Saturday, January 31, 2015

Senators Saturday - Bob Saverine, 1968.

Bob Saverine, seen here on card 149 of the 1968 Topps set, had suffered a down year in 1967. The closest thing he had to a set position that season was his platooning situation with Bernie Allen at second base.

Bob didn't make the Senators roster in 1968, having been fully displaced by Allen at second and squeezed out by better bats in the utility role.

Assigned to Triple A, Saverine spent his 1968 season with the Buffalo Bisons of the International League. He would appear in 120 games for them.

Even in the minors Bob had a hard time nailing down a regular spot. He played short stop in 61 games, second base in 55 games, and third base in six games. His glove work continued to be sub-par as he posted a .953 fielding percentage at short and a .955 fielding percentage at second. He only saw five chances at third and handled all of them without a problem.

Saverine made 506 trips to the plate for the Bisons in 1968 and managed a .243 batting average and a .310 on-base percentage. Both were improvements over his 1967 effort with the Senators but neither was larger than could be accounted for by the lower level of competition. Disturbingly, Bob whiffed 71 times while walking just 44 times. Those are power hitter numbers. Saverine's 15 doubles, eight triples, and five home runs proved he wasn't a power hitter. His speed also seemed to be ebbing as he got caught stealing 12 times and only had 16 successful thefts.

1968 had not been the bounce-back season Bob Saverine needed. He had to blow the doors off Triple A if he wanted to get back to Washington. That hadn't happened. Evidently either Bob or the Senators decided it would not happen. 1968 was Bob Saverine's last season as a professional ball player.

Thursday, January 29, 2015


This 1998 Pinnacle Snapshot of Darren Oliver isn't exactly a card but I count it anyway. Got it signed in person last Saturday at the Rangers 2015 FanFest. It was the second FanFest for me and Spiff Jr.

We were running behind and got to the ballpark around 0830 for the 0900 opening of the gates. The line was already stretched halfway around the stadium. The wait was a chilly one and the line moved slowly once the gates opened but we finally got in around 0920.

Spiff Jr had already decided he wanted to start with the retired players autographs. Apparently his experience futilely waiting in line last year for Derek Holland was still in his mind. We immediately headed for the visiting clubhouse where the players were scheduled to sign in shifts throughout the day. In addition to Oliver, Jerry Browne, Curt Wilkerson, Cecil Espy, Toby Harrah, Larry Hardy, Jeff Frye, Tim Crabtree, Dave Hostetler, Mike Jeffcoat, Kevin Mench, David Hulse, Jeff Russell, Ken Hill, German Duran, Jim Kern, Bump Wills, Mike Bacsik Sr, and Mike Bacsik Jr were also present. We managed to get autographs from all of them. Spiff Jr also ran down Rangers Captain in the tunnel outside the clubhouse and got his autograph as well.

The players were all very gracious and would sign practically anything put in front of them. Cards, photos, balls, bats, seats, caps, jerseys, and posters were just a few of the things I saw getting signed. Toby Harrah shared a story from a game played in Yankee Stadium. German Duran chatted about an injury to his hand that's almost healed. Mike Bacsik Sr asked every kid who their favorite player is.

In addition to the autographs, Spiff Jr also got to wave at Ivan Rodriguez as he went by and received a wave in return. We checked out the Rangers clubhouse. Spiff Jr got his picture taken in front of the two League Champion trophies from 2010 and 2011 as well as in front of a couple of players lockers. Adrian Beltre had a SGA bobblehead of Yu Darvish in his locker and Roughned Odor had a Pudge SGA bobblehead in his locker. Shin-Soo Choo had a pile of baseball cards in his locker - now you know where the card you sent him with a request to be signed ended up.

Leaving the clubhouse we walked up the tunnel to the Rangers dugout and hung out there for a few minutes. The field was covered and nobody was allowed on. That was an unwelcome change from last year as was the bullpen being closed.

Hit the card shop on the way home for supplies and a few Rangers and Senators cards. Spiff Jr. spent a few dollars for a case for the baseball he just had Kevin Mench sign. All in all a great day. Looking forward to the 2015 season and next year's FanFest.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

1978 Topps - Claudell Washington.

Claudell Washington, shown here on card 67 of the 1978 Topps set, came to Texas in March of 1977 as part of the trade that sent Jim Umbarger to Oakland. In spite of missing time with a sprained wrist, Washington was a part of the speed that helped Texas contend in 1977.

