Friday, August 28, 2009

Carlton Fisk Jersey Card

Last month I won this Carlton Fisk card in a auction. $1.75 for the card, probably a few bucks for the shipping.

2006 SP Legendary Cuts, Carlton Fisk (card # LM-CF), numbered 026/199

The scan doesn't accurately reflect the shiny silver foil used on the card (no pun intended).

According to, there have been four players with the nickname of Pudge.
  1. Carlton "Pudge" Fisk
  2. Sid "Pudge" Gautreaux
  3. Fred "Pudge" Haney
  4. Ivan "Pudge" Rodriguez
One of these is not like the others. Can you name him?

No, it isn't "Pudge". It is "Pudge". Fred "Pudge" Haney. Fred Haney played in the 1920s, primarily for Detroit, although he saw the big cities of Boston, Chicago (north side of town) and St. Louis. What makes this "Pudge" different that the other "Pudges"? He didn't play catcher. This "Pudge" was an infielder, mostly hanging out at thirdbase.

The subject of this post, though, is Carlton "Pudge" Fisk. His Major League career was played over four decades (1969-1993) for two teams (the Red Sox and the White Sox), mostly as a catcher, but like Fred, Carlton saw some time at thirdbase (just four games). He also roamed the outfield and even played some games at firstbase.

Carlton was selected as Rookie of the Year in 1972. He was an 11-time All-Star, won a Gold Glove and three Silver Slugger awards.

His batting average of .269 alone doesn't put him into Cooperstown. Maybe it is that he held the record for most games played behind the plate (2,226) until earlier this year. Thanks, Ivan "Pudge" Rodriguez for breaking that one. Maybe it was his 351 Home Runs. Most by a catcher until Mike Piazza broke it.

He'll be most remembered for waving the ball "fair" in game six of the 1975 World Series. That kept the Red Sox alive, but they fell to the Reds the next day.

I'll remember him for his time with the Red Sox, his longevity in the game and his ingenuity.
"Hmmm..I forgot my brass knuckles. And the roll of nickels is stuck in my pocket. Hey, I'll use this baseball."

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Another auction

This auction ends on Thursday, August 27th. No, I didn't give you all enough time to go out and bid things up.

Quick overview: Mostly baseball items (cards, autos, balls, bats, programs, etc), some football, hockey, basketball, fleshed out with entertainment and political items. A total of 1,181 different lots.

A few things that I noticed about this auction.
  • Only 621 of the lots have a photo and full description. The remaining 520 have a brief description and starting price. I guess this cuts down on the printing costs.
  • Some of the items in this, their second catalog, are left over from their first catalog. At reduced starting prices. For example, the panoramic view of the Cubs - first auction: $500. It didn't sell. Now offered for an opening bid of $150. Another example, The Great American Game game - first auction: $400. It didn't sell. Now offered for an opening bid of $200.
I guess that times are tough all around.

Now, we get to play: What Would Mark Buy?

The rules are very simple. I peruse the catalog, pretend that I have stacks of cash and select a few items I'd like to add to my collection. Let's play.

First up is a nice Turkey Red Cabinet. Wild Bill Donovan was a pitcher who went 25-4 in 1907. And it is a cheap T3 that looks nice.

Lot #55
1910-11 T3 Turkey Red Cabinets Wild Bill Donovan PSA 1
Opening Bid: $50
Current Bid: $110

Next, we have a card in my current vein of collecting. A Hall of Famer relic card. Not just any Hall of Famer, but someone from the first class.... Babe Ruth. It is a sliver of bat, or it could be one of his toothpicks.

Lot #156
2001 Donruss Classics Babe Ruth Game-Used Bat Card "Holiday 1 of 1" BGS
Opening Bid: $50
Current Bid: $100

Following that up comes another Hall of Famer. He batted leftie and played in the center field. More clues? Inducted in 1962 by the Veterans Committee. Played in the Federal League for a few years. More? He used a 48 oz. bat. He spent most of his time playing for the Cincinnati Reds. Nope? Born in Oakland City, Gibson county, Indiana. Yes, it is Edd Roush.

