Autograph Collecting Game Plan For 2014 Season?

Posted March 31st, 2014 by Tom Owens and filed in Dontrelle Willis, George Bailey, It's A Wonderful Life, Miguel Tejada, Opening Day

Happy Opening Day, everyone!

I’m trying to look more at corresponding with current players this season.
Who will be tops on your list?
For me, I’ve never dwelled on superstar players.
In selecting guys more likely to respond, I  ask myself:
1. Is this his first year with this team?
2. Where was he last year?  (Out of baseball or buried in the minors are two good answers. Chances are, at least for the first month of this season, that the player will be a happy-signing lump of gratitude, much like George Bailey in the final scene of It’s A Wonderful Life.)
Now, put on your Grim Reaper cloak. Ask:
1. What are the chances he sticks on the roster all year?
2. Might this be his last pro season? (Think Miguel Tejada or Dontrelle Willis).
If the future is cloudy, don’t wait. 
I’d think everyone loves their job in the majors right now. No one has been trapped in last place for weeks. Anything’s possible, for their season and your mailbox.

Where Have You Gone, Joe DiMaggio? The Future of Baseball-Related U.S. Postage Stamps

Posted March 27th, 2014 by Tom Owens and filed in Citizen's Advisory Committee, Jimi Hendrix, U.S. Postal Service, USPS

The USPS clerk showed me the newest commemoratives. 

“Here’s a Jimi Hendrix stamp, if you’re an old hippie!”
Sadly, he had no funny suggestions for an old baseball fan sending letters to retired players.
Everyone holds their breath for the next baseball stamp.
Want to do more than wish? Amazingly, it’s possible to cast a vote.
The Citizen’s Advisory Committee helps determine the Postal Service determine new subjects for future postage stamps. They meet four to five times yearly to look at the approximately 50,000 suggestions received yearly.
Check out their guidelines for subject selections. Send them a nomination.
(Not surprisingly, there’s no e-mail address that I could find. If you want to suggest a baseball-related commemorative, it’ll cost you 49 cents.)
Readers: what baseball-related subject matter would you like on your next postage stamps?

If Judge Judy Read Your Baseball Letters…

Posted March 24th, 2014 by Tom Owens and filed in baseball books, Judge Judy, The Boys of Summer

she’d want to know what you’re talking about.

When you write to former players, don’t be shy about mentioning that you read about them. Also, it wouldn’t hurt to mention the name of the book or newspaper
(No, don’t worry about date, page and other footnote-format microscopic details. I still have flashbacks about ibid usage.)
Why do I add such a mention in my letters?
1. It shows I made the effort to really think about a guy’s career, if it in lasted just one game.
2. I never assume that the retiree knows he’s mentioned in the book. Imagine being able to find yourself in the index of The Boys of Summer or some famed baseball title. 
Make the extra effort. I think you’ll be rewarded in the quantity and quality of the responses.