Friday, April 12, 2024

Former-Twin Jerry Terrell TTM Return

I received just one return today.  Jerry Terrell signed and personalized his 1975 and 1976 Topps and signed the 1974 and 1975 Twins team cards.  He also included a couple photocopies of his 1974 and 1976 Topps cards which he also signed and personalized.






His pen wasn't working great on many of the cards.  In the past, he didn't personalize anything, but he added bible verses.  I think I prefer the bible verses to the personalization.  I think the ideal scenario is when a player signs but doesn't personalize your cards, then includes a personalized item, like the pictures he enclosed.  Joe Garagiola used to do this.  Regardless, this was a generous return from him especially considering he doesn't charge a fee.






When I receive items back from players, other than the items I sent to be signed, I put them in a little basket by my desk.  Mostly, these items include the letter I sent on which the player has answered a question, or simply wrote me a short note.  Sometimes it's photocopied articles about them, or maybe an advertisement about a book they've written.  This little basket fills up fast, and I just keep stuffing things into the pile.  It usually seems like this can be done indefinitely, because the pile just grows and appears solid.  

Yesterday, however, there was a big shift in all of the items when I added something to it, and I thought it was all going to collapse.  I've quit adding to the pile and need to find some time to put all these items into plastic pages and add them to 3-ring binders.  It's a chore, which is why I don't do it often and this pile grows so big.



Thursday, April 11, 2024

Andre Dawson TTM Return

Many of the $10 Hall of Fame ttm signers have raised their prices to $20, such as Orlando Cepeda, Jim Rice and Juan Marichal.

But Andre Dawson is still signing for $10.  Some comments on SCN say that his official price list notes that cards are $20, but everyone, including me, has successfully been including $10 per card.  This even includes his 1977 Topps rookie card.  Also noted on SCN is that he has a tendency to keep the money and card when rookies are sent in.  I reviewed the comments and while there are some instances of it happening, it doesn't appear to be so often that he's obviously doing it on purpose.  It's probably just bad luck with the request either not getting to him or not getting back due to some failure within the USPS or a mix up on Mr. Dawson's part.

I sent him a Hall of Fame postcard as well as a 1979 Topps.  



This is my 19th Hall of Fame postcard.  I've got a couple out in the mail and a few more that I just need to send out.

I'm not trying to complete the 79 set, but I include it with requests while working on my 1978 set, or my 1983 set.  I have a little over 200 but haven't gone out of my way or paid a lot to get any of them signed, unless it was a rookie card of a Hall of Famer, like Ozzie Smith.

Wednesday, April 10, 2024

1959 Topps Pitching Partners Completed! Plus Blyleven, Knoblauch, Frank Thomas, and Maz

 As I mentioned yesterday, I was expecting a return from former-Twin Camilo Pascual.  Thankfully, it arrived today, after appearing to be stuck at a local sorting facility for a day or two.

He signed the 1959 Topps Pitching Partners card previously signed by Pedro Ramos.  Ramos is a tough signature as he lives outside the U.S.  If you write to the U.S. address that is in Harvey's book, or posted on SCN, you'll get a note that he currently lives in Nicaragua.  I don't know if that's true or not.

I happened across this card on eBay, signed by Ramos and slabbed by PSA/DNA.  It's one of the best Ramos signatures I've seen on any card, because most are in ballpoint, and written over busy or dark parts of cards.  I paid too much for it at about $75, but I hadn't seen one signed by him before, so I snapped it up.  I'll probably start seeing them all the time now for about $20, but that's how it goes.

About two weeks ago I cracked it open to send to Mr. Pascual.  I wrote a lot of instructions such as where to sign, how to sign, let the ink dry before putting back in holder, remove card from holder before signing, etc.  I was afraid I might offend him with all the instructions, but I really didn't want this card ruined.  I included a new blue sharpie for him to use, as well as $20 instead of the usual $10.  I explained to him that this was an important card to me, so hopefully he forgave me for all the instructions.  I had one request to him back in 2022 with two team cards and two pitching leaders cards, which he smeared all four!  That's the only request that I've sent him that has been ruined, but it was pretty disappointing.

His signature appears to go off the right side of the card, which is no big deal and oddly, is very common for him.  He did that on the other copy of this card I sent him, and many cards that are in portrait orientation, as opposed to a card like a 1956 Topps in a horizontal, or landscape orientation.







Enough about this card, but I'm happy to have it!

I received a return from Bill Mazeroski, who signed his Hall of Fame postcard for his $10 fee.


Bery Blyleven signed his 1975 and 1978 Topps.  I have a few other cards I need him to sign for my sets, and I may upgrade a few as well, such as the 1972 Topps that he signed in black for me at TwinsFest back in 2012.  This time, I asked him to place his stickers on the back.  They are your typical "tamper proof" oval-shaped stickers.  They say "Blyleven 2011" as well as a unique number.  Mine are numbers 1050 and 1051.  I don't know that there's a record of these or a place to look them up, but I thought I'd request them this time just to see what they looked like. 


And I received an eBay purchase including a Hall of Fame postcard signed by Frank Thomas with JSA authentication, and a PSA/DNA slabbed 1991 Upper Deck Chuck Knoblauch card.  This Knoblauch card was one I purchased from a card shop back in the junk era thinking it would skyrocket in value when he became a great player.  Even after winning Rookie of the Year, this was probably a $2 card.  The scan makes the ink look black, but it's a nice dark blue.


