Monday, April 22, 2024

Another TTM Success From Tom McCraw

These cards took a whole to come in, and traveled a long way, but they got signed by Tom McCraw.  His address changed, but I was able to find a working one and added these to the autograph album. The above 1975 Topps Mini turned out nicely.
I also got a 1964 Topps, 1967 Topps and a 1974 Topps signed.  The 1967 is rough, but it is signed and locked into the album.  I also got an index card promoting McCraw's Instagram account: @TommyMcCrawBaseballFans.  I gave it a follow when I got the note.

I mailed to McCraw on October 11 and got the cards back on April 20, for a 192-day TAT.

TTM Success - Jeff Bajenaru

Here is a 2006 Topps Rookie 52 that I was able to get signed TTM recently by Jeff Bajenaru.  The card turned out well; I thought it had a great retro look to it, even though the Diamondbacks are one of the newest baseball teams.

Bajenaru (b. 1978) played in the majors from 2004 to 2006 for the White Sox and Diamondbacks.  He had a record of 0-2 with 11 strike outs and an 11.02 ERA.

I mailed to Bajenaru on March 11 abd got the card back on April 20, for a 40-day TAT. 

Sunday, April 21, 2024

April 16-20, 2024, Graphing of the Shorebirds at Wood Ducks

This week's graphing of the Delmarva Shorebirds at the Wood Ducks was pretty much over right after the game on Tuesday.  I missed Wednesday since it was an 11AM game and Thursday was Chris's senior night for tennis.  With today's rain out, I only graohed three games of the series.  I also missed my friend, Ryan's cards because I put them in the wrong pile. 

The above 2022 Bowman Chrome ray wave parallel of Danyer Cueva was picked up at the National last year but ended up in a random box that I finally went through last week. It is finally signed and in the album. 
Delmarva had several guys with cards, however all but two of them were on the IL and didnt make the trip.  Jacob Cravey was really nice and signed everything I had.  A fellow graoher gave me the 2023 Bowman Chrome mojo Anderson De Los Santos so i could get him done, which was nice.
The Rangers had sent several rovers out to the park this week with Kenny Holmberg, Roy Silver and Matt Magill coming into town.  I was able to get a couple Silver cards in before the series ended.  I realized who Matt Magill was (by asking around; I'm not THAT good), and found two cards in my collection to get done.
My friend, Gerard hooked me up with this nice Marcus Smith Bowman Heritage gold parallel.  It's a pretty sweet card and looks great.
Alejandro Rosario made his professional debut for the Wood Ducks and went 4 innings with no runs allowed and 7 strike outs.  His fa.ily was there and we're really nice.  I was able to chat with his mom pre-game.
The highlight of Friday's game was when, around the 7th inning or so (I was talking and lost track), Jon (the Wood Ducks GM) came by where we were sitting and asked me to get up.  I had no idea why, but I got up and he said "we are honoring you for Season Ticket Holder Appreciation".

I was given a certificate, team signed baseball and a "golden" Bill Ellis bobble head.  Jon also gave me his hat, which was the Wood Ducks first Copa hat, the Patos Joyuyous.  I never got one for myself and had asked Jon if there were any more that he could find; I'd buy one.  He gave me his, instead, when he realized we wore the same hat size.

They also took a photo of me with Jon and DEWD.  I haven't seen the photo yet, but am excited to see how it turned out.  I was blown away by the gesture and it really meant a lot to me.  I've been very upset that the Woodies are leaving Kinston after this season.  I am so thankful that they took the time to recognize me.

In all, I got the following autographs: Danyer Cueva x 4, Marcus Smith x 1, Jacob Cravey x 9, Julian Brock x 1, Gleider Figuereo x 1, Alberto Mota x 1, Alejandro Rosario x 2, Roy Silver x 2, Matt Magill x 2 and Anderson De Los Santos x 1 (24 total autographs).

TTM Success - Drew Meyer

These two 2006 Topps Turkey Red cards came back signed by Drew Meyer the other day.  I was glad to add them to my album, since there aren't many Turkey Red in there.  I was surprised that I had the white parallel to go with the base.
Meyer (b. 1981) got into 5 games in 2006 for the Rangers.  He had 3 hits, no home runs and a .214 batting average.

