Let’s catch up with another TTM Report! I quit filling the hopper last summer, and so the final four months of returns were leaner. Thus, these next two posts will cover two months at a time. I don’t want to make any promises, but perhaps I’ll get caught up in time to file that June report in timely fashion. I had 7 returns grace the mailbox across September and October, so let’s drop the chatter and get to it.
Kevin Romine: 4/4, 10 days
First up is a quick quartet from Kevin Romine, a former Red Sox outfielder who played parts of 7 seasons in Boston, and of course: a double baseball dad. Kevin’s sons Austin and Andrew are both big leaguers. Kevin wasn’t much of a slugger, but one thing of note is that his final big league home run was a grand slam, as he torched Alex Fernandez of the White Sox on May 5th, 1991. He was released in August, hitting just .164. This return is a hit for my baseball bloodline pages, though! Now to see if I can get Austin and/or Andrew.
Joe Pettini: 6/4, 68 days.
Joe Pettini was another part-time player who had an even shorter career. The infielder played parts of four seasons for San Francisco from 1980-1983. His 1981 Topps card with its turtleneck has been a favorite of mine since I first discovered it. There’s a lovely 1981 Fleer as well, featuring a rad looking warmup jacket. It looks like the number on the sleeve is on a trolley car – maybe Nick V. can confirm that. I also added another favorite design with his 1983 Topps card.
Joe was also an Astros coach on Brad Mills’ staff, taking over the bench coach role in 2012 for Al Pedrique. Unfortunately for Joe, Brad became the victim of regime change in Houston, and wouldn’t survive the length of the season. Joe signed all three copies of the custom I sent, declining to keep the extras.
Bobby Crosby: 2/2, 14 days
The last return of September was Bobby Crosby, the 2004 AL Rookie of the Year. He took over the shortstop job in place of Miguel Tejada, who had signed with Baltimore, and proceeded to pace AL rookies in hits, doubles, walks, and bopped 22 homers. He’s also a baseball kid; his dad Ed put in time for the Cardinals, Reds, and Indians in the 1970s. I sent this to the Midland Rockhounds, where Bobby was coaching in the A’s organization.
Todd Jones: 2/4, 121 days
I went back to the well on this one. I first got a return from Todd shortly before our break-in in May of 2015, but they were signed in green, of all things, and I think a couple loose ones were pilfered in the burglary. He’d signed four that time, so I went with four once again, all card designs I enjoyed, but he only signed two. He inked up my two favorite out of the batch, however, and I am certainly not upset about it. I was really happy to see he switched markers, though.
Buck Showalter: 2/1, 19 days
Oops! I totally forgot to include the second card I meant to send here – I found it on my desk a couple days after I dropped this request in the mail, of course. The good news is that I included the most important card – and the first Diamondbacks card ever, to my knowledge: Buck’s delightful portrait from 1996 Stadium Club. Buck has taken home three Manager of the Year awards (’94, ’05, ’14), one of 8 managers to do so since they began handing them out in 1983. Buck also included a signed Orioles postcard that I rather enjoyed.
Reggie Harris: 4/4, 9 days
This one was a quick return, but was also a reboot. I had fudged the address on my first request, and in between I had decided that I needed to reprint my Astros custom. Reggie made it into 18 games with the A’s across 1990-91, but he didn’t return to the majors until 1996 – a rather sad four games with the Red Sox. It’s somewhat striking, because in 1997 he worked 50 games for the Phillies. He spent 1998 in the Astros system, mostly at AAA, and made it into 6 games, then 8 games with Milwaukee in 1999. That 1997 is one heck of an anomaly in his stats. Once I’d finally done another printing, I tossed my request and new customs in another envelope and they came back in just over a week. The 1991 Donruss is a factory set version – that green Series 2 border works great with the A’s uniforms. While the custom is my favorite, the Upper Deck card is the runner up here.
Scott Servais: 2/2, 185 days
The last return of October took a little over 6 months to come back, as I sent this out to the Mariners in April. I have a couple in-person signatures from Scott which were gotten during my youth, but I’m always game to add a couple more on fun card choices if possible. The 1993 Stadium Club team set felt like a fun and different offering, and I’m curious how many cards from that set I could get signed. Not much needs to be said about the 1994 Upper Deck: it’s a great action shot of a play at the plate. Sure, the throw isn’t in time, but it’s a really great and intense photo, and it features Scott in those fresh blue and gold digs of my childhood – the coolest.
Like I said up top – it may have just been seven returns across the two months, but there were some nice additions: a couple of baseball family entries, a 1981 Fleer, two new Astro-graphs (Pettini and Harris), a Rookie of the Year, a Manager of the Year, and a couple other fun Astros cards. I’ll take it!