Sunday, February 27, 2011

Leo "Chico" Cardenas

I got a great return in the mail yesterday.  I sent one of the 1970 Super Valu giveaway John Wheeldon portraits and two 1972 Topps to Leo "Chico" Cardenas, who signed and returned them in just one week.  I included $20 with my request.

This is the 6th Wheeldon print that I've gotten signed and hope to get the remaining five this year.  These two 1972 Topps bring my total signed to 162.  I still have quite a ways to go to get to my goal of 400.

Friday, February 25, 2011

TwinsFest Bobbleheads and Bat

I was able to add another 1987 Twins team bobblehead to my collection at TwinsFest.  Jeff Reardon was signing for the Bob Feller Museum.  I like getting these signed in person because the postage to ship them to and from a paid signing is about $20.  I think I paid $20 for Mr. Reardon's autograph. (I have no idea why the blog is posting the image of the bobblehead sideways).

I also had Rod Carew sign one of his bobbleheads that the Twins gave out in 2001.

I had one bat signed this year.  Danny Valencia signed a Rawlings bat for me very nicely with a large signature.

Mets Decorated Room - Johan Santana and David Wright Fatheads

We redecorated my younger son's bedroom recently.  Since Johan Santana (my son's favorite player) left the Twins to go to the Mets to join David Wright (his second favorite player), my son has been a big Mets fan.  So it was no surprise he wanted a Mets theme to his room.  We painted the walls in Mets colors, and got a couple of Fatheads for the walls.  Here are a couple of pictures after putting up the Fatheads (note the lack of outlet covers, which are now in place).

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Dick Hyde TTM Return and a TwinsFest Magazine

My son got another 1958 Topps return today.  Dick Hyde signed his card and returned it in about a month.

This year at TwinsFest I got just one magazine signed.  I had Dan Gladden signed the Sports Illustrated from 1991 with him and Greg Olson.  Olson wasn't at this year's TwinsFest so I'll have to wait to have him sign it.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

TwinsFest Autographed Photos

It's taking me a long time to get all my TwinsFest autographs posted so I'm getting back to it tonight.

On Sunday, Jason Kubel signed a nice photo for me.  Unfortunately, he signed it in blue on a dark section of the photo so you can hardly see it.

Alex Burnett signed a photo for me on Saturday, and added his number.

I got a cool picture of Gardy signed Friday night:

My favorite picture is probably this really nice picture of Cuddyer batting at Target Field.
 Kevin Slowey added his number to his signature on this picture of him pitching in one of the Twins new uniforms.

Brian Duensing also added his number to this picture.

Finally, I added a third signed Neshek picture to my collection.

I have just a handful more autographs to post about.  A couple of bobbleheads, a ball, a magazine and a bat.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Update on 1973 Twins Ball and Al Dark Return

First an update on the 1973 Twins ball I bought yesterday:  the helpful and knowledgeable members over at helped me identify the last signature I couldn't read. Right below Marilyn Carew's signature is that of equipment manager Ray Crump.  Ray was a bat boy with the Washington Senators and followed the team when it moved to Minnesota to become their first equipment manager.  So now all signatures have been identified.

The last remaining mystery is why Jim Gilliam's signature would be on this ball.  The most likely scenario I can come up with is that the original owner of this ball got the autographs during Spring Training in 1973 and some how also came into contact with Jim Gilliam.  The Dodgers used to have Spring Training in Vero Beach, Florida, so it's possible the two teams played each other then, or simply that the owner of this ball somehow came in contact with Gilliam during spring training.  Anyway, that's the story I'm going with.

There is one more signature on the ball (maybe two?) but it is so light that I don't think we'll ever be able to know for sure who it is.  I'm pretty sure it's "Danny" but the last name is too hard to read.  It could be Danny Thompson, who passed away in 1976, or Danny Walton.  The closer I look, the more I think there's yet another signature in addition to Danny, but I have no idea who it could be.

Maybe I'll try taking a scan of it and seeing if anyone at can help me identify it.

Also, my son received another signed 1958 Topps in the mail today.  Al Dark signed his card for $5, and also included a signed religious pamphlet.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Antique Store Find - 1973 Twins Team Ball

It was a snowy day here today.  My boys were at a Twins baseball camp way up in Blaine (the same location as TwinsFest this year) so my wife and I took some time to visit some antique stores in town.

In the back of the second store we went to, there was a large glass jar with a screw-on lid sitting on the floor.  Inside the jar were two baseballs.  I opened the jar to take a look.  The first one looked to be written on by a child, and was badly smeared and bleeding.  The second one looked okay and at first I couldn't tell who the signatures were but then I recognized Rod Carew's signature.  Also, I saw what appeared to be "Shalom" and then "Marilyn Carew".  I did a quick Google search from my blackberry and sure enough, Rod married a jewish woman, Marilyn Levy.

Based on those two signatures I decided that it was worth the $8.50 price that was on it ($10, but the booth had a 15% sale going on).

