Saturday, August 27, 2016

TTM Returns: Week Ending 8-27-16

Here's a quick look at my TTM returns for the week ending August 27, 2016:

Anze Kopitar

Ben Bishop

Rick Tabaracci

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Robert Smith Public Signing from 7/17/16

Before going to the Minnesota Twins game July 17, I got the chance to meet former Minnesota Vikings running back Robert Smith at FanHQ in Eden Prairie, MN. They were hosting a public autograph signing with Smith, and it was a great opportunity to meet the man who was one of the best players at his position in team history.

The prices were VERY reasonable, so I had to pick up a couple, and was able to get my photo taken with him, as well. Seeing as though it takes a good 3.5 hours to get from Moorhead, MN to the Minneapolis area, I arrived just a bit late to the Sunday-morning signing. Even though I was toward the back of the line, Smith was still just as happy as could be by the time I got up there, and genuinely seemed to enjoy just meeting the fans. I ended up with two autographs: a mini helmet and an 8x10.

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Minnesota Twins Game Used Baseball

I've been to quite a few sporting events in my almost 36 years of life, mostly baseball and hockey. I have also been lucky enough to catch two hockey pucks that flew into the stands (1 NHL, 1 USHL), but I have never been fortunate enough to catch a baseball at any level.

Well, a couple of weeks ago, I went to a Minnesota Twins game, and discovered a really cool promotion that allowed me to still take a piece of the game home with me.

My wife and three daughters were visiting her family in Texas, so I was up here by myself and went to the July 17 game at Target Field against the Cleveland Indians. Soon after I entered at "Gate 34," I saw a booth where they were selling various pieces of game-used memorabilia. They had a few jerseys, bats, and balls on display, and while the jerseys and bats were well out of my price range, I figured I'd check to see how much a baseball would cost. Of course, there were varying prices, depending on if the ball was a hit or a foul, but the woman working the stand informed me that not only do they sell baseballs from past games, they sell balls from the current game, as well.

All you have to do is pay the fee, put your name on the list, and at the end of the game, you would come back and get a ball that was actually used in the very game you were attending. The cost was $34.99, which when you consider what a brand new Rawlings Official Major League Baseball would cost, you're only paying an extra $15 over the price of a new one to have one that was actually used at the game.

I went back to the booth at the end of the game, and had a couple that I could choose from. Of course, I picked the one that had the giant scuff mark on the Rawlings logo, because I really wanted for it to look "used." As an added bonus, each of these balls comes with an MLB Authentication hologram sticker to certify its authenticity. In addition to that, the serial number on the sticker can be plugged in to MLB's authentication website, where it will tell you the exact play in the game where the ball was used. The one I selected was used in the bottom of the third, was pitched by Cleveland's Josh Tomlin, and fouled back to the screen by Minnesota's Max Kepler.

I know that this isn't the same as actually catching the ball in person, but it is really cool to bring a piece of the game home with you.

Monday, August 8, 2016

Zach Parise TTM Return

I got just one TTM return last week, but it was a big one. One of my top 3 favorite hockey players, Zach Parise, was good enough to sign and return this 2013-14 Score card. It was sent c/o Minnesota Wild at the beginning of last season, and although it took almost a year, I'm always appreciative whenever a player of his caliber takes some time out to do something good for his fans.

This is actually the second copy of this card that I have signed by him. Last December, he and Jason Pominville did a paid signing at FanHQ in the Minneapolis area, and I went with plenty of items to get signed. Since I'm going for the set, and I didn't want to take the gamble of whether or not I'd ever see the TTM request again, the Score card is one of those that ended up getting inked.

Looking back, even though I would have been ok waiting on the TTM, I'm so glad I didn't take the chance. I got to have this one signed in blue, which I think looks a lot better. Still, I will never complain about any TTM return I get. I'm always appreciative whenever a player is able to take the time out of their day in order to do something nice for the fans.

Saturday, August 6, 2016

Catching up on my TTM returns

Well, it's been over a month since I posted any TTM returns. Not because I haven't gotten any, but just because I haven't posted the ones I have gotten back. Anyway, here's what I've gotten back in the last month or so, up to the week ending July 30.

Will Clark

Ryan Callahan

2009 Stanley Cup Hero Max Talbot

Ryan O'Reilly (Very cool that he used a silver marker for that Upper Deck card)

Karl Alzner

Jim Schoenfeld

Craig Smith