Friday, April 15, 2011
2005 Donruss, Barry Zito
#281 Barry Zito
Here is one of my favorite through the mail successes of all time. Why, you may be asking, would a Barry Zito TTM rank so high in my book? Well, I got this card signed TTM in 2005. That summer, I was deployed to FOB Falcon on the south side of Baghdad. There were no baseball cards to buy at the PX that summer, so I made my dad send me some whenever he sent over a care package. Eventually, I decided that I was going to try to send one card to a player from each team and try my TTM luck from the other side of the planet.
That was the first time I had sent out any autograph requests since 1997 and I did not have very good results. I never got around to sending one per team. But, I did send out about fifteen and only three of them made it back to me. This was the second one that I got back and I was very excited to get an autograph from the 2002 American League Cy Young Award winner. But, what really made the return special was this yellow post-it note that was stuck to the card.
I do not send out very many TTM requests to current Major Leaguers anymore, but I have sent out a bunch in the past. To this day though, this is the only time a current player has ever sent me a hand written note of any type. And, considering the circumstances, I doubt that any note could ever top this one.
I know that Barry is not the pitcher that he once was. But, he is a class-act in every sense of the term and sometimes that is better than being a great pitcher.