Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Christmas Gifts From Mom

Continuing with my theme of being way behind on blog posts, I need to show some of the stuff that my mom got me for Christmas.  I still have quite a few Christmas items that need to be posted, along with some cards from the National, still.

Mom always hooks me up with some cool minor league jerseys.  This year was no different, but I believe I got more jerseys than in years past.  Mom explained to me afterward that she may or may not have misplaced a box that had LAST YEAR'S jerseys in it.  See, I'm not the only one who is behind.  Here is the West Virginia Power jersey that she picked up for me.  The Power are the Class A affiliate of the Pittsburgh Pirates and are based in Charleston, West Virginia.  I want to catch a game there sometime soon with my amazing friends, Josh and Kaleb, so look for me to be wearing this jersey in the near future.
This Tacos jersey is actually for the Fresno Grizzlies.  This is a cool variation jersey.  The Grizzlies are the AAA affiliate of the Houston Astros.  This is also a nod to my nephew-dog, Bruiser, who is a Chihuahua and probably would enjoy a good taco here and there.
Here is a Charlotte Stone Crabs jersey that she picked up.  The Stone Crabs are based in Port Charlotte, Florida and are the Class A Advanced team for the Tampa Bay Rays.  Several folks hear Charlotte Stone Crabs and think of Charlotte, NC, but no, Charlotte, NC houses the Knights, the AAA team for the White Sox.
Here is another nod to Bruiser, a T-Shirt of the El Paso Chihuahuas, the AAA affiliate of the Padres.  The dog on the shirt looks a lot meaner than Bruiser.  Still, it is a cool shirt and I plan on wearing it a lot.
The West Michigan Whitecaps round out the shirts and jerseys that Mom picked up.  The Whitecaps are the Class A affiliate of the Detroit Tigers and are based in a suburb of Grand Rapids, Michigan.
Mom also got me some really cool stuff like a Brooks Robinson comic book and some more Oyo figures that I need to display.  Here is a 1959 Topps Orioles team set that she picked up.  Hall of Famers Brooks Robinson and Hoyt Wilhelm are encapsulates, and the rest of the team is in a plastic snap case.

The cards are in great shape, and I think I may put them in an album, instead of letting them sit on a shelf or get stuck in a box.  One of these days, I want to put together Orioles team sets, but that is something that is way on down my list at this point.  I hope to get to it sometime in the future, though.

As always, Mom comes up with the best Christmas ideas.  I don't even bother making out any kind of list for her, because I know that she A.) has probably already bought me next year's presents and B.) she is so creative with how she picks up stuff, I would feel bad LIMITING her with a list.  When she is allowed to run free with what she is picking up, she makes it a lot of fun to see where it goes.

Thanks so much for the Christmas presents, Mom.  You know I love them, and now is your chance to see them again in blog form!

TTM Success - Dick Baney

Here is a TTM success from another Seattle Pilot, Dick Baney.  I like getting these cards in, still, and the two I got from Baney turned out really nice.  This 1970 Topps was damaged a bit before I sent it out, but sending it TTM was a good way to put it to some use, I think.
Here is another 1983 Renata Galasso that I got from fellow Instagrammer, Caleb.  I think I have now sent out all of the ones he gave me.

Baney (b. 1946) played in the majors in 1969, 1973 and 1974 for the Pilots and Reds.  He had a career record of 4-1 with 38 strike outs and a 4.28 ERA.  Baney was in the Orioles system for a year, between June 1970 and June 1971, but did not get called up to the big club.

I mailed to Baney on October 13 and got the cards back on January 12, for a 91-day TAT.

