Monday, June 29, 2009

Display Cases

I spent a long time looking for some reasonably priced display cases to store my collection in. A web search for display cases yields many large, wooden display cases with glass fronts that cost several hundred dollars, and several hundred more to ship.

Luckily, we have an Ikea reasonably close to our home. I found a tall, thin glass case that is very affordable. I have four of these cases. One in my basement and one in each of my sons' rooms, as well as one yet to be assembled. These cases are just $60, and a small light can also be purchased for about $12 more.

They are easily assembled, but do require two people to hold pieces in place while they are secured. They are by far the most economical case I found. They store a lot of items without taking up a lot of floor space.

Friday, June 26, 2009

My Craigslist Deal Worked Out Great - Twins Bobbleheads

The Craigslist deal I had set up fro the lunch hour today worked out great. I bought three bobbleheads. Two from 2000, including Oliva and Puckett, and Carew, which was given out in 2001.

The bobbleheads from 2000 really started the bobblehead craze across the county. Here's a short article about them.

Killebrew was the first, and still sells for over $100. I was unable to find any completed auctions on eBay for these three to get an idea of the actual value, but there are several listed at "Buy It Now" prices for single bobbleheads close to what I paid for all three. Considering I didn' have to pay shipping, I think I came out okay.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

A Couple More '58s and C.C.

I bought a couple of PSA Authenticated signed 1958 Topps from Mickey's a few days ago and they arrived today. I bought Bill Tuttle and Pedro Ramos. Both are in pretty nice shape with clear signatures.

I also received a signed C.C. Sabathia 2007 Allen & Ginter that I bought from a contact on SCN.

For the first time ever, I answered a Craigslist ad. Some guy is selling three of the older SGA Twins bobbleheads that were sponsored by Mountiain Dew. These include Tony Oliva, Kirby Puckett and Rod Carew. I'm meeting him at lunch tomorrow (at a Taco Bell) to buy them. If I disappear tomorrow, point the police to my email account for the details ;-) I'll let you know how it goes.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

A Finished Multi-Signed Card and Finally, Jim Kaat

Yesterday I received a return from Dick Stigman, which completes my 1962 Topps Tribe Hill Trio card including Barry Latman and Jim Perry. The card got pretty scuffed during the trip to Perry and back, but it still looks okay. My older son has this card and is thinking about starting it. Anyone else thinking about it should send to Latman first, as he is the toughest of the three to get. Stigman and Perry are excellent signers through the mail.

I also FINALLY got back my Jim Kaat bobblehead from the MLBPAA signing that was supposed to take place in March. I received it back, but it was unsigned, so I had to send it in again for another event last weekend. I am still missing my 1965 Topps Tommy John card from that event. I'm not sure what will happen with that. I have had pretty decent luck with these signings in the past, even though return times were slow. After this fiasco, I'll have to carefully consider whether or not to send another item to their events.

This completes my 1965 Twins bobblehead set as I now have Kaat, Killebrew, Oliva, Quilici, Grant, Perry and Pascual. The set has a total of ten, but three of the players are no longer with us including Battey, Allison and Versalles.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Duke Snider Return - 1959 Topps

A rare return today as I haven't sent out many requests at all. 10 days ago I sent a 1959 Topps to Duke Snider along with $5 cash.

I received the card back today signed nicely in blue sharpie. Along the lines of my "autographs every collector should have", Duke is at the top of the list. He's a great signer for a very small fee. In fact, he doesn't have a formal fee. Collectors have just continued to send along a fee to encourage him to keep signing.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Hank Aaron!!

Yesterday I got back a couple of Hank Aaron signed items that a contact from took to a Steiner signing for me.

Although it wasn't cheap, it was less than I had expected it would be, and I was able to add Aaron to my 1958 Topps set. This makes 340 different out of 494 issued in the set that I have signed in my collection. I have a page with my '58 collection here.

I also got a ball signed. There is a very small smudge in the "H" of "Hank", but not too bad. Considering the price and the fact that it's Steiner authenticated, I'm really happy to have it in my collection.

This makes three Aaron autographs in my collection now. I purchased a 16x20 of Aaron and posted it last Fall.

Friday, June 19, 2009

More Must-Have Autographs - Phil Niekro

Next on my list of autographs that every collector should have is Phil Niekro. Niekro, a knuckleballer, pitched in the majors until the age of 48. Phil and his brother Joe won 538 games combined, beating out Jim and Gaylord Perry for the highest combined wins for brothers. 318 of those wins were Phil's.

Twins fans may remember Joe for the emery board incident in 1987 in which the umptire caught him doctoring up the ball which resulted in being ejected from the game and a ten game suspension. Unfortunately, Joe died suddenly in 2006.

Phil was a 5-time All Star (in three different decades), a 5-time Gold Glove winner and was elected into the Hall of Fame in 1997.

Phil used to be hit-and-miss through the mail, signing for free about half of the time. I must have sent a dozen requests over5 years and never got a successful return. I purchased a signed ball at a mail-in signing event in 2006.

