Tuesday, February 28, 2023

TTM Success - Mike Trujillo

Here are some nice mid-80s, Junk Wax Era cards that I got signed TTM by Mike Trujillo.  The above 1986 Topps turned out nicely.  This has always been an underrated set.  I think it may be due to the only big rookie card in the (base) set is Ozzie Guillen.  I don't count Traded, but there is a Bonds and Bo Jackson in that one, which pumps that up just a bit.
I also got a 1987 Donruss and a 1988 Topps signed during this TTM request, and both cards turned out well.

Trujillo (b. 1960) played in the majors from 1985 to 1989 for the Red Sox, Mariners and Tigers.  He had a record of 12-12 with 96 strike outs and a 5.02 ERA.

I mailed to Trujillo on November 7 and got the cards back on January 9, for a 63-day TAT.

Monday, February 27, 2023

TTM Success - Derek Dietrich

This was a nice TTM success that came in from Derek Dietrich that added some recent cards to m autograph album.  The above 2018 Topps turned out nicely.
I also got three different 2019 Topps (top left, 2019 Topps Update; top right, 2019 Topps Holiday and bottom left, 2019 Topps base) and a 2020 Topps signed by Dietrich.

Dietrich (b. 1989) played in the majors from 2013 to 2020 for the Marlins, Reds and Rangers.  He had 536 hits, 84 home runs and a .245 batting average.

I mailed to Dietrich on October 11 and got the cards back on January 9, for a 90-day TAT.

Sunday, February 26, 2023

TTM Success - Bill Wertz

Here is another card that came out of the box of cards that my aunt gave me.  This is a 1994 Fleer Ultra of Bill Wertz, and it is a pretty sharp card.  I've said it before, but 94 Ultra is a very clean set, and looks great when signed.

Wertz (b. 1967) played in the majors from 1993 to 1994 for the Indians.  He had a record of 2-3 with 54 strike outs and a 4.08 ERA.

I mailed to Wertz on October 27 and got the card back on January 7, for a 72-day TAT.

TTM Success - Taylor Tankersley

Here are a couple mid-2000s cards that came back signed TTM from Taylor Tankersley.  The above 2008 Allen and Ginter USA state flags card is a nice addition to the autograph album.
I also had Tankersley sign a 200 Topps Update, which turned out well.  I have more 2005 Update than 2005 base, because the Updates ended up in a separate box, and most of the 2005 base got sold off at card shows.

Tankersley (b. 1983) played in the majors from 2006 to 2008 and 2010 for the Marlins.  He had a record of 8-3 with 115 strike outs and a 4.58 ERA.

I mailed to Tankersley on November 2 and got the cards back on January 6, for a 65-day TAT.

Saturday, February 25, 2023

Another TTM Success From Wayne Comer

This 1969 Topps card of Wayne Comer was hanging around in my boxes for a while until I finally sent it out to him TTM.  I had gotten Comer before, back in 2016, so I figured it had been long enough for me to send again.  The card is a bit rough, but it still looks nice in my autograph album.

I mailed to Comer on December 2 and got the card back on January 5, for a 34-day TAT.

TTM Success - John Knox

This was a nice 1976 Topps that came back signed TTM from John Knox.

Knox (b. 1948) played in the majors from 1972 to 1975 for the Tigers.  He had 60 hits, no home runs and a .274 batting average.

I mailed to Knox on October 4 and got the card back on January 4, for a 92-day TAT.

Friday, February 24, 2023

TTM Success - Kevin Kopps

A 2021 Bowman Draft card that I sent out right when the product was release finally came back signed TTM when I got this back from Kevin Kopps.  The card was out for signature for quite a while, but is now placed into the autograph album.

Kopps (b. 1997) was a 3rd round pick by the Padres in the 2021 June Amateur Draft out of the University of Arkansas.  He has played in the minors since 2021 in the Padres system, reaching AA.  He has a record of 2-2 with 82 strike outs and a 3.39 ERA.

