Monday, June 5, 2017

Late May/Early June update

Texas weather sucks.

I had two Frisco outings planned. We got to one a bit late due to rain slowing the freeway down (but still did alright), and the second got rained out. We still managed to get a few players though, as you will see.

TTMing has been going well, especially on the soccer front. Best of all, no RTS stickers yet from this most recent soccer batch!

MAY 26
Shawn Medved, c/o work, 1/1, 2 weeks
Ralph Black, c/o team, 1/1, 2 weeks
Rod Castro, c/o home, 2/2, 2 weeks
Rene Ortiz, c/o home, 3/3, 2 weeks

MAY 27
Goran Hunjak, c/o work, 1/1, 2 weeks

MAY 30
Rudy Pikuzinski, c/o home, 3/2, 2 weeks, wrote note back
Mike Uremovich, c/o home, 6/3, 1 week, wrote note back and added signed cards of Mike Jr. and Tatu

JUNE 1 – Northwest Arkansas at Frisco
Vance Wilson, 6/6
Steve Luebber, 2/2
Sam Selman, 4/4
Corey Ray, 1/1
Logan Moon, 2/2
Donnie Dewees, 2/4
Carlos Maldonado, 4/4
Michael De Leon, 1/1
Clayton Cook, 4/4
Ariel Jurado, 4/4
Yohander Mendez, 1/1
Connor Sadzeck, 1/2
Collin Wiles, 2/2
Jose Trevino, 2/2
Isiah Kiner-Falefa, 4/4
Royce Bolinger, 1/1

Billy Wagner, c/o home, 3/3, 2 weeks
Dr. Ed Gettemeier, c/o work, 1/1, 2 weeks
Thompson Usiyan, c/o work, 3/2, 2 weeks
Al Smith, c/o home, 2/2, 1 week

JUNE 2 – Arkansas at Frisco
Jason Hart, 7/7
Blake Unsworth, 1/1
Kyle Waldrop, 4/4
Justin DeFratus, 4/4

Jim Schwab, c/o team, 4/4, 1 week, personalized all
Redmond Lane, c/o home, 3/2, 1 week, wrote note back

June is bound to be a busy one-- I still haven't bought my monthly stamp allotment, plus the Texas League All-Star Game will be in Frisco, so I'm hoping to go to that. I'm also looking at a probable trip up to Oklahoma City in late July.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

April/May TTMs and IPs

Yep, I'm behind, as usual. Here's a big update.

Juan Samuel, c/o Phillies ST, 5/5, 2 months
Ryne Sandberg, c/o home, 1/1, 1 month with $$

Joe Rudi, c/o home, 2/2, 3 months, personalized both
Jerry Bell, c/o home, 3/3, 1 month
Larry McCoy, c/o home, 2/1, 1 month, added his own card

APRIL 8 - Springfield at Frisco IP
Sandy Alcantara 1/1
Eliezer Alvarez 1/1
Daniel Bard, 1/3
Jack Flaherty 2/4
Dakota Hudson 1/3
Alex Mejia 2/2
Oscar Mercado 1/1
Daniel Poncedeleon 2/4
Jimmy Reed 3/3
Jason Simontacchi 5/6
Royce Bollinger 2/2
Michael DeLeon 2/2
Clayton Cook 4/4
James Dykstra 4/4
Jason Hart 8/8
Isiah Kiner-Falefa 4/4
Matt Lipka 6/6
Reed Garrett 1/1
Carlos Maldonado 6/6
Joe Mikulik 2/2
Connor Sadzeck 1/4
Brian Shouse 3/3
Jose Trevino 2/2
Drew Vettleson 4/4

APRIL 9 - Rangers Tunnel IP
Jake Diekman 1/1
Delino DeShields Jr. 1/1

George Stone, c/o home, 3/3, 1 month

Glenn Blackwood, c/o work, 2/2, 1 week (completes a dual with his brother Lyle)
Jody Davis, c/o Louisville Bats, 4/4, 1 week
Juan Gonzalez, c/o home, 4/3, 2 months

I sent Juan two cards and two copies of an 8x10 photo-- one to sign for me and one for him to keep since it's one I know he's never seen: my dad took at at a game in 1993. He actually hit a homer off Jose Mesa on the pitch. Instead of keeping one, he signed both, plus the two cards I put in. Unfortunately the USPS mangled them a bit.

Michael Dean Perry, c/o home, 1/1, 6 days

Brooks Robinson, c/o home, 2/2, 1 week with $$

Wayne Garrett, c/o home, 3/3, 2 months

APRIL 22: Corpus Christi at Frisco
James Dykstra 2/2
Michael De Leon 1/1
Jason Hart 8/8
Isiah Kiner-Falefa 4/4
Adam Loewen 4/8
Joe Mikulik 6/6
Brian Shouse 4/4
Jose Trevino 2/2
Collin Wiles 2/2
Connor Sadzeck 1/4
Drew Vettleson 4/4
Dave Borkowski 3/3
Joel Chimelis 1/1
Riley Ferrell 1/1
Jonathan Singleton 4/4
J.D. Davis 4/4
Cy Sneed 2/2

