Saturday, April 30, 2022

TTM Success - Mike Jerzembeck

Here's an old Bowman card that was in one of my boxes that I sent off to get signed.  This is a 1998 Bowman Chrome of Mike Jerzembeck that turned out nicely with his signature in black Sharpie.  These cards don't always age well, due to the chrome cards curling and getting a little foggy with age.  I was happy that this one turned out so well.

Jerzembeck (b. 1972) played in the majors in 1998 for the Yankees.  He had a record of 0-1 with 1 strike out and a 12.79 ERA.  Hey, he probably still got a ring, though.  Of course, he didn't appear in the World Series with the Yankees that season, but typically, most guys who were on the team that season get a ring.  I guess I should have asked him.

I mailed to Jerzembeck on March 1 and got the card back on March 7, for a 6-day TAT.

TTM Success - Jeff Kobernus

Here are a couple 2014 cards that I was able to get signed TTM by Jeff Kobernus.  It is always nice to get 2014 Bowmans signed.  This has always been one of my favorite years of Bowman, and I like adding these to my albums.
This 2014 Topps turned out great.  I didn't mind this set, even though it is very similar to a lot of the sets from that era.

Kobernus (b. 1998) played in the majors from 2013 to 2014 for the Nationals.  He had 5 hits, 1 home runs and a .139 batting average.

I mailed to Kobernus on February 15 and got the cards back on March 7, for a 20-day TAT.

Friday, April 29, 2022

TTM Success - Augie Ojeda

This 2010 Upper Deck that I got back signed TTM from Augie Ojeda turned out really well.  This was the first set that Upper Deck produced that was without team logos, but wasn't all that bad.  I remember busting packs of these and a good many of them were loaded with patches and autos, because Upper Deck had to offload a bunch of stuff since they were in a lot of trouble in the industry.  I have a bunch of base left of 2010 UD, so it is nice to get rid of some from time to time.

Ojeda (b. 1974) played in the majors from 2000 to 2004 and 2007 to 2010 for the Cubs, Twins and Diamondbacks.  He had 249 hits, 7 home runs and a .234 batting average.

I mailed to Ojeda on February 2 and got the card back on March 5, for a 31-day TAT.

TTM Success - Hunter Bailey

Here's a nice 2012 Bowman Chrome refractor that I pulled from my box and got signed TTM.  This Hunter Bailey refractor turned out really well.  I never did open a whole lot of 2012 Bowman, but the cards look nice when signed, and I kind of wish I had opened a bit more of the product.

Bailey (b. 1989) was a 28th round pick by the Nationals in the 2012 June Amateur Draft out of Oklahoma State.  He played in the minors in 2012 and 2013, reaching Low A in the Nationals system.  He had 2 hits, no home runs and a .222 batting average.

I mailed to Bailey on February 10 and got the card back on March 7, for a 25-day TAT.

Thursday, April 28, 2022

TTM Success - Jeff Hendrix

Another random Bowman card was added to my autograph album when I got this 2015 Bowman Chrome back signed by Jeff Hendrix.  He signed the card in black Sharpie, and it looks pretty nice.

Hendrix (b. 1993) was a 4th round pick by the Yankees out of Oregon State University in the 2015 June Amateur Draft.  He played in the minors from 2015 to 2019, all in the Yankees system.  Reaching AA, he had 344 hits, 4 home runs and a .254 batting average in 5 minor league seasons.

I mailed to Hendrix on February 4 and got the card back on March 5, for a 29-day TAT.

Wednesday, April 27, 2022

Some Signed Cards From Jackson T.

My friend, Jackson T., sent me a nice care package recently that had some really nice autos in it.  Jackson often hooks me up with some nice stuff, but I wasn't expecting Joe Maddon to be included.  I knew he had a signing with Maddon recently, but I definitely wasn't expecting the above 2008 Topps, or the 2007 Topps below.
Jackson is going to help me add a few nice cards to my 1987 set, once he gets the signings lined up.  I provide cards for him here and there, and every now and then, I get some bonus cards back.
I did send Jackson a few Willie Montanez cards.  He sent me back the above 1975 SSPC and 1978 Topps.
Finally, here are a 1997 Pinnacle Ed Sprague and a 2004 Just Minors David DeJesus.

