Saturday, January 30, 2016

TTM Returns: Week Ending 1-30-15

Here's a quick look at my TTM returns for the week ending January 30, 2015:

Paul Stastny

Derian Hatcher

Colin Greening

Matt Carkner

Friday, January 29, 2016

Charlie Coyle Autographed Card

Last on the lists of Minnesota Wild public signings that I had to send away for is Charlie Coyle, who signed at AME Sports along with Darcy Kuemper. I already have a puck signed by him from last year, so I figured I'd send his Young Guns rookie card to get signed.

Now, how does a 2013-14 Upper Deck Young Guns card turn into a 2015-16 O-Pee-Chee card? Well, it's all thanks to the USPS.

The signing was coming up soon, but I had to wait on the puck to arrive here that I was going to send for Kuemper. By the time it had arrived, the signing was just days away, so I knew I had to be sure it got there on time. The signing was Monday. I shipped it out the Thursday before, and used Priority Shipping, which is a 1-3 day service, so I figured worst case scenario, it would get there Monday, the day of the signing.


It got there Wednesday, six days later. I know some things take time, but I was sending it 200 miles in the same state, and paying extra to get it there quicker! I could have taken a morning and afternoon and taken it there myself, but the USPS needs almost a week. It's unbelievably frustrating, but there was some silver lining.

As you can see with the posts I did yesterday and today, I do have autographs of Kuemper and Coyle. I'm assuming that what the guys & gals at AME did, was simply replace the items I sent in with signed items from their own surplus. Now as anyone who shops at these stores knows, these items are sold with a profit in mind, so the fact that they swapped the items out instead of sending mine back unsigned, essentially means they lose out on some money, as they could have sold for more then just the signing fee I sent them.

They really made sure to treat me right, and in turn, they have a customer for life.

In short, USPS sucks, AME Sports is awesome.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Darcy Kuemper Autographed Puck

Next on the list is AME Sports, who hosted a signing with both Darcy Kuemper and Charlie Coyle. First of all is Kuemper, who I sent in a puck to get signed.

While the other two companies have options to purchase the item to get signed through them, AME does not, so I have to keep a few extra Wild pucks on-hand. It's not a big deal at all, just as long as your are prepared for the occasional short-notice signing. 

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Matt Dumba Autographed Puck

Another Minnesota making an autograph appearance two weeks ago was defenseman Matt Dumba. He was the sole signer at Crave Sports Company, so of course, I had to get me a puck. 

Dumba is one of the Wild's brightest young defenseman, and in just his third season in the NHL, is already putting up some impressive numbers, and seems to be improving every year. His signature may be nothing more than an "M" with a circle around it next to his jersey number, but it's still a great item to add to the puck collection.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Devan Dubnyk Autographed 8x10

Along with Mikko Koivu, Devan Dubnyk was also at a recent autograph signing at FanHQ in the Minneapolis area. Now, I had already gotten a puck signed by him from an event last season, so I decided to just order a signed 8x10.

Like with Koivu, I was just hoping for a photo with a decent amount of ice surface for the blue signature. One of the best things about hockey photos is the natural white background, which really make the signature stand out. With my Minnesota Wild puck collection starting to fill out nicely, it's good to get some great additions to my photo collection.

Monday, January 25, 2016

Mikko Koivu Autographed Puck & 8x10

A couple weeks ago, the Twin Cities ran rampant with Minnesota Wild autograph signings. While I try to make what I can, December's Zach Parise signing, combined with an upcoming Mike Modano signing, means that I would have to sit January out when it came to making that 3.5-hour drive from Moorhead. Still, every signing had a mail-order option, so I was still able to get my hands on some great pieces. There were five in total the second week of January, so each day this week, I'll go over what I got from each individual player.

The first player up is Wild captain Mikko Koivu, who along with goaltender Devan Dubnyk, did a signing hosted by FanHQ. Of course, as with all signings, the first thing I had to get was an official NHL Game Puck.

I had a little bit of funds left, so I figured I'd double dip, and pick up a photo to add to my 8x10 collection. When I placed my order, I requested a photo with a good amount of white ice surface, and for the photo to be signed in blue on that spot. Well, they certainly met my demands, and sent me a great looking photo. 

I have most of the Wild players, although a few have eluded me, but since Koivu doesn't do a ton of paid signings, I knew that I needed to jump at this opportunity. I was very happy with what I got in return.

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Tyler Myers Autographed Jersey Number

So, I bought a bunch of cards (and a few autographed 8x10s) from Dave & Adams Card World a couple months ago, and as my "free gift," I selected an autographed jersey number of Tyler Myers.

It looks nice, but my question is, what do I do with this? Is there a proper way to store or display this? It measures about 6.5"x12" (estimate), so it won't fit in my 8x10 binder. Unless I can come up with something, I'm not sure if I want to keep it, so if anyone would like to trade for it, let me know.

