Wednesday, August 31, 2022

2022 National Signer - Thomas Ian Nicholas

One thing that was different about this year's National was that my older brother, Philip, came to the show on Saturday.  He came with a friend of his, as well as my nephew.  Philip and I walked around the autograph pavilion for a bit and spent some time with the non-baseball signers.  Thomas Ian Nicholas of Rookie of the Year and American Pie fame was hanging out at his table.  We stopped and chatted with him for a while.  Since he was so nice, I decided to pay his fee and get him on a card.  I also liked that it was the 1987 Topps design.

I'm glad he was really nice and was willing to just hang out and chat.  That made the interaction that much more fun.

Tuesday, August 30, 2022

2022 National Free Signer - Milt Thompson

While I hadn't gotten him TTM before, I did have Milt Thompson posted on my blog before. My friend, Stefan, had gotten an 87 Topps signed for me back in 2020. So, when I saw Thompson on the schedule of free signers for this year's National, I didn't have to get the 87 signed. 
Instead, I got the one card of his I found in my collection (the 1990 Topps) and then I found the other three in a dime box at the show.

All of the cards turned out great.  I was really glad to add the 1990 Donruss to the album.  Those are some nice cards, even though a lot of folks don't like that set.

Monday, August 29, 2022

2022 National Free Signer - Stephen Baker

Former Giant, Stephen Baker was one of the free signers at this year's National, and one of the last ones I need to get posted.  I really liked this 1989 Score Football card.  There's always been something I've liked about a red bordered card.  Baker seemed like he was genuinely happy about being at the show, and I was glad that I went through his line.

Baker (b. 1964) played in the NFL from 1987 to 1992 for the Giants.  He was a wide receiver and caught for 2,587 yards and 21 touchdowns.  He won Super Bowl XXV with the Giants against the Bills.

I have one more of the free signers, then a couple oddball autographs I got while I was at the show.  I will probably start to mix some TTMs back in so I can stay on top of that stack this week before some more come in (unlikely).

Sunday, August 28, 2022

2022 National Signer - Don Money

Yes another signer that I had previously gotten TTM, but was at the National, was Don Money.  I really thought I wouldn't have any of Money's cards left, but I ended up having a lot.  Starting off with this 1982 Fleer that turned out pretty nicely.  Not the best card design in the work, and some pretty bad photography, even for the time, this set still has some charm.  I was glad to get this card signed.
I had several of Money's Topps issues, and these from 1972, 1978, 1979 and 1980 turned out great.  I already had his 1980 in my album, but I am adding this one since the other is signed in ballpoint pen.
Finally, this awesomely airbrushed 1973 Topps turned out pretty great.  His hat is clearly airbrushed, but that adds to the card, in my opinion.

Money was nice, and I was able to get all of my cards signed, even with the 4-card limit.  A guy in front of me in line was nice enough to take two from me to get done and all was well.

Thursday, August 25, 2022

2022 National Pickup - Barry Bonds Signed Ball

A signed ball, albeit controversial, has been added to my collection.  Barry Bonds is a very polarizing entity in the world of baseball, but if I had the chance to add him to my signed baseball collection at a great price, I sure was going to take it.

I bundled this ball with the purchase of a Hank Aaron (isn't it ironic, don't ya think? Yeah I probably didn't use that right, either) for a friend. 

Still, I didn't have Bonds in my collection, but now I do.  The ball is a 1994 All Star baseball from when the game was in Pittsburgh.  I love the yellow and black stitching.  I had a chance to get a steal on a Ken Griffey, Jr. signed All Star ball just like this one years ago at a National, but I let it pass.  I regretted not picking up that ball.  When I saw this one and was able to get the guy to quote me a great price, I had to take it.  The autograph is also PSA authenticated.

Wednesday, August 24, 2022

2022 National Free Signer - Art Shamsky

Finally!  A free signer at the National that I hadn't seen before.  Art Shamsky was really nice and apologized for smearing my 1967 Topps after he signed it.  He offered to (and did) replace the card after I got home from the show.
Both of these cards were sent to me by my friend, Gerard.  Since he provided the cards, I sent him the replacement 1967 Topps and I kept the smeared one. 

Shamsky (b. 1941) played in the majors from 1965 to 1972 for the Reds, Mets, Cubs and As.  He had 426 hits, 68 home runs and a .253 batting average.  He won the 1969 World Series with the Mets.

