TTM Success 10/09/15: Dave McKay

A couple of weeks ago I received a TTM success from former Oakland Athletics infielder and coach Dave McKay. Dave played in the majors from 1975 to 1982. He was originally drafted by the Minnesota Twins in 1971. Dave made his MLB debut on August 22, 1975. In April of 1980 the Athletics signed Dave as a free agent. In his 8 year career he was a .229 hitter. Dave also played for the Toronto Blue Jays.

After his retirement as a player in 1982, Dave came back to the Athletics as a coach where he served from 1984 to 1995. He has also coached for the St. Louis Cardinals (1996-2011) and the Chicago Cubs (2012-2013). Since 2014, Dave has served as the first base coach for the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Dave signed 3 cards for me: 1981 Fleer, 1983 Topps and 1983 Donruss.

TTM autographs from Dave McKay

TTM autographs from Dave McKay

I received this success in 189 days. Thank you Dave!

 

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Bob Welch Passes Away at 57

On Tuesday, June 10, 2014 the Oakland Athletics announced that 1990 Cy Young Award Winner, 2-time All-Star and 3-time World Series Champ Bob Welch has passed away. The cause of death was unavailable at the time. He was 57.

Bob Welch was the last player in the MLB to win more than 25 games. In 1990 Bob went 27-5 with a 2.95 ERA and 1.22 WHIP in 238 innings. In this day and age of baseball, 25 plus wins is an achievement that may never happen again.

Over 17 major league seasons with the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Oakland Athletics, Welch amassed a record of 211-146 and posted a 3.47 ERA. He also pitched 28 shutouts to complement his 61 complete games. He was a vital part of Oakland’s run of three World Series Appearances from 1988-90. Bob won World Series rings as a player with Oakland in 1989 and Los Angeles in 1981. He also won a ring as the pitching coach of the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2001.

During the past few seasons Bob had been working with the Oakland Athletics as a special assistant. He worked specifically with the minor league camp, helping to teach them about the game.

Bob Welch is survived by his sons Dylan (25), Riley (23), daughter Kelly (18) and former wife Mary Ellen.

The Elephant Farm mourns the loss of this pitching legend and sends their condolences to the Welch family.

UPDATE: It was reported late Tuesday night that Bob Welch passed away from a heart attack at his home in Seal Beach, CA.

Showoff Sunday: California League Coaches – North Division

In this edition of Showoff Sunday I will be displaying autographed cards of former Major League Players turned California League Coaches. At this time there are 15 coaches in the California League who have had Major League experience. The range of experience is anywhere from 1 or 2 seasons to more than 10 years.

For this post I will focus on the North Division of the California League which includes the Stockton Ports, Modesto Nuts, San Jose Giants, Visalia Rawhide and the Bakersfield Blaze. I will begin with the coaching staff of the Stockton Ports. Manager Ryan Christenson played with 4 teams including the Oakland Athletics and the Texas Rangers. I have had 12 cards singed by Ryan so far this season.

Ryan Christenson Autographed Cards Pic #1

Ryan Christenson Autographed Cards Pic #1

Ryan Christenson Autographed Cards Pic #2

Ryan Christenson Autographed Cards Pic #2

Ryan Christenson Autographed Cards Pic #3

Ryan Christenson Autographed Cards Pic #3

The pitching coach for the Stockton Ports is John Wasdin. John has MLB experience with 7 different team, but most notably the Oakland Athletics, Boston Red Sox and Texas Rangers. To date, I have been able to get 6 cards autographed by John this season.

John Wasdin Autographed Cards Pic #1

John Wasdin Autographed Cards Pic #1

John Wasdin Autographed Cards Pic #2

John Wasdin Autographed Cards Pic #2

Next up is the pitching coach for the Visalia Rawhide, Gil Heredia. Gil came up in the San Francisco Giants organization and played with 3 other teams the Texas Rangers, Montreal Expos and Oakland Athletics. I got 3 cards signed by Gil during Visala’s first series in Stockton (April 10-13, 2014).

Gil Heredia Autographed Cards

Gil Heredia Autographed Cards

The last cards I will feature on this post is the current San Jose Giants manager Lenn Sakata. Lenn is best known for his time with the Baltimore Orioles. He also played for the Milwaukee Brewers, New York Yankees and the Oakland Athletics. I got these 3 cards signed during the recent series against the Ports in Stockton (May 13-15, 2014).

Lenn Sakata Autographed Cards

Lenn Sakata Autographed Cards

There are a few other coaches in the Northern Division that I have yet to get autographs from this season. Those former players include Dave Burba (San Francisco Giants, Cleveland Indians), Tom Browning (Cincinnati Reds), Pat Kelly (Toronto Blue Jays) and Robby Hammond (Arizona Diamondbacks).

