Friday, February 3, 2017

a TTM success damn near given up for dead

While it's great when a through-the-mail autograph request promptly returns in a week or two, there's a unique joy in the rare request that you had given up on that eventually finds its way to you. I've only been in the TTM game for about a year and a half, but I finally got caught such a hail mary.

January 19, 2016 was a watershed day in my young TTM career, sending out a baker's dozen requests, all custom cards I had whipped up special. I remember pushing myself to prepare all those envelopes, for some reason really wanting to get a big batch out on the same day. It's the most I've ever sent out at once, by a large margin. Many came back quickly: Ron Cey, Ron Gant, Vida Blue (with note!), Al Hrabosky, Dave Kingman, Goose Gossage, Randy Jones, and Betty White.

I eventually even featured a few of the failures from that 1/19/16 TTM blast on the blog, as I really liked how the customs turned out and so I wanted to show them off, signed or not. Marley Shelton and Mike Vitar returned as undeliverable by the USPS. And I posted that I had written off my requests to Art Lafleur and Pee-Wee Herman, though technically I suppose there's still a chance that they could come back one day.

But there was one last request I sent out on 1/19/16 that I've never mentioned on the blog up to this point: Karen Allen, the super-cute, kick-ass actress I know best from Raiders of the Lost Ark, Animal House, and Scrooged. Oh, and I even forgot she was the mom in The Sandlot. Ha, that means I sent four TTMs related to that movie in one day... and this is the only one that I successfully got back...

So awesome! Finding an envelope addressed in your writing in the mail is something TTM folks live for, and it's a special thrill when you haven't been expecting anything back. Suddenly, Santa and the Easter Bunny are real again! That's what this hobby is all about!

While creating the custom card, I ended up with 3 different photos that I really liked, so I sent an "uncut sheet" of the three, hoping to at least get one of them signed, and she generously signed all of them, even personalizing one unsolicited. ♥ ❤ ♥ ❤ ♥ ❤ ♥

At a whopping 380 days, this is by far my longest-awaited successful TTM return, breaking the recently established record of 66 days... though I still hold a tiny spark of hope that Pee-Wee and/or the Great Bambino (Lafleur) will eventually come through and take the top [bottom?] spot.

A very warm thanks to Ms. Allen for brightening my day with this gracious autograph return! Worth the wait! 

I just watched Scrooged yet again with the family this past Christmas, and everytime I do, I fall for her wonderfully sweet Claire character. I think I'm about due to watch through the Indiana Jones saga again, as it's definitely a favorite of mine and it's been a few years since I watched them. Between you and me, I haven't seen Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, avoiding it after hearing some negative reviews back when it originally came out (aliens and sci-fi stuff ruining the vibe of the original trilogy). But I think I'm ready to finally give it a chance, especially after learning that Karen reprises her role of Marion Ravenwood in it.

Have a great weekend, everybody!


  1. Awesome stuff, some nice bold autos there. I love the Indiana Jones movies, have the Blu Ray box set. Kingdom of the Crystal Skull was entertaining but can't hold a candle to the original trio in my mind. Too much nostalgia from the original trilogy for me. Anyway, great autos, congrats!

  2. What a nice surprise, and a great looking auto! I'm glad you got it back after all this time. I haven't tried TTMs in years, and since actress cards are limited to a few show-themed sets (and plain jane celebrity sets woefully short on A-listers) your customs are probably the best option. I actually had an idea for a custom set of my favorite celebs in a "Fans of the Game" series, but I have no graphic design skills at all. Perhaps you could give it a shot? Do you take cardboard payment for those killer customs you do? ;)

  3. Great customs and autos! I enjoyed her appearances in those movies as well. While you should definitely see KotCS, set your expectations very, VERY low. And then lower them a lot more because Shia LaBeouf is in it.

  4. I would beat the shit out of Denis Leary to be Scotty's 3rd step father.

  5. What a cool return! Your customs look like something from a real set. And they look good signed. Congrats.

  6. Patience pays off! Congratulations on the nice TTM return. I just watched Scrooged over the holidays myself. Awesome movie.

  7. That is so cool!!!!!! The customs look great Gavin.

  8. That's awesome. Thanks for sharing.