Thursday, December 31, 2009

1947 Minneapolis Millers Scorebook

Another impulse buy on eBay a few weeks ago. I occasionally do a search for "Minneapolis Millers" to see what shows up. Last time I came across a scorebook from 1947.

The front cover has a characters that looks like he should be in a Popeye cartoon, along with a Clark's Super Gas ad. It's interesting that the ad mentions a money-saving price. I didn't know gas prices were a concern in 1947. I think gas was 15 to 20 cents a gallon back then.

But, take a look at the cars that were advertised. The Hudson on the back page looks like it gets 6 or 8 miles to the gallon.

The back cover has an ad for a tire supply company that had a coupon for fans to fill out and enter into a box at the exit gate for a chance to when "Two Walloping Prizes" to be given away at the final Sunday game of the season.

This particular game was against the Kansas City Blues. Some of the players from Kansas City that went on to the majors include Hank Bauer, Cliff Mapes, Steve (Bud) Souchock, Ken Silvestri and Jerry Coleman. From the Millers, Babe Barna and Jack Maguire and Bobby Rhawn had short MLB careers. Johnny McCarthy was at the end of his career, making his MLB debut in 1934. Wes Westrum moved up from the Millers to the New York Giants and played there until 1957.

(click on the image to see a larger version)

Frank Trechock from the Millers played one game in the majors: September 19th, 1937 with the Washington Senators. He played against the White Sox and the Senators won 5 to 4. He went 2-4 with a strikeout, but committed two errors.

The program is full of cigarette, liquor and car dealership ads as well as a few dairy and restaurant ads. Unfortunately, it's a little light on player bios and pictures. I really enjoy looking through these old minor league programs and see which players went on to become major league players or even Hall of Famers.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Billy Williams Return

Today I received a 2008 Goudey I sent in to Jim & Steve's to be signed by Billy Williams. I have sent several items in to their signings and have been happy with the results of every one of them.

I received a bunch of my orders today in preparation of TwinsFest. I also received a Delmon Young bobblehead and a bunch of 8x10 pictures I bought on eBay.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

1965 Twins American League Champs Pennant

Yesterday I received an eBay item I bought. I already have several of these small pennants that were sold at Metropolitan Stadium to commemorate the Twins as American League Champs in 1965. They come in several colors: red, blue, green and black.

But, I saw another one on eBay that had no bids on it and picked it up for about $6 including shipping. I guess you can't have too many. Although my wife would disagree.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Monte Irvin TTM Success

Today I received a couple of cards that I sent to Monte Irvin just a week ago. I sent $20 with my request. Mr. Irvin signed a 1953 Topps that I picked up at the card show my sons and I attended during the Julio Becquer signing a few weeks ago.

I also sent a 2000 Fleer Greats of the Game for my son, who says he working on the set, but hasn't sent many requests out for a while.

I bought a little over 100 cards from for my sons and me in preparation for TwinsFest. I also bought a few 8x10s on eBay. The list of players signing isn't out yet, so I just focused on the current roster.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Lots of Returns Including Cal Ripken Jr.

I received a lot of returns yesterday as well as one purchase today.

First, I got back a couple of items I sent in to a Cal Ripken Jr. signing at Ironclad Authentics. An SCN contact has an account with them and I got a ball and a 2008 Goudey signed for much less than the normal rate.

I received three through the mail requests. Jim Perry signed his 1959 Topps rookie card for me.

Jim Lonborg signed a 1965 Topps, 1968 Topps and 1968 Topps World Series cards.

Irv Noren signed a 1953 Topps.

I also received my 1968 Topps Jackie Hernandez card that I sent in to a GateX Autographs signing.

Finally, I received a 1961 Dick Donovan card that I bought on eBay.

We haven't made much progress on getting ready for TwinsFest. Hopefully we'll have a few days around the holidays to get our cards and pictures straightened out. As usual, I'm finding I have many items I'd like to get signed by Harmon Killebrew.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Carlos Gomez

I bought a signed 2009 Allen & Ginter Carlos Gomez card on eBay which I received today. I bought it from a guy who frequently travels to the D.R. and gets a lot of guys there to sign for him. I didn't get Gomez's autograph at TwinsFest last year because his lines were way too long.

