# Wednesday, February 23, 2011
Another day, another White Sox rackfest!  Today was just about as good as yesterday.  I got more autographs today despite the fact that I didn't have any other generous graphers helping me out.

Last year at Twins camp, Jesse Crain would always stop his car on his way out of the parking lot to sign for everybody.  He had some fun with us, though.  At some random point, he would honk the horn of his giant truck, and scare the crap out of all of us.  I asked him if he was doing that this year, and he said he couldn't bring his truck with him because it is way too big for Chicago.

John Danks was great as usual.  He would have signed two more cards, but he got sweat all over them, and he didn't want the autograph ruined.  He told me that his mom would love a copy of each of the prints I've made or had made of him.  I'll bring those to him tomorrow.

Jake Peavy was very appreciative of the "South Side Aces" print that I gave him.  He was doing 1 per for everybody as he was in bit of a rush, but he made sure to knock out 3 for me.

I was surprised to see Darrin Jackson there today.  That makes two announcers in camp.  Luckily, DJ is no Steve Stone.  When he came out, he said he would sign on his way back in.  About an hour later, I turned around and DJ was heading right for me.  I didn't even have to remind him.

I haven't yet decided what I think of Will Ohman.  When he was taking the field in the morning, I asked if he had time to sign.  He looked at his wrist (no watch) and said "I checked my watch, I don't have time".  At the end of practice, he answered the same question with "I do have time now" and signed 2/4 cards.

When I asked Kirk Champion to sign, he replied "You must have dug deep if you've got cards for me".

Here is my Sox tally for day 2:

Harold Baines - 1/2
Gordon Beckham - 1/2
Kyle Bellamy - 4/4
Mark Buehrle - 1/2 (10x20)
Anthony Carter - 1/1
Kirk Champion - 3/3
Kyle Cofield - 4/4
Jesse Crain - 4/4
John Danks - 2/4, 4/4 (2 10x20s, 2 10x30s)
Jordan Danks - 2/2 (8x10s)
Alejandro De Aza - 4/4
Adam Dunn - 1/3
Tyler Flowers - 2/2
Gavin Floyd - 2/2
Darrin Jackson - 2/2
Nate Jones - 4/4
Paul Konerko - 1/2
Charlie Leesman - 4/4
Brent Lillibridge - 2/4
Ever Magallanes - 4/4
Jeff Marquez - 4/4
Joe McEwing - 2/2
Dallas McPherson - 4/4
Brent Morel - 1/4
Juan Nieves - 4/4
Will Ohman - 2/4
John Orton - 4/4
Jake Peavy - 3/4
Tony Pena - 4/4
Juan Pierre - 2/4, 2/2
A.J. Pierzynski - 1/2
Alex Rios - 1/2
Chris Sale - 1/1 (16x20)
Sergio Santos - 4/4
Brandon Short - 4/4
Mark Teahen - 2/2
Matt Thornton - 2/2
Dayan Viciedo - 1/1 (16x20)
Devon White - 2/2

When I was finally convinced that there was no point hanging around the empty Sox camp, I again headed to the Dodgers parking lot.  My main objective was still to get Jon Garland to complete my All-Star 16x20.  The only difference is, this time I completed it!  I was giddy for about 15 minutes afterwards.  This bad boy is getting framed!

John Kruk was doing a report from Camelback Ranch today.  He entered on the Sox side, but was in a big rush and couldn't stop to sign.  He exited on the Dodgers side, and couldn't have been nicer or more accommodating.  I just wish I had had some Sox stuff with me!

Here are my Dodgers totals:

Casey Blake - 1/1
John Ely - 4/4
Jon Garland - 1/1 (16x20)
Jay Gibbons - 4/4
Gabe Kapler - 1/2
John Kruk - 1/1 (baseball)
Hiroki Kuroda - 1/1
Mike MacDougal - 3/3
Dioner Navarro - 1/2
Trent Oeltjen - 1/1
Ramon Troncoso - 2/2
Maury Wills - 2/2

Today's total: 113 cards, 3 16x20s, 2 10x20s (3 autographs), 2 10x30s, 2 8x10s, 1 baseball, 1 11x14

2011 Spring Training 4 day total: 275 cards, 6 8x10s, 3 baseballs, 3 16x20s, 2 10x30s, 2 11x14s, 2 10x20s, 1 mini helmet

posted on Wednesday, February 23, 2011 7:12:44 AM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #   
# Tuesday, February 22, 2011
Finally!  I'm in Arizona and just finished my first day at White Sox camp.  This is something I have wanted to do for about 15 years.  I'm happy to say it was worth the wait!

