Monday, June 18, 2012
Time: 7 Days
Address: c/o Minnesota Twins
Item Sent: 1984 Donruss, 1984 Topps, 1986 ProCards Toledo Mud Hens, 1989 ProCards Visalia Oaks
Item Received: 1984 Donruss, 1984 Topps, 1986 ProCards Toledo Mud Hens, 1989 ProCards Visalia Oaks. All signed in black Sharpie.
Scotty Ullger has how spent over 30 years in the Twins organization as a player, minor league manager, and major league coach. Since the mid '90s he has served as a first base coach, third base coach, hitting coach, and bench coach for Tom Kelly and Ron Gardenhire, and is the go-to choice to manage the team whenever the umpires elect to let Gardy shower early.
1986 ProCards Project
Time: 6 Days
Item Sent: 1986 ProCards Tucson Toros
Item Received: 1986 ProCards Tucson Toros, signed in thin blue Sharpie.
Iowa native Ed Watt was a key member of the bullpen on the great Baltimore Orioles pitching staffs of the late '60s and early '70s and a top fireman for their 1970 World Champion squad. When his playing days ended, he embarked on a long minor league coaching career, including a stint as the pitching coach for the Tucson Toros in 1986.
1986 ProCards Project
Tuesday, June 12, 2012
Time: 6 Days
Item Sent: 1986 ProCards Prince William Pirates
Item Received: 1986 ProCards Prince William Pirates, signed in thin blue Sharpie.
My first return since officially starting the 1986 ProCards Project comes from '50s big league sparkplug and longtime minor league manager Rocky Bridges. Rocky played in over 900 major league games and hit .247 with just 16 home runs. He did, however, make the 1958 AL All Star Team while playing for the Washington Senators.
1986 ProCards Project
Time: 212 Days
Item Sent: 1991-92 Score Canadian, 1991-92 Score Canadian "Dynamic Duo"
Item Received: 1991-92 Score Canadian, 1991-92 Score Canadian "Dynamic Duo." Both signed in black Sharpie.
Rob Pearson was Eric Lindros' sidekick for the Oshawa Generals junior hockey team in 1990-91. Lindros led the OHL that year with 149 points and Pearson added 118. The "134" written in pucks on the photo is representative of their combined goal totals for the year -- 71 for Lindros and 63 for Pearson. Rob was a first round pick by the Toronto Maple Leafs and had a stellar sophomore season in 1992-93 with 23 goals and 211 penalty minutes. That would be his NHL peak, though, as he scored just 19 more goals over parts of the next four seasons.
Saturday, June 9, 2012
Time: 25 Days
Item Sent: 1985 Fleer, 1985 Topps, 1988 Donruss Baseball's Best
Item Received: 1985 Fleer, 1985 Topps, 1988 Donruss Baseball's Best. All signed in blue Sharpie.
Jim Clancy picked up by the Blue Jays in their inaugural expansion draft and was an underrated workhorse from their inception through their contending years of the mid to late 1980s. He was the last pitcher in major league history to have 40 stars in one season (during his lone All-Star year of 1982). His final decision was a relief win in game three of the greatest World Series ever played (1991) for the Atlanta Braves, against the Minnesota Twins.
Time: 8 Days
Address: c/o FSN Detroit
Item Sent: 2008 Topps Heritage
Item Received: 2008 Topps Heritage, signed in black Sharpie.
Craig Monroe suffered with some terrible Tigers teams at the beginning of the 2000s, but when they turned their fortunes around in 2006 he was at the forefront. He had career highs of 28 home runs and 92 RBI during the regular season. He turned it on even further with an incredible post-season that included five more homers as the Tigers advanced to the World Series. He got off to a hugely disappointing start in 2007 and was traded to the Cubs for a bag of balls.
Monroe was a notorious Twins killer (.321 with 13 homers and 48 RBI in 80 career games against them), so the Twins brought him in the next year to help provide some right-handed outfield power following Torii Hunter's departure. He did hit eight home runs in a part-time role, but struggled to keep his average above .200.
Time: 32 Days
Item Sent: 1985 Fleer, 1986 Fleer
Item Received: 1985 Fleer, 1986 Fleer. Both signed in blue Sharpie.
Andre Thornton had big-time power and for years was the only legitimate threat in the Cleveland Indians lineup. He was a two-time All-Star and a three-time 30 home run hitter for the Tribe and finished his 14 year big league career with 253 bombs. He was elected to the Indians team Hall of Fame in 2007.
Time: 9 Days
Item Sent: Minnesota North Stars logo puck, 1984-85 O-Pee-Chee, 1987-88 Topps, 1990-91 Upper Deck, 1991-92 Score Canadian, 1992-93 Pinnacle, 1992-93 Topps
Item Received: Minnesota North Stars logo puck, Philadelphia Flyers logo puck, 1984-85 O-Pee-Chee, 1987-88 Topps, 1990-91 Upper Deck, 1991-92 Score Canadian, 1992-93 Pinnacle, 1992-93 Topps, Philadelphia Flyers photo, Hartford Whalers photo. North Stars puck signed in silver Deco paint pen. Cards and Flyers puck signed in blue Sharpie. Photos signed in black Sharpie.
Collectors have varied opinions on how many items is too many to send in an autograph request, so I'll preface this incredible return from Brian Propp by stating that after interviewing him for my Minnesota North Stars blog I asked for permission to send a puck and a few cards. He gave me the thumbs up to send anything. In addition to signing all of my stuff, he added his own Philadelphia Flyers logo puck and two photos. Very cool return. (Be sure to read the interview!)
Time: 55 Days
Address: c/o Milwaukee Brewers
Item Sent: 2009 Topps Heritage, 2011 Topps Update
Item Received: 2009 Topps Heritage, 2011 Topps Update. Both signed in black Sharpie.
Counsell announced his retirement this past winter after one of the more unlikely 16 year careers in recent memory. An old school great glove/weak bat infielder, he came up big when the spotlight was the brightest. A winner wherever he went, Counsell was a key player on two World Series champions. He scored the Series-winning run as a rookie for the 1997 Florida Marlins. Four years later he was the NLCS MVP for the Arizona Diamondbacks en route to their title. Despite his biggest success coming in those two eyesore uniforms, I'm happy with my card selections here (both as a Milwaukee Brewer). The 2009 Topps Heritage, utilizing the horizontal 1960 Topps design, is one of my favorites in the Heritage series. The 2011 Topps card is just a great shot at Target Field in a border battle against my beloved Twins.