MLB Authentic Memorabilia: Jharel Cotton 08/14/2017

I went to an Oakland Athletics game on September 26th and I picked up another MLB Authentic baseball. This time I got a ball from pitcher Jharel Cotton. The game was on August 14, 2017 against the Kansas City Royals.

I chose this ball because Jharel Cotton is one of my top two favorite pitchers on the A’s right now. He was bounced around a little bit this year between AAA Nashville and Oakland. He has started to come around as of late and I think he is going to be a solid starter next year.

This ball had a lot of “life” in it. It comes from the Top of the 6th inning and was used against three different batters. The Authentication details are below.

Cotton JC366237 Details

The first batter was Jorge Bonifacio, who struck out on a 2-2 count. Next was Alcides Escobar who hit an infield single on the second pitch. Finally this ball was popped up to second base by Alex Gordon. Both the single and the pop up was fielded by Chad Pinder. Again there are a lot of details in the Authentication which is one of the things I love about these items.

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Ryan Madson Set to Sign With A’s on 3 Year Deal

Veteran reliever Ryan Madson and the Oakland Athletics have agreed to a 3 year deal worth $22 million. The deal is not yet official as it is pending a physical.

This move will make long strides in shoring up a miserable 2015 bullpen. Madson was 1-2 with a 2.13 in 68 games for the World-Series Champ Kansas City Royals. The true question mark is his health. Prior to 2015 Madson missed the 3 previous seasons with a variety of arm issues. Signing him to a 3 year deal could be a risk, but it can also be high reward as the Athletics lost 53 games in 2015 by 2 runs or less.

The bullpen in 2016 had already received a boost from from the Athletics front office in the off season. In addition to a healthy Sean Doolittle, who spent a lot of time on the disabled list in 2015. Last week the Athletics added another strong arm in Marc Rzepczynski in a deal that also brought Yonder Alonso from the San Diego Padres to the Athletics for Drew Pomeranz and prospect Jose Torres.  In late-November the Athletics acquired Liam Hendricks from the Toronto Blue Jays for Jesse Chavez.

TTM Success 10/26/2015: Ben Zobrist

On October 26th I received a TTM success from Kansas City Royal Ben Zobrist. I had sent a 2015 Topps Opening Day card out to Zobrist during the last week of the season. He is one of the few position players who usually has a quick turnaround time during the season.

Zobrist began the 2015 season with the Oakalnd Athletics. He came to the A’s with Yunel Escobar by way of a trade that sent catcher John Jaso along with minor leaguers Daniel Robertson, Boog Powell to the Tampa Bay Rays. Zobrist was later traded at the deadline to the Royals for Aaron Brooks and minor league pitcher Sean Manaea.

Zobrist signed 2 cards for me: 2015 Topps Opening Day (one I sent) and 2015 Testimony card (Bonus)

TTM Autographs from Ben Zobrist

TTM Autographs from Ben Zobrist

With every request Zobrist included an additional signed testimony card. The back side has a description of his relationship with God. I received this success in 28 days. Thank you Ben!

Zobrist is one of those player I have liked since he came up in the Rays organization. I just wish he could have stuck with the Athletics for more than just 67 games. I was fortunate enough to see Zobrist rehab with the Nashville Sounds when they came to the West Coast in late May. He signed a MLB Ball for me before the game I went to in Fresno.

Ben Zobrist autographed baseball from rehab appearance with Nashville Sounds on May 24, 2015.

Ben Zobrist autographed baseball from rehab appearance with Nashville Sounds on May 24, 2015.

TTM Success 12/24/2014: Danny Tartabull

On Christmas Eve I received another good success. This time I received 5 cards autographed by Danny Tartabull. Danny was a 14-year Major-League veteran who was selected for the 1991 All-Star game as a member of the Kansas City Royals. In 1995, Danny was traded to the Oakland Athletics. He played in only 24 games for the Athletics. Danny retired after the 1997 season. He holds a career batting average of .273 and totaled 262 home runs.

Danny signed 5 cards for me: 1987 Fleer, 1987 Fleer Update, 1988 Topps, 1996 Fleer, 1996 Topps Stadium Club

TTM Autographs of Danny Tartabull

TTM Autographs of Danny Tartabull

I received this success in 20 days. Thank you Danny!

Showoff Sunday: California League Coaches – South Division

I’m a couple of days late with this, so we will call this the Wednesday Edition of Showoff Sunday. This week I will continue with the autograph collection I have amassed this season of the coaches in the California League. The focus of this post will be on the coaches in the South Division.

The teams in the South Division include Rancho Cucamonga Quakes, Inland Empire 66ers, Lancaster JetHawks, High Desert Mavericks and the Lake Elsinore Storm. At this point in the season only the Quakes, Mavericks and Storm have made the trip up north to Stockton.

During the first weekend of May, the Rancho Cucamonga Quakes made their one and only trip to Stockton. On the coaching staff is former MLB pitcher Matt Herges. He has been the pitching coach with the Quakes for a couple of years now. I have already had a few cards signed by Matt, so this year I only found one card of his that I did not have autographed.

Matt Herges Autographed Card: 2002 Bowman Chrome

Matt Herges Autographed Card: 2002 Bowman Chrome

From April 25-27th the High Desert Mavericks made their first of 2 trips to Banner Island Ballpark. The coaching staff consists of 2 former Major Leaguers: Max Venable (hitting) and Andrew Lorraine (pitching).

