Who is this? Former Portland Sea Dogs shortstop Pablo Ozuna What is this? An autograph card from 2000 Upper Deck SP Top Prospects Chirography Where'd I get it? eBay How much did it cost? $1.
Why is this so special? When the Newark Bears signed Pablo Ozuna this season, I looked to see if I had any of his cards. When I found that I did not, I check online and found this one for less than it would have cost to acquire any to get signed myself. Ozuna only stayed around long enough to get into 28 games, so it's probably for the best - I may not have had a chance to get him to sign anything.
I've got a couple of these Chirography cards in my collection, but I still haven't decided if I like the design. It does place the focus on the autograph, but it's not especially attractive and it doesn't leave much room for a player photo. I find it interesting that Ozuna signed "P. Ozuna" even with all that space to fill.
Ozuna played in the majors for parts of seven seasons. He earned a World Series ring with the Chicago White Sox in 2005. Ozuna also played for the Florida Marlins, Colorado Rockies and Los Angeles Dodgers. In 309 games, Ozuna had 191 hits, 3 home runs, 45 RBI and 29 stolen bases.
Who is this? Omaha Royals pitching coach Doug Henry What is this? An autographed card from the 1994 Pinnacle set Where'd I get it? Back during spring training 2008, I wrote to Henry and asked him to sign this card. It took over two years, but I finally got it back earlier this month. How much did it cost? The card came from a junk wax box I got for $8-$10.
Why is this so special? Check out the retro uniform, the great smile and the mustache. For a portrait shot baseball card, you can't ask for much more.
Henry spent 11 seasons in the majors, with the Milwaukee Brewers, New York Mets, San Francisco Giants, Houston Astros and Kansas City Royals. Though he was a middle reliever for most of his career, Henry came up as a closer with the Milwaukee Brewers. He saved 15 games in his rookie year and finished 8th in the 1991 AL Rookie of the Year voting even though he didn't come up to the big leagues until after the All-Star Break.
Henry's autograph simplifies a lot of the letters in his name, but you'd probably be able puzzle it out on a team-signed baseball or other generic item if you had some clues.
Who is this? Joliet Jackhammers hitting coach Ced Landrum What is this? An autographed card from the 1992 Donruss set Where'd I get it?Zach sent it to me. I imagine he got it signed at a Northern League game.
Why is this so special? Ced Landrum was not a high round draft pick. In fact, he never got drafted at all. He signed with the Chicago Cubs as an amateur free agent in 1985 and worked his way through the minors, making his big league debut in 1991.
Landrum hit .233 / .313 / .279 in 99 plate appearances for the Cubs, yet he stole 27 bases in those 56 games. A spring training injury cost Landrum the first part of the 1992 season. By July, the Cubs decided to trade him to Milwaukee for infielder Jeff Kunkel.
Milwaukee cut Landrum loose at the end of the season, and he signed with Minnesota. Before the end of April 1993, Landrum was a free agent again. This time, the Mets signed him and gave him his second shot in the majors. Primarily as a pinch-hitter, Landrum was 5-for-19 in 22 games.
Landrum was out of baseball in 1994, but he decided to give it one more shot as a replacement player during the 1995 lockout. To learn more about Ced Landrum, check out Steve's post at The Greatest 21 Days.
Landrum has a nice, legible autograph. I like the photo choice by Donruss - Landrum's most notable success came on the basepaths, so it's fitting to have a shot of him sliding into base.
Who is this? Cleveland Indians outfielder Michael Brantley What is this? An autograph card from the 2010 Bowman set Where'd I get it? A friend gave me the redemption card since he didn't want to bother with it. Eight to 12 weeks later, TriStar sent me my signed card from Topps.
Why is this so special? I don't buy many packs, so redemptions are still somewhat novel to me. Plus you can't turn down a free card.
Michael Brantley is the son of former major league outfielder Mickey Brantley. The Cleveland Indians chose him out of high school in the 7th round of the 2005 draft. He put up solid numbers at every level in the minors, and has gotten a few chances to fill in at the major league level over the past two seasons.
Brantley is hitting .260 /.307 / .320 with 3 home runs, 32 RBI and 14 SB in 94 major league games. He does need to get on base more often, but there's still time for him to develop - he's only 23.
