Monday, August 2, 2010

My Strange Journey with Don Welchel

Out of all of the autographs in my collection to this point, my experiences with Don Welchel have probably been the most interesting. For a long time, both my dad and I needed Don's autographs for our collection; my dad for his 1983 Orioles World Series team project and me for my overall collection.

I then traded a fellow Orioles collector for this Crown card, which was a start but personalized to Steve, so I sent a TTM request to Don, even though he had a low signing percentage on SportsCollectors.Net.

My dad then found this postcard on ebay, so he gladly picked it up to add to his collection. But he was still hoping for a 1983/84 Rochester Red Wings signed card, so he sent off a TTM request every 4 months or so over the course of a year.

At this point, we both had Welchel autograph's in our collections, but also were hoping to get our TTM requests back even though Don was about a 25% signer. He wasn't getting many requests since he only pitched in 13 games for the Orioles over the '82 & '83 seasons, but along with a few other collectors on SCN, we waited and hoped.

Then one day, I got one of my TTM envelopes back in the mail from Texas. Who could it be? You guessed it, Don Welchel!

He even personalized it as I had asked him to do. BUT there was a problem. I had put the card in a protective sleeve (a habit I have since quit). You see that line through the s & t in best? Yes, Don had signed half on my sleeve and half on my card.

AAAAHHH! At first I was fairly pissed, but in the end, it makes for a good story and I have a personalized Welchel card in my collection. It's not perfect but like I said, it might be the most interesting story behind any card in my collection.

But my dad still hadn't got any of his 3 requests back. He had to wait 2 days after I got mine, but then he received 3 SASE envelopes in the mail, and had a pretty good idea of what they were.
He got his Rochester Red Wings Welchel cards back! He gave me the two extra cards to trade and kept the other for his collection.

So we went from 0 Welchel autographs to 6 in a short amount of time. It was a pretty entertaining journey and I'm glad that I now can move on to the next "Don Welchel".

Thanks for signing our cards Don, it was very nice of you. One of the other collectors on SCN got his card back after a 1199 day wait! That's like 5 postage rate increases ago. Thank goodness for Forever Stamps.

5 comments:

kmsals said...

I've been watching the bay to see if anyone put their Welchel autos up for sale. So far none. That is probably good as Don will know that it is real collectors that request TTM (that is - if he cares).

Ryan aka Orioles Magic said...

I agree, I think that helps with these guys. There isn't much interest in someone like Welchel outside of probably 50 or so collectors, so it's not too surprising.

Anonymous said...

Playing golf with him tomorrow

Orioles Magic said...

Anon, that's very cool, please direct him to my site!

Anonymous said...

That is a great story. I used to pitch against Don in summer church leagues. He wasn't the fastest but I had a hard time hitting against him. He was a good friend and great competitor and I was on your site trying to find out what he is doing these days.

Jeff D. Glen Rose, TX