Monday, November 15, 2010

1967 Topps Ed Kirkpatrick California Angels

Today's entry in my 1967 Topps Autographed baseball card collection is a player who had a 16 year career with 5 different teams. It is Ed "Spanky" Kirkpatrick, utility player for the Californai Angels. Sadly, Ed Kirkpatrick passed away today, November 15, 2010 at the age of 66. Card number #293 in the 1967 Topps Baseball card set of 609 subjects.

The autographed was obtained through the mail after sending Mr. Kirkpatrick the card om January 6, 2009 to his home in California. Forty-one days later, I received the card back signed with a blue sharpie. Thank you, Mr. Kirkpatrick. As of November 15, 2010, I have accumulated 512 different signature in my collection.

During Ed Kirkpatrick's 16 year career, he played in 1311 games with .238 batting average, 85 home runs, 424 runs batted in and 34 stolen bases. His career started in 1962 with the Angels, then played there until 1968 when he was traded to the expansion Kansas City Royals. He also played for the Pittsburgh Pirates, Texas Rangers and Milwaukee Brewers, retiring in 1977. 

Sadly, Spanky Kirkpatrick was maimed in a 1981 auto accident that relegated him to a wheelchair for life. Ed Kirkpatrick's post-baseball life is rich in many ways. His hometown of Glendora, California, has named a civic award in his honor, as each year the member of that community who has done the most in support of youth athletics wins the "Ed Kirkpatrick Award."
Looking for great Sports memorabilia, apparel and collectibles, check out Dugoutdug Sports Collectibles for your favorite players and teams. Use "facebook10" as a coupon during checkout to receive a 10% discount off of your order.

Monday, October 11, 2010

1967 Topps Dick Green Kansas City Athletics

Today's entry in my 1967 Topps Autographed Baseball Card collection is a career Athletic and three times World Series Champion. It is Dick Green, second baseman of the Kansas City Athletics, card number 54 in the 1967 Topps Baseball card set of 609 subjects.

This autograph was obtained with a through the mail (TTM) request on December 11, 2008 to Mr. Green at his home in South Dakota. If you are interested in contacting players through the mail, I highly recommend sportscollectors.net as a resource to the addresses of your favorite players and teams. Dick Green graciously signed my card with a black sharpie and returned it to me eleven days later. Thank you, Mr. Green.

Dick Green played 12 seasons in the major leagues, all with the Kansas City then Oakland Athletics team. His career started in 1963, when he played in 13 games. During the 1964 season, Dick Green won the starting second baseman job and stayed a fixture for the A's until the end of his career in 1974. Mr. Green's career batting statistics include a .240 average with 960 hits, of which 80 home run, 422 runs batted in and 427 runs scored. Dick was a member of the Oakland Athletics' World Series Championship team during their run of three straight titles. His contributions in the 1974 Series against the Los Angeles Dodgers earned Dick the Babe Ruth Award as World Series Most Valuable Player. Always an excellent fielder, Dick Green had a .982 career fielding percentage in 1238 games. To learn more about Dick Green, go to his biography at wikipedia.org.


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Tuesday, October 5, 2010

1967 Topps Twins Team Card with Oliva, Carew, Killebrew and Graig Nettles


Today's entry in my collection of 1967 Topps Autographed Baseball cards has a long story behind the four signatures. The newest signature on the card of that of Graig Nettles, rookie third baseman of the 1967 Minnesota Twins. The card was already signed by Hall of Famers Harmon Killebrew and Rod Carew and former Twins star, Tony Oliva.

If you want to read the blog entry about the Harmon Killebrew addition, click here.

If you want to read about the Rod Carew and Tony Oliva signatures, click here. The 1967 Topps Minnesota Twins Team card is card number 211 in the set of 609 subjects.

The Graig Nettles' signature was obtained for me by my friend and Graig's son, Mike. I have known Mike for about a year and as we have become good friends, I desired to ask Mike if he would help me with my collection. Mike and his wife, Beverly invited some friends over to watch the 2010 Tennessee/Florida College Football game at their house in Knoxville and I was honored to attend. In anticipation, I went through my collection of baseball cards and Sports Illustrated Magazines and found several Graig Nettles items. Mike offered to get his dad to sign the items for me and on September 27th, Mike called me and said he had the cards and Sports Illustrated autographed by Graig. Graig Nettles signed my cards with a black sharpie in his classic autograph.

Graig also lives in the Knoxville area now and I hope one day I will have the privilege to meet him and thank him personally for the autographs. In the meantime, I hope Graig and the entire Nettles' family understands my gratitude for helping me with my collection. This autograph is the 511th signature in my collection of 1967 Topps Baseball cards and the first card that has four signatures!

Graig Nettles' career in Major League Baseball lasted from 1967 to 1988. On September 6, 1967, Nettles was called up from the Twins' AA minor league team in Charlotte, North Carolina. He appeared in 3 games in the 1967 season with 1 double in 3 at bats. Graig played parts of two more seasons with the Twins in 1968 and 1969 before being involved in a 6 player deal with the Cleveland Indians. He started a run of three seasons with the Indians and blossomed into a star, averaging 24 home runs and 72 runs batted in. In the winter of 1972, Graig was again involved in a 6 player trade, this time with the New York Yankees. In New York, Graig played for 11 seasons, helping the team win 4 American League Pennants and 2 World Series Championships. He was named the Yankees captain from 1982 to 1984, which is a honor bestowed upon some of the Greatest Yankees. The list includes Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Thurman Munson, Don Mattingly and currently Derek Jeter.

Before the start of the 1984 season, Graig was traded from the Yankees to his hometown, San Diego Padres. His veteran leadership was instrumental with the Padres. The Padres made their first playoff appearance and won the 1984 National League Pennant before losing to the Detroit Tigers in the World Series. After three seasons with the Padres, Graig became a free agent and signed on with the Atlanta Braves in 1987 and then again with the Montreal Expos in 1988.


During his 22 year career, which ended on October 1, 1988, Graig Nettles had played in 2700 games while batting .248 with 390 home runs and 1,314 runs batted in . He still holds the American League record of home runs by a third baseman. Always a superb fielder, Graig won 2 Gold Glove Awards and had a career .964 fielding percentage. Graig continues to be remembered for his clutch performances in the post season. His glove work in the playoffs helped the Yankees gain the momentum in the 1978 World Series against the Los Angeles Dodgers. Nettles appeared in 6 All-Star games during his career and won the 1981 American League Championship Series MVP award. Many people believe Graig Nettles deserves Hall of Fame consideration and I would give my vote as well.

To learn more about Graig Nettles, go to his biography at wikipedia.org.  I also encourage you to read his book, "Balls" written in 1983 with Peter Golenbeck and published before the start of the 1984 season. As Graig chronicles his career, this book gives a great insight to major league baseball from an insider's perspective.


Looking for great Sports memorabilia, apparel and collectibles, check out Dugoutdug Sports Collectibles for your favorite players and teams. Use "facebook10"  as a coupon code during checkout to receive a 10% discount on your entire order.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

1967 Topps Johnny Podres Detroit Tigers

Today's entry in my 1967 Topps Autographed Baseball card collection is a pitcher who helped bring the first World Series Championship to the Brooklyn Dodger team in 1955 by winning Game 7 with a shutout against the New York Yankees. It is Johnny Podres of the Detroit Tigers, card number 284 in the 1967 Topps Baseball card set of 609 subjects.

This autograph was one of the very first I obtained to start my collection in September of 2008. I purchased the card from another collector of 1967 Topps Autographed cards at a baseball card show in Knoxville, Tennessee. At the time, this collector had amassed over 350 different autographed cards and was a big motivating factor for me starting my collection. As of September 29, 2010, I have obtained 511 different autographs for this set. Johnny signed the card with a blue ballpoint pen. Mr. Podres had passed away on January 13, 2008 at age 75.

Johnny Podres pitched in the major leagues for 15 seasons from 1953 to 1969. The majority of his career was spent with the Brooklyn and Los Angeles Dodgers. He pitched for the Dodgers from 1953 to 1966 then was traded mid-season to the Detroit Tigers. Johnny stayed with the Tigers through the 1967 season then was part of the 1969 San Diego Padres expansion team. His career statistics include 148 victories versus 116 losses, 3.68 earned run average, 77 complete games of which 24 were shutouts and 1435 strikeouts. Johnny Podres was named to four All-Star teams from 1958 to 1962, won 3 World Series Rings with the Dodgers, 1955, 1959 and 1963 and was named the MVP of the 1955 World Series by winning 2 games versus the Yankees.

