Monday, December 31, 2012

Favorite Cards of 2012 #2 - More Local Boys

Following on from the previous entry,  number 2 on my 2012 favorite cards count down are these two 1940 Play Ball cards of the Waner brothers, Paul and Lloyd.  They are also native Oklahomans, hailing from nearby Harrah.

I think what I like most about these cards, the oldest in my collection, is the they provide me the opportunity to consider the expanse of time that they have travelled to come to me. When they were first distributed my father was but a boy, still a year shy of starting elementary school.  They have traversed 72 years in great condition.  72 years that saw a world war, significant social changes (most for the better), and the entire electronic revolution.  When these cards were printed, ENIAC, the first all-purpose computer was still six years in the future.

Who first pulled this card? Is that person still alive? How many hands did it pass through before it came to me? Who owned it during a snowy day in late 1965 when I was born.  The answer to all these questions, and more, will never be known.  But it is fun to just contemplate such matters and gain some perspective as to what a rare and special thing it is that they have come to me.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Favorite Cards of 2012 #3 - Local Boy Made Good

I try to be methodical about my collecting.  When I start a set, I set up a binder and create a checklist of all the cards. I carry that checklist through until I complete the set. Once I have a card in my possession, it is checked off the list and, as soon as possible, placed in it's designated spot in the binder

I hate having too many sets underway because it makes the collecting more haphazard. Which to work on?  How to allocate my funds for a given day across the sets?  How some of you have want lists with dozens of sets on it is beyond me. More power to you, but I would feel completely lost and out of control. Heck, I feel that way with 6 or 7 sets underway.

This card should not have been mine, because acquiring it did not help me in the quest to complete any of the various sets I have in process. Indeed, the $20 this 1948 Bowman Allie Reynolds cost me could have bought 3 or 4 1971 high numbered cards.  Or 5 to 7 Heritage short prints and inserts.  Or even a couple 2004 Fleer Greats autographed cards.

But, obviously, it is mine.  It is a playing days card of a star player for my Yankees and also represents a connection to my adopted home of Oklahoma.  I can't think of anything that could make this pickup any better.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Favorite Cards of 2012 #4 - OBAK!

Here is another of the few modern cards that made my 2012 favorite cards countdown.

One of the low lights of my year was the discovery that Tristar was not going to issue an OBAK set for 2012. It's run ended after three years.  It was a fun set who's subjects always connected back to baseball even if they weren't even directly employed in the game. I pulled a lot of fun cards out of the several boxes of Obak I opened, but I suppose this 2010 Andre Dawson autographed card is the best of the bunch.

Friday, December 28, 2012

Favorite Cards of 2012 #5 - Pop

My player collections got short shrift this year, particularly my Johnny Antonelli collection. I'm sure a few of you may be wondering why Johnny Antonelli? Well, growing up in Rochester, New York there was a chain of Firestone tire stores owned by him. I don't recall now when I realized he was a former baseball player. I do, however, remember how I decided to start a Johnny Antonelli player collection.

A while back I got a friend request on Facebook from a guy who went to the same high school I did.  I think he was a year or two ahead of me and his sister was in my class.  As I looked over his page, I realized that he organized sports figure autograph signings in Rochester and Minneapolis. I looked over his upcoming events and saw that Antonelli was going to be at one of them.  I had a couple Antonelli cards, but I quickly acquired a few more in better condition and sent them in.

I don't think I actually have featured this card before. It is a 1955 Hires Root Beer card that was given away with the purchase of Hires pop.  Cards like this are reasonably affordable, but get more expensive if the tab is still attached (click here).  There are also what is known as test cards. I am not sure what the back story is with those, but will have to research it some day.  They are ungodly expensive.  There is an Antonelli test card at COMC, but I am pretty sure I don't want to drop $125 on one.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

The 1963 Fleer Auto Project - Part 15 and 16

Instead of cardboard, I got Carhartt for Christmas.  Which is what I wanted.  However, I didn't get skunked over the holiday, although it took my own machinations to bring me some new cards.

These two cards arrived Christmas Eve day and represent the last of my recent activity on my project to get my 1963 Fleer cards autographed. I sent the Brooks Robinson off to a private signing in the Baltimore area last month.  It was shipped back to me on the 18th and should have been here two days later.  As I have implied elsewhere, it took a slow route to me, with it popping up in the OKC area almost a week later.

