Sunday, January 15, 2012

365 Letters, the first batch...

Well folks the challenge has been underway for a few days now, and so far my preparations have been going well. I've sent a want list to a friend to track some specific cards down for me, and hopefully they'll come through in the next few weeks.

It's been an interesting task so far. I've always seen each autographed card as a gift that the player decided to give to me. I felt lucky that the player enjoyed my letter and chose to give me their autograph. When a player goes even farther and responds to the questions posed in my letter I truly do appreciate them sharing an insight into their life and playing career.

Even though I do have a high goal for the number of requests I'd like to send out does not mean I care about the number more than the player. Every player's career from the Hall of Famer or the bullpen contributer is valuable to me. I have way more than the 365 cards I need to send out, but each letter sent out is chosen for a specific reason, some aspect of their career or the card itself that speaks to me and makes me want to know more. I don't want to cheapen the experience by just thumbing through a stack of dollar packs and cranking out letters.

Part of that means then that I'd like to share the reason I've sent out each request and talk about the experience.

  1. Jim Rice, I picked Mr. Rice because as a big Red Sox fan, I can't imagine undergoing a task of this sort without writing him. Having met Fred Lynn in person, I'd really like to complete interacting with such a fabled Red Sox outfield.
  2. Rusty Greer, When the Rangers come to town there is always so much talk about Michael Young and what he means to the Rangers. But I wondered, who were the Rangers before Michael Young became such an essential part of the franchise? That'd be Mr. Rusty Greer. So what does he think of the Rangers now?
  3. Mike Davis, With the Dodgers now struggling their last glory was in 1988 and Mr. Davis is the actual run scored by Kirk Gibson's walk off home run. How does he reflect on his time with them now?
  4. Lee May, with David Ortiz having been up for a new contract as one of the top DH's in the league I wondered who was the Big Papi before Papi.
  5. Richard Dotson, I've always been interested in the starters who could routinely go the distance despite not having huge strikeout numbers. What was the key?
  6. Bud Black, I found one of his older cards in my collection that I didn't realize I had. He's a continuation of getting the 2002 World Series Angels.
  7. Derek Lowe, Winning pitcher that broke the curse of the Bambino for one of the greatest playoff runs in MLB history? Essentially Derek Lowe can do no wrong in my eyes. 
  8. Barry Larkin, Congratulatory letter on his recent induction to the Hall.
  9. Carl Erskine, all star TTM responder who I've never had the pleasure of interacting with.
  10. Adam Kennedy, local boy done good to win the Angels first World Series title. Enough said.
  11. Ryan Howard, My little sister recently completed her first art piece that was screened onto canvas. It was of Ryan Howard and I had to write him as a result.
  12. Jed Lowrie, With the Astro's coming to the AL West, I decided it was necessary to write someone while they're still in their native NL. What's better than a former Red Sox player?
  13. Will Venable, While researching past Angels I stumbled on his dad. Seeing a baseball family is always interesting let alone one where the players stay close to their roots made me want to collect him.
  14. Dave Stewart, With Matt Kemp being brought up due to the Braun MVP controversy I looked up details on his extension. Realizing his agent was a former player who also threw a no hitter and part of multiple World Series winners meant I had to write him.
  15. Matt Cain, with CJ Wilson coming to the Angels I thought about his performance in his first World Series and decided to write the man who out dueled him on the way to a World Series upset.
  16. Al Fitzmorris, a member of the Royals who was a consistent producer along the lines of Richard Dotson I wanted his opinion on going deep in the game.
  17. Phil Hughes, another hometown boy who has done good. He actually pitched in the All Star game at Angel Stadium, and I'd like to know what that experience was like.
It's been fun and I hope that I start to get a few of these responses back. It'd be nice to get the 2011 responses back, but getting a few of the responses from this task would really help me keep the motivation and carry on.

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