Friday, July 23, 2010

Baseball by the Letters

Writing a letter is a lost art. When was the last time you sent a letter to a close friend or distant relative? Anyone have a pen-pal you correspond with regularly? I don't mean those folks you have friended on facebook. I mean actually sending a note, written in your own hand, through the mail.

I realize that this is foreign to most kids today. After all, in todays' world why bother putting it down from pen to paper when you can just send a quick email with all of the shorthanded jive and immediate response it brings?

I'll tell you this, though, when you send a nicely written letter to an old-time Baseball player you might be surprised at the response you get. Last year, I wrote a large number of post focused on fan letters written to former Dodger players. Check out my Dodger Correspondence label to check them out. Another, even better resource, is a new blog called "Baseball by the Letters" written by Tom Owens which focuses almost exclusively on the art of the fan letter. Check it out here.

In fact, for the Dodger fan you should check out Tom's series of post focused on a lengthy letter he recently received from former Los Angeles Dodger hurler Stan Williams. When asked about his favorite home run (Williams hit 5 as a Dodger which is pretty good for a pitcher) he responds with a great story about hitting one off of Sal "The Barber" Maglie. Let your imagine run wild as to why they called him "The Barber." Read it here. Here is a teaser,
"Now at the plate, Maglie threw 2 curves, both strikes, then facing home plate, both hands in air, he called 'time out.' "
Be sure to read it all, it had me laughing real good. There is also a part 1 to Stan Williams letter, here, that is a bit enlightening considering the Kershaw fiasco the other day.
"If someone needed to be hit, you got him in the ribs or butt."
Tom promises more from the pitcher in the near future.


  1. What a coincidence. I recently -- a couple of weeks ago -- wrote fan letters to 2 Dodgers and plan to write more. I'm old-fasioned and it is a pleasure to write, and receive, a hand-written letter.

  2. Ernest! I'm grateful for your kind words. Getting these memories from former Dodgers is a race against time. Once, I collected signatures. Now, my hobby is collecting stories. Thanks for all you do.
    Tom Owens


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