Monday, November 19, 2018

Steve Frey

(1963 - )

Birth Name: Steven Francis Frey

Birthplace: Meadowbrook, PA, USA

MLB player, best known for his time with the Montreal Expos. He is currently a coach at the IMG Baseball Academy on Bradenton, FL.

NCAA:

Pitcher (P):

- Bucks County Centurions (1981-1983)

Minors:

Pitcher (P):

- Oneonta Yankees (New York-Penn League) (1983)
- Fort Lauderdale Yankees (Florida State League) (1984-1985)
- Albany-Colonie Yankees (Eastern League) (1985-1987)
- Columbus Clippers (International League) (1986-1987)
- Tidewater Tides (International League) (1988)
- Indianapolis Indians (International League) (1989-1991)
- Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Red Barons (International League) (1995-1996)
- Vancouver Canadians (Pacific Coast League) (1997)
- Pawtucket Red Sox (International League) (1998)
- Oklahoma RedHawks (Pacific Coast League) (1999)
- 1 Time Florida State League Champion (1984)
- 1 Time International League Champion (1987)

MLB:

Pitcher (P):

- Montreal Expos (1989-1991)
- California Angels (1992-1993)
- San Francisco Giants (1994-1995)
- Seattle Mariners (1995)
- Philadelphia Phillies (1995-1996)

Sent a letter, self-addressed stamped envelope and a trading card care of the IMG Baseball Academy. Received my card back signed and personalized.

Sent: 3/31/16
Received: 11/19/18

Tony Woods (Football)

(1965 - )

Birth Name: Stanley Anthony Woods

Birthplace: Newark, NJ, USA

NFL player, collegiate coach and high school coach, best known for his time with the Seattle Seahawks. He has the distinction of being the last ever player drafted by the USFL, being drafted 92nd overall in the 12th round of the 1986 USFL draft by the Houston Gamblers. He is currently an assistant coach for Seton Hall Preparatory School in West Orange, NJ.

NCAA:

Linebacker (LB):

- Pittsburgh Panthers (1983-1986)
- 1 Time Fiesta Bowl (1983)
- 1 Time Consensus Second-Team All-American

NFL:

Defensive End (DE):

- Seattle Seahawks (1987-1992)
- Los Angeles Rams (1993)
- Washington Redskins (1994-1996)

Coaching:

- West Side Roughriders (Defensive Coordinator) (Newark, NJ) (2007)
- William Paterson Pioneers (Defensive Line Coach) (NCAA) (2013-2017)
- Seton Hall Prep Pirates (Assistant Coach) (West Orange, NJ) (2018-present)
- 1 Time NJSIAA Champion (2007)

Accolades (Pittsburgh Panthers):

- Team Captain (1986)

Other Awards & Honors:

- 1 Time First-Team All-State (1982)
- Parade High School All-American (1982)
- USA Today High School All-American (1982)
- Essex County Outstanding Athlete (1983)
- Seton Hall Preparatory Academy Athletic Hall of Fame Class of 1989
- NJSIAA High School Hall of Fame Class of 2012
- Newark Athletic Hall of Fame

Sent a letter, self-addressed stamped envelope and a trading card care of Seton Hall Preparatory Academy. Received my card back signed.

Sent: 10/24/18
Received: 11/19/18

Sunday, November 18, 2018

Neil Gaiman

(1960 - )

Birth Name: Neil Richard Gaiman

Birthplace: Portchester, HAM, England

Author of short fiction, novels, comic books, graphic novels, audio theater, television and movies.

Partial Bibliography (Full Here):

- Smoke and Mirrors (Collection: 1998)
- Stardust (1999)
- American Gods (2001)
- Coraline (2002)
- Anansi Boys (2005)
- The Sandman (Comic: 2006-2011)
- The Graveyard Book (2008)
- The Ocean at the End of the Lane (2013)
- The Silver Dream (2013)
- Eternity's Wheel (2015)

List of Awards and Honors Won

Received a signed copy of The View from the Cheap Seats from my friend Rob.