The Warren Spahn card was what I splurged on with the Christmas money from my parents.  There were several autographed 63 Fleers of Spahn on EBay. One was signed with blue sharpie, which would have been my preference over ballpoint pen.  But, the signature was smudged, the card was not in nearly as good of condition, and was priced over $40 higher than this one.  So, the choice was clear.  Spahnie, unlike Brooksie, must have been in a hurry to get here. I pulled the trigger on it on Saturday and it got here in the same Monday mail delivery, even though it was coming from the Seattle area.  It is also the first auto card of I have of any of the 20 deceased players featured in the set.

This may be it for a few months on this project. I have one TTM request I will be sending out next week, and there are two other players featured in this set that will be part of the February Chris Potter signing. But, that is all that is on my radar at the moment. 

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Favorite Cards of 2012 #6 - A Long Time Favorite

Another multi-card post!

Anyone who has read my ramblings for more than a month probably knows my undying love for the 2004 Fleer Greats of the Game set.  I found my first cards from the set in a discount box very soon after I got back into collecting.  A few hobby boxes later and I have completed the base set and am getting fairly close on completing the three insert sets (Glory of Their Time, Battery Mates, and Forever.)

I have toyed with the idea of working on the Blue parallels (numbered to 500 for the first series, but only to 75 for the second) and also the gold autographed cards.  Although, this isn't a high priority for me.  I'll only get the blue parallels if I can get them in bulk and I'll only get the autographed cards if I can get them on the cheap.  Which means I'll probably never complete these parts of the set.  Earlier this year, I did have a little success on both fronts. But, it has been a dry well since then.  But, I did get some cards I like quite well.

Who knows anymore if these are really game used. But, I do love the old time wool uniforms.  And these are just sharp looking cards.

I have also managed to accumulate 25 of the auto cards (out of a 109 card set.)

Tomorrow, I'll take a break from the coundown to feature two cards I got in the mail on Christmas Eve day.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Favorite Cards of 2012 #7 - Generosity

I've told this story before.  For the several of you who do read my scribblings, feel free to skip on past.

The value of this card, to me, is not the card itself, but what it represents.  The card as a metaphor has been a common theme so far in the countdown. I promise to try to not be so heavy handed going forward.

I was laid off from my job earlier this year and was down in the dumps. One day, a package arrived in the mail with a huge number of 1976 cards in it.  I had been working on that set when I went on haitus during my time between jobs.  The package was sent by the late Chris Stufflestreet, who was a pillar of the collecting (and blogging) community until his untimely passing earlier this year. Chris didn't send it for any other reason than as a friendly gesture. One that I appreciated greatly at the time and, frankly, still do.

As I cut down on the number of modern sets I collected, my trading activity declined sharply.  When I made the recent decision to forgo modern sets altogether and to focus on vintage, I realized my trading activity will likely cease completely.  But, I feel like I still need to contribute to a community that has been very generous to me.  So, while I don't have any particular plan of action, I will try to help fellow collectors where I can with the hope that the person will, at some point in the future, pay it forward to someone else.  Or as Emerson once said:

"In the order of nature we cannot render benefits to those from whom we receive them, or only seldom. But the benefit we receive must be rendered again, line for line, deed for deed, cent for cent, to somebody."

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all of you.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Favorite Cards of 2012 #8 - A Cliche, of sorts

As we continue the countdown of my favorite cards of the year, we come to this 1958 Mickey Mantle card.

This card didn't make it higher on the list because of how Topps has overdone Mickey Mantle.   Every year since 2005, card #7 in Topps Flagship has been Mickey Mantle.  Indeed, if you go to the search by player page at BaseballCardpedia, and plug in Mantle's name you will get 5,232 results.

Here is the breakdown by year of the number of Mantle cards issued (more text follows):

Year Cards
1951 1
1952 5
1953 4
1954 5
1955 6
1956 5
1957 3
1958 5
1959 4
1960 9
1961 9
1962 14
1963 9
1964 14
1965 5
1966 3
1967 9
1968 4
1969 4
1970 1
1971 1
1972 1
1973 2
1975 2
1976 5
1977 3
1978 2
1979 2
1980 6
1981 1
1982 15
1983 7
1984 6
1985 4
1986 19
1987 3
1988 3
1989 25
1990 11
1991 19
1992 32
1993 2
1994 56
1995 8
1996 147
1997 93
1998 29
1999 15
2000 22
2001 122
2002 71
2003 73
2004 67
2005 109
2006 1980
2007 1092
2008 695
2009 36
2010 70
2011 78
2012 179
Grand Total 5232

Did you catch that?  Of all those cards, only 114 were issued during his playing career.

