Saturday, February 28, 2009

TTM Success, Heath Justin Bell

For all those of you who have kids that watch Nickelodeon, tell them that Heath Bell is the cousin of Drake Bell from Josh & Drake.

Heath Bell was drafted by Tampa Bay in the 69th round of the 1997 draft but did not sign. He was signed in 1998 by the Mets as an amateur free agent. After 6 years in the minors he made his major league debut on August 24, 2004 against the Padres. He pitched for three years for the Mets, bouncing back and forth between the Mets and AAA being a injury fill in for the Mets. On November 15, 2006 he was traded to the Padres with Royce Ring for Jon Adkins and Ben Johnson. During '07 and '08 he pitched in 171.7 innings going 12-10 and often acting as the set up man for Trevor Hoffman. Hells' Bells may not be playing at Petco Park anymore, but the Bell will toil in the 9th inning this year.

I got this back in the mail yesterday from Arizona. It only took 10 days to get there and come back. Heath signed with the green Sharpie that I sent him, it really pops on this card, he also signed a '08 Heritage Short print that I sent him. That is a 50% return rate after 10 days, that leaves Glenn Hoffman, Chip Ambres and Baek to go.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

TTM Success

Another day of work, another couple thousand books and a self addressed stamped envelope waiting for me when I got home. The envelope was postmarked Phoenix (Arizona, not Oregon) so I knew it had to be one of the Padres I had sent out. It was the two Edgar Gonzalez cards that I had sent him and a thank you note. These days I am usually able to buy a lot of a certain player when they come out, so I keep a couple at home, ask them to sign a couple and send the rest along for them to keep. I think I sent Edgar about 15 of the Bowman card and 1 Topps card. When I mail the request out I try to make it as easy as possible for the player. I include a stamped self addressed envelope, a Sharpie, and some extra cards for them to keep. Since I started doing that I think David Wells is the only one who hasn't signed for me. It took 8 days for the cards to travel from Portland to San Diego to Peoria and back again.

TTM Success

Yesterday evening after too long a day at work and a parent teacher conference and multiple bus rides, I got home to find my first through the mail autograph request of the year returned. I had sent Dirk 9 copies of this wonderful Punk Rock Paint creation. He signed 4, I only asked him to sign 2 and sent them back in only 7 days. I hope he manages to stick with the Jays, although in his email he said something about maybe playing in Japan this year.

Matt Bush

Matt, we hardly know you and what we knew of you wasn't real positive. Matt was the number one pick overall of the 2004 draft. He signed for a bonus of $3,150,000, and then was suspended before he even played one game. He and his brother snuck in to a bar and got in a fight, while Matt was still a minor. He played in the Padres minor league system and got hurt, hit south of the Mendoza line and it was decided that he would become a pitcher. It's been done before, if I remember correctly Trevor Hoffman was originally drafted as a shortstop. That didn't work out too well as Bush had to have Tommy John surgery. At the beginning he was dropped from the Padres 40 man roster to make room for Cliff Floyd. Part of the reason for this was that he was allegedly involved in an assault on some high schoolers. The Padres seem to get want to rid themselves of him they traded him to the Blue Jays for a player to be named later or cash considerations. The Blue Jays bumped fan favorite (at least mine) Dirk Hayhurst off their 40 man roster. This is a case of trash bumping class. I got this signed through the mail in 2005 or 2006.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Homer Giles Bush

Homer Bush, one of the all time great baseball names, was drafted in the 7th round of the 1991 draft by the Padres, he never played for the Padres but did win a World Series ring at the their expense.

He was traded to the Yankees with Gordon Amerson, Hideki Irabu and Vernon for Rafael Medina, Ruben Rivera and $3 in April 1997. He made his major league debut in August with the Yankees against the Texas Rangers. In February of 1999 he was traded to the Blue Jays with Graeme Lloyd and David Wells for Roger Clemens. In May of 2002 he signed as a free agent with the Marlins, he signed in December of 2002 with the Padres, but was released shortly thereafter and signed as a free agent with the Yankees.

Homer won a World Series ring in the 1998 series, when the Yankees swept the Padres. He went o-2 in the series, but he was there and won the ring. I got the card off of ebay.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Matt Buschmann

Matt Buschmann was drafted in the 15th round of the 2006 draft. He has played a Eugene, Lake Elsinore and San Antonio. Hopefully he will be here in Portland this year. I got this signed through the mail last year.