Monday, January 30, 2017

Orioles Fan Fest 2017 Recap

Another Orioles Fan Fest is in the books and this year, the haul was much smaller than in years past.  I switched from getting mainly balls signed to cards and since they take up less space, the haul looks significantly different.  Additionally, there wasn't a whole lot that called out to me in the game used room that I just HAD TO HAVE, so that kept my haul smaller as well.
I went to Fan Fest with my son, Chris, along with my good friend and fellow blogger, Ryan (O No Another Orioles Blog) and Ryan's friends Scott and Austin.  I got a call from my buddy, Michael during one of the autograph sessions when he told me that he had picked up a Nolan Reimold St. Patrick's Day autographed game used hat.  Michael was kind enough to sell it to me at cost, and I picked it up from him later in the day.  This is my first game used hat, and I'm on the fence as to how I want to display it.  I may opt to spend the money and get it shadow boxed, but I'm not certain yet.
There was a game used Nolan Reimold bat at the Orioles Authentics booth, but I didn't want to spend the money on it, especially since Michael had sent me one for my birthday.  The salesman heard me telling Ryan that I was interested, so he tried to make a deal with me.  Unsold, I decided to play up to him and see if he would lower the price on this game used jersey.  He named a price and I instantly jumped on it.  I have a Nolan batting practice jersey, and now I have this one.  I want to get this shadow boxed, so I have already put a call in to my buddy, Ross, to see what pricing would be for that.
 I did opt to get two baseballs signed.  When autograph vouchers went on sale, I had my mom enlisted to help me get vouchers since the ticket brokers and bots like to ruin the process for everyone and buy everything up within seconds.  The ticket buying experience was far more difficult this year than in years past, so when Mom went to get a voucher for Hyun Soo Kim, she accidentally got Zach Britton instead.  Not to worry, I needed to upgrade my Britton ball that I got years ago, so I got this 2016 All Star ball instead.  It turned out great, I think.
 I got another 2016 All Star ball signed by Brad Brach.  I figured it would be great to get him on a ball since relievers have a hard time getting selected for the game, unless they are closers.  This ball turned out great, as well.
This was the biggest piece (in gravity and actual size) that I wanted to get signed.  This is my lineup card from the Oct 4, 2015 game against the Yankees in which Chris Davis hit two home runs and Chris, Michael and I were caught celebrating on MASN.  I had two vouchers for Davis, so I had Chris help me by getting the photo signed.  The photo didn't turn out as great as I would have hoped, but oh well.  You can see the signature if you look really closely at the bottom.

Here is where I will briefly express my disappointment with this year's Fan Fest.  The handlers at the event were awful, for the most part.  I understand the policy on one autograph per voucher, but in all of the past Fan Fests that I have gone to, they at least would let you take home a signed post card in addition to your item.  Additionally, most players would add inscriptions to your item with no problems.  The handler for Davis was especially rude in that she wouldn't let Davis inscribe "hit 2 homers" to my lineup card and she wouldn't let Chris take a post card.  Topping it all off, after the session was over, Austin, who is 7 or 8 waited outside of the table area and asked Davis if he would sign his playoff baseball for him.  The lady refused to let Davis sign the ball, and caused Austin to cry in the process.  I get that these guys are busy and are scheduled to do other things at the event, but this was after the last session, and she could have kept her mouth shut and let Davis sign the ball.  My issue isn't with Davis at all.  I heard from a friend who has a relationship with a couple players who told me that many of the players were frustrated with the handlers this year.  My hope is that this can be fixed so that folks can enjoy the experience a little more.  I understand that there is a "one per" policy, but I am seeing other folks at other Fan Fests (Cubs Convention comes to mind) where folks have been able to "rack."  Ryan and I summed it up by saying that we have Davis with the O's another 6 years, so whatever we want signed, we have a good shot to pick it up later.
With my foray into signed baseball cards, I am now looking to get some stuff signed that I feel like would look great in m album.  One such card that kept calling out to me was this 2011 Topps Lineage Black Diamond Ubaldo Jimenez.  I'm not an Ubaldo fan at all, but I paid the $20 for his session just so I could add this card to my album.  I already had a voucher for this time period, so I had to enlist my little buddy, Brian, to go through this line for me.  His payment?  He was able to meet Jim Palmer and get his autograph.  Fair trade off, I think.
One problem I had was that I ran out of cards of some guys that I wanted to get signed, or I couldn't find them in time.  No fear, though, I grabbed a bunch of generic Orioles cards, like these 2009 Upper Deck Orioles cards.  I think other folks should take notice in that there are a bunch of ways that you can retain an auto, and sometimes cards like this work out great.  The top one is Christian Walker (I have plenty of his cards, but for whatever reason, I couldn't find the box his were in during the week that I was compiling everything I was going to send.  The bottom card is Joe Gunkel.  I was expecting a card in the mail from my good friend, Dugan, but for whatever reason, it still hasn't arrived.  I got this Upper Deck signed for him as well, which I hope he will enjoy.

