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.

Monday, August 29, 2016

Masochism Defined: Working on a signed set from the 1970s in the 2010s

Two years ago, I decided to work on getting the 1972 Topps set signed. I'm not sure if I had a stroke or what exactly it was that caused me to think this was a good idea. But I set forth to see how far I could get.

I knew going in that I would never complete it. 787 cards, the high numbers are short-printed, many are deceased (Roberto Clemente is on three cards in the set), many who charge (Willie Mays at $300 per? Not happening), some who can't even be found (Hello Mike Kekich; if you're reading this, I have a card I'd like you to sign).

Plus it's not just 787 sigs needed, but 861. Every team had a card with their "Rookie Stars" on it (two, usually three players), plus a few teams had more than one (Minnesota had one early and late). There were even a few multi-player multi-team Rookie Stars. The League Leaders all had three (and in one case four) players. Gil Hodges actually died before his card even came out; so it could have almost been 862.

And to make matters worse, I decided I should try to get the 2013 Mini 72 inserts signed too. So that's another 95. And the 2013 Archives cards in the design (another 48). So we're dealing with a project of 1,004 total signatures needed to complete it. AKA, not happening.

On the positive side, SCN has been a godsend. Over the past two weeks, I've pulled in about 60 that I need through trades.

This is where the Rangers Alumni events have been a goldmine. They bring in Bump Wills and Curtis Wilkerson quite often, and it seems that everyone on SCN has one or both of these guys on their want lists.

Also, plenty of these guys sign TTM for free, so it's not as bad as it could be (i.e. 100-card sets with Jeter, A-Rod, and all the big names).

Next week I'll have an update of who all I've gotten the last few weeks whether IP, TTM, or trade. I have one final IP outing to Frisco coming next weekend and at least one more baseball outing in September.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

August Update

I'm lazy, I know, shut up.

Since vacation to Michigan and Minnesota took up most of my extra money, I've limited myself on Rangers games. In other words, I've been to none from the Indians series in April up to Alumni Weekend in late July. And frankly, I haven't missed it at all. Frisco has been good, the Alumni were good, that's good enough for me.

I've also slowed down a bit on TTMs, but have picked up a ton in purchases and trades lately at least. So, a rundown. We'll start with the TTMs...

Rod Seiling, c/o Ontario Racing Commission, 1/1, 2 weeks
Steven Finn, c/o home, 6/6, 2 weeks

Harry Newsome, c/o home, 3/3, 1 week
Ed "Too Tall" Jones, c/o home, 3/3, 1 week

Dennis Smith, c/o home, 6/6, 1 week

Rich Camarillo, c/o home, 5/5, 2 weeks
Andy Van Hellemond, c/o home, 4/3, 3 weeks, added personalized signed postcard
Tim Hunter, c/o Moose Jaw Warriors, 4/4, 1 month
Jared Goff, c/o LA Rams, 3/3, 1 month

Steve Larmer, c/o home, 6/6, 35 days
Mark Murphy, c/o home, 5/5, 20 days

Reggie Langhorne, c/o home, 6/6, 38 days
Randall McDaniel, c/o home, 2/2, 23 days

Mike Baab, c/o home, 5/5, 39 days
Paul Perkins, c/o NY Giants, 3/3, 45 days, added "Sorry you're a Browns fan" to one.

Mike Horan, c/o home, 4/4, 28 days, personalized all four

Chris Mohr, c/o home, 4/4, 30 days

Randy Gilhen, c/o Manitoba Moose Alumni, 5/5, 46 days

Kevin Butler, c/o home, 5/5, 9 days

Ray Wersching, c/o home, 4/4, 11 days
Chris Jacke, c/o home, 6/6, 11 days

My IP 'graphing has been minimal as well. I took most of June and July off due to vacation, but got back at it later in the month. I plan to do a game in Frisco in a week and a half. But I did at least gert the Rangers' Alumni...

Mike Bacsik Sr., 3/2
Cecil Espy, 4/4
Benji Gil, 4/4
Donald Harris, 4/4
Dave Hostetler, 4/4
Kevin Mench, 4/4, 4/4
Jim Norris, 4/4
Claude Osteen, 2/1
Ken Pape, 1/1
Jeff Russell, 4/4
Donnie Sadler, 4/4
Scott Sheldon, 2/2
Mike Simms, 4/4
Marty Stajduhar, 1/0
Don Stanhouse, 4/4
Ken Suarez, 2/2
Ellis Valentine, 1/4
John Wetteland, 1/4
Curtis Wilkerson, 4/4

