Sunday, November 8, 2015

Updated For Sale List

I have finally updated my "Autographs For Sale" list with many new autographed baseballs, photos, cards, etc. All items also have updated prices, and I'll be happy to email you any pictures upon request. To contact me about any of the items, you can refer to the "Contact Me" tab above.

Also, if there are any items that have caught your eye but are not on the list, feel free to email me asking about them. The worst I can say is "no". Many things are available for the right price, and all of the money is put right back in the hobby. Thanks for looking!

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Warren Moon: 10/31/15

Hall of Fame quaterback Warren Moon held a free signing at a local Dick's Sporting Goods store. The signing was scheduled from 10:00 to noon on Halloween morning, so I assumed that getting there around 8:00 would give me a decent spot in line. When I got to the event I was surprised at the amount of people that had already shown up. The first people in line had gotten there at 10:00 the night before, which is a bit crazy for my liking. I ended up still getting a spot near the back of the line and eventually found myself in the middle thanks to poor line management by the store.

Moon arrived on time and began signing for the long line. I'd say there was about 100 people in front of us, but it took about an hour and a half to get to the front of the line since Moon was signing multiple and inscribing for everyone. I can't complain though, since once I got up to him he was extremely nice and signed both of my items with the "HOF 06" inscription.

I had a few people ask me, "why a football player on a baseball?" Quite simply, baseballs are pretty much a universal item in the hobby. Plus, they're much easier to display than full size footballs, and much, much cheaper too! This should be my only recap for a few weeks, but I should have a pretty exciting one near the end of November. Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Baseball Season in Review + A Couple of Recent Aditions

It's clearly a bit late for this, but with the Angels missing the playoffs and me now having very little hope in the Blue Jays, I figured that it was a fair enough time to recap the 2015 baseball season (autograph-wise, of course).

2015 was a very weird season for me. I made a vow at the beginning of the year to not take autographing very seriously. I wasn't going to get stressed out over it like some people including my former self. I definitely think that paying for autographs and getting more quality signatures away from the ballpark helped the cause. I also did not write about many of the autographs that I got at Angel Stadium this year, so many of these will look new to my readers. That, of course, is my fault, but I felt that the various signing recaps and the Tristar National Convention was enough to keep people briefly entertained. So without any further interruptions, here are some of my favorite in person autographs from 2015:

1. 2015 Topps Heritage

One of my main goals for 2015 was to get as many 2015 Topps Heritage cards signed as possible. I know that I'll likely never complete the 500 card set, but reaching the 100 card mark in one season has me optimistic. Regardless, it is a cheap way to stay entertained throughout the year, and I ended up getting some pretty darn good names including the future AL MVP, Josh Donaldson, and AL Cy Young, Dallas Keuchel (courtesy of my friend Ryan), winners.  

2. New Faces

By new faces, I mean guys that I haven't posted about this season, including one of my favorite broadcasters and Ford F. Frick Award winner Marty Brennaman. 

I guess that Alex Bregman could qualify as a new face in a few different ways, but I was able to get the future Astro on a ball with "2015 #2 Pick".

Jim Palmer is always a great signer when he comes to town. This year I was able to get "Cakes" on a ball with his Cy Young years inscribed.

Craig Kimbrel has always been known as one of the nicest guys in baseball. Unfortunately, that has changed a bit since his trade to San Diego, but he kept his word and signed for me and several others while in Anaheim.

Ironically, I headed to Angel Stadium with nothing for this guy to sign, but as I was going through an old bag I discovered a brand new ROMLB, which is practically the grapher's equivalent of gold. Apparently it was destiny since Sonny Gray started signing over the dugout and eventually called for me to throw down my ball. It may be personalized, but I am beyond happy to have this after his breakout year.

