Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Blackball Tales, Rollicking, All New, True Adventures of the Negro Leagues by the Men who Lived and Loved Them

Blackball Tales, Rollicking, All New, True Adventures of the Negro Leagues by the Men who Lived and Loved Them by John B. Holway; 2008; Scorpio Books, Springfield, VA.; 225 pages; 978-159-526-7443; 11/2-11/4

I really wanted to read the last chapter first because it was a chapter on someone I have met. This book is a wonderful collection of oral history by the men who played in the Negro Leagues, not the Jackie Robinsons, Satchel Paiges or Monte Irvin, but the players who just wanted to play baseball and the only way they could do so was to play in the Negro Leagues. There are a few refrains repeated throughout, I wish I had been younger after Jackie broke the color line, we lived on buses, oh how I wanted to play, Willie Mays Dad was a better ballplayer, Piper Davis and Artie Wilson were the best double play combination and prejudice was actually worse in the North.

The final chapter is an interview with Artie Wilson, shortstop for the Birmingham Black Barons and the New York Giants. He bounced around quite a while in the Pacific Coast League. He was the last played to hit .400 in the Negro Leagues. He roomed with Willie Mays while they were both playing in Birmingham, he toured with Satchel Paiges All Stars and played in several All Star Games. He bought his first uniform as a kid for $2.98 with the money he made shining shoes for 2 cents a pair. He lost part of the thumb on his throwing hand in an industrial accident and squeezed a golf ball all winter to strengthen his thumb.

My wife is a custom tailor and years ago she got a call from a African American woman whose last name was Wilson and lived in town. I asked my wife to ask her if Artie was her husband, he was. After that when R went over to meet with D to talk about sewing, I would go with her and talk to Artie. It was a pleasure to hear him tell stories of Josh Gibson, Piper Davis, Cool Papa Bell, and Jackie Robinson among others.

Any well done book on baseball history is a winner in my opinion and this collection of oral history is a home run. RRRR

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Bruce Bochy

Bruce Bochy managed the Padres for twice as long as he played for them. The last five years of his major league were played with the Padres. He was drafted by the White Sox in the 8th round of the 1975 draft, but did not sign. He was drafted by the Astros' in June of 1975 in the 1st round. He made his major league debut with Houston against the Mets on July 19, 1978. In February of 1981 he was traded to the Mets for Stan Hough and Randy Rogers, Bruce has one of the largest craniums in the game, wearing a size 8 and 3/4 cap. The Mets didn't have a batting helmet that fit him so they had to send to the minors for the one he had one worn there. The Mets released him and in February of 1983 he signed as a free agent with the Padres. He played for five years with them through the '87 season. He started managing in 1995, in the intervening years he coached in the minors for the Padres, I remember talking to him when he was a player/coach with Las Vegas when they played against the Portland Beavers at Civic Stadium. He was named the 1996 National League Manager of the Year, he was behind the plate when Pete Rose broke Ty Cobb's hit record, he is the only Padres player to ever manage the team, he managed the Padres to a 951-975 records and is one of eight major leaguers to have been born in France. I got this card signed through the mail.

Baseball and the Blame Game, Scapegoating in the Major Leagues

I have another website where I review everything I read. I have been posting reviews there since June of 2005. I will periodically post reviews of some of the baseball books I have read and as I read new ones I will post those also. If you have a baseball book that you are interested in purchasing, let me know. I run a used bookstore for the county library system and we sell items the library can no longer use for cheap. Good books are usually around $2.00, here is the first of the reviews. The dates are when I read it, and the RRRRR are out of five.

Baseball and the Blame Game, Scapegoating in the Major Leagues by John Billheimer; 2007; McFarland & Company Publishers, Inc., Jefferson, NC; 216 pages; Inter-Library Loan from the University of Vermont, Burlington, VT; 11/12-11/15

A very thorough examination of why some players who make misplays or commit error are forever blamed for their mistakes and others aren't. It examines why Fred Merkle shouldn't be blamed for failing to touch second, why Steve Bartman, Bill Buckner and Mitch Williams should not have received death threats for the mistakes they made. The author contends that a player likely to be remember for their mistakes if the play for an east coast team, if they are not a superstar, the play resulted in the lead being lost, if it was in the late innings and if it was a mental error. Since the author is a member of SABR there is a lot of math involved, complete with charts and graphs. It was interesting to read and very enlightening about Ernie Lombardi, Johnny Pesky, and Fred Snodgrass among others. RRRR

