Baseball Cards


I own about 100,000 baseball cards, and until yesterday, I hadn’t added to my collection for more than a decade. My good friend Ben Greenwood (who runs a popular Scrabble web site) mailed me a four-pound box of cards that he didn’t want anymore. Simple as that. The cards he sent are mostly from 1986-1992, so there wasn’t anything THAT valuable, but there were still some good ones. Anyway, who cares? Cards are cards, and it was great to comb through them and scare myself by rediscovering all the useless trivia I’d somehow remembered. Seriously, why, after all these years, did I still know that Mickey Tettleton had 211 at-bats in three consecutive seasons? Or that Mike Gallego was born on Halloween? Or that Gary Thurman had 70 stolen bases one season in the Minor Leagues?

Here are nine of the best cards I found:


And just for kicks, here are nine players that no one’s ever heard of:


I miss 45-cent wax packs with brittle sticks of bubble gum. But I don’t miss being made fun of for being a virgin. Fair trade, I suppose.



    Brittle sticks of bubble gum & virgin in the same sentence? Dude, you are FUH-knee!!!!!!


    A copy of the Mark McGwire card recently sold for a ******** $3 on ebay, not that you’d ever want to sell it.


    Whenever we’re watching the game and the announcers have one of those obscure Aflac trivia questions like, “who was the last left-handed pitcher under 30 to give up less than three runs on an odd-numbered day in July during a double-header versus the Milwaukee Brewers?”, I always remark to Kip, “these are stupid! Who the **** KNOWS that?”.

    I forget – ZACK probably knows it.


    I love that you got two O’s in the “good card” group. (Not to mention the Mickey Tettleton trivia). What’s this, you get to one game at Camden and suddenly you can’t stop? Welcome aboard!

  5. Zack

    I probably already have 10 to 15 of those McGwire cards from my REAL collecting days, so I wouldn’t refuse to part with this one…but what would be the point of selling it? I guess I’m just not that desperate for three bucks.


    I assume you’re talking about a starting pitcher? And did he have to win the game? Last year, on July 25, Michael Gosling (a 24-year-old southpaw on the Diamondbacks) limited Milwaukee to two runs in six innings, but he took a no-decision…and anyway, it wasn’t a doubleheader, so you stumped me.

    S. HEFF-

    It’s no secret that Cal Ripken, Jr. has always been my favorite player, so naturally, I had to include him in the top group. As for Schilling…he did a really nice thing for me a few years ago, and I’ve loved him ever since, and when I saw him on that card, looking all skinny and goofy, I knew I had to include it.

  6. albert

    Zack I already got 3 Yankees,1 cardinal and a HOF already commited to the “Thing“ That I emailed you about

  7. Zack

    JEE-zus. I’d love to know some names, but if you can’t reveal that info yet, I understand.


    Just got back from the Yankee game. Shortened game, but I caught 6, that’s right, 6 balls. My new record. Also got autographs of Esteban Loaiza, Kirk Saarloos, Frank Thomas, and Milton Bradley. Good night, except for the game itself.

  9. Zack

    Very impressive. Hopefully, it’s not Frank Pulli.


    That’s a-MAZ-ing. Seriously, how the heII did you get that many balls? Left field? Right field? Thrown? Hit? Glove trick? And how/where did you get Frank Thomas?!


    This was one of those days where everything went my way. I was the 1st person through the left field gate, and right as I ran into the stands, a ball came towards left field. Melky Cabrera fielded it, and I was the only person around, so he tossed it to me. A couple of minutes later Scott Proctor got a ball and tossed it to me. A little while later, probably around 5:15, I saw the A’s in front of their dugout, so I went to the corner spot, and pulled the netting over me. Melky Cabrera (My new favorite player, along with Proctor who signed an autograph for me at Shea) tossed a ball towards some kids near me as he ran into the infield. It one hopped right to me. Later, an the on field security guard said there was a ball rolling in the section. It was hit, but I have no idea where it came from. I saw it about 2 rows behind me, dove over a seat and grabbed it. After the A’s came out and finished throwing Kirk Saarloos threw me a ball. I then got Saarloos and Loaiza to sign cards. I went out to the start of the plexiglass, where Saarloos was randomly throwing balls up. Thanks to my height (6ft.3) I was able to grab one, my 6th. I got Thomas and Bradley to sign autographs during pregame stretching just beyond the infield. What a day, and it all happened in left field. I also got a Bernie Williams statue even though I’m only 16. Just bummed that they started playing again after my dad made the family leave during the rain delay. Thanks for offer the place for fellow snaggers to congregate Zack.



