Late last week I heard about a Blog Bat-Around that sounded interesting; I started off reading the entry from Wrigley Roster Jenga, but the originator was Torren’ Up Cards, so I feel I should give them both a link.
So the idea is to assemble a baseball lineup from the autographs in your collection. At first, I dismissed the idea of doing it myself… I’m not much of a autograph collector and I wasn’t sure I could even fill out a lineup. Even if I could, I figured it would be full of names like Dwayne Hosey and Steve Scarsone (No offense intended, Dwayne & Steve… love you both)
Once I started assembling a roster, though, the team turned out a little better than I thought it would be. My team would still get their butts kicked by pretty much any other blogger’s team, but it’s not completely embarrassing and that’s good enough for me (and maybe will encourage others with less-than-HOF auto collections to join in on the fun).
Without any more ado, here is my somewhat impressive All-Autograph Team
Catcher – Duffy Dyer
This is from a postcard set commemorating the 1969 “Miracle Mets”; each set came with an autograph. Duffy was Jerry Grote’s longtime backup with the Mets.
1st Base – Butch Huskey
Huskey played 7 years in the majors, mostly with the Mets but also with “short term stops” with the Rockies, Red Sox, Mariners and Twins. “Butch Huskey” is one of Mrs. Shlabotnik’s favorite baseball names.
2nd Base – Ty Wigginton
This is a bit of a stretch, but Wiggie did play 168 games at 2nd base over his career. I’ve always liked Wigginton and this was cheap on COMC.
Shortstop – Bert Campaneris
The best autograph I’ve ever pulled out of a pack. Campy was a key member of that dominant Oakland A’s team of the 1970’s.
3rd Base – Rick Schu
Rick Schu was one of the earliest players I saw in the minor leagues who later made it to The Show.
I could’ve cheated here and passed off my wife’s autographed copy of Cal Ripken’s book “The Only Way I Know” as part of my collection, but I wouldn’t do that. Mrs. S only has a few autographs to her name, but she’s worked much harder to get hers than I have to get mine.
Outfield – Richie Ashburn
This card came as part of a padded envelope from CommishBob of The Five Tool Collector, and is the only Hall-Of-Famer on my team… and is one of two cards which are also on The Five Tool All-Autograph Team.
Outfield – Jim Wynn
This is the first autograph I ever got, and I got it in 1976, the year the card was issued.
I went to a baseball camp that year – mainly based on my enthusiasm for baseball and the fact that my parents were probably overjoyed that I would even try a sport (I’ve never considered myself to be even remotely athletic). Towards the end of the camp they brought in a Major Leaguer to meet us kids, and that was Jim Wynn, who was in the area because the Braves were playing the Mets. For the occasion I brought Wynn’s 1976 card with me that day. Wynn seemed larger than life to me, although I later learned that he was relatively small (5′ 10″) for a Major Leaguer.
Outfield – Frank Catalanotto
Like me, Frank is from Long Island, a fact I discovered when I happened to see him play in AAA one year (“Hey, this dude’s from Smithtown!!!”) Since nobody from my high school has ever made it to the Majors, I tend to adopt anybody from the same county I grew up in (Suffolk County, NY… for those of you keeping score at home).
This card came from Julie over at A Cracked Bat, who sent me a number of nice additions to my Frank Catalanotto and Ryan Zimmerman PC’s.
Pitcher – Dwight Gooden
A couple of years ago I found out that Dwight Gooden was going to be at a minor league game not terribly far from where I live…. Doc threw out the first pitch and was signing autographs, so for the price of a minor league ticket I got to watch a ballgame and meet Doctor K. This lifelong Mets fan couldn’t say ‘no’ to that.
Pitcher – Jim Brosnan
I pulled this from a pack of 2012 Heritage, and blogged about it waaaaaaay back in the early days of The Shlabotnik Report. If you just went and followed that link, I have to confess: I still haven’t read Brosnan’s book “The Longest Season”.
Bonus Pitcher – Tyler Mahle
This is just an excuse to show off a card I pulled a few weeks ago; I bought one single hanger pack of 2018 Donruss just because I saw it there in an out-of-state Target Store, and managed to pull an auto of a Reds pitching prospect
Designated Hitter – Stubby Clapp
I just wanted to get my Stubby signature in here somewhere. How can you not like a ballplayer named Stubby Clapp?
Utility – Mike Phillips
This card was a temporary placeholder at shortstop until I remembered the Campaneris card… but since I scanned it, I figured I’d throw it in. The signature isn’t much more than a blue scribble on the card, but it counts. It looks a bit better in person than it does here.
The card is a 1976 SSPC, and Mike Phillips was a 1st round draft pick of the Giants in 1969. He played 11 seasons in the Majors, but only in 1974 and 1975 did he play more than 100 Major League games in a season. The Mets picked him up on waivers from the Giants in May, 1975.
Manager – Joe Torre
Before Joe Torre was the “F-ing genius” manager of the Yankees, he was the “F-ing idiot” manager of the Mets. (Not my words in either case, believe me). This came in the same package from CommishBob as the Ashburn card above (and is also on his All-Autograph team).
Power Forward – Mark Hendrickson
What’s a baseball team without a power forward?
Mark Hendrickson was a two-sport player who pitched for the Orioles, Rays, Dodgers, Blue Jays and Marlins… but he also played hoops at Washington State and in the NBA with the Sixers, Nets, Cavs and Kings. I ran across this card fairly cheap on COMC and couldn’t resist.