I haven't really sent any through the mail (TTM) autograph requests since the early '90s, when, as a 13-year-old kid, I did on a somewhat regular basis. Most of mine were failures, primarily because I'd send cards that were a couple years old to the players c/o that teams that they were depicted playing for on the cards, not knowing that they were long gone from their former ballclub. I did get a couple of good ones, though. I sent a Topps Black Gold card to Dave Winfield when he was playing for the Twins. I received the card back, unsigned, but along with it, an autographed postcard, which I have, since then, misplaced. I think my dad agreed to hold onto it for safekeeping, but I have no idea where it is at the moment.
My biggest success, however, was this one:
right. The greatest basketball player of all time, through the mail,
for nothing more than the cost of a couple of stamps and a couple of
envelopes. At the time, I didn't realize how big of a deal it was. I
just figured I got a pretty good autograph of a really good player.
Looking back on it, I realize how lucky I was.
the timing was good. I sent it out, I think, the year before the Bulls
won their first NBA Championship, so while he may have been receiving plenty
of requests, I'm sure they were nowhere near the amount that he would eventually
receive. Second, I was 11 or 12 at the time, so I'm sure a handwritten
letter from a young kid went a little bit further than a type-written
letter from an adult.
Still, no matter what the
circumstances, while I am not that much of a basketball guy, I would say
it's one of the cornerstones of my card collection. If I could show off one
card out of the thousands that I have, this would be it, plus there's a
little bit of a story behind it.