Sunday, January 24, 2016

Random Pieces of the Collection

It has been a long while since I posted one of these random pieces entries, so as I was going through some of my stuff I decided I'd write a post about some random autographed baseballs I've collected over the years.  The first is a ball Mike Lowell signed for me while still a member of the (at that time) Florida Marlins.  This was on a new baseball and I believe it was the inaugural season of Petco Park in 2004 when he signed it.
The second item I wanted to share is a ball signed by David Wells that he signed the first year the Padres played at Petco Park as well.  The story behind it is pretty cool.  Both David and Trevor Hoffman were playing wiffle ball with kids at the little diamond they have at Petco prior to a game later that evening.  Those who have been to the ballpark are familiar with this little diamond.  It was great to see two all star caliber players taking the time to mingle with impressionable young fans.  Wells was pitching and Hoffman was catching.  Afterwards, both stopped and signed for literally everyone that asked.  Also I recall at the time that I was wearing a Metallica shirt, and they just happen to be David Wells' favorite band.  So he was talking to me about them as he signed for other people.  Pretty cool experience overall I must say.
When Petco Park first opened, it really was a lot easier to get autographs from both the Padres as well as the visiting teams.  One of the Padres players I had a lot of luck with was Brian Giles, the multiple time all star.
Arguably the best player in this particular entry is Jim Edmonds, he of the renowned center field catches that were often spectacular.  I remember getting Mr. Edmonds to sign for me during batting practice before a game while a member of the Cardinals.  It happened to be the same day I'd end up getting two(!) balls signed by Albert Pujols, so it was an excellent hobby day for me.
The last ball I want to talk about is actually a ball I had signed at Qualcomm Stadium in 2003, the last season the Padres played there.  It is a game used ball signed by Jason Jennings, who also inscribed 2002 ROY on it for me.  There is a slight smudge on the back where the ball was struck by a bat, but other than that it is pretty clean.
Thanks for reading!

Monday, January 11, 2016

Chase Headley Game Used Bat

This year the company I work for had our holiday party at Petco Park, in the Western Metal Building.  Petco Park is the ballpark in which the Padres play.  In keeping with the ballpark theme, many of the raffle prizes ended up being sports memorabilia.  Out of the 400 or so employees working in my building, I doubt any cared for the prizes as much as I did.  Anyway, I ended up having my ticket pulled for a game used broken bat signed by Chase Headley.  Now, I've never once collected a signed bat, nor would Chase Headley be my first option of players to choose from.  However, this item is actually quite cool.  The fact that it was game used and broken during an at bat in a regular season game just adds to the neat factor.  It is authenticated by MLB as well. 

Sunday, January 10, 2016

MLB Hall of Fame Class 2016

Obviously, one of the things I like collecting most are baseballs signed by MLB Hall of Famers.  At last count, I had 28 such signed balls, and with the induction of Ken Griffey Jr. into the Hall that number is now 29.  To rehash this story, this is one of the very first signatures I ever obtained and I got it as a kid at Qualcomm Stadium, the former home of the San Diego Padres.  All I remember was that it was one of the first interleague games ever, and that I was hanging over the Mariners dugout.  This is on one of the old AL only major league baseballs that were used before MLB went to one uniform ball.

The fact that the ball is in such good condition and I never played catch with it or anything is astounding to me, because kids don't know any better.  I had no idea how rare it was to get him to sign, I had no idea I was lucky to get him on the sweet spot, nothing.  Now, he is in the Hall of Fame and pretty much the first signature I ever remember obtaining. 

Since this blog would be boring with just one photo, I included some photos of items I have signed by other guys who came close to getting enough votes this year, and I'm sure will be in at some point in the future.  First up, Trevor Hoffman;

Obviously I never had a problem getting Trevor to sign things.  He was always one of the coolets players on the team and willing to sign.  The photo was I believe a day or two or three after he got his 400th save, which he inscribed the date of on the picture.  

Next up is Jeff Bagwell, who got close this year but still hasn't quite made it into the Hall yet.  He was never connected to any PED use, but many of the writers and reporters assume he used, so he hasn't got the prerequisite number of votes.  It will happen.
Lastly, we have Barry Bonds.  The guy was a jerk, and the guy was obviously using PED's, but frankly, he is a Hall of Famer.  He probably won't ever get in, but he should based on how good he was even before his career was tainted by use.
Thanks for reading and congrats to both Ken Griffey Jr. and Mike Piazza.  

