GET IT IN WRITING
A recent visit to Chicago reminded me of an old article from the mid-1990s in which LaSorda admitted to fibbing to a family friend about an item of memorabilia he gave him.
The piece was in the Chicago Tribune and was written by Jerome Holtzman, who now assists Bud Selig regarding baseball history. Holtzman’s love of baseball is virtually unsurpassed…unfortunately, being old-school means borderline worship of the guys he writes about, so no challenge of his duplicity was issued to LaSorda by Holtzman.
The gist of the situation was that Tommy Dodger had an autographed baseball he gave to a friend who was a butcher. LaSorda’s lie came when he told his butcher buddy that the ball was a home run hit by Snider in a World Series game. Never figuring that LaSorda would cross him up, the elated meat man gave LaSorda a half-dozen of his best steaks. When mildly challenged by his wife as to why he lied to the guy, LaSorda’s excuse was to the effect of “It’s OK to lie if you make somebody feel good doing it.
Boy, I’d hate to be that butcher if, someday, he goes to an auction house convinced that his brand new, signed Coleman or White ball is a 1950’s era Duke Snider World Series long ball.
BRAVES GO RETRO TWICE IN TEN DAYS
After the news came of the Braves and Cubs wearing Turn Back the Clock uniforms of 1948 design at Wrigley Field June 12, it has been learned since then that the Braves will go retro again on June 21, when they play the Tampa Bay Rays. The uniforms will apparently be raffled off at the game.
THE CHEAP AND EXPENSIVE OF IT
If you want an example of two sellers with totally opposite views of what the same player’s jersey is worth, consider two jerseys of future St. Louis Cardinal Colby Rasmus offered by two different sellers on the Bay. On one hand, an auction featuring pink breast cancer awareness jerseys worn on May 18th by the Memphis Redbirds found Rasmus’ jersey being won for a bit under $350…reasonable for a special issued uniform of a high-profile prospect.
Then, there’s the Cardinals road spring training jersey (with a farmhand jersey number) of Rasmus that one seller tried to peddle twice for $2,500! Both instances ended up with no bids…and for the life of me, I can’t figure out why.
HOW DO FORGERS PLY THEIR CRAFT
If you wondered how the mind of a forger works, consider this tale, from a while back, concerning a legitimate dealer whose antennae went up when he spoke with a forger he didn’t know.
The legit dealer, in this reminiscence, was Mike Nardone, a Boston area Carlton Fisk enthusiast who acquired a large quantity of late 1980s Boston Red Sox game-worn pants.
The forger, henceforth known as The Forger, is known to many veteran collectors. He hails from a rural part of the Midwest, and has used at least three aliases to identify himself.
The Forger called Nardone after seeing his SCD classified ad for the Red Sox pants. His stated claim was that he wanted to buy a quantity of pants for his local softball team. To Nardone, though, it seemed odd that The Forger wanted only Rawlings road pants, as the home white Wilsons were in better condition and made better.
When Nardone mentioned these things to The Forger, The Forger responded that “my players like the way the Rawlings pants are tagged better”.
Seeing a red flag there, Nardone held off a sale until he was able to talk to a few prominent people in that era’s game used hobby, seeking opinions on The Forger’s reputation. I was one of the people he contacted, and my concerns were echoing the three hobbyists he had already spoken with. Figuring out what The Forger would do with these pants based on the input he received, he refused to sell anything to The Forger.
Now, what was the consensus opinion regarding The Forger’s plans? For him, the Wilson home Boston pants only had a strip tag in the waistband. The road versions, by Rawlings, had a strip tag plus a flag tag, which it was figured would be removed by The Forger and added to replica Rawlings jerseys in an effort to fake a game-used shirt.
Be aware…Mike could have made the sale, enriched himself, and let the chips fall where they may. Instead, he did his homework, and refused to be a party to The Forger’s chicanery.
Dwight White, a member of the Pittsburgh Steelers’ legendary Steel Curtain defense, died Saturday. He was 58.
White had been hospitalized for back surgery, and was recently readmitted due to complications. He is the second member of the Steel Curtain to lose his life in 2008, as Ernie Holmes was killed on January 17 in a car accident.
ONE CITY, TWO TEAMS, #1 IN THEIR RESPECTIVE DIVISIONS…CUBS-WHITE SOX 2008 WORLD SERIES!!