Tuesday, January 24, 2017

The Forgotten TTM Sport


Through the mail (TTM) autographs have been around for years, decades even as children and adults have pursued any means necessary for obtaining their favorite athlete’s signature. But, what I have often noticed is many collectors focus on the four major sports (baseball, basketball, football, and hockey) with auto racing being a possible fifth addition to that list.  Usually, professional wrestlers are left out when considering TTM options because they tend to travel more than any other athlete.

However, I’m here to tell you that these athletes cannot be overlooked as they can tend to actually be more accessible than athletes from the more popular sports and because a handful of wrestlers are former pros in the “big four” sports.

Pursuing Wrestlers Via TTM

In my history of requesting signatures TTM, I have had success in sending them to both WWE and TNA wrestlers via their respective corporate offices.  Granted the success rate will likely depend on how popular the wrestler is (i.e. getting Roman Reigns to sign TTM may be more difficult than Tyler Breeze ), but you never know. I would still follow the same process outlined in one of my previous articles (Tips for a Successful TTM Mailday) and make sure you have included a note asking for the signature while also having a self-addressed stamped envelope with your address ready for them to send back to you.

Here are the addresses I would use when sending to the corporate offices:

Wrestler's Name
c/o WWE
1241 East Main Street
Stamford, CT 06902

Wrestler's Name
c/o TNA
209 10th Avenue South
Suite 160
Nashville, TN 37203

Wrestler's Name
c/o Ring of Honor
2000 West 41st Street
Baltimore, MD 21211



Another alternative is sending to the wrestler’s home or work address. I have done this in the past and had success with wrestlers such as Hillbilly Jim and Demolition Ax. However, finding a wrestler’s home address has proven to be somewhat tricky, in my opinion.  The SCF TTM address page does provide some addresses, just not many.


Many former wrestlers are still actively in the spotlight outside the ring which provides access to collectors looking to possibly get a signature TTM. I can think of a handful that have podcasts including Stone Cold Steve Austin , Tazz, Konnan , and MVP and thus have work addresses. For example, Tazz hosts a podcast carried by a CBS network or affiliate and I believe has an office in New York City somewhere.  That would be a perfect opportunity for someone to send him a TTM request.



Paying For a TTM Autograph

Another popular option is browsing a wrestler’s website.  Many offer autograph opportunities for a minimal fee and the one that comes to mind instantly is Trish Stratus.  She’s one of the most popular female wrestlers of all time and easily accessible via her website.  You can purchase items from her that she has autographed or you can send items to her for a fee of $10 per item.  A quick eBay search shows that the last handful of her Topps autographed cards sold for $10-30.  So, she has priced her autograph affordably and within the current market value.



Thinking Outside the (TTM) Box

While the purpose of this article was to discuss TTM signatures from professional wrestlers, I cannot end it without discussing other autograph opportunities and options.


They Weren’t Always Wrestlers

Depending on who you’re talking to, wrestling may or may not be considered a sport and the wrestlers may or may not be considered athletes.  But, what many do not realize is that tons of wrestlers were professional or collegiate athletes in other sports prior to becoming a stepping into the squared circle.

Here’s a small list of wrestlers that were pro or collegiate athletes in other sports prior to wrestling:

Why do I bring this up? Why does it matter if they played other sports before wrestling? Because it creates unique autograph (or collecting, in general) opportunities.

How about a Brock Lesnar card from his time with the Minnesota Vikings?





Or what about an Ernie Ladd NFL card?





A wrestling signature can be a unique autograph on it’s own, but don’t be afraid to think outside the box and get a Falcons helmet signed by Goldberg or some 1996 Olympics memorabilia signed by Kurt Angle.



The Best Method for a Wrestling Signature


Simply put: indy shows! Independent wrestling shows, or the ones at your local armory, can provide some of the best autograph opportunities for up and coming wrestlers and those still trying to not be forgotten. Most of my wrestling autographs and personal interactions have come from indy shows for minimal expense.



Here’s a small list of wrestlers I have gotten autographs from or had personal interactions with at indy shows:


These shows can be the most rewarding because these wrestlers are working on their own schedule and making their own money.  They usually have more interaction because someone from WWE isn’t hiding them in the back or telling them they have to be somewhere else. A Google search for “local indy shows” will yield a list of events happening across the country on any given weekend.  Even if you’re not a wrestling fan, these events can be the most rewarding for kids and adults alike because you can get a lot closer to these athletes than you can to any baseball, basketball, or football player.

Happy collecting!
Jason Dean Martin 
Twitter: @jasondeanmartin 

                                    

Jason Dean Martin's podcast is the Trading Card Podcast on Blog Talk Radio at www.blogtalkradio.com/tradingcardpodcast

You can also follow the Trading Card Podcast on Twitter @tcardpodcast

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