Saturday, July 31, 2021

Ray Crone and Paul Hartzell Returns

I had three days without a return which has been unusual lately.  

I received two returns today:

Ray Crone signed his 1956 and 1957 Topps using a fading black felt tip marker.  The signature is so light on the 57 that you can barely see it.

I also received four cards signed by former-Twin Paul Hartzell, who signed his 1977, 1978, 1979 and 1980 Topps.

Tuesday, July 27, 2021

Rick Bosetti Return

I received one return today.  Rick Bosetti signed his 1978, 1979 and 1980 Topps cards, as well as the 1980 Topps Blue Jays team card.

I haven't really sent out many team cards in the past, but I thought I'd start including them along with requests if I didn't have too many cards already. 

Monday, July 26, 2021

George Altman and Ken Holtzman

I received another 1964 Topps Stand Up back.  This time from George Altman.  These cards don't travel well.  The cutout came separated a bit and I see a vertical mark across the card towards the right side that I'm guessing is from the sorting machines at the USPS.  I'm not complaining, but I'd think twice before sending one of the more expensive cards from this set in a plain white envelope like I've been doing with these less-expensive cards.  I'd probably wait for a private signing to send a more expensive card.

I also received a return from Ken Holtzman who signed his 1978 Topps for my set.  He signs one per request, so despite having more cards of his, I just signed the one from the set I've been focusing on. 

Saturday, July 24, 2021

A Couple TTM and Returns and a Private Signing - Dawson, May and Turner

Today was a pretty good day at the mailbox.

I received two TTM successes:

Andre Dawson signed his 1983 Topps for my set.  I included $10 with my request.  He has another card in the set, but I wanted to make sure I got each card signed for $10 and I've seen a few players lately with unofficial fees try to increase their fees by keeping the cash and only signing one card.  Looking through Mr. Dawson's history on SCN, I don't see this, so it probably wasn't necessary on my part.  I'll send his other card in a few months.

Jerry Turner signed his 1976, 1978, 1979 and 1983 Topps.

I also received a return from a Rudy May private signing.  Mr. May signs ttm for $10 each, but this signing charged $20 for three cards, so I sent in set cards from 1971, 1978 and 1983.

I seem to be losing my memory a bit.  I bought a 1973 Topps Goose Gossage card (his rookie) to send to him.  I can't find the card.  I thought I may have already sent it, but I have no record in my spreadsheet or on SCN of sending it.  I'm hoping I did, and it just shows up this week sometime.

Thursday, July 22, 2021

Paul Mitchell Return

 I had a couple days without a return, but I received one today. 

Paul Mitchell signed his 1976, 1977, 1978, and 1979 Topps in just nine days.

I've tried to continue sending out at least 10 requests a week to keep the returns steady, but I had been sending out much more than that so my return rate may seem to drop a bit coming up.

Monday, July 19, 2021

Phil Roof

Today I received a nice return from former-Twin Phil Roof, who signed his 1967, 1969, 1972 and 1973 Topps for my collection.

Saturday, July 17, 2021

Dwight Bernard Return

Last month I saw Juan Berenguer in person and he signed his 1979 Topps rookie card for me.

Then I sent it off to Dwight Bernard, who signed it as well as a 1983 Topps for my set.

Friday, July 16, 2021

Chlupsa, Snyder and Stanley Returns

I received three more returns today.  I haven't been sending out at the same rate I've been getting returns lately, so it might slow down a bit.

Bob Chlupsa signed his 1971 Topps.  Both Stinson and Hrabosky sign, so I might be able to complete this one.  Speaking of Hrabosky, I've had a request out to him since April, including his Pepsi Disc and I see a few RTS from him on SCN so if I get it back I might be able to swap out one of the other cards I Sent with this one.

Russ Snyder signed his 1971 Topps for me.  The card is kind of beat up, but it's a high number card and I'm only willing to spend so much for a card like this.  Mr. Snyder is a very generous signer with a 96% success rate on SCN.

