Saluting ‘The Great American Baseball Card Flipping, Trading and Bubble Gum Book’

On Monday, I wrote about passing moments for TTM autograph collectors. Sometimes, death ends an opportunity. Or, those you admire might disappear completely.

I wish I had written as a giggling teen who absorbed every page of The Great American Baseball Card, Flipping, Trading and Bubble Gum Book by Brendan C. Boyd and Fred C. Harris. I wish I had thanked the authors for their wacky attention to detail.

I laughed. Then, I gave my own baseball cards a closer look.

Who took the picture? Where was it? How did the player like the pose? Who wrote the card back? Who did the godawful airbrushing jobs?

The questions never stopped. The questions led me to a greater appreciation (and amusement from) this hobby.

Today’s question burns brightest as I hold this 30-year-old book in my hands:

Did the authors know they’d be remembered and revered three decades later?

Note to publishers: where is the 30th anniversary edition of this classic?

Coming Friday: Birthday present ideas for the collector.

Champ Summers Gone At 66

I found a fun site called
Ed’s Autographs. The
focus was on Seattle-area
players. Mariners? Nope.
Born in Bremerton!

Who’s on your list to write to?

Even after all these years, I get zoned trying to contact retirees in their 70s and above. I pay too much attention to age.

John “Champ” Summers reminded of that. He lost a 2-1/2 year fight to cancer last week. He was only 66.

I didn’t move fast enough. He seemed a slow but steady signer, according to Of 82 recorded attempts, he responded 71 times. Because of his years as a minor league coach, replies sometimes took a year.

The autographs I’ve seen seem that he wanted collectors to remember him by his nickname. Good luck finding a “John.” Beyond his nickname, we’ll remember.

Coming Wednesday: Two early hobby inspirations, Brendan C. Boyd and Fred C. Harris.

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