Archive for TTM

MLB Network host returns autograph; gives scoop on upcoming set

Posted in TTM Success with tags , , , , , , , on September 9, 2016 by Cardboard Icons

When 2016 Topps Allen & Ginter came out a few months ago one of the first cards I pulled was that of Heidi Watney, the Fresno, Calif. native who currently hosts “Quick Pitch” on MLB Network. It’s no secret that the television network is my favorite. So one of my goals was to get this card signed.

img_1991Moments after I pulled it I posted a picture of the card on Twitter and tagged Heidi, asking her if she’d sign the card.  Much to my surprise she answered the question — and it was in the affirmative.

Before I penned my letter to Heidi I managed to acquire another copy of the card so I felt it right to send one for her to keep and one that I hoped she would return inked.  And along with the cards I sent to the Network address a letter asking her about cards focusing on the Network personalities.

You see, the Network had a soft launch in late 2008 and then went full boar in January 2009. I was right there from the beginning.  My daughter was born in January 2009 and in the days before her birth and in the weeks after I spent many a night and early morning with my eyes clued to the TV network. Heck, I wrote this piece titled “Dear MLB Nework, I Love You” on Jan. 1, 2009, after I discovered that an item that I picked up at a flea market months earlier was the object being showcased in an original commercial shown during the full airing of Don Larsen’s perfect game in the 1956 World Series. Check out the post if for no other reason to see some cool baseball nostalgia.

In the years after the Network’s launch I contact a few different people at the Network about a baseball card set that may or may not exist featuring some of the personalities of the early days of the network.  I still have not pined down if the set exists.

Nonetheless, when I wrote my letter to HeidI I let her know that I was a fan of the Network and wanted to know if she had any information about the rumored set. On Friday I received my return envelope with the above shown signed card and this hand-written letter on MLB Network stationary giving me a scoop:


So, while the mystery still remains about the rumored existing set, apparently there IS one on the way. (It should be noted I haven’t confirmed this with Topps.)

Thanks to Heidi for the autograph and for the hand-written note.

Sometimes all you have to do is ask …

Posted in TTM Success with tags , , , , on November 25, 2015 by Cardboard Icons

I sent about three dozen TTM requests this year to prospects, everyday players, etc and not a single one had been returned.

Well, at least not until today.

My mother-in-law called to tell me I had a package at her house.  I figured it was one of my eBay purchases but when she handed me this I smiled.

That was no eBay purchase. This was from the Major League Baseball Commissioner’s Office.

Inside was this envelope was a thing of beauty.

Absolutely gorgeous autograph in blue pen on the sweet spot of an Official Rawlings baseball, the same used on the field.

A big thank you to MLB Commissioner Rob Manfried.

TTM Return: Yu Darvish (and more)

Posted in TTM Success with tags , , , , , , , , , on May 12, 2014 by Cardboard Icons

So, about a month ago I quietly sent out a handful or TTM requests to some players who admittedly were longshots.  These were guys I did not expect to get ANYTHING in return, but figured it was worth a shot since it was pretty early in the year. Well, the first one returned, and lo and behold it was longest shot of all, Yu Darvish.

The Iranian-Japanese right-handed pitcher has been one of the best pitchers in baseball since he came to the Major Leagues in 2012.  So, on Friday night, my wife and I were having dinner at a local establishment, sitting at the bar, and in the background I heard that Darvish had a perfect game going through 7 innings. Surprise!

Then out of nowhere, my wife tells me that I got a small envelope in the mail at my mother-in-law’s house and she  pulled it out of her purse.  It’s the Darvish return envelope! (Worth noting that my wife has no idea who the envelope is from, other than “Y.D.,” the initials that I placed on the envelope

I rip it open at the bar (kinda funny to watch me do this I bet) and instantly see that my 2012 Topps Darvish rookie card is within the envelope, but is unsigned.  Behind the Topps card is an over-sized card often given away by clubs, and it’s signed … digitally.



Let down.

Waste of time.

Whatever term or phrase you want to describe this situation I suppose could be justified.  But what you cannot say is that Darvish is a bad guy for not signing.  There are lots of players — let alone mega superstars — who simply do not signed through the mail and their requests simply go un-returned.

