Ford Frick. That’s the Baseball Hall of Famer on the cover of the April 18 issue of Sports Collectors Digest. He appears in the upper right-hand corner of the cover, directly underneath the Sports Collecting Radio logo. Nearly a dozen readers had the correct answer, but Louis Chiappone of East Moriches, N.Y., was the fastest on the draw, phoning in only seconds after 8 a.m. Central time on April 9. I shipped the signed Bob Gibson postcard out to him that afternoon, in between taking phone calls that would last well into the following week.
As noted, a number of people had the right answer, but among the most popular wrong answers were Babe Ruth and Ted Williams. Some of the others most frequently mentioned: Hank Greenberg, Warren Giles, Sam Rice and Joe Cronin. Ironically, Cronin is actually in that photograph, but to keep it to a single Hall of Famer, I cropped him out of the right-hand side.
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Loyal SCD readers will know something big is up simply from the choice of topics: Keith Olbermann has turned in an extraordinary examination of Topps proof cards from four decades, and the exclusive five-part series launches in the May 30 issue of SCD.
In a 13,000-word thesis that figures to instantly become the reference source on this fascinating and mysterious hobby segment, the MSNBC anchor and longtime SCD contributor and columnist will make available spectacular images of many of the Topps proofs from his own fabled collection.
I haven’t been this amped up about a multi-part feature in our pages since the similarly imposing T206 White Border Series that we ran in 2006. This is neat stuff that we are going to extend well into the summer because each section is so elaborately detailed that we wanted to be able to provide sufficient space for every one.
We even own one of those legendary Topps proof cards: the 1977 Topps “Rarest Reggie,” or, as we like to call it around these parts, the “Wherewist Wedgie.” That famous card, depicting Reggie Jackson as an Oriole on his 1977 Topps card, gets a section all to itself as perhaps the most significant proof of that decade, slated for the Aug. 8 SCD, one week before the National Convention issue.
With each of the five parts, we’ll run a special SCD Collector Survey that will ask our readers to provide their views about the hobby, their collections and the players that they like to collect, and everybody who enters will be eligible for prizes that will be offered as part of the whole promotion.
Fasten your seat belt, it’s going to be a bumpy ride, and you’re going to get the chance to see a bunch of Topps “cards” unlike any that you might have ever laid eyes upon.