Archive for the An Auto A Day Category

An Auto A Day … #6

Posted in An Auto A Day with tags , , , , , , , on August 24, 2014 by Cardboard Icons

I’ve got a thing for former players who turn manager/coach. This is not a new trend, but it’s interesting for me to see this these days as I clearly remember some of the players-turned managers/coaches when they first came into Major League Baseball.


Such is the case with Torey Lovullo. He was somewhat of a prospect with the Tigers. The thing I remember most about him was having rookie cards in 1989 products … I pulled a ton of them while hunting for Griffey rookies of course. He spent part of eight seasons in the Majors with seven different teams before ending his MLB career in 1999.

Lovullo’s baseball career, however, didn’t stop as a player. Two years after retirement he got into managing and coaching and worked his way through the Cleveland Indians minor league system. He then followed current Boston Red Sox manager John Farrell to the Toronto Blue Jays and then from Toronto to Boston, where he is a bench coach. Lovullo was a top candidate for the Chicago Cubs managerial gig in 2010 and it’s probably only a matter of time before he gets a manager gig in the majors.

As noted, Lovullo has rookies in 1989, including in the high series of Upper Deck. He has a single certified autograph: 1996 Leaf Signature Extended.

An Auto A Day … #5

Posted in An Auto A Day with tags , , , , , on August 23, 2014 by Cardboard Icons

Here’s another solid Major Leaguer who used his skill set on the field to help him get a job in the dugout.


Brad Ausmus, a three-time Gold Glove winner and an all-star, spent 18 seasons as a Big League catcher. His career started in 1993 with the San Diego Padres and ran through 2010 with the Los Angeles Dodgers. And just three years after retirement, he found himself as the skipper of one of the best teams in Major League Baseball, the Detroit Tigers.

Often regarded as one of the game’s nicest guys, Ausmus proved to be the same to fans as he frequently signed Through The Mail (TTM). That said, how does a guy spent nearly two decades in the majors — a time frame that coincides with a book in certified autographed in the hobby — yet he only has one signed card (1996 Leaf Signature Autographs), with two parallels of the same. Ausmus only has one true rookie card as well, a 1992 Topps card that he shares with three other guys.

An Auto A Day … #4

Posted in An Auto A Day with tags , , , , , on August 22, 2014 by Cardboard Icons

If you were a baseball fan after the strike of 1994, you surely remember that the Montreal Expos (which later became the Washington Nationals) were one of the better teams in baseball at the time, and in 1995 they had a hell of a left handed phenom on their hands by the name of Carlos Perez.

IMG_2984The brother of two Major Leaguers — both of whom were right handed — Carlos Perez was a flamboyant pitcher during his rookie season in 1995 — he made the all-star team that season –and after each strikeout, he’d do this funky twitch movement on the mound to celebrate his punch outs. Some people liked it; others hated it. Go figure.  At the time SportsCenter was really the only sports cable show available nationwide, so he was a constant on. He wasn’t really a strikeout machine but seemed that way given the rate at which is highlights were shown.

But due to injuries and off-the-field nonsense, Perez’s career never blossomed to the levels that many figured he could reach. He would miss all of 1996 due to injury and played parts of two more seasons with Les Expos before being traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers, where his MLB career ended in 2000.

Perez made it into nearly all of the 1995 products and has an astounding 15 rookie cards — his Bowman’s Best or Topps Finest are best in my opinion — but only really has one certified autograph. If you guessed 1996 Leaf Signature Series, you’re right. The base autograph is shown here and then there are two parallels of the same card.

An Auto A Day … #3

Posted in An Auto A Day with tags , , , , , on August 21, 2014 by Cardboard Icons

They always say that catchers make the best managerial candidates.

Mike Matheny, a four-time Gold Glove catcher who spent 13 years as a Major Leaguer, essentially went straight from behind the plate to being on the top step of the dug out calling the shots.  His career was cut short as a member of the San Francisco Giants after suffering a series of concussions.  Now he’s the leader of St. Louis Cardinals, an organization that always to seems to find itself in the mix of things at the end of the season.


Matheny has a handful of rookie cards from 1994, including Bowman, Select, Sporftlics Rookie/Traded and Ultra.  And like many other major leaguers from his time, he has really one certified autograph according to He has a base 1996 Leaf Signature (shown here)  along with two parallels of the same card.  Beckett also shows him as being part of a 2014 Topps Triple Threads auto with Travis D’Arnaud and Ivan Rodriguez, although I haven’t seen any evidence of the card actually existing. If you’ve seen it, let me know.


An Auto A Day … #2

Posted in An Auto A Day with tags , , , , , on August 20, 2014 by Cardboard Icons

Tom Candiotti never was overpowering, but no matter how you look at it, it takes a special skill set to spend more than 15 years in the Major Leagues. A career that long doesn’t happen by accident.  Candiotti dazzled batters at times with his knuckleball during the 1980s and the 1990s as he spent time with six teams during his 16-year career.   He twice led the league is games lost and ended his career in 1999 with a career record of 151-164, but a respectable ERA of 3.73.


As noted, Candiotti wasn’t an upper echelon pitcher, but one of those hurlers who’ll never be forgotten by those who had the chance to watch him.  And in case you missed him during his playing careers, you can always relieve a bit of Candiotti when you pop in Billy Crystal’s flick “*61″.”  Candiotti was cast to play Hall of Fame knuckleballer Hoyt Wilhelm, who in the flick pitches for the Orioles and is called upon to pitch to Roger Maris even though it’s not a traditional closing situation.  Candiotti’s performance s masterful. (hope you get the sarcasm).

Card wise Candiotti has three true rookie cards, 1984 Topps, Donruss and Fleer.  In terms of autographs, he technically has four: There is the basic 1996 Leaf Signature shown above, and then two parallels of the same card.  And according to, there is a fourth one but it is a 1/1 cut signature from In The Game.  Not really sure why that card exists, but I have a sneaking suspicion that the signature is probably a cut up 1996 Leaf card. Go figure.