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  1. #21
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    19-May-2019

    This weekend, the American Association opened their season, and the Chicago Dogs were home for the weekend. The Dogs made news recently when they signed former Chicago Cubs ace Carlos Zambrano to a deal, as he has decided that he wants to mount a comeback. I decided to go early in the season, before Zambrano has a trademark meltdown, or decides he's better off retired. On Sunday home games, the Chicago Dogs players sit on the concourse and sign autographs, so I was able to knock out almost all my cards. I got three cards signed by former Brewers prospect Victor Roache, 2 cards signed by former Chicago White Sox prospect Keon Barnum, 2 cards signed by former Philadelphia Phillies prospect Kelly Dugan, 2 cards signed by former Philadelphia Phillies pitching prospect Austin Wright, and two cards signed by manager and former player Butch Hobson. Missing was Trevor Simms, who was warming up on the field, as he was the starter; I went down to the field and he signed one card for me. Zambrano was first in line, with two security people next to him, and I was able to have one official Bud Selig Major League Baseball, and inscribe NO HITTER 9/14/08. The line for Zambrano was pretty short, as there were not that many fans there. After a bit, I went back in line with a card, but the security guard wouldn't let me, even though there was no line left. There was a teenage boy hanging out near the line barrier, and I asked him to get Zambrano to sign a card for me, and gave him a dollar. He was able to get my Gypsy Queen card signed, which was great.

    Zambrano was used as the DH for this game, and hit a single, and didn't get further than that, he is very slow on the basepaths. Anyway, I waited until the game ended (through sunburn, then pouring rain, then cold, then sun), hoping to get Zambrano to sign another card. After the game ended, he stopped and started signing for a group of 25 kids. He signed for each and every one of them, which was cool, but I stood to the side of them with a card and a blue Sharpie. He got to me, looked at the card, looked up at me, and went back to signing for kids. When each kid had his autograph, he turned around and walked away across the field to the clubhouse, leaving me standing there. He knew what he was doing, and whether he remembered me from before the game, or was just being a jerk, I really don't know. Wish I had left before I got sunburned!

    Total autos at the game:14

    Photo of the autos:
    https://beta-static.photobucket.com/...080&fit=bounds

    Closeup of the Zambrano autos:
    https://beta-static.photobucket.com/...080&fit=bounds
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    -arfmax

    Total IP autographs in 2019: 185

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    Working on autographed 1987 Topps Baseball set:
    Total Cards in Set:792/Total Autographable: 760 (6 Checklists, 26 Team Leaders)
    Total Autographed:626!
    Currently Sent (Outstanding):52
    Percent Complete:82.37

  2. #22
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    25-May-2019

    Last night, I went to the Kane County Cougars game in Geneva, IL. The Cougars are the single A affiliate of the Arizona Diamondbacks, and I have gotten lots of autographs at the ballpark in years past. It was team set giveaway night as well, so I brought a few Bowman Draft cards and got the team set, and got ready to get some autos. Unfortunately, Kane County decided in the offseason to add safety netting all the way to the end of the seating area. While making the game safer for people in the stands, this removed all access to the players, save for a small gate, and a small well where the groundskeepers store their stuff next to the dugout. So anyone trying to get autographs is in the same 5 feet of space, which is ridiculous. The players came out slowly, and most of them did not come over and sign, saying they would after the game or something. I ended up getting a total of 9 autographs from 8 players, which is far less than the 25-30 I used to get at a Cougars game. Super disappointed in the new setup.
    I got 1 autograph on a team set from catcher Zac Almond, 2 autographs on cards from outfielder Eduardo Diaz, 1 autograph on a card from infielder Eddie Hernandez, 1 autograph on a card from pitcher Kenny Hernandez, 1 autograph on a card from infielder Buddy Kennedy, 1 autograph on a card from pitcher Ethan Larrison, 1 autograph on a card from outfielder Alek Thomas, and 1 autograph on a card from pitcher Blake Workman.

    Photo of the autos:
    https://beta-static.photobucket.com/...080&fit=bounds

    -arfmax

    Total IP autographs in 2019: 194

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  3. #23
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    02-Jun-2019

    Yesterday, went to another Chicago Dogs game in Rosemont, IL, against the Sioux Falls Canaries. Prior to the game, I was able to get 2 cards signed by former Brewers prospect Victor Roache, 2 cards signed by former Phillies prospect Kelly Dugan, 2 cards signed by former Red Sox player and Dogs manager Butch Hobson, and 1 card signed by former Chicago Cubs ace Carlos Zambrano, and my ticket stub signed by infielder Edwin Arroyo. I also went to the Canaries side, and got two cards signed by former Tigers prospect Dean Green, and 2 cards signed by former Washington Nationals pitcher Taylor Jordan.