So, while Mantle was a great player, and I do love this card, I think his cachet has been devalued by Topps' insistence on adding him to every freaking set they issue.  The value of this card for me was that it was the card that made me realize that I could own great vintage cards if I bargain hunted and, in retrospect, was the catalyst for my decision to finally eschew collecting virtually all modern cards.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Favorite Cards of 2012 #9 - An Unexpected Find

Many of you have professed your undying love for discount boxes. And, I have to say, I get it. The act of looking through a box with no goals in mind other than to find something (anything) that appeals to you can be a lot of fun. There is one dealer at the OKC shows that specializes in discount boxes. His dime boxes are just generally base cards thrown into 3200 count boxes without any protection and, from being carried back and forth to show after show, seem a little worse for wear. So, I generally avoid those boxes.

But his quarter, dollar, five and ten dollar box cards are better protected and easier to sort through and I usually do so for some time at each show. I will occasionally find things I need, like a 2004 Fleer Greats insert or the 2009 Obak mini I showed the other day. Other times, look for trade bait and have, on several occasions, looked at y'alls on line want lists on my phone to check if you need the card I am holding. Lastly, I will occasionally find things that just appeal to me, like an Upper Deck Sweet Spot Satchel Paige I found a year or more ago. This is an example of one of the latter cards.

I found this in a $10 box. Now, you might make the case that it isn't worth $10. I don't know what Beckett would think of this and, frankly, I don't care. It is a nice looking autographed card of a Hall of Famer. I have come back to this card several times since I found it and that is what makes it worth the money to me. I have several of Slaughter's playing days cards, but I think this is my favorite.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

The 1963 Fleer Auto Project - Part 14

Even since I have caught a little of the autographed card bug, I have been reticent to send out through the mail (TTM) requests.  I suppose I just don't wish to invade the privacy of the players, particularly those that are retired.  I get that some don't consider it an imposition, and are happy to sign and return cards.  But, I have no way to know which are receptive and which aren't.  So, I find that formal, arranged signings are more to my favor, as I know the players are making that choice to participate.

That said, as I started on my quest to get cards in my 1963 Fleer set signed, I was surprised to find that one player, Don Demeter, lives here in Oklahoma City and has a history of signing and returning cards.  I dragged my feet a bit, but finally knuckled down and sent off a request.  I wrote a short letter in which I noted my fascination that his first major league appearance was in a September 18, 1956 game for the Brooklyn Dodgers against the visiting St. Louis Cardinals.  The participants in that game included Stan Musial, Pee Wee Reese, Jackie Robinson, Gil Hodges, Roy Campanella, and Duke Snider.  The letter went out in the mail this past Tuesday, December 19.  And on Saturday (12/22), it is already back.

 I think it is pretty cool that he signed the card in some of the "dead space" on the side rather than covering up his face or any of the graphics.  But, that wasn't all. Included in the envelope was the
card below.
After a successful business career here in OKC, Don is now the pastor of Grace Community Baptist Church.  The note reads "Jeff: Thanks for your gift to our church. Come see us some time, we have members who live in Norman." I am honored that he took the time to write a personal note.

On a related note, I am *still* waiting on another autographed '63 that is still in transit to me.  It left Baltimore on the 19th and was supposed to be delivered on the 20th.  But, it has yet to arrive in OKC.  I refuse to call it lost as I know there is huge volumes of mail during the Christmas season.  So, I am just going to be patient.

Friday, December 21, 2012

The 1963 Fleer Auto Project - Part 13

This is my thirteenth signed card from the 1963 Fleer set.

This wasn't the card I was expecting back yesterday.  *That* card is still making it's way through the  mail towards me.  It was suppposed to be delivered on Thursday, but as of Friday morning it hasn't even made it to the OKC Sort Facility yet.But, it is the holidays and delays aren't unusual. So, I will do my best to not start obsessing about it being lost.  That said, I am happy to get this card though.  An autographed card of a member of the Baseball Hall of Fame is hard to beat.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Favorite Cards of 2012 #10 - An Autograph

This year I caught a mild form of the autograph bug. As you may know, I am working on getting as many 1963 Fleer baseball cards autographed as possible. At only 66 cards in size, it is a modest undertaking. And that represents my approach to autographs. Modest. I enjoy having the cards signed, but I am still ambivalent about doing through-the-mail requests (I have only done one TTM so far and it just went out in the mail Tuesday.) So far, I much prefer sending cards into formally arranged signings. That is how I got this card.

