30 Day Baseball Card Challenge

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Billy: The White Whale

Whenever I see Billy Martin's managerial statistics, it never ceases to amaze me.  The guy only managed the Oakland Athletics for three seasons and had a sub .500 winning percentage.  Yet he somehow managed to have an era named after him... and won the hearts of thousands of A's fans along the way.  One of those fans was me.

The past few years I have been trying to track down an autograph of my favorite manager of all-time for my collection.  Unfortunately Martin tragically died in an automobile accident back in 1989, which means collectors have only two options for obtaining signed cards:  cut signatures and in-person signatures.

Cut signatures are pretty pricey... and to be honest really aren't my thing.  So I decided to target PSA slabbed signatures.  It took awhile, because I wanted to find the right card at the right price... but last week I finally added this 1981 Topps Oakland Athletics team card signed by Mr. Billy Ball himself.

It's a little hard to see his autograph (the scanner didn't help), because he signed across the team photo.  But I can live with that, because at least it's right-side up.  Plus 1981 was the year Billy led the Athletics to the ALCS during the strike shortened season.

One of these days, I'll add a signed copy of his famous 1972 Topps card with him flipping the bird.  It may take a few more years, but at least I have this card to hold me over until then.

Happy Wednesday and sayonara!