Posted in Autographs

Getting ready for spring (training)

We’re less than three weeks away from the start of spring training. We’ll soon be able to read stories about which players turned up at camp “in the best shape of their life” and see clips of players hitting and fielding along with the basketball and hockey highlights on the nightly sportscasts.

It also means that we’re close to the start of spring training autograph season. Maybe one year, I’ll actually get to go to Florida and experience spring training in person… honestly, short of a lucky lottery ticket on one of the rare occasions that I play, it’s probably not going to happen.

So I’ll be writing letters and waiting to see what shows up in my mailbox. I’ve updated my Guide to Collecting Autographs Through the Mail page for 2016¬†for those who are new to this method of collecting, but basically you just send a baseball card you want signed along with a letter politely asking the player for an autograph and a self-addressed, stamped envelope for him to return it in.

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Posted in Autographs, Baseball Cards, Uncategorized

George Sherrill

george-sherillUntil last year’s marathon All-Star Game, I’d never heard of George Sherrill. I don’t follow American League baseball very much, and there hasn’t been much reason to pay attention to the Seattle Mariners or Baltimore Orioles lately.

And that’s too bad, because George Sherrill has a great story. He didn’t get drafted out of high school or college. Instead, he had to work his way into affiliated baseball by another route.

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Posted in Autographs, Baseball Cards, Uncategorized

One from Florida, one from Arizona

On the eve of the first games of the Grapefruit League season, I received another envelope from a Florida spring training camp.

2009 Upper Deck Pat Neshek
2009 Upper Deck Pat Neshek

Pat Neshek of the Minnesota Twins has to be one of the most hobby-friendly players to ever play the game. He signed my first 2009 Upper Deck base card of the year. He also sent me a New Britain Rock Cats 25th anniversary card in exchange for a couple of cards I sent to him for his collection.

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Posted in Autographs, Baseball Cards, Uncategorized

Monday mail from Florida

Monday brought a full mailbox, with four more cards from Florida spring training camps.

2008 Topps Manny Acta
2008 Topps Manny Acta

Former Mets coach and current Washington Nationals manager Manny Acta has an unusual signature. I don’t have any problem reading his last name, but I’m not sure how you’re supposed to decipher the squiggles to make up his first name. But that’s ok… I’m sure Acta will be left scratching his head alot this year too, considering his team.

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Posted in Autographs, Uncategorized

Sometimes things aren’t what they seem

The biggest downside of collecting autographs through the mail is that you can never be certain who actually signed the cards you get back.

While the vast majority of the items I get back match in-person or certified autographs, there have been a few… more questionable items. Here’s a look at a few of them.

Matt Holliday

In 2006, I wrote to Colorado Rockies outfielder Matt Holiday in mid-May. A month later, I was happy to get my cards back signed… at least until I noticed the postmark.

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Matt Holiday ttm autographs from 2006

The Rockies had a nine-game homestand from June 2-11, then set out on a road trip that took them to Washington and St. Louis. So how exactly did my envelope get postmarked in Austin, Texas?

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