An interesting response to a TTM request

A few days ago I sent out 6 cards to 4 Padres and 2 former Padres. One of them was Dirk Hayhurst whom had been a career minor leaguer who finally made his major league debut last year with the Padres. At the end of the seasons he was placed on waivers and the Blue Jays claimed him. I had met him when he pitched for the Portland Beavers, I loaned him some books and we would talk about all kinds of things, but baseball. This morning when I got up and checked my email there was a email from Dirk Hayhurst, telling me that he had received the cards and telling me what he had been doing and that he had landed a book deal and been working on that. Lest you think it is just because he is a baseball player, you should read some of the stuff he wrote for Baseball America and the Canton Rep . I am looking forward to reading whatever he writes. It was awesome to hear from him.

Beyond Belief, Finding the Strength to Bounce Back

Beyond Belief, Finding The Strength to Come Back by Josh Hamilton with Time Keown; 2008; Faith Works, New York, NY; 256 pages; 978-1-59995-161-4; 2/18/09-2/20/09

This is one of the best autobiographies I have read in awhile. I would put in my top three autobiographies, Charlton Heston, Roddy Piper and Josh Hamilton. These are books that are like sitting down with the authors and sharing stories with them over a cup of coffee. Josh Hamilton was a pheom at age 6, being advanced to a higher age league cause he was so good. He was playing with 11 and 12 year old at 6. He was the BMOC on campus in high school being stopped between classes his senior year to sign autographs. He was drafted first by the Tampa Bay Rays and signed for a $4 million bonus. He was a close knit family who always took care of one another, his parents even lived with him when he started his minor league career. After awhile they moved home and Josh started hanging out in some strange places, getting multiple tattoos. He had never even had a drink before this but now began drinking, then moved on to cocaine, and finally to crack. He was an addict who did not want to acknowledge his addiction even when confronted with positive tests. He was confronted with his addiction and turned to Jesus Christ and through his relationship with him he was able to make a comeback, first as a man, husband, father, son, friend and finally as a ballplayer. The Reds claimed him in the Rule 5 draft and then after a season traded him to the Rangers to bolster there pitching. Then he put on a hitting performance at last years’ Home Run Derby. This is a great book that I have learned a lot from. RRRR

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Sean Patrick Burroughs

Sean Burroughs had an impressive bloodline and resume before major league baseball. His father, Jeff Burroughs, was an American League MVP, and Sean won two Little League World Series in 1992 and 1993 and an Olympic Gold Medal in 2000. After winning the Little League World Series, at age 12, he appeared on David Letterman and told Dave he wanted to be a gynecologist when he grew up.

Sean was drafted by the Padres in 1998 with the 9th overall pick. He made his major league debut on April 2, 2002 against the Diamondbacks. He played parts of 4 seasons with the Padres before being traded to the Rays for Dewon Brazelton. This trade was seen as a trade of two former Number 1 picks needing a change of scenery, alas it didn't really help either one of them. In August of 2006 he was released by the Rays and signed as a free agent in January of 2007 with the Seattle Mariners. He only played four games at AAA Tacoma before being released by the M's. Hopefully Sean has decided to go to college, he is only 28 and maybe he is fulfilling that dream he shared with David Letterman. I got the card signed through the mail when Sean was with the Padres.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

I can't come up with a punderful title for this post

This card doesn't actually exist but I sent it to Dirk anyway, we'll see if it comes back. Today I sent out cards to Padres who haven't had cards before. I sent to Dirk Hayhurst, now with the Blue Jays, this wonderful card produced by Travis over at Punk Rock Paint. I met Dirk last year when he was pitching for Portland, I provided him books to read and we shared some great conversations. I also sent a card to third base coach Glenn Hoffman, a card that I made from MLB headshots. Then I sent '08 and '09 cards to Edgar Gonzalez, Heath Bell, Chip Ambres, and Cha Seung Baek. I hope to get these back soon, and then in early March I will send to the minor leaguers, the guys in the Bowman Draft Picks and Prospects. My packages always include a letter, a SASE, a sharpie (for the player to keep) and extra cards for them to keep. I always buy extras and put them in a package with a note explaining that they are for them to keep.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Casey Burns

Casey Burns was drafted in the first round of the 1999 draft by the Padres. He played one season in Rookie League at Idaho Falls in 1999, then in 2000 and 2001 he played A ball for the Ft Wayne Wizards. Then he was gone. I got the card from ebay.

This concludes todays multiple entries of players that got to A or AA but had Bowman cards. This is the biggest problem with the Bowman rookies too many of them disappear.

