Finding folks who "get me" as far as collecting goes can be tough at times. One person who really does, is my good friend, Max. Like me, he enjoys getting stuff signed, and our continued partnership has resulted in me passing off a ton of cards to him; with him returning several back to me signed, so I can add them to the autograph albums. Max has been a tremendous help in getting my boxes condensed down every season. I always enjoy his messages asking me for cards of lists of current and former players. It keeps stuff cycling out of the boxes, and keeps me from being crushed under an avalanche of junk wax era stuff. Recently, Max sent me the attendance list for this year's Cubs Convention. I searched my boxes and came up with two large packages (and almost had a third, before we ran out of time) of cards for the event. Additionally, Max took one of my ROMLBs that I have and got newly minted Hall of Famer, Pat Hughes, on a ball for my Hall of Fame collection.
Max took a lot of cards that I had tried to get signed via 50/50s this summer. So, it was easy to go through the Box of Shame and try one more time to get a few of the guys that my 50/50 partners may have missed. Owen Caissie was one of them. I had held onto the above Panini Prizm for a while, hoping that I would see Caissie via Myrtle Beach. I think I got this at a card show during COVID.
I pulled several Ray Burris cards (ad found even more this week while going through my boxes I just got in from Conrad in Columbia. I was glad to get some of these random Topps cards signed.
Max has gotten me Bob Dernier a few times before, so I wasn't sure which of these that I already had. They'll all go into the album together, with the rest of this 2023 Cubs Convention stack.
I thought I would have had a lot more Carlos Marmol cards, but I didn't find nearly as many of them as I would have thought. I did find a lot of Ryan Sweeney, so it was nice to move those out of the boxes.
Max hit some of the random Cubs team cards I sent; these two were signed by Jon Lieber. Even though I will put these in the album with each other, they are labeled on the back with sticky notes, so I don't forget who signed them.
I had gotten Lieber TTM in the past, so I need to check and see what cards I already have. I was glad to see the two older Bowmans in the stack; they are 2006 and 2007 Bowman.
I had tried Reed Johnson TTM, but never got my cards back. It was nice to be able to pull these out of the TTM leftovers pile and get them out. I wish the ones I had sent him would have come back, as well. Still, these are nice.
I was really happy to get the 2005 Donruss Champions card back signed. This product was one of the first I purchased when I got back into collecting back in 2005. I don't have many of them left, and even fewer in my autograph album.
Mike Fontenot was another guy who I had gotten TTM in the past, but I had gotten a 2002 Topps Traded Chrome; so these should be new to the albums. I believe Max had gotten me a Geovany Soto or two in years past, but I think these three are ones I don't already have.
Max sent me a Christmas gift back in December, as well. Unfortunately, I had no way to coordinate my needs list with my friends who were helping me build the set, so I got doubles of Tim Flannery and Jeff Hamilton. The Flannery is in blue, so I will upgrade the set with this one, and the other will go in the regular autograph album with the Hamilton that Max sent.
Thank you doesn't say enough for how much Max helps me with the collection. We are pushing 10 years of knowing each other (next year, I think), and I am very happy that we have been able to keep this thing going. He is an awesome guy, and it has been really cool watching him grow up. He has always been one of the best friends that I made during collecting and graphing. I can't wait til the National this summer in Chicago, when I can see him in person, again. As always, thank you so much for the cards and the Christmas gift, Max. Also, thanks for making it so easy to cut these deals, I know there is a mutual give and take with me providing cards and you providing signatures, and it is really appreciated on my end. Thank you, buddy!
By the way, Hughes is Hall of Famer #168 in my collection. I haven't added a broadcaster in a while (and I have one that I still haven't posted, or counted. I need to get on that...).