Saturday, April 30, 2016

TTM Returns: Week Ending 4-30-16

Here's a quick look at my TTM returns for the week ending April 30, 2016:

Christian Folin

Karri Ramo

Joe Corvo

 Anton Khudobin

Saturday, April 23, 2016

TTM Returns: Week Ending 4-23-16

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

Jordan Staal

T.J. Brodie

Joan Hodges (Widow of Gil Hodges)

R.J. Umberger

Cody McLeod

Brett Bulmer

 Kyle Baun

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Autographed Photos of Daryle Ward & Doug Mientkiewicz

I was able to get my hands on a few mew items to my baseball collection, with these two autographed 8x10s from recent signings at Halkman Sports

Daryle Ward
This one was a tough one fore me. Not for deciding whether or not I wanted one, though. I knew I did, and considering the way autographs are going, Ward has an amazing signature. I was undecided on the photo. Ward spent two seasons with the Chicago Cubs, and I am a huge Chicago Cubs fan. However, I grew up in Houston, and watched Ward play for the Astros, so I was also leaning in that direction. Well, I ended up going with the Astros, the team he played his first 5 MLB seasons for, and the team I watched him play for. 

Now living in Minnesota and growing up the son of a Twins fan, I do have a certain appreciation for the team, and the players who spend some time in the "Twin Cities." Mientkiewicz was with the Twins from 1998-2004. He became a part of baseball history in 2004, when the Twins traded him to the Boston Red Sox on the way to Boston's first World Series win since 1918.

I always like to do business with Darrell, who runs Halkman Sports, and I'm sure I'll have more autographs from there before too long.

Sunday, April 17, 2016

TTM Returns: Week Ending 4-16-16

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

Paul Martin

Rene Bourque

Fedor Tyutin

Keegan Lowe

Colin Miller

 Mark Janssens

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Autographed Pucks of Marc-Andre Fleury and Kris Letang

I got these about a month ago, but I am just now getting around to posting them, despite how great they both are, and how excited I am to add them to my collection. Total Sports Enterprises hosted a private signing with two Pittsburgh Penguins superstars: goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury and defenseman Kris Letang.

I never get the chance to get them in person for two reasons. For one, I live in Minnesota, so any public signings in the Pittsburgh area are out of the question to attend in-person. Two, the Penguins do come to Minnesota once a year to play the Wild, and I usually go with a few other guys, but we're usually at the bar before and after the game, so no time for autograph seeking.

Anyway, I was able to place a mail order with TSE, which is the best way for me to get my hands on some great-looking Penguins autographs, and here's how they look:

Pucks are usually my first item to get signed when I get the chance, and for me, if I am laying down money for a paid signing, I'm going to get it on an official puck. Players take their time with the signatures, as opposed to a rushed IP signature, and they just look so much better on an official model.

That gives me most of the Penguins I need, although I am still waiting on Crosby to do a signing. I suppose I'll have to get Kessel, too, if he ever does one, but with the season almost over, I may just have to wait until next season.

Monday, April 11, 2016

TTM Returns: Week Ending 4-9-16

Here's a quick look at my TTM returns for the week ending April 9, 2016:

Roman Josi

Gord Dineen

Brandon Gormley

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Arizona Coyotes Autographs After 2 games in March

While in Arizona, not only did I attend a Spring Training baseball game, I also attended TWO Arizona coyotes hockey games. I went with my wife to both of them, and we had a great time. Like most southern-based NHL teams, some might underestimate the fandom present at the arena, but the Coyotes do have quite a rabid fan base.

The two games we attended were on March 24 against the Dallas Stars (Coyotes won 3-1) and March 28 against the Calgary Flames (lost 5-2). My wife and I both had a lot of fun at the games, even in the loss to the Flames, and were able to get some really close seats at a good price. What really surprised me at the second game was how many Flames fans were in attendance. I suppose there are more people trying to escape the cold weather of Calgary by vacationing in Arizona than there are from Dallas.

Anyways, I had a few beers, we watched a couple good games, and afterwards, it was time to get some autographs.

There's a spot outside the arena that seems to be the best for post-game signatures. The players park in an underground lot underneath the arena, and you can wait on the curb right where they some up from the underground lot to the above ground part of the parking lot. Players interested in signing just pull over and sign from the comfort of their own automobile, and those who don't can simply just drive on by without being disturbed.