Monday, December 29, 2008

Doug Bochtler

Doug Bochtler has been in the organizations of three different expansion teams. He was drafted by the Expos in the 9th round of the 1989 amateur draft. In 1992 he was drafted by the Rockies with the 32nd pick of the expansion draft. In 1993 he was traded along with Andy Ashby to the Padres for Bruce Hurst and one of the Greg Harris'. In 1995 he made his debut with the Padres against the Giants. He played three seasons with the Padres going 9-14 with 6 saves, 159 strikeouts in 171.3 innings all in 151 games. In 1997 he was traded to the A's with Jose Velandia for David Newhan and Don Wengert. In March of 1998 he was purchased by the Tigers from Oakland, in October he was selected off waivers by the Dodgers from Detroit. In April of '99 he signed as a free agent with Toronto and in May the Dodgers purchased him from the Jays. And in December of 1999 he signed as a free agent with the Royals, where he pitched in six games, before calling it a career. I guess that makes four expansion teams, Padres, Expos and Royals were all in the 1969 expansion and the Rockies in the 1992 expansion. I got the card off of ebay.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Geoff Blum

9 is a important number to for Geoff Blums' major league debut. He made his major league debut with the Montreal Expos on 9/9/99. He was drafted by the Expos in the 7th round of the 1994 draft. In 2002 he was traded to the Astros for Chris Truby. In 2003 he was traded from Houston to Tampa Bay for Brandon Backe. In December of 2004 he signed as a free agent with the Padres and played there until he was traded to the Chicago White Sox. As part of the White Sox he played in the 2005 World Series hitting a tie breaking home run in the 14th inning of game 3. In November of 2005 he signed as a free agent with the Padres, in November of 2007 he signed a free agent with the Astros' and played 2008 in Houston. He has played in 309 games for the Padres over 2 and a half seasons. I got this signed through the mail during the 2007 season, I remember because I sent him the purple sharpie.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Hiram Bocachica

Hiram made his major league debut on my 43rd birthday, September 13, 2000 with the Dodgers against the Diamondbacks.

Hiram was drafted by the Expos' in the first round of the 1994 draft. In 1998 he was traded with Mark Grudzielanek and Carlos Perez for Peter Bergeron, Wilton Guerrero, Ted Lily and Johnathan Tucker. He made his debut in 2000 with the Dodgers. In 2002 he was traded to the Tigers for Jason Frasor. In 2004, 2006 and 2007 he signed as a free agent with the Oakland A's. In May of 2007 he was selected over the waiver wire from the A's by the Padres and played in 27 games. He had 63 at bats with 15 hits, 1 home run and hit .205. He was released by the Padres in July of 2007, and I mailed this to him and he sent it back.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

12 Days From Tribecards

I just got my package for the 12 days of Christmas from Tribe cards and here is what I got
1-Derek Lee
2-Xavier Nady
3-Eric Owens
4-Tim Flannery
5-Jake Peavey
6-Fred Mcgriff
7-Joey Hamilton
8-Benito Santiago
9-Phil Nevin
10-San Diego Charles
11-Trevor Hoffman
12-Tony Gwynn (including a great Tony Gwynn pin)

Thank you.

Looking out my front door

The ladies at Dinged Corners requested a picture out of our front door in honor of the great Ernie Snow Banks, whom today at our house was heard to say let's get two shovels working so Mom can get back in the driveway. This was the view out our front door at 9:40 AM on December 24, 2008. And yes I realize how bad the paraphrase of Ernie's classic remark was.

Kyle Blanks

Kyle Blanks has a birthday that will get overshadowed by the observance of a national disaster for the next few decades, he was born 9/11/86.

Kyle was drafted in the 42nd round of the 2004 draft by the Padres and signed just days before the 2005 draft. He is a 6'7", 280 pound first baseman who is working his way through the Padres minor league system. He may have to stay there another couple of years as the Padres have Adrian Gonzalez at first. Although once Adrian becomes a free agent and wants to be paid better, the Padres will probably say goodbye and bring up the kid who just turned 22 this year.

