TTM Update: 6 successes

In the past 8 days I have received six TTM successes. Five successes were from the batch sent out the week of September 28th. Four of these successes will be featured in this post.

The first was from Ernie Broglio. Ernie is best known for being the key piece the Chicago Cubs received in the trade that sent Lou Brock to the St. Louis Cardinals. This is arguably the worst trade in MLB history. Lou would go on to have a Hall of Fame career. Meanwhile Ernie, who was a good pitcher with the Cardinals, did not improve upon his success and eventually faded out. Ernie signed 3 of 3 cards in just 5 days. Thank you Ernie!

1959, 1960, 1966 Topps cards autographed by Ernie Broglio

1959, 1960, 1966 Topps cards autographed by Ernie Broglio

My next success was from former Negro League player and Chicago Cub George Altman. George started his professional career in the Negro Leagues in 1955 with the Kansas City Monarchs. He would make his MLB debut with the Chicago Cubs on April 11, 1959. He would go on to play 9 season in the Majors with the Cubs, St. Louis Cardinals and the New York Mets. George was an All-Star in 1961 and 1962. He signed a 1960 Topps, 1 penny sleeve (which should have been 1967 Topps) and included a signed business card in 8 days. Thank you George!

Signed items from George Altman

Signed items from George Altman

Bobby Meacham was my next success. Bobby played parts of 6 season (1983-88) with the New York Yankees. His career never really took off the way the Yankees had anticipated. He wound up often injured and he finished his career with a .236 batting average. Bobby signed 3 of 3 cards in 9 days. Thank you Bobby!

1987 Fleer, 1988 Topps, 1988 Score cards signed by Bobby Meacham

1987 Fleer, 1988 Topps, 1988 Score cards signed by Bobby Meacham

The final success featured in this post was received from Davey Lopes. Davey is currently a coach in the Los Angeles Dodgers organization. He was a 4 time All-Star and played 16 seasons with the Dodgers, Oakland Athletics, Chicago Cubs and Houston Astros. Davey signed 1 of 1 in 10 days. Thank you Davey!

1987 Fleer card signed by Davey Lopes

1987 Fleer card signed by Davey Lopes

Now I know some of you may be thinking: If Davey Lopes played for the Athletics, then why did you send an Athletics card? Quite simply, one of the primary sets I am trying to get autographed is the 1987 Fleer. I will be sending more requests to him as he really only signs 1 per request. So eventually I will have an Athletics card (or two) signed by Davey.

The other 2 successes with be featured in their own separate posts.

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TTM Batch: September 28, 2015

Now that baseball season is over, I can turn my attention to one of my favorite hobbies, collecting TTM autographs. As much as I try, it is too difficult to regularly send out TTM requests during the season. Quite often I am going to games to collect autographs in person or I am listening to or watching games. So here is my final batch of the regular season.

Jim Robertson – Philadelphia Athletics – 2 cards
Jose Lind – Pittsburgh Pirates – 2 cards
Ernie Broglio – St. Louis Cardinals – 3 cards
George Altman – Chicago Cubs – 2 cards
Davey Lopes – Houston Astros – 1 card
Fred Stanley – Oakland Athletics – 3 cards
Bobby Meacham – New York Yankees – 3 cards
Craig Paquette – Oakland Athletics – 3 cards
Ben Zobrist – Oakland Athletics – 1 card
Clayton Kershaw – Los Angeles Dodgers – 1 card

This batch was sent out September 28th (7 requests) and 30th (3 requests). Note: The team listed is the team on the card, or on the majority of the cards I sent out. I will post updates as requests come back.

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 – 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.

Box Break: 2013 Elite Extra Edition

One of my favorite products over the past few years is the Panini Elite Extra Edition. This set features over 100 of the top draft picks from the previous draft. Each blaster  box contains packs each containing 5 cards. In addition each blaster box promises 2 autographed cards. This interests me as one of my focuses in my collection is autographed cards.

2013 Elite Extra Edition Blaster Box

2013 Elite Extra Edition Blaster Box

Here are the hits I pulled from this box.

Inserts

Insert Hits: Jonathan Denney, Scouting 101; Keaton McKinney, Game Jersey; Chris Anderson, Aspirations Die Cut #108/200; Tim Atherton, Status Die Cut #042/100

Insert Hits

There are several subsets, or inserts, in this year’s set including: Scouting 101, USA Game Jerseys (15U & 18U), Elite Series, Aspirations Die Cut, Status Die Cut and Historic Picks. I pulled 4 inserts from this box. The first was Jonathan Denney (Boston Red Sox), Scouting 101. I also pulled an 18U Game Jerseys of Keaton McKinney (Akeney High School, Iowa). The other 2 inserts were die cuts.  One is of Chris Anderson (Los Angeles Dodgers), Aspirations #108/200 and Tim Atherton (Minnesota Twins, now Oakland Athletics), Blue Status #042/100. I’m sure Jesse from Section 117 @ BIB would like the Chris Anderson card.

