Thursday, March 16, 2023

Five TTM Returns Including Three Twins Players

I never really went all-in on spring training ttm requests, even when return rates were much higher.  When I first started in this hobby in 2003, I would read about collectors that would send hundreds of requests to spring training.  And they would do quite well!  It seemed like many players who didn't normally sign, would sign generously during spring training.  I'm not sure when (but well before COVID) or why, but the returns from spring training have dropped significantly, to the point where I read about many collectors drastically scaling back or skipping it completely.   

I always took a much more conservative approach, sending mostly to Twins players, and mostly to players that had at least a 50% success rate, or a success rate that showed a willingness to sign during the spring.  Off the top of my head, Jose Berrios, Justin Morneau and Paul Molitor (for free) were a few of my better returns.  

I sent just a few more to spring training this year and prior to today, had just a single return from Mitch Garver, who is a very generous signer and not just during spring.  He sometimes doesn't get to all his mail until after the season is over, but I've not had a request he didn't respond to.  He signed from Ranger's spring training this year.

I've sent a total of 11 requests to spring training.  Three were to non-Twins (but picturing them on Twins cards), including Garver (Rangers), Jose Berrios (Blue Jays) and Jake Cave (Phillies).  Of the eight current Twins players, four were mailed out today.  Three of the remaining four were returned today, including Griffin Jax, Caleb Thielbar and Josh Winder who all signed their 2022 Topps Heritage cards nicely in blue sharpie.

The last remaining Twins player I've sent to this spring was Kenat Maeda, who has just a 13% success rate on SCN in over 50 requests.  This is my long shot request that I include just for the heck of it.  

I also received two more ttm returns today.

Joe Morgan signed his 1960 Topps and the 1961 Indians, 1961 Phillies and 1965 Cardinals team cards.

And Jerry Reuss signed his 1971 and 1972 Topps nicely for his $15 per card fee.  His 1972 card falls in the high number series.  Due to that, and his $15 fee, I have procrastinated sending to him but finally decided to get these set cards done while I still can.

I almost forgot; I also received a 1965 Topps signed by Jesus Alou (allegedly :)) that I bought on eBay.  I may send this one in for authentication.  Does anyone have any opinions on it?

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