Tuesday, August 23, 2022

2022 National Free Signer - Mike Rozier

Another of the free signers at this year's National was former football player, Mike Rozier.  Of the non-baseball guys, this card of Rozier was actually in one of my boxes.  I didn't have to buy it from the show itself.

Rozier (b. 1961) played in the NFL from 1985 to 1991 for the Oilers and Falcons.  He was a two-time pro bowler (1987 and 1988).

I know Rozier has been at the National before but I hadn't gotten him before.

Sunday, August 21, 2022

August 2022 Graphing of Pelicans at Wood Ducks

The next-to-last home series for the Wood Ducks has come and gone.  This time around, they went 4-2 against the Myrtle Beach Pelicans.  The Pelicans had several guys with cards on their team.  A few of them were really tough, but I had a little bit of help this week, which knocked out some of what I needed done.
Kevin Alcantara didn't sign Tuesday, but was good for one per the rest of the days.  I really liked the Heritage Minors box topper that I got done a the top of the post.  I also got a 2021 Bowman Chrome mojo and a 2022 Bowman Chrome done.
I had Ezequiel Pagan in my box since 2018, and I finally was able to get my cards signed.  Ethan Hearn wasn't too cool on this trip.  I had heard he was pretty nice, but he was pretty cold to a lot of the folks here.  Maybe it is because it is the end of the season.  Still, I got a few of his cards out of the boxes, which was nice.
I knocked out some Clayton Mortensen for myself, and my friend, Max.  Parker Chavers was fine, but James Triantos seemed miserable when asked to sign.  I was glad to get my pack pulled 2021 Panini Elite Extra Edition signed by Triantos.  It's easy to buy the cards off of Ebay, but it is a good feeling to get a card you pulled signed in person.
My friend, Jessie, got me the 1986 Durham Bulls Buddy Bailey card.  Bailey commented on it and how he got a call from the guy who wrote Bull Durham to ask him some questions.  I also was glad to get my 2019 Midwest League All Star card signed.  I wish the would have All Star games in the minors again.  Maybe next year.
I liked getting this 2009 Topps Heritage signed by Clayton Mortensen.  These are great cards, and look great when signed.  Mortensen was really nice; he signed for us after one of the games.  I almost missed him that game, as we had seen him walking back to the clubhouses as we were leaving the seating area.
My friend, Gerard, sent me this blue parallel from 2021 Topps Pro Debut of Dylan MacLean.  I have asked a lot of Dylan this season, and he has been really cool.  He's a good kid, and fun to talk to.
Gerard also sent me a Myrtle Beach team set, and I knocked out a bunch of the guys from the set.  I missed several who have been moved up, but I was pleased with getting the ones I had.
I like the design of Myrtle Beach's set; it isn't the greatest that I have seen, but it is a decent one, for sure.
I appreciate Gerard sending me one of the sets.  I usually get a couple team sets of some of the nearby opposing teams, but I didn't do that this season.
The Wood Ducks team sets also were released prior to this week.  A bunch of the guys have been moved up to Hickory, or down to Arizona.  I got everyone I could get this week, except for the trainer and also the pitching coach, Demetre Kokoris.  I'll see Demetre the next series and get his cards signed.
I like this design.  It is different from what they have done in the past.  While I do enjoy the backgrounds of the older team sets, this one has a 1958 Topps feel to it and is very bold.  It looks really cool in my Wood Ducks team set album.
The price point of the set was great, also.  That was mainly because it was released so late in the season.  For 8 bucks, however, I was willing to pay it and just deal with the possibility of going to Hickory to knock some of the guys out.
In all, I got the following autographs: Maximo Acosta x 4, Jose Corniell x 4, Anthony Hoopi-Tuionetoa x 4, Justin Jacobs x 4, Tucker Mitchell x 4, Ian Moller x 7, Jose Rodriguez x 5, Buddy Bailey x 5, Parker Chavers x 6, Jacob Wetzel x 3, Jovanny Rosaio x 3, Liam Spence x 3, Mitch Bratt x 4, Cam Cauley x 6, Gavin Collyer x 4, Yosy Galan x 4, Ryan Garcia x 4, Elazar Konsker x 4, Nick Lockhart x 4, Dylan MacLeanx 5, Daniel Mateo x 4, Damian Mendoza x 4, Steve Mintz x 4, Abi Ortiz x 4, Junior Paniagua x 4, Rachel Purcell x 4, Winston Santos x 4, Marcus Smith x 4, Emiliano Teodo x 4, Kevin Alcantara x 16, Andrew Gold x 3, Clayton Mortensen x 10, Johzan Oquendo x 3, Steve Pollakov x 3, Malcom Quintero x 3, Tyler Santana x 3, Felix Stevens x 3, James Triantos x 8, Chase Watkins x 3, Mark Weisman x 3, Jackson Leath x 5, Yenci Pena x 5, Guilder Rodriguez x 4, Drew Sannes x 4, Ethan Hearn x 9, Ezequiel Pagan x 12, Nick Roberts x 3, Frankie Scalzo, Jr. x 3 and Luis Angel Rodriguez x 3. (229 total autographs)

