Archive for Kansas City Royals

Ball signed by Rickey Henderson circa 1982 gifted to me by co-worker

Posted in Misc., Newspaperman with tags , , , on July 11, 2015 by Cardboard Icons

I work with some awesome people. Their generosity is off the charts sometimes.

One of my co-workers, who collects game-used San Francisco 49ers equipment, often brings items to me to look at and help photo match. 

Well, the other day he showed up and left a baseball on my desk.  The ball was signed by players of the Oakland Athletics and Kansas City Royals. The first signature I could read was an obvious one, Rickey Henderson.

The co-worker then told me the ball was for me, a gift, but he wanted to know who had signed the ball.  He acquired it himself in the early 1980s but had forgotten exactly who signed it.

Well, I pinned the ball down to 1982, when my co-worker was 15. Here are the signatures.


Thrift Treasures 79: Signed Vintage Minor League Baseball (15 sigs on 43-year-old ball)

Posted in Thrift Treasures with tags , , , , , , , on January 19, 2015 by Cardboard Icons


My wife and I made our annual end-of-the-year trip to a local city that has plenty of antique and thrift stores.  I know, it’s like we’re old, right? I might be 34, but I might as well be 64. I mean I like antiquing and thrifting, and I watch baseball and not the more popular choice of football.  What’s next, golf?

I digress, on these trips my wife finds all sorts of stuff that strikes her fancy: earrings, necklaces, cake platters, etc.  Me?  You know I have my eye on sports related stuff, so when I actually find something that fits my theme, I give it a good look.

Well, as it so happens, these shops usually have their fair share of sports cards, old ones too. I always hope for something new (read: old, but new to me) and exciting (read: at a decent price) but its been getting harder and harder.  I feel like I’ve picked these stores clean through the years.

And so just as we were about the end our day — me empty handed except for the bag of stuff my wife bought — we stepped into a shop that has only been in the neighborhood for about two months.  The guy had some interesting items, and even a stack of cards too, but nothing really struck my fancy.  At least not until I took one last look back before we walked out of the store.

There, on the bottom shelf hidden in the back of the showcase were a small grouping of four baseballs, two of which I could see were signed.  I asked to look at the two and quickly determined that the $25 price tag on one ball was too steep. Sure, i t was signed by four or five people, but I didn’t recognize a single name — not a one. Besides, the ball was modern and the signatures weren’t that old.

And the other ball? Well, you’re looking at it. I initially studied the ball, looking got any name that might be recognizable. None immediately jumped out at me, but the one thing about this ball that made it stand out from the other ball was the fact that it looked and felt old. I tussled with the idea of spending $25 on this thing, but I looked a the bag of stuff and reasoned in my head: This is something you’ll never see again. Besides, you spend $25 on plenty of other baseball stuff (read: crappy blasters many times over.)

By now if you’re still reading I applaud you. You must really want to know what the hell the “San Jose Bees” are. Well, here’s you’re answer: the precursor to the San Jose Giants. Before the Giants were affiliated the minor league baseball team in San Jose, Calif., they the team in the South Bay was the stomping grounds for the Kansas City Royals.  Don’t believe me? Turn over George Brett’s 1975 Topps rookie card and tell me what team he played for in 1972. Answer: The San Jose Bees.

Well, as it so happens, this here  ball is from nineteen seventy …. ONE. Yes, 1971, a year BEFORE Mr. Brett played in San Jose.  This means that his signature is NOT on this ball.  Bummer. But here’s a list of who IS on this call.  You might recognize a few, although none of them are exactly going to turn my “treasure” into a fortune.


Buddy Peterson:  Manager of the Bees in 1971. He had two short mlb stints in 1955 with the White Sox and in 1957 with the Orioles.

Steve Myers: This player was 23 in still in Single-A ball.  I believe this was his final year in professional baseball.

Steve Busby: An eight-year Major League veteran who played with the Royals from 1972 to 1980.  He tossed a pair of no-hitters during his career and was elected/named to two American League All Star team.


Edward Siracusa: From what I can tell, he was 19 in 1971 and this was his final year in pro baseball.

