Friday, June 30, 2023

Another TTM Success From Buck Showalter

The Mets aren't doing nearly as well as preseason pundits would have predicted but it isn't Buck Showalter's fault.  He's a great manager, and there's only so much he can do.  

Anyway, I found some of his cards and sent to him TTM again.  I finally got his 1992 Topps signed, which turned out great.
I also liked these Upper Deck cards with Buck modeling the Diamondbacks jerseys before the team came out.  They're really cool.  I also got his 2004 Topps card signed.

I mailed to Buck on February 13 via Mets Spring Training and got the cards back on February 21, for an 8-day TAT. 

Thursday, June 29, 2023

Billy Helps Complete a Set

Finally! A Wood Ducks team set is complete.  My good friend, Billy, got the Wood Ducks alternate mascot, Cornbread, to finally sign my 2022 Wood Ducks team set card.  I was out of town when the Woodies were the Collard Greens last week.  Billy came through in the clutch for me.

I think I completed the 2018 team set.  If not, the 22 set is the first one I've finished.  Thanks so much for the help, Billy!

Wednesday, June 28, 2023

Private Signing Return From Michael - Drew Butera

My friend, Michael, contacted me recently about joining in on a private signing with Drew Butera.  I couldn't locate any of his cards, which is a shame because I had a black parallel of his at one point.  Not to worry, Michael hooked me up with the above 2020 Topps Chrome sapphire.  The card looks awesome!

Butera (b. 1983) played in the majors from 2010 to 2021 for the Twins,  Dodgers, Angels, Royals and Rockies.  He had 262 hits, 19 home runs and a .196 batting average.  He won the World Series with the Royals in 2015.

Thanks for doing the signing, Michael!

Tuesday, June 27, 2023

50-50 Return From Joseph

A guy on Instagram named Joseph reached out to me recently and offered to take a 50/50 from me for Nick Yorke.  I had this nice sky blue refractor from 2021 Bowman Chrome that i sent for my return portion of the 50/50.  I can't remember what I sent for Joseph to keep.

Yorke (b. 2002) was a first round (17th over all) pick by the Red Sox in the 2020 June Amateur Draft out of Archbishop Mitty High School in San Jose, California.  He has played in the Red Sox system since 2021, reaching AA.  He has 269 hits, 34 home runs and a .282 batting average.

Thanks for getting my card signed for me, Joseph.

Monday, June 26, 2023

June 24-25, 2023, Graphing of Syracuse Mets at Durham Bulls

Early last week, I had taken off so I could go to Durham and graph the Syracuse Mets.  The weather was crap, so I cut that time off short and went back to work.  I changed around my plans for the weekend, and set off to Durham for two days of graphing.

The first day (Saturday) was with my friend, Jesse (with a surprise appearance from Billy), and Sunday was with Chris and our friend, Jordan.  We all racked pretty well and came away happy, even though a couple of the Syracuse guys were less than friendly.

I was able to get some cards signed for my friend, Max, and got some cool stuff from him for myself, like the above 1995 UD Minors Durham card.  It shows the old Durham ballpark, and I got it signed by Jalen Beeks. 
I ordered some cards for a few of the Mets players so we could be covered on most of them.  Jose Butto was one of those guys. I got his 2023 Heritage and 2023 Topps.  The blue 2010 Pro Debut of TJ McFarland was really cool.  It was in one of my Orioles boxes and shows McFarland as a Kinston Indian.
I was really happy to get the 2022 Topps Cosmic Chrome signed by Tylor Megill. He was a late addition to the Mets roster, and someone who's cards I was able to find quickly Friday night.
Michael Perez was someone who's cards I found Sunday morning while I was waiting for Jordan to show.  I just happened to look through some guys I sent out for TTMs and found Perez with my stack of Brandon Lowe cards.

The two Tyler White cards on the bottom were quick pickups from sportlots when I decided to go on this trip.
Dennis Santana was super nice.  There was a meet the team event for the Bulls Sunday afternoon. You could pre-register and go on the field for a signing.  While we were down there, some of the Mets guys were out stretching.  Santana came over and signed.  McFarland reprimanded me saying that no one was going to come over for us (after Santana), which made me feel kind of dumb, but that didn't stop some of the Mets guys from playing catch with folks (adults and kids) and posing for photos with several people in Mets gear.  Oh well, maybe he didn't know what was going on.  We definitely didn't cross any barriers, so I know I wasn't doing anything wrong. 

