Tag Archives: autograph

“Borrowing” From Topps – 2015 Heritage Cuts – Graig Nettles

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I had to do it.  Actually to be honest most of my designs borrow from Topps’s designs.  This one though is completely torn from this year’s set.  I don’t like the way they did the cut autographs, but I do like the design.  Of course I did do some alterations.  Anywhere there was Topps, I replaced it with Bad Wax.  Before you tattle on me to Topps, just realize that I don’t sell these cards.  They are for my personal collection.  I am first and foremost a cut autograph collector and with the scarcity in these sets, the cost per card is astronomical.  So . . . I make my own damn cards.

As for the player, I won this card off eBay, it does come with JSA certification (for whatever that’s worth), and I purchased it for $9.59 including shipping.  A bit steep but Nettles is a fan favorite and for a signed index card of him, it’s actually not a bad price.  I’ve seen the average run about $14-17 shipped.  As many of you know I am a Yankee fan.  When growing up in the late 70s and early 80s, I had a few favorites.  Thurman Munson, Ron Guidry and Graig Nettles.  Those three were my childhood heroes.  They also command a lot of $$$ for autographs.  I have a Gator autograph already, Munson is beyond my means and the Nettles has eluded me for years.

Nettles is borderline Hall of Fame worthy.  His resume includes six All Star games, two World Series rings, an ALCS MVP award, two time Gold Glove winner, one time AL homerun champ, and most importantly he was captain of the Yanks from 1982-1984.  Things holding him back was his 0.248 batting average and 390 home runs.  If either were higher, he would be in.  Make no bones about it though, he was a 3-5 in the lineup hitter for the majority of his 22 year career.

EloRater Rank: #79, before Billy Williams, A-Rod, and Joe Cronin, but after Ken Boyer, Kenny Lofton and Gary Carter.

Baseball Reference Page: Graig Nettles

Wikipedia Page: Graig Nettles

Cards Number: BWHC-GN

Cards in set: 1

Certified autograph:

2014-Topps-Gypsy-Queen-Autographs-Graig-Nettles-215x300

Rookie card:

69-99bFr

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Through the Mail Success – Jim Bunning

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Got this one back mid last week. What an amazing through the mail success.  I love players like Jim Bunning who is widely considered one of the top 50 pitchers of all time, take the time to sign and send back ttm autograph requests.  His career was legendary, two no hitters, including a perfect game. At the time of his retirement he had the second most strikeouts, currently he sits 17th. He appeared in 9 All Star games, he won 17 or more games in eight of his 17 seasons, a three time strikeout champion, and a World Series champion.

If that’s not enough he then led a life of a politician for his home state of Kentucky for the next 30+ years.  Including being a member of the US House of Representatives from 1987 – 1999, and a US Senator from 1999-2011. What an amazing life he has led.   I had decided to make the card of him as a Tiger for a few reasons. First, it’s where he won his most games and second he won a World Series there.  However it should be noted that most people remember him as a Phillie.  I apologize Phillie fans, for taking him away from you, but I had to make the card of him as a Tiger.

Turnaround time: 14 days

Player’s Baseball Reference Page: Jim Bunning

Player’s Wikipedia page: Jim Bunning

Current Number of Cards in the set: 5

Card Number: VC-JB

Sport Kings Cut Autograph – Johnny Sain

Spahn and Sain and Pray For Rain

By: Gerald V. Hern

First we’ll use Spahn
then we’ll use Sain
Then an off day
followed by rain
Back will come Spahn
followed by Sain
And followed
we hope
by two days of rain.

That poem was written by Boston Post’s Sports editor Gerald Hern in 1948.  I found it while doing some research for this post.  Part of the fun of making these cards is finding some of what I like to call the hidden gems of baseball history.  Some of you who love baseball as much as I do, know who Johnny Sain is, but for the rest of you who have no idea, I’ll try and fill you in.

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He was just one of those dominant pitchers of the mid fifties, but thanks to his participation in World War II,  the world never really got to see just how good he could have been.  He made it to the majors in 1942, then lost three seasons to just military service from 1943-45. He would have been 25-27 during those seasons.  As many of you know, that’s when pitchers usually start to peak.  Instead his career really started in 1946 when he went 20-14 with a 2.21 ERA with the Boston Braves.  He would end up with a career 139 wins over 11 seasons.  He even switched to a reliever later in his career and led the league in saves one season as a Yankee.  He remained on the Hall of Fame ballot until 1975 but never got more than 34% of the vote.