I mailed to Meyer on March 2 and got the cards back on April 19, for a 48-day TAT. 

TTM Success - William Foxx Jr

A really cool TTM success came in the other day when I got these three cards back signed by William Foxx, Jr., grandson of Jimmie Foxx.  I was able to track down an address for him and figured it was worth a shot to reach out.
Foxx signed all three cards, wrote me a nice letter and included a sheet of 33-cant baseball stamps showing Foxx and other legends of his era.

I mailed to Foxx on February 26 amd got the cards back on April 19, for a 53-day TAT.

Saturday, April 20, 2024

Another TTM Success From Mark Corey

A completed multi-player card is really nice, and my latest one was this 1981 Topps Orioles Future Stars.  I completed it by sending to Mark Corey again.  It took a little bit to get here, so I started to get a little worried that something happened to it, but it came in and looks great.
I also sent out Corey's 1991 Crown Orioles card to get that added to the album.  I do like to see these come in.  I also am glad that I have been able to get a lot of them signed and into the album.  The whole set was a $5 purchase at a card show from the late Chandy Greenholt, so getting them in also gives me a little reminder of him.

I mailed to Corey on February 28 and got the cards back on April 19, for a 51-day TAT. 

TTM Success - Gerry Janeski

Another signed 1971 Topps was added to the autograph album when I got this TTM success back from Gerry Janeski.  The card turned out nicely, and features am airbrushed hat, since we love those so much. 

Janeski (b. 1946) played in the majors from 1970 to 1972 for the White Sox, Senators and Rangers.  He had a record of 11-23 with 105 strike outs and a 4.73 ERA.

I mailed to Janeski on March 18 and got the card back on April 19, for a 32-day TAT. 

Thursday, April 18, 2024

TTM Success - Tim Melville

Here is another TTM success that took a long time to come in.  I sent this 2008 Tristar Prospects Plus card of Tim Melville out to Rockies Spring Training in 2020.  It's kind of weird to think, this was sent prior to the World of Light becoming the World of Ruin.  I just hope someone stopped and waited for Shadow.

Anyway, this request sat out there for a long time.  I was glad to get it back.  I sent off 1,001 TTM requests during 2020, and have accounted for 72% of them, so only 28% remain out there.  That's not too bad, really.  What else was I going to do during COVID?

Melville (b. 1989) played in the majors in 2016, 2017 and 2019 for the Reds, Twins, Padres and Rockies.  He had a record of 2-5 with 39 strike outs and a 6.75 ERA.

I mailed to Melville on February 19, 2020, and got the card back on April 16, 2024, for a 1,518-day TAT.

Wednesday, April 17, 2024

TTM Success - Kevin Mmahat

A unique name led to me sending off a TTM request to Kevin Mmahat.  The above 1990 Score turned out great.  I like the design, and it will look great in my album. 
I also got a 1990 Donruss signed, which turned out great.

Mmahat (b. 1964) played in the majors in 1989 for the Yankees.  He went 0-2 with 3 strike outs and a 12.91 ERA.

I mailed to Mmahat on February 1 and got the cards back on April 15, for a 74-day TAT.

TTM Success - Frank Bolick

A few TTMs have trickled in slowly lately; they've slowed down since I have sent a lot less lately with the season starting.  I got this one from Frank Bolick that took some early 90s cards out of the boxes.
Bolick (b. 1966) played in the majors in 1993 and 1998 for the Expos and Angels.  He had 52 hits, 5 home runs and a .202 batting average.

I mailed to Bolick on March 27 and got the cards back on April 12, for a 16-day TAT. 

Tuesday, April 16, 2024

April 14, 2024, Graphing of Grasshoppers at Dash

After our trip to Hickory, Jesse, Chris and I went to Winston-Salem to see the Greensboro Grasshoppers take on the Dash.  We got Termarr Johnson on a few cards.  He walked over to me while I was standing along the wall without me even calling him.  It was nice to add a few more cards to the album. 
Johnson was really cool.  He did two per for us.  I got some 2023 Bowman Draft and a couple 2023 Pro Debut signed.
I was really happy to get my gold parallel Jack Brannigan from 2023 Pro Debut signed.  The card is numbered to 50 and looks great.  We got Hunter Barco and Hudson Head outside the stadium after the game.  The weather was beautiful, and it was a nice day to be outside. 
Finally, we got a couple of the Dash guys prior to the game; Samuel Zavala signed for us post game as the team was coming off of the field.  I almost messed up and sent my Zavalas to my friend, Logan, as I had looked at a bunch of rosters and thought he was on Tulsa.

