Thursday, August 10, 2017

My 30 Greatest TTM Autos, 25-21

Moving on the top 25 now, with a special tip of the cap to Dutch Dalton and Don Baylor, both of whom are in my TTM collection. Rest in peace, fellas.

25. Rollie Fingers, 1985 Fleer
I think Brewers fans tend to over-rate Rollie Fingers. He did have a great 1981 season (and that ‘stach), but I could name at least 15 Brewers who had an overall more valuable Milwaukee career than did Rollie, probably more. But, Rollie is a big name in franchise history, and was just the second Brewers to be elected to the Hall of Fame. This is the first card on the list that I actually paid for and there is a mildly interesting story about that. I knew that Fingers charged for autographs, so I mailed a ten dollar check with the card. The card was returned with a price list, saying he wanted $15 for signed card. But he still cashed my check. I then sent the card back, with a copy of the canceled check and another check for five dollars, saying that I he now had my $15 and to sign the card, PLEASE FINALLY.

24. Mike Hegan, 1970 Topps

An original Pilot and Brewer, Hegan also served for 12 years as the Brewers’ TV color man. He was a decent ballplayer and made an All Star team in 1969. He also, indecently, is the very first card in my all-time Brewers project. I order them by year of debut and number of games played with the franchise, so Hegan – debuting in 1969 and appearing in 586 games with the Pilots/Brewers, takes the top spot. It’s also a great-looking card and a very clean sign. Hegan was a great TTM signer until his death in 2013.

23. Dan Plesac and Dave Righetti, 1988 Fleer

My other dual-signed TTM card, this one combines two of the top firemen of the 1980s. I remember Righetti as being an elite guy while Plesac was just a local star. But “Sac Man” actually made more all-star teams, had a better ERA+ and had the longer career. I always forget that Righetti was a starter when he first came up, even though he won a Rookie of the Year, threw a no-hitter, and started a World Series game.

22. Andre Dawson, 1983 Topps

Another card I paid for ($10, I think), this one gets a nice boost from the Hawk’s gorgeous slowing signature. Throw in his scowl, the Expos’ cap, and that great ’83 All Star design and this is one sharp-looking card. I’m not even all that much of a Dawson fan, but this card was well worth the money.

21. AL Kaline, 2010 Topps National Chicle

This is a beautiful sig on a great-looking card from one of the most notoriously hit-and-miss TTM signers in baseball. I got this one by slipping a five-dollar bill into the envelope. Al Kaline – somehow – is one of the underrated greats in baseball history. He made 18 (!!) all-star games, got MVP votes 14 times – placing in the top ten nine times – and finished with the 28th highest position player WAR in history – ahead of Ken Griffey Jr., George Brett, and Rod Carew. He won a batting title at 22 and went on to play 22 seasons with the Tigers, a plus-hitter til the very end.

1 comment:

  1. Dude, Fingers cashed your check and didn't send an auto! Glad you took the time to send him the photo of the canceled check and that it worked out in the end.