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Old 08-29-2013, 09:30 PM
gnaz01's Avatar
gnaz01 gnaz01 is offline
Gr3g N@z@r3th
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 3,195

Great thread!! Having dealt with just about everyone in this thread, I, too, feel privileged to have read this and to "know" all of you, sort of!
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Old 08-29-2013, 10:55 PM
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drcy drcy is offline
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Posts: 2,266

I collected a variety of sport and non-sport memorabilia as a kid, including Topps baseball cards. I consider trading cards a kind of memorabilia. As a 7 or year old I collected newspaper, political buttons, figures, TTM autographs-- and still have some of it in a closet box. I'm not a hoarder in the least, and family members sometimes comment only how little I have in my home.

As I kid I also was interested in art and music, played piano and clarinet, composed 'classical' music for piano, painted, had my own cartoon strip and was in planning stages of my own version of Disney land. In college I had a couple of political cartoons published in a newspaper and a poem published in an anthology-- neither areas held my interest, so that was the beginning and end those. So the who general art and collecting fits together.

Last edited by drcy; 08-29-2013 at 10:56 PM.
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Old 08-29-2013, 11:42 PM
mr2686 mr2686 is offline
Mike Rich@rds0n
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Ca
Posts: 2,186

1972 6th grade (yeah I'm old Ben) my buddies and I used to get our Dodger programs signed at the games. Always great fun to gain status based on who we got. I was the talk of the lunch room for a couple of weeks when I got Cesar Cedeno (well, until he killed a prostitute, but that's another story), and also the butt of jokes when I got Alston and Gilliam (both currently matted and framed on my take that you know-it-all 6th graders).
After that, High School and girls happened and I didn't seriously start collecting until July 31,1988 when a buddy from work talked me in to going to the mall to see a card show with Duke Snider as the guest. I noticed my buddy had a HOF book which I really liked so I ran down to the book store and found a hardback copy and had Duke sign it along with a photo and ball. That started a long road of getting HOF sigs and going to shows.
Here's the picture I got that day, and the reason I remember that date so well.
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File Type: jpg dukesnider.jpg (73.5 KB, 429 views)
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Old 08-30-2013, 02:58 AM
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David Atkatz David Atkatz is offline
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: New York, NY
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In the summer of 1961 I was a 10-year-old Bronx boy, and, like most everyone else in New York, I became totally caught up in the Mantle/Maris home run chase. An avid reader, I read everything I could find about Mantle--"The Mickey Mantle Story," for example--and that led me to start reading about that Ruth guy he was chasing, and that led to Gehrig and the 1920s teams. I was totally enthralled.
I'd always had the autograph bug--I began to write to Yankees at the Stadium, and at their homes in the off-season. When I became a bit older, I'd go to the Stadium with friends and hang out at the players' entrance and get my yearbooks signed. My Bronx neighborhood got a little bigger when I entered Junior High School, and met kids who came from neighboring Elementary schools. One of those kids was Harvey Meiselman, and he showed me his baseball autograph collection. He had check cuts of J. Franklin Baker (Man, did his handwriting look old!) and checks of Ty Cobb, and Mickey Cochrane, and Eppa Rixey, and... and Babe Ruth! Amazing! I learned from him about the "serious" collectors, who tracked down and wrote to old players, and players' families, and I began to do the same. Soon I had Cobb checks, and Cochrane checks, etc., but I was too late for a Ruth check. So I traded a collector in Tennessee ten Cobb checks for a Ruth check. (There were mimeographed newsletters that we all subscribed to, which, among other things, listed collectors' names and addresses. Everything was done through the mail.) I was in heaven when it came. (May seem like a bad deal now, but I got those Cobb checks for free, so, what the hell.)
I began tracking down people who knew the old Yankees, and sometimes I was spectacularly successful. I obtained a signed and inscribed Gehrig photo, for example, from the daughter of a Gehrig family friend. And all of this--except for postage, envelopes, and index cards--was free! (Perfect for a poor boy from the Bronx.)
When I went away to college in 1968 I put it all away. I had other things on my mind. Sex, drugs, and rock 'n' roll. And, oh yeah, becoming a physicist. But in 1990, having settled down (I was a physicist, and a husband, and a dad) I took it all up again.
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Old 08-30-2013, 06:29 AM
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Scott Garner Scott Garner is offline
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Midwest
Posts: 5,298

Great stories everyone! Ben, thanks for starting this thread.

