|Friends Kyle and
in 2012. See his
answers to their
letter at their
“The Autograph Addict.”
Roe Skidmore made that one career hit as a Chicago Cub count.
Topps deemed him worthy of inclusion in the next year’s set.
Card #121, “1971 Rookie Stars CUBS,” pictures Skidmore below pitcher Jim Dunegan.
More than 40 years later, what does he see on that card?
“The 1971 Topps picture was actually taken in spring training at Scottsdale Stadium in Arizona.
To this day, I receive approximately 2 to 3 dozen cards per week from collectors to autograph. Still feels good that people remember me.”
Coming Thursday: An Illinois native playing for the Cubs!
I got the father, never the son.
Hal Trosky Jr. has died at age 76.
The obituary stated that he pitched in only two games in his major league career. Breaking in with the 1958 White Sox wouldn’t have been easy, winning over manager Al Lopez.
The senior Trosky was a 1930s Cleveland Indians home run machine.
I met the famous dad at a card show in Cedar Rapids. I got his signature on a baseball, then proclaimed, “Did you know there are 108 stitches on a baseball?”
Hal Sr. shrugged and grinned. “All I know is that I wanted to hit every one of them!”
I could see the years melt off his face as he said that.
According to www.sportscollectors.net, the younger Trosky batted a thousand with collectors. That is, of the 16 recorded attempts to get his autograph by mail, he delivered every time. Although he was never seen on a Topps card, he had copies of a photo to send.
Most amazingly, collectors who mentioned Trosky’s dad would get a cancelled check from Hal Trosky Sr.(deceased in 1979). An authenticated autograph from a baseball great who had died more than 30 years prior.
Kudos to Kyle Smego at The Autograph Addict for saluting this overlooked Iowan.
|Kyle Smego’s hobby legwork
yielded a return letter filled with
impressive baseball memories.
Don’t “he never” yourself out of a great collection.
He never starred anywhere.
He never played in the majors.
He never played ANYWHERE.
Never say never. Behind that little-known name might be some classic baseball tales.
Kyle Smego, the driving force behind the “Autograph Addict” website, found that out when he acquired some vintage minor league cards. Being a true collector, he contacted EVERYONE in the set.
One of the classiest responses came from a 1980 El Paso Diablos team trainer.
Don Smelser was in the right place at the right time. He saw Tom Brunansky flirt with an epic five homers in one game. Smelser watched “The Famous Chicken” make his minor league debut, being a part of some now-classic routines. For days off, Smelser found a Hall of Famer for a golf buddy, pitcher-turned-coach Warren Spahn.
Kyle reaped this history bonanza through kindness. He began his letter offering to snare an extra card for Smelser, if the former trainer didn’t have one. A good lesson for us all: think about what you’re giving, not just what you hope to be getting.
Well done, Kyle!
Coming Wednesday: Remember the short-lived Senior League? One collector is getting tough autographs for a “song.”