Lot #257
Edd Rousch Signed Postcard PSA/DNA
Opening Bid: $25
Current Bid: $25

Moving on to the finer things, we have an original piece of artwork by Darryl Vlasak. No, I don't know who he is, but I like this. Yes, Ty Cobb is controversial. But look at it. Click the link below and look at it. And then click on the image to make it bigger. (Sorry, but right now, is not cooperating and doesn't want to upload any pictures.) See what I mean? It is hauntingly gorgeous.

Lot #322
Ty Cobb Original Artwork by Darryl Vlasak
Opening Bid: $900
Current Bid: none

On this last piece, we're going outside of the baseball comfort zone. Hockey. That sport that is played on ice and isn't broomball or curling. A nice little display of Bobby Orr. For me growing up, it was Montreal and Boston. This one goes to Boston.

Lot #560
Bobby Orr Signed Retirement Display
Opening Bid: $100
Current Bid: $100

Thanks for playing, What Would Mark Buy?. Please visit's auction site to play your own personalized home version of this fantastic game that is sweeping the nation.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

My Lucky Day

This is how part of my night ended.

We had some rain this later afternoon and early evening. A beautiful, full rainbow, with a hint of a double on the outside edge. The colors were like a lush sunset. I had already found my pot of gold today.

This afternoon I strolled down to the mailbox. Huzzah, a padded envelope from Beardy. Over the past month or so we've been doing the Google chat thing every so often. I've given him some unsolicited hints for his engagement. The actual asking and presentation of the ring. Wisely, he ignored it.

Then, the conversations turned back towards baseball cards and Gint-A-Cuffs.

He asked if I was collecting any of this year's Allen & Ginter. I told him that I wasn't, but I would be interested in the Negro League Stars. He sent me some.

He sent me five. Now I'm just missing Millito Navarro (#112) and Red Moore (#128). He also included Kolan McConiughey, Bowling Champion. I haven't been impressed with the selection of Champions cards this year. Until I read the back of this one. "McConiughey is recognized as one of the top Special Olympics bowlers in the country." He's bowled five perfect games. Sweet. I'm still trying to bowl a Turkey.

Looking back towards the 1950s... Carl Erskine in High Def in 1955.

And then after Carl moved to the west coast, in 1958. Thank you, Greg, for the cards.

But the day started with a charity fundraising event. Trey Sexton, a young Eagle Scout, hosted the second Hoops for Hope basketball tournament for the Down Syndrome Awareness Group of East Tennessee. Last year, for his Eagle Scout project, he organized the event which brought the University of Tennessee men's and women's basketball teams to coach, ref and play basketball with individuals that have Down syndrome.

This year it was very nice. Coach Bruce Pearl showed up. I got to meet him for a short moment. A very kind man. He was interacting with all the participants. The UT players were a hoot, getting into the spirit of the event very early. Grabbing the mic and rapping up a storm, getting the tough rebounds and letting the participants take four and five shots or more until they scored. If they couldn't quite get it done, a little help never hurt.

I didn't attend last year's event because I was over at Bristol Motor Speedway helping with a DSAG fundraiser (working a concession booth for the weekend races).

My daughter, Caroline, was too young to participate in the Hoops for Hope games today. In about five years she'll be eligible to play. In about three years she can participate in the Special Olympics. She's currently eligible to participate in the Young Athletes program of Special Olympics, but I'm just finding out about that now.

They had an autograph session after the games. I didn't get my act together earlier this week and prepare something for the athletes to sign, so we just got some photographs. Here she is with UT's Tyler Smith.

But today wasn't about getting a UT star to sign some cardboard. It was about watching some selfless collegiate athletes spend the morning with some children and young adults playing some ball. It gave me a renewed hope that Caroline will succeed in life. She'll always need some help. But she's going to be fine.