Kyler Brandon Burke

Kyler Burke was the 35th overall pick in the 2006 draft by the Padres. He played one and half seasons playing for the AZL Padres and the Fort Wayne Wizards before he, Rob Bowen and cash considerations were traded to the Cubs for Michael Barrett. He has played for the Boise Hawks and Peoria Chiefs in the Cubs organization. I got this one from Heaven Sent Sports Cards in Tualatin.

Brian Burgamy

Brian Burgamy was drafted in the 9th round of the 2002 draft by the Padres. He played 4 season with the Padres minor league teams getting as high as AA Mobile, then he went to the Phillies organization for two years. In 2008 he was signed by the Mets off the roster of the independent Newark Bears and sent to St. Lucie. I remember finding this card on ebay and saying who is this? but getting the card because it is a player pictured in a Padres uniform.

Kevin Burford

Kevin Burford was drafted in the 15th round of the 1997 draft by the Padres. He played two season in the Padres organization, before moving to the Rockies organization. He played here in Portland when the team was the short season rookie league team the Portland Rockies. He played 5 seasons in the Rockies organization never rising higher than AA. In 2004 he played for the Clearwater Phillies in the Florida State League. And then he seems to have left baseball. I got the card off of ebay.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Alonza Benjamin Bumbry

Al Bumbry played all but one year of his career with the Baltimore Orioles, but before he even got to the majors he had accomplished more than most of us. His minor league service was interuppted by a tour of duty in Vietnam. He was a platoon leader during 1969 and 1970, and was awarded the Bronze Star which is given for "heroic or meritorious achievement or service".

Al Bumbry was drafted by the Orioles in the 11th round of the 1968 draft and then served in Vietnam in 1969 and '70 before returning to the minors. He made his major league debut on September 5, 1972, and in 1973 was named the American League Rookie of the Year. He was an All Star in 1980 and won a World Series with the Orioles in 1983. He signed as a free agent with the Orioles in 1978 and played for them through 1984, and they released him and he signed as a free agent with the Padres for the 1985 season. He played in 68 games, getting 95 at bats, 19 hits and hitting 1 HR. He played his final game October 5, 1985. I believe I got the card signed through the mail.

Brian James Buchanan

I sure do like Mothers Cookies, especially the frosted animals, and I must confess I really like the pink ones better than the white ones. Weirdness is afoot. By the way their card sets were pretty cool also, I wish teams still did them. This card is from one of the Keebler sets, who replaced Mothers around the turn of the century. I sent it to Brian when he was with the Padres and got it back pretty quickly.

Brian Buchanan was drafted in the first round, 24th pick overall of the 1994 draft by the New York Yankees. In February of 1998 he was traded to the Twins with Christian Guzman, Eric Milton, Danny Mota and cash for Chuck Knoblauch. He made his major league debut with the Twins against the A's on May 19, 2000. He was traded in July of 2002 to the Padres for Jason Bartlett, playing part of 02, all of '03 and part of '04 for the Padres. He played in 203 games coming to bat 353 times with 91 hits and 16 home runs before being released in 2004. In 2004 he played with the Mets, he signed in 2005 as a free agent with the Rockies and Twins. He signed in 2006 as a free agent with the Reds. In 2007 he played mainly as a DH in Japan with the Fukuoka Softbank Hawks hitting .285, with 11 Homers and 48 RBI's. Last year he played in the minor leagues for the Royals and in January of this year he resigned with the Royals.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

The Code, Baseball's Unwritten Rules and Its Ignore-at-Your-Own-Risk Code of Conduct

The Code, Baseball’s Unwritten Rules and Its Ignore-at-Your-Own-Risk Code of Conduct by Ross Bernstein; 2008; Triumph Books, Chicago, IL; 240 pages; 978-1-60078-3; 2/8/09-2/11/09 Remember during the first OJ trial, when Marcia Clark or Johnny Cochran would ask for a sidebar, and they got to be a joke. Well that is what this book suffers from is way too many sidebars, there are boxes with antecdotes everywhere, breaking the flow of the narrative. Bernstein didn’t really write a book, he talked to a bunch of players and coaches about the different aspects of the code and then transcribed what they said. He did some research and then cut and pasted it into book form. I was looking forward to this but it was a real disappointment. Some pages were nothing but sidebars, which I think should have been included in the narrative. The book is choppy because of all the different ways it is broken up, chapters on stealing signs, on charging the mound, running up the lead and the like. I think this could have been told in a chronological order, how things have changed over the years. RR