JP Arencibia was really cool outside.  He would call folks out who didn't know who he was, but was cool about it.  He signed everything we had, so Max will get some Arencibia cards returned to him signed since he helped keep me from having to search my boxes and saved me time.
DJ Stewart proved to be very difficult, but did finally stop for us outside after Sunday's game.  He was one per, and signed for Chris and I.  One of the other graphers complained that he didn't have any cards, so I gave him one of mine.  When he handed it back to me signed, I was glad to take it.  It just seemed like he wanted to meet the players and not keel any of the autos. 

I was glad to finally get Jonathan Arauz.  I had missed him when he was with Norfolk, and I wanted to get my silver pack 1986 Topps Chrome mojo signed.
Megill signed everything Jesse and I had on Saturday.  We were also able to get David Peterson on two cards.  He and Megill look alike somewhat. 
I ordered this 2019 Topps Mini of Jimmy Yacabonis so I would have something else of him to sign.  It seems like be has been everywhere I've been the last few years.  
Here are several landscape oriented cards that we got signed.  These all turned out nicely.
Ben Gamel was really cool.  I had a few of my own cards, along with some that Max sent.  I did keep the first edition that Max sent me, but I added a few guys to his stack that he didn't send me, so hopefully that washes out.
I finally got a couple guys that I missed earlier this season (and last season) in Kyle Manzardo and Michael Mercado. The Elite Extra Edition Mercado has been in my box of shame for a while, but is now finally signed.
I can't believe I hadn't gotten Ryan Burr on his Stars and Stripes card before.  These two are a couple others that have floated around my desk for years.

Greg Jones was really cool, but quiet.  He inscribed a 2022 Heritage Minors for Billy "Go Seahawks" since the two of them went to UNCW.
There's an old man named Bill who I always see in Durham.  He wasn't there Saturday that I could see, but I did run into him on Sunday.  He's very funny, and hooked Mr up with a couple Blake Hunt team set cards to get signed at the meet the team event.  They turned out great.
I picked up a team set for the meet and greet.  It lasted an hour, but we were done in less than 30 minutes.
The only Bulls player on the active roster who wasn't at the event was Cooper Criswell, who was starting that night.  I got him outside after the game.
I'm exhausted still, but had a great time on the road for the first time with some fellow Wood Duck graphers.  

In all, we got the following autographs: Jonathan Arauz x 3, JP Arencibia x 15, Carlos Cortes x 5, Jaylin Davis x 7, Joey Lucchesi x 6, TJ McFarland x 4, Tylor Megill x 8, Hunter Parsons x 2, David Peterson x 3, Denyi Reyes x 2, Mike Vasil x 1, Tyler White x 3, Jimmy Yacabonis x 1, Jonathan Aranda x 8, Cooper Criswell x 2, Nick Dini x 4, Ben Gamel x 7, Niko Hulsizer x 12, Greg Jones x 4, Kyle Manzardo x 5, Michael Mercado x 3, Kam Misner x 3, Luis Patino x 4, Erasmo Ramirez x 2, Jose Butto x 3, John Curtiss x 1, Zach Muckenhirn x 2, Eric Orze x 1, Michael Perez x 3, Dennis Santana x 8, DJ Stewart x 3, Jaylen Beeks x 1, Ryan Burr x 4, Roberto Alvarez x 2, Osleivis Basabe x 2, Trevor Brigden x 2, Ruben Cardenas x 2, Tristan Gray x 1, Kenny Hook x 2, Blake Hunt x 2, Michael Johns x 2, Trevor Kelley x 2, Jose Lopez x 2, Evan McKendry x 2, Hector Lopez x 2, Brian Reith x 2, Josh Roberson x 1, Reinaldo Ruiz x 2, Nathan Wiles x 2 and Wool E Bull x 2 (172 total autographs).

