Phillies TTM Successes

I came across a few abandoned, team-autograph projects while recently cleaning up my Phillies Room: The 1950s-era Phillies photo and a Phillies Wall of Fame photo.  It has been a few months since I added any new signatures to either - but the passing of several former Phils late last year brought about the cruel reality that the players from the "old days" will not be around forever...

Chuck Essegian - 1950s-era Phillies

Essegian broke into the Majors with the Phillies in 1958 - collecting 114 at-bats across 39 gamesIt turned out to be his only season with the team as he was traded to the Cardinals before 1959 for Ruben Amaro, Sr.  (Note: This may actually be one of those history altering moves - if RAS isn't a Phillie, does his son become one - or, ultimately their GM?)  The highlight of Essegian's career may be his two pinch-hit home runs for the Dodgers in the 1959 World Series.

Curt Simmons - Phillies Wall of Fame

I started this project during last summer's Alumni Weekend - though, it was way too crowded to get very far.  I was lucky enough to add Charlie Manuel and Bob Boone.  Surprisingly, many of the living WoFers are also good TTM signers and I think I can significantly alter the look of this photo with some effort. 

As far as TTM signers go, Whiz Kid Curt Simmons is a Hall of Famer.  According to recorded results in Sports Collector Net's database, collectors have been successful on 99% of their requests - with an amazing 482 reported successes over the years!

Thoughts on 2015 Phillies Promotions

My sense of timing has never been better…The ink on my previous blog post was barely dry when the Phillies revealed a preliminary list of 2015 promotions last week.
In case you missed it, in lieu of having actual SGAs to review I used 350 succinct words to predict what might be handed out at CBP next season.  As a result, I had personal interest in seeing whether or not any of my predictions came to fruition. There were no direct hits, but with details on most promos in the ‘TBD’ category, I still hope I might claim a victory or two.  Regardless, we now have actual giveaways on the calendar, so let me opine…
The general reaction I’ve seen online reflects my own: Meh.    It’s not that the schedule is without bright spots – because it does have a few.  But, it’s more a reflection of the fact that the general promotion themes haven’t changed for the past few years.  Opening Day t-shirt – Check.   Father’s Day Hat – Check.  W.B. Mason Truck – Check.  And not one person is asking whether or not the Phanatic’s best friend is writing another book.  At a time when they’ll need SGAs to attract a crowd, the overall lack of ingenuity were both a little surprising and disappointing.
It wasn’t all bad, though.  Keeping with tradition, the Phanatic’s Birthday seems like it will be one of the standout promos of the year.  Whoever thought to give kids Phanatic socks gets a star from me. There is also promise in the 1960s retro bobble head.  I would be happy if they went completely retro with an old-school, “boy” themed bobble – maybe with a variant face or something.  Really the only way they could mess it up is by either making it in the likeness of Dom Brown or by tasking Forever Collectibles with the job.
I’m sure we’ll be treated to a few add-ons – perhaps via one of the scheduled “theme nights,” which produced some of the more memorable collectibles from the 2014 season (Stitch N Pitch Phanatic, Star Wars Baseball).  I’d be interested to hear some of your impressions from the SGA list…

See the full list of promotions...

Making Guesses About 2015 SGAs

As teams across the Major Leagues have begun releasing tentative promotional schedules, the Phillies have sat idle.  After stating via their official Twitter account that details on 2015 promotions would be released in December, the team, which will undoubtedly need to use stadium giveaways and theme nights to attract fans to Citizens Bank Park, has gone radio silent.
Of course, a lot of things have changed since that November morning: Franchise icon Jimmy Rollins was traded to Los Angeles; their 2014 home run leader Marlon Byrd is now a Red; and, the future of roster staples Cole Hamels and Ryan Howard hang in the balance.  My guess is these situations have caused at least some delay in announcement – and there may have even been situations where planned SGAs were completely scrapped.  One day over the recent holiday season I caught myself daydreaming about how the promos may develop…

  • Cole Hamels (100 Career Wins) Commemorative Ball (Replacing the Rollins Hit Record)
  • Bobble Heads: I think this is the year we see a Domonic Brown bobble… I’ll bet on him and either Ben Revere or Ryne Sandberg serving as another.
  • Cody Asche bat day
  • Chase Utley t-shirt

With notable names scarce, I can also see the Phillies leaning heavily on both the Phanatic and their team logo in additional SGAs.  These could be logo beach towels and backpacks or a Phanatic cereal bowl/spoon set.  Another scenario may be the inclusion of an alumni giveaway.  Though infrequent over the past decade, a John Kruk figurine was handed out in 2013 and Roy Halladay was honored with a second Phillies SGA bobble last summer.  If they were to take this path, we could maybe pencil in a Darren Daulton figurine as a late-season promo.
It will be interesting to see how these predictions play out… Hopefully sooner than later, too!