After his playing career, he became one of the most successful pitching coaches in baseball history.  He coached the A’s, Yankees, Twins, Tigers, White Sox and Braves from 1959-1986.  He finished with six World Series rings, three as a player and three as a coach. Three All Star appearances and the 1948 The Sporting News NL Player of the Year award.  I feel as though if he had those military years back, he would have been a Hall of Fame player.

Card Number: SK-JS

Number of cards in the set: 8

Player’s Wikipedia page: Johnny Sain

Player’s Baseball Reference page: Johnny Sain

Player’s certified autograph:

761-t3821434-

Player’s Rookie Card:

LYU48_1123_med

1948 Bowman

Multiple Through The Mail Successes – Cory Snyder / John Cappelletti

Cory Snyder

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This one I chased after, even though it doesn’t fit into my personal collection profile of All Stars and Hall of Famers.  It doesn’t even matter though because it’s Cory Freaking Snyder.  Anyone from the 80s knows why this autograph is awesome!  Snyder is from the heyday of my childhood collecting.  I still have north of 50 of his cards, and I will probably not get rid of them.  He has long since left the sport and the value of those cards will remain at a constant 50 cents a piece (a full dollar less than I paid for them), but I can’t let them go.  He was my first prospecting card.  After Mark McGwire’s cards went through the roof, I started gobbling up those beautiful orange and blue cards, Shane Mack, John Marzano, and Odibie McDowell.  I couldn’t get enough of them, they were going to be my college education.

In the end though, they all became good players, but not super stars and certainly not Hall of Fame members.  Cory Snyder is a reminder to me, never fall for prospecting, ever!  One out of a thousand prospects turns into a star, an even smaller percentage become superstars and a minuscule amount become Hall of Famers.  Just ask all those Dice-K collectors.  Still, this autograph will be among my favorite in the collection. It will go right up there with Kevin Elster’s when I get that one back.

John Cappelletti

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Before there was Reggie Bush / Darren McFaddon / Adrian Peterson, there was John Cappelletti.  I know you’re all like who? Here is a list of awards won during his senior year (1973) at Penn State, Heisman, Maxwell, Walter Camp, Chic Harley, UPI Player of the Year, and first team All American.  He was the 11th overall pick of the 1974 NFL Draft.  Joe Paterno once said that of all the players he has ever coached, Cappelletti was his favorite.  He was one of the best college players of all time and in 1993 he was inducted into the College football Hall of Fame.

He had a decent NFL career, nothing spectacular.  He played for the Rams and the Chargers, never amassing more than 700 yards in any one season.  His NFL career is not why I went after his autograph, it was his college play.  Growing up in NJ, you hear of all the great PSU players and I always knew about Cappelletti as one of the best running backs in PSU history and that’s saying a lot since for years it was known as Running Back U.

Both of these autographs are special to me since they bring me back to my childhood.  I’m so happy to have gotten a chance to get a through the mail success with either of these guys, and yes if they would have asked for a donation to their charity, I would have done it in a heartbeat!  In fact if either is reading this now, email me using the envelop in the top left corner of my site and tell me your favorite charity to donate to.

Their Autographs

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2001-fleer-greats-of-the-game-john-cappelletti-autograph-auto-5

Their Rookie Cards

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$(KGrHqVHJCkFCZ(Ep,DPBQ)p92GjUQ~~60_35

Who Wants A Free Custom Card?

Through The Mail Failure – Mark Howe

I knew I would hook you with that title.  I mean who can pass up something for nothing?  I sure can’t and I’m hoping neither can you.  The reason for this freebie can be chalked up to this note I got back from Mark Howe:

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While I don’t begrudge players from charging for their autograph, I don’t feel as though $15+$5 for inscription is fair.  If people are indeed going to eBay and reselling his TTM autographs, they are getting on average $3 including shipping.  After fees we are talking about $2 (again on average). Now I do understand the money is going to charity.  I get that and I am not about dismissing it, but why not sign the card and ask to donate.  I bet you’d not only get more people donating, but you’d get more money.  I’ve actually donated to the Howe Foundation before, I did it out of admiration to the Howe family.  I didn’t want or expect an autograph in return.

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Now clearly this is a card that was made by someone.  It’s for a personal collection and if it does get resold, I will be long gone from this world.  Because it’s a card made by someone it has little to no value (which is why I am giving it away).  So all you have to do is subscribe to my blog so that you get my posts as an email, and leave a quick comment.  In return, if you are the one selected, I will send you the card and the note that Mark sent me so you know where to send it and how much to donate to get the autograph.

