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Mad Dog
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Mad Dog
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Joined: December 10th, 2004, 11:01 pm

January 2nd, 2015, 9:07 pm #141

I got Bubby Brister back a week or so ago. I haven't mailed anything for awhile but I'm planning to get back to it in the new year.
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Erick Von Erich
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Joined: May 13th, 2005, 9:06 pm

August 11th, 2015, 5:06 pm #142

I've only been to one Rockies game for post-game autographs, this year. Went when the Rangers were in town and got:

-Colby Lewis (card)
-Derek Holland (sweet spot baseball)

Since my last post on Halloween (whoa), I've picked up:

FOOTBALL MAIL STUFF (all cards):
-Jeff George (x4; he added two of his own. Not a fan, but one of those "why not" things. If you bought cards in the early 90's, I think you were automatically given at least 5 Jeff George cards)
-Dennis Smith (x3; Yes!)
-Eric Martin
-Kirk Lowdermilk
-Barney Chavous
-OJ McDuffie (x2; 10 month turnaround, though)

BASEBALL MAIL STUFF (all cards):
-Jay Bell (took 8 months, since I sent it to the Reds ST complex)
-Tom Hall (70's Reds pitcher)
-Pete Schourek (x2)
-Aaron Sele
-Mark Whiten
-Luis Gonzalez
-Jose Lind !!
-Brian Harper
-Gary Redus

My latest idea is to try n' get autographs from the first MLB game I ever went to in May, 1992 (Pirates vs Reds at Three Rivers). At least the Pirates' lineup.
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SamoaRowe
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SamoaRowe
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Joined: December 30th, 2004, 5:59 am

February 27th, 2016, 4:21 pm #143

Now that I'm collecting cards again, I was thinking about getting into this. I'm assuming I just send the card and a stamped return envelope and hope for the best? Is it customary to send money or notes?

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Erick Von Erich
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Joined: May 13th, 2005, 9:06 pm

February 28th, 2016, 10:35 pm #144

SamoaRowe,Feb 27 2016 wrote: Now that I'm collecting cards again, I was thinking about getting into this. I'm assuming I just send the card and a stamped return envelope and hope for the best? Is it customary to send money or notes?
Pretty much. I've found it's better to send a hand-written letter, along with the card and self-addressed stamped envelope.

Here's the most reliable site I've been using for about 4-5 years now:
http://www.sportscardforum.com/ttm.php

You do not have to register or pay to use their "TTM Address Database" ("TTM" stands for "Through-The-Mail". Took me awhile to figure that out). If you do register, it's just like a message board, but you can log your requests, which helps other users. There are other sites that claim to have better info and want you to pay for it... but I think they're complete cocksuckers.

What I do is, go to "Sports Card Forum" and look up a player, then check to see if has a good return rate...and how recent the last "success" was. Most addresses listed are home addresses, but a few are through the team's official mailing address.

It also depends on the sport and time-of-year. For instance, right now the best way to get baseball autographs is to send to the team's Spring Training complex. Some guys don't sign during the season, then sign and answer requests once they're home for the off-season. So patience and a little savvy is required on your part. In most sports, guys aren't home during the season, either.

I just send cards, since total cost to me is less than buck (and time to write a letter). Some folks go bananas and send pictures, balls and jerseys. My rule is: "if you don't want it lost or stolen, leave it at home". I only send cards that I have extras of...or cards that I wouldn't miss if they never came back.

If I send more than one card, I always ask them to keep one, if they'd like. Had a few guys take me up on it, which made me happy ("Hey, Will Clark has one of my extra baseball cards. Cool"). I'll send the card(s) in a soft plastic sleeve, taped to a semi-rigid think piece of cardboard (similar to the thickness of your average cereal box). The rigid card sleeves can get shattered and the post office may return them to you, because they are so rigid.

Some guys will not sign unless you send money...or they'll return your item, un-signed, specifying an amount. I've never done that, because I've had good success with my "free" requests.

