Which ‘Joe Morgan’ Autograph Is Yours?

Courtesy of http://www.baseball-almanac.com/.
This is a GREAT resource to
see AUTHENTIC autographs!

Joseph Michael Morgan

Joe Leonard Morgan

The first one was the manager. The second became a Hall of Famer in 1990. Different skin colors, too.

Just seeing the name “Joe Morgan” isn’t enough.

Boston’s former pilot has been branded “The Other” Joe Morgan by some collectors. Some beginners haven’t been as lucky in knowing the difference, it seems.

Ready for a shock? From the former Red Sox skipper —

“I get a ton of his cards to sign. He told me to sign them, but I never signed any after he made the Hall of Fame.

We’ve been mixed up many times — mail, hotel rooms, etc.

Joe Morgan,
Boston Red Sox Mgr. 1988-91″

The HOFer has a thinner. taller “J,” then leaves off the “an” on occasion. However, Walpole Joe’s letter begs the question:

How many cards of “Little Joe,” obtained before 1990, were signed by the wrong man?

Tomorrow: More thoughts on handwritten versus typed letters.

Boston Red Sox Manager Joe Morgan First Shined Before Fenway Park Faithful in 1959

“Yankee Stadium foul pole? But I’m from Walpole, Mass!”

Red Sox manager Joe Morgan enjoyed a life in baseball long before taking Boston’s helm in 1988.

In fact, the native of Walpole, Massachusetts made his Fenway Park premiere nearly 30 years prior. Best of all, he had lots of witnesses!

“Only appeared in one game at Fenway Park as a pinch hitter with Kansas City A’s.

Hit triple off the Green Monster with 20 Walpole fans present.”

I’m grateful to share the magic of http://www.retrosheet.org/ to recreate that moment. At least, the game elements. Morgan never noted if he was shining before parents, immediate family, classmates or all of the above! Seeing a “local boy” succeed that day must have been memorable, even for Red Sox rooters.

Morgan started his second baseball climb after his retirement as a player in 1964. (One feature profiled noted that Morgan kept his off-season job as snowplow operator during those lean years.) Many more seasons managing in the minors preceded his Red Sox skipperdom. Did he have any prize pupils in the minors?

“Helped many players, such as Al Oliver, Rich Hebner, John Morlan, Don Money, as very young players by building their confidence. That’s all they needed.”

Tomorrow: Did Hall of Famer Joe Morgan ever recruit a famous ghost signer? Prepare for some hobby intrigue…

Stockpiling Autographed Index Cards

Here’s what this post is NOT about:

An index card can be a useful autograph tool. It’s too time-consuming or sometimes just impossible to find a card photo of a former player (although Internet searches are opening new horizons for making customized index-photo cards). Also, meeting a former player at the last second means a signed index card beats an autographed hot dog wrapper.

Additionally, an autographed 3-by-5 can be a swell consolation prize from a virtual non-signer. For TTM toughies like Fred Lynn (who may own a blue index card-making plant) or Joe Morgan who’ll offer nothing but one signed index card, this could be matted with a photo or more meaningful collectible.

What this post IS about:

My puzzlement over the collector who sends two blank index cards as “protection” for the card to be signed. No request is made to sign the 3-by-5s, just the hunch that an eager autographer will be inking anything sent by the collector. And, frequently, a collector does get three signatures while asking for just one.

Sure, things can get bent in the mail. Yes, some confused retirees autograph the plastic top loader the card is in. I get the theory of protecting a card.

I’m not criticizing. I’m just asking:

Is there some underground trade in autographed 3-by-5s I’ve overlooked? Even the “one of everything” type of collector might have little use for an extra identical blank index card. Clue me in, please.

But lastly, let me make one plea to all collectors who get one OR MORE signed index cards…

In light pencil, write down the name of who signed on the card’s reverse. Trust me, you may not be able to decipher the handwritten autograph a year (or even a DAY) from now!

What’s your feeling about including one or more extra index cards in your autograph request letter?

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