Received: 11/18/18

"The View from the Cheap Seats: Selected Nonfiction" by Neil Gaiman (2016)

Saturday, November 17, 2018

Nigel Dawes

(1985 - )

Birth Name: Nigel Alexander Dawes

Birthplace: Winnipeg, MB, Canada

NHL player. He is currently a left winger for Avtomobilist Yekaterinburg of the Kontinental Hockey League.

Midget Leagues:

Left Winger (LW):

- Winnipeg Warriors (Manitoba Midget 'AAA' Hockey League) (2000-2001)

Juniors:

Left Winger (LW):

- Kootenay Ice (Western Hockey League) (2001-2005)
- 1 Time Memorial Cup Champion (CHL Champion) (2002)
- 1 Time President's Cup Champion (WHL Playoff Champion) (2002)
- 1 Time Scotty Munro Memorial Trophy (WHL Regular Season Champion) (2005)
- 2 Time West First-Team All-Star
- Brad Hornung Trophy (WHL Most Sportsmanlike) (2004)

Minors:

Left Winger (LW):

- Hartford Wolf Pack (American Hockey League) (2003, 2005-2007)
- Chicago Wolves (American Hockey League) (2010-2011)
- Hamilton Bulldogs (American Hockey League) (2011)
- 1 Time Sam Pollock Trophy (AHL Central Division Regular Season Champion) (2011)
- 1 Time AHL All-Star Game
- 1 Time Second All-Star Team

NHL:

Left Winger (LW):

- New York Rangers (2007-2009)
- Phoenix Coyotes (2009)
- Calgary Flames (2009-2010)
- Atlanta Thrashers (2010)
- Montreal Canadiens (2011)

Kontinental Hockey League:

Left Winger (LW):

- Barys Astana (2011-2018)
- Avtomobilist Yekaterinburg (2018-present)
- 4 Time All-Star Game
- Best Troika Award (2015)
- KHL Goal Leader (2018)

International (Team Canada Western):

Left Winger (LW):

- 2002 World U-17 Hockey Challenge

International (Team Canada):

Left Winger (LW):

- 2004 World Junior Ice Hockey Championships (Finland - Silver Medal)
- 2005 World Junior Ice Hockey Championships (USA - Gold Medal)

International (Team Kazakhstan):

Left Winger (LW):

- 2016 IIHF World Championship (Russia)
- 2017 IIHF World Championship (Germany/France)

Accolades (Barys Astana):

- Team Captain (2017-2018)

Accolades (Kootenay Ice):

- #1 Goals, Season (50: 2004-05)

Sent a letter, return envelope, trading card and $1 return postage care of Avtomobilist Yekaterinburg. Received my card back signed, along with an additional 2 signed cards, and the envelope came back with Canadian postage.

Sent: 9/18/18
Received: 11/16/18

Wayne Gretzky, CC

(1961 - )

Birth Name: Wayne Douglas Gretzky

Birthplace: Brantford, ON, Canada

NHL player, coach and executive, WHA player, junior league executive and national team executive, best known for his time with the Edmonton Oilers. Nicknamed "The Great One" he is regarded by many as the greatest player in the history of the NHL with numerous records and awards, including being the only player to ever score 200 points in a season. He is currently a minority owner of the Edmonton Oilers.

Juniors:

Center (C):

- Toronto Nationals (Metro Junior A Hockey League) (1975-1976)
- Seneca Nationals (Metro Junior A Hockey League) (1976-1977)
- Peterborough Petes (Ontario Major Junior Hockey League) (1977)
- Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds (Ontario Major Junior Hockey League) (1977-1978)
- Emms Family Award (OMJHL Rookie of the Year (1978)
- William Hanley Trophy (OMJHL Most Sportsmanlike) (1978)

World Hockey Association:

Center (C):

- Indianapolis Racers (1978)
- Edmonton Oilers (1978-1979)
- 1 Time Second All-Star Team
- Lou Kaplan Trophy (WHA Rookie of the Year) (1979)
- World Hockey Association Hall of Fame Class of 2010

