Monday, January 6, 2020

Capping off 2019 and previewing 2020

And starting 2020 as well!

Winters are always light on the IP front, especially with the Rangers being so woefully underprepared for the Toy Drive. I didn't go this year. I heard they didn't announce who was in what group until people were already in line inside. I have never understood why the organization has such absolute disdain for its fans.

I did at least get to go to a practice for the new XFL team and got a few there. I might have to see about going and graphing some of their games. Several former NFLers are on teams' rosters, coaching staves, and front offices. And I know I have cards of a few. I'll give a rundown at the end of the post.

Johnny Bucyk, c/o Bruins Alumni, 3/3, 3 weeks
Casey Cox, c/o home, 4/4, 2 weeks

Don Money, c/o home, 4/4, 3 months
Terry Harper, c/o home, 2/2, 1 month

Ken Hodge, c/o home, 2/2, 3 weeks - He signed one on the back and added a note that Ed Westfall is depicted on the front

Bill Baker, c/o home, 2/2, 3 weeks

Jim "Mudcat" Grant, c/o home, 1/1, 3 weeks, $10

Jim Craig, c/o home, 3/2, 1 month
Rob McClanahan, c/o home, 2/2, 1 months

Bryan McCabe, c/o Florida Panthers, 4/4, 1 month

DECEMBER 14 - Dallas Renegades XFL practice
Stacy Coley - 2/2
Jim Jeffcoat - 3/3, 5/5

Steve Christoff, c/o home, 2/2, 1 month
Bruce Savage, c/o home, 7/6, 1 month

Mario Andretti, c/o home, 1/1, 3 months

Ed Westfall, c/o Bruins Alumni, 3/3, 6 weeks

Brad Park, c/o Bruins Alumni, 3/3, 2 months
Dick Duff, c/o home, 5/3, 3 weeks to Canada
Bob Baun, c/o home, 4/4, 3 weeks to Canada

I also got my new guitar amp bought. A nice Craigslist find netted me what appears based on the serial number to be a 1975 Fender Twin Reverb. At the very least it's a silverface with no tail on the Fender logo and the push-pull master volume knob to turn the overdrive on and off-- so 1974-1980. New caps and tubes on it, and I love the sound it gets. I've tried all my guitars through it just clean without pedals. And I still have about $200 left to spend on other pedals and/or a keyboard.

Or stamps. Maybe stamps. Yeah, probably stamps. $50 for stamps, $25 for a noise gate pedal, and $125 for a keyboard. I like that. (EDIT: I just ordered the noise gate pedal)

So, XFL. I'm sure there are more than these guys, but just off a cursory reading of the rosters, here are guys that are involved and that I'm relatively certain have cards...

DALLAS: Daryl "Moose" Johnston, Jim Jeffcoat, Landry Jones, Stacy Coley, Simmie Cobbs
DC: Ray Hamilton, Kurt Gouveia, Tyree Jackson, Cardale Jones, Donnel Pumphrey, Malachi Dupre, Eli Rogers, Sam Montgomery, Scooby Wright, Matt Elam, Orson Charles
HOUSTON: Chris Miller, Connor Cook, Akrum Wadley, Andre Williams, Sammie Coates, Jalen Saunders, Kony Ealy, Ed Reynolds
LOS ANGELES: Winston Moss, Mike Wilson, Jerry Fontenot, Pepper Johnson, Otis Smith, Martin Bayless, Josh Johnson, Keyarris Garrett, KD Cannon, Jordan Smallwood, Nick Novak
NEW YORK: CJ Ah You, Cris Dishman, Matt McGloin, EJ Bibbs
SEATTLE: Jim Zorn, Mike Riley, BJ Daniels, Chase Litton, Austin Proehl, Keenan Reynolds, Cyril Richardson, Stansly Maponga, Will Sutton
ST. LOUIS: Jonathan Hayes, Chuck Long, Az Hakim, Chris Crocker, Jordan Ta'amu, Taylor Heinicke, Christine Michael, Daniel Braverman, Jordan Lasley, L'Damian Washington, Terrance Williams, Will Hill, Marquette King
TAMPA BAY: Jerry Glanville, Aaron Murray, Rannell Hall, KJ Maye, DeAndre Goolsby, Jalen Collins

St. Louis is pretty stacked and play Dallas' home opener on February 9. I might look into that and see about how much tickets are and what I have in the way of cards. At the very least, there might be some solid TTM opportunities.

