Monday, August 31, 2020

TTM Success - Steven Wright

Topps Fire is a type of card that I have been wanting to get more of in my album.  I really liked this Steven Wright that I got back signed, and I don't even care that it is personalized.  The card just looks cool.

Wright (b. 1984) played in the majors from 2013 to 2019 for the Red Sox.  He had a career record of 24-16 with 271 strike outs and a 3.86 ERA.  He was an All Star in 2016.

I mailed to Wright on June 3 and got the card back signed on June 5, for a 12-day TAT.

TTM Success - Alex Dickerson

I've enjoyed adding fairly recent cards to my autograph album, and this success from Alex Dickerson put a few nice ones in there.  I like the 1990 Donruss design, and when the 2017 design came out, I enjoyed the throwback to that set.  I was glad to get this 2017 Donruss signed; I just wish Dickerson had a better signature.
He also signed a black border 2011 Bowman and a 2016 Allen & Ginter.  Both cards are nice, and I'm glad to add them to my album.  Speaking of, I have slots for 5 more cards in this album, then it is on to fill another.

Dickerson (b. 1990) has played in the majors in 2015, 2016, 2019 and 2020 for the Padres and Giants.  He has 134 hits, 20 home runs and a .257 batting average.

I mailed to Dickerson on May 30 and got the cards back on June 15, for a 16-day TAT.

Sunday, August 30, 2020

TTM Success - Atlee Hammaker

I had sent to him TTM, but the card never came back, so when I saw that Atlee Hammaker was doing a private signing, I went ahead and sent a card.  The card came back looking great, and is another one I can cross off of my list for my 1987 Topps set.

Hammaker (b. 1958) played in the majors from 1981 to 1985, 1987 to 1991 and 1994 to 1995 for the Royals, Giants, Padres and White Sox.  He had a career record of 59-67 with 615 strike outs and a 3.66 ERA.  He won the ERA crown in 1983 (NL) with a 2.25 ERA, and was an All Star that season.

I mailed to the signing on April 28 and got the card back on June 15, for a 48-day TAT.  I paid a fee of $12.00.

TTM Success - Paul Hoilman

I was able to get a couple 2012 Bowman cards out of my box when I got these signed by Paul Hoilman.  I haven't had many Bowmans prior to 2014, when I started buying up more of them, so getting a couple of the 2012s signed was nice.
Hoilman (b. 1989) was a 19th round pick by the Cubs in the 2011 June Amateur Draft.  He played two seasons in the Cubs system, reaching A level Peoria.  In his two seasons, he had 160 hits, 25 home runs and a .243 batting average.

I mailed to Hoilman on June 8 and got the cards back on June 15, for a 7-day TAT.

Saturday, August 29, 2020

Max Knocks Another Off of The List

Max sent me another package that was paired with the one he sent with the assorted Frank autos, and this one contained another signed 1987 Topps for my set.

I had sent TTM to Bill Schroeder a couple years ago, but never got my card back.  Max helped me out by getting this one, and it has now been crossed off of the list.

Schroeder (b. 1958) played in the majors from 1983 to 1990 for the Brewers and Angels.  He had 303 hits, 61 home runs and a .240 batting average.

Thanks, as always, for the help with the set, Max!

TTM Success - Heston Kjerstad

Before he was drafted #2 overall this past June, I had sent a TTM request to Heston Kjerstad.  I got the card back, and now he is an Oriole.  That was definitely not planned, as it was a common thought that the Orioles would choose Austin Martin.  My TTM request to Martin is still out there, somewhere, but I am happy the Kjerstad did come back.

Kjerstad (b. 1999) was the second overall pick in the 2020 June Amateur Draft by the Orioles.  He had played 3 seasons at the University of Arkansas, his third season cut short by the COVID outbreak.

In his collegiate career, Kjerstad had 204 hits, 37 home runs and a .343 batting average.

