Saturday, December 30, 2023

Felix Torres Private Signing Return

I sent three cards to a Felix Torres private signing that took place in Puerto Rico.  I had to wait to send this until I received the 1962 Topps I bought on Ebay.  I thought I'd still have plenty of time, but my package took 10 days to get from Jacksonville, FL to Puerto Rico.  Luckily, the signing didn't occur on the exact date the promoter had listed on SCN, so my cards got signed.  They charged $12 per card.

I sent to him ttm back in 2015, when he signed a 1963 Topps for me.  The pen he used wasn't the best, so the card I just got signed is a nice upgrade.  

Looking at his ttm history on SCN, he has an 87% success rate. His most recent return was over three years ago, with only a couple requests since then.  The most recent request was sent in February of 2021.  I don't think I have any other cards to get signed by him, otherwise I'd try a ttm request again.  He has a 1963 Jell-O card, which is very similar to the Post card.  The Jell-O card has a slightly different crop on the photo, and shows part of his hands on the bat.  I might see if I can find a cheap Jell-O card and try a ttm request.

The 1962 Topps is a high number card, so it's hard to find one for less than $20.  Mine has a bigger crease than I was expecting based on the scan in the Ebay listing, but it was listed as Poor/Fair, so I guess I got what I paid for.  I didn't have any time to try to upgrade the card either, as time was already running short getting my cards in.

Friday, December 29, 2023

More Purchases

I didn't receive any ttm returns today, but I did receive a few purchases that I splurged on and justified as Christmas presents to myself. 

I added Wally Post to my 1958 Topps set.  This is a tough card since the background is black.  Every card I've seen that he has signed looks just like this:  blue ballpoint across his body.  There are several around eBay right now where the pen appears to have skipped a bit in the last name.  There was one about a third less expensive than this one, but it looked like he only wrote the "P" in his last name.

I also bought a 1954 Topps signed by Clem Labine.  He passed away in 2007 and I had only sent a request to him once (in 2003).  I'm not sure why I didn't send at least one more request to him since he has a 61 Topps and this card that I would have loved to add to my collection.

Finally, I bought a Hall of Fame postcard signed by Rick Ferrell.  This was a relatively low-cost way to tick off this Hall of Famer for my collection.  I don't specifically collect these postcards, and have never sent one out ttm, but I enjoy it when players include one for me with my request (such as Brooks Robinson and Bobby Doerr sent me).  I have also purchased a few that I thought were good deals.

Thursday, December 28, 2023

Justin Morneau Return and Jackie Jensen Purchase

I received a very nice surprise in the mailbox today!

Justin Morneau signed both his 2011 Topps Heritage cards for me in beautiful, blue sharpie.  I sent this request on July 1, 2021, so it took about 2.5 years.

I knew this was an old request when I saw the sase in my Informed Delivery with a C-3PO stamp on it.  I don't even remember ever using these Star Wars stamps, but the droid series was released in May of 2021.  

I also received an Ebay purchase of a 1958 Topps Jackie Jensen card.  

I already have his All Star card from this set.  Only 98 more cards to go to complete this set.

Tuesday, December 26, 2023

Oops! Chili Davis 1991 Twins World Series Poster

I was getting ready to package up a Chili Davis poster for a private signing when I discovered I already had one signed! 

So, I've messaged the promoter to see if it's okay if I send in a baseball with inscription request instead.  It's roughly the same cost ($2 less), so I don't see it being a problem.

I sent this poster in earlier this year for a February signing.  I have no idea why I didn't log it in my records, web site or this blog!  I also have a handwritten list of players I need for this set on my desk, and I didn't cross his name off that either.

Jim Palmer TTM Return and Some Purchases

This was my second attempt of a 1978 Topps to Jim Palmer.  My first attempt didn't turn out great because there were gum stains on the card that I didn't notice before sending it.  So, the ink wasn't very strong in that area:

My latest attempt turned out better, but still not great.  This time, I think it was just the pen that wasn't super strong, and was a little streaky.  It's better, and probably good enough.

I also received a few purchases, including a 1961 Gene Mauch, a 2022 Allen & Ginter Byron Buxton and 2023 Topps Heritage Bobby Darwin Real One autograph.  This is my first Darwin autograph.  He doesn't sign ttm and did a couple private signings this year for the first time in a very long time.  The cost of this purchase was less than his fees were at those signings.

Thursday, December 21, 2023

Sandy Alomar Sr. Private Signing Return and a Dave Winfield Purchase

I think I'm full up on my Sandy Alomar Sr. needs now, after receiving four more cards signed by him from a mail-in signing earlier this month.  The 1975, 1976, 1978 and 1979 Topps cards I got back today join the 1965, 1971, 1972 and 1973 Topps cards I had signed by him in January of 2021.  

Maybe I missed a leader's card, or someone else's card on which he happens to appear.  I only sent in cards for the sets that I work on.  For some reason, I've never decided to collect any of the sets from 1966 to 1970.  I have gotten a few Twins players on their 66's, but never decided to pick one of the entire sets from those years.

And I received a 2022 Allen & Ginter signed by Dave Winfield, mostly because he is pictured as a Twin on this one.  Tom Orr was having a Holiday Sale on SCN, and I got this for a pretty reasonable $30 shipped.

