Friday, April 30, 2010

April 30 Report: Former Miami Dolphins QB and Football Hall of Famer Bob Griese and Ryder Cup Player Ken Still

Always happy to report a success from a Hall of Famer, and today is one of those days.

Pro Football Hall of Fame member Bob Griese checked in today by signing a 1970s Topps card.

Growing up in Florida I can tell you Griese was a household name every Sunday. Despite the fact that I was the only Dallas Cowboy fan in the house in the 1970s, I still had great respect for what Griese accomplished.

Griese was the fourth pick in the 1967 NFL draft out of Purdue. In his 14 seasons with the Dolphins Griese passed for more than 25,000 yards 192 TDs. He helped the Dolphins in two Super Bowls, was named to six Pro Bowls and won a trophy case full of other awards.

Today's second success comes from the golf course. Ken Still was a three-time winner on the PGA Tour, including two events in 1969.

Still made the Ryder Cup that year and was in the middle of some nasty events that turned into one of the most celebrated moments of sportsmanship the game has ever seen.

"Britain's non-playing captain Eric Brown set the tone by instructing his players not to look for the opposition ball if it ended up in the rough. According to the British press, Ken Still, in the first-day foursomes, had been guilty of childish gamesmanship at the expense of Briton Maurice Bembridge when he regularly stood too close as his opponent was putting. Later, Still responded to what he felt was recurring gamesmanship by Bernard Gallacher by knocking aside his ball marker and shouting, "You can have the hole – and the goddamn Cup!" This nearly led to a fistfight between the two men. Still's playing partner, Dave Hill, also had harsh words for Gallacher, and threatened to wrap a 1-iron around his head. Ultimately all of this led to one of the most famous gestures of sportmanship in the history of sport: in the final singles encounter Jack Nicklaus had Tony Jacklin pick-up a missable putt so the match would end in a 16-16 tie."

Day of the Year: 120
Number of Autographs This Year: 171

Thursday, April 29, 2010

April 29 Report: Former Boston Celtic Dee Brown and Former Toronto Blue Jay Kelly Gruber

A rare baseball success today -- just my seventh in this project to date -- but a pretty cool one I must say.

About six weeks ago I wrote to Kelly Gruber asking him to sign a 1989 Donruss card. In that letter of request I also discussed some memorable moments of his career, including when he became the first Toronto Blue Jay to hit for the cycle in April 1989.

Much to my pleasant surprise, Kelly not only signed the card I sent but he also returned the 3x5 blank index card signed -- with his uniform number -- and inscribed with "The Cycle" and dated April 16, 1989. That is the date Gruber hit for the first Blue Jay cycle in team history.

Gruber MLB career saw him play for the Blue Jays from 1984-92 and he batted .259 with 117 home runs and 443 RBI. He was a two-time All-Star (1989 and 1990) and he won both the Gold Glove Award and Silver Slugger Award in 1990.

Gruber's game-tying HR in the third game of the 1992 World Series was key in helping the team win the championship.

The second success today came from Dee Brown. Brown played college basketball near my hometown at Jacksonville University, the city in which he was born.

The Dolphins' guard was drafted with the 19th pick in the first round of the 1990 NBA Draft by the Boston Celtics.

Brown played for Boston from 1990-98, then spent 1998-2000 with the Toronto Raptors before winding up his NBA career with the Orlando Magic 2000-2002.

He scored 6,758 points in his NBA career, and added 2,277 assists and 1,569 rebounds.

In addition to signing the 1990 Fleer update card I sent, Brown was also gracious enough to sign a 3x5 index card and inscribe it with JU and his college number, 4.

A great feeling to know both of these athletes actually read the letter I wrote and then signed specific things that were discussed in the letter.

Awesome autograph experiences today!

Day of the Year: 119
Number of Autographs This Year: 169

Monday, April 26, 2010

April 26 Report: Solheim Cup Player Cathy Gerring, Minnesota Vikings Receiver Sammie White and Heisman Trophy Winner Charlie Ward

Cathy Gerring was an All-American at Ohio State before turning pro and joining the LPGA Tour.

She won three times on Tour before her career was tragically cut short by a freak accident at at the 1992 Sara Lee Classic.

