By Mike Greene aka indyreds
It seems that many through the mail (TTM) collectors run into that certain player who signs well for others, but they have had no success with. When this happens it is time to try some different things to see how they work for you. That may involve changing your letter, the items being sent or even the envelope you are using to send the items. Let us a take a look at a few different ideas that might help you in this situation.
What the player first sees when they get the mail is your envelope. You may need to find someway for it to stick out more than the other envelopes. An easy way to do this is buy colored envelopes. I actually have had some great luck with the colored envelopes. You can mail larger envelopes as they draw more attention. You can also write things on the outside of the envelopes. I have written things like 1945 MVP, 1960 ROY, 1980 WS Champion, Three Batting Titles or 525 career Home Runs. Put multiple career highlights on the envelope! They will realize that the person writing to them at least knows about them. I have drawn team logos and original artwork on the envelopes and gotten them noticed as well. Use an odd color of ink when writing out the envelope. Get creative and make sure your envelope is the one they notice. Realize that the first step is to get the player to open your letter.
Maybe they did notice your envelope, but they did not care for your letter. Was it sloppy or did it seem impersonal? Try to handwrite the letter, if you normally type it. Type the letter, if you normally handwrite as it maybe hard to read. Just change up the way you normally have sent your request. Since it is not working for this player. What you have said in the letter might be an issue as well. Try a longer letter explaining why you are a real fan of the player and also tell them a little about you. Ask for the item to be personalized to you! Some of the stars are upset as they see the items they autograph being sold in online auctions. They know that a true fan would not mind having the item personalized to them and that it would make it harder to sell. Ask the player if they require a donation to charity or sell their autograph and to please send back the information to purchase it.
The item or items you sent might cause an issue. Try sending only one item and not multiple items in your request. Are you sending an item that shows the player with a former team that they may not have left on good terms? Have you seen success posts of the player signing what you sent? Some players will sign photos and balls and not cards. Other players will only sign cards. Are you sending enough postage to get your items there and back? Is it easy for the player to return the item to you? Did you enclose a sharpie or a pen? It sometimes makes a difference… Did you make a custom card? Many players collect their own cards or have a family member who does. Add an extra of any customs that you send in an extra envelope and write gift for you on the extra envelope. They may have been keeping your cards as they did not have it for their collection or even the giving of the little gift may help them decide to grant your autograph request.
Go back and look at the successes that you have seen from the player. Were they from the same address that you are using? Is there a better address besides the one you have tried? What time of the year were they sent? How long did the successes take and are you just being inpatient? Players who take a long time to mail back should definitely have forever stamps used for the SASE. How long has it been since the player has a listed success? Check again to see, if there is a note about what the player signed.
I am sure that you have developed your own tricks to help in these situations. Hopefully these tips can help you finally get that white whale autograph that you have been wanting. Please post your successes in the SCF TTM Database to help others and may you find joy in your mailbox!
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