Given his performance in the 1955 World Series, Johnny was named the Sports Illustrated "Sportsman of the Year" at the end of the year. To learn more about Johnny Podres, go to his biography at wikipedia.org. 

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Tuesday, September 14, 2010

1967 Topps World Series Hank Bauer and Dave McNally Baltimore Orioles

Today's entry for my 1967 Topps Autographed Baseball card collection is that of a manager of the 1966 World Series Champion Baltimore Orioles and World War II hero. It is Hank Bauer on the World Series subset card number 155 with pitcher Dave McNally in the 1967 Topps Baseball card set of 609 subjects.

This autograph was obtained from a dealer at the Moeller High School Baseball card show in November of 2009. An excellent card show with many dealers of vintage cards and memorabilia, you can visit their website at Cincycardshows.com. As of September 14, 2010, I have accumulated 510 different signatures in my collection. Check out some of the other cards in my previous blog entries. Mr. Bauer passed away in February of 2007 at the age of 84 to lung cancer. Unfortunately this card will not have Mr. McNally's signature due to his death in December, 2002.

Hank Bauer played 14 seasons of Major League Baseball with the New York Yankees and Kansas City Athletics. His career started in 1948 with the Yankees and he played there for 12 seasons. During his playing career with the Yankees, he was a member of 7 World Series Championship teams, including 5 straight from 1949 to 1953. If you want to read an excellent book about the 1949 season, pick up David Halberstam's "Summer of '49." It chronicles the season and pennant race between the Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees and gives an excellent insight to the players, including Ted Williams, Joe DiMaggio and Hank Bauer. Bauer shares a record in World Series play of the longest hitting streak of 17 games with current Yankee great Derek Jeter. At the end of the 1959 season, Hank Bauer was traded to the Kansas City Athletics for slugger Roger Maris, who went on to break Babe Ruth's single season home run record in 1961. Hank playing career ended in 1961 as he was the player/manager during the 1961 season until July when he became just the manager. During his 14 seasons, Hank Bauer accumulated the following statistics, career .277 batting average, 164 home runs and 703 runs batted in.

As a manager, Hank led the Kansas City Athletics for 2 seasons (1961 and 1962), Baltimore Orioles for 5 seasons (1964 to 1968) and the Oakland Athletics in 1969. Hank Bauer was the skipper of the Baltimore Orioles in 1966 when he led them to the World Series title beating the Los Angeles Dodgers in 4 straight games. His career managerial record includes 594 wins versus 544 losses.


Before his baseball career began, Hank Bauer proudly served his country during World War II with the Marine Corps from 1942 to 1945. He enlisted one month after Pearl Harbor and fought in the Battle of Guadalcanal, Battle of Guam and Battle of Okinawa. He was awarded two Bronze Stars and two Purple Hearts during his service. During the Battle of Okinawa, Hank Bauer led a commanded a platoon of 64 men with only 6 surviving the Battle. Thank you Mr. Bauer for your service to our country and we all owe you for our freedoms we enjoy today.
To learn more about Hank Bauer, read his biography at wikipedia.org.


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Thursday, September 9, 2010

1967 Topps Carl Yastrzemski Boston Red Sox


Today's entry for my collection of 1967 Topps Autographed Baseball Cards is about a player who stayed with the same team his entire career of 23 seasons and ranks very high on many major league baseball statistics. It is Carl Yastrzemski, outfielder of the Boston Red Sox, card number 355 in the 1967 Topps Baseball card set of 609 subjects.

This autograph was obtained from a respectable ebay seller on January 24, 2010 and it has been signed with a black sharpie. I research the autograph against other Carl Yastrzemski autographed pieces and I feel confident it is authentic. As of September 9, 2010, I have accumulated 510 different signature in the collection and I am actively pursuing the others.

Carl "Yaz" Yastrzemski played 23 seasons for the Boston Red Sox from 1961 to 1983. That is a record for longevity with one team shared with Brooks Robinson of the Baltimore Orioles. During his Hall of Fame career, Carl achieved the following statistics, .285 career batting average, 3,419 hits, of which 452 were home runs, 1,844 runs batted in and 1,845 walks and 1,157 extra base hits in his 3,308 games played. The 3,308 games played is second all-time behind Pete Rose's 3,562. Yaz was elected to 18 all-star games, won 7 Gold Glove Awards and is the last batter to win the Triple Crown, leading the American League in 1967 with the highest Batting Average, Home Runs and Runs Batted In. Carl was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1989 with 94% of the vote on his first year of eligibility.

Carl Yastrzemski career started in the shadow of Baseball legend Ted Williams, who played left field also for the Boston Red Sox. Carl led the Red Sox after Williams retired and handed over the left field position to Jim Rice, who also played well enough to be elected to the Hall of Fame in 2009. Interestingly enough, Carl Yastrzemski was also linked to another Hall of Famer, Jim Brown of Pro Football. In high school, Carl broke Jim Brown record basketball scoring record at Long Island High School. Carl was given a basketball scholarship by Notre Dame before switching to baseball.


To learn more about Carl Yastrzemski, check out his biography at wikipedia.org.

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Monday, September 6, 2010

1967 Topps Bud Harrelson New York Mets


Today's entry for my collection of 1967 Topps Autographed Baseball cards is about a player, coach and manager who is known as a light hitter with a bat, but a big hitter during a fight. It is Bud Harrelson of the New York Mets, card number 306 in the 1967 Topps Baseball card set of 609 subjects.

This autograph from Bud Harrelson was obtained with a through the mail request to his residence in New York on December 11, 2008. Eleven days later, I received the card back from Mr. Harrelson with a beautiful blue sharpie signature. Thank you, Bud! As of September 6, 2010, I have accumulated 510 different signatures for the collection.

Darrel "Bud" Harrelson played 16 seasons of Major League Baseball from 1965 to 1980. The majority of his career (1965-1977) was played for the Mets. After the Mets, Bud was traded to the Philadelphia Phillies and played there until 1979, then was traded to the Texas Rangers, where he played his last season, 1980. Known as an excellent fielding shortstop during his career, Bud had a .969 career fielding percentage and won the Gold Glove in 1971. As a hitter, Bud's career batting average was .236 with 1120 hits, of which 7 were home runs, drove in 267 runs and stole 127 bases. Bud Harrelson was named to the 1970 and 1971 National League All-Star teams and won two World Series rings, in 1969 as a player for Amazin' Mets and in 1986 as a coach for the Mets.

Always a fiery competitor, Bud Harrelson let his emotions get the better of him in the 1973 National League Championship Series against Pete Rose and the Cincinnati Reds. During game three of the series, Pete Rose slid hard into Harrelson at second base while trying to break up a double play. Bud Harrelson took exception to the aggressive slide and a fight ensued between Rose and Harrelson and the benches from both teams joined the fray. The Mets fans were so upset by the fight, they started throwing objects onto the field and the game was almost called off. It took several members of the New York Mets to calm the crowd and let the game resume.

After his playing days were over, Bud Harrelson became a coach for the Mets for several seasons and finally got his chance to manage the Mets in 1990 and 1991. He posted a career managerial record with 166 wins versus 151 losses. He was never given another opportunity to manage in the Major League after the firing. To learn more about Bud Harrelson, go to his biography at wikipedia.org.

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Monday, August 30, 2010

1967 Topps Fritz Peterson New York Yankees


Today's entry for my collection of 1967 Topps Autographed Baseball cards is about a pitcher who made national news for a personal decision with another Yankees pitcher. It is Fritz Peterson, pitcher for the New York Yankees, card number 495 in the 1967 Topps Baseball card set of 609 subjects.

This autograph from Fritz Peterson was obtained via Gate X Autographs in Milwaukee, Wisconsin on June 10th, 2010. Mr. Peterson was making a personal appearance and had a private autograph session with Gate X. I sent the card to Gate X on April 30th and received it back June 10, 2010 with a beautiful blue sharpie signature from Fritz Peterson. Thank you Gate X and Mr. Peterson. As of August 30, 2010, I have built my collection of 1967 Topps Autographed card to 510 cards and counting.