Gerring was severely burned in a hospitality tent fire. While her career essentially ended then she was not robbed of the opportunity to play for her country in the inaugural Solheim Cup in 1990.

Mrs. Gerring was kind enough to not only sign the photo but also inscribe it with the year in which she played.

The other two successes today come from the football. It is not often I ask for autographs of Florida State players, but it is hard not to appreciate someone of Charlie Ward's character.

Ward won the Heisman Trophy while at Florida State and he went on to a successful basketball career with the New York Knicks. Today he is making a difference int he lives of young people at a high school in Texas.

Ward was among the very first requests I sent out in late 2009 for this project. To date he is the longest wait for a return at 121 days.

Lastly is former Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Sammie White. He is from the era of my childhood -- the 1970s -- that was so impressioned by football.

White had a fine career in Minnesota, catching 393 passes for 6,400 yards. He accounted for 50 touchdowns as well.

White not only signed the football card, but he also added the designation I discussed in my letter to him. He inscribed ROY 1976 to commemorate his being selected the Offensive Rookie of the Year in 1976.

Nice touch too in that he signs with purple pen. Perfect for a Viking!!

Day of the Year: 116
Number of Autographs This Year: 167

Saturday, April 24, 2010

April 24 Report: Masters Tournament winners Trevor Immelman and Bob Goalby, Texas Ranger Pete Incaviglia & Players Championship winner Davis Love III

Those of you who read this blog on a regular basis may recall a short time ago I mentioned I had also had the opportunity to photograph the Masters Tournament trophy.

I had a number of prints made of that trophy and began sending them out with autograph requests a short time later.

Extremely thrilled today to report that some of those have already been returned. I received my first two back today from 1968 Masters Tournament winner Bob Goalby and 2008 Masters Tournament winner Trevor Immelman.

The photo shown here is the one Goalby signed. Goalby won 11 times on the PGA Tour, but none more notable -- or memorable -- than the Masters.

Roberto De Vicenzo actually shot the best tournament score, but Tommy Aaron incorrectly marked Goalby's scorecard and De Vicenzo signed an incorrect scorecard, essentially causing him to forfeit the Masters title to Goalby. An absolute horrid turn events for all three, as Aaron's error caused De Vicenzo the title and Goalby was unjustly criticized for many years.

The Immelman depiction here is even a bit cooler than the signed Masters Trophy.

While Immelman also signed one of those photos I have chosen to show the pin flag he signed as well. I picked this pin flag up from Augusta National at the 2008 Masters Tournament, which was won by Immelman.

This is my first signed pin flag from the Masters Tournament, though I hope to add several more in the remaining months of this year's project. Trevor is not only a great champion, but he is also a wonderful family man and role model for so many young people.

This flag will find its way into a frame and then will be prominently displayed in my game room.

The third golf success of the day comes from Davis Love III.

I had the opportunity to witness the 2003 Players Championship in person seven years ago, and it provided one of the most memorable rounds I've ever seen.

Love III fired a ridiculous 64 on one of the toughest tracks on Tour in windy, rainy and unseasonably cold conditions.

The round so impressed Fred Couples that he called it "the best round of golf I've ever seen played."

Indeed a brilliant round, a great tournament and a most gracious champion.

Last up today is one of my rare successes from the world of baseball. Pete Incaviglia, the great Oklahoma State player who still own the NCAA recod for HRs in a season (48) and a career (100), signed a 1990 Donruss card for me.

Inky played in the majors for 12 season with six different teams, beginning with the Texas Rangers. His career numbers show him with a batting average of .246 and a career HR total of 206.

Day of the Year: 114
Number of Autographs This Year: 164

Thursday, April 22, 2010

April 22 Report: Olympian Bruce Jenner and LPGA Solheim Cup Player Tammie Green

First up today is a repeat of sorts as I've previously been fortunate enough to have Bruce Jenner sign for me.

Not long after he did that I learned that he was a golf nut and even played in the Pebble Beach event on the PGA Tour earlier this year.

All that added up to a perfect match to ask him if he would sign a Pebble Beach Golf Links logo ball I had gotten from the course years ago. He was gracious enough to sign again so I'm thrilled to add this to my "celebrity" golf ball collection.

My second success today is another add to my American Solheim Cup collection. Tammie Green was a seven-time winner on the LPGA Tour, including a major championship in the 1989 du Maurier.