First off, those who didn't sign.  Mark Buehrle, Ozzie Guillen, Edwin Jackson, & Alex Rios denied all autograph requests.  Several others didn't sign, but that was due more to the fact that 10 people were already signing, and nobody had a chance to call them over.  I believe this was the case with John Danks (can't believe I missed him!), Jordan Danks, Matt Thornton, and a few others.  Also, I missed Chris Sale, who did sign, because I was getting Jake Peavy.

When Jake Peavy saw the South Side Aces photo, he replied "You know what, I'd really like to have one of those".  I told him I would bring him one tomorrow.  Hopefully he hooks me up!  He is a class act, and signed for everybody.

When Vizquel saw the 2011 Topps Diamond card, he exclaimed "Ooooh, shiny!".

Now, on to Steve Stone.  If you've been reading my site from the beginning, you know my feelings about Steve Stone.  If not, let me lay it out for you.  He's a jerk!  I don't think you'll get much argument if you talk to other collectors that have tried getting his autograph.  Read my 2009 Soxfest recap for more details.

Anyway, back to today.  For some reason, Stone was at the White Sox workout.  Announcers don't usually show up until the games start, but he was there anyway.  He was about 5 feet from the 3 foot tall fence we were standing behind.  Somebody asked for an autograph, and to my surprise he agreed to sign.  However, he refused to walk the 5 feet to the fence.  He said "Toss it".  When the lady said she didn't hear him, he repeated "toss it".  So she tossed him his ball.  After he tossed it back, I asked if he would please sign a card for me.  He finally walked up to the fence, and took my book that had two of his cards.  I was completely surprised to be getting Steve Stone's autograph!

Well, I shouldn't have been.  After he returned my book, I looked at the card he "signed".  He printed his name on the card!  Instead of using his autograph, he wrote out his name like he was in kindergarten.  Not only that, but he did it write across his face!  I looked at the autograph he signed for the other person, and it was his normal autograph! 

Just so we're clear, let me repeat:  Steve Stone is a jerk!

Jeff Cox showed what a character he is after signed 4 cards for me.  I was the only fan left on the White Sox side of Camelback Ranch when Cox came in.  Everybody else had either left or gone over to the Dodgers side.  After signing my 4 cards, Cox yelled out "Go White Sox!"  What persuaded him to do that, I have no idea.

Well, it's about time I gave you what you came here to see.  My tally!  If it doesn't say what item was signed, then it's a card.

Gordon Beckham - 1/2, 1/1 (help)
Daryl Boston - 1/1
Brian Bruney - 2/2
Jeff Cox - 4/4
Freddy Dolsi - 2/2
Adam Dunn - 1/1 mini helmet
Eduardo Escobar - 4/4
Tyler Flowers - 2/2 8x10s
Gavin Floyd - 2/2 10x20s, 1/1 card (help)
Lucas Harrell - 3/4 (Lucas doesn't sign dupes, and he thought that the 2010 Bowman and 2010 Bowman Chrome Refractor were the same card)
Philip Humber - 4/4
Gregory Infante - 4/4
Paul Konerko - 1/2
Jeff Manto - 4/4
Lastings Milledge - 2/2
Jhonny Nunez - 4/4
Jake Peavy - 1/1, 1/1 (help), 2/2 10x20s
Tony Pena - 4/4
Josh Phegley - 2/2 8x10s, 4/4 (help)
Juan Pierre - 2/2
A.J. Pierzynski - 1/2
Carlos Quentin - 1/2
Alexei Ramirez - 1/2 11x14s
Mark Salas - 2/4
Steve Stone - 1/2 (I guess)
Dayan Viciedo - 2/2 11x14s
Omar Vizquel - 1/2
Devon White - 1/1 (97 World Series baseball)

A few minutes before I planned on leaving the Sox side, a guy that I had been hanging out with hollered at me from a ways away that Don Mattingly was signing on the Dodgers side.  It is a bit of a trek to the Dodgers side, but I felt Mattingly was worth.  Unfortunately, I had stuff scattered everywhere, so I was going to have to spend a couple of minutes gathering it all together.  Luckily, the nice security lady that I had been talking to said "Go!  I'll watch your stuff".  So I ran like the wind (ha!) over to the Dodgers side.  There was a line formed for Mattingly, so I got in line.  When I was the next person to get him, he said "I'm signing 3 more, then I'm done".  I had barely made it, all thanks to the nice security lady!

I returned to the Sox side with Mattingly ball in tow, and packed up my stuff and head to my car.  Apparently the Sox never sign at the parking lot, so I decided to drive over to the Dodgers lot to see if Jon Garland and Juan Uribe had left yet.