Darrell Gambero: Mr. Gambero played three seasons at San Jose and 1971 was second one.

Gary Houston: This guy made it out of San Jose and played as high as AA ball during his career before calling it quits.

Thomas Combs: Drafted by the Boston Red Sox, Combs wound up in the Royals minor league system for five years, including 1971, which was smack dab in the middle of his career. Combs was 22 and would get as high as AA ball in 1973 before calling it a career.


Stephen Wright: In 1971 Mr. Wright was 24 and still in A ball. It was his final season in pro ball.

Doug Bird: Another MLB veteran who pitched in the Majors from 1973 through 1983. He spent time with the Royals, Phillies, Yankees, Cubs and lastly the Red Sox.

Al Autry: All minor leagues dream of getting to the Big Leagues.  Al Autry made it … once.  He had one start in 1976 while he was with the Braves. He went five innings and struck out three en route to getting a single MLB victory.

Jim Wohlford: Long-time Major League who played from 1972 through 1986 with the Royals, Brewers, Giants, and Expos


“Duke” Wathan:  Does that name NOT look familiar?  If so, it’s because “Duke” Wathan is really JOHN Wathan, who spent more than a decade with the Royals as a player from 1976 through 1985. Then after he retired as a player, he managed the Royals for five season.  So, what is this “Duke” nickname about?  The Internet says the nickname comes from Wathan’s ability to do a spot-on impression of country actor John Wayne, whose nickname was “Duke.”

Dale Phillips: This guy was 19 when he played with the San Jose club in 1971.  He’s go on to play as high as AA in 1973 before returning to SJ and leaving pro ball.

Robert “Bob” Peters: he was a pro baseball rookie in 1971 when he played with San Jose. He’s played two additional years in Royals system until 1973 when he left pro ball at age 24.

Calvin Meier: He’d go on to play as high as AAA in 1975, but did not make it to the majors.

Total cost of these treasures: $25

To see more Thrift Treasures posts, click HERE

The sweetest patch card I’ve ever pulled

Posted in Newspaperman with tags , , , , , , on November 28, 2009 by Cardboard Icons

There are some awesome patch cards on the the market these days, some of which are COMPLETE patches from jerseys. Just awesome. But in 2004, not many of those cards existed, collectors were left to collect multi-colored patch cards as this 2004 Hot Prospects Draft Edition ‘Double Team” card of Carlos Beltran.

This card is stunning in person. I pulled it from a box of Hot Prospects I purchased about two years ago. It features patches from his Astros jersey and Royals jersey. Both patches are multi-colored and feature several breaks. as you can see here. And to top it off, the card if serial numbered to just 50 copies.



Random Rookie Recap: 1987 Donruss David Cone

Posted in Random Rookie Recap with tags , , , , , , , , , on February 16, 2009 by Cardboard Icons

1987donrussdavidconeThis is part 20 of an ongoing series. To see the rest of this series, click here.

When I said “random,” I meant it. For this first “Triple R” post, I reached into one of my four rookie boxes and pulled out this mint condition 1987 Donruss David Cone card.

This Donruss series was always a hit with me. It is filled with rookie (or rookie year) cards of several stars from the late 1980s and 1990s. And the design I felt always made these cards seem better than they really were. The black borders immediately rewarded collectors who took care of their cards. And aside from the Mark McGwire “Rated Rookie” in this set, this David Cone was always a standout to me. Continue reading

Card of the Day: 1993 Upper Deck “On Deck With …” George Brett

Posted in Card of the Day with tags , , , , , , , , , on December 26, 2008 by Cardboard Icons

brettfrontIn my mind, the fifth anniversary of Upper Deck was a rousing success. The fact that the company moved to an all-glossy front for most cards and used full-bled photos for inserts really made for an attractive product. Need proof? Look at this 1993 Upper Deck George Brett “On Deck With…” insert to the left.

The design for base cards was OK (not great), and the rookie/prospect cards looked awesome. But this set was all about the inserts; my favorite were the “Then and Now” and “Triple Crown Contenders” sets. And in 1993, the hobby was insert crazy, so this product really brought a lot to the table. Continue reading