Monday, August 31, 2020

TTM autographs received: Ed Ott

The former big league catcher and one-time Angel signed my cards in about a couple of weeks - the pair of 1981 Topps came from a box of loose cards featuring one-time Angels [either pictured as Angels or in another team's uniform] I still need autographs of.

Just to have an Angels card to send, I dug out another 1983 Topps card from the hand collated set I purchased several years ago - while I hope to keep the 1983 Topps set together, I look to pull the occasional card [that may be a little off-condition] to send out, while thinking about replacing the cards with 'upgrades' at some unspecified point.

Sunday, August 30, 2020

TTM autograph received: Tommy Helms

The former big league infielder sign my 1970 Topps card in about a couple of weeks - after being honored with the National League Rookie of the Year award in 1966, he went onto to have a 14-year big league career earning 2 Gold Glove awards while being also being a 2-time all-star.

I thought one-time big leaguer Wes Helms was his son, but it turns out only his nephew - I can add this autograph card to my bloodlines collection, though the more likely fit is in my award winners collection.

Saturday, August 29, 2020

TTM autographs received: Terry Humphrey

The former big league catcher and one-time Angel signed my 1979 Topps cards in about a couple of weeks - these cards came from a box of loose cards featuring one-time Angels [either pictured as Angels or in another team's uniform] I still need autographs of.

Just to continue the TTM machine going regardless of ongoing issues that pop up in the hobby, such as rank-and-file guys not signing anymore and/or suddenly charging - I hope to put together and send 5 or 6 requests a week, including at least 1 or 2 one-time Angels requests, so I can conceivably add to my all-time Angels collection, one more autograph at a time.

Thursday, August 27, 2020

TTM autograph received: Billy Cowan

I dug this card out from my Angels frankenset and sent it to Cowan to sign - it took about a couple of weeks before my card came back signed in blue Sharpie.

While Cowan's 1972 Topps card is a quirky 'cult favorite,' it maybe one 'fun card' I really haven't dwelled on too much - while the card will definitely be listed in my all-time Angels autograph collection, the actual card may also go back in my frankenset.

Wednesday, August 26, 2020

2017 Topps Series 2 First Pitch Alex Curry #FP-36

I think saw a signed version [from an organized, paid signing] of this card posted in thread that was eventually nuked on Blowout forums last month- I didn't realize a card of the Angels sideline reporter existed and after browsing around on eBay for a little bit, I snagged a couple of copies for a dollar each.

I guess like most applicable Angels fans, I think she’s eye-candy and while things change where she moves onto other things - Miss Curry's cards have found their way into my Angels PC somewhere.

Tuesday, August 25, 2020

TTM autographs received: Albie Pearson

I got my first success with Pearson back in 2014, but still had a couple of loose straggler cards I probably should send out sooner than never - I added $5 to my request and got my cards inscribed [rookie of the year and all-star] and signed about a week.

It seems kind of odd that he used two different pens - but I do like how he signed the vintage Topps card in a darker blue ink while he inked up the old-school retro 1978 TCMA The 1960's with a lighter ballpoint pen.

Monday, August 24, 2020

Featured autograph - Cal Ripken Jr. and Tim Salmon

Both of these guys are baseball 'heroes' and coincidentally they share the same birthday, 8 years apart - while it may sound a little corny, over the past 30 years, they were among the pros I considered larger than life.

Though Salmon was never the national baseball icon Ripken Jr. was as the latter chased The Streak - Salmon may have reason I was paying closer attention to Angels games during his first full season as a rookie in 1993.

Saturday, August 22, 2020

TTM autographs received: Sam McDowell

The former 1960s - early 1970s Cleveland Indians pitching ace signed my three retro cards from my A-Z archives in about a month - while the cards aren't vintage Topps issues, I thought it might be neat to get the cards inked up for McDowell's unofficial fee of $5 each.

I wasn’t sure whether he was still signing but I saw some sporadic successes digging around on a forum and took my chance to put together a request - go figure, I found a couple of more unsigned cards [1993 Upper Deck B.A.T. Triple-Folders] of McDowell's I might be tempted to send out at some point.

Friday, August 21, 2020

The Angels, In Order freebies

An opportunity to pick out some cards for free is always fun- even cards that are mostly forgotten, like stuff from the junk wax era.

Tom, at The Angels, In Order had a free card giveaway and I chose five random cards - just to anticipate getting something in the mail.

2-1 2005 Upper Deck Classics Ray Dandridge #79 - picked a card of a Negro Leaguer who never got to the big leagues because of segregation and institutionalized racism, but was good enough to eventually get to the Hall of Fame.