Hopefully, Joe Mauer will soon join his fellow St. Paulites in the Hall of Fame, including Winfield, as well as Molitor and Morris.

Friday, December 15, 2023

Tim Foli Return After 1199 Days

I received a nice surprise in the mailbox today.  I received a return from Tim Foli after a three year and three month wait.  I never mark a request as a failure, and this is why.  You never know when a request may be returned. 

He has a 71% success rate on SCN, but he has a very spotty return record for the length of time he takes.  He was very consistent until about 2010.  Since then, many SCN requests are still outstanding, while some are returned in a couple weeks, and others are returned after a few years.  I'm really happy to get this one back!

I had sent my request to an address in Tennessee, but this return came from Florida.

He was also kind enough to enclose a signed magazine-like page with photos on one side and some career information and a religious message on the other. 

I would like to add him to my 1971 and 1972 sets!  He has two cards in the 72 set, and both are high numbers.  I'll see if I can get some affordable ones and give him another try ttm.  There was a mail-in signing this summer.  That would have been a good time to send to him and I'm not sure why I didn't.

Tuesday, December 12, 2023

Luis Arraez Purchase and Brian Harper Signing Return

I bought three Topps Heritage Luis Arraez-signed cards from a fellow SCN member.  I haven't been to TwinsFest for several years, so I missed my opportunity to get any autographs from him in person.  

Speaking of TwinsFest, they appear to be having just one day for autographs again.  It used to be all three days.  When it was held at the Metrodome, it was an amazing event.  We got a lot of autographs and got to meet a lot of players.  And not just Twins players.  Retired players such as Bob Feller, Rollie Fingers, Maury Wills and Phil Niekro are a few I can think of off the top of my head.  I probably won't go to TwinsFest again unless they change it back to having more autograph sessions.  I think that is extremely unlikely to happen which is sad.  I'm glad I got to experience the good years.

I also received a Brian Harper signed poster from a mail-in signing.  

These posters are a little tough to transport.  They are on pretty heavy paper which can't be rolled up.  It would bend and crease if you tried to roll it.  The size is odd too.  7" x 18".  I have a box that I received them in when I purchased a bunch of them unsigned.  The box is the perfect size, so I have used it for each poster I've mailed to be signed.  It's getting a little beat up but is still usable. 

There are 14 posters in the set.  In addition to Brian Harper, I have Chuck Knoblach, Kevin Tapani, Shane Mack, Kent Hrbek and Mike Pagliarulo signed copies.

Kirby Puckett is in the set and is the only player that has passed away, so I still have to get Rick Aguilera, Chili Davis, Scott Erickson, Greg Gagne, Dan Gladden, Tom Kelly and Jack Morris.  None of these are too hard but could be a little expensive.  Since one side is 18 inches long, I sometimes get charged a higher rate than an 8x10.

Tuesday, December 05, 2023

Bruce Ellingsen and Al Spangler TTM Returns

A good start to the week with two ttm returns and a couple purchases.

Bruce Ellingsen signed his 1975 Topps and the 1975 Indians team card.

And Al Spangler signed his 1963, 1965, 1970 and 1974 Topps.  I already had the 63 and 65 signed by him, but these are nice upgrades to the ones he previously signed in black ballpoint.

I also received a couple purchases including a 1975 Topps Ron Hodges and 2023 Topps Heritage Real One signed by Simeon Woods Richardson.  I think this is the first 2023 Heritage from the Twins team set.

Saturday, December 02, 2023

More Purchases and Mail Issues

Today I received a two more orders from a couple SCN members.  One included a handful of 1962 Topps that I don't yet have.  There were two cards, one personalized, and one miscut, that were thrown in for free which was nice because not only didn't I have those cards yet, but I also didn't have any autographs from those players (Ed Keegan and Gordon Windhorn).

Another order had four different vintage cards of players I already had, but on cards that I didn't.

I have been having my share of mail issues lately.  A few weeks ago, a few Ebay orders marked as delivered didn't actually show up.  But a few days later, a neighbor dropped them off as they had been delivered to them by mistake.

Lately, I've had worse problems.  More orders marked as delivered that weren't, orders that simply disappeared from USPS tracking, and orders that don't get any tracking updated after initial scanning.  I've had to request a few refunds of orders in the $30 range. 

I have a Brian Harper return coming back from a private signing that I shipped using a PirateShip return label.  The label was expired because the signing was delayed, but it's still being tracked.  It was at the sorting plant near me, then made a detour to a neighboring state and back.  Hopefully I get it Monday.

I have several ttm requests from the last few months that haven't been returned, despite the player returning other requests during that period.

I'm at the point where I think I'm going to hold off on many purchases or even ttm requests until after the holidays because I have lost my faith in the USPS for now.

Monday, November 27, 2023

Eric Gagne, Ken Harrelson and Bob Ross TTM Returns

I received three ttm returns today.

Eric Gagne signed his 2003 through 2005 Topps Heritage cards.  I noticed some returns from him posted on SCN so I thought I'd give it a shot. He was a three-time All Star and Cy Young Award winner in 2003.

Ken Harrelson signed his 1965 Topps, which wasn't returned with my last request.  Unfortunately, the card was badly creased in the mail.

And Bob Ross signed his 1954 Topps and the 1957 Phillies team card.  I think my last request to him lost in the mail as I received my sase torn and inside a USPS plastic body bag.