Goodbye 2014!

photo via

photo via

It's New Year's Eve and another year of collecting is behind us!  Although the on-field/ice action has surely left us all a little bitter, 2014 supplied many great collectibles and collecting opportunities.  From a slew of new SGAs to three Philly Shows (one with Doc), signings at local card shops and the Phillies Phestival - we've had a lot to talk about!  Let me channel my inner Larry King to recap my thoughts:

The past two weeks I've enjoyed going back through posts written during 2014.  With my six-year old son now starting a small collection of his own, combing through recaps of events we attended together or reviews of newly distributed SGAs we both collected hold a little more meaning than they did before.  I look forward to continuing our timeline in 2015... There are also the many "Oddballs", "Collectible of the Week", "News and Notes" and "Graphing on the Road" posts I've written.  Each representing a few hours of research - and man, looking back, did I get an education!  Hopefully, you learned a little something, too... I've tried a few new features with varying degrees of success.  But I've never been afraid to fail and one thing I can promise is that I'll continue trying new things to enhance the collecting experience in 2015... My brother Jim and I have been privileged to have worked with and be supported by a group of great sponsors and part-time partners.  Thank you to: Wheatland Auction Services, Antiques and Collectibles Insurance Group, Philly Show, Sports Vault, Eric/Adam Poppel and the Poppel Sports Autograph Family, VSM Sports Card Outlet, AB Sports, Carl's Cards, JJ's Cards and Toys, First and Goal Sports and Top Tier Authentics... I am truly humbled by the support of you, the readers of The Phillies Collector!  Whether you've been following us for years, or just stumbled onto our page - I'm glad you're here.  Thank you for making it all worthwhile!

Now, onto 2015... Happy New Year!

2014 Phillies Holiday Sale Recap

Another year in the books... 2014 marks the 10th Phillies Holiday Sale I've attended - some good, some not so good.  This year's sale fell somewhere in the lower-middle.

The best way to describe the Holiday Sale is to use these three words/phrases: Game-Used, Autographs and Dead Stock.  With so much variety, I have established an approach for the sale: Find one "nice" addition to my collection.  This methodology has kept me from buying second-tier player jerseys or stretching for autographs several times.  Here are a few highlights...

Game Used

Last year I finally found a alternate home batting helmet, and this year I was lucky to come across a small group of 2009 game-used hats.  Most were no-names, but one home-alternate hat was inscribed "46" - linking it to Ryan Madson.  For $20, this was a no-brainer...

Like a lot of what I saw, the game-used base I bought base was likely pulled from deep in storage - dating to the mid-2000s before the Phillies starting using the MLB Authentication Program.  There are four script logo jewels (one on each side) on it, and writing on the bottom to instruct groundskeepers how to position it in relation to the other bases.  It's the first base in my collection...


As usual, the team rolled out an assortment of autographed balls, hats, bats and cards for sale.  I picked up a "starter-ball" with Roy Halladay, Ryan Madson and Joe Blanton for $40... Just need to go back and start filling in the rest.  I also bought a red hat autographed by Charlie Manuel and a couple packs of signed team photo cards for my son.  The photo cards are a great deal - $2 for five autographed cards, one of which is a "name" player.  The top-guys in my packs included Shane Victorino, Jayson Werth and Billy Wagner.

Dead Stock

There are also a lot of things that they just want to get rid of - turning into deals for fans.  $5 t-shirts and hats; $1 Media Publications (yearbooks, programs, media guides; photo card sets); and $10 bobble heads were just some of the good buys available this year.

For $10 collectors could get either the 2013 or 2014 Group Leader bobble head.  They also had the 2014 Stitch N' Pitch bobble head available for $10.  I only bought enough to cover my personal needs, but got a laugh seeing dealers wheel out cases of each for sale on eBay.  However, I got my glutton on with a pile of old programs, DVDs and photo cards...

