Tim Raines Private Signing

Tim Raines has been one of my favorite players ever since I started paying attention to baseball in the mid to late eighties. If I recall correctly, I first truly became aware of Raines on May 2, 1987. After being one of the very best players in the National League in 1986, Raines was a free agent. He was 27 years old and one of the best players in baseball. Yet no team other than the Expos made him a serious contract offer. This was the famous summer of collusion, when owners banded together to try to limit free agent contracts. Tim Raines and Andre Dawson were probably the two most famous cases of collusion.

Due to a silly rule, because Raines didn’t resign with the Expos by January 8, 1987, he was ineligible to resign with them until May 1. Since no other teams made a real offer, Raines completely sat out Spring Training and the first month of the season. He finally resigned with the Expos on May 1. He made his season debut on May 2, and what a debut it was! He went 4 for 5 with a triple and a game winning grand slam in the 10th inning. It has to be one of the most badass games in baseball history. To miss spring training and the first month of the season due to collusion by the owners, to be put in the third spot in the batting lineup against David Cone the day after signing his contract, and then to have a day like that. The immortal Vin Scully called the game for NBC (which is the first regular season game I can remember watching, though I’m sure I watched some before that). As Raines rounded the bases, Scully said “Would you believe a grand slam for Tim Raines? That has to be one of the most incredible stories of the year in any sport!”

I was thrilled when Raines signed with the White Sox after the 1991 season. He never quite reached his Expos heights while he was with the Sox, but he was still a very good player. He was also very fan friendly. After one game against the Angels, he tossed me one of his wristbands as he entered the dugout. He also signed many autographs for me during batting practice of various Sox@Angels games.

Somebody posted a Raines cards-only signing on SCN for a pretty reasonable price, so I got 6 cool cards done. I don’t need Raines for any sets or anything, as I got all of those done ages ago. But I really like how these cards turned out.

                 

                 

Brian Anderson Private Signing

I have a category of favorite player that doesn’t really get talked about very much. Every Sox fan likes Frank Thomas, Jose Abreu, etc. I’m sure players like Juan Uribe and Ray Durham that had substantial careers have plenty of fans. But there are a few players that didn’t have very successful careers that I am very fond of. Some of these guys may not have gotten the opportunity they deserve. Or maybe they just weren’t any good. But for whatever reason, I consider myself a big fan. I’m talking about guys like Jordan Danks, Joe Borchard, Norberto Martin, and yes, Brian Anderson.

I’ve been a Brian Anderson fan ever since he first got called up. It drove me nuts that DeWayne Wise was getting playing time at BA’s expense. I really felt he just needed to be left alone and his bat would come around. The defense was always there, as evidenced by his catch to end the “Blackout” tiebreaker game in 2008.

I met Brian on numerous occasions. The first time I met him was at Soxfest in January 2009. He showed up looking like a movie star. He was so well dressed, and let’s just say my wife was swooning. We met him again at Picnic in the Park, also in 2009 I believe. My wife and I told him he reminded us of Michael Buble. The player sitting next to him (for the life of me I can’t remember who it was) turned to BA and said “Who is that?”.

BA answered “You know…” and started singing the Buble song “Feeling Good”, which is a really great song. And BA did the song justice! It was a fun moment that really cemented him as a favorite of mine.

So when I saw that Dana Dominion was doing a mail signing with him, I had to get some of my favorite BA cards signed. And much to my surprise, I had somehow neglected to get his 2007 Upper Deck card signed previously. So I knocked that out as well.

I have to say, I am absolutely thrilled with how these turned out. Every card is signed perfectly in bold blue sharpie. It seems like most of the recent signings have had something wrong. Some of these things were very minor, some were worse. But I have zero complaints about these!

                 

                 

                 

           

New Multi-Signed Cards

I’ve recently become addicted to collecting multi-signed cards. I just sent a couple of cards off to a Nomar Garciaparra signing. I obviously have no need for Nomar in my collection. But he shares some cool cards with Paul Konerko, so I felt compelled to get them done. So I’m really excited with these pickups! These are also from the big lot I purchased recently. I’ll dump the rest of the cards from the lot in one big post.

           

           

     

New Cease, Dunning, & Kopech Cards

I also picked up two autographs cards each from young pitchers Dylan Cease, Dane Dunning, and Michael Kopech. I still think Kopech is going to be a star, as soon as next year. I also think Cease will be an excellent #3 starter… maybe even a good #2. Dunning will probably have a decent career, but I wasn’t all that upset about losing him. Lets hope Lance Lynn helps us get a ring this year!

           

           

           

9 New Carlos Rodon Cards

In honor of his first All-Star game, here are the 9 new Carlos Rodons I picked up as part of the bountiful lot I’ve been posting. Let’s hope he gets to pitch in the game (either Rodon or Lynn should be starting, grrr) and he mows down every batter he sees.