3. Angels Team Ball

Every season I attempt to start and complete an Angels team ball. Last year I came fairly close to completing it, only needing the big three (Weaver, Pujols, Trout). This year I was able to get Trout, and I could have had Weaver if he hadn't skipped over me several times, and had Weaver in fact signed it, I likely would've paid for Pujols to complete this years. So there is another thing that I can blame Jered Weaver and his 82 MPH fastball on. (PS- I am actually a big Jered Weaver fan despite how terrible he is to fans.)

The ball still looks nice and I'm sure I could eventually complete it if I tried. But I'll likely end up starting over next year in hopes that 2016 will be the year that the Angels win another World Series.

Recent Pick-Ups:

This does not relate at all to the baseball season or my IP autos from it, but there have been a few things that I've been able to get that I've yet to show off. The first being this Nancy Bea bobblehead. If you remember, I advertised this event for my good friend Marc. Unfortunately I had to miss the event, but Marc was kind enough to set one aside for me.

Next up I was able to add a couple of things signed by local-girl Alex Morgan to my collection. The first being a signed Sports Illustrated with "15 WC Champs".

The other being a pair of signed Nike cleats with the same inscription.

That about does it for my 2015 baseball recap. As always, a big thanks to everyone who I hung out with at the stadium throughout the summer. And again, thanks for reading.

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Eric Dickerson: 10/11/15

Hall of Fame running back Eric Dickerson recently held a free autograph signing at the Southern California RV Show in Pomona. Since the signing was fairly close to home, I decided to check it out and also get a couple more items signed by the HOFer. On top of being a football legend, Dickerson is also one of the most genuine and kind athletes that you'll ever meet. Every time that I've met him he's sat there with a smile on his face, signs what ever you want, and inscribes what ever you ask. It's really a sight to behold, especially considering how some athletes treat their fans today.

Since I've met Dickerson multiple times, I decided to go with something different to get signed this time. I was able to find a SMU Mustangs mini helmet at nearby Frank and Sons and bought it before I had a chance to second guess myself. If you don't know the story behind Dickerson and SMU, I suggest that you look it up. ESPN even did a 30-For-30 special featuring the "Pony Express" and how the alleged illegal recruiting of Dickerson and other players led to the school's football team receiving the "death penalty". The whole thing is very fascinating, so I thought that it was pretty neat to get a SMU mini signed and inscribed "Pony Express".

I was also able to get a L.A. Rams mini helmet signed by Dickerson. I already had a Rams mini inscribed "HOF 99" from a few years ago, so I decided to get this one with "ROY 83". He also added "2105 yds" without me asking, which was (and still is) the record for most rushing yards in a single season.

I can't say enough about how nice Eric Dickerson truly is. It's always refreshing to see an athlete, and a legendary one at that, be so respectful towards their fans. That alone made the hour of standing in the heat well worth it. Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

My First Box Break (Sort Of): Leaf 2015 Autographed Baseball Edition

It's been quite a while since my last few posts, and I've been trying to fill up my September tab with at least a couple of posts before the month is over. In case you were worried, I can assure you that you did not miss much. September has always been a tough month when it comes to autographs, and this year there was an added kicker. Aside from school starting up and having to deal with homework, AP classes, etc., there was also a new addition to my family (I'm now officially an uncle). With that being said, there are a few things that I could post about, but I figured that this would be the most informative and interesting read.

For the second straight year (at least to my knowledge), Leaf released it's "Autographed Baseball Edition" boxes. They are available at Target for $40 each and includes one random autographed baseball. Now who that baseball is actually autographed by is sort of a crap-shoot. I've seen boxes with baseball signed by Ken Shamrock (yes, the wrestler) to Frank Thomas or Ivan Rodriguez. Some of the baseballs pulled are worth $40 on a good day, however I came across the final box at my local Target and decided to give it a shot. Here was the end result:

I ended up pulling a Boog Powell autographed baseball with "70 AL MVP". Powell was a 4x All-Star and, obviously, the American League MVP in 1970. He is also a member of the Baltimore Orioles Hall of Fame. Considering that Powell is 74 years old and likely never coming out west again, I was more than happy with the pull.

