|TTM 101: All you need to know about the hobby|
|Acronyms and terms specific to the hobby:
TTM: through the mail
IP: in person
HARVEY 07: Reference to an address found in Harvey Meisselman's address list, the godfather of through the mail autographs
C/O TEAM: in care of a team, letter sent to a team's mailing address
SASE: Self-addressed stample envelope
RTS: Return to sender
UTF: Unable to forward
FTE: Forwarding time expired
W/O: write-off (autograph request sent long ago, either got lost in the mial or the card was never signed)
So what do I need to start TTMing?
Here are the simple rules for obtaining autographs through the mail:
1. Identify the player (s) you would like to get an autograph from and do your research on him.
- Is he playing somewhere currently, if that's the case, send mail to the team
- Has he signed ttm in the past? There are hundreds of sites out there to search for successes from the player in question. This i simoprtant because you can find what address he signs from, how long it takes to get an autograph and if he has been signing recently.
- If he's a retired player, try and find info on what he did in his career, mention something personla about him, an accomplishment or a special game. This way, you look legitt, as if you're a true fan and not an autograph hound. This will go a long way in getting a response back from tougher players.
2. What goes in the envelope?
- Your letter
- your items to be signed, everyone has their own interprestation as to what this is, I never put more than 4 cards and thats a rare exception. Just make sure whatever you put in there is something that you're okay with never getting back because everytime you send something out, you run the risk of never seeing it again)
- I never put cards in a top-holder or thin plastic, it bends or smears and the cards don't really get too damaged. I usually slip the cards inside the letter, it provides enough support.
- A SASE is absolutely mandatory, it is etiquette. You can expect a player to sign a card for you, just dont expect him to take his own money to send the letter back, he's not funding your hobby, you are. (Make sure you have correct postage)
3. What to write on the letter?
- Thats where the research comes in, it doesnt have to be a life story, but a few lines hiliting the important parts of their career or a personal anecdote.
- Don't say "You were my favorite player, or my hero growing up" it's not a bad thing, its just too cheezy
- Use please and thank you (once again, etiquette goes a long way)
4. Postage: (Subject to changes)
USA to USA: 0.41 $
USA to Canada: 0.69 $
Canada to Canada: 0.51 $
Canada to USA: 93 $
Canada to International: 1.55 $