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Memorabilia Newsbeat

Thursday, April 02, 2020

Baseball Question of the Day: What’s your favorite piece of memorabilia?

Most people who are into baseball have, at one point or another, owned some memorabilia of some kind. Maybe they’re not hardcore collectors, but most of us have had an autograph, a baseball card or 10,000, some pennants, posters, or something along those lines.

I’ve written before — a very, very long time ago — about how I’m not a big fan of autographs. I have some, all of which were obtained when I was a kid, and I think they can be neat on a certain level, but I find the whole process of getting someone’s autograph to be an odd one, at least if you’re an adult. I realize I’m in the distinct minority with this. I’m not judging you if you like to get autographs. I’m just saying that autographs aren’t for me.

I also used to collect baseball cards. Like, really collect baseball cards. My brother and I had at least 100,000 of them at one point. It was not a business for us, but it probably could’ve been. We just went absolutely nuts with it. We stopped actively collecting when he joined the Navy in 1989 — it was a good time to stop if you know anything about the baseball card market — and since he was more active in that than I was, he has assumed the actually valuable part of the collection and has it with him where he lives in California. I still have like 50,000 basically worthless commons and a few select older, more valuable cards that I personally care about. I had them in a storage unit for years and years but I just emptied that out. I was about to give them away before the quarantines all hit but for now they’re stuck in the corner of my living room until that passes. So, sure, if you asked me in the 1980s about my favorite memorabilia I probably would’ve mentioned our complete 1965 Topps set or something, but now that’s not super important to me.

There is one thing, though, that I’ve had for almost 40 years and which I still value.

Any memorabilia that means anything to you?

 

QLE Posted: April 02, 2020 at 01:38 AM | 61 comment(s)
  Beats: memorabilia, questions

Tuesday, February 11, 2020

‘Pine Tar Game’ items headed to auction later this month

In case any of you want to add anything to your collections:

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Nearly three decades ago, Royals star George Brett raced out of the visiting dugout at Yankee Stadium and got in the face of rookie umpire Tim McClelland, instantly transforming what had been a run-of-the-mill regular-season game in mid-July into an iconic moment in baseball history.

It became known as “The Pine Tar Game.” And now, baseball fans can own a piece of the history.

Later this month, a trove of artifacts connected to the seminal game between the Royals and New York Yankees will be sold by Heritage Auctions. The highlight will be the jersey worn by Brett and expected to fetch more than $100,000, but nearly every other significant piece from that game — except the bat, which is at the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in Cooperstown, New York — is on the auction block with the sale set to end the weekend of Feb. 22.

The game took place July 24, 1983, and the Royals were trailing 4-3 with two outs in the ninth inning. U.L. Washington was on first base when Brett connected off Goose Gossage and seemingly gave Kansas City the lead. That’s when Yankees manager Billy Martin ambled out of the dugout, approached Tim McClelland and asked that Brett’s bat be examined.

QLE Posted: February 11, 2020 at 01:07 AM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: auction, george brett, memorabilia, pine tar

Monday, December 16, 2019

Babe Ruth’s 500th Home Run Bat Sells for More Than $1M at Laguna Niguel Auction

Babe Ruth has hit another one out of the ballpark.

The bat used by the legendary baseball player to hit his 500th home run was auctioned on Saturday for more than $1 million.

SCP Auctions didn’t identify the buyer. The auction was held in Laguna Niguel, California.

Ruth hit his 500th homer on Aug. 11, 1929, in a game against the Cleveland Indians. According to SCP Auctions, the ball cleared the right field wall at League Park and rolled down Lexington Avenue.

 

 

QLE Posted: December 16, 2019 at 12:59 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: babe ruth, bat, memorabilia

Thursday, November 14, 2019

Rawlings may have been misleading consumers about postseason memorabilia baseballs

A handful of baseball writers have been on the altered-baseball beat for the last few years. Among them is Dr. Meredith Wills, who has studied the baseball — manufactured by Rawlings — several times for The Athletic. Wills took apart batches of baseballs, measuring things such as the width of the seams. She found that, indeed, newer batches of baseballs used seams that were about nine percent thicker. This likely contributed to the rise in blisters on pitchers’ fingers during the same time period.