Finally, Fred Stanley signed his 1976, 1979, 1980 and 1983 Topps.  I'm slowly starting to make a little progress on the 1983 set, but I think this one makes it only 15.  I haven't sat down and purposely sent out cards from this set.  So far I've only been including them with other requests, mostly with cards from the 1978 set.

Thursday, July 15, 2021

Randy Lerch Return

I received one return today.

Randy Lerch signed his 1976, 1978, 1979 and 1980 Topps in blue sharpie, and for some reason, a 1985 Topps in black sharpie.  I sent all five cards, but I'm not sure why he signed one in black.  It's these little weird things that make ttm fun.

Tuesday, July 13, 2021

Claude Raymond - 1971 Topps

I received just one return today. Clause Raymond signed his 1971 Topps in black sharpie.

Mr. Raymond lives in Canada, so in addition to his $5 fee, I enclosed $2 to cover the return postage.

I decided I needed to get going on some 1978 Topps to make sure I met my goal for the year.  I'm only about nine shy of my goal of 50, but why procrastinate?  I sent out five requests today before running out of envelopes.  

I'm really running low on free signers, not only on the 1978 set, but also on the 1971 set.  I don't think I will have a goal for either of those sets next year, but will work on them as I notice players who start signing when they haven't been reliable in the past.  That's what SCN is great for, and has really helped me jump on the bandwagon when spotty signers start signing.  You have to watch the returns pretty closely and consistently, but it pays off.

I think it's time I take an evening and go through all the sets I collect, and see if there are any players that have started signing lately.

Monday, July 12, 2021

Dick Hall and Dave LaRoche Returns

Today brought two returns to the mailbox.

Dick Hall signed his 1960, 1961 and 1962 Topps in about 55 days.  Mr. Hall has a success rate on SCN of only about 38%.  Sometimes he signs very quickly, and sometimes it can take over a year to get a return.

This was my second request to him.  I sent to him in December of 2003, and he returned my 1955 and 1971 Topps signed in February of 2005.  441 days!  I'm not sure why there is such variability in return times or why he doesn't sign sometimes, but I consider myself lucky to have received two successes in two tries with him.

I've had the 1961 Topps in my "maybe" pile to send out for years.  I'm not sure why I decided to send out now.  There were a couple of returns this spring, and neither of us are getting any younger, so I guess it was worth the risk.  The cards aren't expensive so losing them wouldn't have been too disappointing.

This may be the longest span between requests I've had for a player.  I first sent to him in December of 2003, and then again in May of 2021. About 17.5 years.

I also received a very quick return from Dave LaRoche, who signed a couple 1983 Topps and his 1977 Pepsi disc in just 10 days, which spanned the 4th of July holiday as well.

Sunday, July 11, 2021

Catching Up From the Weekend

I was out of town since Friday morning and came home to a few returns and purchases.

I was excited to see a couple returns in my Informed Delivery email that were postmarked from Minneapolis.  I only had two requests out to Minnesota: Randy Dobnak and Justin Morneau.  So I was sure I was getting those two guys back.

I was only half-right.  I did get a return from Randy Dobnak, who signed his 2020 and 2021 Topps Heritage cards that I sent back in early May.

But the other SASE that was postmarked from Minneapolis was actually a return from Tony LaRussa!  A great return, but not what I expected.  The White Sox were in town playing the Twins, so he must take his fan mail with him on the road to keep up on it.  He signed his 1983 and 1985 Topps.

I'm not a huge fan of the managers' cards in the 83 set.  I wish they followed the same design as the player cards, with an action photo and a smaller portrait towards the bottom.  The action photos could include meetings on the mound, arguing with the ump, talking with other coaches in the dugout, etc.  Oh well.

Vic Harris signed his 1973, 1978 and 1979 Topps.

Doug Bird signed his 1975, 1978, 1980 and 1983 Topps.

Pete Koegel signed his high-number 1971 Topps, but unfortunately it was smeared.

I also bought a couple 1983 Topps from Mickey's, including Don Baylor, who is deceased, and Ron Cey, who signs for a $15 fee now.  I got both of these cards for less than $15.