Wednesday, August 1, 2012
I've answered a few questions from Fuji's recent assortment of contest questions, but the most recent one was probably the most challenging.
"What are the three most prized items in your collection? Value does not have to be a factor, but it can be."
Value plays absolutely no factor in any of the three prized possessions I'll be showing in this post.
Besides, without an any paperwork or authentication, this Mark Fidrych autographed baseball would be virtually worthless should there come a day where I decide to sell it.
However, I can tell you with 100 percent certainty that a day like that will never, ever come.
This was the easiest of the three items to pick for this post. It should come as no surprise that this isn't the first time I've blogged about it.
My dad and I were lucky enough to meet Fidrych at one of the first card shows I can remember attending. One of the main reasons I've shied away from obtaining autographs at recent shows is because of the skyrocketing prices that many of them charge.
When we saw "The Bird" pop up on the autograph list for a paltry 15 bucks, my dad and I jumped at the chance. It was an opportunity that we couldn't pass up. (My dad had him sign the famous Rolling Stone magazine from '76.)
In hindsight, it's even better that we decided to get his autograph that day due to his untimely passing a few years ago. Had we not gone to that show, we probably never would've gotten another chance to meet "The Bird".
That ball is one of the centerpieces of my baseball-themed room. From time to time, I'll take it out of the case and simply admire it for a few minutes.
I can't help it.
This picture played a big role in my love for baseball history.
Normally, I can remember when and where I got most of my memorabilia pieces. Whether it be cards, pictures, or autographs, my memory is pretty good when it comes to things like that.
I have absolutely no idea where this came from, which should go a long ways in telling you just how long I've had it.
This picture of the Dean brothers has been framed in my room for as long as I can remember. It's sitting above me right now, as I'm writing this post from the comfort of my own bed.
Two of my favorite people from all of baseball history are Jay "Dizzy" Dean and Paul "Daffy" Dean. Because it's been with me for as long as I can remember, this great photo might have played a major role in that.
This terrific shot from sometime in the late 1930's captures a peaceful moment in the life of the Dean brothers, upon which time Dizzy had already made his way to Chicago.
Another great aspect of this particular piece is the era-appropriate clothing on the spectators behind the famed brothers. Straw hats and ties as far as the eye can see.
While it's hard to see from the above photo, I've left a little mark of my own on this collection piece.
Sometime during my childhood, when the picture was still unframed, I personally inscribed it with the markings "Dizzy Dean, Cubs and Daffy Dean, Cardinals" near the top of the frame. I'm not sure why.
I guess I just loved it that much.
It's nearly impossible to pick my most prized baseball card.
Much like the playlist on my MP3 player, it changes on a regular basis. Right now, it might well be my brand new tobacco card.
But in terms of the impact a card has had on my collection, no card has meant more than my 1965 Topps issue of "Mr. Cub", Ernie Banks.
For one thing, 1965 Topps has always been my favorite set. Whenever someone says the word "baseball card", this is what my mind pictures.
If someone with little or no knowledge about these "pictures of men" were to say, "Show me a baseball card", this would be what I'd run off to grab.
In my eyes, it perfectly represents the hobby.
While my often-mentioned childhood card shop was the basis for so many memories in my life, this one takes the cake. They used to have a little discount vintage box on one of the counters, which I'd often browse through.
On one fateful afternoon, I came across this astounding Ernie Banks card. At the time, I didn't have a lot of jaw-dropping cards in my collection. While I don't remember the specific circumstances, I bet I begged my parents to buy it for me.
They did. It's one of the greatest gifts I've ever received.
I was so enthralled by it that I even brought it with me to parent-teacher conferences in 3rd grade. My teacher was a Cubs fan, and I felt I absolutely had to show it to her.
Even then, I knew it was a special piece of cardboard.