Major League Baseball has an ownership stake in Rawlings, partnering with Seidler Equity Partners in 2018 to purchase the company for just under $400 million. MLB claimed it would have “even more input and direction on the production of the official ball.” Despite ever-increasing evidence that the baseball was altered, the league maintained for a while that nothing was different. When even its own commissioned study turned up evidence that the ball was materially different, it could no longer remain in denial. Still, commissioner Rob Manfred as recently as this past February suggested that other factors contributed to the rise in home runs. 6,776 home runs were hit in 2019, shattering the previous record of 6,105 set in 2017 which shattered the previous record of 5,693 set in 2000.

Wills has remained on the beat, focusing on 2019 postseason baseballs. She hasn’t received any help from the league or from Rawlings in uncovering answers. Wills mentioned that her previous sources had become hesitant to provide baseballs in fear of retribution from their employers. Others had their access to baseballs cut off. Nevertheless, Wills decided to purchase three boxes of 12 postseason baseballs each (36 total) from the Rawlings website for $299.99 apiece. They were described as “the official 2019 Postseason baseball … being used in all of the 2019 Major League Baseball Playoff Games.” Wills confirmed with Rawlings that they were both authenticated and identical to the balls being used on the field during the postseason.

And this story gets even more peculiar.

 

QLE Posted: November 14, 2019 at 12:21 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: juiced baseballs, memorabilia

Friday, November 01, 2019

BB Hall of Fame gets nice array of World Series artifacts

COOPERSTOWN, N.Y. (AP) — Artifacts from the World Series are headed to the Baseball Hall of Fame, including the ball hit by Washington’s Howie Kendrick off the right-field foul pole for the go-ahead home run in Game 7.

Following the Nationals’ 6-2 win over the Houston Astros on Wednesday night, the Nationals and players donated several pieces. Other items include a jersey worn by World Series MVP Stephen Strasburg in his Game 6 victory, a cap worn by starting pitcher Max Scherzer in Game 7, and the ball Juan Soto hit for a home run in Game 1.

Something to look for, the next time you’re in Cooperstown…..

 

QLE Posted: November 01, 2019 at 01:06 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: hall of fame, memorabilia, world series

Thursday, October 17, 2019

Babe Ruth’s bat used for 500th homer hits auction block

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The bat used by Babe Ruth to slug his 500th career home run in 1929 is going up for auction, nearly 75 years after he gave it to a friend whose family has kept it ever since.

Ruth became the first player to reach the coveted plateau on Aug. 11, 1929, hitting a solo shot for the New York Yankees off Willis Hudlin at League Park in Cleveland.

In the mid-1940s, Ruth gave the bat to his friend Jim Rice, who was mayor of Suffern, New York. Ruth and Rice enjoyed golfing, bowling and dining together, and Ruth was a regular visitor to the Rice household, where he came to know Jim’s wife, Ethyl, and their children. Rice once beat Ruth in five straight games of bowling.

Terry Rice, an attorney in Suffern and Jim’s only son, is selling the bat. Born two years after Ruth died in 1948, Rice more closely associates Mickey Mantle and Yogi Berra with the Yankees of his youth, but he remembers Ruth’s bat sat in the corner behind the television in the family’s den.

Sadly, there’s no evidence that Ruth gave away the bat because he feared Jim Rice…..

 

QLE Posted: October 17, 2019 at 12:26 AM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: auction, babe ruth, bat, memorabilia

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Card collector accuses USPS of losing mint Mantle

Has anyone thought of checking Bob Costas’ swollen ass pocket?

Anthony Johnson is suing the agency, claiming it lost his jewelry and card collection valued at $329,000. He says the valuables were stolen in 2009 by a house guest and shipped to California.

Johnson says he alerted the Postal Service, which intercepted the goods. But the Grosse Pointe man says he’s only recovered cash that was taken, not the collection. The memorabilia include mint cards of DiMaggio, Mickey Mantle and Hank Aaron.

Johnson tells the Detroit Free Press it’s been a “three-year runaround.” The Postal Service has denied any negligence. Johnson says the collection was sent to an Atlanta postal site where it sat for months.

