TTM Report: June 2020

Alright, I’m way overdue for a post so let’s get another one of these out of the draft folder. It’s time for a TTM Report! From last June! It wasn’t anything near May’s haul, but I did receive another small batch at the end of June, mostly from private signings.

Rafael Palmeiro: 3/4, 735 days

This was the big one, and it was certainly a surprise. You may recall that in 2018, Palmeiro showed up in the American Association, an independent league, playing for the Cleburne Railroaders. His son Patrick was on the team, and I suppose Rafael just missed mashing dingers too much to stay away. At the ripe age of 53, some 13 years removed from his major league career, Palmeiro got into 31 of the 98 games the Railroaders played, slashed .301/.424/.495 for a .919 OPS and went deep 6 times at a league that is roughly in the High A – AA region of play. So I dashed off a request, using one of the 8×10’s from The Motherlode, and a few other cards, figuring that with a small organization like that, they might actually get to Palmeiro’s hands. Well, they did, and in June he started sending back things from the past several years – quelle surprise indeed! That 2000 Stadium Club Chrome card is real nice in person. I wonder if Rafael will ever see the Hall, someday when the standards change a bit, given that he has 529 homers and 3020 hits along with a career .288 batting average.

Jeff Leonard: 1/1, 36 days
Mike Norris: 1/1, 36 days

The length of time on these is somewhat irrelevant, as they came in via private signings orchestrated by the same organizer. I dashed them off in May and got them back shortly after the signings in June, and of course I opted for the 1981 Fleer cards. Jeff Leonard filled an Astro-graph slot, while Mike Norris gave me another one of the Black Aces. Out of the original roster from Mudcat Grant’s book, I now have Grant, Blue, Gibson, Gooden, Newcombe, Jenkins, Norris, and J.R. Richard. A Dontrelle Willis signing popped up, so I may send off for him (also for the ROY collection) to go along with Sabathia in the modern category.

J.R. Phillips: 1/1, 36 days.

I nabbed J.R. Phillips via another private signing, finally filling another longstanding hole in the Astro-graph binder. I’ve tried a few times to no avail, so when an inexpensive signing came up it felt like the best option to finally get him. J.R. lacks an Astros card, so I whipped up one of my Wilson Franks-style customs for this one.

Tommy Greene: 5/4, 7 days.

This former Phillies hurler and short-term ‘Stro is an excellent TTM signer. Greene lacks an Astros card, though, and it was a little difficult for me to track down a useable image to finally make into a custom. I believe the Phillips spurred me to make another batch, and I made sure to include Greene this time. I offered up a copy for him to keep, but he signed both.

Greene has a big, beautiful signature, and made sure to include his uniform number on the Phillies cards – perhaps he doesn’t remember that he donned #54 in the two games he got into with the Astros in 1997, and that’s perfectly fine. I asked if he would include a No-Hitter inscription on one of the cards and assumed he’d put it on the 1991 Fleer, since that was the season of his No-No, but he added it to the 1994 Ultra instead. Would the Fleer have been a cooler choice? Perhaps, but the Ultra has the real estate for it, and I think it came out great. Oh, and you know I couldn’t resist sending that ’94 Score with Greene at the plate. What an excellent way to close out the month!

If you weren’t keeping track, that was 5 pickups in June: 3 new Astro-graphs, one Black Ace, and one no-hitter in the bunch – and one debatable Hall of Famer* in there as well. Not bad! Perhaps I can get July done before another two weeks goes past us.

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