Saturday, September 30, 2023

2023 Signed Wood Ducks Team Set is Complete

This counted as a private signing, I think.  I had everyone in the Wood Ducks team set sign their card this season, with the exception of Ivan Oviedo, Jr.  He was sent to Arizona right before the team set came out, and had remained there for the rest of the season.  The guys who were in the set that moved up to Hickory were gotten when I went up there right after the set came out, and a little later in the season when Matt and Josh finished off the last couple of cards that I had left.  Except for Oviedo.

Thankfully, Oviedo had added me on social media prior to the start of the season (must have been because m avatar was the Wood Duck logo).  I reached out to him to see if he would be willing to sign for me, as well as my friends.  I also had a custom card for someone in Texas, so our package grew to 14 cards that we needed to get signed.

Oviedo was really nice about signing everything.  The only thing he wanted in return was for us to find him five additional cards of him that he could give out to his family.  So, our group got together and bought five team sets.  We pulled Oviedo's card out of three of them, and then sent two complete sets to him.  We figured that he may want a few cards of his teammates.

I sent to Oviedo on September 15 and got the cards back on September 25, for a 10-day TAT.  I really appreciate Oviedo helping us finish up the team set.  This is only the second Wood Ducks team set that I have been able to complete.

Tuesday, September 26, 2023

A Legend is Gone

Death comes for all o us, unfortunately.  We knew the day would eventually come where Orioles fans, and baseball fans as well, would mourn the loss of the legendary Brooks Robinson.  I'm a grown man and am holding back tears.  He was probably the nicest person I've ever encountered at signings, Orioles events, ballgames, etc.  He really treated you like he had known you your whole life.
I had sent off what is now the final TTM I sent to him back on August 22 and got these cards back on September 5; 21 days prior to is passing.  I wasn't going to send to him again, but I pulled the black and white sparkle card out of 2022 Topps Chrome Platinum Anniversary Edition, and something told me that I should send it out.  I'm glad I did.

I came into being a fan of Brooks long after I established my Orioles fandom.  I was the biggest Cal Ripken fan, and I remember turning down someone's offer at some Brooks cards back when I was 11 or 12 because he wasn't Cal.  Little did I know.

I obviously grew to appreciate Orioles history and grew to love Brooks.  I loved him like a family member.  I met him several times, the first being the Dinner With Brooks back in 2009.  That was the most nervous I had ever been when meeting any player.  Brooks put his arm around me like he had known me for years.  Every time I saw him after that, he would talk with me like we were long lost friends.  He was the epitome of "a good man".  I loved the guy.  I can legitimately say that.  I even yelled it out to him during the 2011 Hall of Fame parade in Cooperstown.  He yelled back, "I love you too."  

I'm going to take some time off from the blog to let this one sink in.  My prayers to Brooks's family, friends, teammates and fans.

Another TTM Success From Tim Salmon

This 1994 Stadium Club Members Only card of Tim Salmon was in my boxes from the old LCS, and I thought it looked pretty cool. I saw a signing come up, so I sent it off, solely to get the card into the autograph album. 

I liked how the card turned out. Members Only was like a chromed out Stadium Club back then.  I didn't have many of them, so I was glad to get this signed.

I sent to the signing on April 13 and got the card back on June 2, for a 50-day TAT.

Monday, September 25, 2023

Another TTM Success From Al Bumbry

Al Bumbry has signed for me several times; TTM and IP.  I didn't think I had anything left to get signed by him, then I had the idea of filling out this 1973 Topps Rookie Outfielders card.  I sent to Charlie Spikes first, then I sent to a private signing with Dwight Evans.  Finally, I finished the card by sending off to Bumbry.  The card looks awesome fully signed.
Bumbry sent along this signed Orioles post card.  I have some of these, but another doesn't hurt.
Finally, I found this 1978 Topps somewhere (the Winston-Salem card shop, I think).  I didn't have one of these signed yet, so it went along with the other card.

I mailed to Bumbry on May 15 and June 2, for an 18-day TAT.  I sent to the Evans signing on March 1 and got the card back on March 31, for a 30-day TAT. I don't know why I let it sit for so long before getting it out.

Another TTM Success From Spencer Strider

Spencer Strider is having a good season.  I had forgotten that I jad gotten him TTM before but I sent off this 2022 Topps and got it back signed. 

Strider (b. 1998) is 19-5 on the season.  With 6 or 7 games left, he may get one more start to push for 20 wins.  He is the only pitcher with a chance at 20 this year.  He also has 274 strike outs and a 3.81 ERA.  He was an All Star this season.

