If you are a veteran of collecting autos through the mail, this article probably isn’t for you. However, if you’re like me, you may enjoy even the simplest of write-ups about topics you’re passionate about, like TTM collecting. I’m writing this for newcomers and less experienced enthusiasts that may have no idea what to do or little knowledge about this subject. Anyway, kick back and let me share a few pointers and insights to get you on your way. There is always a starting point to everything and getting prepared to TTM should, in my opinion, be approached with organization and care. Give your activity some consideration and think about who it is you’d like to send an autograph request to, learn a little bit about the person you are writing and what you would like to send to have autographed. Players appreciate thoughtfulness and courtesy from those writing with their TTM requests, so always be polite and as genuine in your approach. This may go a long way with many players and the responses in return may surprise you. Before starting your TTM requests, make sure you have the following items ready to use:
2. Envelopes & Stamps (1 to send out and another to be sent as a self-addressed stamped envelope or SASE)
3. Items being sent to be autographed / sports cards, photos, index cards, etc
4. Player’s Name & Address (Be sure to verify that your address is valid!! Also know the person you’re requesting an autograph from has any fees they require in exchange)
The debate whether to send a hand-written request or computer generated one is never a question with me. I always hand write my requests and believe you should also. Handwritten requests appear more personal and intimate to those receiving them. They also imply your request is not a mechanical one but you took the time to write and share some meaningful time with them. What to write is also the consideration for each person making their request. A simple greeting, what you are request, a mention of something that connects you with the player like having seen them play, being on your favorite team or an achievement they may have accomplished. It is also permissible to ask the person questions about their careers. I always end my request by including a personal “thank you in advance” for their signing my item(s). It is suggested to keep your handwritten request short, as most players get lots of TTM mail. It is very important not to send too many items with your requests, as this can be a point of irritation with most TTM signers. Only send one or two items. A word of caution – never send anything you are not willing to lose. This means don’t send anything valuable or irreplaceable. Things happen and you may never see your items returned. So – keep that in mind. A short point of reference is this personal story of mine: In the late 1970s I sent a couple of items to Carl Yastrzemski, a couple of cards of no importance. I received them back quickly and with great confidence, I sent him my prized 1960 Topps rookie card, which til this day has never returned! I’m still grieving that choice! LOL Once you’ve gone through all of these suggested steps and done them well, you can claim your own status as an established TTM’er and you’ll be off running for your future TTM project! Here are some verified players’ addresses with signing info to get you started! HAPPY OSTTM AUTOGRAPH COLLECTING!