So while I did not get a real Darvish autograph in this attempt, it was still a cool story, given the circumstances. And I do appreciate the return.

On a side note, a day later I received this TTM return, I did receive a real Darvish autograph, one that I purchased on eBay a week earlier.  It’s the pictured 2012 Topps Chrome Rookie Autographs, graded BGS 9.



TTM Success: Jason Kubel

Posted in TTM Success with tags , on December 5, 2010 by Cardboard Icons

To see my other 2010 TTM Success/Request list, click HERE.

I’ll never learn: Rockies players are not good TTM signers

Posted in Newspaperman with tags , , , , , , on September 1, 2010 by Cardboard Icons

When I send out Through The Mail autographs there is always something I keep forgetting — never send to a Colorado Rockies player.

It’s tough to remember this because there always seems to be some intriguing player whose autograph I’d love to add to my collection.

A few years ago I sent letters to Garrett Atkins, Matt Holiday and even then-manager Clint Hurdle. I never heard back from Holiday, but I did receive my cards back from Atkins and Hurdle with a little purple note suggesting that I join their charitable cause. The note also asked me to accept their pre-printed signature in lieu of an authentic one.

When am I going to learn? Earlier this week I received a familiar note from one Todd Helton to whom I either sent to in 2009 or earlier this year. I forget. Same thing … no autograph, some team-issued card and a pre-printed note.

But I do have other requests I sent to them that I still have not received back, namely hot up-and-comer Carlos Gonzalez.

So let this serve as a reminder to all of you the next time you sit down to prepare for TTMs … stay away from Rockies players. Unless, of course, you want the standard letter and team-issued card.

For the record, this Todd Helton is a 2006 Grandstand issue … it shows him WITHOUT his goatee. Awesome. I do appreciate the team-issued cards. They are pretty neat.

TTM Success — Charlie Manuel

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

Received this autographed Charlie Manuel postcard in the mail today in lieu of the 2010 Topps Heritage card I sent him several months ago. I’ve received four returns from Phillies personnel in recent year and all of them have come back as post cards. Ryan Howard and Jimmy Rollins were most definitely pre-printed autos; my Chase Utley appears to be real — the Sharpie layer is on top and there is a little streaking in the ink. And now this Charlie Manuel, which by the scan may appear to be a pre-print, but I can tell you first-hand that it is not. You can see the indentation on the cardstock — also my dumbass just smudged the ink after scanning this image. *facepalm*

See the rest of my 2010 TTM request/success list here.

TTM Success: An MVP, a ROY and a No-Hit pitcher

Posted in TTM Success with tags , , , , , , , , on March 29, 2010 by Cardboard Icons

Late last week I received three more TTM successes: author of a 1972 no-hitter and near perfect game, Milt Pappas; 2009 American League Rookie of the Year Andrew Bailey; and 1960 National League Most Valuable Player Dick Groat.

The Pappas card is signed on his 1958 Topps rookie card, which makes for a cool addition to my collection. I do own two of these rookies, so this seemed like a reasonable card to have signed. Very happy to see the return, but the signature is pretty odd when compared to others I have seen. As for the use of ballpoint pen, I actually don’t mind it at all on vintage cards. It gives it an old, authentic feel … even if this one appears to merely be scribbled.

The Bailey signature is the latest in my not-yet-announced Rookie of the Year autograph project. Earlier this month I received Chris Coughlan, the National League ROY, so my 2009 set is complete. Of note, this card, which was returned within eight days, was signed during the week that was he off during Spring Training resting his elbow. Kind of a neat story.

And perhaps the coolest card returned this week is this 1955 Topps Dick Groat. I bought this single at my local card shop from the bargain bin for a buck, and then realized when I got home that I already had this card from a lot I bought on eBay. Days later learned that Groat was a great TTM signer, so I sent it his way with a request to add the MVP inscription. He obliged. Awesome success.

I still have another 40 or so requests out to current and former players. You can see the entire list of requests and success — with pictures — in this original post. I’ll be using that thread for all of my 2010 TTM requests, even after Spring Training ends.