Unfortunately, Garland was already gone.  Uribe was still there, but didn't sign anything when he did leave.  However, I did get a few autographs, including another from Mattingly and a couple from Maury Wills.  Maury was in the best mood I had ever seen him in.  He was asking everybody that had a nice item if they wanted an inscription or personalization.  He ended up signing for a good 10-15 minutes.

James Loney was great.  Instead of getting in his car, and then rolling down his window to sign, he actually turned around and walked over to us graphers.  We had a long row of people gathered in what appeared to be a line, and I was the first person he got to.  Right as he was about to take my item, he said "What about those guys (pointing to the back of the line)... I think I'll start there!  So instead of being first, I got him last!  Still, he signed one a piece for everybody, and was very personable and friendly throughout.

When Mattingly was getting ready to pull out, the security guard suggested we form a line.  He thought that it would increase the chances of Mattingly stopping.  So we formed a line, again with me in the front.  When Mattingly pulled out, he said "Wow!  You guys formed such a nice line, now I have to sign!".  I'd never really met Mattingly before today, but now I'm definitely a fan.

Anyway, here is my Dodgers tally:

Rod Barajas - 2/2
Casey Blake - 2/2
Jamey Carroll - 2/2
John Ely - 2/2
Tony Gwynn Jr. - 1/1
Rick Honeycutt - 2/2
Kenley Jansen - 4/4
James Loney - 1/2
Don Mattingly - 1/1
Maury Wills - 2/2

All in all, it was a fantastic day!  I can't wait to do it again tomorrow!

I will post better pictures when I get home.

Today's total: 74 cards, 4 8x10s, 2 baseballs, 2 11x14s (3 autographs), 2 10x20s (4 autographs), 1 mini helmet

2011 Spring Training 3 day total: 162 cards, 4 8x10s, 2 baseballs, 2 11x14s, 2 10x20s, 1 mini helmet

posted on Tuesday, February 22, 2011 8:19:08 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #   
# Sunday, February 20, 2011
I made my way over to Kissimmee for the Astros workout today.  My main objective, of course, was Carlos Lee.  I got there at 7:00am to try to get him as he pulled into the parking lot.  I had a large sign that read "Please Carlos".  When he rolled up in his Bentley at 8:30am, I held the sign up in the air.  I was the only person there.  Unlike last year, when this gambit worked, he just waved as he drove right by me.

It was a fitting start to a terrible day.  Carlos didn't pick up a pen all day.  The pitchers only worked out for an hour or less, then went straight back into the clubhouse.  So you had to choose between sticking around to try and get position players, or head to the parking lot to try for the pitchers.  I stuck with the position players to try to get Lee.  Of course, Lee didn't sign.  Neither did Hunter Pence.  The only notable guys that signed more than a couple of autographs were Clint Barmes, Jason Castro, Brett Wallace, and former Sox Jason Bourgeois.  The guys I missed by staying (that I was told about) were J.A. Happ and Wandy Rodriguez.

It's only been two days, but it has been a discouraging start to spring training.  I'm striking out on all of the big names (Chipper, Lee, Heyward, etc) and the most notable former Sox (Linebrink, Lee).  I just hope the trip to Arizona leads to more success.

Here is my tally:

Brad Arnsberg - 2/3
Mike Barnett - 2/2
Clint Barmes - 2/2
Jason Bourgeois - 4/4
Enos Cabell - 2/2
Jason Castro - 2/2
Dave Clark - 2/2
Jose Cruz - 2/2
Matt Downs - 2/2
Burt Hooton - 1/2
Jason Michaels - 2/2 (he is the only guy that signed in the parking lot in the morning)
Jiovanni Mier - 4/4
Brad Mills - 2/2
Paul Runge - 2/2
T.J. Steele - 4/4
Milt Thompson - 2/2
Ty Van Burkleo - 2/2
Brett Wallace - 2/2

Today's total: 41 cards

2011 Spring Training 2 day total - 88 cards

Tomorrow I'm off to Arizona to see the White Sox!!!  Probably won't get there in time to get any autos tomorrow, but I should be racking on Tuesday!

posted on Sunday, February 20, 2011 3:37:17 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #   
# Saturday, February 19, 2011
I went to Disney today to graph the Braves spring training workout.  Unfortunately, I didn't realize that they were getting there physicals today, so I got there WAAAAY earlier than I needed to.

