Monthly Archives: March 2010

‘On The Road With psugator02’ – March 28, 2010

March 28, 2010

White Sox at Rangers
Surprise, Ariz.
8:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m.

Had heard great things about the Rangers’ facility. But in retrospect, I spent a lot of hours graphing and really didn’t get much. However, every stud Rangers’ minor leaguer walked right by me, including Font, Boscan, Smoak, and many many more. If I had seen Smoak in time I most definitely would’ve gotten him on a SS.

Ozzie Guillen: 1/1 (B+W 5×7 sketch card)….gave him blue Sharpie but he signed it in black and it came out so well that the graph actually looks like it’s part of the sketch
Ian Kinsler: 1/1 (8×10)….one of the prettiest graphs I’ve gotten in a long time
Josh Hamilton: 1/1 (’09 Ginter)…got the last Hamilton item I own signed. I think I’m gonna read his autobiography and get that signed….every time he signs for me it seems I have a story. This time, he was inscribing Psalm 62. He did it on a lot of items but not mine. I asked him why I didn’t get the inscription. He looked at me and asked, “Do you remember it?” I said that I did and Hamilton smiled. GREAT GREAT dude
Gordon Beckham: 1/1 (SS, ROMLB)…I was on the other side of the stadium and saw him signing. I rushed over to where he was and got lucky. Funny thing is that a young girl standing in front of me asked for the SS and he refused. Then when it was my turn I asked for the SS and he did it. It may have had something to do with me telling Beckham that I had flown in from Florida. I wished him luck this season and he thanked me. A real GREAT dude
Ron Washington: 2/2 (cards)…guy was a common in the 1980s so I have a ton of his cards. I didn’t bring all of them with me. Maybe I should have because now I have nothing left for him. A great guy and a great signer
Nelson Cruz: 1/1 (’09 Ginter)…went down the line on the backfields, signing for everyone. a GREAT GREAT dude
Michael Young: 0/1…this guy has proven to be hard. he actually signed for three people standing next to me, including a little boy, but he wouldn’t sign for me
Elvis Andrus: 0/1
Nolan Ryan: 0/1..I finished my pregame graphing and knew that Ryan was probably in attendance so I talked to an unsher who worked the area behind home plate. He pointed to Ryan’s seat (he sits in the same seat every game). He said Ryan hadn’t yet arrived. Oddly enough, five minutes after speaking to this usher I turned around and saw Ryan standing five feet from me. I was the only one to recognize him. I asked him to sign and he wouldn’t do it. I walked with him a few feet, trying to make small talk and butter him up for later. He ended up leaving the game in the bottom of the 8th, but this time went out through the field exit, which was inacessible to me. On a side note, between half innings ushers would guard Ryan on all sides, preventing people from scooting over near him. However, if you happened to be a good-looking woman, Ryan would motion you over and allow you to sit next to him. I saw a hot blonde point at Ryan and he invited her over. She sat next to Ryan for 15-20 minutes and when the two of them were done talking Ryan signed for her.
Alex Rios: 0/1
Paul Konerko: 0/1
Juan Pierre: 0/1

Once I saw Ryan leave I knew that the stadium’s logistics would limit further postgame graphing opportunities so I high-tailed it back to Phoenix.

Indians at Angels
Phoenix, Ariz.
4-4:45 p.m.

Huge crowd of people stood outside the fence waiting for Angels’ graphs. I knew the chances of anyone stopping were slim so I thought of something creative. A 6-foot wall surrounds the player parking lot, which is also where the visitors’ bus parks. I’m 6’5, so it was easy for me to look over the wall at the Angels’ players exiting the clubhouse, in addition to those Indians boarding the bus. The wall is only a few feet from the entrance to the visitors’ bus so the players had to acknowledge me as they boarded. After a few minutes I looked down and saw three boulders, which I piled on top of one another. I stood on the three boulders and was even taller, leaning over the wall with my items in hand.

While standing on the boulders

Tori Hunter: 0/1 …I was only two feet from him as he exited the clubhouse yet he wouldn’t do it
Chris Perez: 4/4 (cards for deejayshane)….I saw him so many times in Jupiter last year that I recognized him immediately, which is the only reason I was able to get him. If I had waited to see the name on his back then I most definitely wouldn’t have gotten him. I gave him the four cards I had and he asked why I needed so many. I told him that they were set cards for a friend whom I trade with. He then said he was just messing with me. We talked about the University of Miami and I wished him luck. One of my favorite players in MLB. GREAT GREAT dude
Sandy Alomar: probably could’ve gotten him but I didn’t realize it was him until he had already passed me

As soon as I got Perez a security guard stationed inside the clubhouse walked over to me and told me that I had to get down off the wall.

Back behind the barricades

Hideki Matsui: 0/1 …wouldn’t stop his car

If you would like to contact Mark, he can be reached at psugator02@yahoo.com.

Jim Palmer 2005 Donruss Diamond Kings Dual Game-Used Jersey Card

Jim Palmer 2005 Donruss Diamond Kings Dual Game-Used Jersey Card

Wow!  how nice is this one??

