Had you written to them?
“What could they autograph? I collect cards and photos.”
Did they ever write a book? That book cover image is something that will forever get an author’s heart fluttering. (Trust me. Been there. Done that.)
Make yourself a photo/custom/etc. Show them you know the book exists. They may think that you’ll be a future reader. A future notch on their royalty statement.
If you want to test-drive a book, go to your public library. It’s called Inter Library Loan. Your library can borrow from any other library in the country. You’re sure to get the book for the normal check-out time. My branch charges only $1.25 (to cover postage).
I was told by a noted author that famous announcers have been much more supportive in his requests for interviews and information than writer/reporters.
Try baseball’s voices (while you can). See if you agree.