This week’s show features two hours of card and autograph talk.
Ray Schulte from The National Sports Collectors joins the show this week to give us a sneak peek at what’s planned for this year’s National which is scheduled for July 27-31 in Atlantic City, New Jersey. We also talk about the goings on in the hobby and reminisce about previous Nationals.
We also speak with TTM and autograph collector Nick Andrews about is quest to complete an autographed 1986 Fleer basketball set which includes the iconic Michael Jordan rookie card and numerous other Hall of Famers.
Next week we talk kicking and autographs with the last barefooted NFL kicker Rich Karlis, from the Denver Broncos, Minnesota Vikings and Detroit Lions.
Two news notes: Our radio show, Sports Collectors Club heard on over 100 stations across the SportsMap Radio Network in now on Saturdays from 10-11am (Eastern) and repeated on Sundays from 7-8am (Eastern).
I shot a segment for The Card Life TV show for their Boston episode which will be broadcast on the Bally’s Sports Network and NESN (in New England) starting June 15. Red Sox pitcher Matt Strahm interviewed me about TTM and autograph collecting for a segment feature for the show.
TTM Tip of the Week
Courtesy of my podcast co-host Drew Pelto, we finish off our list of former athletes and celebrities who refuse to sign specific cards and the reasons they will not sign them.
Next week we will look at how to mail TTM requests to foreign countries.
Below is a list of some of the former basketball players, golfers, wrestlers and celebrities and the cards they are unwilling to sign.
- Lou Carnesecca: 2000-01 Fleer Greats of the Game; has the wrong logo
- Julius Erving: photos fighting Larry Bird
- Blake Griffin: Topps cards
- Bruce Crampton: 1992 Pro Set; only signs for family
- Phil Mickelson: 2002 Upper Deck; only signs for family
- Dan Gable: 2008 Upper Deck Goudey; biographical error on back
TTM Successes this week
It has been a very fruitful week this week for TTM returns netting a baseball Hall of Famer, an ex-All-Pro and TV series star and some colorful former athletes from football, basketball and baseball.
Unless noted, these players are currently signing for free as long as you provide a self addressed, stamped envelope with your material.
Please note: Most athlete’s mailing addresses are available on several TTM related web sites including SportsCardForum.com and SportsCollectors.net.
Hall of Fame third baseman Wade Boggs should be in the TTM Hall of Fame as well. Boggs stared with the Red Sox, Yankees and Rays amassing over 3000 hits during his career. Since his retirement he has been a steady and dependable signer of cards, pictures, magazines, balls and photos through the mail. Boggs did not disappoint, returning his 2022 Topps insert with a beautiful signature.
Boggs requests $10 per signature through the mail on anything but his 1983 Topps rookie card (I think that’s $20). Took about two and a half weeks to get this beauty back. A very reasonable price for one of the greatest hitters in baseball history.
Fred Dryer played defensive end for the New York Giants and Los Angles Rams from 1969-1981. Earning All-Pro status in 1974, he played in the Pro Bowl in 1975. He was taken in the first round with the 13th pick in the 1969 draft out of San Diego State by the New York Giants. He played in 176 games racking up 103 sacks during his career.
After retirement he went into acting and is best remembered for his appearances on Cheers as Sam Malone’s former teammate and as lead actor in the 1980s TV show Hunter.
Dryer has been a regular signer through the mail for both sports and entertainment fans. He signed and personalized his 1980 Topps football card for me in two weeks.
Dave Skaggs was a backup catcher for the Baltimore Orioles and California Angles from 1977-1980. He was last player to wear #8 for the Orioles before Cal Ripken Jr.
A little trivia: He and his family also appeared on the game show Family Feud.
Skaggs signed this card as part of my ongoing quest to collect an autographed set of 1978 Topps baseball cards.
Dave Bristol had a long career in major league baseball. He took over and managed the Cincinnati Reds mid-way through the 1966 season at the age of 33. He went on manage Milwaukee, Atlanta and the Giants. He was the second manager in the Seattle Pilots’ short history but never actually managed a game in Seattle as the Pilots were on the verge of bankruptcy ended up moving to Milwaukee six days before Opening Day in 1970.
Dave signed his 1970 Topps card showing him in his Pilots uniform complete with the classic hat. He even added his #4 to the signature. When I found this card in the quarter bin at the local card store I couldn’t grab it fast enough. Bristol’s signature certainly completes this card quite nicely. The turnaround time was about three weeks.
The man who Alex Karras suggested he was from the University of Mars because in the team program that year it listed his educational background as “U.S. Mars” (United States Marine Corp) and because of unique appearance.
Sistrunk played his entire professional career with the Oakland Raiders from 1972-78. He was a Pro Bowler in 1974 and a Super Bowl Champion in Super Bowl XI. He played 98 NFL games and later became a professional wrestler in the NWA. He appeared in the movie Car Wash in 1976 while he was still playing. Growing up I was a huge Sistrunk fan and always rooted for him.
It was a joy to receive this 1974 Topps card signed back from him in a few weeks.
Chuck had a well-traveled career in the old ABA playing for six different team from 1970-1976. After the merger with the NBA, he played one season for Denver and he went on to play two more seasons with the Buffalo Braves. He was a two-time ABA All-Star and scored 6,894 points during his professional career. He best season was 1972-73 when he averaged 17.7 points and 7.7 assists as a member of the San Diego Conquistadors of the ABA. He played in 90 games in 1973-74 season (57 for San Diego and 33 for Kentucky) which is an ABA record for games played in a single season.
He signed his 1974-75 Topps card which shows him with the Kentucky Colonels and sent it back very quickly.
Two down and two to go.
Former Boston Red Sox catching prospect Andy Merchant signed his 1976 Topps rookie card for me which he shares with Ed Ott, Royle Stillman and Jerry White. Andy only played three MLB games: one in 1975 and two in 1976. Andy’s major league debut came on September 28, 1975 the day after the Red Sox had clinched the playoffs against the Indians. The Red Sox gave their regulars the day off and Merchant was inserted as catcher and batted third. He threw out Indians John Lowenstein in the first inning when he tried to steal and singled in the third inning for his first MLB hit. He would go on to single in the ninth inning as well. For his contribution, he received a partial World Series share from the Red Sox.
Andy signed and returned this card in 2 weeks. It’s now off to Royle Stillman for his autograph.
Among other athletes who are currently signing for free. I have had success with all of them in the past:
- Dennis Gentry – Chicago Bears
- Charlie Joiner – San Diego Chargers Wide Receiver
- Ron Hansen – Unassisted triple play in 1968 and 1960 AL Rookie of the Year
- Reggie Lemelin – Goalie with the Boston Bruins and Calgary Flames
- Aeneas Williams – AZ Cardinals Safety
- Pat Gillick – Baseball Hall of Fame GM
Have a TTM success story you would like to share with me? Please, send it me at [email protected]. If I use it in my column, I’ll send you a prize.