Monday, July 17, 2017

Back from Vacation

We took a trip to Dallas to visit my wife's parents, and had our mail held while we were gone. I looked forward to coming home to a number of TTM success stories. Unfortunately that number ended up being just one. That one was former pitcher and current Washington Nationals pitching coach, Mike Maddux. The brother of Hall of Fame pitcher Greg Maddux, Mike spent 15 years in MLB as a pitcher (1986-2000) and has now equaled that total with 15 seasons (since 2003) as an MLB pitching coach for the Brewers, Rangers and Nats. I got the card back in 31 days, my longest successful wait yet.

Technically speaking, I also got another card through the mail when I got back from Dallas. Alex Hyde (@AlexHyde21 on Twitter) is the person who inspired me to get back into autograph collecting, and is kind of a mentor to me in the hobby. He recently purchased a couple Greg Brock cards from Signatures for Soldiers (@Sigs4Soldiers). Alex is collecting 1985 Topps autographs so he got that one for himself. The second card he got was the 1987 Topps one though, and he very generously had them send it to me for my fledgling collection. Thanks again, Alex!

One of the really neat parts of getting into this hobby in this day is the fact that via Twitter, I really feel like I've joined a community of really nice folks who are working on similar projects. One of those people is Gary Vassar (@garyvassar3), who I "met" on Twitter when I saw that he (like Alex) was trying to get the whole 1985 set autographed. When he found out I was going to be in Dallas, he informed me of a card show that he was going to be at and invited me to meet him there. It was fun to meet a great guy like him in person and get to know him a little better.

I had a real fun time at the show, talking to some of the dealers as well as picking up some cards. I was really impressed with the kindness of the folks that were there, especially the gentleman from Dallas Card Show (@DallasCardShow) who sold me a complete set of 1987 Topps for $5.00 and straight up GAVE me this card that he had gotten signed by Tatu when he heard me mention that I had been a fan of the MISL back in its heyday

One final thing: While in Dallas, I found out that there was a great card shop not far from my in-laws' house. Somehow, I've failed to realize this for the 18 years that we've been visiting them, but I was glad to finally find Nick's Sports Cards (@NicksSportCards). It's a real nice shop with lots of older cards that were a blast to look through. I even picked up one of fellow Webster Groves High School alum and former St. Louis Cardinal Charlie James that I hope to send to him and see if I can get it signed. Amazingly, one of the guys who works at Nick's actually lived in Webster Groves briefly  back in the 1960s!

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