Monday, December 12, 2011

TTM Return: Josh Hamilton

  • Josh Hamilton 1/2- I just picked up my first few games of Red Sox tickets from the box office at Fenway tonight, and it was a nice surprise to find a few TTM returns waiting at home. One of the games I bought was against the defending A.L. Champions, the Texas Rangers. Hopefully this year I'll have a chance to get an in-person auto of Hamilton. Last year I only got to go for Rangers autographs on a Sunday, which is the one day of the week he'll never sign. For now, I'm happy to add this card to my 09 Topps collection. It might be a little more challenging to get Cabrera and Morneau on there as well. Sent 9/12 (90 days)

Spring Training (2010!) TTM: Randy Wolf

  • Randy Wolf 1/2- This was the longest wait I've had for a return to date. I sent out 2 cards to Randy during Spring Training of last season when he was first signed with the Brewers. He signed his 09 Topps and returned his 08 Topps unsigned. Sent 2/13/10 (668 days)

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Pack Pull Auto: Jon Jay

The second autographed card I pulled today was of Jon Jay, and came from a jumbo pack of 2011 Topps. I haven't found the Topps 60 insert set all that interesting, but it was nice to get another auto version of one of these cards. I pulled a similar card of Chris Getz when Series 1 came out at the beginning of the season. Jon is featured on this card for having the top batting average in the National League in July 2010.

Pack Pull Auto: Kolbrin Vitek

Today I went to a card shop north of Boston that I hadn't been to in a while, and I picked up a jumbo pack of 2011 Topps and a regular pack of 2011 Bowman. I lucked out and pulled an autograph in each pack, though neither was quite as impressive as the one I got last month. In the pack of Bowman, I found an auto card of Red Sox prospect Kolbrin Vitek. I saw Kolbrin play in Lowell with the Single-A Spinners team last season and had him sign a few programs at that time. He was a First Round Draft Pick last year, so hopefully he will find his way to the majors after a few more seasons.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Pedro Martinez

Today I went shopping at the Home Goods in Bedford, MA. I walked up and down the aisles, looking for a great deal....

Cy Young Winners.

The best deal in the greater Boston area this weekend was definitely at this special event on Saturday, where Pedro Martinez hosted a charity toy drive to benefit cancer patients at the Dana Farber Institute and underprivileged children in the Dominican Republic. By donating two toys, you could receive an autograph from Pedro on anything you wanted.

I saw some pretty impressive pieces, including a full stadium seat from Busch Stadium where the Sox reversed the curse in 2004. It seemed like most of the attendees had been waiting for years to get Pedro on some team-signed items, but I didn't really have anything in particular I needed signed.

Still, the prospect of getting a Red Sox legend and future Hall of Famer like Pedro for a few toys was a steal. It also gave me an excuse to patrol the toy aisles at Target to see how much cooler Lego's and action figures have become since I was a kid.

The line moved fairly slowly, but fortunately the store was very strict about one autograph per person. It seemed like Pedro signed inscriptions when requested, which may have attributed to the slow moving line. I was very happy to get cards from the 2008 Allen & Ginter and 09 Topps sets signed with some help.

It was great to get a few autographs and help out some needy kids during the holiday season, and I couldn't have done it without the help of my sweet, charitable, and kind fiancee', who will no doubt be watching this blog post closely for me to thank her for standing out in the cold with me for four hours. Without her help, I wouldn't have been able to get the nice looking Allen & Ginter signed that you see above.

When I came home tonight, I was surprised to see a headline stating that Pedro would be officially announcing his retirement in the next few days. If he truly does decide to retire now, then today's event seemed like a fitting farewell for the local crowd after so many memorable years in Boston.