Next week I will feature the coaches in the California League South Division.

TTM Success 03/07/2014: 3 more from Spring Training

The day after receiving 3 success from Spring Training TTMs, I received a total of 4 more successes. 1 was from former Major League pitcher Rick Reuschel and 3 were from the second batch of Spring Training TTMs. The second batch was sent out on February 28th, so these three were a very quick turnaround.

The first was from Oakland Athletics reliever Evan Scribner. Evan was originally drafted by the Arizona Diamondbacks in the 28th round of the 2007 June Draft. One of Evan’s early highlight was in the 2012 regular season finale with the Athletics. He pitched 3 scoreless innings in the Division-Clinching win. Evan signed a 2013 Topps card for me. The autograph is really sharp and I like how the uniform number is inside the “S” of his last name.

TTM Autograph of Evan Scribnet

TTM Autograph of Evan Scribner

The next I received was from current Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim pitcher Hector Santiago. Hector was recently acquired by the Angels as a part of a 3 team trade with the Arizona Diamondbacks and the Chicago White Sox. Hector was nice enough to autograph a 2012 Topps Update card.

TTM Autograph from Hector Santiago

TTM Autograph from Hector Santiago

The 3rd Spring Training TTM I received was from Don Baylor. Don is currently the hitting coach for the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. He was a 2 time Oakland Athletics, playing for them in 1976 and once again in 1988. Don is one of 2 players to reach the World Series in 3 consecutive years with 3 different teams. 1986 – Boston Red Sox, 1987 – Minnesota Twins, 1988 – Oakland Athletics. Don autographed 3 cards for me: 1987 Fleer, 1988 Topps and 1988 Topps Traded.

TTM Autographs of Don Baylor

TTM Autographs of Don Baylor

Fun Fact: Eric Hinske was the other player to play in 3 consecutive World Series with 3 different teams. 2007 – Boston Red Sox, 2008 – Tampa Bay Rays, 2009 – New York Yankees. Interestingly enough all 3 teams are in the American League East.

 

TTM Success 03/06/2014: 3 from Spring Training

After a drought of 10 days I finally received some more TTM successes. Today was my best single day success as I received 3 responses. All 3 were from the first batch of Spring Training TTMs that I sent out on February 18, 2014. Included in today’s mail were: Ryan Cook, Sean Doolittle and Eric Sogard.

Ryan Cook is one of the primary setup guys for the Oakland Athletics and is entering his third year with the club. He was originally drafted by the Arizona Diamondbacks in the 2008 June draft. Ryan signed a 2013 Topps Heritage and 2013 Topps. Unfortunately the 2013 Topps was smeared when he put it back in the penny sleeve, but it happens. It is still a success.

TTM Autographs of Ryan Cook

TTM Autographs of Ryan Cook

The next one I received is from the hard-throwing left hander Sean Doolittle. Sean is a converted hitter turned pitcher and I think he made the right choice. He was a componsation pick following the first round of the 2007 June draft.  Sean signed for me a 2012 Choice Stockton Ports card and a 2013 Topps card. I am really excited to get this card back as I needed it for my autographed team set…only a few more to get.

TTM Autographs of Sean Doolittle

TTM Autographs of Sean Doolittle

The final success I received today was from 2nd Baseman Eric Sogard. Eric was originally drafted by the San Diego Padres in the second round of the 2007 June draft. Eric signed a 2011 Bowman Chrome Refractor and a 2013 Topps Update.

TTM Autographs of Eric Sogard

TTM Autographs of Eric Sogard

Photo Gallery: RiverCats vs. Aces – 6/27/13

Here are some photos from the Sacramento RiverCats vs. Reno Aces game on June 27, 2013.  At this game former Oakland Athletic Eric Chavez was making a rehab appearance for the Reno Aces, AAA affiliate of the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Sonny Gray fires a 3-2 pitch to Eric Chavez

Sonny Gray fires a 3-2 pitch to Eric Chavez

Eric Chavez rehabbing with the Reno Aces

Eric Chavez rehabbing with the Reno Aces

Former Los Angeles Dodger Brett Butler.  Manager of the Reno Aces

Former Los Angeles Dodger Brett Butler. Manager of the Reno Aces

(Now) Former RiverCat and Oakland Athletic Grant Green stepping up to the plate.

(Now) Former RiverCat and Oakland Athletic Grant Green stepping up to the plate.

Scoreboard at Raley Field, home of the RiverCats

Scoreboard at Raley Field, home of the RiverCats

2010 #1 Draft Pick of the Oakland Athletics Michael Choice

2010 #1 Draft Pick of the Oakland Athletics Michael Choice

Michael Taylor taking a pitch for a ball.

Michael Taylor taking a pitch for a ball.