This year at AA San Antonio, Blanks in 478 AB, had 73 runs, 157 hits, 19 Home Runs, 51 walks, hit .322, had an on base percentage of .402, and a slugging percentage of .507. I am looking forward to seeing him play at Portland next year. I got the card from a friend who traded for it at his card shop, Heaven Sent Sports Cards in Tualatin, Oregon.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Willie Blair

Rent a Player #321. The way these guys come and go is amazing. Willie Blair was drafted by the Blue Jays in the 11th round of the 1986 draft. He made his major league debut with the Jays April 11, 1990 against the Texas Rangers. In 1990 he was traded to the Indians for Alex Sanchez, '91 he was traded to the Astros with Eddie Taubensee for Kenny Lofton and Dave Rohde. In 1992 he was drafted by the Colorado Rockies in the Expansion Draft. In 1994 he signed with the Padres as a free agent, and pitched in 100 games over 2 seasons, with a 9-11 record and 1 save. In '96 he was traded to the Tigers with Brian Johnson for Joey Eischen and Cam Smith (never heard of either of them). In 1997 he signed as a free agent with the Diamondbacks, they traded him in July of 1998 with Jorge Fabregas and cash for Nelson Figueroa, Bernard Gilkey and cash. In December of 1998 he was traded to the Tigers for Joe Randa, in February of 2001 he signed as a free agent with the Indians, then in June of 2001 he signed as a free agent with the Tigers. He was released by the Tigers and hasn't played since. I got this certified card from a dealer on ebay.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Bud Black

Bud Black has two World Series Rings and a last place finish to his credit. Unfortunately the rings are not with the Padres, but the last place finish is. He has rings as a player and a pitching coach, as a player with the Royals in 1985 and as the pitching coach with the Angels in 2002.

He was drafted by the Giants in 1977 in the 3rd round, but did not sign. Later in the secondary phase he was drafted by the Mets but again did not sign. In 1979 he was drafted by the Mariners in the 17th round and made his major league debut on September 5, 1981 against the Red Sox. He was traded to the Royals for Manny Castillo. He played for seven seasons for the Royals, winning the world series ring in 1985. In 1988 he was traded to the Indians for Pat Tabler, and released and signed as a free agent by the Indians. 1990 brought another change of scenery as he was traded to the Blue Jays with Mauro Gozzo for Steve Cummings and Alex Sanchez. Later that year he signed as a free agent with the Giants, where he pitched for four years. In 1995 he signed with the Indians as a free agent for his final season. He was signed as the Padres manager before the 2007 season when Bruce Bochy signed as the Giants manager after many years in the Padres organization, as a player, coach and manager. This is the first of the managers that I have signed. I have a signed card from each of the managers. I got this signed through the mail after the update cards came out in 2007.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Dann Billardello

I got this card signed through the mail when Dann Billardello was managing a minor league team in Columbus, Georgia.

Dann was first drafted by the Mariners in the third round of the 1978 draft, but did not sign. In the secondary phase of the 78 draft he was drafted by the Dodgers in the first round and did sign. He played in the minors for several years and was chosen by the Reds in the rule 5 draft. He made his major league debut with the Reds on April 11, 1983 against the Cubs. In '85 the Reds traded him with Andy McGaffigan, John Stuper and Jay Tibbs to the Expos for Bill Gullickson and Sal Butera. In '86 the Expos released and then he resigned with them as a Free Agent in February of '87. March of '87 he was purchased by the Pirates, in July he was bought by the Royals. In 1989 he was signed as a free agent by the Pirates, and released by them in 1990. In January of 1991 he was signed as a free agent by the Padres. He played in 32 games in the '92 and '93 seasons, and was released by them in November of 1992. He signed with the Mets as a free agent for Christmas of '92, but has not played in the majors since 1992 with the Padres.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Cabin Fever in a Winter Wonderland

The mail made it through the snow today. Out our front door is our driveway which is usually about six inches below the berm, now you can't tell where one ends and the other begins. When we moved in the only place for me to have my own space was in a shed in the back yard. My sons insulated it and put it plywood on the walls and ceiling. I ran power out to it and have a space heater, lights and tunes out there. That is where all my cards and stuff are, I have stuff almost ready to go to some of you, but it might not get out for a few days, we won't be getting out to the post office for a few days. The mail person brought me 50 Edgar Gonzalez Bowman DPP rookie cards and a box of 1986 Topps. Once I get out to the clubhouse I will start putting it together in a binder and seeing what I need and can trade with some of you. I decided to start with this set and eventually work on the 82-88 Topps sets. For me I will work on one at a time, I managed to get this box pretty cheap off of ebay.

