Monday, July 16, 2018

Joe Thornton signed puck

The latest in my collection comes from a signing I saw being conducted by AJ's Sports World, found by clicking Here.  If you go to the site and look on the right hand side, they have a big list of upcoming signings with (mostly) NHL players, which makes a lot of sense saying that the company is based in Canada.  As mentioned previously, and made more obvious by a glut of my recent posts, I've started in on the signed NHL official game puck collecting.  Hockey has long been my favorite sport, though when it comes to collecting autographs I've long leaned towards baseball.  Keeping an eye out on signing events going on, including the private ones in which you don't meet an athlete, can be a boon for adding reasonably priced items.  Despite the fact that meeting the athlete tends to be the the main impetus of having an autograph collection in the first place, there are times in which the athlete is not accessible to you since they either never do public signings, or they don't play anywhere near where you live.  In these scenarios, sometimes the only solution if you really want to add a player to your collection is pony up the money and order it from reputable companies.  This long preamble all leads up to the newest puck I've added, Joe Thornton.  He's a sure fire future Hall of Famer, and when you can add guys like this, regardless of sport, you go for it.

The next item I will be posting about will be a huge one.  The cost was pretty high, but I figured now was the time to strike because this MLB player is already an all time great, and the cost isn't going to get any cheaper.  I expect to receive the signed baseball in the mail in the next few weeks, at which point I will come back on here and post about it.  Thanks for reading.  

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Game used Ryan McDonagh puck

I added another puck to my collection, this one of the game used variety courtesy of Steiner Sports.  The puck I received was of former Rangers (and now Tampa) defenseman Ryan McDonagh.  I know for many people that read this blog, hockey is far down the list of their sport favorites, but McDonagh is a good player that also played for Team USA.  What I found most cool about this particular puck is that the tape on it shows it came from a game in February 2017 against another "Original Six" member, the Montreal Canadiens.  I liked this particular puck because it came during the 90th anniversary season of the Rangers, which is reflected on the logo.

90th Anniversary season.  McDonagh signature.

NYR vs MTL 2/21/17

Game Used 1st period

NHL 100th Season official puck

Again, I'm a hockey guy first and foremost.  The fact I was able to find a good deal thanks to Steiner Sports on a game used puck was something I did not want to pass up.  The fact the puck came from the Rangers' 90th anniversary season, against no less of a team than the famous Montreal Canadiens makes it even better.  For curiosity, I googled the game and saw that the Rangers lost this particular game in a shootout, 3-2.  Future hall of famer Shea Weber scored for the Canadiens.  To me, it's a pretty cool part of history.  Thanks Steiner for having some good deals and for being a legitimate company.  Thanks to everyone who took the time to read this.

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Jaromir Jagr & Martin Brodeur

Hockey is my favorite sport, though when it comes to collecting memorabilia it's long been baseball that was my major focus.  There's something that really draws me to a case full of signed baseballs.  Maybe it is the history of the game of baseball that drives my desire to collect from that sport, I'm not real sure.  It very well could be my proximity to the San Diego Padres just made it real easy for me to delve into that realm and add quickly.  Regardless, I recently decided to try adding some signed hockey pucks to my collection, and get a case to display them similar to the two cases of baseballs I have.  I always keep my eye open for deals with reputable companies, in particular companies that have associations or deals with specific athletes.  My searching brought me across two deals I felt difficult to pass up, as I received about 50% on both of these pucks. The first is a puck signed by Jaromir Jagr, easy first ballot NHL of Famer and likely a top 10 all time NHL great.
What I liked in particular about this puck is the 50th anniversary of the Penguins.  You could theoretically have anyone who played for this team between the years of 1967-2017 sign the puck.  Here is what it looked like on the reverse side;
The other puck I purchased one signed by current Hall of fame member, and a netminder on the short list of best goalies of time, Martin Brodeur. 

These pucks will be added to the Dustin Brown Kings puck I won a few years ago and the Nathan MacKinnon Avalanche puck my dad received for being an Avs season ticket holder a couple of years ago.  Eventually, this case will be completely full and my project will be finalized.

Sunday, January 21, 2018

Le'veon Bell 8x10

There are some deals to be had during the holidays, and this year was no exception. I have posted in the past about a baseball I obtained during a private signing even with MLB hall of famer Bill Mazeroski.  That event was organized through Total Sports Enterprises, a Pittsburgh based company that is affiliated with the Steelers, Pirates, and Penguins.  Since I've done business with them in the past, I like to keep an eye on notifications coming through, alerting me to possible deals.  This year I saw that they had an offer that was too strong to pass up, so I decided to buy a photo signed by Le'veon Bell from a signing he just conducted with them.  Again, I prefer to get my autographs in person, but it's not possible to have this access to  many athletes not based on the west coast.  In these scenarios, always do your research and make sure the stuff you are buying is genuine, and when you see that a particular company has an agreement with a particular athlete, it's pretty much a near certainty that the product will be authentic.  