Green -- who autographed the photo in green Sharpie -- played on two Solheim Cup teams, in 1994 and 1998.

Day of the Year: 112
Number of Autographs This Year: 160

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

April 21 Report: Former Houston Oilers RB Allen Pinkett

Breaking up the golf successes lately with a football one today.

Allen Pinkett was an exceptional player at Notre Dame, where he became the first player in school history to ever rush for 1,000-plus yards in three consecutive seasons (1983-85).

He was a third-round selection in the 1986 NFL Draft, and played for six seasons with the Houston Oilers. He rushed for 2,324 yards and 21 touchdowns.

As of this writing Pinkett works as the color commentator for Notre Dame games on ISP Sports.

Day of the Year: 111
Number of Autographs This Year: 158

Monday, April 19, 2010

April 19 Report: British Open Winner Lee Trevino and PGA Championship winner Shaun Micheel

Another pair of major championship winners to add to the trophy collection today. One commemorates World Golf Hall of Fame member Lee Trevino's wins at the British Open and the other PGA Championship winner Shaun Micheel.

Hall of Famers first, so here's the skinny on Trevino.

Trevino was a two-time winner of golf's oldest major, The Open as it is simply known. Trevino won in back-to-back years in 1971-72 and he inscribed it as such in addition to adding his autograph to the photo.

A very nice success from a Hall of Famer.

Next up is a photo of the Wanamaker Trophy, given for winning the PGA Championship. One of the finest shots hit in major championship history -- under pressure and by a player in search of his first major victory -- came from Shaun Micheel.

Micheel's 7-iron approach stopped 2 inches from the hole on the 72nd hole to give him victory. Simply a brilliant shot, which I told Shaun was one of the finest I've ever witnessed.

He responded by signing the photo, writing the year he won the PGA on it and -- GET THIS -- also inscribed it with this: "7-iron -- 2 inches".

An awesome inscription and one that will be the centerpiece in my next major championship frame collage.

Day of the Year: 109
Number of Autographs This Year: 157

Saturday, April 17, 2010

April 17, 2010 Report: Olympic Gold Medalist and NBA Player Jon Koncak

Jon Koncak was the fifth overall choice out of SMU in the 1985 NBA Draft.

Prior to being selected by the Atlanta Hawks, Koncak played on the United States Basketball team that won the golf medal at the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles.

Koncak signed a 3x5 index card for me and inscribed it with all of the pertinent details of that gold medal-winning team.

Koncak went on to play with the Hawks from 1985-1995, and he wound down his career with the Orlando Magic in 1995-1996.

Koncak, whose NBA career was largely that of a reserve player, did total 3,520 points and 3,856 rebounds.

The Fleer card here is from the Fleer Update series.

Day of the Year: 107
Number of Autographs This Year: 155

Friday, April 16, 2010

April 16 Report: British Open Champ Stewart Cink, Hall of Famer Beth Daniel and Solheim Cup Player Brandie Burton

Three more golf 5x7s to report today.

First up is 2009 British Open winner Stewart Cink, who outlasted the ageless Tom Watson to capture his first major championship at Turnberry.

Cink is the first success on a Claret Jug to inscribe his year if victory, which can be seen here.

Cink has won six times on the PGA Tour.

World Golf Hall of Fame member and Solheim Cup champ Beth Daniel signed one of my custom Solheim Cup photos.

Daniel won 33 times on the LPGA Tour, including a major championship. Daniel has played on a record eight Solheim Cup teams (tied with Meg Mallon and Juli Inkster).

Lastly is Brandie Burton, who also was an American Solheim Cupper.

I've got enough horizontal photos signed now to fill out my first trophy collage. I'll try to post that this weekend so everyone can see how it has turned out.

I think it's going to be a neat way to fill a wall in my gameroom with signed trophy photos!

Day of the Year: 106
Number of Autographs This Year: 154

Thursday, April 15, 2010

April 15 Report: PGA Championship winner John Mahaffey and Frank Dully

Happy to report the continuing success of the signed major championship trophy project. To date winners of the PGA Championship have been quickest to respond, easily outpacing winners of the British Open.

