Category Archives: 2015 Heritage Mini

Through The Mail Success (Hockey Style) – Larry Robinson

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I’m showing a bit of hockey love today.  Larry Robinson was lightening fast with his return, I think it was just 11 days, he even sent a note saying how much he liked the card which was a bit of a feather in my cap.

Although my Mark Howe autograph attempt fell on deaf ears, Marry Robinson was only too happy to send me his.  Inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1995, he is widely considered one of the best defensivemen ever to play the game.  He played from 1971 to 1992 and tallied 958 regular season points in his career.  He has been a successful coach since his retirement as both an assistant and head coach.  He won the Con Smythe Trophy once and the Norris Trophy twice.

Overall a great signing from who many consider one of the nicest guys in hockey.

Example of certified signature:

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Rookie card:

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Through The Mail Success – Tedy Bruschi

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This one came back about two weeks ago.  As many of you know I am an University of Arizona alumni.  I thought it would be great to post a pro – Wildcat TTM success.  I was at U of A from 1989 – 1993, right in the thick of Desert Swarm.  I met many members of this defense over the years while I was a part of KAMP student radio, serving as the Sports Director.  Bruschi is one of the nicest guys you will ever meet.  He was great to do interviews with (of which I did quite a few) and was just so down to earth.  I have a bunch of his autographs that I have gotten over the years, but I wanted one that was on my new design, so off it went on a three week journey.

His awards are as follows:

  • 2× Consensus All-American (1994, 1995)
  • 3× First-team All-Pac-10 (1993, 1994, 1995)
  • Morris Trophy (1995)
  • Pro Bowl (2004)
  • 2× All-Pro (2003, 2004)
  • 3× Super Bowl champion (XXXVI, XXXVIII, XXXIX)
  • 5× AFC champion (1996, 2001, 2003, 2004, 2007)
  • 2× Ed Block Courage Award (2000, 2005)
  • AP NFL Comeback Player of the Year (2005)
  • PFWA NFL Comeback Player of the Year (2005)
  • New England Patriots All-2000s Team
  • New England Patriots 50th Anniversary Team
  • College Football Hall of Fame inductee (2013)

Where I sent it:

Tedy Bruschi
c/o ESPN
935 Middle St.
Bristol, CT 06010

Turnaround time: 25 days

Number of cards signed in the set: 4

Finally, I hope that U of A gets the number one seed in the west later today.  They deserve it, they won their conference and the conference tournament, unlike both Virginia and Duke.

“Borrowing” From Topps – 2015 Heritage Cuts – Graig Nettles

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I had to do it.  Actually to be honest most of my designs borrow from Topps’s designs.  This one though is completely torn from this year’s set.  I don’t like the way they did the cut autographs, but I do like the design.  Of course I did do some alterations.  Anywhere there was Topps, I replaced it with Bad Wax.  Before you tattle on me to Topps, just realize that I don’t sell these cards.  They are for my personal collection.  I am first and foremost a cut autograph collector and with the scarcity in these sets, the cost per card is astronomical.  So . . . I make my own damn cards.

As for the player, I won this card off eBay, it does come with JSA certification (for whatever that’s worth), and I purchased it for $9.59 including shipping.  A bit steep but Nettles is a fan favorite and for a signed index card of him, it’s actually not a bad price.  I’ve seen the average run about $14-17 shipped.  As many of you know I am a Yankee fan.  When growing up in the late 70s and early 80s, I had a few favorites.  Thurman Munson, Ron Guidry and Graig Nettles.  Those three were my childhood heroes.  They also command a lot of $$$ for autographs.  I have a Gator autograph already, Munson is beyond my means and the Nettles has eluded me for years.

Nettles is borderline Hall of Fame worthy.  His resume includes six All Star games, two World Series rings, an ALCS MVP award, two time Gold Glove winner, one time AL homerun champ, and most importantly he was captain of the Yanks from 1982-1984.  Things holding him back was his 0.248 batting average and 390 home runs.  If either were higher, he would be in.  Make no bones about it though, he was a 3-5 in the lineup hitter for the majority of his 22 year career.

