Friday, December 31, 2021

My Last Return of the Year - Sam McDowell - Strikeout Leaders

My last return of the year was a good one.

Sam McDowell signed the 1969 Topps of the 1968 American League Strikeout Leaders, previously signed by Denny McLain and Luis Tiant.  I included his $5 fee.

I have a few requests out that I put tracking on and none of them seem to be in motion yet.  I was hoping for at least one to come back before the end of the year, but it's a busy time so hopefully they'll come back shortly after the new year begins.

One of those requests is a 1971 Topps sent to Nolan Ryan in care of his foundation.  He signs a few times a year and it looks like some people on SCN got theirs back at the end of November, so it might be a while before I see that one.

Monday, December 27, 2021

Ken Singleton - 1971 Topps

Just one return today: Ken Singleton signed his 1971 Topps for his $5 fee.

Sunday, December 26, 2021

Lou Piniella - 1969 Topps All-Star Rookie (1970 Topps)

I recently decided to start sending out a few cards of players that were named to the Topps All-Star Rookie team.

I sent one to Lou Piniella from the 1970 set earlier this month and it came back on Friday.  Unfortunately, the signature smeared a bit at the end.

Thursday, December 23, 2021

Shane Mack Poster - FanHQ Signing

A few weeks ago, I shared a 1991 Twins bobblehead that I got signed by Shane Mack via FanHQ.  This was a mail-in signing where they collect all the items, then mail them to the player to sign in bulk.  The player then sends them all back to FanHQ, who then mails them back to each individual who participated.  FanHQ was not present for the signing.

When they got the items back, there was an issue with my poster.  Mack had signed it in silver towards the bottom, as I requested.  But something odd happened either with the pen he used or with the poster itself, but the second part of his name was very light, and it did not look good at all.

To try to compensate for this, Mack then signed it towards the top in black.  Nice effort, but the result was a very odd-looking piece.

FanHQ contacted me about it and let me know what happened.  They told me they would get another copy of this poster signed for me at a signing with another promoter occurring later in December.  I was really impressed with their willingness to get this done for me.  It would have been really easy for them to simply send me the first attempt on the poster and refund my money or something, but they made sure I got what I had intended.  I told them if it was safer, to go ahead and have him sign it in blue at the bottom, which he did.

I'm not sure what the story is with these posters.  They have WCCO (TV and Radio) and TCF Bank logos on the bottom, so my guess is they were giveaways.  I've also seen copies without the logos.

Anyway, I think there are 14 of these posters, including Rick Aguilera, Chili Davis, Scott Erickson, Greg Gagne, Dan Gladden, Brian Harper, Kent Hrbek, Tom Kelly, Chuck Knoblauch, Shane Mack, Jack Morris, Mike Pagliarulo, Kirby Puckett, and Kevin Tapani.

I plan on sending one to be signed by Chuck Knoblauch in January and will work on the rest as I can. They are oddly sized at 7 inches by 18 inches, so I'm not sure how to display or store them.  I'll figure that out later, I guess.

Monday, December 20, 2021

Craig, Guidry and Wills

I was surprised to get three returns today.   I thought my returns might start dwindling a bit before Christmas.  We'll see how the rest of the week goes.  I also expect to send out a bunch more this week and next while I have time.

Pete Craig signed his 1965 Topps already signed by Dick Nen.  I sent this card to Nen in October and received it in early November.  I sent it to Craig in early December.

Ron Guidry signed his 1983 Topps for me.  I'm still undecided as to how hard I'll go after this set and how much money I'll spend on it.  I'll probably prioritize some stars and any Hall of Famers I am willing to pay for before deciding to spend any real money on it.

And Ted Wills signed his 1961, 1962 and 1965 Topps.  I have wanted to send his 1961 Topps for a while, but it's a relatively expensive card and I've been putting it off.

Saturday, December 18, 2021

Ivan DeJesus and Bobby Valentine

I was a little nervous about one of the returns I saw in my Informed Delivery email this morning because it had a return stamp on it that I didn't recognize. I was afraid that I had forgotten to put a stamp on my return envelope and the signer had to put one of their own in it.

But it turns out it was just an old request as Ivan DeJesus signed his 1978, 1979 and 1980 Topps for me in about 18 months.

I also received a return from Bobby Valentine, who signed his 1973 Topps for me.

Friday, December 17, 2021

Steve Brye Return

Just one return today.  Former-Twin Steve Brye signed his 1971, 1973, 1975 (mini) and 1976 Topps for my collection.

It appears as if Cotton Nash is also a good signer, so I'll send the 71 off to him next.

I also ordered a few early 1960's cards of players with their Topps All Star Rookie Team trophies on them to send out for autographs.

Thursday, December 16, 2021

Roy Thomas and Jim York Returns

I received two returns today.

Roy Thomas signed his 1978 Topps already signed by Dennis Lamp and Craig Mitchell.  Cardell Camper is deceased, so this card is now retired.  He also signed his 197 and 1980 Topps.

And Jim York signed his 1973, 1975 mini and 1976 Topps cards for me.

I've sent out a few requests lately.  Hopefully enough to keep the returns consistent for a while.  I also sent out a relative longshot request today (at least for me) to a former Twin who is a spotty signer.  And I didn't just send the typical card.  I sent a 1964 Western Oil Nicholas Volpe print.  We'll see if it ever comes back.