Speaking of TwinsFest, tonight my boys and I will get our binders out and start organizing our cards and pictures. The list of attendees isn't out yet, but we'll plan on the usuals being there. We won't even plan on trying for Mauer or Morneau. My boys want to see J.J. Hardy, and if he's there, I'm sure his line will be long too.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Dick Starr and John Miller

A nice surprise in the mailbox yesterday. I received a 1965 Topps signed by John Miller that I sent out in February. I always wonder how it is that a request that is out for that long ends up making it's way back, but I'm always happy when it does.

I also received another 1951 Bowman for my set. Dick Starr signed his card for my in just a couple of weeks.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Bobby Brown - 1949 Bowman

An unusual Tuesday return today. Bobby Brown signed his 1949 Bowman for me in a quick 8 days.

I only have about 5 or 6 ttm requests out, but also sent a few cards to mail-in signings including Steve Carlton and Billy Williams 2008 Goudeys.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Julio Becquer Signing

Today my boys and I drove to Mounds View for a Julio Becquer signing at Tom Frantzen's. The autographs were free, with a limit of two.

I got a ball and a picture signed. They had some nice pictures for sale which we bought. Mr. Becquer was very nice and didn't seem too happy about the pen selection they had. He was very particular about which pen he used, which was nice.

He signed my ball with a blue staedtler, which is sort of like a sharpie. Normally I don't like balls signed in sharpie as they tend to bleed and don't look as nice as a ballpoint, but these fine tipped pens look pretty nice and from what I hear, they don't bleed.

My older son had a 1961 Topps and a picture signed:

My younger son got a 1958 Topps and a picture signed:

We also picked up a few cards at the card show. My older son bought a 1956 Topps Bobby Thomson that he intends to send out to be signed.

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Rollie Sheldon

One return in the mail today. Rollie Sheldon signed his 1965 Topps for me and added his jersey number.

I need to take some time to sort through my collection of 1965 Topps and see which ones are left that are still reasonably obtainable. That will take some time though, which I haven't had much of lately.

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Bobby Thomson Return and Julio Becquer Signing

Today I received a 1949 Bowman signed nicely by Bobby Thomson. I think I'm running low on other players to send to for that set.

I also received a postcard today from Tom Frantzen's in Mounds View about a Julio Becquer signing there this Saturday. I think my boys and I will head over and check it out. My older son got some hitting tips from Mr. Becquer at a Twins Clinic at the Dome a couple of years ago and had the opportunity to get his autograph afterwards.

I also read that Boof Bonser was released by the Twins today. Too bad, but he never really seemed to live up to the expectations people had for him. Hopefully he'll be successful somewhere else. Technically, the Twins "designated him for assignment". I'm not sure exactly what that means, but they had to make room for Pavano on the 40 man roster after he agreed to arbitration.

I ordered TwinsFest tickets today on the Twins website. Can't wait!

Monday, December 07, 2009

Very Slow Lately

Nothing in the mail for a while. I've sent out a couple of requests including Bobby Brown and Jim Lonborg.

I'm waiting for a list players that will be attending TwinsFest to appear on the Twins web site. Nothing yet. My kids and I will start getting our binders of cards and pictures together soon. Tickets for TwinsFest go on sale tomorrow.

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Jose Valdivielso Signing

There is going to be a signing late this month with Jose Valdivielso brought to you from the folks over at Jose played for the Senators and Twins from the mid '50s until 1961.

I plan on sending in a 1961 Topps with him in a Twins uniform. I believe that's his only Twins card.

Click HERE to read more.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Sammy Esposito Return

One return today: Sammy Esposito signed his 1958 and 1960 Topps.

I mailed out three requests today including Rollie Sheldon, Bobby Thomson and Dick Starr as well as a Jackie Hernandez card to a signing at Gate X Autographs in Wisconsin. Hernandez played for the Twins in the late '60s and I sent a 1968 Topps to be signed. He does not appear to have a good track record for signing through the mail so I thought this was a good opportunity to get his autograph.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Rod Carew and Eddie Robinson

An SCN contact was kind enough to take a bat to the Chicago Sun-Times show last week to be signed by Rod Carew. Carew doesn't sign bats at TwinsFest so this was my cheapest option to get one (although it wasn't very cheap).

