Tuesday, September 26, 2023

Ken Aspromonte and Rickey Clark TTM Returns

I received a couple of ttm returns today and a couple more Ryan Jeffers auto cards that I bought on eBay. 

I sent Rick(ey) Clark his 1972 and 1973 Topps which he signed nicely.  I'm not sure why I didn't send any team cards though.

And Ken Aspromonte signed his 1972 Topps, the 1958 Red Sox team card on the back, and the 1963 Braves and Indians team cards on the front.  I'm assuming he signed the 58 on the back because the fronts are so crowded, even without any signatures.  I think I'll limit those cards to just 3-4 autographs and call them done.  They just don't look good signed.

The 1963 Topps team cards have a lot of space though and look really nicely with 8-12 signatures on them.  I think they look even better with different ink colors and signature sizes.  It gives it the appropriate look to reflect that it's traveled hundreds or thousands of miles to gather all these signatures.

I think I'd be suspicious if the signatures on a team card used the same ink.  You can also see the toll that all the traveling is taking on the cards themselves.  The colors are actually being rubbed off.  If the player puts the letter back in my sase, there is often ink that has rubbed off on the paper.

I also bought a couple more Ryan Jeffers auto cards.  I actually bought these quite a while ago but had to file a claim that I didn't receive them, then the seller received hem back for not having enough postage.  So, I bought them from him again.

I've enjoyed watching Jeffers play this year, and these cards are all very affordable.  I don't think I've paid more than $4.50 shipped for any of the cards I've bought so far.  I'm not sure I'll be buying too many more though.  

Monday, September 25, 2023

Berenguer, Hamlin and Kaiser TTM Returns and Another 1958 Topps Purchase

I received three more ttm returns today as well as an eBay purchase to add to my 1958 Topps set.

Juan Berenguer signed his 1987 Topps Traded card very quickly for his $5 fee.  I've been putting off getting this card signed simply because I didn't have it so the last time I ordered cards from eBay I added on a bunch of low cost cards like this that I've been meaning to get signed. 

I wanted this one because the Traded card has him in a Twin's uniform.  I already have his regular 87 Topps signed, which shows him in a Tigers' uniform.

Ken Hamlin signed his 1961, 1962 and 1966 Topps cards for me.  I believe these are his only Topps cards.  I sent this exact same request to him nearly three years ago, but I had unsigned copies of his cards sitting around, and apparently, I am no longer able to just let that go by without getting them signed.

Similarly, Don Kaiser was kind enough to sign his 1957 and 1958 Topps.  Like Hamlin, I already had these cards signed, but the cards were just lying here, so.....  This time, I also included the 1958 Cubs team card for him to sign, which he did.

I also added another 1958 Topps to my set.  This time, it's Vic Wertz.  I'm sure most everyone has seen or heard of Willie Mays', "The Catch", where he ran down a hard-hit fly ball in the spacious outfield of the Polo Grounds and not only caught it, but also made an amazing throw afterwards.  That ball was hit by Vic Wertz.

This purchase brings me to needing exactly 100 more cards to complete this set.  I've been working on it for about 20 years, and am about 80% done.  And now, it's gets tough and expensive.

Saturday, September 23, 2023

Jim Barr and Pete Richert TTM Returns Including Six Team Cards

My steady stream of ttm returns continued into today. I have fallen a bit behind in my requests so I might see a drop off in returns in a week or two.

Despite only receiving two returns, these two players signed three team cards each.

Jim Barr signed the third copy of his 1972 Topps that I have sent him.  This one was already signed by Chris Arnold. 

The other two copies are signed by all three players, and this one will be headed to Dave Rader next.

Jim Barr is the first player to sign these 1972, 1973 and 1975 Giants team cards.  I was surprised I hadn't sent these cards out to anyone yet, but you've got to start somewhere, I guess.

