Monday, May 16, 2022

Six TTM Returns!

Today was a big day at the mailbox, with six through the mail returns and some purchases of more cards to send out.

Bill Greif signed the 1976 Topps Padres team card, as well as his 1973, 1975, 1976 and 1977 Topps cards.

Darold Knowles signed the 1971 Senators team card, as well as his 1975, 1977 and 1980 Topps.

Jerry Koosman added another Topps All Star Rookie Trophy card to my collection by signing his 1969 Topps for his $10 fee.

White Sox Manager Tony LaRussa signed his 1987 Topps Manager card.  This return was postmarked May 12th from Boston.  The White Sox were in Boston May 6-9.  I'm not sure why the three-day delay and who would have physically mailed it.  Maybe it sat at Fenway for a couple days before it made it to the outgoing mail.

Dan Neville signed his 1965 Topps and wrote a nice note, which he also signed.  I'm going to send this off to a private signing to have it completed by Art Shamsky.  Shamsky signs ttm, but doesn't always use good pens, so I'm hoping to get it done nicely.

Finally, Bill Parsons signed his 1972, 1974 and 1975 Topps.

I received a couple orders from SportLots, containing mostly 1975 Topps, but a few 74 and 77's to go along with them.  I'll try to get a few of these sent out tomorrow.

Saturday, May 14, 2022

Orlando Cepeda TTM Return

I was t little late to the party, but I just realized a couple weeks ago that Orlando Cepeda was signing reliably through the mail for $10 per!

I had spent $30 per on a few cards late last year and was happy to get that price.  I wasn't super confident that he'd continue signing, so I sent a check rather than cash.  Normally cash is the way to go, but I had seen another SCN request that was successful with a check.

So, I gathered up all the cards I had, which was three.  And two of them I had already gotten signed by him, but I sent them off anyway.  He signed his 1962 and 1973 Topps as well as a 2000 Fleer Greats of the Game very nicely in fine blue sharpie.

I'm not sure I'll send another, but I may browse Ebay to see if there are any cards that would be worth another request.

Friday, May 13, 2022

Kent Hrbek Bobblehead - FanHQ Signing

As I mentioned earlier today, I was packaging up a Kent Hrbek bobblehead to send to FanHQ for a signing, and the head popped off.  So, I decided to just send the head, and not risk it coming off again and breaking while he signed it.

I just got done hot-gluing the head back on.  I glued the spring to the post coming off the body, but it seems pretty tight.  It doesn't bobble at all.  At least it's on firmly and looks pretty good, I guess.

This is my fifth signed Hrbek bobblehead.  I've gotten the other four signed at TwinsFests over the years.

Another Lou Brock 1978 Topps Purchase

Just a little while ago I bought a 1978 Topps signed by Lou Brock from an SCN contact.  This same contact also had some of the Record Breakers cards signed by Brock so I bought this one as well.

I also received a bobblehead head (yes, just the head) signed by Kent Hrbek from a FanHQ signing.  The head came off when I was packing it up, so I decided just to send the head.  I'll glue the head back on and take some pics once it sets.

Thursday, May 12, 2022

If I Could Go Back in Time...

Despite having many outstanding requests, I didn't receive any back today, so I thought I'd highlight some cards already in my collection.

If I knew in 2003 what I know now, I'd probably be broke.  But I'd have an amazing collection.

I often regret not sending out more of certain cards, or to certain players.  Players like Yogi Berra and Phil Rizzuto.

I really like the vintage oddball cards that weren't produced strictly as a baseball card for purchase, but as a premium for another product.

For example, baseball cards were produced to promote Red Heart dog food in 1954.  I think I have just three of these cards signed: Al Dark, Carl Erskine and Billy Pierce.

The cards themselves aren't terribly expensive.  You can buy a Carl Erskine card on Ebay for about $25-$30 and get it signed for another $5.  Erskine might be the last living player from that set.  There are only 33 cards in the set, but if I had set my mind to it, I could have easily gotten players like Gil McDougald, George Kell, Minnie Minoso, Al Rosen, Eddie Yost, and Gus Zernial through the mail, and players like Schoendienst and Musial at mail-in signings.  I think it would have been a reasonable goal to get 20 of 33 cards signed if you started in the early 2000's

I also like the Red Man Tobacco cards from the early to mid 50's.  Coincidently, they fit, just barely, in a #6 3/4 envelope, so they aren't a hassle to send ttm.

