Friday, March 13, 2015

Fleer Autograph Project - Parts 37 and 38

 Last Monday, I sent off 4 autograph requests through the mail as part of my quest to get as many cards from my 1963 Fleer set signed as I can.  Yesterday (Thursday), I opened my mail box to find two already back.  I was shocked to say the least.  The player must have signed them and returned them immediately.

I'm not a TTMer, by any means.  But, I have to do TTM as part of this project. Once I have exhausted this route for obtaining autographs for my '63 Fleer set, I will likely stop.  So, I really try not to make this a perfunctory exercise for the signer.  My approach is to spend some time researching the player,  find some events in their career that fascinate me, and hand write them a letter. In the letter, I explain my project and then talk a little about what I found interesting about their playing career.

I figured I might as well share with you what I wrote to them about.

Frank Bolling had a 12 year career with Detroit and the Milwaukee/Atlanta Braves between 1954 and 1966, exclusively as a starting second baseman. You can find his career statistics here.  So, what caught my eye about Bolling's career? Considered a defense first second baseman, he hit well off of Hall of Fame pitcher Early Wynn. In 80 career plate appearances against Wynn, he went 23 for 77 for a .299 BA, and knocking out 4 doubles and 3 home runs.

Bob Aspromonte broke in with the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1956, but spent the formative years of his career as the starting third baseman for Houston between 1962 and 1968, with short tours with Atlanta and the Mets to end his career,  His career numbers can be found here.  Again, Bob wasn't an offensive powerhouse, what with sporting a career 86 OPS+.  But he did drive in go-ahead runs 86 times in his career.  For example, on June 11, 1963 he hit a walk-off grand slam home run off Lindy McDaniel in the bottom of the 10th inning to give Houston a 6-2 win over the Cubs.  Also, on September 25, 1971, the second to last game of his career, Aspromonte hit a 2 out pinch-hit single off of Ramon Hernandez in the bottom of the 15th inning to drive in Leroy Stanton with the game winning run.

On a last note, Bob Aspromonte didn't just sign my card. He included a second autographed card in the top loader, a 1961 Topps Rookie Star card.  Since it doesn't fit into my collection, I am going to send it off to another blogger who I am indebted to.

So, what do I have coming up?  Well, I still have two more TTMs out, one EBay purchase on it's way to me, and one card out for a public signing this week later this month. Looking forward, I have identified two more public signings and have 5 more addresses for TTM requests.  If I am able to hit 100% on all these opportunities, I would be sitting at 49 total cards signed.   So, stay tuned. There are more coming!

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