To the UT Mens and Women's basketball teams, I thank you for spending some time with members of my extended family. You don't know how deeply you touched some lives today.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Pimping Myself

I've been indulging myself the last few days by not worrying so much about posting a blog entry. That, and I've been very busy.

Feels kind of nice not to worry. I've got some in the wings, just ready to go. Well, the cards have been scanned and I think I know what I'm going to write, but not really sure.

As a filler, I'm gladly promoting a fellow blogger, Ryan, over at the Card Cache blog. He's hosting an A&G mongo giveaway random drawing contest thingo. Find it here.

While I'm plugging stuff, I found out about this via Greg of Lake Effects Baseball Cards. Greg has woken up from his seven week nap and I'm glad about that.

So, pop over and see what Ryan's giving away. You'll be glad you did.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Invitation to an Interview

I was able to wrangle an invitation from David "Red" Clapp, a minor league catcher who was a teammate of Jim "Schoolboy" Tugerson in 1953. "Red" joined the team late in the season and caught Tugerson and the other pitchers.

According to the Schoolboy book "Red" works at a market* in Corryton, not that far from Knoxville. I asked a friend and coworker who lives right near the market to see if "Red" was still working there. He gets up and cooks breakfast three days a week. She explained to him that I was interested in talking to him about his baseball days and he replied with, "Have him come over to my house" and provided his phone number.

I'm going to give him a call and set up a meeting time, probably on a Saturday or Sunday afternoon.

Now, I'm trying to figure out what questions to ask him. Sure, the usual, when and where were you born, where did you go to school, how did you get into baseball, etc, etc.

Having read The Glory Of Their Times and A Donald Honig Reader I am more apt to ask some leading questions and then let "Red" talk and see where his memories take him. I'll have a tape recorder available and hope to transcribe the conversation later, with his permission.

But, what I'd like to know from my readers is: What questions should I ask?

* market, in the greater Knoxville area, is a meeting place that sells sausage biscuits, Icees, and seventeen different kinds of chewing tobacco. There is generally a grill of some sort that provides breakfast to the farmers and other locals. Until the no smoking in public areas bill that was recently passed in Tennessee, one would often have to stop, drop and roll to the counter to place an order for a burger and fries. Markets are a congregating place for good ol' boys to sit and chew the fat, play the dollar pull boards (to win a pocketknife or a $20 bill) and talk about hayin', fishin' and local politics. As a Yankee (northerner, not NY baseball team fan), I learned very early, when pulling up to a market, to look at the pavement before stepping out of the car, lest I step in a big wad of chaw. I've learned when to nod politely and keep my mouth shut. I've learned it is better to wear a cap that says "Co-Op" or UT than it is to wear one that says SF Giants. Tennis visors are right out. The strange thing with markets is that their presence (for the most part) excludes the appearance of any 7-11, Circle K or White Hen Pantry. Gas stations such as BP, Weigels or Pilot fill the void for those sort of convenience stores.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Loose Ends

Rather than a specific post about any one thing, I figured it is time to gather up some loose ends.

Cathartic blogging, if you will. I used to have stacks of cards around the computer. With a few padded envelopes behind the monitor. Used to. Now I've got a few stacks of cards tucked away, out of sight. And a container with other cards that I want to scan and organize. Smaller bundles of cards, sorted by team that I have good intentions of send out to other bloggers. And somewhere, a small stack of cards to send out to a blogger to help him finish off his set. But the last time I saw them was several weeks ago. I've contacted the blogger and he's understanding. If nothing else, I'll go and buy them from a card shop and send them off.

I've finished reading a few books and purchased a few more. I've already started Ron Luciano and David Fisher's Strike Two. Joe Garagiola's Baseball is a Funny Game is next. Two books for a buck and a quarter. I can live with that.

A few posts ago I wrote about a Clean Sweep auction. The two items I shared, the 1972 Red Sox Yearbook sold for $4.00. The 1991 Orioles Team signed ball sold for $38.00.

