Holy Crap-oly!! My First TTM Success!
September 25th, 2009 by slangon
About a week and a half ago, I had finally gotten around to sending out my very first through the mail autograph request to the gentleman pictured in the card below.
Yesterday, as I was sifting through the bills and junk mail, I stopped at an envelope addressed to me, written in my own hand writing. It didn’t take too long for me to figure out that this was one of my requests come back. Furthermore, since I’ve only sent 2 out so far, and one of them was only sent a few days ago, It didn’t take long for me to figure out which one it was, especially since the gentleman in question wrote his return address on the front of the envelope.
That’s right, folks. It’s none other than Herb “Briefcase” Simpson, Negro League Star. I like the way he signed it at that pretty severe angle, which happens to pretty much match the angle of his arm. It also looks like if his signature was a bit longer, it would run corner to corner. I just find it a bit more interesting than straight across the front. Pretty cool.
When I initially sent this card out, I was a wee bit worried about it. This happened to be my only copy of this card, so I was thinking that if it got lost in the mail, or Mr. Simpson decided for whatever reason not to sign it, or even return it, I would have to track another one down. I’m not saying that would be that hard to do, I’m just saying.
I also started to fret a bit because after I had already sent the card out, I was trolling around the interwebs for some other Negro Leaguers addresses. I stumbled across a post somewhere that claimed that Herb Simpson wanted a $5 fee for signing. Fortunately, that wasn’t the case, but being new to this whole through the mail thing, I didn’t know what to expect from guys who expect signing fees when they don’t get them. I guess I still don’t know what to expect when that happens. Do you just never hear back from them, and your card is lost forever? Do they write you a letter asking for the money? And what if a guy usually wants $5, but you only send them $3? Do you only get 60% of their signature?
I just want to point out here that I have absolutely no problem with guys doing this, especially these older guys, and especially these Negro Leaguers, who obviously didn’t have million dollar contracts back in the day to support them in their old age. Plus, I figure they’re taking time out of their day to do something nice for a total stranger. Five bucks is not a lot to ask for in return. Also, even though I’m not looking to get these cards autographed for profit, I’m well aware that there are people out there that are, and I can see that being very frustrating for the guys who sign.
Anyway, needless to say I was super-duper psyched to pull this out of my mailbox, but part of my was a little disappointed. One of the things that I really love about old-timey baseball, and the Negro Leagues especially, is the plethora of really cool nicknames that the players had. I was aware that Herb’s nickname was “Briefcase”, due to his diminutive stature. So even though I was really grateful that he signed my card, truthfully, I was just a little saddened that he didn’t sign it with his nickname.
But just as I was saying to myself “Sean, stop whining and just be happy that this guy took time out of his day to sign your stupid baseball card. Ingrate!”, I happened to turn the card over.
Pretty awesome, Mr. Simpson. I will start the cherishing right now, and keep it up for as long I live.