Sunday, November 7, 2010
So this late in the year as the autographs seem to trickle in every 10 days or longer I was happy to get an envelope that I instantly recognized as one containing a major championship trophy photo I had sent out months ago.
When I cracked it open and pulled out the photo I was disappointed to see it unsigned. Bummed. But I had momentarily forgotten I had also sent a Masters ticket from 2003 when I was at the event along with the photo.
Sure I was disappointed the photo wasn't signed since I have a nice collection of them hanging on the wall in frames, I was also quite happy to have the ticket signed from the event Mike Weir won his first major championship.
I will look forward to adding this to the shadow box alongside the other tournament tickets and badges I've had signed this year.
Day of the Year: 306
Number of Autographs This Year: 245
Saturday, October 30, 2010
Back-to-back successes this week on autograph requests that were made some time ago.
Received a pair of signed cards back from Chip Lohmiller, a Pro Bowler in 1991.
Day of the Year: 295
Number of Autographs This Year: 244
Wednesday, October 27, 2010
We'll see if November allows me to make a late-season push.
In the meantime I received a nice 1990 Fleer card signed by former No. 1 pick Jeff George. George took the time to sign it and inscribe it exactly as I asked, which was terrific.
The down side is he also personalized it. Not that I mind personalized autographs at all, I just wish I knew who Rick was. It's definitely not me!!
Day of the Year: 294
Number of Autographs This Year: 243
Monday, September 27, 2010
It is always sad to hear that a part of your childhood has passed on to football heaven. Hopefully over the next few days the football world will reflect on what an amazing talent and man Blanda was to all who played with or against him, and to those who knew him outside of football.
I'll look forward to reading those accounts with the hopes of learning more about him.
Back in my heyday of collecting autographs (1980s and early 1990s) I had the chance to get a signature from this legend, and he didn't disappoint. One thing is for sure -- he was a Raider through and through.
Rest in Peace sir. Best to your family.
Saturday, September 25, 2010
Thomas, a former Notre Dame player, went on to become the 388th pick in the 1974 NFL Draft. Though he was drafted by the Los Angeles Rams, Thomas never played a game for the West Coast team.
He is primarily know for his career with the Bears (1975-84). He also suited up for the Detroit Lions, San Diego Chargers and New York Giants.
One of the col things in researching players I used to watch in my youth is finding out what they are up to today. Thomas is a justice for the Supreme Court of Illinois. Pretty cool to establish such a prestigious career after enjoying a lengthy and successful NFL career.
Returning to the autographs, Thomas signed all three cards I send to him, despite me asking him to keep the duplicate. In addition to signing the cards he also added the inscription "Romans 5:8".
Day of the Year: 264
Number of Autographs This Year: 242
Sunday, September 19, 2010
Well you can imagine my surprise when, on Saturday, I found an envelope in the mailbox where my address was written on in black Sharpie -- just the address mind you, not my name.
Well I could tell it was a fairly thick so when I opened it I found seven different card signed by Joe Durant. My guess is he still had my envelope to him lying around when he came across some extra cards in his house.
So without my name on that envelope (I only had my return address on the outside of the envelope) Joe went ahead and put together another envelope to me where signed all these additional cards!
I must say this is a first for me. What an awesome gesture by a guy who had already made my day by signing the two different cards I needed for completing the 2001 Upper Deck autographed card set.
Day of the Year: 259
Number of Autographs This Year: 241
Wednesday, September 15, 2010
Durant played golf collegiately at a small Alabama school called Huntingdon College. He was a three-time NAIA All-American. He won the 1987 NAIA individual golf championship.
Durant would turn pro after that victory and would win on the Nationwide Tour (then known as the Nike Tour) at the Mississippi Gulf Coast Classic.
Durant would follow that with a successful PGA Tour career where he would win four times: 1988 Motorola Western Open, 2001 Bob Hope Chrysler Classic, 2001 Genuity Championship and 2006 Walt Disney World Classic.
Day of the Year: 256
Number of Autographs This Year: 240
Monday, September 13, 2010
So today's report is a success that comes from a mailing I did nearly three months ago. It it is worth the wait as Steve Flesch came through in big way. I had sent the left-hander a golf glove to sign and add to my left-handed PGA Tour winners project.
Not only did he sign and return that glove, but he also included an added bonus. Inside the envelope was a second glove -- this one his own (Srixon) which was obviously used by him. He also signed that one!!
Flesch is one of four Southpaws to ever win multiple times on Tour. He's won the 2003 HP Classic of New Orleans, 2004 Bank of America Colonial, 2007 Reno-Tahoe Open and 2007 Turning Stone Resort Championship.
