Saturday, March 30, 2024

Carl Yastrzemski Rookie Card, Bill Dailey and Fred Scherman TTM Returns

I broke down and paid too much to add Yastrzemski's rookie card to my collection.  I'm happy to have it, though.  I sent it in to a Tom Orr (Atommic Sports) signing.

I also received a ttm return from former-Twin Bill Dailey, who signed his 1964 Topps as well as the 1963 Indians and 1965 Twins team cards.  I may consider retiring these team cards now.  I think I've lost a 1963 White Sox team card with 6-7 signatures on it in the mail somewhere and am getting a little gun shy about losing more like these.

And Fred Scherman signed his 1973 Topps, as well as the 1971 Tigers, 1975 Astros and 1976 Expos team cards.

Friday, March 29, 2024

Ryan Jeffers TTM and Some Trades and Purchases

I received a lot of signed cards today, but just one ttm.  However, it was a surprising ttm. Ryan Jeffers signed the 2021 Topps Heritage Rookie stars as well as his 2022 Topps Heritage.  I sent to his home address this spring, and to Twins spring training last year.  Based on the cards he returned, I think this was from my request last year.  And, it was postmarked from Florida, not his home in North Carolina.

According to SCN, he has done quite a bit of personalizing in the past, but he didn't on these.

I made a trade with an SCN friend and received these cards in exchange for some signed duplicates from my 1955 and 1956 Topps sets.

Another trade on SCN involved some lower grade, unsigned Dodgers cards from 1955 and 1956, and I just left it up to the trader on what to send back in return, as the value of these cards was quite low.  He surprised me with a couple signed 1973 Topps by Bill Russell and Tommy John!  I think I got the better end of that trade and appreciate his generosity.

Finally, I purchased a couple 1983 Topps Robin Yount cards from Tom Orr via SCN.  I continue to accumulate stars and Hall of Famers from this set while not going after the commons very hard.

Thursday, March 28, 2024

Tom Burgmeier TTM Return

I received a return from Tom Burgmeier today that I sent to him last December. 

He signed his 1971, 1972, 1973 and 1978 Topps in blue sharpie.  I sent this same exact request to him about 14 years ago, and he signed them all in black, so these are nice upgrades for my sets.

Wednesday, March 27, 2024

Carrasquel, Ramos and Tiant

It's been annoyingly slow lately.  My spring training requests have largely been a huge bust.  

I have a bunch of ttm requests out to very reliable signers and see returns on SCN, while my requests remain unanswered.   One of those was returned today, however.

Former-Twin Luis Tiant signed his 1970 Topps for his $10 fee.  My request took 51 days, while most of his returns occur within 2-3 weeks.

I bought a couple of PSA/DNA authenticated cards, including a 1958 Topps Chico Carrasquel for my set, and a 1959 Pedro Ramos pictured along with Camilo Pascual.  I intend to crack this one open and send it off to Pascual tom complete it.  I've wanted this card completed for a long time, but haven't found one signed by Ramos, who is still alive, as far as I know, but apparently lives in Nicaragua.

Wednesday, March 20, 2024

Bob Veale TTM Return and Jhoan Duran Purchase

I was happy to get this Bob Veale return back today since I had about given up on it.  He is a reliable signer and most of his requests come back between 2-3 weeks, according to the data on SCN.  But I sent this last November, so I was starting to think it got lost somewhere along the way. 

I was especially bummed out because this request included a 1965 Pirates team card already signed by a few guys like Bob Priddy, Don Schwall, Gene Alley, Manny Mota, Roy Face and Tommie Sisk.  In fact, I assumed this card was lost and already bought a replacement and included that new, unsigned card with a request to John Gelnar that I mailed yesterday!

Mr. Veale wrote "Do Not Bend" on the outside of my sase which is nice and shows he cares at least a little about collectors that send to him.  He probably wrote that because I don't include any cardholders or index cards to try to strengthen the envelope.  In my experience, this makes it harder for the player to handle and sign and can result in smudging when putting a card back into a holder before the ink is dry.  Also, some hard inside an envelope that isn't close to the same size as the envelope seems to attract the sorting machines to rip it apart.

I have had only a handful of cards bent or torn during their roundtrip over the last 20 years, so I don't think the extra work, both on my part and the players', is necessary.