I got it home and identified several more signatures including Jim Holt, Dan Monzon, Bill Hands, Bob Darwin, George Mitterwald, Bill Campbell and Frank Quilici (who had signed the sweetspot).  Based on this set of names, I think this is from the 1973 team.  Quilici was manager (and managers typically sign the sweetspot of a team ball).  Dan Monzon didn't play on the team in 1974, and Bill Hands wasn't on the team in 1972.

There were still two signatures I couldn't make out so I posted a scan of them on  A couple of members helped identify another signature as Vern Morgan, a coach for the Twins, who passed away in 1975.

There is still one signature I can't identify and I'm hoping someone can help me identify it.  (Update: the last signature has been identified as equipment manager Ray Crump).  There's also another signature on the ball which is VERY strange.  It quite clearly appears to be "Jim Gilliam".  A player and coach for the Dodgers his entire career until he passed away in 1978.  I can't even imagine why his signature would be on this ball.  The Twins didn't even play the Dodgers back then as there was no inter-league play and the two teams didn't meet in the World Series (The Twins were third in the AL West that year).  So, if it's really his signature, I can't figure out how it might have gotten on there.  I have a hard time trying to look at it as anyone other than "Jim Gilliam".  There was a John Gilliam that played for the Vikings in 1973, but I looked at some examples of his autograph, and it's not even close to this one.

Any ideas?

This scan shows the Jim Gilliam signature, which is pretty light, towards the top along the seams.  Below that is Bill Hands, Bob Darwin and George Mitterwald.

This scan shows Bill Campbell, "Shalom", Marilyn Carew, and the last unidentified signature.

Here's Frank Quilici's autograph on the sweetspot (it's a little more legible in real life, the scan has quite a bit of light reflecting on it).

Finally, this side panel contains the signatures of Dan Monzon, Vern Morgan, Rod Carew and Jim Holt at the very bottom that can't be seen very well in this scan.

The ball itself is pretty interesting.  It's made by Tober and says "Regulation League Ball" on the sweetspot.  I tried to do a little research into the maker of this ball and found a bizarre story about the president of the company being shot and killed by an employee.  Not sure how accurate that is, but I'm trying to learn more about the ball itself.  It's made of leather, which I think has helped preserve the signatures, but it certainly isn't an official ball used in the majors.

I normally don't find anything sports-related in antique stores other than a few magazines here and there, so this is definitely my best find so far.  And at only $8.50, it was quite a bargain.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

The Last of my TwinsFest Cards

I added a couple more 2008 Topps Heritage cards to my collection during TwinsFest.

Denard Span signed his, which is one of his rookie cards.

And Delmon Young signed his.  I asked him to sign in silver so it would show up on the dark card.

I had a couple miscellaneous cards signed including Jason Kubel on a 2010 Topps Diamond Stars and Pat Neshek on a 2006 Topps '52.

Now on to some vintage cards.  First, I had Paul Molitor sign his 1978 Topps rookie card.

I added a couple more cards to my 1972 set by having Tony Oliva and Rod Carew sign their cards.

And finally, Frank Quilici signed his 1969 Topps for me.

That's it for the cards I got signed this year at TwinsFest.  It's by far more than I've had signed any previous year but that's because I already have most of the players on pictures and balls.

Friday, February 18, 2011

TwinsFest Autographs - I Added Two More 2009 Topps Heritage Cards

2009 Topps Heritage is another great set for autographs.  I added just two to my collection during TwinsFest, although I already had six of them signed.

Nick Blackburn signed his card for my wife on Friday night:

And Anthony Swarzak signed his for me on the last day of TwinsFest this year:

Last year at TwinsFest I had Alexi Casilla, Delmon Young, Kevin Slowey and Scott Baker sign their cards.

I got Carl Pavano to sign his at the autograph party last summer.

And Joe Nathan signed his for me through the mail in August of 2009.

This set is style after the 1960 Topps set.  I have about 50 cards signed from that set, and really haven't targeted as a set to go after.

I have just a handful of cards that I got signed at TwinsFest that I haven't posted about yet.  I'll get to those later today or tomorrow, then I'll continue with the pictures, balls, bobbleheads and other miscellaneous items that I got signed.

More TwinsFest Autographed Cards - Topps 206

Although not my favorite set, I did get a few Topps 206 cards signed at TwinsFest.  They were pretty far down on my list of cards to get signed, after the Topps Heritage and Allen & Ginter sets.

One of the first I got signed was the 2010 version of Glen Perkins' card.  Both my son and I were having him sign it.  He apparently hates his picture on the card and when he saw it, he turned to Denard Span and made some comment along the lines of, oh no, here it is, see?  Span gave him a hard time about it too.  It was pretty funny.  You can see in the picture here that he's talking to Span and even the woman working there is leaning in to get a look.

I also had him sign his 2009 Topps 206.

Throughout the weekend, I also had the 2010 cards signed by Span, Slowey and Blackburn.