded, he managed to make it into sixteen September games for The Tribe. When I went to a game for the final series of the season in Kansas City, the Indians were in town and, apparently, Josh is a great signer. He signed for quite a bit during batting practice and even signed all three of the cards I had of him. I was quite impressed.

Even though Josh never played a game for the Cubs, I still thought that I should take this card with me. Along with this card, I also got a Blue Jays card and an A's card signed. All three featured a rushed looking ballpark signature, but one had one more loop in it than the other two. This is not that one. In fact, it looks like Josh had a hard time staying on the card with this one.

Although Josh managed to hit .280 for Cleveland during that final month of the regular season, the trade didn't really work out for them. They were going to win the division and make the playoffs with or without Josh. They were banking on him to help them during that postseason and that just didn't happen. Josh was 1-11 in the Division Series as the Indians were swept by the Astros.

Nevertheless, Josh was able to get a quick deal done this off-season and will be joining a new organization next year. On November 26th, the Braves signed him to a one year, $23 million contract. I was surprised to see him jump on a one year deal so soon, but, after last off-season, I can't say that I blame him.

Saturday, December 8, 2018

2007 Topps Heritage, Reggie Abercrombie

#398 Reggie Abercrombie

Here is another card of Reggie Abercrombie that I got signed at a Wichita Wingnuts game in 2016 while he was with the Winnipeg Goldeyes. I posted another card from that day about a week ago and it can be seen here. In that post, I talked extensively about Reggie's long career in the American Association. Unfortunately, his Major League career was not nearly as long.

Reggie spent parts of three seasons in the Majors with the Marlins and Astros. Over that time, he played in 180 games and he hit .223 with 9 home runs and 34 RBI. All but 34 of those games came with the Marlins, where he was a .208 hitter with 7 home runs and 29 RBI.

In his one season in Houston, Reggie got just 55 at-bats, but he responded by hitting .309 with a pair of dingers and driving in 5. He started the month of September with a .200 average, but finished strong to raise it to its final level. That apparently was not good enough as he wound back up in AAA the following season before landing in independent ball the year after that.

This is a good looking card, but it is a little bit off for a copy of the 1957 set. The non-posed shot is just wrong. It has a classic big head, but the head is not looking at the camera. It is looking at the pitcher. I am fairly certain that there are no cards in the '57 set where that is happening.

Friday, December 7, 2018

2007 Topps, Brad Penny

#UH244 Brad Penny

Here is the third card from Brad Penny that I got signed in Wichita in 2016 while Brad was playing for the Kansas Stars. I posted the other two cards in August and they can be seen here and here.

Those first two cards showed Brad with the Marlins, the team he came up with. Less than a year after helping them win the World Series, the Marlins dealt Brad to the Dodgers at the 2004 trade deadline. Unfortunately, the acquisition of Brad did not help the club down the stretch run. He battled injuries and pitched just 11.2 innings over three starts for the Dodgers. The team still won the National League West, but Brad was not available in the playoffs.

But, he did go on to have some good seasons in Los Angeles. In 2006 and 2007, he would post back-to-back 16 win seasons and make the All Star team each year. He even got the start in the '06 game. For his four plus years with the Dodgers, Brad was 46-33 with a 4.07 ERA and 462 strikeouts.

After becoming a free agent after the 2008 season, Brad would enter journeyman status by playing with five different clubs over the next six seasons. That whirlwind included two stops in San Francisco and a reunion with the Marlins. He finished his career in 2014 with a 121-101 record with a 4.29 ERA and 1,273 strikeouts.

During Brad's fourteen year career, I only got to see him pitch once. That one time happened to be a rehab start in Oklahoma City in 2008. I didn't even know he was going to be there, so I had nothing to get singed and the man signed for everybody prior to making the start.

Thursday, December 6, 2018

2007 Topps, Mike Zagurski

#UH198 Mike Zagurski

It has been a week since I last posted a card. Since that last post, I have worked every single day for twelve hours a day. I have three more days of this, but my shift is about to change. Instead of working 6 A.M. to 6 P.M, my next three shifts will be from 6 P.M. to 6 A.M. Then, I will get a couple of days off and be back to normal. The one exception is that I am going to be on nights for good. So, I am not quite sure how that is going to affect my posting. I hope, at the vary least, that I will still post about twelve to fourteen cards a month. Who knows? Maybe I will be able to post more often on this schedule. Only time will tell.

Anyways, here is a card of Mike Zagurski that I got signed at Spring Training this year. Mike was in camp with the Brewers and I was able to get him at the team's minor league morning workout. I caught him as he was trying to leave the fields and head to the clubhouse. The Brewers were hosting the Royals that day, so I had some Royals gear on. Mike saw that and let it be known that he was not a Royals fan. I told him that I was from Kansas and I remembered that he played his college ball at KU. Once we got to talking, I found out that he played ball in community college in Hutchinson, which is twenty-five miles down the road. It is always fun to meet up with someone on the backfields in Arizona that has some Kansas ties.

That day, I did not even plan on 'graphing the Brewers minor league complex. I had planned on going to the game, but I wanted to hit up the White Sox morning practice first. When I got to Glendale to see the Sox, it was dead. We stood around with one other family waiting for the gates to open before someone from the other family made a phone call and found out the White Sox were hosting a night game that evening. Because of that, the gates to the practice field would not open until 3:00. So, we jetted over to Maryvale and did what I could there. Lesson learned.

As for Mike, he has seen stints at the big league level with the Phillies, Diamondbacks, Pirates, Yankees, and Brewers. Those stints were over six seasons that spanned twelve years. He made his debut with the Phillies in 2007 and then would not make it back to the Majors until 2010. He then saw action in 2011, '12, and 13. He then spent a few more years in the minors and in Japan before resurfacing with the Brewers for one inning of work this year. Over that time, he has a 1-1 record in 91 games with an ERA of 7.78. He is averaging a strikeout per inning, though.