I've been sending a hand full of requests every week lately so hopefully my returns are consistent.  I think my spring training requests are likely about done.  I received 6 of my 25 requests.  Many of my requests were long shots, like Carlos Correa, Sonny Gray, Luis Arraez, Miguel Sano and Joey Gallo.  But there are still some outstanding that had some returns this year like Kenta Maeda.  It's possible some will come back during the year or at the end of the season.  Those are always nice surprises.

Tuesday, April 09, 2024

Al Worthington TTM Return

95-year-old former Twin Al Worthington signed his 1958, 1963 and 1968 Topps for me.  And as he usually does, he also enclosed a couple signed photocopied pictures and newspaper articles about himself, as well as a religious pamphlet.

The 63 and 68 cards are upgrades, as he's signed them for me in the past, but always in black.  The 58 is a duplicate but I think this is also an upgrade.  The others he has signed for me either smeared a little, or were in black, or the card lost a lot of color during mailing, etc.  Usually, he signs this card vertically, but this one looks better with a horizontal signature.



Not much else is new.  I'm waiting on several mail-in signings that don't happen until the last week of the month.  I am expecting a return from Camilo Pascual, that, if it turned out well, will be a favorite in my collection.  According to the tracking, it should arrive tomorrow (Wednesday).

Saturday, April 06, 2024

Cardenas Private Signing Return, TTM and Some Purchases

I try to avoid skipping days of logging my returns, because I can fall behind very quickly.  I like to keep my blog up to date so readers continue to come back.  Who like landing on a blog that hasn't been updated in months?  Those blogs very quickly fall off my reading list.

In addition to this blog, I really need to keep up with logging my returns and purchases on my web site and on SCN, so I keep up with the accuracy of my request/return records.  If I fall behind more than a couple of days, it can be a lot of work to catch up.

While I logged yesterday's additions to my collection (https://www.thedroidtrader.com/, I forgot to update this blog.

Gary Bell signed his 1964, 1965, 1966 and 1969 Topps.  The 66 is new to my collection, while the others are nice upgrades signed in blue.  I hadn't sent the 66 before simply because it's a high number card and relatively expensive compared to other, similar players in the set.  I decided to add it to my collection to complete Mr. Bell's Topps run, (1959 - 1969).




Wes Stock signed his 1961 and 1962 Topps as well as the 1963 Orioles team card.



I also received a return of 10 cards from a Leo (Chico) Cardenas mail-in signing.  This signing charged a couple dollars per card more than his normal ttm fee, but I was happy to get some promoter oversight to help get these signed in a nice pen and in a good spot, and to get a bunch done all at once instead of breaking it up into 3 or 4 separate requests.  I had a bad experience in a previous mail-in signing where his signature looked pretty bad, probably from being tired from signing so many at once.  I was a little worried about that with this signing, but I think they all turned out very nice, including Twins team cards from 1970, 1971 and 1972.  This completes his Topps run in my collection (1960  - 1976).  He didn't have a card in the 1974 set for some reason.











Today, I received two ttm returns.

Galen Cisco signed the 1973 K.C. Royals Manager/Coaches card already signed by Manager Jack McKeon.  He also signed 1963 and 1965 Mets team cards.  This is volume ii for the 1965 Mets card as the first one got pretty filled up.



Twin's infielder and generous ttm autograph signer Jose Miranda signed his 2022 and 2023 Topps Heritage cards as well as his 2022 Allen & Ginter.  I'm only complaining a little when I note that all four of my requests were returned signed in black sharpie.  There aren't many current players this consistently generous, with the possible exception of another Twin: Royce Lewis.



As I watch the returns coming in from spring training on an SCN thread, the Twins seem to stand out as a generous team, thanks in large part to Miranda and Lewis, but a few others as well.

I am now 5 for 25 with my spring training requests.  I think there are two or three requests that could still come back during the season or next year, but many of my requests, all current and former-Twins, were longshots such as Carlos Correa, Joey Gallo, Miguel Sano, etc.  

I received a few cards I purchased from a fellow SCN member, including a 1949 Bowman Frank Gustine, a 1950 Bowman Walker Cooper and a 1975 Topps signed by Dick Groat.



Finally, I purchased a lot of Twins pictures and programs on Ebay which included this signed Jack Morris photo.


I mainly purchased this lot for the 1965 Twins/Dodgers World Series program, which is the home version for the Twins.  It's in better condition than I thought it would be based on the pictures.  I will probably send this out for at least one signature.  I'll do some more reading before deciding who to have sign it.  Maybe a pitcher that won a home game?  Or a player with a standout hit or defensive play.  I guess if I can't decide, I may go for multiple signatures, but I'd want at least five signatures as a goal or else I think it will look better with just a single, prominent signature.

One odd ad in the World Series program is for Duff's (any Simpson's fans?), a restaurant/bar, which is upside down.  This has to be on purpose, right?  The image loaded upside for some reason, with the upside-down ad for Duff's appearing upside right, but as you page through the physical program, the Duff's ad page is the only one that is upside-down.


(You can click on each image below to open a larger, more detailed image).








The price I paid for the lot was about 10% - 15% higher than what I would have had to pay for the World Series Program alone.  So, this means I got the Morris signature and the first two yearbooks in Twins' history pretty cheaply.  The yearbooks are fun to look through and see the blurb about each player.  I also like the ads for the local businesses.  There are surprisingly few ads that are for national brands, and those include cars and beer mostly.



Inside the 1961 yearbook was this postcard for the Cloverleaf Motel in South Minneapolis.  The cars in the photo appear to be from the 50's.  When I tried to search for this motel, to see if it happened to still exist in some form, I only came up with ads selling postcards such as this one!