3-8 1992 Topps Stadium Club Jose Canseco #370 - not the most notable, but a card that may take me back to my peak collecting years of the early 1990s, even for a moment.

3-5 1993 Fleer Ultra All-Stars Gary Sheffield #5 of 20 - not the most notable, but a card that may take me back to my peak collecting years of the early 1990s, even for a moment.

5-4 1988 Fleer Baseball MVP Dave Winfield #43 - while junk wax era boxed sets are still way too common to ever be worth anything, I liked the different looking cards to compare to the flagship set design released within the same year.

5-9 1993 Donruss Diamond Kings Pat Listach #DK-29 - I was surprised when this showed up because I thought I'd selected another card, but I goofed on listing the correct slot number.

Listach wasn’t built to last though he was American League Rookie of the Year in 1992 - I still may have my original copy of the insert somewhere, where I got it signed in-person back in 1996.

Wednesday, August 19, 2020

TTM autograph received: Jeff Russell

I got Russell to finish off my 1990 Fleer Superstar Specials subset card already signed by Mark Gubicza - a few months ago, I saw a success posted with Russell on a forum I belong to and by coincidence, I found the Fleer card in a small loose stack of cards I’d set aside featuring partially completed multiplayer cards.

On those rare occasions when it does happen - it feels good to get a iP / TTM autograph card signed by the two or more players pictured.

I must have gotten Gubicza 20 years ago while he was still writing out ‘Mark’ compared to recent years - when he really shortened up his autograph to basically initials.

I decided to send my card to Russell with $5 since it might have been implied he actually charges a fee - I crossed my fingers I would get an eventual success and about three weeks later, a SASE was returned with my card signed.

Monday, August 17, 2020

TTM autographs received: Jeff Shaw

The former big league closer signed my cards in about three weeks - including a 2001 Fleer Tradition, a set I'm still trying to get as many cards signed from, even after all these years.

Saturday, August 15, 2020

TTM autographs received: Jason Gurka

I don’t usually write off requests, particularly within a calendar year, but I sent to Gurka in January and while I realize real life happened - I wondered why my request didn't come in the time I was stuck overseas from February through the middle of June.

However a straggler SASE made it back to my mailbox and finally got my two cards signed in black Sharpie - to count one for my all-time Angels autograph collection.

Gurka has pitched professionally for the past 11 seasons and recorded two outs in three appearances for the Angels in 2017 - I’ve probably wouldn't have his cards otherwise, but picked them up for the Arizona Fall League in 2013 and I've held onto them for the past 6-7 years after they didn't get any ink on them.

Friday, August 14, 2020

TTM autographs received: Kent Hrbek

Hrbek signed my cards in about four weeks with his unofficial fee being $5 an item - Hrbek was a hulking, slugging first baseman who starred for the Minnesota Twins from the early 1980s through the early 1990s.

Though compared to teammate Kirby Puckett, I considered Hrbek more of a regional, team star - I was familiar with Hrbek for the junk wax era cards I might have seen or had in-hand picturing him.

He played on Twins World Series championship teams in 1987 and 1991 - where he engaged in some chicanery, pulling Ron Gant off the bag in Game 2.

Thursday, August 13, 2020

A glitch in the Matrix

I saw a thread on Twitter about repaging a set numerically and rolled my eyes since I’m not really a set guy at this point - even if I was a set collector, it seems simple enough to where I can certainly make sure to have all the cards in order when putting them in plastic sheets.

Go figure I was digging out a 1983 Topps Don Robinson [#44] I couldn't find, where it wasn't where I assumed it was in my 1983 Topps set binder - I was wondering if the numbering was wrong or I was looking up a card that belonged to a different year of Topps cards.

Turns out card #44 was stuck behind card #43 and the Robinson basically was never placed in its own pocket - so for the work I did to put the set in pages, the order is actually out of whack.

I’m going to say I have a problem in hand, but I’m not going to worry about trying to correct things - it’s probably going to be the case where now I'm pulling cards from the book to include in TTM requests, so there is already a little uncertainty about keeping the set together.

I guess I'm not perfect and probably should live with this glitch - as long as I know what I’m dealing with when looking for a particular card.

Tuesday, August 11, 2020

TTM autographs received: Frank Thomas

The Original One [not the Nugenix guy] signed my two cards, sent an extra signed 'custom' card along with a 'business card' and a personalized form letter thanking me for my donation [$10] - he also wrote a response in the corner of the form letter regarding what I wrote to him about.

I had a couple of retro cards of Thomas in my A-Z archives that probably have been there for the past 10-15 years - on an autograph forum I belong to, I saw someone had a recent success with him and decided to dig the cards out so I can send them out.

