But a couple weeks ago I got a semi-regular email update from Main Line Autographs. They're the promoter who has taken over the annual Robert Morris show in Pittsburgh, as well as other events. They bring in some decent autograph guests, and I picked up on the fact that their email list always sends out an email before the Robert Morris show saying "present a copy of this email and get a free signed 8x10."
Well my mamma didn't raise no fool, so sign up I did. The Robert Morris freebie isn't usually anyone earth shattering - Bob Friend, Grant Jackson, or some other ex-Bucco who they have a ton of back-stock for.
Well I got the same email for the National. Present this email, get a freebie. Hey, why not. So as my day slowed down, I made a point to hunt down their booth and present my email. A fairly disinterested employee (did I mention how I'm kind of scraping the bottom of the barrel with my nickel and dime purchases while others are throwing around thousands) and said "go pick one of the 8x10's on that table, motioning to their side "wall" of their booth.
So over I went. The 8x10's were broken down by sport and alphabetized. I immediately locked in on a Carlos Baerga signed photo, since he has been near the top of my want list for a while, and I missed a free signing with him on Wednesday at the National. But what the heck...I'll keep looking just to make sure there isn't a Bucco I need in here.
Call me a little crazy, but I did a double take when I saw a Monte Irvin folder, complete with about 20-30 signed photos. A couple later, Fergie Jenkins. My pick between two free HoF'ers? Yes please.
But I kept going, just to be safe. And boy am I glad I did.
Right in the middle of the N's was Don Newcombe. Yeah, that one.
He may not have a plaque in upstate New York, but he's a Hall of Famer in my book. I have an immense appreciation for former Negro League players, and I couldn't be happier to have this autograph in my collection. For free.