APRIL 28 - Stabbing Westward concert
Chris Hall (lead singer), Walter Flakus (keyboards/guitar), and Mark Eliopulos (guitar) signed my "Wither, Blister, Burn, and Peel" CD

Glenn Hubbard, c/o Lexington Legends, 2/2, 3 weeks

Mariano Duncan, c/o Iowa Cubs, 4/4, 3 weeks

Lance Parrish, c/o Erie Seawolves, 6/6, 3 weeks (completes a dual with Andre Thornton; I may make it a triple with plate umpire Ken Kaiser)

MAY 16
Brian Harper, c/o Toledo Mudhens, 4/4, 1 month

MAY 18
Terry Kennedy, c/o home, 3/3, 1 month

MAY 22
Roy Turner, c/o work, 3/3, 6 days

MAY 23
Glenn Carbonara, c/o home, 2/2, 1 week

Also had a few nice pack pulls (Emmitt Smith and Tim Tebow with a stated print run of 5, anyone?) and a gift from a co-worker (Tyler Naquin National Treasures RPA 6/10).  I sent a ton of requests recently and am planning on writing about 40 more soon-- mostly soccer.

I also will have a pair of baseball outings next week. All this plus my band playing is three shows this weekend. Whew! Glad I spent April and most of May doing very little because it's about to get crazy.

Friday, April 7, 2017

March TTMs

I slowed down in March quite a bit since I had other things I needed to use money on. April will likely be the same, but with some IP 'graphing (including this weekend). Plus seeing as it's my birthday month, I may get to do some mailing after all with any money I get.

Gregg Blasingame, c/o Concorde Fire Soccer, 3/3, 17 months
Tom Egan, c/o home, 3/3, 7 weeks

Brock Davis, c/o home, 2/2, 2 months

Frank Tanana, c/o home, 7/6, 1 months, added his usual signed tract

Ernie McAnally, c/o home, 3/2, 1 week, added signed photo

Doc Medich, c/o home, 3/3, 1 week
Wayne Granger, c/o home, 2/2, 1 week
Jim Fairey, c/o home, 2/2, 1 week

Ron Fairly, c/o home, 3/4, 1 week, returned one unsigned
Bob Horner, c/o home, 1/1, 1 week for $5

Godfrey Ingram, c/o home in UK, 7/7, 5 months, added US stamp over the UK one, postmarked from San Diego
Rich Morales, c/o home, 2/2, 2 weeks

Al Michaels, c/o home, 2/2, 2 months
Keith Lampard, c/o home, 2/1, 2 weeks, added a short letter
Joe Brinkman, c/o home, 1/1, 1 week

Don Denkinger, c/o home, 2/1, 2 weeks, added signed business card
Gary DiSarcina, c/o Red Sox ST, 2/2, 2 weeks

Tom Bradley, c/o home, 3/3, 3 weeks

Kevin Mack, c/o Cleveland Browns, 5/5, 10 months
Ryan Leaf, c/o home, 4/4, 3 weeks
Norm Miller, c/o home, 2/2, 3 weeks
Bill Haller, c/o home, 1/1, 2 weeks

Jack McKeon, c/o home, 3/3, 3 weeks

Monday, March 13, 2017

January and February Report

I didn't realize until just now that I haven't posted what I've actually gotten since the start of the year. Band stuff has taken up so much of my time, but it's fun. We did the Winter Weekend Warriors Tour, I just put new heads on the toms a couple weeks ago, and bought some new cymbals this week. So with that, my mailing has been minimal and likely will be for the next month or so. Maybe longer since I have a couple more things I need to buy and already cut into my April stamp budget.

I say "minimal," but looking at my stats I've averaged more than one letter sent per day this year (March 13 is the 72nd day of the year, but I've mailed 78 requests; pretty sure this is the most I've ever sent at the start of a year), putting me on pace to mail nearly 400. Egad, man.

Anyway, a rundown...

Claude Lemieux, c/o work, 6/6, 7 months

Wilbur Wood, c/o home, 5/5, 1 week, personalized all

Monty Montgomery, c/o home, 2/2, 2 weeks

Ray Christensen, c/o home, 3/2, 2 weeks, wrote short note back
Brian Sipe, c/o home, 4/4, 2 weeks

George Mitterwald, c/o home, 3/3, 1 week
Charles Bronfman, c/o home, 3/2, 2 weeks, added signed card
William Bartholomay, c/o office, 2/2, 2 weeks
Raymond Berry, c/o home, 4/3, 2 weeks – added photo and enclosed note wanting info on my family’s surname and we’ve corresponded a few times on the topic

JANUARY 14 – IP, Dallas Sidekicks Alumni Night
Mike Powers 10/10
Doc Lawson 9/9
Victor Moreland 4/4, 8/8
Gordon Jago 3/3
Jay Bednar 1/1 for a friend
David Doyle 3/3
Billy Phillips 2/2
Fernando Garza 2/2, 1 for a friend
David Kamali 2/2, 1 for a friend
Carlos Videla 2/2, 1 for a friend
Tony Santibanez 1/1 for a friend

