Goodbye To Three Pitchers

The season ends. Many goodbyes are needed this winter.

So long, Lou Brissie.

Goodbye, Johnny Kucks.

Adios, Ed Erautt.

All three men were kind to answer questions for me. They treated my letters with thoughtful respect. I think they remained baseball fans, too. Here’s the time they can all tip their caps on the top step of heaven’s dugout.

New Christmas Stamps Aid Autograph Seekers

Let the holiday work for you.

Get a quantity of those holiday stamps. Any design.

It’s my hunch that wives or family members open envelopes for some of the older retirees — or the iffy signers.

I maintain that getting your envelope noticed and opened is a major victory.

Get mistaken for a Christmas card. Or, remind the ex-player that this is the off-season to be jolly. Holiday stamps can help.

To evoke a little Black Friday cynicism, consider that your happy Christmas stamp in 2014 is a remind of how overdue the retiree’s response is.

One topical stamp is not a huge advantage. However, I’ll take all the help I can get.

A Cool Cal Ripken Jr. Autograph Tale: Iron Man Inspires Iron Baby!

The first Iron Baby?

I delight in the comments section. However, I worry that readers might miss some of the all-star anecdotes arriving later.

As they say on TV, this just in…

A standing O goes to my friends at Carl Crawford Cards, who responded to my earlier assessment of the MLB Player Poll of “strangest item ever autographed.” Check this out:

“Straight up: at spring training this year Cal Ripken signed a baby onesie for my wife and I. We’d brought it as a lark for players to sign, looking to frame it later, but decided that with Cal it was quits after that.

Then my daughter was born 6 weeks early and spent 3 weeks in intensive care. Today she’s home and doing great at just under 4 months. She’s now unofficially the “Iron Baby,” and has an “Iron Man” signed-onesie to prove it.”

The moral? Find meaning in every autograph. Make the hobby your own.

Memorabilia is nothing without the MEMORY. I love this tale. Thanks for sharing. Happy Thanksgiving to the three of you.

One Great Question From A Cubs Pitcher

Why did Topps
recycle its 1968 shot
of Nye? Like he
couldn’t be bothered
to pose?

I’m gearing up for an off-season of letters. Along with names on my wish list, I’m wanting to ask questions that haven’t been done to death.

Here’s one sparked by my 2011 response from Rich Nye.

In the pre-cable days, NBC’s Game of the Week mattered.

I’m wanting to know:

Stats don’t show which hits or strikeouts came when being nationally-televised. Did one person have one great moment shared with America?

Be my guest. Ask away. Let me know what you learn in your responses.

Good luck (to us all)!

Thanking Milwaukee Brave Jack Dittmer

Another impressive career has ended.

Jack Dittmer didn’t have Hall of Fame stats. He was a hobby hall of famer, however.

In October, Dittmer’s wife began sending out the sad news. I saw the update via the ever-insightful www.sportscollectors.net.

The second baseman now lives in a care facility. He can no longer sign autographs or answer questions.

Dittmer was at his best for my 2011 letter. See for yourself via the above link.

On SCN, his success rate was staggering: 175 success responses in 178 attempts.

Just a thought…

A note of thanks to Mrs. Dittmer might bring a bit of brightness during the holidays, considering her husband’s health. I’m sure she may have been an unsung hero in getting all those autographs returned.

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