TTM Tips: Questionnaires

I've enjoyed writing to players since I was a kid.  At first I focused on players who were on the current Phillies team, then began sending letters to retired players whose cards I liked.  In pre-internet days,  I researched the players in programs or yearbooks before sending a request.  Sometimes their stats or a short bio on the back of their card was all I had to go on.  In crafting an autograph request letter I wove in things I had learned about the player.  And, when my research prompted questions - I would throw in a quick questionnaire with my request letter. 

Below are a few tips on receiving responses to questions you may have:

  • Keep it brief!  Two or three questions, at the most.
  • Make the questions meaningful for both you and the player.  Again, in cases where I have asked questions they were (usually) in response to something I had learned about their career.  Make sure your question is directly related to their experience(s) - not some generic question that will have little relevance to either of you.
  • Be clear that a response is optional, and not expected.  I like to write something like: "Any response you may have is appreciated." 
  • Craft the question so that a complete response is brief.  If players are asked to describe their life story they probably will not respond.  Because of my love for the history of baseball stadiums, one I have continued asking is, "What was your favorite park to play in, and why?"

You may not always receive a response, but by following these tried and true tips, you'll have a good chance in having your questions answered by a player TTM.