It seems that I start a lot of posts off with it was a bad day, but things haven’t been super easy in the Troll compound of late… Car problems, computer problems, work problems, school problems, money problems, blah blah and blah. One thing that typically pacifies me and brings me back to my happy place is the mail-getting mail. I don’t mean bills, I mean CARDS! Today there was no mail, but I was prepared, I didn’t check the post office on Saturday so I would have a chance today. Sure enough there were non-bill envelopes waiting for me. Super rad packages from Jeremy of No Ones Gonna Read This Blog and Brian from Play at the Plate. THANKS GUYS!!! I will get to those soon, for now I want to talk about the other envelope. It was addressed to me in my own handwriting. It was a TTM envelope!!! I hadn’t received anything back since Jamie Moyer responded in October so I was pretty surprised to see one of these bad boys. The return address was from Tennessee, which immediately made me suspicious and intrigued. There isn’t an MLB team in Tennessee and I know I didn’t send any requests to any minor league teams there. I wanted to rip it open right there in the car, but the car was so messy and I didn’t want the envelope contents to be devoured by my car clutter. I was patient and waiting till I got home all the wondering who the heck it could have been from. Anyway, I got home and sliced the envelope open and found 3 cards. All 3 were signed, which was awesome. What was weird was that I actually keep a record of who I send to and how many cards I send them. I looked up on my not-so-fancy database and saw that I sent a request with ONE card to this person in August. That did mean that his response was pretty slow, but during that response time the cards multiplied, becoming three. The card that I sent him was a 2007 Topps Heritage (#297) card. This was the first card I owned of this guy, who you can now see is the Tampa Bay Rays All Star utility superman Ben Zobrist. I never liked this card (I do NOW). I get that they tried for the soft focus weird close-up thing to look like 1958, but the Oakley’s totally ruin the illusion for me. The card is special because this is my favorite set and this was the first card I owned of Zorilla. The first bonus card is from 2006 Upper Deck, card #1194. The back of the card mentions that Zobrist made his MLB debut at shortstop for the Devil Rays on 8/01/06 after the D-Rays traded Julio Lugo to the Dodgers. The other bonus card is a fancy looking shot of Ben standing in his Rays uniform. It has some odd stuff going on in the background (like mid-90s Skybox) and has a Bible verse in the corner. Ben signed this one, too, and personalized it “To Marck” (that’s me!) as well. The back of this card talks about his roller coaster ride in baseball and his relationship with his Savior. It ends with another Bible verse and mentions the website The Zobrists Dot Com. I have to say this was a pretty exciting surprise for me. I had sent out about 200 requests last year and only got around 25 back. I figured they were all filed in the trash by now. Thanks to you Ben Zobrist for restoring my faith in athletes returning my letters! To not only respond, but also add bonus cards and a personalization is super amazing. I guess there are a few reasons he is one of my favorite players... Oh, this does put me seriously on the look out for a relic card of Zobrist. Anybody? Go Rays! Troll out.