Are Baseball Wife Autographs Collectible?

Posted May 23rd, 2013 by Tom Owens and filed in Jackie Robinson Foundation, Patricia Maris, Rachel Robinson, Roger Maris

So many baseball legends are gone.

Patricia Maris autograph, anyone?

Their stories aren’t.

Their wives remain. The movie 42 will remind the world that many a star player might have been far less without a supportive spouse.

Rachel Robinson knows. For a $10 donation to the Jackie Robinson Foundation, she’ll sign.

Other wives could be moved to sign, too. I’ve seen some interviews from Patricia Maris, wishing aloud that Roger could get Hall of Fame consideration.

As a generation of stars disappear, I’m looking to write to their wives. Baseball history is still there. We just have to look harder.

Readers: would you collect autographs of baseball wives? Why, or why not?

Collecting And KNOWING Roger Maris!

Posted September 24th, 2012 by Tom Owens and filed in Andy Strasberg, Barry Halper, Barry Pepper, Baseball Fantography, Pat Maris, Roger Maris

Andy served as a
technical advisor
for the movie.
From fan to friend.
 
That’s the amazing tale of Andy Strasberg and Roger Maris. Yes, this is evidence of what a sincere fan letter can accomplish.
 
The one question I wanted to ask Andy was about Roger Maris, autograph signer. He replied…
 
“Tom,
 
We never discussed his fan mail or his philosophy regarding autograph requests.
 
In the early 1980s, while I was working for the Padres my boss, Elten Schiller asked me if I could get Roger to autograph a few first day covers for his collection. I asked Rog and he said absolutely which made me look like a hero to Elten.
 
Here’s a few other Maris autograph stories:
 
Soon after Roger passed away, I received in the mail a baseball that an artist had painted Roger’s image on and it had Roger’s autograph. The ball was sent as a friendly gesture from long time collector Barry Halper who knew of my admiration for Maris.
 
 
And a couple of years after Roger passed away, I received a surprise package from Roger’s wife, Pat who had enclosed a few autographed items for my collection and thought that I would enjoy them.
 
And finally, while I was working as a consultant on the HBO movie 61*, Barry Pepper, who played Maris in the movie, remarked that he was trying to get an autograph photo of Roger and one day while we were taking a break in between shots on the set of the Yankee Clubhouse I surprised him and gave him an autograph photo of Maris hitting #61. Barry was speechless and tears welled up in his eyes as he thanked and hugged me.
 
Andy”
 
I can’t say enough about Andy’s new book Baseball Fantography. Get two: one to savor, and one to share. It’s a perfect present for a fellow fan.
 
Coming Wednesday: Kiss blank index cards goodbye!

A Mantle & Maris Message For TTM?

Posted September 17th, 2012 by Tom Owens and filed in Fred Mertz, Mickey Mantle, Roger Maris, Safe At Home, William Frawley
Ebay is swimming with
memorabilia from the movie.
I’d love to correspond with
surviving actors, to see
how surprised they are
about this film’s revival.

Each baseball season begins and ends with cable channels having endless showings of Safe At Home.

No, this isn’t another snarky review of the movie. (Even though I thought Fred Mertz would have made a better coach than actor William Frawley was…)

Instead, I took to heart the message of stars Mickey Mantle and Roger Maris.

While they told the boy that lying is wrong, I’d add, in the case of letter-writing collectors:

You don’t have to.

I’m thinking of collectors who’ve been tempted to concoct a tale that would melt the heart of the toughest non-signer.

(I remember the tale of a reporter (no, not me) who wanted to test how celebrities responded to letters from kids. He considered publishing a book. The problem was that Senator Edward Kennedy was so moved by this “kid” correspondent that his staff invited the non-existent child to Washington, D.C.

Instead, I see a better, more honest way.

Look at the list of guys you’re writing to. How do they relate to your own locale?

1. Do they (or did they) play near where you live? What about their minor league time?

2. Did they grow up (or retire) near you? Did they attend a nearby college?

I get frequent questions in replies from retirees about my Iowa town. Don’t leave money (or opportunity) on the table. It’s not just a business saying. Take full advantage of every chance you see. Your collection will thank you.

Coming Wednesday: Tune in for a tale of Bobby Thomson, CSI style.