The signing front is far behind and the cards are stacking up,so I will start catching up here and there and hopefully sometime at the end of the run,I'll be able to do a best and worst of 2010.
To my friends that are always tossing me free stuff and help with players that I cannot get,my thanks and I'll be mentioning your help as the cleanup continues...
We start with two visits to the Hagerstown Suns with the Lexington Legends and Greensboro Grasshoppers coming to the Hub City.
The Legends are a Houston Astros team and the Astros have not been one of the more prospect laden systems over the last few seasons with the exception of 2009 when the Legends did not visit Hagerstown with the likes of Ross Seaton and Jordan Lyles.
The Astros did have their first three picks from the 09 draft with the Legends in Jiovanni Mier,Tanner Bushue and Jonathan Meyer and all three signed with Mier signing the most since I had seven different cards for him before I even touched the cards sent from others.Looking at the numbers,Bushue could try high A next season,but I look for the other two to at least start back at Lexington.
Another pickup was Jimmy Paredes signing his Charleston card.Paredes had been traded from the Yankees to the Astros in the Lance Berkman trade since the Charleston visit earlier in the year.
The most fun though was with Legends hitting coach Stubby Clapp.
The minor league and Canadian baseball legend never got more than a cameo in the big leagues,but his popularity has been known for years.
The personable Clapp talked about the game,Canada and especially about the Canadian Football League and might have been the best coach that I met this season.
During this series,I was also able to get Rick Hague to sign his USA cards and Rick Schu,who is a roving coordinator for Washington last season.Both were very nice,especially Schu,who always chats a bit as he signs...
The Greensboro Grasshoppers had two first round picks with 2008 top pick Kyle Skipworth and 2009 first rounder Chad James.
Both players signed with James being very nice and Skipworth signing most of his cards,but being selective about which ones.
Kyle was nice enough,but the second time around of the deciding what cards to sign made me wonder why he does that.
Promising young catcher Carlos Paulino struggles with the Hoppers,but signed his Topps Debut card as did promising former Red Sox lefthander Jose Alvarez.
The biggest addition of the Greensboro series was that of former second baseman and manager Davey Johnson,who signed all three cards that I had of him (Braves and Phillies) and thanked me for coming to the park and asking him!
Johnson was accommodating to everyone and I hope he returns to Hagerstown next season and hopefully I'll have a 1971 (Orioles) and 1979 (Cubs) card ready to go for him.
The teams in Frederick around this time were Winston-Salem and Wilmington.
I had most of those teams finished in a previous visit,but there were still some fill ins and I went for those and to help my good friend Bill Cover,who had missed the teams in their first stop with team sets released.
On this evening,Bill gave me two Chris Marreros that he had gotten Marrero to sign at Harrisburg to go with the evening's work.
The biggest catch from the Dash was 2009 first rounder Josh Phegley,who had been injured on the other Winston-Salem trips to Frederick.Phegley signed everything for me and Bill,but commented with a laugh about a "man in a suit" that was waiting at the team hotel with a "Book of cards".Phegley said "I never mind signing at the park,but the hotel stuff is an invasion of privacy".
I would agree about being inside the hotel (Unless you are staying there),but if you are waiting outside then "no harm no foul".
Other nice additions were the long elusive Jose Martinez,who had injury issues for the past few season,Jon Gilmore and Brandon Short,who signed his Carolina League prospect card.
The main two pickups from Wilmington were 2009 top pick Aaron Crow and the Royals excellent young catcher Wil Myers.
Myers only signs one of each,which is fine and worked for me as I had three different cards,while Crow had been demoted from AA signed his Tri-Star and Missouri Tiger card.
Thanks to Tom O'brien for added a few from the Akron Aeros with first rounder Alex White signing his Bowman Top 100 card,Bryan Price signing his Bowman and Greenville cards and Lonnie Chisenhall,who has never signed for me,but signed two of mine for Tom.
The next signing front (whenever that is) looks like the final two teams into Hagerstown for 2010 and the Potomac Nationals arrival in Frederick..