When Controversy Fills Your SASE

Sports celebrities have
known for years that
their autograph could
help sell their views. I
wrote about Ali’s
plan in 2010.

Red Sox. No, Yankees. No, Red Sox!

Not everyone agrees — especially in an election year. I’ll never forget hearing Curt Schilling in a Good Morning America interview blurt that he was voting for George W. Bush. Surprise!

Be prepared for religious, political or other extreme material — in your eyes. Perhaps, the former player is selling a product or service you don’t appreciate. What to do?

1. Head for the recycling bin.

2. Donate to a beginning collector. To many, an autograph is an autograph.

3. Put the offending autograph in your “for sale or trade” collection. Some hobbyists collect controversy.

I would NOT suggest sending back the questionable signed item, simply because you disagree with the content.

You invited this person into your home via your self-addressed, stamped envelope. If they write to you unsolicited or ring your doorbell unannounced, then it’s fine to share your feelings.

Starting a debate will only drag innocent collectors into the muck. If this former player still autographs cards he’s on, some in the hobby will be grateful.

Instead, tell other hobbyists. You might save them the shock you felt. Meanwhile, don’t be surprised if both political parties recruit autograph ambassadors prior to the 2012 election.

Coming Wednesday: Tracy Jones tells about his autographed card giveaway!

Dan Xeller’s Baseball Photos Revisited

True story.

I wrote a biography on Muhammad Ali for an educational publisher that came out in 2011. Translated: the book is in schools and libraries.

Well, I gave a copy to my sister-in-law. Her hubby’s an Ali fan, too.

“I really liked the photos,” she praised.

Uh, thanks, I think?

Fast forward. Someone just mentioned that they’d like to get BIGGER looks at Dan Xeller’s great portraits of Ransom Jackson, Ty Cline and Norman Lumpkin. Check out http://www.danxeller.com/ for great looks at many more of his images.

Enjoy! And, to my sis-in-law, I admit that I didn’t write any of these pictures, either!!!

(All photos courtesy of &
copyright Dan Xeller Photography)

Muhammad Ali, Baseball Player?


What if Ali played major league baseball? What if he was in the Topps set you’re trying to get autographed?

“Sure. I want every card signed.”

What if you had gotten a pamphlet like this with the autograph? What if your religion didn’t agree with his?

Ali knew the power of autographs. He’d autograph every copy, so fans would keep the handout. If they kept the brochure for the autograph, they might read the contents.

Current and former players are giving a gift when they give an autograph by mail. They believe you’re interested in them as people. People have religious, political or other views we don’t agree with.

Baseball people will include “extras” in their replies — business cards, brochures or requests to donate to a charity, even though they signed for free.

I disagree with someone who sends back a brochure but keeps the autograph. Recycle if the literature offends you. Starting a debate with a signer might create a former signer — or someone who requires a $20 “donation” for their cause for each signature. If the pamphlet seemed annoying, how will you feel knowing that your money is supporting that opposing viewpoint?

By the way, those tolerant enough to save Ali’s autographed pamphlet should check ebay today. The surviving signed tracts are fetching top dollar.

I’m grateful for the image from the fascinating website www.aliautos.net. To learn about the boxing great’s AUTHENTIC signatures, this is the ultimate education!

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