Bill ‘Spaceman’ Lee Teaches Collectors

Beware of such impish grins
when asking questions
by mail!

“Stealing your other card.”

— Bill ‘Spaceman’ Lee

In today’s Jeopardy-like post, I’ll quote the memorable report I found on a hobby website. Someone had asked the pitcher in a letter, “What was your biggest thrill?”

Beware of the overused questions. Some savvy signer might say, “Hey. I bet you just did a cut-and-paste from some how-to blog!”

However, here are some tips for asking a perfect question:

1. You can predict what almost anyone would choose for a “greatest thrill” career highlight. Even the greatest journalists ignore the “before” and “after” parts of the equation. How did the bench react AFTER your first-ever HR? how did the coaches react? Who congratulated you first? What did they say?

2. Never forget the feelings of a moment. What did they think? How did they feel?

3. Here’s the most important tip: relate the question to YOU. Ask about a game you attended, saw on TV or listened to. Show you care about the question, not that you’re just fishing for a hand-written reply of any sort.

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