Coming into 1978 Claudell was hoping to hold on to his starting job in left field. The Rangers were in flux though and the arrival of Al Oliver ended those hopes.

Washington played in a total of 12 games for the Rangers in 1978. Six in right field, four as the designated hitter, and one in left. The remaining game was either a pinch-hitting or pinch-running appearance. Claudell did not stand out on defense at either of the corner outfield positions he manned.

Claudell made 43 trips to the plate and struggled to a .167 batting average as he struck out 12 times with no extra base hits. He managed only one walk, leaving his on-base percentage at a dismal .186. He also got caught stealing in his only attempt.

Claudell Washington was struggling to start the 1978 season. His defense was below average and his offense was terrible. Speed has no use if you can't get on base. The Rangers decided a change was in order. On May 16, 1978 Texas sent Washington and Rusty Torres to the Chicago White Sox in exchange for outfielder Bobby Bonds.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Minor League Monday - Monty Fariss, 1990 ProCards Tulsa Drillers.

Monty Ted Fariss appears today on card 1161 of the 1990 ProCards Tulsa Drillers team set. It's been awhile since we last saw Monty. He was just leaving his college career after being drafted by the Rangers in the first round of the June, 1988 draft.

Fariss started his pro career in 1988 with the Butte Copper Kings but was promoted to Double A Tulsa before the end of the season. He also spent the 1989 season with the Drillers.

Monty began the 1990 season with Tulsa as well. He played in 71 games, all at short stop. He compiled a .932 fielding percentage and made 282 trips to the plate for the Drillers. In those plate appearances Fariss put together a .299 batting average and a .391 on-base percentage. Monty was classified as a shortstop with power and his .496 slugging percentage was the result of seven home runs, six triples, and 15 doubles.

In spite of the obvious defensive flaws, Fariss earned a mid-season promotion to triple A Oklahoma City. He played in 62 games for the 89er's, mostly at short but with a smattering of appearances at first, second, and third bases. His defensive struggles continued as he posted a identical .932 fielding percentage at short stop. Fortunately for Monty, his offensive surge continued as well. In 261 plate appearances with OKC he upped his batting average to .302 while keeping his on-base percentage at .391. His slugging percentage dropped to .436 but he still hammered twelve doubles, three triples, and four home runs.

Monty Fariss seemed to be doing well with the offensive side of the game but his bat could only carry him so far. He needed to work on his defense. Expanding his range and shoring up his fielding percentage would had to be the priority items on his list for 1991. He would have time to work on both. The Rangers, suspicious of his glove, assigned him to start off 1991 with OKC.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Yup, I missed it.

Today we have former Ranger Joaquin Arias and his autograph appearing on a 2008 SPx Young Star Signatures card. Why this card today? Well, it's seven years old this year.

You see, I'm bad about remembering important information. If I don't write it down, I won't remember it. Dates are really bad. Can't remember my kids birth dates, extended family birthdays or anniversaries, and very few other important dates. I even forgot one personally important anniversary last week. No, not my wedding anniversary, that's safely written down on multiple calenders. I missed TRC's anniversary.

Seven years ago, on January 15, 2008, I made the first post on Texas Rangers Cards. Since then I've had a great time meeting other bloggers and card collectors, sharing why I enjoy collecting and hearing why you do as well, and even interviewing (by email) a former player (minor league). Posts have ranged from personal stories to well-known accounts from Rangers history. I've written about career minor-leaguers, little-leaguers, MLB superstars, fallen heroes, villains, heroes, common players, and even a murderer. I've gotten a few bucks from sponsors, some free clothing in exchange for an ad, and a free copy of Strat-O-Matic. That got me hooked on that great game and gave me, my dad, and Spiff Jr hours of time together. I've also picked up some great memories, lots of knowledge of baseball and the Rangers, and great cards from other collectors.

I put out 270 posts that first year, probably only one or two worth reading. The only one or two posts worth reading became a yearly occurrence. The number of yearly posts has not held that steady. 2010 was the high-water mark so far as I posted 300 times while the Rangers were en route to their first ever World Series appearance. 2013's 135 posts were the lowest so far as I struggled with a new job and re-locating the family across two state lines. 2014 was the highest number of posts in three years as things finally evened out. Hopefully I can keep the train on track this year and the posts coming at least that often.