Today’s whereabouts? Unknown.

Repoz Posted: January 21, 2012 at 08:44 AM | 23 comment(s)
  Beats: business, history, memorabilia

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Yankees Team Dentist Recovers Stolen Sports Memorabilia Through Craigslist Ad

A Ballantine Odontoblast!

In a way, Dr. William Strupp is a five time World Series champion. He has the rings to prove it.

He is the team dentist for the Yankees. It’s been that way since he fixed George Steinbrenner’s teeth in 1995. He wears the 2000 ring with most pride and is honored to get all five of his rings still while Steinbrenner was alive.

...More than 100 baseballs signed by players over the years, three baseball bats and a football signed by Heisman winners were among the items tucked in the back room in part of the office. It was a treasure trove of sports memorabilia that was stolen sometime between Nov. 16 and 17.

To get the sports memorabilia back would take a hail mary pass.

Because many of the items stolen would be difficult to pawn, detectives talked to Strupp about the possibility of posting an ad on Craigslist.

“It was an ingenious idea,” Strupp said.

Strupp set up a “stolen Yankees” ad Nov. 24. It contained several photos of the stolen items and an offer of a reward for their return.

“You kind of throw it out there and hope some idiot bites,” Strupp said.

Repoz Posted: January 12, 2012 at 04:30 PM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: history, memorabilia, yankees

Friday, January 06, 2012

Markusen: Card Corner: 1972 Topps—Ed Brinkman

Or as we used to elongatingly say…“Dibs on the Dibny card!”

eddie brinkman

At first glance, he looks a bit odd. That neck is awfully long. On a peculiar level, that protracted neck is what first comes to mind when I think of Eddie Brinkman. No photograph better illustrates this than his 1972 Topps card. It’s a wonder he was never nicknamed “The Giraffe.” Sportswriter extraordinaire Tom Stanton, noticing Brinkman’s long neck and small head of hair, has called him “The Turtle.” Turtles have long necks and small heads without hair, so I guess that’s a pretty accurate assessment.

It might be accurate to characterize “Steady Eddie” as the diametrical opposite to Walt “No Neck” Williams, the journeyman outfielder who played for the Colt .45s, White Sox, Indians and Yankees. Of all the players in the history of the game, Williams may have the shortest neck ever; his head looked as if it had been placed directly onto his collar bone, on a level completely even with his shoulders. In an intriguing oddity that seemingly only baseball can produce, Brinkman and No Neck Williams were actually teammates with the 1975 Yankees. It makes you wonder if any free-thinking photographer took a picture of the two standing side by side.

...As with Belanger, Brinkman’s weakness became evident every time he took a bat in his hands. He just couldn’t hit. Brinkman usually struggled to hit no more than .220, and did so with little power. He wasn’t a particularly good bunter or hit-and-run man, so he really couldn’t help you play small ball either. So Brinkman just choked up on the bat, a good five to six inches from the knob in his later years, and tried to punch the ball somewhere.

Repoz Posted: January 06, 2012 at 05:53 AM | 17 comment(s)
  Beats: history, memorabilia

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

RAB: Yankees to wear 1912 throwbacks for Fenway Park’s 100th anniversary

Holy shirt! This had to come with a priest’s blessing or something!

The Yankees play in one of the newest ballparks in baseball, but next year they’re going to help celebrate the 100th anniversary of the oldest. They’ll be in Boston to play the Red Sox when Fenway Park turns 100 years old on April 20th, a century after they were in town when the place opened in 1912. Well, technically the New York Highlanders were there in 1912, since they didn’t become the Yankees until 1913.

The Sox will have all sorts of pre-game ceremonies to honor the place before the game, and the impossible to read Fenway Park 100th Anniversary Events site says that both clubs will wear 1912 throwback uniforms during the game. Reports earlier this month indicated that the Yankees had not yet agreed to wearing their old uniforms, but apparently the people at Fenway got the a-okay recently. A second throwback game between the Red Sox and Athletics is still tentative according to the Fenway site. The Yankees have not yet confirmed that they will be wearing the 1912 jerseys during the game, just to be clear.

