Pitcher David Nied Issues Wake-Up Call

Fast reply,
no details…

In today’s mail, I found a partial reply from David Nied.

Yes, the first pick of Colorado’s expansion draft. While he added his #17 to his signature (on my letter) in this one-week turnaround, I did not get any questions answered.

That’s when I keep mulling over the eternal hobby question: typed or hand-written letters?

In my January post quoting hobby buddy Rich Hanson and his “thanks for making the effort to write me by hand” reply from 1960s pitcher Larry Miller, I’ve kept this choice fresh in my head.

Here’s one possibility: even though you can’t throw a 100 m.p.h. fastball or hit a 500-foot homer, you still might scare retired players with your power.

Your computer power!

Someone in their 70s might believe that you’re churning out hundreds of autograph request letters nightly. You’ve programmed your computer to act in evil-robot fashion and fool the recipient into thinking this is personal correspondence.

I had a pompous high school college prep English teacher. He warned, “A whiff of the Cliff and you’re dead!” Meaning: if he had any inkling that a student used the Cliff Notes synopsis to save time on a report, he’d issue an F.

I think a few retired players resemble my teacher. They’re seeking a reason NOT to reply. Other times, a spouse or family member might help sort the mail.

Is your letter different than all the others? I say, if it’s legible and personal, someone will want to read it — no matter what the format is. If you want to receive, first GIVE. If you have even one personal sentence about yourself and one more about that player or retiree, that may be the competitive difference you need.That’s why I haven’t abandoned typing.

I’m averaging only a letter of day mailed. I don’t want to do more. I’d rather spend the time researching each individual and writing the best, most personal letter possible.

Do Hand-Written Letters Get More Autographs?

Typed Letters Don’t
Make Him Smile!

Collectors know that “tastes great” or “less filling” isn’t the only debate these days.

After the Sunday post, I fielded a reader question:

Do you write or type your letters?

This is an on-going discussion on the http://www.sportscollectors.net/ forum. Speed for typing.

Sincerity for hand-written.

I’ve chosen typed for another reason. Legibility.

I’m asking specific questions. If a retiree can’t read my handwriting, then I’m doomed.

Only once did I alter my game plan. That’s when I contacted former Mets pitcher Larry Miller. Thanks to collector pal Rich Hanson, he tipped me off that Miller had replied how he appreciated a collector who took the time to write by hand.

I think some collectors worry that a player might suspect a form letter if its printed from a computer. I differ on that concern. I do address envelopes by hand. (Businesses TYPE envelopes. Bills or junk-mail solicitations come in typed envelopes.) Once I’ve convinced someone to open my letter, that’s a major victory. Then, I hope my personal appeal makes my case, even without my iffy penmanship.

I believe that content matters most. If you’ve researched someone’s career (or can tell about seeing him in a specific game) you’ll make your point. You’re being personal and easy on the eyes.

What do you say, readers? Do hand-written or typed letters work best for you? Ever field complaints from signers?

Tomorrow: a 1940s Brooklyn Dodger shares the nickname Leo Durocher gave him.

Walter Alston & Casey Stengel Successful Today? Not Likely, Says Pitcher Larry Miller


Back in 2001, former pitcher Larry Miller still threw strikes.

Verbal strikes, that is.

Miller didn’t sugar-coat his opinions when asked about hurling for two
Hall of Fame managers in a three-year career. Furthermore, Miller slung
a high, hard one at the 1960s Mets organization.

“I never got to know either Alston or Stengel as people,” Miller began. “As managers, they had similar skills as far as making proper strategic moves during a game. Neither spent much effort trying to connect with the players. My belief is that neither would be very successful managing today’s players who require and demand special considerations.”

When coach Wes Westrum took over the Mets following Stengel’s retirement, Miller felt that the new manager was doomed.

“Westrum took over a team still brimming with expansion players. The core of the ’69 Mets (Seaver, Ryan, Koosman, McGraw, etc.) were just coming into the organization as minor leaguers. The best manager in baseball at that time would have had difficulty improving the Mets record.

“The old saying ‘You can’t make chicken salad out of chicken s – – – ‘ applies here.”

Walter Alston & Casey Stengel Successful Today? Not Likely, Says Pitcher Larry Miller


Back in 2001, former pitcher Larry Miller still threw strikes.

Verbal strikes, that is.

Miller didn’t sugar-coat his opinions when asked about hurling for two
Hall of Fame managers in a three-year career. Furthermore, Miller slung
a high, hard one at the 1960s Mets organization.

“I never got to know either Alston or Stengel as people,” Miller began. “As managers, they had similar skills as far as making proper strategic moves during a game. Neither spent much effort trying to connect with the players. My belief is that neither would be very successful managing today’s players who require and demand special considerations.”

When coach Wes Westrum took over the Mets following Stengel’s retirement, Miller felt that the new manager was doomed.

“Westrum took over a team still brimming with expansion players. The core of the ’69 Mets (Seaver, Ryan, Koosman, McGraw, etc.) were just coming into the organization as minor leaguers. The best manager in baseball at that time would have had difficulty improving the Mets record.

“The old saying ‘You can’t make chicken salad out of chicken s – – – ‘ applies here.”

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