Fritz Peterson career lasted 11 seasons from 1966 to 1976 with three teams. He pitched for the Yankees from 1966 to 1974, then was traded to the Cleveland Indians, where he pitched until 1976. During the 1976 season, Fritz Peterson was traded to the Texas Rangers where he ended his career that same season. His career statistics include 133 wins versus 131 losses, 1015 strikeouts and a career 3.30 earned run average. His best season was 1970 when he won 20 games for the Yankees and made the All-Star team. Fritz Peterson has the distinction of having the lowest earned run average (2.52) in the old Yankee Stadium bettering Hall of Famer Whitey Ford who was second with a 2.55 e.r.a.

In the off-season of 1972, Fritz Peterson made national news along with fellow Yankees pitcher, Mike Kekich. They had been best friends for several years and their families were very close as well. Peterson and Kekich decided to swap spouses with Mrs. Kekich marrying Fritz Peterson and Mrs. Peterson moving in with Mike Kekich. Fritz is still married to the former Mrs. Kekich. It did not work as well for Kekich, who never married the former Mrs. Peterson. During the 1973 and 1974 seasons, Fritz was roundly booed on the road by the American League fans and he never really pitched up to standard he set in the 1970 season.

After baseball, Fritz Peterson became an evangelist, sold real estate and dealt blackjack at a casino in Illinois. Quite a journey! He wrote his first book in 2009, titled "Mickey Mantle is Going to Heaven. 

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Tuesday, August 24, 2010

1967 Topps Walter Alston Los Angeles Dodgers


Today's entry in the 1967 Topps Autographed Baseball card collection is about a gentleman who played 1 major league game and then went on to manage a team for 23 years. It is Walter Alston, Hall of Fame Manager of the Brooklyn and Los Angeles Dodgers. Card number 294 in the 1967 Topps Baseball card set of 609 subjects.

This autograph was obtained through a reputable autograph dealer on ebay.com on December 9, 2009. Mr. Alston had passed away in 1984 at the age of 72 and upon inspection of this card, I feel strongly it is the legitimate autograph of Walt Alston signed in blue ink.

Walter Alston came up to the Major Leagues on September 27, 1936 as a first baseman for the St. Louis Cardinals and struck out in his only at-bat. He never made it back to the major leagues mainly because the Cardinals had a first baseman who was a future Hall of Famer himself, Johnny "Big Cat" Mize. Walter Alston played and managed in the minor league for several years until he was named manager of the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1954. He remained manager of the Dodgers for 23 seasons, each year signing a one-year contract. I guess he was confident in his ability to lead and did not need the security of a long-term contract. Walter was the manager of the Dodgers during both the Brooklyn years and subsequently with the Los Angeles Dodgers after their move west in 1958.

During his 23 seasons as manager, Walter Alston led the Dodgers to seven pennants and 4 World Series Championships, 1955 with Brooklyn, 1959, 1963 and 1965 with the Los Angeles Dodgers. Alston managed 3658 games, winning 2040 while losing 1618 given him a .558 winning percentage. Walter was given the Manager of the Year Award six seasons and managed the All-Star team in seven seasons. Mr. Alston retired in 1976 and gave over the reins of the Dodgers to Tommy Lasorda who managed the Dodgers for 20 seasons himself until 1996. Always a developer of talent, Walter Alston managed several future Hall of Famers such as Jackie Robinson, Sandy Koufax, Don Drysdale, Duke Snider and Don Newcombe.

Walter Alston number 24 was retired by the Dodgers in 1977 and was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1983.


To learn more about Walter Alston, read his biography at wikipedia.org.

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Monday, August 23, 2010

1967 Topps Dalton Jones Boston Red Sox

Today's entry for my 1967 Topps Autographed card collection was a vital part of the 1967 Boston Red Sox Impossible Dream season and was originally scouted by Hall of Famer Ted Williams. It is Dalton Jones, 2nd Baseman for the Boston Red Sox, card number 139 in the 1967 Topps Baseball card set of 609 subjects.

This autographed was obtained with a through the mail (TTM) request to Dalton Jones' home in Mississippi. Addresses for thousands of current and former players can be found at sportscollectors.net. I sent the card to Mr. Jones on January 9, 2009 and received it back 8 days later with a nice blue sharpie signature. Thank you, Mr. Jones.

Dalton Jones played nine seasons of Major League Baseball from 1964 to 1972. In his first 6 seasons, Dalton played for the Boston Red Sox (1964 to 1969). Then he was traded to the Detroit Tigers, where he played from 1970 to 1972 and finished his career that same year with the Texas Rangers. His manager in Texas was the same Ted Williams who had originally signed him to the Red Sox. Incidentally, Ted Williams was the boyhood hero of Dalton Jones. During Dalton's nine seasons, he hit 41 home runs, drove in 237 runs and had a career .235 batting average. His best season was the pennant winning season for the Red Sox in 1967, hitting .289 and having many valuable hit down the pennant stretch. In the 1967 World Series, Dalton hit .389 second only to Hall of Famer Carl Yastrzemski hitting .400. Even though the Red Sox lost the series in 7 games to the St. Louis Cardinals, the "Impossible Dream Season" will always be remembered by the Red Sox Nation.

To learn more about Dalton Jones, visit is biography at wikipedia.org.

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Saturday, August 21, 2010

1967 Topps Don Sutton Los Angeles Dodgers


Today's entry in the 1967 Topps Autographed Baseball card collection is that of a Hall of Fame Pitcher and now broadcaster for the Atlanta Braves. It is Don Sutton of the Los Angeles Dodgers, card number 445 in the 1967 Topps baseball card set of 609 subjects.

This autographed card was obtained in person before the Dodgers played against the Atlanta Braves on August 15, 2010. As a broadcaster for the Braves, Mr. Sutton arrives a few hours before each home game and as he walks into the ballpark, he is available to autograph items for the awaiting fans. I was fortunate enough to be in attendance of the game, which was the fourth game in four days of my 2010 Baseball weekend. Mr. Sutton signed my card with a blue sharpie I had provided. It is the 510th autograph obtained in my collection of 1967 Topps cards. Thank you, Don Sutton!

Don Sutton's career started in 1966 for the Los Angeles Dodgers and lasted 23 seasons. He pitched for the Dodgers until 1980, then went to the Houston Astros for two seasons. After the Astros, Don pitched for the Milwaukee Brewers from 1982 to 1984, the Oakland A's in 1985, the California Angels from 1985 to 1987 and finally ending his career back with the Dodgers in 1988. Always a model of consistency during his career, Don Sutton won at least 10 games in 21 of his 23 seasons. His Hall of Fame statistics include 324 wins, 58 of them shutouts, 3,574 strikeouts, a career 3.26 earned run average and 5 one-hitters. Don Sutton also was selected to four All-Star Games, winning the MVP award in the 1977 classic. Don helped his teams to the baseball playoffs in 5 seasons with 4 times his team making it to the World Series, all losing to the eventual champion. Don Sutton was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1998 and had his uniform number 20 retired by the Dodgers that same year.  An interesting fact about Don Sutton is that he has the distinction of the most at-bats during his career without a home run, his 1,354 at bats is the record amongst major league baseball players.


Looking for great Sports memorabilia, apparel and collectibles, check out Dugoutdug Sports Collectibles for your favorite players and teams.

To learn more about Don Sutton, go to his biography at wikipedia.org.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

1967 Topps Atlanta Braves Team Card with Cito Gaston


Today's entry of my 1967 Topps Autographed Baseball cards was obtained after 18 months of trying. It is Cito Gaston, rookie during the 1967 Atlanta Braves Spring Training and pictured on the team card, number 477 in the 1967 Topps Baseball card set. It is the 509th autograph in my pursuit of collection the set.

This autograph was obtained in person on August 13th, 2010 at the Blue Jays versus Angels game in Anaheim, California. I called Cito Gaston, the manager of the Toronto Blue Jays, over before the game and requested his autograph. When I presented the card, he looked at the picture and the back of the card, then I told him it was during his rookie season and he acknowledged the same. He signed the card with a blue sharpie I had provided. The reason it took 18 months is because during my 2009 Spring Training trip, I had attended two different Blue Jays games and in each I asked Mr. Gaston for his autograph and both times he was unable to sign. I guess being the manager has a lot of responsibility. Third time was the charm! Thank you Mr. Gaston.

