Thursday, January 22, 2015

Graphing the Ducks 2014-2015

I've made a few trips out this year to graph the Anaheim Ducks. They're a solid team pushing the pace for best in the NHL this season and have their usual standouts being stronger than ever. Team captain Ryan Getzlaf is playing like a beast right now and on pace to be leading the conversation for league MVP at the end of the season.

Each season I've worked on graphing the Ducks I've liked to get a team set of cards done. I made some progress on last year's Score set getting a few guys that I've missed and started this years O-Pee-Chee team set.

I added a few other nicer items getting a few pucks and some photos done to go along with the cards I got signed by the Ducks.

Ryan Getzlaf autographed puck.
Scott Niedermayer autographed puck.
Cam Fowler 2014 Olympics autographed 8x10 of him scoring the go ahead goal to beat Russia.
Ryan Kesler autographed 8x10 photograph from his time with Vancouver.
Scott Niedermayer autographed 8x10 photograph from when the Ducks won the 2007 Stanley Cup.

Cam Fowler 2014 Olympics autographed 8x10 of him scoring the go ahead goal to beat Russia inscribed "Go USA"
Ryan Kesler autographed 8x10 since joining the Ducks.
Ryan Getzlaf autographed 8x10 photo.
Corey Perry autographed 8x10 photo with the Ducks.
I got Sami Vatanen, Ryan Getzlaf, Cam Fowler, Frederik Andersen, Ben Lovejoy, Devante Smith-Pelly, Bryan Allen, Patrick Maroon, and Kyle Palmieri started off my O-Pee-Chee set and finished off some of the active Score cards I needed.
 Kyle Palmieri, Patrick Maroon, Hampus Lindholm, Ilya Bryzgalov, Andrew Cogliano, Francois Beauchemin, Jakob Silfverberg, Corey Perry signed some of the inserts and team cards I needed for the team set.
 Matt Beleskey, Patrick Maroon, Cam Fowler, Kyle Palmieri, Ryan Getzlaf, Sami Vatanen, Frederik Andersen, Eric Brewer, and Ben Lovejoy all signed their team card for me.
The Ducks are a great team and the couple of days I've spent graphing them has really had me come away with some great signed pucks, photos and cards.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Complete 2014 Topps Heritage

As I've posted before I am working on collecting an autographed complete 2014 Topps Heritage set. It's a big undertaking and I've been making some progress on it this year. I do have some extras available to trade if you're interested but here's the list of what I've gotten signed so far in person, through the mail or with the help of some friends.

Highlights of my set include:
Mike Trout
Yasiel Puig
Felix Hernandez
Robinson Cano
Ryne Sandberg
Paul Konerko
David Ortiz
Evan Longoria
David Price
Paul Goldschmidt
Max Scherzer
Yoenis Cespedes
Ryan Howard
Sonny Gray
David Wright

Of course I've decided to make my set even more unique and when I can I add inscriptions to the set. I hoped to have more but the ones I have added so far are nice and I hope to add more when I can.

Brandon Barnes "Cycle 7/19/13"
David Freese "2011 WS Champs"
Logan Morrison "@cupoflomo"
Kole Calhoun "Red Baron"
Curtis Granderson "Go Mets"
Jason Kipnis "All Star"
David Price "3x All Star"
Jard Cosart "Go Astros"

RBI (224) Randal Grichuk...

Last year I went to the Angels yard sale, an event where you can make pick ups of jerseys, autographed items, discounted surplus shirts and things along those lines. I made a nice pick up of a locker name plate from former Angel Randal Grichuk who had been traded that off season with Peter Bourjos for third baseman David Freese.

I decided to take a risk and sent the locker plate to Grichuk in the mail care of the Cardinals Spring Training. It was a risk and I sent it toward the end of Spring so I wasn't sure if it would even get to him before he was moved from the big league camp. A year later I was more than pleasantly surprised to find a large envelope waiting for me in my mailbox.
It's nice to get a bigger item like this signed and I'm very happy to have gotten this back since I actually enjoy picking up locker plates randomly from teams. More than worth the wait to have added back to my collection. I'd never gotten Gruchuk's autograph before when he was in the Angels organization so it's also nice to add a first.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

RBI (223) Dirk Nowitzki...

I was happily able to add future NBA Hall of Famer Dirk Nowitzki to my collection. Dirk's a known great TTM signer so getting Nowitzki's autograph in the mail was a no brainer.

Dirk's been named so far to 12-All Star teams, won an NBA championship, was the 2011 NBA Finals MVP and was the 2007 NBA MVP. He's the all-time leading scorer in Dallas Mavericks history and whenever he does decide to finally retire from playing basketball he'll be inducted into the Hall of Fame soon after.
I had Dirk Nowitzki autograph his 1998 Topps Finest rookie card. He got it back to me in only a few weeks and it came out great. I was little worried since it's a chrome that it would bubble but it came out perfectly.

RBI (222) First TTM of 2015....

