Tuesday, April 6, 2021

Time To Hang It Up

After 11+ years of blogging, and a lifetime of collecting, I've decided to retire the blog, and give up the card chase. The hobby has changed a lot, not for the better, and since the passing of my son Christmas 2019, my heart is just not in it anymore. The door is closed, but not locked, so maybe someday....

Thanks to the community who have been wonderful. I'll still be reading and commenting on your posts from time to time. I still owe a few of you return packages, I will not forget.

My sincerest and heartfelt thanks.

Tom


Sunday, March 21, 2021

One Page of Bob Sadowski

This series will highlight "one page" at a time (although Bob will actually get two) from my binder of correspondence and autographs from former Angels players and personnel.


   Bob Sadowski OF, 2B, 3B Los Angeles Angels 1963.
Drafted by the Los Angeles Angels from the Chicago White Sox in the 1962 rule 5 draft.
Former infielder, outfielder, Cardinals, Phillies, White Sox and Calif Angels. It was great playing for Cowboy Owner Gene Autry who loved baseball. He took me to places around the Palm Springs area where he once made alot of his movies at the Melody Ranch. It's great hearing from you both. Here's hoping you all have a wonderful 2004 yr. May the Good Lord take a likin to you all. God Bless.
My favorite player would be Stan Musial who still makes his home here in St Louis. Ted Williams was probably the greatest hitter. He missed (4 yrs) 'cause of the Service and of course Mark McGuire hit them the farthest.
Correspondence received February 2004.

Correpondence received February 2011.
(I was just noticing the different signatures between 2004 and 2011. I'm thinking someone wrote out the index cards for him, though he did sign the '63 Topps himself.)
Bob passed away January 6, 2017 at the age of 79.

St. Louis Cardinals (1960)
Philadelphia Phillies (1961)
Chicago White Sox (1962)
Los Angeles Angels (1963)

Batting average .222
Home runs 7
Runs batted in 46

Sunday, March 14, 2021

The Airhogs Have Been Grounded

Usually around mid-February (I'm a little late this year) I check the baseball schedules for the local colleges and minor league teams here in the DFW Metroplex. Due to covid, most of the colleges still aren't having spectators, but that's okay since I'm really only looking to see if they'll be playing Air Force Academy or a California team. I usually try to get to at least one college or minor league game a season. 

As far as minor leagues, the American Association of Independant Baseball's Fort Worth Cats dissolved in 2014 ruling them out, so my standby team is the Grand Prairie AirHogs, but when I went to check their schedule I found out that they went out of business last year. Bummer. They had skipped all of the 2020 season due to Covid and I guess just couldn't recover from that. There are plans to turn the stadium into a, get this, major league cricket venue.

Anyhow, I thought I'd pay a brief tribute to the AirHogs. It was always fun to catch a game there.

From 2008 to 2019 I've probably attended a dozen games at QwikTrip Park, in fact I attended a game in their very first season 2008, and was able to get a few autographs on an inaugural season program. Pete Incaviglia was thier first Manager, and I was able to get him on a separate baseball card.

C Cody Merrill #14
OF Derek Holder #24
P Justin Garcia #2
P Vinnie DeChristofaro #27
P Nate Harris #30
INF Brandon Carter 
INF Billy Munoz #39

Among the other games I was able to attend at QuikTrip Park, was the 2009 American Association All-Star Game. 
Only $10 to go to an All-Star Game. Granted it's only the Independant League, but still...

I got programs signed by players from the North Team and from the South Team.
South All-Star Team
P Logan Williamson - Shreveport Captains
OF Brian Fryer - Fort Worth Cats
P Kieran Mattison - Grand Prairie Airhogs
OF Mike Conroy - Grand Prairie
1B John Allen - Fort Worth Cats
INF Cameron Blair - Fort Worth Cats
C JB Tucker - Grand Prairie Airhogs
OF Kenard Bibbs - El Paso Diablos
P Jakob Cunningham - Shreveport Captains
P Justin Dowdy - Shreveport Captains

North All-Star Team
P Adam Cowhart - Wichita Wingnuts
P Derek Blacksher - Wichita Wingnuts
P Gabriel Medina - Wichita Wingnuts
P Nick Singleton - Sioux City Explorers
P Trevor Fox - Sioux Falls Canaries
P Brett Reid - Sioux City Explorers
P Chris Thompson - Lincoln Salt Dogs
OF Cory Harris - Sioux Falls Canaries
P Brandon Kintzler - St Paul Saints
OF Brent Krause - St Paul Saints

And of course, I scored the game, with the North (boooo) winning 6-2.

