Monday, December 2, 2013
So long, Lou Brissie.
Goodbye, Johnny Kucks.
Adios, Ed Erautt.
All three men were kind to answer questions for me. They treated my letters with thoughtful respect. I think they remained baseball fans, too. Here's the time they can all tip their caps on the top step of heaven's dugout.
Friday, November 29, 2013
Get a quantity of those holiday stamps. Any design.
It's my hunch that wives or family members open envelopes for some of the older retirees -- or the iffy signers.
I maintain that getting your envelope noticed and opened is a major victory.
Get mistaken for a Christmas card. Or, remind the ex-player that this is the off-season to be jolly. Holiday stamps can help.
To evoke a little Black Friday cynicism, consider that your happy Christmas stamp in 2014 is a remind of how overdue the retiree's response is.
One topical stamp is not a huge advantage. However, I'll take all the help I can get.
Monday, November 25, 2013
|The first Iron Baby?|
As they say on TV, this just in...
A standing O goes to my friends at Carl Crawford Cards, who responded to my earlier assessment of the MLB Player Poll of "strangest item ever autographed." Check this out:
"Straight up: at spring training this year Cal Ripken signed a baby onesie for my wife and I. We'd brought it as a lark for players to sign, looking to frame it later, but decided that with Cal it was quits after that.
Then my daughter was born 6 weeks early and spent 3 weeks in intensive care. Today she's home and doing great at just under 4 months. She's now unofficially the "Iron Baby," and has an "Iron Man" signed-onesie to prove it."
The moral? Find meaning in every autograph. Make the hobby your own.
Memorabilia is nothing without the MEMORY. I love this tale. Thanks for sharing. Happy Thanksgiving to the three of you.
Thursday, November 21, 2013
|Why did Topps|
recycle its 1968 shot
of Nye? Like he
couldn't be bothered
Here's one sparked by my 2011 response from Rich Nye.
In the pre-cable days, NBC's Game of the Week mattered.
I'm wanting to know:
Stats don't show which hits or strikeouts came when being nationally-televised. Did one person have one great moment shared with America?
Be my guest. Ask away. Let me know what you learn in your responses.
Good luck (to us all)!
Monday, November 18, 2013
Jack Dittmer didn't have Hall of Fame stats. He was a hobby hall of famer, however.
In October, Dittmer's wife began sending out the sad news. I saw the update via the ever-insightful www.sportscollectors.net.
The second baseman now lives in a care facility. He can no longer sign autographs or answer questions.
Dittmer was at his best for my 2011 letter. See for yourself via the above link.
On SCN, his success rate was staggering: 175 success responses in 178 attempts.
Just a thought...
A note of thanks to Mrs. Dittmer might bring a bit of brightness during the holidays, considering her husband's health. I'm sure she may have been an unsung hero in getting all those autographs returned.
Thursday, November 14, 2013
|Don Robertson missed|
out appearing in any
card sets. Trying to
any hopeful facts about
the 7th place Cubs, I
discovered Al Yellon's
fun slugfest recap. Yea
for Bleed Cubbie Blue!
He got Don Robertson, a cup-of-coffee outfielder with the 1954 Chicago Cubs, to sign an index card this month. However, it wasn't the typical autograph.
"This one was a sad response. A note from his wife accompanied it saying 'This is my husband's last autograph. He is 83 years old, has lung cancer and is in hospice now.'"
The 24-year-old was hitless in six plate appearances. His final kindness to one more collector counts as a game-winner in my eyes.
Please, subtract Mr. Robertson from your address list. Thank you for the update, Rich.
Monday, November 11, 2013
|An all-star patriot|
However, I feel that Mike Hedlund's greatest outing that year came off the field.
I wrote, and he responded with an epic memory:
"In 1971, the USO had tours to Vietnam with pro athletes. This tour had me, Bobby Bonds (Giants), Doc Ellis (Pirates), Mike Kilkenny (Tigers), Nick Colosi (National League umpire) and Jim Enright (Chicago Sun-Times reporter). We spent 2 weeks visiting mostly fire support bases in Vietnam.
It was quite an experience and I'm honored to have been able to do that. Our tour was to visit, talk and basically do whatever we could for those guys and morale.
Most of the soldiers we met were very secluded and sometimes we really had to work to get them to interact with us. It made me really appreciate the country and freedom we have in our country, thanks to the sacrifice our military men and women have made."
Mike Hedlund is a joy to salute, too. He's remained devoted to the fans and collectors, more than four decades after his last major league game.
I shared a story with Mike in my letter, too. I said goodbye to a cousin named Dustin Yancey this month in 2005, killed by a roadside bomb in Iraq.
Not just on Veterans Day, I'm grateful to all the Dustins, and all the Mikes.