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Tuesday, June 27, 2017

TTM Success - Cameron Maybin

It is really tough for me to know which current players sign TTM, but thankfully, I have seen some successes on Instagram.  Those successes have prompted me to send to a few guys, who I may not have tried before.

I was glad to get this return from Cameron Maybin via the Angels.  I regretted, however, that I sent too soon because I found a great card of him after I had already gotten these back,  I might try him at Spring Training, then, to get that card signed (2016 Topps).  Still, I added a 2008 to the binder, and now this set isn't the rarest in the album.
I also added a 2017.  I don't have many of these signed yet, but I think they will start filling in between now and next year's spring training.  They look nice when signed, though.

Maybin (b. 1987) has played in the majors since 2007 for the Tigers, Marlins, Padres, Braves and Angels.  He currently has 765 hits, 52 home runs and a .259 batting average in his career.

I mailed to Maybin on June 12 and got the cards back on June 22 for a 10-day TAT.

Monday, June 26, 2017

TTM Success - Jim Rooker

I got a few nice vintage cards with this TTM success from former pitcher, Jim Rooker.  I don't have too many 1969 Topps in my binder, so adding this rookie stars card from that set was nice.  I'll have to check and see if Mike Fiore signs.
I like seeing 1971 Topps come in for some reason.  This one turned out really nice, and I like the old scoreboard in the background.
Finally, here are a couple later cards, a 1978 and a 1980 of Rooker as a Pirate.

Rooker (b. 1942) played in the majors from 1968 to 1980 for the Tigers, Royals and Pirates.  He had a career record of 103-109 with 976 strike outs and a 3.46 ERA.  He won the World Series with the Pirates in 1979.

I mailed to Rooker on June 12 and got the cards back on June 19, for a 7-day TAT.

Sunday, June 25, 2017

TTM Success - Stanton Cameron

This was a really cool TTM success with a card that I got from Andrew's little brother, Caleb.  I got two signed cards back from Stanton Cameron, so Caleb will be getting one of them, since he gave me the card.  I really liked it, since it has the awesome sunset in the background.  Cameron sent a letter back with the card saying that the player shown on the back of the card is TR Lewis, and I should try to get him to sign it as well.  I would, but it doesn't look like a current address for Lewis is available.

Cameron (b. 1969) never made the majors, and spent 13 seasons in the minors and independent ball.  He spent two years in the Orioles system, between Frederick and Bowie.  He retired from baseball with 972 hits, 167 home runs and a .269 batting average.

I mailed to Cameron on May 24 and got the cards back on June 19, for a 26-day TAT.

Graphing in Durham at the Last Minute

My friend Cameron came into town for the weekend and we decided today that we would hit up a baseball game in the area.  We went to the LCS and picked up a bunch of Durham Bulls cards, since they were the only nearby team that was playing at home today.  As I was getting ready to head out the door, my good friend Brayden messaged me YOAN!  It hit me that the Bulls were playing Charlotte, and Yoan Moncada was on the Knights.  I had just pulled this /99 orange parallel out of my Series 2 silver packs and had been begging Brayden to get his buddy Moncada to sign it for me.

Brayden is a great guy, but he is also realistic.  He lives in Texas, and isn't sure when he will be able to see Moncada again, so I was feeling like I might not be able to get this awesome card signed.  Thankfully, Brayden sent me a jolt to remind me, and I set about my mission to get Moncada on this card.

Cameron and I watched along the 1 hour and 45 minute drive to Durham that the sky was getting darker and darker.  Finally, as we got to the stadium, it began to rain.  We waited by the visiting dugout, then it started pouring.  We moved from our spot to one beneath the roof and waited for the rain to subside.  When it got to a point where I didn't feel like the rain would be an issue, I went back to my post by the visiting dugout.  Luckily, due to the rain, the other graphers had moved out, and I had a prime position to be able to get Moncada, should the game be played, and should he choose to sign.