John Olerud, c/o home, 3/3, 4 months
Lee Cornwell, c/o home, 2/1, 1 month, wrote a note back
Fritz Peterson, c/o home, 4/3, 2 weeks, wrote a note back
Bob Skinner, c/o home, 2/2, 2 weeks

JP Dellacamera, c/o home, 2/1, 1 week, wrote a short note back

Dali, c/o team in Bosnia-Herzegovina, 3/3, 3 months – severely water damaged, will try again
Bill Virdon, c/o home, 4/4, 1 week
Denis Menke, c/o home, 3/3, 1 week

Frank Duffy, c/o home, 3/3, 2 weeks

Tom Murphy, c/o home, 4/4, 2 weeks
Darold Knowles, c/o home, 3/3, 2 weeks
Bill Gogolewski, c/o home, 2/2, 1 week

Mike Paul, c/o home, 3/3, 1 week

Antonio Langham, c/o home, 6/6, 7 months
Dick Enberg, c/o home, 2/1, 2 weeks, wrote a short note back
Rich Hebner, c/o home, 3/3, 2 weeks
Dennis Higgins, c/o home, 1/2, 2 weeks, kept one (my ’72, noooooo!)
Terry Humphrey, c/o home, 3/3, 1 week
Concert-used broken stick from the drummer for Death Before Breakfast (okay, fine, I cheated, that's me)

Chuck Taylor, c/o home, 3/3, 2 weeks, VERY shaky signature
Steve Kline, c/o home, 3/3, 2 weeks
Bob Montgomery. c/o home, 3/3, 1 week

Bud Selig, c/o office, 2/2, 1 month
Fred Kendall, c/o home, 3/3, 2 weeks
Ken Henderson, c/o home, 4/4, 2 weeks

Bernie Carbo, c/o home, 3/3, 3 weeks

Nancy Faust (former Comiskey Park organist), c/o home, 5/2, 5 weeks (signed cards on both sides and wrote a note back)

Sean Phillips, c/o Soccer Stop in Columbia MD, 3/1, 5 months (signed card on front and back and wrote a note back)

Ted Sizemore, c/o home, 3/3, 1 month

Johnny Ray, c/o home, 4/4, 6 days

Dan Uggla, c/o home, 3/3, 7 weeks

Tom Brunansky, c/o home, 4/4, 1 week

Gary Leeman, c/o home, 6/6, 8 months
Ron Gant, c/o work, 4/4, 2 weeks
Bryn Smith, c/o home, 4/4, 2 weeks

Ron Guidry, c/o Yankees ST, 4/4, 2 weeks

Bill Lee, c/o home, 3/4, 5 weeks, kept my ’72 unfortunately (my 900th all-time TTM success!)

Brook Jacoby, c/o Blue Jays ST, 3/3, 2 weeks

FEBRUARY 25 - Dallas Sidekicks IP
Willie Molano 5/5
Kiley Couch 2/2
Jamie Lovegrove 2/2
Juan Gamboa 2/2
Ricardinho 2/2
TJ Nelson 2/2
David Kamali 2/2
Clark Binning 2/2
Tony Guillen 2/2
Fabinho 2/2

Boots Day, c/o home, 2/2, 6 weeks

I also had some March successes which will get posted at the end of the month, and picked up a nice soccer lot on eBay recently that can be seen over on the Pacific Soccer Sigs blog-- totally worth cutting into the April budget for it.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Fan Fest? No thanks...

Wow Rangers. Thumbs up for getting info out earlier this year, but...

The list of players for Fan Fest this weekend has surfaced, and to say the least, I am underwhelmed by the alumni.

What happened? Back in 2014, there were 30 players and I got 131 sigs. In 2015, 20 players and 121 sigs. Last year 15 players and about 60 autographs.

This year: ten players. TEN.

Sure, more may be added, but right now having Bobby Jones, Matt Harrison, Darren Oliver, David Murphy, Jeff Russell, Kevin Mench, Mark McLemore, Rusty Greer, Michael Young, and Pete O'Brien on the list makes me think I'd be happier with my $10 plus Ticketmaster fees in my pocket. Young, Greer, and Murphy will have absolute madhouses for their lines. And knowing the Rangers, you can guarantee they'll split those guys off all in separate ones. So now it's not just $10 to get my stuff signed, but it's going to turn into $10 to possibly get my stuff signed.

No thanks.

I have about three cards of Jones left and I can get him at the tunnel. I have nothing for Harrison. I just restocked on Oliver; I'd like him on my photo but he's at every alumni event. I don't have a major need for Murphy. I've gotten a ton from Russell and Mench. McLemore has been crotchety the last few times I've tried to get him (when a career utility infielder one-pers you, that's pathetic). Greer I've gotten a ton but would like him on my photo. Young will be nuts and I don't have a major need for him. Pete O'Brien is the only one I have a major need for, and he likely will be there in August for Alumni Weekend.

I'll keep my eyes open for more additions, but right now I'm listing myself as questionable for this. The bang for the buck gets less and less every year. I could go here, or I could go to band practice, and I feel like spending a few hours banging on drums will be more fun than standing in hour-long lines.

