C’mon, Chet Lemon!

For many autograph collectors, it’s about the GETTING.

For others, it’s the GIVING.

And the HOPING.

Some hobbyists might nickname former outfielder Chet Lemon as “Lost Cause Lemon.” The always-awesome www.sportscollectors.net site says that Lemon’s last documented response came in 2007.

That hasn’t stopped Dan Brunetti and his son.

They decorated an envelope with tiny pics of all 54 of Lemon’s cards. The whole undertaking took more than an hour. Dan’s son wrote the letter. They just want one card each signed (for their Topps set projects).

Dan’s son told Mr. Lemon in the letter that he had a “cool name.”

He’s got two cool fans. Autograph or not, this pair have a classic shared memory that’ll deserve a lasting place in their collections.

Honoring John “Mule” Miles

Miles was intent on
keeping Negro Leagues
heritage alive!

Thank you, Nick Diunte!

He’s a great fan, collector, historian and writer. His www.BaseballHappenings.Net site is informative fun.

Look at the tribute page he’s created to honor recently-deceased Negro Leaguer John “Mule” Miles. Anyone with a story about a surprising response from the man in the 2007 Allen & Ginter set — please add your memories.

Miles never stopped sharing with fans. Before Topps recognized his worth, “Mule” was unknown to many collectors.

More than one hobbyist got a note from the celebrated Negro Leaguer saying that HE looked forward to what the mailman would bring each day.

Just like us.

Are Baseball Wife Autographs Collectible?

So many baseball legends are gone.

Patricia Maris autograph, anyone?

Their stories aren’t.

Their wives remain. The movie 42 will remind the world that many a star player might have been far less without a supportive spouse.

Rachel Robinson knows. For a $10 donation to the Jackie Robinson Foundation, she’ll sign.

Other wives could be moved to sign, too. I’ve seen some interviews from Patricia Maris, wishing aloud that Roger could get Hall of Fame consideration.

As a generation of stars disappear, I’m looking to write to their wives. Baseball history is still there. We just have to look harder.

Readers: would you collect autographs of baseball wives? Why, or why not?

Finding Inspiration In 1979 Topps

Guys from the
first game Dan
ever attended!


I’m dazzled by the collectors who can answer that question. When I look at someone’s collecting specialty, I want to know how that emphasis (the year, teams, players, etc.) reflects that hobbyist.

Dan Brunetti, who is focusing on autographs on 1979 Topps, knocked the question out of the park. He said:

“That set is my favorite as it is the first year that I collected. My mom couldn’t figure out what order I was keeping them in. She would sort them by number, by team, or alphabetically and then I would put them back they way they were before she sorted them. It seems that I has memorized the order I had opened them in and kept putting them back that way. She also claims that I learned how to read by sounding out the player names on the cards. I suspect that the first story has a good bit more truth than the second.

I collected autographs for a time as a kid. My best through the mail has to be Cool Papa Bell. I got Nolan Ryan at an Astros game. Then Ernie Banks and Yogi Berra at a card show. I quit autographs until I got to college at Alabama and they won the football championship in 1992. I collected everything Alabama for several years after that. I got back into baseball autographs in 1999 sending mostly to minor league managers and coaches who were former big-leaguers.

I started back in November and have gotten Ed ” Too Tall” Jones, Charlie Joiner, Dave Kingman, and Greg Luzinski plus a few Alabama players (including Ozzie Newsome) since then.

My mom never threw out my cards and I still have the cards I opened that year. Most all of them have at least one crease in them. I thought about sending them out but have opted to buy nicer cards instead. I’m not sure that I made the right decision. I wish I had sent Kingman and Luzinski 1979 cards instead of cards from 1977.

Above: Dan appreciates
personalized responses.
Meanwhile, his son
is savoring TTM
success, too!

My son is collecting the 1986 Cubs by accident sort of. I give him cards for doing his chores and cleaning his room. I gave him Cubs team sets at first. He noticed that Ron Cey was in several years, so Ron Cey was his first TTM. Since then, whenever I send a player from the 1979 set that was on the 1986 Cubs we include that one and send both cards and we both write letters. Since the first note Richie Hebner has signed for us.

My mini-project within the 1979 Topps is to get the players who played in the first game I went to – the Sept 2, 1979 matchup between the Mets And the Astros. I got Kevin Kobel today. He is the Mets pitcher who tallied the win at the first game I went to. Other players from that game I have are Art Howe, Denny Walling, Andy Hassler, Terry Puhl, Ed Kranepool, John Stearns, and Richie Hebner.

My dad saved the program from the game and framed it for me. It has a couple of autographs on it too, looks like Luis Pujols and Jimmy Sexton. I also got the batboy, since he wrote BB underneath his signature.”

Two great collections reflecting two people having FUN. That’s true value. Thanks, Dan.

Goodbye Fred White, One Royal Voice

Long out of print, the
1999 book was free of scandal.
Where did the pair
like to eat on the road?
Hey, it was the real Fred!

The Kansas City Royals lost an unsung hero this week.

Fred White passed away from cancer at age 76, less than two days after announcing his retirement.

White’s full-time gig as the broadcast partner of Denny Matthews marked the first 25 years of the K.C. franchise.

He was solid, consistent. Forget the bluster and glitz. This was a Midwesterner for a Midwest club. White never dissed the Royals when he was replaced with a younger voice, publicly (even on the air) sticking up for “new guy” Ryan Lefebvre.

White was there for so much Royals history. Sadly, because he wasn’t a fixture in card sets, autograph collectors missed out. I could find only two recorded fan letters on www.sportscollectors.net. Of course, steady Freddy signed both times.

Don’t miss out getting autographs from baseball’s storytellers. Print out a photo. Find a collector online making custom cards. See if you can swap for an extra.

You may wind up with a team-issued card or other bonus for your efforts.

Just don’t wait too long.

Meanwhile, enjoy this heart-felt tribute from Craig Brown at Royals Review.

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