Monday, May 15, 2017

Four Brewers Sigs for Four Games Over .500

Hot times in the old Cream City as the Brewers have run their record to 21-17, the first time the Brewers have been four up since their late-2014 collapse. I have been nicely surprised with the local nine this season. I honestly did not expect much from the team as the year began, but they have been pretty solid at the plate and on the mound. With some pitching help, dare I even think it, they could be a contender for a Wild Card spot. They could also, of course, roll back near to expectations. Either way, it has been a hell of fun season so far. To celebrate their four-game advantage on mediocre let's take a look at the last four Brewer autographs I have added to my All-Time Brewers Collection.

Just in today, a glaudy Fleer Ultra card from 1994, signed by Michael "Iggy" Ignasiak. Fleer Ultra took a huge nosedive following the very handsome 1993 set, using a very thin card stock and muddle design. Still, Iggy's sig is loopy and lovely. Ignasiak played four years for the Brewers, the only major league team he ever appeared with. His 4.80 career ERA is unsightly, but his 99 career ERA+ suggests he was pretty near to the league average. Like all four of these, I obtained this via TTM.

Bruno!! In the same way I like '93 Ultra, I like '93 Leaf. After a stretch as Donruss's Canadian counterpart, Leaf broke off as its own product in 1990 as a high-end issue. 1993 was the first year the brand featured high gloss and gold foil. I especially like the backsides, which feature scenes of the player's team's home city. Brunansky is best known for his time with the Twins, where he made an all-star team and twice topped 30 homers. In 1993, he became one of the Brewers' many misguided early-90s free agent signings. Fun Fact: During the 92-93 off-season, the Brewers found $2.2 million to give to Brunansky, who had been a .250 hitter over the previous three seasons, but insisted that Paul Molitor take a pay cut. Molitor went on to have one of the best seasons of his career with the Blue Jays and Bruno collected 47 hits over the next year and half for the Brewers. Nice 'graph, though. 

Todd Dunn made his mark on this Bowman card from 1995. Projected as a big power guy in the minors, Dunn appeared in 50 games for the Brewers in 96-97. He hit 3 career home runs. 

I'd fallen out of love with Leah by 1995, when this Matt Mieske card came out. Mieske was part of the Gary Sheffield trade with San Diego, the minor leaguer included with MLB-ready Rickey Bones and Jose Valentine. Each of the three actually stayed with the Brewers longer than Sheffield was with the Padres and combined for 18.6 WAR for the Brewers, more than twice the 8.3 WAR Sheff provided for the Padres. Mieske was the least effective of the bunch, batting .260 with 44 homers over parts of five seasons with the Brewers. 

These four put me at 179 different signed Brewers cards - 21% of the 838 men who have ever appeared in a game as a Brewer (as of 2016) 

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