December 02, 2006

Good things come to those that wait..:
A nice little story about a man who needed 250 4-cent stamps.

posted by grum@work to baseball at 01:36 AM - 15 comments

When I was a kid I only sent out a handful of autograph requests. I was never really into autographs that much. Sometimes I would write and not even ask for an autograph, just wanted to let the player know that I was behind him all the way. One of these resulted in a full color autographed photo of Henry Aaron, which I framed and still have. I can remember only one letter I sent that failed to get any response. When I was in high school, I sent a letter to then-Commissioner Peter Ueberroth. The letter, sent at a time when there was pressure on the Commissioner's office to finally get rid of the DH, was an empassioned plea to keep the status quo. I got to see Hank Aaron play years after I received that autograph, presumably only because the DH extended his career until I was old enough to attend games in the City. And I made this argument to Ueberroth, but never received a response. Perhaps the letter is in his garage. Neat story. Thanks, Grum.

posted by BullpenPro at 02:10 AM on December 02, 2006

I always wanted autographed cards of my favorite players when I was a kid, but I was afraid I'd never get them back. So, instead, I practiced forging signatures on spare cards (Oil Can Boyd and Steve Sax were my favorites because there always seemed to be multiples of both in every pack.) I don't know if anyone ever believed the signatures were authentic, but I got a kick out of trying to fool myself. Anyway, the post is a fine one. Thanks again, Grum.

posted by forrestv at 05:21 AM on December 02, 2006

Great story that brings back tons of memories for me. I used to send out many fan letters as a kid, to players in all sports, and my buddys would do the same. We'd get back from school and wait for the phone to ring with one of them asking, "Who'd you get?" It was such a cool feeling getting mail with a return address or envelope you knew was from a player, team, etc. Even though I knew some of them were from people hired specifically to fill these requests for fans, it didn't matter. Sometimes I'd get some replies that I treasure to this day. I wrote to Jack "Hacksaw" Reynolds, a linebacker for the Rams, once and after a while a big envelope came back with a long, handwritten letter from his wife, thanking me for being a fan of her husband and apologizing for him taking so much time to answer his mail. She included a 8x10 photo with a personal message written by him to me. It was those kind that made collecting these so interesting. Some teams would send you autographed photos, stickers, color team photos, and all kinds of crap. The writer of this piece was correct, though, when he mentioned that sending requests to marginal players, not always just the stars, will get you the best responses. Those players don't get the huge bags full of mail the stars get. Also, sending to college players always produced excellent results. Regardless, I have scrapbooks full of this stuff and will keep them forever. Thanks for the story, grum.

posted by dyams at 07:09 AM on December 02, 2006

Great stuff. I never sent off for autographs, but I have regular customers who still do it to this day. One fellow has something like 3,000 signed NASCAR cards, including 20-30 from Dale Earnhardt Sr. He gave me one for a favour I did for him, and even as a seller of autographed stuff, there's something inherently cool about either the man or at least his organization taking the time to mail it back. Of course, my greatest autograph story involves Kenny Loggins, so it won't be repeated here (I think I've mentioned it before anyway).

posted by wfrazerjr at 08:39 AM on December 02, 2006

Great link. Thanks.

posted by tieguy at 09:04 AM on December 02, 2006

Fantastic piece. He gave me one for a favour I did for him Looks like we are too late to keep them from Canadianizing you, fraze. Do yourself a favor and get thee back to the States before it's too late.

posted by holden at 09:44 AM on December 02, 2006

Fraze, at the risk of revealing way too much about myself, I, for one, would be proud of a Kenny Loggins autograph.

posted by hawkguy at 10:18 AM on December 02, 2006

Grum, where do you come up with these? Thanks for another example of the better side of sports.

posted by Howard_T at 01:39 PM on December 02, 2006

Hawk, if you want to hear the story, I'll repost it here. It wasn't for me, but rather a friend ... but Mr. Loggins earned my undying fanship for his efforts. As for my Canadianization, if you mean having my first daughter for a grand total of $0CDN, backbacon, hockey 3-4 nights a week and snow bunnies ... I'm staying. :)

posted by wfrazerjr at 02:23 PM on December 02, 2006

Awesome link. Thanks. That he wrote three pages to a man whose wife died a decade and a half ago says a lot (not sure if I would want to receive the letter though). Interesting that he works for Scott Boras.

posted by yerfatma at 03:37 PM on December 02, 2006

This is great. It makes me want to tell you about my favorite second baseman of all time. Marvin Breeding spent several years with the Baltimore Orioles, then ended his career with the Dodgers in about 1964. I didn't write to him and he never wrote to me, but he did visit me once in to late 1950s while I was college freshman, trying to make the team at a small college in North Alabama. I met his cousin. We each wrote letters, got married August 8, 1959 and enjoyed a baseball honeymoon which included Briggs stadium in Detroit with the Tigers, the White Sox and the Indians. After 47 years together, we still spend many hours each week involved with baseball. Our grandson has become our favorite active second baseman. At age thirteen, he is a year-round select baseball player, and already considered a prospect for college baseball both as a pitcher and a second baseman.

posted by Bud Lang at 10:42 PM on December 02, 2006

Fraze, I'd like to hear the Kenny Loggins story. By the by, I'm sitting at work reading your blog archives. Great stuff.

posted by hawkguy at 11:25 AM on December 04, 2006

That is a great story. Thanks, grum.

posted by DrJohnEvans at 12:50 PM on December 04, 2006

Wonderful, wonderful way to start my day. Thank you for this. God, I love baseball.

posted by evixir at 08:27 AM on December 05, 2006

Super story, reminds me of when i got fired for going to a rams game in anaheim. rams were playing houston and eric dickerson broke oj you know whos record for rushing yards. was pretty cool, i thought. more so now, but thats my opinion, but saw dickerson at john wayne airport when the playoffs were about to start and saw mr d. he signed my stub from the game and made my day. i told him it was worth losing the job. even more so now.

posted by dealemslim at 10:09 PM on December 05, 2006

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