Other players listed:

Lottery: Beltre, Andrus, Lucroy, Mazara, Darvish, Pudge

Current players/coaches: Cashner, Holman, Nicholas, Gomez, Chi-Chi Gonzalez, DeShields, Brocail, Banister, Gallo, Vazquez, Bonifay, Kela, Bush, Hauschild, Martinez, Chirinos, Rua, Dyson, Choo, Buechele, Scheppers, Beasley

Prospects: Fasola, Trevino, Beck, Garrett, Guzman, Mendez


Friday, January 6, 2017

Heading into 2017...

Long list of successes!

NOVEMBER 30: Johnny Grubb, c/o home, 4/4, 2 weeks
DECEMBER 2: Goose Gossage, c/o home, 1/1, 2 weeks
DECEMBER 2: Tommy Greene, c/o PO Box, 5/5, 2 weeks
DECEMBER 2: Steve Farr, c/o home, 5/5, 2 weeks
DECEMBER 3: Marc Sullivan, c/o home, 5/5, 2 weeks
DECEMBER 3: Butch Wynegar, c/o home, 4/4, 1 week
DECEMBER 5: Gene Garber, c/o home, 4/4, 2 weeks
DECEMBER 5: John Orton, c/o home, 6/6, 1 week
DECEMBER 6: Mike Birkbeck, c/o home, 6/6, 3 weeks
DECEMBER 6: Earl Stephenson, c/o home, 3/3, 3 weeks
DECEMBER 8: Mike Stanley, c/o home, 3/4, 3 weeks
DECEMBER 8: Floyd Bannister, c/o home, 4/4, 2 weeks
DECEMBER 12: Dave Dravecky, c/o home, 5/5, 1 month
DECEMBER 12: Gary Lavelle, c/o home, 4/4, 3 weeks
DECEMBER 12: Dave Kingman, c/o home, 1/1, 2 weeks
DECEMBER 17: Frank DiPino, c/o home, 5/5, 1 month
DECEMBER 17: Bruce Benedict, c/o home, 6/6, 2 weeks
DECEMBER 19: Andre Thornton, c/o home, 5/5, 2 weeks
DECEMBER 19: Ed Vandeberg, c/o home, 3/5, 2 weeks (kept two)
DECEMBER 20: Jeffrey Loria, c/o Marlins, 1/1, 16 months
DECEMBER 27: Bill Melton, c/o home, 5/5, 1 month
DECEMBER 27: Ron Kittle, c/o home, 4/4, 1 month
DECEMBER 28: Chris Chambliss, c/o home, 3/3, 3 weeks
DECEMBER 31: Floyd Rayford, c/o home, 3/3, 6 weeks

DECEMBER 2: Billy Smith, c/o home, 2/2, 1 week
DECEMBER 30: Daymond Langkow, c/o home, 6/6, 1 year
JANUARY 3: Jocelyn Lemieux, c/o home, 5/5, 7 months

DECEMBER 15: George Katakalidis, c/o work, 2/2, 1 month
DECEMBER 19: Craig Allen, c/o son's team, 2/1, 2 months to the UK (wrote note back)
DECEMBER 22: Donald Cogsville, c/o work, 1/1, 1 month
DECEMBER 24: Marty Templin and Herb Silva, 6/4, 9 months (each wrote a note back)
DECEMBER 24: Nenad Markicevic, c/o team, 1/1, 2 months to Serbia

DECEMBER 31: Ralf Mojsiejenko, c/o home, 4/4, 6 months

DECEMBER 10 - Dallas Sidekicks IP
Gabe Arredondo 3/3
Ray Aguayo 2/2
Cameron Brown 2/2
VcMor Eligwe 2/2
Cody Ellis 2/2
Mike Jones 2/2
Clint Ritter 2/2
Billy O'Dwyer 1/1
T.J. Nelson 1/1
Jose Guillen 1/1
Clark Binning 1/1

DECEMBER 13 - Texas Rangers Toy Drive
Steve Buechele 1/1
Ryan Rua 1/1
Elvis Andrus 1/1
Jeff Banister 1/1
Josh Bonifay 2/2
Joey Gallo 2/2
Chi Chi Gonzalez 2/2
Matt Bush 4/4
AJ Griffin 1/1
Keone Kela 2/2
Tom Grieve 3/3
Tyler Wagner 1/1
Ellis Valentine 1/0
Tanner Scheppers 1/0
Emily Jones 1/0
Matt Hicks 1/0
Eric Nadel 1/0
Justin Mashore 1/0
Andrew Faulkner 1/0

We're entering Alumni season now-- Sidekicks Alumni game is on the 14th, Rangers Fan Fest is the 21st, and Rangers Winter Caravan dates have been announced too. I likely will skip most of those-- player selection is underwhelming.

Also my band is going a few weekends on the road in the next few weeks, so 'graphing goes on the backburner for that. On the plus side, I still plan to TTM a lot. I just bought cards and stamps so I'll be mailing a bunch out once they all arrive in the next week or two.

