just about five months ago, i attended twins fest. actually, attended is not quite accurate - i drove to target field and stood in line for a few autographs and then left. buoyed by a recent spate of 1978 topps team card and checklist ttm returns in late 2016, i set my sights on one of my favorite non-dodger players who just happens to be the current manager of the twins.
paul molitor signed his rookie card very nicely, thanks perhaps to my being second in line. there were a lot of people lined up, and i'm guessing he got a little sloppier as the morning went along. for me, this was a key card in my early collecting days, and i think because i began collecting with this set, i have always had an affinity for molitor.
the other twin that i sought out at twinsfest was tony oliva, who signed the twins' team card
oliva is seated to gene mauch's left, with his retired number 6 clearly showing. i asked him to sign the card with as big of a signature as he wanted, and he maximized the use of the lower part of the card. he didn't want to sign over any people - he said that would be disrespectful. i'm not disappointed - i think this looks great. dave goltz had previously signed a different copy (is that the right word?) of this card through the mail for me, but i won't be adding any other autos to this particular card.
that's it for the in-person auto portion of this post - the rest are ttm requests that were fulfilled in the first six months of 2017.
first up are a number of other team cards, including the atlanta braves card signed by first base coach eddie haas
here's the texas rangers' card signed by pat corrales
corrales was the team's bullpen coach, but ascended to the managerial position during the 1978 season. he's to the right of the guy in the red shirt.
the seattle mariners' team card was signed by pitching coach wes stock
stock is number 32, fourth from the right in the front row.
i sent a copy of the 1978 topps boston red sox card to rick miller (his is one of the floating heads in the photo), but it was the card that i sent to coach walt hriniak that made its way back to me
hriniak is seated to the left of jim rice in the front row.
[update! - rick miller joined the party!]
i also sent out two phillies' team cards, and both came back. one was signed by coach bobby wine
and the other by pitching coach ray rippelmeyer
i had also asked rippelmeyer if he had any recollection of the zaniness that is the phillies team card, and this was his response:
i've always been fascinated by that card - someone's glove on the statue, greg luzinski (i used to think it was tug mcgraw) chatting with dave johnson, the thinking bat boy, and bake mcbride's farmer blow. the card is all the more interesting when you realize that there were better photos taken during the shoot,
but that is the one that the phillies supplied to topps.
i did not identify any reds coaches that could sign their team card, but luckily the 1978 topps card features a photo from 1976, and so i had options with pat zachry (who has not yet returned the card) and joel youngblood (who did return the card)
your first thought might be that zachry and youngblood were both included in the tom seaver trade between the mets and the reds, but i learned from my 1978 baseball handbook that, while zachry was part of the tom terrific deal, youngblood was traded from the reds to the cardinals, and then from the cardinals to the mets.
the pirates were another team for whom i went with a player to get the team card signed, and grant jackson signed next to his spot on the card
i thought about sending this card off to goose gossage with his signing fee, as it is one of the few cards to feature him as a pirate (he's in the middle of the middle row). even better would have been getting terry forster to sign, as he is on this card (in the back row), but he has only signed one or two times through a private dealer since i've been chasing ttm autos.
ed ott was an option, too, as he is seated at the right end of the front row, but i sent him the first checklist in the set instead
his cards #28 puts him in a good spot to sign, and he didn't disappoint, although he didn't check himself off like ron cey did. neither did charlie hough, who also signed checklist number 1
i would have sent this card to burt hooton, too, but happy seems to have stopped signing through the mail.
rick monday is on the front of checklist 2, but he doesn't sign through the mail, so i sent the card to manny mota instead. mota signed the front
but his card #228 is on the back.
coming in at card #285 is steve yeager, and he signed checklist 3 which is awesome.
i spend a lot of time dwelling on the infield, but i was also a big steve yeager fan. the guy was tough.
the 'other' dodger steve is also featured on checklist 3, although card #350 puts garvey on the back. still, the garv came through for me and signed two checklists (one for the ttm binder and one for my garvey binder, of course)
it is always a thrill to get mail from guys like hough, mota, yeager, and garvey. my 9-year old self would be so proud.
in addition to team cards and checklists, i sent out a few more regular cards. a lot of good successes here, like tommy helms
there were some non-index card successes showing for "little joe" through the hall of fame, so i sent in a card and received it back pretty quickly. despite his heroics against the dodgers, i did admire morgan as a young fan of the game, and i am hoping that he really signed the card.
i also sent out a couple of rookie cards - one to phillies broadcaster larry andersen who obliged
you'll notice that i didn't send the card that already features jack morris's autograph, but i would like to send this to tim jones and ask him about his golden locks.
the other rookie card i mailed out went to dave oliver,
a player i knew of back then because he went to cal poly (as did ozzie smith) which was pretty close to where i grew up.
i had previously had this card signed by sam perlozzo a few years ago, and then i sent it out to garth iorg who has had it ever since. this time, i sent the version signed by oliver to perlozzo
and that will be as far as it goes.
perlozzo's twins teammate bob randall also signed his card for me
it was nice of randall to anoint me "a great twins fan". it's easier to be a fan of the team when they are playing well, as they have been this year (for the most part).
aside from 1978 topps cards, i've sent very few ttm requests. one success from the few that i've sent was this 2006 topps update & highlights aaron sele card
lucky for me, topps included a dave roberts card in series one thanks to his being named the national league manager of the year. i sent that card to roberts during spring training, and here is the return envelope as it looked when i pulled it out of my mailbox.
i think i had the same look on my face that roberts has on his