Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Goodbye Alumni Legacy Weekend?

The first thing I noticed this year when the Rangers' Promotional Schedule came out?

It wasn't the ridiculous SEVEN bobblehead giveaways (do they have seven players worth commemorating?).

It wasn't the two t-shirts (give me a wearable over a knick-knack any day, thanks).

It wasn't the four concerts, three of whom I've never heard of in my life (Toadies FTW).

It was the lack of the annual Alumni Legacy Weekend.

Alumni Weekend, as you may recall, is the biggest event I go to every year. The Rangers would typically bring in between 20 and 40 players who would sign autographs before either one or two of the weekend's games. Usually the team would also induct one or two people into the team Hall Of Fame.  This year of course is the much-deserved retirement of Ivan Rodriguez's number. I would have figured that would replace the Hall of Fame induction, but that there would still be an Alumni Weekend.

And yet, nothing.

The prevailing sentiment over at TAC is that a few players will likely be around that weekend at least, but that the Rangers got tired of complaints about how poorly it was run or the terrible selection of alumni who are at the event.

If the latter was your complaint, shame on you. If we're being honest, the Rangers are not the Yankees. No World Series wins, not even an appearance until 2010. They didn't even play a meaningful October game until 1996, and won one whole playoff game--not even a playoff series, a single playoff GAME-- until that 2010 season.

Additionally, it's not like the big names tend to stay in the area. Most have gone onto bigger things with bigger teams, and lived elsewhere in retirement.  While it's true that many teams have better player selections, many of those teams also have more alumni living in their area. Cite Hall of famers Gaylord Perry, Nolan Ryan, Fergie Jenkins, Goose Gossage, Bert Blyleven, and perfect-game pitcher Kenny Rogers all you want: the fact is they aren't going out of their way for a weekend without a big reason, and as far as I know no team will spring for a flight, hotel, food, and ground transportation for them all.  Most of the past alumni who come out live locally or just happen to be in town that weekend.

And I'm okay with that. It's great to see guys I watched as a kid in Cleveland like Pete O'Brien and Jerry Browne. I enjoy getting to chat with Claude Osteen and Toby Harrah (his wife is a hoot). And I finally found a photo of Scott Sheldon pitching that I was hoping to get signed.

Sure, they can run things with it far better. It would be nice to see a list of probable, or at least potential players, further than a few hours in advance. Several teams with similar events have a list out weeks ahead of time. I would rather know a player might be there and not have him show up than to find out a player is there that I had no idea about. That way I can have cards I might not need instead of needing cards I don't have: for example Tucker Ashford in 2016, Mario Ramos in 2014, and Steve Dreyer in 2013.

But Alumni Legacy Weekend is a popular event with fans regardless. And the long lines for guys like Gerald Alexander, Rick Henninger, and Jim Gideon should be evidence of that. None of them even pitched 100 innings in the majors, and yet the fans still flock to meet them.

I hope this is just a one-year thing, that it was canceled this season to keep it Pudge-centric. But when one considers the preposterous greed shown by this organization in jacking up prices for tickets and parking every year, standing strong against having a public transit line that comes into Arlington to maximize that parking money, and most of all making empty threats of moving if the city doesn't replace their still-VERY-new stadium, it just smacks of evidence that we won't be seeing another Alumni Weekend again.

Thank you to the former Rangers that I got to meet. It was good while it lasted.

Monday, July 3, 2017

The rest of June

The last paragraph of my last entry said "June is bound to be a busy one."

Well, yeah. I ended up adding 250 autographs to the collection, my most successful month ever. Most were in-person via ballgames.

I actually had only one non-soccer TTM. The soccer ones can be viewed on the Soccer blog, linked to the right. Aside from that, just one, but it's a major one for me...

JUNE 23
Oleg Petrov, c/o Montreal Canadiens, 4/4, a year and a half

I'm down to only 15 left on the 2002-03 Topps Total set!

Fortunately I had a nice start to the month with a couple ballgames, then hit up the Texas League All-Star Game and did pretty well there...

OUTSIDE
Jon Singleton 3/4
Joe Mikulik 1/1

INSIDE DURING BP
B.J. Boyd 3/3

NORTH DIVISION TABLE
Zac Curtis 3/3
Peter Tago, 3/4
Tyler Marlette 4/4
Oscar Mercado 2/3
Dakota Hudson 1/3
Steve Luebber 1/1
Leon Roberts 4/4
Sam Selman 4/4
Vance Wilson 4/4

SOUTH DIVISION TABLE
Viosergy Rosa 1/1
Ariel Jurado 4/4
Brian Shouse 1/1
Jason Hart 3/4
Isiah Kiner-Falefa 2/4
J.D. Davis 4/4
Kyle Lloyd 3/3
Luis Urias 1/3
Michael Kelly 2/2
Collin Wiles 3/3
Jose Trevino 3/3
Jon Singleton 1/1

BEFORE CELEBRITY SOFTBALL GAME
Mike Kiselak 2/2
Tim Crabtree 4/4
Ryan Drese 8/8
Kevin Mench 4/4
Marty Turco 4/4
Mike Adams 3/4
Steve Kent 3/3
Mark Brandenburg 1/1
Jose Guzman 4/4

DURING CELEBRITY SOFTBALL GAME
David Murphy 1/4

AFTER CELEBRITY SOFTBALL GAME
Willie Pile 1/1
David Murphy 1/3
Mike Adams 1/1
David Murphy 1/2

DURING WARMUPS
Leon Roberts 4/4
Oscar Mercado 1/1

Last, on Saturday July 1 I hit up possibly my final Frisco game of the season, vs. the Tulsa Drillers...

