Goodbye To Pitcher John “Mitty” Gray

Posted May 29th, 2014 by Tom Owens and filed in John Gray, Johnny Gray, Philadelphia Athletics, Philadelphia Phillies

One of baseball history’s losses in May was the death of John Gray at age 87. Despite his short career, Gray is in a select group: men who played for two different Philadelphia franchises (Athletics and Phillies).

Back in 2010, Gray wrote me about his long-forgotten nickname.
Statistics tell only one story. Baseball is nothing without its character.
Or, characters!
If they played baseball, chances are they have stories to tell.
You’ll never know if you never ask.

Mike Hedlund & Turk Wendell: Memorable Men For Memorial Day

Posted May 26th, 2014 by Tom Owens and filed in Mike Hedlund, Turk Wendell

Pitcher Herm Starrette’s Signing Fee Matters

Posted May 22nd, 2014 by Tom Owens and filed in 1980 Philadelphia Phillies, Baltimore Orioles, Harvey Meiselman, Herm Starrette

Some think of Herm Starrette as a 1960s Orioles pitcher. Others recall him as the pitching coach for the 1980 World Champion Philadelphia Phillies.

I think of him as a fighter.
Starrette, now 75, recounted his prostate cancer battle to me in a 2010 letter
Now, he’s asking for a donation per autograph: $5 minimum for cards and $10 to sign a baseball.
Yes, the money will help offset his mounting medical bills.
According to address list specialist Harvey Meiselman, Starrette has a 97 percent response rate. This is NOT a case of a never-signing-before name saying he’d reconsider autographs if money was added.
If you’ve gotten Starrette to sign before, drop him a note of encouragement. And, while he hasn’t issued a plea for extras, I know that he’s passed out autographed cards to medical staff during his many doctor visits.
Starrette has been giving for years. He seems entitled to ask for support versus his biggest foe yet. Let’s keep him in the game.