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Thursday, July 20, 2017

TTM Success - Phil Nevin

I got a couple TTMs in recently, after a long dry spell.  This one from Phil Nevin turned out really nice.  The 1994 Upper Deck Minors looks better in person, but didn't scan all that well.
These two turned out really nice.  The Sharpie he used was probably on its way out, but I'm still happy with them.
Finally, I added another 2001 Topps to the album.  This came from the box of cards I got while I was at Andrew's house.

Nevin (b. 1971) played in the majors from 1995 to 2006 for the Astros, Tigers, Angels, Padres, Rangers, Cubs and Twins.  He had 1,131 hits, 208 home runs and a .270 batting average.  His best season was in 2001 for the Padres when he hit 41 home runs and made his only appearance as an All Star.

I mailed to Nevin on June 12 and got the cards back on July 15, for a 33-day TAT.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Three Days of Graphing the Keys at Wood Ducks

This was the most anticipated series this season at Grainger Stadium for me.  The Frederick Keys were scheduled for only one trip to Kinston this season, and I made sure I was prepared to rack some future Orioles, as well as some Wood Ducks.

I made a few COMC and Ebay purchases so I would have some "different" cards for this series, and I also raided my Orioles PC boxes for some players who were on the Keys.  Finally, I picked up a couple team sets to round things out so I could get autos of some guys that I may not have been able to, otherwise.

This 2017 Bowman Chrome orange refractor of Josh Morgan was an Ebay purchase, and turned out really nicely.  The card is numbered 6/25.
I had help, of course, for this series.  I had my son, Chris, and my nephew, Jacob, helping out.  Their payment was a couple stacks of autos, once I completed 50/50s for my friends Gerard and Andrew.  Another Andrew from Instagram sent along a couple cards, as well, which we were able to get taken care of.

The above Jeremy Moore was a COMC pickup.  He even asked about it, "Why is this one orange?"  I explained to him that it was a factory set parallel.  This card is numbered 60/190.
These Ti'Quan Forbes came from COMC.  The red white and blue isn't numbered, but the orange is numbered 45/60.
Since the Wood Ducks aren't producing a card set this season, I picked up the 2017 Hickory Crawdads set.  Several of their players have already been promoted to the Wood Ducks, so I went ahead and got a few signed.
The cards are really dark, but they still turned out really nice.  I'm glad I was able to get a few of these guys, especially Shaq Matta.  He stops and chats with me briefly before every game, and always is smiling.
I also picked up a couple Aberdeen Ironbirds sets, hoping I could use some of them on the Keys.  I was able to get a few signed, which was nice.
A couple of the players were in multiple sets, so I was able to get a couple different cards signed, Like Ricardo Andujar.
Andujar was a New York-Penn League All Star in 2015, so this card is pretty cool.  I like how he signed it, as well.
Believe it or not, I began looking up team sets because I wanted cards of Alexander Wells and Austin Hays.  I got those guys, but they aren't with the Keys.  The Keys guys were a bonus.  I was happy to get an extra card of Keegan Akin to go along with the 2017 Pro Debut that I picked up at the card show.  His signature is really small and thin, but I like it.  He was actually the first auto I was able to get during this series.
Randolph Gassaway has been in the Orioles system for a long time, as evident by the 2013 Bowman and Bowman Chrome.  He has been playing really well, as of late, and may be on the Orioles radar, finally.
I figured that since Cody Sedlock was on the DL with a forearm strain (thank God it isn't a torn UCL), he wouldn't have made the trip to Kinston.  Thankfully, I was wrong.  We racked Sedlock.  He is such a nice guy.  He posed with the boys Sunday after the game, and on Monday, signed their photos.
I got a whole bunch of different cards signed by Sedlock, and took care of all of my 50/50s.
I even got his Aberdeen team set card signed.  On Tuesday, I wished him well, since I won't be seeing him anymore this season.  I hope he gets healthy and can contribute this season.  I am excited to see him progress, and he has two new fans in Chris and Jacob.
I had a bunch of Brian Gonzalez cards in my Orioles boxes, so I pulled all of them out and got all but one of them signed during this series.  They all turned out really nice, and will look so cool in my album.
Josh Hart is another player who's cares were scattered all over my Orioles boxes.  I was really happy to get some nice parallels taken care of during this trip.
The orange refractor is one of my favorite cards in all of the ones I got signed.
Hart is injured, and was another player who I thought I wouldn't be able to get while the Keys were in town.  I saw him come out onto the field right before the game started on Sunday, but I was able to get him post game.  He walked right up to me on Monday saying "You don't even have to ask me, I know what you want."  He then signed everything I had in my book at the time.  He was really nice, and smiled while signing.  I think he saw that my book was turned to his page (he must have recognized his cards), but my back was to him because I was answering a question for Jacob.  I turned around and there Hart was.  I thought it was pretty funny.
I was really worried that I wouldn't be able to get Ryan Mountcastle, mainly because I thought he would get called up before the Keys ever got to Kinston.  Luckily, he was still with them this week, and I was able to get every card I had of him signed.  He is one of the top Orioles prospects now, so I wanted to take advantage of my opportunity and get what I could done.  The cards will happily take a place in my album.
Mountcastle is in a bunch of different sets, so I had a lot of cards to choose from.  Trips to the card shop facilitated this venture as well, since Wendell has a few boxes of loose prospect cards to look through.
I actually pulled the yellow Mountcastle while I was in Illinois with Andrew.
He has some nice Bowman cards, so I was glad to get these signed.  The purple parallel turned out really nice.
I had a nice little mini PC of Alex Murphy that I started right when he was drafted.  The cards were in a box under my guest bed, so I went ahead and put everything in my graphing bag for this week.  I got everything signed, and am really happy with the results.  The green chrome is numbered 21/75; the silver wave is numbered 17/25 (and I remember it being from an early Instagram trade), while the rest of them are not numbered.
Finally, I used to not like seeing 1/1 cards signed, but since I spent the rest of the Murphy PC on graphing, it was only right that the printing plate end up in my album with the rest of its cousins.  It actually turned out really nice, and I am glad I got it signed.
Here is the stack of cards that Chris, Jacob and I got signed.  We got 129 cards signed, one photo each for the boys and I printed out a photo of Grainger Stadium and got 6 Wood Ducks on that.
During the final game of the series, Brett Martin pitched for the Wood Ducks.  He looked good out there, and is still working his way back to form from his back injury.  He took a hard-luck loss, with a few runs scoring on some fluke hits.  I think only two balls hit off of him were really squared up.  I made sure to ask each manager prior to the game for the lineup cards, and they both came through.  I think I will frame these and hang them up, instead of taking them to the games for signatures.

