Monday, August 28, 2017

Mike Lange Autographed Puck

While most of my autographed pucks are from players, this one is of a broadcaster. While perusing through items on Total Sports Enterprises' website, equipped with my coupon code, I came across this autographed puck from long-time Pittsburgh Penguins broadcaster Mike Lange, and just had to have it.

Lange began calling Penguins games for both radio and television in 1974, but left the team after just one season due to the organization's financial instability. He would return for the 1976-77 season and called all televised games until the team went in a different direction in 2006, not renewing his contract. Many Penguins fans were not happy at all with the decision, but he would soon sign on to do the team's radio broadcasts alongside former Penguin and two-time Stanley Cup Champ, Phil Bourque. 2016-17 was his 40th consecutive year calling Penguins games.

Lange is most known for many of his trademark expressions, such as "He doesn't know whether to cry or wind his watch," "He beat him like a rented mule," "Buy Sam a drink, and get his dog one, too," and "Scratch my back with a hacksaw," among others. I honestly have no idea what many of them mean, but his two most famous ones are more clear, "Ladies and gentlemen, Elvis has just left the building (Penguins win the game)" and the one I got inscribed of the puck, "HEEEEEEEE SHOTS AND SCORES!!! (Penguins goal.)"

Saturday, August 26, 2017

Some Great Music and Some Great Ink (Hellyeah & Kyng)

I got a great chance to see a great band a couple weeks ago, when Hellyeah came to the Sanctuary Events Center in Fargo. The group consists of Chad Gray (Mudvayne) on vocals, Vinnie Paul (Pantera, Damageplan) on drums, Tom Maxwell (Nothingface) on guitar, Christian Brady on guitar, and Kyle Sanders on bass. While the line-up might read as a super-group side project, Hellyeah is the full-time band of all five members, having released five albums in the last 10 years.

Having  released their fifth album, "Unden!able" just last year, Hellyeah kicked off the show with its opening track "X," and that set the stage for what was to come. With the style of vocals that they do, it can sometimes be tough to replicate on the stage, especially when done repeatedly on tour, but Gray really brought his very best to this show.  He is able to really scream on the songs that need it, and he is also able to tone it down when other songs of theirs, like "Love Falls" call for him to sing. As a lifelong Pantera fan, it was also great for me to see Vinnie Paul in person, as that is the main reason that brought me there. Despite being at it for so long, and all he has had to deal with during his career, the dude lives heavy metal, and was absolutely amazing to see live.

I also stopped by the merch stand after the show, as any good fan would, to further support the band, and walked away with a really cool item to go right on my wall. I've noticed that one item bands have begun to really use a lot is decorated drum heads. It allows them to print an image of the band on something that looks music-related, and makes a really cool collectible. They had two different options, but featuring Vinnie Paul, and I picked this one up, that is autographed by him, along with the year, and an "X," which may be in reference to the song that they opened the show with.

Opening the show was Cane Hill, a metal band out of New Orleans, and they were followed by Kyng, who I became a HUGE fan of by the end of the night. Kyng is a three piece metal band from Los Angeles, and is on the verge of a major breakthrough in the genre. I would describe them as what you would get if you took Mastodon and had Brad Delp from Boston singing for them. The vocals from singer/guitarist Eddie Veliz were amazing, bassist Tony Castaneda contributed to some amazing two-part harmionies, and drummer Pepe Clarke was an absolute animal from start to finish. They are a phenomenal band, and you all should check them out, if you have not already.

Like with Hellyeah, I made a stop to their merch table, which wasn't even staffed until after their set. The reason is, Kyng is a three-piece outfit in every aspect. From travel, to sound check, to management, to merch, the band members do it all. So, when I was able to purchase something from them, it was Veliz who was selling their wares, not some hired hand. I got to tell him straight to his face how great I thought they were, and purchased a cd and a shirt. The shirt, by the way, was perfect, as it is a take-off of the L.A. Kings silver and black logo, which is perfect for me as a hockey fan.

I also got to meet all three band members, which was really cool, and had them sign my cd cover. Each one of them ended up having a different colored Sharpie, which made the cd cover look even cooler. I also got pictures take with Veliz and Castaneda. I could have gotten a picture with Clarke, as well, but most everyone had already left, and I was just happy to have all three sign my cd cover.

What a great show! I got to see some great bands, listen to some great music, and get some great ink! The next concert on the horizon is Reverend Horton Heat on Sept. 4. Not sure what the autograph or memorabilia possibilities will be there, but either way, it'll be a blast!

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Photos signed by Brandon Saad & Gregory Campbell

A few weeks ago, when free agency began in the NHL, and players began signing with their new teams, it was a great time for autograph collectors, as many memorabilia companies were discounting items of players on their now-former teams.

I actually managed to get a signed photo that actually fits the criteria of both a current and former team from Your Sports Memorabilia Store, with this Brandon Saad 8x10 of him raising the Stanley Cup. He won two Cups in Chicago (2013 & 2015) before being traded to the Columbus Blue Jackets The summer following his second Stanley cup win. Two years later, they shipped him back to Chicago in a deal that brought 2016 Calder Trophy winner Artemi Panarin to Columbus. This photo is perfect, as it is a great addition to my Stanley Cup photo collection, and it once again shows him on his current team.

I was also able to get my hands on an item I had been wanting for a long time, with this signed 8x10 of former Boston Bruin Gregory Campbell. While he did put in a few years in the NHL, he is fondly remembered for one moment in particular, when he finished his shift during the 2013 Stanley Cup Finals after an Evgeni Malkin slapshot broke his leg. The Bruins were on the penalty kill, and Campbell ended up skating on his broken leg for over a minute, successfully killing the penalty before he was able to make it to the bench. He was never a big-name player, but to me, that moment epitomizes the toughness and dedication of a hockey player. This photo is of the moment when he is picking himself up off the ice right after blocking Malkin's shot, and is the perfect image to capture this moment.

Friday, August 18, 2017

Nick Bonino Autographed Puck & Photo

So, a few weeks ago, Nick Bonino left the Pittsburgh Penguins to sign with the Nashville Predators. Upon his departure, TSE, which has hosted signings with him in the past, had a 60% sale on all Nick Bonino signed items from when they hosted him during his time with the Penguins. Of course, I had to buy in, and picked up two items for my collection.

First of all, I needed a puck, and this is my first one from this season, which features their special 50th anniversary logo. Of course, I also had to get one of the official game pucks, as I think, they look so much better than the "autograph" style pucks.

O then grabbed up a signed photo of Bonino lifting up the Stanley cup after they won it this past season. A part of my collection is a binder designated only for autographed photos of players lifting the Stanley Cup, and of course, this fits right in there.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Shane Robinson Autographed Baseball

I did pick up one more item when I was at the Mark Johnson/John Harrington/Jimmy Hart signings. This is a "Mystery Ball" from FanHQ. Basically, you can purchase a sealed box that FanHQ put together, featuring a Rawlings Official Major League Baseball, autographed by a current or former member of the Minnesota Twins.

The ball I pulled is signed by Shane Robinson, who played for the Twins for just one season in 2015. Robinson has spent most of his MLB career as an outfielder, but that year, he also made an appearance on the mound, pitching an inning against the Cleveland Indians. Robinson is now a member of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, and has spent most of the season in AAA.

The cool thing about this ball, though, is that in addition to being signed, it is also game used. When you consider that the Twins sell there gamers for $35 minimum, getting a signed version for $10 cheaper ended up being quite a deal!