Friday, October 27, 2017

Bill Belichick-TTM

It has been awhile since I tried getting an autograph through the mail, and as mentioned before I usually do a pretty thorough job of researching which sports figures are more apt to send an autograph back.  I also delve a little deeper than that and look into who really signs the stuff sent to them, or who possibly uses a "ghost signer".  Ghost signers are the people that don't actually sign the items you send themselves, but have someone else do it for the.  One athlete rumored to do such a thing is Mike Schmidt, so although people will receive their items in the mail, the signature looks nothing like the signature you'd get from Mr. Schmidt in person.  All this being said, I've been five for five in getting authentic items back in the mail from athletes.  They include Dirk Nowitzki, Ryne Sandberg, Wade Boggs, Al Kaline, and Bobby Doerr.  This time around, I decided to send a couple of 8x10 photos to Patriots head coach and one of the greatest of all time, Bill Belichick.  The idea actually started with me wanting to get one as a gift for my father in law, who is a major Patriots fan, but since I was sending something anyway, I decided to slip another 8x10 in there and see if he'd sign both.  I sent these off around two weeks ago, and yesterday opened the mail to find this...

Needless to say, this was a promising start.  I also like that it comes in an official Patriots cardboard envelope, because there was no way the stuff would bend this way.  upon opening the envelope, I not only received both photos signed as requested, but a letter written by someone in the office of Bill Belichick (I doubt he has the time to write all the mail himself) and signed by him as well.
Pretty cool touch, even if in the likely event someone filled the letter out for him.  My photo came out a bit light compared to the one for my father in law, but that's okay.  It's still a really cool piece to add to my collection.  I'm going to have the 8x10 and letter matted and framed nicely and give it as a gift for my father in law. 
As always, thanks for reading.  I have a couple of more ideas for through the mail signatures from some pretty major athletes that are known to be great signers, so keep an eye out.

Monday, September 25, 2017

Stephen Strasburg

Through a family friend of mine that happens to be a friend of the Strasburg family, I was able to land a signed Major League baseball signed by Stephen.  It was an awesome surprise gift for her to be able to finagle this ball for me, and in kind I gave her a signed card from NHL great Mario Lemieux.  The ball is in black ink and not the preferred blue, but it's on the sweet spot and I have zero complaints.
Not a glamorous photo of this particular ball, I know.  This is how I received it, but now it's in one of my two cases and displayed nicely.
As always, thank you for reading. 

Jerry West 9-23-17

I saw a few months back that all time NBA great and "The Logo" himself, Jerry West, would be appearing at a signing event hosted by Honabach and Sons.  At the time of purchasing my tickets, the location was yet to be determined.  As we got closer to the event, I found out the signing was to take place at the Holiday Inn Express near the Ontario Airport.  That's a good hour and fifteen minute drive (at a minimum) for me.  Nonetheless, this past Saturday was the day of the event, at which I showed up a good two hours early, picked up my will call tickets, and waited in my car until the actual start time crept up.  I was prepared with an 11x14 photo that resembles the NBA logo itself, figuring it was an apt photo to choose.  I lined up in the VIP line about 15 minutes before the noon start time, at which point Mr. West was finishing up his photo ops with some fans.  He began signing immediately afterward, and I snapped a couple of photos. 

Within minutes, I was at the front of the line and asked Mr. West to add the HOF inscription I paid for.  The signature came out looking fantastic, and Mr. West was extremely cordial, chatting up everyone who came through the line, and not making the whole experience feel rushed.  We had a conversation about the shirt I was wearing, which was a reference to the TV show "The Office".

 I went immediately from there to the Beckett authentication line, where I recognized the infamous Steve Grad standng nearby.  Grad was formerlywith PSA/DNA but is now employed by Beckett.  Some of you may recognize him from his recurring appearances on the tv show "Pawn Stars", in which he comes in to authenticate signatures for the Pawn Shop.  I use the word 'infamous' because there is some controversy surrounding this character, leading to his departure from PSA/DNA.  You can Google the name at your own leisure if you desire.
 All in all, it was a smooth experience for me.  The signing went quickly, I was in the building for no more than twenty minutes.  The autograph looks awesome, and is signed in gold.  There was zero wait time at the authentication table.  Granted, I had the VIP line pass so that may was hugely beneficial for my time.  Mr. West was nice, which lead to a cool story to tell down the road.  I'll always keep an eye out for the signings hosted by this company, because I've yet to have a bad experience.  Thanks for reading!