Brantley's autograph isn't pretty, but it does look like he signed his full name instead of initials or random scribbles.
Who is this? Trenton Thunder outfielder Daniel Brewer What is this? An autographed card from the 2010 Trenton Thunder team set Where'd I get it? Before a Trenton Thunder game this summer. How much did it cost? The team set was $10.
Why is this so special? The Yankees selected Brewer in the 8th round of the 2008 draft, and he's been steadily moving through the farm system. In 136 games with Trenton this year, he batted .270 /.346 /.407 with 10 home runs and 84 RBI while stealing 29 bases.
I don't particularly remember getting this autograph. The day I tried to collect signatures from Trenton Thunder players, I was starting to get sick and I probably had a low-grade fever by the time we left the ballpark. If it weren't for my friends identifying the Thunder players as they came out on the field or out of the stadium after the game, I wouldn't have gotten any cards signed that day. (Of course, if I had been on my own, I probably would have been smart enough to stay home. :) )
Brewer's autograph is pretty much just a scribbled "DB 8"
Who is this? Kansas City T-Bones pitcher Josh Wahpepah What is this? An autographed card from the 2004 Bowman Chrome set Where'd I get it? From Zach, who probably got it signed at a T-Bones game
Why is this so special? Josh Wahpepah is a fun name. The Milwaukee Brewers selected him in the third round of the 2004 draft, but he never got past AA ball. His record in Minor League Baseball was 28-28 with a 4.23 ERA.
This year, Wahpepah ended up in independent baseball, pitching for the Kansas City T-Bones. I'd like to tell you how he did, but the T-Bones website didn't want to show me any stats when I was writing this.
Wahpepah signed his initials... I'm not sure if that was because of the available space on the card or if it's a normal time-saving move.
Who is this? York Revolution pitcher Eric Ackerman What is this? An autographed card from the 2010 Lancaster Barnstormers team set Where'd I get it? Ackerman signed it for me before a game in Newark this summer How much did it cost? The team set was $5 or $6 shipped.
Why is this so special? Ackerman was a two-sport star in high school, playing both baseball and football. He was drafted in the 16th round by the Kansas City Royals in 2002. Ackerman spent four seasons in their farm system, but never made it further than A-ball.
In 2006, Ackerman joined the Lancaster Barnstormers in time to be part of their only Atlantic League championship season. In five Atlantic League seasons, he's won 28 and lost 28. This season, the Barnstormers cut him after he went 2-0 with a 6.86 ERA in 16 relief appearances for them.
Ackerman signed with the York Revolution and pitched better, going 3-3 with a 3.26 ERA in 17 appearances. In two playoff games this year, Ackerman has not allowed a run. York currently leads Somerset 2 games to 1 in a best-of-five first round playoff series.
Ackerman has a distinctive autograph, made up of a series of lines that give it a very angular look. I think he's another player who put some thought into designing his autograph. I like that you can still read his initials, even with all the stylization.
Who is this? Harrisburg Senators second baseman Steve Lombardozzi Jr. What is this? An autographed card from the 2010 Topps Pro Debut Series 1 set Where'd I get it? Lombardozzi signed it for me before a game in Trenton this summer How much did it cost? I got it out of $4 (I think) pack.
Why is this so special? Steve Lombardozzi Jr. is the son of former Minnesota Twins infielder Steve Lombardozzi. (Sometime I'll have to try to get an autograph from his dad.)
When the Harrisburg Senators came to Trenton in August, I went to the game with the goal of trying to get Orlando Hernandez's autograph. That didn't work out so well, but I took a quick look through my other cards to see if I had any of anybody else on the Senators' roster. This turned out to be the only card I got signed at the game.
Lombardozzi was the Nationals 19th round selection in 2008. He spent most of this season with the Potomac Nationals in the Class-A Carolina League. In 110 games, he hit .293 /.370 / .409 with one home run and 20 stolen bases. In 27 games for Harrisburg, he hit .295 / .373 / .524 with five home runs and four stolen bases.
While Lombardozzi's autograph isn't super-neat, I can't blame him. My signature would probably be a bit sloppy too if I were signing in a hurry at the ballpark.
