Terrific Mail Day!

Yesterday’s mailbox held a trade package from Tom, which I’ll follow up on in the next post, but the bounty awaiting me in today’s mail was just too much to not share.
First off were a pair of PWE’s holding two eBay pickups for my 1974 set: three of the four checklists in near-mint condition, which I landed for about $2.50 total.

Then came a string of TTM returns, a couple of which I’d been expecting to show up for some time after seeing success reports over on SportsCollectors.net.

Let’s start with the bad (condition) and work to the good. First off was a three-card return from Jeremy Giambi, which I was pretty happy to pull out of the envelope. That is, until I saw the second and third cards. Either the Sharpie was a bit weak or I need to brush up on prepping glossy cards for signatures, but cards two and three came out with some significant damage to the ink. It appears to be due to in-envelope friction, which makes me wonder if I should be using penny sleeves.

I always hear horror stories about cards showing back up with the sleeves signed and not the cards, though, which makes me hesitant. Not to mention the fact that I’m uncertain as to whether it would truly help, or if the added layer of plastic would just introduce more friction.

At any rate, here are the other two cards.
Then came a return from former Astros pitcher Wade Miller. Wade had some really good seasons at the beginning of his career with the Astros before some arm troubles took some life off his stuff.

I was hoping to get a note back from Mr. Miller, as I believe I saw the first game he pitched back in his home state of Pennsylvania, which I mentioned in my letter. We were visiting my grandparents, and Wade’s family and friends were sitting behind us cheering him.

I love minor league cards, and I especially love this sharp looking 1998 Texas League Top Prospects set. You’ll see more of this one soon. Wade also signed a 2002 UD 40 Man card and a 2003 Donruss Classics, the latter of which appears to have been scratched by a mail sorter or something of that nature. Oh well, it’s still a nice card. While I had an autographed 1998 Best featuring Miller on the AA Jackson Generals already, these two are my first autographs of him in a proper Astros uniform.

Next up was another three-card return, this time from former Royals top prospect Mark Quinn. Quinn played for Rice University here in Houston, and I remember seeing some power early on in his rookie season. He homered twice in his debut, and popped six homers in his seventeen games during his 1999 call-up. He was the kind of guy you just wanted to pull for, especially on a team like Kansas City.

I literally figured out where to write Mark when I was driving down one of the main streets in Houston and happened to see his name on a baseball academy I pass all the time. Until that moment, I hadn’t connected the fact that the small bungalow with the batting and pitching cages behind it was run by Quinn, and that I had some cards of his lying around.

These 2000 Impact Prospects were a nice looking subset, and I think the bright blue signature looks great. Mr. Quinn also signed a 2001 Fleer Ultra and one of those swell Texas League Top Prospects cards from his days with the Wichita Wranglers .

Finally, my second effort with Mr. Danny Darwin paid off in my favor. I got four cards back from “Dr. Death” in just ten days, including that 1979 rookie I picked up in my big vintage buy.

Darwin’s 1983 Topps looks straight up awesome, and I added two signed cards featuring Darwin as an Astro, checking off another name on the all-time roster. It’s time I start writing some more letters and put together a real checklist for that. Perhaps it merits its own fixed page here at RTA.

But that’s far from all that was in my mailbox this afternoon! Technically all of the above was in my PO Box, as I’m moving in a couple months and decided it was best to have all my TTM’s addressed there. When I got back to the house and checked the mail, I found a trade package from Old Foul Cardboard!

This one was sparked when he posted a fantastic piece of trade bait: a 1964 Topps Coin featuring Colt .45 Turk Farrell. I needed it oh so bad. So I dropped an email to OFC and we hashed out a trade.

In addition to the excellent coinage here (not in excellent shape, but that’s no matter to me), he added a nice stack of ’88 and ’89 Score for the sets I’m building, a few ’88 Donruss, and one more extra-special card.

Here’s a few of my highlights. First, a pair of Astros cards. Well, one’s a sweet 1984 Fleer sticker.

Then, a great trio of great looking swings from ’89 Score: The Crimedog, Eric Davis, and Griffey Sr.
And finally, perhaps the most important card of all in the package, a 1989 Topps #298, Chris James. This card means I’m just one away from completing my first set!
Thanks so much Chris! And thanks to everyone that made it this far, I know this was a doozy of a post. Now check and see if you’ve got a spare ’89 Topps #523 Andres Thomas laying around for me.
 – Bru

0 Replies to “Terrific Mail Day!”

  1. Good stuff on the TTMs. Danny Darwin was always a great guy to catch before and after games when he was in Milwaukee. He'd spend more time signing autographs than he did warming up, I swear!

    And Bru, I'm certain I can find that 1989 Andres Thomas!

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