Mike Adams, 4/4
Gerald Alexander, 4/4
Tucker Ashford, 3/3
Mark Brandenburg, 1/0
Keith Creel, 2/2
Cecil Espy, 4/4
Bill Fahey, 1/1
Jeff Frye, 4/4
Jim Gideon, 1/0
Jose Guzman, 1/0
Rich Hand, 4/4
Larry Hardy, 1/1
Toby Harrah, 4/4
Donald Harris, 4/4
Rick Henninger, 1/0
David Hulse, 4/4
Pat Mahomes, 4/4
Pete O'Brien, 4/4
Don Stanhouse, 3/3
Todd Van Poppel, 1/0, 8/8
DeWayne Vaughn, 2/2
Jamey Wright, 4/4

Ian Desmond, 2/2
Tom Grieve, 1/1
Bobby Jones, 4/4
Mitch Moreland, 1/1
Spike Owen, 4/4

And then a week later, a surprise outing for the Vote Yes campaign to bring a new ballpark to Arlington (irony: I likely will vote no).

Jeff Russell, 8/8
Darren Oliver, 8/8
Bump Wills, 6/6
Chuck Morgan, 1/1
Todd VanPoppel, 10/9
Kevin Mench, 1/0
Jim Sundberg, 9/8 (3x5 photo)

And finally, I'm not going to list them all but I bought a ton for my hockey want lists. Look to the right and you'll see my set percentages have gone vastly upward. I'm only two short now on 2007-08 UD Rookie Class and less than 20 short on 2002-03 Topps Total.  I've also made a few trades for some more 1972 Topps cards.

I'm planning on mailing out a bunch here soon once my SportLots purchases come rolling in. At the very least, I plan on trying Adrian Beltre and Clayton Kershaw with set needs, as well as taking a flyer on Alex Rodriguez. He signed some late last season/offseason so with his retirement, it might be worth mailing to him.

Sunday, June 19, 2016

May/June Update

A brief rundown from the past month. I haven't done any Rangers' outings in a while. The cost, lack of return on time invested, limited interest, and just outright laziness have prevented me from doing so. I'll probably do alumni weekend and the Indians and that's about it.

That reminds me, I need to check my alumni box and restock before vacation in a month...

MAY 22, San Antonio at Frisco
Ryan Cordell 1/1 on program
Brian Shouse 1/1 on photo
Isiah Kiner-Falefa 3/3
Joe Jackson 2/2
Preston Beck 2/2
Jason Hart 3/3
Carlos Maldonado 4/4
Joe Mikulik 2/2
Lewis Brinson 6/6
Kellin Deglan 2/3
Ronald Guzman 4/4
Mike Olt 3/8, 2/5
Trevor Hoffman 1/1
Kyle Lloyd 3/3
Jose Rondon 2/2
Rafael DePaula 1/3
Phillip Wellman 2/2
Taylor Lindsay 2/7
Auston Bousfield 2/2
Jimmy Jones 6/6
Nick Torres 3/3
Gabriel Quintana 2/2

JUNE 4, Springfield at Frisco
Victor Payano, 3/3
Preston Beck, 2/2
Paul DeJong, 3/3
Breyvic Valera, 4/4
Dann Bilardello, 2/4
Carson Kelly, 1/8
Harrison Bader, 3/3
Jason Simontacchi, 4/8
Andrew Morales, 3/4
Joe Jackson, 3/3
Kellin Deglan, 4/4
Ryan Cordell, 1/1
Yohander Mendez, 1/1
Zach Cone, 4/4
Connor Sadzeck, 1/1
Luis Ortiz, 2/4
Carlos Maldonado, 4/4
Ronald Guzman, 4/4
Lewis Brinson, 5/5
Jose Canseco, 2/2

May 27, Vitali Yachmenev
May 28, Brady Quinn
June 7, Mike Phipps
June 9, Larry Bowa
June 9, Tyler Boyd
June 10, Joe Oliver
June 14, Dave Boncek
June 15, Eddie Shack
June 16, Byung-Hyun Kim
June 18, Mike Gartner
June 18, Charlie Silvera

2 Bump Wills
6 Jeff Russell
1 John Burkett
1 Sergei Zholtok

Lastly, here's what the Topps Total want list now looks like with Yachmenev and Zholtok added. We're under 30 to go...

Friday, May 20, 2016

April and May Mailbag, and some Frisco IP

As I said over on the soccer blog, I've fallen behind as usual, but with good reason. I've been playing floorball, and doing music with my church (Oak Cliff Unitarian Universalist) every week. And I want to add more music to the schedule. Plus my Cavs and Penguins are alive in the NHL and NBA playoffs. So most of my focus has been elsewhere.

But the mailbox has at least had some returns come rolling in.

Mike Sandlock, c/o home, 1/1, 8 days. Postmarked the day he died. Spooky.

Kevin Tapani, c/o home, 6/6, 9 days. One of the few MLB players with Finnish background.

Denver LeMaster, c/o home, 3/2, 10 days. Also signed the protective index card I put in.

