Bret Saberhagen invokes Close Encounters of the Third Kind

He’s listening!

“We are not alone.”

That’s one of the moments I remember most from that 1977 movie.

Then, on Facebook, I checked out the latest news from the always-impressive Baseball Autographs group.

A moderator welcomed new member Bret Saberhagen. Yes, THAT Bret.

I checked the number of former players who are a part of that group. WOW!

Suddenly, those movie words made more sense.

It’s so inspiring that former players want to learn more about the hobby. It’s nice they can see REAL collectors showing how autographs and correspondence matter to them.

However, baseball retirees online get to see it all, even the snarky slams about a player’s career (as if we could have done better?). Hobbyists who take shots at someone’s autographing tendencies should be prepared for fallout.

Sure, tell the truth. Everyone’s entitled to their opinion. Just know that starting an online debate with the signing source could wind up putting the entire hobby on the losing side.

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 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.

Baseball Survivor: When writing to retirees, congratulate them on their longevity

I got hungry and happy at This is the place
for tasty inspiration. So many
artistic bakers delighting their baseball
fans. But, who could bite the head
off Mr. Red?

“I never saw him play? What do I write to him about?”

Most hobbyists tell you to research. Prove that you know something about the ex-player.
I agree. Somewhat.
I wrote last week about Justin Evans and his amazing Baseball Autographs Facebook group. 
One nice thing Justin and members do is salute retirees having birthdays.
If you’re going to write to someone who has a birthday in the coming month, salute them.
No, not “I see you’ll be older than dirt next month.” Just a tip of your cap that says, “Congrats on being here to tell more baseball stories.”
Here’s a bonus:
The oldest baseball alums might be worn out answering, “Who was the toughest pitcher you faced? What was your biggest career thrill?”
Try this (for summer birthdays):
“During your career, what was your most successful birthday on the field?”
You remember the highlights of your birthdays? Imagine being a major leaguer, having thousands of people in the stands knowing it’s your day.
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