This is the first time I have received a piece of used equipment for this project, so needless to say I am obviously very happy. Well worth the wait!!!!
Day of the Year: 254
Number of Autographs This Year: 239
Thursday, August 19, 2010
Evans hit more than 400 HRs in his career and was the first to ever hit 40 HRs in both leagues. When he hit his 400th HR in 1988 he was only the 22nd player to reach that mark.
Evans was twice an All-Star (1973 and 1983).
Day of the Year: 229
Number of Autographs This Year: 238
Thursday, August 12, 2010
Hopefully in the next few weeks I'll be able to resume with the request writing.
In the meantime I am glad to have two successes to report today. First up is Stan Brock, whom I mailed a pair of cards to 152 days ago. They both came back signed today.
Brock was a tackle for the New Orleans Saints from 1980-1992, and then with the San Diego Chargers 1992-1995.
On the golfing front, I've added the signature of Joe Ogilvie to my collection as well today. I wrote Ogilvie 50 days ago.
The former Duke golfer has won four times on the Nationwide Tour. He picked up his first PGA Tour title at the 2007 U.S. Bank Championship.
Day of the Year: 222
Number of Autographs This Year: 237
Wednesday, August 4, 2010
Today I was fortunate enough to get another one of my Claret Jug photos returned as I am slowly building my collection of autographed major championship trophy photos. This autograph fills a real triple need for me, in that not only does it cover a major winner but it also adds a left-hander to that collection and a Hall of Fame member.
Charles was the first left-hander to win on the PGA Tour when he won the 1963 Houston Classic. But the brightest spot on Charles' considerable resume -- it boasts more than 70 worldwide victories and he has been Knighted for his services to golf -- is his win at the 1963 British Open.
Charles continued a trend that most winners of majors have engaged in on my trophy project -- he also inscribed the photo with the year he won the trophy.
Day of the Year: 214
Number of Autographs This Year: 235
Friday, July 30, 2010
Well it was hard not to get wrapped up in the rest of the Houston Oilers, too. So it is today's addition to the collection that is bringing a lot of those memories back.
Mike Barber was a tight end on the Oilers teams from 1976-1981. He also spent several years with the Los Angeles Rams (1981-85) and Denver Broncos (1985), but is it with those Oilers that I will always link him.
He caught 222 passes in his career, good for 2,788 yards and 17 TDs.
Day of the Year: 209
Number of Autographs This Year: 234
Monday, July 26, 2010
I first saw Hebert play in the USFL, which is a league I am still quite fond of to this day. Hebert starred for the Michigan Panthers and Oakland Invaders. He passed for the most yards in USFL history (10,039), not bad considering the league also boasted future Pro Football Hall of Famer Jim Kelly.
Hebert led the Panthers to the USFL championship in 1983, and he was named the game's MVP. That year he was also Player of the Year.
Hebert would later go on to play in the NFL, for the New Orleans Saints and the Atlanta Falcons. He was a Pro Bowl QB in 1993.
I'm happy to add items from both of Hebert's leagues today. I simply love the inscription on the 3x5 card, which is a boost to my USFL collection.
Day of the Year: 205
Number of Autographs This Year: 233
Thursday, July 22, 2010
Morgan has had much more success on the Champions Tour since joining it. As of this writing he ranks third all-time in victories on that Tour with 25 wins. Three of those wins were major championships, two Traditions (1997 and 1998) and a Senior Players Championship (1998).
Day of the Year: 201
Number of Autographs This Year: 232
Wednesday, July 21, 2010
Today I've added another signature for my Solheim Cup collection, courtesy of Kelly Robbins. Robbins has won nine times on the LPGA Tour, including a major championship at the 1995 LPGA Championship.
She made six consecutive Solheim Cup teams beginning in 1994 up until 2003.
Day of the Year: 200
Number of Autographs This Year: 231
Saturday, July 17, 2010
One of golf's all-time great guys -- not to mention great champions -- returned a pair of major championship trophy photographs.
Nick Price, who won the British Open in 1994 and the PGA Championship in 1992 and 1994, personalized and signed photos of the Claret Jug and Wanamaker trophies.
Price was inducted into the Golf Hall of Fame in 2003. His international record is remarkable, winning more than 50 times around the world including 18 times on the PGA Tour. He's also won on the European Tour, South African Tour and Japan Golf Tour. Price has added three wins to date on the Champions Tour, too.
