Monthly Archives: February 2009

19 More Autograph TTM Requests Are In The Mail!!

19 more envelopes are in the mail stream.  I’ve got these going out to Spring Training ballparks, television studios, homes, and Major League Ballparks too.

This group is an eleclectic bunch, hopefully some fresh autographs will be headed back my way shortly!!!

The guys : Jamie Moyer, Steve Trout, Matt Treanor(correct team this time), Bill Lee, BJ Surhoff, Steve Lyons, Todd Hundley, Vance Law, Paul Molitor, Tom Herr, Jeff Reardon, Dave Dravecky, Darren Daulton, Mike Bielecki, Jody Davis, Dan Plesac, Paul Assenmacher, Larry Bowa, and Mitch Williams. 

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Before There Was ‘Manny Being Manny’…

…there was ‘Lenny Being Lenny’.

In all seriousness, I enjoy the guys that throw a little personality into the game.  Lenny Dykstra certainly did that, and this entertaining clip proves it.  From his hat that’s turned backwards to his bulging, steroid-filled biceps, Dykstra has a rare personality and from my perspective it’s fun to watch.

Enjoy!! 

‘The 40/40 Club’ – 1980′s – Card #32

‘The 40/40 Club’ – 1980′s – Card #32

Will Clark – 1986 Fleer

Will ‘The Thrill’ Clark had one of the prettiest swings in baseball to debut during the 1980′s.  And he could connect too…

With a career batting average of .303 and with 2,176 hits to his credit, Clark was a premier hitter in the late 1980′s and early 1990′s.  In 15 seasons in the major leagues, Clark hit .300 or better 10 times.  Clark’s offensive game was very well-rounded.  He scored 1,186 runs and drove in 1,205.  Couple that with his 284 career home runs and you have one of the most explosive hitters in the game. 

Never known for his defensive game, and playing in an era with Mark Grace and JT Snow, Clark did manage to win 1 Gold Glove Award in 1991.  He was also a 2-time SilverSlugger winner and 6-time All-star.  From 1987-1991, Clark finished in the Top 5 for the MVP award 4 times.

Clark’s lone appearance in the World Series came in 1989 when his team lost in 4 straight games to the Oakland A’s.  But in the series prior against the Chicago Cubs, Clark shined brighter than any other star.  In the 5-game series, Will batted an incredible .650 as he went 13 for 20 while crushing 2 home runs, scoring 8 runs and driving in 8 as well.  This series put Will Clark on the map in front of a national audience and he delivered a performance that is still talked about today.

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How Do My Balls Look To You???

Jeez, did that headline catch your attention??? 

Along with the great autographed cards I have been adding to my collection, I am also stocking up on some great-looking signed baseballs…

I thought I would showcase these for you now.  Of the 7 signed balls, 2 of them were mine prior to starting this blog.  The remaining 5 have been picked up over the course of the last 3 months.

Here they are:

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And now a quick summary about these baseballs – From Top to Bottom, Left to Right:  TOP ROW – Andre Dawson with ’87 NL MVP inscription.  SECOND ROW – Tony Perez, Billy Williams, Fergie Jenkins with HOF ’91 inscription.  BOTTOM ROW – Mark Grace, Jim Abbott with No Hitter inscription, Cameron Maybin.

Not too bad for just a few short months of collecting, huh??

That Guy #5

This ‘That Guy’ story focuses on a player that I overheard a conversation about when I was a kid.  I was at a baseball card show and overheard 2 dealers talking pretty vividly about Tom Brunansky.  1 dealer was convinced that ‘Bruno’ was a lock to hit 500 home runs and join the Hall of Fame, and the other guy just didn’t see it that way.

Although I have no recollection of what these guys looked like, their vocabulary is what caught my attention and is probably the biggest reason as to why I remember much of the dialogue.

It went a little something like this.  Try to picture this as a conversation between Robert DeNiro and Joe Pesci.

Dealer #1 – You know, I’ve been stocking up on cards of Bruno.  I mean, dis guy is smackin’ homers left and right.  If he keeps this up, he’s a future fawkin’ hall of fama.

Dealer #2 – Bruno ain’t makin’ it to da hall.  No way!

Dealer #1 – What the fawk you talkin’ ’bout, ‘dis guy is hittin’ 30 plus a year.  If he gets 500, he’s in.

Dealer #2 – He ain’t neva comin’ close to 500.  No way!

Dealer #1 – He just might.  So I’ve been gettin’ all kinds of his fawkin’ cads.  Rookies, 2nd yeez, 3rd yeez, pretty cheap too.  If he stays on dis pace I would make a killin’ on deez cads.

Dealer #2 – What do you not get?  Bruno ain’t sniffin’ 500.  No way, no how!!!

Let me tell you, this conversation stuck with me for quite some time.  I may not have the wording exactly right, but you get the gist of the conversation.  So, what did I do?  I bought a few Tom Brunansky rookies over the course of the next few months and viola – Bruno has 271 career home runs.  At the time of this conversation, I was around the age of 12.  And you know what, if Bruno did continue on his pace from the few seasons prior to that one 500 could have been a possibility. 

So, now I open it up to you.  Do you have a ‘That Guy’ story that falls into the category of someone you overheard a conversation about and it sparked your interest enough to drop a few dollars in that player’s direction?  If so, please share your ‘That Guy’ with us…

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‘The 40/40 Club’ – 1980′s – Card #33

‘The 40/40 Club’ – 1980′s – Card #33

Cecil Fielder – 1986 Donruss

Just a legitimate chance was all that Cecil Fielder needed.  When he got that chance he blew up – literally!!!  After 3 frustrating seasons with the Toronto Blue Jays, ‘Big Daddy’ left the big leagues and headed to Japan for a year.  He quickly developed a strong following as he blasted ball after ball into the outfield stands.