I mailed to Kopps on January 7, 2022, and got the card back on December 30, 2022, for a 357-day TAT.

Thursday, February 23, 2023

TTM Success - Matt Festa

This 2018 Bowman Chrome Arizona Fall League card of Matt Festa hung around in my Bowman box for quite some time.  It had some residue get on it from some tape and had to be cleaned up with a micro fiber cloth before I sent it out TTM.  The prepping worked, as the card turned out great.

Festa (b. 1993) has played in the majors 2018, 2019 and 2022 for the Mariners.  He has a record of 2-2 with 89 strike outs and a 4.36 ERA.

I mailed to Festa on February 1, 2022, and got the card back on December 30, 2022, for a 332-day TAT.

Wednesday, February 22, 2023

Another TTM Success From Mike Anderson

Because I had this 1991 Crown Orioles card, and the buyback 1976 Topps below, I decided to send another TTM request to former Oriole Mike Anderson.  All of the cards turned out nicely.
I especially like the 1979 Topps (middle) for how the Oriole bird logo is airbrushed on Anderson's hat.  They tried, and it's the thought that counts.

I mailed to Anderson on November 17 and got the cards back on December 27, for a 40-day TAT.

Tuesday, February 21, 2023

TTM Success - Rocky Bleier

When I went to my continuing ed conference this past December in Las Vegas, Rocky Bleier was the keynote speaker.  I obviously didn;t have any of his cards with me (I also didn't get an opportunity to speak to him), but while I listened to his speech, I went on Ebay and bought a couple of his cards.
Bleier gave a great speech, and I was happy to add some autographs from him after the fact.

Bleier (b. 1946) played pro football from 1968 to 1980 for the Steelers.  He had 3,865 rushing yards (23 touch downs) and 1,294 receiving yards (2 touch downs) in his career.  He won the Super Bowl four times (1974, 1975, 1978 and 1979).

I mailed to Bleier on December 13 and got the cards back on December 24, for an 11-day TAT.

Monday, February 20, 2023

TTM Success - Dave Freisleben

Here are some nice vintage Topps cards that came in signed TTM from Dave Freisleben,  These feature a couple 70s Padres uniforms with a lot of yellow and brown.  While not the most attractive color combinations, the jerseys still look pretty cool.
I got a 1976 Topps, 1978 Topps, 1979 Topps and 1980 Topps signed by Freisleben.  All of th cards turned out nicely.

Freisleben (b. 1951) played in the majors from 1974 to 1979 for the Padres, Indians and Blue Jays.  He had a record of 34-60 with 430 strike outs and a 4.30 ERA.

I mailed to Freisleben on October 28, 2021, and got the cards back on December 23, 2022, for a 421-day TAT.

