12/4/08 - George Foster

This autograph was obtained differently by a different method than I've ever done before. This was the first autograph I ever obtained by mailing it in to a card show that an athlete was doing. I read in Sports Collector's Digest that George was doing a signing around Thanksgiving, and they were charging only $15, with no shipping and handling fees plus free inscriptions. That's actually cheaper than he charges through the mail, and I've heard he's somewhat unreliable through the mail, so I tried this method and it worked out great. Too bad he couldn't have signed it diagonally across his other shoulder instead. I recently read in Sports Illustrated that George is trying to get on Dancing with the Stars.

George's favorite Bible passage is Romans 12:

Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual act of worship. Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.

For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the measure of faith God has given you. Just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. We have different gifts, according to the grace given us. If a man's gift is prophesying, let him use it in proportion to his faith. If it is serving, let him serve; if it is teaching, let him teach; 8if it is encouraging, let him encourage; if it is contributing to the needs of others, let him give generously; if it is leadership, let him govern diligently; if it is showing mercy, let him do it cheerfully.

Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves. Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Share with God's people who are in need. Practice hospitality.

Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited.

Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everybody. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God's wrath, for it is written: "It is mine to avenge; I will repay," says the Lord. On the contrary: "If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head." Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

11/26/08 - Danica Patrick

This is the second request I've received back from Danica. This one took longer than the first; I think her popularity must be increasing. It looks pretty cool signed with the silver Sharpie on the black background.

11/24/08 - Lee Trevino

Lee Trevino's story is a pretty amazing one. Born of Mexican immigrant parents, he taught himself how to play golf and ended up winning 6 majors. SuperMex!

Sometime in the Mid-80s - Two HOF Baseball Players

Back when I was collecting cards in the 80s, I sent a few out for autographs using Jack Smalling's address book. Hard to believe that Sandy Koufax used to sign through the mail (assuming he really did sign this card). Too bad the card is in poor shape.

10/1/08 - Bobby Clarke

Three time NHL MVP and Hall of Famer Bobby Clarke signed these two SIs for me. He was voted one of the top 25 hockey players of all time.

10/1/08 - Fuzzy Zoeller

Fuzzy Zoeller was one of the great golfers of the 80s, but unfortunately he is probably most remembered for controversial comments he made about Tiger Woods at the 1997 Masters. He also unsuccessfully considered suing Wikipedia for some defamatory comments posted there. Ironic, since I often use the site to get some information when writing the cover letters that accompany my autograph requests.

Sometime in 1992 - Trevor Cobb

Since I was updating random things I've had autographed, I decided to upload this issue of Texas Football magazine. My sister lived in the same dorm as Trevor Cobb at Rice, so I had her get this autographed in person. She said he was very nice about it.

9/20/08 - Jon Brockman

This one took over a year to come back, so I had figured it was long gone. Needless to say, it was very surprising to get it. It's the longest return I've ever had.

Jon's favorite Bible verse is Phillipians 4:13 - I can do everything through him who gives me strength.

9/18/08 - Dan Reeves

Signed by the one-time Coach of the Denver Broncos and the ex-Cowboys player.

Random 8x10s

I decided to post my collection of random signed 8x10 photos.

The Michael Cooper photo was personally obtained for free back in the early 80s when he was making a promotional appearance at the J.C. Penney's at Fox Hills Mall in Culver City. There were probably about 20 other people there, very low key.

The Magic Johnson photo was received as a gift a few years ago. It comes with a COA, but COAs aren't really worth the paper they're written on.

The Michael Carter photo was purchased off ebay. He still holds the National High School record for the shotput, and is an SMU grad.

The Jimmy Key photo was obtained for free from Sports Collectors Digest when I signed up for a two year subscription. The promotion they were running was that I would get a free autographed 8x10 with a subscription, but it was their choice of who I'd get.

The Jamelle Holieway photo was purchased from ebay. The quality of the photo is poor, but I like the action pose. I used to think Jamelle was awesome back when he was running the wishbone for Oklahoma.

9/6/08 - Kent Benson

This was a very cool return from the starting center of the undefeated 1976 Indiana Hoosiers National Championship team. He wrote a brief reply, and said it was an honor to hear from me. I asked him if the 1976 teams breaks open a bottle of champagne when the last undefeated college basketball team loses every year (like the 1972 Dolhpins do), but he said that he understands that records are meant to be broken. Seems like just a very gracious and humble individual. He also included his business cards. So I decided to email him to thank him for signing, and we ended up exchanging a few emails. He told me the toughest opponent he ever faced was Moses Malone. It also turns out that he is a Christian.

His favorite Bible verses are 1 Timothy 4:6-16 -

If you point these things out to the brothers, you will be a good minister of Christ Jesus, brought up in the truths of the faith and of the good teaching that you have followed. Have nothing to do with godless myths and old wives' tales; rather, train yourself to be godly. For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come.