Like most boys that played Little League, I began collecting baseball cards in 1967 when I was 9. (Yes Ben, I'm older than Mike! LOL). Since I grew up in the shadows of Angels Stadium, I liked cards of my hometown team the California Angels. Angels All-Star shortstop Jim Fregosi was my favorite position player (I always wore uniform # 11 for this reason).

In 1972, I was crushed when the Angels traded Fregosi to the Mets for who ironically would become my all-time favorite player Nolan Ryan and a host of other players including Leroy Stanton and Don Rose.

I was fortunate to catch one of Nolan's early games in 1972 with the Angels from directly behind home plate. Keep in mind that the early to mid 1970's Angels teams were pretty terrible and Ryan was a breath of fresh air. The sound of one of his fastballs hitting the catcher's mitt was awesome- WHACK!! The fact that he was also wild was also cool because it led to a lot of drama as he was developing some semblance of control with the help of catcher Jeff Torborg and pitching coach Tom Morgan. Torborg had caught Koufax and was instrumental in helping Nolan with the pitching mechanics required to be successful in the majors. I made it my mission to catch as many Ryan pitched games as possible, because that was the best show in town.

It dawned on me in 1972 that saving tickets to games that Nolan pitched would be fun as each ticket represented a link with a hard date to a specific event. In addition to my ticket, I also picked up other tickets on the ground after the game. I suppose this is the exact moment that I became a memorabilia collector. I ended up trading tickets with other collectors that I found that did the same (not many in 1972). Through word of mouth, I eventually was able to locate other collectors in other baseball cities that collected tickets and would trade with them as well. As others on this thread have mentioned, $$ did not change hands at this point, only trading. My ticket collecting theme expanded from only Ryan tickets to also no-hitter tickets (as well as a few other themes that I have since abandoned).

Since 1972 I have collected tickets to every Ryan game (807 regular season games) that he ever pitched in regardless of outcome (win, loss or no-decision). As of today I am only 73 ticket dates away from completing this theme. It's been a long road and a lot of fun.

My no-hitter ticket collection currently stands at about 187 games dating back to 1901, BTW. Both of these are the largest of their kind in the hobby.

Here is a photo of my full ticket to Nolan's 1st game and 1st win with the Angels in 1972. Ironically it was Nolan's 30th career win (his uniform number on the Angels) and notched his 500th career strikeout (Charlie Manuel).

The best part of all this is the network of friends that I have made along the way. To me, this is really what the hobby is all about.
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File Type: jpg Nolan Ryan Angel's debut and 1st Angels win ticket.jpg (32.7 KB, 405 views)

Last edited by Scott Garner; 08-30-2013 at 06:42 AM.
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Old 08-30-2013, 07:11 AM
mr2686 mr2686 is offline
Mike Rich@rds0n
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What Scott says is 100 percent true...he is old!
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Old 08-30-2013, 09:02 AM
Bumpus Jones Bumpus Jones is offline
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Posts: 730

Great stuff Scott! Or Great Scott stuff
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Old 08-30-2013, 10:07 AM
BigJJ BigJJ is offline
J0n Fu.ld
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Posts: 613

Great stories.

Scott that is incredible.
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Old 08-30-2013, 12:10 PM
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billyb billyb is offline
Bill Boyd
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Gladwin, Mi, (God's country)
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Ben, great thread.