Strider has a great shot at the National League Cy Young Award this year.  It is a crowded field in the NL, but he has a good shot.

I mailed to Strider via the Braves on May 20 and got the card back on June 2, for a 13-day TAT. 

Sunday, September 24, 2023

TTM Success - Jack Heidemann

Several more cards from Conrad's boxes and one from the Winston-Salem card shop got signed in this TTM success from Jack Heidemann.  I sent off the above 1975 Topps Mini, which turned out great.
I also sent off a 1971, 1975 and 1977 Topps to get signed.  All of them look nice.

Heidemann (b. 1949) played in the majors from 1969 to 1972 and 1974 to 1977 for the Indians, Cardinals, Mets and Brewers.  He had 231 hits, 9 home runs and a .211 batting average.

I mailed to Heidemann on May 15 and got the cards back on May 30, for a 15-day TAT. 

September 17, 2023, Graphing of the Riverdogs at Wood Ducks

The Wood Ducks opened the championship round of the playoffs at home last Sunday against the Charleston Riverdogs. I was glad the Riverdogs came back, as I had missed several of their guys last time they were in town.  I finished those guys off in the one game that was played, which was nice. 
Ryan Cermak was injured last time, and Carlos Colmenarez had been sent down, but were back on the roster.  I was able to get everything I had of them signed.  Brayden Taylor only signed one of my cards, but it turned out nicely, and I should have there chances next season to finish off what I had.

I was able to get Gary Gill Hill as the team was coming off of the field, in the rain, thanks to Matt bringing and holding up an umbrella.  I was afraid the card would be messed up, but it turned out fine.

The Riverdogs swept the series and won the Carolina League championship again.  I was glad that the Wood Ducks made it, but the Rays system is pretty stacked.  The Woodies did give them a run for their money, so we can take that as a positive. It was a great season, and I really have no complaints with how it went.

In all, I got the following autographs: Ryan Cermak x 24, Carlos Colmenarez x 14, Gary Gill Hill x 1, Xavier Isaac x 1, Trevor Martin x 1 and Brayden Taylor x 1 (42 total autographs).

Saturday, September 23, 2023

September 14-15, 2023, Graphing of Mudcats at Wood Ducks

The first round of the Carolina League playoffs was last week, with the first game on the road at the Mudcats on Tuesday.  The second game was at home in Kinston on Thursday, my birthday.  The Wood Ducks came in with a 1-0 lead in the best-of-three series.  The hope was that they would sweep and win the round on my birthday.  It didn't worm out that way, but the Wood Ducks did take the series against the Mudcats, setting up a rematch of the 2021 championship against Charleston.
There were a few Mudcat guys who I needed that weren't here the last time they came to town.  I finished off everything I had, except for Hedbert Perez, who was out for the remainder of the season with a broken leg.

Dylan O'Rae was really nice, he signed everything I had.  Daniel Guilarte also finished off everything I had pretty quickly.  By the time the Wood Ducks won the series on Friday, I was out of cards for both teams.  It was nice clearing out my box of Wood Ducks stuff, finally.

Quincy Scott gave me one of his bats and inscribed it Happy Birthday on Thursday.
We got to watch the celebration of the Wood Ducks moving on.  Their next game would be Sunday against the Riverdogs in another best-of-three series.

In all, I got the following autographs: Quincy Scott x 1, Danyer Cueva x 7, Gleider Figuereo x 6, Anthony Gutierrez x 9, Ian Moller x 1, Jace Avina x 10, Logan Henderson x 1, Daniel Guilarte x 21, Dylan O'Rae x 14, Carlos Maldonaldo x 2 and Tayden Hall x 1 (73 total autographs). 

Friday, September 22, 2023

September 13, 2023, Graphing of Redbirds at Tides

The next stop on my birthday week trip was up in Norfolk to try to get denied by Jackson Holliday again.  My friend, Jordan, accompanied me on the trip.  We did arrival in Norfolk, and did really well. I finally got this 2019 Bowman Chrome atomic refractor of Daz Cameron signed.  It turned out great.
For the longest time on arrival, the Tides one perred me to death.  Mike Baumann broke that streak, though, and signed everything i had.  I finally got all of the team set cards if his that i had done.
I picked up a team set inside during the game, so I got some of those signed post game outside.
The biggest names i was able to get were Coby Mayo and Connor Norby.  Norby signed everything I had, which was great.
Austin Voth also signed everything I had.  He was super nice and seemed genuinely happy that Jordan and I were out there talking with him.  Tyler Wells was also really nice.
I had brought this one 2019 Topps Orioles team card with me and got Wells to sign that, also.
This shimmer parallel from 2022 Topps that I got signed by Bruce Zimmermann was a pickup from the National, and it turned out great. Jordan pointed out that Zimmermann played at Mount Olive College, so we talked to Zimmermann about that, briefly.
Most of our trip was concentrated on Norfolk, but our seats were by the Memphis Redbirds dugout.  I knew the Norfolk side would be a mess, so I brought a little bit of stuff for Memphis.  We also got to see Thomas Saggese, who used to be a Wood Duck.  He was nice enough to pose for a picture and asked about Chris.  He remembered us.