    I must admit, I have lots of those late 80’s early 90’s cards. Too bad they made so many of them, they’re really not that valuable. But, they’re GREAT for getting autographed through the mail. That’s another hobby of mine, I collect autographed cards through the mail (and at games).

  12. Zack

    You make it sound so easy. I didn’t know you had such a height advantage. I’ve often wondered if height would help or hurt. On one hand, a tall person can outreach other fans, but he won’t get nearly as many balls thrown to him because there’s no way he can pass as a kid. Congrats again on a truly great day, and thanks for sharing all the details. I think it’s fun that this blog’s comment section has turned into a message board of sorts for ball-snaggers.


    How many autographed cards do you have? For about two years, I used to mail stuff to players, but I gave up on it long ago.


    Don’t give up Zack, I just got a signed card back from Tad Iguchi

  14. Zack

    It’s not that I wasn’t succeeding; it was just a matter of free time/desire.


    You’re forgiven because you continue to be THE MAN.

  15. Chad

    So you can mail cards and other items to players and they will send them back to you signed?

  16. Zack

    Not 100% of the time, but yes, it’s been known to happen. I’ll let someone else with more mailing experience give you all the details.


    cards brewers tonight…im hoping for a jim edmonds autograph..because he signs alot. and 1 ball from an ump with my umpire strategy..hopefully a brewer win..i’ll let everyone know how i did around midnight..wish me luck


    Jays and Tigers tomorrow

    Hoping for at least 1 ball and autos from Pudge Rodriguez and Kenny Rogers.


    Hi Zack-

    I hope you remember me. Although I don’t comment as much as I did before, I still read EVERY entry. Anyways, I heading to Texas on Thursday and I’m seeing three or four games, against the Chi. White Sox and the Arizona Diamondbacks. I’m going with a friend of mine whose uncle works in a high position for the Texas Rangers. That means that we’ll be able to go on the field and do some special things.

    I was wondering if you and everyone else who comments can tell me who the NICE and MEAN guys are for the

    Texas Rangers

    Chi. White Sox

    Arizona Diamondbacks

    I’m going for lots of foul balls and autographs. So, I would appreciate it if any of the veteran collectors can tell me who the good/bad autograph signers are…

    Thanks! Keep up the great blog!


    Also, do any Hall of Famers or legends travel with these teams? I know that Mark Grace broadcasts for the Arizona Diamondbacks, but don’t know anyone else.

    Thanks again!

    Go Dodgers!



    For my 1 game experience of seeing the White Sox, I came to the conclusion of saying that Jim Thome, Jose Offerman and Man Soo Lee the bullpen catcher are some real nice guys.

  22. Zack

    Good luck to you both! Check back in and let me (and everyone else) know how it goes.


    I remember you. Have no fear. It’s nice to know that you’re still keeping up with my blog from afar. Sometimes I have to remind myself that the people who comment regularly are NOT the only ones who read this. Congrats on your Rangers connection. I hope you get to see and do some cool stuff. Here’s my list of “nice” and “mean” for those three teams (including a few coaches):

    NICE: Ron Mahay, Akinori Otsuka, Brad Wilkerson, Alex Cintron, Jim Thome, Scott Podsednik, Tim Raines, Art Kusnyer, Miguel Batista, Jorge Julio, Russ Ortiz

    MEAN: Kevin Millwood, Matt Thornton


    Yea Matt Thorton is pretty mean he gave my friend a ball however, but its only cause he missed a catch while tossing the ball with someone else and the ball ended up hitting my friend.

  24. Chad

    Can anyone help me with this question?

    So you can mail cards and other items to players and they will send them back to you signed?

    And where do you send the items?


    Cardinals brewers at miller park tonight..and i get there a little late..i was standing by the dugout when jim edmonds predictably comes and signs autographs, hes standing right in front of me but completely ignores me and signs like 20 sigs for all cards fans..i was extremely mad… then yadiar molina and rolen do the same **** thing..after that i went by the tarps and got eckstein on the sweetspot but would only sign with a sharpie no not a complete failure..after that i went to where the umps come out before games..i had my ump info ready and sure enough jerry layne walks out and i said”congrats on your 17th year” he throws me a ball…3rd game in a row the ump trick worked..brewers win and it was an alright day…also michelle kwan was sitting first row by the cards dugout..tried to get a graph but she was heavily guarded..



    I have about 350 different cards that are autographed. They range from low end players like George Tsamis, to tough to get players like Frank Robinson. I use a website ( and it shows the players that are accomodating.

  27. Zack

    Thornton was extremely stand-offish last season at Yankee Stadium. I can’t explain it.


