Friday, July 01, 2005

My [Jeff] Cirillo success isn't an oddity, but maybe unique. He signed two out of four cards, returning the other two unsigned (including my 2001 Fleer Tradition 'set' card). I noticed that there were two distinct dots on the unsigned cards. I don't think this was due to the fact that he stacked the cards together, causing the other cards to stain.

I've heard rumors about players marking cards that they return, but do not sign, to see if you would 'double up' them up with the same card and make another request. In recent months, I had read Florida Marlins reliever Todd Jones' column on Yahoo! Sports about the deal with autographs from a player's point of view. His column details how players would make little marks on the cards they return (unsigned) to see if you do end up making that multiple request.

I wonder if Cirillo took the time to dot the cards, so that he'd have a 'chuckle' in the remote instance I'd write to him with the same unsigned cards. Of course, it isn't like I have other Cirillo cards in my collection I could send him, but most likely I would have sent the unsigned 2001 Fleer Tradition again (since that is the card I really want signed).
Surprisingly, towards the end of June, I had SASEs (self addressed stamped envelopes) trickle in from baseball autograph requests I had made in previous months including Jack McDowell (6/30/05), Adam LaRoche, Hank Blalock (spring training) and Jeff Cirillo (spring training).

It wasn't like I haven't gotten those players' autographs before, but my mailbox was empty as far as getting back requests before the last week or so of June. I don't even know if I keep track of my requests anymore, since I've otherwise just settled to do what I can in-person.

Other successes mailed within the past month, included Curtis Granderson, Al Kaline and George Kell.

I got a 'return to sender' from Cecil Fielder, whose autograph I once got on a trading card back in the day (1996). I discarded the card when an 'experiment' to remove some ink from the card stock failed. I haven't gotten a Fielder autograph since and hopefully, the address affixed on the 'RTS' label is a useful one.