Saturday, January 23, 2016

TTM Returns: Week Ending 1-23-15

Here's a quick look at my TTM returns for the week ending January 23, 2016:

Andrew Shaw

Jared Spurgeon

Christian Ehrhoff

Marcus Foligno

Matt Puempel

Friday, January 22, 2016

3 Packs of Hit Parade 8x10s

In addition to a whole bunch of cards that I wrote about a couple months ago on my other blog, Cardboard Conundrum, I also picked up a few non-card items from a recent purchase at Dave & Adam's Card World. They have their own makeshift "Hit Parade" packs, which are buyback products centered around cards or memorabilia. Upon finding their "Stars of Hockey Autographed 8x10 Edition," I decided to pull the trigger on a few. I purchased three packs, which would each contain an autographed 8x10, and here's what I ended up with:

Mike Modano
This was actually the first one I opened, and knew that no matter what I pulled from the other two, I would consider the whole lot a successful purchase. Living in Minnesota now, and formerly in Texas, I am a Stars fan, which makes me a huge Modano fan. 

Mike Eruzione
You can't be an American hockey fan, without having a great respect and appreciation for the 1980 Olympic Team. Eruzione was the captain for Team USA, and led the squad of American college kids to an upset over the Russian juggernaut, and eventually, a gold medal.

Henrik Sedin
When is comes to the Sedin twins, one of them is the leader, and the other is the goal scorer. Henrik is the goal scorer.  I'm not the biggest Canucks fan, but this is still a pretty impressive autograph to pull, so I'm happy with it.

That's it for these. I got three, adn I think I went 3-for-3 on pulling really good autographs. Definitely worth the money if you don't mind taking a chance. Dave & Adams still has some of these left, but their supplies are limited. I might end up picking up a few more, just to see what else is there.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Bud Grant Autographed Mini Helmet

I'm SO glad I got the chance to get this Minnesota Vikings mini helmet signed by legendary head coach Bud Grant. I had the opportunity to get an autograph of his last year at the Minnesota Sports Holiday Show, but for more of a casual football fan, the price they were charging was a  bit too steep, considering so much of my funds were being diverted for signatures of the other guests. Well, almost a whole year later, and FanHQ has a signing with Grant, and not only that, but the price for the signature, helmet, c.o.a., and shipping were about $5 cheaper than just the autograph would have been at the show last year.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Bob Backlund Autographed 8x10

Considering how big of a professional wrestling fan as I am, and the fact that I live in the wresyling hotbed of Minnesota, it's amazing how few wrestling autographs I have in my collection. I got my first one recently, as I placed an order for a Bob Backlund autographed 8x10 that would be signed at a public signing hosted by Cardboard Promotions in Woburn, MA.

The risky thing with ordering a photo to be signed, is that you don't always know what the photo will be, or how the finished product will look. I must say, though, that I thought they gave me the PERFECT photo for this order.

Backlund is best known for holding the second-longest title reign ass WWWF (now WWE) Heavyweight Champion, with a 2,138-day title reign. For me, I know Backlund from his return to the WWF in the early '90s as the crazy old man, who would "snap" during his matches and not let go of his Cross-Face Chickenwing submission hold until his opponents were seriously injured. He would regain the title from Bret "The Hitman" Hart, but would lost it just three days later to Diesel at a house show.

I know it isn't what his career is known for, but this is the Backlund that I got to know as a young wrestling fan, which makes this the absolute perfect photo of his for me to have signed.

Monday, January 18, 2016

Nate Schmidt Autograped 8x10

With our local USHL team, the Fargo Force, now in its 7th year of existence, some of its alumni are starting to make their way to the NHL. So far, four former force players have made it to the NHL: Nate Schmidt (Washington), Christian Folin (Minnesota), Luke Witkowski (Tampa Bay), and Tanner Kero (Chicago). The Force even has a banner each at Scheels Arena for Schmidt, Witkowski, and Kero to recognize their accomplishment. Folin played just 12 games for the team in 2010-11 before being traded to the NAHL's Austin Bruins, so I guess he doesn't get one.

Anyway, I've been looking for autographed items of these players, and have been hitting a few brick walls. Either the items are way too expensive (Kero), don't really exist (Witkowski), or the player has a public autograph signing just a few hours away, but I'm unable to make it due to my work schedule (Folin). Luckily, I was able to land this Schmidt 8x10 for a pretty inexpensive price off of Ebay. I'm going to try and get all four of these players on official NHL pucks, but due to them not exactly being in-demand names, I hope they are good TTM signers.

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Chris Kunitz Autographed Puck

While my home state, Minnesota has a few options as far as where to go for public signings of Minnesota Wild players, Total Sports Enterprises seems to be the place to go for signings for my favorite team, the Pittsburgh Penguins. I've gotten quite a few pucks, photos, and even a jersey, from them over the past year, and recently, I was able to add a new puck to my collection when they hosted a signing with Penguins forward Chris Kunitz.

