Saturday, June 14, 2008

Fan Mail

I just restarted a little activity I had gotten away from for a bit: writing to Red Sox players asking for autographs. It’s a fun little pastime that combines two things I enjoy, namely the Red Sox and getting mail. It’s fairly simple. I just write a letter to a player in care of the Red Sox (or whichever team the player is currently playing for), include a baseball card (or other small item like a sticker) and a SASE, and ask for an autograph. Sometimes, the player actually sends something back. Most of the time, I never hear anything again. Sometimes I get a nice form letter explaining why they can’t sign anything. Sometimes I get something other than what I sent, signed. And, sometimes they actually sign the card I send. It’s a little bit of a gambling rush when the envelope comes back in the mail. Which category is it going to be? Naturally, there are things that can be done to improve my odds. Generally, I don’t try the stars. Manny and Ortiz get way too much mail to even bother opening most of it. So, they’re out if I want a signature. Although, if I just want something, they might still be an option. For example, I hear Cal Ripken always sent a nice “Drink Milk” card of himself along with a form letter explaining how busy he was. Tony Gwynn apparently used to respond with a copy of his entry in the SD Padres media guide. Those would have still been pretty cool to get. Naturally, these things have no actual value. I have no idea who actually signed any of the things the players send. It could be the player, or a clubhouse boy. I have heard of some players having their girlfriends sign things for them. But, they look nice sitting on a shelf so it’s OK by me.

This week I sent a letter out to Tim Wakefield and Jon Lester. We’ll see what happens. I’ve heard that Wake only signs for charities. So, my main hope from him is some literature on a charity. But, I’ll see.

Has anyone else tried for autographs through the mail? Any successes or failures you’d like to share?

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