I mailed to Kjerstad on June 5 and got the card back on June 13, for an 8-day TAT.

Friday, August 28, 2020

Max Hooks It Up With Even More Signed Franks

My good friend, Max, had another signing session with The Big Hurt, and I was again able to provide a bunch of cards to get signed.  When it came time to claim some of the cards, I got back some nice ones that I sent and the above 1994 Collectors Choice that I wish I could have found and sent.  For whatever reason, I like these cards, and have been wanting to get at least one of them in my autograph album.  I now have one, and it looks really cool.
This 2017 Topps 87 Chrome turned out pretty well.  I love the silver pack cards and am glad to add this one to my album.
Here are the other cards that I got from Max this time around.  The 1994 Topps Black Gold (top right) is one I was really glad to be able to get signed, as it has just sat in my box for probably 25 years.

Thanks, as always, Max!  The cards are great and look awesome in my album!

Thursday, August 27, 2020

TTM Success - Scott McGregor

It's always good to get a former Oriole TTM, and even better if it is one who signs a lot of cards in one return.  I got a bunch of cards back from Scott McGregor, and am happy with the return.  I was able to get this 1981 Fleer that my good friend, Max, gave me a while back.  The card got a little beat up, but it still looks fine.
I also got the 1991 Crown Orioles card signed.  Again, I'm not going for the set, but...  I may be going for anything I can get out of my box.  Take that for that it's worth.
Finally, I got McGregor on (top left to right) a 1977 and 1978 Topps, and also (bottom left to right) 1980 and 1984 Topps.

McGregor (b. 1954) played in the majors from 1976 to 1988 for the Orioles.  He had a career record of 138-108 with 904 strike outs and a 3.99 ERA.  He was an All Star in 1981 and his best Cy Young finish was 6th (1980 and 1983).  He won 20 games in 1980 and won the World Series with the Orioles in 1983.  He appeared on the 1994 Hall of Fame ballot, but received no votes.

I mailed to McGregor on June 4 and got the cards back on June 13, for a 9-day TAT.

Wednesday, August 26, 2020

TTM Success - Josh Geer

I took a couple cards out of my old rookies box that I had and sent them out for signatures.  These cards of Josh Geer turned out fairly well.  I liked the above 2009 O Pee Chee.  I don't know why Upper Deck brought back the O Pee Chee brand in the late 2000s, but they did.  It was a cheap alternative to Topps Total, I suppose.  Still, the design was nice, and the card looks good signed.
This 2009 Bowman also turned out well.

Geer (b. 1983) played in the majors in 2008 and 2009 for the Padres.  He had a record of 3-8 with 70 strike outs and a 5.28 ERA.

I mailed to Geer on May 14 and got the cards back on June 12, for a 29-day TAT.

Another TTM Success From Jim Leyritz

I had forgotten that I had received a TTM success from Jim Leyritz back in 2017, but I suppose that's ok, because I got some nice cards back signed (and a couple smudges).  The above 1990 Score Traded is a nice card, but Leyritz smudged the crap out of it.  What a shame.
The 1993 Topps buyback (above left) was what caused me to want to send to Leyritz again, and at least that card turned out great.  The 1998 Topps got smudged, as well, but the 1991 Donruss turned out pretty nicely.

I mailed to Leyritz on May 21 and got the cards back on June 11, for a 21-day TAT.

Tuesday, August 25, 2020

TTM Success - Devin Smeltzer

I always enjoy getting 2013 Leaf Perfect Game cards out of my box.  I bought several hobby boxes of these a few years ago at The National for cheap, but got stuck with a lot of commons.  Thankfully, I have been able to get a coupld of them signed recently TTM.  I also like Devin Smeltzer's inscription on the above card "Goateeless Days".  That's a good one.
I also got a 2019 Topps Holiday signed by Smeltzer.  It turned out really well, too.

Smeltzer (b. 1995) has played in the majors since 2019 for the Twins.  He has a career record of 4-2 with 51 strike outs and a 4.45 ERA.

