Brian Meltzer over at BM Authentics just conducted the first ever private signing with White Sox star Lance Lynn. Funds are a bit tight, and it wasn’t the cheapest signing (starting at $60), so I couldn’t get all 9 items I wanted to get done. I settled for 2 cards and 2 nicer items. My cards are stuck in the mail system (thanks USPS) but I have received the other two items. I got a Field of Dreams game 16×20 and 2021 All-Star baseball done. Both turned out great! These are my first Lance Lynn autographs. He was near the top of my current/recent player wantlist, so I’m thrilled to get these. Thanks Brian!
Unfortunately I didn’t see Lucas Giolito’s no-hitter, but I did watch Carlos Rodon’s no-hitter. It was one of my 10 favorite games I’ve ever watched.
I’ve been trying to collect autographed final pitch 16x20s from all of the recent Sox no-hitters and perfect games. Mark Buehrle, Phil Humber, and those two most recent gems. But Fanatics recently released an incredible limited edition 16×20 that is even better.
Limited to only 100 signed copies, this 16×20 is now one of my favorite 16s in my entire collection. It cost more than I usually spend on autographs, especially of current players, but I couldn’t resist. It’s a beautiful, simple design, and the autographs are big, bold, and well placed. I can’t wait to get this bad boy framed!
During my time at the National I also made some purchases. I was pretty disappointed in my haul. With the show being in Chicago, I was hoping there would be more Sox autographs and memorabilia. I probably missed some stuff, but what I did see was pretty underwhelming. In any case, here is my haul.
Last but certainly not least, I got one more autograph while I was in town. I won’t go into the details, but I met up with Carlos May to get this 16×20 signed. I’m terrified to send it through the mail, so I am extremely grateful to Carlos for agreeing to meet with me to sign it. Now I just need to figure out how to get Bill Melton without the photo being damaged in the mail.
I’ll never forget the first National I ever attended. It was the 1991 show in Anaheim, CA. Just my luck, it had the largest crowds of any National in history. I remember standing in line outside in the heat for hours to get in. I don’t remember a whole lot about the show itself, but I do remember thinking that this place was basically my mecca. I didn’t really have any money back then (I was a 12 year old welfare kid), so I probably left the show with some great memories and not much else. Now that I think about it, I think I picked up a Steve Sax signed 8×10 and a Willie Stargell signed Donruss Diamond King card. Probably some junk wax too.
I don’t think I attended another National until the Chicago show in either 2008 or 2011… maybe both. I went to a few other card shows in between, all in the 90s.
I was able to attend the show in Chicago this year. It was something of a last minute decision. It turned out I was going to be in the Chicago area on business the week after the National. So I took a few days off work and flew into Chicago on Wednesday night. By the time I knew I’d be able to attend, all VIP type passed had sold out. I was pretty bummed about that. So I ended up buying single day tickets for every day but Sunday. I pretty much slept all day on Sunday, lol.
I don’t really collect baseball cards these days. For the most part, I pick up Sox cards to get signed. I might put together Sox team sets and whatnot. But I can’t remember the last time I opened a pack of baseball cards. So I wasn’t really at the show for the cards. I was there for some of the autograph guests, and I hoped to find some Sox autographs at the tables. I’ll go over the autographs I got from the guests in this post. I’ll go through everything I picked up at the tables in another post.
Before I get to that, I guess I can talk briefly about the show. I was lucky enough to get a room at the Crowne Plaza right across the street. It seemed like every single person staying there was going to the show. I didn’t attend the show Wednesday night, but I was there about an hour after the show opened on Thursday. The place was absolutely packed. It was difficult to navigate the aisles and look at the tables. On top of that, the A/C either didn’t work or was way too weak, as it was like a sauna in there. I’m so thankful that I was staying right across the street, as after about an hour I was miserable and soaked with sweat.
So I would walk around for a bit, and then head back to the gloriously cold A/C of my hotel room. I did this off and on all day Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. I did run in to a few notable people while walking around. I bumped in to Ron Kittle at one of the big auction house booths. He was there to discuss selling some of his sports memorabilia collection. I was happy to chat with Ron for a bit, as he’s always been a super nice guy. A couple of minor film celebrities had booths set up, and I chatted with both of them a bit as well. One was Ari Lehman, the first person to play Jason Voorhees. The other was Scott Schwartz, who played Flick in “A Christmas Story”. Both were very nice guys.
Thursday evening I went “behind the curtain” to drop my Thome items off with Sean Morgan. It’s absolutely bonkers back there. There is table after table filled with memorabilia for the athletes to sign. When I got back to Sean’s area, he was just finishing up a signing with Lawrence Taylor. I hung out until LT finished signing, and dropped off my items with Sean.