Bobble Head HoF Campaign

Earlier this month a pair of collectors from Milwaukee went public with their plans to build a National Bobble Head Hall of Fame.  With the announcement, co-founders Phil Sklar and Brad Novak are not only looking to attract interest from collectors in the Hall, but also to engage them to help build it from the ground up.  

Things are getting started with an expansive fundraising effort, which is comprised of both a $250,000 Kickstarter project and a membership drive via the Hall's website.  Donation amounts range from $1 - $10,000 - with donors being rewarded with memberships, HoF voting rights and limited edition bobble heads (among others). If funding goals are reached by January 15, 2015, the project will move forward with plans to create a physical Museum in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. 

Since the announcement went live some have questioned the necessity for a Bobble Head Hall of Fame, or asked "Why Milwaukee?" All valid points of discussion.  But, I for one think it's a great idea, and applaud Sklar and Novak for the time and effort they have put into the project to date.  I have always found the collecting community to be very supportive of one another - sharing tips and completing trades to fill collection gaps.  To me, this seems like one of those opportunities to support others in the community.  And, after all, a trip to a Bobble Head Hall of Fame would give me a reason to go to Milwaukee...

As of this writing the Kickstarter campaign has tallied north of $14,000 - about 5% of the $250,000 goal.  In support of the effort I have contributed as a "Rookie Level" donor - which will allow me to visit for free and most importantly, have a vote in the Hall of Fame election.  Will I ever make it up to Wisconsin?  Who knows... But, I can say I played a (very small) part the day those doors open in 2016!


R.I.P - Hobby Heroes, Alvin Dark and Jackie Mayo

I was saddened to hear about the recent passing of two friends to the hobby: Former Phillies, Alvin Dark (11/13) and Jack Mayo (8/19).  While neither had overly distinguished careers in Philadelphia, both were notable to Phillies collectors due to their kindness in regards to fulfilling autograph requests through the mail.

Dark, the 1948 Rookie of the Year, had a solid career, as both player and manager - and measures up as one of the best shortstops of his era.  Known as "The Swamp Fox", Dark played 55 games for the terrible 1960 Phillies.  After retiring from baseball, he became a successful manager, winning a pennant with the 1962 Giants and the World Series in 1974 (Oakland).  I wrote to Mr. Dark several times over the years, requesting autographs for various Phillies-themed projects.  Though his writing seemed labored, he always responded promptly, including a small testimonial brochure.  His 90% success rate on SCN proves I was not alone.

Jack Mayo was one of the few surviving members of the legendary 1950 Whiz Kids.  Playing in 139 games across six seasons with the Phillies (1948-1953), he appeared in three World Series games against the Yankees in 1950, reaching base on a walk his only plate appearance.  As with Dark, I corresponded with him over the years, too - collecting autographs on various Whiz Kids projects.  In one letter I mentioned that World Series walk to Mr. Mayo, which prompted a hand-written response in the margin: "It was a thrill!"  He recorded an impressive 88% TTM success rate, "thrilling" many collectors in the process.

Physical Tickets Nearing Extinction

In the latest blow to the niche, ticket collecting market,  it was reported earlier this week the Phillies are urging season ticket holders to opt into electronic tickets when (if) they renew for 2015.  In another two or three years, it may not be an option - which sucks.  

Electronic tickets have become commonplace in professional sports over the past few years - with the Eagles switching over for last season's playoff game.  I've accepted that you no longer need to go to the stadium box office to buy tickets, regularly leveraging the "print at home option" myself.  And, while I agree with John Weber, Phillies VP of Ticket Sales and Operations, that virtual tickets are immensely convenient, I can't help but feel like something about the experience is being lost. 

I've questioned what is, and what is not a collectible in the past - but, as far as I'm concerned nothing rekindles memories of an event, or says "I was there" like a used ticket stub.  In the new virtual world we would never have to worry about forgetting our tickets back at the house - but, we would also not have Opening Day, No-Hitter or World Series keepsakes.  In the new world there would be no "phantom" series tickets to collect, or artwork to admire, display or have autographed.  For a little while longer,  as a ticket collector, I'll opt-out of the new world...

Happy Collecting

A recent post on, "Ten Tips for Building a Collection," brought up several valid points that I often keep in mind when considering a new purchase: Select a collecting theme and stick to it, Ask questions and educate yourself and Keep it fun.