Thursday, November 29, 2018

2007 Topps, Reggie Abercrombie

#UH110 Reggie Abercrombie

I really thought that this was going to be my fifth post of a card from Reggie Abercrombie. It turns out it is just my third. The ones that I thought I had already posted are newer cards from 2008 and 2009.

Reggie has been a regular in the American Association since 2010. I ran across him twice that year and posted a card from each run-in. The first one was at a Wingnuts game when he was with the Sioux Falls Pheasants. The second one was at the All Star game that was hosted in Wichita. This one was signed at a 'Nuts game in 2016 while Reggie was with the Winnipeg Goldeyes.

Reggie was still active in the league this past season and did really well at the age of 37. He finished the season with a .316 average, 15 home runs, and 62 RBI. He was even able to nab 12 bases. Since he has played in the league for nine straight seasons, he holds numerous league records. He is their all-time leader in hits (839), home runs (130), and RBI (536). He is second in runs scored and fourth in stolen bases.

When I got this card signed, Reggie was coming off the field after warming up. I didn't think that I was going to be able to get his attention because he had headphones in. But, I obviously did, and I got a good looking signature from him. I thought it was neat that he added his number to this card because he did not do that to the Marlins card I posted six years ago.

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

2007 Topps, Justin Germano

#UH36 Justin Germano

Here is the second card that Justin Germano signed for me at the Kansas Stars game I attended in 2016. I posted the first card in September and that one can be seen here.

Justin spent parts of nine seasons in the Majors with seven different teams- the Padres, Reds, Indians, Red Sox, Cubs, Blue Jays, and Rangers. And, when I say parts of seasons, I really mean parts. There were three seasons where he only appeared in one or two games. Nonetheless, he still pitched in 96 Major League games with exactly half of those being starts. In those games, he posted a 10-30 record with a 5.40 ERA while striking out 209 in 330 innings of work.

His best season was with the Padres in 2007. That year, he got into a career-high 26 games and was 7-10 for the year with an ERA of 4.46.

For those of you keeping score at home, this card is a red back variation. I never understood the red backs in this set. But, they appear to be a hobby only parallel.

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

2007 Topps, Scott Thorman

#582 Scott Thorman

Here is the second card that I got signed by Scott Thorman at Spring Training in 2017. Scott is the manager of the Royals South Atlantic League team and he was nice enough to stop and sign after a morning minor league workout. I posted the first card of Scott during the summer and it can be seen here.

Scott spent just two seasons in the Majors, both with the Braves. Over that time, he got into 175 games and hit .222 with 16 home runs and 50 RBI. He played in 120 games in 2007, but only started 66 of those. He got into most of the other games as a pinch hitter. But, he did most of his damage that season, smacking 11 dingers and driving in 36.

Scott played in the affiliated minors through the 2012 season, but never got another shot at the big leagues.

When I posted that last card of Scott, his Lexington Legends had just started the second half of their season and were off to a slow start. But, Scott was able to right the ship and get them going and they ended up winning the division in the second half en route to a league championship.

Thursday, November 22, 2018

2007 Bowman, Jake Smolinski

#BDPP63 Jake Smolinski

Here is a card that I got signed at Spring Training this past season. Jake was playing for the A's and I was able to get him by the dugout prior to a game at the Angels Tempe Diablo Stadium. He signed all three of my cards.

Jake has spent parts of five seasons in the Majors and really hasn't accomplished a whole lot yet. In his first season, 2014 with the Rangers, he did real well in the 24 games he played in. He hit .349 with 3 home runs and 12 RBI. But, the next season, he was hitting just .133 midway through June when the A's picked him up off waivers.

The A's kept him around for most of the 2016 season and he got into a career-high 99 games with them. Over his 290 at-bats, he hit .238 with 7 homers and 27 RBI. Unfortunately, he has battled some injuries since then that has limited him to just 35 games over the last two seasons.

So far for his career, Jake is hitting .235 with 16 dingers and 67 RBI.

Since the season has ended, Jake has been released by the A's and has signed a deal with the Rays.

In this card, Jake is shown with the Nationals, that team that drafted him in the second round of the 2007 draft. He played in their organization for just two seasons before being dealt to the Marlins. He was in the Florida/Miami organization for five seasons before getting picked up by the Rangers and making his MLB debut.

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

2007 Bowman, Lars Davis

#BDPP19 Lars Davis

Here is a card that I got signed at the College World Series in 2015. Lars is a coach for the University of Florida Gators and I was able to get him before one of the games I attended. I could not got this card signed without the help of Peter Alonso. I had to ask him where Lars was and Peter sent him over to me. The way it is looking, I should have been asking Peter for his autograph.

Lars played minor league ball for eight seasons without getting a crack at the Majors. Over that time, he was a .250 hitter that had 30 home runs and 197 RBI. He reached AAA and played 92 games at that level and hit .253.

It seems odd that Lars ended up at Florida. For starters, Lars is Canadian and Florida is about as far away from Canada as one can get. On top of that, he played college ball at Illinois. I am not sure how he got on at Florida, but they sure have done well since he joined the staff five years ago. Since that time, they have won the College World Series and have made four consecutive trips to Omaha.

While t doesn't happen every year, it is fun to find a guy coaching in Omaha that I have a card of.

Monday, November 19, 2018

2006 Upper Deck, Ryan Roberts

#1209 Ryan Roberts

Card number 1209? How many cards are in this set? Good luck to anyone trying to get this set signed.

Anyways, here is a card of Ryan Roberts that I got signed at an Omaha Storm Chasers game in 2015. Ryan was playing his final season of baseball and spending the entire year with the Nashville Sounds. He stopped on his way out to the field and signed three cards for me.

