The Beckett Blog


Godzilla ain’t got nothing on this auction — at least in my mind by Chris Olds

By Chris Olds | Editor

Sometimes the hidden gems are right in front of your face.

As a long-time obsessive (ok, just obsessive) collector of baseball movie memorabilia — you know, the actual items used in the production of films, aka props  — there’s not always a lot that can grab my attention. Sometimes, items pop up in bursts, sometimes it’s months before something interesting arrives and must be considered for buying.

In fact, it’s been awhile.

While perusing the latest Hunt Auctions catalog, though, a somewhat obscured image of a baseball bat caught my eye — not because it was too different from any of the other rarities and gems found on the block but because I actually — accidentally — read the blurb attached to the photo. (Catalogs of this type often get a Hugh Hefner-inspired kind of treatment with the treasures find inside … they simply just don’t get “read” by many.)

It’s a Jack Elliot model Louisville Slugger signed by someone else — and it’s part of the collection of personal memorabilia from former big-leaguer Vada Pinson, who died in 1995.

You probably won’t know Elliot from Elliott Maddox (Remember him? No? Exactly.) but to some baseball fans the name just might ring a bell.

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**** CONTEST CLOSED **** Free Stuff Friday: Big Apple Comic-Con contest No. 6 — Yogi Berra autographed 8×10 by Chris Olds

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THIS CONTEST IS NOW CLOSED.

The Big Apple Comic-Con is set for Oct. 16-18 in — where else — New York City and its promoters want to get free autographed photos into Beckett readers’ hands.

bigapplelogoWe’re giving away autographed 8×10 photos of guests from the show (examine the guest list here) — and maybe a few more cool things, too — at the top of every hour.

How can you win? Follow the directions below and answer the questions below in a comment right here… it’s that simple.

Tips: Don’t try stuffing the comments box — we’ll check IP addresses — and make sure to include your name and email address so you can be contacted if you win. Note that you will see your comment on your screen after posting but that doesn’t indicate its order of posting as it has not yet been approved. WordPress’ time-stamping of comments once all are approved will determine the winner.)

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Baseball artist Monty Sheldon to commemorate 90th anniversary of Black Sox with eight sketch cards by Chris Olds
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An example of Monty Sheldon's sketch cards -- a past Sheldon’s Sketch Card Champions card of "Shoeless" Joe Jackson.

Noted baseball artist Monty Sheldon is commemorating the 90th anniversary of the Black Sox scandal with a series of eight hand-drawn and intricately detailed pencil sketch cards that he will complete, unveil and sell on the anniversary of each game from the 1919 World Series.

His “Eight Men Out” concept is an interesting piece of self-promotion — he already sells his Sheldon’s Sketch Card Champions cards, which are part of a larger set weekly on eBay (user rube77) — but this project will acknowledge the history of the game and, with the auctions’ subjects and timing, also perhaps bring some attention to one of baseball’s more interesting stories.

But it’s also a project that ties into his creative past.

“When I first started painting on baseballs back in 1998, I knew the following year would be the 80th anniversary of the Black Sox scandal, and I finished painting a baseball of each player to correspond with each game’s date,” Sheldon said on Friday afternoon. “Back then, that group of baseballs proved to be quite popular when I would display them at the card shows.

“Now, it is 10 years later, and I wanted to add something special to my sketch card set, so the 90th anniversary set made perfect sense.”

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Reel Bats focuses on Major League baseball players by Chris Olds

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In February, we brought to Beckett readers news that collectors of some reel-life baseball stars — Ebby Calvin “Nuke” LaLoosh and Crash Davis — had new items to chase.

But now there’s some much bigger news out of Florida as Reelbats.com is selling baseball bats of the most-feared slugger in Major League history as well as a few other stars from that famed Cleveland Indians squad (and another baseball star’s famed bat … keep reading).

That’s right — replica baseball bats for Pedro Cerrano, Ricky “Wild Thing” Vaughn, Jake Taylor, Willie Mays Hayes, Roger Dorn and the host of Tepee Talk, Harry Doyle, are up for grabs in this, the 20th anniversary year of the R-rated comedy.

The bats, which are officially licensed by Major League Baseball as well as Paramount Pictures, are limited to only 1,000 per player. And like all Louisville Sluggers, the bats are branded and shipped from the Hillerich & Bradsby Louisville Slugger Museum & Factory in Louisville, Ky.

(Click for a closer look and there’s more after the jump.)

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In case you forgot … tonight is Rick Vaughn bobblehead night by Chris Olds

vaughnbobbleToday might as well be a national holiday — Rick Vaughn bobblehead night — in Cleveland where every fan in attendance will receive a nodder of “Wild Thing,” the greatest Indians pitcher in reel life.

The Indians will face the Milwaukee Brewers — and if you know your Wisconsin radio hosts that means that broadcasting legend Harry Doyle (aka Brewers Hall of Fame announcer Bob Uecker) will be on hand for the game.

Now for those of you who live juuuuuuuussssst a bit outside Cleveland, there’s already quite a market for the Vaughns over on eBay. Fifty of the bobbleheads have sold in the last 30 days — most for somewhere between $15 and $36 (not including shipping). Most of them have sold for $20-25.

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Reel Bats brings memorabilia for baseball’s big-screen stars to life by Chris Olds

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There are a handful of baseball movies that truly stick with fans — Bull Durham with its loggygaggers, fungus-covered shower shoes and even a quadraphonic Blaupunkt is one of them.

It’s the movie where ground balls are more democratic, where we find out what a journeyman catcher truly believes in and we get a look inside the Church of Baseball. By most movie critics, and a large number of baseball players, it’s considered one of the top baseball movies ever made — if not the best sports movie of all time.

All this wasn’t lost on one man — Abel Sanchez — who had an idea a year ago while touring the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in Cooperstown, N.Y. It was a simple concept, one he said he figured had been done before — work with Louisville Slugger to make replica baseball bats for some of baseball’s biggest stars of the big screen.

They hadn’t — and that’s how Reel Bats was born.

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