Today's signed Wanamaker Trophy photo comes from John Mahaffey. Mahaffey set a record for best comeback in a PGA by making up a seven-shot deficit over the last 14 holes to tie Hall of Famer Tom Watson and Jerry Pate.

Mahaffey won the playoff with a birdie on the second extra hole.

He also continued the trend of inscribing the trophy with his victory year.

Not sure exactly what to say about this next success. It comes from Frank Dully, an accomplished club pro who has played on the South African Tour. He's never won a tournament on a significant world tour, but for some reason Upper Deck included him in its card set.

I needed Dully's signature as I'm trying to compile as complete a set of this series of UD cards as possible. I am grateful Dully agreed to sign two of these cards for my set.

Day of the Year: 105
Number of Autographs This Year: 151

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

April 14 Report: British Open Winner Sandy Lyle and PGA Championship Winner Bobby Nichols

Thrilled to report two more successes today from major championship winners.

This little project of getting winners to sign photos of the major championship trophies they won seems to get better and better for each time I get one of the photos back signed.

This is the first time I've gotten a photo of a Wanamaker Trophy (PGA Championship) and a Claret Jug (British Open) back autographed in the same day!

First up is the Wanamaker photo, which was signed by Bobby Nichols and inscribed with "1964 P.G.A Champ". As I've said before I am loving the inscriptions that are coming back on these trophy photos. Nichols' victory in 1964 was most impressive because it came over two legends of the game -- Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus.

Nichols' score of 271 was the low score for the event for 30 years until Hall of Famer Nick Price broke it in 1994.

The Claret Jug photo was signed by Sandy Lyle. The Scotsman has won 18 times on the European Tour and eight times on the PGA Tour. His most notable victories came at the 1985 British Open and 1988 Masters Tournament.

Here he has signed the Claret Jug and I hope once I get the Masters trophy pictures later this week to also add that signed photo to the majors collection.

Day of the Year: 104
Number of Autographs This Year: 149

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

April 13 Report: British Open Champ Bill Rogers

Bill Rogers played the PGA Tour from 1975-1988, winning six times. His most significant victory came at the 1981 British Open championship.

I remember speaking with Rogers circa 2000 and chatting with him about his career. One of the lessons learned back then was that player agents wanted to immediately capitalize on success from a major championship win, so Rogers recalled being booked for countless appearances around the world.

The stress, travel and constant obligations took away from his ability to play regular tournament golf, much to the detriment of his game. By 1988 Rogers had essentially walked away from the competitive circuit.

As a result, Rogers is often overlooked today for his talent and Open win.

The signed photo seen here is the first success on a Claret Jug photo, the trophy for winning The Open. Hopefully there will be many more to come in the near future.

For the record, I have recently photographed the Masters Tournament trophy. Those images are being printed now and I'll soon be able to mail those out with autograph requests. The only major championship trophy left to photograph is the U.S. Open. I'm loving this idea for golf autographs -- signatures on the most significant trophies from the sport!!

Day of the Year: 103
Number of Autographs This Year: 147

Monday, April 12, 2010

April 12 Report: Don January

Some of the work I put in two weeks ago where I sent out about two dozen requests to major championship winners seems to be paying off.

Not only am I getting some quick turnarounds on my major championship trophy collection, I am also getting great inscriptions to go with the autographs.

This time it's courtesy of Don January, a 10-time winner on the PGA Tour. January signed this photo of the Wanamaker Trophy and added the inscription "1967 PGA Champ".

All three PGA winners who have signed for me in the last week have added their winning year(s) to the photo as well. That's so awesome they recognize the importance to their fans to go beyond just signing their name.

More and more today I see autograph shows that require additional fees to add an inscription.

Thanks Mr. January. Hopefully I'll see you playing next week in Savannah.

Day of the Year: 102
Number of Autographs This Year: 146

Saturday, April 10, 2010

April 10 Report: Heather Bowie

Today is the 100th day of this project where I am attempting to collect 365 different autographs throughout the course of the year.

Thankfully the 100th day has a success to report, too!

Amongst the different golf subset autographs I am collecting is every American player to have competed on at least one Solheim Cup team. The competition began in 1990, so I actually have a chance ot get everyone who ever played as they are all living (as opposed to the majors which are much older and have many deceased champions).

