Since I wasn’t sending out letters all summer my TTM returns fell off dramatically after the initial rush. But one would still trickle in every couple of weeks. So in order of arrival here are the rest of the returns of the summer.
Former Giants pitcher (and current Phillies coach) Jim Gott came back in 54 days. The Mother’s Cookies card looks great; the black Pirates jersey not so much (though it looks better in person). I new Gott as a Pirate when I was a kid but I’m happy to add him to my Giants album.
Cory Snyder had one of the best arms I’ve ever seen and is one of the few players who wasn’t cowed by Candlestick’s right field. He wasn’t a Giant for long but I enjoyed watching him while he was. His cards came back in 51 days.
I’d sort of given up on Aramís García since I sent it to spring training. But 182 days later I got another of my customs signed. Sending customs to guys who didn’t have real cards during spring training is one of my favorite parts of TTMing. It’s a nice way to celebrate a big league debut and I’m very happy to receive this return.
He kept most of the customs I sent (I asked for him to sign his favorite and keep the rest). This one commemorates a 4 for 4 day he had in a late-season series in which the Giants were swept by the Reds.
I sent my customs out to a lot of the guys last spring. At this point in the season I have 20 different cards signed (out of a checklist of 162) by twelve different players—exactly 25% of the roster. I think that’s pretty good and it’s definitely been a lot of fun even though only three of the players have been mainstays on the 25-man roster this season.*
*Reyes Moronta, Tony Watson, and Will Smith
The nature of who responds to TTM requests is biased toward less-established players who get less mail. So it’s not surprising to me that I have a couple returns from players who have bounced up and down between SF and Sacramento* and one from a guy who only go called up at the end of August.** Nor is it surprising that I have bunch from guys who have been traded of designated for assignment*** since I started off getting cards from guys who left the team last season.****
*Dereck Rodíguez and Aramís García
***Ty Blach, Ray Black, Sam Dyson, Derek Holland, and Chris Stratton
****Gorkys Hernández and Chase d’Arnaud
Brett Butler is supposedly a good signer but I’d written these off as well. 174 days later though and this pair of Mother’s Cookies cards found their way back to me. Butler was our lead-off hitter during the late 1980s and he was one of those pain in the ass guys who always tried to bunt and annoy the pitcher. He was good at it as well as a fielding a decent centerfield.
Oh man did we hate it when he went to LA but that degree of enmity was because of how much we’d liked him as a Giant. It was nice to see him take part in the 1989 celebrations this past season and see how the fans preferred to remember him as part of that team.
Even though my new requests will come back to my new house now I expect that they’ll also continue to show up periodically at my parents’. I’ve got a fair amount still out there and while most of those will be write-offs I’ve seen enough multi-hundred day returns to know to never truly give up on a request.