By John M. Hotchner
I tried something a little different for the February cartoon caption contest featuring the 33¢ Youth Baseball stamp of 2000 shown in Figure 4. Instead of philatelic and nonphilatelic award categories, the challenge this time was to come up with the best line for the catcher and the best line for the hitter.
I actually ended up with three categories of entries, with the third being lines that could be said by either player. Several readers came up with some variation of this line from James Cope of Hamilton Square, N.J.: "May as well play baseball – Can't soak stamps anymore!"
Another contemporary, though nonphilatelic, news theme was used by Mary Yahr of West Bend, Wis., who has the characters saying, "We don't need writers to produce hits here!"
From those who tried to put words in the catcher's mouth, the prevailing method was to have him try to rattle the hitter with insult. The best of these lines is "Hey batter – your upside down airmail is a forgery!" from Sid Morginstin of Bordentown, N.J. This is the winner of the catcher category.
For the batter's category, the winner is Jack Standen of Elyria, Ohio, whose entry is featured in Figure 4.
Both winners will receive Linn's U.S. Stamp Facts 19th Century published by Amos Press, or a 13-week subscription to Linn's (a new subscription or an extension). The book has a retail value of $14.95. Here are a few of the runners-up:
"Hope he strikes out soon; my knees hurt!" by Merle Farrington from Medway, Mass.
"How can I miss? That ball has been hanging there since May 27, 2000!" from Joseph Cline of Chatham, Va.
"If the runner on third tries to come home, he's going to find a perfectly centered plate block," sent by David Vikan of Wells Fargo, N.D.
"I'll show you what 'socked on the nose' means," by Ken Bonvallet from Westerville, Ohio.
"Thirty-three homers and counting!" from Jan Cupido of Fresno, Calif.