Thursday, April 25, 2013

Spring Training TTM: Christian Friedrich

  • Christian Friedrich 4/3- In addition to signing three cards for me, Christian also wsrote a nice note on one of my index cards.  He mentioned that he really liked the look of the gold card and thanked me for his support, and he signed the note as well.  I wish that more young players had this time of enthusiasm when it comes to fan interaction.  

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Athletics @ Red Sox, 4/22

Inside the stadium:

  • John Jaso- 13 Topps Heritage
  • Chris Young- 09 Topps

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Royals @ Red Sox, 4/21

Trying to get back to normal around here, I headed down to Fenway early as the Royals arrived for the day-night doubleheader.  I got the same amount of autographs today as I had in my previous four trips to the park combined, so it was a great improvement over the last few outings.

  • James Shields- 08 Allen & Ginter
  • Greg Holland- 12 Topps
  • Billy Butler- 09 Topps
  • Wade Davis- 12 Allen & Ginter
  • Ned Yost- 13 Topps Heritage
  • Eric Hosmer- 12 Allen & Ginter

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Rays @ Red Sox, 4/15

I woke up incredibly early and arrived at the ballpark around 7:00.  I was surprised to see a few collectors already waiting when I arrived, as the previous two years I've been the only one there.  I was only able to stay for about 45 minutes, but I was lucky enough to get the day's starting pitcher before I had to leave.

  • Jeremy Hellickson- 12 Allen & Ginter

After leaving the Fenway area early Monday morning for work, I could have never imagined the events that would unfold over the following five days.  It's been a long week, but I'm grateful that I had to work that day, and I'm also grateful that my wife left the Copley area about an hour before everything happened.  

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Rays @ Red Sox, 4/14

It seems like the Rays are struggling in the cold weather of the past few days, as a few of them seemed under the weather today.  To make matters worse, I didn't get a single player from either team today.  Fortunately, TBS was broadcasting the game and I was able to get a nice addition to my set.

  • Ron Darling- blank card
  • John Smoltz- 09 Topps
The first time I ever tried getting autographs before a game, my uncle took me to Yankee Stadium back in 1997.  I grew up a huge Chipper Jones fan, and the Braves were in town for interleague play.  The only autograph I got that day was John Smoltz on a baseball.  I remember I dropped the ball and watched it roll into the street about five minutes after I got it.  I still have that ball on display, albeit with a few battle scars from hitting the pavement.  Today was the first time I got John Smoltz's autograph since then, a span of 16 years.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Rays @ Red Sox, 4/13

I was supposed to go to the game last night, but it was rained out.  I woke up early this morning to get to Fenway for the Rays.  It was painfully chilly, and now as I write this, the sun is coming out.  My slow start for the season continued today.

  • Jamie Wright- 12 Topps
  • Tom Verducci- blank card

Friday, April 12, 2013

Orioles @ Red Sox, 4/10

For my first game of the season, I thought I'd give the home team a shot, considering how many times I've graphed the Orioles over the past few years.  I didn't have much luck, missing Dustin Pedroia by a few fans and missing Tim Wakefield at the NESN booth in the process.  To make matters worse, I stuck around for the whole game after a rain delay, only to watch Joel Hanrahan surrender 5 runs in the ninth and blow the game.  I only managed to get one card signed by the dugout:
  • David Ross- 08 Topps
I was supposed to go to tonight's game, but it's been postponed due to the weather.  Not a good start to the graphing season, but hopefully it can't get much worse!

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

TTM Return: Juan Francisco

  • Juan Francisco 2/2- After missing him in person when the Braves visited Boston last summer, I sent two cards out at the end of the season.  Juan signed his 11 Topps and 10 National Chicle cards in black sharpie.  Sent 9/29/12 (191 days)

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Spring Training TTM: Ryan Madson

  • Ryan Madson 3/1- The new addition to the Angels' bullpen signed an 09 Topps card, as well as the two index cards I included in the envelope.  Sent 3/8 (29 days)

Spring Training TTM: Daniel Schlereth

  • Daniel Schlereth 2/2- The Orioles pitcher signed his rookie card, as well as a combo card already signed by his dad, former Redskin and current ESPN analyst Mark Schlereth.  Sent 2/18 (46 days)

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Spring Training TTM: Dylan Bundy

  • Dylan Bundy 1/1- It was a nice surprise to come home to 10 returns yesterday, but I was more excited about this one than all the others combined.  I took a chance knowing I most likely wouldn't get this card back, especially given how impossibly tough he was to get in person last season at Fenway.  I lucked out and received his 13 Topps rookie card signed on the same day as the O's Opening Day.  Sent 2/20 (41 days)

Monday, April 1, 2013

10 TTM Returns for Opening Day!

I was gone for the holiday weekend, and I came back to a mailbox stuffed with envelopes.  While I'm sure some of these came on Friday and Saturday, I'm considering this the biggest return day I've had of all time.  Here's the breakdown of everything I received:

  • Todd Frazier 1/1 c/o Reds, personalized, 14 days
  • Jason Grilli 2/2 c/o Pirates, 12 days 
  • Brett Anderson 3/3 c/o Athletics, 12 days 
  • David Lough 1/1 c/o Royals, 25 days 
  • Gavin Floyd 2/2 c/o White Sox, 14 days 
  • Casper Wells 1/2 c/o Mariners, kept my 13 Heritage, 14 days 
  • Craig Stammen 1/1 c/o Nationals, 39 days 
  • Anthony Bass 2/2 c/o Padres, 8 days 
  • Jason Motte 2/2 c/o Cardinals, 14 days 
  • Micah Owings 2/2 c/o Nationals, personalized, 27 days

2013 Topps Heritage

It's been four years since I started working on the base set of 2009 Topps, so I wanted to start a slightly more manageable set this season for some of the players that have come up since the 09 set was released.  I like that the Heritage sets have manager cards, but no cards of former players or non-baseball sports stars.  I bought the base set on ebay a few weeks ago, with a pretty good value of 425 cards for about $35.  I'm trying to cut down on my pack purchases this year so I don't have quadruplicates of cards for big name guys and useless inserts of former players.  I'm still focused on the 09 Topps set, but hopefully I can get some younger players and guys that weren't in that set on the 13 Heritage cards.

Spring Training TTM: Matt Dominguez

Matt Dominguez 2/2- Matt had a hit and RBI last night against the Rangers, helping the Astros start off their first game in the American League with a win.  Sent 3/18 (10 days)

Spring Training TTM: Clint Hurdle

  • Clint Hurdle 4/2- The Pirates skipper signed cards from the 03 Topps and 13 Topps Heritage sets, as well as two protective index cards.  Sent 3/20 (8 days)

Spring Training TTM: Buck Showalter

  • Buck Showalter 2/2- The runner-up in last year's Manager of the Year campaign signed cards from the 12 and 13 Topps Heritage sets.  Sent 3/18 (7 days)