As for the band, if you're near Dallas, Amarillo, Oklahoma City, Fayetteville AR, Little Rock, or Abilene, come check us out in the next month or two-- Death Before Breakfast.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

TTM Update, in brief

Been busy lately now that I've joined a band and made a trip to Cleveland for Game 7 of the World Series. Here's a fast update...

OCTOBER 3: Juan Gonzalez, c/o home, 4/4, 2 weeks
OCTOBER 17: Steve Trout, c/o home, 1/1, 6 weeks
OCTOBER 17: Leon Hooten, c/o home, 2/2, 1 month
OCTOBER 20: Gene Hiser, c/o home, 3/3, 2 months
NOVEMBER 17: Jim Corsi, c/o home, 5/5, 2 months
NOVEMBER 18: Scott Leius, c/o home, 5/5, 2 months
NOVEMBER 25: Mo Vaughn, c/o work, 4/4, 3 months
NOVEMBER 25: Steve Blass, c/o home, 2/2, 1 week
NOVEMBER 26: Ron Cey, c/o home, 2/2, 2 weeks

OCTOBER 17: Pascal Dupuis, c/o Penguins, 1/1, 1 year
NOVEMBER 18: Borje Salming, c/o work, 4/4, 1 month
NOVEMBER 21: Kelly Hrudey, c/o CBC, 7/6, 5 months (wrote note back)

OCTOBER 5: Nebo Bandovic, c/o work, 1/1, 1 week
OCTOBER 7: Terry Nicholl, c/o home, 3/3, 2 weeks
OCTOBER 7: John O’Hara, c/o home, 2/1, 1 week (wrote note back)
OCTOBER 7: Mike Fox, c/o home, 5/4, 2 weeks (wrote note back)
OCTOBER 11: Tim Schulz, c/o work, 3/2, 2 weeks (wrote letter back)
OCTOBER 11: Paul Krumpe, c/o work, 2/2, 2 weeks
NOVEMBER 5: Gary Stanley, c/o work, 1/1, 2 weeks to the UK
NOVEMBER 14: Steve Pittman, c/o son’s team, 2/1, 1 month to the UK (also signed my letter)
NOVEMBER 18: Mike Dowler, c/o work, 9/4, 1 month to the UK (wrote letter back and signed both the front and back of cards)
NOVEMBER 23: Dominic Feltham, c/o work, 3/2, 1 month (wrote note back)
NOVEMBER 28: John Stollmeyer. c/o work, 1/1, 1 week

Adrian Beltre: stamped
Brandon Pirri: Now a NY Ranger (sent to Anaheim last season)
Bryan Harvey: RTS, no current address

Lee Cornwell: RTS, trying new address

Friday, October 14, 2016

38 months of non-returns

I'm in kind of a dead spot right now. I haven't sent any out in a few weeks (I'm waiting for my international postage so I can mail off my foreign soccer requests; my next batch of stamps comes on November 1) and so my returns have been minimal. It's also a dead spot for IP graphing since baseball is over and hockey has been a waste for quite a while.

So, just because I can't think of anything else to write about, everything I've mailed and not gotten back since I started this blog back in March of 2013. Not including soccer though since I have a whole other blog on it.

Maybe writing about them will exorcise some of the mailbox demons.

AUGUST 2, 2013
Manny Ramirez-- a longshot, and probably would have been ghost-signed anyway.

FEBRUARY 10, 2014
Derek Morris-- looks like he quit signing right about the time I sent.

JUNE 16, 2014
Bob Golic-- always a spotty signer, and I just missed one of those good-signing streaks.

JULY 14, 2014
Al Bumbry-- not sure what happened here; usually he's been a good returner, but mine just slipped through the cracks, I guess.

OCTOBER 3, 2014
Brook Jacoby-- another who is typically spotty, I'm now 0/2 on him; I may have to try him with the Blue Jays once I get my set card again

FEBRUARY 22, 2015
Paul Molitor-- seems like I mailed during a cold spell; he's another who is on-again, off-again as a signer.

MARCH 9, 2015
Steve Sullivan-- another longshot that failed; he's never been a good TTM signer.

JULY 24, 2015
Mick Vukota-- another longshot as I've never seen a success from him at any point, but I needed him for a set

JULY 25, 2015
Bob Grich and Jason Woolley-- Woolley hasn't signed by mail in a long time, and Grich came right at the end of his previous "one free, $5 for others" policy that is now a straight $5 for all

AUGUST 5, 2015
Jeffrey Loria, Jim Kiick, Miroslav Satan-- all longshots so I wasn't expecting much; I later picked up Loria and Kiick in trades and may have gotten Satan in trade too-- I'd have to look it up

AUGUST 22, 2015
Roman Cechmanek-- the first international mailing that hasn't come back, so this is a bit of a surprise

AUGUST 31, 2015
Mike Heath, Rich Hebner, Phil Housley-- very surprised at these, as all three have had fairly high success rates lately; I saw a success from Housley right after I sent, and none since

Gary Pettis-- major surprise: he's typically good via mail (just not IP)

Alex Tanguay, Pascal Dupuis-- major surprise; these guys typically are good and both seems to have just quit signing in 2015