Aside from various patches and whatnot, the Yankees have been using their current road jerseys since 1918* and their current home uniforms since 1936. The uniform above is the 1912 Highlanders’ outfit they’ll apparently wear during the game in Fenway Park, a rather generic uniform aside from the multi-colored socks.

 

Repoz Posted: December 27, 2011 at 06:07 PM | 20 comment(s)
  Beats: history, memorabilia, red sox, yankees

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Her set of baseball cards highlights players’ bizarre injuries

A regular Achilles Heel Rizzoli, if you will.

image

These strange but apparently true injuries are captured for posterity on a set of cards called “Left Field Cards,“and this, the first set, aptly titled “Bizarre Injuries.” They are printed from Mancini’s own linocuts onto letterpress paper.

“It’s fun to have a quirky point of view,” says Mancini from her home in Brooklyn. The artist, who moved from Lyon, France, in 2006, says she fell in love with baseball when she moved to the U.S. Her art reflects it—in addition to the cards she’s done several paintings with baseball themes as well.

She decided to feature the players’ foibles after googling fun facts about baseball. She discovered, as did we when we did our own Internet search (after finding out about Mancini on Design Sponge), that collecting information about peculiar baseball player injuries is a popular pastime. Or making a list about other weird baseball player facts. Apparently it’s a niche.

“I found all these guys who had gotten hurt in very strange ways,” Mancini says, “and I compiled my 10 favorite injuries.”

Repoz Posted: December 22, 2011 at 12:44 AM | 43 comment(s)
  Beats: history, memorabilia, products

Sunday, December 18, 2011


Tuesday, December 13, 2011

California Restaurant Honors Pujols’ Arrival With Monstrous ‘Machine Burger’

He hath given meat unto them that fear him: he will ever be mindful of his maketh a hellzapoppin’ plop.

image

How excited are Angels fans to have Albert Pujols? It took the OC Sports Grill—located about one mile from Angel Stadium of Anaheim—less than a week to build a tribute burger for the former Cardinals slugger. The monstrosity is dubbed “The Machine,” just like the player it honors and is the brainchild of the restaurant’s management and chef Vince Carino.

“We all got together when we found out [Pujols] signed,” Carino said. “We knew we had to come up with something cool because starting next season, we’re going to be even busier than we’ve been, and we’re always pretty busy.”

The dish has plenty of gut-busting power. It includes 1/2 lb. of chimichurri seasoned angus, queso frito, pulled pork and cabbage tossed in “savon” sauce (adding plenty of Dominican flair), tomatoes, avocado and crispy onion straws. All told, it packs well over 2,000 calories, according to Carino. In case you’re curious, that’s at least four Big Mac’s worth of calories.

Repoz Posted: December 13, 2011 at 10:09 PM | 33 comment(s)
  Beats: angels, business, memorabilia

Jeter’s booty hauls

Graceless, rangeless, and soon, memorabilialess.

Yankee star Derek Jeter, one of New York’s most eligible hunks since his split with longtime gal pal Minka Kelly, is bedding a bevy of beauties in his Trump World Tower bachelor pad — and then coldly sending them home alone with gift baskets of autographed memorabilia.

The Yank captain’s wham-bam-thank-you-ma’am kiss-offs came to light when he mistakenly pulled the stunt twice on the same woman — forgetting she had been an earlier conquest, a pal told The Post.

“Derek has girls stay with him at his apartment in New York, and then he gets them a car to take them home the next day. Waiting in his car is a gift basket containing signed Jeter memorabilia, usually a signed baseball,” the friend dished.

“This summer, he ended up hooking up with a girl who he had hooked up with once before, but Jeter seemed to have forgotten about the first time and gave her the same identical parting gift, a gift basket with a signed Derek Jeter baseball,” the pal said.

“He basically gave her the same gift twice because he’d forgotten hooking up with her the first time!”

Repoz Posted: December 13, 2011 at 02:31 PM | 568 comment(s)
  Beats: fantasy baseball, memorabilia, yankees

Monday, December 12, 2011

Letters of Note: From your friend “Babe” Ruth

Sammy Byrd got a similar letter.