So, We all had a great time at the games, and my nephew has put together a graphing book that he can take with him to Winston-Salem Dash games.  I hope he sticks with it, because he seemed to really enjoy himself, and the stack of autos he is taking home with him.

I'd like to thank my friend, Neil, for the tickets to each game, as well.  The seats were great and we had an awesome time.

Monday, July 17, 2017

TTM Success - Keefe Cato

Here is a pretty cool TTM success from former Reds pitcher, Keefe Cato on a 1985 Topps.

Cato (b. 1958) played in the majors from 1983 to 1984 for the Reds.  He has a career record of 1-1 with a 6.98 ERA and 15 strike outs.

I mailed to Cato on March 21 and got the card back on July 12, for a 113-day TAT.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

TTM Success - Kevin Maas

I wanted to say a whole lot more about this TTM success from Kevin Maas, but it is pretty late, and it has been a long weekend.  I was out of town for a whirlwind weekend of visiting, racing and graphing.  Now, I'm pretty tired.  I was happy to get all of these cards in from Maas, but I think my favorite of the bunch is the 1992 Topps Kids.  Those are really cool cards that remind me of the Score ones from years past.

Maas (b. 1965) played in the majors from 1990 to 1993 and 1995 for the Yankees and Twins.  He had 287 hits, 65 home runs and a .230 batting average.

I mailed to Maas on October 26, 2016 and got the cards back on July 10, 2017 for a 252-day TAT.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

TTM Success - John Wathan

I have gotten a few TTM successes in recently that have been out in the world for a while.  One of which was this one from John Wathan.  I got some nice Topps cards signed, starting with this 1983 Topps Record Breaker.  I like getting cards like this signed.  They kind of show some things about the player that might not show up on baseball-reference.
I also got Topps cards from 1978, 1980, 1985 and 1989 signed.  They all turned out great.  Wathan has a really nice signature, and it shows on all of these cards.

Wathan (b. 1949) played in the majors from 1976 to 1985 for the Royals.  He had 656 hits, 21 home runs and a .262 batting average.  He finished 24th in the 1980 AL MVP race, his only time receiving votes.  He won the World Series with the Royals in 1985.

Wathan was the manager of the Royals from 1987 to 1991, and then the Angels for 89 games in 1992.  His career managerial record was 326-320, for a .505 winning %.

I mailed to Wathan on May 8 and got the cards back on July 8, for a 61-day TAT.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

IP Autos From Nick

My good buddy, Nick, has been graphing in Columbus, and has hooked my up with a ton of autographs.  I lost count on all of the packages of cards that I have sent him, but he has come through by getting it all signed.

I was really glad to see that he got me this Nelson Rodriguez, because I love these cards.  I should be able to get at least one more of these cards signed this season.
Nick was able to get a few Richie Shaffer cards signed for me, most notably this 2016 Topps Chrome refractor.  It turned out really great, I think.
Nick also helped me with these two Shaffers, as well.  Here is a different Team USA card, but still a nice one.
He helped me get this Jerry Owens signed for my good friend, Josh.  Josh pulled this out of a repack box, and I told him I would try to see if Nick could get it signed.  Luckily, Nick came through, and hooked me up.  It looks nice; I wish I had one, as well, because deep down, I really like Fleer products.
These Owens cards also turned out really nice.  I liked the 2007 Topps Chrome.  The Upper Decks turned out great, as well.
I remember a time when I had no signed 2008 Topps, but now, I have a bunch.  This one is just the latest to make the list.
Here are some Steve Karsay cards that Nick helped with, also.  I added a nice 1998 Topps Chrome, along with the '98 base.  I also added another 2001 Topps to the album, another set that was really under-represented.
Finally, here are a few more cards that Nick got for me, that I really enjoyed seeing.  Karsay has a great signature, I think.

Nick is working on a few more cards for me, which I hope to see soon.  Thank you so much for the help, Nick!  I really appreciate it!

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

TTM Success - Mackey Sasser

I received a TTM success from former catcher, Mackey Sasser on quite a few nice cards.  This 1990 Topps turned out really nice.  Some folks give this set a hard time because of the borders, but I enjoy that it is different.  I like it when Topps does that from time to time.
The folks who don't like the 1990 Topps likely enjoy these white-bordered versions.  The top left one is actually a 1988 Topps Traded, but is still typical of that year's design.
I also added a couple Score cards, since they tend to be under-represented in my album.  I liked both of them,  but the 1990 Score on the left is a really nice card.  The card on the right is a 1989 Score Rising Star, but looks eerily similar to the 1990.

Sasser (b. 1962) played in the majors from 1987 to 1995 for the Giants, Pirates, Mets and Mariners.  He had 317 hits, 16 home runs and a .267 batting average.

I mailed to Sasser on May 10 and got the cards back on June 26, for a 47-day TAT.