Then the power went out at the stadium.  We waited and waited, as other graphers finally came and stood nearby.  I looked across the field and saw that the Bulls had already filled their dugout.  One of the graphers (a rare lady-grapher) was kind enough to tell me she would hold my spot by the dugout if I went to try to get a few Bulls.  I walked over and tried for a few minutes, but none of the players were coming over, so I went back to my spot.  I summoned Cameron over (he had continued to stay under the shelter) and recruited the poor guy to try to get a few Bulls for me while I tried to get Moncada.  Cameron tried valiantly, but he was unable to get any Bulls autos.  I'll have to 50/50 those cards with Dilan or Dugan.

Finally, Moncada came out and I was the first person he signed for.  I had two cards, but he was one per.  I was ok with that, because the one he signed was my Orange.  It looks awesome!  I thank Brayden for reminding me that I would have a shot at Moncada, and believing in me that I could get the job done.  I tried to get a card signed for him, but since Moncada is one per, I was unable to.

We ended up leaving the game early, since the Bulls were up 10-0 on the Knights, and the game had been delayed at the start.  We ran into more rain as we were driving home, so this proved to be a wise move.  The Bulls ended up routing the Knights, 17-3.

Friday, June 23, 2017

TTM Success - Rex Hudler

I added some nice cards with this TTM success from Rex Hudler.  This 1993 Studio was a card I was really happy to see come back signed.  Studio looks great signed.
I added these two Topps cards as well.  I liked the 1990 Topps because of the green hue.  I have another green 1990 Topps coming in, and I had forgotten that I got this one as well.
I love seeing 1992 Triple Play come back signed.  This was the first product that I ever was able to buy a wax box of, mainly because it was really cheap.  It isn't  abad product, and the colorful cards look great when they come back signed.

Hudler (b. 1960) played in the majors from 1984 to 1986, 1988 to 1992 and 1994 to 1998 for the Yankees, Orioles, Expos, Cardinals, Angels and Phillies.  He had 461 hits, 56 home runs and a .261 batting average.

I mailed to Hudler on May 30 and got the cards back on June 16, for a 17-day TAT.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

IP Autos From Max

I sent cards to my very good friend, Max, a few times to help him do some IP graphing around Chicago.  He had a paid session with former outfielder Larry Biitner and got these two cards signed for me.

I raided my 1972 set for the card on the left and the 1976 on the right came out of my box from Columbia.  They both look pretty cool, I think.
I also sent Max some Orioles cards so he could 50/50 them while they were getting beaten by the White Sox in Chicago.  The only person who would sign for him was Alan Mills, and Max kindly sent me back all of the autos, which he didn't have to do.
Mills and Roger McDowell had better find some magic cure for the Orioles terrible pitching staff, and soon, because their jobs might be on the line very soon.
Finally, Max hit up a minor league game and got me some autographs from the Astros Single A team from Quad Cities.  I sent him an assortment of Daz Cameron cards, and these are the ones I got back.  He also sent me this Just Minors Juan Dilone to go along with everything.
The Camerons came out really well.  I have come to the realization that I really love the design on 2016 Bowman and Bowman Chrome.  They look really sharp!
Finally, I had found two Trace Loehr cards to send along to Max, and he sent them both back to me signed.  I was expecting him to keep the 2015 Bowman Chrome, but it came back as well.  I had the Perfect Game cards for a while.  I have wanted to pick up some more packs of it, but it is a pretty high price point, but there are guys in there who are graphing in the minors.

Thank you so much for getting these cards signed for me, Max!  I really appreciate it!

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

TTM Success - Ryan Minor

I added some cool cards of a former Oriole with this TTM success from Ryan Minor.  He is currently the manager at Single A Delmarva in the Orioles system.  He was once a prospect for the Orioles, who's claim to fame was that he started at third base for the Orioles on the day that Cal Ripken ended his streak.
I had quite a few of Minor's cards in my Orioles box, so it was easy finding some to send out for the TTM request.  I pulled this 1999 Topps out of the box I got while I was at Andrew's last month.
I really like the 1999 Bowman set.  Those are really cool-looking cards.  The Topps Finest turned out really nice, as well.

Minor (b. 1974) played in the majors from 1998 to 2001 for the Orioles and Expos.  He had 56 hits, 5 home runs and a .177 batting average.