Former Indians/Dodgers prospect Kieran Mattison took the loss giving up those 4 runs in the sixth.



Thursday, March 11, 2021

One Page of Johnny James

This series will highlight "one page" at a time from my binder of correspondence and autographs from former Angels players and personnel.


   Johnny James RHP Los Angeles Angels 1961.
Traded by the New York Yankees with Ryne Duren and Lee Thomas to the Los Angeles Angels for Bob Cerv and Tex Clevenger on May 8, 1961. 
Correspondence received prior to 2004.

Correspondence received in March, 2009.

New York Yankees (1958, 1960–1961)
Los Angeles Angels (1961)

Career:
Win–loss record 5–3
Earned run average 4.76
Strikeouts 73


Saturday, March 6, 2021

One Page of Lee Thomas

This series will highlight "one page" at a time from my binder of correspondence and autographs from former Angels players and personnel.


   Lee Thomas OF Los Angeles Angels 1961-1964.
Traded by the Yankees with Ryne Duren and Johnny James to the Los Angeles Angels for Bob Cerv and Tex Clevenger on May 8, 1961.
Correspondence received June, 2005.

New York Yankees (1961)
Los Angeles Angels (1961–1964)
Boston Red Sox (1964–1965)
Atlanta Braves (1966)
Chicago Cubs (1966–1967)
Houston Astros (1968)
Nankai Hawks (1969)

Batting average .255
Home runs 106
Runs batted in 428

Tuesday, March 2, 2021

Cards Without Correspondence #1

They graciously signed my index cards but didn't want to answer any questions. That's cool.

Eddie Haas, Outfielder
Chicago Cubs (1957)
Milwaukee Braves (1958; 1960)
Autograph received in February 2006.
Mr. Haas is currently 85 years old.

Clint Conatser, Outfielder
Boston Braves (1948–1949)
Played in 1948 World Series
Autograph received in December, 2005.
Mr. Conatser passed away August 23, 2019 at the age of 98.

Bob Watson, First Base, Left Field
Houston Astros (1966–1979)
Boston Red Sox (1979)
New York Yankees (1980–1982)
Atlanta Braves (1982–1984)
2× All-Star (1973, 1975)
Hit for the cycle twice: first to do it in both leagues.
Played in the 1981 World Series.
Credited with scoring the 1,000,000th run in major league history.
Houston Astros Hall of Fame
Autograph received in January, 2006.
Bob Watson passed away on May 14, 2020 at the age of 74.

Jerry Mumphrey, Outfielder
St. Louis Cardinals (1974–1979)
San Diego Padres (1980)
New York Yankees (1981–1983)
Houston Astros (1983–1985)
Chicago Cubs (1986–1988)
All-Star (1984)
Played in the 1981 World Series.
Autograph received in January, 2006.


Saturday, February 27, 2021

Bobby Bragan Had The Foundation

Later in Bobby Bragan's life, long after his active career in baseball, he did a lot for the local kids in Fort Worth and the Metroplex, through the The Bobby Bragan Youth Foundation, which "honors outstanding athletes and executives for the achievements on and off of the playing field, at the annual Bobby Bragan Gala, to raise funds for scholarships."

That lead him to make many appearances around the Fort Worth area and at the local Fort Worth Cats games, chatting with fans and signing autographs. I interacted with him on numerous occasions at Cats games, he was very humble and approachable. I even wrote him once, and picked up an autographed copy of his book You Can't Hit The Ball With The Bat On Your Shoulder (a good read).

Bobby Bragan passed away January 21, 2010 at the age of 92.

As player
Philadelphia Phillies (1940–1942)
Brooklyn Dodgers (1943–1944, 1947–1948)

As manager
Pittsburgh Pirates (1956–1957)
Cleveland Indians (1958)
Milwaukee / Atlanta Braves (1963–1966)

As coach
Los Angeles Dodgers (1960)
Houston Colt .45s (1962)

Batting average .240
Home runs 15
Runs batted in 172
Games managed 927
Win–loss record 443–478
Winning % .481

President of the Texas League, 1969-75.
President of Minor League Baseball, 1976-78.
Assistant to the President, Special Projects for the Texas Rangers, 1979-91.
In 2005, managed Fort Worth Cats one game, becoming the oldest person (87) to manage a professional game.
Fort Worth's Mr. Baseball for decades.
Chairman of Bobby Bragan Youth Foundation.