Hall of Fame athletes, local heroes and some of the hobby's finest dealers joined forces to create an exciting and fun filled atmosphere at the Red Sox Heroes of 1967 sports card and memorabilia show held April 15-17 at the Foxwood Resort and Casino in Mashantucket, Conn. During the three-day show, thousands of collectors and fans filled a large function room to sample tables of new and vintage collectibles and to receive autographs from 19 ballplayers.
Although the show featured the Red Sox Impossible Dream team that suprisingly captured the 1967 American League pennant, the dominant players in the room were representatives of another local pennant winning club-the 1946 Boston Red Sox. Collectors began to form a long line well before the 11 a.m. appearance time that continued throughout the day as Bobby Doerr, Johnny Pesky and Dom DiMaggio signed a steady stream of items for numerous hours.
The three former ball players have long been remembered by older Red Sox fans as important parts of the '46 club that won the AL race by 12 games before falling to the St. Louis Cardinals in a seven game World Series, but newer generations have grown to know them from a book published in 2003 titled "The Teammates.” The book, written by David Halberstam, is a study of the life long friendship of Doerr, Pesky and DiMaggio with Ted Williams and their final trip to see the dying slugger. The continual line of collectors seeking to meet the “Teammates” were not the average group of autograph seekers holding an 8x10 picture looking for a quick signature-many in the line held four or five different pieces wanting to share a special moment with three men who represent the Red Sox past.
Les Masterson, a Malden, Mass. Collector, shared in the enthusiasm brought to the show by the “Teammates.” “The only team to bring a pennant to Boston from the Babe Ruth era to the 1967 Red Sox was the 1946 squad,” offered Masterson. “These guys are just a few of the players who are left to talk about that season and it’s interesting to hear their perspective on the season when the ballplayers returned from war. From what I read in Halberstam’s book, DiMaggio, Pesky, Doerr and Williams were really close while teammates and after their careers ended. It was interesting to meet them and listen to their stories.
The Paul Madden “Teammates” poster given to the collectors at this show by Dick Gordon and Mike Riccio was just fantastic. It didn’t matter what I brought with me to get signed by this trio. As soon as I saw the poster, I knew that this was the piece that I wanted to add to my collection with their signatures. This was another great show run by Gordon and Riccio.”
Another person at the show was allowed a different perspective to the “Teammates” as he was given the position of attending to Doerr, Pesky and DiMaggio as they signed autographs for the large crowd. Wes Weymers, President and CEO of CSB Bank in Curwensville, Pa., traveled the distance to Connecticut to be part of the show. “I’ve been working with Dick and Gloria Gordon and Mike Riccio for many years and have enjoyed all of their shows,” offered Weymers.
“They are special people who bring a touch of class to the hobby. Today is just another example of the magic good autograph guests can bring to a show.
Having the opportunity to share a day with DiMaggio, Doerr and Pesky was a lot of fun. They shared some great memories with the crowd and it was nice to see that so many younger fans and collectors are knowledgeable of the importance these athletes played in the history of baseball and the Red Sox.”
One man who has found the impact that Dom DiMaggio has played in the baseball and society was present at the show and presented the former Red Sox center fielder with a plaque for his contributions to the youth of New England.