# Wednesday, July 22, 2009
First, let me apologize for the lengthy period of time between posts.  Basically, for the last month I have had ZERO free time.  A combination of being crazy busy travelling for my job, visiting my ailing father in California, and a vacation in Chicago has taken up every bit of my time.

But I'm back, and should be posting regularly again from this point forward.  To make up for my absence, this will be the longest post ever.  I have a lot to show you!

First off, I received a bunch of autographs from two Chicago collectors that have been helping me out this season.  I've been sending them items (mostly photos), and they've been getting them signed for me.  In exchange, I send extra photos to get signed for themselves.  I met up with them for the first time last week at the Fan's Edge Sports Spectacular in Rosemont, IL.  Here is what I received:

Harold Baines - 16x20
Gordon Beckham - 16x20, Card x2
D.J. Carrasco - 8x10
Jose Contreras - 16x20
John Danks - 16x20 x3
Josh Fields - 8x10
Gavin Floyd - 16x20 x2
Chris Getz - 8x10
Ozzie Guillen - 16x20
A.J. Pierzynski - 16x20
Aaron Poreda - Card x2
Clayton Richard - 8x10 x2
Aaron Rowand - 16x20
Jim Thome - 8x10, 16x20 x2 (one with Jonathan Toews)
Matt Thornton - 8x10
Dewayne Wise - 8x10

Here are some of the highlights:


Speaking of the show in Rosemont, I got some great autographs there.  The show itself was pretty weak, but the autograph lineup was quite nice.  I got the following from the show's autograph guests (all were free except for Aparicio and Fisk):

Luis Aparicio - 16x20 x3, baseball, Gold Glove baseball, mini helmet, jersey, bat, card
Dick Butkus - 8x10
Bob Feller - 8x10 x2, baseball
Carlton Fisk - 16x20, mini helmet, 12x18, card
Jim Morrissey - 8 cards
Billy Pierce - 8x10, 16x20 x2, card x2, mini helmet
Mel Renfro - 8x10, card
Pete Rose - 8x10
Mike Squires - 8x10 x2, Gold Glove baseball, 6 cards
Ken Stabler - 8x10

Carlton Fisk was very interested in the photo showing him and Tom Seaver posing on the dugout steps.  I got his mailing information, and promised to send him a copy.

I also promised to send Billy Pierce a copy of the 1959 reunion photo, as he said he only has a very small one.  Billy was a class act as always.  When I told him that I would send him that photo, I said "It's the least I can do after all of the things you have signed for me through the mail."  He replied "I sure do sign a lot of it!"

Luis Aparicio obviously did not want to be there.  He tried refusing to put inscriptions that people had paid for (just HOF and ROY and whatnot, nothing strange), and from what I hear he just got up and left with people still in his line. 

Mike Squires was extremely friendly.  The photo that the official merchandise booth was selling showed Mike with an obvious black eye.  He said that photo was taken after he was hit in the face by a groundball, and that it was the only time that had ever happened.  While he was signing mine, I asked him to inscribe it "1983 White Sox, Winning Ugly".  I said to him that it would be a fitting inscription, with the black eye and all.  He and his "handler" both starting cracking up. 

Some highlights:

Last, but certainly not least, I attended Picnic in the Park for the first time.  For those that don't know, Picnic in the Park is a yearly event held at U.S. Cellular Field.  Admission includes a 1 hour autograph signing with just about the entire team, including coaches, an on-field picnic with the players and their families, and a fireworks show.  There is also a silent auction where you can bid on game used items, and other great collectibles. 

Other than a confrontation with an idiot trying to cut in line, I had an absolute blast!  The weather was absolutely perfect for the event.  Almost all of the players were very friendly.  As usual, Jermaine Dye wasn't very friendly, and Gavin Floyd seemed to be in a bad mood as well.  When I put the 16x20 down in front of Aaron Poreda, he said "Whoooooooaaaaah, that's a nice photo!".  Chris Getz said something similar when I showed him the triple exposure photo.

Here is a picture of me in front of Billy Pierce's outfield wall display, taken by my friend Mike, whom I met up with there:

Here is my bounty from PitP:

Brian Anderson - 2 cards, 8x10
Harold Baines - 8x10, 12x18
Mark Buehrle - 16x20, 2005 ASG Ball
D.J. Carrasco - 2 cards
Jose Contreras - 16x20, card
John Danks - 16x20, 10x20
Jermaine Dye - 16x20, 2 cards, 2 8x10s
Gavin Floyd - 10x20, 2008 Yankee Stadium Final Game ball
Chris Getz - 16x20, 8x10
Ozzie Guillen - 16x20, 12x18
Kevin Hickey - 2 cards
Paul Konerko - Bat, 16x20
Minnie Minoso - Card, mini helmet
A.J. Pierzynski - 2 16x20s
Scott Podsednik - 2 16x20s
Aaron Poreda - 2 cards, 16x20
Jim Thome - 16x20, card
Matt Thornton - 2 cards, 2 8x10s
Greg Walker - 2 8x10s

Once again, the highlights:

I forgot to mention, I also took part in a private signing that PCM Sports did with Alexei Ramirez backstage at the Fan's Edge show Thursday night.  I got ten large photos signed by Alexei (9 16x20s, 1 12x18).  It was crazy behind the curtain, lol.  Here are a few of the Alexei's: