A Letter to Ex-Red Tracy Jones

I give up! I realize this
1989 Bowman facsimile
signature may be the
closest I ever get to
your autograph!

Dear Tracy Jones:

I write a blog for fans and collectors at


Several of my readers were perplexed by your second straight year of promising autographed cards to anyone who e-mails you. The hobby knows that you SELDOM sign fan mail c/o your WLW workplace, even with the SASE enclosed.

Yes, we listen online.

You said you needed listener phone numbers? Why? Are you telemarketing on the side?

Scott Sloan, your broadcast partner, responded to one listener, saying that he should share the e-mail with his friends. However, you, Mr. Jones, blamed a website for spreading the message and ruining it for everyone, requiring you to shut down the offer?

I’ve yet to find someone who received an autographed card from their e-mail. Is this just an effort to measure your ratings or popularity?

I’d be happy to share any of your thoughts about autographs or collectors with my readers.

You are a great on-air personality, outspoken, lively and unique, with refreshing points of view. I’d just hate to think you and “Sloanie” were using collectors as pawns to boost listenership. I’d welcome your explanation.

Tom Owens

Any Baseball New Year’s Resolutions?

The good folks at http://www.buzzfeed.com/ shared this —
singer/songwriter Woody Guthrie’s 1942
New Year’s Resolutions!

Happy New Year, everyone!

Before I share the beginnings of my 2012 game plan, I wanted to write a bit about New Year’s Resolutions.

Think quality, not quantity.

Guard against hobby burnout. Pace yourself Trust me. I know too many collectors seeking flying starts, who send one bazillion letters in January — then none for the rest of the year.

Here’s two simple suggestions:

1. Write to people YOU admire. If your letter isn’t sincere, your odds for an autograph plummet.

2. Have fun! There’s no one right definition for a hobby. Forget the supposed price guides, or future appearances on ANTIQUES ROAD SHOW. If you like your autographs, then it’s a good collection. My advice? Start with memories. If seeing that signature reminds you of a special baseball moment, then you’ve got a great collectible.

Coming Tuesday: Writing to Angels!

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