Sunday, July 24, 2011

Rest in Peace, Dick Williams

This is somewhat late in coming, but I recently learned of the passing of Hall of Fame player and manager, Dick Williams.  Mr. Williams signed for me at the 2010 All Star Fan Festival in Anaheim.  I remember him as a very professional, if not a bit overwhelmed with the whole autographing experience of the convention.

Williams died of a ruptured aortic aneurysm at a hospital near his home in Henderson, NV on July 7, 2011.  This now marks the fifth Hall of Famer in my collection who has passed away in the last year and a half - a really sad stretch of time for baseball's alumni community.

Non-HoF Autographs: Maury Wills

While attending the recent Shrine of the Eternals ceremony for the Baseball Reliquary, I had the privilidge of meeting Dodger great Maury Wills.  Wills was being inducted by the Reliquary for his contribution to redefining the game of baseball - especially in how the stolen base was used on the field of play.

This was really a wonderful event.  Several people mentioned that Wills was the one baseball player who deserved to be in Cooperstown more than anyone else not within those sacred walls. 

You can see from my program that there are several other autographs.  None are former players, but most are connected to the baseball world in some way.  You can click on the image to see a closer shot and to get a sense of who was in attendance.

I posted another review of this event right here.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Non-HoF Autographs: Shawn Green

This evening I was able to visit a book signing at the Barnes and Noble at the Americana in Glendale.  Shawn Green was there to promote and sign his new book.

I was excited about this for several reasons - Mr. Green was both a Dodger and a Blue Jay, plus he was one of my favorite players when I was growing up.

You can read a great review of the event right here, and a bit of my own ramblings over at my other blog.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Failure #17: Stan Musial

While reading an autograph through-the-mail collectors forum, I noticed that quite a few people were having success with requests from Stan Musial through his "Stan the Man" office.  So I sent off a quick request, but all I got back was my blank 3x5 card and a postcard.

The post card is a nice souvenir.  It features a quick bio on one of baseball's greatest players, and on the back gives some details about how to obtain autographed merchandise (for a fee, of course).

Non-HoF Autographs: Ubaldo Jimenez and Matt Lindstrom

I attended my first Dodger game of the season this week and was lucky enough to snag two autographs during batting practice from the opposing team.  Pitchers Ubaldo Jimenez and Matt Lindstrom came over and signed for a few fans in the right field corner.  It probably helped that there were a few fans decked out in Rockies gear.

Jimenez has had an interesting start to his young career.  In 2010 he pitched the first no-hitter in Rockies team history, was named a National League All Star, and looked like a lock for the Cy Young award last year before falling off in the second half of the season.

Lindstrom has also had an interesting career.  He has already played for three different teams - the Marlins, Astros, and Rockies.  He is a hard throwing righty who has been closer at times throughout his career.  Additionally, he was named to the roster of the USA team for the 2009 World Baseball Classic.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Non-HoF Autographs: Matt Kemp and Dave Stewart

It pays to follow other bloggers.  Today I learned through the amazing Dodger-themed blog, Vin Scully is my Homeboy, that Matt Kemp would be a surprise guest at Bank of America in Burbank for a member appreciation event.  I was able to snag his autograph on this Dodgertown baseball that I caught during batting practice at Dodger Stadium.

But that's not all!  I also recognized former MLB pitcher, Dave Stewart, who happens to be Mr. Kemp's agent, so I got him to sign the ball as well!  Mr. Stewart is most likely remembered for his pitching career with the Oakland A's, but I enjoyed watching him as a member of the World Series winning Blue Jays team from 1993.

Dave Stewart was not elected to the Hall of Fame after his career, but Matt Kemp certainly has a chance if he continues to play as well as he has played so far in his young career.

I will have a full review of the event tomorrow on my daily photo blog.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Tips on Who Signs Through the Mail (and what they charge)

A recent comment on one of my old posts passed on some good insight from an avid collector.  He has a few blogs, notably posting his collection of Hall of Famer autographs at Collecting Cooperstown.  Here is what he passed on...

Some of these guys just don't sign TTM or they do very sporadically.

I can give you a list of guys and how much they charge TTM:

Stan Musial-$100 (will send a signed picture/stats index card for free with request)
Yogi Berra-$100 (but a lot of cards signed for free lately)
Monte Irvin-$10
Whitey Ford-$40 (will sometimes sign for less, but usually at least $35)
Al Kaline-$10
Brooks Robinson-$30 (but only signs through the Dugout Zone twice a year)
Lou Brock-$85
Bobby Doerr-Free
Johnny Bench-$60
Joe Morgan-Free (but only an index card)
Ferguson Jenkins-$15
Gaylord Perry-$15
Rollie Fingers-$15
Reggie Jackson-$35 (through his Mr. October for Kids charity)
Steve Carlton-$25 (through Game Winner Sports)
Jim Bunning-Free
Earl Weaver-$20 (through the Miami Children's Hospital)
Phil Niekro-$10
Tommy Lasorda-Free (long waits, preferably c/o Dodgers but will sign at home sometimes)
Lee MacPhail-Free
Nolan Ryan-$45
Orlando Cepeda-$55
George Brett-$55
Carlton Fisk-$40
Gary Carter-$25
Paul Molitor-Free (c/o Twins, up to six month wait, probably should send a little cash...that's how I got my success)
Ryne Sandberg-$20 (home, for charity)
Tony Gwynn-$20 (San Diego St. University)
Goose Gossage-$5-10 (if gotten at home)
Dick Williams-$25
Jim Rice-$10 (c/o New England Sports Network)
Andre Dawson-$20
Whitey Herzog-Free
Doug Harvey-Free (except hof postcards, which can be purchased with his sticker of authenticity at the Bob Feller Museum)
Bert Blyleven-$40
Pat Gillick-Free

