Monday, October 29, 2012

1966 Topps, Ron Tompkins/Larry Stahl

#107 Ron Tompkins/Larry Stahl

This is a card that I originally posted a little over a year ago. The only difference is that when I first posted it, it did not include Larry Stahl's signature on it. I sent the card to Ron Tompkins first since I bought the card to try to get signed in person at a Kansas City A's reunion. When I failed at that attempt, I sent the card to Ron and it came back signed, but with many creases in it. Needless to say, I was a little bummed out when that happened.

When I first posted the card, I asked if I should send that card to Stahl as is or try again with a new card. Ryan, from The Great Orioles Autograph Project, thought that I should send the card as is as "it's got some character now". I was a little reluctant to do so at first, but I eventually tracked down Larry's address and I sent the card out. I mailed it off in the middle of September and I had it back five days later. It was a nice and speedy return.

I'm glad that I took Ryan's advice and sent the card to Stahl as is. The card now has two signatures on it, so who cares if there are eight creases on one side of it. At least it is complete and that makes it a gem mint ten in my book!

This is the second oldest dual signed card that I own.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

1965 Topps, Ty Cline

#63 Ty Cline

Yesterday, I said that I had a signed card from every team that played in the Major Leagues since 1952. I made that assumption based off of the Colt .45 card that I posted yesterday and the fact that I had gotten this card signed before that one. This is my first and only signed Milwaukee Braves card. The only problem is that I overlooked one thing. The Braves played in Boston in 1952 before moving to Milwaukee the following year and I do not have a signed Boston Braves card. So, I now have another goal to achieve.

Ty played in the Majors for twelve seasons with the Indians, Braves, Cubs, Giants, Expos, and Reds. He was mainly used as a reserve as he only got 300 or more at-bats in a season once and that was with Cleveland in 1962. He was a career .238 hitter that tallied 125 RBI and 6 home runs in his career. Two of the home runs he hit were off of future Hall of Famers Don Drysdale and Jim Bunning.

I unlocked this card in the Topps Diamond Giveaway in 2011. I sent the card to Ty in the beginning of November last year and I had it back seven days later. I wish I was getting ready to send out my Topps Golden Giveaway cards right now. If only cards were unlocked in the giveaway and not virtual coins.

Does anyone have any suggestions for former Boston Braves players that sign through the mail?

Friday, October 26, 2012

1964 Topps, Hal Brown

#56 Hal Brown

1964 Topps was the last Topps set that I did not have an autograph from. That all changed this past July when I got this card back from Hal Brown. I now have a signed card from every Topps base set since 1952. Also with this card, I have a signed card from every team that played in the Majors since '52 including both renditions of the Senators, Pilots, Browns, Brooklyn Dodgers, Philadelphia and Kansas City A's, and New York Giants. So, crossing off the Colt .45s and 1964 Topps was a nice little milestone I accomplished.

Hal had a long career in the Majors that spanned fourteen seasons with the White Sox, Red Sox, Orioles, Yankees, and Colt .45s. He started and relieved and spent a bulk of his time with Baltimore. He reached double digits in wins four times while attaining a career-high of 12 in 1960 with the O's. He finished that season 12-5 with a 3.06 ERA. For his career, Hal was 85-92 with 11 saves and a 3.91 ERA and 710 strikeouts.

I sent this card to Hal during the first week of June and I got it back in the final week of July. For a bit, I was wondering if I was going to get this card back.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

1962 Topps, Roy Sievers

#220 Roy Sievers

Here is the second card that I sent to Roy when I sent him his '58 Topps card. I had bought that card about three years ago with the hopes of sending it to him. Then, 2011 rolled around and Topps Heritage came out in the form of the 1962 Topps set. That was when I realized that I didn't have a signed card from the '62 set. So, I picked up this card from checkoutmycards and then it took me another year to get around to sending it out to him.

When I finally did get this card back in the mail, it got me thinking about which Topps sets I did not have any autographs on. That prompted me to figure it out and pick up some cards from the Topps sets where I was lacking autographs. After I post my next post, I will have posted a card from every base Topps set up to 2006. Now, I just need to figure out which early Bowman sets I need autographs on and add those to my collection, too. It is fun to get autos on the early sets.

No, this card is not badly mis-cut. For some reason, I put my cards into my scanner upside-down. I was going to re-scan it, but I figured it wasn't worth the time of digging the card back out and warming up the scanner again. It is not like the scanner lopped off anything important.

Monday, October 22, 2012

1961 Topps, Minnie Minoso

#380 Minnie Minoso

Here is a card that I was able to get signed at the All Star Game Fanfest this past summer in Kansas City. I took two cards of Minnie with me to the event with the hopes of getting them both signed. Minnie, however, only had one signing while I was there and I was stuck in the Tony Gwynn line at that time. Luckily, my always willing to help out Dad struck out on his own and stood in the Minoso line to get this card signed for me.