2022 National Free Signer - Ron Hansen

Another former Oriole, and another player that I had gotten TTM, but was at this year's National as a free VIP signer was Ron Hansen.  I was out of his cards, or I didn't find any in time.  So, I bought enough to cover the vouchers that I ended up with.  I got this cool 1961 Post Cereals card that will look cool in the album.
I also picked up a few vintage Topps cards, a 1961, 1962 and a 1963.  All of them turned out great.  Hansen was really nice, and I was glad I got to meet him.
Update: I forgot to scan this awesome 1959 Topps that I got signed by Hansen.  It was with another of the signers cards for whatever reason.  Oh well.  Here it is, and it is a beauty.

Saturday, August 20, 2022

2022 National Free Signer - Bill Bergey

Bill Bergey was another of the former football players that was a VIP signer at this year's National.  I didn't know who he was, but I had a voucher for him, and I had found one of his cards, so I went ahead and got the card signed.  Usually, I just trade away the football vouchers for baseball guys, but the handlers limited folks this year to 4 vouchers per person, now.  So, I went with some of the non-baseball guys, and will have a little more variety in my album.

This is a 1980 Topps football card that I had found at the vendor who had the board of cards of signers.  I liked the design, and went with it.

Bergey (b. 1945) played professional football from 1969 to 1980 for the Bengals and Eagles.  He was the 1969 AP Defensive Rookie of the Year and finished second in the 1974.  He was an All Pro twice (1974 and 1975) and a Pro Bowler 5 times 1969, 1974, 197, 1977 and 1978.

2022 National Free Signer - Al Bumbry

He has signed at Camden Yards as part of the Orioles Alumni; he has signed at Orioles Fan Fest (back before the Orioles killed that); he signs through the mail, but I still had some Al Bumbry cards that I hadn't yet gotten signed.  I started with this 1991 Crown Orioles, which was a good one to carry with me.
I also had a 1983 Donruss, 1985 Fleer and a 1985 Topps.  All of the cards turned out great.  I don't think I have anything else of him that is unsigned.

Bumbry was nice, as always, and I was glad he was one of the signers.  It is always nice to see him, and I feel like it has been a bunch of times, now.

Friday, August 19, 2022

2022 National Paid Signer - Dale Murphy

Another of the paid signers at this year's National was Braves legend, Dale Murphy.  I had gotten Murphy on the 87 Topps from a private signing.  I wanted to meet him again, since I met him at a past National (on the edge of the signing pavilion as he was chatting with someone).  I had this 2019 Topps short print that I wanted signed, so it was an easy choice.

Murphy was super nice, which is what I always hear.  I mentioned to him that he was my aunt's favorite player, so he told me to tell her hello for him.  I texted her and she said it made her day.  He also posed for a great selfie with me:

Thursday, August 18, 2022

2022 National Free Signer - John Montefusco

John Montefusco is another player that I had gotten TTM previously who was one of the free signers at this year's National. The problem is, I never posted the TTM success from him. It was a ball that I had mailed in 2012 and got back signed in 2018, 6 years later.
Anyway, I added a bunch of his cards to my album and they turned out great.

Montefusco (b. 1950) played in the majors from 1974 to 1986 for the Giants, Braves, Padres and Yankees.  He had a record of 90-83 with 1,081 strike outs and a 3.54 ERA.  He was the 1975 NL Rookie of the Year and finished 4th in the Cy Young race that season. He was an All Star in 1976.

