Wednesday, January 23, 2013


Back when I was 10 or 11, my best friend and I took to writing letters to retired baseball players in search of autographs.

We were both of us baseball-history geeks, and we enjoyed taking the time to do a little extra research on our subjects in an effort to personalize the requests.

As we received our responses, we would split the bounty fairly randomly. I don't recall either one of us fighting particularly hard to take possession of a specific autograph.

Here is my remaining inventory of signatures from those days: 

Monte Irvin (black-and-white photocard)
George “Highpockets” Kelly (HOF postcard)
Buck Leonard (HOF postcard)
Earl Averill (HOF postcard)
Burleigh Grimes (HOF postcard)
Joe McCarthy (HOF postcard)
Sandy Koufax (cut paper)
Cal Hubbard (cut paper)
Stan Musial (index card)
Hank Aaron (index card)
Don Drysdale (index card)
Don Newcombe (index card)

This brief mania having run its course, I didn't spend much additional time over the years chasing autographs. I have pulled a decent number of them from 21st century packs, but that has rarely been the goal.

However, given my history as a Mets fan, I have long aspired to own a decent Tom Seaver autographed card.

My hope had been to find something that met certain specific criteria. For one, it had to picture him with the Mets. Cards of Tom Terrific on the Reds, White Sox, or Red Sox were dead to me.

Secondly, it had to be an on-card autograph. No signatures on glittery silver stickers would suffice.

Finally, the price had to be reasonable. I was not about to get into any triple-digit shenanigans in the service of this quest.

The 1997 Donruss Significant Signatures insert had been on my radar for some time. It is an attractive enough card, and with a print run of 2,000 the asking price tends to remain reasonable.

I fell across this graded version a couple of months back, and put in an early bid that ultimately won the card for a bit less than $25.

And you can rest assured that I will not trade this for autographed cards of Pat Zachry, Doug Flynn, Steve Henderson, and Dan Norman...

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