Sunday, October 18, 2015

RBI (231) Bryan Cranston...

Recently some of my friends let me tag along to an event in Los Angeles where they had a feeling we'd be able to run into a few familiar faces and have some luck graphing. We were lucky to be correct and to have a target nearby so we could arrange to print photos for a random person in attendance none other than actor Bryan Cranston.

Cranston is famous for his roles as Hal in Malcolm in the Middle and Walter White in Breaking Bad.
I've always heard that he's a great guy if you run into him, and I was very happy that the rumors were true. Cranston signed and took photos for us and was a great experience.
Adding this Bryan Cranston autographed photo to my wall was very satisfying. It came out looking great and I don't often get actor's autographs so adding one of someone from two great shows I've liked was a good feeling.

RBI (230) Albert Pujols...

I've posted my interactions with Albert Pujols before and they've never been all that pleasant. However is still a future no doubt hall of famer and one who is crushing all-time records so when there's the chance to get his autograph I take it. This time I went through the guaranteed route by attending an Albert Pujols autograph signing at the practice of Dr. Alex Corbin Liu.
I opted to get a baseball signed after I had a mishap with a photo order I made. I'm still pleased with the choice as Pujols autographed this 2015 all star game baseball very nicely. It's definitely a good looking piece that is nice to put into my collection.

Saturday, July 25, 2015

RBI (229) Curt Schilling...

One of the biggest autographs I was able to add to my collection recently was Curt Schilling. While I did have a Schilling autograph in my collection previously, it was a gift so I had never successfully graphed Schilling myself. I also had a huge need to add him to my Fenway Park setback that I've been getting signed over the years.

What he accomplished during his time with the Red Sox was historically huge and the bloody sock is legendary even amongst a story filled game.
Schilling was making an appearance at Angel Stadium as a broadcaster so after an unsuccessful attempt to graph him earlier in the year I was determined to get him the second time around. Schilling  was kind enough to sign an autograph for each of us waiting for him and signed my setback with a large autograph that is very clear to see when I look at the piece. I'm very glad to have him added to the seat and it definitely muscles up my project significantly.

RBI (228) Paige Van Zant

Up and coming UFC star Paige VanZant has been catching the MMA world by fire lately. The UFC has found a star on the rise after her debut victory against Cailin Curran. Her dismantling of veteran Felice Herrig solidified her reputation as legitimate prospect and the UFC has been happy to have Paige appear at numerous of the company's most recent events such as the UFC Fan Expo is Las Vegas.

I sent a TTM request to her just after her victory over Curran realizing she was legitimate and going to become incredibly popular with the fans as soon as they realized the talent she had. Paige was incredibly kind and autographed two 8x10's for me.

While I do have a healthy Ronda Rousey autograph collection I don't have the body issue cover signed which is a cornerstone item to have signed by her, so I wanted to make sure my Paige VanZant autograph collection had "the" photo. Her initial UFC promo photo has actually been "the" photo so I was sure to send one of them.
Paige also signed this photo from her UFC debut.
I'm very glad to have these two in my collection as I've heard her events and appearances get swarmed now by huge crowds of eager fans to meet the rising star. She's proven legitimate as a growing young fighter since transitioning from model and ring card girl into UFC star. You can find Paige Vanzant (@paigevanzant) | Twitter

RBI (227) Alex Rodriguez

Alex Rodriguez, Arod, A-roid. Plenty of names have been put on Rodriguez since he was caught, disciplined and suspended for his infractions. At the end of the day he's still an autograph that is desirable, collectible and for my 2014 Topps heritage set, incredible necessary. Thankfully I was able to come in possession of one during the Arod "Forgiveness" tour as he's been playing this season and knocking out untold numbers of autographs at stadiums around the country.
I was very happy to get this Alex Rodriguez autograph in my collection and now no longer have to worry about one of the most difficult cards I thought I'd have to obtain. I'm highly doubtful he ever makes it in the hall of fame despite his numbers, but he's always going to be a name brought up for his era of baseball.

As always if you have any signed 2014 Topps heritage, let me know what you have and we can work something out.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

RBI (226) Robert D. Manfred...

I never took advantage of it before but I had seen some TTM requests at the Commissioners office, with the new commissioner in office I decided to give it a shot. I sent an autograph request to the MLB offices and a few weeks later came home to see a large package waiting for me.
I opened it and inside was a great looking full signature baseball signed by Robert D. Manfred. It's a nice signature and it didn't cost me anything besides a few stamps so I'm glad to have added it to my collection. I may try to get Selig's autograph now but I've got to look into how to get ahold of him now that he's no longer in office.

Manfred has some large shoes to fill since Selig cast such a big shadow, but he's handled the first few controversies pretty well and we'll see how things continue on through his first full season.

RBI (225) Mike Witt...

I've previously posted about getting former Angel and Yankee pitcher Mike Witt. The 2-time All Star posted 117 wins with 1,373 Strikeouts but most importantly he posted his own spot in MLB history. He finished out Mark Langston's No Hitter and I had the two of them sign a ball, but now I had Witt sign his own.

Witt threw out the first pitch at the Angel Stadium home opener to start the 2015 season off. I was able to hang around and get Witt afterwards and had him sign a ball.
Previously Witt had declined to inscribe his piece of baseball history but this time he had no problem doing so and inscribed "PG 9/30/84" for me. It was a nice way to start off the season and getting a Mike Witt autograph is tough so this is a really nice piece for me to put into my collection.

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.