NHL:

Center (C):

- Edmonton Oilers (1979-1988)
- Los Angeles Kings (1988-1996)
- St. Louis Blues (1996)
- New York Rangers (1996-1999)
- 4 Time Stanley Cup Champion (1984-1985, 1987-1988)
- 6 Time Clarence Campbell Champion (1983-1985, 1987-1988, 1993)
- 12 Time All-Star Game
- 8 Time First All-Star Team
- 7 Time Second All-Star Team
- 9 Time Hart Memorial Trophy (Regular Season MVP) (1980-1987, 1989)
- 5 Time Lady Byng Memorial Trophy (Sportsmanship) (1980, 1991-1992, 1994, 1999)
- 10 Time Art Ross Trophy (Scoring Leader) (1981-1987, 1990-1991, 1994)
- 5 Time Lester B. Pearson Award (Outstanding Regular Season Player) (1982-1985, 1987)
- 3 Time All-Star Game MVP (1983, 1989, 1999)
- 3 Time NHL Plus/Minus Award (1984-1985, 1987)
- 2 Time Conn Smythe Trophy (Playoff MVP) (1985, 1988)
- 2 Time Presidents' Trophy (Most Regular Season Team Points) (1986-1987)
- Lester Patrick Trophy (Service to Hockey) (1994)
- Hockey Hall of Fame Class of 1999
- #99 retired by Edmonton Oilers
- #99 retired by Los Angeles Kings

International (Team Canada):

Center (C):

- 1978 World Junior Ice Hockey Championships (Canada - Bronze Medal)
- 1981 Canada Cup (Silver Medal)
- 1982 Ice Hockey World Championships (Finland - Bronze Medal)
- 1984 Canada Cup (Gold Medal)
- 1987 Canada Cup (Gold Medal)
- 1991 Canada Cup (Gold Medal)
- 1996 World Cup of Hockey (Silver Medal)
- 1998 Winter Olympics (Nagano)
- World Juniors Scoring Leader (1978)
- 4 Time Canada Cup Scoring Leader (1981, 1984, 1987, 1991)
- World Championship Scoring Leader (1982)
- Canada Cup MVP (1987)
- IIHF Hall of Fame Class of 2000
- IIHF Centennial All-Star Team member (2008)

International (Team NHL All-Stars):

Center (C):

- Rendez-Vous '87
- Rendez-vous '87 MVP (1987)

Coaching:

- Phoenix Coyotes (Head Coach) (2005-2009)

Executive:

- Hull Olympiques (Owner) (Quebec Major Junior Hockey League) (1985-1992)
- Phoenix Coyotes (Owner) (2000-2004, 2005-2009)
- Edmonton Oilers (Owner) (2015-present)
- 2 Time Jean Rougeau Trophy (QMJHL Regular Season Champion) (1986, 1988)
- 2 Time President's Cup Champion (QMJHL Playoff Champion) (1986, 1988)
- 2 Time Robert Lebel Trophy (QMJHL Best Team GAA) (1986, 1989)

International (Team Canada):

General Manager:

- 2002 Winter Olympics (Salt Lake City - Gold Medal)
- 2004 World Cup of Hockey (Gold Medal)
- 2006 Winter Olympics (Turin)

Accolades (Edmonton Oilers):

- #1 Assists, Career (1,147)
- #1 Assists, Season (163: 1985-86)
- #1 Goals, Career (626)
- #1 Goals, Season (92: 1981-82)
- #1 Points, Career (1,773)
- #1 Points, Season (215: 1985-86)
- 9 Time Molson Cup (Most 3 Star Selections) (1980-1988)
- 8 Time Zane Feldman Trophy (Team MVP) (1981-1988)
- Team Captain (1983-1988)
- Most Popular Player (1988)

Accolades (Los Angeles Kings):

