One New Larry Gura Stat Worth Noting

The autograph is the same.
I didn’t ask about the hairy lip!

I’m still a Larry Gura fan.

I wrote about Larry in 2011, noting how he’s worked side by side with wife Cindy on her family’s Arizona farm. Larry asks for a modest $2 per autograph, money used to help keep the farm healthy amidst threats from skyrocketing property taxes and looming real estate developers wanting more land.

I sought an update from Cindy Gura. She mentioned that they’ve added bee hives to their organic gardens, eggs and riding stable. The $2 autograph deal still holds.

She signed off, noting that they just celebrated their 43rd anniversary.

Players set goals. I think 43 years of marriage is something any major leaguer would be proud of.

Summer farming and harvest season have meant that some replies have been slower than usual. Likewise, the family wants fan mail sent to their post office box, to assure that autograph requests get special attention.

To obtain a Larry Gura autograph, send $2 for each item to be signed (checks payable to Dale Creek Equestrian Village) with a SASE to:

Larry Gura
P.O. Box 94
Litchfield Park, AZ 85340

Coming Wednesday: What does collecting autographs TTM have in common with sorting laundry?

Pitcher Larry Gura Signs To Save Family Farm

The sig stands tall!
Gura is still looking up.

For 16 seasons, pitcher Larry Gura faced down future Hall of Fame hitters. None of these sluggers may rival Gura’s toughest foe yet:

Real estate developers.

Gura asks a $2 donation per autograph, with checks payable to Dale Creek Equestrian Village. Wanting the rest of the story, I dialed the Village number.

Returning my call was Cindy Gura, Larry’s wife.

This is the family farm where Cindy grew up. When her parents died in 2000-2001, Cindy and Larry took over the operation.

“We have a therapeutic riding program,” she said. “A charter high school comes here weekly for equine classes.”

At Dale Creek, the Guras grow and sell organic food. They have a citrus grove and mesquite trees, complemented by a booming garden. Don’t forget the cage-free eggs from the happiest chickens in Arizona.

The trouble is, cash doesn’t grow on trees.

“We needed more money,” Cindy said, explaining the $2 per autograph policy. “We’re trying to protect this open space. We had to preserve it.”

These days, Larry Gura is pitching to protect a farm that’s been in the family more than 60 years. Although housing developments loom on all sides, the Village isn’t surrendering yet.

Is the former pitcher riding horses?

“He just rides a tractor,” Cindy said with a laugh. “He helps with riding lessons, he gardens. He built all the chicken coops. He’s very busy.”

But not too busy for fans. “Please keep writing,” she asks collectors. “He’ll sign for everyone. We enjoy every letter.”

To obtain a Larry Gura autograph, send $2 for each item to be signed (checks payable to Dale Creek Equestrian Village) with a SASE to:

Larry Gura
P.O. Box 94
Litchfield Park, AZ 85340

Kevin Elster, Reggie Cleveland, Larry Gura Remain Bargains For TTM Autographs

Appreciate the facsimile sig.
This cup-of-coffee pitcher
now demands more than
$2 per letter for his last name!

 When in doubt, ASK!

One of the great parts of this hobby is knowing that veteran collectors will share their experiences with you. I called upon hobby veteran Rich Hanson for his impressions of former players charging for their autographs. I’m grateful for his words of wisdom:

“What do I look for in deciding whether to pay for a signature?  How tough the signer is otherwise, and how reasonable the fee is.

 One can find some good bargains in Harvey Meiselman’s list of signers.  HOFer Don Sutton @$5 a card, Reggie Cleveland and Kevin Elster @ $1 a card, Larry Gura $2 per.
 I’ve never had a problem sending cash by mail, but I don’t send large amounts.  Anything bigger merits a money order or check if they’ll accept it.
 I weigh the price on the player and how bad I want him in my collection.  Quite a few years ago I paid $5 each for two Dom Zanni autographs.  Now he’s charging $30.  Now I’d pass. 
Even worse is Bob Giallombardo’s $25 (double his amount of major league games, and Bob Allen’s $100 fee to sign a card (postal money order only).  This is either a joke gone awry or an extremely unrealistic request. 
 I can buy three Nolan Ryan signatures for what he’s charging.”

Tomorrow: The amazing mission of pitcher Larry Gura!
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