I mailed to Minor via the Delmarva Shorebirds on May 10 and got the cards back on June 15 for a 36-day TAT.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

TTM Success - Jeff Huson

Here is another example of a player who's cards I had for a long time before I finally got around to sending to them.  I really wanted to get this 2000 MLB Showdown card signed by Jeff Huson, so I finally sent to him.  I waited long enough to have found a bunch of other good cards to send, so that made the TTM request that much better.
I love the 1990 Score.  It is like they switched the photo up and mismatched the border.  I also like the 1992 Topps Gold Winners card at the bottom right.  Those cards have made a comeback this year in Topps Archives.

Huson (b. 1964) played in the majors from 1988 to 1993 and 1995 to 2000 for the Expos, Rangers, Orioles, Brewers, Mariners, Angels and Cubs.  He had 439 hits, 8 home runs and a .234 batting average.

I mailed to Huson on May 30 and got the cards back on June 12, for a 13-day TAT.

Monday, June 19, 2017

TTM Success - Jeanette Goldstein

Sometimes, when I send out TTM requests, I manipulate them by putting certain kinds of stamps on the return envelopes, so I have a bit of an idea of what could be inside when it comes back.  Today, it worked wonders, as I was able to call my wife into the room when I saw one of the three envelopes that was in the mail.  Actually, the envelope was a surprise, as I had only seen two when I pulled the mail out of the mailbox.  This one was stuck behind another, and I missed it initially.  When I saw the banana split stamp and the post mark from Los Angeles, I had a pretty good idea what was in store for me.  I called Mal into the room and showed her the envelope.  When I opened it, I said a certain four-letter word followed by "YES".  I had a TTM autograph of the actress who played my favorite character in my favorite movie.

Jeanette Goldstein played Private J. Vasquez in the movie Aliens.  I have been a fan of the movie since we got it on Fox Home Video way back a long time ago (probably 1986 or 1987).  Mom was in some movie club, and I remember a bunch of Fox movies coming in all at once.  Or so it seemed.  Anyway, I always enjoyed the Vasquez character, especially her exchange with Bill Paxton's Hudson "Hey Vasquez, have you ever been mistaken for a man?" "No, have you?"  She has a bunch of great scenes in the movie.  When Paxton passed away earlier this year (#RIPBillPaxton), I thought I should really push to get Goldstein's autograph.  I used the website fanmail.biz for her address, and sent the request via her talent agency.

The card itself was something else I had to get done especially for this TTM request.  I had met a comic book artist a few years ago at Comic Book day at the local comic shop.  His name is Chris McJunkin, and I friended him on Facebook soon after meeting at the shop.  Turns out, he and I have a couple mutual friends, which is nice, but I contacted him to see if he had done any art of Vasquez and if I could purchase a couple that were baseball card sized.  He had not done anything with Vasquez on it, so I had to commission him as an artist to create the card for me.  I had no problem doing so, as I am a firm believer in artists getting paid for their work.  He ended up hooking me up with extras (I commissioned him on a second work along with this one that is not yet able to be discussed... stay tuned), and I sent a copy of the card to Goldstein for her to keep as well (and she did).

I can't describe how excited I am to finally have this from Jeanette Goldstein.  Upper Deck did an Aliens Anthology set last year, but Vasquez was left out, and there were no autos of Goldstein.  Paxton and Sigourney Weaver <3 are="" autograph="" in="" p="" set="" the="" though.="">
I mailed to Goldstein via her talent agency on April 11 and got the card back today, for a 69-day TAT.

