Saturday, June 29, 2013

Because I can...

Happy birthday to me. I'm 25. Yay? I'm sure ill post whatever I buy later to celebrate.

Friday, June 28, 2013

RBI (152) A Frontline Starter...

A key part to the surging and surprising success of the Oakland A's is a lockdown rotation with young arms that make the entire rotation loaded with frontline talent, and starting pitcher Jarrod Parker is a large part of that success.

Parker was taken with the 9th overall pick out of the 2007 MLB draft by the Arizona Diamondbacks. He was included as a key part of the deal that sent Trevor Cahill from the A's to the Diamondbacks to help push both teams to playoff relevance. In his first year he was part of the upstart A's season taking the AL West by storm going 13-8. His sophomore season started with some difficulties, but he's turned his struggles around and is again being an anchor in the rotation to help the A's pushing to be the top of the AL West.
I was able to get Parker to autograph this 2012 Topps Heritage card for me after he pitched in the Angels home opener for the 2013 season. For those of you curious about different signing habits of specific players every time I've seen Parker sign autographs he is firmly a "one per" kind of player so don't go out with a big stack expecting him to knock them out or hope to get a ball and card done.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

RBI (151) Mariano Rivera...

I'm not sure I really need to say much more about getting an autograph from one of the arguably greatest MLB players of all time. A sure thing first ballot Hall of Famer who is an icon for not only his dominance on the mound but also for his humility and charity.

He has the MLB saves record surpassing 630 Saves, a number that at the end of this season will be etched in stone as one of the untouchables considering the factors that went in to his ability to set the mark. Longevity, consistency, team success and dominance for twenty years that will likely never be truly rivaled or witnessed again. He's an all-time great, one of the Yankees Core Four, the key cog in the Steinbrenner dynasty that brought a fist full of World Series rings to New York.
It's a true honor to be able to this Mariano Rivera autographed baseball and I'll treasure it forever. Without a doubt it is something that will always be special to me. It's another sign of his humility and generosity that Mariano not only signed for me but had knocked out a significant number of autographs for fans at Angel Stadium, working his way up and down the line for fans. He gave everyone a clean signature, truly gifting his autograph to the people that supported him throughout his career.
As a final note, it was great being able to get Mariano's autograph next to my good friend well known grapher David who got a great item signed. Last year we were able to get Derek Jeter's autograph together and this year Mariano, it'll be great to see who we can get together next year.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

RBI (150) El Presidente...

One of the nice things about interleague play is the opportunity to graph teams you don't often get the chance to see your local team play. With year round interleague play that opportunity has expanded from the usual summer series. With the Houston Astros moving from the National League to the American League that opportunity is now a regular occurrence for residents of the AL West.

One benefit for the Astros switching leagues is that I had the opportunity to collect the autograph of an ace of my childhook "El Presidente" Dennis Martinez, the first Nicaraguan player to make it into the MLB player and one of the most successful Latin American pitchers to play in the MLB. He was signed by the Baltimore Orioles in 1973 and debuted in 1976. His career would stretch until the end of the 1998 season when he would finally retire after playing for the Orioles, Expos, Indians, Mariners, and Braves.

His career line wasn't enough to put Dennis Martinez in the Hall of Fame, falling off the Cooperstown ballot in his first year of eligibility but he is definitely worthy of the Hall of Great. He retired with a 3.70 ERA and 2149 Strikeouts supporting 245 Wins. He was a 4-time All Star, won the 1983 World Series with the Orioles, and of course threw the 13th Perfect Game in MLB history against the Los Angeles Dodgers on July 28, 1991 for the Montreal Expos.
Mr. Martinez was kind enough to autograph and sweetspot this baseball for me before an Angels vs Astros game during the 2013 season. I think he's got a great looking signature and it's definitely one I was very happy to add to my collection. If Jack Morris gets into Cooperstown with such a similar career by way of BBWAA voting I'd be very surprised. Maybe you give him more credit for helping to win more World Series and of course the legendary Game 7, but still I'd be a bit surprised considering how many sure thing players are currently on the ballot.

RBI (149) A Roving Veteran...

Recently I was able to score a pretty underrated autograph by a veteran starting pitcher. I enjoy being able to set goals of specific players when a team comes into town and sometimes instead of loading up my card collection with something for everyone I only bring along items to be signed by the players that I choose. I decided to go after veteran pitcher Edwin Jackson.

Jackson was drafted by the Los Angeles Dodgers in the 6th round of the 2001 MLB draft. He debuted in the MLB for a few cups of coffee at age 19 during the 2003 season but finally stuck around the bigs in 2006. Since his Dodger debut he has played for the Rays, White Sox, Diamondbacks, Cardinals, Nationals, Tigers, and Cubs. He's been a farily reliable pitcher with a 71-79 record a 4.48 ERA and more than 1000 Strikeouts. He does however have a few accomplishments that make him a notable autograph to collect. He was a World Series Championship with the St. Louis Cardinals, was an All-Star, and threw a no-hitter against the Rays.
I was able to get Edwin's autograph on this 2012 Topps Heritage card during the Cubs vs Angels series in 2013.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

RBI (148) Even More Shay Maria...

Most of the time I don't repost autographs that I've gotten before. Most of the time I don't get autographs of someone who is as hot as Shay Maria. Is anyone really going to complain that I keep picking up these Shay Maria prints or posting them? I think not.
For more ridiculously good looking photos of Shay Maria looking obscenely hot you can check out my posts here and here. I'm going to put these three prints framed up with my KIC Spacey Print together and enjoy the view. I'm pretty sure this is the hottest Shay Maria print and definitely my favorite one of her. Ps. Shay Maria's instagram is definitely worth checking out.

RBI (147) Texas Tech Running Back...

Recently I was able to have the opportunity to get the autograph of Texas Tech Running Back SaDale Foster. I was happy to add another autograph to my collection, especially my first college football autograph. It made it more gratifying that the Red Raider that I was able to add was another hometown athlete who's doing reasonably well and hopefully can have a breakout season next year in second year as Texas Tech so he can reach the NFL.

In 13 games in his first season with the team he rushed 91 times for 451 yards for a solid 5 yards per carry average to go along with 3 touchdowns. He also caught 18 passes showing the versatility that is really necessary at this point to be a successful offensive player in today's NFL. His added use as a punt returner will hopefully help make teams take a good look at him during next year's season.
SaDale autographed this 8x10 photograph for me and I'll happily add it to my collection of hometown athletes making it to the next stage with me hopefully asking him to sign one again with him in a NFL jersey.