Posted in Autographs, Uncategorized

Ex-Mets’ autograph signing appearances in March 2014

calendarAfter a very quiet February, the autograph show circuit picks up a bit in March with the White Plains sports card show as the major event.

If I lived a bit closer (and had some money that I could afford to spend), I’d love to go – there are some “fresh” autograph guests that haven’t done shows in the area recently, if at all, and I’ve heard good things about the card show aspect.

If money really was no object, I’d also take advantage of Joe Torre‘s appearance at the Steiner Sports store this week to obtain his autograph for my All-Time Mets collection.

Reality says that I should be happy to be able to buy the basic 2014 Topps Heritage Mets team set once the cards come out, but here’s the information on those upcoming events in case you’ve got more money available for discretionary spending than I do.

White Plains “March Madness Show”

Autographed Ed Kranepool 1973 Topps baseball card from my collection
Autographed Ed Kranepool 1973 Topps baseball card from my collection

JP’s Sports & Rock Solid Promotions will hold its bi-monthly sports card show at the Westchester County Center in White Plains, N.Y. on March 21st-23rd. Admission is $8 per day, with kids under 12 admitted free.

Five members of the 1969 World Series Champion New York Mets team are scheduled to attend and sign autographs on Sunday, March 23rd: Ed Kranepool, Jerry Grote, Art Shamsky, Ron Taylor and Jim Gosger. Kranepool and Grote will cost $15 per signature; the others will cost $20 each.

Other notable guests for the weekend include future Hall of Famer Mariano Rivera ($299), 1987 NL Rookie of the Year Benito Santiago ($25), 1978 NL Rookie of the Year Bob Horner (1 free autograph with paid admission Sunday), and 4-time AL All-Star Ruben Sierra (1 free autograph with paid admission Saturday)

For more details about the autograph guests and their fees, visit

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Posted in Autographs, Uncategorized

Mets autograph collection: Frank Catalanotto & Choo-Choo Coleman

Continuing to look at some of the signed baseball cards I added to my New York Mets autograph collection last year, today we have Frank Catalanotto and Choo-Choo Coleman.

Signed Frank Catalanotto 1995 Signature Rookies Old Judge card from my collection
Signed Frank Catalanotto 1995 Signature Rookies Old Judge card from my collection

Frank Catalanotto, a Long Island native who began his professional career in 1992 with the Detroit Tigers organization, spent parts of 14 seasons in the major leagues between 1997 and 2010. He appeared in 1,265 games and recorded 1,113 hits while playing for five different teams.

The Mets signed Catalanotto as a 36-year-old veteran just weeks before spring training began in 2010 with the hope that he could provide a veteran presence off the bench. It didn’t work out too well – Catalanotto went 4-for-25 working almost exclusively as a pinch hitter and was released before Memorial Day.

Because of his short time in New York, Catalanotto does not appear on any baseball cards as a New York Met. I bought my Signature Rookies Old Judge autographed insert card for $1 from a dealer at a local baseball card show.

Signed Choo-Choo Coleman 1964 Topps baseball card from my collection
Signed Choo-Choo Coleman 1964 Topps baseball card from my collection

Choo-Choo Coleman was an original Met, selected with the 28th pick in the 1961 expansion draft. He played in a handful of games for the Philadelphia Phillies in 1961, but the majority of Coleman’s major league experience came with the Mets, where he played from 1962-66.

Like many early Mets, Coleman was not an especially gifted ballplayer – his career batting average is .197 and he hit just nine home runs in 201 games. But he was a character. The most famous story is one recounted about an interview with Mets broadcaster Ralph Kiner:

“What’s your wife’s name, and what’s she like?” Kiner asked. According to the story, Coleman replied, “Her name is Mrs. Coleman — and she likes me, bub.”

Coleman denied the story to  New York Times writer George Vecsey last year, though Kiner stood by it.

I got my 1964 Topps baseball card signed through a private signing session last year.

Posted in Baseball, Uncategorized

Link: For Choo Choo Coleman it’s a homecoming long delayed

Choo Choo Coleman's 1963 Topps baseball card from my collection
Choo Choo Coleman's 1963 Topps baseball card from my collection

Original Mets catcher Choo Choo Coleman returned to New York for the first time in decades this weekend to attend a pair of autograph signing events  and he will be a guest at Tuesday’s Baseball Assistance Team dinner in Manhattan on Tuesday.

Nick Diunte caught up with Coleman for an interview, in which the 76-year-old former baseball player reveals the origin of his nickname, his baseball career and what he’s been up to since leaving the game.  While this interview isn’t nearly as entertaining as Coleman’s oft-quoted responses to Ralph Kiner on an early “Kiner’s Korner,” they are far more enlightening.

Posted in Autographs, New York Mets, Uncategorized

Rare autograph appearances by Mike Piazza & Choo Choo Coleman

Next month’s White Plains sports card show is shaping up as a “must attend” event for Mets autograph collectors.

Mike Piazza
Mike Piazza poses for a photo on Beanie Baby Day at Shea Stadium in 1999 (Photo credit: slgckgc)

Mike Piazza will be the headline guest on Saturday, January 21st, with autographs starting at $149. A limited number of autograph tickets for bats and jerseys will be sold $249. Inscriptions and personalizations are an additional $50. While those prices are likely going to prove too high for my budget, I don’t expect to see a significantly better deal anytime soon. When Piazza goes on the Hall of Fame ballot for 2013, expect his autograph prices to get even higher.

JP Sports is also bringing in original Mets catcher Choo Choo Coleman, for what is billed as his first autograph show appearance ever on January 21st. Autographs will be $25.

Other former Mets players attending the show include Jay Hook, John Franco, Al Jackson, Jerry Koosman, Jon Matlack and Gary Sheffield. More guests may be added before the show date. In case you can’t make it, mail order is available.

Not to be outdone, MAB Celebrity Services is planning a 50 Years of Amazin’ Baseball autograph show at the Cesar’s Club at Citi Field on Sunday, January 22nd.

Hall of Famers Willie Mays and Tom Seaver headline a lineup that also includes Coleman, Dwight Gooden, Keith Hernandez, Ron Swoboda, Cleon Jones and Ed Kranepool, as well as special guests Al Kaline and Luis Aparcio.

Start saving your money. 🙂

Posted in Uncategorized

Former Met of the Day: Choo Choo Coleman

1964 Topps Choo Choo Coleman

Clarence “Choo Choo” Coleman spent parts of four seasons in the major leagues, but it probably helped that he was a Met in the early 1960s.

He finished his career with a .197 batting average, 9 home runs and 30 RBI. In 106 games in 1963, Coleman managed to commit 15 errors and 11 passed balls.

Continue reading “Former Met of the Day: Choo Choo Coleman”