Two months ago I wrote about a auction. I said I would do an auction follow up. I didn't. Count this as it. No bids on the currency. No one bid on the panoramic picture of Wrigley. No one bid on the Great American Baseball Game game. Maybe I jinxed them.

But, I got another auction catalog today. I haven't yet looked at it. Review soon. Hopefully before the auction ends on August 27.

I've been to a few Smokies games, a (local) celebrity charity softball game, and the big high school football kickoff/jamboree. Edison's team won their match-up. His team won. He got in on one play. Not much coverage in the local paper...
Kings Academy 22, TSD 0: William Lakatosh scored on runs of 65 yards and 7 yards, and Jordan Smith scored on a 7-yard run for the Lions.
As I type, I've got the Dodgers vs. Cardinals game on TV. Albert Pujols just hit a home run off of Charlie Haeger. Albert has hit 358 home runs in his Major League career. That means that he has trotted 24.409 miles, just off of his home runs. Not quite a marathon. Slacker.

I was a co-winner with Adam to be the caretaker of the Cy Seymour card that is floating around the blogosphere. Thanks, Dan.

I like blog posts that have an image in them. I'm typing this on the laptop, so I don't have quick access to the scanner. Here's an image that I found at It is only slightly disturbing if you really think about it.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

All Wrapped Up and No Place To Go

It was on this date in 1977 that Elvis Presley shuffled off this mortal coil. I was at a church camp in Brooktondale, NY, when I heard about it. Surprised and stunned. Not stunned enough to not enjoy dinner and think about the girl from Altona. No, I don't remember her name.

It was also on this date, but in 1948 that Babe Ruth died. I just realized that when my dad heard about Babe Ruth dying he was the same age as I was when I heard about Elvis dying. I need to ask him about that.

Yesterday I took my son to a "Celebration of Life" for Chris Morgan. Chris died about a week ago with brain cancer. He was 27, leaving behind a wife of three years and a one year old daughter. Chris was one of Edison's Assistant Football Coaches when Edison was in the sixth grade. I don't remember Chris. I'm sure that we said hi and shook hands several times. But, for Edison, he was an important man. For me, as well. Anyone that teaches my child is important.

At the service, Chris's best friend shared Chris's Five F's for life. Chris had written that these are the five most important things in life...
  1. Faith
  2. Family
  3. Friends
  4. Football
  5. Food
It was a nice service and from what I learned, many people will miss him.

I try to keep these posts light. So as not to end on a downer, here's a look at death from Monty Python...

Wrapper images lifted from ebay.

Saturday, August 15, 2009


I was out at Smokies Park about two weeks ago. The youth group from church went. SonicFlood was having a concert after the game. My son and I bought tickets in the bleacher section based on what the youth minister told me. The rest of the group showed up and somehow got tickets right behind home plate. We shortly joined them.

The Smokies pummeled the Carolina Mudcats, 11-1. Late in the game I sauntered up to the gift shop and found a book. I thumbed through it and immediately purchased it.

Schoolboy, Jim Tugerson, Ace of the '53 Smokies

This is a story of the most successful pitcher in organized baseball in 1953. Jim Tugerson won 29 regular season games and then another four in the post season.

Local author, R.S. Allen does a very nice job telling the story of Jim Tugerson. Schoolboy, along with his brother, Leander, were forced out of the Cotton States League and were optioned to Class D Knoxville, due to racial intolerance.

Even though Jackie Robinson had broken the color barrier some six years before, the sentiment didn't carry down to the deep south.

Jim Tugerson had a storied life, before 1953 and after that year. He played with the Indianapolis Clowns in 1952, rooming with a young Hank Aaron. The Clowns won the Negro-American League Championship that year. After his stint in Knoxville, where he led the Smokies to the Mountain States League Championship, he returned to his native Florida where he became a member of the Winter Haven Police Department. In the last half of the 1950s he was allowed to take time from his duties and pursued baseball in Texas for a number of years.

