Who do you write to?
The list of retired players is shrinking. I confess: I’ve waited too long for several deceased signers.
Then, how do you keep the mail flowing and the successes returning? I don’t base my future mailings simply on the age of the people I’m contacting. As I look at reports from other collectors, these are signals to move a former player from a possibility to a “must contact.”
1. He signs fast. I’m impatient, so I cheer for anyone who returns fan mail in two weeks or less. Plus, I think fast signers are the most generous. Everybody gets something.
2. Personalization. That means the signer truly reads each letter. Therefore, my questions will get read.
3. Multiple items. I’m asking about three subjects. If someone doesn’t mind signing six cards at once, he won’t mind answering more than one question.
4. Adds an item. Older players are grateful to the true fans. When they enclose a photocopied article or even a photo for some fans, chances are greater I’ll get a thoughtful reply to my questions.
5. A new address. I believe some retirees who move might be sad over a drop in fan mail. If I can reach them during that lull, I might get a better response from the increased free time.
Readers: what clues do you seek about someone’s signing habits before writing?