Who is this? Bridgeport Bluefish outfielder Danny Putnam What is this? An autographed card from from the 2008 Sacramento River Cats team set Where'd I get it? Putnam signed it for me at a Newark Bears game this summer How much did it cost? $1
Why is this so special? The Oakland Athletics made Putnam the 36th overall pick in the 2004 draft. He appearing in 11 games for the As in 2007, recording 6 hits, including a home run off Neal Musser.
This year, Putnam hit .272 with 11 home runs in 108 games for the Bluefish.
Putnam was very friendly whenever I asked him to sign anything this year. He's got a nice signature for a current player.
Who is this? New Hampshire Fisher Cats pitcher Danny Farquhar What is this? An autographed card from the 2010 New Hampshire Fisher Cats team set Where'd I get it? Farquhar signed it at a Trenton Thunder game this summer How much did it cost? The team set cost between $10-$15
Why is this so special? The Toronto Blue Jays selected Farquhar in the 10th round of the 2008 draft. He's moved through the farm system, working solely as a reliever. This season, he pitched in 53 games for the Fisher Cats. He had a 4-3 record with 17 saves and a 3.52 ERA, striking out 79 in 76 innings.
I'm not quite sure what's going on with his autograph.
Who is this? former Lancaster Barnstormers pitching coach Danny Cox What is this? An autographed card from the 2010 Lancaster Barnstormers team set Where'd I get it? Cox signed it for me before a Newark Bears game this summer How much did it cost? I spent $5-$6 for the team set
Why is this so special? Cox spent more than 10 season in the major leagues, finishing with a 74-75 lifetime record and a 3.64 ERA. He went to the playoffs four times, finally earning a World Series ring with the 1993 Toronto Blue Jays.
After he retired, Cox got back into uniform as the manager of the Frontier League's Gateway Grizzlies in 2003. Last season, he came to the Lancaster Barnstormers to replace pitching coach Rick Wise, who stepped down after the 2009 season.
Cox will not return to the Barnstormers next year. The team brought in Butch Hobson to serve as its manager and player procurement director, and Hobson brought Marty Janzen over with him from the Southern Maryland Blue Crabs to be his pitching coach.
Who is this? Trenton Thunder second baseman Corban Joseph What is this? An autographed card from the 2008 TriStar Prospects Plus set Where'd I get it? Joseph signed it for me before a Trenton Thunder game this summer How much did it cost? The card came from a discounted blaster double-pack
Why is this so special? The Yankees selected Corban Joseph in the fourth round of the 2008 draft. He rose through the ranks in the farm system, earning a late-season call-up to AA at the age of 21. He struggled in Trenton, and is likely to start the season there again in 2011.
I had two cards that featured Joseph, but neither was really ideal for getting signed - there just isn't any room for a signature except right over the players' face.
Who is this? Northwest Arkansas Naturals first baseman Clint Robinson What is this? An autographed card from the 2008 Bowman Chrome set Where'd I get it? From Zach, who probably got it signed at a Kansas City Royals fanfest event or a minor league game.
Why is this so special? The Royals selected Robinson in the 25th round of the 2007 draft. He has progressed through the Kansas City farm system and had a solid year in AA in 2010, hitting 29 home runs for the Naturals and finishing with a 1.035 OPS.
Aside from the angle, Robinson's autograph looks just like the facsimile signature on the card.
Who is this? Wichita Wingnuts & Joliet Jackhammers outfielder Chris Colton What is this? An autographed card from the 2003 Bowman Chrome set Where'd I get it? From Zach, who probably got it signed at a Northern League or American Association game this year.
Why is this so special? Chris Colton was selected by the Seattle Mariners in the 15th round of the 2001 draft. He made his pro debut with the Everett Aqua Sox in 2002. Colton remained in the Mariners' organization into the 2007 season, but he never advanced past A-ball. Since then, he's played independent baseball. It's a bit surprising that he was included in a Bowman set.
Like yesterday's featured player, Colton's autograph is basically his initials... at least he added his uniform number.
Who is this? New Hampshire Fisher Cats utility player Calllix Crabbe What is this? An autographed card from the 2010 New Hampshire Fisher Cats team set Where'd I get it? Crabbe signed it after a game in Trenton this season How much did it cost? I think I spent between $10-$15 for the team set.
