Can Hermey, Santa and Bumble Help Your Autograph Collection?

Posted November 20th, 2014 by Tom Owens and filed in Bumble, Hermey the Elf, Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer, Tony Oliva, USPS
Guess what TV show turns 50 years old this year?
Through the New Year, I’ll be using these on my baseball letters.
If the stamp makes someone feel younger and more
generous, go for it!

First of all, do NOT get on Santa’s “naughty” list.

I’m not advocating that you fib. No telling huge lies about how your last wish is to get a reply from Joe Ballplayer.
I am saying to make merry when you write. Acknowledge the holidays.
Use the holiday stamps. The USPS has a variety of 2014 designs. 
Seek out some Christmas stickers. If you can get some greeting card-sized envelopes, go for it. Colored, even red or green, might get you to the top of a fan mail pile.
Surprises happen every Christmas season. Tony Oliva turned down money in the past to send holiday greetings with an autograph.
Save your generic postage stamps for January. Now is not the time to be dignified. Be joyous. In turn, the current or former player may be looking at your envelope as a potential Christmas present they can give you via a reply.

Where Have You Gone, Joe DiMaggio? The Future of Baseball-Related U.S. Postage Stamps

Posted March 27th, 2014 by Tom Owens and filed in Citizen's Advisory Committee, Jimi Hendrix, U.S. Postal Service, USPS

The USPS clerk showed me the newest commemoratives. 

“Here’s a Jimi Hendrix stamp, if you’re an old hippie!”
Sadly, he had no funny suggestions for an old baseball fan sending letters to retired players.
Everyone holds their breath for the next baseball stamp.
Want to do more than wish? Amazingly, it’s possible to cast a vote.
The Citizen’s Advisory Committee helps determine the Postal Service determine new subjects for future postage stamps. They meet four to five times yearly to look at the approximately 50,000 suggestions received yearly.
Check out their guidelines for subject selections. Send them a nomination.
(Not surprisingly, there’s no e-mail address that I could find. If you want to suggest a baseball-related commemorative, it’ll cost you 49 cents.)
Readers: what baseball-related subject matter would you like on your next postage stamps?

A U.S. Postal Service Mystery Solved

Posted December 30th, 2013 by Tom Owens and filed in 2-day priority, USPS

Some of you send valuable memorabilia out for autographs. Others trade autographs.

All pray the U.S. Postal Service is kind.
Before Christmas, a friend who lives near Seattle sent a small gift box to us as a present.
Her package went out on the 18th via 2-day Priority Mail. She was told that the expected delivery date should have been Dec. 21.
We waited. And waited. 
Today, just nine days later than predicted,  the box arrived.
Lessons learned?
My friend shared her 18-digit tracking number from her receipt. The number is gold. A magic pass key.
Second, I signed up for the free e-mail delivery updates. If any progress was made, I’d be alerted.
Then, I called our local post office for help. All I saw was “processed at Des Moines USPS Sort Facility” day after day. 
I was polite. I didn’t blame anyone. I asked for help finding an explanation. I was told that the facility where my package was trapped would be e-mailed.
This morning, the local post office called. 
“Your package is here. It will be delivered during Monday rounds.”
Success! And the explanation? “A sticker seemed to have been placed over part of your address.”
Sure enough, a routing UPC sticker covered up our house number. The sticker was scraped away enough to make delivery possible.
Those USPS workers have a better batting average than I would. I’m grateful for my happy ending, and hope my experience will help you if you get thrown a postal curve in 2014.