Select a collecting theme and stick to it

This has been very hard for me to do over the years, but having the benefit of hindsight, I always recommend this to beginning collectors.  Whether it be jerseys, autographs, a specific team or player, focusing your attention on one common theme will help you better attain your collecting goals.  As the PSA article points out, a collection without fences can be incredibly frustrating - you can never have everything.  

Ask questions and educate yourself

Just as in school or work, you can never ask too many questions of fellow collectors and sports memorabilia experts when getting serious about collecting.  In today's world there are many ways to get information on memorabilia: websites (like The Phillies Collector), discussion forums, memorabilia/card shows and social media outlets such as Twitter or Facebook - use them for all they have to offer!  Find those outlets and make sure you have the information you need to make educated purchases.

Keep it fun

Collecting should begin and end with having fun.  As a hobby, collecting can provide an escape from the pressures of "the real world" - but, done incorrectly, it can just add to the pile.  Sure, it's nice having something that is rare, or "valuable" - but, over the years I have found that the most enjoyable pieces have more sentimental than monetary value.  To be a happy collector, having fun is key!

A Dream Purchase!

Connie Mack Stadium Seat.jpg

I've crossed one off my collecting bucket-list!

Even though Connie Mack Stadium was long gone by the time I was born, my dad's stories about going there and watching the teams of the 1960s fed my fascination about the old park.  It has always been a goal of mine to one day have a seat from it in my collection.  And, now thanks to Wheatland Auction Services (their August online auction), I finally got the opportunity I had been waiting for...

Originating from the collection of an old-time Phillies collector, this single, double-ribbon seat dates back to the stadium's opening in 1909.  Story goes that he went to the stadium sometime in the early 1970s, after the Phillies had moved to Veterans Stadium and removed several seats, and put them in storage.  His collection, which included two sets of two (joined) seats and this single seat, has sat in storage since the late 1970s.  You know what they say about one man's trash... 

Star Wars Theme Night... and, a Death Star

Last night was a big night down at the ol' ball yard: A Phillies win; fun theme night; and a Death Star giveaway!  

Death Star SGA (via eBay)

Death Star SGA (via eBay)

Over the years, I have been to several minor league versions of the "Star Wars Night" theme and honestly, I think it is better suited for that environment.  Typically my (now) six-year old son will lead me around the concourse - picking out the planted movie characters and posing for pictures.  Of course, the highlight is always interacting with Darth Vader.  There were high-expectations leading up to the night - and while there were some hits (the scoreboard videos and player photo edits and the "theme night gift", Death Star ball) but the overall experience has been better (for us) in the past.

The "Death Star" giveaway was on my radar since being announced earlier in the season. And judging by the sell-out of all one-thousand theme night tickets, I wasn't alone!  It's a fun crossover Phillies/Star Wars item, suitable for a collector of either (or both).  Though, the Phillies upped the ante by pulling out the old "hand-numbered" trick out of the bag, anything labeled "Limited Edition" is being marketed as an important collectible and rarely holds any real value.  It may have had more value if fewer people participated in the promotion, a la the first Stitch N Pitch night.  But, with the full order in circulation, I'm not planning retirement.  A few have already made their way online.  It will be interesting to see where prices settle.

Overall, the night was good with some solid father/son bonding time, and a few keepsakes.  But, we never did chase down Darth Vader...

Alumni Weekend - Day One Recap

For years I've wondered what benefit there is to attending the Friday game of Alumni Weekend.  Well, after going to last night's game, I now know...  In general, there were fewer Alumni than you see later in the weekend - counting Charlie Manuel and Roy Halladay, there were probably 10-12 that I saw in the stadium.

With no public signings scheduled for Friday, I was relegated to trying my luck in the Hall of Fame club.  It was surprising to see that the crowd was about as large as those I usually find on Saturday (was expecting it to be a little thinner).  I think the prospect of landing a Halladay autograph lured other autograph hunters, too.  But unfortunately, except for a pre-game, private signing in the Press Room, Roy did not sign for any fans - which was a little disappointing.