Two of the three cards pictured him with the Diamondbacks. This was the only card I had of him with another team, so I had to get it signed. He has two cards with the Rays, but I apparently have neither of those cards.

Ryan's time in Toronto spanned all of 17 games over two seasons. In each of those seasons, he got a hit in 13 at-bats. That one hit he had in his first season, though, was a home run. So, he is in a special group of people that had a homer for their first Major League hit.

Ryan spent parts of nine seasons in the Majors. Over that time, he was a .243 hitter with 46 home runs and 169 RBI. He played in one playoff series, in 2011 with the D-Backs, and he did amazing. Against the Brewers, he was 7-20 in the five game series. He had a double, two homers, and drove in six.

Sunday, November 18, 2018

2006 Upper Deck, Dustin Moseley

#1095 Dustin Moseley

Here is a card that was given to me by Rod, from Padrographs, when we met at a Hillsboro Hops game in 2015. I was always curious why he had this signed Angels card in his collection, but now it makes sense. It looks like Dustin spent parts of two seasons pitching for the Padres.

Dustin spent parts of seven seasons in the Majors, seeing time with the Angels, Yankees, and Padres. Over that time, which was spent starting and relieving, he racked up a 15-21 record with 199 strikeouts and a 4.67 ERA. His best season was probably with the Padres in 2011. Even though he had a poor record (3-10), he threw a career-high 120 innings and responded with 64 strikeouts and a 3.30 ERA, both career bests. Despite his somewhat solid season, he would only pitch in one Major League game after that.

Despite his relatively short Major League career, Dustin had the pleasure of pitching in two playoff games. He threw a scoreless inning for the Angels in the 2007 Division Series and then threw two scoreless innings for the Yankees in the 2010 ALCS. In those two games, he allowed just one hit and struck out five. Plus, he picked up the win in Game One of the 2010 ALCS.

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

2006 Upper Deck, Eddie Guardado

#1078 Eddie Guardado

Here is the second card of Everyday Eddie that I got signed outside of Kauffman Stadium in 2017. Eddie was the bullpen coach for the Twins and he was nice enough to stop and sign on the way into the ballpark. I posted the first card of him this past summer and that card can be seen here.

Even though Eddie spent most of his career pitching for the Twins, he did see time with a few other clubs. After the 2003 season, Eddie signed with the Mariners. He pitched for them for two and a half years and racked up 59 saves. The M's then traded Eddie to the Reds in early July of 2006 and Eddie got his first taste of National League baseball.

Prior to the trade, the Reds were 44-41 and two games back in the Central. Though Eddie pitched well that season Cincy, he ultimately did not matter and the club finished 80-82, three and a half games back of the eventual World Champion Cardinals. Though he had a 1.29 ERA and 8 saves, Eddie threw his last pitch that season in mid-August before being shut down for the rest of the season.

He nearly missed the entire 2007 season, but came back in August and was not his usual self. In fifteen games, Eddie was 0-2 in save opportunities and had an ERA of 7.24. He would become a free agent after the season and end up in Texas. But, during his tenure in Cincinnati, Eddie was 0-0 with 8 saves and a 4.23 ERA in 30 games.

When I posted that last card of Eddie, he was still the Twins bullpen coach. Since then, the Twins fired Paul Molitor and have hired Rocco Baldelli to manage the club. Naturally, the new guy wanted to build his own coaching staff and Eddie has been let go. Based on my brief run-in with him in 2017, I doubt that he is too terribly sad about it. When I asked him how he liked coaching, he said that it was just OK and that today's players are too soft.

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

2006 Upper Deck, Sandy Alomar, Jr.

#677 Sandy Alomar, Jr.

Here is the third card that I have posted of Sandy Alomar, Jr. I posted the first one, one given to me by Rod, ten years ago. The second one, a through the mail success from the late '90s, the next year. This one was obtained in-person in September.

Sandy is the first base coach for the Indians and I saw the Indians play in Kansas City twice this past summer. At the second game, I got to the park super-early to do some 'graphing outside of The K. It paid off when I saw a group of Indians coaches get out of a vehicle to enter the park. Sandy was the only one that I recognized out of the group and I called for him and asked for his autograph. He came over and signed one of the three cards that I had.

I had Sandy one-on-one and was a little disappointed that he didn't sign more than one, especially since his 1989 Topps Futures Stars card was one of the three. But, I could not be more thrilled with the way this one came out looking. There is just something about a clean-looking Dodger or Royals card signed in blue Sharpie.

Sandy's tenure in Los Angeles lasted all of 27 games in 2006. During that time, he managed to hit .323 in 62 at-bats with 5 doubles and 9 RBI. He was traded to the White Sox in July for a minor league player. This is the only card of Sandy as a Dodger.

Friday, November 9, 2018

2006 Upper Deck, Oliver Perez

#365 Oliver Perez

It has probably been over two years since I have posted a card of a current player. But, here is one now. To be honest, I had no idea that Ollie was even pitching this year until I was getting cards ready to see the Indians play in Kansas City. I had to do some digging to find three cards of him, but I found them. Ollie signed two of them at the late August game I attended, but not this one. I then saw the Indians again in Kansas City a month later and was able to get this one signed.

Ollie had an amazing season this year with the Tribe. The LOOGY got into 51 games and pitched 32.1 innings with a 1.39 ERA and 43 strikeouts. Those are some good numbers for a 38 year-old reliever that does not throw gas.

Just like the last two guys I posted on here, my three cards of Ollie all featured him with a different team. This one showcases his time in Pittsburgh, which lasted about three seasons. Over that time, he was 21-28 with a 4.59 ERA.

His best season was with the Pirates in 2004. That year, he was 12-10 with a 2.98 ERA and a career high 239 strikeouts. Those 239 K's ranked fourth in the National League and his 10.975 K's per nine lead the league.