Clarence "Cito" Gaston played in the major leagues for 10 season from 1967 to 1978. His career started with the Braves in 1967, playing 9 games and rooming with Hall of Famer Hank Aaron. He was drafted by the San Diego Padres in 1969 as an expansion pick. He played for the Padres until 1974 then went back to the Braves from 1975 to 1978 before finishing his career with the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1978. Cito's career statistics include a .256 batting average, 91 home runs, 387 runs batted in and 13 steals. His best season was 1970 for the Padres, which included being selected to the 1970 All-Star team.

After his playing days were over, Cito Gaston went into the coaching profession and has made quite a name for himself. Starting out as a hitting instructor for the Blue Jays from 1982 until 1989, then he became manager of the Toronto Blue Jays. Cito built the team into a contender and in 1992 and 1993, he led the Blue Jays to their only World Series Championships. He remained as manager until the 1997 season until being replaced by pitching coach, Mel Queen, incidentally card number 374 in the 1967 Topps Baseball card set. Cito Gaston was given the opportunity to manage the Blue Jays again in 2008 and has helped rebuild the team to respectability through the 2010 season. Cito has announced that he is retiring at the end of the season. He has managed 1689 games throughout his career, winning 872 while only losing 817.

To learn about Cito Gaston, check out his biography at wikipedia.org.




Looking for great Sports memorabilia, apparel and collectibles, check out Dugoutdug Sports Collectibles for your favorite players and teams.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

1967 Topps Minnesota Twins Harmon Killebrew

Today's entry about my collection of 1967 Topps Autographed Baseball cards is a player who as known for his incredible power and tape measure home runs. He also hit a total of 573 home runs during his career and had retired as the leader in home runs by a right handed batter. He has been surpassed since by Willie Mays, Sammy Sosa and Hank Aaron. It is Hall of Famer Harmon Killebrew, infielder for the Minnesota Twins. Card number 460 in the 1967 Topps Baseball card set of 609 subjects.

This autograph was obtained on June 2, 2010 in Birmingham, Alabama during the 100th anniversary of the Rickwood Field, the oldest ballpark in America. My friend Ryan and I took a bus trip sponsored by the Tennessee Smokies Baseball Team to Birmingham to get an opportunity for the autograph and watch the game between the Smokies and the Birmingham Barons. Harmon Killebrew was a special guest for the event and threw out one of the first pitches of the game. Also in attendance were many of the former Negro League Baseball players and it was an amazing day of baseball nostalgia and history.  Mr. Killebrew agreed to sign autographs for the fans in attendance and I was fortunate enough to receive three cards from my 1967 Topps set signed. Besides his regular issue card #460, Mr. Killebrew signed card #241 American League 1966 RBI Leader, already signed by Frank Robinson and Boog Powell and the Twins Team card #212, already signed by Hall of Famer Rod Carew and Tony Oliva. If you want to know more about the Carew and Oliva autographs, read my story from my blog by clicking here. As of August 7, 2010, I have obtained 508 autographs in my 1967 Topps Baseball set.




Harmon Killebrew played 22 seasons in the major leagues from 1954 to 1975 for the Washington Senators/Minnesota Twins and the Kansas City Royals. His first appearance in 1954 was 4 days after signing the contract with the Washington Senators as a bonus baby. The bonus baby rule back in the 1950's and 1960's stated that the player must play in the major leagues for 2 years immediately after signing the contract. He was the youngest player in the major league at that time, 17 years old at his debut! During those two seasons, he had only 93 at-bats and hit 4 home runs. After the two years period expired, Harmon spent time between the minor leagues and major league for 3 seasons before return in 1959 for good.


Harmon "Killer" Killebrew had a breakout season in 1959, hitting 42 home runs and 105 runs batted in. He established himself as one of the premier power hitters of all-time over the next 15 seasons. His career statistics include 573 home runs, 1584 runs batted in, 2086 hits and a career .256 batting average. Killebrew appeared in 13 All-Star games during his career and 3 postseasons, 1965 World Series and 1969 and 1970 Playoffs. He led the American League in home runs 6 different seasons and hit over 40 home runs in eight seasons. In 1969, Harmon Killebrew was named the American League Most Valuable Player and in 1984 he was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in his fourth year of eligibility.



After his playing days were over, Harmon spent time as a television broadcaster for several team from 1976 to 1988 and has been a hitting instructor for the Minnesota Twins. To learn more about Harmon Killebrew, read his biography at wikipedia.org. 



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Wednesday, August 4, 2010

1967 Topps Cookie Rojas Philadelphia Phillies



Today's entry about my collection of 1967 Topps Autographed Baseball cards is a player who appeared in 5 All-Star Games, including 4 straight in the early 1970's. It is Octavio Victor Rojas Rivas, better known as Cookie Rojas, infielder/outfielder for the Philadelphia Phillies. Card number 595 in the 1967 Topps Baseball card set of 609 subjects.

This autograph was obtained with a through the mail request to Cookie Rojas via the Florida Marlins, where he is the Spanish Television Announcer for the Fins, on June 10, 2010. Mr. Rojas graciously returned the card 23 days later with a nice blue sharpie autograph. Thank you, Cookie! This is the 508th autograph in my 1967 Topps collection and the last 100 or so to go are becoming harder and harder to obtain.

 Cookie Rojas played 16 seasons in the major leagues from 1962 to 1977. His career started in 1962 with the Cincinnati Reds, then went to the Phillies from 1963 until 1969. After Philadelphia, Rojas played in 1970 for the St. Louis Cardinals and played his final 8 seasons with the Kansas City Royals. A symbol of versatily, Cookie Rojas has played all 9 positions during his career including catching and pitching. Primarily during his career, Cookie played second base, while compiling a career .263 Batting Average, 1660 hits, 593 runs batted in, 54 home runs and stealing 76 bases. He played in two playoff series for the Kansas City Royals in 1976 and 1977 versus the New York Yankees.




Cookie Rojas appeared in five All-Star games during his career, 1965 and 1971 to 1974. In the 1972 Game in Atlanta, he hit a pinch-hit, two-run homer in the eighth inning, which was the first time that a non-American-born player ever homered for the American League in the mid-summer classic.

After his playing days were over, Cookie Rojas coached and scouted until he was named manager of the California Angels in 1988. He also managed a game for the Florida Marlins in 1996. To learn more about Cookie Rojas, check out his biography at wikipedia.org.

Looking for great Sports memorabilia, apparel and collectibles, check out Dugoutdug Sports Collectibles for your favorite players and teams.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

1967 Topps Ralph Houk Yankees Manager

Today's entry from my 1967 Topps Autographed Baseball card set is about a former manager of the New York Yankees, Detroit Tigers and Boston Red Sox and sadly he passed away yesterday, July 21, 2010 at age 90. It is Ralph Houk, manager of the New York Yankees. Card number 468 in the 1967 Topps Baseball card set of 609 cards.

This card was obtained with a through the mail request to Ralph Houk's home in Florida on July 13, 2009. He graciously autographed the card with a blue sharpie and returned it to me 15 days later. Thank you Mr. Houk.

Also, I have the 1967 Topps Yankees Team card signed by Ralph Houk. Card #131 in the set and was obtained through a dealer on ebay.

Ralph "The Major" Houk played in the major league for 8 seasons from 1947 to 1954 and appeared in 91 games as a backup catcher for the Yankees' Yogi Berra. His career statistics include a .272 batting average, 54 hits and 20 runs batted in. He enjoyed the heyday of New York Yankees World Championships. He earned 6 championship rings in 7 seasons from 1947 to 1953.



Ralph Houk's managerial career began in grand fashion with the New York Yankees in 1961. During that season, Roger Maris and Mickey Mantle pursued Babe Ruth's single season home run record of 60 set in 1927. Mantle ended the season with 54 dingers while Maris caught and passed Ruth with his 61st long ball on the final day of the season. He also managed the Yankees to the championship in 1962. Houk managed the Yankees to the World Series also in 1963, but lost to the Los Angeles Dodgers. After the 1963 season, he moved into the front office of the Yankees, only to returned to managing in 1966. Ralph Houk continued to manage the Yankees until the end of 1973 season. Houk also managed the Detroit Tigers from 1974 to 1978 and the Boston Red Sox from 1981 to 1984. During his 20 year managerial career, he won 1619 games versus 1531 games. After his managerial career was over, Ralph Houk worked in the front office of the Minnesota Twins before finally retiring in 1989.



Before making it to the Major Leagues, Ralph Houk was a catcher working his way through the Yankees' farm system when the U.S. entered World War II. He enlisted in the armed forces, became an Army Ranger, and was commissioned as a lieutenant after attending officer's candidate school; he later was promoted to to major. He was a combat veteran of Bastogne and the Battle of the Bulge, and was awarded the Silver Star, Purple Heart and Bronze Star.