I also received a 1954 Topps signed by Eddie Robinson. I had enclosed $5 cash with my request.

Today I took my sons and one of their friends to a card show in Bloomington at the Valley West Mall. There were a lot of dealers and some pretty cool stuff for sale. My youngest son bought a Favre McFarlane figure. The new one of him in a Vikings uniform. They were selling fast and were gone shortly after he got his. He also bought a purple winter hat with Favre's number 4 on it.

My older son bought a Paul Molitor portait that he intends to get signed at TwinsFest. I picked up a few cards, includinga Rollie Sheldon 1965 Topps, Jackie Hernandez 1968 Topps (for an upcoming signing at gateX) , a couple of Jim Lonborg 1968 Topps and a 1965 Topps Ron Santo.

After the show we drove to the Twins Pro Shop in Roseville. My older son was going to buy the other game-used Denard Span cap (my younger son bought one a while ago, and there were two at the store). Unfortunately, they raised the price from $30 to $50, which was more than he wanted to spend. The Pro Shops seem to be getting so expensive that we find ourselves buying less and less there.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Joe Mauer - MVP

Yesterday, as expected, Joe Mauer won the American League MVP award, in addition to the batting championship, Gold Glove and Silver Slugger awards. The decision was nearly unanimous, with one bonehead voting for Miguel Cabrera.

Keizo Konishi of Kyodo News gave Cabrera the only other first place vote. Really Keizo? Miguel Cabrera? Not a bad player. But remember how he went out drinking with members of the White Sox, got drunk, got in a fight with his wife, had to be picked up at the police station, and went, I think, 0-11 when his team needed him the most? Most Valuable Player? Really?

The criteria for MVP voting are listed here and include:

"General character, disposition, loyalty and effort."

Cabrera hardly displayed any positive traits during his team's run for the playoffs. Who is Keizo Konishi anyway? Maybe that's why he (?) voted for Cabrera. Now we've heard his name, whereas before, he was unknown. Well Keizo, now you've got your 15 minutes of fame. Too bad people, if they remember you, will remember you for voting for a player that would rather get drunk and get in fights than help his team win the division. Not that he had to vote for Mauer. Why not Teixeira or Jeter? At least those would be realistic votes.

The "Sports Data" section of the Kyodo News is focused primarily on Sumo wrestling, golf and soccer. Maybe next year we should limit the voting to voters who know something about baseball.

Anyway. Way to go Joe! Let's hope the Twins can sign him to a long, long contract this winter.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Finally Some Returns

My odd luck continues with Whitey Ford. While he signed and returned my 1954 Topps quickly, he signed it twice. Odd. This comes after he signed the penny sleeve on the 1965 Topps I sent a while ago. Not sure if I'll try another or just live with this one.

I also got a 1956 Topps signed by Gus Zernial. Mr. Zernial is a great signer through the mail and he has a lot of cards from the 50's. I have cards of his signed from 1951-1956, and 1958-1959. I have almost no 1957 Topps signed, just because I really don't like the design of the set.

Finally, I got back my 1963 Twins program signed by Camilo Pascual. He used the pen I sent and it looks really good. I hope to get Killebrew to sign it at TwinsFest this January.

Thursday, November 19, 2009


A contact on SCN took a Sport Magazine to a MAB signing earlier this month for me. He was taking items for other SCN members for an extra $5 over the in-person signing fee, which was significantly cheaper than the mail-in price.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Several Returns Today

I received just about one of everything today: a ball, magazine, bobblehead and cards. First, I received my items from the last MLAM signings. Sal Butera signed his 1987 Twins bobblehead:

And Jack Fisher signed a 1965 Topps.

I also received a HHH Metrodome commemorative ball signed by Pete Redfern in a trade with another SCN member. I sent him two Metrodome balls to keep, and he got one of my Metrodome balls signed by Mr. Redfern and also included a 1959 Topps signed by Ralph Terry.

After about a month, I got back a 1976 Sports Illustrated signed by Carlton Fisk. Mr. Fisk is still signing via his home for a $40 fee to charity which is a pretty nice deal.