Daily Archives: February 22, 2012

Andre Dawson Autographs Through The Mail Returns – YES, YES, YES!!!!

Andre Dawson Autographs Through The Mail Returns – YES, YES, YES!!!!

After just a few short weeks, my most recent shipment to Andre Dawson and his foundation have been returned and the great autographs keep coming…

This time around, I sent something a little different.

For Christmas, my wife gave me two 8×10 photos of ‘The Hawk’ and as soon as I got them, I knew I wanted to get them signed.

Well, off they went to Dawson’s foundation with a nice donation, and now they are back where they belong – with me and my ‘Ultimate Dawson’ collection!!!

Here is a peek at the two pictures:

And now on to the close-ups….

Photo #1 – perfectly signed and inscribed:

Photo #2 – another sweet autograph and awesome inscription

Nice, huh??

I am really digging me choice to send a Silver paint pen in with these two pictures.  If I had sent them without the pen, the odds are pretty good that they would have been signed in either Blue 0r Black.  And while that would have been great too, the Silver really pops!!!

Two fantastic additions to my collection!!

Thank you Mr. Dawson!!!

Reggie Jackson 2001 Upper Deck Hall Of Famers – ‘The National Pastime’

Reggie Jackson 2001 Upper Deck Hall Of Famers – ‘The National Pastime’

I love modern baseball cards that pay homage to the great legends of prior eras.  And Reggie Jackson certainly fits into that group.

And I especially like seeing a player like Reggie, known as a slugger, doing something different, like playing defense.

 But, this card fails for several reasons – from the horrible border, to the B&W photo, to the grainy image – just a sloppy overall effort…

Have a look:

At least Reggie made the grab though…


Tony Gwynn 1987 Donruss Highlights

Tony Gwynn 1987 Donruss Highlights

Of all of the subsets that Donruss issued during the 1980’s and 1990’s, it is their ‘Highlights’ set that I enjoy the most – one which I wish was still produced today…

What the ‘Highlights’ set does is create a permanent reminder of the history generated by the crop of the modern players.

And the modern player is certainly record breaking – From Jeter to Rivera to Kemp to Shields – I would love to see a set of cards marking their historical moments in the game as Donruss did with their ‘Highlights’ sets.

As for this card from the 1987 Donruss ‘Highlights’ set, it pays homage to Tony Gwynn winning the NL Player of the Month award for his efforts in June of 1987.

Atta Boy Tony!!

Kent Hrbek 2004 Topps All-Time Fan Favorites

Kent Hrbek 2004 Topps All-Time Fan Favorites

Kent Hrbek was a solid contributor for the Minnesota Twins and their two World Series championship wins in 1987 & 1991.

Even as a rookie, Hrbek began to show the skills that would fill his 14 seasons as a major leaguer.  In 1982, Hrbek hit .301 while appearing in 140 games.  He collected 160 hits during that campaign which included 21 doubles and 23 home runs.  He also helped support the Twins’ winning ways while driving in 92 runs and scoring 82 runs.

Happy Birthday George “Sparky” Anderson!!!

Happy Birthday George “Sparky” Anderson!!!

Today we celebrate the birthday of Hall of Famer and legendary manager of the ‘Big Red Machine’, Mr. George ‘Sparky’ Anderson.  Always a fan favorite, Anderson provided some great quotes during the course of his coaching career.

Here is a small sampling:

“If I ever find a pitcher who has heat, a good curve, and a slider, I might seriously consider marrying him, or at least proposing.”

“I understand people who boo us. It’s like going to Broadway show, you pay for your tickets and expect to be entertained. When you’re not, you have a right to complain.”

“The day I got a hit off (Sandy) Koufax was when he knew it was all over.”

A true character and a legendary personality in the sport, Sparky Anderson is 1-of-a-kind!!!

Happy Birthday, Mr. Anderson!!!

Hanley Ramirez Saying ‘All The Right Things’ As Marlins Open Camp…

Hanley Ramirez Saying ‘All The Right Things’ As Marlins Open Camp…

JUPITER, Fla. (AP) — Hanley Ramirez trotted onto a practice field near first base, walked past second  base, slowed as he reached his familiar shortstop position – and kept going.