Winter Caravan dates and places are out-- mostly at the Miller Tavern at Texas Live on Thursday nights, and midweek afternoons at a few Whataburger and Comerica Bank branches. The only weekend event is the annual Frisco event on Saturday January 18. Last year you were limited to ONE autograph line. No thanks. I might check out the Thursdays since it's right up the road. We'll see when they decide to announce what players will be there.

Last but not least, my TTMCast appearance is now online!

Thursday, December 12, 2019

Coming soon: a podcast appearance!

Back in December 2016 my friend Lee messaged me asking about the possibility of doing an autograph-related podcast. I liked the idea though it had been years since I had done one and I didn't really know how to do one with solid autograph-related content. And things just got busy with my joining a band and him getting married and having a kid, so we both just kind of forgot about it.

Enter Jeff Baker.  Jeff is from Massachusetts and is a longtime collector who has gotten back into TTMing recently. Back in January of this year, he started putting together a weekly-ish podcast about TTM collecting, simply called TTMCast. On it, he has interviewed various collectors, players, and hobby bigwigs about all things sports collecting, but with an emphasis on TTM autographs. Come of the names you may recognize: Rich Mueller of Sports Collectors Daily, Scott Kozlowski of Sports Card Forum, collectors like Nick Diunte, Paul Miles, and Scott Lomoglio, author and former ultimate Jose Canseco supercollector Tanner Jones, and guys you may have written to like John Bucyk, Bob Lilly, and Jim Kaat.

TTMCast linked up with SCF to cross-promote each of their sites and projects and so when I saw it linked on SCF, I knew I had to check it out. I also got in contact with Jeff and said if he needed an interview subject that I was more than willing to jump on board, and so we set one up for early December.

Long story short, We had a good long chat about the hobby last night, and it should be coming up online in the next few weeks.

In the meantime, I highly recommend checking out past episodes of the podcast. All are available on his site and they're great for collectors of any sport, and at any level from the seasoned veteran collector all the way down to the newest of the newcomers.

Thursday, December 5, 2019

November (and early December) 2019

I'm sure a few of these names will need clarification, so I'll just get that out of the way now.

As you probably know by now, I'm a musician. I played bass and keyboards in a band called Leisuresuit Salesmen when I was in 8th and 9th grade for a talent show and New Year's Eve party, drums in a band called 45 Percent for my high school's variety show as a senior, drums (with some keyboard, guitar, bass, and vocal contributions) in CC40 in college (not the CC40 Blues Band that comes up first on Google, but a short-lived punk/alternative project from Boston that had the name long before they did), and drums and guitar with Death Before Breakfast for a few years. Recently I joined a new project called The Nothing. I was in my high school's orchestra as a percussionist. I also play a little mandolin and possibly could still play some trombone if I tried. I might record some solo stuff that I've written, and maybe some covers of some Great Lakes folk songs.

Anyways, my biggest influences and favorite bands list would likely change a lot from day to day, but the Top Five always tend to be Guns N' Roses, Weezer, Dropkick Murphys, the Funk Brothers (Motown's backing band), and the New Bomb Turks. You probably know the first two reasonably well, perhaps the third. The fourth is a little more esoteric since they were rarely credited-- the Motown marketing machine tended to concentrate on the singers while the musicians were left largely uncredited until Marvin Gaye released What's Going On, and then got pretty well screwed over by the label moving to Los Angeles with no warning given to them. Several of them found out by showing up to play and finding a note on the door. The Brothers finally started getting recognition on a wider scale with the release of the book and documentary Standing In The Shadows Of Motown. Only two of them are still living: guitarist Joe Messina and percussionist Jack Ashford.

Anyways, the last one, the New Bomb Turks, are a garage punk band of my fellow Clevelanders who assembled in Columbus, OH in the early 90s and accidentally kicked off the garage rock revival of the late 90s and early 00s. Without the album !!Destroy-Oh-Boy!!, there's a good chance you wouldn't know The Hives, The Hellacopters, The Vines, The Strokes, The White Stripes, The Black Keys, The Dandy Warhols, The (International) Noise Conspiracy, and a ton more. It wasn't until I was in high school, around 2000 or so, that I really started getting into punk rock. The Turks parted ways not long after, with their final album coming in 2003. And since I had parents who believed you might fall off the edge of the earth if you go west of Euclid, I never got out to many (any) shows.