Why is this so special? Crabbe, a native of the Virgin Islands, was selected by the Milwaukee Brewers in the 12th round of the 2002 draft. Until 2008, when he was selected in the major league phase of the Rule V draft, Crabbe remained in the Brewers' organization.
Crabbe appeared in 21 games for the San Diego Padres in 2008, but was eventually returned to the Brewers. He left the organization for good as a free agent at the end of the year, and spent 2009 in Seattle's farm system before joining the Blue Jays organization this year.
Crabbe has a quick autograph that's little more than "C C"
Who is this? Lancaster Barnstormers infielder Bryant Nelson What is this? An autographed card from the 2010 Lancaster Barnstormers team set Where'd I get it? At a Newark Bears game this season How much did it cost? I got the team set for around $6
Why is this so special? Bryant Nelson has played in over 1600 professional games, including 25 with the 2002 Boston Red Sox. In recent years, he's played a lot of independent baseball in the northeast. In 2006, he played for the Bridgeport Bluefish in the Atlantic League. In 2007, it was the Long Island Ducks. In 2008, Nelson played for both the New Jersey Jackals in the Can-Am League and the Ducks again. Last year, it was the Camden Riverharks and this year it was the Lancaster Barnstormers. Wherever he's gone, Nelson has been a class act.
Nelson signed this card horizontally, but I don't remember if it was because of the way I was holding the card or if he wanted more room for his autograph.
Who is this? Former Chicago Cubs outfielder Brooks Kieschnick What is this? An autographed card from a Classic set in 1995 Where'd I get it? A dealer's dollar box at the local card show. How much did it cost? $1
Why is this so special? Brooks Kieschnick is one of the more interesting baseball players from recent years. The Cubs selected him with the 10th overall pick in the 1993 draft. He was chosen as the National Collegiate Baseball Player of the Year twice and was a member of the College Baseball Hall of Fame's inaugural class.
Kieschnick began his pro career as a hitter, and had cups of coffee in the majors with the Cubs, Reds and Rockies. But it had become apparent that he would not be the star in the major leagues that he was in college.
In 2002, Kieschnick took up pitching and by the next year, he found himself on the Milwaukee Brewers' roster. He pitched, he pinch hit, he played outfield - in an era of ever-expanding bullpens, how could you resist a player with that kind of versatility? In 2004, Kieschnick worked solely as a pitcher (and occasional pinch-hitter). It was his final year in the majors, though he spent one more year in the minors before retiring.
For a guy who had to sign over 3,000 cards for Classic, Kieschnick had a pretty good autograph.
On a separate note, I'm absolutely fascinated by the monthly traffic stats for this site. GCRL's John Wooden autograph is the most popular post this month (and all-time.) That makes sense - he's one of the most famous names featured on the blog.
Who is this? Actors James Marsters and Juliet Landau What is this? An autographed 8x10 photo of James Marsters as Spike and Juliet Landau as Drusilla from Buffy the Vampire Slayer Where'd I get it? Landau signed it for me at a Chiller Theatre show in 2006; Marsters signed at at New York Comic Con last Sunday How much did it cost? $60-$70
Why is this so special? This is the month for finishing Buffy the Vampire Slayer multi-signed pieces. Earlier this month, I was able to get Doug Jones to sign a photo of the Gentlemen from "Hush", and last weekend I was able to get Marsters to sign this photo of Spike and Drew.
There was a sizable, steady line for Marsters all weekend whenever he was at his booth, even though he was charging $40 for an autograph. I put it off until Sunday, and I still ended up waiting for close to an hour before I got through his line. He had sold out of all of his photos except for a few copies of a general shot and a small pile of Torchwood pics.
Marsters did take the time to shake hands with everyone and talk with them. He mentioned how much he enjoyed working with Juliet Landau. Since I was wearing a Serenity t-shirt, he couldn't resist pointing out that Firefly was a great show, but "Serenity" had to be the most boring movie title ever. It's hard to disagree. :)
This was the final autograph I got at New York Comic Con. Tomorrow, I'll get back to posting baseball cards of players that you may or may not have heard of. :)
Who is this?Masahiko Minami, president of the Japanese animation studio Bones What is this? An 8.5 x 11 autograph board produced for Minami's appearance at New York Comic Con / Anime Festival to promote his studio's newest series, Star Driver Where'd I get it? At New York Anime Festival last Saturday How much did it cost? It was free
Why is this so special? Minami was the producer of Cowboy Bebop, one of the best anime series produced in the past 15 years. He also produced a number of other series that have had American broadcasts on Cartoon Network, including Fullmetal Alchemist, Mobile Fighter G Gundam and Wolf's Rain.
