A lot of requests out to Spring Training this month meant I didn’t get a lot of fast returns. Thankfully things trickled in from other requests.
The first return of the month was John Doherty in 20 days. He was in the Majors for five seasons but 1993 was he only one he spent as a full-time starter. That was a decent year for him too with 14 wins in 31 starts, three complete games, and two shutouts.
I set another batch of postcard duplicates out. Renie Martin was the first to send his back in only 8 days. I really like the way signed postcards look and there’s definitely something about giving the player room to sign which works wonderfully even with the bluntest marker possible like Martin used.
Jim Deshaies’s 1987 Topps Record Breaker card is one that sticks out in my childhood memory. Such a simple record which lasted until 2021 (when it was broken by Pablo López) but also kind of odd since you’d think hat the umber nine batter—especially the pitcher—would be the most likely one to strike out. In Deshaies’s case the Dodgers pinch hit for the pitcher in only the 3rd inning and the pinch hitter flew out.
Deshaies was briefly a Giant but because that stint was as part of that 1993 team which, until 2021, was the best regular season team I’ve ever seen, I wand his signature as part of that mini-PC of sorts. Since he’s a Cubs broadcaster now I sent these care of the Cubs and he returned them to me in 234 days.
I got a 17 day return from Giants backup catcher John Rabb. He looks to have been the quintessential AAAA player who did very well in AAA but couldn’t put it together in the majors. By the time I became a Giants fan he was no longer with the team though.
Craig Gerber only played one year in the Majors and looks to have been kind of screwed by the Angels in the years following that because they kept him in the minors on the 40-man roster as insurance but never gave him a chance to play again. In today’s roster churn era a player like him who could play multiple defensive positions would likely have gotten a lot more opportunities. He signed this 1986 card in 44 days
I’ve sent to Kelly Gruber before but wanted a couple action photos as well to accompany the 1991 Studio. As I said before his peak years coincided exactly with my youth fandom so he’s one of those guys who will always resonate with me. HE’s got a nice signature and sent these back in 24 days.
He also signed the index card with a nice note about donating to “our many worthy charities” without specifying any of them. So maybe it means “our” as in the generic “all of us” instead? In which case we absolutely do donate.
I was not expecting any Spring Training returns to come back this month bur right at the end I was surprised by a 14 day return from Alex Young. Yes this is my custom design for last season. Young appeared in two dozen games with the Giants last year and did pretty well racking up a 170 ERA+. He signed with the Reds as a free agent in the offseason though.
Getting the spring training return was a nice way to end the month. Hopefully more come back next month. Things have been slow the past couple of years but I enjoy sending my customs to the fringe guys too much to give up. Plus the whole COVID situation messed up everyone’s rhythms for a bit regarding mail.