A sick 12 year-old in 1954, Max Chapman’s daily companion was the mailman, bringing autographs–and sometimes more–from Baseball Hall of Famers. It’s a collection he still maintains.
Write to a baseball Hall of Famer these days and you’re lucky to get a reply. Fans, collectors and profiteers provide a deluge to the mailboxes of the famous. But in 1954, players past and present responded to a young boy with rheumatic fever.
The results of a difficult, but memorable time in his life, are still in Max Chapman’s collection.
“He was participating in a common practice in the ’50s that almost has become extinct," says one Hall official. "His collection will grow in importance the more we evolve with technology and with the passage of time.”