Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Are the Tigers Crazy?

I think the Detroit Tiger's have lost their minds. They released Gary Sheffield today. Sheffield has 499 home runs. Even though he's 40 years old and apparently his bat speed has slowed considerably, getting his 500th home run this year is inevitable. The Tiger's are in rough shape. The pitching staff is in shambles, and the 12% unemployment rate in Michigan has the team very concerned about ticket sales.

I can't think of a better ticket seller than the opportunity to see someone hit their 500th home run. They already owe him $14 million, why not use him as a ticket draw this season? Only play him during home games to guarantee that the home crowd will get to witness the event. I don't get it. I guess the Phillies are interested. Good for them.

No returns again today. It's Tuesday, so what would I expect? I wrote another four requests today but then ran out of envelopes. I'm up to 66 requests for the year, which is about 24 short of being on track to send out 365 requests for the year.

I read an article in the Star Tribune today about Harmon Killebrew giving Justin Morneau some advice on hitting more home runs. Killebrew basically told him to stand closer to the plate and pull the ball more. Morneau said he tried it but it wasn't comfortable and he doesn't want to give up hitting for average to get more home runs.

If it were me, I'd listen to Killebrew. He hit 573 homers. I think he knows a thing or two about hitting.

Morneau used to sign through the mail. He has signed for me twice. The first time, I think he was playing with Rochester. Then in 2004 he signed his 2003 Topps Heritage via the Twins for me. Killebrew also used to sign through the mail, occasionally for free. I received three cards signed by him through the mail over the last few years. He still signs through the mail, but now requires a contribution to his charitable foundation.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Another Slump

I was out of town for the weekend and sure I'd come home to a mailbox overflowing with autographs. Nothing. Nothing in today's mail either.

I wrote six requests today that I'll get in the mail first thing tomorrow. I hope to get another 10-15 requests in the mail later in the week. Including a 1958 Topps of Hank Aaron off to a signing that a SCN member is going to take care of for me. I'm really excited to add this one to my collection!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Bob Turley in the Mail Today

One return in the mail today. Bob Turley signed the 1959 Topps Run Preventers card that I cracked open from a PSA holder last month. I'll send it off to Gil McDougald next. I haven't seen many requests back from Bobby Richardson lately so I want to make sure he's signing before I send it off to him.

I'm expecting my items back from the MLBPAA signing from last weekend. Maybe next week sometime. I'm anxious to see how the Jm Kaat bobblehead turned out. I'm also expecting my items back from the Atommicsports signing, but they will be delayed until Jim Palmer signs on the 30th.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Johnny Blanchard Dies at 76

I didn't really intend my blog to be an obituary for baseball players, but today I have more bad news. Johnny Blanchard died of a heart attack at his home this morning. He was 76.

My son and I met him just six weeks ago at a signing here in Minnesota. He was very friendly and very kind to my son. We got several items signed, but both of us will always remember his great stories, how much he seemed to appreciate his fans, and my son getting a chance to wear his World Series ring!

No returns in the mail today or yesterday. I sent out three more today, and was planning on sending more, but my printer ran out of ink.

I've only sent out 53 requests so far this year, so I'm well behind my goal of sending out 365 (average of one a day). I have started typing and printing my letters rather than hand-writing them all. this greatly speeds up the process, so I'm hopeful that I'll meet my goal. I also received about 40 cards that I bought on eBay to send out so I should get a bunch more in the mail next week.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Hall of Famer George Kell Dies at 86

Very sad news today: Hall of Fame third baseman George Kell died. He was 86.

Mr. Kell played for several different teams including the Red Sox, White Sox, Philadelphia A's, Orioles and Tigers. He hit over .300 eight consecutive years, won the batting title in 1949, led A.L. third basemen seven times in fielding and four times in assists.

Mr. Kell was a very willing signer through the mail. He accepted a very small fee to sign, but I don't know if he refused requests without it. I sent to him several times. He signed a ball and several cards for me. In fact, he signed for my son just a couple of weeks ago.

He was a great player, and a great signer for collectors.