In 1959 he retired from playing professional baseball and devoted his time to his career as a police officer. He did that until he died in 1983.

The book relies on personal remembrances by fellow players, newspaper accounts and documents from the Tugerson family. I wish that the author had used either footnotes or endnotes.

I like this this book because it shares a story of an underdog. It deals with real issues and doesn't hide behind pleasantries and sweep the unpleasant details under the rug. It also has sparked an interest in me because in 1953 the Smokies didn't play in Knoxville, but in Seymour, the town I live in. Chapman Highway Park, where the Smokies played that season, was located about 4 miles from my house. I'm trying to find a photo of the park and set up a meeting with one of Schoolboy's teammates.

It is a book worth reading and keeping in the library.

Some Jim Tugerson resources:

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Tony Gwynn Jersey Card

Grant, over at Old School Pack Busters, and I made a trade and I thought I'd show what I came away with. He featured this card several weeks ago on his site with the disclaimer that the jersey swatch was dirty. That was fine with me.

Actually, I didn't even have a clue what it looked like. I try to approach trades with a very open mind. I've been involved in several trades in the last 8 months or so. Some of them have been vague. "Hey, I'll send you a buncha cards, you send me what you think would be fair."

Some of them have been very specific and vague at the same time. "If you think it's worth it, I'd trade (a few jersey, an auto, some parallels and some base Uggla cards) for this card (ebay auction link) BUT only if you can get him down to $20."

Which I interpreted as, "If you can get the seller to lower his price from $30 to $20, then I will trade you some cards." Which I did. But the other trader meant, "If you can get the seller to lower his price from $30 to $20 AND buy the card and have it shipped to me, then I'll send the Uggla cards to you."

Not so much. Several emails later, we had it sorted out and the trade was completed.

I've sent cards out to fill want lists and foregone any offer of cards back.

This time, I didn't even bother find out what the card I was receiving looked like. I should have, but I'm not at all disappointed in what I received.

2007 Upper Deck Masterpieces, Captured on Canvas,
Tony Gwynn (card # CC-TG)

Before we sent anything, Grant and I worked out what we were going to send. One card for one card. I sent Grant a 2008 Allen & Ginter Felix Hernandez Jersey. I tossed in some older Mariners cards. He tossed in a sweet and shiny 2009 Topps Cereal Box insert, Roberto Clemente, GR-9.

If you look close at the jersey swatch, it has several splotches. Stains. I don't know what they are. Could be chew? Could be blood? It isn't a grass stain, nor a infield dirt stain. I'm not licking it to find out.

Another card on my way to collecting relic / autographs cards of Hall of Famers. Thanks, Grant.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

2009 Score Football

For me, the professional football season has started. Sure, the preseason games that start tonight don't mean a whole lot. But there's something nice to sitting down with your son and give him a chance to explain what's happening on the field. Sure, I know, but he just started his first year of high school football. School starts tomorrow and they have the big Kickoff Jamboree on Friday, to be held at Neyland Stadium, home of the Tennessee Volunteers. He's pretty excited. To be on the same field that Peyton Manning played.

So, yesterday, while buying back to school supplies at Wal-Mart, I found this pack of 2009 Score Football for 97 cents. 7 cards. Better price per card than the 2009 Allen and Ginter. 5 bucks for 8 cards. The frugal in me won out.

Here are three samples of the Score...

The base cards all have this layout. There's some slight color changes between cards, to better match the team colors. This didn't work on the Kellen Winslow, Jr. card. Last year he played for the Browns. This year for the Bucs.

Typical back of a typical card. Not a lot of earth shattering news in the notes section.

One of the inserts. A throwback to 20 years ago. In design, that is.

I also got a glossy card of Jerious Norwood. Whee!

