by, 05-23-2010 at 11:43 PM (18463 Views)
Why TTM Autographs Are Perfect for Tough Times
By indyreds AKA Mike Greene
I know that the economy has been a little rough and many of us are cutting back or trying to make our collection dollars stretch further than before. The county I work in is currently at over a 17% unemployment rate and the National unemployment rate is now over 9%! Many collectors have a much more limited budget for their hobby as we all tighten our belts. While I am one of the lucky ones who has not seen my employer laying off workers, I have started to look at my spending and cut back where I can. It is no secret that our hobby dollars is a place where many of us have cut back.
I know that opening up a box and pulling out an autograph of a player from your favorite team, a Hall of Famer, rookie or a current star always seems like a success. I just can no longer justify spending $100 on a box of sports cards and get a couple of hits. It is like playing the lottery as you just never know what you will get and you sometimes end up with a piece of cardboard that you just do not want. Thank God that SCF is here to try to trade those hits you did not want to someone who might. I wanted more control of the autographed items coming into my collection, but did not want to spend what autograph singles are bringing in the hobby.
Do you realize for around $10 you can add ten to twenty autographs to your collection? It can be done! You can pick up a box of envelopes at most Dollar stores for just that one dollar. Purchase a book of stamps for $8.80 cents at your local post office. Now look at that stack of cards you have that were not hits from the boxes you have purchased. I assume that most collectors have plenty of base cards that they do nothing with. Take a few moments and go into the Through the Mail Manager (TTMM) and look through the recent successes. Select some players that others have gotten back or take a shot at someone else. You can usually find players who you would love to add to your collection and then sort through those base cards you have sitting out and pull one or two cards out of those players.
Look up those players in the TTMM and address an envelope to them. Take a few minutes to write a short letter telling the player why you would like their autograph and ask them to sign the card or cards you are mailing to them. Fill out another envelope with your address in the send to area and place a stamp on it. In the hobby the call this envelope a self addressed stamped envelope and is often abbreviated to SASE. Place your cards, the request letter and your SASE into the player addressed envelope. Stamp the envelope and mail it off! You have enough supplies with that book of stamps and the envelope box you purchased to attempt ten requests. What would you have to pay for a hobby box with ten autograph hits in it? Here are ten names that have recent successes in the TTMM Andre Dawson, Duke Snider, Paul Molitor, Ozzie Newsome, Lawrence Taylor, Hershel Walker, Karl Malone, Lenny Wilkens, Danica Patrick and Anna Kournikova. I can definitely see where adding those ten autographs to your collection for $10 would make your hobby dollars stretch further. Give it a shot and please do report your successes in the TTMM for other members as well! I have to go check my mail! Best of luck with your autograph requests!