When The Queen said, ‘No’ to The Great DiMaggio

Human beings routinely take a good deal of comfort in the debatable notion that people’s behavior and resulting fortunes are governed by this invisible force that works to balance things out over time, with a vigilant eye toward equal justice for those often determined to have run roughshod over their fellow man.

Thus, the expression “What goes around, comes around” has developed a good deal of currency and widespread use despite all of the evidence suggesting that a rather considerable array of misdeeds of virtually every description often goes unpunished. Read More

Topps book from 1985 used for fake artifacts

When Topps arranged with Warner Books in 1985 to publish Topps Baseball Cards: A 35-Year History, it was a really neat addition for the hobby. It is a wonderful book of several hundred pages, exact number unknown, because there are no page numbers and no table of contents. Just little pictures of the fronts of all the regular-issue Topps baseball cards from 1951-85.

I know I liked the idea so much that my wife bought it for me as soon as it came out, paying full retail, which I think was about $85, an extraordinary amount at the time. It is a component of this discussion that Warner Books printed enough of the coffee-table tomes so that the book would eventually wind up in the bargain bins, reaching, as I recall, all the way to $20 or so, and probably less than that in some places. Read More

2008 Topps Heritage figures to uphold the tradition

As the cover of this week’s SCD suggests, the 2008 Topps Heritage issue is around the corner, and that figures to be yet another major triumph for a franchise that has been as wildly successful as anything Topps has come up with over the last decade.

I am fully aware that they have refined the issue to the point where it’s quibbling to suggest that one year is superior to another; anymore, it probably comes down to little more than how you feel about the original issue. In this case, it’s my favorite year … by a wide margin. Read More