Heather Bowie signed this Solheim Cup trophy card and even added the inscription for the year in which she played. What a great bonus!

Day of the Year: 100
Number of Autographs This Year: 145

Friday, April 9, 2010

April 9 Report: Dave Stockton and David Graham

As I've mentioned previously I've undertaken a project to get as many major championship winners as I can to autograph photos I've taken of each trophy.

While I realize it is going to be impossible to get every major winner on a photo of that respective trophy (majors were first played in 1860 so many are deceased) I'm still going after all the living ones I can. I think it will make for a really neat framed photo collage.

Both successes I received today were former winners of the season's final major championship -- the PGA Championship.

Dave Stockton was a two-time winner of the event, and in an awesome move he signed the photo and inscribed it with "1970-76 PGA Champion". I'm really loving this new project!

In addition to the two majors Stockton won, he also claimed eight other PGA Tour events and plated on a pair of Ryder Cup teams. Stockton also signed a Ryder Cup trophy for me as well.

The other winner of the Wanamaker Trophy who autographed a picture of the spoils was David Graham. (Just noticed both of today's successes are named David and won the same event!).

Graham, an Australian, won nearly 40 times around the world including the PGA Championship and the U.S. Open. Unfortunately I have not yet had a chance to photograph the U.S. Open trophy so I wasn't able to send that to him to sign as well.

Something else to look forward to doing one day I suppose. That's one of the many great parts about autograph collecting.

Day of the Year: 99
Number of Autographs This Year: 144

Thursday, April 8, 2010

April 8 Report: Pat Bradley, J.C. Snead, Craig Perks, Scott Studwell and Sammy Winder

A fruitful day to write about this evening on the blog. Five successes in all, three from golf and a pair from football.

Gotta start with the Hall of Famer in the bunch, one Pat Bradley. One of the subsets in my autograph collection is going to be to try to get every American player who has competed in a Solheim Cup competition.

That subset's first member is Bradley, who played in three Solheim Cups -- the first in 1990, then again in 1992 and 1996.

Long before she was a Solheim Cup player in the 1990s, Bradley was one of the LPGA's top stars in the 1980s. Eighteen of her 31 LPGA Tour victories came during that decade, including all six of her major championship titles.

Bradley, who was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 1991, was the third woman player in LPGA history to win the Career Grand Slam (Mickey Wright and Lousie Suggs preceded her).

Staying not only with the golf theme, but also with the United States team competition, is an autograph from J.C. Snead.

Snead joined the PGA Tour in 1968 and won eight times in the 1970s and 1980s. His senior career also saw him win four times on the Champions Tour, including a senior major at the 1995 Ford Senior Players Championship.

Snead, the nephew of legendary Sam Snead, also played on three Ryder Cup teams for the United States. I made a custom 4x6 print of a photo I took of the Ryder Cup.

The last golf success for today comes from Craig Perks. Perks, a New Zealander, won his lone PGA Tour title at the 2002 Players Championship. His game went into a steep decline following that landmark victory and he retired in 2007.

What Perks' golf career lacked in quantity, he certainly made up for in drama. I was fortunate enough to be in attendance at the 2002 Players Championship when Perks won over the Stadium Course at the TPC sawgrass.

Arguably the 16th, 17th and 18th holes over that Pete Dye layout are the toughest closing holes in golf. All Perks did to win was chip in for eagle in 16, drain a 28-foot birdie on 17 and then chip-in for a par save at 18. Incredible drama!!!

Perks signed my patron badge from the event he won.

Today's first football succes comes from former NFL running back Sammy Winder. Winder played each of his nine years (1982-90) for the Denver Broncos.

Winder was named to two Pro Bowls in his career (1984 and 1986). His career numbers are 5,427 rushing yards and 39 touchdowns. He also had 197 receptions for 1,302 yards and nine touchdowns.

Winder, who was born in Madison, Mississippi, had a trademark touchdown celebration called the 'Mississippi Mud Walk'.

Lastly today I received a pair of signed cards from Scott Studwell.

Studwell, a University of Illinois alum, was drafted in the ninth round of the 1977 NFL Draft by the Minnesota Vikings. He had a 14-year career over which he was selected to a pair of Pro Bowls.

