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.

The autograph challenge Reggie Jackson issues

Reggie greets his public in 2008. By Rubenstein (Reggie Jackson) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
Reggie greets his public in 2008. By Rubenstein (Reggie Jackson) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Guilt by association?

Some collectors have despaired after the headlines of Reggie Jackson confronting a supposed autograph hound/possible dealer.

The odds are stacking against real fans, honest collectors and sincere researchers.

Our only hope?

Stand out.

Don’t look or sound like them, whether it’s in-person or in the letter you send.

There may be more at stake than your own success.

Reggie Jackson’s College Scouting Report

A Veteran Rookie
in 1973

New manager Bobby Winkles came to the California Angels in 1973 as college baseball royalty. The two-time NCAA Coach of the Year, he piloted Arizona State University from 1959-71. His teams won three college world series crowns.

Although he wasn’t a major league coach in 1965, the newly-instituted college draft reminded Winkles that he was in competition with major league baseball. His players faced pro baseball’s yearly temptation.

He wrote:

“The 1965 draft — college coaches weren’t affected too much. NCAA rule — college players could sign at the end of their sophomore year. Later chanced to end of junior year. A high draft pick was more likely to sign because big money was hard to turn down for an 18 year old and his family. I lost Rick Monday, Reggie Jackson and Skip Handcock as sophomores. That hurt our program.”

That second player mentioned? Yep. Winkles knew Mister October long before the majors did.

“Reggie had unlimited tools. He worked hard. There was no doubt in my mind he would play in the M.L. No college coach could predict the Hall of Fame for a player. He had all the tools and he made the best of them.”

Tomorrow: Winkles grows up in the shadow of a Hall of Famer.

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