Sunday, March 9, 2014

Hounding Report: Modano Night, March 8; Stars' Practice, March 9; a couple TTM's and trades

It's been a while since I last had a graphing outing, which actually worked out alright. My wife finally got moved down here so we were able to spend time organizing the apartment and getting her acclimated to the area, and getting her a new job, for which she started training this week. Plus floorball has been taking off with new games added in Arlington, a scrimmage in Keene where we showed the Fort Worth Venom could become a force very quickly, league play in Flower Mound, and upcoming tournaments in Keene, Austin, and Arlington.

It's also given me time to start on a project of potentially selling off some unsigned cards that I don't need on eBay and figuring out who I can send to TTM to get some of these signed.  I've found enough signers to probably get out a couple thousand cards. The only limitations will be how much time I want to spend writing and how much money I can afford on postage.

And still, I've been able to add some new stuff to the collection.  I got back a couple TTM, including Jarome Iginla (2/3, sent back the third unsigned, signed in thin-tip blue) and Eric Metcalf (4/4, signed in black).  I also pulled a trade with a guy in Ontario, Mark.  He got a few guys I need for my sets plus some other stuff I want for a few he needs for his various sets. The first half has arrived with more on the way; I'll be getting his stuff out soon as well.

I also got a bunch from Corey up in New York, including a few that will go to Arron.  He's gotten a ton signed for me from the Atlantic League, including former Indians first baseman Ben Broussard and former NL ROY Dontrelle Willis.

And finally with March rolling in, I've had a chance to get back out on the 'graphing circuit.  Through a floorball contact, I got free tickets to Saturday's Stars game, featuring the Mike Modano jersey number retirement.  These tickets were tough to come by, selling upwards of $150 on StubHub and SeatGeek. Before the game, they were doing a Red Green Carpet walk-in with all the guests, many of whom stopped and signed.  Bob Gainey was the first one I got, as he signed the Canadiens puck I;ve been holding for quite a while.  Gainey was perfect for it because it's a 1980's puck, complete with John Ziegler's signature on the back NHL logo.  And he's a Hall of Famer. Gainey looked at me and said "Geez, you've got every thing going on there; Texas hat, Pittsburgh jacket, Minnesota shirt, and Montreal puck," as I had on my Rangers hat, Penguins jacket, North Stars shirt, and the puck. He signed it in gold, a great new addition for my desk.  I'll have to post a picture of the puck wall I've got going on there.

The rest of the time was tough-- a lot of guys skipped around signing so I didn't rack as much as I was hoping.  However, I could have handled it much better, getting to the front of the walkway instead of the middle, or even skipping it and trying the players at the hotel.  I did at least get Stewart Gavin (4/4 cards), Shawn Chambers (2/4), Guy Carbonneau (1/4), Jon Sim (3/3), Dave Reid (1/4), Gerald Diduck (1/4), Jamie Langenbrunner (2/4), and Jere Lehtinen (1/4).  I also got a pic with Brent Severyn, one of the NHL's top fighters in the mid 90's.  I was hoping to get pics with Basil McRae, Grant Marshall, and Shane Churla too, but I wasn't certain who was who. Most of these guys haven't played in 10-25 years and only getting a brief look at them on the video boards with a long delay in between due to their being asked to stop for interviews, photos, and signings along the way made it tough.

Hangin' with Sevy. I resemble a mustachioed 12 year old girl.
The ceremony was awesome.  I had been to a number retirement before but it was just AHL ones for Johnny Bower and Fred Glover in Cleveland, a good 40 years after they had played there.  This ceremony was well-done from start to finish and much deserved for Modano.  Honestly if it hadn't been for Modano, I likely wouldn't be living in Texas or even married to my wife. It's amazing how one little thing like that can change so many things.

Today, Chris and I hit up the Stars practice, trying the alternate entrance out.  Unfortunately not much luck was had.  Before practice, only Tim Thomas signed.  Nice guy though: coming out of his car I asked if he had time to sign my puck.  He stopped, looked at his watch and said "Sure thing," taking my pen and signing.  I asked if he could add "2x Vezina" to it, and he said "THAT I don't have time for."  Jokingly of course: he added it and it came out pretty nice.  Another great addition for the wall in my cubicle.

Despite his political leanings, Thomas is pretty cool
We went over to Plano for a card show, each picking up some stuff for TTM's and future Rangers alumni signings, as well as the few Stars cards we could find.  I also talked to Rich Klein, formerly of Beckett who ran the show.  He actually recognized me as a Rangers 'grapher. It had been about 10 years since my last show and this was a good one-- easily manageable both for dealers and consumers, but still had something for every type of collector.  Perhaps I'll set up a table at a future show.  It was only $25 per table which would certainly be doable.

After the show we bolted back to the Stars' facility, missing a lot.  We had originally planned on going to the main entrance but the crowd there was a bit much so we went to the back again.  We missed out on a bunch once again.  Chris went around front, getting Alex Goligoski, while I stayed at the back getting James Patrick on 4/4 cards.  Thomas signed again on his way out; unfortunately my silver pen died on me, so it didn't turn out too good.  I was hoping to send it up to Corey for his Vermont collection, but I'll likely get it redone before I do. I need to find a few Liquid Silver and Liquid Gold DecoColor pens.

TOTALS: 22 autographs IP, 6 autographs TTM, and several via trades (I'll count those later).

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