Day #6 of the 1987 Topps TTM Project and this may be the most interesting thus far. As you could have seen in my previous post, I got my first response today (albeit an non-response as it were). There were also a few other firsts that took place on this day.
#1 – the aforementioned first response from Carlton Fisk
#2 – First NFL Football game of the year – thankfully I have Wes Welker on my fantasy team and he scored well over 20 points…woot…OK back to the project.
#3 – First deceased ballplayer in the project. Aurelio Lopez was killed at the age of 44 in a car accident.
Aurelio was an interesting figure with a great baseball career including a World Series Championship in which he shined, an All Star appearance, Cy Young consideration as well as honored in the Mexican Baseball Hall of Fame. He left baseball and became Municipal President (think mayor) in his home of Tecamachalco, Mexico where he had his life threatened and was shot at a number of times.
Ironically, there have been three players with the name Aurelio to make appearances in the bigs – all three were killed in car accidents between the ages of 44-53.
Here’s to you Aurelio Lopez.
#4 – My first ever request for a TTM autograph sent to a prison. That’s right, Mel Hall, who spent time with the Indians, Yankees, Giants and Cubs and who was, by all accounts, a major dick in the clubhouse; is currently incarcerated and convicted on three counts of aggravated sexual assault of a child and two counts of indecency with a child. He was sentenced in 2009 to 45 years but may have a shot for parole in 2031. Apparently the law doesn’t look to kindly upon dudes raping 12 year olds – shocking they don’t bring this up when talking about steroids in baseball.
I wasn’t sure I should even send this guy a request but I figured I would for the simple fact that it makes for interesting conversation.
These last two entries really steal from my “daily ramblings” section but so be it. Todays entry can be a little short – please let me slide on this one.
So, the following are the ones that actually went out today – and none of them look promising at all:
30 – #51 Mel Hall (do not pass go, do not collect $200, go directly to jail)
31 – #144 Mike Scioscia (found a home address and am giving it a shot but this is likely a no go)
32 – #330 Mike Scott (see Mike Scioscia)
33 – #9 Jay Tibbs (it’s been years since anyone has even tried to contact Jay Tibbs, this letter my shock him into a response).
34 – #25 Bert Blyleven (signs to raise money for Parkinson’s which is clearly noble – put together a sincere note requesting an auto but I would sincerely doubt it)
Item #10 – Bert Blyleven’s given name is Rik Aalbert Blijleven, which is Dutch and certainly unique. More interesting is the fact that he discovered the name himself while getting information together for his own wedding.