Paul Kuzniar pitched four seasons in the Indians and Red Sox organizations, going 17-15 with 18 saves and a 2.28 ERA. He kindly shared with me some great baseball card stories.
"Albert Belle was my roomate for three years! On one card of mine with the Indians I was squatting down like a catcher! I was actually shooting the "the bird" - the middle finger - to Joey
Belle at the time of the photo! As you will see in my baseball card
they airbrushed my finger! THAT WAS ONE OF MY CLASSIC MOMENTS!
Also in my Canton card! They would not let pitchers use a bat in their
cards because of the DH! As you can see I snuck in at the end, grabbed a
bat and took my card picture! The funniest part about the card is that I
hit right handed but took the pic left handed to really piss them off! LOL! i had to pay a small fine! It was worth it!"
Thanks! I don't have either of those cards, but here is one I do have from 1989 Best.
The Tucson Toros were the Astros AAA team. The shots in this set are fairly generic and are poorly lit but the photographer did a good job of getting personality out of some of his subjects.
Steve Lombardozzi sports the "untucked" look. His son now plays for the Washington Nationals.
Hatless Jose looks like he wants to beat somebody up.
Charley Kerfeld looks like a fat mess, which is actually how he liked to portray himself. He was once caught eating ribs in the bullpen and once had a contract that paid him $110,037.37 plus 37 boxes of Orange Jell-O. He was well known in the late eighties but is largely forgotten today.
Ron Washington is now the manager of the Texas Rangers.
One of the great baseball names, probably the only one with the letters "jstrl" in a row.
Here is the first of 24 posts on AAA teams in the 1989 ProCards set. I already showed the Cubs and don't have the Padres set (though I do have the infamous Keith Comstock card). This set features the Brewers' team in Denver, with some nice shots of Mile High Stadium, though every shot is from the same angle which makes it a bit monotonous.
Greg Vaughn was the big star in this set and at the time one of the most-hyped prospects in baseball. You used to constantly hear about Greg Vaughn and Todd Zeile in 1989. Both went on to very solid, if not Hall-of-Fame-worthy careers.
Kiki Diaz is known by his given name, Edgar, on several major league cards.
One theme you will see repeated in these sets are guys showing up on minor league cards years after their last major league card. You will generally only see this on AAA level sets, which is why I like them the best - you get players on the way down as well as on the way up. You last saw Donnie Scott three years earlier on a 1986 Topps card with the Mariners.
Joe Xavier was the closest yet we have come to having a major leaguer with a last name starting with X.
Got some cool cards from Chad from Illinois (he doesn't have a blog). He knocked a bunch of cards off my wantlists (in fact, thanks to Chad I'm now down to just one need for 2007 Topps - #554, the second of two Elizardo Ramirez cards in the set).
Here are some of the best looking photos in the cards he sent me:
Outfielder Trenidad Hubbard played ten seasons in the major leagues for nine different teams, hitting .257 with 16 HR, 72 RBI and 33 SB. Now the CEO of Game Face Sports Int'l, an apparel company, he kindly answered my questions about baseball cards.
"Remember, Hector V with the '89 Iowa Cubs was a right handed hitter. He
posed as a lefty. My favorite minor league card is a AA card from the
Columbus Mudcats, 1989 or '90. I was jumping in the air, turning a
double play, however the ball was still in my hand. Pretty cool and
pretty funny. I do like your blog. A really good idea. I do collect
cards, mainly my own."
Thanks! I don't have that card, but here is one I do have, from the 1987 Asheville Tourists.
Ehire Adrianza has been a shortstop in the Giants organization since 2008, mostly known for his defense. In 2012 he played at AA Richmond, hitting .220 with 3 HR, 32 RBI and 16 SB. He kindly answered my questions about baseball cards.
"My favorite card is from the Augusta Greenjackets in 2009. I collect only my baseball cards."
Thanks! I don't have that card, but I do have this one from 2009 Bowman.
Yuri Sanchez played in 1,215 games in fourteen seasons of professional baseball, mostly in the Tigers organization but with several other organizations in the US and Taiwan. Now the Owner of the North Shore Sharks Baseball Team in Wakefield, MA, he kindly answered my questions about baseball cards.
"I have a friend, he never played pro but he always carried one of my
cards in his wallet and he used to say he was my agent and it works, he
used to get free lunches and dinners, funny stuff. I don't collect cards
but I keep one of my good friends in the minors, and my favorite card
of myself is the one where I'm turning a double play with the Tigers."
Catcher Greg Olson played five seasons for the Twins and Braves. He was a National League All Star in 1990. Now the General Manager of the Bearpath Golf & Country Club in Eden Prairie, MN, he kindly answered my questions about baseball cards.
"My favorite card is the one where I am riding the Philly Phanatic's four
wheeler. I took it for a ride, and boy was he pissed off.
I do not actively collect baseball cards, but I have a box of them in my
storage area that showed up in my spring training locker each year."
Pretty simple set from ProCards, nothing really notable about the photos. Harrisburg was a Pirates minor league team.
One big name in the set was Moises Alou, who made his major league debut for the Pirates in 1990, and was quickly traded to the Expos, where he became a star.
"Spin and Mindy" sounds like it would be a good TV show. This set is brought to you by "The Hitting Machine" and WCMB 1460 AM. Harrisburg Senators games are still broadcast on 1460, but the station is now known as WTKT.
Robbie Kamerschen pitched in the Phillies organization in 1990, going 1-3 with a 5.33 ERA in 20 games. After the season, he became Deputy Press Secretary to US Senator Richard Shelby, and has gone on to a successful career in law and business, currently as the Chief Compliance Officer at Equifax. He kindly answered my questions about baseball cards.
collected cards when I was younger—and my favorite card was a Hank
Aaron card. I moved to Georgia just after he broke Babe Ruth’s home run
record—so he seemed like
the perfect player to pull for and idolize."