Oriole Fred Valentine is a hobby all-star

Posted September 10th, 2015 by Tom Owens and filed in Fred Valentine, www.sportscollectors.net
Want to learn more about a retired player? Check out the SABR  Biography Project. Ted Leavengood crafted a fine profile of Valentine! See for yourself here:

Want to learn more about a retired player? Check out the SABR Biography Project. Ted Leavengood crafted a fine profile of Valentine! See for yourself here:

Fred Valentine is a stellar signer. A sparkling 95 percent, says the trusty www.sportscollectors.net.

More than that,  he’s part of the 1960s. (I was, too.)

Here’s some swell memories he shared back in 2010. Enjoy!

Who knows you are writing to former players?

Posted September 7th, 2015 by Tom Owens and filed in 42 movie, Jackie Robinson

ostenmuellerWe visited with an 86-year-old friend this morning.

When we mentioned visiting Quincy, Illinois, she lit up. “I attended the Quincy Beauty Academy years ago!”

She told about rooming with the family of Fred Ostermueller. “He played for the Pirates!”

His career stretched from 1934-48, with more than 100 major league wins. Born in Quincy, Fred died there in 1957. My friend’s story checks out.

Decades after his death, Ostermueller made headlines (unwanted ones) when the movie 42 was released. His offspring went national claiming that dad was misrepresented in the movie, and that he was nothing like that racist character who beaned Jackie in the head. In reality, the movie had several errors. Robinson was hit in the wrist. Bruce Markusen did lots of valiant journalistic digging, trying to find any surviving facts beneath the lore. 

So, what does this story have to do with collecting autographs or baseball research?

1. Friends, even relatives, won’t be able to help you if they don’t know what your goals are. “Do you know of any current or former major league baseball players?” Then, tell them why you want to know.

2. Success is out there, maybe closer than you ever imagined.

Sid Bream plays ball: when in doubt, ASK!

Posted September 3rd, 2015 by Tom Owens and filed in Sid Bream
I never got one of these autographed. Why? I thought the set looked like photos from a high school yearbook!

I never got one of these autographed. Why? I thought the set looked like photos from a high school yearbook!

I wanted to offer another look at the past post of my correspondence with Sid Bream. 

Too often, collectors puzzle over new policies retired players enact about fan mail. Instead of assuming the worst, just ask. You never know, unless you ask.