I mailed to Smeltzer on June 1 and got the cards back on June 9, for an 8-day TAT.

Monday, August 24, 2020

TTM Success - Tim Leary

I had participated in a private signing for Tim Leary and didn't know that my good friend, Gerard, had bought a signed 1987 Topps Leary for me to help me with my set.  Since then, I have updated my Google Docs needs list with color codes to show when I have sent off TTMs or made purchases for the set.  This was done for the sole purpose so that my buddy wouldn't have to double up again.  I felt really bad that he did that, but he was nice enough to tell me to use the other card as trade bait to help fill the set elsewhere.

Leary (b. 1958) played in the majors in 1981 and from 1983 to 1994 for the Mets, Brewers, Dodgers, Reds, Yankees, Mariners and Rangers.  He had a career record of 78-105 with 888 strike outs and a 4.36 ERA.  He was a Silver Slugger Award (as a pitcher) in 1988.  That season, he won the World Series with the Dodgers.

I mailed to the signing on May 5 and got the card back on June 9, for a 35-day TAT.  I paid a fee of $12.00.

Sunday, August 23, 2020

TTM Success - Charley Pride

I saw that former Negro Leaguer and Country Music Hall of Famer, Charley Pride was signing TTM, so he became someone else that I put on a checklist from my 1987 Topps set.  Recently someone asked me why I sent the checklist cards, and really it is when I have nothing else I can send, that I'll send one of these out.  Also, if they were active in 87, that helps.
Pride signed my Texas Rangers sticker upside down, but it is still signed.  He was drafted by the Rangers in a ceremonial Negro League draft several years ago, which is why the Rangers card was sent.  I'm sure if I looked around hard enough, I would have found one of those Country Gold cards for him to sign.  I have no clue where I would have any of those, so these two cards got sent instead.

Pride (b. 1934) played for the Memphis Red Sox of the Negro Leagues in 1952.  He was picked up by the Boise Yankees in 1953, the Yankees Class C minor league team.  He suffered an injury, which cause him to lose some velocity on his fastball, so he was dropped to the Yankees Class D team, the Fon Du Lac (Wisconsin) Yankees.  During that season, he and teammate, Jesse Mitchell were traded to the Birmingham Black Barons for a team bus, according to Pride's autobiography.

His mother had given him a guitar when he was 14, and he taught himself how to play.  After serving in the Army in the mid-50s, and a failed attempt at making pro ball, Pride began singing for the semi-pro team he was playing for.  During his time playing in Memphis, he recorded a few songs for Sun Records.  Those songs didn't make the music charts, but Pride continued to perform for small clubs and such while he was playing baseball and living in Montana.  Eventually, he would sign with RCA Victor and his music career would take off.

Pride and his brother, Mack "The Knife" Pride", along with 28 other living former Negro Leaguers, would be drafted by Major League teams during the ceremonial draft in 2008.  Pride was drafted by the Rangers, the team of which he is a part owner, and his brother was drafted by the Rockies.  His brother passed away in 2018.

I mailed to Pride on May 4 and got the cards back on June 9, for a 36-day TAT.

Friday, August 21, 2020

TTM Success - Carson Blair

I was finally able to get this 2016 Topps black parallel signed TTM by Carson Blair after it had sat in my box for years. It turned out well, I think.
I also got his base card signed, and it turned out great.

Blair (b. 1989) played in the majors in 2015 for the A's. He had 4 hits, 1 home run and a .129 batting average.

I mailed to Blair on April 27 and got the cards back signed on June 8, for a 42-day TAT.

Thursday, August 20, 2020

TTM Success - Tommy John

I had him in my 1987 Topps set but I went ahaid and sent another TTM to Tommy John. This signature looks a bit shakier than the other, but both are pretty similar.
I also had John sign this 1973 Topps. It also turned out well.