My first TTM reply came for 2015 and it was a pleasant return to start off my year with. Continuing with my 2014 Topps Heritage set building endeavor I picked up a few of the 2014 Topps high numbers cards. I don't plan on getting all 600 cards done, but I wanted to add a few of the high numbers to my collection.

Eric Young Jr. is an outfielder who is known to be a great player to interact with responded back to my TTM request. EYJ always responds to his fans and he even has a special stamp and personalized label he attaches to his returns now.
I was glad to add the 2013 Stolen base champ on a 2014 Topps heritage. He responded in about two weeks but I lost the exact date I sent to him in December.

Monday, December 8, 2014

My adventure at the 2014 MLB Winter Meetings 12/6/14

The 2014 MLB Winter Meetings are being hosted in San Diego, so I made a trip to see how they were on this past Saturday.

11:10 Left home for San Diego.
12:40 pm Arrived in San Diego’s Gas Lamp area where the meetings will be held.
12:45 pm Found parking at a local lot for an unreasonable cost of $10 to put my car in an empty lot that isn’t covered by a structure.
12:50 pm Made way to the Marriot Marquis and cruised the conference area, overlook of the pool bar and lobby for anyone of interest. Saw nothing beyond a pool fight between a family on vacation or some very comfortable strangers.
1:00 pm  Left Marriot Marquis and walked a half mile along the bay front  which will host the largest number of meetings.
1:05 pm Investigated the meeting and conference rooms on various floors of the hotel to find a possible points of interest.
1:23 pm Found possible meeting of MLB executives at 5:00 pm.
1:25 pm Setup camp inside lobby to await any possible arrivals of baseball figures.
1:28 pm - 3:26 pm See various minor and major league office members including Padres partial owner Alfredo Helu arrive and begin to interact with one another.
1:28 pm - 3:26 pm Be bored and make progress on work utilizing my laptop while keeping watch for MLB personalities to arrive.
3:27 pm Other graphers arrive and also set up camp inside the lobby
3:33 pm Other graphers leave for site unknown.
3:33 pm Lose interest in wondering where other graphers have disappeared to and go back various work projects and people watching while realizing a complete strikeout for my own day is highly likely.
3:51 pm Watch a wave of obviously baseball related people arrive at the hotel and exchange greetings with one another while wearing team gear. Subtly is obviously not a trait concerned about when the entire hotel is about to become dominated by baseball lifers and future hopefuls.
3:56 pm Alternating current of expensive sports cars and SUV’s starts to gain airport super shuttles and more minor league or low level MLB employees arrive.
4:00 Hotel employee in a suit who had previously been helping with baggage starts to take a more authoritative role directing hotel patrons. Assumption: hotel management will start to take a more active role with the heavier arrival of MLB and MiLB employees and executives.
4:04 With the only meeting I’m aware of approaching my head is on a constant swivel despite the suit obviously paying me more attention. I also see a man walk by with a ridiculous mustache.
4:06 Warning of official looking suit sent to my fellow graphers on their way to the meetings. Incorrect directions sort of sent since apparently my mastery of left and right abandoned me temporarily.
4:09 Lobby fills up more and becomes hard to track with the let out of a Minor League meeting. Participants seem to range from brand new first job out of college to those who are supplementing their retirement funds. Gift bags must cover significant age range appeal. Everyone likes lanyards.
4:12 pm Baseball player looking person arrives at hotel. Bag has Rawlings on it. I have no idea who he is.
4:14 pm Rollie Fingers look alike arrives and serious internal debate is being had over if it’s him. Hair and mustache correct but doubtful didn’t have a good look at front profile for a few minutes. Determine it isn't him.
4:16 pm Fellow graphers arrive and give my surveil of the hotel report. Take quick tour of the hotel and see meeting previously posted is now removed from the posted schedule of hotel events.
4:26 pm Reestablish set up in different spot in lobby to wait for  5:00 meeting. Random minor league players arrive, no one of note.
4:37 pm Other graphers return to hotel lobby.
4:45 pm Made way up to the potential meeting, MLB related officials go into conference room, but no one of note arrives.
5:15 pm Go back to hotel lobby.
5:31 pm Call it a day and head back home.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Autograph Opportunity, Steve Sax 12/6/14

Upcoming to start off December will be another Southern California autograph opportunity at the practice of Dr. Alex Corbin Liu. Anyone with a little baseball season withdrawal should enjoy this offseason appearance. Dodger great Steve Sax will be appearing at his practice and the 2-time World Series champion will be signing to benefit the Steve Sax foundation for an affordable $20 on any item. The signings at Dr. Liu's are great and worth checking out if you haven't been able to yet.

Make sure to check out the chance for a 5-time All Star, NL Rookie of the Year and 2-time World Series champion. The autograph signing will be December 6th at:
The Optometry Practice of Dr. Alex Corbin Liu
19735 E. Colima Rd.
Rowland Heights, CA 91748