In Search of Yankees Pitcher Jim Beattie

Comment of the Week award has to go to collector Dan Brunetti. His jewel?

“Sometimes for me, the hunt for the address is almost as exciting as the return.”

Dan is working on assembling an autographed 1979 Topps set.

In the fall of 2013, Jim Beattie closed his Vermont P.O. Box. No one has gotten TTM successes from Beattie, or a current address since, according to postings.

Dan’s online searching found that Beattie was scouting for the Blue Jays. Dan e-mailed the team, asking if they’d forward a letter. 


Baseball scouts travel. Writing c/o a team makes sense. One past theory asserts that som coaches and scouts may still have the idea of autographs as being a work-related job. If you support the guy’s employer (team), he’ll support your hobby. In other words, they feel they’re getting paid during the season to be fan-friendly. 

Of course, current and former baseball personnel may ignore all the mail, packing their piles of correspondence home for the winter.

For the off-season, seek a home address. Harvey Meiselman’s address list remains the gold standard in our hobby.

Team front offices can seem like wastelands. If you get forwarded, it may not be fast.

Different addresses may work at different times. Be creative, and compare notes with other collectors.

These Collectors Aren’t Waiting On Santa

Go, Greg! 

Sure, the “whatever happened to…” questions about baseball players are fun.

I’m just as curious about autograph collectors and researchers I’ve found corresponding with baseball’s past. Here’s a couple of “since you last tuned in” updates.
Phillies fan Greg Kersey mentioned: “The Vet seats are up to a total of about 50 signatures and I am running out of room very quickly.  I may have to buy another pair of seats and keep going.” 
I like Daniel Solzman’s game plan. He likes the Cardinals. Plus, he likes to write. I see some great themes in his hobby goals.
“I already have La Russa, Torre, and Cox on cards but would like to get them on 8x10s.  From SCN, I can see that TLR is a better signer than Joe or Bobby are.  For those 8x10s, I may have to wait for signing weekend.

I have Garagiola on a card.  I’ll be sending an 8×10 to Garagiola to sign with the HOF inscription for Frick and a new one for the Buck O’Neill Award.

As for Angell and Nadel, I’m going to order 8x10s here shortly and get those sent off for signatures.  I found Nadel’s Dallas address on SCN so that might be quicker than waiting til ST.
As for the rest of the class?  It’s going to be expensive.  I need to see when the limited edition HOF collages get put out by PhotoFile.  Ideally, I would like them in time to mail in for the HOF signings.  If I have to wait for Sun-Times show, etc–so be it!”
I find Daniel at Redbird Rants. You should, too.
Dan Brunetti had this update:
I just got my 198th autograph from the 1979 Topps set last week when Horace Speed arrived in the mailbox.  I have dropped back to 10 cards per month.  I seem to be running out of cards and addresses at about the same rate.  I’ll drop a note when #200 comes in.

I stepped outside the set last month when I found a 1965 Topps Jim Bunning at the card shop for only $3.  I couldn’t resist getting a HOF player and a former US Senator.

I found the 1977 OPC autograph project on blogspot.  It looks like it is run by Tony, but I couldn’t find an email address for him.  I noticed your picture on his page and wondered if you had contact info for him.  I think that he may also be the infamous TonyT on the SCF site.

The gingerbread stamps are going on all of my December sendouts.  I’ll let you know how they work out for me.”

I loved what Kenneth Nichols had to say about Jason Grilli in his fun blog. I’ll be a regular reader of his in 2014.
Thanks for your readership this year, friends. Share your hobby. It’s the best way to keep in shape until spring training!

What Publishers Clearing House Can Teach Collectors

Learn from the pros how to
make the best use of that
real estate on your envelope!

Love ’em or hate ’em, there’s no doubt what’s in your mailbox.

PCH knows how to use every inch of an envelope (front AND back). You get their message long before you start to tear open that flap separating you and an almost-guaranteed jackpot.

(No, I haven’t received my giant cardboard check yet, either…)

Collector Dan Brunetti’s success with Alan Trammell got me thinking. There’s so much space on that two-sided envelope.

