Saturday, December 17, 2016

TTM Returns: Week Ending 12-17-16

Here's a quick look at my TTM returns for the week ending December 17, 2016:

Sergei Gonchar

Mark Alt

Monday, December 12, 2016

Autograph Signing with Charlie Coyle and Marco Scandella

AME Sports recently held an autograph signing with Charlie Coyle and Marco Scandella of the Minnesota Wild. I was fortunate enough to be in the Twin Cities for the Neal Broten & Buzz Scneider signing a couple of weeks ago, but this one, I would have to sit out. Still, I never have to miss out completely, as AME is great with mail orders, so I was able to participate that way.

I have become a huge fan of Coyle from watching the Wild the last few years, and think he has the potential to become a major player in the NHL. I don't think he gets quite a lot of recognition across the league, but in the "State of Hockey," he has become a fan favorite, not only because of how good he is on the ice, but also because of how great he is with the fans.

I got two 8x10s of Coyle. One is taken from a moment during pre-game warmups a few years ago, when he waved hello to a young fan. The video of this, and the fan's reaction went viral, so I really wanted to get a photo of that moment signed. I asked fr gold ink, because I thought it would stand out better than blue or black, and it sometimes does, depending on how the light is hitting it.

I also got another 8x10 signed by Coyle, which I purchased from the AME. It really shows what I love about signed hockey photos when you see how much that blue in pops out of the photo when signed on the ice surface.

Lastly, I also got three cards signed. I had both Coyle and Scandella sign their Young Guns rookie cards, since I'm trying to accumulate as many of those and I can. I also had Scandella sign his 2010-11 Luxury Suite rookie card. I'm not collecting that set, I just thought it would look amazing when signed in blue. I was right.

That's it for this round. Between AME and FanHQ, both places have plenty of Minnesota Wild signings, so I'm sure there will be plenty more in the future.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

TTM Returns: Week Ending 12-3-16

Here's a quick look at my TTM returns for the week ending December 3, 2016:

Mike Bielecki

Tom Brunansky

Markus Hannikainen

Friday, December 2, 2016

Autographs from My Weekend in Minneapolis

I had a great weekend over the Thanksgiving break. To start off, my wife and I celebrated out 10-year anniversary last Friday, the 25th, and of course, we went to a hockey game. It may be a tough sell for some to convince their wife to watch hockey on such a momentous day, but I am a die-hard Pittsburgh Penguins fan, and they were playing the Minnesota Wild on that very day. Knowing how important the once-per-year game is to me, she graciously agreed to go, and not only that, was actually looking forward to it.

We made the three-and-a-half-hour trip from Moorhead, MN to the Twin Cities, and met up with my cousin and a few friends, all proudly wearing the black and gold. We had a great time and enjoyed the event, but man, the Penguins were having an off day, and lost 6-2.

We stayed the night at my cousin's place in St. Paul, and the next day, she wanted to get some shopping done, so off we went. There are a number of malls in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area, many of which have sports memorabilia stores that host autograph signings. As luck would have it, there was a hockey one that very day, which meant that was the mall we would be heading to.

AME Sports just opened a new location at the Burnsville Center, which is just south of Minneapolis, and was hosting 1980 Olympic Hockey Team members Neal Broten and Buzz Schneider.

I was able to add Schneider to a 16x20 of the "Miracle on Ice" celebration that I got signed by Broten at an autograph signing two years ago. Schneider was part of the "Conehead" line with Mark Pavelich and John Harrington that would become the top scoring line of the 1980 Olympic Games. Of course, with the recent passing of Bob Suter, this is a project that will be impossible to finish, but it will still be fun to get as many as I can.

I already have Broten's autograph on a few items, including the main one above, but I still wanted to get something, so I found this really nice 8x10 collage featuring some of his notable career accomplishments, like the 1980 Olympic Gold Medal and 1995 Stanley Cup. He also won the NCAA Championship with the University of Minnesota Golden Gophers in 1979, and is only one of two players (Ed Belfour is the other) to win all three championships.