I struck out on the big names (no Chipper, Heyward, McCann, Hudson, Lowe, etc) but still had a decent day regardless.  Here is my tally (all cards):

Brent Clevlen - 1/2
Brooks Conrad - 4/4
Randall Delgado - 4/4
Jamie Dismuke - 2/2
Lee Elia - 1/1
Freddie Freeman - 1/2
Eric Hinske - 2/2
Mycal Jones - 4/4
Craig Kimbrel - 1/4
Javy Lopez - 2/2
Joe Mather - 4/4
Kris Medlen - 4/4
Roger McDowell - 2/2
Nate McLouth - 1/2
Phil Niekro - 1/2
Larry Parrish - 2/2
Martin Prado - 1/2
Wilkin Ramirez - 3/3
Jordan Schafer - 1/2
George Sherrill - 2/2
Dan Uggla - 4/4

Total - 47 cards

Next up is Astros camp tomorrow.  After that, I'm off to Arizona to see the White Sox!!!

posted on Saturday, February 19, 2011 6:44:50 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #   
# Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Former White Sox manager Chuck Tanner passed away Friday at the age of 82.

Although he was known more for his time with the Pirates, Tanner had a good run with the Sox in the early-mid seventies.  Without Tanner, Wilbur Wood probably never gets the chance to be the ultimate workhorse he ultimately became, and Dick Allen likely never reaches the heights he did with the Sox.

Jim Margalus over at South Side Sox has a great piece summarizing Tanner's time with the Sox.  It is well worth a read.

posted on Tuesday, February 15, 2011 8:17:19 AM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #   
# Monday, February 07, 2011
It's official!  I will be heading to Arizona for some spring training workouts.  I arrive on February 21st, and depart on February 26th.

I've done plenty of spring training graphing, but this will be my first time at White Sox camp!

I'll be spending most of my time at White Sox camp.  However, I will also be visiting Dodgers camp and Rockies camp.  At Dodgers camp, my main objective will be completing this bad boy:

Hopefully I'll be able to knock out some Juan Uribe and Jon Garland Upper Deck cards as well.  My sole reason for visiting Rockies camp is Joe Crede.  I need him on 8 Upper Deck cards.  Hopefully I can convince him to sign all 8!

If any of you will be in AZ during my stay, please let me know!  I'd love to meet up with some fellow Sox fans, or just baseball fans in general.

posted on Monday, February 07, 2011 10:43:25 AM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #   
Chris Potter recently held a private signing with Sox HOFer Luis Aparicio.  The price was very reasonable, so I got a nice mix of vintage and modern issues signed.  Here is the bounty:

1958 Topps All-Star
1960 Topps
1970 Topps
2002 Topps Tribute
2005 Donruss HOF Heroes
2006 Turkey Red
2010 Turkey Red



There is something about that Diamond Kings HOF Heroes card that I really like.  The autograph really stands out on the card, and the HOF inscription is especially fitting considering the theme of the card.  All in all, it is probably my second favorite Luis Aparicio autographed card, after his 1956 Topps rookie.

posted on Monday, February 07, 2011 12:23:53 AM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #   
# Sunday, December 19, 2010
I was doing my weekly Robin Ventura search on eBay when I came across this item.  I am a big fan of signed statues and figurines.  I had no idea that Sports Impressions had made a Robin Ventura figurine.  The piece was limited to 975 pieces, each hand signed by Robin Ventura.  I purchased it immediately!

This brings my collection of signed figurines to six.  The other five are below.  Make sure to click the images for a much larger picture.



posted on Sunday, December 19, 2010 10:48:04 AM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #   
# Friday, December 03, 2010
This week I received the results SCN user spoliz911's private signing with Jim Kaat.  I already have Mr. Kaat on a couple of Sox cards, but I needed him for two projects.  First, "Project Rookie Card":

The next thing I needed Jim for was my collection of Gold Glove baseballs signed by every living White Sox player to win the award.  Now I just need Ozzie Guillen, Robin Ventura, and Ken Berry.

posted on Friday, December 03, 2010 9:25:29 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #   
# Thursday, December 02, 2010
The White Sox have signed former Reds and Nationals slugger Adam Dunn to a 4 year, 56 million dollar contract.  Kenny Williams has been trying to obtain Dunn for quite some time now... and Kenny always gets his man!

According to FanGraphs, Dunn was worth $15.7 million to the Nationals last season.  $14 million a year for his age 31-34 seasons seems about right, as long as the Sox aren't tempted to play him in the outfield.  His defense at first base is acceptable, but in the outfield he is terrible... we're talking Kevin Reimer bad.

Kenny Williams insists that there is still money in the budget to resign Paul Konerko.  If that happens, the Sox should have plenty of offense in 2011, with Konerko and Dunn splitting duties at 1B and DH.

However, there is a downside to this signing.  Dunn is a type A free agent.  This means that the Sox will surrender their first round draft pick in 2011 (#23) to the Nationals.

posted on Thursday, December 02, 2010 9:09:17 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #