Cub Vito Valentinetti Knows His Career

Valentinetti has kept the
same autograph for a half-century.
to squeeze in every letter!

I never got any questions answered from pitcher Vito Valentinetti. However, I got a huge clue that I’m on the right track when writing to retired players.

He did autograph my letter. To his credit, even being in his 80s, he doesn’t miss a letter in his 17-letter name. Legible and complete!

I asked about his 1957 5-hit win against the Athletics. Instead of writing about the day, he sent me the box score from

I had asked Valentinetti about his career-high seven strikeouts against the Yankees in 1958. Perhaps, the only reason he doesn’t brag about this win is because he didn’t go a full nine innings.

The lesson from the 1950s hurler is clear: specifics matter. ask about a season, a team, one player. The more specific your question, the better the possible answer.

Tomorrow: The legend of “Stu-Man,” veteran autograph collector.

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