Monday, December 04, 2006

Major League Baseball Civil Rights Game

Major League Baseball announced today that they will have a Baseball Civil Rights Game the day before the start of the season to celebrate the nation's civil rights movement. The St. Louis Cardinals and Cleveland Indians will play on March 31, 2007 in Memphis, TN. The National Civil Rights Museum, the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, the Jackie Robinson Foundation, the Negro League Museum and other local Memphis charities will receive donations from Major League Baseball and proceeds from the game. 2007 is the 60th anniversary of the integration of Baseball- the year Jackie Robinson played his first game in Blue.

I wonder, after first reading the story, why the Dodgers where not asked to play in the game instead of St. Louis. Afterall, the Indians and Dodgers where the first teams to integrate in their respective leagues. So naturally, having them play each other in this historic game would be a perfect fit. On top of that, the Dodgers are on the road for opening day in Milwaukee so travel issues could not possibly be a reason.

I guess "winning it all" takes precedence over history.

Hunt Internet Auction

One of my favorite Auction Houses is Hunt Auctions out of Pennsylvania. They are one of the premier houses in the country for sports related memorabilia. In fact, they handled the Roy Campanella estate sale a few years ago, Joe DiMaggio Estate sale earlier this year and am currently in the midst of the Louisville Slugger Museum & Factory Sale right now. Recently, Hunt Auctions completed a regular internet/phone only auction last week and I was fortunate enough to have won a couple of items.

Below is a original watercolor painting of Hall of Famer Hugh Jennings doing his famous hop while no doubt chanting "Ee-Yah." This painting was used to produce Helmar potato chips trading cards released in 2005. If you haven't seen these cards you should go check them out. They are the size of old tobacco cards and printed on thicker stock. The cards are colorful and reminds fans of the golden age of Baseball. I believe that they are the best looking cards made over the past 10 years.
Another item on my win list is this c. 1940 wire photo of Baseball great Honus Wagner. It was taken by former AP photographer Danny Jacino. (A bit of Dodger history: Jacino once accused Dodger infielder Tom Brown of punching him during a game in 1948. Apparently a melee erupted as Jacino jumped into the Dodger dugout after some choice words between the two.) It is stamped by the AP on the back and signed in the front by the photographer. The above wire photo reminds me about a reference guide/book I recently purchased from Mastro Auctions. It is called "A Portrait of Baseball Photography." It is a must have for anyone interested in collecting vintage photographs/ wire photos. This part of the hobby has slowly increased in popularity over the past several years and, sooner or later, the need to categorize the different type of photos available becomes paramount. The above wire photo is most likely a type 1 photo, the most desirable to collectors, since it appears to have been printed from the original negative within a couple of years of its creation. The photograph has yet to arrive to confirm this, but the description of the stamping on the reverse points in that direction. Either way it was an affordable buy, especially considering that a Baseball card by "The Flying Dutchman" in this condition and age would easily cost me double or triple (or more, much more) of what I paid for this picture. By the way, the final hammer price on the Wagner was $60.00. It was a great deal.

Anyway, later on, I will go into some detail about wire photos and the main categories that exist for classifying a photos vintage state.
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