It's a little strange to think of the Hagerstown Suns as a Washington Nationals affiliate. I remember them as the Orioles AA team in the late 80s / early 90s, and they were briefly affiliated with the New York Mets. In between, they were affiliated with the Toronto Blue Jays (for quite a few years) and the San Francisco Giants.
Who is this? New Hampshire Fisher Cats infielder Manny Mayorson What is this? An autographed card from the 2006 New Hampshire Fisher Cats team set Where'd I get it? Mayorson "signed" it for me before a game in Trenton earlier this year. How much did it cost? I got the team set for a buck or two, plus shipping.
Why is this so special? This is easily the worst looking "autograph" I've gotten this season, and one of the worst in my collection.
Then again, I can understand why Mayorson might not be that into signing autographs any more. This season was his 11th in pro baseball, and the fourth that he's spent time with the Fisher Cats. He began the 2010 season already in the top five for most hits & most games played in franchise history.
It's nice to hold records, but those are not the ones you aspire to if you're a pro ball player.In 54 games this year, Mayorson hit .316 with no home runs and 23 RBI. He also played in 43 games for Las Vegas, hitting .333 with one home run and 19 RBI.
Who is this? Former New York Yankees pitcher Sam Militello What is this? An autographed card from from the Stadium Club Yankees set. Where'd I get it? Out of a dealer's $1 box at the local card show How much did it cost? $1
Why is this so special? Even though I'm a Mets fan, I have a certain degree of fondness for the Yankees teams of the late 1980s & early 1990s. Something about rooting for underdogs, I guess.
Sam Militello was an August call-up for the 1992 Yankees, a team that finished 20 games behind Toronto with a 76-86 record. I'm not sure whether Militello's promotion was due to an injury or a youth movement, but I suppose it doesn't really matter.
He won his major league debut, pitching seven innings of one-hit ball against the Boston Red Sox. Millitello made eight more starts in his rookie year, finishing with a 3-3 record and a 3.45 ERA. He looked like he would become a solid major league pitcher, maybe even a star.
Unfortunately, he got hurt in 1993 and only pitched in three major league games. He tried to make a comeback, but it never really worked out. Militello went into coaching - he is currently an assistant at the University of Tampa.
Militello has a neat-looking autograph. It wouldn't have gotten him a good grade in penmanship, but it is easily readable.
Who is this? Kansas City T-Bones outfielder Jim Fasano What is this? An autographed card from the 2007 Bowman Heritage set Where'd I get it? This is another one of the cards Zach sent me earlier this summer. I imagine that he got it signed at a Northern League game.
Why is this so special? I wasn't familiar with Fasano until I looked him up on the internet. I was a little disappointed to learn that he is not related to former major league backup catcher Sal Fasano. On the plus side, Jim Fasano is a New Jersey native, though he now resides in Pennsylvania during the off-season.
Fasano was drafted by the Texas Rangers in the 9th round of the 2004 draft. He spent four seasons in their farm system, reaching AA in his final season of affiliated baseball.
In 2008, Fasano joined the Kansas City T-Bones in the Northern League. He was named the Most Outstanding Player in the playoffs that year. He has played there for the past three seasons. He hit .319 with 20 home runs and 78 RBI this year.
I'm glad I don't have to play "Spot the Signature" with this one - I see a "G," an "l," and an "f" -- none which would help me identify it.
Who is this? Akron Aeros pitcher Bryan Price What is this? An autographed card from the 2009 Salem Red Sox team set Where'd I get it? My friend Bart is a diehard Red Sox fan. He wrote to Price to see if he could get this card signed last year, but he hadn't gotten it back by spring training. He bought another copy of the set and tried again. Late in the summer, he got both envelopes back, so he gave me the duplicate card.
Why is this so special? Price was selected by the Red Sox with the 45th overall pick in the 2008 draft. He was one of three players sent to Cleveland last year in the Victor Martinez trade.
The Indians converted Price into a reliever and assigned him to AA Akron this year, where he averaged a strikeout per inning.
Price's autograph is basically his initials and a few extra squiggles.
Who is this? New Hampshire Fisher Cats pitcher Edward Dale "Bubbie" Buzachero What is this? An autographed card from the 2010 New Hampshire Fisher Cats team set Where'd I get it? Buzachero signed it for me after a game in Trenton earlier this year. How much did it cost? The team set was around $10-$12, but I don't recall the exact figure.