Oisk here was not my first autographed card. That was Johnny Antonelli at a signing arranged by a former high school classmate of mine. Nor is he necessarily the biggest name. That is reserved for my 1963 Fleer Bob Gibson or another 1963 Fleer that was signed yesterday and should be delivered back to me tomorrow. (Stay tuned!) I think why I love this particular card so is because it was signed right after I read Roger Kahn's "Boys of Summer," in which Erskine features prominently and is favorably portrayed. Carl and his wife are devoted to their developmentally disabled son, Jimmy. At a time when such children were institutionalized and forgotten, Carl and Betty made the decision to include Jimmy as a central part of their life and have continued to do so ever since. I think it is a great reminder that these ballplayers we mythologize are still just human beings and have all the everyday triumphs and challenges we all do.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Favorite Cards of 2012 #11 - Trade Loot

Okay, so this is four cards, not one.  But, with regards to subject matter and how I acquired them, they are all quite similar. So, rather than trying to pick between them, I am going to just show all four.

The theme here is relic cards of current Yankees that I acquired through trades.  Yes, I do recall that I have officially forsaken modern cards for vintage.  And, yes, I am familiar with the scandal surrounding relic cards.   But, neither of those facts matter, since what put them over the top is the part where I traded for them.  I will have more to say about the card blogging community later in the countdown, but suffice it to say it is meaningful to me to be a member of this community (virtual though it is.)

This Lineage '75 CC mini (MIIIIINNNNNNIIIIIIIII!!!!) came from Night Owl.

The above two A&G minis came from Scott over at the aptly titled Sports Cards Ate My Brain.

Lastly, this Mo relic came from Ryan at O No! Another Orioles Blog

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Favorite Cards of 2012 #12 - My only 1/1

The most short printed card I ever pulled from a pack was a 3/5 Carlos Santana that I got from a box of 2009 Obak and traded that off to Plaschke, so I didn't really have any super exclusive cards in my collection until March of this year.

I had made dayf a "custom card" based on the 1976 Big League Brothers insert and, in return, I got back a bunch of Heritage and 1976 Topps cards, plus the 1/1 you see above.

This card seems to see ponies through the eyes of an 8 year old girl. As many of you know, my wife and I have a small horse farm and even have two fer-realzy ponies.   And trust me, folks, the realities of ponies are not quite so sparkly.  It isn't all pink jodhpurs and glittery bridles.  The etymology of the phrase "there must be a pony in there somewhere" is grounded in a dirty reality.

But, this is still on my list of favorite cards of 2012 because dayf took the time to conceive and execute it with me in mind.  Topps can never top that.

Monday, December 17, 2012

December Card Show - Splurging

Having met my goals for the show, and having the pleasant surprise of making some progress on a couple other sets, I still had most of my funds left.  I could have left a happy man, but as you have probably surmised by now, I didn't. I mean I did leave happy, but not right away.  Thus, this third post.

I decided to take a look at another discount box and for a Jackson took a chance on a couple of autographed cards. 

This card looks better in person than it does in the scan.  At some point in the next few years (probably 2014), I'll start on the 1972 set. I figured why not have at least one autographed card in it.

This is a 1992 Sporting News Conlon collection card presumably signed by Marty Marion. I have to admit some reservations about this card now.  The signature doesn't look like other Marty Marion autographs you can see on the internet. This one is far less intricate and Marion normally dotted the "i" in his last name with a small circle rather than a dot. I have a hard time thinking someone would take the effort to fake the signagture of a minor star from the 1940s and it may be that the paint pen used to sign this card was too wide for him to sign his normal signature.  But, I have to admit that my concerns are enough to steal away a bit of the joy I initially felt at finding this card.

Moving on, I stopped by Bill Spillman's table to see what he might have had. He had just sold a 1975 Topps starter set of a little less than 200 cards to someone for $20.  I would have been all over that, given the chance. He had someone thinking over the purchase of a 1958 Ted Williams for $150.   He offered me the back-up position if the other person decided to pass.But, it was more money than I had left to spend, so I turned him down. But, good golly, it was in EX/EX+ shape and awfully tempting.

I did manage to get a couple of smoking deals from Bill, though.