EloRater Rank: #79, before Billy Williams, A-Rod, and Joe Cronin, but after Ken Boyer, Kenny Lofton and Gary Carter.

Baseball Reference Page: Graig Nettles

Wikipedia Page: Graig Nettles

Cards Number: BWHC-GN

Cards in set: 1

Certified autograph:

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Rookie card:

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Through the Mail Success – Jim Bunning

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Got this one back mid last week. What an amazing through the mail success.  I love players like Jim Bunning who is widely considered one of the top 50 pitchers of all time, take the time to sign and send back ttm autograph requests.  His career was legendary, two no hitters, including a perfect game. At the time of his retirement he had the second most strikeouts, currently he sits 17th. He appeared in 9 All Star games, he won 17 or more games in eight of his 17 seasons, a three time strikeout champion, and a World Series champion.

If that’s not enough he then led a life of a politician for his home state of Kentucky for the next 30+ years.  Including being a member of the US House of Representatives from 1987 – 1999, and a US Senator from 1999-2011. What an amazing life he has led.   I had decided to make the card of him as a Tiger for a few reasons. First, it’s where he won his most games and second he won a World Series there.  However it should be noted that most people remember him as a Phillie.  I apologize Phillie fans, for taking him away from you, but I had to make the card of him as a Tiger.

Turnaround time: 14 days

Player’s Baseball Reference Page: Jim Bunning

Player’s Wikipedia page: Jim Bunning

Current Number of Cards in the set: 5

Card Number: VC-JB

Multiple Through The Mail Successes – Cory Snyder / John Cappelletti

Cory Snyder

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This one I chased after, even though it doesn’t fit into my personal collection profile of All Stars and Hall of Famers.  It doesn’t even matter though because it’s Cory Freaking Snyder.  Anyone from the 80s knows why this autograph is awesome!  Snyder is from the heyday of my childhood collecting.  I still have north of 50 of his cards, and I will probably not get rid of them.  He has long since left the sport and the value of those cards will remain at a constant 50 cents a piece (a full dollar less than I paid for them), but I can’t let them go.  He was my first prospecting card.  After Mark McGwire’s cards went through the roof, I started gobbling up those beautiful orange and blue cards, Shane Mack, John Marzano, and Odibie McDowell.  I couldn’t get enough of them, they were going to be my college education.

In the end though, they all became good players, but not super stars and certainly not Hall of Fame members.  Cory Snyder is a reminder to me, never fall for prospecting, ever!  One out of a thousand prospects turns into a star, an even smaller percentage become superstars and a minuscule amount become Hall of Famers.  Just ask all those Dice-K collectors.  Still, this autograph will be among my favorite in the collection. It will go right up there with Kevin Elster’s when I get that one back.

John Cappelletti

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Before there was Reggie Bush / Darren McFaddon / Adrian Peterson, there was John Cappelletti.  I know you’re all like who? Here is a list of awards won during his senior year (1973) at Penn State, Heisman, Maxwell, Walter Camp, Chic Harley, UPI Player of the Year, and first team All American.  He was the 11th overall pick of the 1974 NFL Draft.  Joe Paterno once said that of all the players he has ever coached, Cappelletti was his favorite.  He was one of the best college players of all time and in 1993 he was inducted into the College football Hall of Fame.

He had a decent NFL career, nothing spectacular.  He played for the Rams and the Chargers, never amassing more than 700 yards in any one season.  His NFL career is not why I went after his autograph, it was his college play.  Growing up in NJ, you hear of all the great PSU players and I always knew about Cappelletti as one of the best running backs in PSU history and that’s saying a lot since for years it was known as Running Back U.

