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Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Virgil Trucks's 100th Birthday

Even though he passed away in March of 2013, not a day goes by that I don't think about Virgil Trucks.  He was a really good man; one of the best former players to interact with fans.  He afforded me the opportunity to interview him over the phone, which you can read here.

I am doing a giveaway on my Instagram (follow me @wregenthal) in honor of his 100th birthday.  He always gave to me, so I want to give to someone else.  Also, I encourage you to check out my Virgil Trucks collection, here.

Trucks was born on this day in 1917 and passed away on March 23, 2013, at the age of 95.  I enjoyed writing to him and receiving letters back.  He truly was one of the best.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

April 20, 2017, Graphing the Wood Ducks

While Chris was out of town for Easter break, my wife and I were able to catch a game at Historic Grainger Stadium on Thursday, April 20.  Before the game, my wife and I did a little graphing.  I got Howard Johnson on two cards (one of which was a 50/50 for my buddy, Carson).  My wife actually got this 1995 Stadium Club Ring Leaders card signed for me (the auto is by his hip).
I also did some 50/50 graphing for my good friend, Max.  He sent me a few Bobby Rose cards, and I got them all signed, and split them with him.
The Howard Johnson that I got signed for Carson was a 1987 Fleer, which looked really nice in blue Sharpie.  The Rose was another from Max.  I was also able to get the above 1994 Topps Howard Johnson signed.  I think I have gotten just about everything that I had of Johnson that I really wanted to get signed.  I think most of what I get after this will probably be gifts for friends and/or trade bait.
We were also able to get a few of the Hickory Crawdads team set cards signed.  A lot of the players in this set have moved up to the Wood Ducks this season.  Steve Mintz went to nearby Mount Olive College, and is now the Wood Ducks pitching coach.

The Wood Ducks lost the game, but we had to leave early, since my wife had to be up really early for work.  It was nice to go out and spend some time at a game with her, though.  I know the ballpark isn't her ideal spot, but we seem to enjoy going to games together.  Now that Chris is home, though, he and I will be doing some more graphing, I'm sure.

TTM Success - John Montague

I added some more 1970s cards (and an 81) to the autograph album with this success from John Montague.  I'm always happy to add 1975 Topps to the album, especially ones that came from my very good friend, Max.  His birthday is tomorrow, in case anyone wanted to wish him a happy birthday (Max, not Montague).
I have been adding more and more 1979 Topps to the autograph album, which is nice.  At one time, I had no extras of 1979, but thanks to the February card show, I got some in bulk.  The 1981 set is always nice to add.  I have a ton of them to get signed, still, so I hope to keep adding more.

Montague (b. 1947) played in the majors from 1973 to 1975 and 1977 to 1980 for the Expos, Phillies, Mariners and Angels.  He had a career record of 24-26 with an ERA of 4.76 and 260 strike outs.

I mailed to Montague on February 24, and got the cards back on April 4, for a 39-day TAT.

Monday, April 24, 2017

TTM Success - Orlando Pena

This was a really nice success from former pitcher, Orlando Pena.  I was able to get him to sign the above 1966 Topps and the 1974 and 1975 Topps cards below.  He also wrote a nice note in return with my cards.
Pena (b. 1933) played in the majors from 1958 to 1960, 1962 to 1967, 1970, 1971 and 1973 to 1975 for the Reds, A's (Kansas City), Tigers, Indians, Pirates, Orioles, Cardinals and Angels.  He had a record of 56-77 with an ERA of 3.71 and 818 strike outs.

I mailed to Pena on March 17 and got the cards back on April 3, for a 17-day TAT.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

TTM Success - Mark Thompson

I continue to whittle my "to be blogged" stack of TTM successes down.  I have actually slowed down on sending out requests since the season has started.  Still, I have a lot more to post, and a lot more still out in the world, waiting to be sent back.

I got a few nice cards signed by Mark Thompson recently.  The above 1997 Pacific was a card that I had floating around in my random card box for a long time.  I finally was able to take it and transfer it to the autograph album with this success.
The 1997 Fleer Ultra came from one of the boxes that Mom found for me, and the 1995 Topps came out of the hobby box that I bought to push my set along.

