Maryland boy connects with former Red Wings manager

Messenger Post Media
Red Wings Hall of Famer Joe Altobelli receives a letter from 10-year-old Baltimore Orioles fan Phillip, asking for his autograph. As manager, Altobelli led the Orioles to a World Series championship in 1983.

A letter from a 10-year-old Maryland boy brightened the day of Rochester Red Wings Hall of Famer Joe Altobelli, a resident of the Edna Tina Wilson Living Center in Greece.

Altobelli’s baseball career included an American League pennant and World Series championship as manager of the Baltimore Orioles. Phillip, an Orioles fan who collects baseball cards, wrote to him asking for an autograph and included Altobelli’s card.

“I’m a huge fan of you, you’re an amazing coach,” he wrote. “Your W-L % is better than Bucky Harris. You’ve won more World Series than Al Lopez and you’ve won a pennant. You should be a Hall of Famer. I just need to ask you, can I please have your autograph?”

With help from Edna Tina Wilson staff, Phillip received a letter from Altobelli’s family and a signed photo.

“I am really happy that I made Mr. Altobelli smile,” Phillip said. “He is a great man and makes people smile, himself. Getting people’s autographs isn’t just about, you know, getting their autographs. It’s also about cheering them up and making them happy with the letters.”

Phillip receives an autographed picture from former Orioles manager Joe Altobelli.