Thanks so much for the cards, Jackson!

TTM Success - Chas McCormick

The first 2022 Topps to come back signed TTM was this one from Chas McCormick.  I was really happy to get it back so quickly.  Since then, I have added a few more 2022 Topps by graphing in person.

McCormick (b. 1995) has played for the Astros since 2021.  He has 85 hits, 14 home runs and a .258 batting average.

I mailed to McCormick on February 23 and got the card back on March 5, for a 10-day TAT.

Tuesday, April 26, 2022

Graphing Recap - Aberdeen Ironbirds at Greensboro Grasshoppers

Because Rob Manfred seriously jacked up the minor leagues, opportunities to graph Orioles prospects in Kinston have become a lot harder to come by.  This season, unless I go on the road, I won't see Delmarva at all.  I missed a couple classes of Oriole prospects the last couple of years, so when I saw that I could catch Aberdeen in Greensboro this past weekend, I hit the road.  The High Point game on Saturday supplanted a possible 2-game viewing of Aberdeen, but the graphing at the Rockers was well worth it.  That left me with a 2PM game on Sunday in Greensboro, which ended early enough for me to get home at a reasonable time.

One of the key cards I wanted to see signed at this game was the above 2002 Bowmans Best Ruben Gotay relic card.  I found it on Sportlots for a steal, not knowing it was a relic card.  It looks awesome, even though Gotay's autograph isn't much to look at.
I realized this morning that I had several other Callix Crabbe and Ruben Gotay cards that I had ordered, then mistakenly put in the wrong stack.  So, I will have to go back to Greensboro to get those taken care of.
The graphing of the Grasshoppers was a big case of missed opportunities.  One guy I missed last season when I went was Sammy Siani, whom I finally got on this 2020 Topps Pro Debut.  I ran into a fellow grapher that I see from time to time, and he showed me three other guys with cards that I just flat out missed when I was searching my boxes.  Oof.  Better luck next time.
Another oof was that I paid $20.00 to get Hudson Head TTM a couple months ago.  If I knew then that I would see him in Greensboro (and get the same card signed), I would have saved the money.  Oh well.
My mistakes aside, I was very successful in graphing Aberdeen.  I only ended up with one unsigned Orioles card, and that was an extra of last year's first round (#2 over all) pick, Colton Cowser.  He was one-per inside, and signed again for us outside (again, one per).  The above dual with Reed Trimble was the card he signed outside.
Coby Mayo signed every card I had in my book.  I only had one 2021 Bowman draft base card of former ECU standout, Connor Norby.  Donta' Williams signed 2 cards inside and my remaining card outside.
Finally, John Rhodes was one-per inside, then signed my remaining two cards outside.  I ended up with a couple extras of the Aberdeen guys.  All of them were pretty nice.  I gave Norby a little bit of crap outside, since he went to East Forsyth High School.  I went to West, so I had to represent.  We laughed about it.  He seems like a really nice guy.

I enjoyed Greensboro, even though I messed up a bit and didn't bring all of the cards I needed.  The good thing is, the field is close, so I can always go back later this summer.  In all, I got the following autographs:  Colton Cowser x 2, Donta' Williams x 3, Connor Norby x 1, Coby Mayo x 4, John Rhodes x 3, Sammy Siani x 1, Hudson Head x 2, Callix Crabbe x 1 and Ruben Gotay x 2 (19 total autographs).

Another TTM Success From Mark Clark

Usually, I have a pretty good idea who I sent TTM to.  I didn't realize that I had previously gotten Mark Clark in 2018, so here are two additional cards that I got in recently.

I like the 199 Collector's Choice SE set.  When it came out, it was a cheap price point, and I could afford boxes of these.  I probably hand collated a set back in the day, but who knows where it is now.  Still, there are nice cards in the set, and I enjoy adding signed ones to my album every now and then.
I also added this 1993 Topps.  I have these cards coming out of my ears, so any time I can get some out of that box, well, that's a win.

I mailed to Clark on February 3 and got the cards back on March 4, for a 29-day TAT.

