Making 2013 The Year Of Thanks

I can do better in 2013.

I’m grateful for every response I’ve gotten from a baseball letter. While I thank the reader for his time in my initial contact, I haven’t always responded to the amazing effort shown in many replies.

Isn’t saying “thanks” once enough?

It depends on who you’re in the hobby for. If you believe in scarcity, that there’s only a limited number of autographs being given for a limited time, get yours now.

If you want this hobby to continue for others, then don’t worry about doing too much. I want to believe there’s a big pie out there, and we’re never going to run out of slices. Thanking the baker/server/signer for the generosity may even get you seconds.

(Translated: there are autograph signers who’ll send thank-you notes for a thank-you note. Yes, you could become pen pals with a former major leaguer!)

And, I thank every one of you who read this blog in 2012 (and before!). I’ll keep doing my best to share the good news in “Baseball By The Letters.”

Any Baseball New Year’s Resolutions?

The good folks at http://www.buzzfeed.com/ shared this —
singer/songwriter Woody Guthrie’s 1942
New Year’s Resolutions!

Happy New Year, everyone!

Before I share the beginnings of my 2012 game plan, I wanted to write a bit about New Year’s Resolutions.

Think quality, not quantity.

Guard against hobby burnout. Pace yourself Trust me. I know too many collectors seeking flying starts, who send one bazillion letters in January — then none for the rest of the year.

Here’s two simple suggestions:

1. Write to people YOU admire. If your letter isn’t sincere, your odds for an autograph plummet.

2. Have fun! There’s no one right definition for a hobby. Forget the supposed price guides, or future appearances on ANTIQUES ROAD SHOW. If you like your autographs, then it’s a good collection. My advice? Start with memories. If seeing that signature reminds you of a special baseball moment, then you’ve got a great collectible.

Coming Tuesday: Writing to Angels!

One Easy Autograph Goal for 2011

Happy New Year, everyone!

I’m not here to urge you to make an impossible resolution. Other people will coax pledges out of you. Promise to exercise four hours a day? We know those lists — and how they turn out.

Here’s an easy victory for you.

Scour the couch cushions. Give up one can of pop a week. Me? It’s COFFEE! Don’t buy that Powerball ticket. Find a way to shave just a dollar off your weekly habits.

Buy two stamps. One letter. One SASE. Once weekly.

You don’t have to give up sleep or miss your favorite TV show.

Check back in just one short year. Or, even three months. See how your collection grows. Instead of writing to every player in history, you’re choosing the teams and eras that matter most to YOU. Take your time. Write one personal request. Flush the form letter. Don’t be the hobbyist who says, “I sent out 100 letters the first week in January, then got sick of the whole thing.”

Forget the lottery. For a buck a week, I’m going to win my share of baseball history in 2011.

Tomorrow: meet a collector who’s the offspring of one of the 1930s Boston Red Sox.

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