I have been looking for Upper Deck Documentary Padres team sets on ebay. I found three of them at $24.99, $79.99 and $129.99. I think I will be trying to get them all through lots and trading, although I haven't seen any packs anywhere around here. The two shops I normally frequent are not carrying it at all and I haven't seen it at Target or Walmart. Is anyone else trying to get team or player cards from Documentary.

Well as we are being confined by the snow, I hope you are all having fun where you are.

Dave Bialas

Dave Bialas is another coach who never played in the major leagues but has a lot of exprience managing and coaching. He was drafted by the Cardinals in 1972 as a catcher out of Bellaire, TX. He spent 10 years in the Cardinals minor leagues mostly in the high minors. He started managing in 1982 in the Cardinals organization and managed minor league teams until 1992. In 1993 and 1994 he was the Padres bullpen coach. From 1995-1999 he was the Cubs bullpen coach, then he managed for two years in the Cubs minor leagues, in 2002 he was the Cubs third base coach. Since 2003 he has been the Cubs minor league field coordinator. I sent this card to him and he signed it for me. I also have all the other coaches signed on various cards.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

R.I.P. Dave Smith

It was announced today that former Astros and Cubs pitchers and Padres pitching coach Dave Smith has passed away. He died of a heart attack at age 53. He was named to the Astros all star Astrodome team and recorded double digit saves every year from 1985-1991, once reaching as high as 33. This is something of a shock as he is only two years older than I am.

Kurt Bevacqua

I once got a piece of artwork back from Kurt Bevacqua that had gotten wet and he told me that there had been a flood at his place and when I told a couple of the other players on the artwork that and they laughed. I sent him a ball to sign and I got it back a year later with a note that said I think this is yours. How come he got a card the year after he last played and Garvey didn't.

Kurt was first drafted in 1966 by the Mets in the 32nd round but did not sign. The next year Atlanta drafted him in the 6th round and again he did not sign. In June of 1967 he was drafted by Cincinati in the 12th round, and the Reds traded him to the Indians and he made his major league debut in 1971. In 1972 he was traded to the Royals for Mike Hedlund. After a season with the Royals he was traded with Winston Coles and Ed Kirkpatrick to the Pirates for Nelson Briles and Fernando Gonzalez. In 1974 the Pirates traded him back to the Royals for Cal Meier and cash. In 1975 he was purchased by the Brewers and in 1975 he won the Joe Gargiola/Bazooka Bubble Gum Blowing Championship. In 1976 the Mariners purchased his contract from the Brewers and was released before he played any games for Seattle, although there is a card (badly airbrushed) of him with the Mariners. He 1978 he signed as a free agent with the Rangers and played two seasons for them. He was traded to the Padres with Mike Hargrove and Bill Fahey for Oscar Gamble, Dave Roberts and $300K. In 1980 he was traded to the Pirates with Mark Lee for Rick Lancelotti and Luis Salazar, the next year he was released by the Pirates and in 1982 he signed as a free agent with the Padres. He finished his career by playing from 1982 to 1985 with the Padres. I know he also has an 1986 Topps card, because I also have that one signed. I tried to get the 86 Topps team set signed at one point and got most of it signed, and then sold it at some point. I got this card and a bunch of others signed by him through the mail. Kurt is one of the Padres I would most like to hang out with and talk with.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Jim Beswick

All three of these players were drafted in 1976 by the Padres, all three of them made their major league debut in 1978, and one of them was finished with his major league career by the time this card came out. I wonder why they didn't use a picture of Broderick in a Padres cap, since he had played with the Padres in '78, instead they used a picture of him with a Hawaii Islanders cap. Mura and Perkins had decent careers but Beswick was out of the game after just one season , well not even a season. He made his debut August 9 and played in his last game September 30. He played outfield in 17 games and got 1 hit in 20 at bats. That computes to a batting average of .050 and that is the rest of the story, as they say. I sent the card to him and got it back through the mail.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Andres Berumen

Traded alongside the player that would become the all time saves leader during another one of the Padres periodic fire sales.

