Monday, May 10, 2021

TTM Returns: Week Ending 5-8-21

 Here's a quick look at my TTM returns for the week ending May 7, 2021:

Chris Codiroli: 27 days, home address

Randy Bockus: 28 days, home address

Thursday, May 6, 2021

Craig Hodges Private Signing

A few months ago, I had the opportunity to take part in a private signing with former Chicago Bulls guard Craig Hodges. 

I may not be the biggest basketball collector, but I had the chance to get a jersey of his at a great price, so I figured this would be a good chance to get a great-looking new addition to my expanding autographed jersey collection. 

This is my first signed basketball jersey, though, and I must say, it looks great! The colors really pop as it is, with the bright red jersey, combined with the black numbers. I had him sign it in silver with a "91-92 NBA Champs" inscription to signify the two titles he won as a member of the Bulls. I like the idea of separating the inscription and number when they have a double-digit number. It just doesn't make sense to me to fill one number with ink and leave the other one blank. 

I also added a card to this signing. The 90-91 Fleer set is the first that I bought regularly in the short time I was collecting basketball cards. It's not an overly complicated design, which is good, because the signature will stand out even more. I'm not sure if I will end up pursuing a basketball set, but if I do, it will be this one.

Monday, May 3, 2021

TTM Returns: Week Ending 5-1-21

 Here's a quick look at my TTM returns for the week ending May 1, 2021:

Shane Rawley - 1,142 days c/o Shaner's Pizzeria

Jim Clancy - 11 days, home address

Jack Daugherty - 11 days, home address

Tom Brookens - 23 days, home address

Cris Carpenter - 37 days, home address

Thursday, April 29, 2021

Mark Prior Private Signing

I got a nice surprise a couple months ago, when a good friend of mine who puts together private signings with former pro athletes announced he would be doing one with former Chicago Cubs pitcher Mark Prior. 

Being as big of a Cubs fan as I am, I had to take part in this one, as Prior was a huge part of am incredible starting rotation for the team in the early/mid 2000s. He came into the league as one of the most prized prospects of the time period. Unfortunately, elbow problems would derail his career, and he would never live up to the potential that he came into the league with. He did make the All-Star team in 2003, and pitched seven scoreless innings in the ill-fated Game 6 of the 2003 NLCS before things started to unravel in an epic fashion one out into the 8th. He never made it to the World Series as a plyer, but did get a championship ring in 2020 as the pitching coach for the Los Angeles Dodgers.

While I usually don't go too overboard with these, I made an exception with Prior and went all-in. Part of it was supporting a friend's business, and part of it was just that I wanted all this stuff anyway.

The main item the I wanted was a jersey. if nothing else, I was going to get that much at least. I found a good deal on Ebay, and had him sign the second 2 with a bold silver paint pen. The signature takes up almost the entire width of the number, which is great, and really stands out. The signature can be seen well from a distance, which is what you want with something like this. I really needed a Cubs jersey to add to my jersey wall, and this is a perfect addition 

Of course, to go along with the jersey, I had to get a ball done. I thought about an inscription, but couldn't come up with a good one. Considering how much potential he had, notating just one All Star appearance, I felt, would understate how big of a deal he was at the time. I went with just the signature, which still looks great.

I also picked up a couple signed photos. There were three to pick from. I really liked a posed studio picture that was available, but I also wanted an action shot of him pitching. I couldn't decide between the two, so I got both.

Lastly, I also got a couple cards done. I really like getting the artistic, painted cards done, and there have been a few great-looking releases recently. I probably should have gotten one of his 2006 Allen & Ginter cards, but by the time I decided to get a couple cards done, there wasn't enough time to order one that I could receive, and then ship off for the signing. Still the Topps 206 and Diamond Kings cards I got done look great!

Well, that's it. I decided to stop at 6, because, you know, moderation. It's really great to add so many items of his to my collection, and here's a look at my updated jersey wall.

Tuesday, April 27, 2021

Private Signings for my 1989 Topps Set

While TTM has been the way to go for me in my set collecting goals, every now and then, I get an opportunity to get some cards signed from some tough-to-get signers. Of course, a lot of these instances happen through private signings. A good friend of mine put a couple together recently, that I was able to utilize for my 1989 Topps set, so I was sure to take advantage of it.

For Dave Magadan, I got my Topps card done, as well as one for my 1987 Donruss set. Also, since he spent a short time (1 season) with the Cubs, I had to also get a photo of him signed from that time period.

I also got a Topps card signed by former Mariners pitcher Mike Jackson. 

The Topps set is a long one, and one I will likely never complete, but it has so far been a fun project to work on.

Monday, April 26, 2021

TTM Returns: Week Ending 4-24-21

Here's a quick look at my TTM returns for the Week Ending April 24, 2021:

Dave Goltz: 6 days, home address

Rick Cerone: 8 days, home address

Wednesday, April 21, 2021

Pretty Much the Coolest Bobblehead Ever

I'm not much of a bobblehead collector, at all. Of the three I had up until today, all three were acquired as a free giveaway at a baseball or a hockey game. I understand the appeal of them, but it was just never a route that I ever took in pursuing a collection. However, the fine folks at FanHQ ended up convincing me to open my wallet for a bobblehead for the first time ever. 

This past winter, they decided to immortalize, in bobblehead form, an iconic image of former Minnesota Twins manager Tom Kelly that depicts him using a pitching machine in the Metrodome, also while wearing Zubaz, and also while smoking a cigar. 

The image was incredibly popular for FanHQ whenever Kelly did a signing with them, as the novelty of the elements contained combined with the absurdity of it, when being looked at through the lense of 2021, drew the attention of collectors. Of course, I had to pick up an 8x10 (pictured above), but, man, the idea of such a novelty being transformed in to a bobblehead was too good to pass up.

FanHQ stared taking preorders back in December, and as soon as I could. Since it was a preorder, so I knew there would be a wait for these to first, be produced, and second, arranged for them to be signed, but sure enough, they made their way to Kelly to sign earlier this month, and made its way to my doorstep today!

What I was really impressed with here was the sheer attention to detail. I can only imagine the amount of work that went into recreating the multi-colored crazy-striped look of the Zubaz pants that were popularized in the early 90s. The giant-sized head has the typical spring-loaded, bobble, complete with cigar, plus a light, cottony material to resemble the smoke. They also recreated the pitching machine in true-to-form detail, and included movable parts, with rotating wheels. Lastly, is the addition of the "bobblehand." Not only does his head move, but his right hand holding the baseball in the air has a small spring attached to it, giving it just a little extra movement.

The nice thing about when these items are designed by fellow collectors, is not only that extra attention to detail that I mentioned, but the available space for ink. While many people enjoy getting a signed bobblehead, many of them have to be signed in a less-than-optimal spot, like my Matt Cullen that had to be signed on its back. FanHQ was smart with this one, in that they created a placard for the front with the Zubaz logo that could be reversed to a blank white surface that would prominently and boldly display a signature. Tom Kelly has a great-looking signature, and I'm happy that this was done in blue, to make it stand out even more.