I also received a 2023 Topps Heritage card signed by Jhoan Duran that I purchased from a fellow SCN member that obtained it in person at spring training.  I did send this card ttm to him in care of spring training as well, but it's a bit of a long shot that he'll return it.

While buying some cards on eBay to send out, I came across a seller that has a lot of very low grade vintage cards at very low prices.  I bought 11 1953 Topps for about $2.50 each including tax and shipping.  They still have some eye appeal and are fun to look at and read the backs.  There are no tears, little to no paper loss, no tape, etc.  I scanned in nine of them which is all that fits on my scanner.  The seller has a lot of 1955 Topps and I'm already loading up my cart to buy some of those too.  These aren't for sending ttm, they're just for having.  Whatever that means.

Tuesday, March 19, 2024

Johnny Damon TTM Return

In 2022, I sent a request to Johnny Damon in care of his foundation, and he signed four cards for me.  Last November, I sent another request and after a couple of months of not receiving it, I assumed he was done signing.

But today I received my cards back, all signed nicely in blue sharpie.  According to SCN, he has about a 50% success rate going all the way back to 1999.  He's been spotty on and off, often taking several months to respond.  He has been much more reliable over the last couple of years, with most returns taking three or four months.

Initially, he was signing for donations to his foundation, but more recently, no fees or donations are required.  He is promoting a hydration beverage called A-Game.  A return address label was placed on the back of my sase from "10X Sports Marketing & Consulting."

I had forgotten that he spent his first six seasons with the Royals and just four seasons each with New York and Boston.

Here are the cards I received from him in the summer of 2022.

Monday, March 18, 2024

Lou Piniella TTM Return - 1970 Topps All-Star Rookie Trophy (Upgrade)

That's a pretty long title for just a single ttm card return today and it pretty much tells the whole story.  I'll elaborate anyway.

Mr. Piniella's returns have been very spotty since late last summer until very recently.  And the worst kind of spotty: sometimes you get an RTS but sometimes you just never hear back.  Not hearing back isn't fun when you're including cash ($5 per card) with your request.

The last time he was dependable ttm was December of 2021, which also happens to be the last time I sent to him.  At that time, I was focusing on the Topps All-Star Rookie Trophy cards.  I sent this single card to him along with $5 and he signed it in just 11 days.  Unfortunately, the very last letter of his last name smeared a little bit.

That sent it to my upgrade list.  I have several stacks of cards by my desk representing some common issue per stack.  This card had been sitting in the "Send out once this player starts signing reliably again" stack.  I flip through the stack occasionally and check SCN for recent signing habits.  Once I saw he was signing again, in the mail it went, along with another $5.

This time it came back in 19 days with a nice, unsmeared signature.

This card joins five other 1970 Topps All Star Rookie Trophy cards already in my collection.  I need to take another look through my list to see if there are more I can send out.  The players actually won the award for the year prior, so Lou Piniella won the award for his performance in 1969.

Saturday, March 16, 2024

Multi-Signed Purchases

My ttm returns have been very slow lately which is disappointing.  Especially considering I sent out 25 requests to spring training and have only received four back.  I know spring training returns aren't what they used to be, but I was hoping for 7-8 returns, considering that I sent to some pretty reliable signers and only a couple longshots.

Today I received three multi-signed cards that I bought from an SCN member.

I already have this 1970 Topps signed by Don Buford, but this one also has Brooks Robinson on it.  I don't know why I didn't send it to Robinson when I had the chance, but I'm happy to have it now.

The 1972 Topps N.L. Strikeout Leaders card is signed by Fergie Jenkins and Bill Stoneman.  I believe I also have this card in to a Jenkins signing, which I sent before I knew I would buy this one.

When I scanned in this 1973 Topps Oakland A's manager card, I noticed some scribbling on the back.  Upon closer inspection, this scribbling was actually a very neat signature of Vern Hoscheit, who had a long career in baseball, playing in the minors and coaching and managing for decades and passed away in 2007.  This card wasn't advertised as having his signature on it, so I reached out to the seller to see if he was aware of it, and if not, if he wanted it back.  Hoscheit's signature seems relatively rare, but not in really high demand, so the very few eBay listings for it vary widely with few to no sales.

The seller said he wasn't aware of it, but that it's fine and I can keep it.  Nice!

I sent this card to Wes Stock in 2014, but then never sent it to anyone else.  Williams had passed away by then, but Irv Noren was still with us.