- #1 Assists, Season (122: 1990-91)
- #1 Points, Season (168: 1988-89)
- #4 Points, Career (918)
- 4 Time Bill Libby Memorial Award (Team MVP) (1989-1991, 1994)
- 6 Time Leading Scorer (1989-1992, 1994-1995)
- 2 Time Most Popular Player (1989, 1994)
- Team Captain (1989-1996)
- Kings Hall of Fame Class of 2002

Accolades (New York Rangers):

- John Halligan Good Guy Award (1997)
- Frank Boucher Trophy (Most Popular Player) (1998)
- Rangers MVP (1998)
- Steven McDonald Extra Effort Award (1998)

Accolades (NHL):

- #1 Assists, Career (1,939)
- #1 Goals, Career (894)
- #1 Points, Career (2,857)
- #22 Games, Career (1,487)
- 5 Goal Game (5: 2/18/1981)
- 5 Goal Game (5: 12/30/1981)
- 5 Goal Game (5: 12/15/1984)
- 5 Goal Game (5: 12/6/1987)
- 8 Point Game (8: 11/19/1983)
- 8 Point Game (8: 1/4/1984)
- 50 Goals in 50 Games (50 in 39: 1981-82)
- 50 Goals in 50 Games (50 in 42: 1983-84)
- 50 Goals in 50 Games (50 in 49: 1984-85)
- 50 Goal Season (51: 1979-80)
- 50 Goal Season (55: 1980-81)
- 50 Goal Season (92: 1981-82)
- 50 Goal Season (71: 1982-83)
- 50 Goal Season (87: 1983-84)
- 50 Goal Season (73: 1984-85)
- 50 Goal Season (52: 1985-86)
- 50 Goal Season (62: 1986-87)
- 50 Goal Season (54: 1988-89)
- 100 Point Season (137: 1979-80)
- 100 Point Season (164: 1980-81)
- 100 Point Season (212: 1981-82)
- 100 Point Season (196: 1982-83)
- 100 Point Season (205: 1983-84)
- 100 Point Season (208: 1984-85)
- 100 Point Season (215: 1985-86)
- 100 Point Season (183: 1986-87)
- 100 Point Season (149: 1987-88)
- 100 Point Season (168: 1988-89)
- 100 Point Season (142: 1989-90)
- 100 Point Season (163: 1990-91)
- 100 Point Season (121: 1991-92)
- 100 Point Season (130: 1993-94)
- #99 retired across National Hockey League (2000)

Other Awards & Honors:

- Charlie Conacher Humanitarian Award (1980)
- 7 Time Lionel Conacher Award (Canadian Male Athlete of the Year) (1980-1983, 1985, 1989, 1999)
- Associated Press Male Athlete of the Year (1982)
- 4 Time Lou Marsh Trophy (Canadian Athlete of the Year) (1982-1983, 1985, 1989)
- Sports Illustrated Sportsman of the Year (1982)
- 3 Time Chrysler-Dodge/NHL Performer of the Year (1985-1987)
- AP Male Athlete of the Decade - 1980s (1989)
- Ranked #1 on The Hockey News' list of the 100 Greatest Hockey Players (1998)
- Ranked #1 Canadian Male Athlete of the Century (1999)
- Ranked #5 on the Associated Press's Top 100 Athletes of the 20th Century list (1999)
- Ranked #5 on ESPN SportsCentury's Top 100 Athletes of the 20th Century list (1999)
- Sports Illustrated Hockey Player of the Century (1999)
- Canada's Sports Hall of Fame Class of 2000
- Star on Canada's Walk of Fame (2002)
- Horatio Alger International Award (2003)
- Ontario Sports Hall of Fame Class of 2004
- Officer of the Order of Canada (OC) (2005)
- Ranked #1 in The Hockey News' book "The Top 60 Since 1967" (2007)
- Companion of the Order of Canada (CC) (2009)
- 100 Greatest NHL Players list (2017)

Sent a letter, self-addressed stamped envelope and a trading card care of his residence in Thousand Oaks, CA. Received my card back signed.

