Thursday, October 30, 2008

Oscar Azocar

Oscar didn't play long anywhere, but I will always remember him because of the card on the right. He recreated the pose on a Padres Keebler card. He was signed by the Hankies as an amateur free agent in 1983, when he was 18 years old. He finally made it to the majors in 1990 playing part of one season with the Hankies. In December of 1990 he was traded to the Padres for Mike Humphreys (who?). He played two seasons in San Diego never playing more than 99 games. He was granted free agency as soon as the 1992 seasons was over. His career batting average was .226. I got this card on ebay.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Brad Ausmus

Heather Rowletts' favorite baseball player is Brad Ausmus. She watched him played in Houston, one of his stops around the majors. Brad has played 16 seasons so far and is rumored to be returning to San Diego for the 2009 season as a veteran to help teach the Padres young catchers.

Brad was originally drafted by the Hankies in the 1987 draft, and then played in the minors until the Rockies took him as the 54th pick in the expansion draft. The Rockies traded him to the Padres with Doug Bochtler and Andy Ashby for Bruce Hurst and Greg Harris. The Padres traded him to the Tigers, the Tigers traded him to the Astros, the Astros traded him to the Tigers and the Tigers traded him to the Astros. Then he was granted free agency and the signed again with the Astros. During all that trading he was traded once for Doug Brocail and once with Doug Brocail. During his 16 seasons he has only played with three teams. He has won 3 Gold Gloves and played in the 1999 All Star game. He played in the World Series in 2005 but his Astros were beaten by Ozzie Guillens' (another product of the Padres farm system) Chisox. I believe that I got the signature through the mail.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Rich Aurilia

Rich Aurilia played 51 games for the Padres in 2003 as his career was winding down. He was drafted by the Rangers in 1992 and then traded to the Giants in 1994. He played 9 seasons for the Giants before being granted free agency and signing with the Mariners. He played 73 games with the Mariners before being part of a conditional trade with the Padres. After that he was a free several times playing two seasons with the Reds before playing two more seasons with the Giants and seemingly finished his career in 2006. He was an All Star in 2001 and played with the Giants in a World Series loss to the Angels. I got this Bowman Heritage card signed through the mail.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Andy Ashby

Andy Ashby was a member of the Padres three different times. He played in the 1996 NLDS when the Padres lost to the Cardinals, played in the 1998 run up to the sweep by the Hankies in the 1998 World Series. He was originally drafted by the Phillies in '86, then was drafted by the Rockies in the Expansion draft. In '93 he was traded from the Rockies to the Padres along with Brad Ausmus and Doug Bochtler for Bruce Hurst and one of the Padres two Greg Harris'. He was with the Padres until he was traded back to the Phillies in 1999 for Adam Eaton, Steve Montgomery, and Carlton Loewer (didn't he fall out of a tree and break his leg?). The next year he was traded to Atlanta for Bruce Chen and Jimmy Osting. In November he was granted free agency and signed with the Doggers, then in 2003 he was a free agent again and in 2004 and 2005 he signed as a free agent with the Padres. He didn't pitch at all in 2005 and was granted free agency after the season. He was an AllStar twice, finished with a 98-110 records and a 4.12 ERA. I believe that I got this card signed through the mail.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Mike Armstrong

What do you when you retire at age 33? Mike Armstrong pitched for 8 years in the major leagues and was done with that career when he was 33. He is younger than many people I know who are still years away from retirement. What do you do after that? I wonder if any one has a where are they now blog on baseball players.

Mike was drafted by the Indians in the 9th round of the 1972 draft but did not sign. Mike must have had a good year at the University of Miami, because he was drafted by the Reds in the 1st round, with the 24th pick in 1973. In 1979 the Reds traded him to the Padres for Paul O'Neil (yes, that Paul O'Neil) . In 1982 the Royals purchased his contract from the Padres, then in '83 the Royals traded him to the Hankies for Steve Balboni. In '86 NY released, resigned him and released him in 87. He finally signed with Cleveland in 1987, 15 years after they originally drafted him. He pitched for the Padres, Royals, Yankees and Indians finishing his career with a 19-17 record and an ERA of 4.10. I got this 1981 Fleer card from ABC unlimited.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Guys I Need, Part 1