Saturday, June 24, 2023

TTM Success - Dave Sells

Here is another 1974 Topps that I added to my autograph album when I received a TTM success from Dave Sells.  This was another card that I was able to pull from Conrad's boxes.  It is i a bit rougher shape than some of the other cards, but it is still a nice addition to the album.

Sells (b. 1946) played in the majors from 1972 to 197 for the Angels and Dodgers.  He had a record of 11-7 with 49 strike outs and a 3.90 ERA.

I mailed to Sells on January 30 and got the card back on February 21, for a 22-day TAT.

Friday, June 23, 2023

Another TTM Success From Dick Green

Dick Green has some really nice cards.  I sent to him TTM a coupke years ago and got a 1971 Topps signed. I found these two (a 1974, above, and the 1973 Topps, below) which have some nice action shots.
I also liked Green's 70s A's jerseys on the cards, which made the addition of these to my album even better. 

I mailed to Green on January 23 and got the cards back on February 21, for a 29-day TAT. 

Thursday, June 22, 2023

June 18, 2023, Graphing of the Hot Rods at Crawdads

This past Sunday, I finally got around to visiting Hickory.  It was great being able to see Cody Freeman again.  My friend, Jessie, gave me the above team set card to get signed.  It is always nice when someone is excited to see you, and it seemed like Chris and I made Cody's day.
I was able to get three of the Wood Ducks cards signed of guys who moved up after the set was photographed.
We were told by some other graphers pre-game that Alejandro Osuna hadn't touched a pen all season and Maximo Acosta wouldn't sign for us.  Both recognized us and stopped to sign, which was cool to see them prove those guys wrong. 
The Crawdads were playing the Bowling Green Hot Rods, and I was able to get a bunch of Rays stuff out of my minors box.  Brock Jones was really nice and signed everything we had.
Dru Baker, Carson Williams and Willy Vazquez were all one per.  I was also able to get Tony Locey on a 2019 Bowman Draft.  I had sent to him TTM but never got the cards back.  I wish the orange refractor I had sent him had at least come back RTS because I'd have loved to have gotten it signed.
Chris and I did really well and got most of everything signed that we brought with us.

In all, we got the following autographs: Maximo Acosta x 2, Dane Acker x 2, Cody Freeman x 1, Tucker Mitchell x 6, Jackson Kelley x 4, Abi Ortiz x 6, Alejandro Osuna x 4, Dru Baker x 2, JJ Goss x 2, Brock Jones x 11, Tony Locey x 1, Nick Schnell x 1, Willy Vasquez x 1 and Carson Williams x 2 (45 total autographs). 

Wednesday, June 21, 2023

June 13 and 15, 2023, Graphing of Cannonballers at Wood Ducks

Normally, a series is 6 games, and it usually takes me all 6 to finish off what I have.  In the case of last week's series between the Wood Ducks and Cannonballers, I was able to get everything done in the two games I was able to see.
I had help, of course.  Chris came along with me, as well as my cousin, Ale.  I got some cards in from my buddies Gerard and Max.  Gerard sent me some Andres Mesa parallels and a nice 2007 Upper Deck Premier Carlos Maldonado.  Max sent me some other Maldonados, including the above 2007 Fleer.
The big news of the series was that the Wood Ducks team set came out.  I got a bunch of cards from the set signed.
Normally, the Wood Ducks wait til the last possible second to issue the team sets, but with the new Minor League collective bargaining agreement, Choice's contract is about to expire.  Or so I've heard.
There were a couple guys on Kannapolis who weren't here early in the season like Tanner McDougal, Wilber Sanchez and Niah Schultz.  I also was able to rack Jordan Sprinkle and Peyton Pallette again.

In all, I got the following autographs: Danyer Cueva x 5, Willy Espinal x 1, Gleider Figuereo x 13, Logan Frandsen x 1, Carlos Maldonaldo x 9, Andres Mesa x 21, Yeison Morrobel x 7, Tommy Specht x 3, Tanner McDougal x 2, Peyton Pallette x 28, Wilber Sanchez x 7, Jordan Sprinkle x 25, Noah Schultz x 2, Jojo Blackmon x 4, DEWD x 4, Yosy Galan x 4, Josh Gessner x 4, Dylan MacLean x 4, Damian Mendoza x 4, Jesus Moreno x 4, Ian Moller x 7, Brock Porter x 2, Brian Pozos x 4, Henrik Reinertsen x 4, Adrian Rodriguez x 2 and Ruben Sosa x 4 (175 total autographs).