A 1959 Stan Musial!  I am a little torn about one thing though.  Not the card itself.  As you probably know, Stan Musial is still alive.  He has a place where you can send in items for autographs. I am sorely tempted to send this card in, but at $125 for an auto it would put me on a collecting hiatus for about a month. I am struggling with what to do.  Can I go a month without scratching the collecting itch in exchange for an autographed playing-days card of one of the games legends?

I also got this from Bill:

1954 Topps Jackie Robinson. This may very well be one of my favorite pickups of the year.  As you can see there are some color issues with this, but is otherwise in stellar condition for a card that is nearly 60 years old.

It is cards like that affirm my decision to forgo collecting modern sets.  Spending several C notes a year on flagship and Heritage just doesn't compare to holding history like this in your hands. You can keep your Bryce Harpers (or whomever is the current Flavor of the Month.)  This is what I really enjoy about the hobby.

And that brings the card show posts to an end. We will now return you to your regularly scheduled programming.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

December Card Show - Miscellaneous Pickups

With my goals satisfied quickly, I decided to see what else was out there that might catch my fancy.

A couple weeks ago, with the completion of the 1969 Deckle Edge insert set within sight, I picked up a few of the 1968 game card inserts.  Yesterday, with the Deckle set complete, I picked up around a dozen more of the '68 game cards for around 50 cents each.

This puts me at about half done with this small set.  Of course, I have all the big names to go (Aaron, Mays, Clemente, Mantle.)  So, I'll probably make finishing one of my 2013 goals.  I also spent some time pawing through a few discount boxes.

And managed to actually find one Obak card from my want list in a dollar box.  This is the T212 mini of Ryne Sandberg (as an Oklahoma City 89er!) from the 2009 set.

Can you believe this?  A 1962 card of a Hall of Famer for a dollar? It isn't in super shape, but it is in far better shape than I would expect for a dollar box find.

Finally, the first new addition to one of my two player collections in quite a while.  A 1947-1966 Exhibit card of Johnny Antonelli that set me back about $5.  There are actually two Antonelli Exhibit cards. This one, where he is with the Braves and another with him as a member of the Giants.

So,  I had managed to hit my three show goals and managed to make a little progress on a couple of other sets that weren't on my radar for the day.  Best of all, I still had some green left in my pocket.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Card Show Goals Achieved

I had three goals for the show today and managed to achieve each one, although the level of achievement varied. My first goal was to complete my 1969 Deckle Edge set. I was fairly confident of getting this done because I knew a dealer out of Wichita had them. And, indeed, I did finish the set.

As I mentioned, I don't have the Joe Foy and Jim Wynn short print variations, but I am not particularly worried about that. I will get them at some point. But, with 33 filled pockets for a 33 card set, I am going to call it good.

I also wanted to add a few cards to my 1960 and 1961 Fleer sets.

I found two 1961s I needed. I am still a long way from finishing the set.  So, finding two was pretty much the lowest level of achievement on that goal. A solid C-.

I also wanted to make some progress on my 1971 set that I have been working on for nearly a year and a half. Unfortunately, Roger Neufeldt wasn't at the show today due to a family commitment, so I was only able to find four 1971 high numbers I needed from a seller out of Lawton.

But, among the four were two Hall of Famers.  Or six Hall of Famers if you consider the fact that Willie Mays, Willie McCovey, Gaylord Perry, and Juan Marichal are probably on that Giants team card.  So, I was able to knock off about 10% of the remaining cards I needed. I am down to 36 to finish the set.

So, all this only cost me around $25 total. I could have called it good and been reasonably happy with the cards I got. But I found a few cards I needed for other sets I am working on.  And, of course, I weakened and bought a couple nice cards that were priced to move. But, more on that in the days to come.

Decision Time

I have mentioned before that there appears to be a malaise infecting the card collecting blog-o-sphere recently that cannot fully be explained by the off-season.  A few bloggers have stated they intend to stop collecting modern products and focus on vintage. I have been toying with the same change in my collecting focus, as well.

When I started collecting in earnest at the beginning of 2011, I was buying every new product that came out.  I didn't collect it all, but I did work on putting together flagship, Heritage, and Lineage. I did this at the same time as I was working on vintage sets.  But, as 2012 started, I decided to narrow my focus to vintage sets or modern sets with vintage vibes.  However, as 2012 draws to a close, I find that while I still love Tristar Obak and 2004 Greats of the Game, I have lost interest in Heritage.

