No, the real TTM King (at least in our corner) is The Lost Collector. He always has been and I'm fairly sure he always will be. He'll disagree and probably leave a comment saying he's not because he's too modest, but he really is.
His TTM-only autograph teams (yes, teams, as in plural) should be proof enough that the throne is his alone.
I think people mistakenly think I'm good enough to be a king because I get a relatively large volume of returns back but that's just an illusion. You see, I send returns out willy nilly in hopes of getting maybe a few of them back. But that's not what a king like TLC does. The true king spends his time, money and energy wisely. He waits for worthwhile shots and goes in when he's got the biggest/best opportunity.
Truth be told over the years he's beaten me to the punch on so many of the prospects I like that I'm honestly kind of jealous of him.
For example, I've sent multiple requests to Blake Rutherford, Donny Sands and Luis Torrens. I'm 0-for-7 on all of them. Meanwhile TLC has safely gotten returns from all three. Luis himself already qualifies TLC as King material.
Anyway. I originally wanted this post to be some type of TTM advice post but halfway through I realized that everything I could say has already been said before by TLC. Because he's the King. You can check out his handy dandy TTM guide here if you want to start in the TTM game.
So instead let me share with you all a pretty cool video by former Padre/Yankee/National/Oriole Matt Antonelli and his experiences with fanmail (TTMs) from his active playing days, and his post-retirement coaching/Youtube days now. It's always pretty cool to hear stories from the players' perspective on TTMs.
The gist of it is to make it as easy and simple for the player as possible. Having a SASE (stamped!), something to sign, something to sign with, all of that. Although I personally don't send pens (unless it's for a special/international case). I never knew that players were discouraged against signing index cards though, that struck me as interesting.
Sidenote, if anyone could hook me up with Antonelli's address I'd appreciate that.
See, I can't even find addresses. #NotKing
I guess I'll just finish off with my own generic advice of "don't be afraid to give it a shot at least once". Like, I actually just sent a request to Robinson Cano this year. Knowing full well that it'll never return. But at least I gave myself a chance at least once :P.
So yeah, TLC is the king of the TTM Kingdom (on the blogosphere) and I'm one of the lesser knights at the round table. Considering how the position comes with free healthcare, a decent pension plan and paternity leave if I ever needed it, I'm not complaining.
As always thanks for stopping by and take care.