Thursday, November 8, 2018

2006 Topps, David Dellucci

#UH25 David Dellucci

Here is the second card that David Dellucci signed for me at the Kansas Stars game last year. I posted the first card in June and that one can be seen here.

That first card showed David with is second team, and the one that he stayed with the longest, the Diamondbacks. After the D-Backs, David played for the Yankees and Rangers before landing in Philadelphia for the 2006 season. He did well for the Phillies that year, hitting .292 with 13 home runs and 39 RBI. He was used more as a pinch hitter that season than a starter, but he still did well enough to get a three-year deal from the Indians for about 3.75 million dollars a year.

The Indians would end up releasing David during the final season of that deal and he would finish the year with the Blue Jays. He called it a career after that, finishing with a .256 average, 101 homers, and 398 RBI for his career.

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

2006 Topps, Miguel Cairo

#204 Miguel Cairo

Here is the second card that I got signed by Miguel Cairo at Spring Training in 2017. Miguel was helping out the Reds at the time and I got him to sign three cards for me after the team's minor league workout. I posted the first one back in May and it can be seen here.

The first card I posted showed Miguel with the third team he played for, the Devil Rays. After three seasons with the Rays, he spent half a year with the Cubs, two and a half with the Cardinals, and one year with the Yankees before joining the Mets on the other side of town. His tenure in Queens lasted just one season before shifting back over to the Bronx for another year and half. But, while with the Mets, Miguel managed a .251 average with 2 home runs and 19 RBI in 100 games.

I was shocked to see that Miguel played parts of seventeen seasons in the Major Leagues. But, he was around for a while and I got to see him play eleven times between 2000-2008. I saw him in uniform with the Devil Rays, Cubs, Cardinals, Yankees, and Mariners. Over those eleven games, he hit just .143 with a home run and four RBI. I also saw him man five different positions as well as DH and pinch hit in those contests.

After his second stint with the Yankees, he would also go on to play with the Cardinals (again), Mariners, Phillies, and Reds.

Monday, November 5, 2018

2006 Topps, Brandon Inge

#28 Brandon Inge

Back-to-back Tigers and back-to-back card number 28. What are the odds?

This is the third card of Brandon that I have posted on here. I posted the first two over five years ago and they can be seen here and here. I got those two signed at a Royals game in 2011. I got this one signed at a Kansas Stars game last year.

When I went to that game, Brandon was signing autographs right when I got into the seating bowl. I almost didn't go down there to get my cards signed by him because I got three done at that Royals game in 2011 and I got six from him at a Stars game the previous year. But, I figured that I brought some cards of him with me, so I might as well get them signed. So, now I have a cool dozen cards signed by Brandon. That is the most of a single player that I have that did not ever play for the Royals. In fact, it might be the most cards that I have signed by one guy irregardless of team.

When I last posted a card of Brandon, he was still an active player that had just joined the A's in 2012. He went on to play one more season after that with the Pirates before calling it a career. The 2009 All Star finished his career a .233 hitter with 152 home runs and 648 RBI.

I would call this card an error because Brandon is listed as a second baseman. Brandon played third in 160 games in 2005. He played second 19 times in his career, but those games occurred in his last two years of playing. On the back of the card, he is listed as a third baseman.

Sunday, November 4, 2018

2006 Bowman Heritage, Nate Robertson

#28 Nate Robertson

Here is the second card of Nate Robertson that I have posted on here. I posted the first one three years ago after I got it signed at a free card show in Wichita. This one, on the other hand, was signed at a Kansas Stars game in 2016.

Nate and Adam LaRoche were the masterminds of the Kansas Stars. Nate had a venue and tournament, thanks to his Wichita Wingnuts hosting the NBC World Series at Lawrence Dumont Stadium, and Adam was freshly retired. The native Kansans got some friends together and the Kansas Stars were born. They debuted at the 2016 NBC World Series and took second place. They came back in 2017 and won it all. Then, in 2018, they were no more. Supposedly, the casino they stayed at, the Kansas Star, was booked up for the week of the tournament and they had no place to stay. But, I think that the powers that be just did not want a team of former pros, which included All Stars and Hall of Famers, whooping up on college kids. That is just my opinion, though.

The team stayed together this past summer as the Louisville Stars and played in the Bluegrass World Series. The Bluegrass World Series was created for the Stars and they competed against college level teams like they did at the NBC tournament. While Adam made the transition to Louisville, Nate did not.

Nate pitched in the Majors for parts of nine seasons with the Marlins, Tigers, and Phillies. Over that time, he was 57-77 with one save and a 5.01 ERA.

Saturday, November 3, 2018

2005 Upper Deck USA Baseball, Kevin Gunderson

#58 Kevin Gunderson

Here is a card that was given to me by Rod, from Padrographs, when we met up at a Hillsboro Hops game in 2015.

Most of the cards that I get from Rod feature a Padre or someone that had played for the Padres at some point. But, not this card; Kevin only played in the Braves organization. After a quick check at Baseball Reference, I see that Kevin is from Oregon. Oregonians are another lot that Rod collects. Even though I collect autographed cards of anyone and everybody, it is still cool when another person hooks me up with a signed card from their collecting niche. And that has happened quite a few times with Rod.

Kevin played at Oregon State and was drafted by the Braves in the fifth round of the 2006 draft. He played in their organization for four seasons, reaching as high as AAA in 2009. But, he only pitched in four games at that level and called it a career after the season. For his career, he was 12-10 with a 3.01 ERA.

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

2005 Topps Total, Tom Martin

#624 Tom Martin

Here is the third and final card of Tom Martin that I got signed at the Kansas Stars game last year. I posted the first card, an Orioles minor league card, nearly a year ago and an '04 Topps Total card two months ago.

