A week or so ago I was talking to my ex-wife on the phone and she mentioned that I had received an SASE in the mail from an autograph request I had sent out.
I moved to where I live now almost three and a half years ago. So the request had to be at least that old. I asked her to open it up and see who finally responded to me after all these years and so I could check my database and see when I sent it. She opened it up and out came two Rowland Office baseball cards. Here's a picture of one of them:
For those of you who are uninitiated to the majesty of the 1982 Topps card, that autograph you see is not Rowland Office's. It is a facsimile that Topps printed on the card. The cards were returned unsigned.
When did I send that request out? According to my database, I mailed the request out on March 9th, 2007. Being as my SASE had a 39 cent stamp on it (which the post office delivered without requesting extra postage), that sounds about right.
So Mr. Office has sat on my cards for over four years, doesn't autograph them (and I sent a nice letter with my request), and then sends them back to me (years after I have moved from the address on the envelope). But wait.....it gets better.
There was nothing else in the envelope but my two cards. Check out the back of the envelope, though:
Mr. Office went and had a stamp made requesting $25 to sign cards. He doesn't say who to make a check out to or even if he'll take a check. He doesn't say where the money is going to go. He doesn't give a mailing address. Oh, and I like that he puts the dollar sign after the 25 instead of before and then still writes out dollars.
But beyond that....$25 for Rowland Office? By contrast, his HALL OF FAME teammate, Andre Dawson, signs for less than that with the money going to his foundation for children.
Let's recap. Rowland Office, a man who had a Wins Below Replacement of 3.9 according to baseball-reference.com (yes, I wrote below. His WAR was negative), sits on my autograph request for over four years, stamps the back of my envelope asking for money with no other details and sends it back to a place I no longer live. What is the rationale? Does he need money? Say so then! Why did he take so long to respond? Is he in poor health? Has be been moving around and he just got done unpacking the box that had his fan mail from 2007? I'm tempted to write him again to get the story but I figure by 2016 I won't really care.
Thanks, Mr. Office, for at least returning my cards. Even if it was four years later.