Saturday, March 31, 2018

1995 Bowman, Jaime Bluma

#239 Jaime Bluma

Here is a super foily card of Jamie Bluma that I got signed at a Royals game last year. It was a Sunday game, so I was able to hit up the alumni signing at the Royals Hall of Fame. This card is foiled out to the max and I wasn't too sure how good it would come out. But, it turned out much better than I anticipated. Nonetheless, I am glad that they don't make cards like this anymore.

Jaime was once a highly touted Royals prospect. As a result, he got a few cards made of him before he ever appeared in the Major Leagues. Unfortunately, he only appeared in 17 games at that level, but he did do a respectable job. He came out of the bullpen in all 17 contests and was 0-0 with 5 saves and a 3.60 ERA in 20 innings of work. He ended up missing all of the following season due to injury and pitched three more seasons in the minors before calling it a career.

Even though Jaime only threw 20 Major League innings, it is still cool that he attends a bunch of Royals alumni events. Now I just need to find some more cards of him. All five that I had have been signed.

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

1994 Upper Deck, Jason Bere

#146 Jason Bere

Here is the third and final card that Jason Bere signed for me at Kauffman Stadium in 2016. Jason was the bullpen coach for the Indians at the time. You can see the first card I posted of him here and the second one here. Out of the three, this one is my favorite because Jason isn't wearing a black jersey in the photo and the signature is more visible because of that.

Even though Jason got released by the White Sox midway through the 1998 season, he would still go on to pitch for another six seasons. He bounced around a bit, seeing time with the Reds, Indians, Brewers, and Cubs. He never was able to regain the magic he had with the Sox during his first two seasons in the Majors, but he did have one more good season.

That was with the Cubs in 2001. His arm must have been feeling good that season as he started more games and threw more innings than any other season he ever pitched. He posted an 11-11 record to tally his third double-digit win season and his 4.31 ERA was the lowest he had had since his second season in the Majors. On top of that, he struck out a career-high 175 batters.

Jason finished his career with a 71-65 record with a 5.14 ERA. He pitched in one playoff game and one All Star Game.

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

1994 Stadium Club, Jason Bere

#212 Jason Bere

Here is the second card that Jason Bere signed for me at a Royals game in 2016. Jason was the Indians bullpen coach at the time and he signed for me from the visiting team's bullpen.

Jason pitched with the White Sox for the first five and a half seasons of his career. Over that time, he was 39-32 with a 5.21 ERA. His career got off to a great start with Chicago. In his rookie season, Jason went 12-5 with a 3.47 ERA. He followed that season up with a 12-2 mark and a 3.81 ERA the next year and earned himself his lone All Star Game invite. But, the wheels fell off the next season and Jason went 8-15 with a 7.19 ERA. He started having arm problems after that and would make only eleven appearances over the next two seasons. He was back for the 1998 season and had a 3-7 record and a 6.45 ERA when the Sox released him mid-season.

Jason got to pitch in the All Star game that he made in 1994 and it did not go too well for him. Jason got the nod in the tenth inning of a 7-7 game. He gave up a lead-off single to Tony Gwynn (who started the game) and followed that up with a double to Moises Alou that scored Gwynn. Game over.

Monday, March 26, 2018

1994 Score, Chip Hale

#609 Chip Hale

If you have been wondering where I have been the last couple of weeks, I was prepping for my Spring Training trip last week. We left for Arizona last Monday and got back Saturday morning. We ended up going to three Spring Training games, two minor league camps, and one college game. I did okay on the 'graphing front, bringing home seventy-five signed cards and a signed batting glove. My goal was 100 cards, so I came up a bit short. I had planned on hitting the White Sox minor league camp hard, but it wasn't open the day we where there. So, we ended up in Maryvale for the Brewers and I was not as prepared for them as I was for the Sox. But, overall, it was a good trip.

Speaking of Spring Training, here is a card that I got signed at Spring Training last year. Chip was the third base coach for the A's at the time and he signed three cards for me before a game. I posted the first one three months ago and it can be seen here.

As for the A's, I really like 'graphing that club at Spring Training. I have hit them up three times over the years and I always do really well, especially with the coaches. It was the same this year as I got twenty-one cards signed by them at the Angels game I attended. On top of that, I got one of Marcus Semien's batting gloves and he signed that for me as well.

As for Chip, he is no longer with the A's. He is now the bench coach for the Nationals.

Sunday, March 11, 2018

1994 Pinnacle, Greg Gagne

#354 Greg Gagne

Here is a card that I got signed through the mail this past November. Greg seemed like a good TTM signer, so I sent this card to him just to have an autograph from him on a Royals card. It took him just eight days to get this one back to me.

Even though Greg spent three seasons in Kansas City, I still always think of him as a Twin. I guess that is because he spent his first ten seasons as a big leaguer in Minnesota. Over that time, he helped the club to two World Series titles as the starting shortstop in all fourteen Fall Classic games.