Pete Richert signed his 1973 Topps as well as the 1963 and 1965 Dodgers and 1971 Orioles team card.  Brooks Robinson signed a different 71 Orioles team card and I intend to keep just his signature on that copy.  I'll send this copy out to the other players.

Here's the Orioles card signed by Mr. Robinson.  It looks a bit better in person than in this dark scan.

I forgot to post my return from Galen Cisco yesterday, who signed the 1963 Red Sox team card, his 1965 Topps and added the 13th (and final) signature to the 1965 Mets team card.

The Mets card is full, but there are several more players that could sign it.  So, I bought another copy of the card and will send our version two of it to the remaining players.

I think four cards is the optimal number per request, assuming the player will sign four.  Sportscollectors.net will show you if they have a cutoff less than four cards or will have notes that the player randomly switches out cards or some other habit that might result in you receiving something less (or more!) than you hoped.

Four cards easily fit in a sase without too much risk of getting torn up in the sorting process.  I personally don't think four is too many to ask a player to sign, considering they are already opening a letter, sometimes reading it, putting cards back in the sase and sealing that up.  

Sending four cards costs the same as sending fewer cards so you might as well get as many as you can, without being rude (in my opinion) or causing the player too much hassle.

Occasionally I will send five cards.  Five cards start to feel like a lot to me, especially after opening them and laying them out on the table.  I always note the high number of cards and either include a small amount of cash for a player who normally doesn't charge a fee, or at least call out why I'm sending so many and thanking them more than usual.  For example, I'm collecting cards from the 1971 and 1972 Topps sets, and they happen to have three cards in the 1972 set, as well as two in the 1971 set.

Having team cards around to send out with requests is a nice way to get more signatures without necessarily having to buy more cards, or without buying duplicates to get signed just because (which I am guilty of).

Thursday, September 21, 2023

Ken Berry, Nelson Chittum and John Curtis TTM Returns

I received three ttm returns today.

Ttm All Star signer Ken Berry signed his 1972 and 1973 Topps as well as the 1963 and 1971 White Sox team cards.

Nelson Chittum signed his 1960 Topps for me.  Based on my past experience, and the comments on SCN, he has a history of smearing his signatures.  I tried to politely ask him to be sure the ink dried before replacing the card in the return envelope and I included $5 with my request.  He returned the $5 and his signature doesn't appear to have smeared.

Finally, John Curtis signed his 1973 and 1975 Topps for my sets.  This was the first time I've written to Mr. Curtis.  I'd like to send him a 76 and 78 Topps too.  I'm not sure why I didn't include those with this request.


Wednesday, September 20, 2023

Jim Kaat Hall of Fame Postcard Purchase

I didn't receive any ttm returns today, but I did receive a purchase I made on sportscollectors.net.  After about 18 months of spiked prices following his Hall of Fame induction, prices on Jim Kaat have started to come back down.

I don't expect he'll ever sign for $5 per ttm again, but I was happy to pay $30 shipped for this signed, JSA-authenticated Hall of Fame postcard.

I've acquired quite a Jim Kaat collection over the years.  I've only met him in person once but have sent to him ttm directly as well as via mail-in signings.

I don't have any "premiums" items such as a bat, jersey, cap or mini helmet signed, but I do have pictures, giveaway portraits, baseballs, cards and bobbleheads signed by him.  I think a signed jersey would be nice, or maybe some oddball items, but I don't have any specific items I am waiting to get signed right now.

Rather than describe them all, I'm just going to show pictures of all of the autographs I have of his other than on baseball cards.


Monday, September 18, 2023

Don Ferrarese and Charlie (Charley) Maxwell TTM Returns

I received a couple nice, vintage ttm returns today.

Don Ferrarese signed the 1956 and 1958 Topps Orioles team cards as well as his 1959 and 1961 Topps cards.  It's been a really long time since I added a 1961 Topps individual card to my set that I didn't already have.

And Charlie, AKA Charley, Maxwell signed the 1961 and 1963 Tigers team cards and his 1961 Topps (which I already had).