# Friday, 27 February 2009
I got some great stuff in the mail today.  It was a mixture of TTM autograph requests and purchases.  Let's start with the TTM successes, which are my first of Spring Training 2009.

I got 2/2 from current Sox lefthanded reliever Matt Thornton.



I also got 2/2 from new Seattle Mariners manager and former Sox player Don Wakamatsu.



Now, on to the purchases!  I made huge progress on my collection of White Sox all-stars, adding 7 signed 3x5s of Sox all-stars from the 30's, 40's, and 50's!  Sandy Consuegra, Ferris Fain, Bob Keegan, Mike Kreevich, Thornton Lee, Cass Michaels, & Edgar Smith!  I now need 15 more all-stars to complete the collection!



I have saved the best for last.  I have obtained an autograph that I truly never thought I would have.  I will let the picture do the talking!



That's right, 1939 Hall of Fame inductee Eddie Collins!  It is even PSA/DNA authenticated!
posted on Friday, 27 February 2009 23:31:36 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #   
# Saturday, 21 February 2009
Just added a Luke Sewell signed 3.5x5.5 photo to the collection.  This bring me one step closer to having an autograph from every White Sox player ever to make an All Star team.  Luke was on the AL team in 1937.  You can view my progress collecting autographs from White Sox All-Stars here.


posted on Saturday, 21 February 2009 13:23:17 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #   
# Friday, 20 February 2009
This will be the first of a series of Top Ten lists I will be posting.  The subject of these top ten lists could range from autographs to rankings of the best White Sox players all time. 

Today I'll be ranking my ten favorite signed cards.  This isn't a list of the ten most valuable, just the ten that bring me the most joy.  I may like the aesthetics of the autograph, it may bring back fond memories, it could be a favorite for any number of reasons.  I am going to limit each player to one card on the list, so it isn't dominated by 3 or 4 of my favorite players.  Let's get right to it!

#10 - Joe Crede 2004 Studio Private Signings Silver - Joe Crede is one of my favorite Sox players, even if he isn't my favorite Sox third baseman.  This card is very cool, showing Joe when he was just a clean cut kid looking to establish himself.  The signature is also very nice, about as good as it gets from Joe, who can produce some of the ugliest signatures I've ever seen.  This one makes it on the list due to a combination of aesthetics, and being my favorite auto from one of my favorite players.




















#9 - Norberto Martin 1994 Sportflics - The scan doesn't do this autograph justice.  It is one of the coolest autographs I've ever seen.  Norberto already has a beautiful signature, and it just POPS off of this card.  Plus, who doesn't love Paco Martin?




















#8 -
Ozzie Guillen 2005 Topps Rookie Cup - Ozzie is the man, even if he was the worst hitter I've ever seen that had a career as long as he did.  I'll admit, I didn't have much love for him as a player, but he has won me over as a manager.  Not only did he lead the Sox to their first World Championship in 88 years, but he has been refreshingly honest with the media, just about the only big league manager to do so.  Also, he has the most even take on the whole "steroid controversy" of any big leaguer I've heard from on the subject.  Besides, this card looks awesome!




















#7 -
John Danks 2007 Exquisite Collection Signatures Rookie Biography Autographs Gold - I've been a John Danks fan from the start of his Sox career.  I've been picking up certified autos of his for the last couple of years.  This set is probably my favorite autograph set ever produced.  They have an attractive design, with good photography, and have an especially limited print run.  This particular one is #13/15.  The Frank Thomas in this set is also fantastic, as you can see here.




















#6 -
Steve Sax 1992 Triple Play Gallery of Stars - Steve Sax was my favorite player growing up, as my mother was a big Dodgers fan who loved her "Sexy Saxy".  I was ecstatic when the Sox acquired him, and very dissapointed when his Sox career tanked.  But I still love the guy, and I especially love this autographed card.




















#5 - Alex Fernandez 1992 Topps Micro
- This card is TINY.  That is pretty much the sole reason it is on the list.  When I handed this card to Alex for him to sign it, he looked at me like I was an idiot.  He actually hesitated like he wouldn't sign it, then he held it up really close to his face and scribbled a tiny autograph.  I'll never forget it.















#4 - Joe Borchard 2001 UD Prospect Premieres
- Joe Borchard was the first White Sox prospect that I truly became invested in.  The combination of astounding potential and being about the nicest guy on the planet was too much to resist.  He even replied to one of my mail autograph requests with a very nice letter telling me that, whether I send 1 item or 100 items, he'd be happy to sign them all. 

