Thursday, March 8, 2012
Today's entry in my 1967 Topps Autographed Baseball Card collection is an infielder who later turned into a Major League Manager during the 1980's. It is Hal Lanier, second baseman for the San Francisco Giants, card number 4 in the 1967 Topps Baseball card set of 609 subjects.
This autograph was obtained through a reputable dealer off of an internet auction site. Hal Lanier beautifully signed the card with a black sharpie. As of March 8, 2012, I have accumulated 571 different signatures in my collection of 1967 Topps Autographed cards.
Hal Lanier played 10 seasons in the major leagues, with the San Francisco Giants and New York Yankees. His career started in 1964 with the Giants, playing second base, shortstop and third base during his time in the big leagues. He was traded to the Yankees at the end of the 1971 season and played 95 games over the next two seasons in New York. His career statistics include a .228 batting average, while hitting 8 home runs and driving in 273 runs while playing 1196 games. His best season was his rookie campaign in 1964 when he batted .274.
After his playing days were over, Hal Lanier worked as a coach and subsequently as a Major League manager for 3 seasons. He won a World Series ring as a third base coach for the 1982 St. Louis Cardinals. Mr. Lanier was hired as Manager of the Houston Astros in 1986 and led the team until 1988. Hal won the National League Manager of the Year Award in 1986 while leading the Astros to a 96-66 record and a playoff appearance. His career managerial record was 254 wins against 232 losses.
Tuesday, March 6, 2012
Today's entry about my collection of 1967 Topps Autographed Baseball cards is a player who was the only All-Star in the Seattle Pilots' franchise history. He also went on to become President of the Southern Minor Baseball League. It is Don Mincher, first baseman for the California Angels. Card number 312 in the 1967 Topps Baseball card set of 609 subjects. Sadly, Don Mincher passed away on March 4, 2012 at the age of 73 after a long illness.
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. Don Mincher was the President of the Southern League in Minor League Baseball and was in attendance with his long time friend, Harmon Killebrew , who 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. I met Mr. Mincher as he walked through the stadium and I requested his autograph on his 1967 Topps card. Don Mincher signed the card with a black sharpie. Definitely a beautiful signature. If you want to know more about my encounter with Harmon Killebrew, read my story from my blog by clicking here. As of March 6, 2012, I have obtained 569 autographs in my 1967 Topps Baseball set.
Don Mincher career in the Major Leagues lasted from 1960 to 1972 and he played for the Washington Senators, Minnesota Twins, Angels, Seattle Pilots, Oakland Athletics and Texas Rangers. He was part of two franchise moves, both involving the Senators. The original Senators moved to Minnesota and became the Twins and then the New Senators franchise moved to Texas and became the Rangers. His career statistics include a .249 batting average with 200 home runs and 643 runs batted in while playing 1400 games. Don was named to two All-Star teams, 1967 with the Angels and 1969 with the Seattle Pilots. Since the Pilots moved to Milwaukee in 1970, Don Mincher will always be the lone all-star in the franchise's history. Don Mincher also won a World Series crown in 1972 as a member of the Oakland A's in the 1972, his final season.
Mr. Mincher served in the front office of the Milwaukee Brewers and Huntsville Stars before becoming the President of the Southern League in 2000. He remained in that post until October of 2011 before announcing his retirement. Don was elected to the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame in 2008. To learn more about Don Mincher, read his biography on wikipedia.
Saturday, March 3, 2012
Today's entry in my 1967 Topps Autographed Baseball Card collection is a catcher who hit the last home run in the "old" Yankee stadium in 1973. It is Duke Sims, catcher for the Cleveland Indians, card number 3 in the 1967 Topps Baseball card set of 609 subjects.
This autograph was obtained through a reputable dealer off of an internet auction site. Duke Sims signed the card with a blue sharpie. As of March 3, 2012, I have accumulated 569 different signatures in my collection of 1967 Topps Autographed cards.
Duke Sims played 11 seasons in the major leagues, with the Cleveland Indians, Los Angeles Dodgers, Detroit Tigers, New York Yankees and Texas Rangers. His career started in 1964 with the Indians, catching one of the best group of starting pitchers in the 1960's. The rotation of Sam McDowell, card #295, Luis Tiant #377, Sonny Siebert #95 and Steve Hargan #440 were all well respected hurlers. Duke stayed with the Indians until he was traded to the Dodgers in 1971. Sims later signed with the Tigers and helped led the team to the 1972 playoffs. Duke Sims was later traded to the New York Yankees in 1973 and played for the Texas Rangers in 1974 before retiring. His career statistics include a .239 batting average, while hitting 100 home runs and driving in 310 runs while playing catcher, first base and the outfield. His best season was 1970 when he belted 23 home runs and drove in 56 runs.
Friday, March 2, 2012
This autograph was obtained with a through the mail (TTM) request on December 9, 2009 to Mr. Hamilton at his restaurant in Missouri. 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. Jack Hamilton graciously signed my card with a blue ballpoint pen and returned it to me 8 days later. Thank you, Mr. Hamilton. As of March 2, 2012, I have accumulated 569 different signatures in my collection of 1967 Topps Autographed cards.
Jack Hamilton pitched 8 seasons in the major leagues, with the Philadelphia Phillies, Detroit Tigers, New York Mets, California Angels, Cleveland Indians and Chicago White Sox. His career started in 1962 with the Phillies, after signing as a free agent with the St. Louis Cardinals. Although he began his career as a starter, he spent most of his time in the big leagues as a reliever. His career statistics include 32 wins versus 40 losses while also accumulating 20 saves and 4.53 earned run average.
Jack seemed to lack command and control during his career, walking 348 batters while striking out 357 and throwing 74 wild pitches in his 8 seasons. He only hit 13 batters during his campaigns, but he will always be linked to one batter he hit in 1967, Tony Conligiaro. Conligiaro was an up and coming slugger for the Boston Red Sox and involved in the 1967 pennant race. On August 18th, Hamilton was pitching for the Angels and he hit Tony Conligiaro in the left creekbone with a fastball, fracturing the creekbone and eye socket and damaged the retina. Although the pitch was a complete accident and part of the game, both players and their careers were never the same.
To learn more about Jack Hamilton, go to his biography at wikipedia.org.