Photo Variant

The first 10 cards of the base set also has short printed photo variations. I pulled the variant for Marco Gonzales (St. Louis Cardinals).

Photo Variant: Marco Gonzales, Card #6

Photo Variant: Marco Gonzales, Card #6

Here is the base along side the variant. I had the base card from the previous box I purchased.

Photo Variant and Base Card: Marco Gonzales, Card #6

Photo Variant and Base Card: Marco Gonzales, Card #6

Autographs

The outside of the box promised 2 autographed cards inside. It did not disappoint. I actually pulled 3 autographed cards from the box.

Autograph Hits: Carlos Salazar #607/625, Andy Burns #273/399

Autograph Hits: Carlos Salazar #607/625, Andy Burns #273/399

The first is of pitcher Carlos Salazar (Atlanta Braves) serial numbered #607/625. The next autograph I pulled was of third baseman Andy Burns (Toronto Blue Jays) serial numbered #273/399. The third was an absolute bonus…

Autograph Hits: D. J. Baxendale, Green Status Die Cut #04/25

Autograph Hits: D. J. Baxendale, Green Status Die Cut #04/25

I pulled the Green Status Die Cut Autograph of pitcher D. J. Baxendale (Minnesota Twins) numbered only #04/25.

All in all a very successful box. It was worth the $29.99 price point to me. So far I hae purchased 2 of these blaster boxes and each time I have pulled 3 autographs in each box. The one slightly disappointing thing this that I have not pulled an Oakland Athletics card. The closest is the Tim Atherton Blue Status Die Cut. He was drafted by the Minnesota Twins, but was a Rule 5 pick (AAA round) in December 2013 by the Athletics and is currently on the Stockton Ports pitching staff. So, of course, I will be getting this card signed soon!

 

Showoff Sunday: Autographed Baseballs

For my first Showoff Sunday, I decided to showoff the 4 autograph baseballs I have collected so far this season.

The first ball was signed by Stockton Ports pitcher Tim Atherton. On Tuesday April 22, 2014 Tim pitched 7.1 perfect innings leading the Ports to a 6-2 victory over the Lake Elsinore Storm. This ball was signed after the game.

Tim Atherton Autographed Baseball

Tim Atherton Autographed Baseball

The next ball was signed by a young prospect in the Los Angeles Dodgers farm system, Julio Urias. Julio is only 17 years old is currently playing for the Rancho Cucamonga Quakes. He was signed as a free agent out of the Mexican League in 2012. Julio looks like someone to watch over the next couple of seasons as he matures.

Julio Urias Autographed Ball

Julio Urias Autographed Ball

The next ball was autographed by former Major League pitcher Tom Browning. Tom is best know for pitching a perfect game for the Cincinnati Reds against the Los Angeles Dodgers in 1988. He was also on the pitching staff of the 1990 World Series Champion Cincinnati Reds. Tom is currently the pitching coach for the Bakersfield Blaze, the Class A advanced affiliate of the Reds.

Tom Browning Autographed Ball

Tom Browning Autographed Ball

The final ball I have had autographed so far this season was by movie director Ron Shelton. Ron was a part of the 1969 Stockton Ports team that won the California League Championship. After his time in the minors Ron went on to become a famous movie director. He has directed such films as Tin Cup, Cobb and Bull Durham. This ball was signed at the Stockton Ports Alumni Night on Saturday, May 17, 2014.

Ron Shelton Autographed Ball (Movie Director)

Ron Shelton Autographed Ball (Movie Director)

 

 

Addison Russell out with Hamstring Injury

Top prospect Addison Russell has been sidelined with a hamstring injury. He is projected to be out for at least a week. Addison suffered the injury as he was running out a double in the Top of the 8th inning of Monday’s Spring Training game against the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Addison is the 12th ranked prospect by MLB.com and was batting .280 this spring with 3 extra base hits before sustaining the injury. In the interim, Hiroyuki Nakajima has been brought over from the minor league camp to fill in for Addison.

Addison is a key component of the Oakland Athletics’s future and they will be cautious about giving him enough time to recover. After a successful 1st full season with the Stockton Ports in 2013, he will likely start with the Midland RockHounds in 2014. Barring any injuries to any of Oakland’s shortstops, we will see Addison in Oakland towards the end of the 2015 season.

