Wednesday, August 15, 2018

TTM Success - Rafael Palmeiro

When I found out that Rafael Palmeiro had signed with an Independent League team, I immediately dug up the 1987 Topps I needed for my set, along with a few other nice cards that I thought I might send along.  I ended up settling on one nice foil card of him as an Oriole, and obviously sent my '87.  I was beyond excited when the cards came back from the Cleburne Railroaders signed.  I was able to knock a huge card off of my set, and also add a pretty nice Topps insert, too.
Granted, I did see Palmeiro later on this summer, but I really hoped I would see my cards again, and I was lucky enough to have a success.  What was even better was that I got the cards back right after I had mentioned to Raffy's son, Preston, that I had hoped my cards would come back.  I told Preston the next day that I did get the cards, and he seemed genuinely happy.

Palmeiro (b. 1964) played in the majors from 1986 to 2005 for the Cubs, Rangers and Orioles.  He had 3,020 hits, 569 home runs and a .288 batting average.  He was a 4-time All Star (1988, 1991, 1998 and 1999), three-time Gold Glove Award winner (1997 to 1999) and two-time Silver Slugger Award winner (1998 and 1999).  His best finish in the MVP voting was 5th (AL) in 1999.

He reached the playoffs in 1996, 1997 and 1999, but never played in a World Series.  He was mentioned in the Mitchell Report on steroids in 2005, and was also mentioned in Jose Canseco's book Juiced as a steroid user.  He is remembered for vehemently denying any steroid use in front of congress, but was ultimately popped with a positive test for the steroid Stanozolol, and was suspended.  His career was forever tarnished because of the positive test result.  He has always maintained his innocence, blaming the positive result on a tainted B-12 shot that he had received from teammate Miguel Tejada (a player who also popped up in a few steroid investigations).

I can still remember where I was when I saw the news of his suspension.  I was at a restaurant with a former friend, and saw the news ticker announce his suspension.  I felt like I had witnessed the death of a close friend.

My opinion on the matter doesn't mean a thing, but I have always maintained that I believe in Raffy.  Why wouldn't I?  He was a hero of mine, long before he became an Oriole, and will still go down as one of my all-time favorite players.  I met him in Cleburne this summer, where he is still continuing to play, and still has that sweet swing.

With all of my love for Raffy, I still highly doubt he will ever be inducted into the Hall of Fame.

I mailed to Palmeiro via the Cleburne Railroaders on May 9 and got the cards back on May 26, for a 17-day TAT.

TTM Success - Tucker Ashford

Here is another player that I sent TTM after his cards sat in my box for a while.  I finally got around to sending to Tucker Ashford, and received a signed 1978 and 1979 Topps.

Ashford (b. 1954) played in the majors from 1976 to 1978, 1980 to 1981 and 1983 to 1984 for the Padres, Rangers, Yankees, Mets and Royals.  He had 111 hits, 6 home runs and a .218 batting average.

I mailed to Ashford on May 10 and got the cards back on May 21, for an 11-day TAT.

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

TTM Success - Dane Dunning

I missed graphing Dane Dunning early this season, then he was moved up to Double A Birmingham, so I ended up sending a few cards TTM for him to sign.  Luckily, I got them all back signed.  I had hoped to get a few cards signed in person this season, but he moved up so fast, I had to settle for these four.
I'd say that this 2016 Bowman Chrome draft day insert was the card I wanted most to get done, but really, the below team set cards were the ones I wanted the most.
The Carolina League Top Prospects sets came out at the tail end of the season last year, so I missed out on a bunch of players.  I had also bought the South Atlantic League set, since there were a few Delmarva guys in there.

Dunning (b. 1994) was originally drafted by the Nationals in the first round of the 2016 draft (29th overall) out of the University of Florida.  He was then traded to the White Sox as part of a deal for Adam Eaton.  So far, Dunning has a record of 17-13 with a 2.74 ERA and 300 strike outs.  He has reached Double A in only three seasons, and is poised to make the White Sox sooner rather than later.

I mailed to Dunning on May 5 via the Birmingham Barons and received the cards back on May 21, for a 16-day TAT.

Set Complete - 1969 Topps

It has been a while since I have completed a set, let alone a vintage one, but I finally can cross 1969 Topps off of the list.  I know I have been saying for the last several years that I needed to go ahead and complete the 1969 Topps set.  I went to the National Sports Collectors Convention in Cleveland this year with that goal in mind.  The best part was, I met that goal during the first day of the show.

