Wednesday, February 28, 2018

1993 Upper Deck, Doug Henry

#395 Doug Henry

Here is another card of Doug Henry, the Royals former bullpen coach. In my last post about Doug, and probably all the posts about Doug, I talked about how he was my go-to guy if I was striking out on autographs at the ballpark. I knew I could always head down to the Royals bullpen and grab one from him so that I didn't go home empty handed. That was the case this past August when I took the family to St. Louis to see the Royals play.

I have been to a handful of Royals/Cardinals games in Kansas City and, to be honest, I never really cared for them because there were always too many Cardinal fans for my liking. But, I have always wanted to make the trip to St. Louis to see how the match-up was on the other side of the state. To my amazement, it was much better than taking in the game in Kansas City.

Royals/Cards games in Kansas City bring out the loud, obnoxious, super annoying Cardinal fans that nobody wants to be around. I have been to a Cubs/Cardinals game in Chicago and it was the same story there. But the Royals/Cards game in St. Louis was a whole new ballgame as it was just your normal, casual fans. We were all rocking our Royals gear all day long, from a riverboat ride, to the arch, to a local brewery, and throughout the game. Not once did we hear any of the usual crap we normally hear in Kansas City. They say Cardinal fans are some of the best in the game and they just might be right, when in St. Louis.

As for 'graphing the game, it was a stinker. The only Royal that stopped after batting practice to sign was Brandon Moss and he only signed a few and not for me. I went out to the outfield a little later and tried to get Cardinals bullpen coach, Blaise Ilsley, to sign for me. He turned me down, so I turned to old faithful, Doug Henry.

Monday, February 26, 2018

1993 Upper Deck, Tom Candiotti

#98 Tom Candiotti

Here is the second card that Tom Candiotti signed for me in Kansas City this past season. Tom is a broadcaster for Diamondback games on the radio and he stopped to sign for me after hopping off the team bus. I posted the first card last month and it can be seen here. I have one more card of Tom to post, but, since it is an older card, it will be years before it makes its way on here.

Tom pitched for the Dodgers for six seasons. Over that time, he racked up a 52-64 record with a 3.57 ERA and 718 strikeouts. He pitched in one postseason game for them, a 1996 divisional series match-up. He came into game three against the Braves, trailing 5-0. He pitched two perfect frames before being lifted for a pinch hitter. The Dodgers lost the game as the Braves completed the sweep.

If I had to guess, I might bet that this photo was taken July 7th, 1992. On that day, Tom pitched a complete game shutout against the Reds as the Dodgers won the game 1-0. He allowed just three hits and struck out five.

Sunday, February 25, 2018

1993 Topps, Ed Pierce

#803 Ed Pierce

Since the conclusion of the 2017 regular season, I have really hit up the TTM autograph scene. I just counted how many cards I have got back since then and was a little amazed- 82 signed cards in about five months. There have been three main focuses for me when sending out cards. I have been adding signed '81 Donruss, former Royals, and Senior League cards to the collection, as well as some occasional vintage. This is one of those returns and it obviously falls into the former Royal category.

Ed made just two Major League appearances in his career and he did good enough to earn this "Coming Attraction" card from Topps. He made one start and had one relief appearance during his 1992 September call up with the Royals. In his start, he pitched four innings and gave up two run on eight hits with three strikeouts. He then pitched an inning and a third six days later and allowed no runs on one hit. And that was that for Ed. His career numbers are 5.1 innings with no record and a 3.38 ERA. He went on to pitch three more seasons in the minors before calling it a career.

I sent this card to Ed in early December and I had it back eleven days later.

If you want to see some of the recent TTM successes that I have got back, check me out on Twitter- @zmills40

Saturday, February 24, 2018

1993 Topps, Gene Lamont

#504 Gene Lamont

Here is the second card that Gene Lamont signed for me at a Royals game in 2016. Gene was a coach for the Tigers at the time and he stopped for me outside of the ballpark to sign my two cards. I posted the first card back in November and that one can be seen here.

Gene managed in the Majors for parts of eight seasons with the White Sox and Pirates. Over that time, his clubs went 553-562. That record is better than I thought it would be considering that he managed in Pittsburgh in the late '90s.

Gene's 1993 White Sox team won the AL West with a 92-70 record before losing the ALCS to the Blue Jays in six games. The Sox had a good team the following year, too. But the strike ruined any hope of a chance at a championship. The team then came out flat in the 1995 season and Gene was replaced after an 11-20 start. Gene finished his tenure in Chicago with a 258-210 record.

Gene is no longer with the Tigers organization. He was a holdover from the Jim Leyland days. But, he was ousted with Brad Ausmus after this last season. He is now working with the Royals as a Senior Adviser to the GM.

