Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween!

The boys are getting ready to go out trick-or-treating so I don't have much time to post tonight. I'm sharing the pumpkin I carved earlier this week (it's looking a little sad by now).

I did get the Frank Viola cards returned today, as well as confirmation that he'll sign my 1987 Twins bobblehead if I send it down. I'll post those cards tomorrow.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Sweet Music!

Today I received a ball signed by Frank Viola, whose nickname was 'Sweet Music'. He runs a baseball school down in Florida, and I read on that he was signing through the mail for a small donation to his school. I sent a ball as well as three cards to be signed. I got the ball back today, with his World Series MVP and Cy Young inscriptions.

Hopefully tomorrow I'll get the cards back too!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Hammerin' Hank

A while ago I bought a 16x20 autographed photo of Hank Aaron hitting his 715th home run to become the all time home run leader, surpassing Babe Ruth.

There is a framing shop where I work, so I had them frame it in a plain black metal frame and black matte. I think it turned out pretty nice.

Now I just need to finish cleaning and reorganizing my basement so I can have a nice place to hang it. (My baseball memorabilia is limited to the basement)

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Thanks For The Taco, Jason

Did you get your free taco today? We did. Taco Bell ran a promotion where if a base was stolen during the World Series, everyone in America would get a free taco. Jason Bartlett stole second in the bottom of the 5th inning in game 1. All you had to do was stop in to Taco Bell between 2:00 pm and 6:00 pm today, and ask for your free taco. So, after work today, I met my wife and sons at Taco Bell and we had dinner. Of course, we bought additional items as well.

This was especially fun for my kids since they really like Jason Bartlett. We've gotten his autograph several times. Here's my older son with Jason at a signing at Dick's Sporting Goods. It seems most of my pictures lately have been from signings at Dick's.

Today in the mail I got back my request to Carl Scheib. I mentioned a few days ago that I got it back unsigned as I forgot to add his fee. I sent it back with his fee and he signed my 1954 Topps, along with a couple of signed reprint cards which was very nice of him.

Monday, October 27, 2008

More Multi-Signed Cards

Nothing in the mail again today. But I don't really have much out. I bought almost 50 cards on eBay last night, so as soon as I get those, I can send a bunch of them out. They were mostly 1961 Topps, with a few others from the late '50s and early '60s.

We carved our pumpkins tonight, I'll post some pictures later this week. Not so much scary, more baseball-themed.

I mentioned the 1965 Topps Rookie cards that have a couple of players on them. I have just a few of these signed, but I really like them. The funny thing is that the end up getting signed in different pens, sometimes even different ink color. Some collectors send the pen they want used along with the request.

I have one signed by Dave Bennett and Morrie Steevens, which I bought.

I also have one signed by Greg Bollo and Bob Locker, which I received through the mail back in 2005. Mr. Locker signed it in about 14 days, while the round trip from Mr. Bollo was over 9 months.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Multi-Signed Cards

No real news today, other than I'm old. I went bowling with my family. I think I hurt my neck. How old do you have to be to hurt yourself bowling? I used to be a fairly avid bowler, a member of a league for many years. The fellows on my team were quite a quite a bit older than I was, many having back surgeries, and even a heart attack or two. I bowled a perfect 300 game one year, as well as a 298 a couple of years later. At my "peak", I averaged 211 for the year.

Anyway, today I thought I would highlight a few multi-signed cards. That is, cards that picture more than one player, and which I have gotten signed by more than one player.

The 1985 Topps set has some cool "Father - Son" cards, depicting fathers who had sons that also played in the majors. For example, Vern and Vance Law, pictured here.

I also have one signed by the Mike and Dave Stenhouse, the Schofields, and the Skinners.

I also have some older multi-signed cards, such as some 1965 rookie cards, which I'll talk about another day

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Came Up Empty Handed Today

Today my sons and I headed over to Cedar Cliff Collectibles in Eagan ( We go there occasionally because they have all sorts of stuff we like: comic books, action figures (especially Star Wars), baseball cards, old video games, and you never know what else. Prices are often very reasonable. Today, however, we just didn't find anything we had to have. There were a few older comics at good prices but nothing I decided to buy. There are a few autographed baseball items. Some with COAs (Certificates of Authenticity) from the old Shinders chain. I think there were Rod Carew and Stan Musial bats, and a Stan Musial mini helmet. I didn't see a COA for the helmet, but didn't look too hard.