I walked around the show with my good friend, Nate, and he helped me find the last eight cards for the set.  The above World Series highlights card was the last card I needed to finish off the set.

While I was slowly working on this set, I started three new vintage sets: 1955 Bowman, 1967 Topps and 1972 Topps.  I feel like 1967 Topps will take me a while.  Nate actually helped me knock a huge chunk out of 1972, which I am grateful.  I also have a bunch of 1955 Bowman already, and I feel like that one will be fairly easy, since I knocked out most of the tough cards already.

TTM Success - Don Mattingly

Finally, I got a TTM success back from Don Mattingly.  It only took me three tries.  I had seen successes from Spring Training where Mattingly signed up to four cards, so I sent him the three cards he has in the 1987 set, as well as this oddball ad for Magic Motion Discs.  I had a whole stack of the ads in a box of cards that Mom had gotten me a while back, so I figured it would be a cool throw-in to my TTM request.

It was cool, until I got the cards back and all three of my 1987s were unsigned, and the ad card was the only one he signed.  I did laugh, however, at my misfortune.  I mean, I still got Mattingly TTM, and I bet I am one of the very few folks who actually have a signed copy of this oddball ad.  In the meantime, my good buddy Dugan got me a 1987 base Mattingly signed IP, which will be shown off soon.

Mattingly (b. 1961) played in the majors from 1982 to 1995 for the Yankees.  He had 2,153 hits, 222 home runs and a .307 batting average across 14 seasons.  He won the AL batting title in 1984 when he batted .343.  He was the 1985 AL MVP Award winner.  He was a six-time All Star and a 9-time Gold Glove Award winner.  His career was cut short due to a back injury, leaving the Yankees one season before they won the World Series, missing his chance at a ring.

He has managed in the majors since 2011, managing the Dodgers (2011 to 2015) and Marlins (2016 to present) to a total record of 650-601 (.520 win %).  His teams reached the playoffs three times, but fell short of the World Series each time.

He appeared on the Hall of Fame ballot 15 times, but only reached a peak of 28.2% of the vote.  One has to think that he would have a decent enough of a change via the Veterans Committee someday.

I mailed to Mattingly on February 8 via Marlins Spring Training and got the card back signed on May 19, for a 100-day TAT.

Monday, August 13, 2018

TTM Success - Dave Righetti

I added some more cards to my 1987 set with this success from Dave Righetti.  I sent three cards and he signed two, leaving his base card yet to be signed.  I actually sent to him twice (once last season - it hasn't come back; and once this season).

Righetti (b. 1958) played in the majors in 1979 and then from 1981 to 1995 for the Yankees, Giants, A's. Blue Jays and White Sox.  He had a record of 82-79 with 252 saves, 1,112 strike outs and an ERA of 3.46.  He was the AL Rookie of the Year in 1981 and an All Star in 1986 and 1987.  His best finishes for the Cy Young and MVP Awards were both in 1986 when he led the league in saves (46) and pitched to a 2.45 ERA.  He appeared on the 2001 Hall of Fame ballot and received 0.4% of the vote.

I mailed to Righetti on March 13 via Giants Spring Training and got the cards back on May 17, for a 65-day TAT.

TTM Success - Don Kessinger

I'm slowly catching up on all of the scans I saved before I left for vacation.  This TTM success from Don Kessinger added a few 70s cards to the album, including a rare player-manager series of cards.  Kessinger is listed on the above 1979 Topps as the manager of the White Sox, and below as their shortstop.  I heard somewhere that there may be consideration to make Yadier Molina a player-manager for the Cardinals.  That would be interesting, for sure.
Along with the two 1979 Topps, I also added Kessinger's 1976 and 1978 Topps to my album.

Kessinger (b. 1942) played in the majors from 1964 to 1979 for the Cubs, Cardinals and White Sox.  He had 1,931 hits, 14 home runs and a .252 batting average.  He was an All Star 6 times (1968 to 1972 and 1974) and a Gold Glove Award winner twice (1969 and 1970).  His best finish in the MVP (NL) voting was 15th in 1969.

He managed the White Sox in 1979 to a record of 46-60 (.434%).  He appeared on the 1985 Hall of Fame ballot and received 0.5% of the vote.

I mailed to Kessinger on April 11 and got the cards back on May 14, for a 33-day TAT.