I think I have just seven of these signed.  I wish I had focused on them more.  They feature great players, but also include players that were good free or low-cost ttm signers.  Players like Al Rosen, Eddie Robinson, Bobby Shantz and Mickey Vernon.  I'd like to have a couple dozen more of these, but I didn't get around to it, I guess.

Some of the oddball cards were produced as stand-alone products but were just different than the standard card everyone is used to.

The 1964 Topps Stand Ups that I've been collecting lately, for example, as well as the 1955 Topps Doubleheader cards, of which I only have one.  Again, I wish I had focused on these sets years ago and gotten more of them signed ttm.


Wednesday, May 11, 2022

TTM and Mail-In Signing Returns

I received returns from a couple Hall of Famers today.

Steve Carlton signed his 1972 Topps for his $40 fee.  His fee has climbed a bit, so I decided to get this signed before it goes up again.

I also got two cards signed by Fergie Jenkins via a mail-in signing, which saved me over $20 compared to sending to him directly.  He signed his 1971 and 1978 Topps.

Terry Harmon signed the 1971 Topps Phillies team card, as well as his 1974, 1975 and 1977 Topps.

And George Medich signed his 1974, 1975, 1980 and 1981 Topps for me.

Tuesday, May 10, 2022

Ron Reed and Craig Robinson

There was only one sase in my Informed Delivery email this morning, so I was surprised to see two in the mailbox.  It became clear very quickly why one wasn't in the email: it was badly creased, torn and taped up again.

Luckily, the three cards signed by Craig Robinson inside were relatively safe.  Of the 1974 Topps, 1975 Topps and 1974 Topps Traded cards, only the 1974 Topps Traded card showed a crease, and I can't 100% guarantee it wasn't there when I sent it.  Probably not, but I'm happy to have these cards back in the condition they are after seeing how badly the envelope was damaged.

I also received a return from Ron Reed who signed his 1972 Topps for a $10 donation to charity.  I have procrastinated sending this card out for my set because the card itself, being the last in the series, is quite expensive compared to the common cards, and he charges $10.  But I decided if I was going to make progress on the set, I'd need to spend some money, so here it is.

Monday, May 09, 2022

Larry Bowa Return

Larry Bowa, who had a long and impressive career in baseball (and for all I know, is still involved somehow), signed his 1974, 1975, 1977 and 1979 Topps for me.

Mr. Bowa has an impressive resume (according to

  • 5-time All Star
  • 2-time Gold Glove Award winner
  • 1980 World Series champ
  • NL Manager of the Year award in 2001
He is a generous ttm signer and still signs for free.

Saturday, May 07, 2022

McDowell, Mota and Scherman TTM Returns

I received three returns to end the week.

Sam McDowell signed his 1970 Topps All Star card as well as the 1971 Topps Strikeout Leaders card for his $5 per card fee.  McDowell had a crazy number of strikeouts in the late 60's and early 70's and is on a lot of these Leaders-type cards.  He led the AL in strikeouts 5 times, despite struggling with a drinking problem.  He also had a crazy number of walks and wild pitches though. 

I read on Instragram (I think) that someone had done an interview with him and noted that he's raising his fee to $20 per card.  I hope that's not true because I'd like to get a few more cards signed, but I probably wouldn't at $20.

I'll have to send this Leaders card off to Lolich next, who does charge $20, unfortunately.

Manny Mota signed his 1974, 1975, 1977 and 1978 Topps.  I already had a 78 Topps signed by him, but this one blue sharpie sig is a nice upgrade to the black sharpie he used on my request back in 2006.

And finally, Fred Scherman was kind enough to sign five cards for me:  his 1971, 1972, 1974, 1975 and 1976 Topps.  All nicely signed in blue sharpie.  Back in 2010, he signed his 1971 and 1972 Topps in black ballpoint, so these are nice upgrades.

Last night I bought a bunch of cards from the 60's to send out to 5-6 different players.  I also need to buy a bunch of 75 Topps to keep my progress on this set moving.  I usually buy these cheaper cards on Sportslots, but it can be very time-consuming to try to minimize the shipping costs and still find a decent number of cards from just a small number of sellers.  I wish there was a better way.