Dan Cote Customizes Twins Collection for ‘Signs of Minnesota’

Sure, Pat’s an autograph all-star.
However, I predict more
above-and-beyond signatures
for these Cote customs.

I swoon over customized cards.

It’s not simply a matter of seeing a photo for the first time. It’s showing the player depicted that you created a work of art, all because of him.
Dan Cote is creating some beauties for his Signs of Minnesota blog. Of course, he’s covering all Minnesota sports (even on the college level).
Here’s the second cool part of his project:
Check out his blog. If anyone wasn’t sure about signing, they could investigate him online. He’s adding a nice biography of each signer, even including playing stats.
If I was a one-year wonder or cup-of-coffee guy with the Twins, I’d be taking any immortality that I could get. Knowing that my autograph is treated as a bit of baseball history, not as just another tally for someone’s “world’s biggest collection” goal, would compel me to sign. Most players succeeded with goals. They should relate to Dan’s goals, too.
Furthermore, as the fear of everyone being a dealer grows, having such a blog proves that Dan’s a legit, sincere collector and fan.
At the risk of sounding like my old algebra teacher, I’ve got to say it: Keep showing your work, Dan!. It’s inspiration for us all.

Grateful Pitcher Kurt Kepshire Pays Tribute To Fallen St. Louis Cardinals Catcher Darrell Porter

Dan Cote dazzles again. I’m a weekly follower of “Signed DC.” Dan collected Kepshire in 2010.
The Portland picture is priceless. Smile, Kurt!

I took a chance writing to pitcher Kurt Kepshire.

This guy is a speed signer. I saw samples of his abbreviated autograph, combined with his speedy response time. He’s the kind of guy who might sign the cards before the postman gets the mailbox lid opened.

I worried that he might not take the time to respond to, or even read, a question in a letter. You know the type? The person who gets your e-mail and writes back HA HA before seeing the second sentence.

Impressively, Kepshire fielded all three of my three questions. When I asked about memories of batterymate Darrell Porter, Kepshire wrote:

“Him helping me with back-to-back shutouts. Great guy. Sad loss.”

The beginning and the end are the keys to Kepshire’s delight over beating San Francisco in his debut July 4, 1984. (Thanks, http://www.retrosheet.org/!) He replied:

“Taking the mound for the first time and getting a standing ovation at the end. Great memory.”

Lastly, the grateful hurler avoided any chest-thumping bragging when I asked about his back-to-back shutouts in September, 1984. Not only did he beat the Cubs (at home!) and Expos, he faced other call-ups, foes he couldn’t have extensive scouting reports on. How does he recall those wins?

“Pitching against some great players and achieving that goal with the help of my teammates.”

Free Minor League Player Addresses? It’s true!

Jeff Signed in English
AND Chinese!

 There’s an offer that can’t be missed.

If you haven’t ordered Harvey Meiselman’s unbeatable 2011 Baseball Address List, he’s sweetening the deal. Buy the baseball list, and he throws in FREE his minor league baseball list. This is an $18 value as a bonus!

Minor leaguers have major memories. They don’t get the same ton of fan mail guys in Topps sets do. Therefore, they have more time to give all-star responses.

Back in January, I featured Dan Cote’s “Signed DC” blog series detailing how he’s collecting the 1983 Visalia Oaks set signed — getting autographs from minor league teammates of Kirby Puckett. Dan would ask for the card to be autographed, then include a question about playing with a future Hall of Famer. Virtually every response included a lengthy tale of that magical season.

Dan just heard from that team’s general manager, receiving a lengthy letter telling about the team and the great set Dan’s collecting. No one else besides this former general manager would know the minor league set’s history! To learn why the card is autographed in English AND Chinese, be sure to check out Dan’s latest blog update.

Meanwhile, Harvey Meiselman is offering the perfect, affordable entry into minor league autograph collecting. Try his list. You’ll be gratified by the heart-felt responses that fill your mailbox.

Coming Monday: Insight from Sam Mele, skipper of the 1965 A.L. Champion Minnesota Twins.

Ten From Then: Get Signers While They’re Hot!

I have a soft spot in
my heart for the
players Topps “decapped.”
Does Short look happy
with his “traded” pose?

I don’t know if any of these players were outgoing during their careers. Letters to each were “out going” this week:

Bill Almon
Cuno Barragan
John Hetki
Ted Kasanski
Buddy Lively
Hector Lopez
Rance Mulliniks
Curt Raydon
Bill Short
Ed Wojna

Why these 10? I was trolling the “recent responses” from http://www.sportscollectors.net/. It’s the best bargain in the hobby, I must repeat. They’ve signed for others, and they’ve signed fast. I wanted to float some questions the way of 10 receptive retirees. Stay tuned…

Meanwhile, I’d appreciate any reader feedback as to what I may (or may not) have to look forward to in my mailbox from these guys.

WEEKEND UPDATE: Here’s a P.S. from Dan Cote, creator of the autograph blog “Signed D.C.” The new dad/Twins fan snared a signed Michael Cuddyer photo for his newborn daughter, after the two watched their first Twins game together on TV. Dan’s update includes:

“I did tell the whole story and even asked for a personalization to her if at all possible.

For all I know, it’s possible he didn’t even read the letter, just signed the photo. But he did retweet my twitter thank you to him this morning and added the comment “Cool story. You’re welcome!” so at least he’s read the story now.”

Dan’s actions help all of us. Any time a major leaguer can be convinced that an autograph is a personal gift (not just an item to be resold), we all win!

Tomorrow: the mystery of 1960 Yankee pitcher Hal Stowe

Twin Michael Cuddyer’s Best-Ever Autograph? The Best Memorabilia Has Memory!

He may sign a lot more photos, but
he’ll never know how special
this one is!

Congrats to Dan Cote of the blog “Signed D.C.”. His Michael Cuddyer photo may be worth more than any autograph the Twin will ever sign.

Worth more to Dan, that is.

I love the story of why Dan wanted the autograph. Someday, I’m hoping Dan gets a personalized signature for his daughter. Someday, I’m hoping Mister C learns this whole great story.

I encourage Dan to keep the tale of Charlotte’s birth next to the photo. Together, they’re worth more than any price guide can calculate.

Think this is a good hobby? Try sharing it with someone else and watch that good turn into GREAT.

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