Wednesday, September 20, 2017

TTM Success - Skip Lockwood

Every 1972 Topps that comes in for a TTM success has been raided from my partial set that I continue to fail to start up.  I think using some of those cards for TTM purposes has been nice, though, like this success from Skip Lockwood.  One of these days, I will start that set, and will stop raiding it for cards.  We'll see if I can keep that promise to myself.
I did have a few other cards of Lockwood to send out, and they all look really cool; highlighted by this 1975 Topps.
Lockwood (b. 1946) played in the majors from 1969 to 1980 for the Pilots, Brewers, Angels, Mets and Red Sox.  He had a career record of 57-97 with an ERA of 3.55 and 829 strike outs.

I mailed to Lockwood on August 7 and got the cards back on September 11, for a 35-day TAT.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

TTM Success - Tom Niedenfuer

I added a former Oriole's autograph with this success from Tom Niedenfuer.  This 1987 Score turned out really nice, as is usually the case with this set of cards.  Niedenfuer actually has a pretty great signature.  I don't know it to be fact, but I feel like some of the guys with long last names have pretty nice signatures.  Maybe we should take a look at some of the best signatures at some point.  Maybe when I have some time.
I added three different Topps cards, including a requisite 1987 for the collection (as of today, I am up to 80 signed cards from the 1987 Topps set).

Niedenfuer (b. 1959) played in the majors from 1981 to 1990 for the Dodgers, Orioles, Mariners and Cardinals.  He had a record of 36-46 with 474 strike outs and an ERA of 3.29.  He won the World Series with the Dodgers in 1981.

I mailed to Niedenfuer on August 29 and got the cards back on September 9 for an 11-day TAT.

Monday, September 18, 2017

TTM Success - Mark Johnson

I posted a TTM success from Mark Johnson a few weeks ago and here is another; from a different Mark Johnson.  To make things even tougher when I was working on sending the cards, I saw that BOTH Mark Johnsons have cards in the 2001 Topps set.
This Mark Johnson (b. 1967) played in the majors from 1995 to 1998 and 2000 to 2002 for the Pirates, Angels and Mets.  He had 229 hits, 38 home runs and a .232 batting average.

I mailed to Johnson once, but got a RTS.  I re-sent to him on August 29 and got the cards back on September 9, for an 11-day TAT.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

TTM Success - Rob Johnson

I got some late 2000s, early 2010s cards back signed from Rob Johnson with this TTM success.  I really liked the 2008 UD Piece of History that I was able to get signed.  I didn't have any of these in my album, yet, so I was glad to get one out of the way.
I also had a 2010 Topps Update and a 2008 Upper Deck that I got signed.  All of the cards turned out really nice.

Johnson (b. 1982) played in the majors from 2007 to 2013 for the Mariners, Padres, Mets and Cardinals.  He had 147 hits, 8 home runs and a .200 batting average.

I mailed to Johnson on August 7 and got the cards back on September 9, for a 33-day TAT.

Saturday, September 16, 2017

TTM Success - Bob Oliver

I was able to get one of the cards that Max gave me a long time ago signed with this TTM success from Bob Oliver.

Oliver's signature wasn't all that great on this card, but I'm still glad I was able to add this 1975 Topps to my album.

Oliver (b. 1943) played in the majors in 1965 and then from 1969 to 1975 for the Pirates, Royals, Angels, Orioles and Yankees.  He had 745 hits, 94 home runs and a .256 batting average.  He finished 27th in the 1970 AL MVP voting (the season where Boog Powell won the award).

His time as an Oriole was brief.  He in only 9 games for the O's in 1974, yet, still appeared with them on this 1975 Topps.

I mailed to Oliver on August 7 and got the card back on September 5, for a 29-day TAT.

TTM Success - Harvey Pulliam

I added a few early 90s cards with this TTM success from Harvey Pulliam that I received.  This 1992 Donruss The Rookies turned out really nice, I think.  The card came out of one of the boxes that I got from my mom a while back.  It was in a pack that had been opened at the former card shop, then put away.  It's cool to have pulled it years later and sent it off for an auto.
These two cards are pretty plain, but they still are nice ones to add to the album.

