Over the past six years, I've collected over fifty different autographs and today I'm going to show off my favorites using Kenny's Blog Bat Around topic: All Autograph Team.
I'm gonna go with the standard starting nine, a designated hitter, a pinch runner, four additional starting pitchers, a reliever, and a manager.
Here are today's team guidelines:
#1: All autographs will be on-card, pack pulled autographs.
#2: All autographs will be Topps Archives Fan Favorites autographs.
#3: None of these autographs have made appearances on any other All Autograph Teams.
#4: With the exception of Mota, all athletes will be guys I've watched play.
Now that we've established the details, let's check out my team...
Catcher: Tony Pena
2017 Topps Archives Fan Favorites Auto #FFA-TP
This is one of my favorite Fan Favorite autographs in my collection. I grew up impersonating Pena's catching style and couldn't wait for Topps to finally add him to their Archives checklist.
First Baseman: Will Clark
2012 Topps Archives Fan Favorites Auto #FFA-WC
This is the second time Clark has made an appearance on one of my autograph teams. Had a lot of fun watching The Thrill hit at Candlestick Park back in the day.
Second Baseman: Davey Lopes
2013 Topps Archives Fan Favorites Auto #FFA-DL
I'm not going to claim to be a diehard Lopes fan. However he was the best option among guys like Jose Vidro, Tim Teufel, Delino DeShields, Tony Womack, and Joe McEwing.
Shortstop: Matt Williams
2013 Topps Archives Fan Favorites Auto #FFA-MWI
Did you know that Matt spent the majority of his rookie season playing shortstop for the San Francisco Giants during the 1987 MLB season?
Third Baseman: Kevin Mitchell
2013 Topps Archives Fan Favorites Auto #FFA-KML
What can I say? I grew up going to a lot of San Francisco Giants games in the 80's. In fact, if Topps ever adds Robby Thompson to their Fan Favorites lineup... they'll own a monopoly on the infield.
Left Fielder: Ben Oglivie
2012 Topps Archives Fan Favorites Auto #FFA-BOG
There's just something about those early to mid 80's Milwaukee Brewers teams that I can't help but love. It started with guys like Rollie Fingers and Cecil Cooper. Then there were Yount and Molitor. But it was guys like Ted Simmons, Jim Gantner, Gorman Thomas, Moose Haas, and Ben Oglivie that made the team stand out.
Center Fielder: Fred Lynn
2013 Topps Archives Fan Favorites Auto #FFA-FL
I was a baseball fan before I started collecting baseball cards and as a kid, I was blown away by that amazing Red Sox outfield that featured Jim Rice in left, Dwight Evans in right, and Fred Lynn in center. The Killer B's ain't got nothing on these guys.
Right Fielder: Dave Parker
2013 Topps Archives Fan Favorites Auto #FFA-DP
This All Autograph Team is filled with Hall of Very Good members... and Parker has to be close to the top of the list. Cobra could do it all.
Designated Hitter: Don Baylor
2013 Topps Archives Fan Favorites Auto #FFA-DB
Baylor was known for getting hit by pitches or hitting home runs. But did you know that he also stole 20 or more bases in eight different seasons? He's proof that you can't judge a book by its cover.
Starting Pitcher #1: Dwight Gooden
2016 Topps Archives Fan Favorites Auto #FFA-DG
Starting Pitcher #2: Dave Stieb
2017 Topps Archives Fan Favorites Auto #FFA-DS
Starting Pitcher #3: Ron Darling
2013 Topps Archives Fan Favorites Auto #FFA-RD
Starting Pitcher #4: Yu Darvish
2012 Topps Archives Fan Favorites Auto #FFA-YD
Starting Pitcher #5: Phil Niekro
2014 Topps Archives Fan Favorites Auto #FFA-PN
Gooden, Stieb, and Darling were three of my favorite pitchers during the 80's. Darvish is the only active baseball player on this roster and represents my Japanese PC. And Niekro was added to bring veteran leadership to this pitching staff and is the only hall of fame player on this roster.
Relief Pitcher: Lee Smith
2013 Topps Archives Fan Favorites Auto #FFA-LS
Rollie Fingers and Kent Tekulve were originally slated to be this team's bullpen. However... I was surprised to see that I don't own either of these guys' Fan Favorites autographs. Oh well... having the guy who's third on the all-time saves list isn't too shabby either.
Pinch Hitter: Manny Mota
2017 Topps Archives Fan Favorites Auto #FFA-MM
There's a pretty good chance that I watched Mota play at some point during the 70's. I just don't remember. With that being said... it's widely known that he's one of the greatest pinch hitters of all-time. Therefore... he makes this roster.
Pinch Runner: Vince Coleman
2013 Topps Archives Fan Favorites Auto #FFA-VC
Coleman is the only guy since the start of the 20th century to record three consecutive 100 stolen base seasons... and he did it during the first three seasons of his career. I'd say that qualifies him as my pinch runner.
Manager: Tommy Lasorda
2017 Topps Archives Fan Favorites Auto #FFA-TL
I shouldn't like Lasorda... since he and his Dodgers took down my beloved Athletics in 1988. But sometimes, you just can't help but admire greatness. Between fourth grade and my senior year in high school, I watched him lead the Dodgers to two World Series titles. That forever left an impression on this collector.
That wraps up my sixth and final All Autograph Team post. I was hoping to create a 7th team that included pieces of baseball memorabilia like bats, balls, and photographs. However... I don't have access to all of my collection right now and didn't have enough stuff to fill an entire team. Maybe one day though.
The conclusion of this series also means it's time to finish up my contest. So today's contest question is:
If you could have Topps include any living baseball player to this year's 2018 Topps Archives Fan Favorites autograph set, who would it be?
The ones that immediately come to mind for me are Nate Colbert (Padres), Robby Thompson (Giants), Terry Steinbach (A's), Brian Downing (Angels), Mark Davis (Padres), Ted Simmons (Cardinals or Brewers), Kirk Gibson (Dodgers), Mike McCormick (Giants), Garry Templeton (Padres), Dwayne Murphy (A's), Larry Walker (Expos), Jeffrey Leonard (Giants), Steve Garvey (Padres), Pedro Guerrero (Dodgers), Willie McGee (Cardinals), Krazy George (A's), and Dick Allen (Phillies).
I know that Garvey and Gibson have signed for Archives before... but I'd like to see them in a different uniform this time. Allen has a few Archives autographs, but hasn't been featured in years. As for the others... I'm pretty sure they've never been featured in an Archives autograph set. If they have, I've never seen it before.
I'm sure I've left out at least ten other guys I've considered in the past, but I'm currently drawing a blank. But I'd love to see who you guys come up with. Maybe someone at Topps will read this post and listen to our ideas.
Well that's it for today. I'll close out this contest over the weekend and name the winners by Monday (maybe earlier).
Happy Thursday and sayonara!