Sunday, March 22, 2009

My 1987 Minnesota Twins Project is Complete

On March 5, 2009 Dan Schatzeder ended my two year one month old quest to get a signed baseball card from every living player of the 1987 Minnesota Twins World Series Championship team.

I had sent to Mr. Schatzeder three times over the last two years with no response till 3/5 when he finally signed all the cards I had sent him. The first two cards I sent took 668 days to get back to me. That was my longest wait ever beating out the 311 days Steve Garvey took to sign a card for me.

Thanks to Mr. Schatzeder and all the players of the 87 Twins for signing for me.

Mr. Schatzeder arrived in the midst of a hot streak for me. Between 3/3 and 3/8 I received NFL Hall of Famers Terry Bradshaw and Bob Griese; NHL Hall of Famers Jean Beliveau, Peter Stastny, Joe Mullen, and Steve Shutt; former North Stars Al MacAdam and J.P. Praise; and former Twins Jeff Reed, Les Straker (again), and Eric Milton.

Of course since 3/8 I have received only one return. Such is the nature of this hobby.

I wanted to detail the 87 Twins and how I got them all. I used the playoff roster as a guide for who was officially on the championship team. Players not on the playoff roster were not considered officially part of the team though I did pick up a couple of them as well. I also picked up some management and front office folks who were with the Twins in 1987 as well.

The Players

Frank Viola: Starting pitcher and World Series MVP – Frank signed for me in person at the 87 Twins reunion weekend, and also signed a card TTM via his foundation for $5. He inscribed that TTM card Frank Viola 87 WS MVP.

Bert Blyleven: Starting pitcher – Bert signed for me in person at the Twins Autograph Party and Twins Fest.

Les Straker: Starting pitcher - Les signed for me in person at the 87 Twins reunion weekend. He also signed TTM via Spring Training c/o Philadelphia Phillies for whom he now works for.

Joe Niekro: Starting pitcher – Sadly Mr. Niekro has passed away a few years ago. He is the only player on the playoff roster living or dead that I do not have an autographed card of.

Mike Smithson: Starting pitcher – Mike signed TTM via his home address. Mike was not part of the playoff roster, but I got him anyway

Jeff Reardon: Closer – Jeff signed TTM via his home address two different times.

Juan Berenguer: Relief pitcher – Juan signed TTM via his home address including a signed card of his own to go along with the one a sent him.

Keith Atherton: Relief pitcher - Keith signed TTM via his home.

George Frazier: Relief pitcher – George signed TTM c/o Colorado Rockies where he is a broadcaster.

Dan Schatzeder: Relief pitcher - Dan signed TTM via his home address and via his work.

Tim Launder: Catcher – Tim signed for me in person during appearance at a local restaurant.

Kent Hrbek: 1st Base – Kent has signed for me in person numerous times including at Twins Fest and other appearances.

Steve Lombardozzi 2nd Base– Steve signed TTM via his home address second time I sent to him. Not sure why he did not sign the first time I sent him.

Greg Gagne: Shortstop – Greg signed TTM via his home address two different times. He included the inscription 3:16 for John 3:16.

Gary Gaetti 3rd Base and ALCS MVP – Gary signed TTM for me via the Durham Bulls where he is the batting coach.

Dan Gladden: Left Fielder – Dan signed for me in person at Twins Fest.

Kirby Puckett: Center Fielder – Kirby passed away in 2006. Still I recently came across a gentleman at a card show willing to sell me a nice autograph Puckett card for $30. I have seen several autographed Puckett cards in the $40-$60 range. Many of those cards were not as nice as this one. I now own an autographed Kirby Puckett which I had wanted for a long time.

Tom Brunansky: Right Fielder – Tom signed TTM via his home address two different times.

Don Baylor: DH – Don signed for me in person at the 87 Twins reunion weekend.

Roy Smalley: Reserve DH and IF – Roy signed for me in person at Twins Fest

Mark Davidson: Reserve OF – Mark signed TTM via his home address, and also in person at the 87 Twins reunion weekend.

Randy Bush: Reserve OF and DH – Randy signed TTM two different times c/o Chicago Cubs where he is the Assistant GM.

Sal Butera: Reserve Catcher– Sal signed TTM via his home address.

Al Newman Reserve IF – Al signed for me in person at Twins Fest.

Manger and Front Office

Tom Kelly: Manager – Tom has signed for me TTM via his home address and in person at Twins Fest

Andy MacPhail: GM – Andy signed TTM c/o Baltimore Orioles where he is the team president.

Carl Pohlad: Owner – Mr. Pohlad signed TTM for me in 2007 c/o Twins. Mr. Pohlad has since passed away.

Terry Ryan: Farm System Director – Terry signed TTM c/o Twins.

Ralph Houk: Special Advisor to the Manager – Ralph signed TTM via his home address. Mr. Houk also managed the legendary 61 New York Yankee team.

Tony Olivia: Batting Coach – Tony signed in person at Twins Fest. Tony was also a former star Twins player.


Steve Carlton was a starting pitcher for only part of the season and he was not on the post season roster. However, I did send him $25 and this Hall of Fame pitcher autographed a card for me.

Rick Rennick was third base coach. I have a signed card of him that I purchase with some other signed cards. Rennick is also a former Twins player.

I thought about getting the other coaches too, but they don’t have any cards like the players do.

Final Thought

I am really please to have completed this project. I loved the 87 Twins. They are probably my favorite Twins team of all-time. To finally win the World Series for Minnesota was their greatest accomplishment, but I also think they are a classy group of men.

I have tried collecting every living player of the 91 World Champion Twins and the 1979 Twins. Neither team has been as responsive the 87 Twins were. The 87 Twins will always have a special place in the hearts of all Twins fans. They were not the best Twins team (that was the 91 team) but they were the most special.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Alan Jackson Performing "Chasin' That Neon Rainbow"

Alan Jackson is my favorite music artist. “Chasin’ That Neon Rainbow” is my favorite Alan Jackson song. Here is a video I found of a young Alan Jackson performing “Chasin’ That Neon Rainbow”.

Jim McBride – the gentleman in the suit playing the guitar to the left of Alan – is Alan’s co-writer on the song. The two of them also wrote Alan’s massive hit “Chattahoochee” together.

In case anyone is wondering, the two people who introduce Alan at the beginning of the video are Rickey Van Shelton and Marie Osmond. Van Shelton had some good commercial success in the late 80’s and very early 90s. Osmond is a member of the famous Osmond family and has done a lot of things in music and TV with her brother Donnie Osmond.

I suspect this Alan Jackson performance occurred in 1991 or 1992, but that is just a guess. Thanks to madbullxxx1953xxx for posting this video on YouTube. I have enjoyed watching it.