Monday, April 25, 2022

Graphing Recap - Kentucky Wild Health Genomes at High Point Rockers

When I get the chance to graph the Independent Leagues, I try to jump at it.  I was off from Wood Ducks games this past weekend, so I took the opportunity to go to the High Point Rockers and see former Oriole, Felix Pie, back in action in the states after 10+ years.

I thrashed last week to find cards for the trip, and feel like I did really well.  The above 2010 Topps copper parallel was the one card I wanted to get signed, but I had no idea where I had seen it last.  I was packing the car and about to walk out of the door when I picked up one last team bag of cards in a box, which yielded the card.  Whew.  The card is numbered 151/399, and I don't recall where I got it.  I just know that I opened a ton of 2010 Topps, and didn't pull any copper parallels that I can remember.
I was able to get Pie by the dugout pre-game, and outside post-game.  I was afraid that I wouldn't be able to get too many autographs, but I really had no problem.  The barriers weren't made for short people, so I struggled getting my book to some of the guys, but in the end, I did really well.
Chris Shaw's cards were all over the place in my card room, since he had been with Norfolk fairly recently.  So, there were a few cards in the Box of Shame, as well as a few in an old box I had for the Orioles a few years ago in my closet.
By the time I put my bag away Saturday night, I had gotten Shaw on 12 cards.  He signed a full page inside and then stood and talked to me as he signed another full page outside after the game.
This 2017 Bowman Chrome blue shimmer refractor of Chase Vallot was another card that I really wanted to come away with signed.  I had it way back when Vallot came through the Wood Ducks during the 2017 season, but it got misplaced.  Thankfully, I had found it and kept it close by in order to get it signed, finally.
Max Povse was the player who "put me on the board" Saturday.  I was able to get him quickly, even though he was the starter.  I really wish that I had his 2017 Bowman Chrome to get signed, but I never did get one.
Several of these Aaron Blair cards had frequent flyer miles on them.  I had sent 4 of them TTM to him a few months ago, only for them to be RTS.  I keep the RTS envelopes near my desk, so finding his cards was pretty easy.
I took a couple of my boxes to the farm the night before the game, stayed up listening to the Orioles game and searched the boxes for these cards.  I also took the time to organize that box, since it was one of the ones from the former LCS.  It had an assortment of 2013-2019 Bowman in it, so I can now merge all of those into my other Bowman box.
Jonathan Crawford was the only player who limited while I was in High Point.  It was post-game by the dugout, so I'm sure he was ready to get in the clubhouse.  High Point had come from behind and walked it off in the 9th, so everyone was excited.
Most of the Logan Morrison cards I got signed were Box of Shame cards, as well as the Ran Dulls.  I have no idea who gave me the Johnny Field relic card (it may have been my friend, Dalton), but my brother Philip hooked me up with a little painter's tape before I left for the game so I could secure it in my book.  The card was too thick for my photo corners.

I was super excited about completing the 2015 Topps A's rookies card with Max Muncy that I got signed a few years ago.  Hopefully, my friend, Max, can help me add Ben Gamel to the 2016 Topps cards already signed by Johnny Barbato.
Here are the other LoMo and Ryan Dull cards that I got signed.  I didn't realize beforehand, but Dull is from Winston-Salem, which was pretty cool.
Here are the rest of the cards I got signed by the players.  I lucked into getting Brady Lail; I asked a group of guys that were coming out of the clubhouse if Lail was still there and he introduced himself.
The last person I was able to get was former pitcher, Frank Viola.  Viola serves as High Point's pitching coach.  We talked for a bit outside about the town he now lives in.  I had spent a lot of time in that town, so I was able to make a good Chinese food recommendation to him, which he appreciated.
I graphed on my own this weekend, and in all, I feel like I did pretty well.  I came away with the following autographs:  Aaron Blair 7, Anderson Miller x 1, Felix Pie x 9, Riley Mahan x 3, Chase Vallot x 4, Chris Shaw x 14, Jonathan Crawford x 2, Max Povse x 1, Johnny Barbato x 2, Ryan Dull x 3, Johnny Field x 2, Tyler Ladendorf x 6, Brady Lail x 3, Logan Morrison x 4 and Frank Viola x 7 (70 total autographs).