Wednesday, August 17, 2022

2022 National Free Signer - Rico Petrocelli

Rico Petrocelli was another of the free signers who was at this year's National that I had seen before.  So, I had no loose cards left of his.  I raided my 1970 Topps set to find this one so I would have at least one cars with me.
The 1966 and 1971 Topps cards were found at the show, since I ended up with two extra vouchers.

Petrocelli was nice, as usual.  His line took a while but that was because he would tell stories to everyone.  It was fine with me, because his stories were interesting.  I'm glad I got to see him again.

Tuesday, August 16, 2022

2022 National Free Signer - Greg Luzinski

Greg Luzinski has been a free signer at (I think) three Nationals that I have been to.  He has been at enough of them that I had to dig deep into an old Donruss box to be able to supply cards for my friends and I for this show.  I got one card signed, though, and didn't have to put his stuff back in the box.

I hope Tristar diversifies next year's group, because I'm getting low on cards for some of these guys.

Monday, August 15, 2022

August 2022 Graphing Recap of Nationals at Wood Ducks

After I got home from the National, I jumped right into graphing at the Wood Ducks, since the Nationals were in town.  I had a ton of their coaches, plus a bunch of their team had cards.  Jeremy De La Rosa and Dustin Saenz had been moved up and Brady House didn't make the trip since he was on the IL, but there were still a ton of guys with cards.

The above 2007 Bowman Chrome blue refractor came from a dine box at the National, so it was nice to get it signed right off the bat.  Young was nice enough, but only signed one per for me.  One of the days we were there, he asked Chris if he could keep his 2009 Upper Deck, which Chris gave him, and oung signed everything he had on his page.  I had a lot of his cards left over, but I was happy with what I got done.
Young has a nice variety of cards, and my good friend, Max, hooked me up with some that I didn't have.  He got a bunch back signed, as well, so we are both happy.
I was glad to get a few of these 2008 Upper Deck cards out of my boxes.  I've got a ton of them, and don't get into that box as much I would like.
Joel Hanrahan also has a bunch of different cards.  His son was visiting this series, and commented on the 2014 Topps.  So, the next day he came out, I gave him one of them.
Max and Gerard provided me with a bunch of Hanrahan's cards, so there was a lot to get done.  I finished off his cards, which was nice.
Like I said, a lot of the Fredericksburg players had cards, so I got a bunch of my own stuff, and 50/50s for others taken care of.  All of the players were nice, which helped me knock a bunch of stuff out.
Sammy Infante was really nice.  He asked me immediately when he saw us where were the good places to eat around Kinston.  So, I told him a few places, then the rest of the series, we would talk about where he had eaten prior.
Since Mason Denaberg was injured when Fredericksburg came through last season, I missed out on getting him.  By the time this series came around, I had a ton more of his cards, including the 2018 Bowman Chrome gold refractor that I found at the National.
I was so glad I finished off Denaberg.  I made a lot of room in my boxes with his stuff being removed.
Jackson Rutledge was another player who had a bunch of cards, and he finally came through Kinston.  I also finished off everything I had of him, including a nice 2020 Bowman Chrome blue refractor that I found at this year's National.
This big news for this series was that James Wood was reporting to Fredericksburg, with the possibility that he would meet up with the team in Kinston.  He got there on Thursday, and is a big boy.  He is 6' 7" and his a ball over the batter's eye i dead center field during batting practice.  He was obtained from the Padres organization in the Juan Soto trade.
Finally, I got some cards signed for some other folks for the Wood Ducks.  I'm about done taking stuff for the Woodies, but have a hard time telling folks no.  I do like the different parallels.
In all, I got the following autographs: Cam Cauley x 1, Ryan Garcia x 3, Dylan MacLean x 2, Ian Moller x 3, Jose Rodriguez x 5, Brenden Boissiere x 12, Mason Denaburg x 42, Joel Hanrahan x 33, Sammy Infante x 10, Jackson Rutledge x 35, Andry Lara x 15, TJ White x 7, Delwyn Young x 15, Maximo Acosta x 2, James Wood x 7, Zion Bannister x 1, Mitch Bratt x 1, Yosy Galan x 1 and DEWD x 2 (197 total autographs).