Jerious Norwood - 13 (glossy)
Kellen Winslow, Jr. - 71
Terence Newman - 82
Reggie Smith II - 252
Chris Cooley - 291
Brandon Gibson - 312
Darrius Heyward-Bey - 3 (2009 Rookie)

Overall, I wasn't really impressed. I'm not a big football card fan. Give me some old school stuff. Please. No, that isn't a plea to have you ship me your old cards. These just didn't do it for me.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Cy Young Anniversary Tribute Card

119 years ago today, Cy Young pitched his first professional game.

He pitched for the Cleveland Spiders at that time, not for the Boston Red Sox as above. The image used in the card is from a 1908 photo that I lifted from the Library of Congress. A bit of wizardry and there you go. Bob's your uncle.

George Foster Bat Card

Here's a card I picked up on ebay about a month ago.
2002 SP Legendary Cuts, Bat Card,
George Foster (card # B-GFo)

I was duped. The title of the auction was:


The card looked good. Nice sideburns, nice muscle tone. I bid on it and won. The price was right ($0.50) with reasonable shipping($2.99).

Wait. George Foster isn't in the Hall of Fame. Part of the Big Red Machine. League MVP in 1977. Silver Slugger. Five-time All-Star. Led the league in RBIs three years in a row. Won two World Series rings with the Reds.

It could be argued that he would fit in well with the other residents of Cooperstown, but he isn't there.

I contacted the seller to let them know that the auction title was incorrect, but that it was also my fault for not knowing who was in the Hall. He admitted that he hadn't checked, and like me, made an assumption.

Since it doesn't quite fit in with my collecting scheme, I'm offering up as tradebait.

** UPDATE - this card has been traded.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Another Clean Sweep Auction Catalog

Yep, I'm running late. The auction closed today. Acutally, Clean Sweep Auctions generally has a two part auction. Part of it closes one day, the other part, well, closes the next day. Rather a simple design. And it seems to work for them.

This auction focused on autographs. On balls, on cards, on index cards, on bats, on programs, on tickets. You get the idea.

They've got quite a few low starting bid items. Early 1970s team yearbooks starting at $4.00. No, they're not signed, but they look nice. There's a 1991 Orioles Team Ball (signed). Currently it is sitting at $38.00.

One of the nice things about Clean Sweep Auctions is their online store. Thousands of cards and items are available for purchase. Again, good prices.

Take some time and visit them. Order yourself up a catalog. Nice, full color, glossy stock. Free.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Paul Molitor Jersey Card

I'm thinking that some of you are saying, "Criminy, enough with the Hall of Fame relic cards. Can't you think of something fresh to post? Sheesh!"

Actually, yes I can. But I'm not going to right now. You might have noticed that this is a blog about my foray into sports card collecting. This is where I'm at. Later I'll be doing posts about Carlton Fisk, Tony Gwynn, Al Kaline, Orlando Cepeda and Rod Carew. Get used to it.

At least I'm not doing auction catalog posts or book posts. Wait, I just bought a new baseball book on Sunday. And I had an auction catalog post brewing, but then the auction ended. No it didn't. It ends on Thursday. I can still sneak it in.

But back to the Molitor card...

2008 Donruss Playoff LP, Threads
Paul Molitor (card #31), numbered 112/300

The card is nice and thick, but the print on the bottom front is printed in an shiny, almost clear, but silvery ink. Doesn't show up on the scan very well, but it is nice in person.

I was fortunate enough to receive this card from The Mojo Hand. Jay offered the card to any Brewers fan. Although I'm not a Brewers fan, I emailed him saying that it would fit in with my collecting strategy. And I pointed him to a site for die-hard Brewers fans. For some strange reason, he found me worthy to be the caretaker of the card.

Mr. Molitor was a seven time All-Star, four time Silver Slugger and he won the Hutch Award, the Babe Ruth Award, the Lou Gehrig Memorial Award and the Branch Rickey Award. And the World Series MVP in 1993 as a member of the Blue Jays. 21 seasons left him with a .306 Batting Average.

He played the infield, the outfield and spent the majority of his final eight seasons as a Designated Hitter. I could not find record that he played either catcher or pitcher.

