Remembering Marlins Ace Jose Fernandez

(Photo credit: Arturo Pardavila III/Wikimedia Commons)
(Photo credit: Arturo Pardavila III/Wikimedia Commons)

Gone at age 24.

What can collectors and researchers learn from such a shock as the accidental death of pitcher Jose Fernandez?

According to the ever-inspiring, Fernandez had responded to 17 of 67 TTM requests. The last success came in his 2013 rookie season, however.

This isn’t a post about stats, mind you. This is a message about the future.

Hurry up. Fate won’t wait.

Write to those baseball names NOW.

Joey Votto keeps Cincinnati odd-ball autograph tradition alive!

From August 27: Votto stares down a fan who battled him a foul ball. Votto would present the fan with a second ball, autographed! (Photo credit: ThatLostDog/Flickr, via Wikimedia Commons)
From August 2: Votto stares down a fan who battled him for a foul ball. Votto would present the fan with a second ball, autographed! (Photo credit: ThatLostDog/Flickr, via Wikimedia Commons)

For the Cincinnati Reds, an autographed baseball is the equivalent to the “get out of jail free” card in MONOPOLY.

Joey Votto’s anger over a fan who outdueled him for a foul ball was rectified by a post-incident autographed baseball

Brandon Phillips used signed-ball diplomacy previously. 

Votto has used autographs to make a statement before, explaining why he wouldn’t sign for Cubs fans.

The inspiring website notes that collectors through the mail have gotten 365 responses (69 percent success rate overall). However, the last recorded response came in June, 2015.

I predict this won’t be the last time the Cincy slugger depends on autographs to gain center stage.

Happy anniversary,!

SCNIt’s the anniversary of ME!

I’m back for another year of membership in SCN. Since 2005, I’ve depended on the community of members for news and advice.

For the $14.99 I spend yearly on membership, I think I save double that much on postage. Having other by-mail collectors confirm who’s signing (or answering a question or two with a return note or letter) is a huge bonus that saves time and money.

Besides, it’s fun. This is a hobby best shared with others.

If you’ve never joined, check out the website’s many services at

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.

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