Over the next 15 years, NBT would occasionally get together and play a couple shows, do a short tour, play a festival, whatever. None came near me though. The closest was Austin when I was in Wichita Falls, but having close to no disposable income at the time and having to work on weekends, I had to miss it.

So when I found out they were going to open for Rev. Horton Heat in Detroit and Chicago with the Voodoo Glow Skulls (both of whom I saw back in February together in Dallas), I knew I had to try to go. Long story short: we went to both shows, I got an album signed by two members, got one of the drummer's sticks, got called out from the stage by their lead singer in Chicago, and then had him swipe my hat and beat a couple people with it in Detroit. Awesome show, 10/10 would recommend. My only complaint is they did not play Defiled.

So, when you're asking yourself "Who are Eric Davidson, Jim Weber, and Sam Brown?" now you know. I missed having Brown and bassist Matt Reber sign my album, but I'm sure I'll get them eventually.

I also was able to get my grandfather's 12-string guitar from my uncle when we passed through Michigan. I need a new high G string (tee-hee-hee, yeah yeah, laugh it up) since it broke when I tuned it, but aside from that it's good.

Dave Schultz, c/o Hammer Enterprises, 2/2, 1 month, included fee of $10 per

Curtis Granderson, c/o Marlins ST, 1/1, 9 months

Ty Dillon, c/o Germain Racing, 4/4, 6 months
Bobby Knoop, c/o home, 3/3, 6 weeks

Nick Fotiu, c/o home, 2/2, 1 week
Ted Harris, c/o home, 3/2, 1 week, also signed protective index card

Tony Oliva, c/o Twins ST, 1/1, 9 months

Bobby Hebert, c/o home, 4/4, 1 week, personalized all

Phil Roberto, c/o home, 3/2, 1 week, added signed photo
Eric Nesterenko, c/o home, 3/3, 1 week
Jim Pappin, c/o home, 2/2, 1 week

Bob Froese, c/o home, 4/4, 1 week

Bert Marshall, c/o home, 3/3, 2 weeks

NOVEMBER 24 - Dallas Card Show
Rocket Ismail, 1/1

Dave Keon, c/o home, 4/4, 2 weeks
Ralph Backstrom, c/o home, 4/4, 2 weeks

Harry Sinden, c/o home, 1/2, 2 weeks, kept the second card
Don Marshall, c/o home, 3/3, 2 weeks
Fred Stanfield, c/o home, 2/2, 1 week
Alexei Yashin, c/o home, 2/2, 1 week
John Harrington, c/o home, 2/2, 1 week

Jim Rutherford, c/o team, 3/3, 3 weeks
Jim Schoenfeld, c/o home, 2/2, 2 weeks
Grant Mulvey, c/o home, 2/2, 2 weeks
Joe Watson, c/o home, 2/2, 2 weeks
Steve Janaszak, c/o home, 3/2, 1 week, also signed protective index card

NOVEMBER 29 - Voodoo Glow Skulls, New Bomb Turks, Rev. Horton Heat concert
Eric Davidson, 1/1

Mike Davis, c/o home, 3/3, 2 years
Mark Wells, c/o home, 3/2, 2 weeks, also added signed business card, paid $5 per
Phil Verchota, c/o home, 2/2, 2 weeks
Craig Patrick, c/o home, 2/2, 2 weeks

NOVEMBER 30 - Voodoo Glow Skulls, New Bomb Turks, Rev. Horton Heat concert
Jim Weber, 1/1
Sam Brown, concert-used drum stick

Mike Anderson, c/o home, 4/4, 2 weeks

Jack Ashford, c/o home, 1/1, 2 months

Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Two-month update

I got a little busy: joined a new band, had the find of a lifetime while sorting which I'll get to at the end, and am preparing for a couple trips later this month. So I'll sneak in this update while I have half a moment.