Ben, I also am from Detroit, and as far back as I can remember, I have been a baseball fan. Being near vintage myself (born in '47), I have had the pleasure of watching Mantle and Hodges, and many of the players from the mid 50s, in their hey days. In about 1954 or 55, I got my first baseball cards. My fondest memory was when my dad brought home a whole box of penny wax packs. I sat on our back porch and slowly opened every one of them. Did I have a pile of gum.
My dad took me my first Tiger game, at about the age of 8, I remember Roy Sievers hitting a late inning two run homer and the Senators beat the Tigers 4-3.
He also took me to another game, Tigers won 14-1 over the White Sox, our seats were by the bullpen, which was by the sidelines then. I heckled every one of those White Sox relievers that were warming up. Them poor guys take a lot of abuse. In that game I got to see a little known player, named Coot Veal, hit his only major league home run. He tucked the home run ball about a foot over the left field fence just inside the foul line. A monster
I lived and breathed baseball. We lived with my grandparents then, and my grandfather used to get mad at me for constantly throwing a rubber ball against the garage. Finally they took the garage down, but my grandfather always teased me saying I knocked it down.
The cards kept piling up, I would create my own teams, dealing out all the cards, by positions , I would have eight to ten teams, and then I created my own baseball games. For hours I would play the game, keeping stats, leaders, I knew every stat for every ballplayer of the latter 50s and early 60s.
That continued until I got my drivers license, then, at that age, other things attracted my attention. Usually it wore short skirts.
Then military service was fulfilled and when I returned after a three year absence, my dad remodeled our house, and the cards, which were in the attic, were gone. Thrown out by my parents, but at that time, I knew nothing about values of baseball cards, so I thought nothing of it until in 1984, while working with the Detroit PD, I got a call to a baseball card shop. They had some sets of cards stolen and they had an idea of who did it. I was able to retrieve almost all the cards taken and the owner of the shop gave me a 1984 Topps and Fleer sets of cards. They then invited me to a card show. I went to my first show, and I was off and running again and bought up every garage sale, yard sale, private collections I could. But the 1990s soured me again, but I had my Mantle autographed Mantle mitt, Kaline and Killebrew signed balls, plus other collectible including a handful of prewar cards I displayed telling the story of baseball collecting.
Until recently, I was a non collector, but when my cousin approached me about her husband's family inheriting a Babe Ruth photo collection, and they were looking for some help, I jumped in with both feet. I approached that dealer who gave me the 1984 Topps set some years ago, and he knew very little of Press photos, so that led me to Net54. Armed with just a couple of scans, which I posted here, I learned a lot more about Press Photos, and I fell in love with the idea of collecting press photos myself.
THE WHY, because I can see the spirit of the ballplayer in these photos. The photos provide some history of each ballplayer.
Many of you, here on Net54, has either helped directly or indirectly, as I have been following every post regarding these photos, and reading many older posts. For this, I thank everyone on this board for what you knowingly or unknowingly, have done for me. I am addicted to Press photos and if there is a definitive time when I started collecting vintage memorabilia, it was last December when I made that first post filled with questions. So it is your
I really enjoy being a small part of this elite preservation of baseball memorabilia family, so once again to you all, Thank You
Move over Ben, another kid from Detroit is on the same Just kidding, not in your league......not yet anyways.

Norm Cash message to his pitchers, the day after one of his evenings on the town. "If you can hold em till the seventh, I'll be ready"

Last edited by billyb; 08-30-2013 at 01:57 PM.
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Old 08-30-2013, 03:02 PM
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Runscott Runscott is offline
Belltown Vintage
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Posts: 10,500

Originally Posted by Scott Garner View Post
I was fortunate to catch one of Nolan's early games in 1972 with the Angels from directly behind home plate. Keep in mind that the early to mid 1970's Angels teams were pretty terrible and Ryan was a breath of fresh air. The sound of one of his fastballs hitting the catcher's mitt was awesome- WHACK!!
Scott, I experienced the same many many times from behind the plate in Arlington - a real thrill as most stadiums are not set up that way. I will post some pics from that vantage point. I lived in Houston when Carlton and Ryan were racing to catch Walter Johnson's record. I think that is when he became my favorite player.

What a capper to luckily be at his 7th no-hitter! That sports moment can never be topped for me.
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