There are a few guys from the past that I haven't been able to acquire yet. From top to bottom left to right. I need Dave Stewart who is in the bottom right hand corner of the first coaches card. I have tried through the mail several teams in care of teams he is with. Next is Dick Sisler who was a coach for John McNamara when he managed the Padres. I have all the managers, SSPC put several coaches in the set. Next is future Hall of Famer, Alan Tramell, I have tried through the mail during the season, but never a response. Sean Watkins is one of those rookies who shows up in Bowman and then disappears. Donne Wall has never responded to my through the mail request, although he must be accumalating quite a few cards from all the times I have tried. Don Williams was on a team issued scheduled card in 1977, but I don't know where to mail it. Pedro Astacio only pitched 12 games for the Padres but it was enough to get him on this team issued card. Steven Baker is another Bowman rookie who seems to have disappeared. Brennan Boesch is a special case, he was drafted by the Tigers and has always played in their system. Topps for some reason airbrushed him into a Padres uniform. I have written him and asked him to sign the card, explaining that I realize he is not a Padre, but is pictured as a Padre. I have never heard back from him. He may be really pissed at Topps for making his first card in the wrong uniform. Steve Chavez, Steve Martin and Javier Martinez are more disappearing Bowman Rookies. Dan Miceli has never responded to my letters and Randy Myers, was notorious for only signing cards of the team he was currently on, but now he just doesn't respond. Lastly is former Astro's pitcher Dave Smith, I have tried a couple of times through the mail with no luck.

If you can help with any of these I would appreciate it. Just the conditions are they must be pictured in a Padres uniform. I will trade with or buy from you. Also if you are interested in a signed card of someone who played for the Padres, I have a couple of hundred extras. Right now my collection sits at signed cards of 698 different players and coaches.

Steve Arlin

Steve Arlin was born just after the end of World War II, just more than a month after the bombs were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. He was drafted by the Tigers in 23rd round of the 1965 draft but did not sign with them. Then in 1966 he was drafted in the first round by the Phillies and signed with them. Then in 1968 he was drafted by the Padres as the 57th pick in the expansion draft. He then played 5 and 1/2 years for the Padres before being traded to the Cleveland Indians for Brent Strom and Terry Ley. Terry is from Portland and I have met some of his relatives in my 27 years here in Portland. He had a career record of 34-67 and a 4.33 ERA for his six year career. I remember getting this 1973 Topps card signed through the mail.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

George Arias

George played for three teams in two cities. That is a trick he was also drafted three times. He was a part of the Padres team that went to the World Series, however he only played in the Division Series and didn't play in the NL championship or the World Series. He played in 1996 and '97 for the California and Anaheim Angels, part way through the '97 season he was traded to the Padres as part of a trade involving Rickey Henderson. He was drafted by the Giants in the 21st round of the 1991 draft, by the Orioles in the 38th round of the '92 draft and finally signed after being drafted in the 7th round by the Angels in 1993. He must have had a great year at the University of Arizona to go from the 38th round to the 7th round. He played 3rd, 1st and DH during his career. I got this 1999 Keebler autographed through the mail.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Alex Arias

Alex Arias has a World Series ring, unfortunately it wasn't with the Padres. He played 11 seasons in the majors between 1992-2002. He was drafted by the Cubs in the 3rd round of the 1987 draft, he played part of the '92 season with the Cubs before being traded to the Marlins. He played 5 seasons with the Marlins, and was part of the Marlins 1997 World Series team. After that season he was released by the Marlins and signed as a free agent with the Phillies, he played three seasons and was released. The Padres signed him as a free agent in December of 2000 and played in 158 games for the Padres. At the end of the 2001 season he, Ben Davis and Wascar Serrano were traded to the Mariners for Brett Tomko, Tom Lampkin, Ramon Vazquez and cash. He then then signed as a free agent with the Orioles and Yankees. He never played a game for the Mariners or Orioles and only 8 games for the Yankees in 2002. I got the 2001 Keebler card signed through the mail. I wish the team still did some sort of team issued set like this, but they haven't for several years.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Jose Arcia

