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Lenny Wilkens TTM Success

December 8, 2009 Leave a comment


Date Sent: 11/8/2009
Date received: 11/27/2009

This is the second TTM return I’ve received from Lenny Wilkens. He’s a very generous TTM signer. I got a nice surprise this time with the addition of the “HOF 89,98” inscription on the card. This is not something I asked for, just a very nice addition by him.

Wilkens is one of only three people to go into the Hall of Fame as a player and a coach. John Wooden and Bill Sharman are the other two. I already have a Wooden autograph via TTM. I’ll have to get a Sharman request out in the next couple weeks.

Wilkens also won a NBA Championship as a head coach and a gold medal as an assistant coach on the 2002 USA Mens Basketball Olympic team. He has quite an impressive list of accomplishments on his resume.

This return is one of the reasons that I encourage people to take up TTM autographs. All it takes is a couple stamps, some cards you won’t miss if they don’t come back and patience.

Mark Sanchez TTM Success?

November 29, 2009 2 comments

Date sent: 11/8/09
Date received: 11/27/09

I’m not really sure if this is a success or not. The signature shows some similarities to his certified autograph cards but it’s not exact. I’ve compared mine to all the other ones with pictures on sportscollectors.net and it looks similar with one big difference, it’s not stamped. All the other recent returns have been obvious stamps, as you’ll see in the pictures below. They also all have the personalization in all caps, my name is lower case. I’m thinking since it matches the stamp so closely that it has a chance of being real. You certainly wouldn’t have a stamp made of a fake autograph. What are the odds that Sanchez already has a ghost signer and he/she was out of ink for the stamp?

Let me know what you guys think. I’m curious to see some opinions on this one.

Stamped TTM Returns
My TTM return and a certifed autograph

Cameron Maybin TTM Success

November 24, 2009 Leave a comment

Date sent: 3/4/09
Date received: 10/30/09

This is another recent TTM return that I had pretty much written off. I sent it way back during spring training. On top of that, Maybin carries a 12% success rate for members of sportscollectors.net.

I’m not sure what made my request stand out but I got it back and I couldn’t be happier.

I’ve followed Maybin ever since he was part of the trade that sent Miguel Cabrera and Dontrelle Willis to the Tigers. I’d heard that Maybin was the key to the deal for the Marlins. I wondered what made this kid so special so I kept an eye on him. He’s yet to live up to his 5-tool can’t miss potential but he’s still only 22 years old.

Maybin made the team last year out of spring training but the Marlins sent him down to AAA in early May as he was batting .2o2. They brought him back up on September 1st and he remained on the team through the final game. In that time he raised his batting average to .250 and hit three home runs.

Hopefully Maybin will make the Marlins out of spring training again and stick around for the whole season.

Awesome Josh Hamilton TTM Success

November 17, 2009 Leave a comment

Date sent: 2/28/09
Date received: 11/7/09

I wasn’t sure that I’d get this item back or not. Josh Hamilton has a great track record for TTM request successes but I had my doubts as it had been 8 months since I sent it off.

I’m thrilled to get this back because this is a ticket stub from the game where Josh Hamilton got his first major league hit, a home run. I was at this game, I lived in Phoenix, AZ for two years and attended many Diamondbacks games while I lived there. This was just any other game, nothing special, but I knew going in that Josh Hamilton was playing.

If you collected cards in the late 90’s, you know who Josh Hamilton is. His 1999 rookie cards were the hottest thing going back then as he was the #1 overall pick in the MLB Draft by the Tampa Bay Ray (Devil Rays then). You may have also heard of Hamilton’s struggles with drug addiction that lead to him being out of baseball. He worked very hard to get clean and work his way back to the majors.

Anyway, I was completely aware when Hamilton came up in the 3rd inning that he didn’t have a hit in the majors yet. He ripped a pitch to right field and his first major league hit was a 2-run home run. A few fans in the small crowd realized the moment and stood to applaud Hamilton, most didn’t realize the significance.

