Saturday, December 25, 2010

Pat Gillick

In addition to Jim Rice, yesterday's mail brought me another autograph return from future Hall of Famer, Pat Gillick.  It was just a few weeks ago that I mentioned that Mr. Gillick had been elected.  While he hasn't actually had his induction ceremony - that will take place in the spring of 2011 - I'm going to count this one as a success!

Gillick signed in pen - seems fitting for a General Manager - and signed his induction year of 2011 as well.  A nice touch.  Gillick becomes the first signature I've received from a member of the Toronto Blue Jays (my favorite team) who has been inducted in the Hall.  Gillick was instrumental in constructing the back-to-back World Series Champion Blue Jays teams of the early 90s.

Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Jim Rice

It's a Christmas miracle!!!

I got TWO autographs in the mail today - that hasn't happened since...  well, since this whole project began and I got three in one day from Snider, Ryan, and Doerr.  This is also the first through-the-mail success since September!!

I'll post about the second autograph tomorrow, but for now, I'm excited that Mr. Jim Rice has been added to the collection!  Rice was inducted just last year in 2009, so he is relatively new to the Hall of Fame.  He was inducted in his 15th and final year of eligibility, which is something pretty special.  Rice played his entire career with one team - the Boston Red Sox - which certainly doesn't happen often today.

Mr. Rice becomes the first Hall of Famer who signed (in black sharpie) on the lined side of the 3x5 card I sent him.  I've heard this lowers the value of an autograph, but since this collection isn't really for any financial gain, it doesn't really matter to me.  Rice returned my short note request too - which is good, because it would have taken me some time to decipher who it was who had returned the envelope.

This response took 92 days to get back to me - the longest wait for a success thus far - and gives me a bit of hope that I may get a few more from some of the players who have had months to get back to me.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Rest in Peace, Bob Feller

As I mentioned only a little over one month ago when Sparky Anderson passed away, I didn't expect Hall of Famers to die quite so quickly in my quest. 

While we were away on vacation, the baseball community was saddened to hear about the death of Bob Feller.  Mr. Feller was the first Hall of Famer autograph I ever received, and he was my grandpa's favorite player, so it was with much sadness that I learned the news of his passing.

My thoughts and prayers go out to his family and those who knew him well.  The baseball world has lost another an icon.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Failure #16: Robin Yount

Robin Yount was an All-Star caliber player for twenty years - all with the same team, the Milwaukee Brewers.  Earlier this week I recieved a letter return from Mr. Yount which included a beautiful Hall of Fame postcard with a reproduction of his signature, and an apology note saying he is too busy to sign personally through the mail.  While both were certainly mass-produced items, they are a nice gesture.

I must admit - in spite of the fact that this is not a real autograph, it is one of the best failures I've received thus far.  I appreciate that this player cares enough to send back something that shows his signature, and gives fans something for their trouble.  I also appreciate that Mr. Yount does not send a price list encouraging his fans to hand over their hard earned cash for a simple signature.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Baseball Exec. Pat Gillick Elected to Hall of Fame

From the Hall of Fame press release...

Gillick becomes the 32nd executive to be elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame and just the fourth individual elected whose career has been defined nearly exclusively as a team architect, joining Ed Barrow, Branch Rickey and George Weiss in Cooperstown. Gillick will be joined by any electees who emerge from the Baseball Writers' Association of America voting, which will be announced on January 5, 2011.

This is somewhat monumental for me - and for any other Blue Jays fan - as it means that there will be another Toronto connection in the Hall of Fame.  Gillick was the GM and mastermind behind assembling Toronto's only World Series wins - back to back in 1992-93.

Add another name to the list!