Well, I thought I had some good momentum rolling, but I let it slip. It turns out I’d forgotten how much work babies require when they are teeny-tiny! I’m looking forward to a few months from now, when our schedule returns to something resembling normality. Let’s keep this series going – if I stay on track, I should have the February 2021 report actually filed on time. The returns which came in during September of 2020 were mostly private signings once again. With as much down time as it would seem I had in 2020, you’d think I would have written some more letters. However, I was pretty downtrodden from the endless job hunt, and I just couldn’t seem to put any letters together.
Rob Mallicoat: 1/1
The first new addition was pitcher Rob Mallicoat via a dirt cheap private signing. He’s apparently started answering his mail since then, so I may try for a few other cards. I most remember his 1992 Score card with the Rookie Prospect bar on it, so it was rather surprising when I found out he had actually come up four years earlier and been beset with injuries. This one was an Astro-graph upgrade: I’ve got a slip of paper Rob signed, which I believe I got at the 1992 FanFest. 1988 Fleer works pretty nice with the rainbow shoulder uniforms, by the way.
Roy Oswalt: 1/1
This one was via a private signing, and for a reasonable price given Roy’s legendary status with the club and a borderline HOF career overall. I picked out a wonderful 2002 Topps Gallery card for this, and I think it turned out fantastic. I think this set in general is rather nice, and this was a delightful upgrade to the sticker auto which filled Roy’s spot in the Astro-graphs binder.
Charlie Hayes: 1/1
Charlie had a brief stint with Houston, finishing his big league career with them while hitting .200 in 31 games in 2001. He runs a baseball academy here now, and used to be a strict 2 item limit via TTM, but appears to have stopped signing because people weren’t following his request. FOLLOW THE REQUESTS, PEOPLE! A cheap signing popped up, so I finally whipped up a custom with the one good photo I could find of him in a Houston uniform. It’s not ideal, what with all that black ink, but it fills his slot in the binder! It also checks a baseball family box – you may have heard of his son, Ke’Bryan, who’s a rather good third baseman himself.
Tony Kemp: 1/1, 18 days
Aha! We have come to our first actual TTM return of September 2020! Oh my, how I love Tony Kemp! I was able to meet him at one of the TriStar shows a few years back. I paid for one autograph – on his 2018 Starchives card, and brought extra copies of his card and his game highlights from the set for him to keep. He was a true delight, just like he is on the field, and asked if I’d like him to sign everything – what a guy! He also said how cool he thought the cards were, so I sent him his 2019 Starchives card via the A’s. He signed it and held onto the copy I sent for him to keep. I may have to make more Tony Kemp customs!
Bryan Abreu: 3/3, 17 days
There was one other actual return during September 2020, and it featured another Starchives custom. It’s always so much fun getting the customs back, particularly when the player has held onto the spare copy to keep or mentions it in their response. Bryan Abreu has shown some filthy stuff in his time with the club, so long as his command is under control. When it’s not, all bets are off. But man, what an underwhelming signature we have here. Also, that 2020 Topps is now borderline NSFW. Still, I’m pleased with it!
So 18 months ago I added two new Astros, two more slot upgrades, a baseball dad, a team legend, and got three customs signed! That’s not too shabby at all.