Catcher Bob Schmidt’s greatest teammate ever?

It’s been 50 years since he
was on a baseball card. One ailing
catcher isn’t ready to forget
fans yet.

I’d nominate Mrs. Schmidt.

Justin Evans at the popular Baseball Autographs Facebook group posted a questionnaire response from Schmidt’s wife.
Justin hadn’t gotten the word that Schmidt’s health lessened in 2013. 
A stroke and Parkinson’s disease make autographs impossible for Schmidt. However, despite not being able to sign, there’s no stopping his devotion to the game.
After all, this is someone who ranks at 101 replies in 106 collector attempts at the amazing www.sportscollectors.net website.
Five questions were answered, followed by the closing in a wife’s handwriting:
“We thank you for being a fan. Sincerely, Mary Ann Schmidt.”
When you get an autograph or a note back, remember that two people may be deserving of gratitude. A wife may be just as delighted as you with the idea of an autograph. Why?
Because she remains that retiree’s biggest fan.

Autograph-savvy Pete Rose biographer Kostya Kennedy set for CASEY awards banquet March 15

I approve.

March 15 is the date for the 32nd CASEY Banquet. Spitball Magazine honors a top baseball book each year. 
Getting 2014 winner Kostya Kennedy, author of Pete Rose: An American Dilemma, to attend as guest of honor is genius. A standing ovation to Spitball Magazine wizard Mike Shannon. If America can have a poet laureate, why not a baseball book ambassador? I nominate Mike.
Too many journalists have been unwilling to examine autographs as part of their biographies of baseball icons. The autograph is what links the hero to the ordinary fan.
Kennedy observed the Rose signature factory in full production. He wrote about Pete’s signings, even considering what the real value of other baseball autographs might be. Sample Kennedy’s writing on his sterling blog and you’ll clamor for his Rose book, too.

SportsCollectors.net website gives hobby hope

Yes, I like the movie…
I post this for those sure the
hobby will never be like it used to.
Keep looking. Hope remains!

I guess I’m a groundhog looking for signs of spring.

For me, one ray of sunshine came last week on www.sportscollectors.net. If you are new to the hobby, make this one of your first stops. The $14.99 yearly membership is a bargain in so many ways. The knowledge will pay you back again and again.
One bonus from the website was a member, “byamrcn,” culling signing data for the top 200 baseball names on the website. 
Sure, SCN offers a feature in which you can look up a particular name. What is that retiree’s signing habits? How many total attempts TTM have been logged? How many responses were received?
While you can look up an individual, other hobbyists may be looking for a bit of hope before mailing that letter. Maybe, that collector, especially beginners, want to deal with high-percentage responders. Classmates might elect that former athlete “guy most likely to sign an autograph.” Sure enough, you can choose which autograph “horse” to bet on, finding guys who have responded anywhere from 90 to 100 percent of the time.
Well, as I looked at this list, my jaw dropped. Member “byamrcn” explained on the site forum about how he used Excel worksheets to compile and organize data. He does NOT collect baseball autographs. He’s doing this public service for others in the hobby.
Hobbyists helping each other. It still happens. 
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