Posted in Autographs, Baseball, Uncategorized

Autograph of the week: Phillies prospect Aaron Nola



Aaron Nola was the Philadelphia Phillies’ first round pick in this year’s amateur draft. The seventh overall selection in the draft, Nola received a $3.3 million signing bonus when he agreed to a contract in June and was assigned to the Phillies’ Single-A team in Clearwater, Florida.

Nola made 11 starts in the Florida State League before being promoted to Double-A Reading to finish the season. When the Fightin Phils visited Trenton to end the season on Labor Day weekend, Nola signed the Autograph Card pictured above for me.

While many younger players don’t like to sign the blank cards, Nola had no problem with it (perhaps because he has yet to appear on a baseball card since turning pro.)

Nola finished his first season with a combined record of 4-3 with a 2.93 ERA, 45 strikeouts and just 10 walks in 55.1 innings. If he continues to progress at this rate, an appearance in Philadelphia before the end of 2015 might not out of the question.

Posted in Autographs, Baseball, Baseball Cards, Uncategorized

Autograph of the Week: Phillies prospect Jesse Biddle

Jesse Biddle, a 22-year-old Philadelphia native, has been ranked among the top prospects in baseball for the past three seasons.

Last summer, Biddle pitched at CitiField in the All-Star Futures game. This summer, he spent time recovering from a concussion caused by a piece of hail.

Though Biddle’s final record with the Reading Fightin Phils is an ugly one (3-10, 5.03 ERA, 1.482 WHIP), he had several strong performances late in the season that offer hope for a better 2015.

Signed Jesse Biddle 2011 Topps Pro Debut Minor League Materials baseball card from my collection
Signed Jesse Biddle 2011 Topps Pro Debut Minor League Materials baseball card from my collection

I’ve had this relic card from Topps’ 2011 Pro Debut set for a few years now. I was finally able to get it signed last weekend when Reading visited Trenton for a season-ending series.

Although my friend Bart and I decided to leave before the rain-delayed game eventually started, I was able to get a couple dozen baseball cards signed before the bad weather arrived.

Rainbow over Trenton Transit Center (Photo credit: Paul Hadsall)
Rainbow over Trenton Transit Center (Photo credit: Paul Hadsall)
Posted in Baseball, Uncategorized

Winning is fun

Wasn’t it fun to watch the New York Mets beat up on A.J. Burnett and the Philadelphia Phillies Monday night?

Bartolo Colon continues to laugh at Father Time, Travis d’Arnaud had a three extra-base hit game and Juan Lagares showed signs of rediscovering his lost hitting stroke.

But before you get caught up in fake pennant race fever, keep in mind that the Mets are still four games under the .500 mark at 51-55. They’re in fourth place in the NL East, one game behind the Miami Marlins, seven games behind the Atlanta Braves and 7.5 games behind the Washington Nationals. The Wild Card race isn’t much more realistic… the Mets are 6.5 games out of the second Wild Card spot, with four teams between them and the San Francisco Giants, who would currently make the playoffs with a 57-48 record.

If they Mets hadn’t waited until July to start playing well…. who knows? But let’s enjoy the winning while it lasts and hope that they are building towards something that will bear fruit in 2015.

Continue reading “Winning is fun”

Posted in Baseball, Uncategorized

Morning reading: A call to honor Joan Payson

Joan Payson's Mets Hall of Fame plaque (Photo credit: Paul Hadsall)
Joan Payson’s Mets Hall of Fame plaque (Photo credit: Paul Hadsall)

Blogger Becca Boosical wants the New York Mets to do more to honor team founder and original owner Joan Payson.

Here is my call to the Mets organization and my fellow fans – let us honor the woman who brought us our Mets. She is probably the most important person in the history of our team, because without her we wouldn’t be here.  Lets do something about it.  Giver her a gate, give her a day, give her the respect she deserves.  Fans, if you don’t know about her, learn about her. … Let us honor our past, so when we celebrate, it is that much sweeter. LGM!

(Becca’s Balls via Mets Police)

Continue reading “Morning reading: A call to honor Joan Payson”

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Autograph of the week: Jim Fregosi

Signed Jim Fregosi 1973 Topps baseball card from my collection
Signed Jim Fregosi 1973 Topps baseball card from my collection

Jim Fregosi passed away today after suffering a stroke earlier this week while participating in a Major League Alumni cruise.

Fregosi was a great player for the Los Angeles/California Angels in the 1960s and later went on to manage them. But east coast fans are more likely to remember him for one of two things.

On December 10th, 1971, the New York Mets sent a pitcher named Nolan Ryan and three other minor leaguers to the Angels in a trade to acquire Fregosi. Although he had been an All-Star shortstop, the Mets got Fregosi with the idea that he could be their answer at third base, and it did not work out well. Ryan became a star, winning 138 games and pitching four no-hitters for the Angels before departing as a free agent at the end of the 1979 season.

Phillies fans will remember Fregosi as the manager who presided over the “worst-to-first” turnaround of the 1993 National League championship team.

“Jim Fregosi was not only one of the most respected men in baseball, he was a great man,” Lenny Dykstra told “He was a player’s manager. He had that special gift as a manager that made you want to get to the field and play your ass off for him. Jim Fregosi was the reason that 1993 was one of the most exciting years in Philadelphia sports history.”

Fregosi had been good about signing autographs for collectors who wrote to him and asked. I got my 1973 Topps baseball card signed in 2007.

You can follow Paul’s Random Baseball Stuff on Facebook or Google+, see my photos on Flickrand Instagram, and follow @Paul_Hadsall on Twitter, where I talk about about a variety of things in addition to baseball.

Posted in Baseball, Uncategorized

Sandberg headlines annual Lakewood Blue Claws’ Winter Banquet

Ryne Sandberg signs autographs during a Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs promotion in 2012 (Photo credit: Paul Hadsall)
Ryne Sandberg signs autographs during a Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs promotion in 2012 (Photo credit: Paul Hadsall)

New Philadelphia Phillies manager Ryne Sandberg will highlight the Lakewood Blue Claws’ annual Winter Banquet on Wednesday, January 22nd at Woodlake Country Club in Lakewood.

The baseball Hall of Famer will be joined by current Phillies players and Blue Claws alumni Darin Ruf and Jonathan Pettibone. Tickets for the event are $40 and all proceeds will benefit BlueClaws Charities and their Community Partners Program.

To purchase tickets, call JoAnne Bell at 732-901-7000 extension 100.