Jose Arcia only played three seasons in the majors, two of them with the Padres. He was signed as an amateur free agent by the Houston Colt .45's before the 1962 season, then in a series of unknown transactions he went from the .45's to the Tigers to the Indians to the Cardinals. Then in 1967 he was drafted from the Cardinals by the Cubs in the 1967 Rule 5 draft. Then in the 1968 expansion draft he was chosen as the 9th pick by the Padres. He played 25 games for the Cubs in 1968, and then played about 120 games a year for the Padres in 1969 and 1970. He hit one career home run while he was with the Cubs, he lead the Padres with 14 stolen bases one year. He played his last game in the majors September 30, 1970. I obtained this 69 Topps signed card from ABC Unlimited.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Matt Antonelli

Here is a guy who only has 21 games of Major League experience. He was the 17th pick in the 2006 Major League Draft. He has played in every stop in the Padres minor league system, Eugene, Fort Wayne, Lake Elsinore, San Antonio and Portland. I got to see him play in Portland and know where he played in Eugene. The stadium in Eugene, Civic Stadium, was right across the street from my high school. The class of '75 had our graduation in the stadium, we sat in the box seats down the first line and went from home to first to get our diplomas.

Matt Antonelli made his major league debut on September 1, 2008 against the hated Doggers. He got his first major league hit off of future Hall of Famer Greg Maddux. He got 1 home run this year. He is supposed to be the Padres 2nd baseman of the future. I got this card certified autograph card from ebay.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Larry Andersen

Larry was someone whose career I had followed because he is from my hometown. I think that is the first time I have ever called Portland my hometown. I am 51 years old and have lived here for 27 years, but never claimed it as my hometown. I was born in Long Beach, CA and then moved every two years until my sophomore year in high school, going to 10 schools in 12 years in 4 states. Eventually I followed my family here and settled here. Portland is my hometown.

Larry is also famous for wondering if Styrofoam is packing material how do they ship it. Larry is just 4 years older than I am put has been retired for the last 14 years and I still have at least 14 years to go before I retire.

Larry Andersen played 17 seasons between 1975-1994 for the Indians, Mariners, Phillies, Astros, Red Sox, and the Padres. He pitched in two World Series ten years apart in '83 and '93 for the Phillies. He finished with a 40-39 Won-Loss record and a 3.15 ERA. I got the card signed through the mail, after he retired, by using one of the many address list out there.

"You're only young once, but you can be immature forever." Larry Andersen

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Joe Amalfitano

Joe Amalfitano played from 1954 to 1967 for several teams including the New York Giants, the San Francisco Giants, the Houston .45's and the Chicago Cubs. His travels include several stops with the Giants, he was originally signed as a bonus baby by the New York Giants in 1954, then released by the Giants in 1958, then drafted by the Giants in the 1959 rule 5 draft, in 1961 he was drafted by the Colt .45's in the expansion draft. In 1962 Houston traded Joe to the Giants for Dick Lemay and Manny Mota. In 1964 the Cubs purchased his contract from the Giants and then released him in 1966, in 1967 he was resigned by the Cubs and then released again by the Cubs. In 1977 he was a coach with the Padres and featured on this team issued schedule card. I got it years later through the mail.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Gabe Alvarez

Gabe Alvarez was drafted by the Padres in 1995 but didn't play for them until 2000. Gabe is a native of Mexico, and he played his college ball at the University of Southern California. He was drafted in the 2nd round of the 1995 amateur draft. Then in the 1997 expansion draft the Diamondbacks chose him as the 5th pick. The Diamondbacks traded he, Matt Drews and Joe Randa to the Tigers for Travis Fryman. Then in 2000 he was traded to the Padres. He played in a whopping 11 games for the Padres, he got 23 at bats. He played 3 seasons in the minor leagues never getting above AA. He played in the systems of Cinncinati, Milwaukee and the White Sox. I got the card through ABC Unlimited.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Matty Alou

Matty Alou played in 15 seasons but his biggest note is that he played in the outfield once for the Giants with his brothers Jesus and Felipe. I got his brother Felipes autograph through a player in the Expos system. I wrote Kent Bottenfield to get his autograph for my autographed Oregonian collection when he was at West Palm Beach in the minors. He signed and told me he would get anyones autograph for me. Felipe had been one of my baseball heroes growing up, so I sent Kent a card and he got a 73 Topps card of Felipe with the Hankies signed for me.

