TTM question

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Oct 26, 2010
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Oswego NY
Hey, all. I'm starting a little TTM and I have a question you might enjoy and might be able to answer.

I sent five cards to Frank Tanana and wrote him a brief but genuine letter about how I admire his career and am happy he was such a positive part of those late eighties/early nineties Tigers teams. At the end of the letter, I asked him to sign a couple of the cards for me and told him he was welcome to keep some of the cards for his own use. (If I were a ballplayer, I would love giving cards to kids or making the day of a person who sees me on the street and says, "Hey...aren't you...?")

Mr. Tanana was nice enough to sign and return all five cards, not keeping any. (I'm certainly not complaining about that!) Do you think I should put my keep-some-cards offer in the beginning of my letter? Or maybe on a Post-it stuck to the top of the cards?

More broadly: do you think most players read the letters we send?
I think most players, who are retired, do read the letters. Usually if I ask them to personalize the cards to a few names they do it, or even answer questions that I asked in the letter. I also think it is a good idea to do the sticky note because it would get their attention, and let the m know to keep some of the cards.
Good Idea.
Hope this helps,
I think if you send dups of a card they are more likely to keep it as well. I sent 6 cards out in Oct.3 of them were the same and I got 5 back one of which was not a card I sent.
When I include extras for them to keep, I place them in a penny sleeve with a post-it note on the penny sleeve with the following note: "Please feel free to keep these extras I had of you."

Most players keep the extras, but Rick Waits (former Indians pitcher) last week returned the extras signed with the cards I sent to be signed.

As a side note when including extras, 7 or 8 cards with a letter and SASE still make it through on just one stamp.
Very cool feedback! I think I will do the penny sleeve and the Post-it; I wouldn't want anyone to think I'm taking advantage. I'm collecting for me and maybe a trade or two in the distant future, and only because I love the game and its history so much. I have only recently come back to collecting, so I don't have too many doubles of cards. In the few TTM I've done, I've put the cards I really wanted on top and the cards I wanted less on the bottom. (I LOVE cards with pictures taken in Tiger Stadium.)

Benson - Since I joined The Bench, I've spent far too much time with the post office people! I would love to be able to send some envelopes with just stamps. Thanks for the weight/postage guideline!
I like the penny sleeve idea too but a few times I have used that, ones I have sent too, took the post it note off, did not take the cards out and just signed on the penny sleeve. But the ratio of that happening to me is very rare. Now I just send cards by themselves.

My 2 cents and welcome to a great hobby!
Tanana in particular has his own cards printed for his ministry/evangelism purposes so he probably uses those "on the street" rather than regular MLB cards. I sent him 3-4 copies of 92 Triple Play and "unfortunately" he inscribed them with different Bible verses so I had to decide which one I wanted for my set, lol. (Using quotes because I actually thought it was cool he used a few different ones.)

If you do a signed set you have to be careful with extras or at least tell them which one you want signed because (as I experienced with Leo Gomez) they may keep the one you want signed. I feel awkward spelling out which card I want though, and given the low number of players I actually hear of keeping the extras, I usually only send one card per request anymore.
alot of guys now adays just see more than three or four cards and just dont sign even with a little letter saying they are for him to keep they still think your plan is to sell them. I personally wont sell any ttm auto's and would only trade them. If they take the time for me, i try not to make money off of them.
Sturgeon - I agree that it would be somewhat untoward to sell TTM cards. I've only done three so far and they're all for my personal collection. While I'm not saying it's the best way for everyone, I think I will only do TTMs for players I really like and include a thoughtful letter. (Further, I'm not sure how eager I would be to buy TTMs; I like the idea that they're signed "for me" and there's always that little bit of doubt as to who really signed, right?)

Someday, I will have a baseball office and hang plaques with all my TTM and other autos and put them above my Tiger Stadium seats. (Then I would just have to get my girlfriend to somehow assent to such an arrangement!)