  • In general, the Alumni seemed overwhelmed by the crowd and were hesitant to stop.  There were a few exceptions - Bob Boone and Mike Lieberthal signed for anyone and everyone.  Even Jim Thome eventually stopped for a minute or two and pumped out a few autographs.
  • Unless it happened out of my sight (which is entirely possible), Charlie Manuel only signed for a few minutes after getting trapped between the dining room and the suite.  The mob crushed him - probably the biggest fear for any of these guys.  
  • The best Alumni interaction came early in the night as John Kruk made his way into the Alumni Suite.  Krukker had his head down the entire length of the walk, muttering "Sorry", "No" - until a fan reached out with a gift for him.  He stopped (though, still never lifting his head to make eye-contact), thanked the guy and signed a print for him.  Then (still not lifting his head) asked, "How many people are here?"  At that point there were only five or six of us which must have been the magic number - he satisfied all of our signature requests.  (Note: I had him sign my 1993 team photo project)

Overall, it was a little disappointing: few alumni on hand, even fewer signing autographs.  But, I guess now I can say I know what happens on Friday night during Alumni Weekend...

Three Years In The Book...

Last weekend quietly marked the third year anniversary of my first "real" post here on The Phillies Collector.  Two days later on August 3, 2011 I posted my first listing of "Upcoming Phillies Signings" which included two legendary appearances: Hunter Pence (Carl's Cards) and Vance Worley (AB Sports).  Since that time, in some form or fashion there have been daily updates to the site.

I tend to settle into a mode of self-reflection this time each year.  It is inspiring to think back to those first days in the Summer of 2011 and realize just how far this little project has come.  I fondly remember the milestones, and corresponding mini, internal celebrations I held along the way.  When I had 10 unique visitors a month reading my updates, I never imagined a time when we would regularly host 4,000+ visitors each month (as the site does today).

If you've been reading for a while you've seen The Phillies Collector morph from a blog-only format to the more robust information center it is today - featuring comprehensive upcoming signings, hobby news features and a large collection of athlete mailing addresses.  And, if it seems like a lot of work - well, it is!  But for me, The Phillies Collector is, and has always been about information/knowledge sharing for the good of the Philly sports collecting community.  So, with that - "Thank You" to all supporters both here at home and on the web!  I promise more of the same (and a few new wrinkles, too) for the future...

Alright, enough sentimentality... let's go get some Phillies autographs!

Here Comes Alumni Weekend...

With on-field play lagging to new depths this past weekend in Washington, us fans could use a little good news.  Well, here's the best I've got: The Phillies will return home for what should be an enjoyable home stand for both fans and collectors.  Among the highlights are the Stitch N' Pitch theme night and Alumni Weekend - which will feature tributes to both Roy Halladay and Charlie Manuel.  

The Phillies are experts at nostalgia - and that's what Alumni Weekend is all about.  After the rousing success of 2013's 20th Anniversary of the 1993 NL Championship, they raised the ante by lining up two of the biggest names in the team's recent history.  Of course, the Wall of Fame induction of Manuel and celebration of Doc serve the bigger purpose - honoring 10 years of baseball at Citizens Bank Park - well.  It is nearly assured that players associated with the "Top Ten Moments at CBP" will be on hand, as well as retired heavy-hitter, Jim Thome, who had a few good moments at the stadium, himself!  I look forward to making some new memories - while meeting a few Phillies legends...

Gotta Ask - Is This Collectible?

Who am I to judge, really?  After all, collecting memorabilia is not a one-size-fits-all kind of scenario.  But, the Phillies have offered a few pieces of memorabilia for sale over the past month that have really had me scratching my head and asking, "Is this really collectible, or just a marketing machine at work?"

For example, a recent online Phillies Authentics auction included a number of lots pertaining to fireballer Ken Giles' Major League Debut.  I like Giles and all, but despite his rise up the ranks this season, he has rarely been included in the team's top-ten prospects lists.  It reeks of the hype they spewed with Darin Ruf last Summer - regularly listing his game-used gear at prices comparable to those worn by Ryan Howard or Cliff Lee.  I'm all for prospecting, but the chances of him living up to a $700+ jersey value are pretty slim.

The same auction also listed a ball pitched to Jimmy Rollins during his record-breaking "hits" at-bat.  Not the ball he dumped into right field - instead, it was one he fouled off prior to the hit.  Is it any different than any other foul ball he ever hit? Not really.  But in the world where MLB Authentication puts a sticker on everything it's now meaningful (to someone).  

Finally, I especially take issue with the tactics the team employed to label boxes of programs as "Jimmy Rollins All-Time Hits Leader June 14, 2014."  Unlike when programs were printed for series', or way back when lineups were printed on scorecards daily, the Phillies are publishing their programs monthly this year - meaning this program is no different than those sold the day before or after.  All the sticker signifies is that it was first sold on June 14th.  Technically, hundreds of programs boxed in storage "were there" for the hit - wouldn't doubt if they slap a sticker on those June remnants and make them "collectible", too....

