Catcher Bob Schmidt’s Final Autograph?

Posted February 28th, 2013 by Tom Owens and filed in Bob Schmidt, Cincinnati Reds, Ron Martin,
Years of service, to baseball
and the hobby. Thank you!

Thanks to Reds collector Ron Martin for sharing the news, via

Former catcher Bob Schmidt, part of Cincinnati’s 1961 team, suffered a stroke and is unable to sign autographs.

Schmidt’s greatest statistic?

According to SCN, he signed 97 of 99 TTM requests.

Before everyone crosses him off their baseball address lists, I have one question:

When a retiree has to stop signing because of health matters, do any of you (who own his autograph) ever send a thank-you note? I’d think a note saying, “I kept your autograph all these years” would be quite meaningful.

Just a thought.

Bob Stinson Still Loves Topps

Posted February 26th, 2013 by Tom Owens and filed in Bob Stinson, Harvey Meiselman, Keith Olbermann, SSPC, Topps Rookie Stars
If this was a comic strip, I’d
add a thought balloon to
Stinson’s smirk. Imagine him
thinking, “This is just a
facsimile autograph. The
real one costs $10. Ha!”

Every autograph can tell a story.

Harvey Meiselman, intrepid compiler of baseball addresses, sent customers an update about catcher Bob Stinson.

Stinson has upped his signing fee by mail to $10 per autograph.

Back in 2010, I wrote about Stinson’s dislike of the fabled SSPC set. The 1976 edition was unlicensed. College student Keith Olbermann (long before ESPN or political fame) got his first national taste of baseball journalism, writing the card backs.

Stinson was the final holdout for Olbermann, protesting to the TV personality that the set was unlicensed.

Yes, you guessed it, Stinson’s updated policy states he’ll sign Topps cards only.

Nothing personal, Keith!

By the way, Stinson may just be repaying Topps for the huge faith the company showed in him. From 1970-72, he was on a “Rookie Stars” card…for three different teams.

Why Autograph Unlicensed Photos?

Posted February 21st, 2013 by Tom Owens and filed in Bill Kearns, Bob Uecker, MLB licensed, Wally Moon
A custom card is ART.
The featured player
should be honored,
not suspicious.
Explain that in
your letter!

Bob Uecker is the latest.

Even former players are concerned about autographing only “MLB authorized” photos. They want to see that hologram, in the sweet hope that the player’s association is getting some money (that we, the collectors, forked out).

The attitude goes to the extreme shown by Wally Moon, quoted by a collector as replying that he wouldn’t sign “pirated” photos.

To their defense, current and former players seem to believe they’ll help their brethren by only signing the blessed photos. There’s the assumption that you’ll be running straight to eBay and getting rich with your new autograph, so the baseball family wants its profits first.

How can you win against such bias? Try writing:

1. “I made this myself, for myself!” It’s harder to turn down Mom’s home cooking, as opposed to something that came out of a box.

2. WHY them? For example, Bill Kearns makes custom cards of Maine natives. Stress that this person is special, not just another baseball player.

3. “It’s one of a kind.” See that the potential signer knows this isn’t something you’re going to churn out by the hundreds.

There’s no guarantees. However, even with a refusal, you struck out only after you went down swinging.