It's the LAWs: autographs through the mail, part 2.

Dave of Fielder's Choice in an astute comment (how typical of him) on the TTM post below notes that the through the mail process can certainly yield some dicey results.

We got to thinking about this today when we found two cards from Vance and Vern Law in our post office box.

Now, we haven't yet gotten a through the mail autograph that we find suspicious--that is, one we suspect of being signed by cousin Howie or Aunt Tabby or something. A very quick search of Google and a look at other signatures from that player can be reassuring. For instance, the card of Vern, above, and the cards of Vance, below,are from Googled images that other people who have obtained autographs from the Laws have posted. And they were posted a good while ago.

The cards we received today, as you can observe: have the same signatures.
Not that this is in the least bit scientific. Maybe players have people on their (retirement) payrolls who do nothing but forge autographs for them. Maybe a member of the family comes over, signs the cards, and returns them to unsuspecting kids and collectors.

But I doubt it.

Nevertheless, we completely understand the concern, and understand why many collectors prefer "certified" autographs. For certain players...such as our favorites Micah Owings, Curtis Granderson, Barry Zito, John Maine, David Wright, and Jamie Moyer, in fact we like having BOTH through the mail and certified autographs.

That's only because officious mom is involved. But for Lucy, it makes not a lick of difference.

We send TTM requests (I'm talking Big Britches style here, but haven't had time to send out many TTM requests in several months--just Pat Neshek and the Laws!; but last year we did! Honest!) to players who have a good reputation in the TTM realm. Once again, a great way to verify this is a quick perusal at Alex Hipolito's mindbogglingly good site.

But if you are doing this other than for casual enjoyment or your kid's enthusiasm, through the mail autographs may not be acceptable.

Don't tell anyone, but my retirement dream (before the economy tanked) was: move to a Triple A or MLB town and live out our golden years in walking distance to a stadium. Buy season tickets. Obsessively watch games and meet players. All that. Someday maybe we WILL do that, by crikey. (Watching the debate last night made me wonder about Tom Brokaw. It seems he might be at the stage of life where he says "By Crikey?") I'm hoping when we reach that stage of life, Lucy will still find baseball and cards fun and still share in our enjoyment.

One more thing. We've been looking for this Micah Owings autograph for a while on eBay and had to wait until we found one from a trustworthy, 100 percent feedback seller whose postal charges are low. We found it! It also arrived today. It's on-card, too, not a sticker, although it looks stickery in the photo.

The medallion effect works. I'm not saying it's tasteful, just that it works for us on this card, especially when you flip the card over and find Micah's snoot on the other side of the medal!


night owl said...

How did you arrange to have Vern and Vance sign the same card? Do they live near each other or in the same house? I'm not wise in the ways of TTM requests (although your earlier primer certainly helped!)

Dave said...

I think that the chances of getting a real autograph through the mail increase as the fame of the player decreases. I doubt that Vern and Vance Law get much fan mail, so they're probably happy to sign.

That Micah Owings card really is a sticker auto though, isn't it? I can clearly see the hidden "authentic" logo that's on all of UD's stickers and I see the outline of the sticker. The cool thing about Upper Deck's stickers are that you can barely tell that they're there!

Michael said...

Please check out a post I did yesterday on badwax.net. I gave a step by step way to go about TTM autographs.

dinged corners said...

Michael, we occasionally post about TTM...people are expressing interest, possibly because it's the end of the baseball season. (We did our own step by step post on October 5th.) We like your links to address sources, and that you are keeping current on sending out requests. We've gotta get back to doing that.

Night Owl, we didn't request the double autograph. Lucy just liked that Parent/Kid card and it came back with both signatures, which is pretty neat.

Dave, upon closer inspection, I still don't see stickerliness on that card! I'll have our kids look it over, if it's there, they'll see it and we'll report back.