Recent eBay Buys

2009 Clearwater Threshers SGA Bobbles

2009 Clearwater Threshers SGA Bobbles

If you ask my wife, I've been very active on eBay recently... Maybe, it's true.  The stack of broken down boxes waiting for the trash pickup is a little larger than usual.  My excuse: There have just been too many good deals to pass up!  

Actually, though she doesn't understand the idea of "collecting", my wife is generally OK with my often obsessive eBay habits.  In fact, she even exclaimed, "Oh, cute!" when I unpackaged my latest purchases: Three Clearwater Threshers, 2008 World Series Champions SGA bobble heads - Cole Hamels, Jayson Werth and Pat Burrell.  


These bobble heads were originally scheduled to be handed out at Threshers games over a number of dates during the Summer of 2009.  The full promotion included nine players: Cole Hamels and the regular starting eight from the Phillies Championship team, concluding with a dual bobble of closer Brad Lidge with Carlos Ruiz.  However, the promotion was doomed!  After the first two dates had passed, the Tampa Bay Rays protested that the giveaways infringed on their "territorial rights" and forced its cancellation.  This all means that only the figurines for the first two games were actually handed out as intended (Jimmy Rollins and Chase Utley).  

I have been aware of these since 2009, but haven't seen too many come up for a decent price.  It would be interesting to know how they ended up in circulation after the promotion was cancelled.  The three I bought at least get me started toward completing this unusual set.  Guess I have a reason to keep scrolling through the eBay listings now...

Update: I received a message from Brian Fauerbach  on Facebook letting me know that besides the Rollins and Utley that were handed out as planned, the Threshers only ended up ordering bobble heads of Werth, Burrell, Hamels, Victorino and Howard.  Unfortunately, they never produced the dual Ruiz/Lidge  bobble.

Tips for CBP Saturdays

Another weekend, home series brings another "CBP Saturday."  The promotion honoring the stadium's first 10 years of existence has already brought notable alumnus such as Roy Oswalt, Pedro Feliz and Aaron Rowand back to town this season.  This weekend's guest will be reliever Scott Eyre - an important part of the 2008 and 2009 bullpens.

For the first couple Saturdays I wondered if the guests were signing - finally finding the right person to help supply the answer.   Thankfully he was right on the mark, helping to secure a few autographs from Oswalt.  Keeping with the spirit of this page, I am passing on the knowledge:

  • Guest names are usually made available on Wednesday or Thursday before the game.  You can either call the Phillies, or check my Facebook page to find out who to prep for.
  • Tickets are limited and handed out on a first-come-first-serve basis, so plan to get to the stadium early.
  • Ticket distribution is managed by the Phunster's (or, is it Phansters?).  They are typically by the gates (1st and 3rd base gates for Oswalt).  Just ask them for one.
  • Signings occur at the Authentics stand.  Get in line at least 15 minutes before the scheduled signing time.  

Hope this helps score a few new autographs!

Many thanks to super-collector, Mark Benedetto for the help guiding me to success on my first CBP Saturday!

Eagles Pro Shop Autograph Event Recap

On Saturday I went to the free autograph signing(s) at the Eagles Pro Shop (Rockvale Outlets, Lancaster).  Alternate plans with the family have kept me from attending the event over the past two years.  But, this year the schedule was clear, and the weather couldn't have been better.  Appearing at the event were current Eagles, Brandon Boykin, Riley Cooper, Earl Wolffe and Jon Dorenbos. Not a bad lineup for a free signing - and the crowds showed up!  

"Outside items" were allowed to be signed and in preparation I printed out a bunch of 8x10 photos.  My son brought his football - and couldn't have been more excited to meet the players.  The guys were scheduled to appear in staggered groups of two, with a cross-over at 1:30 so I planned to get there toward the end of the first to take advantage of a shorter line.  The plan worked, and I was able to cycle through the Boykin line twice.  The second session was a little slower, as Cooper and Wolffe were about 20 minutes late and the Cooper line grew to several hundred people long.  All in all the crew kept things moving and it wasn't that bad of a wait.

Next week the party moves to Cherry Hill where Tra Thomas and Malcolm Jenkins headline another autograph event.  I have details posted here...