TOOL Concert San Diego January 9th 2016

As some may recall, I posted photos of an autographed TOOL concert poster previously from a concert back in March of 2014.  One of the coolest and most unique aspects of TOOL artwork is that much of it is done by guitarist Adam Jones.  What makes finding the signed versions of these tour posters even more difficult is the fact that getting tickets to the concerts themselves is hard.  When tickets went on sale for this event at Viejas Arena on the SDSU campus, tickets were literally gone within seconds.  The demand was so high that the band even set up a second date for next day (today, coincidentally) and those tickets were gobbled up just as quickly.  Also, the band will only sign a couple hundred posters at most, which means you have to go straight to the merchandise tent and hope they still have them.  One more very cool thing about these posters is that each one is different for the specific city they are playing in.  Since I went to the concert last night, I went and bought the poster, then had to shield it from the rain and hold it throughout the show.

It's difficult to take a photo of this since it's an odd shape and it wants to roll back up since that is how you have to hold it while at the concert, so this is the best I could do.
The silver in the top right is Adam Jones, who as I mentioned already is the guitarist and the artist for the poster.  The purple signature is Danny Carey, one of the most underrated drummers alive.  The gold is Justin Chancellor, the bassist.  
That leaves frontman Maynard James Keenan as the last signature, which is towards the left hand side of the poster.  Incidentally, Keenan signs differently for his other bands A Perfect Circle and Puscifer.  I've previously posted photos of a couple Puscifer signed posters I've purchased.

As you can see, there were only 200 of these made available for this set of two concerts.  These things often sell online for hundreds of dollars since TOOL doesn't have a whole lot of signed stuff available.  Also, there is a cool embossed stamp on each one of these that I assume is to guarantee authenticity.  
I plan on using a double matte with blue and silver and then framing this thing in black, which will look awesome once complete and on the wall.  As a reminder, this is how my last one turned out from the March 2014 concert;
The yellow with the black frame makes it really stand out, in my opinion.  This thing is displayed in my autograph hallway.  Also, here is the comparison the Keenan's signature from a Puscifer poster he signed, which you can notice is a big difference.

I hope you enjoyed this non sports related autograph portion of the blog.  Thanks for reading!

After the matte and the framing, here is how it turned out;

Monday, January 4, 2016

Various Winter Adds

As anyone who has either read my blog or actually is into this hobby can attest, the winter months can be an especially slow time for collecting signatures, especially when the main sport you collect is baseball.  There are major memorabilia shows going on nationally here and there, but those are expensive and very time consuming.  The one area where you can add a piece or two is by looking for good Black Friday or holiday deals from reputable companies.  I took advantage of one such deal by adding Brooks Robinson to my Hall of Fame baseball collection.
I had heard through the grapevine, or to be honest another guy's blog, that Target had some autographed baseballs for sale in which you buy a box and it has a random signature in it.  It was run by Leaf.  While at Target buying other things, I remembered I had read about this and decided to give it a shot and purchase one.  I pulled a Boog Powell with 4x All-star inscription.  My best reaction was "Meh", but it could have been worse.  Here is a link to the blog I referenceD, it's a very good read for those into the hobby who don't mind seeing a young kid spend tons of money; MC Autographs
In an earlier post I mentioned getting Albert Pujols at a signing event held at an optometrist's office.  The website for that practice is here; Dr. Liu.  I mention this because I happen to follow Dr. Liu on Facebook to see when he has more signings, and due to the fact he also has a lot of giveaways from past signings and/or professional athlete clients he has.  One such giveaway was an 11x14 photo signed by both Drew Doughty and Trevor Lewis of the LA Kings.  Let me reiterate again that the Kings are far and away my favorite team.  To win this giveaway one only had to comment why they are such a big Kings fan and deserve the autograph.  Well, I gave my spiel and the staff picked me, so I made the trek up to Rowland Heights and picked up my prize.  Here's a big shout out to Dr. Liu and his staff once again, and I would recommend them as a follow if you are so inclined.

2x Champs!
Lastly, as a Christmas gift my wife bought me an awesome acrylic UV protected case for 46 baseballs.  I've posted a photo of another case I already owned, so now I have two cases in my stairway with a total of 94 baseballs now displayed.  The new case is made up entirely of 28 signed baseballs from MLB hall of famers, plus guys who may well some day be in like Griffey, Jeter, Pujols, Hoffman, Bonds, Bagwell, Clemens, Trout, Kershaw, McGwire, etc.  The older case is now full of award winners and all star type players like Carlos Gonzalez, Joey Votto, Ian Kinsler, Jason Bay, Jose Canseco types.  Frankly, it's pretty awesome.  Thank you for reading!