I had heard a few times that Wes Kath was super tough.  He signed for us just before the game began and was nice enough about it. He did one per, but still signed.

In all, we got the following autographs: Hunter Barco x 4, Jack Brannigan x 4, Hudson Head x 6, Termarr Johnson x 6, Patrick Reilly x 2, Jacob Gonzalez x 1, Wes Kath x 3 and Samuel Zavala x 7 (33)

TTM Success - Brian Allard

My 1980 Topps Rangers Future Stars card is now 2/3 of the way complete now that it came back signed from Brian Allard.  I don't mind that it was signed in a different t color than what Jerry Don Gleaton used.  I think it adds character.

Allard (b. 1958) played in the majors from 1979 to 1981 for the Rangers and Mariners.  He had a record of 4-6 with 44 strike outs and a 4.23 ERA.

I mailed to Allard on March 25 and got the card back on April 12, for an 18-day TAT. 

Monday, April 15, 2024

April 13, 2024, Graphing of the BlueClaws at Crawdads

This past weekend, Jesse, Chris and I went to Hickory to catch some former Wood Ducks and see Phillies High A team, Jersey Shore.  I hadn't seen them before, so it was nice to pull some High A Phillies guys (and get everyone I pulled).
I had pulled a bunch of Anthony Gutierrez when I busted 2023 Pro Debut and 2023 Bowman Draft.  I got them all done; Anthony remembered us and was super nice.  Yeison Morrobel also remembered us and didnt sign a thing.  That was disappointing. 
Mitch Bratt also remembered us; he was ready to keep walking outside of the stadium when I called his name, but then he looked up and realized it was us, so he stopped and talked to us for a little bit.

Ian Moller may have been the most excited to see us, as we were able to tell by his reaction when he saw Chris.  "Oh sh*t!"  He was legitimately happy to see us and it felt good.
Sebastian Walcott had a terrible game, and didn't seem to want to stop, but Ian kind of helped us get his attention.   Walcott still skipped Chris, because Chris was still talking to Ian.  That made us miss a couple cards for some 50/50s, but none of them were shut out, so it should still be ok.
I had a good many of the Jersey Shore guys in my boxes, so it was good to move some cards.  Everyone we needed was really nice and signed all we had.
Finally, we got Adam Lind.  I had met up with my friend, Aidan, at the game, and ge got an extra Lind signed for me.  I was also glad to get some Brad Bergesen cards out of my Orioles boxes, which was great.  He was really nice, as well.

In all, we got the following autographs:  Mitch Bratt x 1, Cam Cauley x 5, Yosy Galan x 3, Anthony Gutierrez x 14, Ian Moller x 1, Julio Valdez x 3, Sebastian Walcott x 2, Brad Bergesen x 8, William Bergolla x 7, Emaarion Boyd x 5, Justin Crawford x 9 and Adam Lind x 4 (62 total autographs). 

Sunday, April 14, 2024

Joe West Signed Baseball

My friend, Gerard, sent me this signed baseball that he got done for me recently of Joe West.  West is a former umpire who likely will be elected to the Hall of Fame at some point.  He missed out during the most recent veterans committee voting, but is likely to be the next unprecedented to get in at some point. 

West (b. 1952) umpired from 1976 to 2021, for a record 43 seasons.  He resigned during the 1999 Umpires strike, but was rehired in 2002.  Born in Asheville, NC, West later moved to Greenville, NC and attended ECU and Elon College.  He was part of the inaugural ECU football team, but transferred to Elon after that first season when the then ECU coach was fired.  He is a graduate of JH Rose High School in Greenville.

West umpired for a record 43 seasons and a record 5,460 games.  He umpired three All Star games (1987, 2005 and 2017) and six World Series (1992, 1997, 2005, 2009, 2012 and 2016).

