Three letters came back today without a complete questionnaire. One of them was from two-time all star Gene Alley. Alley spent his entire career playing shortstop for the Pittsburgh Pirates. He was an all star in 1967 and 1968 and won the Gold Glove in 1966 and 1967. A career .254 hitter, Alley was a member of the 1971 Pittsburgh team that beat the Baltimore Orioles in the World Series. He graciously signed the card but did not fill out the survey.
The same was true for former Kansas City A’s pitcher John O’Donoghue. A lefty, O’Donoghue won 39 games over a nine-year career spent pitching for six different teams. He was an all star in 1965 which was also the year he led the league in losses with 18, despite a respectable 3.95 ERA in 177.2 innings of work.
The letter I sent to Atlanta Braves slugger Dale Murphy also came back, marked ‘return to sender’. This one did not surprise me. I was impressed, however, by the fact Murphy has an actual stamp to mark ‘return to sender’ on the many fan letters I am guessing he receives.