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  #1  
Old 10-22-2019, 09:58 AM
jakebeckleyoldeagleeye jakebeckleyoldeagleeye is offline
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Default favorite thru the mail autographs

Anyone here collect autographs thru the mail over the years? If so the favorite you remember. Here's mine from each sport.
Mine is the first autograph I ever received by mail was Gordie Howe in 1969 he sent an Eaton photo personalized even though I didn't send a SASE. Still have it.
Also all the J.D. McCarthy signed postcards I received from Red Wings players and especially my favorite goalie Roy Edwards.
Mickey Mantle I received back in around 1970 from his home address when hardly anyone collected autographs because you didn't have home addresses but found his thru one of those long gone sports cards collectors newsletters that guys would print out of their house and you would subscribe to.
Red Grange for football. He was losing his eye site at the time but his wife wrote a note and sent it back with the signed items saying her husband couldn't see but still tried his best to honor his fans request. What a guy!
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  #2  
Old 10-22-2019, 10:48 AM
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Have gotten a bunch of my gold postcards that way but Bobby Doerr is probably my favorite of the TTM's. Free and it's just so surreal that a guy who played when my Grandparents were children was still alive when I was an adult.
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  #3  
Old 10-22-2019, 10:55 AM
mr2686 mr2686 is offline
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Great stories. I've actually only done a few over the years. First one was Wes Parker of the Dodgers back in the late 60's (I also did not send an SASE) and he sent back a signed photo with an inscription about staying in school. The last one's I did were around 2010. When putting together the 1961 Yankees autographs, I saw that Tex Clevenger and Bob Hale were still alive (I just saw that Tex passed away this past August, R.I.P.). They were very nice and both sent notes along with my signed items. I've got a couple of 70's SI's that I've been meaning to send to Cheryl Tiegs to sign, but I've seen conflicting addresses where to send them. I'll try to get those out by end of year.
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  #4  
Old 10-22-2019, 11:44 AM
Case12 Case12 is offline
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Only sports ttm I tried was ball forBob Horner. He sent the open box back unsigned (with my return postage to boot).. I was mad at that fat guy :-)

Non-sports favorite: Jane Seymour

Last edited by Case12; 10-22-2019 at 11:46 AM.
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  #5  
Old 10-22-2019, 01:22 PM
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I was 12 when I mailed Monte Irvin a baseball. He signed it, sent it back, and enclosed a note saying he had a signing fee. It was like $10. He asked me politely to send a check back to him. I thought that was really classy.

I also sent Aaron Boone, while he was playing, multiple cards. I was 13ish. I saw him play in Billings MT at short-season A ball, and I had his minor league cards. Every card I sent him was eventually signed and returned.
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  #6  
Old 10-22-2019, 06:16 PM
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In the mid-sixties, when I was young and naive, I sent a letter to Mickey Mantle (my hero) asking him to autograph a few cards. I can't remember which cards I sent, but I do know they included some Bowman as well as Topps.

Needless to say, I never received a reply. Foolishly, I sent a second letter and requested that he at least return the cards I sent. hahaha

I read subsequent articles that said he would throw out the envelopes after giving any cards to his kids.

Maybe I should send his kids a letter?
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  #7  
Old 10-22-2019, 06:22 PM
Shoelessseb Shoelessseb is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wrightfan85 View Post
Have gotten a bunch of my gold postcards that way but Bobby Doerr is probably my favorite of the TTM's. Free and it's just so surreal that a guy who played when my Grandparents were children was still alive when I was an adult.
Bobby Doerr was the best. And I share your feeling. He started in the Majors in the 1930's and signed for me 75 years later. Unbelievable !

My most special return was from Roy Sievers. I received my signed photos AFTER he passed away. Probably the last autographs he ever signed.

My favorite hockey return was Murray Armstrong, the last surviving New York Americans player.

