30 Day Baseball Card Challenge

Monday, May 2, 2016

O Captain! My Captain!

Another day.  Another sports card project.

The peak of my baseball career was playing for my league's 13 year old all-star team.  The coach had the players choose a team captain during the practice before each game and my buddy Chris always represented us.  Of course it was a personal dream to one day get chosen... but just like getting married to Phoebe Cates... that never happened.

That's okay... because thankfully I can live out that dream by collecting team captains for teams I collect.

2005 UD Origins #UD1

Unfortunately... this project got off to a rocky start.  In baseball, (according to Wikipedia) there is currently only one team who has named a captain... and it's not the Oakland Athletics or San Diego Padres.

2001 UD Decade 1970's GU Jersey/Auto #SJ-SB

But after a little digging, I discovered that Sal Bando captained the A's back in the 70's during their nice championship run.  A quick look at the Oakland Athletics franchise leader list would reveal Captain Sal's name in numerous categories including: games played, offensive and defensive WAR, RBI's, home runs, and base on balls.

2012 Topps Archives Fan Favorites Auto #FFA-CL

Carney Lansford also held the title during his tenure with the team for the better part of the 80's and early 90's.  His leadership helped the Athletics go to three straight World Series... although they only walked away with one title.

2001 Topps Golden Anniversary Auto #GAA-GT

In 1987, Garry Templeton was named the San Diego Padres team captain by his manager, Larry Bowa.  He held that position for four seasons until he was traded to the New York Mets in 1991.  Although he had much better numbers at the plate during his years in St. Louis, Jumpsteady was the everyday starter at short for almost a decade.  His veteran leadership helped jumpstart the Padres when they were down two games to none to the Chicago Cubs back in the 1984 NLCS.

2007 Sweet Spot Classic Signatures #TG

Ironically the greatest player in franchise history earned the nicknames "Captain Video" and "Mr. Padre", yet he was never designated team captain.

Let's turn to hockey, where captains are a little more prevalent.  I have been a diehard San Jose Sharks fan since their inaugural season and during that time only twelve players have worn the "C" on their jersey:

Doug Wilson (91/92 to 92/93)
Bob Errey (93/94 to 94/95)
Jeff Odgers (94/95 to 95/96)

Doug Wilson was the first team captain in Sharks franchise history and is currently the team's general manager.  

Todd Gill (96/97 to 97/98)
Owen Nolan (98/99 to 02/03)

Mike Ricci (03/04)
Vincent Damphousse (03/04)
Alan McCauley (03/04)

After Nolan was traded to the Maple Leafs, the Sharks rotated Ricci, Damphousse, McCauley, and Marleau... until finally the latter was named the permanent captain midway through the season.

Patrick Marleau (03/04 to 08/09)
Rob Blake (09/10)
Joe Thornton (10/11 to 13/14)

2011/12 UD Ultimate Signatures #US-JP

The past few years the San Jose Sharks have been going through some changes.  Veterans like Marleau and Thornton have started to pass the torch to guys like Joe Pavelski and Logan Couture.  This past fall, new Sharks coach Peter DeBoer named Pavelski the twelfth and current captain.  Hopefully Little Joe can finally help them over the hump.

Over on the gridiron... things proved to be a bit more challenging than anticipated.  First... during the regular season... the Green Bay Packers select captains on a game to game basis.  That means that they've had a fair share of captains over the years.  Luckily... back in 2007 they did begin selecting playoff captains.  There have been a total of twenty-four different players chosen (six are selected each year).  Here's who I have so far:

As for the Seahawks... well I couldn't find an actual list that contained the names of every captain.  However I was able to figure out a few of them through some internet research:




Finally... I thought I'd wrap this post up with another famous captain.  Only this guy wasn't known for his athletic talents.

Can you guess who this signature belongs to?

Here's a hint... I grew up watching him on television and the big screen commanding the starship Enterprise.  These days he's a Priceline negotiator.

Well there's my latest project.  I've also started collecting autographs of other MLB team captains which I'll feature in a future post.  Until then...

Happy Monday and sayonara!


  1. Those are some nice graphs! I had a crush on Phoebe Cates as a kid too!

    1. I have a crush on Phoebe Cates as a 42 year old man

  2. Good stuff! I really like that Dave Krieg auto - that same card is on my wish list.

  3. good ole Canadian boy William shatner

  4. Interesting collection concept; I don't think the Cubs have a named captain since Sammy Sosa was booted from town. Yea... He set a GREAT example to follow...

  5. You need to add my favorite captain...CAPTAIN CAAAVEE MAAAN!

  6. My favorite Gary Templeton quote from his STL Days "If I ain't startin' (the ASG) I ain't departin'"

  7. what's the story on how you have a baseball autographed by the Shat?

  8. John & KO Rob - Glad I'm not alone.

    Cardboard Curmudgeon - Yeah... 2013 Topps Archives loaded their autograph set with Hawks that year. Bunch of fan favorites. Best of luck on your hunt for Krieg.

    Al - Didn't know he was Canadian. Maybe I should add him to my Montreal PC.

    Tony B - Lol. I'm trying to buy an autograph from at least one captain from each franchise. I'll probably go with Santo or Grace when it comes to the Cubs.

    Matthew - Thanks!

    Brett - Oh man... that's right. Signed lithograph maybe?

    Brady - Love that quote!

    Jafronius - I'll give you the short version of the story. Missed him signing at this year's Silicon Valley Comic Con, so we found a guy who was holding a private signing with him (JSA was there at the private signing too). Paid $200 to have a figure and the baseball signed with certificates. I know it's kind of pricey... but I've always wanted to get a signature of one of the most famous captains around.