Sunday, February 18, 2018

Baseball card stories from Alec Zumwalt

Alec Zumwalt was an outfielder for three seasons in the Braves system, then pitched in the Braves, Brewers and A's organizations from 2002 to 2007. In 253 games he went 14-24 with 33 saves and a 4.45 ERA. Now the Director of Baseball Operations for the Kansas City Royals, he kindly answered my questions about baseball cards.

"I collected baseball, basketball and football cards when I was a kid & have passed my collection on to my four sons. A funny story is that I traded most of my Ken Griffey Jr collection (including the Upper Deck Rookie) in 1993 to my best friend Alan Beck for his collection of Ryne Sandbergs & Nolan Ryans. My Dad never collected as a kid so my collection is from 1986-1994 but my Great Uncle gave me a 1962 Topps Luis Aparicio which is my oldest card by far.
 
When I was in the Gulf Coast League in 1999, we had to sign our Topps contract, in which they payed a check to every player for $5 in the clubhouse after being in the heat all day. I did not realize that they would take the signature (in which I intentionally did not sign in my normal penmanship) & stamp it on my card 5 years later. If I had known, I would have signed properly so that you could actually read it! So if you see my 2004 Bowman Chrome card & compare to any card I have ever signed, you can’t miss how different the signatures are.
My favorite card in my collection is the only one I ever had signed. I went to Spring Training in Arizona several years when I was younger & never asked for signatures on my cards. When we moved to North Carolina, my Dad took me to a Greensboro Hornets game in 1993 to see this shortstop that he had read about in the newspaper. When he told me the name, I remembered that I had his card and found his 1993 Pinnacle 1st Round Draft Pick card in my collection. I waited outside the clubhouse after the game & got him to sign it along with a great conversation about hitting & playing shortstop in pro ball. Little did I know then that Derek Jeter would become one of the greatest players in New York Yankee history."
Thanks! Here is a card of him from my collection.

Brandon McCarthy's favorite card

Brandon McCarthy has pitched twelve seasons in the major leagues for the White Sox, Rangers, A's, Diamondbacks, Yankees and Dodgers. In 240 games he is 63-72 with a 4.15 ERA. He was traded to the Braves this offseason and will be a part of their starting rotation. He kindly answered my questions about baseball cards.

"No favorite card of myself, but my favorite card that I have is the no name Frank Thomas error card."

Thanks! Here is a card of McCarthy from my collection.

Friday, February 16, 2018

1993 Studio Nolan Ryan

Hobbies are hunting and fishing: Here is an interview with Ryan on ranching and hunting with the Lone Star Outdoor Show.
 
Favorite sports announcers are Jack Buck and Vin Scully: Scully called Ryan’s 1981 no-hitter against the Dodgers.
 
Favorite players as a kid were Willie Mays and Sandy Koufax: Ryan would break several of Koufax’s strikeout and no-hitter records.
 
Might have been a veterinarian if he hadn’t been an athlete: Ryan planned to go back to school to become a vet at the beginning of his baseball career, figuring he would only pitch for four or five years.
 
Pet peeve is unpolished shoes: Seems like a really picky pet peeve.
 

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Baseball card stories from Gregg Zaun

Catcher Gregg Zaun played sixteen seasons in the major leagues for nine teams. In 1,232 major league games, he hit .252 with 88 HR and 446 RBI. His Gregg Zaun Foundation assists a variety of Canadian charities. He kindly answered my questions about baseball cards.

"I played 16 years and various card companies, Topps and Upper Deck, I believe put the wrong picture on my card. Happened twice. The first one was Brad Ausmus on my card and then Jason Phillips on my card. 

My favourite minor league card was from 93. It was dubbed the “stop in the name of love” card. Simply a picture of me cautioning a teammate at second base not to try to advance on a ball in the dirt. Simple card but a female friend gave it a great nickname. 

My other favourite card was a Jays card from the big leagues that was an artist’s rendering.
I used to collect as a kid. Kept them all in a Rambo Lunch box where they still remain today. There are a few Cal Ripken and Eddie Murray Rookie cards in there. I loved the gum as much as the cards though. Put a few cards in my bike spokes over the years as well. ZOOM ZOOM!!!!"

