Thursday, February 27, 2014

TTM Success Hoby Milner

My 1st spring training success of 2014 is Philadelphia Phillies pitcher Hoby Milner. Hoby signed my two cards sent c/o the Phillies Spring Training address in Clearwater Florida. I am very happy to get a Spring Training Response and happy it is a great signature on two Team USA baseball cards. Hoby was drafted in the 7th round of the 2012 MLB Free Agent Draft by the Philadelphia Phillies out of University of Texas at Austin. Last year at the Clearwater Phillies he went a stellar 12-7 with a 3.83 ERA in 26 games. I hope you have a great spring and 2014 season Hoby. Thanks for signing.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

TTM Success Atlee Hammaker

Atlee Hammaker is a former All-Star pitcher with a 12 year career (1981-1995) which he spent with the Kansas City Royals (1981) San Francisco Giants (1982-1985, 1987-1990) San Diego Padres (1990-1991) Chicago White Sox (1994-1995) so he is a very traveled pitcher you could say but maybe not as far traveled as some of the balls he pitched in the 3rd inning of the 1983 MLB All-Star Game on July, 6 in Comisky Park where Hall of Famer Jim Rice leads off with a home run to make the score 2-1 AL winning. Then a triple by Hall of Famer George Brett doesn't help the National Leagues case but then Hall of Famer Dave Winfield singles scoring George Brett making it 3-1. Manny Trillo singles moving Winfield to 2nd base. Doug DeCinces flys out to center field making it two outs. Hammaker intentionally walks Robin Yount loading the bases. Fred Lynn comes up to bat with two outs and hits the first and only to this date All-Star game grand slam off of Atlee Hammaker. All negatives aside and that being his only All-Star selection he had a strong career finishing 59-64 with a 3.66 ERA and had a respectively best season in 1983 with a 10-9 record and a 2.25 ERA (League Leading) 1.59 ERA+ (League Leading) 1.039 WHIP (League Leading) and he signed this card sent c/o home very quickly. Thanks Atlee and good luck.     

Monday, February 24, 2014

TTM Success Joe Orsulak

Joe Orsulak is a former MLB outfielder and in his 14 year career never played in the postseason. His strikeing out looking from a pitch from Cubs pitcher Rick Sutcliffe was all they needed to make the playoffs, the Cubs that is not his Pittsburgh Pirates. All things aside he signed these cards sent c/o his home in 2012. He has been working in broadcasting with the Orioles and my best of luck to you! Thanks Joe!

Thursday, February 20, 2014

IP Autograph OPRF's Ricky Baker


Oak Park, IL-- It is not every day when getting an autograph was as easy as going to school or going to PE Class but today it was. If you are a Oak Park and River Forest High School student or faculty you might know Ricky Baker as your PE Teacher or Co-Worker but you might not know his past before coming to his Faculty position here, he was a Minor League Baseball player. He was drafted in the 9th Round of the 1979 MLB Free Agent Draft by the Cleveland Indians, making his professional debut that year with the Batavia Trojans (A-) of the New York-Pennsylvania League (Cleveland affiliate) batting a strong .289 Average with 20 Stolen Bases in 61 games. The nest season he spent in the local Midwest League while playing for the Waterloo Indians in Waterloo Iowa where he had a career high 78 Stolen Bases in a season high 138 games. All was going good his stats were consistent and he was playing full time, stealing bases, winning ballgames until the offseason of 1982-1983 when his Coach with the Indians, Cal Emery went over to work with the Chicago Cubs organization and brought Mr. Baker over with him where he played from 1983-1984 at their AA and AAA teams where the Cubs had high quality outfielders in Billy Hatcher, Thad Bosely, Joe Carter, Henry Cotto among others it was decided there was not enough room for him and he was sent off to the Padres where he played in the spring of 1985 where he turned down an offer from the Padres to go back to college here in Chicago.

He now spends time watching his sons grow up and enjoying the Arts and playing Basketball and playing music and watching a good movie. He has worked at OPRF for 26 years and has coached baseball 10 of those years here at OPRF. The things he misses most about Minor League Baseball is the bond he had with his teammates and the big moments. He enjoyed performing in clutch moments and getting it done when it mattered most while at OPRF he just enjoys helping students find their way. Exercise is a big influence in his life like any athlete and he still is in touch with some of his teammates and coaches. He plays in his band Rico in his spare time. Thanks Mr. Baker and good luck.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

TTM Success Don Kessinger

Don Kessinger is a former Cubs shortstop and big part of the 1969 Cubs season. He played from 1964-1979 and also had a MLB coaching career. Then he was in the Athletic Department at Ole' Miss. He signed my three cards sent c/o home and added a nice personal letter talking about a family member of mine. Thanks Don and good luck.

TTM Success Andrew Susac

Andrew Susac is a prospect for the San Francisco Giants. He signed and personalized my card sent c/o the Scottsdale Scorpions in the 2013 AFL season. He is considered one of the top prospects in the Giants system and I wish him the best of luck in 2014. Thanks Andrew!

TTM Success Kiki Jones

Keith 'Kiki' Jones is a former pitching prospect for the LA Dodgers and brief stint with Rangers in the end of his career. He signed this card very quickly sent c/o his home. He was a stellar pitching prospect being a high draft pick out of High School but his career seem to come to a close except I might quote him on the letter he added "Stay tuned for a Kiki Jones comeback!" We have to see what comes out of this not so past his prime pitching prospect. Thanks Kiki.

Monday, February 10, 2014

TTM Success Ivan Zweig

Ivan Zweig is a former Minor League pitcher he pitched 4 games for the Laredo Apaches of the Independant Texas-Louisiana League in 1995 and pitched for the Minot Mallards in 8 games in 1997. He signed this card sent c/o Home. He also added a letter typed answering my questions. Thanks Ivan Zweig and good luck! 

Friday, February 7, 2014

TTM Success Adam Hyzdu

Adam Hyzdu is a former MLB veteran who played in the bigs from 2000-2006. He was drafted in the 1990 season in the 1st round but proved to be a late bloomer making his debut with the Pirates 10 years later. In his 7 year 4 team career his biggest success was a Boston Red Sox World Series Championship in 2004. He also added a letter in response to this. Thanks Adam and good luck! 

Monday, February 3, 2014

TTM Success Austin Hedges

Austin Hedges is a Catching Prospect in the San Diego Padres system. He signed my card sent c/o the Lake Elsinore Storm in the 2013 season which he played a combined 86 games last year with San Antonio (AA) and Lake Elsinore (A+) while hitting a strong .260 AVG in 300 AB. He was rated the #58 Top Prospect by Baseball America going into the 2013 season. Thanks Austin great addition!