Why Giant Phil Nastu Signs Autographs

Why must we wait for a funeral to say something good about someone? Why not share that compliment when the do-gooder is there to take a bow?

That’s what I thought about as I wrote to Phil Nastu. Yesterday, I wrote about his kindness in tracking down a collector named Mike Micho, when the autograph reply never reached the intended party. USPS returned a shredded envelope, identified by Nastu’s return address label.

Nastu hunted down Mike on the Internet. He replaced the cards from his own collection, used his own postage and wrote the collector a second time, adding a note of explanation.

I told Nastu how stunned I was, and how I hope everyone will learn about his kindness. He shared these thoughts with me:

“In regard to the ripped card, I just thought if someone took the time to want to get my signature, the least I could do was try and return it.

When I got finished playing, I didn’t have many of my cards. But over the years, fans have asked me to sign one card and keep one for myself, which is pretty cool.”

Nastu’s autograph attiude is amplified by his explanation:

“I was always taught to be respectful to people and would hope to receive it back. It has always been an honor for someone to want my autograph and would never think of charging for it.”

Speaking of cards, Nastu relayed this 1979 Topps tale:

“The good and bad: wanted to have a baseball or basketball card since I was a kid. Good news when I was told by Sy Berger at Topps that I was going to be on a card I was thrilled. He then told me even though I had some time in the majors, he had to put me on a prospect card, because they needed to put more position players on. He actually paid me for a full card because he felt bad.”

By the way, “Thanks” preceeded Nastu’s autograph at the bottom of the page. When’s the last time you were thanked for being a collector?

Coming Monday: How a young autograph collector delighted Chuck Estrada.

San Francisco Giant Phil Nastu Wows A Hobbyist

Nastu has been a faithful
autograph signer for 30-plus years!

Remember Mike “Tiger Nut” Micho? He’s shining the spotlight on one of the greatest responses I’ve ever imagined recorded by a collector.

As first shared on http://www.sportscollectors.net/, Mike relayed this fascinating story:

“Earlier this month I sent 2 cards to former Giants pitcher Phil Nastu. After nearly a month, I wondered if I`d get them back again, as usually he signs and returns cards quickly.Well, what I received back in the mail yesterday just floored me.

It seems Mr. Nastu had signed the cards quickly and had sent them back out a few weeks ago. However, the Postal Service had totally destroyed the envelope (it was ripped in half) and the cards.This pile of waste was returned to Mr. Nastu as he had placed a return address sticker on the envelope.What he did for me was unbelievable!

I received this huge white envelope in the mail yesterday, addressed from him.When I opened it, he had wrote me a short note explaining what happened. It read:

‘Michael, I received these cards I signed for you back from the Post Office. They were destroyed, so I replaced them for you. I searched the web for your correct name and address from the letter you sent me. Hopefully, I`ve sent these to the right person, since I couldn`t read the full name. If not, I tried my best. Phil’

I was shocked that he cared enough to replace the cards, search the web for my name and addy, and send everything back to me (including the destroyed cards and envelope).

He is for sure going to receive a Thank You card from me for this one! Thanks so much Mr. Nastu.”

I wrote a note of thanks to Phil Nastu, too. Hey, everyone should. When one collector wins, the hobby wins. Amazingly, I found that Mike’s story had another side…

Coming Friday: Phil Nastu replies, explaining his amazing kindness.

Writing to Dodger Pitcher Carl Erskine: Time To Thank This Tireless Autograph All-Star

Often willing to provide answers to
anything fans ask, Erskine even
adds a signed gift to most replies!

What’s right about the autograph hobby?

Yesterday, I indulged in a rubber-stamping rant. Today, equal time is required.

There are still kind, grateful men from baseball’s past. They aren’t all from the 1940s and ’50s. I discovered a heart-warming story about Giants pitcher Phil Nastu (1978-80) going above and beyond to fulfill a TTM autograph request. I’m hoping to salute him, getting details of why he’d be so dedicated to an unknown collector.

Other names on the latest batch of envelopes launched from BBTL-land:

Bobby Doerr
Boo Ferriss
Carl Erskine

I wanted to send a standing ovation to each of these three signers, too. Each of these men have decades of autograph heroics on Mr. Nastu. Along with saying thanks, I’ve just wanted to ask about their fan mail volume, why they keep delighting everyone who writes, and what we can do to thank them.

I saw on http://www.sportscollectors.net/ that Bob Wiesler and Fred Caligiuri had answered questions for other collectors.

I gasped at the lengthy post-baseball musical career of Dick Adams, a member of the 1947 Philadelphia Athletics. Likewise, I’m stunned at the many charity initiatives of Brewers bullpen catcher Marcus Hanel. I wanted to find out how baseball has inspired each.

I found a recent newspaper profile of pitcher Turk Wendell. I wanted to make sure he had a copy. Also, I’m hoping he’ll explain a couple of his mystical comments from that feature.

Lastly, I realized that former Angels and A’s manager Bobby Winkles may have grown up in the shadow of a Hall of Famer. I’m seeking details.

There’s the game plan behind my latest batch of fan mail. Stay tuned for updates. Meanwhile, I hope you find as many reasons to add names to your want list.

Thursday: Inspiration from Japan.

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