Thanks!

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

1993 Studio John Franco

Hobbies are bowling and golf: More sports hobbies.
 
Favorite sports announcer is Bob Murphy: Murphy was the Mets radio broadcaster for over 40 years.
 
Favorite player as a kid was Tug McGraw: Franco wore McGraw’s #45 with the Mets. McGraw was the surprise guest on John Franco Day in 1999.
 
Might have been a policeman if he hadn’t been an athlete: Franco lost friends who were police and firefighters on 9/11, and was outspoken in his support of the NYPD.
 
Pet peeve is lack of respect: If you aren’t being respected, John, it’s because you haven’t earned it.
 
Where he is now: Founder of the Borough Cup youth baseball tournament.

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

1993 Studio Walt Weiss

Hobby is playing drums: As a teenager he would play drums to Bruce Springsteen records.

Favorite sports announcer is Chris Berman: Berman called him Walt “Three Blind” Mice.

Favorite player as a kid was Willie Randolph: Weiss grew up a Yankee fan in Tuxedo, NY in the 1970s. The two became teammates in 1990 when Oakland traded for Randolph to back Weiss up in May. Weiss was injured in Game 2 of Oakland’s World Series loss to the Reds that year; it was Randolph who stepped into the lineup to replace him.

Most prized possession is his drum set: Clearly drums are important to Weiss . . .

Might have been a musician if he hadn’t been an athlete: . . . Yep, sensing a theme here.

Pet peeve is waiting for the check in a restaurant: He can’t wait to get home and play more drums!

Where he is now: Bench coach for the Braves.

Monday, February 12, 2018

1993 Studio Dave Valle

Hobbies are reading, golf and coaching basketball: Valle has hosted an annual charity golf classic since 2000.
 
Favorite sports announcer is Dave Niehaus: Niehaus was a long-time Mariners announcer.
 
Favorite player as a kid was Roberto Clemente: Like Clemente, Valle has devoted his life to the less-fortunate in Latin America. His Esperanza Foundation helps fight poverty in the Dominican Republic, started after Valle saw poor children begging for food after a winter-ball game.
 
Might have been a broadcaster if he hadn’t been an athlete: Valle is currently a Mariners and MLB Network broadcaster.
 
Pet peeve is poor drivers: The Dominican Republic seems to be particularly poor in this regard, as evidence by the recent fatal crashes involving MLB players.
 
Where he is now: Per his Twitter he recently got back from a trip to the Dominican Republic with Esperanza’s dental team.

Baseball card story from Paul Fletcher

Paul Fletcher pitched in the Royals and White Sox organizations from 1992 to 1995. In 52 games he went 6-10 with a 3.70 ERA. Now the pitching coach for the York Revolution, he kindly answered my questions on baseball cards.

"I have a funny story there are actually 2 Paul Fletchers. I am a LHP with little time and the other is a RHP who made it to the MLB. I get asked to sign or sent his cards to sign all the time!!"
Thanks!

Sunday, February 11, 2018

Alex Young on baseball cards

Alex Young was the Diamondbacks' second-round pick in 2015, and has moved quickly through the organization. At AA Jackson in 2017, he went 9-9 with a 3.68 ERA in 27 games. He kindly answered my questions about baseball cards.

"So my favorite story that I have of signing cards was some guy who was from Japan. He had sent me a couple cards and along with it had some origami paper thing with the Dbacks logo on it. He also had an image of me that he had hand drawn. It was really cool to get, especially from someone that was all the way in Japan. 

My favorite cards of me are the college ones, especially the ones with my former teammates. 
 
I used to collect baseball cards all the time when I was younger... I had probably three books worth of cards. Probably one of my favorite ones is Roger Clemens rookie card. Fun Fact: use to collect Pokémon cards all the time when I was younger and probably had everyone you could possibly think of."


Thanks! I don't have any of his college cards but here is one from my collection.