To learn more about Ralph Houk's career, go to his biography at wikipedia.org.

Looking for great Sports memorabilia, apparel and collectibles, check out Dugoutdug Sports Collectibles for your favorite players and teams.

Friday, May 7, 2010

1967 Topps Lou Burdette Los Angeles Angels

Today's entry from my 1967 Topps Autographed Baseball card set is about the winning pitcher of a game even though his counterpart threw a perfect game for 12 innings. It is Lou Burdette, pitcher of the Los Angeles Angels. Card number 265 in the 1967 Topps Baseball card set of 609 cards.
This card was obtained at a baseball card show in Knoxville, Tennessee from a dealer who is also compiling an autographed 1967 Topps baseball card set. Bought on October 21, 2008, it was one of the original cards in my collection.

Lou Burdette pitched in major league baseball for 18 seasons from 1950 to 1967. His career started with the New York Yankees and ended with the Angels. He also pitched for the Boston/Milwaukee Braves, St. Louis Cardinals, Chicago Cubs, and the Philadelphia Phillies. His career statistics include 203 wins, a 3.66 earned run average, 1074 strikeouts, 33 shutouts and 31 saves. Lou appeared in two All-Star games (1957 and 1959) and winning one World Series while a member of the Milwaukee Braves in 1957. Lou pitched three complete games and two shutouts in the 1957 World Series and was named the World Series MVP in the victory over the New York Yankees.

Burdette was the winning pitcher on May 26, 1959 when the Pittsburgh Pirates' Harvey Haddix pitched a perfect game against the Braves for 12 innings, only to lose in the 13th. Burdette threw a 1-0 shutout, scattering 12 hits. On August 18, 1960, Lou Burdette pitched his own no-hitter against the Phillies. He missed a perfect game by hitting Tony Gonzalez with a pitch, but faced the minimum 27 batters because Gonzalez was retired by a double play. Lou Burdette was also a good hitter during his career, hitting 12 home runs and batting in 75 runs.

To learn more about Lou or Lew Burdette's career, go to his biography at wikipedia.org.

Looking for great Sports memorabilia, apparel and collectibles, check out Dugoutdug Sports Collectibles for your favorite players and teams.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

1967 Topps Juan Marichal Checklists San Francisco Giants

Today's entry for my collection of 1967 Topps Autographed Baseball cards is one of the many variations that were included within the set. The card is the 6th series Checklist card with Hall of Famer Juan Marichal of the San Francisco Giants. Card number 454a and 454b in the 1967 Topps Baseball set of 609 cards. This card has two variations, if you look closely at the picture of Juan Marichal, the top card shows only the right ear while the bottom card shows both ears. The cards are equally prevalent in the hobby today.

These cards were autographed on November 29, 2009 at the Moeller High School baseball card show in Cincinnati, Ohio. Juan Marichal and fellow Giants Hall of Famer Orlando Cepeda were autograph guests and Mr. Marichal was gracious enough to sign these cards for me with a beautiful blue sharpie autograph. Thank you Mr. Marichal.

Juan "the Dominican Dandy" Marichal pitched 16 seasons in the Major Leagues from 1960 to 1975. The first 14 seasons, Juan played for the San Francisco Giants and then played a season each for the Boston Red Sox and finally the Los Angeles Dodgers. In his first game of his career on July 19. 1960, Juan took a no-hitter into the eighth inning
only to settle for a one-hit shut out against the Philadelphia Phillies. He did get a no-hitter three years later on June 15, 1963. Also during the 1963 season, he was the winning pitcher in one of the most amazing pitching duels in major league history. On July 2, 1963, Marichal and fellow Hall of Famer Warren Spahn each pitched 16 inning complete games with the score finally settled 1-0 by a home run by baseball great Willie Mays.

Juan Marichal career statistics include 243 wins versus 142 losses, a 2.89 earned run average, 2303 strikeouts, 244 complete games and 52 shutouts. He was named to the National League All-Star teams 9 times and was the Most Valuable Player in the 1965 All-Star game. Marichal was elected into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1983 and has his number 27 retired by the Giants.

Want to read more about Juan Marichal, go to his biography at wikipedia.org. 

Looking for great Sports memorabilia, apparel and collectibles, check out Dugoutdug Sports Collectibles for your favorite players and teams.

Monday, March 29, 2010

1967 Topps Gary Peters Chicago White Sox

The mailbox streak is back again! No new additions to my 1967 Topps Autographed Baseball card set, so I went back into my collection to find an excellent success. It is Gary Peters, pitcher of the Chicago White Sox. Card number 310 in the 1967 Topps Baseball set of 609 cards.

This autograph was obtained with a through the mail to Gary Peters home in Florida on March 18, 2009. I received the card back 9 days later with a beautiful blue sharpie signature. Thank you Mr. Peters. If you are interested in sending through the mail (TTM) requests to players, go to sportscollectors.net for addresses of players and teams.

Gary Peters pitched in the Major Leagues for 14 seasons from 1959 to 1972 for the Chicago White Sox and Boston Red Sox. Gary pitched a total of 12 games between 1959 and 1962, each season he was sent back to the minors to gain more experience. His first full season was 1963 with the White Sox and he proved he was ready for the big leagues. He won 19 games and posted a 2.33 earned run average for the season and was named the American League Rookie of the Year. Gary won 20 games in 1964 and was named to the American League All-star team. He also made the 1967 All-Star team. Overall, Gary Peters won 124 games, struck out 1420 batters and had a 3.25 career E.R.A. Gary was also known as an excellent batter for a pitcher, hitting 19 home runs and driving in 102 runs in his career. He was used as a pinch hitter regularly throughout his career and batted in the 6th place in the lineup on May 26, 1968, which is unheard of for a pitcher.

To learn more about Gary Peters, go to his biography on wikipedia.org.

Looking for great Sports memorabilia, apparel and collectibles, check out Dugoutdug Sports Collectibles for your favorite players and teams.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

1967 Topps NL Rookies with Gary Sutherland and Don Shaw

The mailbox was empty today, but yesterday I received a nice surprise. It was a card returned from a through the mail request to Gary Sutherland, rookie 2nd Baseman/Shortstop of the Philadelphia Phillies. Card number 587 in the 1967 Topps Autographed Baseball card set of 609 cards.

I mailed this card to Gary Sutherland to his home in California on February 22, 2010 and 32 days later, Gary returned the card with a blue sharpie autograph with a slight smear. I don't mind the smear too much, it kind of fits the card with the multiple creases. This autograph marks the 480th different signature that I have obtained for my collection. I still have about 150 more autographs to go to complete the set.

Gary Sutherland played 13 seasons in Major League Baseball from 1966 to 1978. His career started with the Philadelphia Phillies and ended with the St. Louis Cardinals. He also played for the Montreal Expos, the Houston Astros, the Detroit Tigers, the San Diego Padres and the Milwaukee Brewers. During his career, Gary Sutherland amassed 754 hits and a .243 career average, hit 24 home runs and 239 runs batted in. As a curious note, Gary scored the first run in the Montreal Expos franchise history on April 8, 1969 against the New York Mets.

Now it is time to contact Don Shaw and see if he would be willing to sign the card also. Wish me luck...


Looking for great Sports memorabilia, apparel and collectibles, check out Dugoutdug Sports Collectibles for your favorite players and teams.

Monday, March 22, 2010

1967 Topps Twins Team Card with Tony Oliva and Rod Carew

The empty mailbox streak of 7 days has ended in a BIG way! Today, the mailbox had a super surprise waiting for me. It was an envelope from Tony Oliva of the Minnesota Twins post marked from Fort Myers, Florida, the spring training home of the team. Enclosed in the envelope were several items including this card for my 1967 Topps Autographed Baseball card set. It is the Twins Team card, number 211 in the 1967 Topps set of 609 cards. It has been signed by Tony Oliva and Rod Carew!

There is a long story behind this autograph card. The story begins during my Spring Training trip three weeks ago to Florida. On March 4, my friend Jim and I visited Fort Myers to see the Twins practice and then saw the Twins and Boston Red Sox play a game that night. Knowing that Tony Oliva was a member of the Twins front office, I had brought his 1967 Topps card, #50 just in case I ran into him. During the day, we waited for the players and coaches to arrive and we noticed that Tony Oliva and Rod Carew had driven to the ballpark together. They drove past the autograph collectors without signing any cards. I guess that was strike one. As the practice progressed, Mr. Oliva was instructing several Twins players in the batting cages along with Rod Carew. After a break in the practice, I asked Tony Oliva if he would be willing to sign my card for my collection.


