An Unexpected Signing

IMG_6423It’s 11pm on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving and we still need to buy everything besides the turkey. We made a decision to go to the store at that time to avoid the crowds that surely existed earlier. And the plan worked out. The parking lot was nearly empty and since our Wegmans is a 24 hr store, we didn’t have to worry about it closing on us. After getting our cart, I noticed a sign near the store entrance. Buffalo Sabres Captain Jack Eichel was having a signing at the store. It would be a free signing with a purchase from their team shop, but only a limited number of tickets were available. After getting more information at the service desk, I found out that I would need to come back tomorrow to get a ticket since the machines were down for the night. Also, there were only 200 tickets available.

Thanksgiving morning, while everyone else was still sleeping, I braved another trip to the store. This time, the parking lot was full and the store was packed with last minute shoppers. I bought a Sabres Jack Eichel tee shirt and secured my ticket for the signing.

Leading up to the signing yesterday, I wasn’t sure if would happen. A lake effect storm system came through the area. The storm effected both the morning commute and again the evening commute. Before leaving work, I called the store to see if the appearance was still on and it was.

IMG_7919The signing appearance was set up really well. The signing was free, but you needed a ticket. Each ticket allowed 2 people to get into the line and each person could get a free autograph. With the storm that was hitting the area, i wasn’t sure if my better half would be able to meet me at the store. However, she braved the roads and made it safely. When we checked it, we were given a ticket that said we were in the “G group”. We waited about 25 minutes in the holding area and then another 10 minutes in the line that moved pretty quickly. I brought 2 items to get signed; a Buffalo Sabres game puck and an 8 x 10 from last year’s All Star game. I IMG_7928couldn’t find a photo from this year in this new #9 jersey and the Captain patch. Jack was great with all of the fans. He posed for pictures and interacted with everyone. He was really good with all of the young fans that were in line.

This was a great surprise signing. Both autographs came out well. He signed the puck with #9 and the photo with last year’s 15. Jack Eichel is one of my favorite players on the Sabres, which are having a great year. He’s an exciting player that I enjoy seeing develop before our eyes. I’ve had season tickets for the Sabres since the 2006-07 season. The last 3 years have been brutal. However, I’m finally seeing the light at the end of the dark tunnel and Jack Eichel is one of the main reasons for that.

Card Show Day

I know it’s been awhile since I posted something on my blog. These past few months have been extremely busy, and my time has been limited, even for sending out TTM requests. Along the way, I have been picking up retail blasters, working on some collections and doing my favorite activity, hunting on eBay. I’ve made some purchases, but really haven’t had time to organize my collections or sit down and write a post.

However, today was a special day for card collectors like myself. There aren’t many Card Showexperiences like going to a Card Show. This particular show was my 1st since The National in August. This weekend’s show, Legends and Stars Sports Expo, is the largest held in Western New York. It is typically held in October and February each year at the Batavia Downs racetrack and casino in Batavia, NY. Generally, there are 20-30 vendors that sell a wide variety of sports cards and memorabilia. Also, a promoter brings in a pretty good lineup of former athletes for signings and photo opportunities. The lineup is usually loaded with former Buffalo Bills and Sabres, but also has appearances by national stars from the NFL and MLB. Besides Bills and Sabres stars like Bruce Smith and Pat LaFontaine, this show was headlined by Emmitt Smith and also featured Ken Anderson and Irving Fryar.

I have had the opportunity to meet almost every Buffalo Bills and Buffalo Sabres greatMcDowell over the years. So I generally lean towards the baseball players that make an appearance at the shows. Over the years, I have met stars like Jack Morris, Kevin Mitchell, Bill Lee and Fergie Jenkins to name a few. This show had appearances by Jack McDowell, Andy Van Slyke and Ron Guidry. This was a great lineup for me. McDowell was one of my Van Slykefavorite pitchers in the 90s and I still needed to add Van Slyke for my 89 Topps set. Since I started sending out TTM requests in 2016, I have been fortunate enough to receive a few autographed cards from Jack McDowell. This show gave me an opportunity to get his signature on a ball. I also made an impulse decision to get a 8×10 signed as well. I also bought an autograph ticket for Andy Van Slyke. I am working on getting the 1989 Topps set signed and I still needed his base card for my set. Both guys were great. They took time to chat and take pictures with everyone in line. Ron Guidry had a long line, filled with Yankee fans. since I already had his signed card for my set from a TTM request , I passed on getting a signature today from him.

After the signings, I wandered the room, stopping at each vendor’s table. I didn’t have a goal in mind, but knew it would be something vintage. There were two vendors that I’ve74 Topps (1) made purchases from in the past and I hoped would be there again. First up was a vendor from the Albany, NY area with a wide selection of cards from the 1960s and 70s in binders. I plan on starting the 1974 Topps this winter, so I flipped through that binder. All of these cards were in mid range condition. Commons were .50 each, while stars and HOFers were $1-3. I picked up a stack of 50 cards for 74 Topps (2)$20. My next stop was with a local guy that sells cards on the side. He has a great selection of vintage cards from the 1970s. His inventory is mostly star cards in the lower to mid range, kept in semi rigid holders. I could spend hours thumbing through his boxes. I ended up pulling 6 cards from the 1974 set. They’ll either be for my set or my HOF collection. My final purchase was vintageVintage Hockey hockey. I’m a sucker for vintage hockey. I added 4 cards of HOFers to my collection. Couldn’t pass up adding another Perreault to my collection. I love the look of the 71-72 set. Also, this might be my 1st Stan Mikita.

Today’s show was very successful. I picked up a few autographs, including a card for my 89 set. Also, you can never go wrong with adding vintage to you collection. I’m looking forward to starting my 1974 set build this winter. Between National and today, I will be off to a good start. Now begins the enjoyment of organizing everything that I bought.

Happy collecting, everyone!