I want to hit High Point again, especially since I am able to remove some older cards from my boxes.  I hear some of the teams are pretty stacked this year, so I may be headed back up there some time the Wood Ducks are out of town.

Sunday, April 24, 2022

TTM Success - Zach McAllister

Here are a couple cards that I got back signed TTM that floated around my box for a long time.  Someone somewhere offered to get Zach McAllister 50/50 for me, but they weren't able to in the end.  Then, I couldn't find the above 2007 Bowman Sterling for the longest time. Finally, I found a working address and sent these two cards out.  I'm glad they finally came back. 
McAllister (b. 1987) played in the majors from 2011 to 2018 for the Indians and Tigers.  He had a record of 29-35 with 542 strike outs and a 4.09 ERA.

I mailed to McAllister on November 16 and got the cards back on March 3, for a 107-day TAT. 

Saturday, April 23, 2022

TTM Success - Brian Tallet

Here is an old Donruss Diamond Kings that I found in one of my boxes. I sent this 2003 Donruss Diamond Kings card TTM to Brian Tallet and got it back signed.  The card got a damaged a bit in transit, but should be just fine once it hits the album page.

Tallet (b. 1977) played in the majors from 2002 to 2003 and 2005 to 2011 for the Indians, Blue Jays and Cardinals.  He had a record of 16-25 with 337 strike outs and a 4.79 ERA.  I mailed to Tallet on February 9 and got the card back on March 3, for a 22-day TAT. 

Friday, April 22, 2022

TTM Success - Rick Dempsey

My friend, Michael, told me about a private signing with former Oriole, Rick Dempsey.  I was happy to hear about it, since I needed to finish this 1987 Topps Orioles leaders card that had already been signed by Earl Weaver and Rich Bordi.

The card turned out great, and can finally rest in my album.  I had to buy the Weaver, but couldn't rest until I completed the card.

I mailed to the signing on February 10 and got the card back on March 3, for a 21-day TAT.  I paid a fee of $10.00.

Thursday, April 21, 2022

A 50/50 From Drew C

Here is a small 50/50 that I finally got back a month or so ago.  This 50/50 was taken by a new friend, Drew C., who graphs Syracuse.  He took a bunch of cards from me, then realized how tough graphing in Syracuse was.  He ended up only getting a few of the cards signed, but I was still happy with the results.  He finished off all of the 2012 Pro Debuts I could find of Mason Williams.  I had a ton of them, and got several back signed.
Drew also got this 2016 Columbia Fireflies team set card signed by Patrick Mazeinka.  My brother, Adam, got me the team set, and I was glad to finally get this card into my autograph album.

Thanks for taking the 50/50, Drew!

Another TTM Success From Aaron Altherr

Aaron Altherr had responded to a previous TTM request back in 2019, but I had to send to him again after I gathered these three cards.  The above 2018 Topps Hi-Tek was what sold me on sending again, and the card looks awesome.  These are some of the best cards to get signed, and I was glad I had found this one.
I also had the above 2018 Topps X-Fractor and 2017 Topps Rainbow Foil that went along for the ride and came back looking great.

Altherr (b. 1991) last played in the majors in 2019 for the Mets, and has since played in Korea.  This season, he hasn't appeared in any games, however.  In his last two seasons in Korea, he has had 268 hits, 63 home runs and a .276 batting average.

I mailed to Altherr on February 15 and got the cards back on March 1, for a 14-day TAT.

Wednesday, April 20, 2022

50/50s and More From Gerard

Slowly, I am catching up on some old 50/50 posts.  It helps when I can combine several packages into one post, like this one from Gerard.  He took some 50/50s for me last season, and for whatever reason, I slacked on getting the cards posted to the blog.  He also had a couple signings, and I was able to help contribute to them.  I got a few cards in return that I'm really happy about.

