Ask Santa For 2011 Baseball Address List

Posted October 31st, 2010 by Tom Owens and filed in Harvey Meiselman, Ken Vergauwen
I’ve met this Santa. I believe!
(Thanks, Ken Vergauwen)

I think there’s been a new law passed that Christmas starts as soon as the last trick-or-treater leaves the front step. I’ll never dismiss a jolly thought, no matter the date.

As I assemble my wish list, a “must have” is Harvey Meiselman’s 2011 Baseball Address List. He’s started taking orders on the new edition, which will ship no later than Jan. 4.

Quoting from his announcement:

“NEW FOR 2011

1) the 2011 edition will have over 3,000 address updates and almost 500 new addresses from the previous edition.

2) There will be a column added to the main address section (right next to the column that denotes signing fees) and it will let you know of players who have less than a 25% success rates through the mail on various collectors forums. This will allow you to judge whether you want to send out an expensive rookie card or baseball to someone who has a 10% success rate and possibly lose that card.
EXPANDED FOR 2011
1) The deceased players information will be in a separate section. Players mailing addresses will also be in their own separate section. That way, if you’re only interested in the addresses that can yield successful autograph requests you have them all together in one section. If you need the death information, it’s indexed and printed in alphabetical order in a separate section. The best of both worlds.

2) Ex-MLB players who work as managers and coaches for major or minor league baseball teams during the season are now included in the regular address section. This way, lets say a player you want to write to, lives in CA but is a coach for a team in PA during the season. You’ll instantly know what the best address at the time is to use. 

3) Broadcasters, writers, General Managers, Owners and Ford C Frick Award winners and JG Taylor Spink Award winners have been expanded for 2011.”

Why order early? Besides bragging rights about being first on your block with Harvey’s list, know that the nearly 500 new addresses are jackpots awaiting collectors. I’m guessing that a few of these folks may sign freely for a few months, all due to the novelty of receiving fan mail again. Then, they might start charging for signatures. Or, the signing power might be disconnected entirely.

Check out http://www.sportsaddresslists.com/ for more information. This is NOT an affiliate link. I get nothing but peace of mind, knowing fellow collectors are using the best resource imaginable. The $35 is a wise hobby investment, knowing you’ll benefit your collection while supporting Harvey’s pioneering work.

Unraveling The Mystery of Oriole Jim Frey

Posted October 30th, 2010 by Tom Owens and filed in Baltimore Orioles, Jim Frey, www.sportscollectors.net

I’ve had the image in my head for more than 30 years.

I’m outside Metropolitan Stadium, ready for the Orioles to arrive. Sharpie in hand, I’m ready for autographs.

A few, like Jim Palmer, come alone by cab. Well-dressed guys heading into The Met.

Then, I see a car pull up near the visitors entrance. A convertible. The passenger is wearing an Orioles uniform. It’s coach Jim Frey.

True story. Unfortunately, I know only the story’s beginning.

I see on http://www.sportscollectors.net/ that Frey’s signed 138 of 145 fan mail requests. I’m not wanting autographed cards. I just want to know where the O’s coach went in uniform. Think he’ll tell? It’s worth a two-stamp gamble.

Hobby Alert: Five Signs Of A Great Signer

Posted October 29th, 2010 by Tom Owens and filed in Uncategorized

Who do you write to?

The list of retired players is shrinking. I confess: I’ve waited too long for several deceased signers.

Then, how do you keep the mail flowing and the successes returning? I don’t base my future mailings simply on the age of the people I’m contacting. As I look at reports from other collectors, these are signals to move a former player from a possibility to a “must contact.”

1. He signs fast. I’m impatient, so I cheer for anyone who returns fan mail in two weeks or less. Plus, I think fast signers are the most generous. Everybody gets something.

2. Personalization. That means the signer truly reads each letter. Therefore, my questions will get read.

3. Multiple items. I’m asking about three subjects. If someone doesn’t mind signing six cards at once, he won’t mind answering more than one question.

4. Adds an item. Older players are grateful to the true fans. When they enclose a photocopied article or even a photo for some fans, chances are greater I’ll get a thoughtful reply to my questions.

5. A new address. I believe some retirees who move might be sad over a drop in fan mail. If I can reach them during that lull, I might get a better response from the increased free time.

Readers: what clues do you seek about someone’s signing habits before writing?