Category Archives: Autographs

Autographs: Atlanta Braves

Tonight the Phillies are playing the rubber game of a three game series with the Braves in Atlanta. I’ve watched or listened to all three games, at times attempting to simultaneously get some work done, at times just enjoying the game. I don’t have much time to write a blog post, so I thought I’d do another autograph installment. The theme is the Atlanta Braves. Even though the Braves are a rival of the Phillies I do not have a strong dislike for them. Sure I root against them, but I don’t despise the franchise or players (I save those feelings for the Mets and Marlins).

Chipper Jones

Chipper Jones – 1998 Bowman

I remember when Chipper was a young prospect surrounded by hype. His arrival in Atlanta coincided with the dawn of a golden era for the Braves. Chipper quickly established himself as a star. I sent this card to Chipper and he was kind enough to sign it for me.

Andruw Jones

Andruw Jones – 1997 Collector’s Choice

For a few years Andruw Jones was a beast in the Atlanta outfield. He made spectacular defensive plays, he hit home runs, he flew around the bases. I remember watching Game 1 of the1996 World Series when he hit two home runs as a nineteen year-old. I sent this card to Andruw at the peak of his career. I can see the Jones part of the signature, but the Andruw is a mystery.

Tom Glavine – 1996 Leaf

Tom Glavine

Tom Glavine was part of the vaunted Atlanta pitching staff. He is also likely the best hockey player to ever play in MLB. Even though Tom spent a few years with the Mets I will only think of him as a Brave. I really like Tom’s signature, it is quite clear and distinct. I also like the placement of the autograph.

Mark Wohlers

Mark Wohlers – 1997 Topps

When I sent this card to Mark he was a dominant closer. Soon after signing it he forgot how to throw strikes. He was an intimidating presence out of the bullpen with a big fastball.

So there are four of my autographed cards from Atlanta Braves players, now I need to return to the project I have been temporarily neglecting. . .

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Autograph Collection: Scripture References

This is part of an ongoing series of posts documenting autographs I have collected over the years. The theme for this post is Scripture references. Without further ado here are six cards from my collection.

Don Slaught – 1993 Score Select

I sent this card to Don and he provided a very nice signature. The dark signature is placed below the chest protector and nicely aligned. I like the aesthetics of this card and signature. Don played in the Majors for sixteen seasons, and was a very productive platoon catcher for the Pirates in the early ’90s where he combined with Mike ‘Spanky’ Lavalliere to give the Pirates the greatest mustachioed catcher platoon in MLB during the 1990s. Don inscribed the reference Romans 5:3-6 under his signature:

Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.

You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Romans 5:3-6 (NIV)

Greg Gagne – 1994 Donruss

I obtained this signature through the mail during the 1996 season while Greg was wrapping up his career with the Dodgers. That year he posted the highest OBP of his career, maybe he should have signed cards for me more often. I’ll always think of him as a Minnesota Twin. In hindsight I wish I had sent him a card that portrayed him as a Twin. Greg added John 3:16 beside his signature:

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son,that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16 (NIV)

Kevin Seitzer – 1995 Fleer Ultra

I obtained this signature through the mail in 1997 as Kevin played his final season in MLB in Cleveland. After emerging to great fanfare and success in Kansas City in the late ’80s he spent the ’90s in transit, posting respectable but not great career numbers. Kevin added the reference John 3:3 under his signature:

In reply Jesus declared, “I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again.” John 3:3 (NIV)

Aeneas Williams – 1991 Pro Set Platinum

I obtained this autograph through the mail. It is one of my favorites from an aesthetic perspective. The small football drawing with the #35 as the laces tops it off. The card is a nice full bleed picture (1991 Pro Set Platinum is a very under-appreciated design, it is very sweet) that is perfect for signing. When the Cardinals were in the NFC East Aeneas used to wreak havoc against the Eagles. Like Darrell Green of the Redskins, he is a defensive back from a rival that I respect even though he caused me anguish as a fan. Aeneas added Romans 10:9 under his name:

That if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. Romans 10:9 (NIV)

Trent Dilfer – 1996 Fleer SykBox Premium

I obtained this signature through the mail while Trent was playing in Tampa Bay, just before he went to Baltimore and won a Super Bowl with the Ravens. The card captures the glory of the orange and white uniforms the Buccaneers wore at that time and is a nice full bleed design. The signature is a bit spotty, though it is not smeared at all, so I think it adds to the character of it. Trent added a reference for Colossians 3:17:

And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. Colossians 3:17 (NIV)

Guy McIntyre – 1990 Score

I sent this card to Guy in 1996 as he played the final year of his NFL career in Philadelphia. He was a five time Pro Bowler and an excellent guard. In 1988 he caught a 17 yard touchdown pass, which is the stuff offensive linemen dream about. Guy’s signature is very legible. He added the reference I Corinthians 13 above his signature:

If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames,but have not love, I gain nothing.

