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Madec's Philly photos and Ingle's golf auction ...

Business was brisk enough at last weekend’s Sun-Times Show in suburban Chicago that I wasn’t able to get away from the SCD table much to check out all the stuff. Because it was too far away from our booth near the front entrance, I did get to see that Andy Madec had some nifty vintage images of Philadelphia Athletics that he picked up at the Philly Show only the week before, and farther back on the show floor there was periodic episodes of the organized mayhem of “Card Wars,” this time orchestrated at the booth belonging to Big John & Little Debby’s of Chicago.

Kip Ingle, one of the best-known golf dealers in the hobby, was displaying items slated for a golf auction nicely timed with a certain event planned for early April in Augusta, Ga. The lineup for that sale includes Masters badges, a 2009 Masters flag signed by Japanese phenom Ryo Ishikawa and about 300 other lots. For more information click here

Kwik Mit Mania
But for nonstop action at the show, aside from the bustling autograph area, it was hard to top the energy level at the Hartland Ohio booth and environs, where Mike Shuba & Co. were explaining (with a flourish) the attributes of the Kwik Mit, which they are hoping will catch on with an adoring public roughly in the fashion of the Pet Rock or the Hula Hoop.

The genesis of the unusual idea came from none other than 1955 Brooklyn Dodger George “Shotgun” Shuba,” who asked son Mike one day why no one had ever devised something to aid fans in the stands in catching foul balls and home runs.

“We hope it will become a fad for the ballpark and picnics,” Mike Shuba told me only minutes after a demonstration in front of the Legendary Auctions (formerly Mastro) booth near the entrance to the show.

The “mit” is a piece of foam, roughly the diameter of a fielder’s mitt, that is sticky on both sides, with the American flag (and space for corporate sponsorships) on the front and a scorecard on the back. The idea is that fans peel off the protective strips from both sides, place the Kwik Mit against your chest and you’re ready for a foul fly or a home run. Once you jump up and spill your popcorn and beer, the idea is to slap your chest, adhering the the Kwik Mit to your hand, where you then engulf the ball with the sticky portion on the other side.

All I can tell you is that it’s such a unique concept that you probably have to see one to understand it. The marketing plans call for a suggested retail price of $5; the Hula Hoop sold for all of $1.98 in 1958, and if you do the math, that makes the Kwik Mit a major-league bargain a half-century later.


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