Sunday, February 19, 2023

Graphing the 2023 North Carolina Drag Racing Hall of Fame Induction

This weekend, I had the pleasure of going back to the North Carolina Drag Racing Hall of Fame induction during the Shriner's Expo in Greensboro.  This year, my childhood hero, Shirley Muldowney, was being inducted into the Hall, and I wanted to make sure I would be there.  My dad is Hall of Fame Class of 2018 for this group, and it is really cool to me to be able to say he is enshrined along Shirley, a drag racing legend.  There was some discussion as to why Shirley (who generally raced with the NHRA out in California, etc) would be inducted into the North Carolina Hall.  While she is famous for being the first woman to be licensed to drive a Top Fuel dragster; first woman to win a Top Fuel national event; first woman to win a Top Fuel World Championship, and the first driver of an gender to win multiple Top Fuel Championships, she is also the first woman to win a funny car national event.  She did this in 1974 at Rockingham Dragway in Rockingham, North Carolina.  So, there's the connection to North Carolina.
I was able to get several cards signed by Shirley, along with several posters (a couple were for my mom) and a couple of the brochures for the ceremony.  Shirley was gracious as always, and I was very happy to be able to talk with here briefly.  I was also able to give her a good recommendation for some Chinese food close to where she is now living.
One of the folks in the autograph line (along with Shirley, my dad, and others) was Buddy Martin.  Martin was the other half of the famous Sox and Martin team that dominated the early days of Pro Stock.  Ronnie Sox is no longer with us, so I got Buddy to sign my two Sox cards from my 1990 IHRA set.  Buddy Martin wasn't really associated with this car, but I thought it was a good idea to go ahead and get him to sign the cards in recognition of how powerful that duo was in the history of drag racing.
Finally, I had undertaken a little project that began with an idea my coworker, Lisa, set me toward.  Last year, the son of a friend of mine that I have known for years followed me around the event.  He's a cool little dude, who is a talented racer in his own right.  Cameron Moore recently won a track championship locally, and is a big fan of cards (mostly Pokemon cards).  Lisa gave me the idea to make some custom cards on Topps's website and give them to Cam while I was at the event.  I did, but the condition with Cam was that he would have to sign one of the cards for me.  I got a big hug from Cam and a hand shake from his dad.  I think he is super happy about the cards (well, I know he is, because he thanked me about 6 or 7 times, and gave me 3 or 4 hugs).  I just thought it was really cool to give him something that he could hand out to his friends and family as he starts along his racing journey.  From everything that I've seen, he is very talented.

I had a great time at the Hall of Fame induction, and got to spend time with my Mom while Dad was signing.  I also went through the line a couple times and stopped to talk to Dad as he sat there.  It was kind of funny, but he seemed to enjoy the attention.  As long as I am able, I plan to attend the ceremonies as they happen annually.  I wonder who they will induct next year.

TTM Success - Tony Saunders

This was a nice TTM success that came in, which caught me by surprise a little bit.  I had sent to Tony Saunders, seeing that he had been signing, then kind of forgot that I had sent.  When the (unsealed) envelope came back with my two cards still inside, I was pretty happ.
I got a 1998 Upper Deck (top of post) and a 1998 Pinnacle (above) signed by Saunders, and both turned out well.

Saunders (b. 1974) played in the majors from 1997 to 1999 for the Marlins and Devil Rays.  He had a record of 13-24 with 304 strike outs and a 4.56 ERA.  Saunders is significant (and I'll never forget it) because, during a game in May 1999, his arm broke as he was delivering a pitch to Juan Gonzalez.  The sound of the bone breaking could be heard throughout the ballpark.  Supposedly, it made Hall of Famer Wade Boggs nauseous enough to throw up.  Saunders attempted a comeback, getting into some minor league games in 2000, but his arm would break again in the same spot.  He attempted a comeback again in 2005 with the Orioles, but only pitched in one Spring Training game.  Saunders did win a World Series while with the Marlins in 1997.

I mailed to Saunders on November 8 and got the cards back on December 23, for a 45-day TAT.

Saturday, February 18, 2023

TTM Success - Rudy Law

This 1987 Topps Rudy Law should have been added to my set a while back, but the promoter who had Law under contract seems to have disappeared.  So, I had to wait until Law popped up in a private signing.  One came up recently, and I finally was able to cross him off of the checklist. 

Law (b. 1956) played in the majors in 1978, 1980 and from 1982 to 1986 for the Dodgers, White Sox and Royals.  He had 656 hits, 18 home runs and a .271 batting average. He finished 21st in the 1983 AL MVP race.

I mailed to the signing on November 19 and got the card back on December 22, for a 33-day TAT. 

Friday, February 17, 2023

Another TTM Success From Bob Bailor

When I started pulling a bunch of 70s and 80s cards out of my boxes for TTMs recently, I pulled several Bob Bailor cards that I would try to get signed through a second TTM attempt.  He signed all of the cards, and they turned out well. The above card is my 1980 Topps.
I also got a 1978, 1979, 1984 and 1984 Traded signed.
I also got this 1991 Crown Orioles card signed.

I mailed to Bailor on November 23 and got the cards back on December 20, for a 27-day TAT. 