Why is this so special? "Bubbie Buzachero" is a great baseball name. And check out those tattoos on Buzachero's left arm. It would be so much fun if he made it to the major leagues.
Unfortunately, that's not likely to happen. Buzachero turned 29 this June, and he spent most of the season in AA. He worked out of the bullpen, where he had an 8-1 record, but his ERA was 6.17 and his WHIP was 1.543.
Buzachero has greatly simplified his name for his autograph, but his initials are clearly readable.
Here is his card from the 2008 Akron Aeros set. I also got it signed in Trenton earlier this year.
Who is this? Southern Maryland Blue Crabs outfielder Gregory Porter What is this? An autographed card from the 2007 Bowman Heritage set Where'd I get it? Zach sent it to me. I'd guess that he got it signed at an American Association game.
Why is this so special? When Zach sent me this card, I'd never heard of Porter or seen him play. That changed earlier this month. The Southern Maryland Blue Crabs picked up Porter for the Atlantic League playoffs, and I got to see him make his Atlantic League debut. Porter went 2-for-4 and drove in the winning run.
Porter was a 45th round draft pick in 2001, so it's a little surprising that Porter made it onto nationally-released baseball cards. He did have a good year in 2006 for the Arkansas Travelers: .298 with 20 home runs and 71 RBI. In addition to the Angels, Porter played in the farm systems of the New York Yankees and Washington Nationals.
For the past two season, Porter has played independent baseball. In 2009, he was a Wichita Wingnut. This year, he was a Grand Prairie AirHog. (I love minor league team nicknames.) He hit .383 with 19 home runs and 83 RBI before coming over to the Blue Crabs.
Who is this? Lancaster Barnstormers manager Tom Herr What is this? An autographed card from this year's Barnstormers team set Where'd I get it? Herr signed it for me before a game in Newark earlier this year. How much did it cost? The team set was around $6 shipped.
Why is this so special? Tom Herr spent 13 seasons in the majors, playing for the St. Louis Cardinals, Minnesota Twins, Philadelphia Phillies, New York Mets and San Francisco Giants. He was an All-Star and won a World Series ring.
The Lancaster, Pa. native was picked as the first manager of the Lancaster Barnstormers prior to the 2005 Atlantic League season. In 2006, He led them to their only Atlantic League championship. Herr's success drew the attention of the Washington Nationals, who hired him to manage their South Atlantic League affiliate in Hagerstown in 2007.
Herr left the Washington organization after just one season and returned to the Barnstormers as a coach under new manager Von Hayes.When Hayes left Lancaster to manage the Camden Riversharks in 2010, Herr regained the lineup card in Lancaster.
Lancaster neglected to include Herr and Hayes in their original 2009 team set. They issued a 10-card update set including both late last season. I also got Herr's card from that set signed earlier this summer.
Who is this? Lancaster Barnstormers third baseman Aaron Herr What is this? An autographed card from the 2010 Lancaster Barnstormers team set Where'd I get it? Herr signed it for me before a game in Newark this year. How much did it cost? The team set was about $6 shipped.
Why is this so special? The Atlantic League was not particularly friendly to card collectors this year. As far as I know, half the league didn't put out team sets. Long Island's set didn't come out until after they already made their last trip to Newark. York never listed their set on their website, so I didn't know they issued one until after they made their final trip to Newark. I never gave a thought to Somerset, since they didn't used to sell their cards online. This year, they did.
But I was able to get most of the Lancaster Barnstormers cards signed. (Don't worry, I'm not going post them all right now... we've got all winter.)
Aaron Herr is the son of Lancaster manager and former MLB second baseman Tom Herr. The younger Herr was the 40th overall draft pick in 2000, selected by the Atlanta Braves. He spent five seasons there, but was selected by Seattle in the minor league phase of the Rule V draft during the 2004 off-season.
Herr didn't find a home in the Mariners organization, so he was originally set to join the Barnstormers for their inaugural season in 2005. Just before the Atlantic League season began, Herr was picked up by the Cardinals organization. He stayed in affiliated ball through 2008, playing in the Cincinnati & Cleveland organizations after leaving the Cardinals. He made the AAA All-Star team in 2007.
