Goodbye, Milwaukee Brave Jack Dittmer

Posted June 5th, 2014 by Tom Owens and filed in Cedar Rapids Gazette, Hank Aaron, Jack Dittmer, Milwaukee Braves
Iowa lost a part of baseball history in the death of 86-year-old Jack Dittmer this week.
I enjoyed the letter he shared in 2011. The super signer kept in touch with teammate Hank Aaron years after his retirement.
I liked the last line in the obituary to the Cedar Rapids Gazette that Dittmer’s family provided. I hope you will, too.

Thanking Milwaukee Brave Jack Dittmer

Posted November 18th, 2013 by Tom Owens and filed in Jack Dittmer, Milwaukee Braves, www.sportscollectors.net

Another impressive career has ended.

Jack Dittmer didn’t have Hall of Fame stats. He was a hobby hall of famer, however.

In October, Dittmer’s wife began sending out the sad news. I saw the update via the ever-insightful www.sportscollectors.net.

The second baseman now lives in a care facility. He can no longer sign autographs or answer questions.

Dittmer was at his best for my 2011 letter. See for yourself via the above link.

On SCN, his success rate was staggering: 175 success responses in 178 attempts.

Just a thought…

A note of thanks to Mrs. Dittmer might bring a bit of brightness during the holidays, considering her husband’s health. I’m sure she may have been an unsung hero in getting all those autographs returned.

The Mystery of Milwaukee Brave Johnny Logan

Posted August 19th, 2011 by Tom Owens and filed in Bob Buege, Harvey Meiselman, Johnny Logan, Milwaukee Braves, SABR, www.sportsaddresslists.com
1954 Bowman

From baseball address king Harvey Meiselman comes news of an autograph fee.

Former Milwaukee Braves shortstop Johnny Logan wants $5 (cash) per signature by mail.

Logan is 85 years old. He’s been a fast, dependable signer by mail beforehand. The stats on http://www.sportscollectors.net/ are stunning — 273 successes in 280 requests. Why demand money now?

Illness could be an explanation. However, I see another possibility.

Virtually all the responses came in just 1-2 weeks. Logan seems like a same-day signer. Is that because he’s seen signing autographs as more of a duty than an enjoyment?

I think signing has become a chore for Logan. Being paid for “work” makes the situation tolerable.
Some retirees wonder if they truly matter to today’s collectors, many of whom weren’t born when the player last competed. I hope this isn’t Logan’s case, too.

For a great profile of Johnny Logan, check out this feature by acclaimed Braves historian Bob Buege on the SABR Bio Project website. Bob was the source who confirmed that Johnny fudged his birthdate by one year.