Non-Team PC Players

This article was inspired by a tweet from a friend of mine @BigShep79 on Twitter. He posed the question “Who is the one player (not on your team) you’d want to or do PC?” The one player that immediately came to my mind is Tony Gwynn. He was my favorite non-A’s player growing up and, in fact, he still is my favorite non-A’s player.

Non-team PC player tweet.

In a way I do have a small PC of Gwynn. About 10 years ago I started to pull aside all of my Tony Gwynn cards. They currently sit in one of my boxes with some of my A’s collection. If I were to guess I would say there is probably about 50-75 cards in that stack. Most are base junk-wax cards, nothing too special. One of the more “interesting” cards I can remember is from the bottom of a 1988 Topps wax box. I haven’t bought too many more Gwynn cards since doing this, but I’ve been thinking about it more lately.

In thinking about this non-team PC concept, I wanted to take it a step farther. I am going to select a position player and a pitcher from three different “eras” for whom I would start a hypothetical PC. The three “eras” are: current, childhood and vintage.

Current players:
Nolan Arenado, Colorado Rockies
Max Scherzer, Washington Nationals

Childhood players:
Tony Gwynn, San Diego Padres
Randy Johnson, Seattle Mariners

Vintage players:
Roberto Clemente, Pittsburgh Pirates
Sandy Koufax, Los Angeles Dodgers

Honorable Mentions:
Trevor Hoffman, San Diego Padres – not really a childhood guy, more like an adult era player (for me). He was my favorite closer not named Eckersley during the 1990s.

Ernie Broglio, St. Louis Cardinals and Chicago Cubs – he was the Cubs return in the infamous Brock for Broglio trade. How did that work out for you Cubs? He is also a local (Northern CA) guy.

Red Schoendienst, St. Louis Cardinals – I have been told that I look like his doppelganger.

Dave Kingman, San Francisco Giants, New York Mets, Chicago Cubs, Oakland Athletics – technically he did play for my team from 1984-86, so he’s not a true non-team player. I have recently decided to start a PC of him. Kingman was one of my first “favorite players” and that is why I wanted to mention him here.

There are plenty other players I could list, but these are some of the ones that immediately came to mind.

What’s really interesting about this question is the diversity of the answers received thus far. One would think that guys like Mike Trout, Aaron Judge, Derek Jeter, Kris Bryant would have dominated the responses. Instead the players are as diverse as the collectors. Of 14 collectors who have responded, at the time of this writing, only two players have been doubled up: Tony Gwynn and Mike Trout. The list contains 14 other players including: Roberto Clemente, Wil Myers, Ryne Sandberg, Nolan Arenado, Bo Jackson and Julio Franco.

It will be interesting to see where this list goes. Another facet that would be worth looking at is why? For most collectors when it comes to PC players the reasoning is more that just, “I like that player.” There is something specific about that player that really drew the collector to them.

As stated at the beginning of the article, if I were to only select one my non-team PC player would be Tony Gwynn. Why Tony Gwynn? He was the absolute best hitter in my childhood/young adult life. Every time I saw him play, he would rack up a couple hits per game. I don’t think I ever saw him strike out in any of the games I watched. He was fun to watch. I remember watching the game in August of 1999 when Gwynn slapped a single to right-center for his 3000th career hit. There was just something special about watching Tony Gwynn.

tony-gwynn

Feel free to comment below or on Twitter about your non-team PC selection. Let me know why! I would like to follow up on this article with other collector’s thoughts.

You can find me on Twitter: @bicemusic

 

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TTM Success 10/09/2015: Craig Paquette

On Friday, October 9th I received a TTM success from former Oakland Athletics 3rd baseman Craig Paquette. Craig was drafted by the Oakland Athletics in the 8th round of the June 1989 draft. He made his Major League Debut on June 1, 1993. Craig played in the majors from 1993-2003. His first 3 years in the MLB was with the Oakland Athletics. He also played for the Kansas City Royals, New York Mets, St. Louis Cardinals and the Detroit Tigers.

Craig signed 3 cards for me: 1994 Donruss, 1994 Fleer Ultra and 1994 Upper Deck.

TTM Autographs from Craig Paquette

TTM Autographs from Craig Paquette

I received this success in 9 days. Thank you Craig!

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.

Former All-Star and Manager Jim Fregosi Dies at 71

On February 14, 2014, 6 time All-Star and former Manager Jim Fregosi passed away.  He died from complications from a stroke he suffered while on a MLB Alumni Carribean cruise six days earlier.  Fregosi was a 6 time All-Star as a player and is probably remembered for being a part of one of the more infamous trades.  The New York Mets sent future Hall of Famer Nolan Ryan and 3 other prospects to the California Angels for Fregosi.