Thursday, February 16, 2023

TTM Success - Taylor Sinclair

Of all of the older Bowman cards that I have, I may be the least fond of 2010 Bowman Chrome.  Much like their 2010 Topps Chrome counterpart, these chrome cards tend to curl.  Also, with the high mirror shine of the cards, they don't scan all that well.  Still, they look nice in person when signed, and this signed one that I got TTM from Taylor Sinclair turned out nicely.

Sinclair (b. 1985) was signed as an undrafted free agent by the Diamondbacks in 2008 after finishing up playing college baseball at the University of Northern Iowa.  He played in the minors from 2008 to 2012 in the Diamondbacks system, reaching AAA.  He had a record of 21-28 with 311 strike outs and a 3.95 ERA.

I mailed to Sinclair on January 12, 2022, and got the card back on December 20, 2022, for a 342-day TAT.

Wednesday, February 15, 2023

TTM Success - Mike Linskey

This is a random 1991 Bowman that I got back TTM from an Oriole that I had never heard of before.  I saw the card in the Orioles box, and looked Mike Linskey up to see if he signed TTM.  He does, so I sent the card off.  He needs a new pen, but the card is signed and is now in the autograph album.

Linskey (b. 1966) was a 9th round pick by the Orioles in the 1988 June Amateur Draft out of James Madison University.  He played in the minors from 1988 to 1993 in the Orioles and Padres systems, reaching AAA.  He had a record of 50-42 with 581 strike outs and a 3.64 ERA.

I mailed to Linskey on October 15 and got the card back on December 19, for a 65-day TAT.

Tuesday, February 14, 2023

TTM Success - Bob Scanlan

Some mid-90s cards were added to the autograph album recently when I got these five cards back from Bob Scanlan.  I liked the above 1993 Leaf; I used to have a ton of these, but the all bricked due to the over-gloss on the cards.  I was glad to add a clean one to my album.
I also got a 1992 Topps, 1993 Topps, 1993 Fleer and 199 Donruss signed.

Scanlan (b. 1966) played in the majors from 1991 to 1996, 1998, 2000 and 2001 for the Cubs, Brewers, Tigers, Royals, Astros and Expos.  He had a record of 20-34 with 245 strike outs and a 4.63 ERA.

I mailed to Scanlan on December 2 and got the cards back on December 16, for a 14-day TAT.

Monday, February 13, 2023

TTM Success - Ray Crone

A couple nice 50s cards were added to my autograph album when I got this TTM success back from Ray Crone.  I had sent these out back when I had sent out a bunch of other 1950s Topps cards, but these took a little bit longer to come back.  Both of the cards (a 1957 and a 1958 Topps) look awesome.
I really like how sharp this 1958 Topps is.  I probably should have picked up Crone's 1955 Topps and added it to the album, as well, but that's ok.  I'm happy with what I got.

Crone (b. 1931) played in the majors from 1954 to 1958 for the Braves (Milwaukee) and Giants (New York and San Francisco).  He had a record of 30-30 with 260 strike outs and a 3.87 ERA.

I mailed to Crone on October 24 and got the cards back on December 16, for a 53-day TAT.

Sunday, February 12, 2023

TTM Success - Ken Hill

There are a lot of times where I talk about cards that have been sitting in my "to be TTMed" box for a long time.  For whatever reason, they sit.  One of which is when a player charges for their signature.  I rarely have cash on me, so that is a reason why I wait to send to players who charge fees.  One such player who's cards sat for a long time was former pitcher, Ken Hill.  I would pass his cards many times, and continue to wait to send them.  Finally, one day, I decided to go ahead and get the cards out of the box and into the mail.  It helped that I had found $10 lying on the ground as I was walking laps around the office building one morning.

The above 1990 Toys R Us card was one that I definitely wanted to add to the autograph album.  When I made the decision to send to Hill, this one was the first card I put into the envelope.
Of all of the other Hill cards that I had, I chose these four to round out the shipment.  Clockwise from top left are a 1995 Upper Deck Collectors Choice SE, 1996 Topps, 1995 Score Summit and a 1997 Topps Finest Hurlers.  I believe Hill's may be the first 1995 Score Summit in the album.  That is a very sharp-looking card, and turned out very nicely once signed.

