Don Drysdale’s Inside Pitch to Collectors

Don Drysdale saw the humor in autographs.

Mickey Mantle once said:

“I hated to bat against Drysdale. After he hit you he’d come around, look at the bruise on your arm and say, ‘Do you want me to sign it?'”

Before Drysdale’s 1993 death, he ended a years-long willingness to sign free through the mail. His 3-by-5 offer read…

Dear Baseball Fan:

Due to the increase in overhead (office space, secretarial service, postage and so on), from now on, it will be necessary to have a service charge of $3 per signature. No personal checks accepted.

Thank you for your understanding.

Don Drysdale

There was no pretense of an unnamed charity. Likewise, he didn’t rage about collectors who’ve sold his autograph and exploited his kindness. Additionally, he didn’t close the door like Andy Messersmith or Bill White, saying NO to all TTM collectors.

To the end, Double D was a no-nonsense guy dealing with hitters and collectors.

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