I was able to get these 4 cards signed by Max Venable.

Max Venable Autographed Cards: 1981, 1987 Fleer, 1986, 1987 Topps

Max Venable Autographed Cards: 1981, 1987 Fleer, 1986, 1987 Topps

At the time I only had one card for Andrew Lorraine to sign. I will be better prepared when the Mavericks come back to town this coming weekend.

Andrew Lorraine Autographed Card: 1996 Upper Deck Collector's Choice

Andrew Lorraine Autographed Card: 1996 Upper Deck Collector’s Choice

The other South Division team that has made the trip to Stockton is the Lake Elsinore Storm. The Storm made their annual pilgrimage to Banner Island Ballpark from April 21-24. To me the Storm has 2 of the bigger names in the California League coaching staff: Jamie Quirk (manager) and Jody Davis (hitting coach).

I was able to get 6 cards (5 Chicago Cubs and 1 Atlanta Braves) signed by Jody Davis.

Jody Davis Autographed Cards: 1982, 1986, 1987, 1990 Fleer, 1988 Topps, 1988 Score

Jody Davis Autographed Cards: 1982, 1986, 1987, 1990 Fleer, 1988 Topps, 1988 Score

I was also lucky enough to get 6 cards (3 Kansas City Royals and 3 Oakland Athletics) signed by Jamie Quirk.

Jamie Quirk Autographed Cards: 1981, 1987 Fleer, 1988 Topps, 1990, 1992 Mother's Cookies, 1991 Donruss

Jamie Quirk Autographed Cards: 1981, 1987 Fleer, 1988 Topps, 1990, 1992 Mother’s Cookies, 1991 Donruss

I will be posting updates as the 66ers and JetHawks come to town for the first time and the Mavericks come back to Stockton.

I will also be posting an update (really soon) on the California League North coaches as I have added more cards to that autograph collection.

TTM Success 03/12/2014: Chris Codiroli

On Wednesday March 12th I received a TTM success from former Oakland Athletics pitcher Chris Codiroli. He pitched for the Athletics from 1982-87. During his tenure he amassed a 38-42 record, posted a 4.66 ERA and struck out 292 batters in 124 games. Chris’s best year was in 1985 when he went 14-14 with a 4.46 ERA in 37 games (all starts) while striking out 111 batters. Chris also pitched for the Cleveland Indians in 1988 (14 games) and the Kansas City Royals in 1990 (6 games).

Chris signed 4 cards for me: 1983 Topps Traded, 1984 Donruss, 1985 Fleer and 1987 Fleer.

TTM Autographs of Chris Codiroli

TTM Autographs of Chris Codiroli

No (G)love for the Athletics

The 2013 Rawlings Gold Glove Awards were announced on Tuesday and neither Yoenis Cespedes or Josh Reddick won the award for their position.

In the past, MLB Managers and Coaches only voted for the award.  This year, Rawlings worked with the Society for American Baseball Research (SABR) to create a SABR Defensive Index (SDI) to account for approximately 25 percent of the total vote.

The Baltimore Orioles and the Kansas City Royals were the overall winners as they each had 3 players win a Gold Glove.  It is no surprise that Baltimore had 3 players win the award as they led the league in fewest errors with 54 on the season.

Stay tuned for more awards information as the MLB Awards season kick off in about 10 days.

Oakland Athletics 2013 AL West Champions!

In the bottom of the 3rd inning the news came across the Oakland Coliseum that Justin Maxwell of the Kansas City Royals hit a game winning grand slam against the Texas Rangers securing for the Athletics the division title.  By that time the Athletics were already leading the Minnesota Twins by the score of 6-1.  The Athletics would go on to win the game 11-7 completing a 4-game sweep of the Twins and finishing up the 2013 home season.

Sonny Gray (4-3, 2.90 ERA) pitched 5 strong innings securing his 4th win of the season.  Sonny allowed 4 runs  while striking out 3 batters.  The offensive onslaught was lead by Coco Crisp who went 2 for 4 with 4 RBIs.  Coco hit his 22nd home run and stole his 20th base today reaching the 20/20 mark for the first time in his career.

Oswaldo Arcia was trying to play the spoiler today for the Twins.  Oswaldo went 3 for 4 driving in 6 of the Twins 7 runs.  This is his 1st season in the majors and he is batting .254 with 14 home runs.  The 22-year-old Arcia could be a force to be reckoned with in the years to come.

Evan Scribner came in to pitch the 9th inning.  After giving up 2 runs, Evan struck out Josmil Pinto to end the game and begin the celebration of the division title.

Congratulations to the Oakland Athletics on being the American League West Division Champions for the 2nd year in a row!

Oakland Athletics Magic Number: 2

2

With the combination of the Oakland Athletics resounding victory over the Minnesota Twins and the Kansas City Royals narrowly defeating the Texas Rangers, the Magic Number for the Athletics to clinch the AL West Division slides down to 2.

The Athletics will look to wrap up the division this weekend before the home crowd prior to heading out on the road to take on the LA Angels in a 3 game set starting on Monday.

Athletics rout Twins increase lead to 7.5 games

With only 8 games left to play the Oakland Athletics extended their AL West Division lead to 7.5 games on Friday night.  The Athletics trounced the Minnesota Twins 11-0.  Bartolo Colon picked up his 17th win of the season lowering his ERA to 2.64.  He struck out 8 in 6 innings.   Continue reading