Monday, September 27, 2010

George Blanda: The Passing of a Legend

Read the news late this afternoon that Football Hall of Famer George Blanda passed away at the age of 83.

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

Sept. 23 Report: Former Chicago Bears Kicker Bob Thomas

Nearly 200 days ago (194 to be exact) I sent a a few cards off to former Chicago Bears kicker Bob Thomas to get signed. This has turned out to be my longest wait to date on this project, but I am happy to report a triple success.

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

Sept. 18 Report: A Surprise From Joe Durant

Three days ago I posted on this blog about a success from PGA Tour winner Joe Durant. I briefly discussed his career in the game and displayed the two different cards he signed for me.

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

Sept. 15 Report: PGA Tour Star Joe Durant

Florida native and long-time PGA Tour player Joe Durant came through for me today by returning two different Upper Deck cards for me which I will add to the signed set I am trying to complete.

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

Sept. 13 Report: Left-handed PGA Tour winner Steve Flesch

Yes it has been yonks since I've been able to post anything in this space. A few changes recently have kept me from being able to send out requests like I had earlier in the year. Hopefully everything smooths out in the coming days/weeks and I can return to making regular requests.

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