I bought one box of 2001 UD PP, and, unbelievably, the auto I received was Borchard's.  At the time it was the most valuable autograph in the set, and the only one I truly wanted.  I really felt at that time that I was destined to be a Joe Borchard fan.




















#3 -
Robin Ventura 1993 Donruss Diamond Kings - My favorite autograph from my second favorite player.  Robin was one of the few visiting players that would exit Angel Stadium through Gate 2 after games.  Most either exited through Gate 1, or boarded the team bus directly in the fenced off players lot behind the stadium.  Robin, however, always exited through Gate 2, where he had an army of friends and family waiting for him.  This card was signed in those days, and remains one of my all-time favorites.




















#2 - Matt Merullo 1990 Upper Deck
- You are probably thinking to yourself, "Matt Merullo?"  Yes, this one time third string White Sox catcher is #2, and closer to being #1 than #3.  It was the first autograph that I ever got at a baseball game.  Pretty fitting that it was a White Sox player, right?  At the time I wasn't even a Sox fan, so it seems that it was in the stars all along for me to end up rooting for the ChiSox.




















#1 - Frank Thomas 1990 Topps
- It should come as no surprise that Frank occupies the number one spot of this top ten list.  He is my favorite player of all time, which isn't a very original concept for a Sox fan.  This was the first autograph I ever received from the Big Hurt.  It was at a small baseball card show in Anaheim, California in the early 90's.  He used an Ultra Fine tip sharpie, which I didn't realize at the time wasn't really a good thing.  Luckily, the autograph turned out nicely.  To this day, it is my favorite, and it will likely never relinquish that distinction.





posted on Friday, 20 February 2009 20:19:50 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #   
Checked my mail today, and found a return that I never expected.  I figured it was too soon for any of my spring training mailings, and I was right.  Turns out it was something I sent out last April:

    

I'd always heard Wilbur wasn't much of a mail signer, so this is a pleasant surprise.  I didn't have any cards signed by him, so these are definitely a welcome addition to the collection.

posted on Friday, 20 February 2009 13:30:04 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #   
# Wednesday, 18 February 2009
Sent out the following this morning:

Cole Armstrong
John Danks
Gavin Floyd
Kelvin Jimenez
Jeff Marquez
Gustavo Molina
Dewayne Wise

As always, details can be found in the mailbag.

posted on Wednesday, 18 February 2009 09:14:11 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #   
# Tuesday, 17 February 2009
I just mailed off my first batch of Spring Training autograph requests for 2009.  I sent to the following:

David Aardsma
Brian Anderson
Mark Buehrle
Dewon Day
Freddy Garcia
Jon Garland
Tom Gordon
Charlie Haeger
Toby Hall
Bobby Howry
Bobby Jenks
Scott Linebrink
Nick Masset
Brandon McCarthy
Jhonny Nunez
A.J. Pierzynski
Alexei Ramirez
David Riske
Scott Schoeneweis
Chris Stewart
Jim Thome
Matt Thornton
Javier Vazquez
Don Wakamatsu

Details can be found in the mailbag.

posted on Tuesday, 17 February 2009 10:02:32 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #   
# Sunday, 08 February 2009
One of my many objectives as a collector is to obtain an autograph from every player that played for a Sox playoff team since 1959.  This includes ALL players that played for the teams in those years, not just those on the postseason rosters.  You can view my progress here:

Collection subsets

As you'll see once you click the link, I've completed the 2005 and 2000 rosters!  The last autos I obtained for those collections were Jeff Bajenaru and Lorenzo Barcelo, respectively.  I hope to complete 2008 and 1993 very soon.

posted on Sunday, 08 February 2009 23:48:47 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #   
I've begun adding checklists for White Sox team sets to the site.  You can find them in the Miscellaneous section, or just click the following link:

White Sox Team Set Checklists

Ultimately, I plan on having checklists for every legitimate set ever made.  It shouldn't take me too long to get them all added.

Enjoy!

posted on Sunday, 08 February 2009 22:30:03 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #   
# Monday, 02 February 2009
I was at Soxfest this weekend. I was staying at the Palmer House Hilton with the wife, and we had 3 day passes.

Most of the Sox players were very fan friendly. A few stand out in particular:

John Danks - He couldn't have been friendlier. He signed everything put in front of him, adding inscriptions if requested. He chatted, and treated all of the fans with respect.

