Monday, September 28, 2009

Huge TTM Sendout- Last of the Season

The regular season is approaching its final week, so I decided to send out a bunch of cards at the last minute:

  • Ian Snell
  • Matt Holliday
  • Andy Pettite
  • Chone Figgins
  • Adam Wainwright
  • Brandon Phillips
  • Jay Bruce
  • Mark Teixeira
  • Joey Votto
  • Aaron Harang
  • Chris Carpenter
There are a few long shots, but it never hurts to try.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Topps 2009: Justin Masterson

I've always heard that Justin Masterson is a great TTM signer, but I didn't have any cards for him until I purchased the 2009 Topps set.  He has always been one of the friendliest Red Sox players and I was sad to see him go at the trade deadline.  On the day he was traded, I saw him in the dugout saying goodbye to everyone and giving hugs to the coaches.  While those kinds of moments aren't usually publicized, it adds a human element to the game that makes it a more overall enjoyable experience.  Sent 9/4 (21 days)

Overall TTM Success Rate: 38/127 (29.9%)
Topps 2009 set: 35/660 (5.3%)

Monday, September 21, 2009

3 Returns Today

Great day for mail today, 3 cards to add to the 2009 Topps set:

  • Jonathan Sanchez- Sent 9/9 (12 days)
  • Nate McLouth- Sent 8/31 (21 days)
  • Andrew Bailey- Sent 9/10 (11 days)
I also received a return from Pat Neshek on Friday (scan in the previous post).  Mr. Neshek signed a 2009 Topps card as well as 2 protective index cards with his great creative signature.

Overall TTM Success Rate: 37/124 (29.8%)
Topps 2009 set: 34/660 (5.2%)

Red Sox Weekend- BIG Update

This was the final weekend for me to get autographs and it turned out to be a great one.  I went for autographs inside and outside the stadium on Friday, outside the stadium Saturday, and inside the stadium Sunday.  

Sunday turned out to be an unsuccessful day.  I was able to get in at the same time as season ticket holders thanks to a special pass a friend gave me, but I staked out a spot in front of the dugout and batting practice was taken indoors.  We were asked to leave the seating area much earlier than usual due to a youth parade they were having.  Buchholz signed down the 3rd base line but I chose to stick near the dugout.

Sunday: No Autographs

I got to the stadium around 12 on Saturday, and arrived to a much larger crowd than there was on Friday.  However, it still turned out to be a great day as a managed to get the following:

  • Clay Buchholz (Sweet spot on a baseball)
  • Paul Byrd
  • Takashi Saito
  • Daisuke Matsuzaka (09 Topps)
  • Hideki Okajima (09 Topps)
  • Michael Bowden (09 Topps- already had one personalized TTM but the sig was fading)
  • Dennis Eckersley
Friday turned out to be the best autographing day I've ever had.  I arrived around 10:30 in hopes of getting Terry Francona on his morning walk, but he seemed grumpy and didn't want to sign.  After several hours of waiting with no cabs, I was worried the day might turn into a wash.  However, it turned very successful in a hurry as Kevin Youkilis and Jason Bay showed up and were nice enough to sign for everyone, and the captain Jason Varitek signed my #33 jersey.  It was already a great day, then it got even better inside...


Outside the stadium:
  • Jason Varitek (jersey)
  • John Farrell
  • Jason Bay (09 Topps)
  • Kevin Youkilis (09 Topps)
Inside the stadium:
  • Victor Martinez (09 Topps)
  • Jonathan Papelbon (09 Topps- didn't switch to sharpie but a sig's a sig)
  • DAVID ORTIZ (baseball)
I still can't believe I got Big Papi.  I was able to get into the stadium early, only to find that the section near the dugout where I usually stand was roped off.  Great, I figured I wouldn't have any luck at all.  Then I noticed Papi milling around down where I could normally stand, and then sat on the wall near the netting behind home plate.  It was like a tease.  In a brief moment of blind courage, I hopped the ropes and went down to Ortiz and asked him politely if he could sign my baseball for me.  I handed him the ball and a pen under the netting as the usher yelled at me, but I got Papi's signature to cap off the best day I've had.

Rays @ Orioles, 9/16

I had free tickets to the game, so I decided to go early and get some autographs inside the park.  I was going for Rays, but I was also prepared with some O's prospect cards as it was Minor League Appreciation night.  I missed Brandon Waring on the last day of the season at Bowie, but I spotted him behind homeplate in a suit as he was supposed to receive an award, so I got him to sign a card for me. 