He refused and said he was working. Strike two. Undeterred, I continued to follow Tony during the practice and at one point he saw me standing alone as he came out of the clubhouse and I asked if he would sign me card. Again, he refused and went back to work. I guess that was a foul ball, no third strike yet. As the practice started to wind down and the players and coaches started the leave the field, Tony was called over by a couple of fans and he started to sign some autographs. As he was signing the autographs, I asked if he would sign my card for my collection. He passed me over a couple of times, but I did not give up. Finally, he took my card and signed it with a blue sharpie that I provided. Persistence paid off.

I thanked Tony Oliva for the autograph, shook his hand and asked if he would take a picture with me and he obliged. That would have been a great story in itself, but it did not end there. After I arrived home, I decided to write Tony a letter apologizing for being so persistent in pursuit of his autograph. Enclosed with the letter, I included two 8x10s of the picture of me and Tony Oliva, two more 1967 Topps cards, the Twins Team card above and the 1966 American League Batting Leaders card, #239, and a gift card to Outback Steakhouse. I asked if he could sign one of the 8x10s and keep the other and asked he if could sign the Batting Leaders card, already signed by Hall of Famer Al Kaline and the Twins Team card. I also asked if he could have Hall of Famer Rod Carew sign the team card as well. I mailed the envelope on March 10, 2010 and received it back 12 days later with both photos signed and both cards signed. Even Rod Carew signed the team card. Thank you very much, Mr Oliva and Mr. Carew!

Tony Oliva's career lasted 15 seasons in major league baseball, all with the Minnesota Twins. He started his career in 1964, winning the American League Rookie of the Year award and named to the American League All-star for the first of eight consecutive seasons. He ended his playing days in 1978 with a career .304 batting average, 220 home runs and 947 runs batted in, 329 doubles and a total of 1917 hits in 1676 games. Tony's eight consecutive All-Star appearances to start his career broke the previous record set by Hall of Famer Joe Dimaggio of the New York Yankees. Tony Oliva won 3 batting titles during his career, 1964, 1965 and 1971 and won a Gold Glove award in 1966. The latter part of his career was hampered by injuries and there has been much debate about his place in baseball history. Considered one of the best players not in the Baseball Hall of Fame, Tony Oliva deserves his place in Cooperstown.

To learn more about Tony Oliva and his career, go to his biography at wikipedia.org.
 
Looking for great Sports memorabilia, apparel and collectibles, check out Dugoutdug Sports Collectibles for your favorite players and teams.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

1967 Topps Andy Etchebarren Baltimore Orioles

The mailbox streak has reached 7 days now, I am hoping for a new addition soon. I went back into my collection of 1967 Topps Autographed Baseball cards and found a card to share. It is Andy Etchebarren, catcher of the Baltimore Orioles. Card number 457 out of 609 in the 1967 Topps Baseball card set.

This autograph was obtained with a through the mail request to Andy Etchebarren on May 23, 2009 care of the Southern Maryland Blue Crabs Baseball team, where he was a coach. He signed the card with a black sharpie and returned it to me 13 days later with an excellent autograph.

Andy Etchebarren played Major League Baseball for 15 seasons from 1962 to 1978. His career started with the Baltimore Orioles in 1962 appearing in 2 games then he returned to the minor leagues until 1965 when he played 5 games for the Orioles. In 1966, Andy Etchebarren became the starting catcher and stayed in the majors for the rest of his career. Andy played for the Orioles until early 1975 when his contract was purchased by the California Angels and finished his career with the Milwaukee Brewers in 1978. Andy Etchebarren's career statistics include 948 games played, posting a career .235 batting average, hitting 49 home runs and driving in 309 runs. Andy was selected to the American League All-Star team in 1966 and 1967 and was a member of the Baltimore Orioles' World Championship team in 1966 and 1970. He was the last man to ever bat against Sandy Koufax, when he hit into a double play during the sixth inning of Game 2 of the 1966 World Series.

After his playing days were over, Andy Etchebarren starting a second career of coaching baseball. He coached within the Baltimore Oriole organization at many levels and currently Andy is the manager of the York Revolution.

Looking for great Sports memorabilia, apparel and collectibles, check out Dugoutdug Sports Collectibles for your favorite players and teams.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

1967 Topps Ken Holtzman Chicago Cubs

Today's entry for my collection of 1967 Topps Autographed Baseball cards is the all time wins leader for Jewish pitchers even ahead of Hall of Famer Sandy Koufax. It is Ken Holtzman, pitcher for the Chicago Cubs. Card number 185 in the 1967 Topps Baseball card set.

This autograph was obtained with a through the mail request to Ken Holtzman at his home in Missouri on January 6, 2009. Mr. Holtzman signed the card with a black ballpoint pen and returned the card to me 41 days later. Thank you, Ken!

Ken Holtzman pitched 15 seasons in the major league from 1965 to 1979. He debuted with the Chicago Cubs in 1965 and stayed with the Cubs until 1971 when he was traded to the Oakland A's before the 1972 season. Ken also pitched for the Baltimore Orioles and New York Yankees before returning to the Cubs in 1978 and retired after the 1979 season. Ken Holtzman won 174 games in his career, striking out 1,601 batters and posting a 3.49 earned run average. He pitched two no-hitters (August 19, 1969 and June 3, 1971) and was selected to two All-Star team in 1972 and 1973. Ken Holtzman was also a key member of the Oakland A's World Series Championship run from 1972 to 1974.

To learn more about Ken Holtzman and his career, go to his biography at wikipedia.org.

Looking for great Sports memorabilia, apparel and collectibles, check out Dugoutdug Sports Collectibles for your favorite players and teams.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

1967 Topps Phil Linz Philadelphia Phillies

Today's entry about my collection of 1967 Topps Autographed Baseball cards is a player probably more known for an off the field incident than his playing days. It is Phil Linz, infielder for the Philadelphia Phillies. Card number 14 in the 1967 Topps Baseball card set of 609 subjects.

This autograph was obtained with a through the mail request to Phil Linz's home in Connecticut on January 6, 2009. Mr. Linz returned the card 9 days later with a nice black sharpie autograph and a musical note at the end of his name. This was in reference to famous "harmonica incident" that occurred in 1964 while a member of the New York Yankees.

Here is Jim Bouton's, author of "Ball Four", version of the harmonica incident. "On the team bus, after a Yankee loss to the Chicago White Sox, Linz was in the back playing a plaintive version of "Mary Had a Little Lamb" on his harmonica. Yankee manager Yogi Berra thought the sad cowboy style mixed with a children's nursery rhyme was mocking the team. He told Linz to pipe down. Linz didn't hear and kept playing. Berra became infuriated and called back from the front of the bus, "If you don't knock that off, I'm going to come back there and kick your ass." Linz couldn't hear the words over the music, so he asked Mickey Mantle, "What he say?" Mantle responded, "He said to play it louder." This led the famous confrontation when Berra stormed to the back of the bus, slapped the harmonica out of Linz' hands, and the instrument hit Joe Pepitone's knee."

Phil Linz played 7 seasons in the major leagues from 1962 to 1968. His career started in 1962 with the New York Yankees, then went to the Phillies in 1966 and finally with the New York Mets in 1967 and 1968. As a backup infielder for his career, Phil Linz hit .235 in 519 games with 322 hits including 11 home runs and 96 runs batted in. He played in two World Series with the Yankees, both losses, in 1963 and 1964. During the 1964 World Series, Phil hit 2 home runs and started all seven games at shortstop, due to an injury to Tony Kubek. 

To learn more Phil Linz, go to his biography at wikipedia.org.

Looking for great Sports memorabilia, apparel and collectibles, check out Dugoutdug Sports Collectibles for your favorite players and teams.

Monday, March 15, 2010

1967 Topps Elroy Face Pittsburgh Pirates

The entry for my 1967 Topps Autographed Baseball card collection today is a pitcher who still holds 3 major league records. It is Elroy "the Baron" Face, relief pitcher for the Pittsburgh Pirates. Card number 49 in the 1967 Topps Baseball card set of 609 cards.