Sadly, Don Baylor passed away before I got around a finishing this card off.

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

1993 Topps, Doug Henry

#343 Doug Henry

To my amazement, this is only the fourth card of Doug Henry that I have posted on here. Doug has been the bullpen coach for the Royals the last five seasons and he was always my go-to on a bad 'graphing day. Any time I struck out getting autographs from players, I always knew that I could venture down to the Royals bullpen and grab one from Doug. That was how I got this one signed at a game in 2014.

Unfortunately, the Royals did some shaking up with their coaching staffs and Doug has been demoted. Despite being with the big league club for five seasons and being the AAA pitching coach before that, Doug has dropped down to the pitching coach for the high-A Wilmington Blue Rocks. Taking Doug's spot in Kansas City is Vance Wilson.

I have no idea if Vance will be as accommodating as Doug was at the ballpark. But, if he is, I need to find some cards of him. I have one card of him and I got it signed at Spring Training in 2013 when he was the manager for the Royals AA team.

If anybody has any extra cards of Vance that they would like to trade, hit me up. He seems to have a decent amount of Mets cards from 2002-2004 and they must be a hot commodity right now. For whatever reason, COMC has one card of Vance for under a buck while all the rest are in the two to three dollar range. Or, you can even buy his base 2003 Topps card for $20.25. What is up with that?

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

1993 Stadium Club, Freddie Benavides

#456 Freddie Benavides

Here is a card that I got signed at Spring Training last season at the Reds game I attended. Freddie is the first base coach for the Reds and he signed for me by the Reds dugout. This was the only card that he signed.

Freddie spent parts of four seasons in the Majors with the Reds, Rockies, and Expos. Over that time, he was a .253 hitter with 4 home runs and 52 RBI while playing all four infield positions.

Freddie had his best season playing for the expansion Rockies in 1993. He played in 74 games that year and had career highs in average (.276), home runs (3), and RBI (26). He took the field as the starting shortstop in the Rockies first game and, like most of his teammates that day against Doc Gooden, went hitless in three at-bats.

Sunday, February 18, 2018

1993 Select, Dan Gladden

#244 Dan Gladden

Here is a card of Dan Gladden that I got signed at a Royals game last season. The Twins were in town and Dan is a broadcaster for the team. I noticed him on the field during batting practice and I got him to come over and sign for me right before he left the field.

That was the second time that I got Dan to sign for me. I got him at The Ballpark in Arlington (or whatever it was called at the time) in 2009 and that card can be seen here. When I got that card signed, I gave Dan my book with three cards of him and he just signed the one. This time, eight years later, I gave him my book with two cards to sign. Those two cards were the same two cards that he didn't sign in Texas. The next time I see Dan, I am sure I will just have his '86 Topps card to sign, the one he didn't sign the other two times.

Dan spent his last two seasons with Detroit. In 1993, his final season in the Majors, he had a good year. Though he played in just 91 games, he still hit .267 and had a single season best of 13 home runs. His 56 RBI were the second most that he ever had in a season.

Dan would play the 1994 season in Japan before calling it a career.

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

1992-93 Fleer Excel, Les Norman

#176 Les Norman

Here is a card that my dad got signed for me at Royals Fanfest in 2016. That was the worst Fanfest that I ever went to thanks to the team winning the World Series a few months beforehand. Because of that, fans came out in droves to see the team. I even saw Marlins Man at the event.

I took my dad, my oldest boy, and one of his friends with me. When we got in, all the autograph lines were full and people were lining up for the signings that started ninety minutes later. Normally, I would have got in that line. But, since I had the kids with me, I said screw it and stayed out of the autograph lines that day. I still managed a handful of signatures from an alumni signing spot and from guys giving instruction at the wiffleball field.

That was where my dad got this card signed. I was in the long line with the boys to get their picture with the World Series trophy. Next thing I know, my dad came up to me and told me to give him a card of Norman and Jerry Terrell and he would get them signed for me. How cool is that? My dad sure has come a long way from when I first started doing this over ten years ago. I used to have to nearly push him to venture over to get me an autograph and now he takes it upon himself. I really never would have thought he would have transitioned the way he did.

As for Les, he was recently on "The Wheel of Fortune". I guess the show came through Kansas City and he somehow got picked to participate. I never saw the airing, but he apparently won $17,650.

Sunday, February 11, 2018

1993 Donrus, Ozzie Canseco

#336 Ozzie Canseco

Here is the fifth and final card of Ozzie Canseco that I got signed during his days in the American Association. Ozzie was the hitting coach for the Sioux Falls Canaries and I got this particular card signed at a Wingnuts game in 2016.