Jaime Jarrin, c/o home, 2/2, 1 week
Carlton Fisk, c/o home, 1/1, 2 weeks, $40

Dick Tracewski, c/o home, 3/3, 2 weeks
Joe Tait, c/o home, 3/3, 2 weeks

Monte Moore, c/o home, 2/2, 2 weeks
Dave Lemonds, c/o home, 2/2, 2 weeks
Steve Zungul, c/o home, 1/1, 2 months

Steve Brye, c/o home, 3/3, 3 weeks
Enrico Ciccone, c/o Quebec Parliament, 2/2, 1 month
Mark Karpun, c/o home, 1/1, 3 weeks

Fred Cambria, c/o home, 2/2, 1 week

Syd O'Brien, c/o home, 3/3, 1 week

Bob Heise, c/o home, 3/3, 1 week

Al Spangler, c/o home, 3/3, 2 weeks

Denny Matthews, c/o home, 2/2, 3 weeks

Booker T. Jones, c/o home, 1/1, 2 weeks

Charlie Hough, c/o home, 4/4, 6 weeks
Bob Gallagher, c/o home, 3/3, 3 weeks
Mel Behney, c/o home, 2/2, 1 month

OCTOBER 1 - Rangers Development Camp
David Garcia 1/1
Josh Jung 1/1
Julio Pablo Partinez 2/4
Jonathan Ornelas 2/4
Leody Taveras 2/4
Cole Winn 4/4

OCTOBER 5 - Rangers Development Camp
Sam Huff 1/1
Josh Jung 1/1
Davis Wendzel 1/1
Cole Winn 2/2
Leody Taveras 1/1
Julio Pablo Martinez 2/2
Jonathan Ornelas 2/2
David Garcia 1/1

Hal Lanier, c/o home, 3/3, 6 months
Mason McReakin, c/o home, 4/2, 1 week, added a signed IC and a note

Gene Clines, c/o home, 1/1, 1 week

Ted Giannoulas, c/o home, 3/2, 2 weeks, added a note

Tony Esposito, c/o home, 1/1, 2 weeks, $10

Pete Mahovlich, c/o home, 2/1, 2 weeks, $10, added an extra signed card

So yeah, quite a hodge-podge in there. Three that I paid for, which I rarely do, but I had some spare cash on hand and needed them for sets. Two IP outings. Fifteen new additions to the 1972 Topps project (plus three I bought on eBay). Two for the Topps/OPC Archives hockey set. Two for the MISL project. One for the Fleer Throwback hockey set. And three just for the hell of it. Clines finished the 1971 Topps dual with Cambria, McReakin pitched in the Braves org in 2018 and is a member of the Facebook autograph groups I run, a well-known mascot in Giannoulas (The Chicken!), and Jones is my first music-related success.

So, the new band. We're called The Nothing. Right now I'll likely be splitting time on drums and guitar. I'm most comfortable on drums, but as long as I can stick to rhythm guitar then I'm competent on six strings. We're still looking for a bassist and hopefully a lead guitarist (so that I can be solely on rhythm and the lead singer can stick to just vocals instead of both vocals and rhythm guitar). I do need to get a better guitar amp soon though.

Which brings me to the find of a lifetime.

With the baseball autographing season winding down in September, I figured it was time for a cleanup. It had been a couple years since I had sorted any new additions into my inventory of stuff. I had several boxes of unsorted/barely sorted cards across pretty much every sport, whether purchases, gifts, or stuff I had pulled from inventory and failed to get signed. So to clean up, organize, and just overall make sure I had my shit together so that I didn't forget something when pulling for an outing, I decided to spend a few months sorting. We're in mid-November and I'm almost done-- I just have to finish hockey R-Z and soccer. I'll be done by Thanksgiving.

Anyways, as I was searching and sorting, within the span of about 24 hours I found three BIG cards I didn't know I had, just sitting in boxes: Patrick Mahomes' 2017 Prizm RC, Mike Trout's 2012 Topps Heritage card...

... and the 2018 Topps Ronald Acuna Jr. bat-down photo variation.

I had pulled it from a random pack a while back. I remember even getting it in the pack and just going "Wow, an Acuna RC, cool" since this was not long after my friend Arron pulled the 2018 Pro Debut Acuna auto. I figured okay, maybe this would be a $5-10 card, not knowing about the photo variation. So I just stuck it in a box and forgot about it.