Andres Berumen was drafted by the Royals in the 27th round of the 1989 draft by the Kansas City Royals. He was drafted by the Marlins in the expansion draft of 1992. In June of 1993 the Padres held of the periodic fire sales and traded away Gary Sheffield and Rich Rodriguez and got Berumen and a player with two saves to his credit. Trevor Hoffman now has 544 saves and is gone as the Padres hold another fire sale.

Andres Berumen played two seasons for the Padres 1995/1996 and finished his major league career with a record of 2-3 in 40 games with 1 save and a 5.66 ERA. In June of 1997 the Padres traded him to the Mariners for Paul Menhart. He played one and a half seasons in the minor league and then retired. I got the card signed through the mail, it was another time I sent the sharpie along with the card. I wish more teams would do sets like this which is more is more complete, this card is from the 95 or 96 Mothers Cookie Sets.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Gifts from the home of the Durham Bulls

I received a package today from Mark over at Stats on the Back, chock full of Padres. He was going to throw a bunch of cards in the dumpster so others of us decided to rescue them. I opened the box and there was a note from Mark, hoping I could turn some of them into Padrographs and a pack. A real live wax pack of 1988 Donruss, I can't remember the last time I opened a real wax pack. I opened it and there staring up at me was James Steels of the Padres with wax all over his face. I got a HOFer in Dennis Eckersley, Lance Parrish and Bruce Sutcliffe were the two other names I recognized.

There was a huge number of Padres cards so I decided to just feature a few. Andy Benes I forgot that he had a card in the 88 Topps set. He looks so young. Kurt Bevacqua was one of my favorite Padres, he seemed to bounce back and forth to the Padres from the Pirates and the Brewers. It was as a member of the Brewers when he won the Bazooka Joe bubble gum blowing championship. I have written him several times and have had several interesting interactions with him and items that I sent him. The Marvell Wynne is a very special card from the 88 Topps set, you see Topps used to print cards on the bottom of the box. These cards were hard to find in good condition as you might imagine. The last time I sent cards to Dan Walters I received a note from his mother that he was unable to sign cards. I met Dan when he was playing at AAA and the team came through Portland. He was a catcher that made it to the majors, and after his baseball career was over he became a police officer in San Diego. In November of 2003 while responding to a domestic violence call he was shot in the neck and paralyzed from the neck down. There were a whole bunch of Steve Garvey cards included in the box, but I chose this one for several reasons, 1. It reminded me of all the box sets that came out through all kinds of chain stores in the late '80s and early '90s. 2. What is John Kruk doing and was he ever really that skinny? Who is Jon Barnes and why were there senior portraits in Stadium Club? This is one of the more mundane photos, Greg Anthony wore one of the wildest shirts ever seen. Here is one for GCRL, it is Tony Gwynn and Benito Santiago at Dodger Stadium. Dodger Stadium is where I went to my first ever baseball game, 1969, Dodgers versus Braves. I caught a home run by the Braves outfielder, who in my mind will own the home run record forever, but someone snatched it and ran. I didn't know much about baseball at that time, so I didn't think much about it. Dave Staton was a can't miss prospect who missed. Although I did get to meet his grandmother at a Portland Beavers game. It was quite fun to meet with her and talk to her about her grandson. Thanks Mark for bringing back so many good memories.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Vic Bernal

In front of Petco Park is Tony Gwynn Plaza, surrounding a bronze statue of Mr. Padre are thousands of bricks inscribed with various sentiments. One of them reads "Tony Gwynn, True Competitor in Memory of Vic Bernal #39, Love Kathy, Drew and Matt"