Thank you, Jay, for the card.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Jim Rice Jersey Card

I picked this card up on ebay for $4.76. Shipping was another dollar or so. I blew my guideline budget on this card, trying to keep them under $5. But, I did pick up two other cards from the same seller, so it brought the per price card down to just over $4 per card.

2009 SP Legendary Cuts, Legendary Jersey RED, Jim Rice
(Card # LM-JR2) numbered 41/75

I think that the price on this was higher than I was expecting because Mr. Rice just became a member of the Hall of Fame. I bought the card in the week leading up to the induction ceremonies.

Jim Rice was an eight-time All-Star and was the American League MVP in 1978. He won two Silver Slugger awards, in 1983 and 1984. He finished his 16 season career with a .298 Batting Average and only committed 66 errors over that same period. It must be pointed out that he spent some of those 16 seasons as a Designated Hitter and the error count would be considerably lower than that of a full-time position player.

He spent his entire career with the Red Sox, including the four years that he was in the minors, where he batted .307.

In the 1970's Boston was the team I rooted for. I was born and raised in the North Country of New York. My folks attended college in the Boston area. I was never a fan of the New York teams. I do remember having (and wearing) some Red Sox pajamas in the early '70s. Now I have some Nationals pajamas to wear, but my wife wants me to to burn them. Secretly, I do, too.

I'm glad I have this card to remember the days of innocent childhood.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

1989 Key Food Discs

Here's an oddball for you. A 1989 Key Food Disc. In 1987 Key Food came out with a 20 disc set of stars. They did the same thing the next two years. As far as I know, 1989 was the final year of their issue. I think that Key Food is a grocery chain in the New York City area.

I've never seen one of these in person. I've got a few strange disc/cards. But not one of these.
Images lifted from a long forgotten ebay auction.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Some Minor League Love

A week and a half ago I attended a game between the Mississippi Braves and the Tennessee Smokies. Southern League AA. I organized the outing for our local DADS group. DADS is Dads Appreciating Down Syndrome. We were able to obtain a suite, had the food catered in and had a very good time. The Smokies lost, but put up a rally in the 9th. It was also Dale Murphy Appearance Night. Earlier in the day, Dale was involved in a luncheon at the park (I didn't get to go) and was on several of the sports talk shows. When asked about which pitchers he liked or didn't like to face he said that he always had a good outing against Fernando Valenzuela but didn't like to go up against Orel Hershiser.

Dale signed autographs from 8pm until 9pm. I wasn't planning on getting anything signed, figuring that the line would be too long and it wouldn't be proper for me, as host of the DADS group, to disappear for a few hours. Good thing. I talked to the Smokies' employee at the head of the line (on the concourse, just past third base) at about 8:30pm. She pointed to the line that was past the scoreboard in centerfield. There was no way I was going to get in to have him sign anything.

But I did sneak a picture. That's him behind the glass seated at the red table. Looks just like him, doesn't it?

Here's a guy who waited for 2-1/2 hours to get a bat signed.

And here's the Smokies' starting pitcher, Hung-Wen Chen, topping the ball.

I always need to stop by the gift store to see what is new. Not so much of anything. Actually, they had just released the 2009 team card set. I picked it up. And the 2008. And 2007. While I was there I got the 2006. All years except 2009 were half off. And for organizing the outing I received a 20 % off coupon for any single purchase in the gift store. Guess what I used it on.

Patricia and Lucy, here's a Micha Owings minor league card from the 2006 set.

Aside from a few pitchers in stride, this is about the most action filled card there is in the 30 card set. Danny played about a third of a season with the White Sox in 2006 and then was traded with Nick Massett to the Reds for Ken Griffey Jr. and some cash.

The backs of these cards are a simple black and white design. Some statistical info, but no card numbers. Here's the checklist card.

The Smokies finished up 70-69 in 2006, 10-1/2 games behind the Chattanooga Lookouts in the North Division.