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Therion's All Time Astros Autograph Collection (937 Reached!! 25 To Go!)

deaconblues63

Well-known member
Oct 25, 2012
1,571
When you post an upgrade, have you ever considered showing or telling us from what you are upgrading?

It might just be me, but I am usually curious about that.

Regardless, I enjoy your post and always follow it when you update.

I can't wait for the day you show us your Jay Dahl.
 

deaconblues63

Well-known member
Oct 25, 2012
1,571
Who is the next hardest after Dahl? I was looking at your list and no one was obvious to me. Just seemed like people where you need the right person on the right card at the right time.

Also, Walt Bond on 1965 Topps, is that your ultimate upgrade?
 

Therion

Well-known member
Nov 19, 2008
5,538
Looooooosiana!
Dahl is the only Astros player I'm missing before 2017. So the rest are just finding the right moment to strike.

For upgrades? Walt Bond is definitely high on the list, but Jim Umbricht is the white whale.
 

mrmopar

Member
Jan 19, 2010
4,245
I find these collections fascinating, probably because I collect autographs and have a team specialty myself. However, it takes a lot of time and effort to become all knowledgable about 1 team, let alone all of them. The toughies are always the most interesting, especially the stories behind them. It always disappoints me when I see someone list a clearly tough autograph for sale on ebay or elsewhere and there is no explanation as to why the price is so high. That was always a fun added bonus by the sellers who took the time to educate folks as to why a certain player who most would probably think is a $5 autograph, sells for $500.

I have said it before, my goal is a Dodger item whenever it is possible (and convenient), but for me, just landing the signature is enough. Taking it to this level where you are looking for signatures on Astro-related photos is next level. It makes me think of all the players who passed through town for a season or less, who never had team specific cards. Lately, photos are probably easy, but as you get back a few years, it was maybe not as easy and stock had dried up.

Charlie Haeger is one of many that comes to mind immediately. He played a total of 15 games for the 2009-10 Dodgers at the end of his career. I don't believe he ever got a Dodger card, although there could have been a postcard or team photo with him included. He sits in obscurity for a decade after retiring, then murders his girlfriend and kills himself last year. Probably not going to add anything Dodger related for him to my collection, but plenty of White Sox Bowman cards were available, at least before the murder-suicide. This is also one of the reasons I jump on ANY signature of a new player as soon as I know he is on the Dodgers. You never know when something will happen to make that price spike. You can always try to upgrade later.
 
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Therion

Well-known member
Nov 19, 2008
5,538
Looooooosiana!
We have a similar story on the Astros in Ken Ramos. I wrote about it on my website, but the story is eerily similar. He played 14 games in 1997 and then vanished until he murdered his wife and killed himself. To my knowledge no signed Astros items exist, just Minor League stuff. I will continue to look for a signed index card and possibly make a custom cut auto card one day.

Until then, his Minor League card holds his spot.
 

mrmopar

Member
Jan 19, 2010
4,245
Had not heard about that one, interesting. What weird things we discover when collecting autographs.
 

Therion

Well-known member
Nov 19, 2008
5,538
Looooooosiana!
Two official additions and one that is new but is not a player, so I don't officially count.

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Luis Garcia - I was able to grab this *right* before his prices EXPLODED. He's also in Stadium Club and if it is on-card, I'll upgrade when his prices come back to reality.

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Blake Taylor - Our new closer that never closes lol

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Brent Strom - LOVE that this one came back. He's our Pitching Coach and now an Astros legend.
 

Therion

Well-known member
Nov 19, 2008
5,538
Looooooosiana!
One step back, one step forward.

Ryan Hartman debuted yesterday, so one step backward.

I also had one new addition and an upgrade since my last update.

First, the new addition:

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Ryan Pressly. I knew I would get this one eventually, but glad to have it marked off the list.

Now for the crazy rare upgrade, Ross Powell. First, here is what I upgraded from:

Powell.JPG

And now the upgrade:

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So here is the lowdown. Powell was a willing signer after retirement, but his career was not spectacular, so few people sought him out. In 2017, he committed suicide at the age of 49. This is his only Astros card and the only copy I have ever seen signed. I am sure others exist, I just haven't seen them before. When it popped up, I knew I would have to fight for it. There are very few others competing with me for obscure Astros, though they do exist. The fight was with autographed set collectors. This is one of the more difficult, if not the most difficult, card to find in the 1994 Topps Traded set. The set collectors made sure I earned this card!
 

Therion

Well-known member
Nov 19, 2008
5,538
Looooooosiana!
A TON of updates since I last posted. Unfortunately, most of the updates are moving backwards. Since I last updated, the following players debuted as Astros (including one that debuted as I typed this):

Kent Emanuel
Kendall Graveman
Phil Maton
Austin Pruitt (pitched for one inning after two years of injury and then was traded lol)

One new acquisition and then I'll separately post my upgrades.

IMG_3204.jpg
Andre Scrubb

He shows a lot of promise but he walks a LOT of people. I do like his autograph.
 

Therion

Well-known member
Nov 19, 2008
5,538
Looooooosiana!
Now for the upgrades. Two I knew I'd eventually get, but glad to get them on custom cards while I still can. One was very unlikely. The last one, I honestly thought was impossible until I pulled it off thanks to Photoshop and a stamp.

I'll start with the two that I knew would happen eventually.

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Dale Berra, son of the legendary Yogi. His career was not very distinguished for us. He signed this TTM for a pretty reasonable fee. Upgraded from this 8x10:


BerraDale.JPG

Next up is an old school guy that signs sporadically.

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Dave Nicholson, one of the early guys after the team changed names. He has an Astros Topps card but it is a high edition card that is more expensive than it is worth. This is an upgrade from this postcard.

Nicholson.JPG

Next is the one I doubted I would ever get, but I knew was possible.

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Pedro Astacio. Astacio did a private signing that I happily joined. This card was released the last year he played and I have never seen another copy signed.

This is an upgrade from a Minor League card.

Astacio.JPG

Finally, the one I thought was impossible.

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Manuel Barrios. So here's the deal. He started signing TTM, which is great, but there are no pictures that exist of him in an Astros uniform. "But I see him right there in an Astros uniform, sir." Indeed. This is probably one of the best Photoshop jobs I have ever done. He even asked where on Earth I found the picture in his response lol (I know there are some Photoshop experts that will immediately be able to tell, but I'm an amateur)

Upgraded from one of the most offensive pieces of "I'll take it because nothing else exists" autographs in my collection. It is a Cleveland Indians minor league team program that he was a pitching coach for.

Barrios.JPG
 

mrmopar

Member
Jan 19, 2010
4,245
Barrios was very hard for me to find. There is absolutely NOTHING of his signature on ebay any time I checked. I have a Marlins card and a minor league card I believe. Did you do a TTM? I would love to give the same a try with a Dodgers image!
 

mrmopar

Member
Jan 19, 2010
4,245
I used this address:

Manuel Barrios
1523 44th Street
Rock Island, IL 61201
Thank you and very interesting. I saw the actual Rock Island (now Arsenal Island) when I was in Moline, Il a few years back. Our hotel was on the other side of the bridge over the smaller part of the Mississippi River as it split around the island. I was literally about a mile away from his address! Wonder if he was there back in 2017. I was there when the Cubs were losing to LA in the playoffs, but before it was over, your Astros had beaten the Dodgers in the WS. It was fun to be in Chicago territory, watching the Dodgers win a few though.
 

Therion

Well-known member
Nov 19, 2008
5,538
Looooooosiana!
Yep, unfortunately Astros Daily does not know where they got their images from and never saved better quality ones. It is far too small to make into a baseball card.
 

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