I tip my cap to Jack Billingham. It’s not the typical “now I charge for autographs” form letter.
After the traditional claim of finding his autographs being sold on eBay and elsewhere, the tone changes.
“I am all in favor of free enterprise and, in fact, encourage it. With this in mind, I hope you’ll understand when I tell you my wife thinks this old ballplayer should get a little cut of the action.”
Then, the former pitcher goes on to request $5 for signing your card, or $10 for an autographed photo or baseball. He thanks the senders (who gets back their unsigned cards) for their interest in baseball history.
Well, if the Billinghams are marketing autographs, I’d challenge them to give a free sample. At least, autograph the “send again, and include money” request. After all, my grocery store gives me a cheese cube on a toothpick before asking me to buy a pound of cheddar.
Meanwhile, expect the “my mom threw out my baseball cards” jingle to be overshadowed by the “my wife’s the one making me charge for autographs” refrain.