Over the next few months I forgot I had it, but saw a few posts on Facebook groups about the card heating up and going for big money and thinking to myself "Man, I never have pulls like that." So when I pulled it out from this random box, I was hyperventilating and close to shaking-- pretty sure my wife was about to dial 911.

I put it in a sleeve and case and immediately made preparations to run it over to Beckett-- along with the Trout, the Mahomes, my 1989 UD Griffey RC, and an old T-205 gold border tobacco card that my in-laws had given me.  A month later, I picked them up yesterday...

Mahomes: 9 overall with subs of 9.5/9.5/9/8.5 (I knew the centering was bad)
Griffey: 9 overall with subs of 9.5/9.5/9/9
Trout: 9 overall with subs of 9.5/9.5/9/8.5 (somehow the surface got knocked down)
T-205 Tom Downey: 1 overall, no subs, which I expected; I mostly just wanted to protect it in a slab

The Acuna came back as one of the 32 best in the population report. There is one Black Label 10, and 27 regular 10s. There are only four 9.5s that have subs of 10/10/9.5/9.5 including mine.

Considering the range of 9.5s have all gone for $400-600 over the last two months, I'm hoping the two 10 subs and two 9.5 subs will get me $1000. I mean really, you cannot get a better 9.5, and I've only seen two 10s come up for sale, both of which accepted a Best Offer on eBay so I don't know the actual price-- only that they were originally listed at $3000, $2300, and there's one up now at a price of $2350. PSA 10s are going in the $1500 range. I figure a BGS 9.5 with 10/10/9.5/9.5 subs has to be about equivalent to a PSA 10, right?

So, I figure that's how I'll get that new guitar amp.

Tuesday, October 1, 2019

Phantom Parallels: The Checklist Replacers

I'll have my September update coming in the next week or so. Got a crowded few days ahead of me including some baseball IP outings!

In almost every base set for four decades, Topps produced the loathsome checklist card.  No one wanted to pull it from a pack: it didn't feature a player, just a list of who was on what card. In the early days, kids would mark them off and use them for their intended purpose. In later days, everyone wanted a 100% mint condition set, so it was little more than space-filling junk.

1992 birthed the brainchild (or spawned the brainbastard, depending on your outlook) of the parallel set. Take the base set, tweak something but change nothing else, and whammo, new tough-to-find collectible! Topps Gold was the first to do this before every company followed suit and now today you have the crazy rainbow chasers who need every single variety of a guy's Chrome or Prizm or whatever card.

So of course, the last thing ANYONE would want is for their short-printed parallel that they pull from a pack to be the checklist card. Instead of leaving gaps in their sets, Topps printed what I call the phantom parallels: inserting players to replace the checklists, but those players didn't have a regular card.

I'm always interested in oddball cards to get autographed so I started to wonder how many of these would be possible to get signed.  I haven't gone that far, but I did finally assemble a list of who the phantom parallels were in each set.

1992 BB Gold
131: Terry Mathews
264: Rod Beck
366: Tony Perezchica
527: Terry McDaniel
658: John Ramos
787: Brian Williams
132T: Kerry Woodson

1992 FB Gold
109: Freeman McNeil
218: David Daniels
316: Chris Hakel
341: Ottis Anderson
452: Shawn Moore
563: Mike Mooney
759: Curtis Whitley

1992-93 BK Gold
197: Jeff Sanders
198: Elliot Perry
395: David Wingate
396: Carl Herrera

1992-93 HK Gold
525: Alan Conroy
526: Jeff Norton
527: Rob Robinson
528: Adam Foote

* * * * * * * * * *
1993 BB Gold
394: Bernardo Brito
395: Jim McNamara
396: Rich Sauveur
823: Keith Brown
824: Russ McGinnis
825: Mike Walker

1993 FB Gold
329: Terance Mathis
330: John Wojciechowski
659: Pat Chaffey
660: Milton Mack

1993-94 BK Gold
197: David Wingate
198: Frank Johnson
395: Will Perdue
396: Mark West

1993-94 HK Gold
263: Martin Lapointe
264: Kevin Miehm
527: Myles O’Connor
528: Jamie Leach

* * * * * * * * * *
1994 BB Gold
395: Bill Brennan
396: Jeff Bronkey
791: Mike Cook
792: Dan Pasqua

