Saturday, September 30, 2017

Baseball card stories from Brian McFall

Outfielder-1B Brian McFall played in the Royals organization from 2003 to 2009. In 666 games he hit .255 with 93 HR and 418 RBI. Now Manager, Financial Analytics at Viwa Sports and Entertainment in Scottsdale, AZ, he kindly answered my questions about baseball cards.

"I don't really have any big time stories other than the fact that I was selected to be a "draft pick" card in the 2003 Topps set. Which understandably is now my favorite card as well.

Although I am retired, I still get cards to sign from time to time, although it is slowing a bit.
During the days I was getting a lot of cards and fan mail everyday, I always tried to make sure I got all of the cards signed and back to the original requester, although I am sure I missed some. So you can certainly let people know that if they want to send any cards in to my place of business now, which is Viwa Sports and Entertainment in Scottsdale, AZ, I would be happy to sign any other cards.
I have an 8 year old son who I passed my childhood collection card down to. I wasn't the best at collecting cards because I was busier actually playing baseball.. I do have a favorite though... Its probably between two cards. A Manny Ramirez draft pick card and a Derek Jeter Star Rookie."



Friday, September 29, 2017

1993 Studio Greg Gagne

Hobby is card collecting: Nice to see another ballplayer who collects cards. Here is a 1997 profile of his card collection.

Favorite sports announcer is Curt Gowdy: Gagne is from Massachusetts; Gowdy was the long-time Red Sox announcer.

Favorite players as a kid were Hank Aaron and Rico Petrocelli: Another Red Sox connection for young Gagne.

Most prized possession is his bible: Gagne was one of many Twins known for their religious beliefs.

Might have been working with kids if he hadn’t been an athlete: Gagne did coach his son’s high school baseball team.

Where he is now: Not sure – maybe still coaching youths somewhere?

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Huge trade with Scott Crawford

My trades with Scott Crawford are always huge. This one was no different, with a medium flat-rate box bursting with cards going both ways. It'll take me a while to fully sort all the cards Scott sent me, right now I just have them sorted by manufacturer, so here are some highlights, sorted by manufacturer.

Recently I wrote about my favorite cards of Mike Pagliarulo, my favorite player growing up. In the course of writing that post I learned about some post-playing days cards of Pags, including this Upper Deck Sweet Spot Classic. Happy to add it to my collection!
 I love late-90s Ultra for their great photography.
 Didi Gregorius in a 1968 design. There will be a real 1968 card at the end of this post.
 There were a couple hundred 2004 Topps Total in this set, which is great as I never come across a lot of these at any one time.
 Another late-90s manufacturer known for great photography.
 I love the holographic borders on 1997 SP.
 Score Gold Rush is one of my favorite parallel sets. Got probably a hundred of these from Scott.
 Not only are our trades epic, but so are the email exchanges leading up to them. The thread for this trade got to be 85 emails. When he got up to talking about what Pacific cards he had available, Scott noted, "if you wanna worry about color variations on these, that's between you and your god". Here are a couple of color variations (and yes I do keep track, though at times it is difficult).
 Got a lot, maybe most, of the Leaf Limited Counterparts set in this trade.
 I had never seen these 1980 Laughlin Famous Feats cards before.
 Scott sent me the full 1982 K-Mart set, the third K-Mart set I have completed.
 I like the throwback uniforms on the "vintage" design on this Fleer Tradition card.
 Do you feel the fabric swatches when you get a uniform card? Andrew Cashner's TCU uniform is very soft.
 Lots of Bowman in these box. Plenty of guys who never made it above AA but also big stars like this Bryce Harper rookie.
 Finally, Scott threw in a few vintage cards. Here's an early Keith Hernandez, and a 1966 Topps card with a Rookie Cup (though I have to admit I had never heard of Frank Linzy. More on Linzy - seems like an interesting guy.
 Finally, two amazing stars of the package. I've seen that Frank Robinson card many time on the blogs, very excited to own it myself. And probably the best card in the package is a 1968 Willie McCovey. Never thought I'd own a real McCovey card from his playing days. Awesome card, awesome trade!

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

1993 Studio Sid Bream

Hobbies are hunting and fishing: Bream is National Spokesperson for Christian Sports International and is available to speak at your next Wild Game Dinner.
Favorite sports announcer is Keith Jackson: Another fan of the legendary national announcer.
Might have been a game commissioner if he hadn’t been an athlete: He has stayed heavily involved in hunting.
Pet peeve is people committing to something and not following through with it: Pretty specific, I wonder if Bream had a particular incident in mind.
Where he is now: He is the Company Chaplain for PGT Trucking in Pennsylvania.

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

A quick street trade

Traded Al five Andy Pettittes and in return picked out five cards from his box. A second-year card of Albert Pujols is a cool find. Plus Odor and McCutchen are stars I like, and the shininess of chrome lured me into the other two.

Monday, September 25, 2017

1993 Studio Cecil Fielder

Hobby is cars: Fielder was well known for his collection of classic cars.
Favorite sports announcer is Chick Hearn: Hearn was a long time Lakers announcer. Fielder is from Los Angeles.
Favorite player as a kid was Willie McCovey: Both were big sluggers.
Where he is now:  Runs a youth tournament called the Cecil Fielder Elite World Series.

1993 Studio Pat Borders

Hobbies are hunting and fishing: By 2003, Borders noted that due to having so many children (six at that time, he now has nine), these pastimes took a back seat to time with family.

Favorite sports announcer is Ray Knight: Knight was an announcer for ESPN in the early 1990s.

Favorite player as a kid was Pete Rose: Borders is from Ohio so presumably was a Reds fan.

Might have been a teacher if he hadn’t been an athlete: Borders’s father was a civics teacher.

Pet peeves are complacency and laziness: Can’t be lazy with nine children.

Where he is now: A minor league manager in the Phillies organization.

Sunday, September 24, 2017

1993 Studio Kent Hrbek

Hobbies are hunting, fishing and family: Hrbek hosted a TV show called Kent Hrbek Outdoors from 2004 to 2010.

Favorite sports announcer is Tim Ryan: Ryan was primarily a football, hockey and boxing announcer.

Favorite player as a kid was Tony Oliva: Hrbek grew up a Twins fan in Minnesota.

Might have been a gas station attendant if he hadn’t been an athlete: You don’t see many gas station attendants around anymore. Everything is self-serve.

Pet peeve is people who think they’re cool: Great answer.

Where he is now: He has been active in the fight against ALS, and recently hosted an ALS Walleye tournament in Minnesota.