Saturday, December 31, 2011

Last Success of the Year - Jim Rivera

One return today.  Jim Rivera signed the 1958 Topps White Sox team card for me.

Tomorrow or Monday I'll post my final results against my 2011 goals, and set some new goals for 2012.  I'm buying a few items on Ebay in preparation for TwinsFest.  My sons and I need to finalize our plans so we can order whatever photos or cards we need.  I have plenty of bats, mini helmets and baseballs, so I don't have a lot of expensive supplies to buy this year.

Happy New Year to all the readers of my blog!  Both of you :-)

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

My 700th Post - Johnny Briggs Return

This marks my 700th post since I began this blog in the fall of 2008. 

Today I received Johnny Briggs on a 1972 Topps.  I enclosed $5 with my request, which I sent out December 1st.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Conley, Erskine and Naragon

A few nice returns today.  Gene Conley signed his 1956 and 1961 Topps for a $10 fee.  He also wrote a nice note in response to my letter and included information about his book.  Mr. Conley played in both for both MLB and the NBA.

Carl Erskine signed the 1958 Topps Dodgers team card.  He also included a signed Diamond Signatures card and wrote a short note thanking me for my interest on my letter.

Finally, Hal Naragon signed the 1958 Topps Indians team card.  While writing the letter to Mr. Naragon, I noticed that Roger Maris played with him on the Indians.  I never knew Maris played for any team other than the Yankees.  Mr. Naragon wrote a short response to my question regarding playing with Maris with very positive comments about him.

All three letters came with responses to my questions or short "thank yous" which is why writing to the retired players is so fun.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Alex Grammas Return

I returned from the holiday weekend to find one return waiting for me.

Alex Grammas signed his 1954 Topps and 1958 Reds team card.

The year is winding down.  Next weekend I'll update my progress on my goals I set for this year, as well as set news goals for next year.  I received about 35 cards I bought on Ebay to send out, including about ten 1961 Topps and seventeen 1972 Topps.  I'll probably write letters for those next weekend and send them out during the first week of 2012.

I also need to get moving on ordering some more pictures and cards of players that will be at TwinsFest next month.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Del Crandall and Joe Hicks Returns

Two returns today.  Del Crandall signed his 1953 Topps for his $5 fee.

Joe Hicks signed and personalized a 1961 Topps.  He also wrote me a note about his career after his playing days.

I've started ordering some items to get signed at TwinsFest and received a few items today.  I ordered a 1988 All Star program to have signed by Terry Steinbach, who was the MVP of that game. 

I also received bobbleheads of Shannon Stewart and Jacque Jones for my boys to have signed.  I plan on getting Jacque Jones on a bobblehead that I already have.  I won a Shannon Stewart signed bobblehead, along with signed bobblehads of Joe Mauer, Paul Molitor and Al Newman several years ago.  I had Stewart sign a Metrodome banner back in April at the Minneapolis Sports Collectible and Autograph Convention.  I'm not sure what I'll have him sign, if anything.

Finally, I received a couple 2002 Twins Programs with Jacque Jones on the cover that me and my younger son plan to get signed.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Don Gullett Return

On return today.  I received a 1972 and 1978 Topps signed by Don Gullett after about 10 months.

I noticed today that Shannon Stewart and Jacque Jones are listed to appear at TwinsFest.  These are exactly the type of guys I've been wanting to see there.  Other than Corey Koskie, there aren't a lot of players from the late '90s and early 2000s.  I have a Jacque Jones bobblehead that I didn't think I'd ever get signed but now I'll have a chance.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Bob Watson and Bob Cerv Returns

I mailed out four more requests to hit my goal of 250 requests for the year.  I bought about 30 more cards on Ebay a few days ago but I don't know if I'll send those out this year.  I need to turn my attention to TwinsFest and make sure I have enough cards and pictures for that weekend.  I also need to do a little research about all the names listed on the Twins site of players that will be there that I've never heard of.  I'm assuming most of them are minor leaguers.

Today I got back a couple of nice returns.  Bob Watson returned his 1972 Topps signed in black sharpie and also write a brief note and signed my letter.  Watson is now a VP with Major League Baseball.

I also got back a 1953 Topps signed by Bob Cerv.  I included $5 with my request.  I don't think Cerv is exactly a household name, but he had quite an impressive career. His best season was 1958.  That year he had a .305 batting average and hit 38 home runs with 104 RBI.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Dick Groat Return

Just one return today.  My outstanding requests have been coming back pretty steadily and I don't have too many more I expect to get back.  I plan on sending out 4 more requests on Monday to meet my goal of 250 for the year.  I'm at a pretty respectable 82% return rate for the year.