This is also the last card from the 2005 Topps Total set that I have to post for now. When I posted the first one nearly three weeks ago, I speculated that it would take me until Thanksgiving to get the nine cards posted. Having got them all by Halloween has been a nice accomplishment for me. I still wish I had the time to post one a day like I did ten years ago, but life doesn't always allow you to do the things you want to do.

Tom pitched for Atlanta for just parts of two seasons. During that time, he was 0-1 with a 5.59 ERA in 33 games.

I thought that it was very odd where Tom signed this card. I have seven dual player cards from this set that I have got signed and every single one of them, except for this one, is signed on one side or the other. I am not sure what Chris Reitsma is up to these days. But, if I ever run across him to finish this card off, Tom's signature in the middle of the card will definitely throw the card out of balance.

As for Tom, he is now one of the Buckmen from Buck Commander.

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

2005 Topps Total, Cal Eldred

#613 Cal Eldred

Here is a card that I got signed this past summer in Kansas City. Cal is the pitching coach for the Royals and I was able to get him to sign some cards for me from the bullpen at one of the games that I went to. When he saw this card, he made sure to tell me that he wasn't the one I needed to sign this card. That is no joke and I doubt that I will ever be able to add Adam to it.

While Cal signed three cards for me that evening, and this is the first of those three to get posted on here, this is not the first card of him to ever appear on this blog. I sent Cal a TTM request in the mid-'90s and I posted that card nine years ago. That card, a '93 Fleer, was glossy and unprepped and the signature bubbled up pretty good. But, you can still make it out and it is cool to see that Cal's signature has not changed a bit in nearly twenty-five years. He has, of course, added a Bible verse and his number to his autograph.

Speaking of his number, he wore 21 during that majority of his career. But, in his three seasons with the Cards, he wore 23. Considering that there are hardly any cards of him from his time in St. Louis, it is cool that he signs his correct number when given the chance.

During Cal's time with the Cardinals, he was 12-6 with 9 saves and a 3.41 ERA.

When I got Cal to sign this card, it was during Player's Weekend. The name on the back of his jersey was "Corn Fed". I asked him about that and he said it was because he was always a bigger guy and that it didn't help that he was from Iowa.

Friday, October 26, 2018

2005 Topps Total, Jake Peavy

#475 Jake Peavy

Here is the first card of Jake Peavy that I have posted in eight years. That one was given to me by Rod, from Padrographs. This one, on the other hand, was obtained in-person last summer while Jake was playing for the Kansas Stars.

I had three cards for Jake to sign, but he was strictly a one-per guy. Luckily, I gave some cards to my dad and he was able to get a second card signed for me. That one is from a 2014 set, so it will be another eight years before I get that card posted. Who am I kidding? At my rate, it will be closer to eighteen years.

When I last posted a card of Jake, he was still an active player. That is not the case anymore as he last played in 2016. He had a rough go at life since that 2016 season which included a divorce and his financial adviser screwing him out of millions of dollars he had saved up for retirement. He was trying to make a comeback this season, but I had not heard anything about that since Spring Training.

So, if Jake never pitches again, he will finish his career with a record of 152-126 and a 3.63 ERA with 2,207 strikeouts.

Thursday, October 25, 2018

2005 Topps Total, Corky Miller

#461 Corky Miller

Here is the lone card that I got signed by Corky Miller at Spring Training in 2017. Corky is the Reds roving catching instructor and I was able to get him to sign this lone card at Reds minor league camp.

This is the only card of Corky that I own, so I assumed he had a relatively short career. That is not the case as he played in Major League games in eleven different seasons. He never played in more than 39 in any given season, so he was more of a third string catcher than anything.

Over his eleven seasons, Corky got into 216 games with the Reds, Twins, Red Sox, Braves, and White Sox. The majority of his playing time came during his two stints with the Reds, with whom he played in 153 games. For his career, Corky hit .193 with 11 home runs and 67 RBI. His best season was with the Reds in 2002. That year, he played in a career-high 39 games and hit .254 with 3 home runs and 15 RBI.

This is the only Major League card of Corky that does not show him playing for the Reds. And, even though his career lasted into the 2013 season, this is the last Major League card of him.

I was looking forward to seeing what Corky's real name was. It turns out that it is actually Corky. His full name is Corky Abraham Philip Miller. There have been two other players that played in the Majors that went by Corky, but it was just a nickname for the other two.

Monday, October 22, 2018

2005 Topps Total, Koyie Hill

#401 Koyie Hill

Here is the first of three cards that I got signed by Koyie Hill at the Kansas Stars game last summer. Koyie was on both editions of the Stars squad, but I struck out with him in 2016. It seems like I did better with the pitchers in 2016 and then did better with the hitters in 2017. I could be completely off base on that assessment, but that is the way it seems.

Koyie played in the big leagues for parts of eleven seasons with the Dodgers, Diamondbacks, Cubs, Marlins, and Phillies. The fourth round draft pick out of Wichita State made his Major League debut with the Dodgers in 2003. He played in just three games for them before being dealt to the D-Backs for Steve Finley.

With the D-Backs, Koyie got into 47 games over a two year span. During that time, he hit .228 with 12 RBI and 1 home run, the first of his career.

That home run was pretty clutch at the time. The D-Backs were trailing the Pirates 7-3 in the bottom of the ninth. Koyie came up with two on and one out. He hit the first pitch he saw off of Jose Mesa for a three-run homer that brought the score to 7-6. The D-Backs got one more run off of Mesa to tie it before losing in the tenth inning. Mesa was able to pick up the win despite blowing the save and surrendering four runs in one inning of work.

Thursday, October 18, 2018

2005 Topps Total, Jason Repko

#299 Jason Repko

Here is a card that I got signed at a Wingnuts game in 2015. Jason was playing for the Sioux Falls Canaries at the time and was nice enough to stop and sign this lone card I have of him. What exactly he signed is unknown to me as this might be the worst looking autograph that I have ever posted on here. I have absolutely no clue what is going on with that signature.