Another testament to his longevity is that he is the only Viking to have played with both Jim Marshall (1961-1979) & John Randle (1990-2000).

Studwell had nine sacks and 11 interceptions in his career.

Day of the Year: 98
Number of Autographs This Year: 142

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

April 7 Report: Andy North and Dow Finsterwald

A pair of golfing successes to report today -- though one was quickly tempered.

First up if former University of Florida golfer and two-time U.S. Open winner Andy North. I attended the 2001 Liberty Mutual Legends of Golf in 2001, which North won. I saved my patron badge from the event for all these years and now it is signed.

The cool thing about it was that the envelope was postmarked in Augusta, Georgia. Obviously North brought my letter with him to The Masters, where he is commentating this week for ESPN.

This is one of three different patron badges I've sent out in recent weeks, so we'll see if they all get returned.

The second success today is from Dow Finsterwald. Finsterwald won 11 events on the PGA Tour, most notably the 1958 PGA Championship. He was also a four-time Ryder Cup player.

In the last two years I've been fortunate enough to do photoshoots with many of the most significant trophies in golf. I've decided to begin collecting the signatures of major champions on photos of that particular trophy.

So when I saw this 5x7 envelope today I knew the forst of those had been returned. Sadly I think Finsterwald signed it and slid it right in the envelope while it was still quite wet.

The result being that the signature is so badly smeared it is unusable.

I guess I will be sending another request explaining that it was ruined when it arrived and hopefully he will sign another one for me.

Day of the Year: 97
Number of Autographs This Year: 137

Monday, April 5, 2010

April 5 Report: Joe Lavender and Rives McBee

Over the last week or so I've made a concerted effort to contact golfers, both past and present, to bolster the golf portion of the autograph collection.

I had saved a number of old Pro Set cards from the early 1990s, so I started there. Not necessarily the biggest stars, but it allowed me to get going while I figured out what to do for the bigger names (that story is for a later post once the successes start arriving).

The second of those Pro Set successes arrived today, courtesy of Rives McBee. McBee won three times on the Champions Tour in 1989-90.

The second success is yet another football autograph from my formative years growing up in the 1970s. Joe Lavender was a 12th-round draft pick back in 1973. He was selected 288th overall by the Philadelphia Eagles.

Obviously the Eagles scouted Lavender well out of San Diego State. Lavender played 10 years in the NFL (1973-75 for the Eagles and 1976-82 for the Washington Redskins).

I asked Mr. Lavender to sign the card and inscribe with his career interception total. He was kind enough to oblige, though it looks like he wrote 33 ENTs instead of 33 INTs.

Day of the Year: 95
Number of Autographs This Year: 135

Saturday, April 3, 2010

RIP Mike Cuellar

Cancer sucks. Period.

I was saddened to hear of the passing of the great Baltimore Orioles left-hander Mike Cuellar today. What a great era he was part of in Orioles history.

I had the good fortune of meeting Cuellar back in what I think was 1991 at an autograph show where a few dozen "old-timers" were signing for free. That era also seems long ago.

RIP Mike. All the best to your family.

April 3 Report: Jack Fleck, Tim Herron, Karen Allen and Jeff Reardon

Today was a busy day preparing and mailing out requests. The last five days really have been geared toward adding the signatures of prominent golfers over the years to my collection.

Essentially the focus has been sending out prints of photographs I've taken over the years of significant trophies in golf. The four I've been sending out lately are to LPGA players who have played on Solheim Cup teams, plus PGA Tour players who have either played on the Ryder Cup or have won The Open or PGA Championship.

Hopefully in a week or so I'll have some of those successes to post here. I did officially send my 200th request of the year today. For the record that was a a 5x7 print of the Claret Jug to Stewart Cink.

Now on to the successes from today, while still keeping with the theme of major championship golf.

Fifty-five years ago this year, one of the greatest upsets in golf history occured. Playing the role of upsetter was unheralded Iowan Jack Fleck, who battled the legendary Ben Hogan to a tie in the 1955 U.S. Open.

Fleck, who had served in the U.S. Navy and was a part of the Invasion of Normandy, would outduel Hogan, his childhood hero, to earn his first professional victory.

Fleck, who was 88 years old when he signed this ball, would win three times on the PGA during his career. He later won a senior major at the 1979 Senior PGA Championship.

