Cardinal Matt Carpenter’s grateful personalization

I spotted some great St. Louis Cardinals candid photos on the team Facebook page Wednesday.

Most of all, there were some awesome inscriptions on the photos.
Sure, the regular season limits active players to a “best wishes” or “good luck” personalization.
Seeing the Matt Carpenter pic made me ask:
does anyone ever add “thank you” to their autographs?
Two generations prior, celebrities of all kind would thank a fan in writing when giving an autograph.
Readers: ever gotten a “thank you” autograph? I’d love to know more.

Goodbye, Catcher Hal Smith

Hal Smith’s obituary rekindled a happy memory for me.

Here’s a couple of smiles the catcher shared in a 2010 letter. Cardinals fans, give this one another peek.

Pat Neshek Spreads The Autograph Joy

Even before the season started, Pat Neshek is making a difference for the St. Louis Cardinals.

I’d think that guys scrapping to make the 25-man roster would be so wrapped up in their own challenges they wouldn’t make a peep in Florida.
Not Pat Neshek. He’s encouraging other Cardinals to answer fan mail.
Imagine. A current major leaguer as a fellow collector, telling teammates that not every adult who sends fan mail is an evil dealer plotting to sell autographs for millions on the black market?
I loved seeing a picture on his Facebook page. Pat’s wife was surprised to see the pitcher in uniform without his trademark high socks for the first time in 10 years. 
They both appreciate every moment. Every fan and collector.
Who couldn’t cheer for someone like that?

Expect Treats, Not Tricks, This Hobby Halloween

Why collect autographed baseballs?
These would hold more autographs.
The Post-Dispatch store sold a
carving kit for $12.95.

Expect treats, not tricks, for your hobby this post-season.

In 40 years of writing to former players, I’ve found:

During the season, some retirees try to forget baseball. They feel their summer with travel and outdoor activities like golf or fishing.

Come the World Series, they start missing baseball. Your letter makes them feel young again.

Watch your mailbox fill up like a kid’s treat bag this year. I can’t wait!

Jack Damaska’s Cardinals Cameo Gets Finale

I was delighted to receive a letter back from Jack Damaska. His month with the 1963 St. Louis Cardinals only hints at his many adventures during 17 years of pro baseball.

Check out
Fans would write in to get
free photos of their favorite
players. However, when a
player like Damaska returned
to the minors, the photos were
pulled. Therefore, his “postcard”
is rarer than stars like
Gibson or Brock.

I thought any Redbirds newcomer back then would know they had arrived when they were featured on a radio broadcast. Who talked with him?

“I was introduced to Harry Caray, but I was interviewed by Jack Buck on the radio. Two years ago, I was fortunate enough to be invited into the broadcasting booth to talk with my ex-teammate Tim McCarver. I talked with Joe Buck at Yankee Stadium.”

Thanks to author George Rose, who suggested that I contact Damaska (one of the great profiles in the One Hit Wonders book).

Coming Monday: Beating a Hall of Fame pitcher.

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