James Scott Bruske

Jim Bruske was drafted by the Padres in the 7th round of the 1985 draft but did not sign. He was drafted by the Mariners in the 3rd round of the secondary phase of the 1985 draft but did not sign. In 1986 he was drafted by the Indians in the 1st round of the draft. In 1992 he signed as a free agent with the Astros, in 1995 he signed as a free agent with the Dodgers. He made his major league debut with the Dodgers against the Phillies on August 25. In 1996 he signed with the Padres and in 1997 he pitched in 28 games going 4-1 with 44.7 innings pitched. Later that year he was picked up via waiver wire by the Dodgers, who traded him in July on 1998 to the Padres for Widd Workman (great name). He went 0-0 in 4 games for the Padres before being traded to the Yankees with Brad Kaufman for Ray Ricken and Shea Morenz. In 2000 he signed as a free agent with the Brewers, where he pitched his final game on May 13, 2000. I got the card from ebay.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Julio Cesar Bruno

Julio Bruno is the fourth consecutive card of a player who never actually played for the Padres. Julio played in the Padres minor league system from 1990-1996 getting as far as AAA in both 1995 and 1996. In 1997 he played for the Tigers at AA, and from 1998-2000 he played for Tabasco of the Mexican League. From 2001-2006 he managed the Dominican Summer League Royals, in 2007 he was the hitting coach for the Arizona League Royals and in 2008 he was promoted to Manager of the Arizona League Royals. I got the card in a lot on ebay.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Anthony Michael Brumley

This is the third card in a row to feature a player who never actually played in the major leagues for the Padres. However Mike Brumley actually had a decent major league career, just none of it with the Padres.

Mike Brumley was drafted by the Phillies in the 16th round of the 1980 draft but did not signed, three years later he was drafted by the Red Sox in the 2nd round. A year after being drafted he was traded to the Cubs with Dennis Eckersley for Bill Buckner, Red Sox fans how about that trade? He made his major league debut on June 16, 1987 against the Phillies. In February of 1988 the Cubs traded Mike and Keith Moreland to San Diego for Goose Gossage and Ray Hayward. At least Brumley is less than six degrees away from the Hall of Fame. He played at Las Vegas for the Padres in 1988 in 113 games. In March of '89 he was traded to the Tigers for Luis Salazar, a player who bounced between San Diego and the rest of the league. In January of '90 he was traded to the O's for Larry Sheets. After that he was an annual free signing with the Mariners, Angels, A's, Marlins and Astros, before retiring in 1995. He has gone to manage around the minor leagues, in 2008 he managed the Ogden Raptors. I believe I got the card off of ebay.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Matt Bruback

Matt Bruback was a minor league pitcher, but now he is known as the inventor of the Balance Pro SportBelt. Matt was drafted by the Chicago Cubs in the 47th round of the 1997 draft. He played in the Cubs minor league organization working his way up to AAA Iowa, then he was traded to the Pirates with Jose Hernandez and Bobby for Aramis Ramirez and Kenny Lofton. He pitched in four games for AAA Nashville before he was claimed off waivers by the Padres. He pitched 1o innings saving two games for AAA Portland. The 2004 season was split between the Padres organization and Baltimore, AAA Portland and AA Bowie, pitching in 14 games for the Beavers. In 2005 he pitched at AA and AAA for the Orioles, and in 2006 he pitched in A and AA for the Orioles. I believe that I got the card in an ebay lot.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Ray L. Brown

Ray Brown never made it to the majors but he got paid for playing for 12 seasons. He was drafted by the Reds in the 28th round of the 1994 draft. In his first professional season he was named MVP of the Pioneer League. In 1997 he was traded to the Padres for Joey Eischen, he played at Mobile and Las Vegas.In 1998 he was chosen by the Royals from the Padres in the minor portion of the Rule V Draft. In 1999 the Royals loaned him to Tabasco of the Mexican League. He was traded to the Orioles for Jeff Reboulet, but he was released during Spring Training. He played for the Chico Heat of the Western League during the 2000 season, he signed with the Cubs and went to Spring Training with them in 2001, but was released before the season. He played for Chico again in 2001 and then the Astros invited him to spring training for 2002, but again he was released before the season. 2002 was a season of travel for Ray he started the season with Tabasco of the Mexican League, then returned to Chico and then had his contract purchased by the Mariners and played at San Antonio before being released and returning to Chico. From 2003 to 2005 he played with the Kansas City T Bones of the Northern League. I got the card through ABC Unlimited.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Ollie Lee (Downtown) Brown

Ollie Brown is the first Padre, he was drafted with the first pick of the 1968 expansion draft. He comes from an athletic family, his brother Oscar played five seasons with the Braves between 1969-1973, his older brother Willie played running back at USC (University of Spoiled Children) and then played for the Rams and Eagles. Ollie pitched and played outfield in the minor leagues, he actually pitched a no-hitter on August 23, 1963 for Decatur of the Midwest League.