Jason spent parts of seven seasons in the Major Leagues with the Dodgers, Twins, and Red Sox. Over that time he hit .224 with 16 home runs and 67 RBI. His best season was probably his rookie year with the Dodgers. Though he hit only .221, he played in a career-high 129 games and responded with 8 homers and 30 RBI.

Despite playing in 360 games for his career, this is the only card of Jason that Topps ever made. Besides this card, he has just a 2000 Bowman card and an Upper Deck card from each year from 2005-07. All of his cards picture him with the Dodgers.

Jason actually has two games of postseason experience, both in the Division Series. One was with the Dodgers in 2006 and the other was with the Twins in 2010. In both instances, he entered the games late as a pinch runner and failed to score.

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

2005 Topps Total, Troy Percival

#233 Troy Percival

Here is the second card of Troy Percival that I got signed at a Kansas State baseball game last year. I posted the first one back in April. You can see that card and read about the miserable conditions Troy and I endured here.

I, and I am assuming most people, associate Troy as an Angel. After all, he spent eleven seasons with that organization. During that time, he racked up a club record 316 saves while making four All Star teams and helping the club to its lone World Championship. But, that all ended after the 2004 season when the Angels let him leave via free agency.

He signed on with the Tigers for 2005 and it was not a good one for Troy. He recorded only 8 saves while posting a then career worst ERA of 5.76. The Tigers shut him down in mid-July and he missed the rest of the season. He then missed all of the 2006 season, as well.

Troy finished his time in Detroit with a 1-3 record and 20 strikeouts.

Troy is currently the head coach of the UC Riverside baseball team.

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

2005 Topps Total, Jack Wilson

#145 Jack Wilson

Here is the fourth card of Jack Wilson that I got signed at the Kansas Stars game last summer. While it isn't the last card of Jack that will be posted on here (I hope), it will be some time before I post another one since the next one in line is from 2011.

Jack spent parts of nine seasons with the Pirates from 2001-2009. Over that time, he hit .269 with 60 home runs and 389 RBI. In 2004, he was an All Star and won the Silver Slugger for National League shortstops.

In the last post about Jack, I talked about the new chapter of AAA baseball coming to Wichita. Since that time, the city has officially closed the books on the Wingnuts and they are no more. But, thanks to an auction and a farewell ceremony at Lawrence Dumont Stadium, I have acquired some neat memorabilia from the team and ballpark.

Two weeks ago, the Wingnuts held an auction and were getting rid of everything in the park that was not bolted down. Items varied from all the team store merchandise to grills and coolers to ladders to equipment to paper towel dispensers to office supplies to furniture used to furnish player apartments. There was quite an array of things to be bought. Here is a picture of the cool stuff that I came home with- a couple of section signs and a game-used batting helmet.

Then, three days ago, the city held a farewell ceremony for the park where fans could buy some of the seats. I had to work, but my wife, dad, and kids took a trip to Wichita and came home with four stadium seats.

Lawrence Dumont is going to be missed, but she had to go. The park was so out of date, fans couldn't even bring sunflower seeds in because they would clog up the drainage. While not having any minor league baseball nearby next summer is going to make for a long summer for me, it will be made up for when the Pacific Coast League comes to town the following year.

Friday, October 12, 2018

2005 Topps Total, Eli Marrero

#99 Eli Marrero

About ten years ago, I bought a box of 2005 Topps Total on Ebay. Because of that, I have a decent selection of cards from the set and it is a go-to whenever I need to find cards from someone that played in the mid-'00s. So here is the first in a long line of posts from this set that, knowing my posting routine, could very well last until Thanksgiving.

First up is this Eli Marrero card from his short tenure with the Royals. I got this card signed at the Reds minor league workout at Spring Training last year. Eli was the manager of the Reds Florida State League team in Daytona.

When I think of Eli Marrero, I think of a catcher with the Cardinals, not an outfielder with the Royals. Unfortunately, this was the only card of Eli that I could scrounge up before last year's Spring Training trip.

Eli played in the Majors for ten seasons with the Cardinals, Braves, Royals, Orioles, Rockies, and Mets. Over that time, he was a .243 hitter with 66 homers and 261 RBI. His best season was with the Cardinals in 2002. That year, he played in a 131 games and hit .262 with 18 home runs and 66 RBI.

I got to see Eli play in the big leagues on nine different occasions. Ironically, none of those were with the Royals. His tenure in Kansas City lasted just 32 games in 2005.

Thursday, October 11, 2018

2005 Topps, Andy LaRoche

#687 Andy LaRoche

Here is the first of several cards that I got signed by Andy LaRoche over the past three years. Andy played a partial season with the Wichita Wingnuts in 2015 and I got him on two or three occasions in Wichita. He then played for the Kansas Stars for the two years they were around and I got him once more that way. No matter how many cards you had of Andy to get signed, though, he was a strict two-per guy.

This was one of the last cards that I got signed by Andy during his tenure with the Wingnuts. At one point during that season, I had stopped by my dad's house to look for something and I found a blaster box full of cards from 2005 that I did not know I had. In it was this card and I was able to get it signed at a playoff game that fall.

Andy's tenure with the Dodgers lasted 62 games over two seasons. During that time, he hit just .217 with 3 home runs and 16 RBI. At the trade deadline in 2008, he was dealt to the Pirates in the three team trade that landed Manny Ramirez in Los Angeles.

On a curious note, the Royals signed Andy to a minor league deal this past season even though he had not played affiliated ball since 2014. He was assigned to AAA Omaha, but was on the disabled list the entire season. What makes it even more odd was that he was on the Louisville Stars roster to play in the Bluegrass World Series in August. Whether or not he appeared in any of those games, though, I do not know.