Spring Training Prospect Update 03/10/2014

For the second time in two days the Oakland Athletics ended the game in a tie. Sunday was a 2-2 tie with the Chicago White Sox and today was an 8-8 tie against the Los Angeles Dodgers.  Here is how the Athletics’s Prospects are faring this Spring.

Position Players
Anthony Aliotti, 1st base: 0-2 in 2 games
Billy Burns, outfield: 9-35, 7 runs scored, 7 stolen bases in 12 games
Chris Giminez, catcher: 2-15, 3 walks in 12 games
Jose Martinez, 2nd base: 5-20, 3 RBI, 3 runs scored in 11 games
Bruce Maxwell, catcher: 1-4, 1 2B in 4 games
Billy McKinney, outfield: 1-3, in 4 games
Luke Montz, catcher: 3-14, 3 RBI in 9 games
Max Muncy, 1st base: 1-1, 1 run scored, 1 RBI in 1 game
Shane Peterson, outfield/1st base: 2-12, 4 walks, 1 RBI in 10 games
Daniel Robertson, shortstop: 2-5, in 7 games
Addison Russell, shortstop: 7-25, 2 2B, 3 RBI, 1 stolen base in 12 games
Michael Taylor, outfield: 10-31, 3 2B, 2 HR, 3 RBIs in 13 games

Pitchers
Raul Alcantara: 4 IP, 2 SO
Ryan Dull: 0.2 IP, 1 SO
Seth Frankoff: 1 IP, 1 SO
Arnold Leon: 7 IP, 6 SO
Zach Neal: 1 W, 1.2 IP, 2 SO
Drew Pomeranz: 0-1, 8.10 ERA, 3.1 IP, 4 SO
Paul Smyth: 1 IP, 9.00 ERA, 1 ER
Jeff Urlaub: 1 W, 1.1 IP
Michael Ynoa: 3 IP,9.00 ERA, 3 SO

This feature will be updated every Monday through Spring Training.

Spring Training Prospect Update 03/03/2014

After today’s 7-3 victory over Clayton Kershaw and the Los Angeles Dodgers, the Oakland Athletics now have a record of 4-1-1. Here is how the prospects are progressing this Spring.

Position Players
Billy Burns, outfield: 5-16, 4 runs scored, 5 stolen bases in 6 games
Jose Martinez, 2nd base: 3-10, 1 RBI, 2 runs scored in 5 games
Bruce Maxwell, catcher: 0-1, in 1 game
Billy McKinney, outfield: 0-1, in 1 game
Luke Montz, catcher: 2-4, 1 walk in 4 games
Shane Peterson, outfield/1st base: 2-8, 2 walks, 1 RBI in 6 games
Daniel Robertson, shortstop: 0-1, in 1 game
Addison Russell, shortstop: 2-12, 1 RBI, 1 stolen base in 6 games
Michael Taylor, outfield: 2-15, 1 walk, 2 RBIs in 6 games

Pitchers
Raul Alcantara: 2 IP, 1 SO
Ryan Dull: 0.2 IP, 1 SO
Arnold Leon: 2 IP, 2 SO
Zach Neal: 1 W, 1.2 IP, 2 SO
Drew Pomeranz: 1 IP, 2 SO
Paul Smyth: 1 IP, 9.00 ERA, 1 ER
Jeff Urlaub: 0.1 IP
Michael Ynoa: 1.1 IP, 3 H, 1 SO

This feature will be updated every Monday through Spring Training.

TTM Projects

I believe that when sending out TTMs it is a good idea to have specific projects to work on. This helps to focus your mailings and build your collection they way you want it.

For me I have 3 projects that I am working on. The first and most important is the Oakland Athletics project. This is were I am sending requests to current or former Oakland Athletics. Most of these successes will be posted here.

My other 2 projects are fairly similar. I am trying to get cards from the 1987 Fleer set and the 1988 Topps set signed. Why these sets? Well, these are a couple of the first sets that I collected and completed. Also they are my favorite sets from this era.

As of this posting I have acquired 24 1987 Fleer & Fleer Update and 26 1988 Topps and Topps Traded autographed cards. Most of these cards have been signed TTM, but some have been signed in person.

Even tough I have some projects that I am working on, there are some exceptions. At times I will find some players who sign TTM that I am interested in getting autographs from. Most recently there are 2 who have fallen outside of the projects. Ken Singleton of the Baltimore Orioles and Burt Hooton of the Los Angeles Dodgers.