Sometime in the mid-2000’s I ramped up my through the mail (TTM) collecting. From 2004 through 2008 I amassed a collection of more than 1,000 Cubs autographed baseball cards that were all successes by sending a letter in the mail.
There are two great sources for TTM collecting. Mainly, is Sports Collector’s Net, a huge database of addresses and a tracking of successes and failures. The other is Harvey Meiselman’s address book. This was a huge help during my intense TTM collecting.
It also made me realize that there was a former Chicago Cubs player right in my backyard. Not literally, but the same town of Macomb, Illinois. His name was Alec Distaso and was a member of the 1969 Cubs.
For some reason I never did send anything to Distaso, and sadly he passed away in 2009. After his death, I wrote a column about Distaso’s playing career. I wrote a weekly column for a newspaper in Macomb on various topics. Even about baseball card collecting (unfortunately I cannot track down the Distaso column).
Distaso had an interesting life, and I never did learn much more about him. He was a very private man in his later years. One of the local sports editors for the newspaper attempted to interview Distaso multiple times and he always declined.
After his playing days, Distaso entered the police force and became a detective for the Los Angeles Police Department. He retired in 1994, and somehow made his way to Macomb, Illinois of all places.