  • Brandon Waring
  • Ben Zobrist (09 Upper Deck- for trade)
  • Carl Crawford (09 Topps)
  • Evan Longoria (09 Topps)
I was very exciting to get Longoria as I'm sure he's becoming increasingly more difficult to get as his young career progresses.  Overall, a very good night for only doing pre-game inside the park.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Rays @ Orioles, 9/14

Took the light rail down to Camden on Monday for some pre-game autographs.  I didn't have a ticket for the game so I just stood outside the stadium for a few hours.

  • Dan Wheeler
  • Andy Sonnanstine
  • Greg Zaun
  • Jeff Niemann
  • Ben Zobrist
  • Akinori Iwamura
Ben Zobrist was a signing machine.  After signing for the 15-20 people outside, he offered to sign bible cards for everyone as well as any extra things they might need sign.  

Fun fact:  At 6' 9", Jeff Niemann is the tallest player I've ever met, and will probably be the tallest I'll ever meet unless I bump into Randy Johnson somewhere.

I'm going to tonight's game so I'll try to go for autographs pre-game inside.

Topps 2009 Set: 22/660 (3.3%)

Tuesday, September 15, 2009


With the season drawing to a close, here are some of the players I've sent cards to over the past week:
  • 9/8- Pat Neshek
  • 9/9- C.C. Sabathia, Chien-Ming Wang, Matt Stairs, Cliff Lee, Aaron Laffey, Jonathan Sanchez, Howie Kendrick, Jair Jurrjens
  • 9/10- Andrew Bailey, Elvis Andrus, Mariano Rivera, Aaron Rowand
  • 9/12- Grady Sizemore, Stephen Drew
  • 9/15- Dave Trembley, Jeremy Guthrie

2009 Topps: Andy LaRoche

Andy LaRoche, 1/1- Andy signed his 2009 Topps card in about 3 weeks.  Sent 8/24 (20 days)

Overall TTM Success Rate: 33/116 (28.4%)

Saturday, September 12, 2009

One Return Saturday

  • Andruw Jones- This is my longest return of the season thus far.  At 2 months and 2 days, it eclipses the previous record held by Rangers teammate Elvis Andrus at 2 months and 1 day. The signature smudged a little bit, but still a nice looking Topps Chrome insert.  Sent 7/10 (62 days) 

Overall TTM Success Rate: 32/114 (28.1%)

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Rangers vs. Orioles 9/4

This was the best day I've had all season doing major league autographing in person. I arrived at Camden Yards around 12 and there was a steady stream of players all the way up until about 3:00.

Outside the stadium:

  • Ivan Rodriguez
  • Ty Wigginton
  • Luke Scott
  • Nelson Cruz
  • Frank Francisco
  • Kevin Millwood
  • Jarod Saltalamacchia
  • Marlon Byrd
  • Esteban German

Inside the stadium:

  • Omar Vizquel
  • Andruw Jones
  • Jarod Saltalamacchia
  • David Murphy

The main thing I learned today is that these Topps 2009 cards have nicer signatures when they're unprepped than when they're prepped with erasers. I plan on trying out the baby powder technique if I start to see bubbling, but it looks like the cards give pretty good signatures without any prepping.

Topps 2009 Set: 18/660 (2.7%)

My 100th Sendout

I sent out a 2009 Topps card to Pat Neshek today as my 100th TTM autograph request of the season.  Pat has an awesome signature and I haven't sent to him before, so I thought he would be a good person to have as the 100th sendout.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Topps 2009: Brad Ziegler

Brad signed his card in a quick turnaround time of less than two weeks. Sent 8/24 (11 days)

I will have scans up for all of the cards from the Rangers-O's series on Monday.

Overall TTM Success Rate: 31/99 (31.3%)

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Topps 2009 Project

I received my complete, factory-sealed set of Topps 2009 Series 1 & 2 today for about 1/2 retail price on ebay.  Even though the season's almost over, I can get this set going in full swing as I try to get as many cards as I can signed from the 660 card set.  It also came with an extra pack of 5 Red Sox cards since it's a special "Red Sox Edition" of the set.  I'm going to Camden Yards tomorrow to try my luck at the Rangers in person, so hopefully I'll have chiseled away a small chunk of the set after tomorrow.

Topps 2009 Set: 4/660 (0.6%)