Duffy Dyer, c/o home, 3/3, 10 days

Paul O'Neill, c/o home, 2/3, 42 days. Kept one card, but returned my $5 bribe.
Jeff Reed, c/o home, 3/5, 14 days

Richard Zednik, c/o team, 4/4, 20 days to Slovakia
Trevor Linden, c/o team, 2/4, 20 days to Canada, kept two cards

Rod Langway, c/o home, 1/1, 22 days

Damian Miller, c/o home, 3/3, 18 days

Wendel Clark, c/o restaurant, 4/4, 33 days
Jeff Odgers, c/o home, 5/5, 33 days
Pokey Reese, c/o home, 6/6, 32 days

Ed Kranepool, c/o home, 3/3, 30 days

I also got out to do some IP 'graphing in Frisco on April 30...
Dave Borkowski, 3/3
Alex Bregman, 8/8
AJ Davis 2/2
Derek Fisher, 2/2
Conrad Gregor 2/2
Francis Martes, 1/1
Teoscar Hernandez, 4/4
Cy Sneed, 2/2
Danry Vasquez, 2/2
Dan Radison, 1/1
Chris Gimenez, 1/1
Isiah Kiner-Falefa, 1/1
Kellin Deglan, 3/3
Carlos Maldonado, 1/1
Jason Hart, 5/5
Preston Beck, 1/1
Lewis Brinson, 2/2

I'll be hitting Frisco again this weekend for San Antonio and mailing out a few football, soccer, and baseball requests.

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Hounding Report: Cleveland Indians, April 1-2, and the Mailbox

Had the first outing to the Ballpark of the season, with absolutely zero luck at the tunnel on Saturday.

Fortunately inside was much better, as I got 23 cards signed by the Indians over two games. Briefly...

Francisco Lindor, 1/2
Jason Bere, 4/4
Brad Mills, 2/2
Bryan Shaw, 2/3
Zach McAllister, 3/3
Roberto Perez, 1/1
Jose Ramirez, 2/2
Trevor Bauer, 1/1
Mike Napoli, 1/1

Francisco Lindor, 1/1
Trevor Bauer, 1/2
Mike Napoli, 2/4
Joba Chamberlin, 2/4

I've also had a few come in via mail-- most can be seen on the Soccer project blog, but outside the MISL Alumni world, I got a few others...

March 23: Aleksander Barkov, c/o Panthers, 2/2, 1 month

March 24: Ron Guidry, c/o Yankees Spring Training, 2/2, 2 weeks

March 26: Bobby Valentine, c/o Sacred Heart University, 1/1, 3 weeks

I also mailed out a ton since the last update. 17 hockey, 14 baseball, 5 soccer, 1 football, and 1 non-sports-related.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Mail Out, Mail In

I sent out a total of 44 requests so far in March from the 4th through the 14th. As of yesterday, I've had 11 successes and 1 RTS, plus a success from earlier. Mailings have included...

Baseball: Brooks Robinson

Baseball: Rod Carew, Paul O'Neill (with $5), David Cone, Adrian Beltre, Dennis Martinez, Denny McLain, Bobby Valentine, Jim Walewander, Kent Hrbek, and John Wockenfuss
Soccer: Paul Wright, Preki, Tatu, Kai Haaskivi (written in Finnish), Jim Gorsek, Bruce Savage

Baseball: Ryne Sandberg (with $5)
Soccer: Don Popovic, Doug McLagan, Batata, Jim Gabarra, Paul Dougherty, Greg Ion, Eddie Radwanski, Mark Simanton, Kevin Hundelt, Charley Greene, Chico Moreira

Baseball: Ron Guidry

Soccer: Alan Mayer, Stan Cummins, David Boncek, Kelly Mock, Brian Hall, Gino D'Ippolito, Esse Baharmast, Marty Templin (with Herb Silva), Ricky Davis, Ted Eck, Tony Glavin, Freddie Thompson, Jean Willrich, Gerry Gray

Everything started rolling in on March 14, as Kent Hrbek came back with 1/1 signed in 7 days. Also from my February mailing came Denis Potvin, surviving a mauling attempt from the postman. He signed a 11x14 photo, personalized to me with his HHOF year added.

Took only a month!
After two days with nothing, March 17 brought in 3 cards from John Wockenfuss, March 18 got three cards and a note on the envelope from Don Popovic, and March 19 brought three cards and a note from Charley Greene and 5 cards from Jim Walewander. I sent Walewander six cards; he kept five but sent four of his own customs. Apparently he's become an artist and does a webcomic now in his post-playing career.

Yeaterday was the big one. Sandberg, Beltre, Gray, Eck, Savage, and Davis all rolled in. The six successes ties my best single day ever.