Sent: 10/24/18
Received: 11/16/18

Andrei Kirilenko

(1981 - )

Birth Name: Andrei Gennadyevich Kirilenko (Russian: Андрей Геннадьевич Кириленко)

Birthplace: Izhevsk, Russian SFSR (Udmurtia)

NBA player and foreign league executive, best known for his time with the Utah Jazz. Nicknamed AK-47 for his initials and jersey number. He is currently the president of the Russian Basketball Federation.

Russia:

Forward (F):

- BC Spartak Saint Petersburg (Russian Super League 1) (1997-1998)
- PBC CSKA Moscow (EuroLeague) (1998-2001, 2011-2012, 2015)
- 3 Time Russian League Champion (1999-2000, 2012)
- 2 Time Gomelsky Cup Champion (2012, 2015)
- 1 Time VTB United League Champion (2012)
- 1 Time All-EuroLeague First Team  
- 1 Time Russian League All-Symbolic First Team
- Russian League MVP (2000)
- EuroLeague Best Defender (2012)
- EuroLeague MVP (2012)
- Euroscar Player of the Year (2012)
- VTB United League Final Four MVP (2012)
- VTB United League MVP (2012)

NBA:

Forward (F):

- Utah Jazz (2001-2011)
- Minnesota Timberwolves (2012-2013)
- Brooklyn Nets (2013-2014)
- 1 Time All-Star
- 1 Time All-Defensive First Team
- 2 Time All-Defensive Second Team
- All-Rookie First-Team (2002)
- NBA Blocks Leader (2005) 

International (Team Russia):

Forward (F):

- 1999 FIBA Under-19 Basketball World Cup (Portugal)
- 2000 Summer Olympics (Sydney)
- EuroBasket 2001 (Turkey)
- 2002 FIBA World Championship (USA)
- EuroBasket 2003 (Sweden)
- EuroBasket 2005 (Serbia and Montenegro)
- EuroBasket 2007 (Spain - Gold Medal)
- 2008 Summer Olympics (Beijing)
- EuroBasket 2011 (Lithuania - Bronze Medal)
- 2012 Summer Olympics (London - Bronze Medal)
- FIBA Under-19 World Cup MVP (1999)
- EuroBasket MVP (2007)
- 2 Time FIBA Europe Men's Player of the Year (2007, 2012)

Executive:

- Russian Basketball Federation (President) (2015-present)

Accolades (Utah Jazz):

- #2 Blocks, Career (1,380)
- #4 Steals, Career (960)
- #5 Assists, Career (1,919)
- #5 Minutes Played, Career (20,989)
- #6 Points, Career (8,411)
- #7 Rebounds, Career (3,836)

Other Awards & Honors:

- 4 Time Russian Gold Basket Award (Russian Player of the Year) (2004-2005, 2007-2008) 

Sent a letter, self-addressed stamped envelope and a trading card care of his residence in Los Angeles, CA. Received my card back signed with quite possibly the best inscription ever: "From Russia With Love."

Sent: 11/3/18
Received: 11/16/18


George Kittle

(1993 - )

Birth Name: George Krieger Kittle

Birthplace: Madison, WI, USA

NFL player. He is currently a tight end for the San Francisco 49ers.

NCAA:

Tight End (TE):

- Iowa Hawkeyes (2013-2016)
- 2 Time Outback Bowl (2013, 2016)
- 1 Time TaxSlayer Bowl (2014)
- 1 Time Rose Bowl (2015)

NFL:

Tight End (TE):

- San Francisco 49ers (2017-present)

Other Awards & Honors:

- Ranked the #5 best tight end in the draft by NFL analyst Mike Maycock (2017)
- Ranked the #6 best tight end by NFL analyst Gil Brandt (2017)
- Ranked the #8 best tight end by NFLDraftScout.com (2017)

Sent a letter, self-addressed stamped envelope and a trading card care of the San Francisco 49ers. Received my card back signed and personalized.

Sent: 8/28/18
Received: 11/16/18