Last year, Herr finally got to play for the Barnstormers. This year, he is hitting .325 with 23 home runs and 102 RBI.
Aaron Herr has a fairly legible autograph, but it's not as nice as his father's.
Who is this? Washington Nationals shortstop Ian Desmond What is this? An autograph insert card from Topps National Chicle Where'd I get it? I bought it at the local card show How much did it cost? Around $5, I think.
Why is this so special? You've probably heard of Ian Desmond, unlike the Brooklyn Cyclones guys I've been posting for the last week.
Desmond was a third-round pick by the Montreal Expos in 2004. He made his major league debut with the Washington Nationals last year, and this year he beat out Cristian Guzman for the starting shortstop job.
While Desmond has not had a good year in the field, he has shown promise at the plate. For a rookie shortstop, .281-9-58 isn't bad.
Desmond's autograph is just "Ian D." I wouldn't mind if I got this signature at the ballpark, but it's a bit disappointing for something from a paid signing.
Who is this? Brooklyn Cyclones pitcher Hamilton Bennett What is this? An autographed card from the 2010 Brooklyn Cyclones team set Where'd I get it? Bennett signed it for me before last Sunday's Cyclones game. How much did it cost? The team set cost $10.
Why is this so special? The Cyclones playoff game tonight was postponed due to rain. Brooklyn will need to win on Monday and Tuesday to win the NY-Penn League championship.
Bennett was the Mets' 29th round draft pick out of Tennessee Wesleyan University this year. He made his pro debut with Brooklyn and pitched in 19 games out of the bullpen. Bennett was 2-2 with a 3.49 ERA.
He's got an interesting signature - it looks like he spent some time working out how he wanted to sign autographs.
Who is this? Brooklyn Cyclones pitcher Mitch Houck What is this? An autograph card from the 2010 Brooklyn Cyclones team set. Where'd I get it? Houck signed it for me before the Cyclones final regular season home game last weekend. How much did it cost? The team set was $10.
Why is this so special? The Cyclones are currently playing the Tri-City ValleyCats for the NY-Penn League championship. Brooklyn lost tonight, so they will have to win two in a row at home to gain the title.
Houck was chosen by the Mets in the 17th round of the 2008 draft. He made his professional debut that year with the Gulf Coast League Mets, but Houck has only pitched in 20 games over the past three seasons. He missed nearly all of 2009 with an injury, and he was on the DL again when I saw the Cyclones. Houck was 4-1 with a 3.73 ERA in 10 games for Brooklyn this year.
Houck does not have a pretty signature, but not too many lefties do.
Who is this? Brooklyn Cyclones pitcher Samuel Taveras What is this? An autographed card from the 2010 Brooklyn Cyclones team set Where'd I get it? Kolarek signed it for me before the Cyclones' final regular season game last Sunday. How much did it cost? The team set cost $10.
Why is this so special? The Brooklyn Cyclones finished the 2010 season with the best record in the NY-Penn League. They will play the Tri-City Valley Cats for the league championship beginning Saturday night.
Taveras began his pro career in the Mets organization in 2007 as an 18-year-old. This season, he was 2-0 with 3.86 ERA in 12 games for Brooklyn. He struck out 10 in 14 innings pitched.
Taveras has an intersting autograph -- it almost looks like he wrote a "Z" in the middle of it.
Who is this? Brooklyn Cyclones pitcher Adam Kolarek What is this? An autographed card from the 2010 Brooklyn Cyclones team set Where'd I get it? Kolarek signed it for me before the Cyclones' final regular season game last Sunday. How much did it cost? The team set cost $10.
Why is this so special? The Brooklyn Cyclones finished the 2010 season with the best record in the NY-Penn League and are playing the Jamestown Jammers in the first round of the playoffs. Tonight, the two teams are playing the deciding game to determine who advances to the championship series this weekend. I'm planning to post a card signed by a member of the 2010 Cyclones team each night this week.
The Mets selected Kolarek in the 11th round of this year's draft. He spent the season with Kingsport and Brooklyn, posting a combined 2-1 record with a 3.13 ERA in 22 relief appearances. He struck out 45 in 37 1/3 innings.
