Wednesday, August 30, 2023

Chuck Estrada TTM Return

Chuck Estrada signed his 1962 Topps, as well as the 1961, 1963 and 1965 Orioles team cards.  He was the first player to sign the 1963 and 1965 team cards, although I already have them signed by Brooks Robinson, as a single-signed card.

I currently have a 1957 Orioles team card out to Brooks, which will be Brooks Robinson single-signed team card number seven for my collection.  I have had him sign the 1958, 1961, 1963, 1965, 1971 and 1972 Orioles team cards.  

The 1956 team card would be the earliest card that would make sense for Robinson to sign, since the 1956 card is commemorating the 1955 team, his rookie year.  The team cards are always showing the team from the previous year, which can get a little confusing.

In 1955, Brooks Robinson appeared in 6 games with 22 plate appearances.  He struck out in 10 of those 22 plate appearances!   He didn't seem to be on a Hall of Fame trajectory.

His stats can be found at, of course.

And speaking of confusing, there's an interesting article on Sports Collectors Daily about the pictures used on the Topps team cards.  In general, they were pretty lax about having an accurate picture.  I suppose someone thought that the picture was so small that no one would notice if the team photo wasn't accurate.

They found that they used an old photo over 20% of the time!  And they used a team photo from 1959 for the 1964 Pirates card.  They also reused a 1959 Giants team photo for their 1966 team card!  And most surprising, they used the same Dodgers team photo for their team cards from 1960 to 1965!  

You can read the article here.

It's funny, and it's also kind of disappointing.  I've had players refuse to sign a team card because they weren't in the picture.  Now I wonder if it's because they knew the wrong picture was used, or if they assumed they weren't in it because they hadn't made the team yet, or were traded to the team mid-season, etc.  

I send a team card to a player as long as they made at least one appearance for that team in that season.  For example, if a pitcher got called up to play for the Giants for one game in 1962, I'll send them the Giants team card from the 1963 Topps set.

Time to quit talking, and start sending out requests...

Tuesday, August 29, 2023

Kevin Kobel Return

 Just one ttm return today.

Kevin Kobel signed the 1974 Topps Rookie Pitchers card, already signed by Frailing and Tanana.

He added a bible verse, like Tanana did.  I've never seen him do this before.  Frank Tanana does it on every card, even team cards, like these 1975 and 1978 Angels team cards he signed for me last year.

Unfortunately, Vic Albury passed away in 2017, so this card is as complete as it's going to get.  I don't collect the 1974 set, so I'm not sure why I've been working this card.  I probably needed cards to include with my request to Frailing or Tanana so I picked this one up.

Twice in the past I had included multiple cards to Mr. Kobel, but he has a tendency to keep cards, and both those times he kept the 1976 Topps I sent.  So, from then on, I've only sent one card to him.  I did eventually get the 76 signed.

Monday, August 28, 2023

Five More TTM Returns and Ken Griffey Sr. Signing Return

I had another big day at the mailbox today.  While my Informed Delivery showed four ttm returns, I actually received five.  I also received a couple Ken Griffey Sr. signed cards from a mail-in signing.

I sent in a 1975 and 1978 Topps for the Griffey signing.

Don Buford signed his 1965, 1971 and 1972 Topps as well as added the eighth signature to the 1965 White Sox team card.  I included $20 with my request. 

I already had him sign the 1965, 1971 and 1972 cards, but that was back when he didn't charge $5 per card, but he personalized everything he signed.  These are nice upgrades to those personalized cards.

Frank Kostro signed the 1963 Tigers and 1970 Twins team cards, as well as his 1965 and 1969 Topps.  Again, I already had the individual cards signed by him, but I usually figure while I'm sending a request, I might as well make it worth my time and the postage cost.  

If the player signs multiple cards, which I can tell by looking at the successes on SCN, I'll send up to four cards if I have them.  Or I might buy a few more of the player's cards to make sure I have four cards.

Danny Murphy signed his 1962, 1963 and 1970 Topps as well as a 1970 Topps Buyback card.  The 1970 Topps got smeared, and his pen skipped a bit on the 63.  You guessed it, I already had the individual cards signed by him, and really wanted the buyback card signed,

Bill Stoneman signed his 1971 and 1973 Topps as well as the 1972 and 1973 Expos team cards.  He is the first to sign both of these team cards.

Finally, Luis Tian signed his 1971 and 1973 Topps for his fee of $10 per card.  The 1971 Topps is a nice upgrade to one he signed in black sharpie for me back in 2004.  I didn't have the 73 yet though, so it's a nice addition to my set.

I still have a 65 and 78 Topps he signed in black that I might try to upgrade at some point.

I've been sending out a bunch of requests lately.  I've sent 62 so far in August.  I also sent some items out for mail-in signings today.  I'm excited to get them back.  I'll post them when I get them of course.  The players are former-Twin Brian Harper, former-Twin and Hall of Famer Jim Kaat, and former-Twins' first base coach Jerry White.

Saturday, August 26, 2023

Ted Bowsfield and Fred Stanley Returns and a Bunch of Purchases

I received two ttm returns today.

Ted Bowsfield signed his 1959 and 1962 Topps as well as the 1961 Red Sox team card.

And Fred Stanley signed the 1971 Brewers and 1972 Indians team cards as well as his 1981 and 1982 Topps cards.  He switched pens for the team cards, but they are signed extremely lightly, to the point where you can barely even see them.  

And I bought a handful of cards from an SCN member.  This lot includes a 1972 Ken Harrelson Boyhood Photo card I need for my set, as well as a Larry Gura signed 1971 Topps.  The other cards are simply nice examples of cards I already have, but couldn't resist buying.

Ken Harrelson is no longer able to sign and for some reason I never sent him this card in the past, so I'm glad to have it, even though it's signed in black.

And Lary Gura is a very spotty signer the last few years.  I never tried to send to him, but maybe I still will, especially if he starts signing more reliably.