Pitcher Bob Allen rewriting baseball autograph hobby history?

Do you think the stone-faced 1960s hurler would crack a smile at the thought of someone paying his new signing fee?

Time for an update…

Pitcher Bob Allen, back in 2013, was shocking through-the-mail collectors by demanding $100 per autograph.

What about today?

One hobbyist on the always-cool www.sportscollectors.net reported that Allen wants $500 per autograph.

If anyone gets a response from Allen that includes WHY anyone should pay $500 for his autograph, I’d love to know. 

 

Remembering slugger (and autograph all-star) Daryl Spencer

In the early years of this blog, I received a wondrous reply from Daryl Spencer (the man who slugged the first San Francisco Giant homer ever).

For some awesome, seldom-seen images of Daryl Spencer and others from his era, stop by The Trading Card Database. Wow!I remember the wonderful reply from Daryl Spencer, the man who hit more than 100 homers in a decade-long career (including the first-ever dinger by a San Francisco Giant).

How to remember such a gracious, accomplished man? I thought a tribute to a little-known teammate, his widow, was in order. Here’s the letter I mailed today:

Dear Mrs. Spencer,

I am sorry to learn of the death of your husband. I admired him not just for his Major League and Japanese League achievements, but for his kindness and devotion to through-the-mail autograph collectors and fans of baseball history.

I looked him up on an autograph collector website. Of recorded letters sent to him by hobbyists, 236 of 240 received a reply. That’s a stunning 98 percent  success rate.

He responded to a letter I sent several years ago. He answered my questions in fine fashion. His tales turned back the clock, making a recipient of a letter feel like they were a Polo Grounds hero or a star in Japan, too

Every collector who has shown me the autograph they received from Mr. Spencer is a testament to glorious penmanship. Every letter stands out, easily read. I think a current player today, if answering at all, would be content to return an “autograph” of D—- S—–. Nothing but initials and slashmarks.

Most of all, I think those collectors and baseball researchers should be thanking YOU. I’m sure he couldn’t have given all correspondents such attention to detail without your patience and support. While other baseball retirees insist on a cash payment being sent along with a letter, Mr. Spencer was sending cherished gifts to strangers with every autograph – all for free.

He will not be forgotten, on or off the field. Thank you for helping to make all that possible.

Sincerely,

Tom Owens

Standing ovation for noted Browns pitcher AND autograph signer Ned Garver

Since December, TTM attempts to reach Ned Garver have been met by bad news.

The famed 91-year old history maker of the St. Louis Browns has been hospitalized. His classy sons have been sending back personal notes telling that their dad is too ill to sign autographs.

Please, take Mr. Garver off your “to do” list. He may have signed his last autograph.

If you do want to write, simply send a note of thanks. For decades, Ned and his family have been devoted to collectors, fans and students of baseball history. Now is the time to show that their efforts have mattered.

Autograph collectors: can you do more in 2017?

From wishing retirees a happy birthday to campaigning to get Tim Raines in Cooperstown, Mike Noren connects with each one of his artworks!

My only 2017 resolution for me, hobby-wise?

One day at a time.

One guy at a time.

One letter at a time.

I wrote about artist Mike “Gummy Arts” Noren in August. On Twitter last week, Mike announced that he created more than 400 artworks in 2017.

Be like Mike. Try. Try every day. Baseball loves streaks. 

Onward!

 

 

 

Dave ‘Boo’ Ferriss left on Thanksgiving

If there was an autograph Hall of Fame, Dave “Boo” Ferriss would be enshrined.

When he died on Thanksgiving at age 94, collectors lost a friend. The former Red Sox pitcher signed 227 out of 228 recorded requests, says www.sportscollectors.net. I’m astounded at how many hobbyists received notes, photos or other bonuses with their requests.

“Boo” shared this with me in 2010. Enjoy!

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