Day of the Year: 196
Number of Autographs This Year: 230
Thursday, July 15, 2010
Rawls may have been at her best in the U.S. Women's Open, claiming four of them between 1951 and 1960. She won the Vare Trophy and was Player of the Year in 1959.
On the men's side I added another autographed golf glove from a left-hander to my collection of signed gloves from Southpaws who have won professionally.
Vic Wilk won the Knoxville Open in 1994, becoming the first lefty to win on the Nike Tour. Today that Tour is known as Nationwide Tour.
Wilk, who will join the Champions Tour next year, was kind enough to inscribe the glove with his famous lefty accomplishment.
Day of the Year: 195
Number of Autographs This Year: 229
Wednesday, July 14, 2010
July 14 Report: Former Florida Gator and New York Jet Derrick Gaffney and LPGA Tour and Solheim Cup star Michelle McGann
First up is that of Derrick Gaffney. Gaffney was a standout at the University of Florida before being drafted by the New York Jets in the eighth round of the 1978 NFL Draft. He made an immediate impact and proved well worth the pick, catching 38 passes in 1978 for 691 yards and 3 TDs.
He was a steady performer for the Jest the rest of that decade and continued to contribute regularly through the 1984 season.
This is a great add to my collection because he went to high school locally where I live and also went to UF, which is a sub-collection I have going.
Secondly today I added a pair of signatures from LPGA Tour winner and U.S. Solheim Cup star Michelle McGann. McGann, who has one of the greatest smiles in all of sports, halved a pair of matches against Annika Sorenstam at the 1996 Solheim Cup and defeated the top player in women's golf, Laura Davies, in singles play.
Unfortunately McGann's signature on my Solheim Cup photo was smeared pretty badly in the mail. The good news is she wrote me a terrific note on her personal notecard talking about her Solheim Cup memories.
Definitely one I will want to show prominently, so I will probably go back and ask her to sign another photo with the hopes it doesn't get ruined in the mail. I'd like to have the photo and the notecard displayed together.
Day of the Year: 194
Number of Autographs This Year: 227
Monday, July 12, 2010
I'm quite happy to add the signature of Dalton Hilliard to my collection.
I first saw Dalton Hilliard play in the 1980s when he was a star at LSU. It was no surprise to me that Hilliard has a 1,200-plus yard season in 1989. He also made the Pro Bowl.
Sadly injuries cut short the career of a terrific SEC talent. He finished his NFL career with 4,164 yards and 53 TDs.
Day of the Year: 192
Number of Autographs This Year: 225
Friday, July 9, 2010
So hopefully this is the start of a new streak!
Today's success is another in my Ryder Cup player collection. This one comes from Jerry Pate, who had a distinguished amateur career before turning pro. He represented the U.S. on Walker Cup teams and won the U.S. Amateur in 1974.
His first professional victory came at another USGA Championship -- the 1976 U.S. Open. He has eight PGA Tour wins in all and has claimed a pair of victories to date on the Champions Tour.
He played on the U.S. team that won the Ryder Cup in 1981.
Day of the Year: 189
Number of Autographs This Year: 224
Thursday, July 1, 2010
So I'm back but trying to play catch-up on a lot of things, including this blog. Which is a good thing because it means autographs are still being acquired.
Today's addition comes from another of those NFL payers from the 1970s and 1980s which is so dear to me. Revie Sorey, an All-Pro guard for the Chicago Bears (1975-83), signed a pair of football cards to go into the collection.
Before playing with the Bears Sorey competed at Illinois collegiately.
Day of the Year: 181
Number of Autographs This Year: 223
Duffy Waldorf signed two different cards of himself from the set, which is terrific.
Waldorf has won four times to date on the PGA Tour, most recently at the 2000 Disney event. Prior to achieving stardom on the Tour, Waldorf was an accomplished amateur played from UCLA.
Day of the Year: 180
Number of Autographs This Year: 222
He has won on each circuit, claiming the 2008 Puerto Rico Open on the PGA Tour and the 2005 Northeast Pennsylvania Classic in 2005.
Kraft signed this Upper Deck for me in my quest to get as many from the set signed as possible.
Picture to follow later.
Day of the Year: 179
Number of Autographs This Year: 221
Saturday, June 26, 2010
Suffice it to say that I'm quite OK with that this week after the quality of the success I received today. As those of you who read this blog regularly know, I've been getting photos of the major championship trophies signed by winners. And today was a huge plus in that department as five-time British Open winner Tom Watson signed a photo of the Claret Jug.
Only the legendary Harry Vardon has won more Opens (6) than Watson. And what makes this even cooler is that Watson took the time to inscribe and make some terrific inscriptions on the photo.