Vic Bernal was drafted by both the Twins and Padres in 1975. The Twins drafted him in January, but for some reason that pick was voided and then the Padres drafted him in June in the 6th round of the draft. He made his major debut April 6, 1977 against the Cincinati Reds. During the '77 season he went 1-1 in 15 games with an 5.31 ERA. That is the extent of Vic's major league career. I can't find anymore information about him. This is the only card of him that I have ever seen. It is from a set of schedule cards that was issued by the team. I have several of the cards signed and some of them it is the only card I have of the player. I sent this to Mr. Bernal several years ago, at least 2 years ago, he passed away at age 52 on September 2, 2006.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Blog Bat Around II-These are a few of my favorite Things

Sports Cards Uncensored is hosting Blog Bat Around II, the question this time around is what is the crown jewel or centerpiece of your collection. I really don't view anything as the centerpiece or jewel of my collection but I do have a few favorite things and I would like to share them with you.

The card of Mickey Mouse came about because my sons who were young then (19 and 22 now) saw me sending cards off and getting mail back with signed cards. When I asked them who they wanted signed cards from, their first answer was Mickey Mouse. So they wrote letters and we sent them off to Mickey and Minnie care of Disneyland. They came back signed with two distinctive signatures and we continued mailing cards to Disneyland and ended up with signed cards from Donald and Daisy, Goofy, Pluto, Aladdin, the Genie, Jasmine, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs and Prince Charming. My youngest son kept it up for awhile getting signed cards from some of the Rockies, before he became a Cardinals fan.

One day my wife and boys were at the mall and came home with the boys excitedly announcing that they had gotten an autograph for my collection. They then proudly presented me with the piece of paper with Ronald McDonalds signature on it. I have never gotten rid of it because it reminds me how much my boys wanted to please me. I wonder if Topps might want to buy it as a cut signature in one of their collections.

These two sportscaster cards are signed by a couple of heroes from when I was younger. Jim Ryun was the first high schooler to run the mile in less than 4 minutes and kept on running all the way to the US Senate. He ran for Kansas in college and then ran for the US in several Olympics. I got to meet him at a International Track Association meet in Eugene. Each event was sponsored by a different corporate sponsor, it was weird to see Jim Ryun and Kip Keino running with a Post Cereal logo on their singlets. I sent the sportscaster card to him when he was serving as a US Senator from Kansas, he signed the card and included a cool card from the Senate. Muhammad Ali was the first athlete I ever remember looking up to when I was young, I am 51 (often feel like the old guy among the people blogging about sportscards). I have a scrapbook of all of Ali's fights, that I carefully cut articles out of newspapers and SI. About 12 years ago I picked up a really nice Ali autograph on a restaurant place mat, it is nice and clear and big and very different from the ones on the sportscaster. I mailed the sportscaster card to Ali at an address I got somewhere. It came back with three signatures on it, the two that are visible and one on the back, he also returned the letter I sent him with another signature on it.

One of my favorite all time sports entertainers is Roderick Toombs, better known as Rowdy Roddy Piper, the host of Piper's Pit and the star of the classic Sci-Fi movie They Live. I watched lots of WWF and always liked Roddys' attitude and enjoyed watching him. He lives in the same area that I do and one of his doctors is a regular customer of mine who got this great picture for me. I also got a signed copy of In the Pit with Piper and a note from Roddy to the Doctor.

M*A*S*H is my all time favorite TV show and I have collected the set of cards of the show. I have sent cards out to the entire cast that had cards in the set. I never heard back from Gary Burghoff, Loretta Swit, William Christoher or David Ogden Stiers. Alan Alda sent a 8 X 10 in a suit that he had mass signed. Jamie Farr and Mike Farrell also returned the cards I sent them signed. Harry Morgans' card went on an adventure of it's own. It got sent around in it's envelope to several houses in the neighborhood, for some unknown reason. It finally got to our house and only had the upper right corner slightly bent. I still find M*A*S*H very entertaining and my sons and I still watch it together and see if we can find anything new in each episode.

The longest I ever went to one school was the three years I attended South Eugene High School in Tracktown, USA. Steve Prefontaine was one of the stars of the University of Oregon track team. Unfortunately I never thought to get a signature from him and then he died unexpectedly in 1975. I remember talking to Shorter after a track meet and asking him how far he ran and he said "Unfortunately not as far as I would like, I only get about 170 miles a week." Years later I sent this card and a photo of he and Pre racing and this card. He sent back them both signed and a note about the photo. I believe the photo on the Hall of Fame card is from the 1972 Olympics which Frank won, after an impostor preceded him into the stadium.