Carlos Quentin - I had heard some bad things about Carlos, and as such was very pleasantly surprised by his personable nature. He smiled warmly at just about every fan, and asked for their names during photo sessions. I saw him fist bump several small children, and watch them walk away with a huge smile on his face. At one point, there was a delay in getting the next fan up to the autograph table, and at that point my wife and I were positioned directly in front of Carlos. He shrugged, and then smiled and waved at my wife. Also, when my wife handed him his 2008 Upper Deck card, he rubbed it down before signing it, explaining to her that it would streak if not rubbed.  Great guy!

Gavin Floyd - I met Floyd when he was playing for the Clearwater Phillies, and he was actually quite rude back then. Maybe he has changed, because he was very friendly. In fact, he is now my wife's favorite player (she didn't have one before). The guy in front of him had him sign a White Sox bib, and Gavin happily inscribed "To Luke or Audrey", as the sex of the baby was still unknown. Gavin and his wife got a kick out of that.

Bob Shaw, Jim Landis, Billy Pierce, Jim Rivera - I'll group all of the 59 Sox legends together, because all 4 were class acts. In particular, Bob Shaw was very gracious and friendly. Like Carlos Quentin, Shaw just seemed to exude "warmth". My wife handed Shaw his 61 Topps card, and commented on how handsome he was. Shaw replied "that was a long time ago", and smiled broadly.

Minnie Minoso - Minnie was great, as always. I told him that I thought it was a crime that he isn't in the HOF. He responded by saying that he has been snubbed because of politics, and said that there are many players with lesser stats, and shorter careers, in the HOF. I was surprised, and pleased, to get such a candid, honest answer. He also looked great for being in his mid 80s.

There were also some players that disappointed me with their attitudes. They are:

Jermaine Dye - JD was the first line I got into on Friday, as I really wanted him to sign a home jersey with the world series patch. I was 3rd in line. I asked him very politely if he would mind adding "WS MVP" to his auto. He didn't even look at me, just shook his head. He could at least have made eye contact with me.

Harold Baines - Pretty much the same thing as Dye. Just shook his head when asked if he would mind adding an inscription, without ever looking up at me. It doesn't upset me that they wouldn't add inscriptions, it bothers me that they thought so little of me that they couldn't look at me. I honestly expected more out of Baines, who I have always thought was the epitome of a class act.

Steve Stone - Stone is a jerk. That isn't harsh enough. Stone is a colossal jerk. He was sitting next to Hawk Harrelson. Hawk was signing a photo for me, and I had my card out ready for Stone to sign when Hawk was done. Stone reached out, dragged my card across the table, and scribbled his signature across his face on the card, commenting "lets keep this moving". The guy behind me had Stone sign a baseball, and asked if he could add a Cy Young inscription. Stone said "No I won't, but you can do whatever you want with it".

All in all, it was a great weekend. Here is my haul:

Harold Baines - 1 16x20, 1 8x10
Jeff Cox - 2 cards
John Danks - 3 cards, 1 16x20 (inscribed 2008 Tiebreaker Win), 2 8x10s, 1 baseball (inscribed Blackout 9-30-08)
Jermaine Dye - 1 jersey
Ed Farmer - 2 cards, 1 8x10, 1 5x7 Topps card
Gavin Floyd - 2 cards, 2 8x10s
Chris Getz - 2 cards
Ozzie Guillen - 2 cards
Hawk Harrelson - 2 cards, 2 8x10s (inscribed 05 Champs)
Kevin Hickey - 4 cards
Darrin Jackson - 2 cards
Ron Kittle - 1 16x20 (inscribed 83 AL ROY)
Paul Konerko - 1 jersey, 1 WS baseball
Jim Landis - 2 cards, 1 8x10 photo (inscribed 59 Sox), 1 Gold Glove baseball (inscribed 5x GG)
Bill Melton - 2 cards, 1 16x20 (inscribed 1971 AL HR Champ)
Minnie Minoso - 2 cards, 1 baseball
Jerry Owens - 2 cards
Billy Pierce - 2 cards, 1 Sport Magazine (inscribed 59 Sox)
Carlos Quentin - 1 card, 1 8x10, 1 16x20
Alexei Ramirez - 2 8x10s, 1 baseball
Clayton Richard - 1 8x10, 1 card
Jim Rivera - 1 card, 1 baseball (inscribed 1959 Sox)
Adam Russell - 4 cards
Bob Shaw - 2 cards, 2 8x10s (inscribed 59 Sox)
Steve Stone - 2 cards
Jim Thome - 1 16x20 (inscribed 9-30-08 Blackout), 1 baseball (with Danks)
Ehren Wassermann - 3 cards











posted on Monday, 02 February 2009 22:59:32 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #