I know that I am very far behind in posting about recent card trades; if you sent me something in the last month or so and I haven’t posted about it yet, rest assured that you’re on a list and I will be posting about it soon. But I received something this week that I really wanted to post right away. It was the first time that someone has obtained an in-person autograph and sent it to me. Justin from Tampa Bay Sports Wasteland is a fellow Rays fan (although he’s an Orioles fan too) and we’ve made a few card trades in the past. He attended the Rays Fan Fest at Tropicana Field a few weeks ago and he was kind enough to get a 2009 Matt Joyce card signed for me!
That was a totally awesome thing to do! Joyce, as you may know, hit 12 home runs in 242 at bats for the Tigers last year, and he was traded to the Rays for Edwin Jackson. He grew up in the Tampa Bay area and he was thrilled to become a Ray. Unfortunately he hasn’t been able to play in spring training yet, due to tendonitis in his lower right leg. Because of that, he’s likely to start the season in Durham where I’ll get to see him play in person. But it’s only a matter of time before he takes over Gabe Gross’ role as the lefty in the Rays right field platoon. I think that he has the potential to be a big contributor to the Rays for many years to come.
As if that weren’t enough, Justin threw in a few other cards too. The best one is this Upper Deck Cam Ward jersey card:
This is a card that even my wife is excited about. Cam Ward is her favorite hockey player. We attend a lot of Hurricanes games together. For the third year in a row, the Canes are battling for one of the last playoff spots in the Eastern Conference. Hopefully they will succeed in actually making the playoffs this year, for the first time since 2006 when they won the Stanley Cup. If they do, Cam Ward will need to be at the top of his game in the net.
Justin also sent an Evan Longoria Documentary card that I needed, three 2009 Topps cards (Longoria, David Price, and the Longoria/Price dual card), and a Wade Boggs card and Jonny Gomes card for my collection of old Devil Rays.
Thanks again Justin, for your awesome generosity!
So, I was reading Wax Heaven the other day and I came across this interesting post about Doug Glanville responding to a mailed autograph request fifteen years after it was sent. The post generated a few comments about other people’s experiences with through-the-mail autograph requests, and I decided to chime in with my own experience:
When I was in middle school in the early 90s, I sent cards through the mail to a few of the top athletes of the day. I only got one back out of about five. The one that I got back was from Joe Montana. That card has been a treasured part of my collection ever since then, but I’ve always wondered if he really signed it or if he hired someone to “handle” the huge amount of fan mail that he must have been getting. Maybe I’ll scan it and post it on my blog soon to see what other people think…
Well, here is the 1989 Topps football card that I spoke of:
Needless to say, I was thrilled when I got this card back in the mail. I remember considering myself lucky to have gotten Joe Montana’s autograph before he retired, because after his retirement he would no longer have a team address to receive mail. I was impressed by the crisp blue signature on the card, but I knew that Montana must have received a huge amount of fan mail, and I wondered if he really signed it or if he hired some sort of assistant to sign cards that people sent to him.
Charlie from the Hawk to the Hall blog responded to my comment: