Sunday, February 22, 2009

TTM Update

The arrival of February brings the first signs of baseball season. Pitchers and catchers are reporting for Spring Training. That means it is time to send out some more baseball cards to team’s spring training locations hoping that some of the players will sign them for me.

I have around 20 requests out to mostly current and former Twins. Last spring training did not go so well for me, so I hopeful for a better year this year.

On other fronts with the arrival of Steve Lombardozzi and Al Newman, I have signed baseball cards of every living member of 1987 Twins World Series team save one – Dan Schatzeder. I have sent to Dan three times over the years and he has never sent anything back. I see he signs for other people once and a while, but never me. Maybe I will get lucky soon and he will come through.

I am eight players short on my attempt to collect every living member of the 1979 Twins team which was the first Twins team I saw live. I have requests out to Geoff Zahn, Hosken Powell and Rob Wilfong. Bombo Rivera is no where to be found. Jerry Koosman wants $10 to sign. Mike Marshall does not sign autographs for anyone, so I will never get everyone, but it would be nice to get most of them.

I have signed cards from 19 Baseball Hall of Famers and 19 Hockey Hall of Famers. I find it interesting that I have the same number of both. I have requests out to 12 Hockey Hall of Famers with the reasonable expectation of getting 7 or 8 of them back. I have 8 requests out to Baseball Hall of Famers with the reasonable expectation that I will get only 1 or 2 back. Disappointing as that seems I hold out hope that patience will be rewarded and somehow I will get back more.

Pete Rose and Steve Garvey give me hope. Had he not be banned from baseball for gambling, Pete Rose would be in the Baseball Hall of Fame. Pete signs at the Las Vegas Field of Dreams for money almost every weekend. Business must have been slow as at the end of last year he suddenly started signing for people who sent him stuff. Some was stuff sent to his home, some was stuff sent to Field of Dreams. I quickly sent a card to his home but got no response, so I sent to Field of Dream in Vegas. Low and behold on 12/18/08 I received a sign card from Pete Rose. He also sent a price list of other stuff he was willing to sign for $.

The point here is just when you think somebody will never sign for you, and opportunity opens up and you have to take advantage of it. Lucky I acted when I did, because now Pete is no longer signing for free.

I think Steve Garvey belongs in the Hall of Fame; the baseball writers who vote on who gets to be in the Hall of Fame disagreed. Nonetheless Steve is still very popular. I sent a card to Steve on 3/12/08. I saw some people get signed cards back from him, I did not. I assumed I had missed out, but on 1/17/09 I received a surprise. Steve had signed my card. 311 days later I found success. This was the longest wait I have had for a signed card. My. previous longest wait was 280 for former Twin Brad Radke. Patience paid off.

My shortest wait for a card was 3 days. Ironic they were cards sent out on the same day signed by players who played together on the same team. Former Minnesota Vikings Mick Tinglehoff and Stu Voigt were the speedy responders. I appreciated how quickly they got back to me. Mick and Stu were members of the great Viking Super Bowl teams of the 70’s. I have signed cards from 10 members of those teams including Takenton, Page, Foreman, Yary Tinglehoff, Voigt, Siemon, Bryant, Krause, and Cox. I had assumed that was all I would be getting for a while as I had no more player addresses to send to, but the TCSCC may have come to my rescue.

TCSCC is the Twin Cities Sports Collectors Club. The hold card shows and occasionally they have autograph guests. Their events are always held on the other end of the Twins Cities from where I live, so I don’t usually make the long drive to attend them. That said their April show promises autograph appearances by John Gilliam, Sammy White, Clint Jones, and Tommy Kramer. Gilliam and White are two people I would be interested in. I will have to see how much they will be charging. Information about the show can be found here.

Finally thanks to the tanking economy Michaels was forced to have a 40-50% off sale on everything in store. I was able to pick up two display cases that normally would have cost $100 for only $50. I now have some of my favorite signed cards on display. Of course I hope to get more.