The card of Leslie Gould is a card that I made and got signed at Wordstock, the Portland festival of books. Leslie is one of my favorite authors and also a good friend of ours. Other than Padrographs one of my other passions is reading. I run a used bookstore in Portland, the city of readers. When I am not posting here have another site,, where I review all the books I read. The card of Leslie is one of a series that I made and got signed at Wordstock. Jim Bouton and Chuck Barris were among the others that I made. I made two of each and gave them to the authors.

Brad was a patrol officer for the Portland Police at a time when they were trying to improve their image with the kids in the community. So they made cards of some of the officers to give to the kids. Brad came into Baseball Cards and More looking for penny sleeves and top loaders to put the cards in before he gave them to the kids. So I asked him to sign one for me, he did and went on his way. About a week later it was in the news that he had been busted selling confiscated pot from the trunk of his patrol card.

Back many years ago I was collecting signed cards of players of players from Oregon so I wrote a young pitcher for the West Palm Beach Expos, Kent Bottenfield. I began a correspondence with him after he signed my card and at one point he said if there was anyone else on the team that I would like a signature of he would get it for me. Felipe Alou had been one of my heroes since I read a short biography of him in a collection of biographies of Christian athletes in the '60's (I really am old). I asked Kent if he would get Felipes' autograph for me and he obliged by having him sign this 1973 Topps card for me.

Now for the final two favorite things in my collections. I was born in September of '57 when Dwight Eisenhower was the President of the United States. Ever since I can remember I have collected all kinds of things related to Ike. One day when I was working at Portland Sports Cards a gentleman came in with a collection of tickets from the Polo Grounds and Ebbets Fields. Among them was this ticket from a game at the Polo Grounds that was General Eisenhower Day, June 19, 1945. I have collected all kinds of cards and other ephemera from several countries of General Eisenhower, but I would have to say that this is the centerpiece of that collection. I realized after looking at this for several years that June 19 is my parents anniversary, although they wouldn't get married for nine more years.

When I was but a novice autograph collector, before the Internet and so many other things, I would ask the players I sent cards to if they knew where I could get a photo of them to get signed. Most didn't answer the question but a couple stepped up and hit home runs. Dave Dravecky signed a signed & numbered Paluso print, and Steve Garvey sent this picture. He said in the letter he sent with it that it was an outtake from a bank calendar photo shoot, this is back in the mid 80's. I have only ever seen one other copy of this picture, it was on ebay and I bought it and then traded it for a signed picture of Jimmy Buffett. Someday I hope to get it framed and matted with some of my favorite Garvey Padres cards.

I didn't mean to write so long a post but I hope that you have enjoyed reading about a few of my favorite things, even though they did not include rainbow on roses, or pink satin sashes.

Sean Bergman

Sean Bergman was drafted by the Detroit Tigers in the 4th round of the 1991 draft. In 1996 he was traded with Cade Gaspar & Todd Stevenson for Raul Casanova, Richie Lewis and Melvin Nieves. He was 8-12 in 85 games with the Padres in 2 years. He was traded in 1998 to the Astros for James Mouton, in August of 1999 he was released by the Astros' and began an odyssey of free agency. He was signed by the Braves, the Twins, the Marlins, the Devil Rays, the Rockies and then purchased from the Rockies by Kintetsu Buffaloes of the Japan Pacific league. In 2003 he was signed by the Marlins in February and released by them in October of that year. I picked this card up years ago when I was working at one of the card stores in town.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Mystery Package

So on Saturday I spent the day with a friend while staying away from home so my wife could recover from three graveyard shifts in a row (not her usual shift) and when I got home this package was waiting for me. It contained a large number of Padres cards and lots of cards that I will be sharing with some of you in the future. I don't know whom to thank. If you were the one who sent or if you recognize the handwriting please let me know so I can thank the anonymous sender.

Gary Bennett

In December of 2007 Gary Bennett was named in the Mitchell report as a player who had used performance enhancers. As one Bash Brother should do Bennett admitted his usage and said "As far as the report is concerned to me, it's accurate. Obviously, it was a stupid decision. It was a mistake."