Friday, February 9, 2018

Breckin Williams on baseball cards

Breckin Williams was the Diamondbacks' fourth-round pick in 2015. He put up good numbers that year, missed all of 2016 with injury, and returned strong in 2017. In 27 games so far, mostly at Class-A Hillsboro, he is 3-0 with 2 saves and a 2.57 ERA, striking out 36 batters in 27.1 innings. He kindly answered my questions about baseball cards.

"I remember having to sign 2,500 little name tags for Panini right after I was drafted and that took me forever haha but that’s about it. 

I do not have a favorite card of myself yet. I never imagined to be on a card and to be on a few is something I think is really cool. 

 I do not collect baseball cards. I never really have. I think at a young age I realized that I didn’t take care of stuff like that very well haha. Probably was best for me to avoid them so I don’t damage any that I might have gotten my hands on."
Thanks!

Thursday, February 8, 2018

1993 Studio Paul Sorrento

Hobbies are fishing and music: Pretty typical ballplayer.
 
Favorite sports announcer was the late Johnny Most: Most was the longtime Red Sox announcer who died in January, 1993, right before this set came out.
 
Favorite player as a kid was Carl Yastrzemski: Another Boston pick for the Massachusetts native.
 
Might have been a secret service agent if he hadn’t been an athlete: I imagine this was more wishful thinking than anything else.
 
Pet peeve is laundry: He can probably afford a maid now.
 
Where he is now:  Assistant hitting coach for the Angels.

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

1993 Studio Matt Williams

Hobbies are fishing and hunting: Williams had a pond stocked with bass in his backyard in Phoenix.
 
Favorite sports announcer is John Madden: A football pick!
 
Favorite player as a kid was Pete Rose: Williams grew up in Nevada, so he didn’t have a local team. Rose was a good choice for a young player at the time.
 
Pet peeve is rush hour traffic: I guess he couldn’t afford to hire a driver at this time.
 
Where he is now: An announcer for the Giants.

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

1993 Studio John Wetteland

Hobbies are guitar, golf and remote control cars: With the Yankees Wetteland would jam with Bernie Williams (guitar) and Paul O’Neill (drums).
 
Favorite sports announcer is Ken Singleton: Singleton was an Expos announcer during Wetteland’s time there.
 
Favorite player as a kid was Willie McCovey: Wetteland grew up a Giants fan in San Francisco.
 
Most prized possession is his bible: Wetteland became a born-again Christian to woo his wife, Michelle.
 
Might have been a herpetologist if he hadn’t been an athlete: Herpetology is the study of amphibians and reptiles. It was a subject Wetteland excelled at in school.
 
Where he is now: Wetteland is retired and living in Texas.

Monday, February 5, 2018

1993 Studio Tim Wallach

Hobby is golf: Wallach has hosted an annual golf tournament to support student athletes at Cal State Fullerton.
 
Favorite sports announcer is Vin Scully: Wallach would later get to play with Scully’s Dodgers.
 
Favorite player as a kid was Steve Garvey: Must have been a Dodgers fan.
 
Most prized possessions are his Gold Glove Awards: He won the award in 1985, 1988 and 1990.
 
Might have been an accountant if he hadn’t been an athlete: Did not go into accounting after his baseball career.
 
Pet peeve is slow games: He must really be annoyed now.
 
Where he is now: Bench coach for the Marlins.

Cards from ARPSmith

Got some really awesome cards in ARPSmith's giveaway. I had never traded with him so I checked out his wantlist - it was tough but I found a few cards to send him. The box he sent me was filled up with awesome Yankee cards. Some highlights:

The Endless Summer was a 1966 surf film following two surfers around the world. Sam August, who played several years in the minor leagues and has some cards, was the son of one of those surfers. The Endless Summer was also an Upper Deck insert set.
 Danny Tartabull was not one of my favorite Yankees but this card is simply awesome.
 This was by far the oldest card in the box. Needless to say the Yankees have never had two-toned caps, plain white jerseys, or names on the back.
 This was the oldest minor league card. Love early minors stuff.
 Everything about the back is awesome too. Engraving valuables with your parents' social security number? As you can guess Dick Hoover was a Columbus police officer. As you might suspect he did die in 1981 which is why the set was commemorated to him. What may surprise you is that Sgt. Hoover played in the major leagues with the Boston Braves in 1952.
 Here's a card #35/45. I recently figured out that I have more Gary Sheffield cards than anyone else in my collection. He is a guy who played in almost the whole junk wax era and over fifteen years after that, was good enough to be included in just about every set that would have star players, but not so good that people hang onto his cards. Plus he was a Yankee for a few years.
 Finally, three different Reggie cards of three different sizes.
Fantastic variety!