Minami's autograph is a bit difficult to make out because he signed in gold paint pen on a fairly light-colored background. I think he chose it to go with the star motif - he drew one on every Star Driver board I saw him sign.
Why is this so special? Katee Sackhoff was one of the most popular paid autograph guests at New York Comic Con - James Marsters was the only one who might have had longer lines. I was going to skip getting her autograph for that reason, but by the end of the day on Saturday her line had pretty much dwindled away.
Unlike Christopher Judge, who wanted to shake hand with everybody, Sackhoff had a sign up on her table saying that due to cold & flu season, she did not want to shake hands with anybody. I really can't blame her there. She also didn't want to have her photo taken - her handler chased away a video camera guy with a press pass while I was getting my photo signed.
Sackhoff gained fame by playing Starbuck in Battlestar Galactica, but since the show went off the air she has found a variety of other roles.
Her autograph is nicer than many modern baseball players, but I wouldn't want to have to decipher it on a random item.
Two more Comic Con autographs, then we'll get back to baseball next week. :)
Who is this? Actor Christopher Judge What is this? An autographed 8x10 photo of Christopher Judge as Teal'c in Stargate SG-1 Where'd I get it? At New York Comic Con last Saturday How much did it cost? $30.
Why is this so special? Christopher Judge played Teal'c, my favorite character on Stargate SG-1. While Stargate never matched Star Wars or Star Trek at the peak of their popularity, it is an enduring franchise in its own right - SG-1 produced 214 episodes and was the longest-running science fiction series on North American television.
While Judge's autograph would fit right in among most current baseball players', he was very personable at the con. He shook hands with everyone and thanked them for coming.
Who is this? Actress Michelle Forbes What is this? An autographed 8x10 photo of Michelle Forbes as Ensign Ro Laren from Star Trek: The Next Generation Where'd I get it? Forbes signed it at New York Comic Con for me on Saturday How much did it cost? $30
Why is this so special? Forbes has appeared in a variety of television and movie roles. She was most recently on American tv in True Blood, as the season two antagonist Maryann Forrester. Although Forbes was perfectly pleasant at the Comic Con, she reminded me so much of Maryann that I couldn't wait to get away from the autograph line.
Forbes also played Admiral Helena Cain in the re-imagined Battlestar Galactica series. Though she was only around for three episodes (and a direct-to-video movie), Cain made a stronger impression than some characters did over multiple seasons. I was tempted to buy an Admiral Cain photo and get that signed as well, but I didn't want to spend another $30. (Anybody else remember when $20 was the standard fee for most actors at autograph shows?)
But as much as I liked Battlestar Galactica, I was a Star Trek fan first. I had to pick the Ro Laren photo when there was one available. Ro was a guest character on Star Trek: The Next Generation, and she proved to be popular enough that Forbes was offered the chance to have a lead role in the spinoff, Deep Space Nine. DS9 was my favorite of the Star Trek series, but I wonder how it would have turned out if Forbes had taken the part.
Forbes doesn't have a bad autograph -- it's better than a lot of baseball players.
Who is this? Actress & singer Minori Chihara What is this? An autographed CD of Yuki Nagato's character songs Where'd I get it? At New York Comic Con / New York Anime Festival last Friday How much did it cost? It was free*
Why is this so special? I apologize for the sporadic posts over the past few days - I spent the weekend at New York Comic Con. I had originally scheduled posts for the days I knew I wouldn't be around to write anything, but then I got sick earlier last week and ended up using some of them early.
This is the first autograph I got over the weekend; I plan to post the rest throughout the week.
When Chihara was announced as a guest of honor for the New York Comic Con / New York Anime Festival, I decided to go. They announced that 100 tickets for her autograph session would be distributed at 7 a.m. on Friday, six hours before the show opened to the public. I got there to join the line a little before 6 a.m., and there were already 30 or more people in front of me.
