Monday, May 31, 2021

Tim McCarver, Ray Semproch, Lee Thomas and Wilbur Wood

I received a mixed bag of successes on Saturday.

First, Tim McCarver signed his 1971 Topps nicely for his $10 fee.  While I may have more cards I'd like signed by Mr. McCarver, my personal experience has led me to only send one card at a time to avoid any mix ups.  I haven't seen any issues listed lately on SCN, but in the past I've received cards back that were not the ones I had sent.

Next, Ray Semproch generously signed his 1959 and 1960 Topps.  Unfortunately, both cards were pretty badly creased on their return trip.  The envelope wasn't torn, but it had a couple big bends in it.  You can see on the 1960 card that the creases were sharp enough to break the color.

Next, Lee Thomas signed his 1964 Topps Stand Up, increasing my signed count of these cards to eight out of the 77 card set.

Finally, Wilbur Wood signed and personalized his 1965 Topps.  I don't prefer personalized cards, but beggars can't be choosers.  Unfortunately, Mr. Wood misspelled my name.  On top of that, this card was also quite badly creased on the return trip.  I think I will keep my eyes open for a paid signing as an opportunity to upgrade this card.

I am still waiting on the first 1977 Pepsi disc card I sent out and according to SCN, the player I sent it to has a bit of a backlog.  I ordered some more envelopes in hopes of making the overall package smaller and cheaper to mail, but it is right on the border of being either a letter (75 cents postage) or a large envelope ($1.20).  I'll be okay with either one, but I'm going to go to the post office and get an official ruling on it.  I'd hate to send it postage due to the player.  

I'm also a bit nervous that they might say it's too rigid and charge me a package rate at $4.20, which would pretty much put the kibosh on this project unless I punch out the disc from the rest of the card, which I'm not sure I want to do.

Friday, May 28, 2021

Claude Osteen - 1964 Topps Stand Up and 1976 Topps

Clause Osteen responded to my request in just six days.  He added the 7th signed 1964 Topps Stand Up to my collection and also signed his 1976 Topps.

I have four other Stand Ups out right now, and one more ready to send out as soon as I receive another card I bought on Ebay to go with it.

I am focusing a bit on the Stand Ups, along with a few 1970 Topps All Star cards.  I still want to send out a bunch of the 1977 Pepsi discs, but my test request hasn't been returned yet.  I may try another test so see how the envelopes work for an item of this size.

Thursday, May 27, 2021

Craig Mitchell - 1976 and 1978 Topps

Craig Mitchell signed a couple cards for me and returned them in about 9 days.  The cards got a little beat up, probably on the return trip based on the looks of the return envelope.  They aren't torn or anything, but the upper left corners on each have some creasing and the cards don't lie flat anymore.

On his 1976 Topps, it looks like the only other reliable signer is George Throop is the only other reliable signer.  Jose Sosa passed away, and it looks like Steve Grilli hasn't had a success on SCN since 2018.  However, after a closer look, that was also the latest request.  After I have Throop sign it, I'll decide if it's worth the risk.

The 1978 Topps is already signed by Dennis Lamp.  Cardell Camper is deceased, but Roy Thomas is a pretty reliable signer.  He has a bit of a blacklog of requests going back to March, so as soon as I see some of those coming back, I'll send it on to him.

Tuesday, May 25, 2021

Lowell Palmer - 1970 and 1971 Topps

 It took me a while, but I finally got both Pat Neshek and Lowell Palmer on their look-a-like cards from 1970 and 2019.

I got Neshek back a few days ago, but just got Palmer today.  He also signed his 1971 Topps for me.

Monday, May 24, 2021

Dwight Siebler Return

The week has started out well with one return from former-Twin Dwight Siebler.

He was kind enough to sign his 1964 Topps already signed by Jerry (Gerry) Arrigo, as well as his 1965 and 1967 Topps.

I received a couple unsigned cards from Ebay purchases in the mail today, so they will be going out shortly.

Saturday, May 22, 2021

Thad Bosley and Pat Neshek

I received two more returns today.

Thad Bosley signed his 1978, 1985 and 1987 Topps for my sets.

And Pat Neshek signed his 2006 Topps '52, 2019 Allen & Ginter regular and mini, and 2019 Topps Heritage cards.

Thursday, May 20, 2021

If I Only Knew Then What I Know Now...

Recently I was marveling at some of the great players I used to be able to get autographs from ttm (before they passed away).  I was also wishing I had sent more when I had the chance.