Ollie was signed by the Giants as an amateur free agent in 1962, he made his major league debut September 10, 1965. Then he was chosen by the Padres in the expansion draft. He played three and a half seasons with the Padres and hit 52 Home Runs, 43 of them were hit in the first two seasons. In May of 1972 he was traded to the A's for Curt Blefary, Mike Kilkenny, & Greg Schubert. In June of '72 he was plucked off the waiver wire by the Brewers, in October of 1973 the Brew Crew traded Ollie along with Joe Lahoud, Skip Lockwood, Ellie Rodriguez, Gary Ryerson for Clyde Wright, Steve Barber, Ken Berry, Art Kushyner and cash to the Angels. The Houston Astros purchased him from the Angels. In June of 1974 he was chosen off the waiver wire by the Phillies, three years later he played his final game on September 27, 1977. I got this great 1969 Topps card from ebay.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

James Kevin Brown

There have been three men who have played in Major League baseball that were known as Kevin Brown, although only one of them has a World Series ring. Wikipedia list a whole batch of people named Kevin Brown, including Tommy Lee Jones Agent Kay in the Men in Black movies.

The Kevin Brown that we will be focusing on this evening was drafted with the 4th pick of the 1986 draft. He made his major league debut on September 30 of 1986 against Oakland. He pitched for Texas until he signed as a free agent with the Orioles in early 1995, in November of 1995 he signed as a free agent with the Marlins. After helping the Marlins win the 1997 World Series to the Padres for Derek Lee, Steve Hoff and Rafael Medina. He pitched for the Padres for one year, going 18-7 with a .239 ERA. After the 1998 season Brown signed with the Dodgers, where he pitched for five years before being traded to the Yankees for Jeff Weaver, Brandon Weeden, Yhency Brazoban and cash. He played two years for the Yankees before being granted free agency at the end of the 2005 season. Brown was a six time All-Star who was named the NL Sporting News Pitcher of the Year for the 1998 season. I think I got this card signed through the mail.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Jarvis Ardel Brown

The only other person I have ever know named Ardel is my brother in law's father in law, Ardel Dock. A very uncommon name, I wonder how Jarvis came by it.

Jarvis was drafted with the 9th pick in the 1986 draft by the Minnesota Twins. He made his major league debut in 1991 against the the Toronto Blue Jays, he won a World Series ring that same year with the Twins. In November of 1992 he signed as a free agent with the Padres. He played in 47 games batting .233 as a Padre. In November of 1993 he was selected off waivers by the Braves. In December of 1994 he signed as a free agent with the Mets. On June 12, 1995 he signed as a free agent with the Reds, two days later he was sent to the Orioles as part of a conditional deal. He played his final game on October 1, 1995. I got the card through ABC Limited in Arizona.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

John Christopher Brown

Chris Brown left this planet way too soon. A talent that flared brightly but shortly. He suffered burns in a house fire in a vacant house he owned on November 30, 2006 and passed away as a result of those injuries on December 26, 2006. Police have never determined whether it was a homicide, suicide or accident.

Chris Brown attended Crenshaw High School in Los Angeles where he was a high school teammate of Daryl Strawberry. He was drafted by the Giants in the second round in 1979 and made his major league debut with them on September 3, 1984 against the Cincinati Reds. He was named to the National League All Star Team in 1986. On July 7, 1987 he was traded along with Keith Comstock, Mark Davis and Mark Grant to San Diego for Dave Dravecky, Craig Lefferts and Kevin Mitchell. He spent the last half of the '86 season and all of the 1988 season in San Diego playing in 124 games, with 402 AB, hitting 8 home runs. On October 28, 1988 he was traded from San Diego with Keith Moreland for Walt Terrell. In June of 1989 he was signed as a free agent by the Pirates. He played his final game April 16, 1989. In 2004 he worked as a truck driver for Halliburton in Iraq, at one point being in a convoy during 2006 in which several drivers and a soldier were killed. I got the card signed sometime while Chris was with the Padres through the mail.