I also like to get obscure players. The kind of guys who played 1 game in 1951 lol For me it's worth as much as a superstar player.
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  #8  
Old 10-22-2019, 06:42 PM
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I had good luck in the 90's. My favorite was Larry Bird personalized "To Mike" basketball card. Bob Knight was another I loved. For a while i would send about 10 items a week off revieved about 60 to 70 percent back signed I would say. Never had a race driver not send me back my item signed except Emmerson Fittipaldi.

Pete Rose was my first TTM autograph I recieved when I was 8 or 10 years old. Had it not been for him sending me that signed 4x6 back I dont think I would have collected autographs my whole life. Thanks Pete!!!! You cost me alot of time and money!!!!!!!!! hahaha

Last edited by w7imel; 10-22-2019 at 06:45 PM.
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Old 10-22-2019, 07:25 PM
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I have a couple favorites:

Bobby Doerr was my first TTM success, when I was in fifth grade. I was so excited to be writing to a former Red Sox player that I didn’t include a SASE, which I found out later was a major pet peeve of his. Fortunately, he was kind enough to address one himself. That got me started on the Teammates era Red Sox, and baseball history in general.

Wayne Terwilliger was one of the first players I wrote to when I started my 1953 Topps project. I mentioned that one of my neighbors had served in the Marines during Vietnam (Twig was at Saipan, Tinian and Iwo Jima). He wrote back “Semper Fi to your neighbor, and tell him thanks for his service”.

I was one of the last people Al Dark signed for. I sent his 1949 Bowman card to him in late September 2014, and it came back a couple weeks later with my SASE stamped “Unable to sign/Thank you for understanding”. Surprisingly, he had signed it, albeit very shakily. About a month later, he died. It was thoughtful of him to keep signing as long as he did.
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  #10  
Old 10-22-2019, 07:32 PM
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I sent a bunch out in the late 1980's-early 1990's to NJ Devils players. I got everybody except Chris Terreri, he never responded.

My favorite was Patrik Sundstrom, I sent it to the team and it got mailed back from Sweden.
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  #11  
Old 10-22-2019, 08:09 PM
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As a teen in the late 70s I sent lots of requests out - still remember the excitement of seeing 1 or 2 SASEs back in my mailbox, and couldn't hardly wait to see who sent back. I had a blast! Some of my favorites - Satchel Paige, Al Kaline, Charlie Gehringer (what great penmanship!), Red Grange, Otto Graham, and Stan Musial stand out. I got back into it in the 90s sending to football HOFers to get Goal Line art cards signed. Will always be thankful for the kindness so many of these men shared - they could have just as easily tossed stuff in the trash or never responded. Still flip through them from time to time for guaranteed smiles!
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Old 10-22-2019, 08:38 PM
mr2686 mr2686 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by laughlinfan View Post
As a teen in the late 70s I sent lots of requests out - still remember the excitement of seeing 1 or 2 SASEs back in my mailbox, and couldn't hardly wait to see who sent back. I had a blast! Some of my favorites - Satchel Paige, Al Kaline, Charlie Gehringer (what great penmanship!), Red Grange, Otto Graham, and Stan Musial stand out. I got back into it in the 90s sending to football HOFers to get Goal Line art cards signed. Will always be thankful for the kindness so many of these men shared - they could have just as easily tossed stuff in the trash or never responded. Still flip through them from time to time for guaranteed smiles!
Marty, how many of the Goal Line cards do you have signed? That's one project I plan on starting up again in the next couple of years.
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  #13  
Old 10-22-2019, 08:58 PM
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Mailed to all sorts of people in the late 80s. This took well over a year but was worth the wait!

