I was writing a lead to a news story a couple of weeks ago about some cool Don Larsen items that will be in the Guernsey’s Yankee Stadium Auction at Madison Square Garden on Oct. 18, and part of it was going to be a reference about attendance.
The idea was that official attendance was a reported 64,519, but over the years an estimated 12.3 million fans have insisted they were present. I liked that observation, because it could quite easily be transplanted to a number of other historic events, most notably the 1951 “Shot Heard ’Round the World” playoff game at the Polo Grounds, or maybe even Bill Mazeroski’s 1960 World Series-winning homer at Forbes Field.
Lo and behold, I got an e-mail from my first editor at the Plattsburgh Press-Republican in Plattsburgh, N.Y., talking about a related topic, and he mentioned to me that he had been at Larsen’s perfect game as an 11-year-old.
Now, by including the estimable Bob Grady in this blog, I am not suggesting that he’s one of the 12,235,481 fans who are fibbing about being present at Yankee Stadium on Oct. 8, 1956. He’s one of the most scrupulously honest individuals I know, and besides, he’s got the taped-stained ticket stub (not his shown here) to prove it.
One of the nicest guys in the hobby, Dave Czuba, is fighting kidney cancer, and so I wanted to use this space (and in my regular column in Sports Collectors Digest) to let collectors and fellow dealers know.
For the handful who might not know, Dave is Alan “Mr. Mint” Rosen’s right-hand man, his official driver and assistant at those shows and buying trips around the country, plus he’s a prolific collector and dealer in his own right.
Rosen called me the other day to pass on the information that Dave has had one operation and faces another, but he’s faring well and facing the situation with the same winning attitude that has made him a favorite in the hobby for nearly three decades.
With Dave on the DL for the moment as he recuperates, Rosen noted that another well-known hobby name, Kevin Bronson of Bronson Galleries, will be pinch-hitting for him occasionally.
Dave has a legion of friends wishing him well, and I am tickled to count myself among that group.