You can see Goldstein in action in Aliens, of course, and also in Titanic, Terminator 2 - Judgment Day and Near Dark.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Weekend of Graphing the Pelicans and Wood Ducks

I went to three of the four games between the Down East Wood Ducks and the Myrtle Beach Pelicans this weekend, beginning on Thursday.  I had some 5/50s to take care of for Weston, Billy, Max, Dugan, Andrew and Gerard.  I also ended up with a bunch of extras, so my good friend, Brayden, will probably be seeing a care package soon, as well.
The biggest name on the Pelicans' roster is Eloy Jimenez.  He signed one per, but I was able to get him both pre and post game at all of the games.  I did really well, I think.  I also had Chris helping me on Thursday, so that worked out as well.
I've already pulled out all of the cards going out for the 50/50s.  Max was a big help in getting me stuff from the Pelicans that I could get signed.  They are a Cubs team, so he will be happy with the autos that he will be getting back.
I met a father and son on Thursday who were graphing together, and they gave me a few Ryan Kelloggs, so I ended up with extras after helping Max with the 50/50.
I skipped the Saturday game to go to the card show in Raleigh, which helped me replinish some of my Wood Ducks stock, and I also picked up a few Carolina League guys for future use.  I also grabbed a couple more Jimenez and Justin Steele cards while I was there.
I continued to "rack" Josh Morgan and Jeremy Moore.  I didn't get a chance to get Morgan's opinion on autographing multiple cards, but seeing him sign 32 cards between two people made me feel a lot better about my pages of four.
There have been some recent call ups to the Wood Ducks, so I was able to get a few more cards signed from my Crawdads set that I bought.  That reminds me, I need to look through Chris's set and make sure he has covered some of these guys as well.
I spoke briefly with Emerson Martinez, mainly about a player (Zack Bird) who's card he didn't recognize.  It appears that there are players who are listed on the roster who aren't with the team, and this comes as a surprise to folks who actually are on the team.  It was kind of a funny, but helpful moment.
 I was able to add two new Topps cards to my ledger with the 1985 and 1990 All Star shown above.
I was able to get some nice HoJo cards signed.  He is only doing two-per as of late, but that is fine with me.  Bobby Rose has been away from the team, so I am still sitting on some cards of his to get signed.  I hope I can get moving on them soon.

In all, here is how I did:  I got Howard Johnson x 12, Josh Morgan x 24, Chuck Moorman x 1, Tyler Sanchez x 1, Jeffrey Springs x 1, Jeremy Moore x 10, Jairo Beras x 4, Brett Martin x 1, Emerson Martinez x 1, Jonathan Hernandex x 1, Justin Steele x 8, Ryan Kellogg x 7, Tyler Alamo x 2 and Eloy Jimenez x 6.  I also got Matt Lipka x 4, but those are pending Gerard's approval of what goes and what stays.  So, I ended up with 79 signed baseball cards.

I gave away a bunch of my extra Josh Morgan cards to some kids who were standing there wanting autographs, so they could at least come away with something.  I traded for a 2017 Pro Debut with Colin and his dad, then they gave me a handful of blank ones that I could get Morgan to sign myself.  I was glad to get those, because Pro Debut has been tough to find.

I am now taking a few nights off from graphing, and searching boxes.  This past week has been exhausting with all of the 50/50s I have been working on.

TTM Success - Pete Schourek

I sat on these Pete Schourek cards for a long time because I kept finding him in my card boxes and figured I would wait until I had plenty to choose from.  I did get a nice stack going, and used them to populate a few sets that might be a little under-represented in my albums.  This above 1996 Pinnacle Museum was the one card that I really wanted to get back.  It turned out great.
The 1992 Score Rising Star turned out really nice, as well.  It will be a colorful addition to the album, as I see that I ended up choosing mostly white bordered cards for this TTM request.  Maybe I should have thought that through a little more.  I did like the 1993 Donruss due to the Mets jersey, though.
I wanted a couple Topps cards, as usual, so I included the 1992 and 1993 on the bottom.  I also don't have very many Upper Deck represented in the albums, so I used this opportunity to get a 1992 and 1993 Upper Deck signed.  They usually aren't my first choice to get signed, but they look nice, I think.

Schourek (b. 1969) played in the majors from 1991 to 2001 for the Mets, Reds, Astros, Red Sox and Pirates.  He had a career record of 66-77 with 813 strike outs and an ERA of 4.59.  He had his best season in 1995 with the Reds, where he went 18-7 with a 3.22 ERA.  He finished second in the NL Cy Young Award voting that season, and also was 20th in the NL MVP voting.

I mailed to Schourek on May 9 and got the cards back on June 10, for a 32-day TAT.