Kolarek has simplified his autograph to include just a few letters, but it is easily recognizable.
Who is this? Brooklyn Cyclones pitcher Nelson Pereira What is this? An autographed card from the 2010 Brooklyn Cyclones team set Where'd I get it? Pereira signed it for me before the Cyclones' final regular season game last Sunday. How much did it cost? The team set cost $10.
Why is this so special? The Brooklyn Cyclones finished the 2010 season with the best record in the NY-Penn League and are playing the Jamestown Jammers in the first round of the playoffs. After dropping game one to Jamestown last night, the Cyclones evened up the series with an extra-inning victory tonight. Tomorrow, the two teams will play the deciding game at MCU Park in Brooklyn. I'm planning to post a card signed by a member of the 2010 Cyclones team each night this week.
Pereira began his professional career in the Pittsburgh Pirates system in 2006 at the age of 17. The Pirates cut him loose after a 4-5 season with a 4.35 ERA for the State College Spikes in 2009. The Mets must have seen something that they liked -- perhaps his 10.1 SO/9 rate -- so they signed him and sent him to Brooklyn.
In 35 2/3 innings, Pereira struck out 38 while walking 12 and yielding 30 hits this season.
Who is this? Brooklyn Cyclones pitcher Daniel Carela What is this? An autographed card from the 2010 Brooklyn Cyclones team set Where'd I get it? Carela signed it for me before the Cyclones' final regular season game on Sunday. How much did it cost? The team set cost $10.
Why is this so special?The Brooklyn Cyclones finished the 2010 season with the best record in the NY-Penn League and are playing the Jamestown Jammers in the first round of the playoffs tonight. The game has been held up by multiple rain delays, but the Cyclones currently trail Jamestown 6-4 after 7 innings as I write this. I'm planning to post a card signed by a member of the 2010 Cyclones team each night this week.
Carela is a New York native who made his pro debut last year with the Gulf Coast Mets. He appeared in 19 games for Brooklyn this year, finishing with a 2-1 record, 2 saves and a 1.89 ERA. I saw him get one of those saves on Sunday.
Carela doesn't have the prettiest signature, but it is recognizable
Who is this? Brooklyn Cyclones catcher Blake Forsythe What is this? An autographed card from the 2010 Brooklyn Cyclones team set Where'd I get it? Forsythe signed it for me before the Cyclones final regular season game on Sunday. How much did it cost? The team set was $10.
Why is this so special? The Brooklyn Cyclones finished the 2010 season with the best record in the NY-Penn League and are headed to the playoffs starting tomorrow night. In recognition of their achievement, I'm planning to post a card signed by a member of the 2010 Cyclones team each night this week.
Forsythe didn't have an easy transition to professional baseball - he hit .234 with a .307 on-base percentage and .373 slugging average in 33 pro games, mostly with the Cyclones.
Like all the players I'm going to show you this week, Forsythe was very generous with his time on Sunday. He spent at least five minutes signing autographs along the wall before the start of the game. Although his signature just includes a few letters of his name, it is fairly identifiable.
Who is this? Arizona Diamondbacks pitcher Daniel Hudson What is this? An autographed card from the 2010 Topps set Where'd I get it? I wrote to Hudson last month and got this card back about two weeks later How much did it cost? Around a dollar, mostly for postage.
Why is this so special? Until Aug. 1, I'd never really paid any attention to Daniel Hudson. He was the Chicago White Sox 5th round pick in 2008, and one year later he was making his major league debut -- maybe I should have.
Hudson came to the National League in a deadline deal that sent Edwin Jackson from the Arizona Diamondbacks to the White Sox. I saw Hudson make his Arizona debut on Aug. 1 when I went to the Mets Hall of Fame induction day game. He pitched well and got the win. He also got his first major league hit - a single off reliever Elmer Dessens that drove in a pair of runs.
In 7 games, Hudson has a 4-1 record and a 1.99 ERA for the Diamondbacks.
Hudson has a fairly clear autograph, and was nice enough to personalize the card to me.
Who is this? Buffalo Bisons pitcher Michael Antonini What is this? An autograph card from the 2010 Binghamton Mets team set Where'd I get it? I wrote to Antonini at Buffalo and asked him to sign it - I got it back after almost a month. How much did it cost? There were two copies of Antonini's card in my team set, so I guess it was free except for the postage.
