Thanks to Daniel Solzman for this update:
Put this one in your e-mail address book, please.
Last week, when I learned about Cubs pitcher George Riley’s need from collecting friend Kohei Nirengi, I knew the baseball family would rally.
My first stop was www.BaseballAssistanceTeam.com.
Don’t assume that all former players know about BAT. Financial aid is available, all granted on an anonymous basis.
If you ever receive a reply like Mr. Riley’s, fast help awaits.
Just e-mail the details, including a contact address of the retiree in need, to
I received an immediate confirmation e-mail that an aid application would be mailed to Mr. Riley.
Coming Wednesday: Saying goodbye to Phillies pitcher Dennis Bennett
Don’t assume why some former players who sign for pay have a “cash only” policy..
(Yes, I count a donation as a payment.)
I met former pitcher Johnny Vander Meer at a 1980s sports collectors show. At that time, he wanted a donation to the Baseball Assistance Team (BAT).
He growled to Luke Appling about the hassles of dealing with personal checks. I could see that he felt that collectors bounced checks on purpose, trying to cheat “Double No-Hit” out of a signature and BAT out of a donation.
“Cash is easier!” he proclaimed.
Sure, the temptation of a retiree to “forget” to tell the IRS about all the fivers that come in the mail weekly is a possibility. I won’t assume that all autograph signers have tax fraud on their minds. Avoiding problems with the bank could be another motivation.
Readers: how do you feel about sending cash in the mail for an autograph?