For example, Phil Rizzuto signed his 1954 Topps for me for his $12 fee in 2005.

Duke Snider signed his 1958 Topps for $5 in 2003.

And Yogi Berra signed his 2000 Fleer Greats of the Game for $10 in 2004.

There were many other players of similar caliber: Hank Bauer, Whitey Ford, Harmon Killebrew, Ernie Banks and Bob Feller, just to name a few.

And this wasn't really that long ago.  I started in the hobby 18 years ago (2003).

So I decided I shouldn't have any regrets 18 years from now and start trying to make sure I've sent to the current generation of high-caliber players that sign for reasonable fees.  After putting a top-of-mind list together, I came up with the players below.  

Note that this isn't meant to be a living, ongoing list that will be updated to reflect current fees and signing habits, but just a point-in-time list to demonstrate the availability of great willing-signers.  I'm not going to list their current fees either, but I believe all of these have fees for cards that are $20 or lower.  Note that these players are all in the Hall of Fame, but that wasn't a requirement when I started the list.

In no particular order:

  • Brooks Robinson
  • Jim Rice
  • Harold Baines
  • Ryne Sandberg
  • Andre Dawson
  • Mike Mussina
  • Juan Marichal
  • Bill Mazeroski
  • Jim Palmer
  • Wade Boggs
  • Fergie Jenkins
  • Bert Blyleven
  • Rich Gossage
  • Paul Molitor
  • Rollie Fingers
I think these are the players that one might regret not having sent (more?) to 20 years from now when these players have either passed away or changed their signing habits or fees.

If a person new to the hobby asked me who they should send to, I think I'd start with this list.

What do you think?  Have I missed anyone obvious?

Wednesday, May 19, 2021

Tommy Harper Private Signing Return

I was able to add cards to my 1965, 1971 and 1972 sets today with a return from a private signing with Tommy Harper via Carboard Promotions.

This return brought my number of cards needed to complete the 1965 set down below 200 (199).  I don't expect to make too much more progress on this set, but I do have a goal of getting five more for the year.

Tuesday, May 18, 2021

Wayne Causey - 1964 Topps Stand Up

Just one return today.  Wayne Causey signed his 1964 Topps Stand Up for me.

I  have two more of these cards out in the mail, and am awaiting a couple I purchased on Ebay to send out.  I don't know how many more I'll be able to get though.  The cards themselves are a little expensive, especially for the bigger names like Mazeroski and Brooks Robinson.

Monday, May 17, 2021

Four Returns Today - Millan, Pascual, Schueler and Sorensen

Today was the biggest day at the mailbox I've had in a while.

Felix Millan signed his 1970 Topps All Star card, and well as his 1971 and 1973 Topps cards.  He has a very nice signature.

Camilo Pascual signed his 1964 Topps Stand Up for me, adding to my small collection of these cards.  I am considering having Mr. Pascual sign a ball for me as well, but I'll wait a while before sending that out.  He had an impressive career, including 5 All Star selections, as well as being a three-time AL strikeout, complete game, and shutout leader.  Mr. Pascual also signed my letter.

Ron Schueler signed his 1978 Topps.  I had sent Mr. Schueler three cards last year, including his 1978 Topps, but he only returned the other two cards.  I wanted to get his 1978 card for my set, so I just sent that card this time.

Finally, Lary Sorensen signed his 1978, 19790 and 1980 Topps, as well as his 1981 Donruss.  I have no idea how I came across a Lary Sorensen 1981 Donruss.  It may be the only 1981 Donruss card I own.  I'm also not sure how I came across it in my disorganized collection of unsigned cards.  Just a coincidence, I guess.

I've received a few unsigned cards from orders on Ebay and, so I need to send out some requests.  I've done well on my goals this year so far, especially on the overall number of requests, but I want to keep the momentum going.

Saturday, May 15, 2021

Another 1964 Topps Stand Up - Dick Groat

I am really liking these 1964 Topps Stand Ups.  I received another back today from Dick Groat.

I have three more currently out, as well as a couple purchased I am waitng on before sending them out.


Thursday, May 13, 2021

Jim Willoughby

One more return today.  Jim Willoughby signed his 1973, 1976, 1978 and 1979 Topps.

Wednesday, May 12, 2021

Dennis Lamp Return

I received one return today.  Dennis Lamp signed  his 1978, 1979, 1985 and 1987 Topps.  Unfortunately, all but the 1978 Topps were smeared.

I'll send the 78 on to Mitchell and Thomas, but Camper has passed away.