Alumni Night Wrap-up

Former Phillies C
Ozzie Virgil at Alumni Night

Alumni Night 2012 was a mixed bag.  Some successes, some real disappointments.  My brother and I started the day at Bucks County Tech HS for the show.  Gotta admit, compared to the past 3 or 4 years, the signing lineup was a little weak, and it showed.  The place was pretty empty - lacking both vendors and buyers.  There were nice initial crowds for most of the signers, but no one sustained any kind of presence after 30 minutes.  For me it was a good opportunity to get some "cheaper" autographs of guys I needed on a few continuing projects.  Here is what I got:

Tony Taylor - 1964 Bulletin picture

Tony Taylor
1964 Bulletin Photo

Bobby Wine - 1960 Sports Illustrated
- I am really close to having all living roster members on this.  Coach Wine wanted me to know he joined late in the season, and missed the 23 game losing streak!

1960 Sports Illustrated Cover

Del Unser and Bob Boone - 1980 team poster

Bob Boone - 1976 team ball
- Mr. Boone commented on how he was impressed he could read all the signatures, then lamented "kids today..."

1976 Phillies Team Ball

Marty Bystrom - 1983 team picture and ball

1983 Phillies Team Ball

My brother and I had bought tickets for the Hall of Fame section.  While there is some availability to the alumni over the weekend, being up in this area is really the best way to have a chance at getting an autograph.  For the night I had packed nine team balls, and a few individual pictures and magazines I would like to have signed.  A partial list of alumni attendees had been posted on, so I had a little idea of who I might run into up there.  It seemed a lot more crowded than it has been in previous years - at times the crowd was two or three people deep outside the alumni suite.  That made it a little more difficult to manage.  Still, came out with a couple targeted autographs:

Garry Maddox, Bob Boone and Greg Luzinski - 1980 team picture
- Nice to add three new, "free" signatures on here.

Boone and Maddox on
1980 Team Picture

Maddox - both my 1983 team ball and team picture
- Mr. Maddox signed a couple different things for me.  His signing for free each year is a great thing for collectors of the first Golden Era in Phillies baseball.

Garry Maddox on
1983 Team Picture

Ricky Bottalico - 2002 program insert photo at the WIP tent
- He laughed when he saw this picture - "I am so young here!"  I was always a big fan of Ricky's, especially the second time around.

Ricky Bottalico
2002 Program Insert

Ricky Jordan - 1989 team ball
- Caught him in the HOF section early in the night.  Good add to the '89 team ball.

Larry Bowa - 1980 team poster
- Bo came out and signed a lot late in the night.  Getting him on the poster (pictured above) really made me feel better about the night.

Bobby Wine - 1983 team picture
- Good to add a third coach to the project.  His quote regarding 1983: "Good season.  Awful Series."

Pat Burrell - 2008 team ball
- Obviously the highlight of my night.  I was in pursuit all night.  Luckily he signed a few on his way into the suite during the middle innings.  Got lucky on this one - really excited to add it to the ball.

Pat Burrell on
2008 Phillies Team Ball

Von Hayes - 1983 team ball
- He signed the ball walking through the hall.  Another difference this year was the presence of security with the alumni.  Von had two guys with him, but still signed as he walked by.

It should be noted that I did not see either Steve Carlton or Mike Schmidt in the HOF section at all this season.  Some of the other bigger names like McCarver, Curt Simmons, Dick Allen and Mike Lieberthal, while very polite, refused to sign.  I was also a little disappointed to not get Art Mahaffey on the 1960 Sports Illustrated cover.  Looks like I will need to send that one back up to Allentown...

All in all it was still a good night - pulling Burrell and Bowa late in the evening salvaged it for us.  I enjoyed meeting a couple "internet friends" at both the show and later at CBP.  It is always great to meet other collectors and see what they are working on.