Both of these autographs are special to me since they bring me back to my childhood.  I’m so happy to have gotten a chance to get a through the mail success with either of these guys, and yes if they would have asked for a donation to their charity, I would have done it in a heartbeat!  In fact if either is reading this now, email me using the envelop in the top left corner of my site and tell me your favorite charity to donate to.

Their Autographs

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Their Rookie Cards

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New Through The Mail Design – 1987 Topps Future Stars Mini

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During my snow days the past week, I had some time to create a new through the mail mini heritage card.  Since I am a child of the 80s, and I have unwrapped many, many 1987 wax, one of my all time favorite designs was the 1987 Topps Baseball Future Stars.  I needed to do a TTM card for that set and as you can see (or might have seen on Twitter), I knocked it out of the park!

The hardest part was finding the right wood grain nfor the front of the card.  As good a match as I had, I still don’t think I did a great job with matching colors, but it’s good enough that you won’t give it a second glance.  The Future Stars logo was lifted from a 1987 Topps Tiffany BJ Surhoff card.  The back was traced from the same card (although shrunk to fit a 2 inch tall card).

I wanted a card that I could send to minor league guys.  I’ve always enjoyed collecting cards of guys in the minors. In the above case I made one of local (for me) Duke player Michael Matuella.  He is probably the best pitching prospect in college right now.  Most publications pick him as the top college player.  Overall the front and back came out great.  I wanted to put a team logo on there somehow, and while not on the front of the card, the back of the card is good enough.  Although the color of the Duke logo and the color of the back blue is the same in real life, my goal is to use that color for other logos placed on the back as well.  I plan on making a few of these to send out to college and minor league players.  Usually I try to stick with the team USA aspect, however I am open to try and collect any player.

Let me know what you think of this one….

Offline for Three Days . . . Now Catching Up

As some of you might have heard, we have gotten a wee bit of snow here in Durham, NC last week.  The total around my house was 8 inches, which for the south is as close to the end of the world as you can get.  My power went off, then back on a few times, but it was the loss of internet that was staggering to me.  Not only does that stop the production of  custom cards, but also my posting ability! There were so many topics I wanted to discuss, but in the end I forgot some of it and others are now not worth mentioning.    I did have some things I wanted to mention.

Through the Mail Success – Andre Reed

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Another of the mini 1959 Wad Wax Heritage Minis came back.  This one from newly elected Hall of Fame member Andre Reed.  Reed should have been in the Hall of Fame years ago in my opinion.  His ability to stretch the field might very well be unmatched in Buffalo Bills history.  With 951 receptions and 87 career touch downs, the man sits high among the all time greats.  As such he finally gets what he deserves, a bust in Canton.

The breakdown was as follows:

The Address:

Andre Reed
1058 America Way
Del Mar, CA 92014-3919

Turnaround time: 12 days

Total Cards in the set: 4

Remaining to be signed: 2 (Scott and Bruschi)

Next Through The Mail Set Going Out:

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These are the next four to go out.  They actually went out this morning.  Mostly football but with a string of recent successes of Matt Williams, I had to add another one of my 80s cardboard gods.

They are as follows:

Tommie Frazier – One of my all time favorite college quarterbacks.  he was recently inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame.  Saw one TTM success and decided to go for it.  Really excited to get this one back, he was up there with Michael Vick as one of the most electrifying players in college football history.

Dan Fouts – My Charger himself, a regular gunslinger from the 70s and 80s.  I used to love watching him toss the ball around.  Another HOF member that I have to have in my collection.

Terry Bradshaw – Still my favorite Sunday football analyst.  He was a pleasure to watch both on and off the field and his 1977 card was my first real valuable card that I put in a top loader.  I was six at the time.

Matt Williams – One of those late 80s guys that I had a ton of rookie cards of.  May have not been the best of his generation, but a damn good player that was probably one of the most reliable players of his generation both offensively and defensively.  Currently managing the Washington Nationals.

Most of these should come back within 30 days.