FB_IMG_1571792167048.jpg
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  #14  
Old 10-22-2019, 10:39 PM
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If you ever sent stuff out TTM, you know the thing that makes your heart jump with excitement was coming home and seeing one or more of your SASE’s in the mailbox. It was literally like Christmas. I was on a stretch where I sent out quite a few and had very good success. I would target guys that I knew were signers so that helps. A lot of golf guys were and still are good. It always amazed me that a guy like Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus would take time out of their day to answer fan mail. Both these guy (Palmer in death) make millions of dollars in endorsements. Classy guys.
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  #15  
Old 10-23-2019, 12:01 AM
jimtigers65 jimtigers65 is offline
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Back in 2001 I was stationed in Southern Korea with the Air Force and decided to write to each baseball HOFer. My expectations were low as I figured I would get a price list or nothing at all. One day I get a package with the return address of the Dodgers. Inside was an 8#10 of Tommy Lasorda, a Dodgers T-shirt and a book titled True Blue history of the Dodgers.
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  #16  
Old 10-23-2019, 09:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mr2686 View Post
Marty, how many of the Goal Line cards do you have signed? That's one project I plan on starting up again in the next couple of years.
Hey Mike! I must have over 100 different if I had to guess. Back when I started, almost all of the living players signed through the mail for free. A few asked for a nominal fee ($5 or $10) - Don Hutson was 10, maybe Sammy Baugh was 5? I think Alan Page asked for a donation to a scholarship fund or charity, which I was happy to do.

The signed Goal Line cards are simply stunning!
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  #17  
Old 10-24-2019, 12:35 AM
mr2686 mr2686 is offline
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Originally Posted by laughlinfan View Post
Hey Mike! I must have over 100 different if I had to guess. Back when I started, almost all of the living players signed through the mail for free. A few asked for a nominal fee ($5 or $10) - Don Hutson was 10, maybe Sammy Baugh was 5? I think Alan Page asked for a donation to a scholarship fund or charity, which I was happy to do.

The signed Goal Line cards are simply stunning!
That is so cool. I only have about 8 signed, but I was paranoid about sending them through the mail (didn't want to lose any of the numbered set) so I only got them when a player was in SoCal...which wasn't often.
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  #18  
Old 10-24-2019, 12:48 AM
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I've been doing TTM on and off since the early '80s. I've gotten almost 140 Goal Line cards signed, most of them in the mail. Favorites are probably Grange, Gifford, Mean Joe, and Butkus. I think I stopped the Goal Line cards in '06 though.

I've also gotten Ben Hogan, Nolan Ryan (for a fee), Seaver, Koufax, Mariano, several Apollo era astronauts and a bunch of baseball and football players. I track them on sportscollectors.net. Stats on there show 662 successful returns in 828 mailings, for a 79% success rate since 2002. That figure includes a few paid signings.

As mentioned before, its always fun to get an envelope in the mailbox with your handwriting on it.
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Old 10-24-2019, 12:49 AM
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Originally Posted by mr2686 View Post
That is so cool. I only have about 8 signed, but I was paranoid about sending them through the mail (didn't want to lose any of the numbered set) so I only got them when a player was in SoCal...which wasn't often.
After a while, I started first sending a letter with a postcard inside asking if it would be OK to send a Goal Line card later on.
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  #20  
Old 10-24-2019, 09:50 AM
biohazard biohazard is offline
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After a while, I started first sending a letter with a postcard inside asking if it would be OK to send a Goal Line card later on.
Over the years, I have dabbled with TTM, trying to get Sports Illustrated (SI) covers signed. I always sent a letter first asking it was okay to send the SI. I had a 61% rate of success. I had the most fun trying to get the 1968 Rookies SI signed. I tracked down Cisco Carlos (owns a cabinet biz in AZ). Then Don Pepper, had an NC address for him but he had moved to OH and a new job with Bob Evans. Next up Alan Foster. Finished the project with paid signings with Mike Torrez and Johnny Bench. Other notable TTM SI cover signings: Frank Lary added the inscription "Yankee Killer", Jim Nash (always personalizes), Bill Melton, Sonny Jackson, Steve Balboni, Lonnie Smith, Jon Peters (high school phenom), Doug Decinces (requests a fee for charity), Dick Groat, Dave Duncan, Pam Postema (female umpire) and William Iffrig (runner on Boston Marathon Blast cover - personalizes).