BABE RUTH
NEW YORK

Jan 15 - 1932

Hello Fred

I have received some very nice reports about you and the nice way you are getting along. Now I want you to keep it up and it will not be long before you will be and running around.

You are only eight years now and who knows that some day the umpire will say Freddy Clark Jr. now batting for Babe Ruth — say Freddy? Will that be great or not. Now I want you to keep your fight and think of me.

From your friend “Babe” Ruth

The District Attorney Posted: December 12, 2011 at 06:54 PM | 50 comment(s)
  Beats: braves, hall of fame, history, memorabilia, red sox, yankees

Saturday, December 03, 2011

Bois: Skybox Thunder, When Baseball Card Writers Tried To Rap

I have the complete set of this lively dead text.

Rap is great. Sports cards are terrible. 1999 was terrible. Rap in 1999 was really, really terrible. Rapping sports cards in 1999 are the very worst thing. In this edition of Sports Cards For Insane People, we visit a ridiculous rapping card set.

Until I discovered the 1999 Skybox Thunder baseball card set a few days ago…

Mike Lansing card:

One ... two ... three, four, five. Brother, your game is all the way live. With all your skillz, you’re bound to thrive.

SIX, SEVEN, EIGHT, NINE, TEN, ELEVEN, DROPPIN A base11 NUMERICAL FORMAT ON YA HEAD LIKE PERHAPS A BLUEBIRD WOULD ACCIDENTALLY DROP A PIECE OF TOAST oh god i wish i could just go back to formatting batting averages

Travis Lee card:

Travis, you’re the most famous Lee since Robert E. But your game ain’t civil, no, when you get your groove on, you go buck wild in the wild, wild West.

YYYYEP I JUST NAME-CHECKED A FREAKING CONFEDERATE GENERAL IN A RAP SONG

LOOK THIS IS THE ONLY WAY I CAN FIGURE OUT HOW TO TELL YOU I’M A WHITE PERSON WITHOUT JUST COMING OUT AND SAYING IT

Repoz Posted: December 03, 2011 at 03:52 PM | 12 comment(s)
  Beats: history, media, memorabilia

Investigation of Babe Ruth Forgeries Endorsed by Bambino’s Granddaughter

However, industry experts, collectors and even sources at the Federal Bureau of Investigation have questioned whether the majority of these high-end beauties are worth more than the vintage baseballs they are signed upon. The most spectacular examples that have sold at auction for prices ranging between $50,000 and $100,000 are now the targets of a new investigation endorsed by Babe Ruth’s granddaughter, Linda Ruth-Tosetti.

Tosseti has followed closely the proliferation in the marketplace of forged signatures attributed to her grandfather and has been vocal about her concerns for collectors who have been taken advantage of.  She has voiced her concerns to the FBI and she hopes that the findings of an investigation launched by Haulsofshame.com will expose the forgers and authenticators who have made her grandfather’s signature a tool of their trade.


Said Ruth-Tosetti,  “I can’t believe how these crooks have lined their pockets forging my grandfather’s signature.  It’s a shame and it needs to be stopped.  I’ve made my concerns known to an agent at the FBI and I hope they will be able to put an end to this.  In my opinion, the authenticators are as bad as the forgers, it’s ridiculous.  I can even tell that Babe didn’t sign most of these.”

Pop Snyder Posted: December 03, 2011 at 03:44 PM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: memorabilia

Friday, December 02, 2011

When A Team Leaves Its Stadium, What Do You Do With the Building?

Back in February, an architecture conference focused on “concrete modernism” met in Houston. Included on the agenda: a tour of the famed Astrodome. The 65,000-seat domed stadium, the first of its kind when it opened in 1965, was the perfect destination for the group. But the visitors’ path through the venue had to be changed when, just hours before the event, an electrical fire broke out in the facility. The blaze wasn’t major, but it illustrated the extent to which the facility, once viewed as an engineering marvel, has deteriorated. “It felt like walking into a movie set of something prematurely aged,” says Sarah Whiting, dean of the Rice University School of Architecture, who was part of the group. “I find it incredibly sad to see what had been hailed as the Eighth Wonder of the World essentially crumbling before our eyes.”