The way the handlers were herding us in and out of the autograph sessions really hurt my ability to whip my phone out and take pictures.  The only one that took decently was this one of Chris getting Mike Bordick in the Kids Line.  Bordick was also the only player who would sign whatever was put in front of him.
Chris had three Bordick cards in his hand and asked Mike to sign the 1994 Topps Finest, but Bordick signed all of the cards.  This was great, because I didn't have many 1999 Topps,  but couldn't pass up the Finest.  Chris did a great job helping Ryan and I get cards signed.  He has gotten to where he understands the process and doesn't mind getting things signed for us old folks.  He told me this morning to hold onto all of the signed stuff that he got because he knew I would add them to my albums and take care of them.  He's a sweet kid, and very thoughtful.
I had a session with Christian Walker, and had already set aside two cards for that session.  I forgot that I already had the 2015 Topps that my buddy Dilan got for me at a Norfolk game.  Had I known that, I would have looked a little harder for my box.
I met up with a fellow Instagrammer at Fan Fest, a guy names Andy that I just completed my first deal with.  He was actually beside me in the merchandise room first thing in the morning, then we kept bumping into him during the day.  Finally, Michael needed someone to catch the Davis session for him, as he was committed to the Trumbo session, but didn't want to waste his pass.  I was able to broker a deal where Andy went through the line, got to meet Davis, and he would get Michael's item signed.  Win-win for all parties involved, I think.  Andy was able to get a card signed as well; I believe the handler wasn't paying attention at that time.  Andy got the 1996 Donruss signed and gave it to me afterward.  Chris got the Rookie Class, and I got the 1997 Topps.  I only had two other 1997 Topps, so adding this was a good addition to the album.
I had a choice to use my last remaining OMLB from the National to get Kevin Gausman, but I opted to keep it for a future TTM and get Kevin on a couple nice cards.  I wanted to add another 2016 Topps and saw this 2013 Finest orange parallel that I couldn't pass up.  I pre-treated this and all of the other Finest cards that I brought with baby powder.  It really worked, as is evident by Kevin's signature.

I had doubled up on signing times, with the Zach Britton session the same time as Gausman, so Ryan and Chris used those vouchers for me while I got Britton on my ball.
Brad Brach and Mike Wright were also signing during the Gausman session, so Ryan and Chris got these cards signed.  Ryan was kind enough to donate these 2011 Bowman Draft cards and get the done for me.  I had the 2012 Topps gold Brach in my rookie box that I had pulled out for a later TTM, but now, I don;t have to sent it out.
I believe Chris went through the kids line 4 times this year, and I was happy that I worked hard to find cards of guys I thought would be there.  I did really well, I think.  He was able to get this 1991 Topps by Scott Coolbaugh; this 2001 Topps Opening Day Orioles Logo by John Parrish and this 1988 Topps Traded by Joe Orsulak.
Last, but not least, here is the 2015 Topps Update that I got done by Logan Verrett and a 1996 Finest by Jeff Manto.  The Manto had the old protective film on it for 21 years before I removed it last Thursday.  The card looked like a gem mint 10 and now, with the auto, looks really amazing.  I sincerely enjoy seeing Finest cards signed.  I am going to have a goal to add more of these (and other Chrome cards) to the album.

So, lots of folks have asked me my take on this year's Fan Fest.  It wasn't the best one I have been to, but it wasn't terrible.  I'm trying really hard to not let the actions of some of the handlers get me down.  I was really happy with all of the cards that I got signed, and the few items I picked up.  Not pictured are a new hoodie that I got on sale, and a couple items I picked up for some good friends.  In the end, I had a great time with my son.  I also enjoyed seeing and spending time with Ryan.  He's a great friend that I don't get to talk to as often as I would like, since both of our lives get in the way.  Finally, I was able to see Michael, and also meet Andy in person for the first time.  I think that this was a really productive Fan Fest, even though the haul was "smaller" and I am exhausted from the work I put in.

**A special thanks to Mom for picking up the Britton session and letting me pay her back by buying dinner for my sister and niece last weekend.  Thanks Momma!

Sunday, January 29, 2017

TTM Success - Mike Fontenot

Here is a really cool TTM success I was able to facilitate through a search of my Orioles box.  I found these two Mike Fontenot cards back to back in the box and thought it would be really cool if he signed TTM.  I looked, and he does sign, so I sent both of the cards out.

The top card is a 2003 Topps Chrome refractor that turned out great.  I really like how refractors look when they are signed, and 03 really looks sharp.
Look at the contrast between a refractor and a regular chrome when it is scanned.  The refractor is backlit like crazy, and the regular chrome looks kind of dull.  That's pretty weird.  I think they both look great in person, however.

