While everyone is raving about the National, I’m sitting in my gym shorts watching the Cubs getting pounded by the Reds once again. Although I was not able to fly to Baltimore this week, I did manage to attend the Chicago Sun Times Show a few weeks ago. It was by far the largest show I’ve been to in over twenty years. Last time I mentioned the show here I attracted a bunch of spammy porn site comments which was interesting. I also teased a story about the one and only Mr. Mint. It’s not much of a story, but as you walked the in the door he was front and center. You would almost think he was the one hosting the show. The one thing I found odd was that his tables were completely empty. Three tables, three guys, and a couple of brief cases which I assumed were full of cash. I went to the show with an older local dealer who has had transactions with Mr. Mint in the past and he wanted to say hi. Mr. Mint couldn’t have been more rude and dismissive to the old man. I got the feeling that if you don’t have what he needs, don’t waste his time with chit chat and salutations. If it was me, I would have told him to get fucked, but the old man said it was nice to see him and he told him to have a nice show. Apparently he wasn’t because the dealers next to him told me he hadn’t had a single purchase the whole show. They were also more than willing to mock his buying style, something that other dealers were all to willing to give their best imitation of too. The over all feeling I got is that he is not that well liked and can be a total asshole to those who just want to say hi.
Enough of the negativity that shrouds this hobby and onto a couple of sweet autographs from a couple of people I had no idea ever existed. I always try to pick something up for the kids when I go to a show. Whether it be a pack of Little Mermaid cards or a Spider Man card, I try to get them something. The first card I picked up was for my daughter. We recently watched A League Of Their Own together and she immediately wanted to watch it again. Who knew? She thought it was really cool that they played in Rockford which is only about 20 miles away. Which I have to admit is kind of cool to me too. I was excited to see a booth with AAGPBL merchandise at the show. There was a former player from Racine running the booth. My first thought was to pick up a t-shirt or a mini bat with the Peaches logo, but I knew both would end up stuffed away somewhere never to be seen again. Then I noticed these….
At first I thought these were facsimile autographs but then I noticed they were all a little different. I plunked down $5 and my daughter now has a legitimate autograph of a HOF Rockford Peach! I’m not sure if she is in the movie at all. They do mention an Alice who was a back up outfielder who neglected to change her socks, not quite sure if it’s the same Alice or not?
The card I picked up for my son was hard not to pick up. There was a booth near the back of the hall that I walked past a couple of times on my way to grab some food. I didn’t pay much notice to it until I was getting ready to call it a day. I heard an older black gentleman telling a story of playing ball with Satchel Paige. Then it dawned on me that these guys were former Negro Leaguers! Now you might ask yourself how I didn’t put this together earlier. The booth had two older black men, a white guy, a younger looking black man, and a women. They were all surrounded by books and autographed 8×10’s that they were selling. Apparently the white guy actually played in the Negro Leagues because he wasn’t white enough to play in the Major Leagues? I didn’t stick around for his story but I did strike up a conversation with this guy……
What made this card so hard to pass up is that for one my son’s name is Weston. The second is that just before the show my wife’s uncle had just passed away. His name was Randy but the family all called him Sonny. So yeah, this one was hard if not impossible to pass up. He was asking $5 for the autographed card and I was down to my last $10 for the day so I just gave him the $10 and told him and the others thank you for everything they have done for the game of baseball. If I would have noticed this booth earlier I would have probably pulled up a chair and shot the shit all afternoon with these guys!
So there you have it. Two $5 dollar autographs from two people who played the game for nothing more than the love of it. On a day when Hulk Hogan was signing for $130, I think I found the better deal!