DECEMBER 29, 2015
Daymond Langkow, Tony Amonte, Mike Richter, Owen Nolan, Todd Bertuzzi-- all total Hail Mary attempts on some Topps Total needs

JANUARY 7, 2016
Albert Pujols-- missed the Christmas gravy train

JANUARY 20, 2016
Borje Salming-- looks like I had an old address for him

FEBRUARY 18, 2016
Steven Kampfer, Jussi Jokinen, Aaron Ekblad, Erik Gudbranson, Jonathan Huberdeau, Shawn Thornton, Vincent Trocheck, Jaromir Jagr, John Madden, Al Montoya-- these were the photos I ordered for the failed Panthers' IP attempt, and I have had remarkably few come back signed: a depressing waste of money, to say the least

MARCH 7, 2016
Dennis Martinez, Rod Carew, Denny McLain-- Martinez is an on-again, off-again signer; Carew usually would do it at Spring Training but didn't this season; McLain stopped signing due to two "fans" who shall remain nameless who made a threat against him for him losing the card they sent him just before I mailed out (he still signs for a few bucks, at least)

MARCH 25, 2016
Dmitry Kulikov, Brandon Pirri, Nick Bjugstad, Reilly Smith-- see February 18.

MARCH 30, 2016
Lubomir Sekeras, Ladislav Nagy, Lubos Bartecko, Oleg Petrov-- a few more international attempts that haven't come back; before Cechmanek's 2015 non-return, I was a near-perfect 48/49 crossing borders (plus three RTS where I at least got my unsigned items back) but have been only 19/31 since (with one RTS)

MARCH 31, 2016
Greg Olson, Matt Merullo, Tony Perezchica, Ben Zobrist-- surprising on all but Zobrist, as I assume he'll catch up once the season is over

APRIL 4, 2016
Bill Withers, Donald Brashear, Rudy Poeschek-- all longshots, all failed so far; I should note that I continue to hold out some hope on 2016 mailings so I hesitate to call these failures yet

MAY 25, 2016
Joey Bosa, Laquon Treadwell, Ezekiel Elliott, Josh Doctson, Rashard Higgins, Cardale Jones, Christian Hackenberg, Corey Coleman, Tyler Ervin, Demarcus Robinson, Dak Prescott, Devon Johnson, Kenneth Dixon, Carson Wentz, Cody Kessler, Derrick Henry, Paxton Lynch, Braxton Miller-- again, we're early in the NFL season, so I'm sure at least a few of these guys will just catch up on mail in the offseason

MAY 31, 2016
Tom Tupa, Kevin Mack-- again, surprising these haven't come back, especially with my Dawg Pound return address labels...

JUNE 4, 2016
Kelly Hrudey, Jocelyn Lemieux, Gary Leeman-- Leeman hasn't signed in a few months, not has Lemieux, and Hrudey was out of CBC literally a couple days after I mailed out

JUNE 15, 2016
Kenny Walker, Frank Stams, Antonio Langham, Ralf Mojsiejenko-- Langham often takes a few months, Walker and Stams haven't signed since before I mailed, and Mojsiejsnko was a longshot

JULY 26, 2016
Pat Leahy-- another who typically takes a while, not too worried here

AUGUST 16, 2016
Andruw Jones, Adrian Beltre, Alex Rodriguez, Clayton Kershaw-- Kershaw does his in the offseason, Beltre I bet will too, A-Rod was a Hail Mary, and Jones seems to catch up every few months

AUGUST 22, 2016
Mo Vaughn-- another who hits the mailbox every few months

AUGUST 23, 2016
Gene Hiser-- surprising, as he typically takes only a week or two and the last success I saw came the day before I mailed.

AUGUST 24, 2016
Lance Johnson-- One Dog had put the pen down for a while, then came a short success streak so I figured I'd try him; I may have missed the hot streak

John Olerud, Rob Dibble, Jim Corsi, Scott Leius, Steve Trout, Hal Haydel, Jeff Montgomery, Mason Raymond-- Raymond probably will later in the hockey season; Montgomery is in the offseason, so any time now I'd expect this one; Haydel typically takes a while; Trout is a minor surprise; Leius, Corsi, and Olerud typically take a while; Dibble is a bit of a longshot

SEPTEMBER 19, 2016
Leon Hooten-- Should be coming just about anytime now, as he usually takes about a month; haven't seen any successes since March though.

I don't give up on any I mail since I've had some long waits come back (I've had 30 requests take a year or more but come back successfully), but still it's hard to hold out hope on some of these.

I also wonder about mail theft sometimes with the likes of Heath, Hebner, Olson, Merullo, and Perezchica, all of whom have high success rates on SCN (83%, 89%, 95%, 96%, and 98%, respectively). Granted, if you're desperate enough to steal cards of these guys, you're really in need.

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Baseball: That's a wrap!

...On IP outings until the toy drive at least. Or at least it probably is. I don't foresee myself going for the playoffs at all unless I hit the tunnel on the weekend for what will undoubtedly be a pointless and graphless outing.