Monday, October 8, 2018

2005 Topps, Guillermo Quiroz

#329 Guillermo Quiroz

Here is the second card that I got signed by Guillermo Quiroz at a Sacramento Rivercats game in 2015. I posted the first card three months ago and that one can be seen here.

On the first card of him, it is a close-up photo of him in a blue jersey. Because of that, I decided to have him sign in black. It worked out great for that card, but not so much with this one. With the limited space and dark gray jersey, a blue Sharpie would have came out looking better.

Guillermo played in the Majors for parts of ten seasons with six different clubs- the Blue Jays, Mariners, Rangers, Orioles, Red Sox, and Giants. Yet, despite playing for so many teams, Guillermo did not get into very many ballgames. For his career, he played in 148 games. Over that time, he hit .199 with 3 home runs and 34 RBI. His biggest season was in 2008 with the Orioles. That year, he played in a career-high 56 games and he hit .187 with 2 home runs and 14 RBI.

One of these days, I would like to get this card finished. Right now, Gabe Gross is coaching at Auburn. I was hoping I would have been able to get it done at the College World Series this past summer, but Auburn got knocked out in the Super Regional. Maybe next year will be different.

Saturday, October 6, 2018

2005 Topps, Al Pedrique

#268 Al Pedrique

Here is a card that I got signed at a Spring Training game earlier this year. Al was the first base coach for the A's and they were the away team at the Angels Tempe Diablo Stadium. Prior to entering the park, my plan was to 'graph the Angels side and send my oldest boy over to grab some A's for me. Once I got inside, though, my plans changed. The Angles side was lined with people from dugout to foul pole while there wasn't a soul on the visiting side. So, I took the A's side and my kid took the day off and it worked out great. I think I got nearly twenty cards signed that day, along with a Marcus Semien batting glove.

Al managed in the Major Leagues for half a season. The Diamondbacks finished with a winning record in 2003, but they were a disaster come 2004. They started off the year 29-50 before Bob Brenly, the manager of their lone World Championship team, got the ax. Al took over and did just a bit worse than Bob did. He finished the year with a 22-61 record. The D-backs finished the year 51-111. So far, that is the only season that the D-Backs have lost 100 or more games.

Al was replaced with Bob Melvin the following year and has never been given another chance to manage a Major League team. But, he seemed to do alright in his first season as the A's first base coach as they grabbed a Wild Card spot this year.

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

2005 Topps, Scott Sullivan

#224 Scott Sullivan

Here is a card that I got signed through the mail earlier this year. I got on a kick for a bit of sending cards out to former Royals who I did not have any cards signed by and that is why I wrote to Scott. It took about three months to get this card back.

Scott pitched in Kansas City for just one season, his final season in the Majors. That year, he was 3-4 with a 4.77 ERA in 60.1 innings of work. Prior to joining the Royals, Scott pitched nine and half years for the Reds and had a half season with the White Sox. He was 40-28 with 9 saves and a 3.98 ERA for his career.

Here is a fun fact- forty different ballplayers have appeared in the Majors with the last name of Sullivan. I never would have guessed that. But apparently, Sullivan was a very common surname back in the day. For instance, only two Sullivans have played in the Majors this century. On the opposite end of the spectrum, eighteen different Sullivans pitched in the 1800s, including three that were born in Ireland.

Scott has got a beautiful looking signature.

Friday, September 28, 2018

2005 Fleer, Ryan Madson

#142 Ryan Madson

Here is the second of three cards that I got signed by Ryan Madson at a Royals game in 2015. I posted the first card two years ago and it can be seen here.

When I posted that last card, Ryan had just come off of a World Series victory with the Royals and signed himself a nice three-year deal with the A's. His tenure in Oakland lasted just a year and a half, though, as he was traded to the Nationals at the deadline last year. He pitched well for them down the stretch last season, but was a bit shaky this year, posting a 5.28 ERA in 44.1 innings of work. Nonetheless, the Nats were able to send him to the Dodgers at the end of August for a minor league player. Unfortunately, things haven't gotten any better in Los Angeles as he has racked up a 7.36 ERA in just 7.1 innings of work.

Being 38 years old and having an expiring contract, I would be surprised to see Ryan pitching next year. But, you never know. I didn't think he was going to make the Royals roster in 2015 after not pitching in four years and he still has a job in the Majors.

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

2005 Bowman Heritage, J.P. Howell

#SG-JH J.P. Howell

Here is a card that I picked up for cheap from COMC last year. This one set me back all of $1.50. I picked it up just because it showed JP as a Royal.

JP pitched more games for the Royals than I realized. He started fifteen games with them in 2005 and was 3-5 with a 6.19 ERA. He was then traded to the Devil Rays in 2006 for Joey Gathright. He started 18 games for the Rays in '06 and '07 before moving to the pen in '08 and establishing himself as a reliable reliever.

Over the course of his career, JP was 36-30 with 22 saves and a 3.83 ERA. His best season was with the Rays in 2008 when he went 6-1 with 3 saves, a 2.22 ERA and a career-high 92 strikeouts. He pitched for the Rays through the 2012 season before moving on to the Dodgers for four years. He spent last year, which looks like his final year, with the Blue Jays.

This is an odd card. I love Heritage cards and you cannot beat an on-card autograph. But, it just seems extremely odd that the players were told to sign the cards on the "No Pepper Games" sign.

I have no clue what is going on with JP's signature. Does he just sign Howell? Or is he trying to make his J and his P look like an H? Your guess is as good as mine.

Monday, September 24, 2018

2005 Bowman Heritage, Brad Corley

#290 Brad Corley

Two posts ago, I showed off the Gio Gonzalez auto that I got in a trade with a random reader for a pair of '05 Bowman Heritage Cesar Carrillo cards. When we made the deal, he gave me a list of cards that he had available for trade. I picked the Gio card and told him to throw in an '05 Bowman Heritage card that he had dupes of. This is that throw-in card.

