On Friday, September 21, 2012, Tom Umphlett passed away at the age of 81. He had played for the Red Sox in 1953 and the Senators in 1954 and 1955.
I don't know the cause of death, but at 81, it probably could have been a multitude of things. It is sad, however, no matter the cause. I never knew the guy, but I appreciated his generosity when it came to taking the time to sign my ball. I will say a prayer for his family and be thankful I had this small interaction.
I haven't really thought about it until now, but given the age demographic of the players I have been sending to, and the 64 TTM successes I have received, only two have passed away so far. It is inevitable, for sure, but I don't like to think about it. I'm not one of those guys who likes to dwell on that type of thing nor do I entertain the thought of selling my ball, just because the player had died in hopes of cashing in. I intend to keep my baseballs as long as I am around and probably will pass them on to my son later on.
For a more positive look at Mr. Umphlett, here is a link to my TTM success from January 11, 2012 and here is a link to Mr. Umphlett's obituary.