The season ended pretty well. I went for Tampa Bay two of their three games, and hit the tunnel on two of three days.  Friday started off pretty slowly. I got in and found out that the Rays weren't taking BP, so it was just pitchers. And bullpen pitchers at that. And bullpen pitchers whom I largely had nothing for just to top off that turd sandwich. I did at least have two cards for Erasmo Ramirez, one of Dana Eveland thanks to a trade with Arron, and two of Alex Cobb who was the lone starter out there besides Drew Smyly (who did not sign).

After the pitchers went in, We dashed over to the Alumni line where Pete Incaviglia was signing. And not just signing, but signing up a storm. He signed 8 cards and the promo photo for me, and then after jumping back in line another 8 cards and took a photo with me. That took a whole 15 minutes. I probably could have gone through again, but I wanted to make sure to get Brian Anderson. We went up to the booth and he wasn't there-- it turned out he was down on the field for the pregame, so we headed down there and he came over to us as soon as he was done.

Anderson is from Geneva, Ohio, which is about 30 minutes from my hometown of Painesville, so we got to talking about the Cavs' Championship Parade since the Rays played in Cleveland when it was going on, so he said he got to be right out in the streets watching the celebration: "Tens of thousands of people in the streets who were all friends. Sure, you might get beaten up by one of these guys tomorrow, but that night everyone was high-fiving, celebrating, no problems anywhere." He signed two cards for each of us.

After this, we figured we might as well try the field one more time and were we ever glad we did. Plenty of players made up for the lack of BP signing by coming over to us and signing early-- three cards from Logan Forsythe, one from Richie Shaffer, eight from Tom Foley, one from Chris Archer, and one from Evan Longoria for my '72 project.

Saturday the tunnel was bad. We got Delino Deshields as the lone player to stop, signing my mini-helmet. I decided I might as well bring the mini ice cream helmets with me and do something with those, and they look great signed with a light blue paint pen. Inside, I got Corey Dickerson on a card, Chris Archer on another, Kevin Kiermaier on three, and Mikie Mahtook on one. Over at the alumni line, Danny Darwin signed eight.

Sunday, I only did the tunnel. It was better, but not by much. I got Nick Martinez, Justin Mashore, Hector Ortiz, and Steve Busby each on a card, with Jake Diekman, Shawn Tolleson, and Eric Nadel each signing a helmet. Diekman and Tolleson each signed on the side, so I may put a few players on each of those.

In the mail since my last update...

Gary Etherington, c/o home, 3/3, 2 weeks

David Nied, c/o home, 6/6, 2 weeks

Steve Zungul, c/o home, 7/7, 10 days
Tom Ragland, c/o home, 2/2, 2 weeks
Darren Daulton, c/o home, 2/4, 2 weeks, sent back two unsigned
Dale Hawerchuk, c/o Barrie Colts, 3/4, 4 months, kept one card

Don Leppert, c/o home, 1/2, 2 weeks, kept my 1972 Pirates team card
Tim Teufel, c/o NY Mets, 3/6, 2 weeks, kept 3 Mets cards, but signed Padres cards

Daryl Doran, c/o work, 5/5, 2 weeks
Steve Eise, c/o work, 1/1, 1 week
Tom Strunk, c/o home, 2/2, 1 week
Chris Kenny, c/o work, 2/1, 1 week, wrote a short note back

Buzz Capra, c/o home, 1/1, 1 week

Turk Wendell, c/o home, 4/4, 10 days
Dick Groat, c/o home, 1/1, 3 weeks

Terry Kennedy, c/o home, 5/5, 1 month
Tom Kain, c/o work, 3/3, 1 month
Branko Segota, c/o home, 5/5, 2 weeks
Duncan MacEwan, c/o work, 2/1, 1 week, signed my letter as well - marks 500 for my MISL project (out of about 800 needed)

Joe Nathan, c/o SF Giants, 2/2, 1 month
Theo Kulsdom, c/o home, 4/3, 2 weeks to the Netherlands, wrote a short note back
John Bain, c/o work, 2/1, 2 week, wrote a short note back
Jeff Cacciatore, c/o work, 2/1, 1 week, wrote a short note back

Just waiting on my European postage to get here and I'll have about 20 overseas requests to mail off as well-- mostly soccer, but two hockey ones in there as well.

Also, Alfredo Griffin came back... badly ghost-signed after a year and a half wait. Save your stamps.

Monday, September 19, 2016

Mid-September update

Alright, so, time for that update I said I was going to do and never did until now...

