Saturday, September 30, 2017

TTM Success - Oddibe McDowell

I waited a while for these to come in, and when they did, the only disappointment I had was that my 1987 Topps wasn't returned signed.  Oddibe McDowell signed three of the six cards I sent, and kept the three unsigned ones.  I will have to try him another time if I want the '87 back.  I like the cards he did return, though.  Nothing wrong with a 1986 like the one above.
He inscribed each card to me and included a bible verse, which was a nice touch.

McDowell (b. 1962) played in the majors from 1985 to 1990 and 1994 for the Rangers, Indians and Braves.  He had 715 hits, 74 home runs and a .253 batting average.  He finished 4th in the 1985 AL Rookie of the Year voting.

I mailed to McDowell on February 18 and got the cards back on September 21, for a 215-day TAT.

Friday, September 29, 2017

TTM Success - Jim Acker

I have sent out a bunch of TTM requests to guys who played in the mid-80s so I can add some more 1987 Topps to the album.  I still haven't officially declared that I am doing the set, but I'm still pulling them in.

This success from Jim Acker got me quite a few mid-to-late 80s and early 90s cards for the album.  This 1986 Topps turned out really nice.
I also added cards form 1987 (of course), 1990, 1991 and 1992 Topps.  The below 1991 Donruss also turned out really nice.  I don't recall discussing the 91 Donruss set on here much, but I like the "Saved by the Bell" look to it that was a staple of the early 90s.  That's right, I called it the Saved by the Bell set.  Look closely.  It looks like the graphics from the intro to the show.  You can thank me for the memories later ("I'm so excited! I'm so.... SCARED....").  Ok, I'm reminiscing too much about a show that has nothing to do with this TTM success.
Acker (b. 1958) played in the majors from 1983 to 1992 for the Blue Jays, Braves and Mariners.  He had a career record of 33-49 with 482 strike outs and an ERA of 3.97.

I mailed to Acker on September 11 and got the cards back on September 19, for an 8-day TAT.

Thursday, September 28, 2017

TTM Success - Mike Rabelo

I always thought his name was Rabledo, but I was mistaken when I typed in his name to search whether Mike Rabelo signed TTM.  I mean, his name is right in front of me, but still, I thought he was Mike Rabledo.  Oh well.  I added this cool 2007 Finest to the album with this success.  I had found it at the LCS and figured it would be nice in my album.
I also added this 2008 Topps to the album.  I remember a time when I didn't have any 2008 in there, but now, it isn't the set with the least representation.

Rabelo (b. 1980) played in the majors from 2006 to 2008 for the Tigers and Marlins.  He had 65 hits, 4 home runs and a .234 batting average.

I mailed to Rabelo on May 8 and got the cards back on September 18, for a 133-day TAT.

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Birthday Gift From Gerard

My birthday was fairly low key this year.  I didn't tell too many people that it was coming up, but a couple of my friends knew anyway and sent a few things along.  My good friend, Gerard, picked up a few things for me and sent them along with the last 50/50 batch for the season.

I didn't have a signed mini helmet yet of Nolan Reimold, but now I do.  I will put this in my display case with some of my other Nolan stuff.
Gerard also sent this Zach Britton relic along, which I really like.  I haven't picked up much of Britton's stuff, so this was a nice item to add to the collection.
Gerard has been the person that I have leaned on the most for 50/50s this season.  He has sent me a ton of stuff to get signed, and I have sent him some cards for Pawtucket.
Gerard worked on these cards for the bulk of the season, and came away with some nice autos.
I need to find some more cards of Pawtucket guys so that he has more options.  I, obviously, will wait until the new year when rosters are set.
Gerard had asked me for Mike Olt cards a few times, so at the National, I picked up a few from the dime boxes.  I thought they were all going to be for him, but he sent two of them back to me signed.
Finally, he hooked me up with these signed cards.  I liked the Castillo, since I wasn't sure he would be able to get one signed for me.  Luckily, Gerard came through, as always!
Thank you so much for the birthday package, Gerard!  I enjoyed it!

TTM Success - Matt Young

I added a couple cool cards to my album with this TTM success from former pitcher, Matt Young.  I was able to get two cards from the 1987 set signed, and this nice 1985 Topps.
Some of the team leaders cards are a bit difficult to figure out who is on the card, but this one was really easy.  I'm glad to be able to knock off two cards with one TTM success.

Young (b. 1958) played in the majors from 1983 to 1987 and 1989 to 1993 for the Mariners, Dodgers, A's, Red Sox and Indians.  He had a career record of 55-95 with a 4.40 ERA and 857 strike outs.  He was an All Star in 1983.