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when perfection comes, the imperfect disappears. When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me. Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.

And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love. I Corinthians 13 (NIV)

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Collecting Autographs: HOFers

Last week I stumbled upon a section of a blog that is dedicated to sports autographs. Seeing the pictures of signed cards and reading descriptions of cards being returned through the mail brought back many memories. You see, I’ve collected quite a few autographs.

My first autographs were obtained in person at Reading Municipal Stadium. I would get programs signed by Reading Phillies players. Eventually I began acquiring signatures at Veterans Stadium too, carrying a binder with carefully selected baseball cards and several sharpies. My autograph hunting led me to send out letters to players containing a baseball card and a self-addressed-stamped-envelope. It was great knowing I could receive cards in the mail on any given day. I would check the mailbox every day for the envelopes with my own handwriting.

I’ve decided to write posts from time to time dedicated to a few of the autographs in my collection. I’ll start with the cards I have signed by current Hall of Famers. While I have many more signed baseball cards than football cards, I happen to have more NFL HOFers.

Paul Molitor 1996 Upper Deck Young at Heart

I sent this card to Molitor during the 1996 season. In my brief letter I mentioned he caused me much pain in 1993 (he was the World Series MVP when the Blue Jays defeated the Phillies). While I like the card, in hindsight I wish I had sent a classic Brewers card. In my teens when I was collecting signatures I had a bias towards shiny new cards.

Tony Gwynn – 1995 Pinnacle Swingmen

I sent this card to Tony as a long shot. As a kid I only saw Tony play when he played against the Phillies or in the All Star Game. I saw Tony play in person once at the Vet, on television a few times, and I heard Harry Kalas call many of his at bats on the radio.

Andre Dawson – 1993 Topps

The newest Hall of Famer signed a card for me through the mail during his tenure with the Marlins. His signature is so bold and dark. As a guitarist I appreciate that he wrote the d in his first name below the rest of the letters, making it a drop d autograph (which I see as a reference to drop d tuning on a guitar, though I doubt that is his intention).

Reggie White – 1990 Topps

The Minister of Defense signed this card in pen with the Scripture reference John 3:3-16 added below his name. The card is a bit beat up and the signature is faded, but I still treasure it. It was my first autograph. My friend Matt got this card signed for me. Reggie was making an appearance at a business establishment in the area and I was planning to go meet him.  For some reason that I now cannot recall I was unable to go at the last minute, so I sent the card with some friends. They told me at the signing someone collapsed while waiting in  line for an autograph and Reggie came over and prayed for him before an ambulance took the person away.

Darrell Green – 1991 Pro Set

Darrell Green played for the rival Washington Redskins, but he was a class act on and off the field so I decided to send him a letter requesting his autograph. The letter G in his last name is pretty cool.

John Elway – 1993 Pinnacle

Elway was very good about responding to signature requests during his playing days. Unfortunately this card was put into the envelope immediately after being signed and part of the signature was stolen by the envelope. I was hoping the card would be signed a bit lower and to the left, but it’s still a nice signature. I like the dark border of the ’93 Pinnacle design, they used it for football and baseball.

Thurman Thomas – 1996 Topps 1000 Yard Club

In the mid-to-late nineties I rooted for the Buffalo Bills in the postseason. I loved their no huddle offense and some of their postseason games were very exciting. I sent this card to Thurman because I thought it would look good signed, I really did not expect to get it back. The S at the end of the signature is huge, with the tail end forming the 3 for the 34. It makes for a pretty amazing signature. I’ve looked at pictures of other autographs from Thurman and I have not seen this variation. I’m confident that it is really his though, because the T in Thurman and the 4 in 34 in this signature is very consistent to those in all the pictures I’ve seen.

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