September 29, 2011

John Broggi's memories of early 1980s card shows with Mantle and DiMaggio

The blog readers write . . .

John Broggi, New Jersey:

Frank - you hit a chord with me when you mentioned on September 27 the 1980 or 1981 Connecticut show which featured Mickey Mantle. I believe it was held in Greenwich and featured one of the first appearances by the Mick.

I had recently been re-introduced to card collecting and devoured any information about the hobby, shows or anything connected with it. When I heard that Mickey was appearing at this show, I decided that I had to do the show. Being relatively new, my inventory wasn't great but we secured a table anyway

My son John (who like Randy grew up in the hobby) and I drove up to Greenwich. I remember when it was announced that Mickey was in the room, a murmur went through the crowd. I actually closed down my table (by covering it with a table cloth which was the standard in those days) and got into line to see the Mick and get an autograph I still recall the goose bumps I got when I saw him there.

Things were a lot different at shows back then. I remember a show in Kansas City run by Jim Cumpton and John Mehlin at which Joe DiMaggio appeared. DiMaggio was nattily attired as usual, and actually made a short speech to the crowd before beginning to sign autographs.

Thanks for reminding me of my first face-to-face meeting with my childhood idol.

Bob Brill (Los Angeles):

In my first pack was a Don Rudolph 1959 Topps card and I remember reading the cartoon on the back featuring his wife, burlesque queen Patti Waggin dancing on the table with Don looking up her skirt. The caption read "Don's wife was a professional dancer."

She wasn't a professional dancer, she was one of the highest paid strippers in the country at the time. I made it my life's goal to bring them back and I currently have my book on the market from Schiffer Publishing "Fan Letters to a Stripper" with two more books to come.

I also own their estate and all the Intellectual Properties regarding them. It has been a great run and currently the screen play based on the book is sitting with the producer I've been waiting for. If the film gets made there will be more attention to the hobby. It's a great story.

Here is how to order the book, etc: There are several ways. The cheapest is on You can order it from my website, or write me at PO Box 6405, Beverly Hills, CA 90212, or call me at 805-660-9166.

The only way to order the Special Edition version is on the website. It's $199 normally. The SE is individually numbered to 200, is signed by me and comes with a signed check of Patti Waggin's (1950's or 1960's). The check may be signed Patricia Rudolph and carries a mounted DVD of one of her performances (both the check and the DVD are mounted in sleeves inside the book). The retail price of the regular book is $49.99 but can be had on Amazon for around $30. I have to charge more.
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Posted last week in Barnstorming:

We encourage reader participation, so here is something to ponder:

A new Lists category is "Players who last names spelled backwards are the same as someone else in baseball". Here are examples: Rob Deer and Ron Reed, along with Brian Giles and Bud Selig. We do not want other players with these names, just other pairs. The best answers will be used in an upcoming post.

One reader, Jim Ahl (Seaford, NY) provided this duo Paul Resop and Bob Poser. Resop is current and Poser pitched briefly in 1932 and 1935.

Ahl commented, "These are cheating as their names are palindromes: Fernando Salas/Mark Salas and Dick Nen/Rob Nen.


Tom Henningsen said...

I remember the KC show with Di Maggio. Thinking back, the amazing thing was that autographs were free. All that was involved was waiting in a not terribly long line. I waited three or four times.

Jeffrey Leonard said...

This is such a treat. Reading your daily updates, Frank, reminds me so much of getting to read BHN regularly. Thank you for keeping me up to date. This is a blast from the past. Is Vivian going to be participating? Let her know I loved her writing too!