John (b. 1943) played in the majors from 1963 to 1974 and 1976 to 1989 for the Indians, White Sox, Dodgers, Yankees, Angels and A's. He had a career record of 288-231 with 2,245 strike outs and a 3.34 ERA. He was a 4-time All Star (1968 and 1978 to 1980). His best Cy Young finish was 2nd in 1977. John won 20 or more games 3 times (1977, 1979 and 1980).

I mailed to John on May 12 and got the cards back on June 8, for a 27-day TAT. I paid a fee of $10/card.

Wednesday, August 19, 2020

Another TTM Success From Rafael Palmeiro

 I had heard that Rafael Palmeiro was signing TTM, so I found two cards I missed when we went to Cleburne and sent them along. I got my cards back and maybe two weeks later, Raffy started charging $20/card, so I got lucky!

I mailed to Palmeiro on May 16 and got the cards back on June 8, for a 23-day TAT.

Tuesday, August 18, 2020

TTM Success - Josh Thoele

Here are some nice cards from the early 2010s that I was able to get signed TTM by Josh Thoele.  The above 2010 Topps has a nice shot of Thoele sliding.  I like these kinds of shots on cards.  His signature is kind of clunky, but hey the card is signed.
The above 2010 Topps National Chicle (above left) and 2013 Topps Update (above right) both turned out well.

Thoele (b. 1986) played in the majors from 2009 to 2016 for the Mets and Blue Jays.  He had 323 hits, 9 home runs and a .242 batting average.

I mailed to Thoele on May 6 and got the cards back on June 6, for a 31-day TAT.

1987 Set Pickup - Calvin Schiraldi

My friend, Rich, sent me this Calvin Schiraldi for my 1987 Topps set.  I had one in my album, but the signature wasn't all that great, so this is definitely an upgrade.

Schiraldi (b. 1962) played in the majors from 1984 to 1991 for the Mets, Red Sox, Cubs, Padres and Rangers.  He had a career record of 32-39 with 471 strike outs and a 4.28 ERA.

Thank you so much for the signed card, Rich!

Monday, August 17, 2020

TTM Success - Jacoby Jones

I added some recants cards out of my prospects box with this TTM success from Jacoby Jones.  The aboce 2015 Topps Pro Debut turned out really well.  I only have a handful of these cards, so it was nice to be able to get one of them signed.

I have a bunch of 2014 Bowman (above left) though, and it was really nice to be able to get one of those signed.  The 2015 Bowman Chrome (above right) also turned out well.

Jones (b. 1992) has played in the majors since 2016 for the Tigers.  He has 206 hits, 30 home runs and a .217 batting average.

I mailed to Jones on May 7 and got the cards back on June 6, for a 30-day TAT.

87 Set Pickup - Bob Sebra

I had sent a card to him TTM, but Bob Sebra never got a chance to sign it.  It turned out that he was in the hospital, and passed away in July.  I saw this card on Ebay, so I went ahead and picked it up and crossed it off of my list.

Sebra (b. 1961 - d. 2020) played in the majors from 1985 to 1990 for the Rangers, Expos, Phillies, Reds and Brewers.  He had a career record of 15-29 with 281 strike outs and a 4.71 ERA.

Sunday, August 16, 2020

TTM Success - Tyler Baum

I have come to enjoy getting recent draft picks cards signed.  I usually just hoard the Bowman cards for in-person graphing, but this year has killed that.

This 2019 Bowman Draft card of A's prospect, Tyler Baum, turned out nicely.  He also included a signed index card thanking me for writing to him.

Baum (b. 1998) was a second round pick in the 2019 June Amateur Draft by the A's out of UNC-Chapel Hill.  He pitched in 11 games in Low A ball last summer where he went 0-3 with 34 strike outs and a 4.70 ERA.

I mailed to Baum on May 30 and got the card back signed on June 5, for a 6-day TAT.