Pulliam (b. 1967) played in the majors from 1991 to 1993 and 1995 to 1997 for the Royals and Rockies.  He had 49 hits, 8 home runs and a .262 batting average.

I mailed to Pulliam on August 5 and got the cards back on September 5, for a 31-day TAT.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Birthday Gift From Nate

I got a huge package in the mail a while back from my good friend, Nate, that was an early birthday present.  In it was this Chris Davis 2017 Panini Diamond Kings Sketches Swatches card.  I had no idea it was coming, of course, so when I saw one of these cards on Ebay, I had to buy it, then I found another at the National.  So, now I have 3 of these.  They look awesome, so that's ok.
Nate also included a bunch of Altoona Curve signed cards that he was able to get in person a long time ago, which was pretty nice of him.  They will go in my autograph album like the other IP cards that I have.
The most interesting card was this Jose Bautista auto that Nate had.  It is THE Jose Bautista.  The one I can't stand.  Still, it is a pretty cool signed minor league card, nonetheless.

Thank you so much for the birthday package, Nate!  I loved everything, even though I can't stand Bautista.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

TTM Success - Scott Sullivan

This was a really nice return from former pitcher, Scott Sullivan.  I had these four cards signed, beginning with the above 1996 Bowman and 1994 Upper Deck Minors.  I liked his choice of a thin black Sharpie, as it really complimented his signature.
I added more cards from 2002 and 2003 Topps to the autograph binder, which was nice.  They both turned out great.  He also wrote a note on the back of mine, and signed that, too!

Sullivan (b. 1971) played in the majors from 1995 to 2004 for the Reds, White Sox and Royals.  He had a career record of 40-28 with 622 strike outs and an ERA of 3.98.

I mailed to Sullivan on August 7 and got the cards back on September 1, for a 25-day TAT.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

TTM Success - Bill Pulsipher

I added a few cool mid-90s cards from this TTM success from former pitcher, Bill Pulsipher.  All of the cards that he signed (he sent back 3 unsigned) turned out great, like the above 1997 Donruss Elite gold.
Pulsipher's shirt in the 1992 Stadium Club is definitely a fashion statement.  I'm actually glad that one was one of the cards he signed.

Pulsipher (b. 1973) played in the majors from 1995, 1998 to 2001 and 2005 for the Mets, Brewers, Red Sox, White Sox and Cardinals.  He had a career record of 13-19 with 202 strike outs and a 5.15 ERA.

I mailed to Pulsipher on June 28 and got the cards back on August 31, for a 64-day TAT.

Monday, September 11, 2017

A Long Overdue (2nd) TTM Success From Lance Parrish

I actually received a TTM success from Lance Parrish last month.  However, he was one of the first former players I sent cards to back in February of last year.  Finally, these cards came in a couple weeks ago, long after I had considered them written off.
Since this was an early card TTM request, I sent multiples of the same card to Parrish.  I sent one 1989 Topps, three 1987 Topps All Stars and two 1992 Topps.  Parrish sent them all back signed, and I gave three of the cards to Chris.

I sent the cards out on February 18, 2016 and got these cards back signed on August 31, 2017, for my longest card TAT yet, 560 days.

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Some Recent Autograph Pickups

I picked up a few nice cards lately that other folks have gotten signed, starting with two Gerald Lairds that my buddy, Dylan, was able to get for me while he was graphing the Connecticut Tigers.  This 2008 Heritage Chrome RC of Laird turned out really nice.
I had found four Laird cards, and I chose the Heritage Chrome and this 2005 Topps, while Dylan kept two other Topps cards.
My friend, Scott, from the Wood Ducks games hooked me up with this Richie Shaffer auto that he got IP for my help in getting him Triston McKenzie a while back.  I had this Schaffer already, but I was happy to take it, nonetheless.  Especially since the person who got me the previous one is now someone I won't be doing 50/50s with anymore.  I'd rather help Scott out.
Finally, I made a trade on Instagram using two of my extra Jamie Quirk IP autos for these two Orioles.  I definitely needed more 2009 Topps in my album, so I had to choose the 09 Jeremy Guthrie, and I didn't have McGregor yet, so I was happy with this 1986 Topps.

