Goodbye to Cubs pitcher Ed Mayer

Posted January 1st, 2016 by Tom Owens and filed in Brian Salgado, Ed Mayer
Mayer was an All-Star when it came to TTM. (Photo courtesy Brian Salgado)

Mayer was an All-Star when it came to TTM. (Photo courtesy Brian Salgado)

A tip of the cap to Ed Mayer, who has passed away at age 84.

I appreciated his past letter from 2010, one worth a curtain call. I praised his 25 years of public school teaching. Forever a teacher, Mayer was famed for sending back personal letters to collectors, praising them on their baseball knowledge.

Too often, obits reinforce how someone died. Here, I’d like to remember how Ed lived. Enjoy this feature showing one old Cub’s gratitude. His wife even mentioned Ed’s fan mail!

Pitcher Dick Bosman proves a point

Posted December 14th, 2015 by Tom Owens and filed in Brian Salgado, Dick Bosman, Uncategorized

20151119_134045A grateful standing O to reader Brian Salgado for sharing this recent by-mail triumph.

Besides autographing two cards, Bosman answered questions about his hot rod hobby.

Some readers might snort: hot rods have nothing to do with baseball.

I think they have everything to do with baseball.

To a fan/collector, the dream of being a major leaguer would be a lifetime passion. To the men who played, some might view the athletic employment as a short-term job.

20151119_134113Even when researching, don’t ignore a facet of a major leaguer’s life. That off-the-field passion might tell you more about baseball than you ever imagined.


Bob Bailey and the spirit of Tug McGraw unite!

Posted June 4th, 2015 by Tom Owens and filed in Bob Bailey, Brian Salgado,

“Ya gotta believe”

— Tug McGraw

(and Brian Salgado?)

The latter is a collector who defied the odds and received (I should say EARNED) an impressive TTM response recently. Bob Bailey signed.

BaileyBob(Cue the standing ovation, please!)

If you can’t race to to see how many recorded autograph successes there are for Bailey in the last decade, know that I beat you.

The answer is less than one. That’s right. A zero signer.

Yep. Brian tried, despite the odds. 

Of course, he did something special. He researched Bailey’s career, noting that the former slugger was the last-ever manager of the Hawaii Islanders minor league team in 1987. Then, he asked what the job was like.

(Courtesy of Brian Salgado)

(Courtesy of Brian Salgado)

Brian has specialized in Hawaii baseball history. This wasn’t a new novelty attempt to get a tough autograph.

Speaking of Hawaii, know that the ship of opportunity has sailed regarding a letter asking Mr. Bailey about the Islanders team. The man hit 189 homers in 17 years. He’ll know the difference between one sincere collector and copycats.

However, find possibility in the Bob Bailey story Brian shared. Never say never for a tough signer. Of course, risking any card or collectible to get signed is a high-stakes gamble (just like sending cash in the mail for an autograph).

Asking a question about someone’s life and career is different. Aside from paper and postage, asking is free.

That’s the promise of Baseball By The Letters.