I appreciate the readers (some of whom are friends I have never met in person) who stuck out the lean times and the terrible writing over the past seven years. I am equally grateful for anyone who joined up along the way and stayed for the ride. I always enjoy comments and feedback if you care to let me know what you like or dislike. Please let me know if you have any suggestions for future posts or series. Can't promise I'll use it right away but I rarely turn down a suggestion. Thanks for sticking around, commenting, trading, and just enjoying the Rangers and their baseball cards with me.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

I got mail from a celebrity!

I'm attending training for work this week. That means I'm going to work first thing in the morning rather than in the early afternoon. I miss getting the mail right when it comes. Night before last Mrs. Spiff told me when I got home there was a bubble mailer waiting for me. Cards?

Yes, it was cards. From the famous Night Owl over at Night Owl Cards. He sent me 20 random Rangers and a couple of Senators. Score! Any package with Senators is an automatic winner. Any random package that has six cards I need for team sets is a real winner. One of the cards I needed was this 2012 Topps Heritage card of former Ranger Koji Uehara, number 370 in the set.

Also included in the package was a short note from the Owl himself! He thanked me for some Dodgers I dumped on him and said he hoped the cards he sent would work. They did for sure. Most impressive was that the note started off with my name. Night Owl knows my name! I'm in the big time now. The Owl is perhaps the most famous card blogger out there. Even former Major Leaguers read and comment on his blog. He's got millions of readers. Well, many more than I ever hope to have anyway. Night Owl Cards is the gold standard for card blogs and Night Owl is the blogging equivalent of Clayton Kershaw. He's even got a Dodger autograph made out to "Night Owl". Now he sends me a personalized note. Way, way cool.

Thanks for the cards Mr. Owl. I really appreciate them. Look forward to sending you some more Dodgers sometime when I've got the extra funds.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

1978 Topps - Jim Sundberg.

Card 492 of the 1978 Topps set is one of my favorite Jim Sundberg cards. Sunny is one of those players best shown on defense. Love the old-school catcher's gear and the look he is giving the pitcher. Maybe it's not the pitcher, maybe he just threw out a runner at third.

1977 was Sundberg's finest offensive year. It wasn't too shabby on defense either as he won his second straight Gold Glove. He was looking for an encore in 1978.

Sunny saw a slight drop-off offensively in 1978. In 592 plate appearances he posted a .278 batting average and a .358 on-base percentage. He struck out 70 times (seven less than the previous season) and worked 64 walks (nine more than in 1977). He also hit 23 doubles, six triples, and six home runs. Amazingly enough, he led the team in triples. Not too shabby for a backstop.

Sunny's defensive star continued to shine. He played in 149 games for Texas, 148 of them at catcher. That made him second in the league for games played behind the plate. Over the course of 1294.2 innings Jim committed just three errors. That gave him a league-leading .997 fielding percentage. Well above the league average .983. He also led the league in putouts (769), assists (91), double plays turned as catcher (14), and caught stealing (70). Those runners he caught gave him a 48.3% caught stealing rate - second in the league. While his caught stealing percentage had dipped, teams would still be well served to be cautious trying to steal in Texas.

In recognition of Sundberg's defensive dominance, he won his third straight Gold Glove. He also made a second trip to the All-Star Game and got some MVP consideration as well.

Obviously Jim Sundberg had the Rangers starting catcher's job well in hand. If he could up his offense it would be nice. However, unless the bottom really fell out of his bat, he probably wouldn't lose his job. The Rangers had areas of weakness in 1978. Catcher wasn't one of them.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Minor League Monday - Paco Burgos, 1990 ProCards Tulsa Drillers.

The Rangers signed Franciso Enrique Burgos as an amateur free agent on October 27, 1984. Burgos, seen here on car 1160 of the 1990 ProCards Tulsa Drillers set, started his pro career the next season with the Rookie ball Gulf Coast Rangers.

In 1986 Paco played for the Single A Daytona Beach Admirals. For some reason he spent 1978 with the unaffiliated single A San Jose Bees. 1988 found him back in the Rangers system but still at single A with the Gastonia Rangers. He moved to the Port Charlotte Rangers midway through the 1988 season and stayed with them for the 1989 campaign as well.

Burgos finally broke out of Single A in 1990 and found himself playing for the Tulsa Drillers in double A. He played second base in 35 games but managed to appear in 83 games at third as he nailed down the starting position there. He posted a .944 fielding percentage at third in 1990.