Today's other golf success comes from a modern-day star, Tim Herron. Herron had a respectable amateur career at the University of New Mexico, where he played on the 1993 U.S. Walker Cup team.

Herron played for a spell on the Nationwide Tour before joining the PGA Tour in 1996, when he won his first Tour title at the Honda Classic.

To date Herron has four Tour titles, the most recent coming at the 2006 Bank of America Colonial.

Herron also has a unique claim to fame as he defeated a 15-year-old Tiger Woods in second round of 1992 U.S. Amateur. The loss was one of only two defeats Woods suffered in 23 U.S. Amateur matches.

Today's last success comes from the acting world.

One of my favorite movies growing up was the Raiders of the Lost Ark series. One of the main characters was Marion Ravenswood (Indiana Jones' love interest), who was played by Karen Allen.

Allen has appeared in a number of other movies, though she has often taken long breaks away from the bigscreen to apply her considerable talents to broadway and stage acting.

Lastly I report my second failure of the year. Bernie Kosar was the first as he was asking for $$$ to sign a card. This time it's Jeff Reardon. Although Reardon did not ask for money, he simply sent the card back unsigned -- no note, no message, just the unsigned card.

Day of the Year: 93
Number of Autographs This Year: 133

Friday, April 2, 2010

April 2 Report: Retief Goosen and Tony Franklin

I've slowly been adding autographs to the tournament logo balls I've collected over the years at tournaments around the country -- and a few overseas.

Today's signed golf ball comes courtesy of two-time U.S. Open champ Retief Goosen.

Goosen, a South African, is among the most successful players competing in the game today.

At the time of this writing Goosen is the 15-ranked player in the world. He presently counts 30 different official worldwide victories on his resume. Most notable among those are his two U.S. Open wins -- in 2001 at Southern Hills and in 2004 at Shinnecock Hills.

Goosen is likely on a path to be elected to the World Golf Hall of Fame in the next few years, so I'm thrilled to add this autograph to my golf collection.

The second autograph today comes from former Philadelphia Eagles kicker Tony Franklin. Franklin was a standout at Texas A&M, where he once owned the NCAA record for longest field goal made (65 yards). Franklin also kicked a 64-yard field goal in the same game and remains the only college player to kick two 60-plus yarders in one game.

Franklin's college career ended with him holding 18 records, including most career field goals (56) and most field goals of 50 yards or longer.

Franklin, a barefoot kicker, was drafted by the Eagles in the third round of the 1979 NFL Draft and played for them from 1979-83. He also played for the Patriots (1984-87) and the Miami Dolphins (1988). He was a Pro Bowl selection in 1985.

Day of the Year: 92
Number of Autographs This Year: 130

Thursday, April 1, 2010

April 1 Report: Virgil Livers, Herman Weaver and Roger Carr

Thankfully the mailman wasn't in an April Fool's mood today and he delivered me some nice 1970s NFL successes.

First up is former Chicago Bears cornerback Virgil Livers. Livers played college football at small Western Kentucky, yet he impressed enough scouts to be drafted in the fourth round of the 1975 NFL Draft.

Livers had 12 interceptions in his five-year career with the Bears, returning a pair of them for touchdowns.

Herman Weaver earned his nickname "Thunderfoot" from Howard Cosell during a Monday Night game when the Lions were playing.

This is the second time I have gotten Weaver to sign cards for me, the first being about 15 years ago. Back then he signed and also added his nickname to the card.

Today's version comes with a Bible verse in place, which I completely respect too.

In all Weaver punted for 11 years in the NFL -- 1970-76 with Detroit and 1977-80 with Seattle. The Sporting News, in 1988, named him one of the top 20 punters of all-time.

Today's third and final success comes from Roger Carr.

Carr played most notably for the Baltimore Colts (1974-1981), though he also spent time with Seattle Seahawks (1982) and San Diego Chargers (1983). He was drafted in the first round after his college career at Louisiana Tech.

His career numbers are 271 receptions, 5,071 yards and 31 touchdowns.

His best year was in 1976, whe he caught 43 passes for 1,112 yards -- almost 26 yards per catch.

He made his lone Pro Bowl that season as well.

Day of the Year: 91
Number of Autographs This Year: 128