One of the major disadvantages of living outside of the US is the fact that you can't be a part of the TTM world. For a very simple reason : I can't get US stamps here. Actually, who knows, maybe now you can print them out yourself ? I'll have to look into this.
When I was young and impressionable, I had no idea what an SASE was, and I figured that if I asked very nicely, my favorite players would send autographs to me. On their own time. With their own money (or maybe let the organization foot the bill, who knows). So I sent cute little letters saying hi, my name is Kevin, I live in France, I think you're great, could you send me a signed photo please ?
I didn't send too many of them, because I didn't want to bother too many players. I figured their time was precious, and actually so was mine. I sent one to Patrick Ewing and another to Kevin Johnson. Maybe there were others, but I forgot about them. My subconscious doesn't handle rejection well.
One day, I received an evenloppe with the Suns logo on it. I was so excited I still remember that day, 22 years later. Enclosed were a team schedule and a signed photo of Kevin Johnson. At least, I thought it was signed. It took me a couple of hours to figure out it was a facsimile.
BUT STILL. They answered me. They opened my cute little letter, screened it, never gave it to KJ (that's ok, I understand), wrote down my address and sent me a fan package. Good enough for me.
Following this, I sent out pocket schedule requests to a few teams, and most would also include stickers and other goodies. I loved those enveloppes. I wonder if they still do that kind of thing ?
Then I learned about the whole SASE process. When I went to the US in 93 and 94, I took home a bunch of .50ct stamps, good enough to send back a signed card right to my doorstep. So here I was again, behind my desk, writing my cute little letters, this time to baseball players. Hi, my name is Kevin, we don't have any baseball here but I follow your games through the boxscores I read in the international newspaper, please sign my card, it would make me so happy I could sing for you.
I don't remember how many letters I sent out, neither to whom. Not that many, because those stamps were precious, I had to choose carefully and not waste them on just any player. I got a couple back. They really made my day.
One was of Tim Raines, but I gave it to a friend of mine because he was going through a rough time and I knew he really liked that player (yeah, I'm a generous guy with a heart of gold). The other was of Pat Listach.
Those are part of the great memories I have from my obsessive collecting days. But I'm over it now.
Yeah, right...so how about those stamps ?