Sunday, May 31, 2009

Dick "Turk" Farrell: Houston's 1st All-Star

I received several new signed cards yesterday, but I'll hold off posting those for now. Instead, I wanted to show a card that I already had. I was putting some cards I recently bought into my binders. I picked up some Bob Gibson and Larry Dierker rookies, Rusty Staub cards, and a few others from '67-67. As I was looking at my 1966 cards I noticed that I had two Dick Farrell cards. I noticed that the second card was signed. Now, I don' remember if I realized that when I bought a huge lot of older Colt .45s and Astros cards about 10 years ago that this card was signed or if I overlooked it and stored it away.

Turk was killed in a car wreck in 1977 in England. Sending Turk a card TTM is impossible, and I really wanted his sig. Looks like I might have it.

Turk was quite the practical jokester; he once slipped a baby alligator into a whirlpool at the Colts' clubhouse.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Dickie Thon

Considered at one time a possible Hall of Famer, a ball to the head resulted in an injury that shortened his career.

It appears Dickie is working on a mullet in this photo. Also, I don't believe I've ever seen this particular '84 Fleer that was centered.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Art Howe, part two

I stated in my previous post that I met Art...but I was not 100% sure. I went through my autograph album tonight and found proof that I did. Which proves that I'm not losing my mind, I just think I am.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Art Howe

I don't remember how I got this '90 Topps signed. I might have mailed it to Art about 5 years ago; then again, I could have had it signed when I met him in either '91 or '92.

I've always thought that this card looked nice signed...almost like a promo shot or something.

I've always liked this set for some strange reason. I guess it's because it's the first year I started collecting seriously. I bought some cards (or had them bought for me) in 1978 through 1982. I stopped collecting until '90 and bought a couple thousand from Topps
that year while trying to put together a hand collated set. A worthless set but one that has a lot of sentimental meaning. But isn't that what collecting should be about?

Saturday, May 23, 2009

I bought new cards!

I bought some new cards today. Well, they may not be new being that they were released in 2008 but these were the first packs of cards that I have bought since about 1993. Wow...hard to believe that it has been around 16 years since I have bought and opened a pack of cards. I've been buying Astros cards in bulk the past 10 or 11 years (well, there was a huge gap during most of that time). I bought about 3,000 in 1999-2000 and about 7,000 during the past three months; yeah, I'm trying to catch up for lost time.

I went to Target today to see what was in stock. I bought one of those 2008 Topps Series One 5-pack boxes that normally sell for $9.99 for just $4.99. I decided that since I was in town I would stop in at K-Mart and see what they had. I picked up a 10-pack 2008 Upper Deck First Edition Update for $5.99 which normally sells for $5.99.

The first Topps pack I opened had a #40 Miguel Tejada card right on top. I was happy, not just because this was a card that I needed but I thought my luck was running good. Well, it turns out to be the only 'Stros in the box.

I turned to the Upper Deck box and started ripping packs open. Out of 100 cards from that box I pulled out three Houston cards: #367 Lance Berkman, #368 Miguel Tejada, and #370 Michael Bourn. I have no 2008 UD cards in my collection so all will be kept.

Four cards out of 150. Not very impressive, but it was fun to open packs again. I just wish they were the same price they were back when I was still buying a pack (50 cents, I believe).

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Hal Lanier

I sent Hal a few cards about a month ago and got 'em back today. I really like the '88 Topps; it's a very nice portrait shot and the sig adds a lot to it.

He appears to be in deep thought here. I wonder what he's thinking about. "Should I pull Deshaies out and put in someone else?" --or--"I sure would like a taco. Yep, a taco would really hit the spot right about now." I guess we'll never know.

I can't say much for the '87 (looks grainy and slightly out of focus to me).

I sent Hal duplicates of each card in case he wanted to keep one for himself (I do this every time I send off for sigs; I'm not that generous...I just have a lot of extras that I need to get rid of). Hal signed all four cards and sent them back. I'd be glad to trade them for any Astros/Colts player that I do not have.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Fred Gladding, aka "Freddy Flintstone"

1973 Topps #17

For some strange reason I really like this card. I don't usually go for posed shots of players, preferring live action shots by far, but there's something about this picture that says something to me.

I like the background more than anything, I guess. The different colored seating sections/levels always looked pretty cool to me. On closer inspection it appears that a guy on the the left is trying to touch Fred under his armpit? Or is that just a group of folks hoping for a signature? And what about the cop on the right? Do you ever think they appreciate the fact that they get to stand around on the field and mingle with players while getting paid to watch games for free? Man, they should let probation officers get in on that gig!

Here's another Gladding card, the 1970 Topps #208. By the way, Mr. Gladding led the NL in saves in '69. Not too shabby!

I love this 1970 set. I've got about half of the '70 set completed so far....not all in mint condition but close enough for me. I was born in '70 and I'm not in mint condition anymore, either. Hell, I'd settle for a grading of VG+ these days!

Sent off TTM on 10/5/99; received 10/20/99

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Rhett Bomar

OK, so this is totally unrelated to the Astros and baseball in general, but I just learned that Rhett Bomar has been drafted to play football for the Giants. Sure, I would have preferred that he play for the Texans; I'm just happy that the guy is going on to play pro ball. I've been following him since he started playing for Sam Houston State University. I was able to drive down to Huntsville a time or two to watch him play with the Bearkats during his first season but never found the time to go back this past year.

Congratulations Rhett!

SHSU '93

Now for a newspaper article:

NFL dreams realized

Bomar ready to compete for the New York Giants

By Gene Schallenberg
Staff Reporter

All he could do was just watch and wait.

After a stellar career at Sam Houston State, former Bearkat quarterback Rhett Bomar finally received the phone call that he had been longing for Sunday afternoon.

