R.I.P - Hobby Heroes, Alvin Dark and Jackie Mayo

I was saddened to hear about the recent passing of two friends to the hobby: Former Phillies, Alvin Dark (11/13) and Jack Mayo (8/19).  While neither had overly distinguished careers in Philadelphia, both were notable to Phillies collectors due to their kindness in regards to fulfilling autograph requests through the mail.

Dark, the 1948 Rookie of the Year, had a solid career, as both player and manager - and measures up as one of the best shortstops of his era.  Known as "The Swamp Fox", Dark played 55 games for the terrible 1960 Phillies.  After retiring from baseball, he became a successful manager, winning a pennant with the 1962 Giants and the World Series in 1974 (Oakland).  I wrote to Mr. Dark several times over the years, requesting autographs for various Phillies-themed projects.  Though his writing seemed labored, he always responded promptly, including a small testimonial brochure.  His 90% success rate on SCN proves I was not alone.

Jack Mayo was one of the few surviving members of the legendary 1950 Whiz Kids.  Playing in 139 games across six seasons with the Phillies (1948-1953), he appeared in three World Series games against the Yankees in 1950, reaching base on a walk his only plate appearance.  As with Dark, I corresponded with him over the years, too - collecting autographs on various Whiz Kids projects.  In one letter I mentioned that World Series walk to Mr. Mayo, which prompted a hand-written response in the margin: "It was a thrill!"  He recorded an impressive 88% TTM success rate, "thrilling" many collectors in the process.