Why Giant Phil Nastu Signs Autographs

Posted November 3rd, 2011 by Tom Owens and filed in Mike Micho, Phil Nastu, Sy Berger, Topps

Why must we wait for a funeral to say something good about someone? Why not share that compliment when the do-gooder is there to take a bow?

That’s what I thought about as I wrote to Phil Nastu. Yesterday, I wrote about his kindness in tracking down a collector named Mike Micho, when the autograph reply never reached the intended party. USPS returned a shredded envelope, identified by Nastu’s return address label.

Nastu hunted down Mike on the Internet. He replaced the cards from his own collection, used his own postage and wrote the collector a second time, adding a note of explanation.

I told Nastu how stunned I was, and how I hope everyone will learn about his kindness. He shared these thoughts with me:

“In regard to the ripped card, I just thought if someone took the time to want to get my signature, the least I could do was try and return it.

When I got finished playing, I didn’t have many of my cards. But over the years, fans have asked me to sign one card and keep one for myself, which is pretty cool.”

Nastu’s autograph attiude is amplified by his explanation:

“I was always taught to be respectful to people and would hope to receive it back. It has always been an honor for someone to want my autograph and would never think of charging for it.”

Speaking of cards, Nastu relayed this 1979 Topps tale:

“The good and bad: wanted to have a baseball or basketball card since I was a kid. Good news when I was told by Sy Berger at Topps that I was going to be on a card I was thrilled. He then told me even though I had some time in the majors, he had to put me on a prospect card, because they needed to put more position players on. He actually paid me for a full card because he felt bad.”

By the way, “Thanks” preceeded Nastu’s autograph at the bottom of the page. When’s the last time you were thanked for being a collector?

Coming Monday: How a young autograph collector delighted Chuck Estrada.

San Francisco Giant Phil Nastu Wows A Hobbyist

Posted November 2nd, 2011 by Tom Owens and filed in Mike Micho, Phil Nastu, San Francisco Giants, www.sportscollectors.net
Nastu has been a faithful
autograph signer for 30-plus years!

Remember Mike “Tiger Nut” Micho? He’s shining the spotlight on one of the greatest responses I’ve ever imagined recorded by a collector.

As first shared on http://www.sportscollectors.net/, Mike relayed this fascinating story:

“Earlier this month I sent 2 cards to former Giants pitcher Phil Nastu. After nearly a month, I wondered if I`d get them back again, as usually he signs and returns cards quickly.Well, what I received back in the mail yesterday just floored me.

It seems Mr. Nastu had signed the cards quickly and had sent them back out a few weeks ago. However, the Postal Service had totally destroyed the envelope (it was ripped in half) and the cards.This pile of waste was returned to Mr. Nastu as he had placed a return address sticker on the envelope.What he did for me was unbelievable!

I received this huge white envelope in the mail yesterday, addressed from him.When I opened it, he had wrote me a short note explaining what happened. It read:

‘Michael, I received these cards I signed for you back from the Post Office. They were destroyed, so I replaced them for you. I searched the web for your correct name and address from the letter you sent me. Hopefully, I`ve sent these to the right person, since I couldn`t read the full name. If not, I tried my best. Phil’

I was shocked that he cared enough to replace the cards, search the web for my name and addy, and send everything back to me (including the destroyed cards and envelope).

He is for sure going to receive a Thank You card from me for this one! Thanks so much Mr. Nastu.”

I wrote a note of thanks to Phil Nastu, too. Hey, everyone should. When one collector wins, the hobby wins. Amazingly, I found that Mike’s story had another side…

Coming Friday: Phil Nastu replies, explaining his amazing kindness.

New York Yankees History Encounter Takes Mike ‘Tiger Nut’ Micho By Surprise

Posted October 3rd, 2011 by Tom Owens and filed in Babe Ruth, Jacob Ruppert, Mike Micho, New York Yankees
Ruppert’s plaque resides in Monument Park in
Yankee Stadium. I found this at Bleacher Report.
The site makes a great case for the owner being
included in the Hall of Fame. Lots of great
Yankee insights here!

Here’s a great P.S. to the Mike Micho story. He likes the Tigers, but he LOVES baseball.

As Mike tells it:

“I also wanted to tell you about the surprise I got 3 days ago. I`m a Physical Therapist and work in an acute care hospital. I treat people with many different problems and ailments,which leads me to meeting many different people. During that time,you get to know & learn a little bit about each one.

Well,while working with a 94 yr. old gentleman,he noticed me wearing a pair of Detroit Tigers scrubs and asked me if I was a big baseball fan. Well,with me that`s like opening Pandora`s box! He and I sat and talked baseball for quite a while. Then he proceeds to tell me out of nowhere his uncle used to own the New York Yankees! At first I was sort of taken aback by this, then is daughter, who was present in the room, told me that, yes, his uncle did own the Yankees.

It was Jacob Ruppert, the man who bought Babe Ruth from the Red Sox! Instantly, I asked him “Will you adopt me!” He laughed and said ‘God no, I`ve got enough kids to worry about.’

He then started to tell me all about how when he was a little kid, his uncle would let him hang out in the clubhouse, occasionally be the batboy for a few games a year, and how he would play catch on the field with the Babe, Gehrig, Bill Dickey, Tony Lazzeri and others. I could have sat and talked with him all day, but of course there was work to do.

The next day I thought if he didn`t mind,I was going to have him autograph a Yankees logo card just for myself to keep with my other Yankees signed items. However, he was discharged home the night before. Another missed opportunity! Maybe I should keep Signature Cards or logo cards and Sharpie on hand with me at all times.”

Like any fisherman, hobbyists all have stories about “the one that got away.” Mike reminds us: baseball history can find you at any time. Are you ready?

Coming Tuesday: The Mystery of Mark Mulder.