Posted in Autographs, Baseball, Baseball Cards

August autographs (part 2): baseball

I’m running a bit behind my original plans, but let’s continue to take a look at the autographs I added to my collection in August.

The first six were obtained by writing to the player, in care of their team if they are still active or via a home address obtained from SportsCollectors.Net if they are retired. The final two were purchases.

Austin-DeCarrAustin DeCarr is a New York Yankees prospect who’s had his career delayed by Tommy John surgery. He spent his 23-year-old season with the Class-A Charleston River Dogs, where he pitched 36 innings out of the bullpen. DeCarr struck out 39 while walking 25, which is probably not quite what the Yankees were hoping for from their 2014 third round draft pick.

Kevin-ElsterKevin Elster was one of my favorite New York Mets players in the late 1980s and early 1990s. He was an amazing defensive shortstop who could hit the occasional home run, but he didn’t always have the best batting average (we cared about that back then.)

Gosuke-KatohGosuke Katoh is another New York Yankees prospect who is running out of time to make an impression. Katoh was named a post-season all-star by Baseball America in his debut season back in 2013, but he’s not been able to match that level of performance as he moved up the ladder. Katoh spent his age-23 season with the Double-A Trenton Thunder, where he posted a 229 / .327 / .335 slash line in 118 games. He was 11-17 in stolen base attempts and played games at every infield position as well as left field.

Jordan-FoleyJordan Foley is another Yankees prospect who spent the year with the Double-A Trenton Thunder. Foley pitched 66.1 innings in his age-25 season, making 35 relief appearances and two starts. He struck out 67 while walking 35.

Pat-NeshekPat Neshek is the foremost autograph collector among active Major League Baseball players, and one of the few who genuinely seems to enjoy signing autographs, even after 12 big league seasons. Neshek has pitched 22 innings in 27 games, striking out 14 while walking three out of the Philadelphia Phillies’ bullpen this year.

Carson-FulmerCarson Fulmer made eight starts for the Chicago White Sox this year before getting pulled from the rotation and demoted to the minor leagues for his 8.07 ERA. In Triple-A, he was only slightly better – he posted a 5.32 ERA in 25 appearances (14 in relief) for the Charlotte Knights. I still love the signed card for the awesome throwback uniform Fulmer is rockin.’

Seth-LugoSeth Lugo is a New York Mets pitcher who’s been hurt by his versatility this season. While he’d probably prefer to start, first-year manager Mickey Callaway has preferred to use Lugo out of the bullpen. In 51 appearances and 98 innings, Lugo is 3-4 with a 2.74 ERA. I was able to purchase this card for 99 cents plus shipping on eBay, even though it was one of the two guaranteed autographs out of a product that goes for $50 or more for a box.

PJ-ConlonP.J. Conlon earned some notoriety for his Irish-American ancestry when he made his Major League debut earlier this season, but he struggled in his three appearances with the Mets and spent most of the year in the minor leagues. Conlon was even briefly part of the Dodgers’ organization, thanks to a move that exposed him to waivers when the Mets needed to open a 40-man roster spot. They were able to reclaim him in June. This purchase cost me $2.75 plus shipping.

I’ll be back later with Part 3, including my entertainment autographs.

August Autographs Part 1: Football 

Posted in Autographs, Uncategorized

Happy Thanksgiving

This Thursday, Americans will celebrate Thanksgiving. While our popular traditions surrounding the holiday involve eating too much, getting ready to shop for bargains and watching football, the federal holiday of Thanksgiving was created during the Civil War as a national day of “Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens.”

So at the very least, I invite you to spend a few moments this week thinking about some of the things that make you feel thankful.

I’m thankful for all of the people who chose to spend a few minutes signing autographs for me.

The number of cards arriving in the mail last week decreased as I’ve had less time to write letters, but I did get my first 2014 Topps Update cards signed.

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Until his All-Star selection this year, Pat Neshek probably had a bigger fanbase among autograph collectors than the fans of whichever team he happened to be playing for in a particular year. Neshek is among a small number of Major League Baseball players who collect cards, and the only one who will actually trade signed cards with his fans.

Continue reading “Happy Thanksgiving”

Posted in Autographs, Uncategorized

Featured autograph: Oakland Athletics pitcher Pat Neshek

Signed Pat Neshek 2013 Topps Heritage baseball card from my collection
Signed Pat Neshek 2013 Topps Heritage baseball card from my collection

Pat Neshek is a 33-year-old relief pitcher who’s played for the Minnesota Twins, San Diego Padres and Oakland Athletics during a 7-year major league career.

In 2004, while he was still in the minor leagues, Neshek established his own website – which is still active today – giving him a way to communicate directly with fans years before Twitter became popular.

Neshek is also an autograph collector. He is one of the very few active baseball players to invite fans to send him anything they “need signed” and he’ll trade a signed card of himself for any signed card from one of the four major professional sports.

I picked up Neshek’s Topps Heritage card earlier this year when the set came out, but I only got around to mailing it to him in August. Last week, it came back signed 18 days after I sent it out.

Here are the other Pat Neshek autographed cards I’ve gotten over the years (the minor league cards were acquired through his trade offer.)

Continue reading “Featured autograph: Oakland Athletics pitcher Pat Neshek”

Posted in Autographs, Baseball Cards, Uncategorized

One from Florida, one from Arizona

On the eve of the first games of the Grapefruit League season, I received another envelope from a Florida spring training camp.

2009 Upper Deck Pat Neshek
2009 Upper Deck Pat Neshek

Pat Neshek of the Minnesota Twins has to be one of the most hobby-friendly players to ever play the game. He signed my first 2009 Upper Deck base card of the year. He also sent me a New Britain Rock Cats 25th anniversary card in exchange for a couple of cards I sent to him for his collection.

Continue reading “One from Florida, one from Arizona”