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Rest in Peace, Harmon Killebrew

I learned today that Twins' great Harmon Killebrew passed away after battling for months with esophageal cancer.  Mr. Killebrew is the fourth player to pass away while I've been trying to collect an autograph from every living Hall of Famer.  Surprisingly, I don't think anyone has passed away who's autograph I haven't yet collected during this same stretch of time.

Mr. Killebrew was a perfect gentleman when I got his autograph at the All Star Game Fan Festival in Anaheim.  I'm sad to learn of this news.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Roberto Alomar

I was so happy to get this autograph today.  First, it has been almost five months since I last received an autograph request in the mail, and second this autograph is from a former Toronto Blue Jay and one of my favorite players while I was growing up.

Roberto Alomar was an All-Star second baseman and certainly a fan favorite in Toronto.  He is set to be inducted this summer along with Bert Blyleven and another member of the Blue Jays family, general manager Pat Gillick.  Alomar will be the first player inducted as a Toronto Blue Jay, and has recently signed on in the front office with his former team.

Alomar was nice enough to return a baseball card (which I did not send him) signed in black sharpie.  I originally thought it wasn't real, but on closer inspection it appears to be an actual signature.  I originally sent an autograph request to Alomar's home address, but never got anything back.  After the announcement that he was being inducted, I sent a request to the Baseball Hall of Fame address, and almost 100 days later, got the response I was hoping for.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Angels Fan Fest

This year the Angels are hosting a fan festival to promote the organization.  This event looks to be pretty sweet if you are an Angels fan with plenty of events scheduled including an autograph signing.

I'm not sure if there will be any Hall of Famers present, but I won't be able to make it for a few different reasons.  Tickets are only $5, and you get in to the preseason game later that day.  Seems like a pretty amazing deal to me.

More details can be found right here...

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Rest in Peace, Duke Snider

They say no news is good news.  I guess I should have been happy that nothing was happening on the autograph collecting front, because today I recieved the news that Dodger great, Duke Snider passed away at the age of 84.

Duke was one of the first Hall of Fame autographs I received, and he becomes the 3rd Hall of Famer to pass away while I've been working on this project.  Ironically, all three were Hall of Famer's that were willing to send me an autograph.

My thoughts and prayers go out to his family in this time of mourning.  The baseball community, and the local LA baseball community, will certainly be saddened by this news.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

All Quiet on the Western Front

It has been a bit quiet in my pursuit of every living Hall of Famer autograph.  Nothing - good or bad - has shown up in my mailbox for quite some time. 

I'm hoping that when the Dodgers announce the schedule for their winter caravan, that Tommy Lasorda will be on the list signing somewhere.  It was where I got Andre Ethier's autograph last year.  We'll have to wait and see.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

2011 BBWAA Hall of Fame Election Results

2011 Hall of Fame voting
Roberto Alomar
Bert Blyleven
Barry Larkin
Jack Morris
Lee Smith
Jeff Bagwell
Tim Raines
Edgar Martinez
Alan Trammell
Larry Walker
Mark McGwire
Fred McGriff
Dave Parker
Don Mattingly
Dale Murphy
Rafael Palmeiro
Juan Gonzalez
Harold Baines
John Franco
Kevin Brown
Tino Martinez
Marquis Grissom
Al Leiter
John Olerud
B.J. Surhoff
Bret Boone
Benito Santiago
Carlos Baerga
Lenny Harris
Bobby Higginson
Charles Johnson
Raul Mondesi
Kirk Rueter

Congrats to Alomar and Blyleven

Second-baseman Roberto Alomar and pitcher Bert Blyleven were both elected to the Hall of Fame by the Baseball Writers Association of America today.  They will join Pat Gillick in 2011's induction ceremony.  I've already sent out an autograph request to Alomar, but I may try through the Hall of Fame this time to see if that works better.  Blyleven has charged for his autograph for years, but I may as well try sending him an autograph request through the Hall of Fame too. 

There are certainly a few players on this ballot I would have voted in if I had that power, but alas, that is not how the system works.

Congrats once again to these two great players.  ESPN's press release can be read right here.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Hall of Fame Vote Prediction

I found this article very compelling - both in the way that the predictions are made, and some of the subtleties of the voting committee.  Check it out...

Wednesday's Cooperstown Results Today

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy New Year!

Welcome to 2011.  My first few months of collecting Hall of Famer autographs was an enjoyable one.  I obtained fourteen autographs starting back in July, to go along with the one I had from a few years ago.  Sadly, two of those individuals passed away this year, and a third is battling with cancer, but overall it has been a pleasant experience thus far.

My collection stands at thirteen autographs from the sixty-six living Hall of Famers -- just under 20% completed.

January 5th will be here before we know it, bringing with it the next class of inductees.