Monday, June 23, 2014

Another Record Breaker

Last week I had my fastest success ever: 3 days.

Today brings in my longest wait ever: 1502 days. Or 1481 days if you don't count the three weeks it took to get from my mother-in-law getting it at my previous house to get to my current residence. Either way, it shatters my previous record, coming from Terry Pendleton's 3 year struggle to find a Sharpie from 2008-2011.

On May 12 and 13 of 2010, I sent out 31 autograph requests: Bobby Thomson, Fred Lynn, Walt Jocketty, Marvin Miller, Marty Lyons, Herschel Walker, Doug DeCinces, Sy Berger, Tony Fernandez, Lawrence Taylor, Ernie Banks, Ron Blomberg, Whitey Herzog, Davey Johnson, Zane Smith, Tom Kelly, Greg Luzinski, Goose Gossage, Y.A. Tittle, Kelly Gruber, Doug Drabek, Steve Lyons, Roger Staubach, Walt Weiss, Tommy Lasorda, Lee Smith, Tony Perez, Tony Hill, Bobby Grich, Tom Niedenfuer, and Ben Oglivie. 22 of the 31 came back successfully within the year. Only Staubach (a longshot anyway), Weiss (another gamble), Lasorda (ditto), Smith (he had recently started charging), Perez (longshot), Hill (longshot), Grich (poor timing), Niedenfuer (had a bad address), and Oglivie (hmm... odd) never came back.  Eventually I got Niedenfuer through the right address and tried Oglivie again through the minor league team he managed, but with no success.

Anyways last night my wife was on the phone with her mom and had it on speaker when she asked if I got my card in the mail yet. Obviously I was confused. She said that she was pretty sure one had come for me and when she put it in another envelope to send down, it felt like a card was in it.  I knew it had to be one I had been waiting on for over a year since I hadn't sent any with the Wichita Falls address on it since January 2013.  She said she didn't remember the return address on it but that it should be arriving soon.

Sure enough, when I got home from work, there it was, along with three other successes from my most recent batch.  The return address label was a woman in Tempe, AZ, with the words "NEW SECRETARY" written above her name.  I quickly opened the envelope... and found myself a pair of signed cards from Ben Oglivie. I peeled off the address label and it was from the request I had sent over four years ago, my new longest success record.  Plus it knocks out another Topps All Time Fan Favorites set card.

Clockwise from top, 4x Pat Neshek (tough to see on my crappy
phone camera), 5x Bud Harrelson, 2x Bill Virdon, 2x Ben Oglivie

The other three in the box took only a week: Pat Neshek signed all four cards I sent (unfortunately I didn't hear back from him on my request for an email interview for the return of the Wednesday Friendsday column). Bill Virdon signed the two cards I mailed to him, and Bud Harrelson signed 5 cards. Harrelson even took the time to put in a pair of index cards to help protect the cards he signed.  Corey Mansfield has always had good things to say about Bud and he certainly lived up to that praise with the way he handled his mail.

Not a bad day at all-- 13 new additions to the collection!

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