Kunitz may not carry the marquee name as some of the other Penguins do, but he has quite the resume, with two Stanley Cups (2007, 2009), a World Championship Silver Medal for Team Canada in 2008, and an Olympic Gold Medal with Team Canada in 2014. He has been great at giving the Penguins offensive production in the past few years, but has struggled so far this season, as most of the team has. Hopefully things will pick up soon for him, as he is quite the talented player.

Saturday, January 16, 2016

TTM Returns: Week Ending 1-16-16

Here's a quick look at my TTM returns for the week ending January 16, 2016:

Bryan Bickell (77 days, c/o Chicago Blackhawks)

Jordan Nolan (48 Days, c/o Los Angeles Kings)

Bob Beers (268 days, c/o home address)

Friday, January 15, 2016

Stefon Diggs Autographed Mini Helmet

While I already had a few autographed Minnesota Vikings mini helmets in my collection, until now, I hadn't gotten my hands on a helmet of any current Vikings. That changed last month when FanHQ hosted a signing with Vikings rookie standout Stefon Diggs. I wasn't able to make the 3.5-hour trip to be there in person, but luckily, FanHQ has some great mail-order options, so I had them ship me one.

Diggs has been lighting things up this year for the NFC Central Division champs. A 2015 fifth-round draft pick, he has exceeded expectations. He was inactive for the first three games of the season, but once he got the chance to play, he lit things up for the Vikes, setting an NFL record for being the first wide receiver in history to have 87 yards in each of his first four games. He finished the season with 51 receptions for 720 yards and 4 touchdowns, putting him second among rookies in receiving yards and fourth in receptions. The future looks bright, not only for Diggs, but for the rest of this young Vikings team.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

In-Person Autographs from the 2015 Fargo-Moorhead Redhawks

Considering how long ago the baseball season ended, this post is WAY behind, but here's a look at the various autographs I was able to obtain at various Fargo-Moorhead Redhawks (AAPB) baseball games.

Maury Wills is a Los Angeles Dodgers great, but now has formed quite a bond with the team here in Fargo. He served as a coach with the team in 1996 and 1997, and now works as a radio color commentator for the team. The Maury Wills Museum is on the first floor or the Redhawks home, Newman Outdoor Field, and the team's kids club, the Maury Wills Knothole Gang, is named in his honor.

I figured he'd do a signing at some point in the season, and as luck would have it, I just happened to be attending a game where he was. I didn't have any advanced notice, so I couldn't compile any cards for him to sign, but I was able to rush into the souvenir stand and pick up a baseball. He also had 5x7 cards to sign, so naturally, I picked up one of those, too.

To celebrate the team's 20th Anniversary in 2015, they held "Flashback Friday" at every Friday home game, where they would have one or two former Redhawks players return to the field for pre-game festivities and an autograph signing.

The one I was hoping for was Chris Coste, who is probably the Redhawks player who went on to have the most successful MLB career. He finally made it to the majors at the age of 33, following 12 years in independent and minor league baseball, and played four seasons in the majors, winning a World Series with the Philadelphia Phillies in 2008. Coste went to High School at Fargo South, played college ball at Concordia College in neighboring Moorhead, MN, and spent four seasons with the Redhawks. He has since returned to his alma mater as the head coach at Concordia.

Each player also had 4x6 cards that they were signing, in addition to any items you brought in of your own.

Also signing with Coste that day was Jake Laber. He was mostly a career independent-league player, and spent most of his six professional baseball seasons with the Redhawks. They were truly his home team, too, as he went to high school at Fargo North, and played his college ball at Fargo's North Dakota State University. He retired in May of 2015, following off-season surgery to repair a herniated disc in his lower back, combined with the realization that his window to the majors was coming to a close.

Every Wednesday, the team hosts a post-game autograph party, where the entire team lines up at the third-base line and signs autographs for the fans in the stands. I got one done in 2014, so of course, I needed to get my 2015 ball.

Lastly, isn't an autographed item, but a cool piece of game-used memorabilia nonetheless. Back in December of 2014, they had a big pre-Christmas sale, where they began selling Opening Day Game tickets, and tried to drum up season ticket purchases. They also had a big team store sale, and I picked myself up a game-used bat of Brandon Tripp. I was hoping to get it signed during the 2015 season, but unfortunately, 2014 ended up being his last season of professional baseball. Even unsigned, it's still a really cool item to add to my collection.

That's it for 2015. I'm Sure I'll have plenty more to show for the 2016 season.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

TTM Returns: Week Ending 1-2-16

I didn't get any TTM returns last week, so this post pretty much gets me caught up. Here's a quick look at my TTM returns for the weeks ending December 16, 2015 and January 2, 2016

David Legwand

Patric Hornqvist

Cam Atkinson

Nick Foligno

 Reilly Smith

Johan Hedberg

Paul Stanton

Monday, January 11, 2016

TTM Returns: Week Ending 12-19-15

I'm a little behind on these (again), but here's a quick look at my TTM returns for the weeks ending December 12, 2015 & December 19, 2015:

Sean Monahan

Michal Neuvirth

Evgeny Medvedev

Colton Parayko

Zac Dalpe