AME's Black Friday deals extended throughout the weekend, and one of their promotions was that with any $50 purchase, you would be put into a drawing for a free autographed item. Little detail was given apart from that, but being just $10 short of the mark, I figured I'd try and find something, just to see what happens. I ended up finding a Scott Stahoviak autographed baseball on clearance for $15, which was perfect. Stahoviak spent parts of five seasons in the majors, with his most notable being in 1996, when he played in 130 games, hitting .284, with 13 home runs and 61 RBIs.

Lastly was an item I almost didn't find, but I'm really glad I did. While I was waiting for my wife to finish shopping, I was browsing through their card binders. They had various items, from base cards, to memorabilia cards, to certified autographed cards, and even some in-person autographed cards from signings they have conducted in the past. I was looking to see if just maybe they'd have a signed card or two from a set that I'm working on, and sure enough, I found one, with this 2014-15 Ultra Erik Haula card. Luck was on my side, too, as I just missed sending this very card in to the signing they hosted just three weeks ago. Well, instead of spending $20 on the signing fee for the event, I managed to pick this one up for just $3!

That's it for this weekend's ink. I had a great day Friday, and another amazing day Saturday. Now, it's time to get back to reality, until another game or special event brings me back to the Twin Cities.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Private Signing with Raven and Justin Credible

A couple weeks ago, I had the opportunity to get a couple autographs of one of my all-time favorite professional wrestlers, when Past Pros and Power Trip Media hosted a signing with ECW legend Raven.

Now, I never watched ECW in its heyday, since it never aired anywhere near the Huston area, so my introduction to Raven was in WCW, when he formed The Flock with a bunch of WCW rejects. For me, I always loved his promo work. While most guys of that era where just spouting off catch phrases, Raven was way more poetic with his messages to his opponents. While his overall look would evolve over time, when I first saw him, it was the denim, flannel and leather of the '90s grunge movement, which also really appealed to me at the time. He eventually made it to the WWE, but never quite became the big name he was in the other two groups. I had him sign three cards, two WWE ones that I already had, and one WCW one that I purchased from the signing, as that was my favorite era of the Raven character.

Also signing with Raven that day was former ECW wrestler Justin Credible. Like Raven, he made it to the WWE, but his greatest accomplishments came while he was in ECW, where he was a World Heavyweight Champion and a two-time World Tag Team Champion. I had two cards of his that I sent in, but one got severely smudged. PastPros offered me a refund for that one, but the fee was only $2 a piece, which didn't really bother me enough to make a fuss over.

Being as big of a pro wrestling fan as I am, I am always surprised at how few wrestling autographs I have in my collection. Luckily, with companies like PastPros hosting so many signings, I have a great chance of adding to what I already have.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

TTM Return: Week Ending 11-26-16

I had just one TTM return this week from Boston Bruins prospect Tyler Randell

Saturday, November 19, 2016

TTM Returns: Week Ending 11-19-16

Here's a quick look at my TTM returns for the week ending November 19, 2016:

Nail Yakupov

Devan Dubnyk

Nikolay Goldobin

Brendan Ranford

Michael Mersch

Chandler Stephenson

Logan Shaw

Taylor Leier

Sunday, November 13, 2016

TTM Returns: Week Ending 11-12-16

Here's a quick look at my TTM returns for the week ending November 12, 2016:

Ryan Suter

Travis Moen

Alexandre Grenier

Dylan DeMelo

Saturday, November 5, 2016

TTM Returns: Week Ending 11-5-16

Here's a quick look at my TTM returns for the week ending November 5, 2016:

Joel Vermin

Gustav Olofsson

Petteri Lindbohm

Sam Brittain

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Ben Bishop Autographed Puck

Even though my Pittsburgh Penguins beat them in the Eastern Conference Finals last year, I still jumped at the chance to get my hands on an autographed puck of Tampa Bay Lightning goaltender Ben Bishop when he did a signing with St. Louis Sports Collectors a couple of months ago.