Ozzie's career in St. Louis lasted all of fifteen games. He played in nine games in 1992 and six in 1993. Over his 54 at-bats with the organization, he hit .239 with 5 doubles and 3 RBI. Despite playing in just nine games in '92, Ozzie still managed to appear in six different '93 sets- Bowman, Donruss, Pacific, Pinnacle, Score, and Stadium Club. That was one of the benefits of having more than one company making cards, there was more opportunities for lesser players to have cards made of them.

Between Ozzie and his twin brother, Jose, they have a combined 462 home runs between the two of them. The only problem is that Jose hit all 462 of those bombs. Despite hitting over 100 home runs in the affiliated minor leagues, Ozzie was not able to knock one out of the park in any of his 74 Major League plate appearances.

Nonetheless, Ozzie was super nice the two times that I met him and seemed to appreciate signing for me. At the very least, he liked seeing the cards I had of him as it really took him back.

Here are the other four cards that I got signed by Ozzie.

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

1993 Classic/Best, Pete Rose, Jr.

#17 Pete Rose, Jr.

Here is the second card of Pete Rose, Jr. that I have posted on here. I posted the first one back in November and that one can be seen here.

Pete was the manager for the Wichita Wingnuts the last two seasons and I got this card signed at a game in 2016. Pete's contract with the Wingnuts did not get renewed, so he is moving on this year.

I mentioned in the last post of Pete that I was excited to see who the new Wingnut manager was going to be. I was hoping that it was a former player that had Major League experience and I got what I had hoped for. The only problem is that the new manager played for the Winguts for three or four seasons and I have four cards signed by him already. So, that did not got the way I had wanted.

I absolutely love the photo on this card. With the dust yet to settle, it just screams Pete Rose.

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

1993 Bowman, Billy Ashley

#210 Billy Ashley

Here is a card that I picked up in a trade with an unlikely trade partner. A few years ago, I pulled a Jackie Robinson manu-bat knob out of a pack of Topps. While the card was really neat, it did not fit into my collection. I offered it up to Night Owl in exchange for some autographed cards.

I fully expected to get a few certified autos of some lesser known Dodgers. But, Night Owl surprised me by sending me three cards like this and a couple of certified lesser known Dodger autographs. Night Owl will be the first to tell you that he is not an autograph collector. Sure, he has some and has even sent out a few TTMs to some of his favorite players, but it is typically not something he chases. Because of that, I did not expect to get any cards like this. My only guess is that he is such a great trader on the blogosphere that he gradually acquires cards like this. However he does it is fine by me as I fully appreciated the trade.

Billy Ashley was supposed to be a big thing in LA. He was the supposed to be battling out his fellow Dodger rookies for Rookie of the Year honors. He absolutely killed in in AAA, having back-to-back 100 RBI seasons and hitting 37 homers in 1994, winning Minor League player of the year honors.

But, he was unable to translate that success to the Major League level. He only played in 268 games with the Dodgers over a six year span. During that time, he hit .231 with 25 home runs and 77 RBI. He had almost 100 more strikeouts than hits as a Dodger. The Dodgers released him prior to the start of the 1998 season and the Red Sox picked him up. He got into 13 games with the Red Sox that season before spending the rest of his career mostly playing for independent minor league teams.

I love this look of this card. When I think of 1993 Bowman, I do not think of horizontal cards. I wonder if all of the horizontal cards in packs of '93 Bowman were all together in the pack like they are with current Topps packs. That is doubtful because Topps used to know how to collate cards.

Friday, February 2, 2018

1992 Topps, Tim Teufel

#413 Tim Teufel

Here is a Padrograph of Tim Teufel that was given to me by Rod in 2015 when we met up at a Hillsboro Hops game. While I always get a mixed bag of stuff from Rod, this one was pretty cool because it is a known name of someone that I do not associate with the Padres. Even though Tim spent the bulk of his career with the Mets, I always picture him as a Twin.

Tim spent eleven seasons in the Majors, mostly manning second base. Over that time, he hit .254 with 86 dingers and 379 RBI. He was a regular his first couple of seasons in the league before moving to a back-up role. His best season was with the Mets in 1987. Though he only got 299 at-bats, he had a career best average of .308 while matching his best in home runs (14) and RBI (61). He originally hit the 14 and 61 mark with the Twins in 1984. The one difference was that it took him 568 at-bats to reach those numbers.

In 1986, Tim played in three games in the Word Series and did pretty good. He was 4-9 with a double and a solo home run. He made just one more trip to the postseason, but was 0-3 in one start of the 1988 NLCS.