Fielder was soon back in the states, and he was offered a large contract to play for the Detroit Tigers.  Cecil continued his amazing pace and began to win over fans in the states.  In the 7 seasons that followed, ‘Big Daddy’ crushed 51, 44, 35, 30, 28, 31, and 39 HR’s respectively!  Along with those incredible numbers, Cecil earned 3 Top 10 finishes for the MVP Award.  With his improved batting skills, Cecil was one of the most popular players in the game.

During the tail end of his career, Cecil joined the New York Yankees and won a World Series title with them in 1996.  In a starring role, Fielder hit .391 while collecting 9 hits, 2 doubles, and 2 RBI. 

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Dave Henderson Autograph TTM Success!!!

Dave ‘Hendu’ Henderson returned these 4 cards to me, each containing a beautiful autograph.  It took 33 days, but it was certainly worth the wait as ‘Hendu’ has a great looking autograph!!

I became a fan of Henderson’s like many others that fell for the ‘Bash Brothers’ in Oakland.  The A’s lineup was incredible, and Henderson was a large reason for their success although most of the credit was shifted to the bigger-name attractions on the team.  Still, in 1998 when Oakland was the best team in baseball(until the World Series), Henderson had the best statistical season of his career as he went .304/24/94 while also scoring 100 runs.

Thanks ‘Hendu’.  These cards make a wonderful addition to my growing autograph collection!! 

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Working On The Chicago Cugs Greats Of The Game Team Set

 Can anyone help me with this?  I have these 5 cards now but I want to get all of the Cubbies from this set.  I have seen Ryno and Grace before and I have to imagine that there is a Billy Williams available too but I have never seen it.

If anyone can get me the complete checklist for this set of Cubs cards I would be greatly appreciative!!

On to the cards…  Doesn’t this set of cards look like it was designed specifically for the Chicago Cubs?  I cannot think of another team whose colors would look as nice as the Cubs’ with this design.  And of course, any subset featuring the greatest Chicago Cubs baseball players of all-time is going to find a special place in my heart and my collection.

 Here is where I am at so far with this set.  5 down, how many more to go???  I just don’t know for sure. At least 2-3 minimum…

Man I wish that Fergie card was in color like the rest of these…

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What Ever Happened To Dave Magadan???

Like most players that are brought in through the New York Mets organization, the expectations put on Dave Magadan to be the saving grace of the team were immense.  Magadan had already built an impressive resume as a collegiate player as he dominated for the University of Alabama while winning several individual awards as well as taking his team to the College World Series.

Drafted in the 1st round by the Mets in 1983, Magadan was on his way to a starring role with the team.  Unfortunately for him, the Mets had a veteran and productive player at 3rd base in Howard Johnson.  Magadan was also capable of playing 1st base, but that role was occupied by Keith Hernandez – one of the best defensive first basemen in baseball history.  Still, the Mets wanted Magadan in their line-up and constantly tinkered with the roster to get him more playing time.  Never able to take over a position on a full-time basis did not seem to slow down Magadan’s production.  In just 85 games in 1987, he hit .318.  The next year he batted .277 in 112 games.  And then in 1989 he hit .286 while playing in 127 contests.

Dave Magadan’s best season was in 1990 where he played in 144 games – the most for 1 season in his entire career.  That year, Magadan hit .328 while driving in 72 runs and scoring 74. 

Of his 16 years in the big leagues, the first 7 years of Dave Magadan’s career were spent with the Mets.  The next 9 were spread over 6 more teams.  Magadan never regained his starring role on any of his new teams, yet he still performed well.  In the 9 seasons after he and the Mets parted ways, Magadan hit .275 or better 4 times. 

He ended his career with a lifetime batting average of .288 and 1,197 hits.  Never known as a power hitter, his career home run tally rests at 42.  But Magadan was productive - he scored 516 runs in his 16-season career while driving in 495.

Dave Magadan never made it to the World Series as a player.  But as a batting coach with the Boston Red Sox, Magadan won a World Series title in 2007. 

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‘The 40/40 Club’ – 1980′s – Card #34

‘The 40/40 Club’ – 1980′s – Card #34

Lee Smith – 1982 Topps

The closer gets no respect.  Unless your name name is Rivera, Hoffman, or Eckersley that is…

Before these guys established themselves as the best relief pitchersof all-time, Lee Smith was quietly dominating hitters as he was closing out game after game.  Upon his retirement, Lee Smith held the record for career saves at 478.  He has recorded 25+ saves in 13 of his 18 seasons in the major leagues, and did this for many teams that were fighting for playoff position.  Yet, he barely gets serious consideration for a Hall of Fame election, and he seems to be forgotten when talking about the best closers in the history of the game.

Breaking down his numbers a little further, and you will see how dominant Smith was.  For his career, Smith pitched 1,290 innings.  He has 1,251 strikeouts in total, which is just a hair under 1 per inning.  Considering that he got into most of his games in the 9th inning, it’s pretty safe to assume that roughly 1/3 of his recorded outs were due to strikeouts. 

A top 10 finisher for the Cy Young award 4 times in his career, Smith was getting consideration for this award when closers were not as highly touted as they are today.

In Smith’s 3 best statistical seasons, between 1991-1993, he tallied 136 saves while striking out 187 batters in just 206 innings of work!!

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