Where Are the 1982 Milwaukee Brewers?

Posted November 30th, 2011 by Tom Owens and filed in Milwaukee Brewers
Is the ex-hurler’s sig still
so swell? I hope to find out!

In this installment of “Tom’s 10 Most Wanted,” I thought of those near-miss Milwaukee Brewers of 2011.

Do they answer fan mail? I’m not hopeful…I struck out trying to get their bullpen catcher!

Instead, I decided to revisit the past. I thought of another mystical Milwaukee team: The Blue Crew of ’82.

Here’s the “10 From Then” getting letters from me:

Jerry Augustine
Dwight Bernard
Jamie Easterly
Pete Ladd
Don Money
Rob Picciolo
Chuck Porter
Ed Romero
Harry Warner
Ned Yost

Stay tuned…

Coming Thursday: Seeking other ways to correspond with baseball’s past.

Padres Pitcher Ed Wojna Compares Experiences In Little League, Major League Baseball

Posted November 29th, 2011 by Tom Owens and filed in Ed Wojna, Little League, Mark Parent
What to ask in letters?
Check cards for clues.
Here’s one I missed —
what’s that fashion
statement at Wojna’s
left sleeve?

Hurlers. Humility. The two don’t always mix.

Not here! Pitcher Ed Wojna bypassed the chance for some chest-thumping when I asked about what seems like the ultimate game of his career.

Thanks to http://www.retrosheet.org/, I found the details for his three-hit gem in front of a sparse San Diego crowd. On Sept. 11, 1986, Wojna (pronounced Wo-hee-na) limited the Braves to three singles. How did he remember his 9-1 complete-game win?

“One of those nights when everything was working.”

I wanted to know the catcher he most liked working with — and why.

“Mark Parent. Pitcher-catcher timing is everything. When you are thinking of a pitch and he calls it with his first sign, that gives you all the more confidence in throwing it.”

Wojna offered one more fascinating reflection:


I can appreciate your interest in baseball. No matter how long your career went, it’s all the same to the individual. I was just as nervous for my first Little League game as the first game in the majors. Nerves are nerves, whether you’re 10 or 24 years old.”

Wojna concluded his letter with thoughts about his faith as a Jehovah’s Witness, thanking me for my time.

I thank all the former players, those willing to look back as they look ahead. As Wojna wrote…

“There will always be more to learn. Isn’t that what keeps life exciting?”

Coming Wednesday: Tom’s “10 Most Wanted” — Milwaukee Brewers edition!

Don’t Be An Autograph ‘Grinch’

Posted November 28th, 2011 by Tom Owens and filed in Ed Wojna

Collect carefully
at Christmas!

 Santa Claus may not have time to warn you, so I will.

Sending a Christmas card to a favorite retiree, especially with words of thanks to someone who’s signed an autograph for you is good. Chances are, you may get a card in return.

However, do not go fishing for autographs, using Christmas cards as bait.

I’ve talked with more than one former player about fan mail. They are pleased to mention the majority of kind, polite letters requesting signatures.

However, I’ve heard too many “but there was this one guy who…” beginnings to stories.

I can’t help but think that many non-signers closed the door on autographs with one objectionable request. Don’t be that “one guy.”

Your continued good behavior will preserve the hobby. You’re giving a gift to all of us.

Santa Claus thanks you. I do, too.

Coming Tuesday: Insights from Padres pitcher Ed Wojna.