Worst Personalization Ever? It Could Happen To You, TTM Baseball Collectors!

No real collector
deserves this!

This cautionary tale comes courtesy of Canadian collector Tony O’Neill.

Before you glance at the picture and say, “But I don’t collect hockey,” read this one closely and be warned.

Tony replied after seeing the recent opinion piece by Anonymous about overzealous security guards hounding collectors at charity events. Tony added:

“On a similar note, sometimes this happens with mail requests. That is the reason for this email. I want to share with you what happened to a collector on a forum I regularly visit. Although I don’t know him personally, I have “talked” to him through the board and by email and have helped him out for photo requests for players. It is almost exclusively hockey requests, but as you realize, it’s the same as requesting any athlete’s autograph.

This collector genuinely loves his hobby, he makes his own custom photos with the team logo, and also collects multi-signed items like team photos, photos with more than one player featured etc. Recently he sent a request to a player on one of the minor league hockey teams. He sent two photos and received them back. The player, being Russian I assume, must have some preconceived ideas about TTM collectors. Or maybe the other players were giving him warnings about eBay dealers, I don’t know.

Is Baseball Next?

Regardless, as you can see from the scans from this collector, the photos were ruined. The collector was so mad and upset, he ended up throwing them in the garbage, but not before scanning them first luckily.

On the advice of other forum members we urged him to contact the team. He did and this was the response:

Hi _____

I am extremely sorry this happened.  Nail (Yakupov, the player) takes his fan mail home and then just brings it back sealed ready to send out.

I have addressed this with his representative.  I will make sure we get something sent back out to you.

Mark Glavin
Assistant General Manager

So hopefully this will work out for him, but it’s this stigma that we are all in it for the pittance we could get on eBay, really makes it disheartening sometimes. But the good thing is, for every bad apple there is a Bob Friend, Virgil Trucks, and in hockey Johnny Bower and Henri Richard who enjoy their mail and will throw in a few “extras.”

I’m grateful for Tony’s input. Realize this radical responder was just a minor leaguer, not an NHL star. Such stunts could occur at any level of pro baseball. Baseball players may copy these TTM temper tantrums soon. As Tony’s helpful tale illustrates, be ready to contact a team front office (or even a league commissioner) to complain. Silence will serve no one.

Coming Wednesday: The ultimate reply to bullying behavior from abusive autograph signers.

Jim Woods, the Pre-Santo Cubs 3rd Baseman

Baseball begins at birth.

Chicago native Jim Woods appeared in just two games for the 1957 Cubs. Still, that’s better than no games for the millions of Chicago fans who dreamed of even one day appearing in uniform at Wrigley Field.

“Yes, I felt great being a Chicago boy and signing with the Cubs.

You see, they TRADED ME a few years later and WHAT do you think a Chicago boy felt?

But they had a Ron Santo there? Ha Ha.”

Woods didn’t note that he was an extra temptation added to the package sent to Philadelphia to acquire Phils legend Richie Ashburn.

Seeing that Woods hit three career homers, it’s impressive to note that he collected two off Pittsburgh’s Bob Friend. He noted:

“I DO NOT remember homer #2 off Bob Friend, why, I do not know. But #1, I HAVE THE BALL, since 9/20/60.”

Lastly, here’s a question I’ll be asking more often: Who was your roommate, and what was the most fun the two of you ever had on the road? From Woods, the query brought a heart-warming reply:

“Chris Short, a left-handed pitcher, was my roommate and I fixed him up with my sister on one visit to Chicago and visited my dad’s bar. He was a bartender, great days.


Thanks, Tom

Jim Woods”

Tomorrow: Surprising insights from Red Sox manager “The Other” Joe Morgan

Pirate Bob Friend Earns His Name(s)

Former Pittsburgh Pirates hurler Bob Friend is one.

He’s been a friend to autograph collectors for nearly 60 years. On the always-awesome www.sportscollectors.net, hobbyists had logged in 461 by-mail successes with Friend.

He didn’t disappoint me, adding some insightful comments.

Q: Your nickname “Warrior”?

“A Workhorse in all sports. Football and basketball. A classmate in high school gave me the nickname.”

Q: Of your 138 career hits, two were homers. Both on the road.What do you remember?

“Monk Meyer, Dodger pitcher, 1954. We WON the game.

“Warren Hacker, Cubs pitcher, 1956. We WON the game.

Teammates called me ‘Long-ball.'”

Q: You pitched a full nine innings 163 times, plus 11 games of MORE THAN NINE! How do you feel about managers using pitch counts? How often was it left up to you if you stayed in?

“I didn’t like it. Too much control over the pitchers. It was never left up to me. The manager made the decision based on performance.”

Based on his performance with fans, Friend belongs in the hobby’s hall of fame.

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