This autograph was obtained with a through the mail request to Elroy Face's house in Pennsylvania on December 11, 2008. Mr. Face returned the card seven days later with a nice blue autograph. Thank you Elroy!

Elroy Face pitched 17 seasons in the major leagues from 1953 to 1969. His first 16 seasons were with the Pittsburgh Pirates and then he was traded to the Detroit Tigers and then onto the Montreal Expos, where he retired in 1969.  Elroy Face's career statistics include 104 wins, 193 saves, a 3.48 earned run average and 877 strikeouts in 848 games. Elroy was selected to the National League All-Star team each year from 1959 to 1961 and was a member of the 1960 World Series Championship team with the Pirates.

Elroy Face still holds major league records with 96 career wins by a relief pitcher, 17 victories to start a season(1959) and highest winning percentage for a season (.947) also in 1959. He held other records for relief pitchers that have been broken after his retirement as the role of the reliever has been stressed much more in today's baseball. Still, Elroy Face was a pioneer in baseball as one of the original closers along with Hall of Famer Hoyt Wilhelm.   

To learn more about Elroy Face, go to his biography at wikipedia.org.

Looking for great Sports memorabilia, apparel and collectibles, check out Dugoutdug Sports Collectibles for your favorite players and teams.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

1967 Topps Tito Francona Philadelphia Phillies

Today's entry never played for the Boston Red Sox but will forever be linked to the franchise because of his son. It is Tito Francona, first baseman and outfielder of the Philadelphia Phillies and father of Red Sox manager, Terry Francona. Card number 443 of the 1967 Topps Autographed Baseball card set of 609 cards.

This autograph was obtained with a through the mail request to Tito Francona's home in Pennsylvania on January 29, 2009. He returned the card with a nice autograph in blue ball point pen 12 days later. Thank you, Mr. Francona.

Tito Francona played 15 seasons in the Major Leagues from 1956 to 1970. Through his career, Tito played for 9 teams including the Baltimore Orioles, Chicago White Sox, Detroit Tigers, Cleveland Indians, St. Louis Cardinals, Phillies, Atlanta Braves, Oakland A's and ended his career with the Milwaukee Brewers. He finished 2nd in the Rookie of the Year voting behind future Hall of Famer Luis Aparicio. Tito Francona was selected to the American League All-Star team in 1961. His career of 1719 games included a .272 batting average, 1395 hits, 125 home runs and 656 runs batted in. In 1959, Tito hit .363 but did not win the batting title because he failed to have the proper number of plate appearances. He fell 34 plate appearance short of qualifying for the title. On July 31, 1963, he hit the third home run in a series of four consecutive home runs in a single inning against pitcher Paul Foytack of the Los Angeles Angels. This was the second time in baseball history that a team hit four consecutive home runs in a single inning.

Tito Francona's son Terry is the current manager of the Boston Red Sox and has led the Red Sox to World Series Championships in 2004 and 2007, breaking the 86 year drought.

Looking for great Sports memorabilia, apparel and collectibles, check out Dugoutdug Sports Collectibles for your favorite players and teams.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

1967 Topps Clay Carroll Atlanta Braves



Today's entry in my collection of 1967 Topps Autographed Baseball cards is Atlanta Braves relief pitcher, Clay Carroll. Card number 219 in the 1967 Topps Baseball set of 609 cards.

This autograph was obtained with a through the mail request to Clay Carroll's home in Florida on July 6, 2009. The card was returned 49 days later from a Chattanooga, Tennessee postmark with a beautiful blue sharpie signatures. It is was one of the prettiest autographs I have received. It is nice to have a player take their time and give a nice autograph. Thank you Mr. Carroll.

Clay "the Hawk" Carroll's career started in 1964 with the Milwaukee & Atlanta Braves and ended in 1978 with the Pittsburgh Pirates. He also pitched for the Chicago White Sox, the St. Louis Cardinals, and was best known as a reliever for 8 seasons for the Cincinnati Reds. As a member of the 1975 World Series Champion Reds, Clay was the winning pitcher in Game 7 of the series against the Boston Red Sox. Clay's career statistics include 96 wins, 143 saves, a 2.94 earned run average and 681 strikeouts in 731 games. He set the National League record for saves in a season with 37 in 1972 for the Cincinnati Reds and held that record until 1984 when Hall of Famer Bruce Sutter saved 45 games for the Cardinals. Clay Carroll was selected to the 1971 and 1972 National League All-Star teams and is a member of the Cincinnati Reds Hall of Fame. 

Looking to obtain autographs through the mail, go to sportscollectors.net and get access to addresses for players from the 4 major sports.

Looking for great Sports memorabilia, apparel and collectibles, check out Dugoutdug Sports Collectibles for your favorite players and teams.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

1967 Topps Jim Piersall Los Angeles Angels


Today's entry from my 1967 Topps Autographed Baseball card set is about a player who had excellent ability on the baseball diamond but sometimes was his own worst enemy due to his on-field antics. It is Jim Piersall, outfielder of the Los Angeles Angels. Card number 584 in the 1967 Topps Baseball card set of 609 cards.

This autographed baseball card was obtained with a through the mail request to Jim Piersall at his home in Illinois on July 13, 2009. To my amazement, Mr. Piersall returned the card with a nice blue sharpie autograph 4 days later. A super fast turnaround, thank you Jimmy Piersall!

Jim "the Waterbury Wizard" Piersall played 17 seasons in major league baseball from 1950 to 1967. He was drafted and played for the Boston Red Sox from 1950 to 1958. He also played for the Cleveland Indians, the Washington Senators, the New York Mets and finally ending his career with the California/Los Angeles Angels. Jimmy Piersall's career statistics include a .272 batting average, 1604 base hits with 104 home runs, 591 runs batted in and 115 stolen bases. He was selected to the American League All-Star team in 1954 and 1956 and won the Gold Glove Award in 1958 and 1961.

Jim Piersall suffered from bipolar disorder during his playing days and that led to many interesting behaviors during his playing days. He was one of the few Americans whose battles with mental health issues were well-known in the 1950's. He eventually figured out that his issues would give him the freedom to act zany, which endeared him to fans. Some of the episodes included fighting with opponents and teammates, frequent ejections over arguing, stepping up to bat wearing a Beatles wig and playing "air guitar" on his bat, he led cheers for himself in the outfield during breaks in play, and "talked" to Babe Ruth behind the center field monuments at Yankee Stadium. Jim Piersall's life in baseball was portrayed in the movie "Fear Strikes Out" starring Anthony Perkins in 1957.

To learn more about Jim Piersall life, go to his biography at wikipedia.org and baseball-reference.com.

Looking for great Sports memorabilia, apparel and collectibles, check out Dugoutdug Sports Collectibles for your favorite players and teams.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

1967 Topps Willie Davis Los Angeles Dodgers

After hearing the news today that Willie Davis has passed away, I felt is was appropriate to share with you his 1967 Topps Autographed Baseball card from my collection. Willie Davis was a long-time member of the Los Angeles Dodgers and card number 160 in the 1967 Topps Baseball card set. He passed away today at age 69 in his home in Burbank, California.

This autographed card was purchased through a seller on ebay.com and includes a beautiful blue signature. I purchased the card on August 4, 2009 and received it several days later.

Willie Davis played 18 seasons in the Major League, the first 14 with the Dodgers, then he played for the Montreal Expos, Texas Rangers, St. Louis Cardinals, San Diego Padres and finally the California Angels. During his career Willie amassed 2561 hits given him a .279 batting average, hit 182 home runs, drove in 1053 runs, and stole 398 bases. He was named to two National League All-Star teams (1971 and 1973), won 3 Gold Glove Awards (1971, 1972, and 1973) and was a member of two World Series Championship teams with the Dodgers in 1963 and 1965.  

To learn more about Willie Davis and his career, go to his biography at baseball-reference.com and read this excellent story from the LA Times.

Rest in Peace, Mr. Willie Davis.

Looking for great Sports memorabilia, apparel and collectibles, check out Dugoutdug Sports Collectibles for your favorite players and teams.

Monday, March 8, 2010

1967 Topps Ron Taylor New York Mets

The mailbox today had a new addition for my collection of 1967 Topps Autographed Baseball cards from it came with a postmark from Canada. The newest entry is that of Ron Taylor, pitcher of the New York Mets. Card number 606 in the 1967 Topps Baseball card set of 609 cards.