We also stopped by the Twins Pro Shop in Apple Valley. My sons like to look for game-used items, especially the bats. There was a game-used Denard Span bat, but it was $250! My younger son bought a Span bat there earlier this year that was used in spring training for only $75, then got it signed at Dick's Sporting Goods in Richfield. Seems like a bargain now, especially since Span played so well this season.

There were a few of those banners that hang outside the dome, with individual players on them. They had Johan Santana for $75, but it had a nasty rip in it. There was also a Boof Bonser for only $30, which my older son was considering, but Boof's future with the team seems uncertain, so he decided not to buy it now.

It's not often we hit those two stores and come up empty handed, as well as no returns in the mail, so it has been a disappointing day.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Denny McLain Signing at Bud's Sports Cards

Yesterday I got back a 1968 Sports Illustrated poster I sent to Bud's Sports Cards for a Denny McLain signing. The fee was very reasonable, $20, plus return shipping. This price included one free inscription, and I asked for "31-6, 1968". If you don't remember Denny (and I don't, because I was barely a year old), he was the first 30 game winner since Dizzy Dean in 1934 and helped the Tigers win the World Series in 1968.

When my wife told me that I had a package waiting at the post office to pick up, I couldn't think of what it might be, but then I remembered this signing. I checked the web site to see when the signing was scheduled (, and was surprised to see a picture of him signing my poster on their web site! I asked them for permission to post that picture here, which Frank from Bud's was kind enough to grant. Check out their site for a couple more pictures from this signing, as well as from many previous signings. Mr. McLain was kind enough to add some additional inscriptions, including his Cy Young and MVP awards as well.

I have sent in many items to be signed at Bud's, which is in Ft. Lauderdale, FL. It's one of the few mail-in places I use regularly. Their prices are very reasonable, and they often have a separate, lower price for "gum cards". This is great because I often find it hard to justify getting a baseball card signed, when for the same price, I can get a ball or 8x10 picture signed. The Carl Yastrzemski 1965 Topps pictured on my blog was also signed at Bud's last February, and in the spring, I sent in a '65 Topps of Bob Gibson, and a '58 Topps of Stan Musial to be signed. These signings were a week or two apart, so they let me send them both in, and they held on to them until they were both signed, to save on the return shipping cost.

The service has always been excellent, and return shipping is reasonable, especially since they pacakge it well. I had sent my poster in a small poster tube, which they reused, but then put it inside a larger Priority Mail box which I assume they also use for bats.

I check their site regularly for their "monthly specials", as well as for a list of upcoming signings.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Yet Another '58 Topps

Today in the mail I received a 1958 Topps signed by Charles "Whammy" Douglas. A fellow member on SCN ( let me know that he recently got a card back from him and had included $5. So, I sent off a request on October 13th, and got it back today. This makes 338 out of the 494 cards.

I also got back a great return from a mail-in signing, and I'll post that tomorrow or later this weekend.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Another '58 Topps To Add to My Collection

The set I collect the most is 1958 Topps. I just received one today I bought on eBay. Card #349, Murry Dickson. This is the 337th card I have signed, out of the 494 in the set. Most of the cards in my collection were obtained through the mail, but I have been purchasing signed cards of players that are deceased.

I will highlight some cards from this set in future posts.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

1954 Topps Returns

Only one return in the mail today, and it was a failure. I sent a 1954 Topps to Carl Scheib, forgetting that he asks for a $5 donation. I will send it again tomorrow with $5. I really like the 1954 Topps cards, it's probably my favorite set. The cards are a little larger than today's cards and have a nice portrait of the player, along with a smaller action image in the background.