Thompson (b. 1971) played in the majors from 1994 to 2000 for the Rockies and Cardinals.  He had a record of 18-24 with an ERA of 5.74 and 198 strike outs.

I mailed to Thompson on November 15 and got the cards back on April 3, for a 139-day TAT.

TTM Success - Kevin Orie

I was able to add some nice 1990s cards to my autograph album with this success from Kevin Orie.  I had waited a while to send to Orie, and built a nice cache of cards up to send out.  I was most excited about this 1997 UD SP Great Futures card, and it didn't disappoint.
I was also able to get him on a 1995 Topps, and the above 1997 Select.  I don't think I will be working on the rest of the guys on the 1995 Topps, but that always remains a possibility.
I capped off the success with a couple other nice horizontal cards.  I liked the 1997 Pinnacle XPress card.

Orie (b. 1972) played in the majors from 1997 to 1999 and 2002 for the Cubs and Marlins.  He had 253 hits, 22 home runs and a .249 batting average.

I mailed to Orie on January 24 and got the cards back on April 3, for a 69-day TAT.

Friday, April 21, 2017

TTM Success - Larry Miggins

I added another 1953 Bowman Color to my autograph album with this success from Larry Miggins.  The card was purchased from Ebay.  I sent to Miggins on March 14 and got the card back on April 3, for a 20-day TAT.

Miggins (b. 1925) played in the majors in 1948 and 1952 for the Cardinals.  He had 22 hits, 2 home runs and a .227 batting average.  He was selected off of waivers from the Cardinals by the Cubs on April 17, 1948, only to be selected off of waivers by the Cardinals from the Cubs on April 23, 1948.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

TTM Success - Adam Kennedy

Here is a really cool TTM success that was populated almost solely from the "boxes in the back" of the card shop.  There are two Topps cards that were mine, but the rest of the cards were ones I wasn't around to see when they first came out.

The above 2000 Topps Finest was the one I was most excited about seeing come back.  It turned out really nice, and scanned pretty well.
this 2000 UD SP Minors is pretty cool.  They had a bunch of these cards in the back, and I found a few good ones of some TTM guys, so I'm hoping a few more of them come in.
Kennedy's Sharpie looks like it was about to die, but I still got a few other nice cards signed.  I even was able to add a few ticks to the Topps Autograph Project, as well with the 2005 and 2007 Topps.  Those two sets are pretty low in the rankings in the project, at 8 cards for 2005 and 4 for 2007.

Kennedy (b. 1976) played in the majors from 1999 to 2012 for the Cardinals, Angels, A's, Nationals, Mariners, and Dodgers.  He had 1,488 hits, 80 home runs and a .272 batting average.  He was the 2002 ALCS MVP and won the World Series with the Angels in 2002.

I mailed to Kennedy on March 20 and got the cards back on April 3, for a 14-day TAT.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

TTM Success - Wally Westlake

This was a pretty awesome TTM success that I was really excited to get to post tonight.  I have been waiting patiently for a while, and I have finally come to it in my queue of TTMs to be posted.  I picked up two much needed vintage cards for the album in these Wally Westlake cards.  The above is only my second 1951 Topps Red Back autograph.  It turned out great, and Westlake has a great signature for his age.
This is my second signed 1949 Bowman, the other was the Bobby Brown auto.  This one really pops with the red background.  It was a decently cheap card when I picked it up, so I was happy to be able to get it out and get it signed.  Westlake also answered my questions, one of which was "Who was your favorite player when you were growing up?"  His response?  Babe Ruth.
Westlake really surprised me, not only by signing the letter I sent, but also for sending along two signed and inscribed photos.  They're real photos, not cheap prints, or post cards.  I thought it was a really awesome gesture.
Westlake (b. 1920) made his major-league debut on April 15, 1947.  Let that sink in for just a second.  His major league debut was 70 years ago, at the age of 26.  He is now 96, and is still signing autographs for fans.  He played in the majors from 1947 to 1956 for the Pirates, Cardinals, Reds, Indians, Orioles and Phillies.  He had 848 hits, 127 home runs and a .272 batting average.  He was an All Star in 1951 and appeared in the 1954 World Series.  His Indians lost to the New York Giants in a 4-game sweep.

