Sunday, August 30, 2015

HOF Ball updates

I've probably gotten into the story before, but I have a case of 48 baseballs which consists of the very best signatures I have in my signed baseball collection.  I recently came across a fellow blogger's site in which he was stating he had some of his own collection for sale, so I took the opportunity to add four Hall of Famers to my set that I did not yet have.  I was able to add Don Sutton, Eddie Murray, Phil Niekro, and Goose Gossage.  Please see photos below;
Murray (HOF ball though signed upside down from HOF logo)

Niekro

Gossage (w/ HOF 2008 inscription on HOF ball)

Sutton (on HOF ball under logo)

Updated shot of the case

Top row left to right; Yu Darvish, Clayton Kershaw w/ Triple Crown inscription and stats, Trevor Hoffman, Matt Holliday, Don Mattingly, Ken Griffey Jr. 

Second row; Jim Thome, Carlos Gonzalez, Joey Votto, Adrian Beltre, Mike Trout, Andrew McCutchen.

Third row; Don Sutton HOF ball, Frank Robinson w/ HOF 82, Juan Marichal w/ HOF 83, Johnny Bench w/ HOF 89, Fergie Jenkins w/ HOF 91, Rod Carew w/ HOF 91.

Forth row; Steve Carlton w/ HOF 94, Tony Perez w/ HOF 2000, Carlton Fisk w/ HOF 2000, Tony Gwynn w/ HOF 07, Goose Gossage HOF ball w/ HOF 2008, Bert Blyleven w/ HOF 2011.

Fifth row; Joe Morgan, Lou Brock, Willie Mays, Yogi Berra, Gary Carter, Ozzie Smith.

Sixth row; Andre Dawson, Rollie Fingers, Gaylord Perry w/ 3534 K's, Stan Musial, Greg Maddux, Phil Niekro.

Seventh row; Jim Palmer, Eddie Murray HOF ball, Mark McGwire, Barry Bonds, Albert Pujols w/ ROY 01, Justin Morneau.

Bottom row; Pete Rose w/ 1963 ROY, Randy Johnson, Roger Clemens, Jim Edmonds, Derek Jeter, Jeff Bagwell.  

Please check out David's Blog to see how many awesome pieces he gets.  He is much busier than me in the autograph world and is a good read for those in the hobby.  

Sunday, August 23, 2015

MLB Autographs Update @ Petco Park

I've attended some Padres games this year as a season ticket holder, and wanted to post a brief update for some of the autographs I have obtained over the course of the season so far.  I recently had some luck at a game where the Reds were in town.  I added Brandon Phillips, Dusty Baker (who was in attendance doing something else), and Matt Kemp.  Kemp didn't sign the sweetspot but it was the first time I've ever gotten him so I'll take it.  

Phillips


Baker


Kemp

This is an autograph from Dallas Keuchel from April.  I took a gamble on this signed baseball because I knew the kid was pretty good last year and thought he had potential.  The good news is, this year he was an All-Star so my projection was on.  The bad news is he side paneled me and accidentally smeared his signature when tossing the ball back to me.  I appreciate him taking the time but would have passed on using a ball if I'd known the outcome ahead of time.
I attended a Phillies vs Padres game during the summer with my eight year old son who was very gung ho about trying to get some autographs.  I noticed Jeff Francouer was signing so my son ran over and asked him to sign a ball, which he did.  Generally Francouer would probably be a guy I wouldn't have sign a baseball (they are getting expensive) but my son really wanted to try and I was inclined to get him into the hobby so we can start a father/son thing.  Albeit an expensive thing.  
Lastly, my son and I have slowly but surely added on to the Padres 2015 team ball I mentioned earlier.  We have added Clint Barmes, Wil Venable, and the manager Pat Murphy.  During the Reds game I had field level tickets so was annoyed with myself for forgetting to bring the team ball when Yonder Alonso, Alexi Amarista, Yangervis Solarte, and Matt Kemp all signed right in front of me (same time I got the Kemp side panel ball above). 
Barmes

Murphy (manager goes on sweetspot)

Venable (shortly before being traded)

The project is coming along nicely, and the best part about it is my son held this ball the entire night, that's how excited he was to do it.  Sounds promising... 

Albert Pujols Signing at Dr. Liu Optometry

Approximately two weeks ago I came across some interesting and unusual news.  Albert Pujols would be making a very rare public signing appearance at the Dr. Liu Optometry office in Rowland Heights.  It was hosted by Guerrero Collectibles, who up until this point I had honestly not heard very much about.  I decided to make the purchase in advance and attend the signing, even though it was on the pricey side and quite a drive up from Oceanside.  The signing was to take place from 10-11 AM, but I drove up early and arrive at about 8:20.  The host was still in the process of setting up and I was only the second person there.  It turns out since I purchased in advance I'd get a "VIP" envelope and one of the first handful of spots in line.  The setup looked like this;
Since I didn't have to worry about a first come first served type of situation, I decided to grab some food and come back and pick up my envelope later, which already had my place in line listed on it (16th).  As an aside, I actually like the tickets they handed out, which are pictured below.
As you might be able to tell, I bought a small item and an inscription.  Going in, I had some debate in my mind as to whether to get an 11x14 photo signed, or a baseball.  I ended up deciding on the baseball since it is impossible to get Pujols to sign a baseball on the sweetspot unless you purchase it or attend a signing.  He will not sign inscriptions either so in my mind I decided a baseball signed on the sweetspot (and inscribed) would be harder to obtain than a photo, which you could theoretically get signed at the ballpark.

Pujols arrived and started signing pretty much right at 10, and I was in and out of there very quickly.  I tried to snap a photo of him real quick but it came out a bit blurry.
One reason the line went quick was that Albert was pretty much all business.  There was no shaking of hands, small chat, smiles, or anything.  I know a few people behind me were turned off by the behavior but, despite the fact that an outgoing player makes it more personable, it didn't bother me much.  My baseball came out nice, and I had him sign the 2001 ROY inscription as well.
I'll end this post by saying my personal experience with this signing was that it went smoothly, quickly, and I ended up with an outstanding piece for my collection.  That being said, while standing in line to get the JSA authentication there was quite a bit of grumbling going on behind me about the dreaded "APS" signature he was giving to some of the people in line.  For a point of reference, Pujols has his nice clean signature like the one I have above, and a sloppy quick signature that he is more inclined to give out at the ballpark.  To see what that looks like see below.
This is one of the two balls I have gotten in the past from Albert Pujols, and you can see the difference between the two baseballs.  If you're at a paid signing, you fully expect the clean version like the one I was lucky enough to get.  You especially expect the good signature when you're at a paid signing that costs as much as this one did, so I can fully understand why people would be frustrated.  The man in front of me had three tickets from the game in which Pujols hit his 500th HR, and he signed all three tickets like the "APS" one above.  He also allegedly did not sign every item that people had prepaid for.  For example, one guy paid for a box of baseballs to be signed, and Pujols signed three.  There are some other bloggers out there who might have more information or saw something similar to what I was hearing, but my experience was just fine and I'd go through Guerrero Collectibles again.  Thanks for reading.