Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Old Aid

When I was younger I loved Married With Children. As a matter of fact my old friend Bart and I used to quiz each other on episodes, we knew everything about every show. As the years passed the TV sitcom has all but disappeared. One night I could find nothing on TV and there on Nick at Nite (Damn I must be getting old) was Married With Children. I have been watching again ever since. I really need to buy the seasons on DVD.

Anyway today I wanted to give you all a blast from the past. Maybe you'll remember this, maybe not but either way it is funny. Please send your donations and long live Axel Bundy! Enjoy.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

TTM - Bob Shirley

I was very happy to get this card back in the mail. It is the oldest card I now have signed. It's not in the best condition but thats ok. Today's sig is Bob Shirley.

Bob Shirley was born on June 25, 1954 in Cushing, OK. He was drafted by the San Diego Padres in the 1st Round (8th pick) on the 1976 Amateur Draft. He made his MLB debut the following year on April 10, 1977. He pitched 8 2/3 innings in his debut, getting the win against one of his future clubs, the Cincinnati Reds. He struck out 11 and walked 4 in the game.

He has played in both the American and National League. Over his 10 year career he played for the San Diego Padres, St. Louis Cardinals, Cincinnati Reds and the New York Yankees. He was never a dominant pitcher, having his best full season in 1980 going 11-12 with a 3.55 ERA.

Shirley finished his career with a 67-94 record and an ERA of 3.82 when he retired in 1987. He never made a big impact in the game but it's still nice to add another card to my collection. And I know most of us would give up just about anything to even spend half the time in the majors that he had. Thank you Mr. Shirley.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Traci Brooks

Here is another autograph I was lucky enough to get when I saw TNA Wresting live in Binghamton. The woman who puts the T and A in TNA, the lovely Traci Brooks. After the show I bought 2 pictures, one of Alex Shelley (see previous post) because I saw he was signing autographs and the other was Traci Brooks. I didn't see her anywhere but hey I wanted the pic. All of a sudden I turn around and who's standing behind me but this vision of beauty. This is pretty much how the conversation went.

Me: Traci, I didn't think you were coming out. (To do a meet and greet)

Traci: Oh, I always come out to greet the fans, I would be nothing without you guys.

Then she hugs me. I about lost it right then and there and somehow stammered out the words asking for her autograph. Her response:

Traci: Of course sweetheart. Whats your name?

I actually had to stop and think for a minute, really I did, I reverted to being a shy little kid who hides whenever someone says hi. I was just awestruck at how unbelievably nice this woman was (especially in comparison to my experience with Alex Shelley) and of course struck by her beauty. Pictures do not do this woman justice. So she signed my picture, gave me yet a second hug and thanked me for coming to the show and was then off to greet other fans. If God took me at that moment I would've died a very happy man.

Here's a brief history for this beautiful woman. Traci Brooks, was born Tracy Brookshaw and grew up on a pig and chicken farm in St. Mary's, Ontario, Canada. In 2000, she won the Toronto Sunshine Millennium Calendar contest which led to her being named Miss June 2000 and interviewed in the Toronto Sun. Brookshaw went on to engage in promotional modeling work with the Molson, Labatt and Budweiser beverage brewers. In her interview, Brookshaw said that she aspired to be "the next WWF Superstar". This led to her being introduced to Ron Hutchinson, a professional wrestler who operated the Sully's Gym professional wrestling school out of Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Brookshaw began training under Hutchinson in March 2000 and debuted in January 2001 as "Tracy Brooks".

And here is one of my favorite notes. On July 26, 2009, it was revealed that TNA had signed a deal with Playboy making Brooks the first TNA Knockout to ever pose for Playboy. However, on September 2 it was reported that Playboy had decided not to publish Brooks' photo shoot on their magazine. Deciding instead on doing a spread on the recently deceased Farrah Fawcett. The photo shoot was instead released through their Cyber Club on September 17, 2009 and pictures are easily found through any search engine. I did not post them cuz I like to think of this site being, PG-13.

Hope you do enjoy the additional pics I have included though and again a big thank you to Miss Brookshaw for just being the great person that she is.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

TTM - Fernando Valenzuela

I'm back today with one of my more shocking TTM autographs. A man who took the country by storm and had everyone swept up in Fernandomania, Fernando Valenzuela. I sent this one out just hoping to get it back. Like most of my doubles that I send for sigs if I didn't, no big deal, but when you can add a name like this to your collection it's always good.

Fernando Valenzuela is billed as born on November 1, 1960 in Etchohuaquila, Sonora, Mexico. Like many of today's Latin American stars that date is questionable though as even in his remarkable rookie season many observers guessed him much older than 20. Many teams scouted him in the Mexican Leagues but it was the Los Angeles Dodgers who eventually signed him.

After acquiring Fernando Valenzuela in the summer of 1979, the Dodgers assigned him to the Lodi Dodgers (now the Rancho Cucamonga Quakes) of the High A Level California League, where he posted a 1-2 record and a 1.13 ERA in limited action. In 1980 Valenzuela was promoted to the Double A Level San Antonio Missions. There Valenzuela led the Texas League with 162 strikeouts, and ranked third in ERA. Valenzuela was called up to the Los Angeles Dodger bullpen in September 1980. In the last month of the season, Valenzuela helped the Dodgers to a Western Division tie with the Houston Astros, pitching 17 2/3 shutout innings of relief over the course of ten games, during which he earned two wins and a save.

Valenzuela's efforts made him the odds-on favorite to be the league's top rookie in 1981, and he didn't disappoint, starting the season 8-0 with five shutouts and an ERA of 0.50. Punctuating this dominance on the mound, Valenzuela had an extremely unusual but flamboyant wind-up (looking skyward just at the apex of every pitch), which drew attention of its own. He became an instant media icon, drawing huge crowds from the Los Angeles Hispanic community every time he pitched and triggering high demand across the country for his rookie baseball cards. The craze surrounding Valenzuela came to be known as "Fernandomania."

In addition to his skills on the mound, Valenzuela also made a name for himself at the plate. During his rookie season, Valenzuela batted .250 and struck out just nine times in 64 at bats. That season, and again in 1983, Valenzuela was the recipient of the National League's Silver Slugger Award for pitchers. In 1990, his last season with the Los Angeles Dodgers, Valenzuela hit .304 in 69 at-bats, with one home run, five doubles, and eleven runs batted in. In 936 career at-bats - roughly two full seasons worth of at-bats for a full-time position player - Valenzuela had ten home runs and 84 runs batted in. On at least two occasions with the Dodgers, Valenzuela was called upon to play outfield and first base in marathon extra-inning games in which he did not pitch.

Valenzuela was considered an exceptionally good hitter for a pitcher. His best year at the plate was 1990. when he hit .304 with five doubles and 11 RBI in 69 at-bats. His career batting average was .200, with 10 homers, 26 doubles, and 84 RBI in 936 at-bats. Valenzuela was even used on a number of occasions as a pinch hitter, batting .368 (7-for-19) in such situations.

In addition to his 10 years with the Dodgers, Fernando also played for the California Angels, Baltimore Orioles, Philadelphia Phillies, San Diego Padres, and St. Louis Cardinals before retiring in 1997. The Dodgers invited him to Spring Training in 1999, but he respectfully declined. Fernando was also a 6X All-Star, Gold Glove winner (1986) and 2X Silver Slugger award winner (1981, 1983)

Since his playing days ended Fernando has done Spanish-language radio color commentator for the Dodgers and was also a coach for Team Mexico in both the 2006 and 2009 World Baseball Classic's, and now his biggest honor ever.......being added to my collection. Thank you Mr. Valenzuela!