Sunday, April 01, 2007

A Story for the Day: Women Smokes Rare Wagner Card

I would've had a heart attack too.
"When Bill Balzhiser's wife recently forced him to quit smoking, she went to drastic measures. She threw out all of his cigarettes, lighters and ashtrays. She also tossed out his impressive collection of turn-of-the-century tobacco cards, a gift from his father.

So when Balzhiser found his wife doubled over in the bathroom of their rural Oklahoma home complaining of stomach cramps and the taste of tobacco in her mouth, he asked her what was wrong.

She asked him how he could have smoked for nearly 60 years, "especially those tobacco cards?" Balzhiser, horrified, realized his wife was pointing to a half-smoked Honus Wagner T206 card in the ashtray, the most valuable sports card on earth. The tragic remnants of the card-turned-cigarette are pictured below."

From a cursory inspection, Beckett vintage card expert Rich Klein offered this disturbing analysis.

"Based on the appearance of the card's remnants and Mr. Balzhiser's description before he died from shock, his Wagner T206 card could have re-established the market price and far exceeded the recent sale of $2.35 million. I encourage Mr. Balzhiser's family to send us what is left for further evaluation and possible sale," said Klein, who was visibly shaken by the news.

-Elon Werner
For a listing of the best April Fools jokes click here.

Story Link: Beckett:

Sloate Auctions

Barry Sloate recently concluded his most recent auction of Baseball rarities. His auctions consistently have the best 19th Century items available. This auction was no different.

Below is a 1869 Cincinnati Red Stockings Team Photo CDV. This is considered one of the first cards ever produced of one of America's most dominant teams.
"In baseball’s pioneer days, no team was more successful or famous than the 1869 Red Stockings. Led by brothers Harry and George Wright, both who are in the Hall of Fame, the club ran out the season undefeated as the game’s only professional team. They toured extensively and played before packed houses on the way to a 57-0 season record. Other members included Cal McVey, Charlie Gould, Andy Leonard, Asa Brainard, Doug Allison, Charlie Sweasy, Fred Waterman, and Dick Hurley. This CdV pictures all ten members, with “Red-Stocking Base Ball Club, Cincinnati” printed on the right border of the mount. The photo is strong and clear, and there is a tiny repair to the edge of the left border; blank back is stamped “50c”. Overall excellent condition. The most important baseball card of the pre-league era."
It sold at an incredible $9,929.00.
If you thought the the card above was pricey then check out the card below. It sold for $46,919.00.
"All N167 Old Judges are among the rarest 19th century cards, and those of Hall of Famers among the most expensive. This rookie card of Roger Connor, by far the highest ever graded, is in sharp Near Mint condition with square corners and perfect centering. PSA has only graded two N167 a “7”, and this one is the better of the two. Thus, it is the finest one in the hobby. A gem, and a legendary hobby rarity."
How can a piece of cardboard this old remain in such perfect condition?
Auction Link: Sloate Auctions:

The Glory of Don West

Some years ago, late one evening, I was cruising around on the television from channel to channel. I was laying on the couch bored by the current fare. Then, I stopped at a channel I never watch. Shop at Home. I always wondered what causes someone to stare at the TV, pick up the phone and order a product out of a whim. Then, I saw him, Don West- the best salesman on television. He screamed the best one liners I had ever heard.

"I CAN'T BELIEVE IT!"
"ARE YOU READY FOR THIS?!"
"THAT'S THE ONLY WORD TO DESCRIBE IT"
"YOU'VE GOT TO BE KIDDING ME !"
“Look at those eyes, holy cow! It’s like a baby going over to be breastfed!”

I was hooked. This guy was a laugh riot! Fortunately, I never picked up the phone, but I always sported a big smile when I saw him. Check out this website that praises the glory of Don West. DonWest.org.

Website Link: DonWest.org:
Photo Link: Gerweck.net:

Congratulations Kemp!

Not much to add here that hasn't already been said on Dodger Thoughts, SoSG and 6-4-2. Tony Jackson lets us know that recently surging rookie Matt Kemp made the Dodger roster. It looks like those new contact lenses Loney has been wearing are doing wonders for Matt's pitch selection. Check the story about them here.

What irony. James Loney convinces Matt Kemp to wear the wonder lenses and ends up winning the final spot on the team over Loney who has had a phenomenal Spring.

So, without much ado, I'd like to give a big Blue Heaven congratulatory cheer to Matt Kemp.

It appears the rise of the Dodger rookies on the field is in full bloom. How long will it be before Loney forces himself into the lineup? How about Abreu, LaRoche? And did you see Meleon yesterday? He has a major league curveball.
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