His time with the Orioles was brief, he appeared in 8 games for the O's after being traded from Cleveland and before being moved again to the Phillies.

I mailed to Westlake on March 14 and got the cards back on April 3, for a 20-day TAT.

TTM Success - Gary Sutherland

Here is a TTM success from Gary Sutherland on some 60s and 70s Topps cards.  The above 1968 Topps was one of the cards that I raided from my vintage box.  The autograph turned out really nice on this card, I think.
I added these cards from 1975, 1976 (above) and 1977 (below) via some boxes from the Columbia antique shop and the February card show.  I have a bunch of mid-70s cards signed, with 1975 in the lead with 29.  I have 21 signed 1976 Topps and 23 signed 1977 Topps.
Sutherland (b. 1944) played in the majors from 1966 to 1978 for the Phillies, Expos, Astros, Tigers, Brewers, Padres and Cardinals.  He had 754 hits, 24 home runs and a .243 batting average.

I mailed to Sutherland on March 23 and got the cards back on April 1, for a 9-day TAT.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

TTM Success - Paul Reuschel

Here is a TTM success from Paul Reuschel that I had come in a couple weeks ago.  I only had a few cards of him, and went ahead and sent them out.  This 1979 Topps turned out really nice, I think.
I also got both of these 1977 Topps signed.  I had alreasdy received a TTM success from Rick Reuschel, but I may send the Big League Brothers card out to try to get him to sign.  I'll think about it.

Reuschel (b. 1947) played in the majors from 1975 to 1979 for the Cubs and Indians.  He had a career record of 16-16 with an ERA of 4.51 and 188 strike outs.

I mailed to Reuschel on March 6 and got the cards back on April 1, for a 26-day TAT.

Monday, April 17, 2017

TTM Success - Bobby Seay

I found a really cool card while I was going through some boxes in the back on my LCS recently, which helped with this TTM success from Bobby Seay.  I had found the below card at the card show in February and after checking online, saw that he signed TTM.  I needed one more card so I would have a round number for $1.00 and picked it up.  Then, I found the above 1999 Topps Gold Label and decided to go ahead and send them on their way.
This is a 2001 Bowman Heritage, which looks really cool signed.  I wasn't collecting when these came out, but they are nice cards, even though the set they are based off of are pretty plain.  I'm talking about 1948 Bowman of course.

Seay (b. 1978) played in the majors in 2001 and 2003 to 2009 for the Devil Rays, Rockies and Tigers.  He had a record of 11-6 with s 4.16 ERA and 190 strike outs.

I mailed to Seay on March 20 and got the cards back on March 30, for a 10-day TAT.

TTM Success - Steve Swisher

I like it when I can get a ton of cards signed from a player, except for when it comes time to blog them.  Still, I got a nice success from Steve Swisher on a bunch of late 70s and early 80s Topps cards.  I used this success to push the count up on several sets that needed it, most of all, 1978 Topps.  For whatever reason, I wasn't able to find any of that year in bulk until the February card show.  I've taken those bulk cards and mailed out quite a few, and some are starting to come back in.
I had been sitting on the above 1975 Topps for a long time.  This might not have come in the package of 1975 Topps that Max gave me, since he was a Cub, but he may have given it to me.  I'll have to ask him.  I know the 1976 came from my box I got from the Columbia antique shop.
Here are the other Topps cards that he signed for me, including a 1981 Topps, and 1981 Topps traded.  I like the 1981 set, and that set is climbing up the ranks and making a run at 1987 for total number of cards that I have gotten signed.

Swisher (b. 1951), the father of former All Star Nick Swisher, played in the majors from 1974 to 1982 for the Cubs, Cardinals and Padres.  He had 305 hits, 20 home runs and a .216 batting average.  He was an All Star in 1976.