Recently, he has begun signing ttm for a fee. He charges $10 for cards and $20 for balls. Very reasonable for a Hall of Fame player. I had him sign my 2008 Goudey back in January. I just purchased his 1965 rookie card on eBay, which I'll send out as soon as I get it.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Another Must Have Autograph - Robin Roberts

Next in the series of autographs that every collector should have is Robin Roberts. Roberts is a Phillies legend, playing with the team from 1948 to 1961. He also played for a few other teams from 1962 to 1966, including the Orioles, Astros and Cubs.

A right handed pitcher, Roberts won 20 or more games in six straight seasons from 1950 to 1955, winning 28 games in 1952. He had seven All-Star Game appearances, retired with a 3.41 ERA and was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1976.

Mr. Roberts signs through the mail for a small donation to B.A.T. (Baseball Assistance Team), which is an organization that raises money for retired players in need. For a $10 donation, he will sign a card, ball or picture.

I have several autographs of his including a ball with his HOF year, a 1953 Sport Magazine, and a few cards from the sets I collect (1958 Topps, 1951 Bowman, 1965 Topps).

Monday, June 15, 2009

More Hall of Fame Autographs Every Collector Should Have - Bobby Doerr

In my second installment of autographs that every collector should have, I'm highlighting Bobby Doerr.

Bobby Doerr started playing for the Red Sox in 1937 as a 19 year old rookie second baseman and played with them until 1951. He played in eight All-Star games and hit over .300 two different seasons, and never hit below .270.

He was elected to the Hall of Fame by the Veteran's Committee in 1986.

I have several autographs from Bobby Doerr including a ball inscribed with his HOF year, a 1949 Bowman, a 2004 Donruss "Timelines" game used bat card, a 2006 Allen & Ginter, as well as a couple of others.

When I sent my first request in October of 2003, he included a signed Hall of Fame postcard as well.

Mr. Doerr is over 90 years old but still signs everything sent to him and has a very nice signature.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

More Baseball...

My two sons played five games each this weekend. My older son's team took second place in their tournament, and my younger son's team lost the second game in their consolation bracket.

At my younger son's game, there was a photographer taking pictures and selling the prints. When my wife and son went to go look at them, they saw a picture of my son in his wind up. The print was about 2 feet tall and a foot wide. It's very cool. I'll have it framed professionally. They also had a few other nice pictures, one of him hitting (which I've pictured here) and a sequence of four pictures of my son bare-handing a grounder and throwing to first. All very nice. I've pictured one of those here as well. I'll try to get a pre-made frame and mat with four horizontal pictures to put those in.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Busy With Baseball

Both my sons have tournaments this weekend. My older son's team has won both of their first games and is in the championship bracket tomorrow. My younger son's team won one, lost one and tied one, and ended up in the consolation bracket tomorrow.

Friday night I watched my older son's team play. It was a close game. My son hit a lead off triple over the center fielder's head one inning, but didn't score as the next three went down quickly. Today I went to two of my younger son's game. They lost the first and won the second. There was almost 4 hours between games so we had some time to kill.

We ended up at a card show in Bloomington (MN), where there was a table set up by the guy that runs Justin Morneau's fan web site ( My son's birthday is June 24th, so I bought him a Morneau autographed bat. The bat is a cracked, game used minor league bat, but not by Justin. It's pretty nice and my son liked it better than the new, plain Rawlings black bat that was also for sale. Considering how tough it is to get Morneau's autograph these days, even at the Autograph Party or TwinsFest, it was a bargain to be able to buy one without having to stand in line.

Friday, June 12, 2009

HOF Autographs Every Collector Should Have - Al Kaline

I finally sent out a couple of requests today. I sent a 1959 Topps to Duke Snider and the 1962 Topps Tribe Hill Trio card (already signed by Barry Latman and Jim Perry) to Dick Stigman.

I thought I'd start highlighting some autographs that I think new collectors should add to their collection right away. These are HOF players that sign with a high degree of success through the mail for a small fee or for free.

I've already written some posts about Duke Snider. He's the first request any collector should send. For a small fee ($5-$10) Mr. Snider will sign a card, ball, picture or magazine.

Another great HOF signer is Al Kaline. Mr. Kaline spent his entire career with the Tigers, 22 years, from 1953 to 1974. He was an 18-time All-Star, and Batting Champion in 1955. He was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1980, along with Duke Snider.

I have several autographs from Mr. Kaline in my collection. I have a 1964 Sports Illustrated that he signed for me about 5 years ago, a ball that he inscribed with his HOF year that I sent about 6 years ago, and several cards that I have sent over the years including a 1958 and 1965 Topps for my sets.

Always send to Mr. Kaline in care of the Detroit Tigers, not to his home address. He doesn't have a price list, but $5 per card, and $10 for balls and magazines seems to be successful.

Monday, June 08, 2009

A Return Today

I received a return today from Joe Azcue on a 1965 Topps. I included an extra card for him to keep, which he did.

I sent this card out on April 10th. I knew it was a bit old when I saw it in the mail box since I had begun printing my letters and envelopes and this one was handwritten.