The Ron Taylor autograph was obtained with a through the mail request to his home in Canada. I mailed the card to Dr. Taylor on February 12, 2010 and he returned the card sign with a black sharpie autograph 24 days later. This marks the 466th autograph in my collection. Thank you, Ron Taylor. Wanting to send your own cards to players, go to sportscollectors.net for addresses of the major sports leagues. You can get team and player addresses.

Ron Taylor's career lasted 11 seasons from 1962 to 1972. His career started with the Cleveland Indians and he also played for the St. Louis Cardinals, Houston Astros, New York Mets and finally the San Diego Padres. Used mainly as a relief pitcher, Ron Taylor's career statistics include 45 wins, 72 saves, a 3.93 earned run average and 464 strikeouts. Ron won World Series championships in 1964 with the Cardinals and 1969 with the Mets. 

After Ron Taylor's career ended in 1972, he decided to pursue a medical degree from the University of Toronto, which he completed in 1977. In 1979, Dr. Taylor became the first former player to be a team physician for the Toronto Blue Jays and has filled that role for 31 years. He also has a private practice in Toronto and lectures at his alma mater. He was named to the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame in 1985 for his pitching abilities, and was also named to the Canada Sports Hall of Fame in 1993. He was also named to the Order of Ontario in 2003 for his accomplishments. To learn more about Ron Taylor, go to his biography at baseball-reference.com.

Looking for great Sports memorabilia, apparel and collectibles, check out Dugoutdug Sports Collectibles for your favorite players and teams.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

1967 Topps Denny McLain Detroit Tigers

As my 2010 trip to Spring Training in Florida began, I was given a new addition to my 1967 Topps Autographed Baseball card collection by my good friend, Jim. It is Denny McLain, pitcher of the Detroit Tigers, card number 420 in the 1967 Topps Baseball set of 609 cards.

This autograph was obtained by Jim on February 20, 2010 at the Lee High School fundraiser in Michigan. I mailed Jim the card and he attended the function and asked Denny McLain to sign the card. Denny autographed the card with a beautiful blue sharpie and included the 31-6, 1968 inscription. The inscription signifies one of the greatest pitching seasons in baseball history. Denny is the last pitcher to win 30 games in a season and we might never see that feat accomplished again as today's pitchers are protected and pampered.

Denny McLain pitched 10 seasons in the Major Leagues from 1963 to 1972. He was a member of the Detroit Tigers from 1963 to 1970, then was traded to the Washington Senators, Oakland Athletics and finally the Atlanta Braves. His career statistics include 131 wins, a 3.39 earned run average and 1,282 strikeouts. Denny McLain was named to the American League All-Star team in 1966, 1968 and 1969 and won the American League Most Valuable Player award in 1968 as a member of the World Champion Detroit Tigers. Denny also won consecutive Cy Young Award in 1968 and 1969. In the 1968 season, Denny won 31 games versus 6 losses, had a 1.96 era, and had 28 complete games with 6 shutouts.

To learn more about Denny McLain's career, go to his biography at wikipedia.org.


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Saturday, March 6, 2010

1967 Topps Pete Richert Washington Senators

Today marks the end of the 2010 Florida Spring Training Baseball  junket and upon return, there was a 1967 Topps Autographed Baseball card waiting in the mail. It is that of Pete Richert, pitcher of the Washington Senators. Card number 590 in the 1967 Topps Baseball card set of 609.

This autograph from Pete Richert was obtained by sending a through the mail request to his home in California on January 29, 2010. Mr. Richert returned the card signed with a thin blue sharpie autograph 34 days later. It is the 464th autographed in my collection. Thank you Pete!

Pete Richert pitched in the Major Leagues for 13 years from 1962 to 1974 for the Los Angeles Dodgers, Washington Senators, Baltimore Orioles, St. Louis Cardinals and Philadelphia Phillies. His career statistics include 80 wins, a 3.19 earned run average, 51 saves and 925 strikeouts. Pete was a member of two World Series Championship teams, 1963 with the Dodgers and 1970 with the Orioles and was named to two All-star teams in 1965 and 1966.

Pete Richert's career started out on a very high note. In his debut on April 12, 1962, Pete struck out the first 6 batters he faced, including 4 in one-inning. The six strikeouts tied a record and the 4 strikeouts in the inning set a record for a pitcher in his debut. To learn more about Pete Richert, go to his biography at wikipedia.org.


Looking for great Sports memorabilia, apparel and collectibles, check out Dugoutdug Sports Collectibles for your favorite players and teams.

Monday, March 1, 2010

1967 Topps Boog Powell Baltimore Orioles

Day 2 of the 2010 Florida Spring Training Junket yielded some autographs, but no new additions to the my collection of 1967 Topps signed Baseball cards. It was close to a new success, I presented the card to Hall of Famer Tony Perez at the Florida Marlins training facility in Jupiter, Florida and explained my collection and he flat out said that he does not sign cards with no other explanation. All I can say is that I am disappointed and befuddled by that remark.

With all that said, I went back into my collection and found a card that was signed in person upon my request and it is Boog Powell, first baseman of the Baltimore Orioles. Card number 230 in the 1967 Topps Baseball card set of 609 cards. Boog Powell signed the card outside of his barbecue restaurant at Oriole Park in Camden Yards in Baltimore, Maryland during a family trip in June of 2009. Mr. Powell signed the card with a blue sharpie autograph while talking with me about his playing days. Thanks again, Boog!

John "Boog" Powell played in the Major Leagues for 17 seasons between 1961 and 1977. Primarily for the Baltimore Orioles from 1961 to 1974, Boog also played for the Cleveland Indians (1975-1976) and ended his career with the Los Angeles Dodgers in 1977. During Boog Powell's 17 year career, he batted .266, hit 339 home runs and drove in 1187 runs in 2042 games. Boog was named to the American League All-Star team 4 times from 1968 to 1971 and won the Most Valuable Player Award in 1970. Boog won two World Series Championships with the Orioles in 1966 and 1970 and was named the Comeback Player of the Year twice (1966 and 1975). At his retirement, Boog Powell was the Orioles all-time home run leader until he was passed by Hall of Famers Eddie Murray and Cal Ripken Jr.

To learn more about Boog Powell, go to his biography at wikipedia.org.


Looking for great Sports memorabilia, apparel and collectibles, check out Dugoutdug Sports Collectibles for your favorite players and teams.

Friday, February 26, 2010

1967 Topps Reggie Smith Boston Red Sox Rookie Card

In anticipation of my 2nd annual junket to Florida for Spring Training, I wanted to share a card that was added to my 1967 Topps Autographed Baseball card collection during the 1st trip in 2009. It is Reggie Smith on the 1967 Boston Red Sox Rookie Stars Card with Mike Andrews. Card number 314 in the 1967 Topps Baseball card set of 609 cards.

This autograph was obtained in Clearwater, Florida while the Phillies were playing an exhibition game against the 2009 USA World Baseball Classic team. Reggie Smith was the batting coach for WBC team and was very gracious to come over to me before the started and sign my card. Reggie Smith is known in the hobby as a tough signature to get and I am very thankful he obliged my request. He signed the card with a black sharpie that I supplied. Thank you Reggie.

Reggie Smith's career in Major League Baseball spanned 17 seasons from 1966 to 1982. He played for the Boston Red Sox, the St. Louis Cardinals, the Los Angeles Dodgers and the San Francisco Giants. During his career, Reggie Smith accumulated the following statistics, 2020 base hits in 1987 games, 314 home runs, 1092 runs batted in stole 137 bases and a career .287 batting average. Reggie Smith was involved in four World Series, 1967(loss) with the Red Sox and 1977(loss), 1978(loss) and 1981(win) with the Los Angeles Dodgers.  Reggie hit 6 home runs in a total of 21 World Series games. Reggie Smith also won a Gold Glove in 1968 and was a seven-time All Star. Reggie was 2nd in the 1967 Rookie of the Year voting behind future Hall of Famer Rod Carew. In his rookie season, Reggie hit 15 home runs, drove in 61 runs and stole 16 bases.

After his playing days were over, Reggie Smith spent time as a coach, minor league instructor and player development official for the Los Angeles Dodgers. He also runs Reggie Smith Baseball to help youth players develop the necessary skills to be a successful baseball player. 

To learn more about Reggie Smith, go to his biography at wikipedia.org.
 
Looking for great Sports memorabilia, apparel and collectibles, check out Dugoutdug Sports Collectibles for your favorite players and teams.