The autograph session took place later in the afternoon, and was a very quick affair. Chihara "signed" items very quickly (though her autograph looks more like the number "2" with a little flower doodle on the end of it than anything else.)
Later that evening, she introduced the screening of the film "The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya," which she provided the theme song for.
Who is this? Sioux Falls Pheasants outfielder Brandon Sing What is this? An autographed card from the 2005 Topps set Where'd I get it? From Zach, who likely got it signed at an American Association game this summer.
Why is this so special? Brandon Sing was selected by the Chicago Cubs in the 20th round of the 1999 draft. He advanced through the minor leagues, and hit enough home runs in 2004 to convince Topps to include him in their 2005 set. But he never made it past AAA and was out of affiliated baseball by 2008.
Last year, Sing played for the Bridgeport Bluefish. I saw them play more than a dozen times, including three trips to Bridgeport, but I don't think I ever got him to sign a card for my collection. He hit .305 with 23 home runs and 94 RBI last year.
Sing did not return to Bridgeport this year, instead opting to play for the Sioux Falls Pheasants in 2010. His autograph is about as legible as most modern ballplayers.
Who is this? Long Island Ducks pitching coach Bill Simas What is this? An autographed pocket scheduled featuring Bill Simas Where'd I get it? Simas signed it for me at a Newark Bears game this summer How much did it cost? It was free.
Why is this so special? Bill Simas spent six years as part of the Chicago White Sox bullpen from 1995-2000, appearing in a total of 308 major league games. He continued to play in the minor leagues and eventually found his way to the Long Island Ducks.
Last year, Simas won the Atlantic League Closer of the Year award by leading the league with 27 saves. He retired and became the team's pitching coach in 2010. Pitching shortages led him to return to the field. He earned another four saves to add to his franchise-leading total.
Simas does not have a very pretty autograph, but with a little imagination you can make out his initials.
Who is this? Lancaster Barnstormers pitcher Ben Fritz What is this? An autographed card from the 2009 Lancaster Barnstormers team set update Where'd I get it? Fritz signed it at a Newark Bears game this summer How much did it cost? The team set was a gift from a friend
Why is this so special? Ben Fritz was the 30th player chosen in the 2002 draft, picked by the Oakland Athletics. He moved through the Athletics' farm system, advancing as far as AAA in 2007. In 2008, Fritz was chosen in the minor league phase of the Rule V draft by Detroit. He pitched for AA Erie that year - his final year in affiliated baseball.
When he was released, Fritz signed with the Lancaster Barnstormers. He's pitched there for the last three seasons. This year, he was 3-7 with a 3.72 ERA.
Fritz has a reasonably clear autograph for a modern player, Here's his 2010 Lancaster Barnstormers team set card:
Who is this? Birmingham Barons hitting coach Andy Tomberlin What is this? An autographed card from from the 1989 Star minor league set Where'd I get it? From Zach. I think he got it signed at the Rickwood Classic this summer.
Why is this so special? Andy Tomberlin had an interesting career. Signed as an undrafted free agent in 1985, Tomberlin began his pro career as a pitcher. He apparently had control issues, so the Braves decided to turn him into an outfielder in 1988.
Tomberlin didn't get his first shot at the majors until 1993, after he left the Braves organization. He got into 27 games for the Pirates that year. In 1994, he played in 17 games for Boston. In 1995, it was 46 games for Oakland. In 1996 and 1997, Tomberlin played a total of 69 games for the Mets. Then in 1998, he played in 32 games for Detroit.
Between 1985 and 2000, Tomberlin played in nearly 1000 minor league games. He stayed in baseball following his retirement, working as a scout and minor league coach.
Tomberlin's signature is somewhat recognizable, but it wouldn't earn him a very good penmanship grade. (Do they still teach that subject in grade school? Somehow I doubt it.)
Who is this? Lancaster Barnstormers catcher Adam Witter What is this? An autographed card from the 2010 Lancaster Barnstormers team set Where'd I get it? Witter signed it for me at a Newark Bears game this year. How much did it cost? The team set was around $5.
Why is this so special? Adam Witter signed with the San Francisco Giants as an undrafted free agent and began his pro career in 2006. At the lower levels of the minor league system, Witter put up good numbers - especially for a catcher.