The above 2019 Bowman Chrome green refractor of Hudson Potts was a nice 50/50 that Gerard hooked me up with.  The card looks great and is numbered 64/99.
Gerard knocked out a few Triston Casas cards for me as well.  Each of them looks awesome.
I have a ton of these Bowman Top 100 cards in my prospects box, so getting one out and signed by Casas was nice.  I need to find some folks who can hit some of the other Top 100 guys to help thin that set out of my box.
I pulled every Kelly Shoppach and Jeremy Hermida card I could find to help Gerard with a couple private signings.  Both of these Shoppachs turned out great.
I may have been the happiest about getting these Jeremy Hermidas back signed.  These are some cards and sets that I have very little of, so being able to find them and help with the signing was really nice/

Thanks for the cards, Gerard.  I hope I can send a few more your way soon.

TTM Success - Tim Salmon

This 1996 Fleer Metal Mother Lode card of Tim Salmon sat in my TTM box for a long time waiting for a private signing to come up.  I just liked the look of the card, and hoped that I could get it signed and into my autograph album at some point.  Thankfully, I kept it close by and when the signing finally did pop up, I was ready.  The card turned out great, and I am glad I was prepared to send it in.

Salmon (b. 1968) played in the majors from 1992 to 2004 and 2006 for the Angels.  He had 1,674 hits, 299 home runs and a .282 batting average.  He was the AL Rookie of the Year in 1993.  His best MVP finish was 7th (1995 and 1997).  He won the Silver Slugger Award in 1995.  Surprisingly, Salmon never was an All Star.  He won the World Series with the Angels in 2002.  He appeared on the Hall of Fame ballot in 2012, but received only 0.9% of the vote.

I mailed to the signing on September 20 and got the card back on March 1, for a 162-day TAT.  I paid $40.00.

Tuesday, April 19, 2022

Graphing Recap of April 12-17, 2022, Jumbo Shrimp at Bulls

Last season, I took a week off and tried graphing arrival at the Durham Bulls when the Gwinnett Stripers were in town.  I felt like I did pretty well, so this season, when Chris was on Easter break, I took another week off of work to try to get some autographs from the Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp.  Chris had a half day of School on Wednesday, so it was Alex and I going on our own, and we didn't do too badly.  We went again on Thursday, with Chris along this time and did about the same.  Each of those days, we made the trip back to Kinston for the Wood Ducks games at night, so we were double dipping on some graphing for the week.  We took Friday and Saturday off from going to Durham, so we could focus on the Wood Ducks, then with the Wood Ducks off on Easter Sunday, Alex and I caught a game in Durham and did arrival, inside pre game and outside post game.  In all, we scored a ton of autographs and I won't have to put much back into the Box of Shame.