I have nearly 100 of these signed. Duke Snider is probably my favorite, with Phil Rizzuto coming in a close second. I would really like to get Al Kaline's card from this set signed, but since it's his rookie card, it's really hard to find a decent card that isn't over $100. I looked on eBay tonight, and the lowest current asking price or bid was $39 for a card that was creased and miscut.

There is a reprint set of the whole 1954 Topps set and I already own it, but for some reason I just don't enjoy getting reprint cards signed. I'll keep my eye out for a lower grade Kaline and hopefully some day I'll be able to add it to my collection.

Monday, October 20, 2008

TTM Return From Bob Feller

Today I received a response from Bob Feller. Mr. Feller signs for a very modest fee ($5 for a card). I sent him a 2008 Upper Deck Goudey and he signed it nicely in the upper left corner. I have sent out a few cards from this set. I am not going to get these signed by current players, but the set has a pretty nice selection of retired players. This card joins Bobby Thomson, Sparky Anderson and Bobby Doerr in my collection. There are a few Twins players, both current and retired, such as Mauer, Morneau, Delmon Young, Rod Carew and Jack Morris.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

TTM Return from Bobby Richardson

On Thursday I got a return from Bobby Richardson. He was kind enough to sign a 1965 Topps for my collection. This return was a little longer than usual. I sent it to him back in March, so this was a 210 day return. I must be getting close to having 300 cards signed from this set. It's one of my favorite sets, signed or unsigned, and not the cheapest to collect. There are plenty of Hall of Famers in the set: Kaline, Yaz, Banks, Killebrew, Wilhelm, Cepeda, just to name of few that I have signed cards of. I recently sent in a card to Whitey Ford, and I've got a Yogi Berra sitting on my desk, waiting for me to rationalize the cost to get it signed.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Card Show in Rochester, MN

My sons and I went to a small card show in Rochester, MN today. There were about 8-10 tables. They had mostly new cards. The vintage stuff was mostly way over priced. My younger son picked up an Alexi Casilla auto'ed card and my older son bought an older Exhibit card of Don Larsen, which he plans to get signed, and a 1962 Topps Harmon Killebrew. I picked up a few 2008 Allen & Ginter Twins cards in preparation for TwinsFest in January. I had low expectations for the show that were mostly met. Still, shows are hard to come by and we had fun looking through the cards that were there.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Insurance For Your Collectibles

I recently purchased a separate insurance policy to cover my collectibles (sports memorabilia, comics and Star Wars toys). Chances are, your homeowners/renters insurance doesn't cover them, beyond the amount covering personal belongings which you'll also need to cover the replacement of clothes, furniture, etc. I checked with the insurance company that I purchase homeowner's insurance from, and it was quite expensive to cover the additional items in my collection.

I read several recommendations on different web sites and publications for Collectibles Insurance Services ( The web site will give you a quote for insurance covering the value of your collection. They don't require an appraisal, or even an itemized list. Just a dollar amount to be covered, as well as a general description of the collection (stamps, firearms, baseball cards, etc). You will need an itemized list to make a claim though.

Last week I filled out the application available online, and emailed it in. I then called to give them my credit card number. I have not yet received the policy, but my card has been charged, so I'm assuming I'm covered!

I guess I can't offer a full recommendation until I try to make a claim, which hopefully I never need to do. But, I feel better knowing that my Iron Man #1, carded Power of the Force Jawa and 1956 Hank Aaron card are covered should anything go wrong.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Bobblehead Sets

I'll be leaving town this evening for the weekend, so I won't see what I get in the mail, if anything, for the next couple of days. Today I wanted to highlight my signed bobblehead set projects.

I purchased a ten bobblehead set consisting of players from the 1965 Twins team that lost to the Dodgers in the World Series. I currently have 6 of them signed, including Harmon Killebrew, Tony Oliva, Frank Quilici, Jim "Mudcat" Grant, Jim Perry and Camilo Pascual. I think the only living player I don't have signed in this set is Jim Kaat.

I've included a picture of the Camilo Pascual signed bobblehead that I got via a mail order singing with Bob Corcoran.