Saturday, June 17, 2017

TTM Success - Del Unser

I took last night off from the blog because I went to a second Wood Ducks game in a row this week and was really tired when I got home.  I haven't gotten many TTMs in this week, so I am not falling too far behind, either, so it's ok to take a day off.  Still, I wanted to get this TTM success from Del Unser in, since I got some nice cards as a result.
I got the 1980 Topps 1979 Season Highlights card at the top signed along with the above 1976, 74, 78 and 80, and the below 1981.  They all look great; Unser has a really nice signature.
Unser (b. 1944) played in the majors from 1968 to 1982 for the Senators, Indians, Phillies, Mets and Expos.  He had 1,344 hits, 87 home runs and a .258 batting average.  He won the World Series with the Phillies in 1980.  He finished second in the 1968 AL Rookie of the Year Award voting to Stan Bahnsen.  He received MVP votes in 1969, finishing 23rd.

I mailed to Unser on May 10 and got the cards back on June 10, for a 31-day TAT.

Friday, June 16, 2017

TTM Success - Julia Ruth-Stevens

A few weeks ago, I posted a TTM success from David Mantle, son of Mickey Mantle.  I also have received a TTM success from Rachel Robinson, widow of Jackie Robinson.  I thought those were really cool TTM successes, so I decided to try my hand at adding another, with Julia Ruth-Stevens.

I mailed via the Babe Ruth Museum and got two 1995 Topps cards back signed.  This was one I was really excited about, and am happy to see it come back.  Ruth-Stevens was adopted by Babe Ruth in 1929.

Ruth-Stevens celebrated her 100th birthday on July 7, 2016.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

TTM Success - Tom Goodwin

This was a TTM success that took two tries, but I finally received from Tom Goodwin.  I had received a failure (a RTS) last year and held onto the cards for a while to see if I could try again.  I saw that he was signing with the Mets, so I sent there.  In the meantime, I swapped out one of the cards I was sending for this 1996 Topps Gallery that I picked up while I was at Andrew's.  It turned out pretty nice, even though the sicnature smeared a bit.  I baby powdered the card, but with how glossy these are, I think I need to use an eraser on them.  I may try that the next time I send one out.
I got these four cards back as well.  They all turned out pretty nicely, I think.  I especially like the 1999 Topps, since I didn't have very many of them in the album.
This 1997 Pacific Collection Prism turned out great.  I love these cards and have been able to get a couple of them signed now.  They look great in the album, and I hope I can add a few more from that set.

Goodwin (b. 1968) played in the majors from 1991 to 2004 for the Dodgers, Royals, Rangers, Rockies, Giants and Cubs.  He had 1,029 hits, 24 home runs and a .268 batting average.

I mailed to Goodwin on May 30 and got the cards back on June 8, for a 9-day TAT.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

TTM Success - Mark Lee

Ah, the 70s.  This card says it all about the era.  The hideous Padres uniform, and the amazing glasses that Mark Lee is sporting on this card really made it something I wanted to add to my autograph album for a while.  I finally sent the card out and it came back pretty quickly.  I should have asked if Lee still owned those amazing glasses, but I didn't.  Oh well.

Lee (b. 1953) played in the majors from 1978 to 1981 for the Padres and Pirates.  He had a career record of 7-8 with 63 strike outs and a 3.64 ERA.

I mailed to Lee on May 30 and got the card back on June 8, for a 9-day TAT.

Monday, June 12, 2017

TTM Success - Lerrin LaGrow

It was bound to happen.  I have sent off over 500 TTM requests over the last calendar year and have been really lucky with my cards coming back in decent shape.  I don't send my cards in top loaders or sleeves due to the fesr that some of the older players will just sign the sleeves (it has happened).

The sad part is, this 1971 Lerrin LaGrow rookie card was beautiful when I sent it out.  Still, I am grateful I got something back at all.  I know it was USPS that wrecked the cards, but I don't intend to change my ways in how I do my TTMs.
The cards were creased and bent pretty badly, but they will still go in my album.  I kept them in top loaders for a few days in hopes of straightening them out.  It didn't work all that well, but the album should help too.

