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Old 09-29-2020, 07:58 PM
tedzan tedzan is offline
Ted Zanidakis
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Pennsylvania & Maine
Posts: 8,645
Default Ted Williams

Originally Posted by Hot Springs Bathers View Post
Ted please tell us the Fleer story!

Ted and I did a lot of reminiscing about BB in the late 1940's and the 1950's. I mostly listened while Ted did most of the talking. Boy did he love to talk.
Our conversation regarding BB cards started when I showed Ted my 1954 BOWMAN Ted Williams card (shown here). While he looked at it, I mentioned
to him that it was his most valuable card, since it's quite rare. I asked him if he knew why the BOWMAN GUM Co. discontinued it. He did not know.

With a twinkle in his eyes, Ted started talking about the 1959 FLEER set of cards. In 1958, FLEER contacted Ted to do a series of cards depicting his life
story. FLEER offered $500 to Ted if he would grant them the Rights. Ted's agent contacted Sy Berger (TOPPS executive), who was "furious" (Berger was
an avid Williams fan). So, Berger counter-offered with $1000. FLEER responded with a $2000 offer. Berger raised the ante to $3000. I'll never forget the
enthusiasm in Ted's voice as he continued with this story....he was like a kid. This bidding war went back and forth till FLEER raised the offer to $5000.
At that point Berger relented. FLEER produced a beautiful set of 80 cards honoring Ted. And, Ted was $5000 richer.

Ted said to me.... " Ted, can you believe this, $5000 for the Rights to print a set of little BB cards of me ? "

I replied to Ted...." that's an awesome story, $5000 was my Dad's annual salary back in 1958. "

Ted, laughing, responded...." you're darn right, that was a lot of money back then. "

Here's the rare #68 card (Ted signs for 1959) on a 4+ card panel from an original uncut 1959 Fleer sheet

Before seeing action in the Korean conflict, in 1952 Ted took flight training at the Willow Grove Naval Air Base (which is only a 20-minute drive from our house).


T206 Reference
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