Charging for TTM autographs? Who gets the money? Baseball Address List creator Harvey Meiselman weighs in on hot hobby topics

Talk about hobby hope! The 2019 Baseball Address List will help ring in my new year.

His letter to past address list buyers got me psyched for the long winter. As usual, Harvey’s adding features and updates to his 2019 edition. For instance, this volume will have a list of more than 250 baseball names who are now charging for TTM autographs.

Whoa! How many?

“Yes, over 250 players are now charging,” Harvey said.  “Some are donating the money to charity, but most are keeping the money themselves. They see the value of baseball autographs on eBay and places like that and want to get in on the action and make some money on their signatures. No big surprise with what PastPros is doing with a lot of the lesser-known MLB players. Charging ridiculous fees (they make almost as much on a handling charge as the players make on a signature) and all requests have to go through their company in Canada so it takes a long time. I hear a lot of complaints from my customers about them.”

I asked about high-end autograph fees (as someone who has never paid by mail for any autograph). Harvey rattled off examples: “Lou Brock used to charge $85 a signature but he is no longer able to sign due to health reasons. Orlando Cepeda gets $60 per signature. Roger Clemens gets $100 per signature. Reggie Jackson gets $89 for a signature. Whitey Ford gets $40. Pete Rose gets $100 per signature. Nolan Ryan gets $90.There are a few that get over $30 per signature but most are in the $10-25 range.”

How can Harvey often update addresses of moved players so quickly? He has address-hunting experience that runs far beyond his days in the hobby. “My search engine costs me $400 a month and is updated every week,” he said.” It was the same search engine I used when I was a skip tracer at a Florida bank. That’s why my lists are so good.”

To learn more about Harvey’s address lists (baseball is just one of many sports he covers), go to www.SportsAddressLists.com.

Seeing Angels ( In My Mailbox)!

All the Topps facsimile
signatures say “Bob.” Yet,
the gifted glove man
graces fans with a “Bobby”
for most TTM replies!

When Bobby Hoeft told about conducting a Baseball Chapel that included the 1970s California Angels, I knew the first team of 2012 that I’d be contacting.

When I received such pleasant reports about Nolan Ryan from former skipper Bobby Winkles, it made me think of a different crew of Angels. Not the many free agents that owner Gene Autry gambled on, but the supporting cast of the 1960s now overshadowed by California’s lavish contracts. Think of the 2012 roster. No matter how successful other players are, they’ll all face the initial question of “What’s Albert Pujols really like?”

Here’s 10 overlooked Angels I remembered. I chose to remember them again with a letter. They include:

Earl Averill Jr.
Bob Duliba
Bobby Knoop
Don Lee
Gene Leek
Dan Osinski
Rick Reichardt
George Thomas
Lee Thomas
Gordie Windhorn

Coming Friday: Amazing memories from Louis Clarizio, white Negro Leaguer!

Twins Pitcher Ray Corbin Remembers

Same autograph,
decades later!

How about baseball writers sending a little love Ray Corbin’s way? Sure, it happened nearly 40 years ago. Better late than never.

Out come the adjectives for any 2011 complete-game pitcher. Two straight CG’s? Are you serious?!?

In 1972, Corbin did more than earn three straight complete games. He compiled a 27.1 scoreless innings streak.

Did the media thrill over every pitch? I could almost hear the sigh come from Corbin as he wrote…

“Very little response since in those days shutouts and complete games were much more common than today. Not uncommon for the leader in shutouts to be in double figures.”

Again, Corbin reeled off another career high in 1975, striking out nine White Sox. He noted:

“I wasn’t a big strikeout pitcher and was unaware that career high in K’s came in my final season. With Nolan Ryan setting K records, I’m sure mine were unnoticed.

Don’t confuse Corbin’s humility with a lack of confidence. Check out what 1971 spring training was like:

“I had a great spring and knew I had a chance to make the team after (Dave) Boswell and (Luis) Tiant were released.”

Coming Wednesday: Former outfielder Glenn Wilson returns…with a book!

Angels Skipper Winkles Describes Nolan Ryan As Hard-Working, Humble Hurler

This Topps Card Only
Hints at Winkles’
Storybook Life!

California manager Bobby Winkles arrived to witness Nolan Ryan’s skyrocketing success. What kind of personality did the fastballer sport in 1973?

Winkles replied:

“Nolan Ryan was the hardest working pitcher I ever saw in the major leagues. He was a gentlemen and modest. Nothing cocky about his demeanor.”

Winkles’ resume includes a managerial stint with Oakland, along with longer coaching assignments with the Giants, White Sox and Expos. Surprisingly, he filled in some of those earliest details, long before he was the toast of college coaching ranks.

“I was raised on an 80-acre farm. Biggest crop was cotton. We lived 3-1/2 miles from Swifton, Arkansas, population 526. We didn’t have electricity or plumbing — only pump water — 10 people in a three bedroom house.

I went to Illinois Wesleyan University. Graduated in 1952. Two years in the Army. Signed with the White Sox. Retired from 7 years in minors.

While playing went to Univ. of Colo. Got a master’s degree in two semesters.

Not a bad career for an Arkansas cotton farm boy.

Regards,
Bob Winkles”

Winkles’ story challenged me. That name…

Swifton? Swifton, Arkansas? THAT Swifton, Arkansas!

Hometown of Hall of Famer George Kell. The Post Office is named after him. Seems like Swifton produced more than cotton.

Tomorrow: Retracing Kirby Puckett’s beginnings through autographs.

 

Nolan Ryan’s 3rd No-Hitter No Surprise for Angels Catcher Tom Egan

Same Swell Sig!

Teen Tom Egan began his catching career with the 1965 Angels at age 18. I wrote to Egan, asking if he ever felt uncomfortable around his older teammates.

“Yes, they treated me more like their little brother and I didn’t go out after the game.”

Egan blossomed as a power hitter, belting a career-best 10 home runs for the 1971 White Sox, matching his combined total from six prior years of part-time work. His breakout season wasn’t due to any adjustments at the plate.

“Always had the power, just got more at-bats.”

On Sept. 28, 1974, the unflappable receiver may have been the first to predict Nolan Ryan’s third career no-hitter. When did Egan’s mind switch from “good game” to “making history?” Egan replied:

“I knew he had great stuff after the first inning. When Nolan got his change and breaking ball over, the opponents had very little chance.”

 

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