Thursday, August 20, 2009

Tom Veryzer (#168)

Another nice signature received by mail. Tom Veryzer was the shortstop for the Detroit Tigers starting in 1975. On June 8, 1975 he doubled in the 9th inning to spoil a no-hitter by Ken Holtzman. Tom held the shortstop position until Alan Trammell came along, and then he was traded to Cleveland. He spent four seasons with the Indians, and ended up finishing his career with the Chicago Cubs in 1984. He has a career batting average of .241 with 687 hits, 231 RBIs, and 14 home runs.

Roy Hartsfield (#238)

Doug DeCinces (#228)

Mailed to him and returned signed.

Rick Reuschel (#214)

Through the mail autograph.

Jim Mason (#211)

Another different photo than the 1977 Topps. Received in the mail.

Woodie Fryman (#126)

Signed in black pen through the mail.

Phil Roof (#121)

In the mail success. This card has a different photo than it's 1977 Topps counterpart.

Jim Barr (#119)

Through the mail success.

Frank Tanana (#105)

Received in the mail. Frank added his customary bible inscription.

Dennis Leonard (#91)

Received through the mail. I really like Dennis' signature.

Rick Cerone (#76)

Through the mail success. Nice airbrushing job on the hat. This card is not in the 1977 Topps set.

Bob Boone (#68)

I wrote to Bob in c/o the Nationals and he returned my card promptly.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Roger Metzger (#44)

Through the mail success. Love those old Astros uniforms.

Phil Garner (#34)

"Scrap Iron" signed this card for me in the mail. Pretty small signature, but good success. His 1977 Topps card features him as a member of the Oakland A's. Phil is a former infielder for the Oakland A's, Pirates, Astros, Dodgers and Giants from 1973 to 1988. He was manager of the Astros from July 14 2004 to August 27 2007, leading Houston to a World Series appearance in 2005.
  • Garner was involved in the two longest post-season games in the history of baseball, played almost 20 years apart. He was the Astros' manager in the 18-inning victory over the Atlanta Braves on October 9, 2005. In the 16-inning loss to the New York Mets on October 15, 1986, Garner was the starting third baseman for the Astros, going 1-for-3, before being replaced by a pinch-hitter. Both games had the final score of 7-6. Interestingly, he also managed the Astros for the longest World Series game in length of time (five hours and forty-one minutes). The Chicago White Sox won the game, 7-5 in the 14th inning (tied for longest by innings).
  • Garner, when playing for the Oakland A's when he got the club's 10,000th hit.

John Mayberry (#16)

I got this signed in person in 2008. John started his career with the Houston Astros and was purchased by the Toronto Blue Jays from the Kansas City Royals. He hit over 20 HR's 8 times and over 30 twice in his career. On Aug 5/1977, he hit for the cycle (single, double, triple, HR) and finished his career in 1982 after being traded to the New York Yankees. He had 255 career homeruns and finished with a batting average of .253. He was an All-Star twice and was 2nd in American League MVP voting in 1975.

Wrapper and Gum

Here is one of the old wrappers from this set. No word on how old the gum is..

Mark Fidrych (#115)

This was signed in person at the Toronto All-Star Fan Fest in 1991. What I remember best about this, is that after I got this card signed and a few others, I needed to use the washroom. After I finished, and was washing my hands, Fidrych comes running in. He did his business, and then left without washing his hands. I thought it was pretty funny. This card differs from it's 1977 Topps counterpart by not having the A.L. ALL-STAR banner and Topps All-Star Rookie Cup on the card. Mark was Rookie of the Year in 1976 when he won 19 games. Fidrych also captured the imagination of fans with his antics on the field. He would crouch down on the pitcher's mound and fix cleat marks, what became known as "manicuring the mound", talk to himself, talk to the ball, aim the ball like a dart, strut around the mound after every out, and throw back balls that "had hits in them," insisting they be removed from the game. Mark Fidrych also was known for shaking everyone's hands after a game. Fidrych tore the cartilage in his knee fooling around in the outfield during spring training in 1977. He picked up where he left off after his return from the injury, but about six weeks after his return, during a game against Baltimore, he felt his arm just, in his words, "go dead." It was a torn rotator cuff, but it would not be diagnosed until 1985. Fidrych pitched his last MLB game on October 1, 1980 in Toronto, going five innings and giving up four earned runs, while picking up the win in a 11-7 Tigers victory which was televised in Detroit. At the end of the 1981 season, Detroit gave Fidrych his outright release and he signed as a free agent with the Boston Red Sox, playing for one of their minor league teams. However, his torn rotator cuff, still undiagnosed and untreated, never healed. At age 29, he was forced to retire. He passed away in 2009 as the result of an unfortunate farm equipment accident on his farm.

ERA Leaders (#7)

I received this card autographed in the mail from Mark Fidrych, shortly before he passed on.His ERA in 1976, which is the theme of this card was 2.34