TTM Success - Wendell Magee

This was a nice TTM success that I got from former player, Wendell Magee.  Initially, I thought that he didn't sign a couple of the cards, since his signature was so small, but I did get everything that I sent to him back signed.

I was really happy to add a 2002 and 2003 Topps (above) to the autograph binder.  I want to pick up some more 2003 Topps, but haven't been able to do so in quite a while.  The card turned out really well, though.
The bottom left Donruss Preferred was the first one I saw in my envelope, and at first glance, I thought it wasn't signed.  I wasn't looking for red Sharpe, so I was fooled a bit on that first look.  I got some cool cards out of this success, though, and thankfully, they all got taken care of.

Magee (b. 1972) played in the majors from 1996 to 2002 for the Phillies and Tigers.  He had 268 hits, 24 home runs and a .247 batting average.

I mailed to him on May 2 and got the cards back on August 28, for a 118-day TAT.

Saturday, September 9, 2017

TTM Success - Jeff Reed

I added a nice range of cards from the late 80s to early 2000s with this success from Jeff Reed.  This 1987 Donruss Opening Day turned out really nicely.  I like the different variations of the Donruss cards from this era, and I have been able to add a few to the album.
The auto on this 2001 Topps didn't stick too well, but I was still happy to be able to put one of the cards I got while visiting Andrew to use.
I also added four other years of Topps, 1992, 1995, 1998 and 1999.  The 99 was from my trip to Andrew's as well.

Reed (b. 1962) played in the majors from 1984 to 2000 for the Twins, Expos, Reds, Giants, Rockies and Cubs.  His 2001 Topps shows him in an Astros uniform,  but he didn't make the squad that season.  Interestingly enough, his baseball-reference page makes no mention of him signing with the Astros.  It says he signed with the Cubs on January 16, 2001, but the back of his 2001 Topps card says he signed with the Astros on January 17, 2001.

He had 774 hits, 61 home runs and a .250 batting average.  He appeared in the 1990 NLCS with the Reds, but did not make it into a game during the 1990 World Series that they won.  I assume he got a ring with them anyway.

I mailed to Reed on August 5 and got the cards back on August 26, for a 21-day TAT.

Friday, September 8, 2017

We Are The (Co)Champions

Well now.  I never thought I would have been able to say this, but the Down East Wood Ducks are Co-Champions of the Carolina League.  In their first season of existence.  Following an improbable run in August and September that they parlayed into a playoff spot, the impending hurricane strike shortened the Carolina League playoffs and forced them to name co-champions for the first time since 1999.
I waited since the end of the 2011 minor league season for a team to come back to Kinston, and Chris and I have been with this team from the start.  We went to the first ever team practice, and the meet the team event in March.
This was my first ever season graphing minor league games, and in doing so, I got 964 baseball cards signed throughout the season.  During that time, I enjoyed chatting with all of the Wood Ducks (and some on opposing teams) players.
I remember thinking that the Wood Ducks would be pretty good this season, since I felt like the Rangers had a pretty good farm system.  Meeting the team in March helped us get to know some of them face to face, and we really worked hard in making them feel welcome here in Eastern NC.
We tried to watch their first ever game, an exhibition against Mount Olive College, but it was rained out.  We had to settle for the home opener a week later.
I believe I went to 31 Wood Ducks games this season (27 at home and 4 on the road).  That turned out to be a bunch!
Chris formed friendships with a few of the players, such as Emerson Martinez, who got the win tonight in the game that clinched their share of the league title.
Brett Martin started the game and pitched 2 and 2/3 innings.
I believe we all had a great time this season.  I hate to see it come to a close, but to close it out with a share of the league championship is just amazing.
Even my wife enjoyed going to the games.  Sure, she thought a few of the players looked better than I do, but I'm not worried, she still comes home to me!
I think Chris got more out of this season than anyone, though.  He has forged life-long memories this season.  He was able to go out on the field twice this season.  All of the players recognize him, and are happy to see him when he says hello.
I'm so happy that they won a share of the title.  This has been such a cool season; I can't wait until April, so another season will start.