Fontenot (b. 1980) played in the majors in 2005 and 2007 to 2012 for the Cubs, Giants and Phillies.  He had 374 hits, 27 home runs and a .265 batting average.  Fontenot won the World Series with the Giants in 2010.  He also won the College World Series with LSU in 2000.  He was a first round pick (#19) by the Orioles in the 2001 Amateur Draft, and their 2003 Minor League Player of the Year.  He was traded along with David Crouthers and Jerry Hairston, Jr. to the Cubs for Sammy Sosa in 2005.  Ugh.

I mailed to Fontenot on January 4 and got the cards back on January 12, for an 8-day TAT.

TTM Success - Albert Belle

I've already had someone message me and tell me that this TTM I got back from former Oriole, Albert Belle, is from a ghost signer.  I, myself, am not too sure about that.  I actually sent two cards, and Belle kept one.  The one that he kept was a 1998 Topps Etch-A-Sketch card.  THat's what is making me think it really was Belle.  Why else would the ghost signer keep my card?  That's pretty messed up.  All of that being said, this card really turned out great.  Real signature or not.  I love it.

Belle (b. 1966) played in the majors from 1989 to 2000 for the Indians, White Sox and Orioles.  He had 1,726 hits, 381 home runs and a .295 batting average.  Belle his 50 home runs in 1995 and finished in the top 3 in the AL MVP voting between 1994 and 1996.  He was also a 5-time All Star and 5-time Silver Slugger.  For some odd reason, Belle only lasted two years on the Hall of Fame ballot, before falling off due to failure to receive enough votes.  He also didn't receive enough votes in December for Hall of Fame election by the Veterans Committee.  He was an amazing player who's career was cut short by a debilitating hip injury.  My hope is that he can get some consideration again at some point, but it is not looking likely.

I mailed to Belle on January 4 and got the card back on January 12, for an 8-day TAT.  This was the first TTM from 2017 that I got back (in a batch of a few others).

Friday, January 27, 2017

TTM Success - Bill Fahey

I got a lot of TTM requests mailed out from the 1975-1983 era of cards because I went through my entire box of 1981 Topps, organized them, and pulled everyone who was known to sign TTM.  I then went through my boxes of cards from 1975 to 1983 and pulled everyone that matched what I got out of 1981.  The result is a ton of guys to send to in the coming weeks.  I already had sent off a bunch, and they have been coming in slowly.  This success from Bill Fahey is one of them.

I really like this 1975 Topps.  This came out of an early trade with Max, who sent me a bunch of 1975 Topps a while ago.  I always like seeing these come back, because they make me remember that early trade and how he and I have become such close friends, now.
This 1977 Topps came out of my box that I got from the Columbia antique shop.  This card is really cool, because the faux signature looks identical to the real one.
Finally, here are a 1981 and 1982 Topps to round out what I sent.

Fahey (b. 1950) played in the majors from 1971, 1972, 1974 to 1977 and 1979 to 1983 for the Senators/Rangers, Padres and Tigers.  He had 225 hits, 7 home runs and a .241 batting average.  He is the father of former Oriole, Brandon Fahey.

I mailed to Fahey on November 22 and got the cards back on January 9, for a 48-day TAT.

TTM Success - Pat Mahomes

Sometimes, when I send a TTM, the cards I send have some kind of a story behind them.  Maybe they came in a box that my mom gave me, or I found them in a box from my childhood collection, whatever the case may be.  This success from Pat Mahomes had a story when the cards came back to me.
I wondered why the back of my return envelope was stained brown when it came in, and when I opened it up, I discovered that some of my cards were stuck together.  It appeared as if after Mahomes signed my cards, he spilled his morning coffee on the envelope.
It caused the card at the top of the page to stick to the left 1993 Ultra. I tried in vain to separate them.  The back of the card at the top is damaged somewhat, but the Ultra on the left really took a hit.

All of that being said, I'm not too upset.  The cards will still go in my album.  The better of the two 1993 Ultra will likely be set aside with my other duplicate autos, and the damaged one will take its place with my other TTMs.

Mahomes (b. 1970) played in the majors from 1992 to 1997 and 1999 to 2003 for the Twins, Red Sox, Mets, Rangers, Cubs and Pirates.  He had a career record of 42-39 with 452 strike outs and an ERA of 5.47.

I mailed to Mahomes on November 2 and got the cards and some of his coffee back on January 9, for a 68-day TAT.