The fire was the latest chapter in the unceremonious decline of a facility that continues to remain an icon in Space City.

Recommended reading.

Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: December 02, 2011 at 09:47 PM | 12 comment(s)
  Beats: astros, business, memorabilia

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Deep Thoughts (and Spelling Mistakes) with Pete Rose Autographs

Western Hells High School RULZ!

Not all the notes are perfect. Some show signs of Rose correcting himself by writing over a letter or two. Some remain with spelling mistakes in tact. One such error reads, “It’s a round ball & a round bat & you got to it it square.”

While some may wince at such autograph errors, others may find a bit of humor in them. As Rose would likely freely admit, nobody’s perfect. In most marathon card signing sessions, players and personalities are simply scribbling their names in such a way you might be able to make out a letter or two. Rose is going way beyond the scribble and actually adding a note.

2011 Leaf Pete Rose Legacy Rose-isms Inscription List:

-30 Yr Old Body, 15 Yr Old Brain = Ball Player
-I was born on the day Lincoln was shot and the Titanic sank.
-Dad taught me to practice and practice more.
-With the money I’m making, I should be playing 2 positions.
-Never bet on baseball.
-It’s a round ball & a round bat & you got to hit it square.
-See the ball, hit the ball.
-I’d walk through hell in a gasoline suit to play.
-Winning 2/3s of the games usually wins a pennant.
-You win a hitting lesson with the hit king. (Note: Not part of regular print runs. Limited to one prize card.)

 

Repoz Posted: November 29, 2011 at 12:27 AM | 12 comment(s)
  Beats: history, memorabilia, reds

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Nats fan goes Double Rainbow for Harper and Strasburg

Oh my gosh, oh my gosh! Of all the dramatic things I’ve ever seen! Satoken19770127 standing right in an Upper Deck trading card box announcing he is back-flipping!

In this random video on YouTube, a baseball fan from Tokyo, Japan named Ken gushes over an Upper Deck trading card that holds the signatures of both Bryce Harper and Stephen Strasburg. He apparently got the card in a pack which is a pretty lucky find.

Under the username ‘Satoken19770127,’ Ken shows off the card while describing how excited he is to have it. He starts to get really, really excited at about the 1:30 mark.

Repoz Posted: November 27, 2011 at 04:48 AM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: business, international, japan, memorabilia, nationals

Monday, November 21, 2011

Miller Lite Major League Baseball-themed beer labels approved

Sure, sure…13-years after I stopped drinking (makes healthy aspartate transamayonnaise sandwich).

MillerCoors has received TTB label approval for several Miller Lite cans donning Major League Baseball team logos. These 16 oz. aluminum cans are presumably for the 2012 baseball season.

Anheuser-Busch remains the official beer sponsor of the MLB despite a lawsuit filed after MLB allegedly reneged on an agreement to renew AB’s sponsorship.

MillerCoors is still able to sponsor individual teams. The Wall Street Journal reported last year that AB was the sponsor for all but a handful of teams. So far, labels have come in for the Brewers, Diamondbacks, Dodgers, Padres, and White Sox. Labels also came in for the Royals and Cubs though no official sponsorship was indicated.

Repoz Posted: November 21, 2011 at 05:50 PM | 29 comment(s)
  Beats: business, media, memorabilia

Vernon history museum honors Danny Murtaugh

Sculptor Zenos Frudakis, known to Phillies fans for his statues of Mike Schmidt, Steve Carlton, Richie Ashburn and Robin Roberts at Citizens Bank Park, said Murtaugh’s face reminded him of some of the men he met as a child in Gary, Ind.

“I grew up in a steel town and the men who worked in the mills were like the men who worked in the mines,” he said. “They had strong faces — faces with strong features.

“This subject had a lot of character and integrity. It’s not exactly a pretty face — not like a Cary Grant face … I could almost envision him in a helmet as a conquistador or a general. In a way, he was kind of a conquering general with an army of baseball players he led into the field of battle on the baseball diamond.”