Thanks for getting this ball done for me, Gerard.

Saturday, April 13, 2024

Hall of Fame Signed Baseball - Peter Gammons

My good friend, Gerard, got this baseball signed for me by Hall of Fame sportswriter, Peter Gammons.  Gammons was a signer at a show near Boston, so Gerard took the ball for me and dropped it off so I could add another Hall of Famer to my collection.  My 173rd Hall of Famer on a baseball came as a result.  The ball turned out great, and Gammons added the HOF inscription for free.

Gammons (b. 1945), after graduating from UNC Chapel Hill, joined the Boston Globe in 1969, covering the Red Sox and/or penning national baseball coverage from 1969 to 1975 and 1978 to 1986.  He worked for Sports Illustrated from 1976 to 1978 and 1986 to 1990.  He joined ESPN as an on-air baseball analyst, and worked there until 2009.  He was selected for the J. G. Taylor Spink Award for outstanding baseball writing given by the Baseball Writers Association of America in 2005, enshrining him in the Hall of Fame.

Thanks for getting my ball signed, Gerard!

Friday, April 12, 2024

Another TTM Success From Casey Blake

While going through my boxes, I pulled some more Casey Blake cards to hit him TTM again.  The above 2004 Bowman Chrome refractor turned out great.  The card must have come out of the boxes from the former LCS, because I don't remember opening any 04 Bowman.  It's a nice one, though, and I'm glad it is now in the album. 
I also got a 2007 Topps Allen & Ginter, and a 2009 Upper Deck signed.  I don't have very many 2009 Upper Deck anymore, but that is a nice looking set.  I was glad i at least had one of someone who signed TTM.

I mailed to Blake on November 27 and got the cards back on April 11, for a 136-day TAT.  I had originally gotten Blake to sign TTM back in 2017.

Thursday, April 11, 2024

TTM Success - Dave Matragna

Something I've learned is that these early 2000s thicker Bowman cards do not do well in the mail. The machinery seems to put crease lines on the cards.  Oh well.  This 2003 Bowman Dave Matragna card still looks cool, even if the USPS beat it up.  I'll probably get myself a sheet of non-machinable stamps and use those when I send out these thicker cards.

Matragna (b. 1977) played in the majors in 2003 and 2005 for the Astros and Angels.  He had 1 hit, 1 home run and 1 RBI.  His career batting average was .167.

I mailed to Matragna on February 6 and got the card back today (April 11), for a 65-day TAT.

TTM Success - Stefan Bailie

Here is a random 2005 Topps Update that I got signed TTM by Stefan Bailie.  He doesn't have much of a signature, but the card is signed, anyway.

Bailie (b. 1980) was a 4th round pick by the Red Sox in the 2001 June Amateur Draft out of Washington State.  He played in the minors from 2001 to 2005 in the Red Sox system, reaching AA.  He had 126 hits, 32 home runs and a .260 batting average. 

I mailed to Bailie on March 18 and got the card back on April 9, for a 22-day TAT. 

Wednesday, April 10, 2024

TTM Success - Chris Snelling

These cards were out for signatures via TTM for almost 4 years, but Chris Snelling finally sent them back.  This 2007 Topps got damaged at the bottom, but the card will still be filed in my album. 
Snelling also had two different 2007 Upper Deck cards.  I busted a box of these back then, and ended up with a bunch of bulk cards.  It is always nice to get some of them signed.  This was a decent set.

Snelling (b. 1981) played in the majors in 2002 and from 2005 to 2008 for the Mariners, Nationals, A's and Phillies.  He had 55 hits, 7 home runs and a .244 batting average. 

I mailed to Snelling on November 18, 2020, and got the cards back on April 8, 2024, for a 1,237-day TAT.

Tuesday, April 9, 2024

Another TTM Success From Jesse Orosco

Several passes through my boxes allowed me to find a handful of Jesse Orosco cards to send to him TTM for a second time.  I got his 1980 Topps Mets Future Stars taken care of.  I know getting Mike Scott is going to be tough.  I haven't looked Dan Norman up at all yet.
I'm getting close to 100 signed 1984 Topps; this one helped me push that number higher.  I also got a 1996 Fleer and a 2000 Topps signed so I'd have some Orioles cards represented in the album. 