Tuesday, June 20, 2023

TTM Success - Brandon Cromer

Here are a couple cards that came back TTM from some pre-Bowman prospect sets.  The above 1992 Stadium Club Brandon Cromer came out nicely.  Originally, I was uninspired with these cards, but the more I went through the set, the more I liked them.  I was especially happy to get some of the "Glamour Shots" cards signed.  Sadly, Cromer didn't have one of those style cards in the set.
I also got this 1992 Upper Deck Minors card signed.  It also turned out nicely.

Cromer (b. 1974) was a first round (34th overall) pick by the Blue Jays in the 1992 June Amateur Draft out of Lexington High School in Lexington, South Carolina.  He played in the minors (reaching AAA) from 1992 to 2000 in the Blue Jays, Pirates, Marlins and Brewers systems.  He had 600 hits, 79 home runs and a .227 batting average.

I mailed to Cromer on January 17 and got the cards back on February 21, for a 35-day TAT.

Sunday, June 18, 2023

Another TTM Success From Eddie Watt

Another TTM success came in as a result of a search through my 1991 Crown Orioles set and Conrad's boxes.  These Eddie Watt cards turned out great.
I scanned the 1975 Topps Mini with the 1971 and 1974 Topps so the difference between the sizes would be seen in case some folks haven't seem a 75 Mini.

I mailed to Watt on January 23 and got the cards back on February 17, for a 25-day TAT. 

Saturday, June 17, 2023

Another TTM Success From Steve Hargan

Another TTM success came in from former pitcher, Steve Hargan, when I raided Conrad's boxes for some vintage cards.  The above 1975 Topps Mini and the below 1975 Topps came out of Conrad's stuff. 
I had found the 1967 Topps in my collection (left), as well as the 1977 Topps (right).  The 67 came about because I filled a few set needs for my 1967 set, and this one was a filler card that had been upgraded.

The silver Sharpie that Hargan used was different.  The signatures don't stand out too well, especially in the scans. Still, the cards are signed and now have a home in my album. 

I mailed to Hargan on January 31 and got the cards back on February 17, for a 17-day TAT. 

Friday, June 16, 2023

Spring Training 2023 50-50s From Dylan

My friend, Dylan, took a bunch of cards to Spring Training for me this year and racked.  He got me a lot of great signatures on some really nice cards, like the above 2022 Topps Heritage Minors insert of Khalil Watson.
Dylan his Brady House for me before i was able to get him for myself.  Im surprised Dylan was able to get me two House cards, but they're awesome.
He also knocked out a bunch of Watson cards for me.  I may see Marcelo Mayer later this summer, so I might take this one and try to get him on it.
Dylan saw the Marlins, Cardinals, Nationals and a couple other teams.  He racked it for me and I can move these into my album.
I hadn't gotten Elijah Green before, so these were a great add to the album. I got James Wood last season, but these were new to me, so they're great additions as well.
I'm always happy to add some Jordan Walker to the collection, and Dylan hooked it up.  I think Walker is going to be a good one.  Folks just need to be patient with him.
Finally, here are a couple other Cardinals that Dylan hit for me, a Treyjyn Fletcher and Alec Burleson.

Thanks for taking these 50/50s from me, Dylan!

Thursday, June 15, 2023

Another TTM Success From Jim Gentile

The above 1961 Nu-Card Scoops card of Jim Gentile enticed me to send another TTM request to him.  I thought I jad sent one already, but it appears that I hadn't.  So, when I saw this in one of my boxes, I decided to pair it with a 1964 Topps I pulled from Conrad's stuff and sent them on their way.
Both of the cards turned out great.  I've gotten Gentile several times.  His signature is starting to look shaky, so I'm glad I sent when I did and got them done.

I mailed to Gentile on February 2 and got the cards back on February 17, for a 15-day TAT.