PREGAME
Walker Buehler 2/4
Leo Garcia 1/1
Bill Simas 5/5
Henry Ramos 1/3
Andrew Sopko 4/4

POSTGAME INSIDE
Ryan Garko 7/11
Josh Sborz 3/3

POSTGAME OUTSIDE
Connor Sadzeck 1/2
Jacob Newburn 1/1
Isiah Kiner-Falefa 3/3
Clayton Cook 2/2
Michael De Leon 1/1
Jason Hart 8/8
Carlos Maldonado 4/4
Andy Ibanez 1/4

Next up: some more mailings hopefully, as well as a pair of games in Oklahoma City at the end of July (28th vs. Reno, 29th vs. Tacoma). Time to start pulling and stocking!

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

JUNE 2
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

JUNE 3
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.

APRIL 3
Juan Samuel, c/o Phillies ST, 5/5, 2 months
Ryne Sandberg, c/o home, 1/1, 1 month with $$

APRIL 7
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

APRIL 10
George Stone, c/o home, 3/3, 1 month

APRIL 17
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.

APRIL 20
Michael Dean Perry, c/o home, 1/1, 6 days

APRIL 21
Brooks Robinson, c/o home, 2/2, 1 week with $$

APRIL 22
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

MAY 1
Glenn Hubbard, c/o Lexington Legends, 2/2, 3 weeks

MAY 5
Mariano Duncan, c/o Iowa Cubs, 4/4, 3 weeks

MAY 8
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.

MARCH 2
Gregg Blasingame, c/o Concorde Fire Soccer, 3/3, 17 months
Tom Egan, c/o home, 3/3, 7 weeks

MARCH 7
Brock Davis, c/o home, 2/2, 2 months

MARCH 11
Frank Tanana, c/o home, 7/6, 1 months, added his usual signed tract

MARCH 13
Ernie McAnally, c/o home, 3/2, 1 week, added signed photo

MARCH 14
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

MARCH 15
Ron Fairly, c/o home, 3/4, 1 week, returned one unsigned
Bob Horner, c/o home, 1/1, 1 week for $5

MARCH 16
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

MARCH 18
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

MARCH 24
Don Denkinger, c/o home, 2/1, 2 weeks, added signed business card
Gary DiSarcina, c/o Red Sox ST, 2/2, 2 weeks

MARCH 25
Tom Bradley, c/o home, 3/3, 3 weeks

MARCH 27
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

MARCH 30
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...

JANUARY 3
Claude Lemieux, c/o work, 6/6, 7 months

JANUARY 7
Wilbur Wood, c/o home, 5/5, 1 week, personalized all

JANUARY 10
Monty Montgomery, c/o home, 2/2, 2 weeks

JANUARY 12
Ray Christensen, c/o home, 3/2, 2 weeks, wrote short note back
Brian Sipe, c/o home, 4/4, 2 weeks

JANUARY 14
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

JANUARY 17
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

JANUARY 20
JP Dellacamera, c/o home, 2/1, 1 week, wrote a short note back

JANUARY 21
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

JANUARY 23
Frank Duffy, c/o home, 3/3, 2 weeks

JANUARY 24
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

JANUARY 26
Mike Paul, c/o home, 3/3, 1 week

JANUARY 27
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)

JANUARY 28
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

JANUARY 30
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

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

FEBRUARY 4
Nancy Faust (former Comiskey Park organist), c/o home, 5/2, 5 weeks (signed cards on both sides and wrote a note back)

FEBRUARY 10
Sean Phillips, c/o Soccer Stop in Columbia MD, 3/1, 5 months (signed card on front and back and wrote a note back)

FEBRUARY 11
Ted Sizemore, c/o home, 3/3, 1 month

FEBRUARY 15
Johnny Ray, c/o home, 4/4, 6 days

FEBRUARY 16
Dan Uggla, c/o home, 3/3, 7 weeks

FEBRUARY 17
Tom Brunansky, c/o home, 4/4, 1 week

FEBRUARY 21
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

FEBRUARY 22
Ron Guidry, c/o Yankees ST, 4/4, 2 weeks

FEBRUARY 24
Bill Lee, c/o home, 3/4, 5 weeks, kept my ’72 unfortunately (my 900th all-time TTM success!)

FEBRUARY 25
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

FEBRUARY 27
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

Ho-hum.

Friday, January 6, 2017

Heading into 2017...

Long list of successes!

BASEBALL
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

HOCKEY
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

SOCCER
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

FOOTBALL
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...

BASEBALL
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

HOCKEY
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)

SOCCER
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

FAILURES
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

SEPTEMBER 5, 2015
Gary Pettis-- major surprise: he's typically good via mail (just not IP)

SEPTEMBER 7, 2015
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

SEPTEMBER 6, 2016
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.