Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Blast from the past TTM: My 2001 Tino Martinez success

It's no secret that Tino Martinez is my favorite player. I have a dedicated collection to him, and I live and died with every at bat, wanting him to succeed. Every year he was with the Yankees, I sent him several TTM requests, hoping for a return. I never got one. I was able to pick up a Tino Auto from a Stadium Club insert, but that never stopped me from sending to him.

In September of 2001, Tino sat out a few games of a home stand with a wrist injury. I figured I'd give him another shot, since he perhaps and some free time on his hands. I wrote him a letter, and on the envelope I put a few stickers from my Collector's Choice sticker card of Tino. Maybe he'd notice. I sent the request on Sept 12 and enclosed two cards. I knew I was probably kissing those cards good, but they were dupes, so no big deal.

This part is a little storybook-y, but I speak the truth. I came home from school on Sept 23, my birthday (seriously), and there was a SASE sitting on the banister where my mom always put my mail. No way I thought. I carefully opened the envelop, and my two cards fell out. The first was unsigned. At least I got my cards back, I thought. The second though, had Tino's signature in blue sharpie across it. It was a Tino Pinnacle Goin' Jake card. I was ecstatic. I have never heard of anyone getting Tino TTM - before or since then - and this will always be my favorite TTM success. And the fact that it arrived on my birthday? It was too perfect, like someone may have played a trick on me.

The card immediately went into a screw case, where it has been for the last 10 years. Here is a picture of the card:


  1. That's a great story!

  2. Thanks! It was definitely unexpected, which made it even better.