Of course, we didn't see Jackson Holliday on arrival.  Post game, outside, he went to the other side of the barricade, skipping Jordan and I (along with the other folks on our side), so, of course, I missed him again.

In all, I got the following autographs: Mike Baumann x 7, Anthony Bemboom x 1, Buck Britton x 1, Daz Cameron x 3, Lewin Diaz x 2, Kyle Dowdy x 1, Maverick Handley x 3, Josh Lester x 1, Chayce McDermott x 3, Coby Mayo x 2, Connor Norby x 6, Kyle Stowers x 1, Austin Voth x 8, Ryan Watson x 1, Tyler Wells x 4, Bruce Zimmermann x 1, Cesar Prieto x 1, Mike Siani x 1 and Juan Yepez x 2 (49 total autographs). 

Thursday, September 21, 2023

September 12, 2023, Graphing of the Bats at Bulls

Last week was Birthday Week, so I kicked off my days off starting on Tuesday by hitting Durham all day for some graphing.  I got there at noon to do arrival and did pretty well.  I was by myself until time to get in line to get in pregame.  The goal of the trip was pretty simple; get the above 2020 Bowman Chrome orange refractor of Niko Hulsizer signed.  I got it done on arrival, so the rest of the day was gravy.
Jalen Beeks forgot his code to get in the clubhouse door, so he was a bit of a captive audience.  He signed all 8 cards i had in my book.  I had two cards left over, so i asked him if he wanted those for his family, and he happily accepted.  I thought i had Nick Dini already, but it looks like i had forgotten his cards the last time I was in Durham.  So, I finally got his card signed.  I was able to get Javy Guerra inside during stretching. I had to wait for him to finish stretching and warming up, but he did come over, climb the steps and ask "ok, let's see what you have got there..."  I imagine he was expecting me to have cards of the other Javy Guerra, but no, I had his 2016 Bowman!  He was impressed and signed both of my cards.
I only had the one 2022 Topps Update Cole Sulser, but got it signed during stretching.  He was really nice.  Silvino Bracho was with Louisville and signed all of the cards I had.
I didn't have a whole lot for Louisville, but did well, nonetheless.  Matt Reynolds was the guy who put me on the board on this trip when he signed his 2016 Topps rookie card.  It was good that I went out there on a Tuesday, the first game of the series. The Louisville players were unsure of which door to go in, and would ask me for directions.  That let many of them let their guard down and they would sign for me.

I had to leave the game early due to rain.  I had to make sure I got home at a decent time so I could get up early Wednesday for the next day of Birthday Week.

In all, I got the following autographs: Jalen Beeks x 8, Steve Chase x 2, Cooper Criswell x 1, Nick Dini x 4, Javy Guerra x 2, Niko Hulsizer x 2, Tsutomu Kamiya x 2, Cole Sulser x 1, Silvino Bracho x 8, Alejo Lopez x 1, Alec Mills x 3, Matt Reynolds x 1 and Teddy Stankiewicz x 1 (36 total autographs).

TTM Success - John Morlan

Some more 1975 Topps cards were added to the autograph album when I got this TTM success back from John Morlan.  I got a 1975 Topps Mini (above) and a 1975 Topps (below) signed in the process.
Morlan (b. 1947) played in the majors from 1973 to 1974 for the Pirates.  He had a record of 2-5 with 61 strike outs and a 4.16 ERA.

I mailed to Morlan on May 15 and got the cards back on May 26 for an 11-day TAT. 

Wednesday, September 20, 2023

TTM Success - Steve Lake

Finally, I was able to cross Steve Lake off of my checklist for my 1987 Topps set.  A private signing came up, and I got my card done.  I had tried him TTM a couple times, but never got my cards back.

Lake (b. 1957) played in the majors from 1983 to 1993 for the Cubs, Cardinals and Phillies.  He had 267 hits, 18 home runs and a .237 batting average. I mailed to the signing on February 3, and got the card back on May 30, for a 55-day TAT.