Mark Mettrick, 4/4, c/o home, 11 months

Mike Hough, 6/6, c/o home, about 2 months

Frisco vs. Tulsa IP
Ryan Garko - 7/7, 4/4
Lars Anderson - 1/3
Terrmel Sledge - 7/7
Andrew Sopko - 4/4
Willie Calhoun - 3/3
Joey Curletta - 1/1
Bill Simas - 6/6
Josh Sborz - 2/2
Alex Verdugo - 4/4
Chase DeJong - 2/2
Yaisel Sierra - 1/1
Daniel Corcino - 4/4
Jeff Malm - 3/3
Kyle Farmer - 1/1
Jason Hart - 9/9
Carson Blair - 2/2
Carlos Maldonado - 3/3
Joe Jackson - 4/4
Kellin Deglan - 4/4
Scott Carroll - 3/3
Luke Jackson - 4/4
Isaiah Kiner-Falefa - 4/4
Darin Mastroianni - 1/2

Jim Mason, c/o home, 4/4, 1 week
Bob Reynolds, c/o home, 4/3, 1 week-- kept my 1972 card (he might not sign it anymore since it features him with the now-deceased Darrell Porter) but enclosed two signed photos

Steve Christie, c/o home, 6/6, 1 month
Paul Schaal, c/o home, 3/3, 1 week

Ed Romero, c/o home, 6/6, 1 week
Bob Gebhard, c/o home, 1/1, 1 week

Gary Neibauer, c/o home, 3/3, 2 weeks
Stan Williams, c/o home, 3/2, 1 week, personalized and wrote a short note back answering my question
Bill Greif, c/o home, 3/3, 1 week

Rangers-Indians IP
Terry Francona 1/2
Francisco Lindor 1/1
Cody Allen 1/2
Abraham Almonte 2/4
Tyler Naquin 1/2, 1/1
Danny Salazar 1/1
Mike Clevinger 1/1
Bryan Shaw 1/1
Tim Crabtree 8/8
Rick Manning 7/7
Trevor Bauer 1/1
Mike Napoli 1/4, 1/1
Jurickson Profar 1/1, 1/1
Jonathan Lucroy 1/1
Delino DeShields Jr. 4/4
Mitch Moreland 1/1
Doug Brocail 8/8
Brad Holman 2/2
Colby Lewis 2/2

Otis Sistrunk, c/o home, 1/1, 1 week

Fred Scherman, c/o home, 3/3, 1 week
Dave Duncan, c/o home, 4/4, 1 week

Jon Matlack, c/o home, 5/5, 11 days

Dick Bosman, c/o home, 3/3, 2 weeks
Fred Stanley, c/o home, 4/4, 2 weeks

Bert Campaneris, c/o home, 1/1, 2 weeks

Connor Cook, c/o Oakland Raiders, 2/2, 3 months
Rich Karlis, c/o home, 2/3, 6 weeks, kept one card
Chris Speier, c/o Washington Nationals, 4/4, 2 weeks
Reggie Cleveland, c/o home, 2/2 for $2, 2 weeks

Craig Coxe, c/o work, 6/6, 3 weeks - hadn't seen a success from him in 15 years!
Dave Johnson (Twins pitcher), c/o home, 4/3, 1 week, wrote a short note back

Bobby Smith, c/o Halifax Mooseheads, 5/6, 4 months
A.J. Lachowecki, c/o home, 2/2, 1 week
Tito Francona, c/o home, 1/1, 1 week

Chuck Essegian, c/o home, 1/1, 1 week

Ray Busse, c/o home, 1/1, 1 week

Frank Howard, c/o home, 3/3, 10 days
Hal Naragon, c/o home, 3/1, 10 days - added another signed card and wrote a short note back

Sam Militello, c/o work, 4/4, 11 days
Greg Gagne, c/o home, 6/6, 11 days
Leroy Stanton, c/o home, 2/2, 11 days
Kevin Crow, c/o work, 4/4, 11 days

I ended up skipping my potential Labor Day Frisco outing due to a sore foot. Not sure what happened, it was fine by the evening, but still, not being able to put much weight on it without major pain made me not want to chance it. I still have one more Rangers outing later this month. Hoping for a good Alumni signer at least.

I've started mailing out a lot more soccer and baseball over the last few weeks-- and I need to update the soccer blog as well.

Since returning from vacation in July, I've mailed a bunch. Still waiting on...

JULY 26: Pat Leahy
AUGUST 16: Andruw Jones, Adrian Beltre, Alex Rodriguez, Clayton Kershaw
AUGUST 22: Mo Vaughn
AUGUST 23: Gene Hiser
AUGUST 24: Lance Johnson
SEPTEMBER 6: Joe Nathan, David Nied, John Olerud, Rob Dibble, Jim Corsi, Terry Kennedy, Scott Leius, Darren Daulton, Steve Trout, Tim Teufel, Tom Ragland, Hal Haydel, Jeff Montgomery, Dick Groat, Don Leppert, Mason Raymond, George Fernandez, Victor Nogueira, Desmond Armstrong, Tino Lettieri, Waad Hirmez, Joe Papaleo, Gregg Willin, Gary Etherington, Dave Clements, Tom Kain, Terry Brown
SEPTEMBER 12: Steve Zungul, Daryl Doran, Wes Wade, Duncan MacEwan, Chico Borja
SEPTEMBER 19: Theo Kulsdom, Ted Krafft, Steve Eise, Thomas Strunk, John O'Hara, Sean Phillips, Mike Fox, Branko Segota, Chris Kenny, Leon Hooten, Turk Wendell, Buzz Capra

I also had a failed attempt on Mike Fox. It turns out the owner of M&M Paper is NOT the Mike Fox who played pro soccer. Attempt #2 (to Colorado instead of California) went in the mail this morning.