1994-95 BK Spectralight
197: Keith Jennings
198: Mark Price
395: Chris Webber
396: Mitch Richmond

1994-95 HK Special Effects
274: Rudy Poeschek
275: Michael Peca
549: John Druce
550: Matt Martin

* * * * * * * * * *
1995 BB Cyberstats
395: Darryl Strawberry
396: Luis Alicea

It doesn't look like Topps did any phantoms for the 1994 Football Special Effects set. Shame, as I'd love to have seen some punters or long snappers represented. The parallel craze died (for Topps at least) following the 1995 Series 1 baseball.  Of course Pacific ran the concept into the ground in the late 90s, but they also didn't print checklist cards in the base set. Topps got smart and eventually made the checklists as a random one-per-pack insert that wasn't part of the set, then took from Upper Deck and put them back in the set but put a player or something interesting on the front with the list on the back.

There were a few similar to this in the O-Pee-Chee baseball sets that I'll need to assemble a list of as well. I know Delino Deshields and Nate Minchey both had a 1988 card after the Expos drafted them (Deshields replacing Earnest Riles and Minchey replacing the Nolan Ryan Record Breaker card), and there were several cards replacing the All-Stars in the 1992 set. O-Pee-Chee also typically denoted trades on their cards, such as Dennis Lamp's 1987 card that shows him as a Blue Jays but has Chief Wahoo and a "Now with Indians" notation, and even gave Blue Jays catcher Rick Cerone his own 1977 card instead of just stashing him on the Rookie Catchers card that Topps had, where he was still with the Indians. Granted, the OPC set usually was an abbreviated set rather than a true parallel and a guy might be on card 630 in Topps, but then on 390 in OPC. But aside from that, the cards look the same. So finding a card that wasn't in the Topps set but was in the OPC set is kind of a phantom in its own right.

EDIT: There's a blog on the OPC variations!

Of course, some of these guys might not sign, and some-- such as Rod Beck and Terry Mathews-- may even be dead. But if you're looking for some oddball items to potentially get signed, look no further than the phantom parallel.

Wednesday, September 4, 2019

August report

As they come to a close I noticed 2019 was a vastly slower year for my baseball IP outings. 9 games (plus two just watching) vs. close to 30 last year. Even non-ballgames, this year had the Vegas MISL event, whereas last year had the NFL and NHL drafts, the National, and the NASL event.

Is my career winding down? Do I just need a break? I dunno. Maybe a little of both. I'm 35. This certainly isn't a hobby that's viewed favorably by the masses when done by anyone my age or older, even when done by those of us who aren't in it for a fast buck. I think I'll have a major resurgence once the 2021 Heritage sets come out-- though MLB IP graphing will suck in the Rangers' new ballpark. But 2022 should be a banner year with the 2021 Heritage Minors set and another planned roadtrip to the National. I'll have to hit the TTMs pretty hard for the MLB guys.

Anyways, a recap of the month...

Dave Hoggan, c/o home, 5/5, 3 weeks

Joe Torre, c/o MLB Offices, 4/4, a year and a half
Von Hayes, c/o home, 1/1, 3 months

AUGUST 17 - DallasCardShow and Kansas City T-Bones at Texas Air Hogs
Tatu, 17/17
Shawn O'Malley, 1/1
Daniel Nava, 3/5
Henry Owens, 3/3
Chris Bando, 6/6

Dale Mitchell, c/o home in Canada, 7/7, 5 weeks

Tim Wittman, c/o home, 3/3, 3 weeks

AUGUST 24 - Northwest Arkansas vs. Frisco
Scott Blewitt, 3/4, 1/1
Zach Lovvorn, 2/2
Brady Singer, 1/1
Daniel Tillo, 3/3
Blake Perkins, 4/4
Khalil Lee, 1/1
Tyler Zuber, 1/1
Doug Henry, 9/9
Gabriel Cancel, 2/2
Abraham Nunez, 3/3
Kevin Merrell, 3/3
Walker Weickel, 3/3
Greg Hibbard, 4/4
Jackson Kowar, 1/1
Leody Taveras, 1/1