I mailed to Swisher on February 21 and got the cards back on March 27, for a 34-day TAT.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

TTM Success - Jeff Cirillo

Well, I've only had one time now where baby powder on a card didn't hold an autograph.  This success from Jeff Cirillo shows that nothing is a sure thing.  Oh well.  This card is still cool, and still will have a place in my autograph binder.
This Fleer EX turned out much better than the Flair Showcase shown at the top of the post.  So, I'm 1/2 with baby powder on this success.  Not bad.
I also can't go wrong with a Fleer Metal.  These cards always turn out great.  I have seen some Fleer Metal cards that would look amazing when signed, but the guys on the card don't sign.  Still, the ones that do, I plan on adding them because they look so nice.

Cirillo (b. 1969) played in the majors from 1994 to 2007 for the Brewers, Rockies, Mariners, Padres, Twins and Diamondbacks.  He had 1,598 hits, 112 home runs and a .296 batting average.  He was an All Star in 1997 and 2000 with the Brewers and Rockies, respectively.

I mailed to Cirillo on February 8, and got the cards back on March 27, for a 47-day TAT.  He signed 3 of the 4 cards I sent.

TTM Success - Ken Gerhart

Ken Gerhart signed four cards for me in this TTM success.  I had a former complete set of 1988 Fleer sitting around, so I went through it for TTMs and pulled out this Gerhart when I saw that he signed.  These are some really nice cards that look great when signed.  I hope to add some more in due time.
1988 Donruss also looks pretty nice when signed.  I have so many of them lying around.  They usually are passed over in favor of other cards, but this one made the cut this time around.
I did add a 1988 Topps to keep the Topps success coming.  I also included the 1989 O Pee Chee that Angus sent me for Christmas.

Gerhart (b. 1961) played in the majors from 1986 to 1988 for the Orioles.  He had 136 hits, 24 homw runs and a .221 batting average.  He made his MLB debut on September 14, 1986, so happy birthday to me!

I mailed to Gerhart on March 4 and got the cards back on March 25, for a 21-day TAT.

TTM Success - Pete Smith

I personally think the 1990 Donruss design is historically underrated.  This was the first set I put together (it was so easy), and one of the first types of cards I remember buying in stores.  I had to make sure I had some of them in my autograph album, so when I got this success from Pete Smith, I was glad to see that he signed my 1990 Donruss that I had included.  By the way, 2017 Donruss is based on the 1990 design, and those cards look so great, as well.
I also got a 1995 Fleer, because you can never have enough from that crazy set.  They really do turn out nice when signed, though.
Finally, here are the two Topps offerings I sent along, a 1991 and a 1990.  Those two years are way behind on my tally for late 80s, early 90s Topps sets, so I try to include them over other years when I can.

Smith (b. 1966) played in the majors from 1987 to 1995 and 1997 to 1998 for the Braves, Mets, Reds, Padres and Orioles.  He had a career record of 47-71 with a 4.55 ERA and 640 strike outs.

I mailed to Smith on February 16 and got the cards back on March 24, for a 36-day TAT.

Saturday, April 15, 2017

TTM Success - Rich Amaral

I added some cool cards with this success from Rich Amaral.  I have really been wanting to add some Studio cards to my autograph binder, and this 1994 Studio turned out really nice.
I added another 1990 CMC AAA that was in my Mom's box from the attic.  I had the 1993 Jimmy Dean in my collection for a long time, and it is a perfect card to fit into the "different" kinds of cards I want represented in my album.

I also added a couple Topps issues with the 1998 and 1994 shown above.  Amaral has a really nice autograph, and it showed up well on all of the cards.

Amaral (b. 1962) played in the majors from 1991 to 2000 for the Mariners and Orioles.  He had 493 hits, 11 home runs and a .276  batting average.

I mailed to Amaral on March 7 and got the cards back on March 24, for a 17-day TAT.

TTM Success - Craig Paquette

It took two tries, but I got a TTM success from Craig Paquette.  I had been wanting to get him for a long time, but kept putting it off.  When I finally sent to him, I picked the wrong address.  I don't know how that happened, but when the envelope came back RTS and I checked the webpages, I wanted to headbutt my wall.  Anyway, I tried again, and was successful.
I had a bunch of Paquette's cards, but had to narrow it down to four.  I had to add the ProCards AAA (at the top) to the binder.  I also need more 1994 Topps in the binder, so this one was an easy choice.
Finally, I liked the 1994 Pinnacle and Pinnacle Museum so I included both of those.  The Pinnacle Museum actually came out of an album that my mom gave me, so it was nice to get that one signed.

