Baseball-Crazy Cartoonist Scott Hilburn Shares ‘Argyle Sweater’ History

From Feb. 11, 2011. Did the Flyin’ Hawaiian
ever know he was a comics all-star, too? Visit to keep daily tabs
on this funny fellow fan!
Last week, I wrote about seeing Dodgers pitching coach Rick Honeycutt appear in the “funny papers.” 

I pondered whether cartoonists were well-connected folk who knew anyone and everyone. Would it matter saying to a major leaguer that you saw them honored in the comics?

Here’s the kind reply from creator Scott Hilburn himself:

“Hi Tom,

I’m not specifically a Dodgers fan – but a huge baseball fan in general.  

I’ve never been to a Dodgers game (I live in Dallas) but only because I haven’t had the opportunity yet.

I try to catch the closest ballgame when I travel and I hope to, one day, visit every stadium.

I’ve included a few players in my comic before. Shane Victorino immediately comes to mind.

No feedback from any of the players though.”

Thanks to Scott for his time, and for funny stuff worth sharing with any real-life counterpart.


Creativity Pays When Writing For Autographs: Grab Some Scissors & Think Comical!

Players, past and present, are human. If you
see them mentioned in an offbeat way, share it.
Good luck finding more offbeat fun than what’s
offered by “The Argyle Sweater.”

Many new collectors ask the best way to write a letter to a former major leaguer.

The late Virgil Trucks told me once that fan mail writers tried to tell him things about his career. Rarely could someone surprise him with a factoid or stats.
I’m talking about SHOWING someone when you write.
How many people saw this 6/23 comic panel. It’s called Argyle Sweater, by Scott Hilburn. Funny stuff. Rarely does a cartoonist reference a specific person.
In case you can’t read the pitching coach’s number, Hilburn even has Honeycutt’s correct #40. Any Los Angeles Dodgers fan would love seeing broadcaster Vin Scully co-starring in the gag.
Cut out the comic (or print it out). Say you thought his family might like an extra. Send one to the coach.
Players and retirees think that collectors are all about taking. Give a little.

One Heckle ‘Dear Drunk Guy’ Should Have Shouted At Cincinnati’s Brandon Phillips

How does the 2nd baseman feel about his
most surprising autograph ever? The photo
was posted on Phillips’ official site,

Cincinnati’s Brandon Phillips can play, on field and off.

If baseball had an All-Twitter team, he’d be a captain.
Posing for fan photos. Sharing those photos. He does it all.
Almost all.
The always-amazing website provided two stunning stats on Phillips. He’s still at a 70 percent success rate for fan mail. However, members on the website haven’t recorded a TTM success from him since October, 2011.
Everyone’s grooving on the story about Phillips responding with kindness to a drunken Pirates fan last week, providing a humorous but pointed “personalized” autograph.
Will BP apply half the effort on his fan mail that he showed toward a soused heckler? Many sober collectors are waiting. And waiting. And waiting…

Why Would Mariners Manager Lloyd McClendon Charge For Autographs?

Back in spring training, the M’s Community Relations
Dept. showed ML Blogs that the entire roster
was signing items that could be auctioned
by charities — even McClendon. The skipper hasn’t mentioned
charities in his latest autograph change, though.

Address king Harvey Meiselman does a good job updating his customers about new addresses or signing changes.

Here’s one that gave me a shock.
A Michigan-based fan mail handler has made a deal with M’s manager Lloyd McClendon. The signing fee is $15 per card or baseball, $20 for bulky items.
This isn’t a former player now dealing with wages of real-world jobs (like us).
He’s remained employed as a manager or coach for years. I’d guess the autograph broker made the deal with McClendon after meeting the latter back as a hitting coach for Detroit.
According to the website “Baseball Reference,” McClendon made more than $2 million in his seven-year playing career. Although MLB teams are trying to keep managerial salaries secret, numerous sources estimate that the low end of the 2014 pay scale for skippers is at the $500,000 mark.
There’s no details from the McClendon go-between that part of the fee goes to charity.
I’d think the Seattle front office might want to have a fast talk with their field boss. As of right now, McClendon gives the impression that he’s had to pick up a second job to make ends meet.

Manny Ramirez Update: Iowa Cubs Do The Right Thing

I spotted this surprise in the Sunday Des Moines Register newspaper.

Someone still wants an autograph from the controversial one-time slugger.
Most of all, I was glad to see that the Iowa Cubs take fan mail seriously. In fact, the “special to the Register” photo credit hints that someone from the I-Cub front office might have provided the picture to the newspaper. I thought an impatient clubhouse man anxious to tidy up could RTS envelopes, simply because ManRam is not there (yet? still???) to claim the mail.
By the way, none of the envelopes are mine. How about you?
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