Numbered 15/25, this card comes from the 2005 Donruss Diamond Kings ‘HOF Heroes’ set.

The card is a classic take-off from the Diamond Kings cards that Donruss made popular and unique during the 1980’s.  And with a nice, and more modern twist, this one looks royal!!  While the design is not reminiscent of the old DK cards, they still maintain their link to the past with the famous artwork that those cards offered.

The card also features 2 swatches of Game-Used jersey from Jim Palmer’s career.  Both the bold Orange and wooly Grey look great, and compliment the Orioles logo perfectly!!

Great job on this one Donruss!!

Paul Molitor 1988 Fleer

Paul Molitor 1988 Fleer

Hey, it’s another boring old posed picture on a 1980’s baseball card.

Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah…

And on a more positive note, it’s another card to cross off of my ‘Needs’ list as I continue to add more cards of Paul Molitor to my player collection that honors him!!

1985 Topps Record Breakers – Card #8 – Juan Samuel

1985 Topps Record Breakers – Card #8 – Juan Samuel

Headline – ‘Juan Samuel Establishes Modern Stolen Base Record For Rookies’

The Story – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, September 30, 1984:  Phillies’ 2nd baseman Juan Samuel has finished the season with 72 stolen bases.  The total represents a modern major league record for swipes during rookie campaign.  The former modern record of 71 stolen bases by a rookie was established by Expos’ Tim Raines in 1981.

My Added Notes – Just one season later, Vince Coleman, a rookie for the St. Louis Cardinals, crushed Samuel’s record by stealing 110 bases.  This is a record that should stand for a very long time!!

1997 Headline: The Chipper Jones Candy Bar Debuts

1997 Headline: The Chipper Jones Candy Bar Debuts

On this day in 1997, The ‘Chipper Jones Candy Bar’ debuted.

With a recipe very similar to Nestle Crunch, the Chipper Jones candy bar was a combination of Milk Chocolate and crispy rice pieces.

chipper-bar

Now this has me thinking…  How do they decide what kind of candy bar recipe goes for each player’s bar??  Who gets nuggat?  Who gets caramel?  Who gets peanuts???

Milestones To Look Forward To During The 2010 Major League Baseball Season

Milestones To Look Forward To During The 2010 Major League Baseball Season

With the start of the 2010 major league baseball season just 1 week away, I thought it would be fun to look ahead and see what possible baseball milestones we may witness over the course of the season.

And while 2010 won’t produce any new members of the ‘500 HR Club’ or ‘3,000 Hits Club’ or ‘300 Wins Club’, it will certainly be memorable.  And these guys will have something to do with it.

Will Alex Rodriguez collect 30 home runs and 100 RBI for a 14th season??

Can Ichiro amass 200 hits for the 10th straight year??

Will Dan Uggla smack 25 or more home runs adding to his record for second basemen??

When will Alex Rodriguez hit his 17th homer of the season putting him in the ‘600 HR Club’?

How soon will Johnny Damon collect 75 hits and enter the ‘2,500 Hits Club’?

How fast will Chipper Jones tally 94 hits and join the ‘2,500 Hits Club’?

Will Ken Griffey Jr. hit 30 home runs and tie Willie Mays with 660?

Can Andruw Jones regain his home run swing and join the ‘400 HR Club’ by connecting for 12 dingers?

How fast will Trevor Hoffman amass 9 saves and become the first member of the ‘600 Saves Club’?

As you can see, there are some wonderful storylines to look forward to during the upcoming season.

Which one are you most excited about seeing??

‘On The Road With psugator02’ – March 27, 2010

‘On The Road With psugator02’ – March 27, 2010

Seattle Mariners at L.A. Dodgers
9:15-7 p.m.

Day was pretty much a bust. Way too many people — the game was a sellout — so most of the players chose not to do it.

Don Newcombe: 0/1 in the morning going from the clubhouse to the practice fields in a golfcart, 0/1 walking from the stadium to his car “If I sign one then I’m gonna have to sign them all”, 0/1 while in his car leaving the stadium
Tommy Lasorda: 1/1 on the backfields, 0/1 while leaving the stadium in his car at about 6 p.m……I guess every day the Dodgers choose a former player to sign for free. This day it was Lasorda who sat down at a table and signed for more than an hour. My buddy and I were actually the last graphs he signed. Said his handler while pointing to me: “Sign one for this guy who flew here from Florida.”
Rick Honeycutt: 1/1 (card) while walking from the clubhouse to the practice fields and no one recognized him, 1/1 (card) at 6 p.m. leaving the stadium
Ian Snell: 2/2 (’08 Ginter, ’09 Ginter)….might be the coolest player in all of Arizona right now. I asked him if he missed Pittsburgh and he replied, “Ask Jack Wilson if he misses Pittsburgh.” Just a real awesome dude
Blake DeWitt: 0/1 got mobbed
J.D. Closser: 0/1 ….I didn’t even need him but when he left at about 6 p.m. he wouldn’t even sign for the six graphers remaining
Vin Scully: 0/1…..Got him one-on-on but “There’s just too many people here.” Dodgers’ fans treat this guy like a rock star. It was neat seeing him.
Casey Blake: 0/1 followed his car but he wouldn’t roll down his window
Manny Ramirez: 0/1 wouldn’t even acknowledge me
Garrett Anderson: 0/1
Peter Gammons: 0/1
Frank McCourt: 1/1 (whitesheet with “Go Dodgers” inscription)
Chone Figgins: 0/1 while getting into a van after the game
Casey Kotchman: 0/1 wouldn’t even acknowledge me
Ken Howell: 0/1 while in his car leaving the stadium at about 6 p.m.
Manny Mota: 0/1 while in his car leaving the stadium at about 6 p.m.
Mariano Duncan: 0/1 while in his car leaving the stadium at about 6 p.m.
John Wetteland: 0/1…just missed him
Russell Martin: 0/1 wouldn’t stop his car