For the actual letter, just be casual yet respectful. Keep it short; one page max. Start off by saying how cool you think the player is, or maybe one specific memory or story you have about them. Then use the second half to politely ask for a signed card. I've found out, firsthand, that a lot of guys appreciate when you close with "good luck" or their college "war cry" (example: if you write to a former Texas A&M athlete, don't say: "Go Aggies", say "Gig 'em"). This just helps your chances, so do some research.

It's not necessary to ask for a personalization ("To Samoa Rowe..."), unless you're really into that sort of thing. I don't ask for personalizations, yet some guys still do it. My guess is so you can't sell it, which I'm totally cool with (yet you'd be amazed how often guys misspell "Erick").

I include my address at the bottom of my letter, in case anybody ever lost my envelope. Yet that hasn't been a factor, as everybody has returned my hand-written envelope.

One horror story I heard about "TTM" was involving Steve Sax (former MLB). He signed my friend's card, then also sent him some info about a "great moneymaking opportunity that you can get in on, from the ground-floor!"

Good luck and let us know how things go for you!
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SamoaRowe
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SamoaRowe
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Joined: December 30th, 2004, 5:59 am

February 29th, 2016, 12:08 am #145

Thanks for the tips! I'll let you know if I do send any out.
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Mad Dog
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Mad Dog
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Joined: December 10th, 2004, 11:01 pm

March 3rd, 2016, 5:06 pm #146

My advice is to start with some easy quick turn around guys. I think my return rate is about 65% but it can take a few years to see some return.
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Erick Von Erich
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Joined: May 13th, 2005, 9:06 pm

March 3rd, 2016, 5:51 pm #147

Oh, and current players have a much lower success rate on "TTM" requests. I'd say about 90% of the guys I send to are retired players. There are some exceptions (like Peyton Manning! Thanks, Mad Dog), but I usually only get current players when I'm trolling at the stadiums.

So, if you're hoping to get autographs of the 2016 Boston Celtics, your odds dive. But, say, 1996 Celtics? Might be okay.
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Mad Dog
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Mad Dog
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Joined: December 10th, 2004, 11:01 pm

March 3rd, 2016, 11:02 pm #148

Don't be afraid to try though. Brandon Dubinsky on the Blue Jackets signed for me and he's a really tough player to get TTM.
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Mad Dog
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Mad Dog
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Joined: December 10th, 2004, 11:01 pm

March 4th, 2016, 3:10 pm #149

Wrestlers I've gotten TTM:

Bob Orton Jr.
Harley Race
Jerry Lawler
Terry Funk
Ted Dibiase
Nikolai Volkoff
Iron Sheik

I know a lot of the NXT guys will sign if you send it to the performance center.
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Erick Von Erich
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Joined: May 13th, 2005, 9:06 pm

April 28th, 2016, 3:15 pm #150

Got a "TTM" from Hardy Nickerson a few months back. The bad-ass LB from the Bucs of the mid-90's. Sent it to the main Tampa Bay Bucs address (stadium).

In-person trolling for the new MLB season. 3 nights in a row:
-Mark Melancon (card-- inside, pre-game)
-Gerrit Cole (card and signed my 2013 team ball-- inside, pre-game)
-Matt Joyce (card; stalked him down a block or two-- outside, post-game)
-Bob Walk (card-- outside, post-game)

Ouch. Four autographs in 3 nights?! That stinks.

My buddy also got worthless Rockies Tony Wolters, Justin Miller and Scott Oberg.

I was psyched up for this Pirates series, since I got a nice Louisville Slugger Pirates bat, last year. Wasn't able to take it into the stadium and Matt Joyce was the only person who was available, after the game and outside the stadium. The weather was crappy; about 36 degrees; and most guys took the team bus or Uber'd back to the hotel. I'll wait until the summer and nice weather before trolling outside the stadium, again.
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