    Photo of the autos:
    https://hosting.photobucket.com/imag...080&fit=bounds

    -arfmax

    Total IP autographs in 2019: 206

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  4. #24
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    08-Jun-2019

    This evening, I went to the Frontier League independent minor league baseball game between the Schaumburg Boomers and the Evansville Otters in Schaumburg, IL. The Frontier League teams usually have a few players who were drafted and have minors cards, so it is good to graph a few guys. Anyway, I stayed on the Evansville Otters side, and got two autographs on cards from former Astros pitching prospect Austin Nicely, 1 autograph from former Oakland A's pitching prospect Tyler Vail, one autograph from former Team USA member Mitchell Hansen, and 2 autographs on cards from former Montreal Expos player Boots Day, who is a bench coach for the Otters. I brought cards for former Mets prospect Wuilmer Becerra, but he did not travel with the team.

    Photo of the Otters autos:
    https://hosting.photobucket.com/imag...080&fit=bounds

    -arfmax

    Total IP autographs in 2019: 212

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  5. #25




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    Milwaukee Brewers

    Very cool. My son and I love "Brewers on Deck". We weren't able to go in2019, but we had a great 2018, and hope for a better 2020.

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    Collecting Topps Brewers. I PC Jonathan Lucroy, Paul Molitor, Christian Yelich, Robin Yount, and Ken Griffey Jr.

  6. #26
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    10-Jun-2019

    This evening, I went to an appearance and signing with Chicago Bears safety Eddie Jackson at a Goodwill store in Hoffman Estates, IL. Eddie Jackson was super friendly, and signed two cards for me, and a promo 8.5" x 11" photo, for free.

    Photo of the Eddie Jackson autos:
    https://hosting.photobucket.com/imag...080&fit=bounds

    -arfmax

    Total IP autographs in 2019: 215

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  7. #27
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    15-Jun-2019

    Yesterday, went to the inaugural Eddie Jackson Softball Game, which was formally the Akiem Hicks softball game, but he dropped out for unknown reasons. Anyway, Eddie Jackson was the host for this charity event held at Schaumburg Boomers Stadium in Schaumburg, IL, and the list of players from the Bears who were attending was only posted two days before the event. Most of the players posted are rookies and backups, with the big names being Khalil Mack and Mitch Trubisky. I brought cards for all the listed players that had cards, and 2 mini helmets. Prior to the event, you could not get autos in the parking lot, as the security kicked everyone out, so that was a waste. Prior to the game was a home run derby, and some of the players came out before and warmed up. Many of the players had no names or numbers on their jersey, as they committed to come after the deadline to make jerseys. However, some names and numbers were present. Khalil Mack was there, and after throwing a ball around a little, he came over to the 1st base side by the outfield and started to sign for everyone over there. Unfortunately, that was not the spot I was in, and he never came over to my area. I was only able to get a single autograph on a card from host Eddie Jackson, 1 autograph on a card from Home Run Derby winner Jonathan Bullard, and 1 autograph on a card from rookie wide receiver Riley Ridley. Mitch Trubisky didn't show, and neither did Anthony Miller, Allen Robinson, and many others. Oh well, it was still fun to watch them interact offense against defense in a fun event. I didn't stay past the 3rd inning, and there were already 25 runs scored.

    Photo of the 3 autos:
    https://hosting.photobucket.com/imag...080&fit=bounds

    -arfmax
    Total IP autographs in 2019: 218

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  8. #28
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    21-Jun-2019

    Yesterday, went to an appearance at an Xfinity Store in Arlington Heights, IL by Chicago Cubs outfielder Albert Almora. It was actually the same store that he appeared at last year, for some reason. Anyway, he was an hour late because the Cubs played a day game and he had to drive from the city to the suburbs, and they strictly enforced one auto per person, so I was able to get one card signed, plus they take and print a photo for you, for free.

    Photo of the Almora auto:
    https://hosting.photobucket.com/imag...080&fit=bounds

    -arfmax
    Total IP autographs in 2019: 219

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  9. #29
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    26-Jun-2019

    On Wednesday, I went to the Chicago Dogs versus Kansas City T-Bones baseball game to get some autos from the T-Bones. Before the game, I was able to get two autographs on cards from former Seattle Mariners shortstop Shawn O'Malley, 1 card signed by former Cincinnati Reds 3rd baseman prospect Taylor Springs, 4 cards signed by former Boston Red Sox outfielder Daniel Nava, 3 cards signed by former Minnesota Twins 1st baseman Chris Colabello, and 2 cards signed by former Rays prospect Casey Gillaspie. I was also trying to get cards signed by KC Royals pitching prospect Christian Binford, who was starting the game and wouldn't sign pregame, and former Boston Red Sox pitcher Henry Owens, who was not starting, but just pretended to ignore me and the one other person trying to get his autos. It was pretty ridiculous, he was acting like he was too cool to acknowledge people or sign autographs.

    Anyway, photo of the signed cards below.

    -arfmax
    Total IP autographs in 2019: 231


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  10. #30
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    28-Jun-2019

    This evening, I drove into Chicago for an appearance at a liquor store by former Chicago White Sox player and manager Ozzie Guillen. Mr. Guillen signed 4 cards for me, including the 2 Fleer mini cards, for free.

    Photo of the Guillen autos below:

    -arfmax
    Total IP autographs in 2019: 235

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