Catcher Bob Schmidt’s greatest teammate ever?

It’s been 50 years since he
was on a baseball card. One ailing
catcher isn’t ready to forget
fans yet.

I’d nominate Mrs. Schmidt.

Justin Evans at the popular Baseball Autographs Facebook group posted a questionnaire response from Schmidt’s wife.
Justin hadn’t gotten the word that Schmidt’s health lessened in 2013. 
A stroke and Parkinson’s disease make autographs impossible for Schmidt. However, despite not being able to sign, there’s no stopping his devotion to the game.
After all, this is someone who ranks at 101 replies in 106 collector attempts at the amazing www.sportscollectors.net website.
Five questions were answered, followed by the closing in a wife’s handwriting:
“We thank you for being a fan. Sincerely, Mary Ann Schmidt.”
When you get an autograph or a note back, remember that two people may be deserving of gratitude. A wife may be just as delighted as you with the idea of an autograph. Why?
Because she remains that retiree’s biggest fan.

Baseball Survivor: When writing to retirees, congratulate them on their longevity

I got hungry and happy at
www.cakecentral.com. This is the place
for tasty inspiration. So many
artistic bakers delighting their baseball
fans. But, who could bite the head
off Mr. Red?

“I never saw him play? What do I write to him about?”

Most hobbyists tell you to research. Prove that you know something about the ex-player.
I agree. Somewhat.
I wrote last week about Justin Evans and his amazing Baseball Autographs Facebook group. 
One nice thing Justin and members do is salute retirees having birthdays.
If you’re going to write to someone who has a birthday in the coming month, salute them.
No, not “I see you’ll be older than dirt next month.” Just a tip of your cap that says, “Congrats on being here to tell more baseball stories.”
Here’s a bonus:
The oldest baseball alums might be worn out answering, “Who was the toughest pitcher you faced? What was your biggest career thrill?”
Try this (for summer birthdays):
“During your career, what was your most successful birthday on the field?”
You remember the highlights of your birthdays? Imagine being a major leaguer, having thousands of people in the stands knowing it’s your day.

Baseball Managers of the Year: Matt Williams, Buck Showalter and Justin Evans?

Justin Evans is a hobby hero. 

While Matt Williams and Buck Showalter were zoned on post-season berths, Justin was building a team of his own.
His Facebook site “Baseball Autographs” proves that collecting is still fun.
The site is a FREE place for autograph fans to gather and share pictures of one signature or a whole collection. Members are sharing opinions on autograph authenticity and other topics.
Justin enforces just two rules:
1. No buying/selling/trading.
2. No profanity. He knows that some members are kids. Discussion of signers and non-signers remains G-rated.
This is the hobby I remember. Only an occasional “what is it worth?” pops up, only to be dealt with by the membership. And the answer remains (from me), “As much or as little as you value the autograph.”
Justin amazes me for another reason. He’s posted the questionnaires he’s received from some of baseball’s oldest names. He’s gotten great insights from long-retired alums who’ve shared tales of their service in the military and on the diamond. A kindred spirit of “Baseball By The Letters.”
Check out one of the brightest spots in the Facebook universe. Whether you choose to join or not, let Justin know that you appreciate his efforts to share all the things good still remaining in the world of baseball autographs. 
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