Saturday, April 21, 2018

Blog bat around: the all-autograph team

I think we're in the second golden age of the Blog Bat Around.

Only a couple of weeks after finishing off my own BBA, another one has surfaced. This one is from Torren' Up Cards.

Kenny, an autograph collector, put together his all-autographed cards team and invited others to join in.

I don't collect autographs. It's never been a priority. I'll see one I like sometimes and buy it, but most of my autographs -- and they're a very small part of the collection -- have arrived from fellow collectors.

Because of this, the vast majority of my autographed cards are Dodgers. They're really the only players that I care about when it comes to autographs. Own an autographed card of a Ranger or a Brewer or a Royal?? Why? Own an autograph card of a Yankee or a Giant or a Diamondback?? Eww, get it away!

So, yeah, this All-Autograph team of mine will be solely Dodgers. You'll see that bias come through when I shove a couple of autograph notables (i.e. Hall of Fame players) into the honorable mention category. But the rules go like this: If the autograph ain't a Dodger, I ain't interested.

Let's see the All-Autographed Dodger Team:

Catcher: Russell Martin (number of autographed cards: 4)

The catcher position suffers from the fact that there are relatively few autographed Mike Piazza cards available. But you should see the Martin autographed cards I have. They are SNAZZY. No shame in having Russell Nathan Coltrane squatting for this squad.

Honorable Mentions: Paul Lo Duca, Steve Yeager, Rick Dempsey, Joe Pignatano, Carlos Hernandez, Tom Murphy

First Base: Steve Garvey (number of autograph cards: 5)

Garvey's got a messy signature. That sort of matters to me. It's like Derek Jeter's signature. I've never understood all the squiggles.

Honorable Mentions: Eric Karros, Franklin Stubbs, Mike Marshall, Harmon Killebrew

Second Base: Steve Sax (number of autograph cards: 1)

I've dropped the ball in getting a Davey Lopes signature. There's a few around that I could nab, but I just don't get the autographed card itch very often. When I do get a Lopes signature, Sax is headed to bench. You've got to be able to throw to first base on this team.

Honorable mentions: Alex Cora, Chad Fonville, Dee Gordon, Wilton Guerrero, Juan Samuel, Derrel Thomas, Bobby Grich, Phil Garner

Shortstop: Maury Wills (number of autograph cards: 3)

Wills is the rarity in that all of the autographs I own of his are on-card.

Honorable mentions: Bill Russell, Jose Offerman, Greg Gagne, Rocky Bridges, Dave Anderson

Third Base: Ron Cey (number of autographed cards: 18)

Third base is a loaded, LOADED position on this squad. But my bias is winning out all the way through this thing. I must get my all-time favorite player on the squad.

Honorable mention: Adrian Beltre, Mike Blowers, Blake DeWitt, Andy LaRoche, Mickey Hatcher, Tim Wallach, Wade Boggs, Robin Ventura

Outfield: (LF): Pedro Guerrero (number of autographed cards: 1); CF: Duke Snider (number of autographed cards: 6); RF: Matt Kemp (number of autographed cards: 3)

Lots of competition in the outfield. I don't feel good about leaving off Mondesi, Baker or Buckner but I only have to answer to me, so who cares?

Honorable mentions: Raul Mondesi, Dusty Baker, Bill Buckner, Billy Ashley, Brett Butler, Roger Cedeno, Andre Ethier, Todd Hollandsworth, Stan Javier, Von Joshua, Ken Landreaux, Rick Monday, Wally Moon, Manny Mota (no pinch-hitter on this team, sorry), Joc Pederson, Dave Roberts, Scott Schebler, John Shelby, Cory Snyder, Reggie Williams, Delwyn Young, Al Bumbry, Jim Greengrass, Bobby Thomson

No. 1 starter: Sandy Koufax (number of autographed cards: 1)

I've seen several all-autographed teams that limit the pitching to a starter and a reliever, or a LHP, RHP and a reliever. But this is the Dodgers. Pitching is their thing.

No. 2 starter: Clayton Kershaw (number of autographed cards: 6)

No. 3 starter: Don Drysdale (number of autographed cards: 1)

No. 4 starter: Carl Erskine (number of autographed cards: 3)

No. 5 starter: Fernando Valenzuela (number of autographed cards: 1)

Honorable mentions: Andy Ashby, Pedro Astacio, Chad Billingsley, Walker Buehler, John Candelaria, Tom Candiotti, Al Downing, Darren Dreifort, Dave Goltz, Kevin Gross, Kirby Higbe, Burt Hooton, Kaz Ishii, James McDonald, Andy Messersmith, Ricky Nolasco, Hideo Nomo, Claude Osteen, Chan Ho Park, Johnny Podres,  Jerry Reuss, Preacher Roe, Don Sutton, John Tudor, Ismael Valdes, Bob Welch, Frank Smith

Reliever/Closer: Eric Gagne (number of autographed cards: 1)

Probably the tightest contest between Gagne and Kenley Jansen. I know some hardliners who would pick Jansen purely because Gagne was a Mitchell Report guy. But I can't be that harsh, especially with someone who welcomed my interview questions and is one of the few major leaguers (possibly the only, I'll have check) in which I've talked to his relatives, too. But give me a year or two more of 2017 Jansen and I may change my mind.

Honorable mentions: Kenley Jansen, Don Aase, Pedro Baez, Ralph Branca, Yhency Brazoban, Rubby De La Rosa, Scott Elbert, John Ely, Yimi Garcia, Mark Guthrie, Charlie Hough, Ken Howell, Hong-Chih Kuo, Josh Lindblom, Jon Link, Luke Prokopec, Paco Rodriguez, Jeff Shaw, Ross Stripling, Eric Stults, Cory Wade, Chris Withrow, Matt Young

So that's my team, as Dodger Blue as they come.

I'd gladly go into battle against any other team with that group.


  1. Very nice, who needs two relievers when you have five starters like that lol.

  2. Holy crap you have the Drysdale Nabisco card. I remember ordering that when it came out but that was also exactly when he died. Nabisco substituted my order with Phil Niekro.

  3. Did Fernando cross Of the Topps logo on that autograph card?

    1. Yes. It was when he was having some sort of unknown feud with Topps.

  4. I honestly thought your entire lineup might be Ron Ceys.

  5. That pitching staff... what a nightmare for opposing all-autograph teams!

  6. Solid team. As others have noted, what a pitching staff. Garvey's autograph is extremely neat by modern standards. It neatness totally mattered you might have chosen Harman Killebrew in that position. Harman had a beautiful sig, done with great care and attention.

  7. Oh man. 5 starters? I like that. I just wrapped up my team... but might need to throw in three more starters.

    P.S. That rotation is rock solid. It's going to be tough to beat that for guys building their team around one franchise.

  8. get thee a reggie smith auto - i think he has a very nice signature.