There was a nice break between my boys' hockey season and baseball season where I sent out quite a few requests, but haven't sent many out since then. I have a nice 1959 Topps I want to send out to Duke Snider, as well as the 1962 Tribe Hill Trio card to be finished off by Dick Stigman. I'll try to get to those this weekend, but both my boys have baseball tournaments.

Sunday, June 07, 2009

Lucky Winners

My youngest son David is very lucky. Lucky in that he wins things a lot. Things like drawings and raffles. This spring he won a new basketball hoop from a drawing at the local grocery store.

His luck helped us late in the summer or early fall of 2004, when my sons and I were shopping at a different local grocery store. There was a drawing being held in the meat section, sponsored by Hormel, which has also sponsored the bobbleheads given away at the Dome. The cardboard box in which the drawing slips were supposed to go seemed empty, and I thought I remember reading that the date of the drawing had passed. Yet, the box, drawing slips and a pen were sitting there, so we filled out and put in one slip.

I didn't think much about it after that. Then one day I arrived home to find a box sitting on my front step. The return address was listed as Hormel. I thought to myself, "What, my wife is buying meat products through the mail now"? When I opened the box, I was happy to see that it was filled with five bobbleheads. I took one out of it's box and was really excited to see that it was autographed!

In all, we had won five bobbleheads. Four of them were signed (Joe Mauer, Al Newman, Paul Molitor and Shannon Stewart) and one was unsigned (Walter Johnson, who passed away in 1946).

My sons and I were really excited to have won these. Thanks Hormel! The odd thing was that the box simply contained the five bobbleheads. No letter saying we had won, no correspondence of any kind, just the bobbleheads.

Saturday, June 06, 2009

Joe Mauer Named AL Player of the Month for May

I went to the Twins/Indians game at the Dome on Thursday with some friends from work. It was a good time. Kubel hit two 3-run homers, Span had a homer, and Morneau had an upper deck blast which is by far the farthest I've seen someone hit the ball in person.

During the game, it was announced that Joe Mauer was named the AL Player of the month for May. Not surprising: he hit .414 with 11 home runs and 32 RBI. Joe had only 9 home runs all of last year. His career high was 13 back in 2006. He's added another one in June so far.

Joe was on the ticket I had to Thursday's game. I keep all my ticket stubs. I don't know why. I have the ticket stub to the game where Kubel hit for the cycle earlier this year. Maybe I'll have him sign it.

I have several Mauer autographs in my collection. I have gotten his autograph in person twice (on a baseball and on an 8x10), before he was really popular and before he started racking up the batting championships. Since then, I purchased a signed mini helmet from Iron Clad Authentics. They had a great sale and I bought one for my son for Christmas so I got one for myself as well.

I also tried getting him to sign some cards through the mail back in 2004. He didn't sign my cards, but returned a signed postcard with a note explaining he was too busy to sign all the mail he received.

We were also lucky enough to win a Joe Mauer signed bobblehead from a Hormel drawing at the grocery store a few years ago as well as a few others. I'll post about that tomorrow.

Anyone think Mauer can hit over .400 for the year? I doubt it, but if anyone can, I'd say it would be Joe.

Friday, June 05, 2009

1964 Topps Stand-Ups

I recently bought a couple of 1964 Topps Stand-Ups on eBay. If you're not familiar with these, they are a cool, small set of cards where the upper half of the player's picture is perforated, as is a horizontal line across the card.

This allows you to punch out the players picture and fold back the top of the card to get a free-standing, cut out of the player.

I bought two of the four Twins cards that were made: Camilo Pascual and Earl Battey. The other two are Harmon Killebrew and Rich Rollins. I paid about $10 each for these two cards. They are "unpunched".

I wouldn't mind find some that were already punched, but for some reason that seems to be tough.

Thursday, June 04, 2009

A Gift of Bobbleheads

My brother-in-law got some tickets to a Twins game from a friend of his who purchased season tickets. As part of buying season tickets, the ticket holder gets a set of bobbleheads. My brother-in-law's friend didn't want them, so he was kind enough to give them to me. Thanks Greg!

The set consists of Ron Gardenhire, Delmon Young, Dan Gladden and Rick Aguilera. The season tickets bobbleheads have red bases, as opposed to the green ones used for the stadium give-away versions.

These will be great for getting autographed. I have a signed Gardenhire bobblehead, but it's the kind of bobblehead you buy at the Pro Shop, it wasn't a SGA (Stadium Give Away). I also have a signed Gladden bobblehead, which is part of the 1987 Twins set. But these will be great additions to my collection, and I've been watching for a Young bobblehead on eBay and never wanted to pay what they were going for.

Monday, June 01, 2009

Finally, a Return

I was surprised to get a return today considering I haven't sent out a request in almost two months! I can't believe it's been that long. Today I received a 1965 Topps signed by Tom Egan. He also answered my question regarding his career after his playing days, noting that he coached in the Mets minor league system for a couple of years.

I've been watching plenty of baseball lately. Between my two sons, we have a game almost every night, or at least a practice. My younger son had a tournament last weekend, where they played six games from Friday evening to Sunday afternoon. They took third place (out of twelve teams). My son (nine years old) pitched 9 innings on Sunday; three innings in each of three games.