Graphing The Wood Ducks First Playoff Game

With Hurricane Irma threatening the East Coast, the Carolina League playoffs have been shortened and shortened again.  The Wood Ducks take on the Myrtle Beach Pelicans today to finish off the best of 3 series after winning last night, 4-1.  I was able to take in the game and get a few more autographs for the collection.  I had one Wood Duck that I needed from my Hickory set, the recently called up CD Pelham.  I knocked off two Pelicans from the 2017 Carolina League Top Prospects set, and got a few more Ryan Kellogg and Tyler Alamo.  I also got a bunch of Wood Ducks on my celebratory champagne bottle.

At the game, I picked up Tyler Alamo x 3, CD Pelham x 1, Thomas Hatch x 2, Eddy Martinez x 2 and Ryan Kellogg x 6, leaving me with 964 IP signed cards on the season.  I believe I will fall well short of 1,000 cards, but I got really close.

We also got to see Cubs rehabbing catcher, Willson Contreras play for Myrtle Beach, but he wouldn't sign for us and left the game in the 6th inning.

Thursday, September 7, 2017

TTM Success - Kelly Gruber

I waited a long time to send out this TTM request to Kelly Gruber.  Mainly, because I had seen that folks had been successful with him, but the successes had been over a year or more ago.  I figured I would mail to him as part of a bulk mailing, but always seemed to put his off.  I finally mailed to him, and surprisingly enough, it didn't take too terribly long for the cards to come back.
All of the cards I got back turned out pretty nicely, I think.  I was really happy with the above 1992 Topps and the 1990 Donruss Diamond Kings.

Gruber (b. 1962) played in the majors from 1984 to 1993 for the Blue Jays and Angels.  He had 818 hits, 117 home runs and a .259 batting average.  He was an All Star in 1989 and 1990.  He finished 4th in the AL MVP voting in 1990 and won the World Series with the Blue Jays in 1992.  He was also a Gold Glove Award and Silver Slugger Award winner in 1990.

I mailed to Gruber on May 3 and got the cards back on August 25, for a 114-day TAT.

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

TTM Success - Jackie Brandt

It has been a while since I added any 1960s cards to my album via TTM.  I finally got this return from former Oriole, Jackie Brandt, a few days ago after it had been out for a very long time.

His signature showed up really nicely on these cards, though, with the best one probably being the above 1960 Topps.
I liked the 1963 and 1964, as well.  I don't have very many of these cards available to send out TTM, so I might be trying to find some, soon.

Brandt (b. 1934) played in the majors in 1956 and from 1958 to 1967 for the Cardinals, Giants, Orioles, Phillies and Astros.  He had 1,020 hits, 112 home runs and a .262 batting average.  He won the Gold Glove Award in 1959 and was an All Star in 1961.

I mailed to Brandt on January 4 and got the cards back on August 25, for a 233-day TAT.

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

TTM Success - Jason Jennings

I don't have nearly as many signed cards from the mid-to-late 2000s as I do of cards from the 80s or 90s.  It just seems to be a bit harder right now to find guys out of those sets who sign.  Luckily, I was able to get a TTM success from former pitcher, Jason Jennings that helped take care of a few needed sets for my album.

This 2007 Topps Chrome turned out a lot better than the scan shows.  His choice of a thin blue Sharpie worked out well with the cards that I was able to get back signed.
I really like it when I am able to find cards in my boxes and am able to send them out.  Like finding this 2001 Leaf Rookies and Stars.  I'm not sure where it came from, but I imagine that the card came from a repack box or something way back when.  I still like to pick those up from time to time when I see them.  Nothing wrong with a good repack, especially if you are looking for oddballs for graphing.
I added a Topps card to my autograph project, and also a Bowman that I don't think I had in the album.  I was still several years away from busting Bowman boxes when 2003 Bowman came out.  I probably got this one from a repack as well.

Jennings (b. 1978) played in the majors from 2001 to 2009 for the Rockies, Astros and Rangers.  He had a career record of 62-74 with 749 strike outs and a 4.95 ERA.  He was the NL Rookie of the Year in 2002.

I mailed to Jennings on June 12 and got the cards back on August 24, for a 73-day TAT.