66 Baseball Deaths in 2013

Found at www.bglewandowski.com
the comedian asked why the Grim Reaper
got a seat behind home plate at
the 2009 All-Star game. B.G.and
photog Brian Gerard got me looking,
laughing and THINKING. Bravo!

Anyone who depends on Harvey Meiselman’s 2013 Baseball Address List appreciates his attention to detail. In his just-e-mailed September update, he has a ton of updated addresses.

In other news, he’s updating the list to reflect deceased names. So far, we’ve lost 65 names. Add in all the alums from the WWII-era All-American Girls Professional Baseball League, and the task becomes even more clear.

The window of opportunity is closing.

Don’t vow to send a ton of letters later. Send ONE tomorrow. Small daily or weekly goals usually outdistance a marathon mailing.

As I worked on this post, I saw on the great Baseball Player Passings Facebook group list that Larry Doby Johnson’s May death wasn’t made public by his family until now. Johnson played in only a handful of games from 1972-78.

It’s not just 1940s veterans. Former players of all ages are on the list.

Try the names on your want list now. How many extra innings will they have?

Virgil Trucks, Award-Winning Autograph Signer? Autograph U, Matt Raymond Make It Happen!

With great in-person advice, too,
www.autographu.com never fails
to please this reader!

A standing O goes to Matt Raymond, super blogger and collector supreme at his site Autograph University.

Check out his six recent honorary degrees awarded to noted signers, as chosen by his readers.

Virgil Trucks received a posthumous degree. His daughter Carolyn Beckwith wrote me, telling how proud her dad would be.

Matt’s awards are a great message for all of us. A thank-you note can be just as moving for some retiree who’s been spending hours each month trying to please strangers. In fact, it’s a way to convince a signer’s FAMILY that the effort is important.

If you love an autograph you’ve gotten, don’t just tell other collectors. Write the signer. Tell them why they matter.

If we keep doing that, we, as collectors, will keep mattering, too.

What Publishers Clearing House Can Teach Collectors

Learn from the pros how to
make the best use of that
real estate on your envelope!

Love ’em or hate ’em, there’s no doubt what’s in your mailbox.

PCH knows how to use every inch of an envelope (front AND back). You get their message long before you start to tear open that flap separating you and an almost-guaranteed jackpot.

(No, I haven’t received my giant cardboard check yet, either…)

Collector Dan Brunetti’s success with Alan Trammell got me thinking. There’s so much space on that two-sided envelope.

Why not summarize what your letter’s about? The best letter in the world doesn’t work if it’s unread.

For instance:

“Was At Your 1st Game!”

“Saw 3 HR Game, 2004.”

“Fellow Alabama native.”

Does the player speak more than one language? Add a brief non-English “good luck” or related greeting.

I’ve never felt that “Payment enclosed” on the envelope is a good idea. Keep the added notation about the person, not the process.

Most of all, be honest. If your envelope enticement doesn’t match your letter and contents, get ready for life in the recycling bin.

Sadly, some current and former players may be seeking reasons not to read your letter. Your envelope is competing with a mountain of fan mail for someone’s attention. Take your best swing.

Hey, Washington Nationals! Broadcaster Jason Benetti Deserves A Call-Up, Too!

Benetti Interviewed Syracuse manager
Tony Beasley in this 2012 feature
available on YouTube.

The Syracuse Chiefs have been a high-profile AAA team, since the heralded debuts of talents like Bryce Harper and Stephen Strasburg. One of the first to tell their stories was the team’s broadcaster, Jason Benetti.

In 2013, the media turned its attention to Benetti. The stories highlighted the fact that the team’s voice does his job, despite cerebral palsy. The Washington Post and CNN were just two national outlets to cheer on the commentator.

I checked out Benetti’s calls on the team website. Syracuse has been a baseball leader in internet game broadcasts. He’s a passionate, talented announcer who knows and respects the game.

Who else knows? I contacted Benetti, receiving this update in return:

Q: What’s your baseball background?

A: I spent two seasons in the Carolina League with the Advanced-A Salem club.  Before that, I called a year of independent ball with the Windy City ThunderBolts.

Q: With such national recognition, I’m sure your autograph requests will grow. Have you been depicted in any team sets?

A: Never had a card.

Q: How do you feel about autograph collectors?
A: I’ve had some kids ask me to sign baseballs.  I generally ask them if they really want me to sign.  If they respond affirmatively, I then let them know the tragic effects my signature will have on the ball’s value.  Then, I sign it.  
I’d be absolutely happy to sign something someone would send.  Especially if it’s edible and I don’t have to return it.  đź™‚
Q: More people should hear you in action. Suggestions?
A: The multimedia page of www.syracusechiefs.com is where you can find live coverage of all of our games.  Thanks for asking.

I like this 2010 feature about Benetti by Tom Leo, too. I hope you will, too.

Sept. 1 was roster expansion throughout the majors. I’d like to see teams like Washington promote guys like Jason Benetti. Talent isn’t limited to the field.

On this Labor Day, I must say it. This career is a labor of love. Jason Benetti’s is one broadcast I’ll stay tuned for.

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