Bobo Lucic, c/o team in Slovenia, 3/3, 7 weeks

Bobby Brown, c/o home, 1/1, 1 week, 3 weeks

AUGUST 29 - KC T-Bones at Texas Air Hogs
Shawn O'Malley, 1/1
Daniel Nava, 3/3
Erik Manoah, 1/1
Carlos Contreras, 5/5
Zech Lemond, 9/9
Chris Bando, 9/9
Henry Owens, 3/3
Brett Eibner, 1/1
Kevin Joseph, 2/2

Bill Crook, c/o home, 5/5, 7 weeks

I mailed off several in the last few weeks, with a few more ready to go soon. I'm venturing out into a few musical requests as well this month: custom index cards to Booker T. Jones and Steve Cropper (of Booker T and the MGs), as well as Jack Ashford and Joe Messina (the last two living members of the Funk Brothers, Motown's instrumentalists).

Speaking of music, my previous band kicked me out, so I'm in search of a new one.  Also, I built a guitar out of a National Treasures box.

Friday, August 9, 2019

Friday Free-For-All: Trade Chains

It's been a while since I've gone totally off the topic of collecting, but I was thinking about this recently and figured I'd put it out there into the world.

What's the longest trade chain that you can think of in current baseball?

By this I mean picking a player who was acquired by his current team for a player, who was traded for a player, going on back as far as you can get until you hit a wall with a player who was drafted or signed as a free agent.

A recent example would be the Indians: Yasiel Puig was acquired for Trevor Bauer, who was acquired for Shin-Soo Choo, who was acquired for Ben Broussard, who was acquired for Russell Branyan. That goes back to 1994: not bad.

Travis Fryman was an interesting one for the Tribe just because of the sheer volume of third basemen involved: Fryman for Matt Williams, for Jeff Kent, for Carlos Baerga, for Joe Carter, for George Frazier, for Toby Harrah, for Buddy Bell. Of the eight players involved, six played at least a significant bit of time at third for the Indians and spans a 1969 draft pick on up to a 2002 retirement. You can even sub in Jose Vizcaino for Jeff Kent: both were acquired for Baerga and both were shipped out for Williams and both played a bit at third in their careers (though only Kent did for the Indians).

Of course, the longest one for the Tribe now is Corey Kluber, who can be traced back through eight trades to Jerry Dybzinski's 15th round selection in the 1977 draft (14 slots after him? NBA All-Star Danny Ainge!). And with the trade rumors that have circulated around Kluber for the last year-plus, that chain could grow longer (Currently: Kluber for Jake Westbrook for David Justice for Kenny Lofton for Willie Blair for Alex Sanchez for Bud Black for Pat Tabler for Dybzinski).

Looking through the closest team to me geographically, the Rangers don't really have any longer than one or two links: most acquisitions have been via free agency and drafts lately, or a single chain like Willie Calhoun for free agent signee Yu Darvish. Even most departing players have been as free agents or retirements with zero return (Matt Garza, Julio Franco, Josh Hamilton, Mitch Moreland).

So, who has the longest current chain in all of baseball? Who has the longest one for your team? Any fun oddities like the third-base-heavy chain of Bell to Fryman?

A few fun ones from some googling, as the question has been asked before...

The Mets can trace Robinson Cano's acquisition back to drafting Tim Bogar
Martin Prado of the Marlins goes back to Charles Johnson

Saturday, August 3, 2019

Super Collector? Fingers crossed...

Every four years or so, I make it a point to go to the National Sports Colllectors Convention because it's typically in my hometown of Cleveland.  I went last year, I went in 2014, and before missing a few years in the 2000s due to a lack of funds, I went in 2004, 2001, and 1997.  This year's show in Chicago is getting skipped, as almost certainly will next year's Atlantic City show and 2021's Chicago show. But I'll be back to Cleveland in 2022. The plans are already being set in motion...

Meanwhile, you may know my favorite baseball player of all-time is Cory Snyder. Ever since I was four years old, I have no idea why, but Snyder was my favorite and remained my favorite even after the Indians shipped him to the White Sox, and he bounced on to the Blue Jays, Giants, Dodgers, Red Sox org, Padres org, and finally Spring Training in 1997 with the Cardinals. I even had a Dodgers hat when I was in third and fourth grade.

Anyways, out of 1068 career games, Cory Snyder played 657 of them in an Indians uniform.