As you can see he wrote "Open Champ." and inscribed it with the five years he won golf's oldest championship!
Truly an amazing add to the collection from one of the top three greatest golfers to ever play in the 1970s and 1980s. This has fired me up to load the mailbox with new requests on Monday!
Day of the Year: 176
Number of Autographs This Year: 220
Friday, June 25, 2010
The good news is I doubled this week's count today as I received a second autograph today. Cory Snyder returned a signed Donruss card and index card for me.
Snyder played for five different teams between 1986-1994. His best season came in 1987 when he hit 33 HRs.
Snyder was also a member of the 1984 U.S. Olympic team that won the silver medal.
Day of the Year: 175
Number of Autographs This Year: 219
Monday, June 21, 2010
I first saw Walker play in college when he was at the University of Georgia. He was busy running wild over my beloved University of Florida Gators. I hated him then for what he did to UF, but you instantly knew you were watching a tremendous talent. One that changed how the game as played.
Walker, of course, went on to a fine career in the USFL before settling in the NFL after perhaps his best days were behind him.
Still he scored 60-plus TDS, including a number when he played on some very bad Dallas teams.
One thing is for sure I will never forget the first time I saw him play in person at UGa. Those are the memories I will cherish forever.
By the way, Walker has a very nice signature, and the fine-tip blue Sharpie looks great on this card.
Day of the Year: 171
Number of Autographs This Year: 218
Friday, June 18, 2010
The reason I question it is because I sent it to Matt on Tuesday, June 15. He lives in the same county, so it was likely delivered on Wednesday, June 16.
So he signed it and mailed back Thursday, June 17 for return to me on June 18? I guess it is possible, though I'd like to know when he left for Pebble Beach to play in the U.S. Open, which started Thursday.
Typically golfers begin to arrive at the week's course Monday or Tuesday and are definitely playing practice rounds by Wednesday.
Perhaps he just has a stack of signed cards at this house and his spouse mails them out???
I'd be curious on anyone's thoughts.
Day of the Year: 169
Number of Autographs This Year: 217
Thursday, June 17, 2010
She won the 1999 LPGA Corning Classic and has competed in two Solheim Cup teams for the United States (2002, 2003).
She signed my American Solheim Cup photo for my collection of U.S. players who have competed on the women's version of the Ryder Cup.
Day of the Year: 168
Number of Autographs This Year: 216
Wednesday, June 16, 2010
As a young card collector then it was second-nature to begin to collect all their team sets. And as an autograph collector I wanted to get an entire team set signed for my collection. I got many of the Blues' players to sign in the early 1990s, including Hull, Paul Cavallini, Nelson Emerson, Pat Jablonski, Curtis Joseph, Adam Oates and Mike Lalor.
Well for the first time since about 1992 I have added another one of those former Blues players to my collection. None other than Rod Brind-Amour, who still is playing in the NHL with the Hurricanes.
He's amassed well over 1,000 points thus far in his career, and here's to hoping he adds some more.
Day of the Year: 167
Number of Autographs This Year: 215
Tuesday, June 15, 2010
Needless to say that was way off base -- primarily because I did not count on the UPS man delivering me a package this evening. Boy was this a huge surprise as I had no idea who sent it or what it was.
I'll try to make the story somewhat short.
Ten days ago I wrote a letter to the great Andy Robustelli, Pro Football Hall of Fame member. My letter essentially included a card I hoped he would sign, but more important to me was I was hoping to get a story from him about an old Chicago Bear he played against named Willie Galimore.
I told Mr. Robustelli I had been reading everything I could on football from that era -- my bookshelf can attest to my words -- and I was wondering if he had any other stories on Galimore.
Well this UPS package came from Robustelli on his own dime. In it was a first edition copy of his book, which was inscribed and signed to me. I was blown away that he would take the time to do this.
But it gets better. Inside the book were a pair of signed football cards and my return envelope, stamped but unused.
And there's more.
He also included a pair of autographed 4x6 Hall of Fame signature cards.
So five different autographs from one of the guys who is responsible for making the game what it is today.
Needless to say I can't wait to read his book and see if he has some Galimore stories in the book.
I'll be sending a note back to Mr. Robustelli telling him how much his efforts mean to me. I also plan on sending him some cash to cover his expense in shipping the package to me.
This guy has more than class than most locker rooms hold today. I'm definitely a fan for life.
Day of the Year: 166
Number of Autographs This Year: 214
He also turned pro in 1984 and would play on the PGA Tour from 1985-1992. He split time on the PGA Tour and Nationwide Tour the next two seasons before earning his PGA Tour card back in 1995-2001. He won the 1998 B.C. Open.