LaGrow (b. 1948) played in the majors from 1970 and 1972 to 1980 for the Tigers, Cardinals, White Sox, Dodgers and Phillies.  He had a career record of 34-55 with 375 strike outs and a 4,11 ERA.

I mailed to LaGrow on May 8 and got the cards back on June 3, for a 26-day TAT.

Sunday, June 11, 2017

TTM Success - Jody Davis

A few TTM successes have rolled in here and there over the last week.  I still haven't mailed out a whole lot lately, but I plan on doing a few this week.

This success from Jody Davis was nice because I was able to use the above 1989 Bowman.  Back when I got into collecting cards, I hated these Bowmans because they didn't fit my album pages.  Now, I kind of like them because they look pretty cool when signed.  I have quite a few 1989 Bowman in one of my boxes, and have pulled a few to send TTM.  Sometimes they make the cut, sometimes they don't, and they end up in TTM starter packs.
I also added a couple Topps cards to the album with these, a 1985 and 1990.  I had hoped he would sign the 1987 that I sent, but he kept three of the cards I sent along.  Oh well.

Davis (b. 1956) played in the majors from 1981 to 1990 for the Cubs and Braves.  He had 877 hits, 127 home runs and a .245 batting average.  He was an All Star in 1984 and 1986.  His best finish in the NL MVP voting was 10th in 1984.  He won the Gold Glove Award in 1986, as well.

I mailed to Davis on May 17 and got the cards back on June 3, for a 17-day TAT.  I mailed to him via the Louisville Bats.

Saturday, June 10, 2017

TTM Success - Dave Fleming

This was a really cool TTM success.  Not becaus Dave Fleming was a star, or anything like that.  It was a cool TTM success for me because it was already set up by someone else, somewhere in Kentucky.  When I was on my trip to see Andrew for his graduation, he and I stopped at a card shop in Bowling Green and searched some boxes.  There were a bunch of Fleming cards all together, so I checked to see if he signed TTM.  I saw that he did, so I bought 5 of the cards and when I got back home, I sent them out.

The cards are rather pedestrian, but I thought it was still something really cool, and it tied back into my trip.  THe above 1993 Triple Play turned out really nice.  I remember opening up a bunch of packs of 1992 and 1993 Triple Play; this was one of the first products I was able to afford a full box of, back in the day.
I added one card to the Topps project, the bottom right 1993 Topps.  I also have a 5,000-count box of 1993 Fleer, but rarely am able to get into it, as it is on the bottom of all of my other boxes.  The two Upper Deck cards turned out nice, I think.

Fleming (b. 1969) played in the majors from 1991 to 1995 for the Mariners and Royals.  He had a career record of 38-32 with 303 strike outs and a 4.67 ERA.

I mailed to Fleming on May 24 and got the cards back on June 2, for a 9-day TAT.

Friday, June 9, 2017

TTM Success - Jim Tracy

I added some early 2000s cards with this success from former Dodgers manager, Jim Tracy.  I haven't added a 2003 Topps in quite a while, mainly because I don't have very many available.  I need to pick up a box of them and bust it so I have more to choose from.  This one didn't turn out all that great, though.  I don't normally rub up or powder base cards, but I think 2001-2003 Topps might need it.
This 2004 Topps turned out much better.  I probably was the first one Tracy signed, then he went to sign the 2003 and put them together, causing the 03 to mess us a bit.  That's my theory at least.

Tracy (b. 1955) played in the majors in 1980 and 1981 for the Cubs.  He had 46 hits, 3 home runs and a .249 batting average.

Tracy was Davey Johnson's successor in LA and managed the Dodgers from 2001 to 2005 to a record of 427-383 (.527%).  He, then, managed the Pirates from 2006 to 2007 to a record of 135-189 (.417).  He most recently managed the Rockies from 2009 to 2012.  Their record was 294-308 in his tenure, a .488 winning percentage.  His career managerial record is 856-880 (.493%) with a playoff record of 2-6.

I mailed to Tracy on May 17 and got the cards back on June 1, for a 15-day TAT.