I also purchased the 1987 set of Twins bobbleheads, the first Twins team to win a World Series. I bought these online the day they went on sale on the Twins web site. I think they sold about 400 sets, and they sold out in 8 minutes. It was tough to get through to the site, but I was lucky enough to buy one before they sold out. So far, I have signed bobbleheads from this set by Bert Blyleven, Dan Gladden, Tim Laudner, Jack Morris and Al Newman. I've got a long way to go on this set, as there are 25 players in it. Of course Kirby passed away before the set was released, so it will never be complete. Joe Niekro has also passed away. My favorite in the set is Juan Berenguer, which I got signed at a Dick's Sporting Goods appearance in September of 2007 (during a tornado warning, but that's another story).

I've also included a picture of my older son, John, at this event with Juan Berenguer and Kevin Tapani. Also at this signing were Nick Blackburn, Jesse Crain, Jason Kubel, Scott Leius and Tim Laudner. Due to the poor weather, the turnout was very light, so we got a chance to take some good pictures with the players and my son got some tips on blocking balls in the dirt from Tim Laudner (John is a catcher).

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Ex-Twins In The Play-Offs

No returns in the mail today. So, I'll show an item from someone who's still playing this year. Yet another ex-Twin playing in the post-season on another team: Jason Bartlett. In addition to Matt Garza, we traded Bartlett to the Rays for Delmon Young, who I don't think really panned out as everyone hoped. Anyway, my sons and I have met Jason on several occasions. The first was at a signing at Dick's Sporting Goods in Woodbury, in September of 2005. I got this 8x10 signed.

Speaking of Delmon Young, he was a popular player at TwinsFest last January, having recently signed with the Twins. He was signing at a station with Michael Cuddyer, and my younger son and I stood in line quite a while to get their autographs. David is a big Cuddyer fan, and had him sign a full sized bat, while having Delmon Young sign his Twins mini-bat, that has 16 signatures on it and is now "retired".

Here's a picture of my son and Delmon at TwinsFest:

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Famous Slugger Yearbook

I recently purchased a cool little magazine on Ebay: the Famous Slugger Yearbook from 1965, produced by Louisville Slugger. I have a couple of these, but this one is my favorite. It has a small picture of Roberto Clemente and Tony Oliva on the front, as well as a teaser to "Help Yourself To Better Hitting" by Harmon Killebrew.

The pages are filled with great pictures of Harmon Killebrew and pages and pages of hitting advice from him.

There are also statistics listed for 1964, highlighting the previous years top performers. Names such as Brooks Robinson, Hank Aaron, Willie Mays, Mickey Mantle and hometown heroes Killebrew and Oliva are littered throughout, with stats and pictures of each.

There is also an interesting section on how bats are made, with a guy looking like my 7th grade shop teacher standing at the lathe, turning a bat for some major leaguer.

These magazines are really fun to look at and the ads are pretty hilarious. I have found a couple at a flea market for $10-$15, and this one on Ebay cost about the same. If you're interested in vintage baseball items, this one is a really good buy.


Today I received a signed baseball card of C.C. Sabathia in the mail. I purchased this card from a member of a web site called (SCN). C.C. is a tough auto to get through the mail. so I broke down and bought one. The card is a 2003 Topps Heritage, which I really like and have been trying to get signed by as many players as I can.

The collector I bought this from obtained it in person in Winter Haven, Florida during Spring Training when C.C was with the Cleveland Indians.

I was fortunate enough to get Justin Morneau to sign his card from this set through the mail during Spring Training in 2004.

Well, my sister's blog inspired me to start one of my own. When I started to create one, I realized I actually had already created one two years ago! So, I am revamping it. It will focus mainly on my collecting hobbies: Sports Memorabilia, Comics and Star Wars Toys.

My sons and I enjoy collecting autographs of local Sports Heroes, mostly from the Minnesota Twins, but occasionally from the Wild as well. Speaking of which, we had the opportunity to attend the Wild home opener on 10/11. I received 4 "on the glass" tickets which were amazing. The Wild won, 4-3, in a nail-biter at the end. Here's a picture of me and my sons in our seats (well before game time). My wife took the picture, just as the batteries in the camera died, so this is the only picture we have of the event.