    See drosenda’s comment above. If you’re trying to get an active player’s autograph, I’d mail the request to him in care of the team. Just send it right to the stadium. Those addresses are easy to find. Make sure to include a self-addressed stamped envelope.


    In three days, you’ve gotten as many balls from umps as I’ve gotten in 17 years. Sorry about the Edmonds/Molina/Rolen disses. That’s crappy. Maybe next time you should invest $10 in a cheap Cardinals hat.


    Very impressive. (I actually have a Tsamis autograph as well.)


    Oh Zack, you did it again. You insulted a former major leaguer and this time its someone I know personally. Andy Mota didn’t have an illustrious career, but he is the son of pinch hitting great Manny Mota. Pardon me for getting so defensive, but I am friends with the entire family and it amazes me that you would pick Andy’s card and group him with “players that no one’s ever heard of.” Oh Zack, you really know how to upset me. LOL!!!! By the way, Andy Mota is currently a successful player agent. His clients include, Miguel Cabrera, Carlos Lee and Magglio Ordonez just to name a few. I have a funny feeling you put that card in there to get a rise out of me. Needless to say, it worked. LOL!!!



    Be advised that there is by no means a guarantee that a player will sign and return items. This is very true for your top notch stars (A-Rod, Pedro, etc.). Use the internet to research players who will sign, otherwise you lose money on postage.

    A few ‘sure hits’ for todays players are:

    Brad Ausmus

    Mike Lamb

    Mark Buehrle

    Oliver Perez

    All 4 are very good current signers through the mail.

    Hey Z, are you planning on buying that BMW you’ve always wanted after selling your Tsamis autograph? I sent him a manager card from the St. Paul Saints a few years ago, that’s how I got his amazing autograph.

  30. Chad

    Do you send a letter along with the item asking for the item or what do you say in the letter? Do you even send a letter with it at all?


    I usually send a nice letter telling them they are my favorite player; and I handwright it.

  32. Gabriel

    What Up Zack,

    Nice cards- I have a few stashed away from the same era and after your post I went through a few binders.

    Being a Yankees fan, I was shocked that I had a Manny Ramirez rookie prospect card.

    It was long before he “juiced” up on cookies and hamburgers and his “man fro” was just a short crop of corn.

    Bring home 3,000!




  33. Zack

    Just making sure you were paying attention. :-p


    The Tsamis autograph is simply not for sale. I’m saving it for my grandchildren, even though that means I’ll have to continue to walk five miles to and from school every day…barefoot.


    I used to handwrite letters to all the guys.


    I never told a player he was favorite (unless he was). I just said that I was __ years old, and that I’d recently started collecting autographs and that his signature would be a very nice addition to my collection. But hey, whatever works…


    What are you trying to say about Manny?! :-)

  34. Gabriel

    Hey Zack-

    It was just funny seeing what Manny use to look like – you know – pre-pajamas.

    I looked up the card value – I can’t even buy a Manny Big Mac with da change.

    I DID however find one of my favorite cards – it’s a card of Nolan Ryan in a tuxedo – totally cool because he is winding up with cleats, ball and glove and the classic texas ranger hat!




    When I request an autograph through the mail, I write a small note. I use the internet to look up facts about their career (, and say something specific about a year or accomplishment (All Star appearance). Then I say thanks, and include a postage paid envelope. Good luck!


    Thanks for your comments. I will try to tell you what happened in Texas when I come back.

    Also, is it true that Hank Blalock is a jerk? I heard from some collectors that he was? How about Michael Young or Mark Teixiera? Thanks.


    I write to baseball players during the wintertime when they have lots of free time. I write many letters (most hand-written) and usually the best signers are rookies/prospects and baseball legends.

    If you’re just starting, you should send a letter to Hall of Fame Manager SPARKY ANDERSON (Cin. Reds and Detroit Tigers). He is known to be one of the greatest signers through the mail and he’s really nice. I asked him to sign things and he sent back in four or five days (which was really quick!). Some of my friends have told me that he wrote/sent back to them in a few days or weeks…

    His address is

    P.O. Box 6415

    Thousand Oaks, CA 91359

    The last time I wrote to Sparky Anderson was last year, so I’m not sure if this is still his address. (Any veteran collectors: Please comment if he moved or the address changed…)

    I hope this helps you.

  37. Chad

    Anyone know where to get a Lastings Milledge card or have one? I would love to get his autograph on a card or baseball as he is my favorite rookie player.

  38. Chad

    Does anyone know where
    Steve Carlton or Bob Gibson can be reached at? I have cards of them and want them to sign.


    Hey back from the game.

    1 ball 0 autos.