Jeez…why dontcha just say he looked like Roy Barcroft beaten to a ten-cent pulp with a studded Trejo meat stick.

Repoz Posted: November 21, 2011 at 10:57 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: hall of fame, history, memorabilia, pirates

Friday, November 18, 2011

King’s Ransom: Autograph of 19th Century Baseball Icon could fetch 100k

Kelly was the first larger-than-life pro baseball player, and many of the Elks had him autograph their programs as the evening progressed, whiskey flowed and toasts became grandiose…

One of the programs surfaced 124 years later, and it’s in mint condition. Kelly’s autograph is a rarity, and this one is perhaps the most valuable ever for a baseball player.

Many of the programs never even left the building that night. Thoroughly soused, Kelly was loaded into his carriage, normally horse-drawn. But on this night Elks and other admirers lifted the carriage and lugged it through the streets to his home…

Within two years Kelly was the subject of America’s first pop music hit, recorded on a wax cylinder and played on the phonograph Thomas Edison had invented in 1877. The song was titled, “Slide, Kelly, Slide,” which is what fans in Chicago would chant when he flew around bases in his prime. It was sung on stage by dance hall star Miss Maggie Cline and covered by numerous artists as 78 rpm records proliferated in the early 20th century, well after Kelly’s death.

Within four years he was moonlighting as a Vaudeville act, reciting “Casey at the Bat,” often substituting Kelly for Casey. His pet monkey sat on his shoulder and a beer or shot of whiskey was invariably in his hand.

Within seven years he’d drank himself out of the major leagues and was a player/manager for an Allentown, Pa., farm team. After the 1894 season he contracted pneumonia during a boat trip from New York to Boston and died Nov. 8 at age 36, leaving a wife and small child. Legend has it he slipped off a stretcher at the hospital, looked up from the ground and said, “This is my last slide.”

Bourbon Samurai stays in the fight Posted: November 18, 2011 at 02:18 PM | 9 comment(s)
  Beats: history, memorabilia

Sunday, November 13, 2011

SCD: Program from First World Series Sells for $241,500

As Chris Treadway points out…“Only 2 known and one is at the Hall of Fame? Maybe they should check to be sure they still have it.”

One of only two known surviving copies of the first World Series program sold at auction Saturday for a record-setting price of $241,500, the highest price ever paid for a World Series program.  The only other program seen in public resides in the Baseball Hall of Fame.  The winner, whose name hasn’t been revealed, placed the winning bid of $210,00 over the phone during Hunt Auctions’ live event at the Louisville Slugger Factory and Museum.

The realized price for the 1903 Series program included a 15% buyer’s premium.  The first World Series, a best of nine games affair, pitted Honus Wagner and the Pittsburgh Pirates against the Boston Americans.  Boston won the series five games to three.

The program was part of a large collection of vintage World Series programs sold Saturday.  A 1908 example, from the Cubs’ last championship, brought $32,200 including the buyer’s premium.

Repoz Posted: November 13, 2011 at 11:18 PM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: business, history, memorabilia

Ron Kaplan: The end of The Sporting News as we know it?

Even long lost members of Spinks family look to the heavens for an answer!

image

The memory was brought to mind by a piece by Samir Husni, aka “Mr. Magazine” about TSN‘s decision to move from a bi-weekly to a monthly publication. He’s mostly concerned with the ethics of subscription fulfillment (or the lack thereof) as the magazine undergoes the transition. Seems TSN is trying to shortchange their readers by cutting back on the remainder of issues they’re allowing based on how much of the subscription remains because the cover price will be increasing substantially. How the mighty have fallen.

TSN, which has gone through numerous incarnations in the last several years (currently under the auspices of AOL?), used to be considered “The Bible of Baseball.” I used to buy it because they had recaps of every game from the previous week along with the box scores. Then it was just box scores. Then they were gone. Suffice it to say, it is lo longer the sports publication of my youth.

Repoz Posted: November 13, 2011 at 12:39 PM | 21 comment(s)
  Beats: baseball geeks, business, history, media, memorabilia

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NewsblogOn this date: The Nationals played their first game ever
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NewsblogBaseball Question of the Day: What’s your favorite baseball movie?
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