Paco made 503 trips to the plate for the Drillers in 1990. He put together a .257 batting average and a .284 on-base percentage. He demonstrated some power with five home runs, seven triples, and 17 doubles. Unfortunately he also struck out 48 times while working just 18 times.

Burgos got the word during the off-season. He would stay at Double A Tulsa to begin the 1991 season. If he wanted to move up he was going to have to step up his game. If he wanted to make it to Arlington he would really need to get going. Steve Buechele was still manning third for Texas while Dean Palmer and Scott Coolbaugh prepared to attempt to unseat him. Those were a lot of hurdles for Francisco Burgos to jump on his way to Arlington Stadium.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Random Rangers auto.

Well, the holidays are officially over for the Spiff household. For work reasons my side of the extended family normally gets together after the first of the year. This year was no different. We all had a good time and the last of the family took off for home on Tuesday. Now it's time for the task of getting back into the every day groove. Hope to start getting some free card packages sent out soon.

In spite of all the family activity, there hasn't been much going on for the Rangers. The FanFest is rapidly approaching and Spiff Jr and I have our tickets. Other than that it's been pretty quiet.

Since I don't have much specific to write about I'm going to post a random Ranger autograph. Today we have this 1996 Leaf Authentic Signatures card of Mark McLemore. I like this set. Nice clean design and on card signatures.
1996 Leaf Authentic Signatures - McLemore
1996 Leaf Authentic Signatures - McLemore

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

1978 Topps - Gaylord Perry.

By the time Gaylord Perry appeared on card 686 of the 1978 Topps set, he was no longer a Texas Ranger.

Apparently concerned over Perry's age, the Rangers traded him to the San Diego Padres on January 25, 1978. In return Texas got Dave Tomlin and $125,000. On March 28, 1978 the Rangers sold Tomlin's contract to the Cincinnati Reds. All Texas had to show for Perry's departure was the loss of a future Hall-of-Famer and some cash in the bank. The Padres got a Cy Young winner in 1978 and an all-star in 1979.

Gaylord went on to pitch for six more seasons before he retired and began his wait for Cooperstown to call. He wasn't done in Arlington though. On February 15, 1980 the Rangers traded first baseman Willie Montanez to the Padres for Joe Carroll, Tucker Ashford, and Gaylord Perry.

Perry's second stint in Texas would prove to be a bit rougher than his first. He pitched in 24 games and tossed 155 innings. The same old durable Gaylord. He was serviceable on the mound but not the ace he had been. His ERA tallied to 3.43 and his WHIP to 1.323. He did strike out 107 opposing batsmen while issuing just 46 free passes. He ended up with a 6-9 record for a struggling team.

On August 14, 1980 the Rangers traded Gaylord Perry to the New York Yankees for Ken Clay and Marv Thompson. Neither made any waves in Texas. Seemed the Rangers just couldn't get anything in return for Perry when they put him on the trade block.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Minor League Monday - Greg Iavarone, 1990 ProCards Tulsa Drillers.

Gregory Iavarone has to have the best middle name ever for a catcher, Speedy. As far as I can tell, that's his real middle name. Can't make this stuff up.

The Rangers signed Iavarone, shown on card 1159 of the 1990 ProCards Tulsa Drillers set, as a free agent in January of 1990. Like the rest of his career, the signing is something of a puzzle. I cannot figure out what the Rangers purpose was in signing him.

Greg was drafted by the New York Yankees in 1984 and did not sign. They drafted him again the next year and he signed. In 1985 and 1986 he played in the Yankees farm system. I suspect an injury because he only played in two games in 1986. Apparently the Yankees let him go because he played in the Cubs farm system in 1987, climbing to Double A. Then he's gone. Two seasons, 1988 and 1989, out of professional baseball. He resurfaces when the Rangers sign him at the age of 24.

Texas put Iavarone back at Double A for the 1990 season. He served as a back-up to Bill Haselman and appeared in 32 games. Greg caught in all 32 games he played and saw 172 chances behind the plate. He committed five errors for a fielding percentage of .971. He also allowed seven passed balls.

Greg got 106 trips to the plate for the Drillers in 1990. He posted a .267 batting average and a .365 on-base percentage. His only extra-base hits were his five doubles. He did steal two bases without being caught but that does not seem to encourage calling him by his middle name.

The Rangers left Iavarone at Double A for the 1991 season. He would again function as a backup before hanging up the spikes for the final time at the end of that season.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Senators Saturday - Bob Humphreys, 1968.