    Got my only ball from some bullpen catcher. I first thought it was Vance Wilson because he wasn’t the usual bullpen catcher, so I yelled out VANCE! and he turned around and said who? I repeated Vance Wilson? isn’t that you. He replied “no, but I get that a lot”. I then requested for a ball and after he was done a session with Jeremy Bonderman he gave me the ball. As for my quest for the Kenny Rogers auto, that didn’t turn out too great. He tossed a lotta balls to the crowd but none to me. Funniest thing was when I was swinging my glove with string attached to it to grab a ball off the warning track. Roman Colone came up to me and said “what the **** is this” and started to laugh. In all good day. Ball streak up to 4 games now.

  40. Chad

    Hey are there any good signers out of this lot through mail? Brandon Webb, Hank Blalock, Ivan Rodriguez, Aaron Rowand, Curt Schilling, Miguel Batista, Pat Burrell, Jermey Bonderman, Rod Barajas, Jake Peavy, Brad Lidge, Francisco Rodriguez, Jim Thome, Luis Gonzalez (Diamondbacks), Mark Buehrle, Rich Hidalgo, john Lackey, Steve Carlton, Justin Upton, Stephen Drew, Bud Selig, Roberto Clemente, Steve Carlton, Bob Gibson?

    If you know where I can send items to Gibson, Carlton, and Selig please reply back to me.


  41. Zack

    That’s some card. Never saw it before. Thanks.


    Seems like a solid approach. No wonder you’ve had so much success.


    Thanks (on behalf of everyone) for all the info.


    I really can’t tell you about any of these guys becuase, like I said, I stopped collecting through the mail a long time ago. Hopefully, other people will have some answers for you…


    The censoring system is **** strict. Sorry. But hey, congrats on the four-game streak. Funny about Colon and the non-Vance catcher.


    Chad-I will get the website I sent mine to Brandon Webb.




    I live in Arizona and have attended many Diamondbacks games.I have found :


    RUSS ORTIZ,craig counsell,

    johnny estrada,chad tracy.

    JEff davanon,damion easley,

    juan cruz,claudio

    vargas,orlando hudson.


  44. Chad

    Yes I have a rookie card I would like for him to sign. Post it on whichever you prefer. I would prefer you post it here because others might want to know.



  45. Zack

    That’s not for me to decide.


    That’s interesting about Valverde. I haven’t had any contact with him. He’s always seemed fine from a distance. I’d like to hear some of those stories…


    I agree. Others might want to know. I like how this has turned into a big discussion.


    does anybody know any good signers on the twins because im going to three games at the metrodome and im pretty psyched to get mauer, Torri(again), joe nathan, maybe santana if he signs and for sure rookie fransisco liriano..

  47. Zack

    Rondell White has always been nice. Nick Punto was great when he first came up, but I haven’t seen him lately. I don’t know many of the Twins. You know, I just haven’t had much contact with anyone in the American League (because of how unpleasant Yankee Stadium has become and because of my refusal to go there more than a few times a year). But you should definitely try to get Boof Bonser, just because he has the greatest name, and you should also go for Francisco Liriano because he’s going to be an absolute stud.



    Since I’m the blog’s biggest Twins fan, let me give my input here.

    Great Twins signers are:

    Joe Nathan (signs forever, very accomodating)

    Jesse Crain

    Matt Guerrier (hurt, may not be there)

    Scott Baker (when he’s in the majors)

    Shannon Stewart

    Good signers (almost always sign if asked)

    Juan Castro

    Juan Rincon

    Lew Ford

    Willie Eyre

    Tony Batista

    Michael Cuddyer

    Okay signers (not bad guys, just seemed to be a bit annoyed, but they signed)

    Justin Mourneau

    Kyle Lohse

    These guys were hard to get, due to popularity:

    Johan Santana (but I got him!)

    Torii Hunter

    Joe Mauer

    These guys don’t seem very accomodating:

    Brad Radke

    Carlos Silva (I got lucky though, I was one of 2 people waiting during his bullpen session)

    There’s my rundown, I hope it helps. If a player isn’t listed, I have not had a specific experience trying to get them to sign.

  49. Zack

    Is that YOU in the pic? My lord. That’s some serious devotion right there. Or maybe “insanity” is a better word. Of course, I say that lovingly. :-)

    Nice list of all the Twins players. Imagine if everyone who reads this blog made/shared a similar list for their favorite team. It’d be the ultimate 2006 autograph reference guide.


    alright, i would consider myself the biggest brewer fan here..just out of curiosity what brewers autographs would you guys want on the sweet spot?
    Heres my list

    Best Signers:

    Chris Capuano(signs 20-30 every game!)