When he hit AA in 2008, he still had good power numbers. Unfortunately, he wasn't making enough contact. He struck out on average once every four at-bats, and he finished the year with a .238 average.
Witter continued to struggle in 2009, though he did make it up to AAA for 44 games. This season, he found himself in independent baseball with the Lancaster Barnstormers. There he hit .275 with 17 home runs in 222 at-bats.
The baseball card gods were not kind to Adam Witter this year - that may be the worst game-action shot I've seen that didn't involve the player striking out or breaking his bat. He's got an interesting signature - you can clearly read "Adam," but I have no idea what's going on in his last name after the "W."
Who is this? Former Pittsburgh Pirates first baseman Al Oliver What is this? An autographed card from the 1970 Topps set Where'd I get it? I bought it from Anthony when he was selling off his collection. How much did it cost? Around $2.
Why is this so special? Al Oliver was a 7-time All-Star and finished his 18-year career with a .303 lifetime average. He retired with 2743 hits, 1189 runs scored, and 1326 RBI. According to his Wikipedia page, Oliver hit the last home run at Forbes Field and the first home run at Three Rivers Stadium.
Oliver's autograph is neat and clear, a welcome contrast from the autographs of many modern players.
Who is this? Jar-Jar Binks, voiced by actor Ahmed Best What is this? An autographed 8x10 postcard of Jar-Jar Binks from Star Wars: The Phantom Menace Where'd I get it? I got it signed at the Big Apple Comic Con How much did it cost? $25.
Why is this so special? I grew up with the original Star Wars films, and I was disappointed by the prequel trilogy. However, in the 10+ years since The Phantom Menace was originally released, it has grown on me.
Love him or hate him, Jar-Jar Binks is a big part of that film. Until recently, Best had stayed away from the convention circuit. I can't blame him, really - Jar-Jar provokes a strong reaction in people. I'm glad that he's giving it a shot again now.
Ahmed Best's autograph is about as legible as your typical modern baseball player's.
Tomorrow, I'll get back to posting baseball autographs. Hopefully everyone enjoyed the break.
Who is this? Actress Clare Kramer, portraying the character "Glory" in the television show Buffy the Vampire Slayer. What is this? An autographed 8x10 photo Where'd I get it? I got it signed at the Big Apple Comic Con last night How much did it cost? $25.
Why is this so special?Glory didn't have the best storyline of the Buffy villains, but she was the most fun to watch. Kramer said that it was a lot of fun to play Glory, calling it a "once in a lifetime" role.
Kramer has been in a number of films and television series, but is probably best known for her roles in Bring It On and Buffy.
I would not care to decipher her autograph, but at least the inscription is easy enough to read. :)
Who is this? actors Camden Toy and Doug Jones What is this? An autographed 8x10 photo of Buffy the Vampire Slayer's "Gentlemen" Where'd I get it? Camden Toy signed it at a Chiller Theatre show several years ago; Doug Jones signed it at Big Apple Comic Con tonight. How much did it cost? $40
Why is this so special? Buffy the Vampire Slayer was one of my favorite television shows when it was running... and "Hush" was one of the best episodes of the series. The episode is largely devoid of dialogue, as a group of demons referred to as the Gentlemen arrive in Sunnydale and steal everyones' voices.
Jones and Toy created two of the more memorable (and more unsettling) demons in the series even though they didn't have a single line in the episode. In contrast to their on-screen personas, both Toy and Jones were very friendly when I met them.
Jones was late arriving to the comic con tonight because his flight was delayed by the remnants of Tropical Storm Nicole. Yet when he got there, you never would have known. He chatted with fans, entertained kids and posed for photos.
If you're not a big Buffy fan, you'd probably consider Pan (Pan's Labyrinth) or Abe Sapien (Hellboy & sequels) to be Jones' most notable role. He also played the Silver Surfer in the 2007 Fantastic Four movie, and was Mac in the McDonald's "Mac Tonight" television spots in the late 80s and mid 90s.
Toy probably is best known for his Buffy roles, though he has appeared in a number of other films and television shows.
I'm only putting autograph-related links in this blogroll. However, if you have a blog or a collector site not specifically about autographs, but with an autograph page or an "autograph" label on your blog posts, I'll put that link here.