Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Autographed 8x10s of Damian Jackson and Eric Plunk

It's amazing how sometimes you don't realize that some of your college buddies are into the same stuff as you until long after you both have graduated and moved on to completely different parts of the county. My friend Darrell, apparently is also an autograph collector, and even runs a small business called Halkman Sports, setting up private autograph signings with athletes and celebrities. A couple weeks ago, he traveled to San Diego for private signings with former MLB-ers Damian Jackson and Eric Plunk, and sent an 8x10 of each of them my way at a very reasonable price.

Damian Jackson had an 11-year career in the majors, with eight different teams. His longest stay with any franchise was with the San Diego Padres, where he played from 1999-2001, and then again in 2004. I was very fortunate that a photo was available of him in a Chicago Cubs uniform, as he played only seven games for them in the 2004 season, before being traded to the Kansas City Royals.

Eric Plunk spent 14 years in the majors, with the Oakland Athletics, New York Yankees, Cleveland Indians, and Milwaukee Brewers. One thing Plunk is notable for is being traded for Rickey Henderson...twice. The first time came in 1984 as a minor leaguer when he and four others were sent from the Yankees to the A's, and the second time came in 1989, when he was sent back to the Yankees with two others for Henderson. He also pitched in two World Series games, in 1988 with Oakland and 1997 with Cleveland.

I'm very happy to be adding these to my collection. I know they aren't the biggest names, but for $15 shipped, I just couldn't resist a deal! If anyone else is interested in checking out what else is coming up for private signings, visit

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Jason Zucker Autographed Puck

Now that I'm starting to get more into the autographed memorabilia game, my radar has become more finely tuned to pick up on various opportunities in my area. One such opportunity came last Saturday, when Jason Zucker was doing a signing at AME Sports in Roseville, MN.  There were two problems, though. For one, Roseville is a suburb of Minneapolis, and about a four-hour drive, and not only that, but I had to work that day anyway. Luckily, they were willing to process orders through the mail, provided that you sent your item in, and included the $10 autograph fee, as well as return shipping. I had a Wild puck in my possession already, so I sent it in, along with the required fees & return postage, and today, I received it in the mail.

The puck is one of the official game ones (not game-used, though), which gives is a decent amount of black space. Zucker used either a silver paint pen or a silver Sharpie, which stands out great on top of the background. Also, he may not have a legible signature, but it is distinctive, and he did manage to fill the space with it.

I first visited AME Sports last spring, when my wife & I were on our way back home from the Wild/Penguins game. I purchased a few puck cases then, but this is my first autograph purchase from them. Their customer service was great. I did most of my correspondence through their Facebook page, and all of my questions were answered promptly. I also liked the fact that the price you pay by sending your stuff through the mail is the exact same as you would pay if you were there in person.

I'll be heading up to AME on the 20th of this month for their 1st Annual Minnesota Sports Holiday Show, where they have Minnesota athletes from hockey, baseball, football, basketball, and boxing. There will definitely be a major haul for me to show of at the end of that day, and I will certainly be posting the photos as soon as I am able to.

Friday, December 5, 2014

Brandon Tripp Game Used Bat

The Fargo-Moorhead Redhawks had their annual Christmas Sale Thursday, where they began selling tickets for the season opener, so naturally, I had to stop by and see if anything caught my eye. I did end up buying two tickets, and was even able to get them right on the front row, which should be really cool.

In addition to the typical souvenir shop goods, the Redhawks also sell certain game used items at a pretty decent price. The most common items are bats, balls, and jerseys, but for the first time yesterday, I actually saw a game used batting helmet for sale. I was very tempted to purchase it and get it autographed this season, but the problem was, it was smothered in pine tar and dirt, to the point where you couldn't really see the logo, and there wasn't any clear space on the brim for the signature. If it's still there when the season begins, maybe I'll end up picking it up, but I decided to pass on it for now.

What I did end up purchasing, though, was a bat. Last year, I ended up purchasing a cracked bat of Nic Jackson at the season opener and set out on a mission to get it signed, which I did. This year, my goal will be for outfielder Brandon Tripp, of whom I picked up a cracked, yet very much intact, bat. Tripp came to the Redhawks during the 2014 season in a trade with the St. Paul Saints, hitting .263, with 42 hits, 5 home runs and 25 RBIs.

The autograph will actually be a pretty easy task. The Redhawks usually have some sort of gimmick every game, corresponding to the particular day that a game is played. One of those days has post-game autograph signings, so I'll have the perfect opportunity, along with plenty of photos to share.