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.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Grady Hatton Return

One return in the mail today. Grady Hatton signed his 1954 Topps.

Today I mailed off a 1954 Topps to Whitey Ford. I also bought a Yogi Berra '54 Topps that I'll send out in a while.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Card Show and Pro Shop Finds

Today my younger son and I went to a card show at Har Mar Mall in Roseville. There were very few dealers so we were a little disappointed. I did, however, find a signed 16x20 picture of Jack Morris with a '91 World Series MVP inscription for just $40.

I also bought a 1958 Topps Sam Esposito that I intend to send out along with a 1960 Topps. I already have Mr. Esposito on a 1958 Topps, but the card is pretty rough so this will be an upgrade.

After the card show, we headed over to the Twins Pro Shop in Roseville. My son bought a game-used Denard Span cap for $30, which seemed like a good price to us. They also had some Metrodome banners like the ones I already have hanging in my basement, but from the 2009 season. I was excited to see a Mauer and Morneau banner, until I was told they are $300! That's more than I paid for my Mauer signed jersey, so I passed on them. Even the more common players were $150 and up. More than I was willing to spend today.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Joe Mauer Jersey

Last month I bought a signed Joe Mauer jersey during a sale at Ironclad Authentics. I'm assuming he'll win the MVP award this year, in addition to his Gold Glove and Silver Slugger, so demand for his autograph will go up even more.

A while ago I bought a jersey display case at Hobby Lobby, and my wife helped me pin in to the case so I could display it.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Al Jackson and Carl Mathias

Two ttm returns today. One sent recently, and one sent back in August.

Al Jackson signed his 1965 Topps for me. I sent this out August 19th.

Carl Mathias signed his 1960 Topps for my collection.

I sent out the 1963 Twins program to Camilo Pascual. I hope to get that back signed and then have Killebrew sign it at TwinsFest in January.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Picture Back From The Framer

Today I got back two pictures from the framer. I had Johnny's Harmon Killebrew 16x20 framed, as well as my 16x20 signed by Johnny Blanchard and Bill Mazeroski. I had them framed in my usual black metal rounded frame with black mat. I like that because it puts the focus on the picture, not the frame. Also, I know I'll always be able to find frames like these and the color will always match.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

More Twins Programs

Not much new lately. No mail today due to Veteran's Day. I sent out three ttm requests last week that could show up any day. Other than that, I'm waiting for some bigger, paid signings to take place later this month and early next month including Cal Ripken Jr, Rod Carew, and Yogi Berra.

I'm slowing down on the paid signings (after the outstanding ones) and plan to concentrate on some ttm requests. I need to buy some cards to send out. There is a card show at Har Mar Mall this weekend that my younger son and I plan to go to, probably on Sunday, so I hope to get some cards there.

Several days ago I received a couple of older Twins programs/scorecards that I bought on eBay. Both are unscored, so I don't know exactly which games they are from.

The 1963 program has nice pictures of Camilo Pascual and Harmon Killebrew on the cover.

The 1973 Program has Bert Blyleven on the cover.

Both of these will be possible items to get signed at TwinsFest. Maybe I'll send the '63 program to Pascual first.

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Ortiz and Schilling

David Ortiz

Over the last couple of days I received a couple more Steiner purchases. More coupon codes. These were good for a free signed ball with a $30 purchase. I bought some unsigned balls (regular omlb, 2008 All-Star and 2009 home Run Derby) to get a free David Ortiz and Curt Schilling ball. Pretty nice deal, I thought.

Curt Schilling

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Red Schoendienst - 1951 Bowman

I added another signed 1951 Bowman to my collection today. I received a Red Schoendienst signed card today from a signing at St. Louis Sports Collectors. I have had good luck with this company in the past and this signing went very well too. They allow you to send in an SASE, rather than charge $10 (or more) for return shipping like some companies do.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Duke Snider - Steiner

I have been buying a few things from Steiner recently. They've had some coupon codes that have turned out to be pretty good deals.

Today I received two of my orders. I ordered two 2009 All-Star Game baseballs. I'll probably have Joe Nathan sign one of them. I'm not sure what I'll do with the other.

I also received a signed, 16x20 picture of Duke Snider celebrating after winning game one of the 1952 World Series. This was on sale for only $35, and I got a $25 gift certificate with my purchase.

I have a couple more orders on the way. I'll post about those when I receive them.

Monday, November 02, 2009

Lou Brissie - 1948 Leaf

A few old outstanding requests trickling in. Today I got a return from Lou Brissie, who signed a 1948 Leaf for my collection. This one was out about a month and a half and I was beginning to wonder if I'd see it again.

The same day I mailed this, I also sent to Grady Hatton and Eddie Robinson, who are both also pretty good signers through the mail. I haven't gotten those two back yet though. Maybe they'll show up this week too.

Sunday, November 01, 2009

1951 Topps Red Backs

After buying a 1951 Topps wax wrapper, I bought a few cards to go with it. I bought six lower grade, inexpensive cards.

I took a picture with the cards, wrapper and my Dad's old mitt, since I think a young baseball fan in the early '50's might have had these things laying around.

I'm guessing the mitt is from the mid to late 1940's, when my Dad was about 10-12 years old. It's a Phil Cavarretta model, but I can't make out the manufacturer. Anybody know? I believe it's a first baseman's mitt as well. I can't imagine catching a ball with this! It's in surprisingly good shape considering it's age. The leather isn't too brittle or dry.

Mr. Cavarretta has signed through the mail for me in the past, including a 1949 Bowman.