When It Was A Game

As stated in my last post, one of my baseball card collecting goals is to try and get one (certified) autographed Twins card of as many Twins ballplayers that I can. Since then, I now have an additional 221st different ballplayer.

Earl Battey is one of the autograph cards I’d been watching for for a while now. He does not have many certified AU cards, and most of those are the “cut auto” type, where his signature on a previous item (letter, contract, check, etc) is cut to size and embedded into a baseball card. The one I finally nabbed was one of these:


2006 Upper Deck SP Legendary Cuts When It Was a Game #WGC-EB Earl Battey [16/25] (auto)

And here are a few other pick ups from the last few days:


clockwise, from top left: 2018 Topps Allen & Ginter Full-Size #FSRB-MS Miguel Sano (jersey); 2018 Topps Archives Signatures #313 Max Kepler [10/86] (uncirculated auto); 2005 Upper Deck Ultimate Dual Materials #UD-ME Joe Mauer w/Estrada [07/15] (dual jersey); 2011 Topps Triple Threads Relics Sepia “AL MVP ’09 .365 28 96” #TTR-TTR-68 Joe Mauer [02/27] (jersey)

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Winfield Of Dreams

One of my goals is to try and get one (certified) autograph Twins card of as many Twins ballplayers that I can. I have 220 different ballplayers with the most recent one.

I had a gift card for a spot reward from work that I was hoping to turn around into a Kirby Puckett AU card, but the price for his cards are out the roof. There are 25 different Twins ballplayers that I know of with certified AU cards that I don’t have — some of them are cut autos of deceased players (Bob Allison, Earl Battey, Zoilo Versalles) which are difficult to find; some are Real One cards of past ballplayers from Heritage sets, others are just recent prospects whose AU cards are overpriced right now. And then there’s Dave Winfield.

There are autographed cards of Dave Winfield out there, but I only know of one which showed him in a Twins uniform. That finally changed last year when Topps included him in the Dynasty set with several autographed cards all showing him as a Twins player. I latched onto one of those that was uncirculated and a low serial number that included a slick jersey patch as well, and got it at a reasonable price.


2017 Topps Dynasty #AP-DW6 Dave Winfield [04/10] (uncirculated auto/jersey)

Additionally, here are some cards from my LCS (local card shop), from my Good Trading Buddy™ BobFranklin, or that I’ve just picked up in the past:


clockwise, from top left: 2018 Topps Major League Materials #MLM-MS Miguel Sano (jersey); 2018 Topps Commemorative All-Star Patch Red #ASP-HK Harmon Killebrew [08/25] (manu-patch); 2018 Topps Heritage Clubhouse Collection #CCR-JM Joe Mauer (jersey); 2018 Panini Diamond Kings Jumbo Materials Signatures #JRMS-ZG Zack Granite [20/99] (auto/jersey); 2004 Donruss Leaf Certified Materials Red #175 Shannon Stewart [139/150] (jersey); 2018 Topps Tier One #BA-MKE Max Kepler [097/275] (auto)

London, Part 2

Continuing our visit to London, we left Windsor and went to Royal Botanical Gardens in Kew and walked the beautiful grounds.

After a break at the hotel, we took advantage of the beautiful weather and strolled Kensington Gardens & Hyde Park.

The next morning we had breakfast across from Embassy Row in Kensington Gardens, then took the Kensington Palace tour. Following this, we made our way to Westminster Pier to catch a river cruise on Thames, which wound its way past The Eye, Globe Theater, the Tower Bridge, and on to Greenwich.

With the great weather, Greenwich Park was full of people playing and relaxing in the grass. We made our way up the hill and took our turns straddling the Prime Meridian and then walking through the Flamsteed House. While there I make my second observatory visit on this trip (first being The Round Tower in Copenhagen), and see the Great Equatorial Telescope at the Royal Observatory Greenwich.


the business end of the 38″ Great Equatorial Telescope in Greenwich

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London, Part 1

The last stop on our visit to Europe was London. The flight from Copenhagen was fine, except for our checked bag which decided to take an extra ½ day to get there. We weren’t worried about it, but the umbrella inside it would have been nice to have on the one day of drizzle in our entire time in London!