Each ball also comes with a Leaf COA and matching hologram.

If you happen to have some extra bucks lying around then I would suggest seeing if your local Target has a box left. I can't tell you exactly who or what to expect, but I've seen some people end up with Pudge, Thomas, Tony LaRussa, Bruce Bochy, Pete Rose, Jose Canseco, Wade Boggs, Jim Palmer, and even some old team autographed baseballs from the 1980's. It's sort of like going to a casino and playing $40 worth of slots, except you are guaranteed to come away with something in this case. If you've already bought a box or go out and buy one after reading this, make sure to comment who you got. I'm curious if there are any names that I have not heard of yet. Hopefully a few of you found this post interesting. Thanks for reading.  

Friday, September 18, 2015

Derrek Lee: 9/18/15

If you've been a fan of baseball over the past decade or so, then the name Derrek Lee likely rings a bell. The former Florida Marlin and Chicago Cub was one of the most dominant first basemen in all of baseball throughout the 2000's. Lee belted 30 or more HR's four times in his career, won a World Series with the Marlins in 2003, and a batting title with the Cubs in 2005. If it weren't for such a sudden fall from grace, Lee would likely be right next to Paul Konerko and Todd Helton as candidates for a late ballot Hall of Fame induction. 

Lee happened to be throwing out the first pitch before the second game of the California League (High-A ball) Championship series in Rancho Cucamonga. I got a last minute tip from one of my friends that Lee would be at the game and decided to head over since it was right down the street. Right as I walked through the front gates, I noticed Lee standing to my left and was able to knock out a pair of cards within second of being inside the ballpark.

The card on the left is a 1994 Rancho Cucamonga Quakes card that I imagine was part of a team set from that season. It happened to be inside of a large box of cards that I purchased for $2 at a yard sale many years back. I was fairly surprised (and impressed) that I remembered the card from so many years ago and was able to dig it up earlier in the afternoon. I've always enjoyed getting minor league cards signed from ballplayers who eventually reached the major league level, so I was very happy to not only find it, but get it signed.

I ended up getting Lee one more time later on in the night. I'd like to think that being a good friend payed off in this case, as I ended up hanging around and helping one of my friends get Lee after the game was over. While he was getting his card signed, I was able to pull out a baseball and got Lee to sign it on the sweet spot.

In the end, it ended up being one of the easier and more random autographs that I've gotten in a while. I was happy to add another all-star to the collection and one that I watched play for many years with the Cubs. Thanks for reading!

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Albert Pujols: 8/22/15

One of my all time favorite players, Albert Pujols, recently held a rare public signing in SoCal a few days ago. For those of you who don't know, the St. Louis Cardinals were the first baseball team that I actually rooted for, and to this day I still pull for them to represent the National League, so it's easy to see why I've been such an avid Pujols fan many years.

Unfortunately, Pujols is far from the friendliest or most willing signer around the ballpark. In several years of collecting autographs, Pujols is one of the few players who I had never gotten a signature from until this signing. Needless to say I was excited to get my first autograph from "The Machine" regardless of the high price tag.

I ended up choosing a 2015 All-Star baseball to get signed. There were several different baseballs that I could've chosen from, but I chose a 2015 for a few reasons. Not only was it his first All-Star Game as an Angel, but it was also his tenth overall ASG, and 2015 will represent the year in which I got it signed.

I think we all have an athlete or celebrity who we like even though they are not the friendliest. It's almost like a guilty pleasure in terms of collecting. Mine is definitely Albert Pujols. I heard some pretty bad stories about him at this signing, and none of them shock me a bit. Overall he was nice to me, but I'm sure that wearing a Pujols shirt while telling him that I've been a huge fan for years helped. There's a much longer version of this story that I can't share yet, strictly because it's still unresolved. I may or may not share it when I get the opportunity. At the end of the day, Albert Pujols still is, and always will be, one of my favorite players to ever put on a baseball uniform, and I'm beyond happy to add his autograph to my collection. Thanks for reading!