Monday, August 10, 2020

TTM autographs received: Billy Ashley

The former big leaguer signed my cards in about a couple of weeks - the thick Sharpie Ashley used was good enough and bold enough for the cards I sent him, including the 1993 Upper Deck where teammate Eric Karros makes a cameo.

Ashley had big time power potential, but unlike some of the early 1990s era Los Angeles Dodgers prospects who would have big league success - Ashley never was able to put things together in parts of 6 seasons with the Dodgers.

He was a random guy for me to send to, but I needed to scratch that itch and not have to worry about my cards unsigned - if and when all or some of the cards I sent made it back to me.

I want to say he lives in the So. Cal area, where he has showed up for Dodgers alumni events / signings over the past decade - I set his cards aside a couple of years ago but held off on mailing them out.

Saturday, August 08, 2020

TTM autographs received: Bill Virdon

I don’t know if Virdon was on my scratch the itch list, but I had a 1978 Topps [#279] buried under other cards, laying around loose for the longest time - I might as well send it out as long as the 89-year old [!] is still signing.

I may have gotten Virdon at least once before in the mail, though maybe not in-person - I vaguely remember being at the Pittsburgh Pirates team hotel when the team played an Interleague series in Anaheim in 2002 and saw him about to walk to the ballpark [maybe a mile or so away] instead of taking a shuttle.

It won’t be the case all the time, but I try to send at least a couple of cards out when putting together a through the mail request - so I figure to double up and send him a 1983 Topps [#516] as well.

Friday, August 07, 2020

Topps Project 2020 Mike Trout #187

I’ve got to keep up with my Trout run of Project 2020 cards [minus two cards so far], though since the hype around the Topps Project 2020 cards have been sucked out - I’ve tended to make myself wait before committing to an eventual purchase featuring Trout.

Through the early part of the abbreviated MLB season, the new father and birthday boy is still a consistently great player with a great all-around approach - I guess it feels good to buy a little piece of someone who is legit, particularly after a big home run night against the Seattle Mariners the other night.

Father time always wins but watching Trout evolve from a 'kid' to a full grown man and bonafide big leaguer, it should be fun watching him entering his 30s [starting in 2021] - to see if his great all-around approach remains where he has a fighting chance to fend off a decline phase and might actually get a little better.

Thursday, August 06, 2020

TTM autograph received: Max Alvis

The former big league third baseman signed my card in about a couple of weeks - due to lack of familiarity, I'm not going to attempt to write to older, retired players unless I have their cards or they played through the junk wax era.

However, it might be fun to find straggler cards i.e. vintage / old-school or even retro cards [from the junk wax era to present] to send off to guys still living and presumably signing - though I've sent out through the mail requests for the past 25 years, I'm not like these 'TTM pros' who have a cache of old timers' cards and jump on any possible opportunity to mail stuff out.

Wednesday, August 05, 2020

TTM autographs received: Dave Schmidt

Schmidt was an effective big league reliever, doing some double duty in the starting rotation for several seasons, starting 49 games for the Baltimore Orioles from 1987-1989 - he signed my cards in blue Sharpie in about three weeks, including a 1984 Fleer card I actually sought out and picked up earlier in the year.

Sunday, August 02, 2020

TTM autographs received: Scott Livingstone

Livingstone was a useful rank-and-file guy who could hit a little bit through the mid 1990s, though I have no recollection of him past his early junk wax era years with the Detroit Tigers - he signed my cards in blue Sharpie in about three weeks, but the pen was dying, so the autographs are didn't quite come out as bold.

Results are likely to vary when sending off cards TTM, but maybe it adds to the charm and quaintness to see something - signed in another color Sharpie besides blue or black or a glossy card signed in ballpoint pen or some other odd pen.

For the most part I want things in blue Sharpie or blue ink - but I'm reminded of going through my friend's book of autograph cards 20 years ago, where he would get stuff back in all sorts of colors and pen types.

Saturday, August 01, 2020

1996 Pinnacle Bob Hamelin #289

I was worried for a little bit I couldn't find this one lousy common because of a little cult notoriety - where this particular card it has been goofed on the web for the past 10 years.

I was digging around and jumped on a listing for the card, spending about $1 to land a copy of this all-time beauty - finally getting the card in-hand, it does feel a little weird, where the surface isn’t that regular 1996 Pinnacle glossy finish that is prone to brick up over the past 25 years.

The stock is a little thinner and for a moment, I wondered if I have a fake card in-hand [seriously?] - doing some research, most sites referencing the card uses ‘foil’ to identify the card.

What I definitely have is a more of a ‘foil’ like card, though I wouldn't remember if 1996 Pinnacle had such a parallel - I wonder if Hamelin has a regular base card which is what I originally wanted in the first place [if it actually existed].