TTMCast this Week
Author and former major league pitcher Dick Bosman joins me on this week’s TTM Cast to talk about his time in the big leagues. Bosman played for four teams during his 11-year career. He pitched the last game for the Washington Senators and first game for the Texas Rangers. We chat about him playing for Gil Hodges and Ted Williams and throwing a no-hitter vs the Oakland A’s inn 1974.
Bosman is a frequent signer of autographs through the mail and we talk about things he collected during and after his playing days.
In Collectors Corner, 13-year-old Bay area collector Norah Jermaine talks about her passion for cards and autographs and how she’s been able to build her collection over the past few years.
Hobby veteran Les Wolff also joins me to give his review of the recent Philly Show. We also talk Fred McGriff, Aaron Judge and the recent transactions in major league baseball and how they may impact the value of players on new teams. We also bring up recent hobby developments and review some cool holiday gift ideas for collectors.
We invite everyone to take part in our Give-A-Card, Get-A-Card promotion this year. It’s pretty simple. Send me two autographed cards and a self-addressed stamped envelope and you’ll receive one autographed card submitted by another collector. The second card will be sent to Signatures for Soldiers to help raise money to help veterans and their families. You can send in as many cards as you’d like.
Mail your cards and SASE to me at:
4 Littlewood Rd
Wilmington, MA 01887
Promotion ends Dec, 31 2022.
TTM Successes this Week
Any time you find a well-known pro football player’s autograph in the mailbox makes for a good week. This week I had two returns from Hall of Famers. I also got a few hockey returns; one 1976 Topps basketball return and a few from former NFL Pro Bowlers. I sent out anther 25 requests this week so hopefully my mailbox will remain full through the holidays.
Let’s start with the bad news. In last week’s report, I showed a signed Gaylord Perry card that had arrived in my mailbox the day after his death at age 81. It was shocking to say the least. Unfortunately, the folks at PSA told us it was almost certainly a “secretarial” signature rather than one that had been signed by Perry in the final days of his life.
It illustrates one of the biggest pitfalls of collecting autographs through the mail. As a TTMer for many years, I realize that there is always a chance that the autograph I receive may not be authentic since I didn’t witness it. “Ghost signing” has been practiced for decades. Clubhouse kids signed for some players years ago. Joe DiMaggio’s sister sometimes signed for him and Don Zimmer’s wife did the same. Other players were known to use autopens, which replicate the signature in ink.
The only way to be truly certain if your autograph is real is to watch that person sign your item in person. Even companies that authenticate autographs like PSA, Beckett or JSA can only provide you their opinion on the authenticity of a signature. I’ve always been pretty trusting and experience tells me the vast majority of the autographs I receive via TTM are real but sometimes it’s not the case.
The person who signed Perry’s name had tried to replicate his signature and it wasn’t a bad effort. I’m sure they felt they were doing right by a fan but obviously, a better course of action would simply be to return the card with a note indicating the player can’t or won’t sign. A card with a forged autograph just doesn’t do anyone any good, but as I mentioned last week, Gaylord Perry was certainly good to collectors before his health failed him.
Now on to this week’s returns.
Football Hall of Fame running back Tony Dorsett has been a great TTMer the past few years. He requires a $10 donation per signature—well worth it for collectors. The 1976 Heisman Trophy winner signed and personalized his 1984 Topps card for me in about 10 days. Dorsett stared with the Dallas Cowboys for most of his career before finishing with the Denver Broncos.
Carson played his entire career (1976-19889 with the New York Giants. He was a nine-time Pro Bowler and won Super Bowl XXI. He was considered a good luck charm by Bill Parcells who make sure Carson was always next to him during the playing of the National Anthem. Carson and teammate Jim Burt were one of the first players to participate in the “Gatorade Shower” dousing coaches after a victory.
Carson signed his 1983 and 1984 Topps cards for me– in gold pen– in less than ten days.
Ray Childress is not in the Pro Football Hall of Fame, but he should be. He was selected with the third pick in the 1985 NFL Draft by Houston and would go on to play 11 seasons with the Oilers as a defensive lineman. Childress would play in five Pro Bowls and a mass over 76 sacks. He finished his career in 1996 as a member of the Dallas Cowboys.
He signed his 1986 rookie card and 1987 Topps card for me in about two weeks.
Brown was 1985 NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year for the Bengals and played his entire career (1985-1992) with Cincinnati. He was named to the Pro Bowl in 1988 when he caught 53 passes for 1,273 yards and 9 touchdowns. He played in Super Bowl XXIII catching 3 balls for 32 yards in a losing effort.
Brown signed his 1989 Topps card and 1000 Yard Club insert card for me in about two months, adding his uniform number 87.
Propp played 15 seasons in the NFL with the Flyers, Bruins, North Stars and Whales from 1979-1994. Propp was known for “The Guffaw” a unique goal celebration which he started in 1986-87 season.
Propp signed his Pro Set card for me and added the Upper Deck card for me in less than 10 days.
Russell was taken by Cleveland with the 8th pick in the 1974 NBA draft out of Michigan. Russell played small forward for Cleveland and the Knicks from 1974-1984 making the NBA All-Star team in 1979 while with Cleveland. He scored almost 9,000 points during his career.
Russell signed his 1976 Topps card for me in about two months.
Volpe is the #1 rated prospect in the New York Yankees farm system. He is expected to join the Yankees major league club sometime in 2023. He is a slick fielding shortstop and a dangerous power hitter. He slugged 18 home run and 60 RBI for Somerset in AA.
Volpe has been a pretty consistent signer through the mail. He signed and sent the above Leaf card in about three weeks. He returned the Bowman card I sent unsigned so he’s apparently limited collector requests to one item.
Stanley played catcher and first base for five different teams during his 14 MLB career from 1986-2000. He made the All-Star team in 1995. Stanley caught Nolan Ryan’s seventh (and last) no-hitter while he was a member of the Texas Rangers on May 1st, 1991. Stanley belted 187 home runs during his career.
He signed his 2000 Topps card for me in about two weeks.
Here are a few others who are currently signing for free. I have had success with all of them in the past:
- Dave Goltz – Pitcher Minnesota Twins
- Buzz Capra – Pitcher Atlanta Braves
- Merril Hoge – Running back Pittsburgh Steelers
- Mike Esposito – Running back Atlanta Falcons
- Joe Ferguson – Quarterback Buffalo Bills
- Gail Goodrich- Basketball Hall of Famer
- Pat Haden – Quarterback Los Angeles Rams