Our hotel was across from Hyde Park, between Paddington Station and Notting Hill, not far from Kensington Gardens. It took us a bit to find our way to the Underground (“Mind the gap!”) from the Paddington Express from Heathrow, but we found the Underground very manageable, particularly with our reloadable Oyster Cards. After getting situated in our hotel room, we walked a bit and then had a quiet Italian meal at De Amicis.

On our rainy day, we made our way over to the National Gallery and Trafalgar Square, followed by the British Museum. We had a great lunch at the Museum Tavern (a “proper” pub), then wrapped up the day walking around Buckingham Palace grounds and St. James Park.


the Museum Tavern, our table at the end of the bar


Victoria Memorial in front of Buckingham Palace

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Wonderful Copenhagen

I couldn’t help but reference the classic musical number that we used to sing in grade school; now we saw what all the fuss was about.

Our train left Sweden and crossed into Copenhagen before lunch. We exited the train station right across the street from Tivoli Park, and after picking up our Copenhagen Card, we made our way over to our hotel near the water on Sankt Annæ Plads.

We picked up some ready-to-go food from a shop and had a picnic on a bench in King’s Garden, then admired the wide array of paintings on display in the National Gallery of Denmark.

We took the round about route to our hotel, swinging by the Little Mermaid statue (of course), and also happening upon the Sakura Festival (Japanese cherry blossoms) right nearby, where all the Yoshino Cherry trees were in full bloom — not all that much later than the tree in front of our house back home.


the little mermaid

More than one of my family told me that I should contact Hartwig and Barbara before our trip and let them know we would be in Copenhagen (Hartwig is an older brother of an exchange student from Germany who stayed with my family about the time I left for my first job out of college). He and his wife replied that they would love to invite us over for dinner, so we caught our breath back at the hotel until the time he would pick us up and drive us to their nice home just to the north. They served a wonderful meal, and we spent hours visiting, until we pointed out that it was getting late and tomorrow was a work day — not for us! They were excellent ambassadors for their country, and we were glad we could meet them.
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Sweden, Part 2: Family!

As we got to the west side of Trelleborg and drove to the golf course clubhouse, waiting inside to meet us were nine cousins and spouses, plus two more who joined us later!


family!

Mo and I were pleasantly surprised (and a bit overwhelmed) and I think Kerstin was as well. Our cousin Ulf had apparently spread the word; in addition to the great turnout, the golf course even had the US flag flying out front for us alongside the Swedish flag! We got acquainted over a pleasant buffet meal and worked on learning everyone’s names.
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Sweden, Part 1: Skåne

First destination on our European trip was to the home of my ancestors, southern Sweden. To get there, we picked up Scandinavian Airlines in Newark, NJ on our way to Copenhagen. By far, the biggest hurdle to our trip was the transatlantic flights. While the food was good and there were plenty of entertainment options, the optimum goal is to get sleep on the way there, and that really wasn’t happening much.

It was great to see familiar faces at the airport, with cousin Kerstin and Lennart picking us up and taking us across the border and on to their lake home near Hässleholm, Sweden. They had a very nice guest suite built above their garage that was our home base while there. While we tried to adapt to the new timezone, we took a little day trip to see some local sights. We first saw their wonderful decorative old Church of Mary in Brönnestad, then had an enjoyable time with Kerstin’s mother Hulda (with coffee and some delightful sweets). Following our visit, our first stop was Trollenäs Slott (“slott” being Swedish for “castle”, one of the words I learned), and the second, Hovdala Slott, was aborted due to rain turning to light hail — this was our only interruption to pleasantly cool weather while we were there. As it was we needed a nap and time to visit more anyway. And our big surprise was tomorrow.


Trollenäs Slott

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