My collection of on-card autographs has grown quite a bit over the last few months, and in keeping with the baseball theme here is another recent addition:
This is a Rico Petrocelli auto from the 2005 Upper Deck Past Time Pennants set. These autos are available in gold, silver and bronze variations, with this one being the bronze variety. I assume "bronze" translates to "easiest to find" or "least value" but I don't care. I've wanted an autograph of Rico for some time now.
Petrocelli spent his entire Major League career (which was shortened by injuries) with Boston and was one of the more popular Red Sox players of the '60s and '70s. They might not have captured a World Series title during his tenure, but Rico certainly can't be blamed for that lack of success. In Game 6 of the 1967 World Series he hit two home runs against St. Louis Cardinals, though the Sox would fall short in Game 7. A few years later, in the '75 Series against Cincinnati, he hit .308 with 4 RBI and 3 runs scored.
Rico played a single game with Boston in 1963, but didn't see regular time with the club until 1965. He would play 11 seasons with the team, through the 1975 campaign, before injuries forced him from the game for good half-way through '76. His best years came in the middle of his career, as he was elected an All-Star in 1967 and again in 1969. In 1969 he belted 40 HR from the shortstop position, a record at the time. He followed that up with another outstanding year in 1970, tallying 29 HR and topping 100 RBI for the only time in his career.
Aside from being an essential Red Sox autograph, the best part about this card was the price. I snagged this for $5 with free shipping, not too shabby for a local legend's autograph. Besides, this fits nicely with the Rick Burleson auto (silver version) I picked up from this same set this past summer:
Given how cheap these can be had for, I am going to have to take a look and see what other Red Sox are on the checklist!
#386 - Dan Gladden - *What a card: *This is Dan Gladden's rookie card. Topps issued it after he finished fourth in the Rookie of the Year voting in 1984 by batting .351 in 34...