Jim Thome was the main reason I decided to attend. I need Thome on about 25-30 items. His prices are pretty high, starting at $119, so there was no way I could get everything done in one shot. I contacted Sean Morgan from Famous Ink and was able to negotiate a bit of a bulk discount, so I ended up getting 14 items done. 8 cards, 2 baseballs, 3 16x20s, and a mini helmet. I had a difficult time deciding which cards to get signed, as I could only afford 8, but needed about 20. I ended up going with his other rookie (I already have the 91 UD Final card signed), the rest of his A&G cards, three of his remaining UD cards, and one card that I just really like and thought would look cool signed.
Just about everything turned out great, though I am slightly disappointed with the signature on the Blackout 16×20 with John Danks. It’s not terrible or anything, I just wish he’d signed it with a thicker sharpie and placed the signature a bit more the lower left. Overall though, I’m very satisfied with the Thome haul.
Goose Gossage was also a signer at the National. Since I was already there, I decided to get a HOF baseball signed. Goose was friendly as always.
There were also a few VIP signers that I had some items for, but didn’t feel like they were necessarily worth the signing fee. Luckily, Donnie Macey had a deal worked out where he could get a lot of these guys for a very reasonable rate. So I sent in some items for Stan Bahnsen, Ron Kittle, and Greg Luzinski. Donnie did a great job (as always) and got them all signed perfectly.
All in all I had a great time at the show. I didn’t find anything too exciting at the booths, though I did pick up a few things that I’ll show in the next post. I did eat some great food while in town. I got more than my fill of Portillo’s, Al’s, and Giordano’s. Also, there is a Fogo de Chao right behind the hotel I was staying at. I’m not ashamed to say that I ate there twice while I was in town. Just thinking about it gives me the meat sweats all over again!
Holy cow, when I was a kid I never thought there’d be a day where I would get 21 Frank Thomas autographs in one fell swoop! But here we are. Frank has been doing very affordable signings the last year or two. Rumor has it the price is going to go back up on his next signing. So I got a bunch of stuff done. Mostly cards, but at heart I’m really a card guy.
The majority of these cards are just cards I thought would be cool to have signed. I didn’t NEED them in any real sense. A few were to complete multi-signed cards, and just one was for a set I’m working on.
With one exception, I’m happy with how they turned out. The only one I’m not thrilled with is the minor league card with Jeff Conine. I don’t know why Thomas signed it at that strange angle.
The Thomas/McGwire dual signed card is now one of my favorite cards in my collection. It turned out spectacularly.
The baseball turned out very nicely, but I didn’t get what I paid for. I paid for a “2005 WS Champs” inscription. Hopefully the promoter has some way of getting the inscription added.
Lastly, apparently Frank had never seen the Blue Jays image and wanted a copy for himself. The promoter (Alan Moore from SportsGraphing) is going to get me another item signed with inscription in exchange for the image.
Any way, on with the autographs!
Yermin has definitely come down to earth after his torrid start. He obviously isn’t as good as he was in April and early May. But I think he will ultimately be better than he has been in the last month or so. He is such a lovable character, I’ll be a fan regardless.
BM Authentics recently had a second private signing with Yermin. I couldn’t resist sending in a few more items. I sprung for his full signature on the 16×20, and I’m very glad I did. It is now one of my favorite 16x20s in my collection!
I’ve been trying to get my hands on one of these for a decent price ever since I first saw them. I finally got a good deal through Fanatics with a coupon. I’d still like to pick up a few more Giolito autographs, but this is a start!
When I got this 16×20 signed by Paul Konerko and Frank Thomas, I doubted I’d ever get Magglio Ordonez to complete it. I’m VERY happy to say I was wrong! This is now one of my favorite 16x20s in my collection.
It’s been a while since my last post. For that, I apologize. To make it up to you, I present…
THE BEST POST EVER!
I’ll spare you any further buildup. Here are my new Frank Thomas items… all 14 of them!
First, the multi-signed cards that I finally completed.
Not bad, huh? How about a few “jumbo” cards, one of which is multi-signed?
Great stuff, right? Let’s keep going! How about a baseball?
Okay, just one baseball. No big deal. How about 3 16x20s?
16×20 not big enough for you? Picky, aren’t you? Fine, here is a 20×24, loaded with inscriptions!
Still not impressed? Only care about the most premium items? Well, I guess I can’t satisf… wait, hold on. What’s this, a jersey? An authentic World Series jersey? With 6 inscriptions? And PSA/DNA authentication?
I participated in the Jose Abreu signing at Bergie’s Sports Card Dugout. My friend Paul took my four items. I received the first two of those items yesterday, and they look great! Both are 16x20s.