Walter O’Malley Dodgers correspondence inspires

O'MalleyYou are not alone.

Baseball by the letters matters to everyone, not just fans and collectors.

Check out the official website of Walter O’Malley, the former Dodgers owner.

It’s great to see peeks at real correspondence, not just scribbled signatures.

Collect those letters. Save them. Read between the lines. You might find a special bit of baseball history tucked away, just for you.

Artist Mike ‘Gummy Arts’ Noren reinvents baseball cards


My heart melted when I saw the first artworks of Mike Noren. His “Gummy Arts” sharing on Twitter is a daily delight. He wishes a happy birthday to former players by recreating one of their cards.

I asked for details. Mike responded:

“My interactions with the players I draw are pretty much limited to Twitter. If the player is on Twitter, I’ll tag them in the tweet, and sometimes they’ll respond with a “like” or a retweet or a tweet in response.

Off the top of my head, players who’ve retweeted my drawings include Jesse Barfield, Steve Garvey, Dontrelle Willis, Bret Saberhagen, and Juan Pierre (just today).

I haven’t gotten any of the drawings signed, and I generally don’t sell the drawings. Everything I’ve drawn for my main website () is in an envelope on my shelf— I’m not sure what I’ll do with them, but I’m hanging on to them for now. I’ve done a few projects on commission.

hraboskyPeople can reach me through twitter or at”

Be like Mike. Make your own rules. Make this hobby your own.


Pitcher George Riley’s grateful response

GeorgeRileyCustomGreg Corrales would be a great hobby coach.
On, many questions were posted on the status of George Riley. Had ANYONE written to him in recent months? Was he still signing?
Greg solved both mysteries with his above-and-beyond effort. He made custom cards for Riley, complete with detailed, well-research and finely-written career highlights.
Next, Greg asked a question and included cash. I’ll let Greg tell the rest:
“I received the following from George Riley today, which I thought might be of interest to you.  In response to my question about what advice he would give to high school pitchers, he had this to say:
“I would tell all athletes to get school in first.  You never know [if you’ll] get hurt.  And also, you must maintain your concentration to the max, and success will come.  Work very hard at what you decide on a position.  Pitchers, do a lot of curls.  I always had a twenty-pound dumbbell with me at all times.  Good luck.”
Then he went on to add the following:
“In the year 2011, I got colon cancer. Then my friend of sixteen years had a spinal cord stroke. Living with her [illegible] paralyzed waist down. I had to give up my [illegible]. If possible if you could help a little, no job, no car. Thanks for the great gift.”
Greg’s highlight reel includes many great moves, such as:
GeorgeRiley21. Never assuming. How many people look on a hobby forum, expecting someone else to be the first collector to report a successful breakthrough? Past stats aren’t always a guarantee of whether you’ll get a response or not.
2. Doing the homework: Check out that card back! I wonder if Riley himself could have quoted all those baseball achievements. That research effort has to win the hearts and minds of iffy signers.
3. Giving first: Money isn’t the only choice, although someone in distress like Riley would key on such a gift. Find something off the internet about the player to print out. Send a duplicate card and tell the person to share it with another fan-collector.
A standing O of gratitude goes to Mister Corrales!

Move over, Cal ‘Ironman’ Ripken! Cubs organist Gary Pressy mounts his own consecutive game streak

Cubs organistGary Pressy is a musical all-star for the Cubs.

After all, who could sing and accompany himself for Take Me Out to the Ballgame?

He sent a kind response to my letter back in 2011.

I was thrilled to see Pressy get national attention for performing his 2,400 consecutive game at Wrigley Field. 

To the press, I’d say:

  1. Thank you.
  2. What took you so long?