    Geoff Jenkins(nice guy

    Ben Sheets(really easy to get)

    Good Signers:

    Carlos Lee

    Jeff Cirillo

    Chad Moeller

    Doug Davis

    Decent signers:

    Prince Fielder(signs 1-5 right before games)

    Dave Bush

    Bad Signers(never sign)

    Damian Miller

    Derrick Turnbow(i got him)

    Bill Hall

    Corey Koskie

    Brady clarke

    Rickie Weeks(really hard but have it)


    Here is the place where you can send a letter and your item to Brandon Webb!!


    401 e. JEFFERSON ST.

    PHOENIX,AZ 85001




    Andy-How long ago did you send the Webb? He’s a great player and I would love to add him to my collection.
    Drossenda/Nick-I just looked at the Yankees schedule and I will see the Twins 2 of the 3 games they are in town. I could go to all 3 games but I’m not missing my OREGON DUCKS OPENER v. STANFORD to see a game w/ no BP at Yankee Stadium. Hope I can get some autographs.

    Bergin-I just sent a card to Capuano, I hope he signs it.


    Chuckster-I sent something to him this year about a month ago so that address should work

  54. Chad

    Does anyone have a Lasting Milledge, Chris Capuano, Francisco Rodriguez, Justin Upton, Jake Peavy, Brad Lidge, Stephen Drew, Sparky Anderson rookie cards or just any kind of baseball card of them? If you do, maybe we could work something out?


    Chad-sorry I got all the old-timers like:Carlton Fisk,Don Mattingly,Buddy Bell,Orel Hershiser,Nolan Ryan,Kirby Puckett,Tommy John and many more…..I got others too.Give me a list if you want any and we can work something out???????


    I might be abloe to help you out with Brad Lidge and Jake Peavy. Maybe a couple of cards of each.

  57. Chad

    Chuckster- That’s awesome what are the cards exact name? (ex: Fleer 1971 #142 Roberto Clemente)

    My biggest wish (Actually it’s a pretty small wish is: Lastings Milledge 2004 Topps #680

    My real big wish: To get all MLB team’s caps.

    If you think you can help me with any of these then post back to me



    I have spare Indians and Phillies and Angels hats. I’m sorry about the cards, but this is what I have to offer
    2003 Bazooka Jake Peavy

    2004 Topps Jake Peavy

    2005 Topps Opening Day Jake Peavy


    CHAD-I have a Don Mattingly Topps #700 (not sure year) He is in a yankees uniform.Let me know if your interested

  60. Chad

    Yes I am interested… What should we work out. I will only do trades or buy it. Unless you want to do it for free…


    Well I donot know you can see a crease down the middle of it and is old.If you,want it I will be willing to donate

  62. Nick

    As we approach the century mark, I would like to say… goodnight.

    It is 2:30. Why am I up? I do not know.

    Woo, go 100 comments.

  63. Zack

    Um. Wow. I was at work all day. Then at my writing group all evening. Then with some friends all night…so it’s been about 16 hours since I’ve checked in. This is completely out of hand (in a good way). I love it. I’m delighted that all you guys have been able to connect here in the comments section. I won’t take the time to respond to everyone…don’t really think I need to…but to answer that one question from Andy about Valverde…no, I’ve never seen him pitch at home, and I have no idea why you’re asking. Do tell. To everyone else…I’m going to bed now. At some point today, I’ll be posting an entry with plans for my next game(s).


    some of the brewers were very hard to get but i did get miller x2, hall, weeks, and koskie x2 when i did milwaukee in april


    Can any1 tell me the name of the Detroit Tigers bullpen catcher


  66. Zack

    I love Carlos Beltran, who just homered to give the Mets (and Glavine) a 3-2 lead over Philly.


    thank you Zack that is good because in chad’s contest I have the mets beating philly what inning?

  68. Zack

    Now it’s 9-7 Mets in the 9th…with *eight* combined homers.

    That place is SUCH a bandbox.


    hello my name is Shana and I need some ones help. My husband has some old cards and we can’t find any info on them any where. Could some help me PLEASE.

  70. Donna

    Hello,I have a 1990 Kirby Puckett autographed baseball card wonder stars with no team on the hat just the card and the autograph is original any idea what it is worth it is #9 out of 20 I have quite the collection I use to buy them for my son he use to throw them on the floor and i would pick them up and place them in photo albums he is 26 now and not interested in the least.He is not a sports fan but I am lol please forward me info ty

  71. Zack Hample

    Sorry for taking seven years to reply, but . . . uh, I didn’t see your comment ’til now.

    I’d love to help, but I’m completely removed from the world of baseball cards. I haven’t looked at a price guide for 18 years. Apologies.

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