He might not be thrilled about his new role, but Ramirez is now a third  baseman.

The former All-Star shortstop assumed the position for the Miami Marlins for the first time Tuesday, fielding practice grounders and sending  the strongest signal yet that he’s willing to make the change.

When Ramirez came off the field, he was asked if he’s OK with the switch.

“I never said I’m not going to do it,” he responded. “I’m positive mentally.  I feel great.”

The Marlins wanted to move Ramirez to third to make room for All-Star  shortstop Jose Reyes, who signed a $106 million, six-year deal in December. Last week, new manager Ozzie Guillen said he didn’t think Ramirez had embraced the move.

As pitchers and catchers reported for the start of spring training, Ramirez’s  workout with a couple of other players was so informal team officials missed it,  including Guillen and president of baseball operations Larry Beinfest.

“How’d he do? Did he catch any?” Beinfest said with a smile.

Several grounders scooted past Ramirez, and his long lobs to first base  included at least one wild toss. But no one’s keeping score yet, and his mere  presence at third eased concerns he might balk at the move.

Marlins officials had repeatedly expressed confidence Ramirez would warm to  the switch.

“You just don’t go sign Jose Reyes unless you’re completely comfortable  Hanley’s going to play third base and play it well,” Beinfest said. “So I don’t  think there’s any concern there.”

Ramirez said his only previous experience at third was for a handful of games  in the 2006 winter league. He began the transition by taking grounders during  the offseason in his native Dominican Republic, working with Baltimore Orioles third baseman Wilson  Betemit, and said the new position doesn’t feel strange.

“I feel like it’s more easy for me right now because you don’t have to be  moving a lot,” Ramirez said. “You’re close to the foul line.”

Ramirez said his mood was cheery because his surgically repaired left  shoulder feels strong. He was cleared for full activity last week by Dr. James  Andrews, although as a precaution, the Marlins will discourage Ramirez from  diving or sliding headfirst during spring training.

Shoulder trouble forced Ramirez to miss the final two months of last season,  and he said he played in pain much of the season, which explained his curtailed  productivity. The 2009 NL batting champion hit only .243 with 10 homers and 45  RBIs in 92 games – a career low in every category.

Ramirez anticipates a big comeback.

“I know what kind of player I am,” he said. “And I know what kind of player  I’m going to be this year.”

An offseason spending spree transformed the Marlins into potential contenders  for the NL East title. Guillen said the team was built around Ramirez, who  eagerly anticipates batting third behind Reyes and speedy Emilio  Bonifacio.

“If we stay healthy the whole year it’s going to be a monster year, with Jose  leading off, Bonifacio and me,” Ramirez said. “What a combination.”

Does that mean Ramirez can become an All-Star third baseman?

“Why not?” he said.

Beinfest said there’s every reason to anticipate that Ramirez will thrive at  third – and even hold his own defensively. Why?

“Because he’s Hanley Ramirez, and he’s super talented,” Beinfest said. “I  think he can just about play anywhere on the field. There are only so many  talents like him. He’ll be fine. He’ll be able to do it whether it’s a slow  roller or going to his backhand. He’s got the arm, he’s got all the things he  needs to do to be successful over there.”

Ichiro Suzuki To Move Out Of Leadoff Spot

Ichiro Suzuki To Move Out Of Leadoff Spot

Written By – TSN, The Sports Network

Peoria,  AZ (Sports Network)  – Ichiro Suzuki has been in the leadoff spot for almost his entire 11 years with the Seattle Mariners, but that will not be the case this season.

Mariners  manager  Eric Wedge announced  Tuesday that Chone Figgins will start the  season  as the team’s  leadoff hitter. Dustin  Ackley and Suzuki will bat second and third, respectively.

Figgins  occupied  the leadoff spot in  Anaheim before signing with Seattle in December 2009. The third baseman batted just .188 with one homer and 15 RBI in 81 games last season.

Suzuki’s batting average fell to a career-low .272 last year.

He  has batted  in the  No. 1  spot for  1,720 of  his 1,733  starts with  the Mariners. Suzuki has made just 13 starts in his career batting third.

The  38-year-old Suzuki has hit .326 with 95 home runs, 605 RBI and 1,127 runs scored over 1,749 career games with Seattle.