Posted in Autographs, Uncategorized

Autograph of the week: Gary Allenson

Gary Allenson signed photo from my collection
Gary Allenson signed photo from my collection

Gary Allenson spent parts of seven seasons in the Major Leagues in the 1980s, mostly as a backup catcher, despite being a ninth-round draft pick. From 1979-84, he played for the Boston Red Sox, then went to the Toronto Blue Jays in 1985. He retired with a .221 lifetime average, 19 home runs and 131 RBI.

After his playing career ended, Allenson became a minor league manager. In 18 seasons across every level of Minor League Baseball, Allenson has a 1052-1127 record. This year, he led the New Hampshire Fisher Cats (Toronto Blue Jays-Double A) to a 68-72 record in the Eastern League.

My friend Bart took this photo at a Trenton Thunder game and managed to get an extra copy signed, so he passed it on to me.

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Posted in Baseball, Uncategorized

Eastern League news & notes

It wouldn’t be the off-season without a few minor league baseball teams changing logos, adding mascots, or re-branding themselves in some way.

The former Akron Aeros have shed the moniker they bore for 17 seasons to become the Akron Rubber Ducks in 2014.

“We wanted to do something that was fun and entertaining while honoring the heritage of this great community, ” team owner owner Ken Babby said.

Akron was once known as “The Rubber Capital of the World,” with all of America’s major rubber companies located there in the early 20th century, but I’m not sure where the ducks came from. (Then again, I never knew what an Aero was supposed to be, so from that perspective it’s an improvement.)

I don’t like the new logo – it makes me think “auto racing.”  The old Aeros logo at least did more to suggest it belonged to a baseball team.

AkronAeros AkronRubberDucks

Maikel Franco DSCN7294
Maikel Franco (Photo credit: Paul Hadsall)


The Altoona Curve announced details of next summer’s two-day 2014 Eastern League All-Star Stop event, which will take place on July 15 & 16, 2014.

The Toronto Blue Jays extended their affiliation agreement with the New Hampshire Fisher Cats through 2016. The two teams have been partners since the 2003 season.

This week, the Trenton Thunder were recognized as Minor League Baseball’s Team of the Year through fan voting conducted on  They also won an award for Promo of the Year (for the retirement party for Chase, the team’s bat dog) and the Mascot Clip of the Year.

Reading Fightin Phils infielder Maikel Franco was the staff pick as the Breakout Prospect of the Year, and Harrisburg Senators pitcher Richie Mirowski was the fans’ choice for Best Reliever of the Year.

Posted in Autographs, Baseball, Uncategorized

Where are they now? – Pete Walker

Remember Pete Walker? I didn’t have any particular reason to think about him until I got this signed photo of Walker from my friend Bart yesterday.

Drafted by the Mets in 1990, Walker had a cup of coffee in New York in 1995 before getting shipped off to San Diego in a spring training deal the next year.

Walker appeared in 144 major league games over eight years, working as a starter and a reliever. Most of those appearances came as a Toronto Blue Jay from 2002-2006, though he did pitch in 16 games for the Mets over three separate stints with the team.

Walker last pitched in 2007. He’s now the pitching coach for the New Hampshire Fisher Cats, the Double-A affiliate of the Toronto Blue Jays.

Posted in Baseball Game Reports, Uncategorized

Game #27: New Hampshire 8, Trenton 6

Trenton Thunder manager Tony Franklin continues to argue even after his third-inning ejection.

Sunday was my third game in as many days and I wasn’t quite in the mood to deal with the 90+ degree heat. On Saturday, I was lucky – I was mostly able to stay in the shade at CitiField. At Waterfront Park in Trenton, there are fewer places that offer cover from the sun.

So I spent an hour trying for autographs from the New Hampshire Fisher Cats before the game. I managed to get nearly half of my cards signed, though nearly everyone’s autograph was completely illegible. And I was already dripping.

Then I settled into my (scorching hot) seat to watch the game. I took out my camera and realized that I left the memory card sitting home in the computer. So I switched to the lower-resolution mode and tried to make the best of the 13 photos that would fit on the camera’s internal memory. My oversight didn’t turn out to be important – the sun was far too brutal to want to stay down by the field very long anyway.

Continue reading “Game #27: New Hampshire 8, Trenton 6”