Tuesday, September 19, 2023

TTM Success - Will Craig

When I saw Wake Forest early this season, I had hoped to get some cards signed by student assistant coach, Will Craig.  I had picked up some cards for the game, but missed Craig completely.  I dropped a few of the cards in the mail and waited patiently for them to come in.  Thankfully, they did. 
I had picked up several nice parallels, so I was really excited to get them in and add them to the album.

Craig (b. 1994) played for the Pirates in 2020 and 2021.  He had 13 hits, 1 home run and a .203 batting average.

I mailed to Craig on March 28 via Wake Forest Baseball and got the cards back on May 24, for a 57-day TAT.

Monday, September 18, 2023

TTM Success - Matt Daley

A random 2011 Topps Update was pulled from my box and sent off TTM recently.  I got this card back signed from Matt Daley, and added it to the autograph album.

Daley (b. 1982) played in the majors from 2009 to 2011 and 2013 to 2014 for the Rockies an Yankees.  He had a record of 2-3 with 98 strike outs and a 4.47 ERA.

I mailed to Daley on May 10 and got the card back on May 22, for a 12-day TAT.

Sunday, September 17, 2023

TTM Success - Joe Slusarski

Some late 80s/early 90s cards came back signed TTM when I got these cards back from Joe Slusarski.  I had this 1988 Topps Traded that turned out nicely.
I believe most of these cards came out of the boxes of cards that my Aunt Karen gave me. All of these turned out great, as well.

Slusarski (b. 1966) played in the majors from 1991 to 1993, 1995 and 1999 to 2001 for the A's, Brewers, Astros and Braves.  He had a record of 13-21 with 173 strike outs and a 5.18 ERA.

I mailed to Slusarski on November 15 and got the cards back on May 23, for a 189-day TAT.

TTM Success - Rondell White

Thanks to PastPros, I finished this 2006 Topps by getting Rondell White to sign it TTM.  I had gotten Lew Ford on the card early this season when Long Island was in High Point. That feels like forever ago.

White (b. 1972) played in the majors from 1993 to 2007 for the Expos, Cubs, Yankees, Padres, Royals, Tigers and Twins.  He had 1,519 hits, 198 home runs and a .284 batting average.  He was an All Star in 2003.

I mailed to White via PastPros on May 1 and got the card back on May 22, for a 21-day TAT. 

Saturday, September 16, 2023

TTM Success - Catherine O'Hara

Here is another celebrity TTM success.  I got Catherine O'Hara to sign two cards TTM recently.  I sent off an 87 Topps checklist since I'm filling up the back of my 87 set album with signed checklists.  I know a lot of people wonder why I send them, and it is simply that I have a ton of them, and it is kind of cool to flip through the back of that album and see who all I got on those checklists. 
I also sent off this 2010 Allen and Ginter Betelgeuse card.  It would have been cool had she signed the front, but I can see why she didn't.  The autograph may not have shown up as well.
O'Hara (b. 1954) is an actress best known for roles in Schitts Creek, Beetlejuice, Best in Show and the first two Home Alone movies.  I especially loved her in Schitts Creek.  That show was really funny. 

I mailed to O'Hara on January 21 and got the cards back on May 20, for an 88-day TAT.

Friday, September 15, 2023

West Coast 50-50 Return From Ryan

Usually, I have a hard time getting 50/50 offers from folks on the west coast; there are quite a few teams who's prospect cards just reside in my boxes.  I finally found someone who could take some cards for Spokane and their opponents.  This helped me get some Benny Montgomery cards signed, as well as some other Rockies guys.  Ryan is the guy who helped me with these cards, and he got this dual of Benny Montgomery and Jaden Hill done for me this season.
He also got my blue refractor taken care of.
I was glad to get some Rockies stuff done, since I had a lot of it and it was piling up.
Ryan also took some Giants guys and knocked out a bunch for me.  It always seems like the Giants don't have much as far as prospects go or they just don't send them to Richmond.  Also, when I go to Richmond, I usually only focus on the away side. 

Anyway, I appreciate Ryan getting these done for me.  I hope I can send him some more stuff next year.

Thursday, September 14, 2023

Jacob O 50-50 Returns

Some more 50/50s came back signed recently when Jacob sent me a team bag back from Portland.  He saw Hartford and took some of the cards that I missed when I was up there earlier this summer.

I had missed Warming Bernabel when I was there, so I was glad to get one of his cards signed. 
Jacob finished off the last Nick Yorke that I had sent up, along with another Tyler McDonough that I had sent him.  I missed Yanquiel Fernandez and Hunter Goodman, so it was good to finally get those done.

Jacob may have a couple other cards for me to get done, but I'm pretty sure we have finished the 50/50.