Archive for TTM Success

My 2010 Spring Training TTM request list

Posted in Newspaperman, TTM Success with tags , , , , , , on March 2, 2010 by Cardboard Icons

After taking a year off, I’ve decided to send out a slew of TTM (Through The Mail) requests this spring training. I’ve got four batches out to a random mix of players, some guys who more than likely will not sign and a few others who probably will. As is the case with everything, you never really know unless you try. I’ll probably do one more surge before the end of Spring Training. Hoping to see some returns over the next week or so.

Batch sent 2/19

Troy Tulowitzki

Ryan Braun

Max Scherzer (rec 7/7/10)

Justin Upton

James Loney rec’d 8/3/10)

Alex Gordon

Todd Helton

Kosuke Fukudome

Nick Markakis

Daisuke Matsuzaka

Daniel Schlereth (1 signed, returned 3/4)

Andrew McCutchen

Cliff Lee


Sent 2/25

Joe Mauer

Josh Johnson

Jim Leyland

Jacoby Ellsbury

Brandon Webb

Roy Oswalt



Joel Pineiro

Martin Prado

Ron Cey (2 signed, returned 3/4)

Erik Bedard

Jonathan Sanchez (received 3/12)

Chris Davis

Neftali Feliz

Kris Medlen

Yovani Gallardo

Jonathan Broxton



Stephen Strasburg

Jason Heyward

Drew Storen (received 3/11)

Erick Aybar

Chris Coghlan (returned 3/10)

Gordon Beckham (received 4/17)

Rick Porcello

Jason Kubel (received 11/5)


Tony Sanchez (returned 3/10)

Eric Young Jr. (received 3/11 — he kept 2010 Topps Heritage I sent, signed my 07 BH)

Elvis Andrus

Nolan Reimold



Terry Francona (received 6/4 — not the card I sent)

Charlie Manuel (Received 7/27/10)

Andrew Bailey (received 3/24)



Koji Uehara (received (4/2)

Shane Victorino

Aaron Hill

Milt Pappas (received 3/24)

Dick Groat (received 3/26)

Ted Williams fought cancer using a ball point pen (TTM legend)

Posted in Newspaperman, TTM Success with tags , , , , , , , , on February 27, 2010 by Cardboard Icons

The Spring is upon us. Yes, this time of year, baseball fans are going crazy waiting for live games. And also during this time, baseball card collectors who are familiar with through the mail (TTM) autographs start sending out their requests.

If you intend to send cards to prospects and other players this year and haven’t already started mailing stuff, you’re running behind schedule. The idea is to have the cards there, ready for them when the players arrive. If you time it right, you just might get a big-time TTM request returned.

More times than not, the big name players will not sign through the mail once they become established players. That is why prospects are the target during this time of year. But things were not always that way. In fact, one of the greatest players who ever lived was also one of the best TTM guys. That man is Ted Williams.

Long before the market for autographs transformed into a big industry and turned many major stars away from signing anything and everything that was placed in front of their face, Teddy Ballgame vowed to sign every TTM request that came in the form of a donation to The Jimmy Fund, a charity that raises money to fight cancer in children.

We’ve all heard about Ted Williams the great baseball player. Hell, we’ve all heard about Ted Williams the great fighter pilot who fought in World War II. But not many people are aware of Ted Williams, the great man who raised money for cancer using a ball point pen.

In the 1950s, autograph seeking was a hobby on a much different scale that it has become these days. As mentioned earlier, people sent letters to their favorite celebs and they would actually get something back. I heard a story this week in which a man’s wife sent letters to all cast members of the Brady Bunch and was able to get all of their autographs.

I digress. The deal with Ted Williams was that if you sent a check donating any denomination to the Jimmy Fund, he would endorse (sign) the back of the check. And in those days, after the check was cashed, it was returned to the person whose account it belonged. In other words, if you wanted Ted Williams autograph, you were going to donate something to the organization.

Like many people, I had no idea this is how Williams handled his TTM request. That is until two years ago when I hit the market looking for a Ted Williams autograph. His signatures are not rare. You can find many variations of them, anything from a signed note card for less than $100 to a baseball card either hard-signed, or containing a cut-signature, for much, much more.  But I was in the market for a nice Ted Williams signature at a good price.

Then I found this signed check in a small lot of otherwise not-so-interesting autographs on eBay. I paid less than $40.

Signed checks are not really my thing, although I do find them interesting. But in a case like this, it was hard to pass up. Being a Red Sox fan, I felt that this was an awesome price for a Williams signature, and then the story that goes along with the check was just too cool. I think it adds value (whether real or not) to the piece.

I have no idea who Shirley and George Damato of Connecticut are, but I thank them — particularly Shirley, who apparently sent the check in the first place — for sending away for a Williams autograph. As you can see, this check was sent to Williams and the Jimmy Fund in August of 1954 and returned to the Damatos less than a month later.

Now 56 years later, the piece sits in my collection and has given me the opportunity to tell you about Ted Williams the great TTM signer.

Looks like Josh Hamilton is back to his old tricks

Posted in TTM Success with tags , , , , on November 23, 2009 by Cardboard Icons

Get your mind out of the gutter, I’m talking about his signing ways. Some 18 days after receiving a Through The Mail (TTM) success from Josh Hamilton, I received yet another from the Ranger outfielder, and this time the envelope contained two signatures.

Earlier this month I received a autograph from Hamilton, 18 months after I sent him one. I’d sent that request during 2008 Spring Training after having failed on a previous attempt to get his signature TTM. From the looks of it, Hamilton is merely catching up on the thousands upon thousands of TTM requests he’s gotten in recent years.

Mr. Hamilton, Thank you for the signatures. As a sign of good faith — I certainly don’t need three Hamilton autos — I’m going to give one away during a contest this week. Stay tuned for details on the contest.

Whoa, another year-old TTM Request has arrived

Posted in TTM Success with tags , , , , , , , , on February 6, 2009 by Cardboard Icons

2007allengintersabathiaautoWhat can I say. The last few month have been good to me in regards to older through the mail autograph requests. First it was Daisuke Matsuzaka, then Chipper Jones, and today I received one I’d pretty much forgotten about; one of the newest additions to the New York Yankees, Mr. C.C. Sabathia.

I sent my request to the Indians Spring Training camp on Feb. 11, 2008. And it arrived today  — 361 days later — post marked from Oakland, Calif., the nearest major postal hub to Sabathia’s home in Vallejo, Calif. Continue reading