This is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance (and for this we labor and strive), that we have put our hope in the living God, who is the Savior of all men, and especially of those who believe.

Command and teach these things. Don't let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity. Until I come, devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture, to preaching and to teaching. Do not neglect your gift, which was given you through a prophetic message when the body of elders laid their hands on you.

Be diligent in these matters; give yourself wholly to them, so that everyone may see your progress. Watch your life and doctrine closely. Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers.

8/8/08 - Cale Yarborough

A nice return from the four-time Daytona 500 winner. This photo has great color composition.

7/30/08 - Neil O'Donnell

This cover has a dark background with some small photos, so it wasn't the best one to send for an autograph. He also appears that he signed it very abbreviated. But always good to get e return nevertheless.

7/30/08 - Mark van Eeghen

A couple of nice signatures from one of the great Raider running backs of the late 70s. I like how intense he looks in both photos. He also sent along nice note.

7/25/08 - Gerry Cooney

This was the second time I've sent to Gerry Cooney, but this time was only a partial success. I actually sent him two issues, but he only returned one. The issue that he didn't return showed him getting punched in the face by Larry Holmes, so maybe he threw that one out. Oh well.

7/24/08 - Curtis Strange

This is a nice clear signature from the two time U.S. Open champion and one of the premier golfers of the 80s. The U.S. Open victory shown on the cover was the last PGA tournament he ever won. The autographs has a definite left-handed slant to it.

7/22/08 - Bill Parcells

This was my second attempt to Coach Parcells. The first attempt never came back, but I had sent him my request right when he got hired by ESPN so maybe the mail got lost in the shuffle.

7/21/08 - Mark Price

There were two unique happenings with this request. First, Mark Price was the first person who did not oblige my request to add a favorite Bible verse reference. Secondly, I must have forgotten to self-address the return envelope, because it came back in someone else's (Mark's) writing.

7/12/08 - Mercury Morris

I like the color scheme of this issue because it screams 1970s. Whenever an NFL team starts the season undefeated, they Mercury Morris because he always has an interesting quote. Last year when everyone was talking about the 12-0 Patriots, he said something about, "they're in our neighborhood, but come talk to me when they're knocking on our door."

7/11/08 - Kordell Stewart

Got two covers signed by Kordell "Slash" Stewart. A really nice looking signature, and the first ones I've ever gotten back where the date was included with the autograph.

7/10/08 - Wendell Tyler

This is a cool cover photo because the sunlight is focused directly on Wendell Tyler while everyone else is off in the shadows.

7/8/08 - Bruce Jenner

To anyone under 25, they probably only know Bruce Jenner as the stepdad on the Kardashian reality show. In fact, this request was sent through the Kardashian offices in Calabassas. I think this is a pretty cool cover, especially with the red and blue masthead that SI did for the Olympics.

7/5/08 - Jeff George

Jeff George included his own trading card in an envelope along with my request. On the back he had some little sayings on it and he had signed it. I imagine he has a stack of these pre-signed cards and that he carries around and hands them out to little kids who come up to him. Stay in school! Eat your vegetables! Kinda neat, something you might expect of an old time athlete or celebrity. Surprising, since Jeff George wasn't really known to be all that congenial of a player during his career.

6/28/08 - A.J. Foyt

AJ Foyt is probably the greatest Indy car driver in history, so I was glad to get his signature on these issues. His autograph looks pretty different between the two. His website said that they don't accept autograph requests through the mail, but I guess they do.

6/26/08 - Walter Davis

6/26/08 - Maurice Cheeks

The coolest thing Maurice Cheeks did was when he helped the little girl who forgot the words to the National Anthem a few years ago while he was coaching the Trail Blazers. The second coolest thing Maurice Cheeks did was to sign my SI request!

6/23/08 - Billy Sims

This was another second time request. It was cool that he added the '78 Heisman and the '80 ROY inscriptions. The 1980 cover is a pretty sweet looking shot in my opinion.

6/23/08 - Billie Jean King

Signed by one of the pioneers in womens' sports.

6/20/08 - Dixie Smith Luque

This one was a little random and took a little bit of detective work to locate, but turned out a success. I just Googled some of the names and I found a business address for Dixie Smith Luque, so I mailed it to her office. It's always a little difficult with females because their last names could have changed. I thought her response to my comment in the letter I included was interesting.

6/14/08 - Herschel Walker

This was a third time request. Herschel has always returned his requests quickly, and now I finally have all of his SI covers autographed. Notice how there is a greeting on each cover. Probably the best signer I have dealt with through the mail.

6/11/08 - Jim McMahon

Another second time success.