Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Wax Stain Wednesday

Wax Stain Wednesday will be a regular feature on Dirty Dangle. Our pal Dave at Wax Stain Rookie is an avid autograph and card collector and has some amazing experiences to share with us. These posts may make you want to buy a Beckett and get those dusty hockey cards out from under your bed that you hide from your girlfriend like a secret porn collection.
You can see the wax stain on this Joe "is a bachelor" Mullen rookie card - damn shame
Dirty Dangle has called me up from the minors, my name is Dave H and I will be doing some guest writing for their site. I have been a hockey fan for as long and I can remember and a Devils fan for that whole time. I have my own blog - Wax Stain Rookie - which I started last year. For those that don't know what a wax stain is - it is a greasy stain left on the back of a trading card. This stain was caused when the wax was heated to seal the pack, but it has been absorbed by the card. I will be sticking with the theme of the site by writing about the “coolest game on Earth” including collecting hockey cards and autographs.

I started collecting autographs when I was a kid, and then a few months ago I started doing TTM autograph requests (Through The Mail). TTM requests are an easy way to get autographs from some of your favourite NHL stars of past and present as well as young junior prospects and even women’s hockey players. If you are interested in tracking down some autographs, everything you need to know can be found at Sal's Hockey Autographs. Sal is one of the most successful TTM collectors I have come across and his advice for people looking at collecting autographs is the best that I have found online.

Once you start and get one back they can be pretty addictive which is cool, especially if you normally dread getting snail mail. Not all players will sign, sometimes you get your requests sent back unsigned, and sometimes you get requests back with bonuses thrown in (Don Cherry is famous for that). Sometimes your request gets thrown in the garbage, so you may not want to send expensive cards. I tend to limit the card value under 10 dollars, but have broken that rule once and I hope that it pays off, but really it is a waiting game.

There are plenty of TTM sites online and forums where you can get addresses of players and I will share the mailing addresses I use when I have success so if you want to try yourself you can give it a go yourself. If you do try, my advice is be sincere, polite and handwrite your letters. I guarantee you will have more success with that than just mailing a form letter saying “I am your biggest fan”.

Here is an experience I had with Gilbert Perreault of the famed French Connection Line.

Gilbert Perreault was without a doubt one of the best players in Buffalo Sabres history and TSN ranks him as the 5th most talented player in NHL history.

So sending an autograph request to Mr. Perreault was a must for me. However, when researching his address in some TTM forums I came across the fact that he charges for his autographs and all requests must come with $5. I wasn't surprised to some degree, due to the number of greasy people selling TTM's on eBay and I guess Gilbert just wants a piece of the action. I decided that it was worth $5 and the time to write a nice letter, so I did just that. Three weeks later I received the card below and a handwritten letter back.
For starters, the autograph is beautiful. Totally worth paying $5 bucks for in my opinion, and his choice of thin blue sharpie compliments his signing style.

The letter was a bit of a disappointment because as I opened it, it began "Dear Customer". Not the response I was expecting from the type of letter I had sent.

It turns out the rates for his autographs have increased from $5 to $10 and this letter was notifying me that if I wished for any more autographs I had better come up with the money.

What are your thoughts on paying for TTMs and the letter I received from Mr. Perreault?

If you are interested in writing him, you could chance it by sending a fiver, but it looks like 10 will get the job done.

12 comments:

  1. Gilbert Perreault seems like an ass

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  2. I might have to write Don Cherry. I wonder if he'll sign my Rock'Em Sock'Em 5 VHS?

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  3. haha keep under your bed like a secret porn stash

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  4. A big welcome to Wax Stain to dirty dangle. Looking forward to reading your stuff.

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  5. G.P sounds like a dick

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  6. Dear Customer....? seriously?!?!?

    I don't know how an athlete could ever resort to that. Calling your fans customers and charging them money for a signature? Get out of here gilbert perrault. I don't care how great you were, get off your high horse.

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  7. I'm Dave H's wife and his hockey cards are stored all around our house including under our bed! Hahaha However, it is fun to see the returned TTMs..What a great hobby!

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  8. If there is a way to lose respect for a great hockey player. It's when he starts calling his fan's customers. What a prick.

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  9. I definitely have my hockey cards under my bed in a big plastic container. Saving those for a rainy day... or bankruptcy...

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  10. that is an awesome hockey card description.

    "Joe is a bachelor".

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  11. Thanks for the welcome James, and I really was stunned when I saw Dear Customer and the worst part of all, the note was a photocopy so I couldn't even consider his G.P at the end a second signature!

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