Timing Bob Boone’s Signing Habits

Keep chasing Boonie
before the HOF calls! If you think he’s
a streaky signer now, just wait…

One of the joys of this blog is finding all-star readers. These are the gamers of the hobby, those tireless collectors who do autographs their way.

Thanks to Dan Brunetti sent a great note with an interesting possibility:

“I have enjoyed your posts this month.

My “why won’t this guy sign for me?” is Bob Boone.  I have gotten RTS returns from him both through the Nationals and at his home address while the rest of the world seems to be racking up successes at both addresses with one or two week turnarounds.  I am chalking it up to bad timing, as I sent to the Nationals in January and to his home in California in May.

I have have a few others where I saw several cards mailed after mine show up in the success column of others while I was still waiting.  Bill Lee and Bert Campaneris are two good examples.”

Poor Mario Mendoza got a “line” named after his anemic batting average. Will the spot signers who vex a particular collector be assigned the pitcher’s name? As in, “The guy totally Santorini-s me every time I write!”

Lastly, here’s a grateful shout-out to Daniel Solzman. He shared…

“I had the chance to meet Wade Boggs on Wednesday when I went to the Rays-Red Sox game.  He was doing a charity signing at the Ted Williams Museum prior to the game.  It was $30, well more than the $5 he charges TTM but it was worth it as the money went to the Boston Strong fund as well as a military veterans fund.  Now I have a photo with Wade that I am getting made into an 8×10 to get signed!
Dick Vitale was also at the game, too.  He adopted the Stan Musial model of having pre-signed cards with him,  He posed for a photo in the middle of the 8th inning with me.  I’m also getting that made into an 8×10 and sending to ESPN for an HOF inscription.”
Speaking of Stan The Man, allow me to cheer for the writing of Dan The Man. Enjoy Daniel’s “Redbird Rants,” including this exclusive chat with Ozzie Smith. Well done, fellow correspondent!
I love all the feedback. We can learn so much from each other. How’s your baseball correspondence lately? Please, let me know.

Steve Sax Is Too Busy Coaching First Base?

Posted June 13th, 2013 by Tom Owens and filed in Arizona Diamondbacks, Steve Sax

See? Short to write.
What’s the problem?

Steve Sax remains a mystery to me.

He wasn’t happy signing TTM for free, getting a fan mail handler in 2011 who’d help him charge per signature.

This season, has he decided the cash isn’t enough? Here’s the statement from his autograph brokerage:

“Unfortunately Steve is not doing any mail items at this time. He is focusing on coaching with the Diamondbacks. Maybe after the season ends so please check then. Thanks!”

Fine. People who’ve written six months ago haven’t had their checks cashed. However, Sax has customers waiting. They are no longer admiring fans and collectors. They’re people purchasing a product (an autograph) from him.

Just because the fast-food chain doesn’t take our money, it’s still not cool to be kept in the drive-through line forever.

There’s still a large number of current coaches handling their own fan mail, signing for free. I can’t understand why Sax’s job or schedule is so different.

I’m mystified. Unless…

there’s going to be a new autograph fee menu issued after baseball season? The prices he agreed to weren’t enough to keep signing interesting, so he’s decided to use the D-backs as an excuse to back out of his deal?

I hope not. Please, Mr. All-Star, prove me wrong.

When the ‘Can’t Miss’ Signer Ignores You

Posted June 10th, 2013 by Tom Owens and filed in Al Santorini, www.sportscollectors.net

My first ever game
in St. Louis. Will I
see Bob Gibson pitch?
Nope. Spot-start Santorini.

It’s easy to shrug off a non-return from a superstar. “Who DOES he sign for?” you ask. “Join the club.”

Things are different for the supposed sure-thing autographers. Why me? Everyone BUT me!

On a recent www.sportscollectors.net forum, someone posted —

“Al Santorini Hates Me.”

I couldn’t avoid reading such a story. Actually, the collector was being a bit poetic in his recap. It seems he’s gotten TTM toughies like Phil Niekro and Sandy Koufax. He wanted former pitcher Santorini for a special project collection — signed photos of all 1969 (first year) San Diego Padres.

Three Santorini requests. Three non-returns. The collector wrote me, saying he thought about using an alias or even a different address.

My advice?

1. Spell it out why you want his autograph. Make it clear he’s special, simply because of the roster he was on. Ask him to help reach your goal. Ballplayers made the majors by setting and meeting goals.

2. Hand-print your request. Occasionally, a retired player will speak up about disliking what they think is a mass-produced letter. If your handwriting is subpar, they might appreciate your suffering even more.

I think there’s nothing sinister in the failures. Santorini has signed for 83 percent (59 of 71) of collectors through the mail, says the SCN site.

Assume nothing in this crazy hobby of ours. Times change. People do, too. I’m thankful that we get more than three strikes as collectors.