Minnie played in the Majors for about seventeen seasons with the Indians, White Sox, Cardinals, and Senators. He was a nine-time All Star and a .298 career hitter that finished with 186 home runs and 1,023 RBI. Minnie's claim to fame is being the last player to play in the Majors in five different decades. He made his debut in 1949 and then played every season from 1951 through 1964. Minnie left the Majors after the '64 season and he kept playing in Mexico through 1973. Then, the White Sox brought him back for three games in 1976 so he got into a game for a fourth decade. They then did the same thing again in 1980 to get him into a game for a fifth decade.

As if that wasn't enough, the independent St. Paul Saints got Minnie into a game with them in 1993 and, again, in 2003. So, Minnie can claim that he played professionally in seven different decades.

In Minnie's stint with the Sox in '76, he got one base hit in eight at-bats to become the fourth-oldest player to get a hit in the Majors at the ripe age of 50.

Minnie signed this card with a straightedge to keep his signature level on the bottom. Also, Major League Baseball was real big on authenticating every autograph at Fanfest. Because of that, you can see part of the hologram that was attached to the back of this card poking out over the top.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

1960 Topps, Fred Kipp

#202 Fred Kipp

Here is the second oldest card that I was able to unlock from the Topps Diamond Giveaway. For the most part, I had pretty good luck with the cards that Topps sent me in terms of condition. This one, however, was the poorest one that I received. While there are no creases in it, the corners are well rounded. But, I was able to get it signed through the mail and that is all that matters. Once that signature is added to the card, it is as good as mint to me.

Fred pitched for the Dodgers and Yankees from 1957 to 1960. The only season that he pitched more than five innings was the 1958 campaign and that season Fred was 6-6 with a 5.01 ERA in 102.1 innings of work. He started 9 games that season and came out of the 'pen in 31 others while striking out 58 batters and walking 45. Fred was a knuckleball pitcher, so that kind of explains his poor strikeout to walk ratio.

Fred is a fellow Kansan and was the first ballplayer that I had written to that lived in Kansas outside of the Kansas City Metro area. I sent this card to him in early November last year and I had it back eight days later.

I didn't notice it when I first got this card, but you can tell that the photo was taken in the Los Angeles Coliseum in the days before Dodger Stadium.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

1959 Topps, Al Kaline

#463 Al Kaline

After the Topps Diamond Giveaway ended last year, I let my Sports Collectors subscription expire. The only reason I signed up for it in the first place was so I could see if the players whose cards I unlocked signed through the mail. I still have the free account on there and I will check the site periodically to see if anyone is having success TTM with a player whose autograph I would like.

That was how I found out that Al Kaline signs TTM. I kept seeing success from Kaline with a note saying he charges a ten dollar fee for cards. Eventually, I broke down and I picked up his '73 Topps card. I got it from checkoutmycards for fairly cheap and was then a little discouraged when I got it in and it wasn't in that good of shape. So, I waited until my next COMC purchase and I was happy to land this card for less than five bucks. It has some wear and a little pen scribble on the back, but it doesn't have a wrinkle in it like the '73 did.

So, I sent this card to Al with a ten dollar check and waited. About ten days later, I had a letter in the mailbox with a Detroit Metro postmark on it. I was excited as I opened it up only to find this card unsigned with my ten dollar check. There was not a note or anything, so I was a little confused.

I decided that maybe Al didn't take checks, so I sent this card back to him with a ten dollar bill. Seven days later, I had another envelope in my mailbox with the Detroit Metro postmark. This time, the card came back signed and I am completely satisfied with the results.

If you want Al Kaline's autograph through the mail, make sure you send cash only. Checks are not accepted and I do not blame him.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

1958 Topps, Mike Baxes

#302 Mike Baxes

I picked this card up in the Topps Diamond Giveaway last summer. I unlocked a '58 Topps card of a guy that no longer signs through the mail and was lucky enough to trade for someone that still does. So, I sent this card to Mike in the beginning of November last year and I had it back nine days later. This was the oldest card that I acquired in either of the Topps giveaway promotions.

Mike's Major League career lasted just two seasons with the KC A's and he got into 73 games with them each season. His first season was 1956 and he got just 106 at-bats and hit .226 with 9 runs, 3 doubles, 5 RBI, and his lone Major League home runs. He didn't appear in the Majors at all in '57, yet he still made it onto this Topps baseball card. Then, in '58, he managed to get 231 at-bats and hit .212 with 31 runs, 10 doubles, and 8 RBI. He was also thrown out trying to steal six out of seven tries.

