Monday, June 10, 2013

Master Archivist of Cardinals Autographs Not Necessarily In Cardinals Uniforms

Beyond the Delino DeShields autograph, there were four other autographs in the 2013 Topps Archives set of Cardinals players from the past.  While they do not all appear in Cardinals uniforms in the set, they all appeared on the Cardinals for at least half a season.  Two of the autographs were first time certified autographs that I was excited to add to the collection.  The other two were good additions too.  Let's start with the first time signers:

2013 Topps Archives Bob Tewksbury Autograph 

Tewksbury played for the Cardinals for several seasons in the early 90s.  He was the best pitcher on those teams, which were not really that good.  Tewksbury won double digit games every season he pitched for the Cardinals and was also successful pitching with the Twins, Padres, and Yankees.  His pitching style can best be described as extremely slow.  Only once during his 13 year career did he strike out more than 100 batters.  In fact, one of Tewksbury's most memorable career moments was when he threw Cardinals first baseman a 44 MPH pitch with the Twins.  McGwire did not get a hit that game.  

2013 Topps Archives Chuck Finley Autograph


Finley only appeared for the Cardinals during the second half of the 2002 season.  The Cardinals traded Coco Crisp, he might have been Covelli at that point, from the Indians to replace deceased pitcher Darryl Kile.  Finley won half of his starts for the Cardinals during the regular season and struck out almost a hitter per inning.  He also picked up a win against the Giants in the National League Championship Series.  This is Finley's first certified autograph which should be pretty popular with Angels and Indians collectors too.

The last two cards are players whose autographs already appear in my collection:

2013 Topps Archives Lee Smith Autograph

Lee Smith actually has a pretty healthy supply of autographed cards out on the market.  A fair number of them appearing in a Cardinals uniform.  While Smith had some good years as a Cardinals player, he also had some really rough years wearing the birds on the bat.  While I am certainly not a Cubs guy, this is how I best remember Lee Smith.  Just not against the Cardinals.  

2013 Topps Archives Gary Gaetti Autograph

Last, but not least, is a new autograph of "The Rat".  Gaetti played part of two seasons for the Cardinals at the end of his career and was not all that great.  He did hit a grand slam against the Braves in the 1996 National League Championship Series, but I think that was his lone Cardinals highlight.  Gaetti also won two World Series with the Twins and later went on to be a first base coach for the Durham Bulls.  Currently, he is managing the Sugarland Skeeters.

I'd also like to take a moment to wish my alma mater, North Carolina State, the best in their appearance at the College World Series.  GO PACK!  Go To Hell Carolina!

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