Why is this so special? It's the first 2010 Binghamton Mets card I was able to get signed, since I didn't get the set until after they made their final trip into Trenton this year.
Antonini was the Mets 18th round selection in 2007. He's made it all the way through the farm system in just four seasons, despite relying more on control than pure stuff. He was invited to major league spring training last year -- likely because of the number of players the Mets sent to the World Baseball Classic. However, he impressed Jerry Manuel enough that he got to pitch in the exhibition series that opened CitiField in 2009.
Antonini probably has a very legible autograph, but he seems to have condensed it to fit on the card. Hopefully no one over at Topps will get upset at this set's resemblance to their 1962 set.
Who is this? Newark Bears infielder Sandy Madera What is this? An autographed card from the 2009 Pawtucket Red Sox team set Where'd I get it? Madera signed it for me before Wednesday night's Bears game. How much did it cost? $1 on eBay.
Why is this so special? Sandy Madera is one of the most out-going baseball players you are likely to meet. This is his 11th season in pro ball; he made his pro debut as a 18-year-old catcher in the Athletics organization in 1999. He was the Dominican Summer League All-Star Catcher that year.
Madera has also played in the New York Yankees, Colorado Rockies, Baltimore Orioles and Boston Red Sox farm systems. In independent league baseball, Madera has played for the New Jersey Jackals in the Can-Am League (he was an all-star there in 2007) and the Newark Bears.
Last season, Madera played in five games for the Pawtucket yet he somehow got included in the card set. He's actually looking for copies of this card, but I don't think I'm going to be able to locate any before the home schedule closes out next weekend.
Madera is a finalist in the ugliest autograph of the year contest, unfortunately.
Who is this? Pawtucket Red Sox pitching coach Rich Sauveur What is this? An autographed card from the 1991 ProCards Tidewater Tides team set Where'd I get it? I wrote to Sauveur and asked him to sign it last Monday. I got it back today, 10 days later. How much did it cost? The card probably cost me a buck or two, but I don't really remember.
Why is this so special? I'm having a really good week adding to my all-time Mets autograph collection. Monday, I got cards from Bob L. Gibson that I'd given up any hope of ever seeing again. Today, I got an autograph from another obscure former Mets reliever.
I bought this card two or three winters ago, with the intention of mailing it to Sauveur. I always managed to forget about actually sending it until after the season was over. SNY broadcasted a game between the Pawtucket Red Sox and Buffalo Bisons on the Mets last off-day, and that made me think about this card again. (I never really cared for the yellow notepad design when ProCards used it in 1991, but it has a certain nostalgic charm now. It's still ugly, though.)
Sauveur pitched in 34 major league games over a career that spanned 15 years. He made his major league debut for the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1986, and he made his final appearance for the Oakland As in 2000. In 1991, he pitched 3 1/3 innings for the New York Mets.
Who is this? former Yomiuri Giants infielder Edgardo Alfonzo What is this? An autographed card from the 2009 BBM set Where'd I get it? Alfonzo signed it for me before a Newark Bears game earlier this year. How much did it cost? The card cost around $5.
Why is this so special? Edgardo Alfonzo is arguably one of the best players in Mets history, and he was always one of my favorites. He has over 1,500 major league hits to his credit and was an All-Star in 2000.
After Alfonzo's major league career ended in 2006, he tried to make a comeback by playing in the Atlantic League. He played in for games for the Bridgeport Bluefish before the Mets signed him to a minor league contract to finish the season in Norfolk.
In 2007 and 2008, Alfonzo suited up for the Long Island Ducks. He also spent part of the 2008 season in Mexico. Last year, Alfonzo signed a contract with the Yomiuri Giants in Japan. He played in 21 games and had just 6 hits in 41 at-bats. I'm not sure if he spent the rest of the season on the Giants' minor league club or if he was hurt. This year, Alfonzo played in 26 games for the Newark Bears.
Edgardo's autograph hasn't changed much over the years, but I've never been able to figure out the end of it.
I'm only putting autograph-related links in this blogroll. However, if you have a blog or a collector site not specifically about autographs, but with an autograph page or an "autograph" label on your blog posts, I'll put that link here.