Bob Humphreys, shown here on card 268 of the 1968 Topps set, was entering his third season as a member of the Senators bullpen in 1968. The club was hoping to see more of the 1966 version of Humphreys (2.82 ERA) rather than the 1967 version (4.17 ERA).

Reprising his role as middle relief, Bob came out of the bullpen for all of the 56 games he appeared in (second only to Dennis Higgins) for Washington. He finished 29 games but scored just two saves and five wins. That's the kind of team he had behind him.

Humphreys pitched 92.2 innings for Washington in 1968 and managed to lower his ERA to 3.69. That was about average for the bullpen but his 1.165 WHIP was the lowest among anyone who took the mound for Washington regularly. Bob whiffed 56 opposing batters but also issued 30 free passes. He had a weakness for the gopher ball as he coughed up 13 of them.

Bob Humphreys turned in a decent, but unspectacular year for the Senators in 1968. He managed to improve both his ERA and WHIP from the previous season. If he could push them down a bit further in 1969 he could really lock in a spot on the relief corps and might even be getting back to the form he had with the 1964 Cardinals.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

1978 Topps - Rogelio Moret.

Rogelio Moret, shown here on card 462 of the 1978 Topps set, came to Texas via the Jeff Burroughs trade in December of 1976. When he arrived in Arlington, Roger was regarded as a very good swingman who was on the cusp of being a great starting pitcher. He just needed to develop his endurance a little.

Unfortunately for Moret, he spent the first part of the 1977 season on the disabled list following surgery to correct a circulatory problem in his left arm. He didn't return to action until June 28, 1977. In the remaining part of the season Rogelio put up some decent, but not outstanding, numbers. In 18 appearances he pitched 72.1 innings and posted a 3.73 ERA and an 1.705 WHIP. Not too bad for a guy coming off surgery after missing over half the season.

Texas had high hopes for Roger headed into 1978. His arm recovered and strengthened, it was hoped he would regain his 1975 form. Coming out of Spring Training, Moret was once again slotted as the swingman on the staff. On April 12, 1978 Rogelio got the nod to start against Detroit. Prior to the game he was found standing in front of his locker holding a shower shoe in an outstretched hand. He did not respond to anyone. 90 minutes later he was transported to a psychiatric hospital, still in a catatonic state. He stayed in the hospital for nearly a month. After release Roger attempted a comeback but couldn't defeat the demons within. On June 16, 1978 he went back on the disabled list for psychiatric problems and spent the rest of the season there.

While active in 1978, Moret appeared in seven games for Texas. He started two of those games. Over the 14.2 innings he pitched, Rogelio's ERA totaled to 4.91 and his WHIP to 1.705. He ended the season with a 0-1 record and one save.

The Rangers held on to Moret until Spring Training 1979 when it became obvious he would not be back. They released him on March 26, 1979. The Cleveland Indians signed him in January of 1980 but released him in March of the same year. He played in Mexico in 1980 and 1981 but never again took the mound in a Major League game.

Monday, January 5, 2015

Minor League Monday - Bill Haselman, 1990 ProCards Tulsa Drillers.

The Rangers drafted Bill Haselman, shown here on card 1158 of the 1990 ProCards Tulsa Drillers set, in the first round of the 1987 draft.

Haselman started his career at Single A in 1987 and spent two seasons there. He got moved up to Double A to start the 1989 season and stayed there for the 1990 season as well. Haselman's climb up the minor league ladder was delayed by shoulder surgery in 1988 and the subsequent recovery time.

Bill played in 120 games for Tulsa in 1990. He caught 109 of those games with occasional appearances in the outfield, third base, and first base. He was primarily a catcher though. Haselman saw 786 chances behind the plate and committed 20 errors for a fielding percentage of .975. Of concern, he also allowed 20 passed balls.

Haselman made 485 trips to the plate for Tulsa in 1990 and batted .310 with an on-base percentage of .387. He had some power as demonstrated by his 39 doubles, two triples, and 18 home runs. On the down side, he also struck out 96 times.

When the rosters expanded in September of 1990, the Rangers decided to see what they had in Bill Haselman. After all, there were a couple of other young catchers coming up and decisions would have to be made. Bill got the call-up and made his Major League debut on September 3, 1990.

For the rest of the season Bill would appear in seven games for the Rangers and get 14 plate appearances. He struggled to a .154 batting average and a .214 on-base percentage. He had no extra base hits. Apparently the pitchers were better in the Majors than at Double A.