TTM Success - Sean Danielson

I got a random Bowman card out of my box when I was able to send this 2008 Bowman off to Sean Danielson.  He returned it signed to me, and it now is in my album.  I have 5 more pages to fill before I can start a new album, by the way.

Danielson (b. 1982) played from 2005 to 2010 in the minors for the Cardinals, Red Sox and Reds systems.  He reached AAA, but never broke into the majors.  Across those 6 seasons in the minors, he had 435 hits, 7 home runs and a .272 batting average.

I mailed to Danielson on May 13 and got the card back signed on June 5, for a 23-day TAT.

Saturday, August 15, 2020

I Bought Johnny Bench A Margarita

That has to be one of my best blog titles that I have come up with.  Yes, tonight, I did buy Johnny Bench a margarita.  I also bought one for Doug Flynn.  After weeks of on again and off again updates, the Mad Boar Block Party for the Hope For The Warriors charity was held tonight.  With COVID going on, it looked like the event was going to be canceled this year.  Up until this afternoon, I thought it had.

I had been talking directly with folks from the charity on Facebook, and they weren't even sure that Johnny Bench was going to be there tonight.  I had heard from a couple friends that he was going to show, but this was after I had already told my friends Dugan, Jackson and Billy that I had confirmed he wouldn't be here.  Those three ended up making plans today, so I was disappointed that they weren't able to come tonight when I did confirm through the Mad Boar restaurant that Bench would be coming.

Luckily, I already had my cards ready to go; I especially wanted this 1973 Topps card that I had already had signed by Blue Moon Odom signed by Bench.  His signature pretty much drowns out Odom's, but it still is a really cool card to get both signatures on.

Of course I had to go with a couple 1987 Topps themed cards.  I really wanted to get one of my National Card Show VIP cards (above right) signed by someone, and the 2017 Topps Silver Pack 87 chrome really looks awesome in person.

I also got this 2017 Topps 87 mini signed because the rate they charged me for my Bench autos was too good to pass up.

The two 1982 cards (above middle and right) were leftovers from when I went last year, but didn't get them signed.  Again, the rate was so good, I couldn't pass them up, so I ended up getting everything I had with me signed.

Speaking of everything I had with me; I did bring one Doug Flynn card with me.  I had found a 1986 Topps card of Flynn.  Apparently, for the longest time, Flynn would never sign that card.  Recently, Bench held an auction for a children's hospital and Flynn signed around 20 of those cards for a $400 donation.  He held my card and debated with Bench for a while (Bench told him to charge me $20), until Flynn finally asked me for my address and told me he would mail me "something nice" instead.  I'm interested to see what that would be.

Oh yeah, I bought Flynn a margarita as well.  The story behind the drinks is that last year, after our first go round with Bench (which, truthfully didn't come off all that well), I went back through the line after Bench had partaken of some beverages.  I told Bench that I'd buy him a drink, but then someone else brought some.  He said "Oh, I've already got one, but thank you..."  So, this year, I told him that I still owed him a drink, and he said he would always be up for one.  He and Flynn both wanted margaritas, so I went to the bar and bought them some.  When I got back with the drinks, both Flynn and Bench were really surprised (as were the Hope For The Warriors personnel); and both Bench and Flynn now know my name.

Also, when I was getting my cards signed, I asked Bench who he had been the most star struck in meeting.  He responded with "Well, I met Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford.  Had candlelight dinner with both Bushes.  I used to call Bob Hope every week."  I thought that was pretty cool.  My experience with Bench this year was far better than last year (and last year really wasn't all that bad, don't get me wrong).  I definitely will mark the Hope For The Warriors benefit on my calendar and try to go again next year.