I also came across a 1988 All Star game program that I didn't remember having.  I read up on the game a bit and there are some Twins and former-Twins that played in that game.  Frank Viola was the winning pitcher and won the AL Cy Young that year.  Terry Steinbach, who was with the A's at the time, was the MVP.  Paul Molitor and Kirby Puckett went hitless.  Dave Winfield got a hit and scored a run.  Gaetti and Laudner also made appearances.

I think I will have Frank Viola sign the cover and ask that he add his Cy Young inscription.

Tuesday, December 14, 2021

Jim Rice - 1976 Topps

I've continued to send out to the "cheap" Hall of Famers like Juan Marichal, Harold Baines, Jim Palmer and Jim Rice.  I guess I consider $20 or less cheap for a Hall of Famer.  Molitor, Blyleven and Andre Dawson also come to mind.

Last time I sent to Jim Rice, I sent a 1976 and 1985 Topps along with $20.  At the time, he had been charging $10 per.  I sent to him just as he decided to raise his prices, so he signed my 1985 Topps and returned the 1976 Topps unsigned.

I recently decided to go ahead and send the 76 back to get it signed.  I am trying to get the Topps All Star Rookie team cards signed where possible, so this seemed like a good one to get while he's still signing ttm.

I'm a very amateur photographer, but isn't this photo about the worst you can take on a sunny day?  The shadow nearly obscures his face and there's a very sharp line between light and dark across his chest.  Photographers who may be reading this: please confirm or correct my thinking here.

Anyway, I'm glad his signature shows up as well as it does, considering the darkness and contrast on the card.  I'm hoping to get 20 of these Topps All Star Rookie Team cards signed and put them in a 20-card display that I got at Michael's years ago.  I've recently sent out a few more of these cards but think I could probably put together a display now.  I can think of one card that's going to be included for sure:

I'll try to include as many Hall of Famers as I can but try to mix up the years and teams as well.

Monday, December 13, 2021

Sonny Siebert - 1971 Topps

I added another signed 1971 Topps to my collection today, thanks to Sonny Siebert, who signed his card in nine days for his $7 fee.

I had set a goal of adding 25 cards to this set this year, but this one is the 75th card I've added.  Almost all the remaining players I can add require fees, as have many that I added this year.  I may not add too many next year as I try to cut down on my spending.

Saturday, December 11, 2021

Bob Coluccio and Buck Martinez Returns

I received two returns today that both had quick turnaround times (seven days), especially considering they were to California and Florida (I'm in Minnesota).

Bob Coluccio signed his 1974 and 1976 Topps for me.  He also answered a couple questions in my letter and wrote me a brief note.

And Buck Martinez signed his 1977, 1979, 1983 and 1985 Topps.  The 1977 smeared a little, and the 1979 has a light area in the signature at the end of his name where there is some gum residue on the card.  

I had sent these cards back in October but they were all returned unsigned.  I didn't notice anything in his signing history in SCN that would indicate that he's hit-or-miss, or doesn't sign multiple cards, so I went ahead a sent them again assuming it was either an error on his part or perhaps some issue with the mail where the original request may not even have gotten to him.

I'm surprised how much of an impact a little gum residue can have on a sharpie.  I usually don't even notice it on the card when I send them out, but I've started being a little more careful on cards that I'm paying to get signed or for cards in the sets I'm collecting.  Here's a 1978 Topps I sent to Jim Palmer a few years ago that had some gum residue I hadn't even noticed until I got it back.  I'm still contemplating replacing this one by getting another one signed.

Friday, December 10, 2021

Jim Umbarger TTM Return

It's been a little slow this week, but I did receive one return today.

Jim Umbarger signed his 1976 and 1979 Topps, as well as the 1976 Topps Rangers team card already signed by Dave Moates.

I also received a few unsigned cards in the mail I bought from both eBay and SportLots.  Most of them were 1970 Topps, including Lou Piniella, with his Topps All Star Rookie trophy on the card, and several cards showing the play offs and World Series games from 1969.

Monday, December 06, 2021

Four TTM Returns - Colavito, Colborn, Palmer and Reichardt

I sent out 10 requests late last week to try to keep my momentum going until the end of the year.  I'm beginning to think about my goals for next year and since I spent so much this year, I'll probably focus on some simple ttm requests with cards I already own.

I received four ttm returns today.

Rocky Colavito signed his 1964 Topps stand up for me nicely, in the location I requested.  I don't normally ask players to sign in specific locations but based on the cost of this card and his signing fee, I didn't want to be disappointed.

Jim Colborn signed his 1976 and 1979 Topps as well as the 1979 Topps Mariners team card.

Jim Palmer signed his 1973 Topps.

And Rick Reichardt signed his 1971 Topps, as well as the 1971 and 1972 Topps White Sox team cards.

Friday, December 03, 2021

Shane Mack Signed Bobblehead - FanHQ Signing

I added another signed 1991 Twins World Series bobblehead to my collection thanks to a FanHQ signing.

They had a signing with Shane Mack, so I jumped on the chance to get this signed.  I haven't seen many opportunities for signings with him, although there appears to be another one coming up later this month with another promoter, according to SCN.

Anyway, I'm happy to add this one and am now down to needing just three to complete all possible players from this set:

Steve Bedrosian

Mark Guthrie

Paul Sorrento