Most of Haselman's time in the Majors in 1990 he appeared as the designated hitter or as a pinch-hitter. He did get to catch in one game though and put in four flawless innings behind the plate. Following the season, Bill got an invitation to Spring Training 1991 to show what he could do.

Between his Major League cup of coffee and Spring Training, the Rangers saw enough to make a decision on Bill Haselman. They kept him, for the time being, but sent him to Triple A Oklahoma City for the 1991 season. Young Ivan Rodriguez would get the nod in 1991 and that would spell trouble for Bill Haselman and a generation of minor-league catchers in the Rangers system.

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Senators Saturday - Ron Hansen, 1968.

Long-time White Sox member Ron Hansen appears hatless and still in his Chicago pinstripes on card #411 of the 1968 Topps set. Apparently Topps didn't have time to get a photo of Hansen in a Senators uniform following the February 13, 1968 trade that brought him to Washington. The Senators sent Tim Cullen, Buster Narum, and Bob Priddy to the ChiSox in exchange for Hansen, Dennis Higgins, and Steve Jones.

The Senators most likely traded for Hansen to try and fix their offensive problems at short stop. After all, his career batting average coming to Washington was .236 as compared to Ed Brinkman's .210. Besides, Ron could hit for power better than Ed.

The Senators practically gave Ron Hansen the starting shortstop job in 1968. In the 86 games he played for Washington he spent 81 of them at short. The other five were at third relieving Ken McMullen. Hansen played 670.2 innings at short and committed 15 errors for a fielding percentage of .963. That was one point higher than the league average but four below Ed Brinkman's. Ron did have a little more range but that was offset by the field percentage.

On offense is where the Senators expected the most difference. They sent Hanson to the plate 315 times. He stumbled to a .185 batting average and a .281 on-base percentage. His power also dropped off as he hit just 12 doubles and eight home runs. More alarmingly, he struck out 49 times while walking just 35 times.

None of Ron Hansen's offensive numbers were significantly above Ed Brinkman's. The defense was about the same as well. The only noticeable difference is that Ron was four years older than Ed. The Senators decided there was no reason to stick with the aging veteran over the guy who had been with the team for seven seasons and was still only 26 years old. On August 2, 1968 Ron Hansen found himself headed back to the south side of Chicago. The Sox sent Tim Cullen back to Washington in return. Hansen's rather disappointing time in Washington was over and Ed Brinkman had his spot at short back.

Thursday, January 1, 2015


Welcome to the new year. I hope everyone had a safe and enjoyable celebration.

Lots of things to look back on in 2014 as a Rangers fan and collector. Some good, some not so good. Of course the injury-laden season for the team overshadows most everything else. Even in that were some bright spots though. Young, hungry players making their appearances and impressing. Ron Washington's resignation was also a downer. Tim Bogar's performance as his temporary replacement was impressive.

On the collecting side, I was able to add a significant number of Rangers to my collection. Completed quite a few team sets, updated my want list and trade list, and made serious headway on the Senators collection. Also made it out to the ballpark for a couple of games and scored a Pudge Rodriguez bobblehead at one contest. Spiff Jr and I made the 2014 Fanfest as well. Had a great time, toured the behind scenes areas of the ball park, and picked up some autographs. This signed 1991 Topps Mike Jeffcoat came from the 2014 FanFest. Also made some nice trades with fellow bloggers, managed to get some other teams' cards sent to good homes, and received a couple of very nice surprise packages from some great guys.

Looking ahead in 2015 it's looking like the Rangers could rebound. I don't expect the post-season but they should do much better than their MLB worst last season. Injuries hopefully in the past and some of the new kids battling for positions should make for an interesting and fun season. Would like to get out for a couple of games but that's a wait and see proposition. Already have tickets ordered for the 2015 FanFest on the 24th of this month. Looking forward to it. If anyone else is going, let me know. Maybe we can meet up in person.

On the collecting front I would like to continue to get other teams cards out to folks who will appreciate them. I also have some non-Rangers Ivan Rodriguez memorabilia that I would like to get out of the way. Finishing off at least two Senators team sets and ten Rangers team sets would be nice. I would also like to add autographs from at least three players I don't already have. I have a few other collecting goals as well but don't want to bore you.

Happy New Year and best of luck on your collecting and non-collecting goals for the coming year. May God bless and keep you and yours!