Thursday, January 26, 2017

TTM Success - Kevin Polcovich

I didn't send this card, but I got a TTM success from Kevin Polcovich.  I actually sent him a Fleer SI "One to Watch" card that looked really sweet, but for whatever reason, he swapped the cards out.  Not complaining, though, because I had no idea the guy was a Carolina Mudcat.  That redeems this success, for sure.  The Mudcats have been my "hometown" team since the Kinston Indians left at the end of the 2011 season.  Good thing is, though, I will have a new team starting in April, back in Kinston!

Polcovich (b. 1970) played in the majors in 1997 and 1998 for the Pirates.  He had 107 hits and 4 home runs and a .234 batting average.

I mailed to Polcovich on December 3 and got the card back on January 3, for a 31-day TAT.

TTM Success - Ron Fairly

I added a couple more nice vintage cards to my autograph album with this success from Ron Fairly.  This 1966 Topps turned out really nice, I think.  The card was in a lot better condition than some of the others that I have.  I like the red and yellow on the card, but I think it would do better when coordinated with team colors.
This 1976 Topps looks nice, as well.  I actually sent two of these, and Fairly signed them both.  I have a plan for some of the extra autos I get, but I need to stockpile a few more.

Fairly (b.1938) played in the majors from 1958 to 1978 for the Dodgers, Expos, Cardinals, A's, Blue Jays and Angels.  He had 1,913 hits, 213 home runs and a .266 batting average.  He was an All Star in 1973 and 1977.  Fairly won the World Series with the Dodgers in 1959, 1963 and 1965.  He appeared on the Hall of Fame ballot in 1984 and didn't receive any votes, and also appeared on the 1985 ballot and received 0.8% of the vote.

I mailed to Fairly on November 12 and got the cards back on December 31, for a 49-day TAT.  This was the last TTM success to come in during 2016.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Surprise Christmas Care Package From Billy S.

It says something when someone you have never met before you is compelled to send you a Christmas gift.  When you pair that with the heartfelt note and kind words exchanged in addition to the gift, you definitely take notice.  I was approached through Instagram DM recently by a fellow who uses the handle "bscollectables".  He said that he had seen the things I did for the Instagram card community, especially helping kids get some help with their collections, and he felt the need to send me a little something for Christmas.

Well, the package arrived shortly after that, and I was blown away.  In the package was several chrome rookie cards of some pretty high-end stars: Kris Bryant, Manny Machado and Corey Seager.  Not only were those in there, but a base RC of Seager, two base rookies of Manny and a Cal I didn't have in my collection.
There was also a Dariel Alvarez auto from 2016 Chrome, as well. Billy also included a letter reiterating what he said in the DM about my helping the community and having a great passion for baseball cards.

I can't express how humbled I am that I had this impact on someone I hadn't even met before.  I sincerely appreciate Billy's kindness, and I plan on doing something for him in the future.

Thank you so much for the package, Billy, I really appreciate it!

TTM Success - Bobby Witt

I have gotten some really cool cards signed TTM since I started sending cards last year, but I seem to always amaze myself with some of the successes that have come in.  This success from Bobby Witt was a really good one, topped with the above 1994 Topps Finest.  This card looks awesome in person, Witt's A's jersey really matched well with the borders of the card.  I was really happy to get this one back.  The card was treated with an eraser prior to sending out for signature.
I had a bunch of Witt cards to choose from, so I picked the 1986 Topps Traded and the 1989 to represent some Topps series.
I also had to go with a 1993 Flair; you can never go wrong with getting those signed.  I also had this 1997 Pacific, which there aren't many of in my album.

Witt (b. 1964) played in the majors from 1986 to 2001 for the Rangers, A's, Marlins, Cardinals, Devil Rays, Indians and Diamondbacks.  He had a career record of 142-157 with an ERA of 4.83 and 1,955 strike outs.  He won the World Series with the Diamondbacks in 2001.

I mailed to Witt on November 9 and got the cards back on December 30, for a 51-day TAT.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

TTM Success - Chris Chambliss

I sure do love a horizontal card when it gets signed.  So much so, I used this 1973 Topps from Chris Chambliss as my representative from that set for my Topps Autograph Project well before I had a chance to post about it.  For all of the faults of the 1973 set, this card really turned out great.  By faults, I mean that the action shots are pretty low quality, compared to those of today's standards, but back in 1973, they were considered cutting edge.
Fast-forward 10 years, and the photo quality of this action shot is much brighter and clearer.  There is a lot of blue on this card, due to the old Braves jersey, and the borders to the card.