I mailed to Young on September 1 and got the cards back on September 15, for a 14-day TAT.

Monday, September 25, 2017

September 2017 Trip to Baltimore

I thought I was done graphing for the year.  I was content to rest on the 964 signed cards that I had gotten and call it a year.  I decided that, for my birthday, I would make the trip to Baltimore for a game or two, and ended up doing a bit more graphing.

I was slammed for work, so I didn't get a lot of time to sort, but luckily, I still had a ton of Orioles cards that I had sat aside for the Norfolk exhibition game in March.  I took those stacks, then supplemented them with a few Orioles alumni that I thought may come.

I also met up with my good friend, Michael, and he showed me the ropes of graphing at Camden Yards.  He helped me outside the stadium, inside at the field, and up in the club level.  One of the biggest autos I was able to get was this Jonathan Schoop.  It turned out really nice, especially since I didn't get a chance to prep the card beforehand.  I was really lucky that the auto suck with this one.  I was able to get him to sign it at his car, along with a ton of other folks.  I appreciate that his wife was so gracious as to let us hand the cards inside the car to him.
Boog Powell was probably the easiest Oriole to approach.  He was at his station at Boog's BBQ chatting and posing for photos.  He signed every card that I had, which was great, because I had brought some nice Topps cards straight from my PC.
I was able to get this 1992 Action Packed card signed, which is the first that I have been able to add to my album.  It turned out nice, and the line through the auto came due to the scan.
I had brought a few Orioles team cards with me, just in case I ran into any players and didn't have their cards on hand.  Such was the case with Austin Hays on Saturday at the field level.  I had him sign the 2016 Heritage team card instead, which turned out really nicely.  The 2017 Topps team card is signed by radio personality, Tom Davis, while the 2016 team card is signed by THE Roch Kubatko!
I was able to talk to Jim Palmer outside of the stadium after the game, Friday night.  He wouldn't sign, though.  He told me he would sign for me Saturday, if I was at the game.  Sure enough, before the game Saturday, he came over in the parking lot and signed a card for me.
I got Palmer to sign this card post game, Saturday.  He is funny with autographers; he said "You're all collectors!", and joked around with all of us.  He took one kid's graphing book and asked everyone to "throw em all up there" so, with the kid holding the book, Palmer signed all of our cards.
I was also able to take a selfie with Palmer, but it turned out pretty blurry.  Still, he was nice about it.
I was able to get Rick Dempsey before Saturday's game in the parking lot.  I had a number of cards with me and handed them over to him.  He signed a few (above) and I thanked him.  He wasn't overly talkative, but we did talk about what he would do in the offseason.  He talked about playing golf.
Because it was the final home series of the season, there were a bunch of Orioles alumni at the stadium and walking around the club level.  I was able to get Chris Hoiles on one.  I missed Joe Orsulak, though.  I saw Ross Grimsley leaving the stadium, and caught Scott McGregor, getting him on a card for myself, and one for Michael.
I was with fellow grapher, Patrick, when Brady Anderson came outside on Saturday night.  Michael had told me that Brady was gone for the weekend, but luckily, I was able to find his cards very quickly in my box.  I took the first two cards that I saw, which landed me this 1991 that Patrick got for me, and the awesome Pacific below that I was able to get done.
Also outside on Saturday night, I was able to use the above 2016 Orioles team card on Jimmy Yacabonis.  He might have made better sense on a 2017 team card, but in my scramble, this one was the first I could get my hands on in a pinch that night.  It'll do.
Buck Showalter was the last to leave the stadium on Friday night, and Michael and I were the last graphers standing.  Buck stopped his car and motioned for us to come over; he chatted with us for a bit, and was more than happy to sign for us.  I noticed, though, that he only signed the Orioles cards that we presented.  I had two other cards (a Yankee card and a Diamondbacks card) and he left them blank.
Jeremy Hellickson was sitting in his car on Saturday night, and told the graphers that he would sign on Sunday.  Apparently, though, he was waiting for someone who was late, so he finally motioned for us to come over, and he signed for a bit until the person he was waiting for finally came and caught a ride with him.  Who was he waiting for?  Alex Cobb!
I actually recognized Dave Johnson while we were in the club level.  He was really nice to Michael and I.  While he was signing for us, we talked about his son, Steve, who had to cancel a vacation to the Caribbean due to the hurricane.
I also got Johnson a second time as he came out of the stadium on Saturday so I could finish off my page of him.  I appreciated him stopping and chatting again.
On this trip, I was surprised at the number of Rays players that I was able to get on cards.  Saturday before the game, we were able to get Rays manager, Kevin Cash, after his finished his afternoon run.
I was able to get Alex Cobb a couple of times.  Jose Sucre is on the Rays team card at top left.
Cobb was really nice; he signed for me several times, and finished up all of the cards I had of him.
A lot of the players were one per, except for Curt Casali, but I had all of the same card of him, 2016 Topps.
I really enjoyed chatting with Tommy Hunter before the Saturday game.  He was open and honest about how he enjoyed his time in Baltimore, and how he didn't want to leave.
Tommy also gave a fellow grapher some crap for calling out for him to come over, then leaving to try to get Evan Longoria instead.  He was really funny and took quite a while to sign for everyone.
I wasn't going to do any graphing on Sunday morning, but I had to meet Michael and hand off some extra cards that I had.  While we were waiting for him, Austin Hays came over and posed for a photo with Chris.
I had one ROMLB with me, just in case.  I decided to use that ball to get an autograph from Orioles radio voice, Joe Angel.  With Michael's idea, I got Angel to inscribe the baseball "Wave it bye bye" and "In the WIN column".
The ball turned out great, except for the little smudge on the side.  I didn't care!
 I believe that Joe Angel will end up in the Hall of Fame as a Ford Frick Award winner, so hopefully this ball will find its way into my HOF collection soon.
Finally, the biggest autograph (in my mind) that I was able to get this weekend was that of Rays pitcher, Chris Archer.  I used my knowledge that he was from NC to my advantage.  He is from Clayton, NC, so I yelled over to him "Hey Chris!  I drove through Clayton on Tuesday on my way to Fuquay [Varina]!"  He smiled and waved, so I asked him if he minded signing a card for me.  He said he would when he was done, and was good on his word.  I had to jump on the dugout to slide the card and pen to him, much to the chagrin of the usher who yelled at me, but I didn't care.  I got the auto!