Gary Bennett was drafted by the Phillies in 1990 and made his major league debut in 1995 with them. He was signed as a free agent by the Red Sox and spent a season in the minor leagues, and was signed again by the Phillies as a minor league free agent. He played with the Phils until July 23, 2001 when he was traded to the Mets for Todd Pratt, exactly one month later the Mets traded him to the Rockies for Ender Chavez. He played one year with the Rockies and then began a odyssey of one year contracts as a free agent playing with the Padres, Brewers, Nationals, Cardinals and Dodgers. He was released by the Dodgers after a disappointing 2008 season. Where will he resurface next year? I got this card from Autographed Baseball Cards Unlimited.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Another card I wish was real

Punk Rock Paint has done it again. Here is a card he created to pay a final tribute to Steve Garvey. Check out all the cards he has created over at his blog

Friday, December 5, 2008

Andy Benes

Andy Benes threw the first pitch in the history of the Arizona Diamondbacks franchise ten years after he was the number one pick in the draft. He was drafted with the number one pick in the 1988 draft by the Padres. He made his major league debut in 1989 with San Diego. He pitched for the Padres until 1995, having made an All Star appearance in 1993, when he was traded with Greg Keagle to the Mariners for Marc Newfeld and Ron Villone. After the season he was granted free agency and signed with the Cardinals, he spent two seasons with the Cardinals, where he was a teammate of his brother Alan. Then he spent two seasons with the Diamondbacks then he returned for three more seasons with the Cardinals, where he was again a teammate of his brother. I got this 1990 Topps card signed through the mail while Andy was still with the Padres, I have another card that he signed when was with the Mariners which the signature is not as clear on. That will show up later in the year by year section.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Mark Bellhorn

Time to make the Donuts, Mark Bellhorn owns four Dunkin' Donut franchises in the greater Boston area. He follows in the footsteps of former Padres pitcher Mickey Lolich, who has a donut shop in Washington, MI.

Bell horn was drafted by the A's in the 2nd round of the 1995 amateur draft. He made his major league debut with the A's in 1997, and in 2001 he was traded to the Cubs for Adam Morrissey. In June of 2003 he was traded from the Cubs to the Rockies for Jose Hernandez, later in December of 2003 he was sent by the Rockies to the Bosox as part of a conditional deal. He stayed with the Sox for a season and a half and was a integral part of the 2004 World Series team. In September of 2005 he was released by the Red Sox after his production fell off and signed as a free agent with the Yankees. In October of 2005 he was granted free agency by the Yankees and signed with the Padres in December of '05. He was released after the 2006 season by the Padres and played with the Reds in 2007, he played at the Dodgers AA affiliate in Jacksonville for part of 2008. He was released by the Dodgers in July of 2008. I got the card signed through the mail. Mark had a younger brother who pitched in the Yankees organization from 1998-2000 and is now a youth pastor.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Derek Bell

We'll give you (fill in player name) if you will take Derek Bell. This sentence seemed to form the essence of several trades Derek Bell was involved during his career. Offering undercover policewoman cash fo.r favors, dissing the manager the day he comes back from brain surgery and going into Operation Shutdown do not endear you to the team.

Derek Bell was drafted in 1987 by the Blue Jays, he made his major league in 1991 and won a World Series with the Jays in '92. Then his travels begin, before the '93 season he and Stoney Briggs were traded to the Padres for Darrin Jackson. After the '94 season the Padres made one of their "let's get rid of a chunk of the team" deals trading Bell, Doug Brocail, Ricky Gutierrez, Pedro Martinez, Phil Plantier and Craig Shipley to the Astros for Ken Caminiti, Andujar Cedeno, Steve Finley, Roberto Petagine, Brian Williams and Sean Fesh. In 1999 the Astros traded Mike Hampton and Bell to the Mets. The Astros let teams know that they couldn't have Hampton unless they took bell also. He played one season with the Mets and was granted free agency. He signed with the Pirates and played one season hitting .173. The following year in spring training he said he would not compete for a spot and if the Pirates insisted he would go into "Operation Shutdown". The Pirates insisted and Bell never made it past Spring Training and no one els signed him up to play. I guess if you burn enough bridges you make yourself into an island. I don't recall at all where I got this card.