Chambliss (b. 1948) played in the majors from 1971 to 1986 and 1988 for the Indians, Yankees and Braves.  He had 2,109 hits, 185 home runs and a .279 batting average.  He was the rookie of the year in 1971, an All Star in 1976 and a Gold Glove Award winner in 1978.  He finished 5th in the AL MVP voting in 1976.  Chambliss won the World Series with the Yankees in 1977 and 1978,  He appeared on the Hall of Fame ballot in 1994 but did not receive any votes.

I mailed to Chambliss on November 14 and got the cards back on December 27, for a 43-day TAT.

Monday, January 23, 2017

Ebay Pickup - 2016 National Treasures Chris Davis Patch

I picked up a nice addition to the Chris Davis PC last week when this 2016 Panini National Treasures card came in.  It has a really nice patch on it and is numbered 5/10.

I have been lucky enough to find quite a few Davis patch cards that really pop in my collection.  I have gotten a lot of compliments on the Davis PC and I don't see it stopping any time soon.  I want to keep an eye out for more of these in the future, but I have a lot going on lately, so the budget is tight.

TTM Success - Eddie Kasko

Here is another nice TTM success on some vintage cards raided from my vintage box and 1972 set, respectively.  This 1960 Topps turned out really nice, even though the card was pretty beat up.  I still enjoy the 1960 design, and want to get some more of them signed.
This came out of my 1972 partial set, like I said, and looks really nice.  Kasko has a nice signature, and it worked well with this card.

Kasko (b. 1931) was born in Elizabeth, NJ, which as I have said before, is where my family has deep roots.  I didn't know that beforehand.  I wish I had looked it up before I sent, I would have mentioned it in my note.  Kasko played in the majors from 1957 to 1966 for the Cardinals, Reds, Colt .45s/Astros and Red Sox.  He had 935 hits, 22 home runs and a .264 batting average.  He was an All Star in 1961 and finished 29th in the 1962 NL MVP voting.  He managed the Red Sox from 1970 to 1973 and had a career won/loss record of 345-295 (.539%).

I mailed to Kasko on November 12 and got the cards back on December 24, for a 42-day TAT.

Sunday, January 22, 2017

TTM Success - Bill Hands

I got a few nice vintage cards back with this success from Bill Hands.  I was looking to add another 1967 to my ledger of signed cards, so I was pleased when I was able to get this one back.  I found this at my LCS, and since his name was easy to remember, I was able to remember that I had seen that he signed.
I found the 1971 at my LCS as well, then when I got home, I raided my 1972 partial set to add something else to the package.  I begin to feel less and less guilty about raiding some unstarted partial sets because I really am enjoying adding cards to my auto album.  These all turned out great, as Hands used a thin blue sharpie on the cards.  The thin blue sharpie really does well for autos, I think.

Hands (b. 1940) played in the majors from 1965 to 1975 for the GIants, Cubs, Twins and Rangers.  He had a career record of 111-110 with an ERA of 3.35 and 1,128 strike outs.  He was a 20-game winner in 1969.  He appeared on the 1981 Hall of Fame ballot, but didn't receive any votes.

I mailed to Hands on November 2, and got the cards back on December 23, for a 41-day TAT.

Saturday, January 21, 2017

TTM Success - Cliff Johnson

Here is a pretty cool TTM success that I got from Cliff Johnson.  I thought the old Cubs uniform on this card was great.  I had a ton of 1981 Topps that I sorted by number, then pulled all of the guys who sign TTM.  I now have a ton of 81s to get signed whenever I send out packages. It is a nice year of Topps to get signed, I think.
I also liked this 1977 Topps due to the Astros jersey.  Johnson also looks like he wants to hit that catcher over the head with his bat, for some reason.
Finally, here is a 1984 Fleer that I found.  I don't have many of this year of Fleer at all, so getting this one signed was pretty nice.  There is a lot of blue on this card.

Johnson (b. 1947) played in the majors from 1972 to 1986 for the Astros, Yankees, Indians, Cubs, A's, Blue Jays and Rangers.  He had 1,016 hits, 196 home runs and a .258 batting average.  He won the World Series with the Yankees in 1977 and 1978.

I mailed to Johnson on December 3, and got the cards back on December 23.  I sent four cards and $10.00, he kept one card.