TTM Success - Bob Dole

While I despise talking about politics, I was so super excited to get this TTM success back from former senator and presidential candidate, Bob Dole.  I was trying to figure out a way to get rid of some of the many cards  in my boxes like the above 2007 Topps Allen & Ginter Washington Monument card.  I thought that the 10 or so of those cards might work well if I tried to get some former politicians on them.  Dole was the first one that I tried, and it was a success!  The card looks really cool, and unlike a lot of other politicians, it definitely isn't signed in autopen.  He definitely used a Sharpie to sign it, as can be seen in the above scan.

I also used this as an opportunity to add another signed checklist to my 1987 Topps set.  Those get tough to get signed, as a lot of the people I've sent to haven't understood why I was asking them to sign.  I explain it in my letters, but still have gotten many back unsigned.  Still, when I do get one back, I get excited and happy to add another prominent figure to my set.

Dole (b. 1923) represented the State of Kansas in the US House of Representatives from 1961 to 1969 and in the US Senate from 1969 to 1996.  He was the Republican nominee for President in the 1996 election.  He was also his party's Vice Presidential nominee in the 1976 election.

Dole attended the University of Kansas before serving in World War II.  While at Kansas, he played for the basketball, track and football teams.

I mailed to Dole on May 18 and got the cards back signed on June 5, for an 18-day TAT.

Friday, August 14, 2020

TTM Success - Jorge Soler

During the pandemic, I sent off to some current players at their home addresses with the hope that some of my cards would come back signed.  I had seen some players were signing, and I didn't really have much to lose, except for some cards and stamps.

I sent off to Jorge Soler after seeing that he had been signing, and came away with some really nicely signed cards.  The above 2016 Topps Chrome Future Stars really turned out well. 
Soler also signed a 2014 Panini Prizm and 2015 Panini Diamond Kings.  Both look really nice, and I am glad I was able to find these in my boxes and send them out.

Soler (b. 1992) has played in the majors since 2014 for the Cubs and Royals.  He has 424 hits, 91 home runs and a .265 batting average.  Last season (2019) he hit 48 home runs, leading the AL.  He finished 21st in the AL MVP voting last season as well.  He won the World Series with the Cubs in 2016.

I mailed to Soler on May 18 and got the cards back on June 4, for a 17-day TAT.

TTM Success - Steve Pearce

The 2020 Harvey Address Book came in handy again when I saw tha folks had started to get back TTM successes from Steve Pearce.  I hadn't gotten him when he was an Oriole, but now had a chance to get him TTM!  I sent off some nice cards, and got some great autos in return.  The above 2019 Topps came with the 2018 World Series MVP inscription, which was a nice bonus!
I added a signed 2016 Topps Mini that my friend, Ryan, had given me a while back.  This card really looks great, and will be a nice addition to my album.
Finally, the 2015 Topps and the 2019 Topps Heritage really turned out well!

Pearce (b. 1983) played in the majors from 2007 to 2019 for the Pirates, Orioles, Astros, Yankees, Rays, Blue Jays ans Red Sox.  He had 572 hits, 92 home runs and a .254 career batting average.  Pearce was the 2018 World Series MVP, and won the World Series with the Red Sox that season.

I mailed to Pearce on May 22 and got the cards back on June 4, for a 13-day TAT.

Thursday, August 13, 2020

TTM Success - Alex White

Someone needs to get the kid a better pen, but I did get a TTM success back from Greenville, NC native, Alex White.  I really liked that the above 2010 Topps Pro Debut had the Kinston Indians logo, but man I with it had a better signature on it. 

You can just barely see White's signature on the above 2011 Bowman Chrome.  Still, both cards are signed, and they are now in my album.  I'll take what I can get and be happy about it.  I was able to use my 2020 Harvey Address book to find White's address, and it worked.

White (b. 1988) played in the majors from 2011 to 2012 for the Indians and Rockies.  He had a career record of 5-13 with 101 strike outs and a 6.03 ERA.  He was a 1st Round (15th overall) pick by the Indians in the 2009 June Amateur Draft out of UNC-Chapel Hill.

I mailed to White on April 25 and got the cards back on June 3, for a 39-day TAT.