This and that: Jonathan Broxton signed on the backfields but only for little kids. … Ronald Belisario signed but I didn’t need him. … George Sherrill signed on the backfields before the game but I didn’t need him. … Russ Ortiz, who I can’t believe is still in the big leagues, signed at about 6 p.m. but I didn’t need him. … Mike Brito, the guy who used to hold the radar gun at Dodger Stadium, signed autographs and took pics with. Real cool guy. … Charlie Steiner, the voice of the Dodgers, signed graphs for a good 15 minutes. … Fernando Valenzuela was at the game but I never did see him. … Milton Bradley was very cool and signed but I didn’t need him. … Chin-lung Hu signed but I didn’t need him.

Day would’ve been a complete disappointment had it not been for the Lasorda graph.

If you would like to contact Mark, he can be reached at psugator02@yahoo.com.

Andre Dawson Grab Bag #3

Andre Dawson Grab Bag #3

I hooked up with Craig one more time for another Andre Dawson inspired grab bag.

And as you can see from the picture below, he hooked me up yet again!!  A true fan and collector of all things Dawson, Craig send over a gorgeous array of Dawson cards.  All from the modern era, I got another game-used jersey card, a uncirculated card, and a nice stack of stuff issued from 2000-present.

He also sent over a pack that has 72 baseball stamps inside.  Part 4 of a series of 4, this set includes some of my favorite players – Fergie Jenkins and Dale Murphy.

Stay tuned as I will be showing off each and every card from this lot in the coming weeks.

I encourage everyone to check out Craig’s tribute site to Andre Dawson.  It is a source of great information for anyone who wants to collect and honor ‘The Hawk’!!!

Thanks again Craig.

Darryl Strawberry 1989 Donruss All-Star

Darryl Strawberry 1989 Donruss All-Star

This card was issued by Donruss in 1989 and honors Darryl’s selection to the All-star team during that season.  Similar to the design of its base issue from that year, Donruss changed up the colors used on the border of the card and they also threw in the league logo that the player represented.

During the 1989 season Darryl had a slump at the plate.  The result of that slump was his lowest batting average as a Mets player, .225.  And still, he managed to collect 107 hits while scoring 69 runs, smashing 29 homers and driving in 77 runs. 

Darryl was as popular as any other player on his team during the late 1980’s and that ranking earned him his 6th straight All-star team spot.

One more card for the Darryl Strawberry collection – YES!!!

‘Same Card, Different Paths’ – Card #53

‘Same Card, Different Paths’ – Card #53

1976 Topps – Card #592 – AKA – ‘The Willie Randolph Rookie Card’

Willie Randolph – A six-time All-star and winner of 1 Silver Slugger trophy, Willie Randolph enjoyed a very successful 18-season major league career.  A solid defender at second base, Randolph used his speed as a weapon on both defense and offense.  A lifetime .276 hitter, Randolph collected 2,210 hits while scoring 1,239 runs, stealing 271 bases, and even homering 54 times.  Randolph played in 4 World Series contests, ultimately winning the prize in 1977 with the New York Yankees.

Dave McKay – An 8-year veteran, Dave McKay suited up for three different teams during his playing days.  Used as a second baseman, third baseman, and shortstop, McKay was a strong defender and played well in a utility role.  McKay’s career numbers include 441 hits, 191 runs scored, 21 home runs, and 170 RBI.

Jerry Royster – Royster’s career spanned 16 seasons.  A skilled athlete, Royster played every defensive position with the exception of first base and catcher.  During his career, Royster amassed a batting average of .249.  He tallied 1,049 hits alongside 552 runs scored, 189 steals, 165 doubles, and 352 RBI. 

Roy Staiger – Staiger played just 4 years in the big leagues, all of them in New York.  Spending 3 years with the Mets and then 1 with the Yankees, Staiger was able to see life from both sides as a big leaguer in ‘The Big Apple’.  He compiled a .228 batting average while appearing in 152 games.  In total, Staiger amassed 104 hits, scored 42 runs, smacked 4 home runs, and drove in 38 RBI.