Why not summarize what your letter’s about? The best letter in the world doesn’t work if it’s unread.

For instance:

“Was At Your 1st Game!”

“Saw 3 HR Game, 2004.”

“Fellow Alabama native.”

Does the player speak more than one language? Add a brief non-English “good luck” or related greeting.

I’ve never felt that “Payment enclosed” on the envelope is a good idea. Keep the added notation about the person, not the process.

Most of all, be honest. If your envelope enticement doesn’t match your letter and contents, get ready for life in the recycling bin.

Sadly, some current and former players may be seeking reasons not to read your letter. Your envelope is competing with a mountain of fan mail for someone’s attention. Take your best swing.

Decoding Alan Trammell

A selective hitter
and signer
these days!

Congrats to collector Dan Brunetti.

After getting one of the increasing rejections by Alan Trammell (card returned unsigned in the SASE), Dan tried again.

“I sent the second time in a big yellow envelope.  I wrote “2nd attempt” on the back of the envelope so he might see it when he opened it.”

Studying the recording attempts and rejections for a problematic signer like Trammell (whose autograph attitudes seem to have taken a U-turn beginning in 2010 as a Cubs coach), can be done easily with a source like

However, the time comes when you have to make your own game plan. Everyone is different. Time of the year (in- or off-season) may matter, too. Even retirees can be busier in summer.

The moral of this story is to keep hope. Don’t risk losing a valuable card from your collection. Yet, figure out a way to stand out from the other requests, and you may be smiling like Dan.

Coming Monday: Baseball’s most inspirational broadcaster?

Bob Boone & More! Catching Up With Catchers

Check out Nick Diunte’s
success, to see how
the back-up backstop’s
autograph still shines!

I’ve heard from all kinds of autograph collectors, including the position hobbyists. So, here’s some updates about four names linked by job, a quartet of guys making news the hobby right now…

Applause and thanks start with collector Dan Brunetti. After two Return to Sender (RTS) rejections from Bob Boone, in care of the Nationals and later his home address, Boonie signed. I’m thinking Dan scored c/o the team.

Time is dwindling on attempts to get members of the 1950s Yankees dynasty teams. Nick Diunte, one of my favorite baseball writers, had to wait more than a year to get backup catcher Charlie Silvera, now 88. Read how Nick kindness moved the Yankee. Meanwhile, let me cast my vote for an always-worthwhile read at Nick’s “Baseball Hapenings” website.

Also, I wanted to share Ron Martin’s great summary of the career of just-deceased catcher Matt Batts, who did sign for me once. Thanks to Ron, an inspiring Reds fan and collector, noted:

“I guess that you may have heard that the former Red Matt Batts passed away this week.  He was 91 years old.  He was better known for his baseball exploits as a member of the Red Sox and Tigers’ organization but he finished his career in 1955 and 1956 with the Reds.  He was  one of Satchel Paige’s first catchers and also caught the second of Virgil Trucks’ two no-hitters.  He was also the catcher when Jack Harshman set the all time White Sox record of striking out 16 batters on July 25, 1954 against Ted Williams and the Boston Red Sox.”

Lastly, I wanted to weigh in on what seemed like an upbeat story about a retiree deciding to charge for TTM autographs. Catcher Mike Fitzgerald (1983-92) is wanting $5 for signing each baseball card, $10 for balls and other larger items. The note from baseball address king Harvey Meiselman said that the money would be used to pay off a son’s student loans.

Well, upon closer inspection at shows that the one-time Met and Expo hadn’t returned any requests since 2011. Collectors who’ve waited more than two years for a reply have gotten a letter from the son, indicating that, upon payment, he’ll see that his father signs the cards promptly.

In a way, it’s like a ransom note. Will peeved collectors who’ve written off Fitzgerald as a lost cause bite? Years ago, the ex-catcher sent out autographed Christian testimony cards as bonuses. Now, it’s easy to wonder if even his son and money will keep him motivated to sign.