Billy Sample Collects Fan Mail!

As the card photo suggests,
Billy has a good eye
(for sincerity)

Fans cheer for players, right?

What if the roles were reversed? What if the player offered a standing ovation for YOU?

I’m grateful to share this fascinating note from Gregg Kersey. I first wrote about Gregg and his Phillies collection back in October.

Gregg, the first to share the story about former player Billy Sample writing, producing and directing a baseball movie entitled Reunion 108, included this update:

“The reason I was writing to you was that as I have been talking to Billy over the pasts few weeks, something ironic occured and I think somehow you need to pass the message on to all your TTM readers.

Billy said he has kept letters from fans in a box that he found were nice sincere letters from fans.  Long story short: in this box was a handful of letters was one I had written him in 1998. 

So everyone in this hobby should remember you never know where your hobby is taking
you so be sure you are honest and sincere with the players because, according to Billy, they can smell the fake BS letters. In the end, if not sincere, it may bite you in the ass.

Thanks.

Take Care,
Gregg”

Thank you, Gregg.

Coming Tuesday: Can you prove you’re a REAL fan in your letters?

Phillies Voice Andy Musser Signs Off

(Photo courtesy
Gregg Kersey)

For 26 seasons, Andy Musser spoke to — and for — Phillies fans. The former team announcer died Sunday at age 74.

I gasped when I looked up Musser on http://www.sportscollectors.net/. How many collectors had contacted Musser since his departure after the 2001 season?

Zero.

I wrote about Phillies super-fan Gregg Kersey in 2011, when I learned about his mega-signed Veterans Stadium ballpark seat. Sure enough, I’m grateful that Gregg had some great insights into this overlooked commentator:

“Andy was always in his quote ‘Second Hot Dog’ (role) to Harry Kalas, and I heard a clip of him on the radio today where he compared himself to a middle reliever that never had much as far as stats but always came through when you needed him.  He was one of those distinct voices that are part of my childhood much like Harry and Richie Ashburn, but he never was much of a fan favorite but was never sure of as to why.  He had very distinct voice that was hard to forget. 

I wrote to him in care of his home, just went nosing around on the internet until I found what I thought could be the right address and mailed off the Phillies announcers card I had from when I was growing up. He signed and sent it back with the letter. It actually was mailed out on a Monday and was back on Wednesday so he holds my personal record with fastest reply LOL. 

The reason I wrote to him was I didnt have any autographs of him and wanted him as part of my collection.

Also have another Phillies announcer story from this summer if you would like to hear it: I mailed to current announcer Tom McCarthy and it was picture of the 2008 announcers.  It was signed only by Harry Kalas and I figured I would try to get it completed by all of them. So I mailed to Tom and that also came back with a great letter about Harry and signed by everybody. 

The announcers are always forgotten but when they are gone you realize they are the voices of your
childhood, and you hit that point in life you wish you could have them back even for a brief moment.”

I found this additional tribute to Musser worth sharing!

Coming Friday: Do you think baseball autograph collecting is an all-male domain? Think again!

Phillies Ballpark Seats Create One Awesome Autograph Road Trip for Gregg Kersey

The world’s biggest self-addressed, stamped envelope won’t help collector Gregg Kersey.

Photos. Cards. Even a padded envelope for a baseball? No problem.

How about return mail for a pair of seats from Veterans Stadium?

I’m imagining a TV reality show. Gregg tracks down former Phillies, trekking with his seats, then explaining how to autograph ballpark furniture. The co-stars are in place. Gregg credits his dad and girlfriend Brina in helping snag signers for the seats.

This creative collector has found that he needs to find other ways to reach former Phils. When he found one part-timer from the past, Gregg got an impressive surprise. As he tells it:

“I had recently written to former 80’s Phillie, Met, Yankee and Oriole Keith Hughes.  while definitely not a household name, I was looking to get some cards signed and wrote him a letter.  I also wrote in that letter I have been trying to get my seat from Vet Stadium signed by former Phillies and hoped to meet him one day to sign it.

He lives about 45 minutes from me and about a week passed and my cards came back with a letter that said he would be glad to sign the seat for me and gave me his phone number etc, so we set up to meet today.
Honestly I must say it was a great experience for me. He was very nice and we talked in the parking lot where we met up for about a half hour just about baseball and life after baseball and families.  I realize
he was never a star player, but he did live the dream for a few years that most guys would trade everything they have for just one day of it. 

It’s nice to know that these guys are still out there and care enough for the fans who appreciate them to take the time to acknowledge them as well.”

Likewise, it’s nice to know that there’s collectors like Gregg out there. He’s collecting HIS WAY, making the hobby his own. In the process, he’s collecting memories you’ll never find in a price guide.

Autographs on seat 10 include
Larry Bowa (Phils SS & manager)
Darren Daulton (Phils Catcher 80/90’s)
Ruly Carpenter(Phils President 80 W.S. Team)
Dickie Noles (Phils Pitcher 80 W.S. Team)
Dan Baker (Phils P.A. announcer since 1972)
Greg Luzinski (Phils OF)
Art Mahaffey (Phila Pitcher)
Tommy Green (Phils Pitcher)
Bobby Shantz (Phils Pitcher)
Larry Christensen (Phills Pitcher 80 W.S. Team)
Gary Matthews Sr (Phills OF & Current Announcer)
Curt Simmons (Phils Pitcher)
Terry Harmon (Phils Infielder 70’s)
Ruben Amaro Jr (Phils OF 90’s & Current GM)
Bill White (Phils 1B & Commisioner)

Seat 11 autographs include —
Keith Hughes
Bill Conlin (Phils Beat Writer in the 70’s just inducted into BB HOF)
Dave Montgomery (Phils President)
Juan Samuel (Phils 2B/Current Coach)
Eric Valent (Phils in the early 2000’s)
Merrill Reese (Eagles anouncer for last approx 35 years)
Bobby Wine (Phils Player/Coach)
Joe Kerrigan (Phils coach 2002-03)
Larry Shenk (Phils VP last approx 35 years)
Ricky Jordan (Phils 1B 90’s)
Harry Gamble (Eagles GM 80’s)
Harold Carmichael (Eagles WR 70’s)
Mike Rogodzinski (Phils OF 70s)

Coming Monday: The nicest “wrong address” return I’ve ever gotten.

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