Players I never heard back from: Greg Vaughn, Wilbur Wood, Matt Williams, Bobby Bonilla, Jackie Brandt, Ken Harrelson, Dave Stieb, Wes Parker and Oil Can Boyd.

Last edited by biohazard; 10-24-2019 at 09:56 AM.
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  #21  
Old 10-24-2019, 10:40 AM
Case12 Case12 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bigdaddy View Post
I've been doing TTM on and off since the early '80s. I've gotten almost 140 Goal Line cards signed, most of them in the mail. Favorites are probably Grange, Gifford, Mean Joe, and Butkus. I think I stopped the Goal Line cards in '06 though.

I've also gotten Ben Hogan, Nolan Ryan (for a fee), Seaver, Koufax, Mariano, several Apollo era astronauts and a bunch of baseball and football players. I track them on sportscollectors.net. Stats on there show 662 successful returns in 828 mailings, for a 79% success rate since 2002. That figure includes a few paid signings.

As mentioned before, its always fun to get an envelope in the mailbox with your handwriting on it.
I ask for mine to be personalized to add to that feeling....
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  #22  
Old 10-24-2019, 11:15 AM
cnote08 cnote08 is offline
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Originally Posted by todeen View Post
I was 12 when I mailed Monte Irvin a baseball. He signed it, sent it back, and enclosed a note saying he had a signing fee. It was like $10. He asked me politely to send a check back to him. I thought that was really classy.



I also sent Aaron Boone, while he was playing, multiple cards. I was 13ish. I saw him play in Billings MT at short-season A ball, and I had his minor league cards. Every card I sent him was eventually signed and returned.


I wrote to Irvin around the same age and I now remember the nice note asking for money. That was a total no-brainer. I was happy to do it. I also recall Johnny Vander Meer signed my card, included a typed note that has ALSO signed asking for something like $3. Also a no-brainer...


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  #23  
Old 10-24-2019, 07:14 PM
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I remember in the mid to late 60's getting back from Jackie Robinson, Ted Williams, most of the other living HOFers and sent to widows and got check cuts back. Unfortunately it was the 60's and I lost interest and sold it all. Since starting up again in 2000 my son and I started writing (we stopped 10 years ago). Tom Brady signed 3 cards for my son back in 2000 TTM
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  #24  
Old 10-25-2019, 01:54 PM
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In the mid to late '70's I had heard from someone who actually sends cards away to old ball players and gets their autographs sent back to them. As a 15 year old who ate, slept and drank baseball history I was shocked that I could send a card to King Carl Hubbell, Yogi Berra and others and get an autograph sent back to me. The whole idea of TTM autographs was so new and foreign to me but one I jumped in with both feet.

Probably my best return was Joe DiMaggio. When I received this card back I was never sure if it was truly Joe D's auto as I heard his sister was a big signer of his cards. I had two people I knew to be baseball autograph experts look at my card and they both indicated it was a genuine signature. I sent it away to PSA not for their authentication but for their encapsulation as this was something I wanted to share with my kids without it getting destroyed in the process.

