Picture this: a mailbox filled with big-league stuff

KIDS CORNER

April 10, 1994|By Mark Hyman | Mark Hyman,Sun Staff Writer

Collecting baseball cards, stickers and other junk that can clutter up a kid's room can be lots of fun.

It also can be expensive.

A pack of cards goes for a dollar. A baseball cap is $15. Without a big allowance or a rich uncle, you'll be out of money by the All-Star break.

But here's a fun way to start a collection without spending a lot. All you need are some postcards and a sharp pencil. And there's a bonus: For a few weeks, you'll get plenty of mail.

It's simple. Just address the postcards to all the major-league teams. (You can find the addresses in a number of baseball books).

On the back of the postcard, write a short, polite message asking for a few things you really want, such as team stickers or pictures of your favorite players. (Ask for two or three items only. Don't be greedy). In a few weeks, you should have more souvenirs than you can handle.

A fan in our house tried the postcard trick last month and is happy he did. Ben, 5, sent out cards to 24 of the 28 teams. Postcards to Toronto and Montreal needed extra stamps, and the adults never got to the post office. Cleveland and Texas moved to new stadiums this year, and the new addresses were not handy.

In the month since he dropped the cards in the mailbox, Ben has gotten 10 letters.

Here are some of the interesting things the teams sent:

* Best letter from an NL East team: Pittsburgh Pirates. The envelope was packed with stuff, including picture cards of two players, three Pirates stickers and a roster.

The All-Star Game is in Pittsburgh this year, so they also mailed a ticket form for this year's All-Star workout.

* Best black-and-white picture of an AL team: Milwaukee Brewers. It's last year's team, but still a nice picture. Mike Boddicker, who used to play for the Orioles, is in the third row.

* Letter not worth opening: Cincinnati Reds. A schedule and a form for ordering tickets. They didn't even send a picture of team dog Schottzie 02.

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