There are some players who always stop, and some who never do, but every fan who got an autograph was very polite and appreciative to the players who stopped. Here's who I was able to get autographs from after both of the games.

Shane Doan
Despite being not only the captain, but the cornerstone of the franchise, Doan has a reputation of being one of the absolute nicest guys you will ever meet. He never turns down an autograph request, a photo, or any kind of fan interaction, and apparently stops to sign after EVERY game. I only got him on the second night, however, because as captain, he insists on always being the last to leave, and at midnight the first night, we decided to start heading back to the house. Keep in mind, too, that it was our first day in Arizona, and midnight there was 2 a.m. Minnesota time. He did eventually come out at around 12:15, but we were halfway back to Chandler by that point.

The second night, he wasn't playing as part of the league's concussion protocol. He got knocked in the head pretty good two nights before, and just as a precaution, he had to sit out 48 hours before returning to the ice. Since he wasn't playing, he didn't need to be the last one out, and was actually the first to stop and sign. I had quite a few items for him to sign, and would normally never ask someone to sign so many, but others said he would sign as many as I needed, so I went for it. I waited at the very back of the line, so that no one would have to wait behind me, and he happily signed everything. Not only that, but he also was willing to take a picture with me as well, which was pretty amazing.

Antoine Vermette
Vermette stopped just on the first night, and I was thrilled to get the opportunity to meet him. Last year, Vermette was one of the players with the enviable opportunity to get traded from a small-market team with no playoff hopes, to a Stanley Cup contender, and the dream came true when he hoisted the Stanley Cup as a member of the Chicago Blackhawks. His contract expired at the end of the season, and Coyotes fans were excited when he decided to return to Arizona. Although I am a Coyotes fan, I definitely had to get a Stanley Cup photo of his signed, along witht he Coyotes items that I had.

Connor Murphy
According to the regulars, Connor Murphy, like Doan, is a guy who stops after every game, and is just as nice as can be. He was also one of the most conversational players who stopped, and chatted with the fans about anything, most of it having nothing to do with hockey. Murphy isn't the biggest guy on the ice, but he plays like he is, never shying away from laying out a good hit on the opponent, but he also isn't afraid to take a hit when need be.

Alex Tanguay
Tanguay is one of the newer members of the team, coming over from the Colorado Avalanche in the deadline deal that sent Mikael Boedkker to the Mile High City. I got two photos signed by him, one from his current team, and one from his former, and the Coyotes photo is a lesson on image resolution. When downloading the picture from google images, make sure there are enough pixels to allow a clear image on an 8x10 print. Otherwise, it will look way too pixelated, and not nearly as sharp and clear as you would want it to be.

Tobias Rieder
Rieder is in his second NHL season, and is one of the most beloved members of the team by Coyotes fans. He stopped both nights, but I only got him the first night. The second night, he stopped right after Doan, and ended up leaving before I had the chance to get a few more things signed by him. Still, I was very happy to get him the first time around, and came away with a signed puck and 8x10.

Kevin Connauton
Connauton isn't necessarily one of the biggest names on the team, but he stopped both nights, so he definitely gets some point in my book. I had him sign a puck and a photo the first night, and a card the second night.

Jiri Sekac
Sekac, like Tanguay and Connauton, was a mid-season addition to the team, having been claimed off waivers from Chicago. I brought Cards and photos for each of the players, as well as a few pucks, but only got Sekac to sign a puck. The reason being, while I was trying to get my items together, I asked one of the other graphers who this was, since I don't know all the players by their faces, and was told it was Kevin Connauton. When I presented the photo for him to sign, he politely told me, "That's not me. I'm number 36." I couldn't remember who wore 36 in the moment, so I just ended up getting the puck signed. He was very nice about it, though, and at least I have a signed puck, and a photo to go with it.

Boyd Gordon
The last one in the group is Boyd Gordon. I had him sign a puck and a card, but he is the only one I didn't get a picture with, or at least a photo of him signing. He only stopped the second night, which was after a rough loss to the Flames, and didn't seem to be in a great mood. He wasn't miserable or rude or anything like that, in fact he was nice enough to stop and sign, but he certainly wasn't happy with how that game turned out. Still, I appreciated that he was willing to sign a few autographs and didn't want to bother him any further than that.

That's what I got. For just two games, I'd say I did pretty well. It was a lot of fun, as I always enjoy the opportunity to meet some of the players, and it was even great to have my wife tag along. The games were fun, and if we make it back next season, you can expect for me to get plenty more ink.