Sunday, March 22, 2009


Nothing in the mail Friday or Saturday. The package I had waiting for me at the post office was just a card I had bought on eBay that the seller put insurance on. It turns out my order from Atommicsports will be delayed since Jim Palmer delayed his signing date to March 25th. Hopefully I'll have all my items from Gibson, Brock, Palmer and Schoendienst back in 7-10 days. I'm definitely in a collecting slump.

My sons and I went to a flea market today. We didn't find any baseball items at all.

I'm going to send off a few requests tomorrow including Roy Smalley Sr., Jim Perry, Andy Pafko and Eddie Haas.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Sonny Siebert and Barry Latman

Today I got back a couple of returns. Barry Latman signed a 1962 Topps with Jim Perry and Dick Stigman. I'll send it off to Jim Perry next.

Sonny Siebert signed his 1965 Topps for his $7 fee.

I also got a form from the post office that I have a package waiting for me. I guess nobody was home when they delivered it. I'm hoping that it's my package from the AtommicSports.

I'm going out of town again this weekend. Maybe I'll come across another flea market or card show.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Odds and Ends

I didn't receive any returns in the mail today. I still have about 11 recent requests out that I hope to get back soon. I am also expecting to get back several cards and a ball that I sent to an Attomic Sports signing including Jim Palmer, Bob Gibson and Lou Brock.

I still had a few odds and ends laying around from TwinsFest that I hadn't scanned in and added to my web site. I had a ball signed by Joe Nathan and one by Matt Guerrier. I also had the start of my 2009 Twins ball that has Gardy on the sweet spot, and Jesse Crain, Kevin Slowey and Glen Perkins on the side panel. Last year I got 16 signatures on my team ball and I also got 16 on my 2007 ball.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

2009 Topps Heritage and TTM Returns

I was at Target today and saw that they had the 2009 Topps Heritage cards out, so I bought a box. These cards are styled after the 1960 Topps set. (A week ago I got an original 1960 Topps signed by Roy Face.)

I pulled a couple of Twins: Scott Baker and Glen Perkins. I really like these cards but I'm not ready to go after the entire set. I'll probably buy the Twins Team set and get them signed during the summer or next year at TwinsFest. The Heritage cards are great for autographs because they don't have a glossy finish and the signatures won't smear easily.

I also got a couple of returns today. Phil Roof signed his 1965 Topps for me. Marcelino Lopez is deceased and Rudy May doesn't appear to sign through the mail so this may be it for this card.

Roy Smalley Jr. signed his 1978 and 1985 Topps cards as well as the 1985 Topps Father/Son card. I'll send it off to Roy Sr. after I get the 1954 Topps I bought on eBay.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Bork and Woods

Sounds like a personal injury law firm, but it's my ttm returns today.

Frank Bork signed his 1965 Topps in ballpoint.

Jim Woods signed his 1961 Topps in ballpoint as well.

We didn't make it to the Gene Larkin signing last Saturday because we were "Up North". Too bad, it was free for two autographs. Maybe next time.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Mel Parnell and Brandon Phillips

I came home to find only a couple of returns.

Brandon Phillips of the Cincinnati Reds signed a 2007 Topps Heritage and a 2008 Goudey from Spring Training. This was my only Spring Training request this year. I sent it because I saw others getting returns form him posted on SCN. The last few years I have had pretty poor response from Spring Training and do better early in the season to the team addresses.

I also got a return from Mel Parnell, who signed his 1954 Topps for my collection.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Catching Up On Returns

A few more returns yesterday and today.

Yesterday I received Ron Piche on a 1965 Topps. He also included a signed picture. I had a couple of RTS (Return To Sender) failures with him previously so I was happy to get this one back.

Yesterday I also received a 1965 Topps from Russ Snyder.

Today I got a 1961 and 1965 Topps signed by Ray Herbert. I got this request back veryr quickly: just 6 days.

I'll be out of town until Sunday, but hopefully the mailbox will be full when I return.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

More Returns Today

I got three more returns today and my son got one too.

Roy Face signed his 1960 Topps as well as a 1959 Topps Buc Hill Aces already signed by Bob Friend.

