I am avidly buying unused US stamps from e-bayUK, for two reasons. Firstly to send Mario at Wax Heaven some envelopes just in case a Jacoby Ellsbury card pops up in his generous give-aways and secondly I was reading about 'Through the Mail' autographs. I thought I might give that a try.
I have worked out that it will cost roughly $3.00, give or take 50cents, to post up to about 3 cards in toploaders, etc to the United Kingdom. There are plenty of unused USA stamps available on e-bay, located in the UK. The problem being they are mostly 10c and smaller denomination stamps. There just isn't the room to put 30+ stamps, besides the fact that it would look ridiculous. So I must find the airmail stamps or more recent 40cent stamps. During this process I can see how a fascination with stamp collecting can develop. I have picked up some nice, mostly sport related, US stamps. The baseball stamp was an unexpected bonus from one of the sellers when I explained what I was doing.
I'm not quite ready to send to Mario yet, I have a few more auctions to win. However, I will try the TTM autograph. But I will be honest and maybe there is a reader who can help me out on this. 'I don't have a clue what I am doing!'
I would like to get Jacoby Ellsbury's autograph on a card. I know where to send it but what do I send and which card?
Should the card be placed in a plastic sleeve and a toploader? Or will Jacoby not be bothered to remove the card. He must get 1000's of requests. Is it a waste of time?
What card? I have two Allen+Ginter cards which are not shiny and presume these will be easier to sign. Any suggestions?
Do I write a message, note, request? Short and simple? Specific- explaining exactly what I would like?
Do I include a pen?
I know that I must include a stamped, self addressed envelope but it will need a customs label. This is tricky. I have tried to get a hold of some but to no avail. It appears that you have a section to tear off and keep as proof of postage. Will he (or I presume a PA who deals with these) be bothered?
I would like to try it but keep coming back to:
Am I just wasting my time?
Any help greatly received.
I usually include a short note with the TTM's that I send out. No need to send a pen. So far I've only sent my requests out in a penny sleeve, no toploader. The cards usually come back without any damage, but with your cards going overseas you might want to put them in a toploader since they're probably going to get bounced around a bit.
Allen & Ginters make for great signature cards. I've gotten about 4 back already and no matter what color they sign with it looks nice.
One thing I would recommend is that you don't expect them back quickly. I've noticed that most of the ones I've gotten back have taken a couple of months, most of the time I forgot I sent them out!
Also - I got you package the other day. Thanks as always for the Rays cards..it brightened up a pretty bad week!
From a novice at this (3 attempts, 2 successes, 1 pending):
1. Short note
2. Self-addressed stamped envelope
3. No pen
4. No top loaders or even penny sleeves (sometimes the sleeve comes back signed, not the card). Although I agree, if it's coming from overseas, some protection might be necessary.
5. If you're asking for the autograph of a current player, expect a long wait, especially if the request is during the season.
6. Cards with no gloss are best. Although there are various ways to remove gloss. I haven't tried any yet.
7. If you want more advice, talk to Paul (Paul's Random Stuff), Patricia (Dinged Corners), Zach (Autographed Cards), Kris (Cards in the Attic) and probably a couple others I can't think of. They're the experts.
I think the only real obstacle might be the need for the player to take your SASE to the post office to mail it back rather than simply drop it in a box with their regular mail. I assume that with a customs form, that is what they would have to do.
Many of the retired players probably would do it on their way to the golf course, and possibly most of the active players have people who help them with their fan mail. It should prove quite interesting which players you hear back from.
Definitely send a handwritten note. Try to keep it shorter and more to the point than my rambling reply to your post.
Don't think Ellsbury has a high return rate in the majors, although he did in the minors. Actually though there is a chance your envelope (and pretty stamps) will stand out and get some attention.
I send a short note explaining why I am asking. I also include a SASE, a pen and sometimes a card or two for them to keep. I don't use a top loader anymore, since I got a couple back where the sleeve was what got signed.
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