So you can imagine how dumbfounded I was when I heard he was one of the VIP autograph signers at the National this year.  Not one of the Cleveland shows, but in Chicago, where he played a whole 50 games (and batted only .188, thanks to Walt Hriniak's "my way or no way" approach to coaching hitters).

So, I'm missing out on a chance to meet my favorite player.  But I did apply for Cory Snyder Super Collector status over at SCF today (the same day he's signing at the National).

While I wait for approval or denial, take a look at some of the photos I took of my collection.  I don't have all the cards photographed, but here are a few of the better items and oddities.

Wednesday, July 31, 2019

The rest of July

Rich Robertson, c/o home, 1/1, 2 months

JULY 14 - Amarillo at Frisco
Hudson Potts - 7/7
Luis Torrens - 1/2
Owen Miller - 2/2
Jimmy Jones - 4/4
Peter Van Gansen - 1/1
Brad Zunica - 1/1
Ivan Castillo - 1/1
Taylor Kohlwey - 1/1
Lake Bachar - 1/1
Phillip Wellman - 1/1
Rodrigo Orozco - 1/1
Dauris Valdez - 1/1
Nick Margevicius - 2/2
AJ Kennedy - 1/1
Collin Wiles - 5/5
Leody Taveras - 1/1
Tony Sanchez - 2/2
Walker Weickel - 4/4
Charles Leblanc - 1/2
Hunter Pence - 1/3
Jonathan Hernandez - 5/5
Joe Barlow - 1/1
Blake Bass - 1/1
Andretty Cordero - 1/1
Brendon Davis - 1/1
Michael De Leon - 1/1
Demarcus Evans - 1/1
Alex Kowalczyk - 1/1
CD Pelham - 1/1
Tyler Phillips - 1/1

Tim Fedewa, c/o team, 4/3, 6 months, added in another signed card

Bernie James, c/o team, 1/1, 2 weeks

JULY 26 - Tulsa at Frisco
Yadier Alvarez - 2/3
Justin De Fratus - 2/2
Josiah Gray - 1/1
Adam Melhuse - 2/2
Jared Walker - 2/5
Rob Zastryzny - 2/2
Logan Bawcom - 1/3
Connor Wong - 1/3
Jonathan Hernandez - 2/2
Charles LeBlanc - 1/1
Leody Taveras - 1/1
Brock Burke - 3/3
Tony Sanchez - 1/1
Jake Lemoine - 3/3
James Jones - 2/4
Wade Lamont - 2/2
Michael De Leon - 1/1

JULY 27 - Arkansas at Frisco
Evan White - 1/2
Luis Liberato - 2/2
Aaron Knapp - 3/3
Wyatt Mills - 3/3
Logan Gilbert - 2/2
Joe Odom - 1/1
Kyle Lewis - 1/1
Isiah Kiner-Falefa - 2/3
Greg Hibbard - 3/3

Sunday, July 7, 2019

A (mostly) IP report

Glad I got the May-to-mid-June one out of the way, so I can just knock out the end of the month through this past week.

Jim Evans, c/o home, 1/1, 2 months

Mark Eaton, c/o home, 4/4, 6 months

JUNE 30 - Midland at Frisco
Bobby Crosby 4/4
Zack Erwin 6/6
Logan Verrett 5/5
James Jones 3/3
LeDarious Clark 1/1
DeMarcus Evans 1/1
Tony Sanchez 2/3
Grant Holmes 2/2
Daulton Jefferies 6/6
Taylor Motter 2/2
Mikey White 6/6
Kevin Merrill 3/3
Leody Taveras 1/1

JULY 2 - MISL40, Day 1
Brad Smith, 3/3
Dave MacKenzie, 9/9
Alan Mayer, 8/8
Juli Veee, 10/10
Godfrey Ingram, 19/19
Gordon Jago, 4/4
Perry Van der Beck, 9/9
Gerry Gray, 7/7
Zoltan Toth, 16/16
Nick Megaloudis, 1/1
Guy Newman, 1/1
Norman Piper, 1/1
Dave D'Errico, 1/1

JULY 3 - MISL40, Day 2
Gus Mokalis, 8/8
Jim Sinclair, 1/1
Len Bilous, 1/1
Kai Haaskivi, 26/26
Doc Lawson, 16/16

For more on the MISL40 event, check out my entry on it on my Pacific Soccer Autograph Project blog.