While on the Nationwide Tour he also won -- the 1994 Utah Classic -- and was the Player of the Year and leading money winner on that Tour for 1994 as well.
Interesting baseball tie-in here as Perry is the son of 197o AL Cy Young winner Jim Perry and the nephew of Baseball Hall of Famer Gaylord Perry.
Day of the Year: 166
Number of Autographs This Year: 213
Monday, June 14, 2010
First up is the signature of K.J Choi, who was the first Korean player to win on the PGA Tour when he claimed the 2002 Compaq Classic of New Orleans.
He has won seven times to date on the PGA Tour and has played on a pair of Presidents Cup teams.
I'm actually not sure if he signs his full name in Korean here (Kyung-Ju Choi) or if it is just a more difficult read.
Secondly today is the signature of former Los Angeles Rams quarterback Pat Haden. Haden is another one of those guys I grew up watching in the 1970s, so I'm always happy to add another signature from the golden days of my youth to my collection.
Haden passed for nearly 9,300 yards in his career.
One of the interesting, and less well-known, things about Haden is that he was a Rhodes Scholar. When he left USC he played for a year in the World Football League, which allowed him to go to Oxford University.
Day of the Year: 165
Number of Autographs This Year: 212
Saturday, June 12, 2010
Reuschel pitched for the Chicago Cubs, New York Yankees, Pittsburgh Pirates and San Francisco Giants during his career. He compiled 214 wins, including a 20-win season with the Cubs in 1977.
Reuschel was also a decent-hitting pitcher who batted over .200 in five different seasons -- including four in a row beginning in 1974. He was a three-time All Star (1977, 1987, 1989) and twice a Gold Glove winner (1985, 1987).
Day of the Year: 163
Number of Autographs This Year: 210
Hammock Dunes was a regular stop for some alumni tournaments and I remember it was the first time I got a Pete Rose autograph as well.
Anyway Ryan had a post about Nelson Briles passing away on a golf course, which I had not heard before. I knew I had met Briles at least once at Hammock Dunes and I pulled those scorecards to see if memory served me correctly. My memory remains sharp a few decades later as I had this card signed by Briles.
Interestingly I also had a scorecard signed by another player on Ryan's post, Joe Coleman.
Friday, June 11, 2010
In fact the longest wait yet in this project that is nearing its halfway point. One hundred sixty five days ago I sent a request to Cheryl Tiegs' home asking for an autograph, and much to my surprise today she returned it.
I guess that puts me right for assuming that after six months I had lost hope that I would be able to count this one as a success. Now I only wish I had sent her that famous picture in the white swimsuit that has become so iconic nowadays!
Still quite happy to add this to my quite small collection of non-sports autographs.
Today's other success comes from three-time Pro Bowl cornerback Raymond Clayborn. Clayborn had a terrific career as a New England Patriot (1977-89) and later as a Cleveland Brown (1990-91).
He intercepted 36 passes, which at the time of his retirement was a Patriots team record.
Prior to playing in the NFL, Clayborn was a running back with the University of Texas, who switched to the secondary after his sophomore season.
Day of the Year: 162
Number of Autographs This Year: 209
Thursday, June 10, 2010
June 10 Report: Football Hall of Famer Charley Trippi; former New York Giants Kicker Joe Danelo and former Seattle Seahawks LB Terry Beeson
Well that effort began to pay off today in the form of three football successes. I sent three football HOFers among the lot and first up today is one of those.
I first met Charley Trippi 19 years ago and he signed a pair of cards for me. Now, nearly two decades later, I've added another different card to the collection. His resume is impressive as you would expect from any Hall of Famer, so I won't go into it here.
But the thing I'd like to say is that it is amazing that in nearly two decades -- and for a man who is nearing 90 -- his signature does not appear to have changed one bit. Still very readable and elegant and no signs of shakiness.
Man I really wish I could have seen these guys play in their primes. It must have been an entirely different game then.
Next up is Washington State product Joe Danelo. Danelo was drafted by the Dolphins in 1975 but never played with them. He suited up for three different teams, but most notably the New York Giants (1976-82). He kicked a then-team-record 55-yard FG on Sept. 20, 1981 and tied an NFL record for six field goals in a game without a miss. That record has since been broken.
Lastly today is former Seattle Seahawks linebacker Terry Beeson. The second round pick out of Kansas played for Seattle (1977-81) and the San Francisco 49ers (1982). He set a Seattle franchise record for tackles with 153.
Day of the Year: 161
Number of Autographs This Year: 207