We got JJ Bleday on three of the same card.  Alex didn't want to keep any of his autos, so I will send one of the cards to a friend of mine, while Chris will get the third, if he wants it.
Max Meyer was a strict one-per, so I got him the first day and Alex got him the second day.  Chris couldn't flip his pages fast enough, so Meyer skipped him when he was there, but signed a second card for me Sunday night.  I made a lot of mistakes on this trip, one of which being taking Meyer out of Alex's book.  I have no idea why I did that, otherwise, I'd have finished off another card (probably the base "In Action" card).  The blue parallel "In Action" card was a gift from Jessie, and when Meyer asked me which one I wanted signed, it was an easy choice picking that one.  We met a grapher from Norfolk when we were there on Wednesday named Clifton.  He seemed like a nice guy, and helped Alex and I try to identify the players.  Between the three of us, we did pretty poorly and had to resort to asking a lot of them what their names were.  Clifton picked the wrong guy who looked like Meyer; it turned out to be Jeff Brigham, and elicited a laugh from Brigham.
I got extremely lucky by picking out Braxton Garrett on the second day that we were there.  He signed everything we had, including the above 2021 Topps gold parallel that I found when I was thrashing searching for cards.  Funny thing is, I couldn't find a 2021 Topps base of him.
Alex really liked the 2017 Topps Chrome mojo parallel with the orange M logo on Garrett's cap.  The 2015 Panini USA card was in a random box of USA stuff that I got from my former LCS, so it was nice to get it signed and into my album.
I'm glad I was able to get a few parallels signed during this trip, like the 2019 Topps gold Jimmy Yacabonis.  I had send off my extra Zach Pop 2022 Topps to him TTM at Spring Training, which hasn't come back.  I didn't have any extras, so I raided my completed sets that I had sitting by my desk, with replacement cards coming from Gerard sometime soon.
I was happy to get a 2021 Panini Mosaic signed by Erik Gonzalez.  He also signed the one 2021 Topps Update of him that I could find.  I was also glad to get some 2014 Bowmans out of my box and signed by Jeff Brigham.
When I say that I'm happy getting cards out of my boxes and signed, I am especially ecstatic when I can move a few 2013 Leaf Perfect Game cards.  I saw Joe Dunand's name on the roster and immediately remembered that he was in 13 Perfect Game, so I pulled each and every card from the box.  I was also happy to move some of the many 2017 and 2018 Bowman Dunands and Brian Millers that I was able to find.
Lewin Diaz didn't speak much English, but I was able to get most of his cards that I brought signed.  I think I missed only one, and he probably didn't realize he was on it, it was a 2021 Topps Heritage Marlins Rookies card.  I like that his signature is a giant L.  It definitely is one of the different autographs that I have seen.
Phil Plantier was really cool.  He signed everything we had, even going "Oooh" when he saw my 1994 Topps Finest.  He also told us a story of how one of his minor league teammates was in Bull Durham, which was cool.
I spent most of Sunday hitting up the Bulls side of the stadium, finishing a couple team set cards.  Ryan Boldt was the only graph we got inside, but well worth it.  I had missed him several times in Durham, so I was glad to finally add him to the autograph album.
What I like about AAA is that you find a lot of players who have cards from a while back, like the 2015 Bowmans I got signed by Zack Erwin or the 2013 Panini Prizm Ryan Boldt.
Ford Proctor was really nice.  I had a hard time recognizing Ruben Cardenas.  He didn't really look like his card, but he also wasn't running toward us like he is on the card, so cut me some slack.  We had help identifying him on Sunday and got all of my cards signed.
Nike Hulsizer was very easy to recognize; from the cool shades to the dreads, the nose piercing or the hoverboard he rode in on.  He signed everything we had and was really cool to a group of kids who were asking for his autograph inside the park.
I wiped out almost all of the Hulsizer cards that I had, save for two I left in Chris's book.
By Sunday, the player I was really focusing on getting was Isaac Paredes.  I had the 2019 Topps Heritage Minors black parallel numbered to 50 and I really wanted to get it signed.  He has a pretty horrible autograph, but I still wanted to get it done.  I had gotten him pre-game, and he signed around the card, so I was determined to get him after the game.  All of the graphers at the game headed to the Durham side after it seemed that all of Jacksonville had gotten on the team bus.  The graphers were focusing on Vidal Brujan, who wasn't there, it seems.  One of the graphers told me that we had missed Paredes coming out of the stadium, but I didn't believe them, because the group they thought he was with didn't seem to have a guy with them who was as big as Paredes.  So, they all gave up waiting for Brujan, which left only Alex and I outside waiting.  He was cold and ready to go, so I told him that we would give it 15 more minutes.  We didn't even have to wait one, because as I turned around, there was Paredes leaving the clubhouse, and I was able to get him on the parallel.  I'm glad I waited.

In all, Alex, Chris and I, across three days, were able to get the following autographs:

Peyton Burdick x 2, Max Meyer x 3, Seth Blair x 1, Tommy Eveld x 1, Colin Poche x 2, Ruben Cardenas x 6, Isaac Paredes x 7, Zack Erwin x 4, Ryan Boldt x 4, Ford Proctor x 5, Niko Hulsizer x 7,  JJ Bleday x 3, Jeff Brigham x 4, Bryson Brigman x 1, Adrian De Horta x 1, Lewin Diaz x 7, Braxton Garrett x 3, Jordan Holloway x 1, Brian Miller x 10 and Zach Pop x 2, Bryan Mitchell x 1, Paul Campbell x 2, Jimmy Yacabonis x 1, Zack Erwin x 1,Phil Plantier x 10, Joe Dunand x 6, Erik Gonzalez x 2, Phoenix Sanders x 2 (98 autographs)