So, with this trip, I netted 1,016 signed cards on the season.  I think this was an awesome way to close it out and officially retire my graphing book for the winter.  I'll fire it all up again for Fan Fest in January.

TTM Success - Chris Burke

Check out this awesome Astros uniform on this 2007 Upper Deck that I received signed from Chris Burke.  This card really turned out nicely, even with the fat red marker that Burke used to sign.  It does kind of match up with the orange of the uniform, though.  Not complaining at all!
I was able to get this Authentic Speed card back, as well, but the signature blends in a little too much with the background of the card.
I also added two Topps products in these 2007 and 2008 cards.  They both turned out really nice.

Burke (b. 1980) played in the majors from 2004 to 2009 for the Astros, Diamondbacks and Padres.  He had 303 hits, 23 home runs and a .239 batting average.

I mailed to Burke on August 7 and got the cards back on September 14 (my birthday) for a 38-day TAT.

Sunday, September 24, 2017

TTM Success - Craig McMurtry

I added another signed 1987 Topps to my collection with this TTM success from former pitcher, Craig McMurtry.  The auto on the 87 smeared, but I'm still happy that I have the card.
I also added Topps cards from 1984, 1986, 1989 and 1990.  The 1990 was one that Chris gave me out of his collection, which was nice of him.

McMurtry (b. 1959) played in the majors from 1983 to 1986, 1988 to 1990 and 1995 for the Braves, Rangers and Astros.  He had a career record of 28-42 with an ERA of 4.08 and 349 strike outs.  He finished second in the 1983 NL Rookie of the Year Award voting (to Darryl Strawberry) and 7th in the NL Cy Young Award voting.

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

TTM Success - Glenn Hubbard

I have taken a few days off from the blog in order to decompress and enjoy some time away from home.  I am back, and have put myself even farther behind on TTMs and other posts.  Still, I don't regret it.

I got some cool cards back from Glenn Hubbard, including the above 1989 Bowman.  Personally, I never liked these cards, but now with my graphing that I'm doing, they really turn out quite well.
I also hot these cards back from Hubbard, including cards from 1981, 86 and 87 Topps and a 1988 Donruss Diamond Kings.

Hubbard (b.1957) has a birthday tomorrow and played in the majors from 1978 to 1989 for the Braves and A's.  He had 1,084 hits, 70 home runs and a .244 batting average.  He was an All Star in 1983.

Hubbard was released from his contract with the A's on July 31, 1989 and missed when they won the World Series that year.

I mailed to Hubbard on May 8 via the Lexington Legends and got the cards back on September 11, for a 126-day TAT.