I had to share this letter we ran in the June 15 issue of SCD. I thought it was a great “find” and something those who don’t get the print edition of SCD would enjoy reading about.
Anyone else have a similar experience?
Growing up in Brooklyn in the ’40s, ’50s and early ’60s, specifically in Coney Island, I was always a huge fan of the Brooklyn Dodgers. Most of the friends I “hung out” with were Yankees’ fans. But there were many Dodgers’ fans, as well. The arguments never ended: Who was better, the Duke or the Mick? Reese or Rizzuto?
When Topps came out with its first regular-size cards in 1952, I was always trading my Yankees cards for Dodgers cards. I would trade a Mantle for a Snider in a flash. If I kept all of the Mantle cards I traded, I would be sitting pretty right now.
We never really collected cards, but held onto them for a time. As we grew older and lost interest in the cards, like many others, our mothers discarded those cards that were left at home.
When my son, Brian, was 10 in 1980, we started collecting together. We went to many auctions and built quite an accumulation of superstars from their rookie seasons to the then-current year, and sets starting with the 1974 Topps edition. Still, as opportunities presented themselves, I picked up some Dodgers memorabilia, just to rekindle my memories from when they played in Brooklyn.
When my son started college and lost interest in collecting, I started to gather more and more Dodgers memories. Not just any Dodgers, but only those that played on that glorious 1955 team, the only one to ever win a World Series in Brooklyn – especially since it was against those “hated” Yankees.
My younger brother, Mark, and I are both avid collectors of 1955 Brooklyn Dodgers memorabilia. About 10 years ago, we attended a sports memorabilia show in New Jersey to see if there was anything we could find to add to our collections. So as not to get into any disputes, we worked out a system where we took turns at each booth so as not to step on each other’s toes.
Well, about one hour into the show, my brother literally screamed out my name: “Alan, Alan…” By the sound of his voice, I thought he was ill or in trouble.
I ran to his side and his face was drained of all color, just completely pale. I asked him what was wrong, and seemingly unable to speak, he pointed to an 8½-by-10-inch, black-and-white photograph in a binder of pictures from Ebbets Field.
The picture he was pointing at was of our father. Now, you may ask: What was a picture of your father doing in a binder of photographs from Ebbets Field? Well, our dad was a security officer at both Ebbets Field and Yankee Stadium during the 1950s. During the seventh game of the 1955 World Series, a fan dressed in a jacket and tie ran onto the field to get an autograph from Duke Snider.
The photograph shows our father and another security officer escorting this fan from the playing field. On the back of the photograph is the photographer’s name, the date, time and frame number.
Can you imagine finding a photograph like that? I don’t care what Alan Rosen says, this was the find of the century. We purchased it for $12 and made copies for our family. Not only it is a tremendous find, but it fits in perfectly with my collection of 1955 Brooklyn Dodgers.
Many friends come to see my collection, bringing their children and grandchildren. Usually, they ask “What’s the most unique item in your collection?” Without even blinking, I point to that photograph!
– Alan Briskin