I usually like to get the Official Game Pucks signed, but the only ones they had for purchase through the mail order were the "autograph pucks." When you consider the cost of purchasing one of my own, plus shipping both ways, it's much easier to go with the one they provide at an additional cost of just $4. Plus, it still looks great, and the signature came out pretty well. Admittedly, St. Louis Sports Collectors has earned a reputation of being very slow when it comes to returning mail orders, but their prices are some of the best out there, and I'm happy to add this to my collection.

Saturday, October 29, 2016

TTM Returns: Week Ending 10-29-16

Here is a quick look at my TTM returns for the week ending October 29, 2016:

Scott Hartnell

Jason Demers

Sunday, October 23, 2016

TTM Returns: Week Ending 10-22-16

Here's a quick look at my TTM returns for the week ending October 22, 2016:

Pascal Dupuis

Rob DiMaio

David Moss

Saturday, October 15, 2016

TTM Returns: Week Ending 10/15/16

Here is a quick look at my only TTM return for the week ending October 15, 2016, Doug Sisk

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Autographs from the 2016 Fargo-Moorhead Redhawks

With baseball season coming to a close, it's time to take a look at the autographs I was able to obtain this year at my local AAPB team, the Fargo-Moorhead Redwawks.

The Redhawks were knocked out of playoff contention in the final series of the regular season, with a 52-48 record. They did have some individual standouts, though, with third-baseman Josh Mazzola leading the league in RBIs (78) and 3rd in home runs (20), and pitcher Tyler Alexander leading the league in strikeouts (156) and wins (12, tied with 2 others). Alexander's 156 Ks for the year is even more impressive, considering that the second-place pitcher struck out just 125.

Getting autographs from players on the team is actually pretty easy, since the Redhawks' weekly Wednesday promotion is Autograph Night, where players stay after the game and sign for the fans along the third-base fence.  It is a great opportunity, and for the third year in a row, I wanted to get a ball signed by the whole team. The difference this year, is that I didn't have to buy one of the cheap souvenir balls, as I found a relatively clean game-used ball in the Team Shop. I must say, it looks a whole lot better, even without the Redhawks logo.

Even though this is an independent league team, a few of the players, at one time, had a contract with a major league club, and as a result, had a few cards issued of them, so of course, I had to get my hands on a few of them to get signed.

Minor League baseball is always fun to watch, because not only are you able to get that much closer to the action, but it is very fan-friendly. It's always great to be able to get this close to the players, no matter what level they are playing at.

Saturday, October 8, 2016

TTM Return from Craig Anderson

I got just one TTM return this week, but it was a pretty good one, from Ottawa Senators goaltender Craig Anderson. He signed all five cards in silver, which looks amazing on the SPX cards.

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Drake Caggiula Autographed Puck

Being a fan of the University of North Dakota hockey team, it's always great to see a former Fighing Sioux Hawks player make it to the NHL. It's also great when I get the chance to get an autograph of one of those players, like Drake Caggiula, who signed this Edmonton Oilers puck. I obtained this through a connection on A user there was heading to the 2016 Young Stars Classic, and I had him get me a Caggiula puck.

Caggiula signed with the Oilers this offseason, after finishing off a stellar season with North Dakota. He was an alternate captain for the team last year, and scored 25 goals and 26 assists on the way to a National Championship. Caggiula is having a great training camp so far, and has a decent chance of starting off the regular season on the main roster. Only time will tell, but he certainly has the talent to make a big impact at the NHL level.

Monday, October 3, 2016

TTM Return: Week Ending 10-1-16

With the new hockey season starting soon, I hope to really be picking up the TTM sending soon, but for now, here's the one return I got back last week, from Marty McInnis