I mailed to Orosco on March 18 and got the cards back on April 8, for a 21-day TAT.  I paid his fee of $5.00/card.

Monday, April 8, 2024

TTM Success - Ron Gardenhire

When these cards came back signed from Ron Gardenhire, I had thought I had gotten him previously.  It turns out, no, these were the only cards I had sent him.  They are now signed, and it looks like I don't have anything else out to him.   I got his 1982 Topps rookie card done.  I may have to finish the card off by taking advantage of some private signings at some point.
I also got a 1983 Donruss, 2004 Topps and a 2006 Topps signed.  All of them turned out well.

Gardenhire (b. 1957) played in the majors from 1981 to 1985 for the Mets.  He had 165 hits, 4 home runs and a .232 batting average.

He managed the Twins from 2002 to 2014, to a record of 1,068-1,039 and the Tigers from 2018 to 2020 to a record of 132-241.  His overall managerial record was 1,200-1,280 (.484 win %).  He was the AL Manager of the Year in 2010.  He finished second five times (2003, 2004, 2006 2008 and 2009).

I mailed to Gardenhire on March 31, 2022, and got the cards back today (April 8, 2024), for a 739-day TAT.

April 4-7, 2024, Graphing of The Hillcats at Wood Ducks

The final Wood Ducks season started nicely this week, first with a meet the team event that i thought I was going to miss, followed by a three-game series against the Lynchburg Hillcats.  

I was out of town this week when the Woodies held an exhibition game against Lenoir Community College.  I was also supposed to be on my trip when the Wood Ducks were going to hold an open practice followed by the meet and greet, but weather postponed the event to Thursday, and I was back in time to catch it with my friend, Jesse.  We racked the Woodies who had cards, and I got a ball signed by 99% of the team.
The Wood Ducks that had cards were Gleider Figuereo, Danyer Cueva, Julian Brock, Chandler Pollard and Marcus Smith.  I also had a team set card of Thomas St. Clair that i picked up last season when he was in town auditioning to be a coach in the Rangers system. 
Before the season began, my friend, Ryan, informed me that former Oriole, Tony Arnold, was a coach on Lynchburg. I was glad to get another 1991 Crown Orioles card signed.
I had a few of my own cards of the Lynchburg guys, but did have to buy a few prior to the start of the series. A couple didnt even come in, in time.  Maybe when they cone back, the cards will be in.
I was glad that I got my multi-colored Tommy Hawke card signed that he sent back unsigned TTM.  My younger brother, Andy, came to town on Saturday and caught the game with us.  He actually went to the same high school as Hawke, so that was pretty cool. 
Jeison Chourio and Angel Genao were really tough.  I had some help getting extras of those guys signed.  Genao called out my brother Saturday by saying "I signed for you yesterday, I remember you." When Andy told him "I came down from Winston-Salem this morning", Genao said "Sure."  I guess Andy does look like me.  Oops.  It was still funny.
Ralphy Velazquez only has Elite Extra Edition cards, and one of my friends was reappy wanting his auto, so I dug out two of these 1994 Score Cleveland cards to get him on.  I figured that was good enough, and my friend is happy.
The very best part of this weekend was that Andy surprised me on Sunday by bringing my niece, Millie, to her first baseball game.  He was in the area this weekend to pick her up from her grand parents, who live on thr Outer Banks.  I thought they were going to make the hand off and he was going to head home.  Instead, he brought Millie to Kinston and she got to spend 7 innings at the game with Uncle Bill.  She did pretty well, and I hope she had fun!  That really made my day, today.

In all, I got the following autographs: Julian Brock x 10, Danyer Cueva x 8, Gleider Figuereo x 18, Chandler Pollard x 11, Marcus Smith x 5, Tony Arnold x 2, Jaison Chourio x 10, Angel Genao x 6, Christian Knapczyk x 13, Carlos Maldonaldo x 2, Jesus Moreno x 1, Brian Pozos x 1, Thomas St. Clair x 1, Alex Clemmey x 26, Tommy Hawke x 11, Jose Pastrano x 5, Alonzo Richardson x 9, Ralphy Velazquez x 2 and Jack Jasiak x 5 (146 total autographs).