On the other end of the phone was the New York Giants and they called to inform him of their intentions to draft him.

“I hadn’t had much contact with them,” Bomar said. “The funny thing about it is that we really didn’t talk much into the evaluation process. There were some scouts for them that came to some games, but that was about it.

“They told me they were about to turn my name in. They said that they had a high grade on me and couldn’t pass up on me even though they had a higher need.”

Bomar couldn’t be in a better position. When he heads to minicamp in two weeks, he’ll be in the midst of recent Super Bowl champions.

“It really is a dream come true. It’s a great organization. They’ve got a great quarterback in Eli Manning and they’ve got some great coaches.”

Bomar waited longer than he had planned on for his name to be called.

Before the draft began, Bomar had an inkling that he might be selected in the third or early in the fourth round at the latest. Teams kept passing on him and before he knew it, both the third and fourth round had passed.

It wasn’t until the 15th pick in the fifth round, 151st overall, that Bomar finally saw his name scroll across the TV.

“It was tough,” Bomar said. “You never know what’s going to happen. I kind of thought I would go earlier, but I ended up in a great situation.

“I’m just so proud to be a Giant. I’m elated right now. This was my goal ever since I was a kid. With all the stuff I had to go through and having to prove my doubters wrong, the fact that I persevered through it all and still made it makes it that much sweeter.”

The former Bearkat quarterback is ready for a chance to prove himself further when he’ll compete for a spot on the Giants’ roster and get his chance to move up the depth chart. Currently ahead of him on the depth chart is starter Eli Manning, former Texans QB David Carr and Andre Woodson, who was a rookie last season.

“I can’t wait,” Bomar said. “They’re one of the best teams in the NFL and have a lot of good quarterbacks. I’m just ready to go up there and work hard and compete.”

In just two seasons at Sam Houston State, Bomar became the Bearkats’ all-time leader in offense with 6,159 yards. Bomar was also the first Kat to be drafted since Josh McCown in 2002.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Dave Smith, aka "Flight 45"

I've had this Dave Smith card for several years, and really don't remember how I ended up with it. I remember buying about 10 cards from a guy one time and this card might have been in that lot.

That being said, I wish I had taken the time to write to Dave before he passed away last December of a heart attack. I enjoy writing the players and telling them about my collection of signed Astros cards; now I tell them about this here little blog. I guess some part of me thinks they might want to see if they made the site and would leave a comment. Dream on, eh?

So, here's my '84 Topps Smith card. Not the most attractive card I've ever seen...which leads me to believe I must have bought this card 'cause something tells me I would have chosen a better looking piece of cardboard to have signed!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Be sure to let the ink dry!

I met Luis Gonzalez before the beginning of his second season with the Astros. He was visiting the campus of Sam Houston State University with a few other guys from the team, which included Curt Schilling, Mark Portugal, Bob Watson and Larry Dierker. I was standing around waiting for the autograph lines to open and he walked up to the end of the line. We talked for a few minutes and I believe I had him sign the card there. I should have waited until he made it to the table. I forgot to wait for the ink to dry and the signature was smeared. Hey, it was a lesson learned. I've had a few cards signed in person and many 8x10 photos (mostly obtained at sci-fi conventions) signed over the years that turned out great...all because I made that little mistake about 17 years ago.

Luis also signed a photo card for me that day. At least this sig turned out better than his Donruss card.

I've got a few cards that I plan to send to him through the mail that will be added to the collection. Let's just hope they don't get smudged!

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Bob Aspromonte

I sent a 1962 Topps card to Bob from when he played on the Colt .45s on 5/5/09 and it came back on 5/14/09. I had six or seven extra cards so I sent him my best one; unfortunately it came back in the mail a little bent up. I've been sending off cards lately just using a few index cards on each side of the card(s) I want signed and so far I've had no problems. Looks like I'll have to start sending cards in hard plastic protectors again. The next time I send Mr. Aspromonte a card I won't take a chance again...not with such an old card.

Bob sent a signed paper showing him playing for both the .45s and the Dodgers. It's always a nice surprise to get back a little something extra.

Monday, May 11, 2009

No updates to be posted this week

In case you stumble into this site and you're looking forward to new posts don't give up just yet. I'm headed off to a conference in San Antonio for the week and will not be able to update.

I'm also in need of a new scanner. I just bought a new Toshiba lap top and my Dell scanner/printer is too outdated to use on it. I'll have to scan a few cards in the meantime to have something to post until then.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Sid Bream

I mailed Sid Bream two cards on 2/23/09 and received them back on 3/30/09. Each card has a different verse from the Bible.

I think the '95 Score looks great as a signed card; Sid is signing an autograph for some lucky what better card to get signed? Makes it somewhat special in my opinion.

I never really watched Sid as an Astro; there were a few years that I didn't follow them (hang my head in shame). But back in college I followed the Braves and loved to Watch Sid play some ball. I had a chance to see him play with Atlanta in the 'Dome back in '92 or '93, or something like that. My ticket stub is faded too much to tell.

Monday, May 4, 2009

John Buzhardt

I didn't have a chance to post over the weekend; Saturday I went to see Foghat play in College Station, TX and Sunday I was without power for 18 hours due to a tornado.

I received this 1968 Topps card of John Buzhardt several years ago through the mail. I like how Topps featured a close-up of the players that year (at least thats how most of the Astros were) but this has to be by far the worst border from the 60s--or any decade.

Sent off TTM on 5/5/00; received 5/16/00

Friday, May 1, 2009

New TTM sigs today

Received these two Jim Corsi cards today which were sent off on 4/1/09. Interesting signature, especially how he signs his last name with the dash on each side of a spot (looks like Morse code or somethng).