Again, I have no problem with athletes asking for a suggested donation, or flat out asking for money.  However if this isn’t an in person event, make the donation a suggested amount and sign the card regardless of the donation.  That’s all I ask.  In the end if he had signed it and asked for the donation, I would have donated again.  Now I’m completely turned off by it and don’t even want it in my collection which is why someone else has a chance to get his signature on his terms.

Let me know where you stand on this, I’m very curious if I’m out of line or not.  Either way good luck winning the card, I will hold the drawing tomorrow night at 7pm (entries after that will be ignored, but thanks in advance to subscribing and leaving a comment).

Offline for Three Days . . . Now Catching Up

As some of you might have heard, we have gotten a wee bit of snow here in Durham, NC last week.  The total around my house was 8 inches, which for the south is as close to the end of the world as you can get.  My power went off, then back on a few times, but it was the loss of internet that was staggering to me.  Not only does that stop the production of  custom cards, but also my posting ability! There were so many topics I wanted to discuss, but in the end I forgot some of it and others are now not worth mentioning.    I did have some things I wanted to mention.

Through the Mail Success – Andre Reed

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Another of the mini 1959 Wad Wax Heritage Minis came back.  This one from newly elected Hall of Fame member Andre Reed.  Reed should have been in the Hall of Fame years ago in my opinion.  His ability to stretch the field might very well be unmatched in Buffalo Bills history.  With 951 receptions and 87 career touch downs, the man sits high among the all time greats.  As such he finally gets what he deserves, a bust in Canton.

The breakdown was as follows:

The Address:

Andre Reed
1058 America Way
Del Mar, CA 92014-3919

Turnaround time: 12 days

Total Cards in the set: 4

Remaining to be signed: 2 (Scott and Bruschi)

Next Through The Mail Set Going Out:

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These are the next four to go out.  They actually went out this morning.  Mostly football but with a string of recent successes of Matt Williams, I had to add another one of my 80s cardboard gods.

They are as follows:

Tommie Frazier – One of my all time favorite college quarterbacks.  he was recently inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame.  Saw one TTM success and decided to go for it.  Really excited to get this one back, he was up there with Michael Vick as one of the most electrifying players in college football history.

Dan Fouts – My Charger himself, a regular gunslinger from the 70s and 80s.  I used to love watching him toss the ball around.  Another HOF member that I have to have in my collection.

Terry Bradshaw – Still my favorite Sunday football analyst.  He was a pleasure to watch both on and off the field and his 1977 card was my first real valuable card that I put in a top loader.  I was six at the time.

Matt Williams – One of those late 80s guys that I had a ton of rookie cards of.  May have not been the best of his generation, but a damn good player that was probably one of the most reliable players of his generation both offensively and defensively.  Currently managing the Washington Nationals.

Most of these should come back within 30 days.

 

2015 Sport Kings Cut Autograph – Rick Ferrell

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They all start with a signed index card.  Sometimes they are a Hall of Famer and sometimes it’s an All Pro or All Star.  This one’s a Hall of Famer.  Many people, myself included wonder how or why he was inducted into the Hall o Fame.  That is until I read his Wikipedia page.   So here’s the breakdown:

FullSizeRender (4)Card Number: SK-RF

Card Subject: Rick Ferrell

Baseball Reference Link: BR Link

Player information: This is much harder to find under $5 than you would think.  He’s not a household name, in fact, most of the people reading this probably clicked on the baseball reference link just to see what his stats were like. He died in 1995, so as you can imagine there are no manufacturer certified autographs of him out there.  Which makes finding autographs of FullSizeRender (5)him on the more difficult side.  Most of the ones I had seen on eBay were minimum of $10 or up (mostly the up side).  Most of his certified autographs are running $60 and up.  I was elated when I won this autograph for just $7.63 with shipping.  Since he is a Hall of Fame member, putting him in the Sports Kings design was a not brainer.

As I said earlier though, when you fist look at his stats, they are underwhelming.  18 year career with 1692 hits, 28 home runs, 732 RBIs, and a career batting average of 0.281.  Not exactly blow you away numbers.  He did have 8 All Star appearances though and was argued by Bill James to be the third best catcher of his era behind only Mickey Cochrane and Bill Dickey, who are arguably two of the best catchers of all time.  So while his offensive numbers don’t show it, he was an amazing player in his own right and definitely deserved his Hall of Fame status.

What the original signature looked like:

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One of his cards:

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