But this post is supposed to be about Matty. He was signed as an amateur free agent by the Giants before the 1957 season, he played 6 seasons with the Giants, then 5 years with the Pirates, in 1972 he split the season between the Cardinals and A's, then he split 1973 between the Hankies and Cards, finishing his career in 1974 with 48 games played for the Padres. He played in two World Series 10 years apart, in 1962 with the Giants and '72 with the A's. He played in the 1968 and 1969 All Star games. In 1966 he won the National League batting title beating out his brother Felipe. He played three seasons in Japan after being released by the Padres. In 2007 he was inducted into Hispanic Heritage Museum Hall of Fame. He is also known as the uncle of Moises Alou and Mel Rojas and the cousin of Jose Sosa.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Sandy Alomar, Jr.

I used to have all the information on how I got each card on the computer but occasionally computers crash and you lose everything. My best recollection of getting this card signed is at a Portland Beavers game when Sandy was with the Las Vegas Stars. I remember some doofus trying to get something signed at the same time, and Sandy saying to him 'You are going to sell that" and the doof saying " I wouldn't sell anything of yours, unless I get a really good price." At that point Sandy just walked away.

Sandy played 20 season in the majors from 1988-2007 with the Padres, Indians, 3 different times with the White Sox, Rockies, Rangers, Dodgers and Mets. The majority of his career was spent in Cleveland, where he played for 11 years. He made appearances in two World Series with Cleveland, he was the American League Rookie of the Year in 1990, the 1997 All Star Game MVP, which was one of his 6 All Star appearances. He won one Gold Glove in his career. I remember him as very friendly when I used to go see the Stars play against the hometown Beavers.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Roberto Alomar

Roberto, Sandy Sr. and Sandy Jr. have all worn the brown and orange of the 1980 era Padres at one or another. He was signed as a amateur free agent by the Padres in 1985 and played his first major league game in 1988. He played for the Padres until 1990 when he was traded to the Jays. He also played with the Orioles (remember his confrontation with Umpire John Hirschbeck), the Indians, Mets, White Sox and Diamondbacks. He signed as a free agent with the Rays in 2005 and retired from the Rays later that year. He played in 2 World Series, named to the All Star squad every year from 1990-2001, was awarded 10 Gold Gloves and won 4 Silver Slugger Awards. He got to play with his brother Sandy in Cleveland. I remember I got his brother Sandy to sign a picture of he, Roberto and their Dad at a game here in Portland and then I mailed it to Sandy Sr. to sign and it came back also signed by Roberto. I got this 1988 Donruss Rated Rookie signed through the mail a long time ago. My sons and I got an autograph from Sandy Sr. outside Civic Stadium in Eugene, Oregon when he was a roving instructor with the Cubs I think.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Bill Almon

Billy Almon was drafted twice by the Padres first in the 11th round of the 1971 and then again as the first pick in the 1974 draft. He made his major league debut in 1974 and played in every season from then until 1988. He came in 19th in the voting for American League MVP in 1981. He for 6 years for the Padres before being traded to the Expos. He also played for the Mets, White Sox, A's, Pirates and Phillies through the rest of his career. Most of his moves were the result of free agency, he was only traded three times in his many moves. I remember Bill Almon on one of the first cards I remember when I got back in collecting in 1985, it was a first round draft pick card in the 85 Topps set. I believe that I got this card from ABC unlimited.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Carlos Almanzar

Over at the words most commonly associated with Carlos Almanzar are Granted Free Agency. He was signed as a amateur free agent in December 10 by the Toronto Blue Jays. The Jays traded him to the Padres with Peter Tucci and Woody Williams for Joey Hamilton. In 2001 the Padres traded Almanzar to the Yankees for David Lee. Now follows the reason for the title, he was granted free agency four times between 2002 and 2006, signing with the Rockies, Reds, Rangers and Braves. He played in the majors with the Jays, Padres, Yankees, Reds, and Rangers. He finished his career with a 13-13 record and a 4.82 ERA. He hasn't made an appearance since 2005. He appears here on a 2000 Pacific Collection card, I purchase the card on ebay.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Sandy Alderson

