Do Hand-Written Letters Get More Autographs?

Posted January 24th, 2011 by Tom Owens and filed in Larry Miller, Rich Hanson,
Typed Letters Don’t
Make Him Smile!

Collectors know that “tastes great” or “less filling” isn’t the only debate these days.

After the Sunday post, I fielded a reader question:

Do you write or type your letters?

This is an on-going discussion on the forum. Speed for typing.

Sincerity for hand-written.

I’ve chosen typed for another reason. Legibility.

I’m asking specific questions. If a retiree can’t read my handwriting, then I’m doomed.

Only once did I alter my game plan. That’s when I contacted former Mets pitcher Larry Miller. Thanks to collector pal Rich Hanson, he tipped me off that Miller had replied how he appreciated a collector who took the time to write by hand.

I think some collectors worry that a player might suspect a form letter if its printed from a computer. I differ on that concern. I do address envelopes by hand. (Businesses TYPE envelopes. Bills or junk-mail solicitations come in typed envelopes.) Once I’ve convinced someone to open my letter, that’s a major victory. Then, I hope my personal appeal makes my case, even without my iffy penmanship.

I believe that content matters most. If you’ve researched someone’s career (or can tell about seeing him in a specific game) you’ll make your point. You’re being personal and easy on the eyes.

What do you say, readers? Do hand-written or typed letters work best for you? Ever field complaints from signers?

Tomorrow: a 1940s Brooklyn Dodger shares the nickname Leo Durocher gave him.

4 Responses to “Do Hand-Written Letters Get More Autographs?”

  1. madhu says:

    This blog is very much innovative. Thanks for sharing this!


  2. Tony says:

    I always hand write my letters. I’ve heard debate for both sides. It’s just something I prefer to do. My typing skills are worse than my writing skills. I understand the part about poor penmanship, but for me it just seems a more personal touch by writing. To each their own.

  3. AJ says:

    I always go hand-written and try to put in a tidbit about his career, a memory I have of him, or specific questions I have. A few years back, I wrote to Rizzuto (while he was charging a fee) and included a check for the signed card. I also wrote about how I watched games he annoucned with my grandma, and how she loved when he talked abotu Italian food. I also told him she makes the best ravioli. Well, Mr Rizzuto signed my card, send a small signed photo and wrotea nice note on it, saying he “would love some ravioli.” And he also returned my check and wrote, “No Charge. – Scooter #10”.

  4. Kev2380 says:

    Very interesting blog. I’ve thought about this many times. How do you get away from looking like a stalker too?

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