Don Demeter signed his 1961 Topps for me.

Rick Wise signed his 1965 Topps and included a signed card of him as pitching coach for the Lancaster Barnstormers. I had included $5 with my request.

My son received a 2000 Fleer Greats of the Game signed by George Kell. He included $5 with his request.

Monday, March 09, 2009

TTM Returns Including Jim Piersall

Today I received several returns in the mail, and my son got a couple too.

Jim Piersall signed his 1965 Topps for me. I had also enclosed a 1960 Topps, which he returned unsigned.

Jack Baldschun signed three cards for me including a 1965 Topps. He also included a small signed picture too.

Dave Philley signed his 1949 Bowman. I included $10 with my request.

Larry Yellen signed his 1965 Topps for his $5 fee.

Jim O'Toole signed his 1961 Topps. He charges $3 I think, but I included $5.

My son got back Dick Groat and Jim Bouton on 2000 Fleer Greats of the Game cards.

Saturday, March 07, 2009

Two TTM Returns and a Show Return

The mailbox was pretty full today, although I'm still expecting back quite a few TTM requests.

Today I got a return from Vito Valentinetti, who signed his 1959 Topps for me.

I also got back Eddie Bockman, who signed his 1949 Bowman.

I also got back my order from a St. Louis Sports Collectors show from February 22nd. This order included:

Ralph Kiner - 2008 Goudey

Orlando Cepeda - 2008 Goudey

Juan Marichal - 2008 Goudey

Juan Marichal - 1965 Topps

Friday, March 06, 2009

Tony Kubek - MAB Signing Return

No ttm requests back today. Very surprising. However, I did get back two cards signed by Tony Kubek from a MAB Celebrity signing last weekend.

Mr. Kubek is a tough autograph to get and MAB had a decent price for signing baseball cards so I sent in cards from 1958 and 1965 for my sets.

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Another Famous Sluggers Yearbook

I didn't receive any returns in the mail today or yesterday, which surprises me a bit considering how many requests I have sent recently. I did receive a couple of purchases from eBay though.

I received a Famous Sluggers Yearbook from 1950. I posted about these a few months ago. This one is from 1950 and has George Kell, Jackie Robinson, Ted Williams and Ralph Kiner on the cover. It has the usual great articles about players from the day. Inside this one was something I hadn't seen before. A loose sheet describing the bats they produce and their prices. It also describes the models, by player name, and their characteristics.

I also received a 1956 Sports Illustrated with Whitey Ford on the cover. Definitely an item I'll send out to be signed.

Last, I received a 1965 Topps of Dean Chance, which I'll be sending to the Bob Feller Museum for a signing later this month. Mr. Chance is a tough autograph to get, so I'll be sending this card and a ball as well. He was the Cy Young Award winner in 1964 and won 20 games for the Twins in 1967.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Whitey Ford Return

Today I received a surprise in the mail: I got back a signed Whitey Ford 2008 Goudey just 6 days after I mailed it. This is quite a bit quicker than the 50+ days it took when I sent to his address on his web site to have him sign a 1965 Topps.

This time I didn't put the card in any type of sleeve or protector, so I didn't run into the problem of him signing the outer sleeve like I did last time.

This is my 14th signed Goudey. I've got quite a few out to paid signings, including Lou Brock, Bob Gibson, Jim Palmer, Juan Marichal, Ralph Kiner and Orlando Cepeda. I'm also sending one out for Ozzie Smith in April.

Monday, March 02, 2009

TTM Returns - Friend, Hedlund and Gagliano

I've been sending out quite a few requests lately through the mail (ttm) and started getting a few back today.

I sent Bob Friend a 1965 Topps and a 1959 Topps "Buc Hill Aces". I'm sending the Buc Hill Aces card off to Roy Face tomorrow.

Mike Hedlund signed his 1965 Topps already signed by Bill Davis, and Ralph Gagliano signed his 1965 Topps already signed by Jim Rittwage.

I have about 22 requests out in the mail, not including the paid signing events. I should start getting plenty of returns back in the next few weeks.