Sunday, February 4, 2018

Trade with Thorzul

I hadn't traded with Thorzul in years, but recently was able to knock out his 1993 Upper Deck needs and almost all of his 1988 Topps needs. Anyone else need to complete those sets, I still have so many many more to trade. He's also one of the few bloggers with a tradelist so I was able to pick the cards coming back my way. Here are some highlights:

Eddie Murray here leaves me needing just one card left to complete 1994 Score Rookie Traded. Anyone have #3 Bo Jackson to trade?
I had never heard of Schwebel's, let alone Schwebel's Stars baseball cards. Schwebel's is an Ohio-area baked goods company.
 I always post cards I find from the 1991 Yankees-Twins Pink Hat Day at Yankee Stadium. Hard to uncover a 1992 card I didn't have before, especially of a Yankee.
 I love this shiny Pacific Prism, one of the first really shiny sets.




Friday, February 2, 2018

Brent Suter on baseball cards

Brent Suter has pitched for the Brewers since 2016. In 36 games over the last two years, he has gone 5-4 with a 3.40 ERA, and is expected to be part of the starting rotation this year. He kindly answered my questions about baseball cards.

"I just remember my uncle being a big baseball card collector and he would give me packs all the time. It was awesome! My favorite was his Ken Griffey Jr rookie card. I still have the cards he gave me but besides that I don’t collect."
Thanks!

Thursday, February 1, 2018

Baseball card stories from Ryan Knox

Outfielder Ryan Knox played eight seasons of professional baseball, mostly in the Brewers organization. In 789 games he hit .265 with 28 HR, 218 RBI and 254 SB. Now the Director of the Fitness and Recreation Center at Heartland Community College in Normal, IL, he kindly answered my questions about baseball cards.

- Do you have any stories about cards of yourself or of other players?  
I was fortunate enough to be in the Topps 2000 rookie traded set (fooled them).  It also included a one off card of about 500 that I was required to sign.  The Topps guy that was there to verify the signature fell asleep while I was signing them. “Topps Signature Verifier” – not a fun job.
 
 - Do you have a favorite card of yourself or of another player? 
The Billy Ripken of course. Steve Scarborough was my favorite minor league player – so I kept my own and his out of the team sets to keep and threw the rest out. I think throwing out Prince Fielder's card was a mistake in retrospect.
- Do you collect baseball cards? 

Not anymore. I did as a kid. Getting a McGwire or Canseco was better than gold. I had a phase of trying to collect every Roben Ventura card at one point. I think the “Noogie” he endured from Ryan changed things for me.

Thanks!

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Mike Johnson on baseball cards

Mike Johnson pitched for the Orioles and Expos from 1997 to 2001. In 81 games he went 7-14 with 6.85 ERA. Now a youth baseball instructor in Edmonton, he kindly answered my questions about baseball cards.

"I don’t collect cards. I have a few of myself, but I was more in collecting signed balls and bats from people I played with and against."
Thanks!

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

1993 Studio Rick Wilkins

Hobbies are golf, water skiing and reading: The Rick Wilkins Foundation hosts an annual golf tournament.

Favorite sports announcer is Harry Caray: Good choice for a Cub.

Favorite player as a kid was Thurman Munson: Great choice. Sadly, Munson died when Wilkins was 12.

Most prized possession is his first catcher’s mitt: Did he have it bronzed?

Might have been an engineer if he hadn’t been an athlete: Wilkins did not go into engineering after his baseball career.

Pet peeve is selfishness: Lots of good answers from Wilkins. Seems like a good guy.

Where he is now: A youth baseball coach in Florida.