Hill (b. 1965) played in the majors from 1988 to 2001 for the Cardinals, Expos, Indians, Rangers, Angels, White Sox and Devil Rays.  He had a record of 117-109 with 1,181 strike outs and a 4.06 ERA.  He was an All Star in 1994 when he led the NL in wins (16) prior to the strike ending the season.  He finished second that year in the NL Cy Young race to Greg Maddux.  He finished 12th in the NL MVP voting that season.

I mailed to Hill on November 23 and got the cards back on December 17, for a 24-day TAT.  I paid his fee of $3/card.

Saturday, February 11, 2023

TTM Success - Willie Adams

Willie Adams was a player that I thought I had gotten TTM before.  After a search of the blog (how convenient), I realized that I hadn't gotten him before, so I sent off the above 1997 Topps and the below 1998 Topps.  Both turned out nicely, and I believe it has been a while since either set made it onto the blog.
Adams (b. 1972) played in the majors in 1996 and 1997 for the A's.  He had a record of 6-9 with 105 strike outs and a 5.81 ERA.

I mailed to Adams on October 22 and got the cards back on December 17, for a 56-day TAT.

Friday, February 10, 2023

TTM Success - Clint Barmes

The first time I mailed to Clint Barmes, I got my cards back unsigned.  I said heck with it and tossed the cards in a yard sale box and forgot about them.  I saw some folks get TTM successes from him recently, so I dug the cards out and tried again.  This time, I got a TTM success from Barmes.  I liked the above 2009 Topps since I don't have many cards from that set in my album.
I also got back a 2003 Topps Traded, 2003 Leaf, 2006 Upper Deck Sweet Spot and a 2006 Topps Allen & Ginter.  All of the cards turned out great, and I am glad I finally got them into the autograph album.

Barmes (b. 1979) played in the majors from 2003 to 2015 for the Rockies, Astros, Pirates and Padres.  He had 932 hits, 89 home runs and a .245 batting average.

I mailed to Barmes on January 25, 2022, and got the cards back on December 17, 2022, for a 326-day TAT.

Thursday, February 9, 2023

TTM Success - Colby Lewis

This TTM success from former pitcher, Colby Lewis, added some nice cards to the autograph album.  The above 2015 Topps Stadium Club is a great card, from a great set, and I was glad to get it signed.
I also got a 2010 Topps Update and a 2015 Topps Heritage signed by Lewis, and both turned out nicely, as well.

Lewis (b. 1979) played in the majors from 2002 to 2004, 2006 to 2007, 2010 to 2012 and 2014 to 2016 for the Rangers, A's and Tigers.  He had a record of 77-72 with 961 strike outs and a 4.70 ERA.

I mailed to Lewis on May 10, 2021, and got the cards back on December 17, 2022, for a 586-day TAT.

Wednesday, February 8, 2023

TTM Success - Adam Harben

Here is a 200 Topps Update that I was able to get signed TTM from Adam Harben.  He has a pretty cool signature, and helps me get a forgotten card out of my boxes.  I had bought a bunch of 2005 Update for some reason, then ended up with the boxed complete set for Christmas that year, so the loose cards got tossed in a box.  That box was separate from my 2005 Topps base that got sold off at a long ago card show.  So, I have a bunch of 200 Update, but not a lot of 2005 Topps base.

Harben (b. 1983) was a 15th round pick by the Twins in the 2002 June Amateur Draft out of the University of Arkansas.  He played in the minors from 2002 to 2009 in the Twins, Cubs and Mariners systems, reaching AA.  He had a 36-36 record with 55 strike outs and a 3.68 ERA.

I mailed to Harben on November 29 and got the card back on December 13, for a 14-day TAT.