I also had a RTS the same day that Popovic arrived: my third attempt on Chico Moreira got returned. I'm done on him until I find an address that has had a success.

I may go off-topic this week. I painted my own goalie mask for floorball and might show off the process that went into it. We finished fourth in our tournament on Saturday, but I had the second best GAA among all goalies in it (only a former goalie for the French National Team had better numbers).

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Outbox for March

Got stamps, so let's get to mailing. Here's who all have gone out so far...

HOCKEY: Aleksander Barkov, Aaron Ekblad, Erik Gudbranson, Jonathan Huberdeau, Jaromir Jagr, John Madden, Al Montoya, Dennis Potvin, Vincent Trocheck, Shawn Thornton, Jussi Jokinen, Steven Kampfer, Roberto Luongo (received last week)

BASEBALL: Brooks Robinson

BASEBALL: Rod Carew, Paul O'Neill, David Cone, Adrian Beltre, Dennis Martinez, Denny McLain, Bobby Valentine, Jim Walewander, Kent Hrbek, and John Wockenfuss
SOCCER: Paul Wright, Preki, Tatu, Chico Moreira, Kai Haaskivi, Jim Gorsek, and Bruce Savage

HOCKEY: Nick Bjugstad, Brandon Pirri, Dmitry Kulikov, Reilly Smith
BASEBALL: Ryne Sandberg
SOCCER: Don Popovic, Doug McLagan, Alan Mayer, Nilton Batata, Jim Gabarra, Paul Dougherty, Greg Ion, Eddie Radwanski, Mark Simanton, Stan Cummins, Kevin Hundelt, David Boncek

I'll have more to add to this list as well. I bought a full roll, so I can send out about 50-ish requests total.

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Hitting the mailbox

Gotten a couple back recently so I may as well do a quick update.

After about a 6-month wait, Gary Redus signed five cards for me. Glad tyo get this one back because I thought I had missed his window. He was signing a lot without much of a wait, then it all stopped right around the time I mailed out, but once I saw a few requests rolling back in on Facebook groups I figured mine would be close behind.

This isn't always the case though: I still haven't gotten Richie Hebner back, even though I only sent three cards and saw plenty sent after mine returned successfully to their collectors. I'm assuming it somehow got lost.

The best one though, is a five-time NHL All-Star, Jennings Trophy winner, two-time World Championship, World Cup, AND two-time Olympic gold medallist who only took two weeks to sign a 11x14 photo.

Roberto Luongo!

It's not the greatest sig I've ever seen and he didn't put my requested inscription, but I certainly have no complaints about the speed. And it largely matches what I've gotten from him before.

Here's to hoping a few more of those 11x14 photos will come rolling in soon.

Sunday, February 28, 2016

Hounding Report: Dallas Stars Alumni

For the third year in a row, the Stars hosted an alumni game and for the second time, they've had a pregame autograph signing. I had high hopes this year-- Jason Arnott was on the list, and I haven't gotten him since he was playing for Edmonton.

Arron, Jake, and I went downtown early hoping to catch the Rangers at their hotel. Unfortunately the bus pulled up to a side entrance and about 12 other graphers were there. All I got was head coach Alain Vigneault on a puck.

We got in line pretty early for the alumni signing at least. Unfortunately Jason Arnott canceled and was replaced by Andy Moog... and I left all my Moog cards at home. Double suckage: I have a set card for him. Looks like it's going into the mail if I can figure out which address is best for him.

Aside from that, everything went well. They had spots for Shawn Chambers and Ed Belfour, but they had their on-stage commitment first so I missed out. Also pulling a no-show surprisingly was Bob Bassen, and not-so-surprisingly was Gerald Diduck. You may recall Diduck no-showed last year as well and was a one-per signer at a pregame alumni event a few years back. But as I'm sure I said with my Rangers' Alumni post a while back I don't mind that much. I'd rather a player be on the list and no-show than to not be on the list and show up. It's better to have cards that I don't need than to need cards I don't have.

On the plus side, those who did show up and sign were great. Brent Severyn signed four cards, as did Greg Adams, Stu Barnes, Bill Huard, and Al Secord. Dan Blackburn signed four cards and a puck, and Jere Lehtinen signed the three cards I had room for. I only put three because one was a horizontal jersey card. I did throw in a "Kiitos paljon" (Thank you very much in Finnish) and got a "Ole hyva" back. I'm half Finnish but I know incredibly little of the language-- I can introduce myself, say thanks, count to ten, and curse a lot.

Overall, not too bad despite the near-shutout on the Rangers. Had I not had to drive to Decatur on Friday I would have gotten them at their practice in Frisco. Hoping the Avs will practice when they come in a few weeks. I also got a few signed at the Sidekicks game on Thursday. Full details on that are on the Pacific Soccer Project blog.