Mike's brother, Jim, played professionally, too, and saw some Major League action with the Dodgers and Indians in 1959.

Like most of you, I really missed the Topps card giveaway this year. I know I bought more cards in 2011 than I did this year just because of the Diamond Giveaway promotion. This year's promotion did nothing for me even though I was lucky enough to actually unlock a card of Roberto Alomar, which I then traded for an Eric Hosmer. I probably have four or five code cards laying around from the update set that I need to submit, but I am in no hurry to unlock some virtual coins.

Friday, October 12, 2012

1958 Topps, Roy Sievers

#250 Roy Sievers

Here is a card that I got signed through the mail this spring. I had bought this card, and another Sievers card, over three years ago and it obviously took me a while to get them in the mail. I originally bought the cards after seeing a post on Wicked's blog where he had success TTM with Roy. Prior to that post, I had never even heard of Roy before. So I emailed Wicked, and he was nice enough to supply me with Roy's address (that was before I knew about

Unlike the last three cards I posted on here, Roy had a long and successful Major League career. It spanned parts of seventeen seasons spent with the Browns, Senators, White Sox, and Phillies. He won the Rookie of the Year Award in 1949 when he hit .306 with 16 homers and 91 RBI with the Browns. He made four All Star teams in his career and his best season came with the Senators in 1957. That year, Roy hit .301 with 114 RBI and a league-leading 42 home runs.

I sent this card to Roy at the end of April and I had it back about ten days later.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

1957 Topps, Milt Bolling

#57 Milt Bolling

Here is another card that I got signed to fill a hole in my Topps collection. Before I got this card signed, I did not have a signed '57 Topps. So, I picked this card up from checkoutmycards and mailed it to Milt in June and I had it back seven days later.

Milt played seven seasons in the Majors with the Red Sox, Senators, and Tigers. He saw some decent playing time with the Sox in 1953 and '54 and he hit .263 and .249 during those seasons. He posted career highs in runs, doubles, home runs, and RBI during the '54 campaign. During the 1955 Spring Training, Milt broke his elbow and was limited to just five games that season. In 1956, Milt played in only 45 games. Then, in '57, he was traded to the Senators after playing in just one game. He lasted one season in DC and then one more in Detroit before calling it a career.

This is my oldest signed Red Sox card. It is ten years older than my second oldest signed Red Sox card.

Just to clarify, this card is a little mis-cut vertically, but not horizontally. For some reason, my scanner chopped off the right border in the scan.

Monday, October 8, 2012

1956 Topps, Bill Renna

#82 Bill Renna

Just like the last card I posted, this autograph was acquired just so that I could have a signed card from the 1956 Topps set. So, I bought this card off of checkoutmycards and sent if off to Bill in the beginning of June. I had it back nine days later.

Bill played in the Majors for parts of six seasons with the Yankees, A's, and Red Sox. He got into 123 games with the A's in 1954 and had career-highs in runs, home runs, and RBI despite hitting just .232. Bill hit 28 home runs for his career. Of those 28 dingers, 12 of them were hit during a duobleheader.

This is another cool card from the fifties. It is too bad that the background picture is a posed shot rather than an action shot, but you take what you can get. I can't even tell where that photo was taken. The building in the background looks like it might be Yankee Stadium, but I could easily be way off.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

1953 Topps, Bob Borkowski

#7 Bob Borkowski

This past year, as I was sending out and receiving my Topps Diamond Giveaway TTMs, I realized something. I realized that I was only a few cards short of having at least one signed card from every Topps base set. So, that prompted a new and easily reachable goal and I bought this card of Bob Borkowski from checkoutmycards and off it went in the mail. I sent this card to Bob in the middle of June and I had it back eight days later.

Bob played in the Majors for parts of six seasons in the early 50s with the Cubs, Reds, and Dodgers. He was mostly a part-time player, though he did see action in 126 games with the Reds in 1952. That season, he hit .252 (which was basically his career average)with 19 extra-base hits, 42 runs, and 24 RBI.

One of the home runs he hit that season came off of future Hall of Famer, Hoyt Wilhelm. That home run was an inside that park three run home run at the Polo Grounds, which I'm sure was fairly common with its extremely deep centerfield fence, that put the Reds up 4-1. The inside the parker was part of an eight run fourth inning in a game the Reds won 11-4. Bob recorded two more hits that day and tallied a walk and another run, as well. That was Bob's second home run of the week and the last one he would hit that season.

I absolutely love this card. It looks and feels like it is sixty years old. I love the old navy-colored Reds cap and the billboards on the outfield fence. But the thing I think I like the most about it is the American flag flying next to Bob's head. It looks like it was colored in with a marker. Why that makes me like it, I don't know. It just really caps off a good-looking card.