The return I received today was from Dick Groat, who signed a 1956 and 1958 Topps for me.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Another Goal Met - 1970 John Wheeldon Super Valu Portraits

I had a goal for this year to complete all the living players in the 1970 Super Valu giveaway portraits by John Wheeldon.  There are 12 in the set, and I just got back my 10th signed picture from Ron Perranoski.  The two deceased players include Cesar Tovar and Harmon Killebrew.

I also got back a couple of cards today.  Jim Perry signed his 1961 Topps All Star card.

And Jim Greengrass signed his 1953 Topps and also wrote me a nice note about his career after his playing days.  In his note he thanked me for including him in my collection!  How many of today's players would take that point of view?  I'm guessing none. 

A few days ago I received a 1951 Bowman signed by Johnny Vander Meer that I bought from a member on  He gave me a very nice deal.  Thanks Kyle!

A while ago I also received a surprise in the mail.  Another scn member, and local collector, sent me a 1972 Topps signed by Burt Hooton and Earl Stephenson as a Christmas present.  How nice and unexpected!  He looked at my wantlists posted on scn and sent this card along since I didn't have it yet.  Thanks again Kevin!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Ted Lepcio Return

Just one return today.

Ted Lepcio signed his 1953 Topps for me.

I got my TwinsFest tickets in the mail today.  I'm still not really sure who to expect to be there.  Sounds like they signed Josh Willingham to replace Cuddyer in right field.  They probably won't sign Kubel either.  Looks like I'll focus on the retired players and my 1991 bobbleheads.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Miller, Smith and Swanson

Three returns today.

Art Swanson signed his 1956 Topps and wrote a short reply about his career after his playing days.

Stu Miller signed his 1953 Topps.

And Hal R. Smith signed his 1961 Topps.  Sending to Mr. Smith is tricky.  There are two Hal Smiths that played in the 50's and 60's.  Both were catchers.  I've sent to both successfully but you have to make sure you're sending the right cards to the right players!

I ordered my TwinsFest tickets today.  I need to start getting cards and other items together.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Five More Returns Today

My end of year rush to meet my goal of sending out 250 requests this year has resulted in five more returns today.  I only need to send out 6 more requests to meet my goal.

Today I received Johnny Orsino on a 1964 Topps.

Rollie Fingers signed my 1972 Topps for his $15 fee.

Bob Aspromonte signed his 1961 and 1972 Topps.

Ed O'Brien signed a 1953 and 1956 Topps for me and also wrote a short note about his career after his playing days.

Finally, Grady Hatton signed a 1951 Topps Red Back.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Catching Up - Two Days of Returns Including Jim Bunning

We were away for a couple of days but I came home to a few nice returns.

On Friday, I received a 1972 and 1973 Topps from Paul Casanova that I sent to him back in July.

 Also on Friday, I got back three 1972 Topps from Bill Melton, including his regular card, his "Boyhood Photos" card, and his "In Action" card.

On Saturday I received a 1961 Topps signed by Frank Sullivan.  I had enclosed $5 with my request.

I also received a 1958 Topps signed by Hall of Famer Jim Bunning.  Since retiring from the Senate, Mr. Bunning has been a great signer ttm.  I already have a '58 signed by Bunning that I sent out years ago, but it was signed in ballpoint.  I noticed he was recently signing in sharpie, so I decided to send again in hopes og upgrading.  This one looks nice.  Finding a decent '58 Topps of Bunning is difficult as they all seem to be printed poorly and mis-cut.

Finally, Roy Sievers signed a 1953 Topps for me.  Mr. Sievers has always been a great signer and thanks to his long career, has a lot of great cards spanning about 15 years.

The list of players who will be attending TwinsFest is now on the Twin's web site.  The list of current players is kind of weak.  Lot's of minor-leaguers and some guys I've never heard of.  There are some good names for returned players though.  The usual guys like Blyleven, Carew, Molitor, Morris, Oliva, Hrbek, Gladden, etc.  I'm sure I can find plenty to have these guys sign.  Some guys that I don't normally see there are also listed, including Kaat, Reardon, and Scott Erickson.  It looks like there will be seven players there from my 1991 bobblehead set so I'll make some good progress on getting those signed.

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Culver, Hough and Kusnyer

Three returns today.  George Culver signed his 1965, 1971 and 1973 Topps.  I also need him for my 1972 Topps but his card is in the high number series for that year and I haven't broken down and paid for it yet.

Charlie Hough signed a 1972, 1978 and 1987 Topps.

And Art Kusnyer signed his 1972 Topps rookie card.  Both of his teammates on this card have passed away.

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Gene Freese and Marty Perez

Two returns today.  Not bad for a Tuesday.

Gene Freese signed three cards for me including the first signature on a 1958 Topps Pirates Team card as well as his 1960 and 1961 Topps cards.

Marty Perez signed his 1972 Topps.  I included $5 with my request.