Brad played in the minors for five seasons, never making it above AA. The second round pick out of Mississippi State reached the AA level in just his third year of pro ball, but could never get any higher. Despite hitting .262 in his first full season there, the Bucs cut ties with him in 2009 and he finished the season playing for the Rockies AA team. That was Brad's last year in baseball.

In parts of three season in AA, Brad hit .249 with 18 home runs and 81 RBI.

In my last post, I poked fun at the pose that Drew Butera was in. This one isn't much better, but it looks much cooler thanks to the Heritage effect.

Sunday, September 23, 2018

2005 Bowman, Drew Butera

#BDP44 Drew Butera

Drew Butera played for the Royals for parts of four seasons. Over that time, this is one of the two cards that I got him to sign for me. Granted, he does not have a lot of cards out there and I got him to sign a card for me once when he was a Dodger. But still, two cards in four years just goes to show how hard it has gotten to get Royals autographs in Kansas City.

I got this card signed by Drew at Royals Fanfest in 2016. The Royals were coming off their World Series championship and Fanfest was a madhouse. Because of the outrageous number of people attending the event, I did not bother standing in line for autographs. It just did not make sense to get in a line for an unknown signer that was going to show up in two hours. Luckily, I was able to snag some alumni autos at the alumni line whenever they showed up. Plus, I got a few alums by the wiffle ball field when they went over there to help the kids out. Right when we got in the doors, my kid got Mike Moustakas by the wiffle ball field, but he did not sign for me. But, I was able to get Drew over there later on that day and it was the only card I got signed at Fanfest by a current player. It was an odd Fanfest for me to say the least. But, that is what happens when your favorite team is a World Champ.

Despite being drafted by the Mets in the fifth round of the 2005 draft, Drew never played in the Majors with the club. He played in their system for two years before getting traded to the Twins for Luis Castillo.

This has got to be one of the worst poses for a catcher. Despite the lack of catcher equipment, it really does not look like Drew is playing catcher. What is that pose supposed to represent? Is it him catching a pitch out or a throw home from an infielder for a force out?

Thursday, September 20, 2018

2005 Bowman, Giovanny Gonzalez

#158 Giovanny Gonzalez

Every once in a while, I will get a random email from somebody that I do not know who wants to trade for a card they found on my blog. More often than not, it is somebody working on a set and they discovered that I posted a card that they needed. That is how I ended up with this card. Somebody noticed that I had some '05 Bowman Heritage cards that they needed and gave me some signed cards to pick from. This is the one that I chose. In order to land this card, I had to pony up two different Cesar Carrillo cards from that set. I think I did OK with that trade.

When I first saw this card, I was not expecting Gio to be pictured with the White Sox. I had no idea he was ever in their organization. Well, it turns out that he was also in the Phillies organization, too, before making his Major League debut with the A's in 2008.

Since making that debut, Gio has pitched eleven seasons and is currently 126-97 with about ten days left in this season. His best season was with the Nationals in 2012 when he was 21-8 with a 2.89 ERA and 207 strikeouts. He has never won more than 16 games any other season in his career, but he has run off a string of eight straight seasons with double digit wins and is one win away from his ninth straight.

Gio is currently hurling for the Brewers and is 2-0 in three September starts with a 1.65 ERA. With nine games left and a 3.5 game lead for the wildcard, Gio is trying to help his club reach the postseason for the fourth time in his career.

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

2004 Upper Deck Vintage, Joe Beimel

#222 Joe Beimel

Here is a card that I got signed after the Kansas Stars game I attended last year. I didn't have any cards of Joe prior to him being put on the roster, so I had to buy a couple online. Anymore, I am pretty weary of buying cards just to hope that I can get them signed. But, on some lesser known players, especially relief pitchers, I will still do that now and then and it payed off with Joe. I couldn't get him before the game, but I got his attention afterwards and he came and signed the two cards I had of him.

In case you are wondering, Joe Beimel cards are hard to come by. Even though he pitched for thirteen seasons in the Majors, from 2001-2015, and logged almost 700 innings, there are hardly any cards of Joe. There is one Dodger card of him that Upper Deck made in 2007 and the rest of his cards are Pirate cards that came out between 2001 and 2004. This is just another example of the relief pitcher getting the shaft from card companies.

Joe pitched for the Pirates for four seasons. In 23 starts and 176 relief appearances, Joe was 11-20 with a 5.03 ERA. Those four seasons include the first three of his career and a fourth in 2011.

I once asked for Joe Beimel's autograph when he was playing for the Rockies. The only problem was that I did not have any cards of him and I gave him a card of Matt Belisle to sign.

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

2004 Upper Deck Vintage, Barry Zito

#14 Barry Zito

Here is the second card that Barry signed for me during his farewell campaign with the Nashville Sounds in 2015. I posted the first card three years ago and it can be seen here.

This card marks a bit of a milestone for this blog. This is the 100th Athletics card that I have posted on here. Only two other teams have hit the 100 card mark, the Royals and Padres. The Royals are up there because they are my local team. The Padres passed the mark because Rod, from Padrographs, loves to send me signed Padre cards. The A's reached that level because they used to play in Kansas City and I like getting KC A's cards signed. By my best count, I currently 26 signed KC A's cards with all but one of those already being posted on here. If it wasn't for my interest in that era of the team, there would have only been about 80 A's cards posted on here. In case you are wondering, the Angels are the team that is closest to reaching 100 card posts and they are currently sitting on 82.

Barry pitched for the A's for seven seasons and went 102-63 with a 3.58 ERA. During his time in Oakland, he made three All Star teams and was awarded the 2002 American League Cy Young Award. That year, he was 23-5 with a 2.75 ERA and 182 strikeouts.

Last I heard, Barry was trying to make it as a musician in Nashville. I have heard one of his songs and I actually like it. You can check it out on YouTube here.