I received many autographs from the greats in the mail but I think, tome, the DiMaggio was my best return as he was just so much of a legendary figure in my young mind at the time.
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Old 11-07-2019, 10:05 PM
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I haven't written in decades. I have received thousands of autographs through the mail, many of whom are Hall of Famers. My two favorites are these: 1) Hank Gathers sent a personal letter to me about two weeks before he passed away on the court. 2) I collected Olympics autographs hard for about 15 years. When I got Fanny Blankers-Koen to sign for me (way before the internet), I was thrilled beyond belief.
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Old 11-08-2019, 09:44 PM
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I just sold a large portion of my fathers autograph and card collection. While going through it I noticed some items that were his as a kid from the late 50's, early 60's. I pulled them out of the collection so they wouldn't be sold and so that I could keep them (in the family). They are in pretty rough shape but they are postcards that were mailed to Bobby Hull and Gordie Howe in 1960 and subsequently returned signed. The autos are pretty faint now but they represent a great family item.
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  #27  
Old 11-09-2019, 01:56 PM
jakebeckleyoldeagleeye jakebeckleyoldeagleeye is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mantleman View Post
I just sold a large portion of my fathers autograph and card collection. While going through it I noticed some items that were his as a kid from the late 50's, early 60's. I pulled them out of the collection so they wouldn't be sold and so that I could keep them (in the family). They are in pretty rough shape but they are postcards that were mailed to Bobby Hull and Gordie Howe in 1960 and subsequently returned signed. The autos are pretty faint now but they represent a great family item.
I still have all the McCarthy's I received autographed from Red Wing players and will never part with them in my lifetime.
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  #28  
Old 11-09-2019, 05:43 PM
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It always amazed me that a guy like Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus would take time out of their day to answer fan mail. Both these guy (Palmer in death) make millions of dollars in endorsements. Classy guys.
I read Chris Rodell's recent book on Arnold Palmer last year. Like Palmer, Rodell, is from Latrobe, Pa. I always knew Palmer was wonderful to his fans, but Rodell's book has entire sections of amazing Palmer fan stories,

Palmer would spend approximately $100,000 each year out of his own pocket to send autographed photos to fans who mailed him autograph requests but did not send a SASE. Even at the end of his life, he would sit at a desk in his office and sign autograph requests until his hand fell asleep.

Palmer would read several different newspapers nearly every day, Palmer would send off handwritten notes to people he did not even know. Sometimes the notes were to people who had something bad happen to them and Palmer wanted to send a note to try and raise the person's spirits and sometimes the note was to someone who did something for someone else, usually of a charitable nature.

https://www.amazon.com/Arnold-Palmer...s=books&sr=1-2
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  #29  
Old 11-09-2019, 05:54 PM
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Never had a race driver not send me back my item signed except Emmerson Fittipaldi.
Great to see another collector into racing. Racers are nearly universally awesome when it comes to autographs. When I was a a kid, I faithfully wrote to nearly every NASCAR Cup and Busch Series driver via their team headquarters, and I don't recall ever having a failure of a racer through the mail.
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Old 11-10-2019, 08:26 AM
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I was 10 when Hank Aaron broke Ruth's record. I wanted to get his autograph and as many will know baseballs were not so easy to come by back then. I had never seen an MLB baseball for sale anywhere. So we played with junk balls bought for $1 at the Woolco. Anyway I had a ball that had one red panel and one white panel we used a lot. I mailed it to Hank Aaron care of the Braves and I included a pen, $2 for return postage and a fan letter written by me. I also asked that he please sign it himself and not his secretary. LOL. I did get it back and signed with my $2 intact! I still have it today although it has faded almost to oblivion (plus the ball was beat up too).
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Old 11-10-2019, 09:04 AM
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I have fond memories of writing to the 1952 topps players. I've kept all the correspondence for my Provenance Some of the best were players who wrote back "thanks for remembering me". George Shuba's son had his dad sign my 1952, but wrote back "Please don't bother my father any more, he is old and tired". Also, letter begging players to sign, and sending as much as $20, and later years $50, to try and get them to sign. Countless Return to Sender, plain "REFUSED" scrawled on my envelope.

I was always a little sad when I read about one of the 52 topps players passing, although most lived long lives by the time I got around to writing to them. I was shocked to see Al Kaline was still signing through the mail rather cheaply, albeit many years back. I sent him a 55 topps, not realizing his Rc was 1954!

One of the oddest was Frank Sullivan, a no name Red Sox from 1955 topps. He sent me back the card and I was shocked he requested a $10 donation! This was time when many players were free, but I'd send them $5 as a courtesy, which most would return. Being young, and a Smartass, I sent Mr Sullivan his request back, without a donation, and wrote "You simply weren't that good". I'm sure this is when the TTM craze really blew up around 2007 or so and any living players were inundated with requests, but it struck me as a high price from someone I had never even heard of.
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