Even though Greg built his reputation with the Twins, he was a very solid player when he came to Kansas City in 1993. In fact, he probably had his best season ever that summer. He set career-highs in average (.280), doubles (32), and RBI (57) en route to being named the Royals Player of the Year.

Greg finished his career with a .254 average with 111 home runs and 604 RBI. In 2009, he was named to the All-Metrodome team.

Friday, March 9, 2018

1994 Leaf, Jason Bere

#241 Jason Bere

Here is the first of three cards that I got signed by Jason Bere at a Royals game in 2016. Jason was the Indians bullpen coach at the time and he was the lone signer for me on a warm July afternoon.

Even though Jason pitched in the Majors for eleven seasons with five different clubs, I could only find White Sox cards of him to get signed. Plus, all three cards were from 1994 sets. So, there will be a nice little dose of Jason on here over the next four posts.

After three seasons as the Tribe's bullpen coach, Jason has moved on to other things this year. What those other things are, I do not know. But, I do know that the new bullpen coach in Cleveland is Scott Atchison. It looks like Scott only has two cards and I do not have either one.

To my surprise, this is the only card from the '94 Leaf set that I have signed.

Monday, March 5, 2018

1994 Fleer, Steve Scarsone

#701 Steve Scarsone

Here is the first of two cards that I got signed by Steve Scarsone when I was in Omaha in 2015. Steve was the manager for the visiting Nashville Sounds and he stopped to sign for me on the way out to the field.

Omaha's Werner Park has a cool set-up where both the home and visiting clubhouses are in left field. To get to the field, both teams use a ramp that leads down under the concourse to the field. Because of that, it is one of the best spots in baseball to do some 'graphing because you can get players from both teams in one area. It can get a little hectic, though, when there are a bunch of guys heading to the field at once, so you have got to be real organized there. But, other than that, it is a great set-up that is rivaled only by the Round Rock Express, who have a similar set-up.

As for Steve, he is no longer with the Sounds. But, he is still in the A's organization. He is currently listed as their coordinator of baserunning/defense.

Saturday, March 3, 2018

1994 Fleer, Darnell Coles

#328 Darnell Coles

Here is the third and final card that Darnell Coles signed for my oldest boy at Spring Training last year. Darnell is the batting coach for the Brewers and he signed at Goodyear Ballpark at a game against the Reds. We saw the Brewers twice last spring and I tasked my son with 'graphing them for me. He didn't do great, but I have definitely had far worse days than he had.

We are going to see the Brewers play again this spring. Only this time, I will be 'graphing the club. Darnell is not a high priority this year, but I have pulled a Pirates card of him if he happens to sign. He already signed a Tiger and Mariner card for me. I will only need a Reds card signed by him if I get the Pirates one done.

Darnell played for the Blue Jays for two seasons. Over that time, he hit .234 with 8 home runs and 41 RBI. Despite playing for the World Champion Blue Jays in 1993, Darnell was not on any of their playoff rosters.

Friday, March 2, 2018

1994 Bowman, Todd Hollandsworth

#359 Todd Hollandsworth

This is the second time that I posted a card of Todd Hollandsworth on here. I picked up a signed Signature Rookies card of him for sixty cents once and I posted that card almost four years ago. This one, on the other hand, was picked up in a trade with Night Owl a couple years back. I pulled a Jackie Robinson manu-bat knob out of a pack of Topps and I offered it up to him. In return, he sent me a small handful of signed Dodger cards. It was win-win for everybody.

If you compare this card to the Rick Forney card I posted yesterday, you will notice that this card is a bit different than Forney's '94 Bowman. This one is almost metallic with the Dodger logo etched into the backdrop. I looked up to see that this parallel was called and it turns out that it is not a parallel. It is just a cool looking base card.

Todd actually had two base cards in this set. The other one was just a normal card, though. It looks like both cards used the same photo, but this one is cropped a little tighter.

Thursday, March 1, 2018

1993 Bowman, Rick Forney

#327 Rick Forney

Here is a card that I got signed at a Wichita Wingnuts game in 2015. Rick is the manager of the Winnipeg Goldeyes and I was able to get him to sign this lone card prior to the game.

Rick never reached the Major Leagues, but he did pitch in the Baltimore organization for six seasons. Over that time, he amassed a 47-32 record and a 3.54 ERA. He reached as high as AAA, getting three starts with the Rochester Red Wings in 1995. He was released after that season and spent five more seasons pitching in independent leagues, with a brief stop in the Southern League with the Braves affiliate.

Rick has been the manager of the Goldeyes since the 2005 season. Under his helm, the team has made the playoffs nine times and have won three championships, including back-to-back wins the last two seasons. His clubs have had a losing record only twice since he took over.

I barely have any 1994 Bowman in my collection, so I had to venture over to COMC to pick this one up.