Guide To Collecting Autographs Through The Mail
Note: As of April 2016, this page is no longer being actively updated.
Even if you’re not lucky enough to make it to a lot of baseball games, you can still collect autographs from the players on your favorite team. If you write to them and send them a baseball card to sign, a few will sign autographs through the mail.
Most stars – players like David Wright and Matt Harvey – receive too much fan mail to keep up with it.
Manager Terry Collins is one of the best autograph signers on the Mets. Outfielder Curtis Granderson sends back small photos, but will return your cards unsigned. New second baseman Neil Walker signed autographs through the mail for a small donation to the Pirates charity programs during his tenure in Pittsburgh, so it will be interesting to see what he does as a Met. Rookie Steven Matz may also be worth a try, though I wouldn’t be surprised if he slows down or stops signing as he becomes more well-known.
Your chances improve with retired players like Buddy Harrelson and Ed Kranepool. Writing to prospects while they’re still in the minor leagues is also a good way to increase your odds of success.
If you think you’ll write a lot of letters, I recommend a subscription to SportsCollectors.Net. For $15 a year, you gain access to a database that will let you know which current and former players are likely to sign for collectors, and which ones generally don’t. The database also includes home addresses for some players, helpful if you want to write to someone that’s not currently involved in the game. If you’re primarily interested in retired players, though, I’d also suggest buying Harvey Meiselman‘s address list.
If you’re just interested in current players, the best place to write to them is care of their team during spring training or the regular season. Here are some addresses for Mets fans:
New York Mets
123-01 Roosevelt Ave.
Flushing, NY 11368
Las Vegas 51s
850 Las Vegas Blvd. North
Las Vegas, NV 89101
P.O. Box 598
Binghamton NY 13902
St. Lucie Mets (this is also the Mets’ spring training address)
525 NW Peacock Blvd.
Port St. Lucie, FL 34986
P.O. Box 8810
1904 Surf Avenue
Brooklyn NY 11224
Hunter Wright Stadium
800 Granby Road
Kingsport, TN 37660
You should include three things with your request
- Your letter (keep it short, and though it seems obvious make sure you remember to say “please” and “thank you”)
- A self-addressed, stamped envelope (if you use a Forever stamp, you don’t have to worry about future postage increases if the player doesn’t respond right away)
- Something that you want signed (don’t send anything too valuable – there’s no guarantee that you will get it back.)
Most current baseball cards have a glossy finish, which makes them difficult to autograph. (Topps Heritage and Allen & Ginter are the notable exceptions.)
You can use a white plastic eraser (available at art supply stores and many office supply stores) to remove enough of the gloss to allow the card to be autographed. If you don’t, your newly-signed card will probably turn out like this Andy Marte card.
Other collectors suggest rubbing baby powder on glossy cards to remove enough of the coating to allow the signature to “take.” I’ve tried it, but I prefer the eraser trick.
Older baseball cards – anything produced prior to the mid-1990s – should not present a problem.
If you’re trying to get autographs from players who don’t have easily-obtainable baseball cards, you can buy generic “Autograph Cards” or send blank index cards. Just be aware that the MLB Players Association and player agents typically advise players not to sign blank items because of potential identity theft concerns.
I think that the Autograph Cards turn out nicely when signed.
Good luck, have fun and remember to have patience – I’ve gotten cards back years after I sent them out.