So, sometime after the first of the year, all my Heritage is going up on EBay.  I only need 9 cards to finish 2011, so I may finish that, as I expect the cost of the remaining cards will be more than made back by selling a complete set.  2001, 2002, and 2012 will be sold, though, as partial sets.  My box of Heritage duplicates will likely be sold "as is." Sometime after that, I'll need to figure out to do with the shoeboxes of various cards from sets I didn't collect, ranging from the junk wax era through 2011.

Following the lead of better bloggers, I am going to focus on vintage from here on out.  If another lovably quirky set like Obak comes out, I may make a run at it. But, barring that, I am done with modern cards.

Now that I have that off my chest, I can turn my attention to another matter.  That of the bi-monthly OKC card show this weekend.  My wife got a year end bonus at work, and with our Christmas shopping mostly done, we have a little latitude for some spending. I am not going to take all that much with me, since I have several farm projects staring at me at the beginning of 2013, but I am going to go and see if I can tackle a few modest goals:

  1. Finish the 1969 Topps Deckle Edge insert set. While I actually need five cards to complete the master set, two of them are short print variations (11B Jim Wynn and 22B Joe Foy.)  So, while I will chase them in the future, I am going to consider the set complete with the other three (Rose, Gibson, McCovey.)

  2. Add a few more cards to my 1960 and 1961 Fleer sets.

  3. Try and get a few more cards towards my 1971 Topps set. I am 40 cards from completion, but they are all high numbers. My hope is that Roger Neufeldt, of Sports Memories of Oklahoma, will be there, since he hasn't been at a local show since June. If he is, I'd like to knock off about a quarter to a third of the remaining cards out of the way (or, alternately, just get the Dusty Baker/Don Baylor rookie card.)  If he isn't there, I'll just pocket my money and use it at COMC or a similar online seller for some 1971s, or snag a couple autographed 1963 Fleers off of EBay.
Fairly modest goals, but it just doesn't feel like a time for extravagance.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

The 1963 Fleer Auto Project - Part 12

This EBay purchase arrived in the mail today.

I am pleased to get this card for the reasonable price of $14 including shipping. It is in pretty good shape. The corners are a little soft and there is some very faint staining on the bottom, but it looks fantastic in the binder. That is all that matters.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Do Not Want

Now if the Yankees sign A.J. Pierzynski, my 2013 season will be completely ruined.  It is bad enough that the Yankees are stuck getting little commensurate return out of their contracts with A-Rod and Mark Tiexiera.  But, I am really getting annoyed with their tendency to fill out the roster with over-the-hill once-stars.  Granted, I like the Ichiro signing. But, beyond that, I am not sure they got much return from such scrap heap picks.  I may rant more about the Yankees in the future, but for right now I am just going to sulk.


Need I say more? We're going to give this yutz the equivalent of over 20% of the Oakland A's payroll? 

Monday, December 10, 2012

The 1963 Fleer Auto Project - Parts 10 and 11

After the Post Office decided to sit on my shipment to MAB Celebrity Services for over a week, I wasn't sure if I actually got my cards into their recent signing. It arrived on Friday afternoon before a weekend signing.  The cutoff was actually Wednesday and the person on the phone didn't know whether I would get in.  Getting all OCD, I called again on Monday and the (same) person didn't have any better information. So, I decided to wait and see what happened.  Late last week, the charge for the signing appeared on my bank card, so my confidence increased significantly.  However, having spent over 20 years in the business world, I have learned not to count my chickens before their hatched.

So to speak. I tried not to get too excited. Well, today a UPS package was waiting on the porch when I arrived today.   And here is what was inside:

Two members of the Hall of Fame!  I am pretty psyched about these cards.   I still have two more out for signings this coming weekend.  Plus, I found a killer deal on Ebay for a signed card from this set from a deceased player.  With the four future signings, I have a sight line on 17 autographed cards, out of 66 in the set.   This has been a lot of fun so far, but I think it is going to get harder as I go along. There is a fair number of other signed 1963 Fleer cards on EBay, but most of them are signed in ballpoint pen rather than Sharpie. Plus, some are in dodgy condition.  So, I haven't really decided what to do about them yet.  But, I suspect I am going to have to find them where I can. Time will tell, I guess. 

What I am listening to:  Our Town by Iris Dement (with a guest appearance by Emmylou Harris)


True story:  This song was played in the background of the final scene of the final episode of the TV series "Northern Exposure."  The very day I first heard this song played on an internet radio station my wife called and said she just watched the last episode of the show and really liked the song that they played as they rolled the credits. How is that for a coinky-dink?