Paquette (b. 1969) played in the majors from 1993 to 2003 for the A's, Royals, Mets, Cardinals and Tigers.  He had 620 hits, 99 home runs and a .239 batting average.

I mailed to Paquette on March 13 and got the cards back on March 24, for an 11-day TAT.

Friday, April 14, 2017

TTM Success - Tommy Brown

I added another 1953 Bown.  The card turned out great, I think.  I have always loved 1953 Bowman, and adding a couple of them to the album has been a lot of fun.  The cards really turn out great when signed, because they essentially are mini photos.

Brown (b. 1927) played in the majors from 1944, 1945 and 1947 to 1953 for the Brooklyn Dodgers, Phillies and Cubs.  He had 309 hits, 31 home runs and a .24 batting average.  He was a 16-year old when he started playing for the Dodgers in 1944.  He appeared in two games during the 1949 World Series that the Dodgers lost to the Yankees.

I mailed to Brown on March 14 and got the card back on March 23, for a 9-day TAT.

TTM Success - Mickey Lolich

Its always good when I can add a big name to my TTM successes, and Mickey Lolich is a pretty good one.  I also was able to get him on a 1967 Topps, of which I don't have many signed.  The card turned out really nice, I think.

Lolich signs for a fee of $20/card, so I could only afford to send one to be signed, even though I had a couple cards to choose from.  In the end, the '67 was chosen because I thought it looked the best, and it had been a while since I had a '67 added to the autograph album.

Lolich (b. 1940) played in the majors from 1963 to 1976, 1978 and 1979 for the Tigers, Mets and Padres.  He had a career record of 217-191 with 2,832 strike outs and a 3.44 ERA.  He led the AL in wins with 25 in 1971, and had 22 wins the following season.  He finished second in the AL Cy Young Award voting in 71 and 3rd in '72., losing to Vida Blue ('71) and Gaylord Perry ('72).  Lolich was a 3-time All Star and his best finish in the AL MVP voting was 5th ('71).  He won the World Series with the Tigers in 1968; he was the World Series MVP that year.  During that World Series, Lolich threw three complete games, allowing 5 runs and striking out 21.

I mailed to Lolich on February 28 and got the card back, along with a signed price list and signed note on March 23, for a 23-day TAT.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

TTM Success - Vern Law

My mom asked me when I posted my card that Vance Law had his dad, Vern, sign, why I didn't post Vern Law's stats.  Well, I didn't post them because I had a plan to get Vern Law on his own.

I bought the above 1952 Topps off of Ebay, along with the below 1955 Bowman and 1961 Nu Card Scoops.  I wanted to add another 1952 to the autograph binder since I like 1952 Topps so much.  Law included some nice awesome inscriptions to the card, as well.
The 1955 Bowman received the same inscriptions as the 1952 Topps.  This is the card that really made me want to send to Law in the first place.  I passed on buying one at the February card show, but ended up getting this off of EBay instead.
Finally, Law left the inscriptions off of the '61 Nu Card Scoops, I guess since it already pretty plainly says he won the Cy Young award.  I had been wanting to add a Scoops card to the binder for some time now, and finally have it.

Law (b. 1930) played in the majors in 1950, 1951 and 1954 to 1967 for the Pirates.  He had a career record of 162-147 with 1,092 strike outs and an ERA of 3.77.  He received MVP votes in four seasons, with his best finish being 6th in his Cy Young Year, 1960.  He won the World Series that season with the Pirates, and was on the NL All Star team.

Law appeared on the Hall of Fame ballot 7 times between 1973 and 1979, with his highest voting percentage being 2.4% in 1973.  Law is outspoken against his autograph showing up on EBay, so he charges a signing fee of $10/card.  I sent a check along with my request, so I didn't mind paying the fees.  I had gotten Law on a ball back in 2012, which you can read about here.

I mailed to Law on March 14 and got the cards back on March 21, for a 7-day TAT.