19 January 2018

Scratching the Throwback Autograph Itch

At the moment, I am supposed to be working on the pre-course work for a class I'm scheduled to attend next week. The problem is that a government shutdown that lasts through the weekend would cause my class to be cancelled, so I'm having a hard time getting into the homework until the Senate decides whether or not the government is going to shut down. The worst part of it for me is that this is the last class I need in order to get my next promotion, which brings with it a 10% increase in pay. Delaying the class means delaying my promotion, and that could cost me hundreds or thousands of dollars by delaying my promotion. I would like for a budget to get passed, but I don't mind working under a Continuing Resolution, at least until I get this class under my belt. At this point I think I need to look at some baseball cards to keep me from stressing out about work.

Yesterday I talked about some encased buyback autographs I'd picked up. In addition to those, I also grabbed a couple handfuls of throwback-style autographs from various years of Topps Archives. There wasn't a whole lot of rhyme or reason to it, but I tried to pick up names I recognized with an emphasis on getting as many autographs for as little money as I could.

First up is this Billy Wagner from 2016 Topps Archives. This is the Blue parallel, numbered # 043 / 199. Wagner was a great relief pitcher, and has pulled about 10% of the vote in two Hall of Fame votes to date. I guess I would be considered a 'Big Hall' guy, and I would vote him in. It probably doesn't hurt his case with me that he played a number of years for the Astros.

Kent Tekulve was one of the stars of yesterday's post, and he shows up again here with a 2015 Topps Archives card. If there were a Cardboard Hall of Fame, Kent would be in it, right alongside Oscar Gamble. His cards seem to always be cardboard fire, with his big glasses and that garish Pirates uniform. He didn't gain much favor with the real Hall of Fame voters, however, as he fell off the ballot after getting just over 1% of the vote in his first year of eligibility.

I think this Tim Wallach card was the most expensive of the bunch, but it was worth the price. It's nice to get an Expos card every now and then, and Wallach is pretty famous here on the card blogs thanks to a blogger whose quest is to obtain every copy of every Wallach card ever made. Unfortunately, I plan on keeping this one in my collection for the time being. This one comes from the 2017 Topps Archives set.

I am not too familiar with Kevin Seitzer, but it looks like he had a nice career of 12 seasons, with some pretty good numbers throughout. I like autographs with inscriptions like jersey numbers or scripture verses, so this was a definite pickup for me. This one comes from 2017 Topps Archives. 

Billy Bean had a relatively lackluster career on the field, but is known for being the 2nd MLB player to come out publicly as gay, which he did four years after he retired. The other player to do so, Glenn Burke, came out to his teammates and felt that prejudice prematurely ended his career. You can see on the back of this 2017 Topps Archives card that MLB appointed Bean as the Ambassador for Inclusion in 2014. 

Dontrelle Willis had a pretty hot start to his career, but then injuries and ineffectiveness took hold and eventually he retired. But he has a Rookie of the Year award and a World Series ring. This was the cheapest autograph in the bunch, thanks in large part to a bent corner. This one is from 2015 Topps Archives. 

Here is another Blue parallel featuring an Astro, this one being a 2017 Topps Archives Fan Favorites Autograph of Jose Vizcaino. This one is numbered # 009 / 199. Vizcaino managed to put together an 18-year MLB career, mostly as a backup. He had a couple of heroic World Series moments, though, hitting the game-winning single in Game 1 of the 2000 World Series for the Yankees and hitting a game-tying single for the Astros in Game 2 of the 2005 World Series.

Sandy Alomar Sr. put together a decent 15-year career, and also had two sons play in Major League Baseball. Sandy Alomar Jr. played 20 years with a Rookie of the Year Award and 6 All-Star appearances, while Roberto Alomar played 17 years with a string of 12 All-Star berths, 2 World Series rings, and election into the Hall of Fame. This card comes from 2016 Topps Archives.

I picked up two Mike Scott autographs. He played 13 years, starting with the Mets and finishing with the Astros. This first autograph is from 2012 Topps Archives.

This one is from 2017 Topps Archives. Scott was the NL Cy Young winner in 1986, and he was 2nd in the voting in 1989 and 7th in 1987.

This was a pretty fun batch of autos to go through. I wasn't 100% familiar with all of these guys, so I enjoyed going to their Wikipedia and Baseball Reference profiles to read about their careers. Although Topps Archives Fan Favorites Autographs aren't usually the biggest money cards out there, they are fun on-card signatures on classic Topps designs, and I enjoy getting them.


  1. My favorite is the '86 Mike Scott card. That '86 is a classic in my mind.
    I found it odd for there to be a Marlins card in mold of an '89 card. Really, really weird.

    1. I love all the '89's and 90's, but the '87 Scott looks the most to me like a classic TTM or IP signed card. The Marlins colors and name do look a little funny on the '89 design.

  2. Jose Vizcaino was my favorite name ever to listen to Harry Caray pronounce.

    1. I'll have to see if I can pull up a clip of that!

  3. Topps Archives Fan Favorite autographs are the #1 thing I look forward to each and every year. Sorry to hear about the government shutdown on multiple levels. Disappointing to hear, but not surprising at all.

    1. They are a lot of fun. I'd rather pick them up as singles, though, as I think Archives box prices have been way inflated since 2014.

      The shutdown isn't surprising, but the timing couldn't be worse for me. Even if they open it back up tonight or tomorrow, I'm already probably out $1000 or so due to the delayed promotion and missed class.