Here we are three years later and Hamilton has been an All-Star and a Home Run Derby champion. He had an excellent 2008 season but was hampered by injuries last year that lead to him only playing 89 games. I’ve rooted for him ever since I heard of his struggles with drugs and his fight to get back to the majors. After receiving this ticket back from Hamilton I’ll be more than a casual observer, I’m now a legit fan.

Link to mlb.com game article

Update – 1960 Pittsburgh Pirates TTM Project

June 6, 2009 1 comment

Date sent 5/22/09
Date received: 6/6/09

Dick Groat is my fifteenth TTM return from the 1960 Pittsburgh Pirates. Groat played fourteen seasons in Major League Baseball for the Pittsburgh Pirates, St. Louis Cardinals, Philadelphia Phillies and San Francisco Giants. He also played one season in the NBA for the Fort Wayne Pistons. Groat was a two sport star at Duke University, playing basketball and baseball. He went straight to the Pirates out of college, never playing in the minor leagues.

Groat was a career .286 hitter, finishing with 2,138 hits. He was a five time All-Star and won the league MVP in 1960. Groat was also part of one of the best double play combinations of all time with Bill Mazeroski.

Well, this was really the last realistic request I had out there. I’m going to consider this project completed. The others that I’m missing will have to come from in-person signings or off of eBay. It seems like I’ve been doing this forever but the first request went out only 41 days ago on April 27th.

The autographs I received during that span are R.C. Stevens, Roman Mejias, Roy Face, Hal Smith, Gino Cimoli, Bennie Daniels, Dick Schofield, Bob Skinner, Danny Kravitz, Dick Groat, Bob Oldis, Bob Friend, Vern Law, Bill Virdon and Joe Gibbon. I also purchased a Rocky Nelson signed ’60 Topps card on eBay.

I don’t know what my next TTM project will be. I’m open to ideas if anyone wants to leave one in the comments. I’m ready for a new challenge.

Update – 1960 Pittsburgh Pirates TTM Project

Date sent: 4/27/09
Date returned: 6/5/09

Roman Mejias is one of the requests I had out there that I was beginning to wonder if I’d get it back or not. I’m very happy to get this one back.

I’ve also had my George Witt and Don Gross requests out there for about the same amount of time. I don’t really expect to get those back as the reported successes for those two are very low on sportscollectors.net. Hopefully I’ll be able to pick those up in some other fashion.

Roman Mejias played six seasons for the Pirates, never getting more than 276 at-bats in any of those. He went to Houston in 1962 and finally got a chance to play full time. He batted a respectable .286 with 24 home runs and 76 RBI. He was the first Latin American player in Houston franchise history. In 1963 he left to play for Boston and retired after the 1964 season.

I found an incredible stat while researching Mejias’ career. He’s one of 336 major league players to hit 3 home runs in one game. No, that’s not the incredible part. The incredible part is that he did it in 1958 when he only had 5 home runs the entire season. That has to be the lowest amount of home runs in a season for a player that had a 3 home run game.

Update – 1960 Pittsburgh Pirates TTM Success

June 3, 2009 5 comments

Date sent: 5/26/09
Date returned: 6/2/09

This is my thirteenth return from the 1960 Pirates. This is also another one that came back in one week or less. I actually just went back and checked the numbers, ten of the fourteen have been returned in one week or less. That’s amazing.

This return is from Bob Oldis. He played in the majors from 1953-1955 and 1960-1963. He was a backup catcher that played for the Washington Senators, Pittsburgh Pirates and Philadelphia Phillies. He amassed only 236 at-bats over his career, batting .224. He still works as a scout for the Florida Marlins.

Well, There are only five more living members of the 1960 Pirates that I need. Four of those requests have been sent. The other one, Joe Christopher, is not worth sending as he doesn’t sign TTM. There’s going to be a 1960 Pirates reunion in Pittsburgh next year so I’ll catch him then.