After his playing career ended Fregosi became a manager. In his first season as a manager (1979) he led the California Angels to an AL West title. Fregosi also managed the Chicago White Sox, Philadelphia Philies and the Toronto Blue Jays. Fregosi’s best year as a manager was in 1993 as he led the Philadelphia Phillies to the World Series. They were defeated by the Toronto Blue Jays in 6 games.

On a personal note: On January 25, 2014 I received 3 autographed cards back from Jim Fregosi. I feel very blessed and grateful that I received these cards only a few weeks before his passing. He even accidentally signed the penny sleeve that was on the 1981 Fleer card. Fortunately he realized the mistake and signed the cards as well. Thank you Jim for the cards! You will be missed.

TTM autographs of Jim Fregosi received January 25, 2014.

TTM autographs of Jim Fregosi received January 25, 2014.

 

A Look Back: 2013 Preseason Top 20 Prospects

With all of these posts about the current Top 20 Prospects in the Oakland Athletics organization, I wanted to look back at the same list only from the 2013 preseason.  We will talk about those who graduated from the list and those who have dropped off.  Here is the Top 20 Prospects list coming into the 2013 Spring Training.

1. Addison Russell
2. Dan Straily
3. Michael Choice
4. Grant Green
5. Matt Olson
6. Sonny Gray
7, Daniel Robertson
8. Renato Nunez
9. Miles Head
10. Nolan Sanburn
11. Raul Alcantara
12. Michael Taylor
13. B.J. Boyd
14. Vicmal De La Cruz
15. Bruce Maxwell
16. Arnold Leon
17. Beau Taylor
18. Drew Granier
19. Blake Hassebrock
20. Jefry Marte

When comparing this list to the current list 7 players have moved off the list.  3 players have graduated from the list and 4 players fell off.

The Graduates (3 players)
Dan Straily – After a strong rookie debut in August and September 2012, Straily was given another opportunity to show he belongs in the majors as a member of the Athletics’s starting staff. Dan made the starting rotation on Opening Day in place of Bartolo Colon who was finishing up a 50 game suspension from the 2012 season.  After Brett Anderson went down with an injury Straily made the case and remained in the starting rotation for the remainder of the season.

Grant Green – Grant was called up right around the 2013 All-Star Break and made his MLB debut with the Oakland Athletics.  His tenure was uneventful and short lived.  At the trade deadline Grant was traded to the Los Angeles Angels for Alberto Callaspo, a move that ultimately helped both clubs.  Grant found his stroke and started to get plenty of playing time proving that he does belong in the Majors.

Sonny Gray – Sonny was called up around the same time as Grant Green and the results were the polar opposite.  He excelled in 2 relief appearances prior to making his 1st MLB start. One of the memorable moments from the 2013 season for Sonny was his 1st Postseason battle vs. Justin Verlander of the Detroit Tigers. Gray matched him pitch for pitch with the Athletics winning the game in walk-off fashion in the 9th inning.

Dropped Off…For Now (4 players)
Michael Taylor – The aging minor league veteran has dropped off the list due to inconsistent results at the Major League level.  Taylor is a proven hitter in the Minors, however that success has yet to translate to the Majors and with the crowded outfield situation in Oakland he may be better suited to hookup with another organization.

Bruce Maxwell – With the trade of Max Stassi in the 2012 off season Bruce became the Athletics’s top catching prospect, and at this point he still is.  Bruce may have dropped off the list, but he did not fall far.  In his 1st full season Bruce batted .275 earning a promotion from Class A to High A ball halfway through the season.  Bruce is not only a force at the plate, but behind the plate as well.  He handles a variety of pitchers very well and is quickly becoming a great game caller.

Beau Taylor – After Bruce Maxwell, Beau was the other catcher on the Top Prospect list.  He excelled in the 2012 season advancing 3 levels, Vermont Lake Monsters to Stockton Ports to Midland RockHounds in a short time.  Beau had a difficult year at the plate hitting only .191 in 76 games.  His defense behind the plate is what keeps him ranked as a Top Prospect, but just not in the Top 20.  With a strong 2014 Beau could return to the Top 20 list.

Jefry Marte – Acquired by the Athletics in December 2012 from the New York Mets, Jefry was quickly labeled as a Top 20 Prospect.  He had a strong showing in 2013 batting .278 with 17 doubles in 66 games for the RockHounds, but with the new Draft Class and stellar performance from some unlikely players, Marte dropped off the Top 20 list.