Tuesday, February 7, 2023

Andrew Comes Through

My longtime close friend, Andrew, really helped me out recently when he made one of his weekend trips to Evansville, Indiana.  He attended a show there to get my 1987 Topps All Star Don Mattingly signed.  This was the last of three Mattinglys that I needed for the set, and this show came in at a price about half of what Mattingly normally charges.
I had also seen that White Sox prospect, Colson Montgomery, would be at the show, so I sent off the above 2022 Bowman Invicta that I had bought early last season, but missed him.  This card turned out awesome, and will look great in my album.
Finally, Andrew sent along a Christmas gift that he had found for me, a 2019 Leaf Trinity numbered 3/15 of Cody Freeman.  I love this card!

Thank you so much for helping me out, Andrew!

Monday, February 6, 2023

2023 Orioles Caravan Recap

Baseball is almost upon us.  As the football season is set to wind down this coming weekend, baseball is about to ramp back up with pitchers and catchers reporting to Spring Training soon.  Now that there is no pandemic stopping things or a lockout keeping players away, I finally was able to do an activity involving the Orioles.

I hadn't been to Fan Fest since the last one the Orioles held, back in 2019.  I didn't go to the first Orioles Birdland Caravan in 2020.  Then, baseball autograph activities took a hit with COVID and then the lockout.  This year, however, I made a trip to three of the stops on the caravan and came away with some signed Orioles cards.
The first session was Saturday morning in Frederick, Maryland.  Chris, my friend Ryan, and I made the trip from Ryan's place to Frederick to get Nick Vespi and Grayson Rodriguez.  Ryan was able to score a voucher to get Adley Rutschman, but I was shut out.  Good thing, too, because of Rutschman's stupid exclusive deal, folks were only being given a pre-signed Orioles post card and a photo opportunity with Adley.  For the $50/voucher price point, that was a dud.  Thankfully, I got into the Grayson Rodriguez voucher queue online with no problems and purchased my allotted two vouchers.  The cards turned out nicely.  I had to buy Nick Vespi cards online, and got them in before the trip, which was nice.
Our next session was in Bowie, Maryland, so we hit the road.  We stopped at a Five Guys in Bowie, then headed to the venue for Ramon Urias and Heston Kjerstad.  This was my first opportunity to get Kjerstad in person.  He was talking and laughing with one of the handlers, so I didn't get a chance to talk with him, though.  Urias seemed nice.  I was happy to finally get my Panini Prizm card done.  I had sent it to a friend in Arizona for a potential signing, but was able to get him to send the card back in time for the caravan.
Ryan's eagle eye spotted Mike Elias in the room, so I used one of the generic Orioles cards to get him on.  I know the card is a 1994 Score, but with Camden Yards as the backdrop, it was nice to get the Orioles GM on a card.
We stayed the night in York, PA, so we would be close to the next venue for Sunday morning.  We had vouchers for Dean Kremer and Felix Bautista.  Ryan and I found out Saturday night that Dean Kremer was sick and wouldn't make it to the caravan on Sunday.  The Orioles put Larry Sheets in the session in Kremer's place.  My friend, Michael, came through in the clutch and had Larry Sheets cards ready for us on Sunday morning.

I was glad to get my 2022 Topps Update Chrome Bautistas signed. The purple refractor turned out nicely.
I was excited to finally be able to get John Means on some cards.  My 2021 Topps Now no hitter card is awesome.  I've been waiting a while to try to get it signed.  I also got some Dillon Tates signed that have been in my boxes for a few years.
One of the coolest things that happened during the York event was that Orioles assistant GM, Sig Mejdal, was walking along the line and chatting with fans.  I talked to him for a few minutes.  He is a really good guy, and how he got into baseball is very interesting.  Long story short, he was an engineer at NASA who studied MLB stats as a hobby.  He broke into the league as a member of the Cardinals.  He worked with Orioles GM, Mike Elias with the Astros and followed Elias to the Orioles.  The job those two are doing as a team has been very impressive.

I had a great time at the caravan and can't wait for the season to start.