Sandy Alderson is the President of the San Diego Padres. I used a Bazooka Joe card, combined with a Chesty Puller stamp. Chesty Puller is a legend in the United States Marine Corp, Sandy Alderson served a hitch in the Corps, in Vietnam. He is a lawyer who graduated from Harvard Law School. He was working for a law firm in San Francisco when one of the partners left to become president of the A's when his father in law bought the team. In 1981 Alderson left the law firm to become the GM of the A's, he is viewed as the mentor of Billy Beane, the A's current GM. Between 1998 and 2005 he was Executive Vice President of Baseball Operations for Major League Baseball. I got this through the mail using one of the Sharpies' from the variety pack. It didn't take very long to be returned.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Darrel Akerfelds

Darrel Akerfelds played for the A's, Indians, Rangers and Phillies and was in the minor leagues of the Mariners and signed as a free agent by the Braves at the end of his career. So why is he here? Because he is on a card pictured in a Padres uniform, only two of the coaches pictured on this 2002 Keeblers card ever actually played for the Padres, Greg Booker and Tim Flannery. The Mothers' cookies sets and the Keebler sets were great for getting coaches to sign, there are several more Keebler, Mothers and team cards of coaches throughout the 701 signed cards. Darrel was drafted by the Braves in the 1980 amateur draft but did not sign, he was drafted again in 1983 by the Mariners as the 7th pick in the first round. After the 1983 season he was traded to the A's, then in the middle of the 1987 season he was traded to the Indians with Brian Dorsett for Tony Bernazzard. The Rangers arranged his services in the Rule 5 draft in 1988. The Phillies purchased his contract in March of 1990 from the Rangers, in October of 1991 he was granted free agency. The Orioles signed him as a free agent in January of 1992, but he never played in the majors for them having pitched his last major league game in July of 1991. Darrel has been the bullpen coach for the Padres since 2001. I sent this to Darrel in care of the Padres and received it back within 2 weeks. I have Padrographs of the rest of the coaches on this card except for Trammell, I have tried several times through the mail with no success.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Ed Acosta

Ed Acosta seems to have had the proverbial cup of coffee in the major leagues. According to he pitched in 57 games over 3 years for the Pirates and Padres. He was originally signed as a amateur free agents by the Astros in 1967, then before the 1970 season he was sent to the Pirates in a unknown transaction. He pitched in three games that year, then on August 10, 1971 he was traded to the Padres along with Johnny Jeter for Bob Miller. He hadn't pitched in any games for the Pirates before he was traded and in the last month and a half of the season he pitched in 8 games for the Padres and then in 1972 it was his big season as he pitched in 46 games and finishing the season with a 4.45 ERA. He finished his major league career in October of 1972. I got this 1972 Topps card in a large lot I purchased on ebay.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Through the Mail Sucess

Today when I got home from another exciting day at the bookstore, there was an envelope addressed to me in my own handwriting with a San Diego postmark. I sent these to Scott Hairston as soon as Topps and Upper Deck 2 were out. I found that if I include a few extras as a thank you to the players I have better luck. I ask them to sign one of each and keep the rest. It reallys work well with the guys who are still in the minor leagues. I will keep the Topps card and use the Upper Deck one to trade. The UD card illustrates one of my disappointments with most of the cards coming out today. They are so glossy that all Sharpies don't stick well and bleed a lot. I wish that a parallel set was a matte finish for getting signed. If anyone knows a good way to remove the gloss please let me know. Back to the alphabetical order tomorrow.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Shawn Abner

I have my Padrographs arranged in alphabetical so Shawn Abner leads off the collection of Padres. Abner was the first pick of the 1984 draft, drafted by the Mets. In 1986 he was traded to the Padres along with Stan Jefferson, Kevin Mitchell, Kevin Brown and Kevin Armstrong for Kevin McReynolds, Gene Walters and Adam Ging (who), in what has to the trade involving the most guys named Kevin. He played for the Padres until 1991 when he was traded to the Angels for Jack Howell. He played for the Angels until he was released in 1992. Wonder what he has been doing for the last 16 years. I know that I got this card through the mail, because of the color of the ink. I used to buy the multi-color packs of Sharpies and then send them to the players. I have used the Harvey Musselman and Jack Smalling list to get addresses. Shawn Abner is shown on a 1988 Score card.