Joe Superstar needs to test his pitching arm. Is he ready to come off the DL? It’s time for a short tune-up and test in AAA first.
Why not write the in-demand signer when he’s back in the minors? Surely, the fan mail crush can’t be the same as the bigs, right?
I posed that question to Randy Wehofer, talented broadcaster and director of media relations, for the Iowa Cubs. I’m grateful for his response:
“As a front office staff, we deliver all mail addressed to players to our clubhouse when it is received. In the specific case of rehabbing players, I wouldn’t suggest sending things in the mail. Typically their stay with us is very short. By the time we announce that a player is going to join us, and someone puts a letter in the mail to Principal Park, there is a good chance that the player will be gone by the time we receive it. We do forward mail on during the season, but that is done as time allows for our staff, so it would be impossible to predict when the player may receive it. Any mail that we get for players after the season ends is typically marked “Return to Sender” since we have no idea what players may return the following year or access to their personal addresses.
In my dealings with players, I know that a self-addressed stamped envelope significantly increases – but doesn’t guarantee – your chances of getting a response. I would also never put any item in the mail to be autographed that I wasn’t willing to never see again since there are a lot of variables and steps for that item to reach the desired player and ultimately find its way back to you. It’s also hard to guarantee the condition of that item with all the hands and machines it will pass through in the process as well.”
The “rehabbing star, c/o minor league team” is not the secret it once was. And, will teams be able to handle the mail glut? As Randy hints, gamble wisely.
I spotted this surprise in the Sunday Des Moines Register newspaper.
Someone still wants an autograph from the controversial one-time slugger.
Most of all, I was glad to see that the Iowa Cubs take fan mail seriously. In fact, the “special to the Register” photo credit hints that someone from the I-Cub front office might have provided the picture to the newspaper. I thought an impatient clubhouse man anxious to tidy up could RTS envelopes, simply because ManRam is not there (yet? still???) to claim the mail.
By the way, none of the envelopes are mine. How about you?
My autographed Bob Feller ball was a gift. A gift from the Iowa Cubs. I attended their 2006 promotion, thinking it was too good to be true.
It’s true. In fact, it’s an Iowa tradition. Monday, Aug. 22, is the next autograph extravaganza. Free signed baseballs to the first 2,000 fans. This is worth a trip!
Here’s the inside story from Iowa Cubs broadcaster Randy Wehofer:
“We finally have everything prepared for the giveaway on Monday. We’ll have 2,000 baseballs that we are giving away and it took quite a long time to put each in a bag, with a corresponding COA to identify the autograph, and seal each with a Subway sticker for our sponsor. Below is the complete list of autographs featured in the giveaway. Most are from players that were with us during the season. Some have signed more than others depending on how long they were here. Also included are some from most of the guys that did ML rehab with us including Darwin Barney, Jeff Baker, Marlon Byrd, and Reed Johnson.
I looked into when the giveaway started and was told it was 2006, so this is the sixth year. We’ve probably given away at least 10,000 baseballs over the course of the promotion.”
The following players autographed baseballs:
Two to-be-named Iowa Cubs will be signing free autographs near the Gate A concourse that night from 6-6:30 p.m.