Where Vintage is King and All Conditions and Brands Are Welcome!
Friday, March 5, 2010
Whats In a Name?
I believe it was Adam E from the Thoughts and Sox blog who made a comment earlier this week that there are a lot of card bloggers named David. There are, I would say it is the most common name among our like. It is my middle name and both of my sons middle names, too. It is my Dad’s first name and a lot of people called me Dave when I was younger-I guess that they assumed that I was a Junior. I am not. I have my own name. I will never reveal my full name on here, but I like my first name and I won’t deny. My name is Marck. Not to be confused with Mark from the Stats on the Back blog or Mark from Mark’s Ephemera. If there any other bloggers named Mark, Marc or Marck, please let me know. I like to keep track of such things. Anyway, Mark is the most common way (in this country) to spell the name pronounced mark. Like many of you, I collect autographs and I like to get my autographs personalized to me when I get them in person. It adds to the autograph in my opinion. I have an awful lot of autographs where the signer misspelled my name. I generally spell it for them, but they manage to get it wrong anyway. It almost ruins it for me. I sent Mark from Stats on the Back a signed of Tommie Agee (he is a Mets fan) because Mr. Agee misspelled my name. He isn’t the only one either. I posted a picture of Joe Carter not too long ago with my name spelled the more common way. Hall of Famers make the mistake, too. I generally don’t hang onto the autograph if they screw up the spelling, but I have saved a few. Tom Seaver, Duke Snider, Dave Winfield and Brooks Robinson are all-time favorites of mine and I got to meet all of them as a kid and they all were unable to follow my spelling instructions. As an adult one of my favorite people in the world as well as a great player, coach and scout, Mr. Buck O’Neill couldn’t spell my name. He was in his 80s at the time and I was just so thrilled to be hanging out with him. He and I spent a lot of time together over the years, but I never did replace the autograph he signed for me the day we met. He is excused. As I write this I am trying to think of people who have got it wrong over the years. I would say there have been at least 80 people who made the mistake. The worst one was Tom Seaver. I was 8 years old and he was signing at a card show in Trumbull, Connecticut. She had taken me to a few shows in our town prior to that. Those shows had former All Stars signing at them for a fee. Guys like Tommie Agee, Paul Blair, Don Mincher (who spelled my name properly!), Billy Almon, Hector Lopez, Ed Kranepool and Joe Collins. All but Mincher made the same mistake. I still have Collins, Blair and Lopez autographs somewhere I think. Anyway, those guys always charged less than 5 bucks, closer to 2 or 3 if they charged at all. The shows themselves were free and they were in our hometown. Trumbull was nearly an hour away and there was a five dollar admission just to go into the show. Ten bucks was my budget and it was blown just getting my Mom and I in the door. We walked around the show a bit and I picked up a few cards here and there-I was heavily into Steve Carlton at the time and I liked to search for dealers that had his rookie card, check it out and make offers for it when I only had 30 cents in my pocket. It amused me and afterwards I could say “Yeah, I almost bought a ’65 Carlton for $130.this weekend” to my friends (as a side note, I finally bought one of these bad boys! perfectly centered and SHARP, too!) Anyway I spent the extra 5 bucks that my Mom advanced me and eventually Seaver showed up. We got in line and when we got to the head we were told that autographs were $25 each and an extra 6 bucks for an 8X10. My Mom nearly had a heart attack and we left without his autograph. Several years later, I think I was 10 or 11 at this point, Tom Seaver had returned to the same show. I shoveled snow in the winter and mowed lawns during the summer and had my own cash at this point. I still needed my Mom to take me there, but I paid my own way. We got to the show that time and were met with the same admission issues. I walked around and bargained for cards that I couldn’t afford and I actually bought a few, too. I remember specifically that I picked up a ’68 Carlton and a 1952 Billy Pierce along with really 1976 Topps cards of Carlton, Schmidt, Winfield and Seaver. I hung onto those cards for a very long time. In fact I sent them to Captain Canuck (all but Winfield) and dayf (Winfield) this year. I had gone to the show prepared this time. I didn’t want to pay 6 bucks for an 8X10 and get the same autograph as everyone else, so I brought a 25th Anniversary New York Mets yearbook with me. I had brought $65 with me that day (the proceeds of about 15 driveways) and after admission and my spending spree I had less than 30 bucks left, so it was a good thing I didn’t need to buy a photo. I waited through the line to pay and when it was my turn I paid the man at the table the 28 bucks (which left me flat busted). I failed to consider that with 3 years passing the price of an autograph might go up. Anyway, I dropped every last cent I had, but I was going to have a Hall of Famer’s autograph personalized to me. Actually, he wasn’t a Hall of Famer at that point, he was still active with the White Sox, but it was a foregone conclusion that he would be. He was, at that point a 12 time All Star, a 300 game winner and 3 time Cy Young Award winner and that was good enough for me! My only two Hall of Fame autographs to that point were Duke Snider and Lou Boudreau. They did both make the spelling error, but each of them cost only 5 bucks and they were both REALLY friendly to me and that counted for a lot. Back to the line-my Mom was by my side and I could see the pain in her face knowing the son she raised just spent 28 dollars to get someone’s signature. She was not behind the idea, but it was my money and she knew I REALLY wanted this, so she supported me. Anyway, at the show where I met Duke Snider it was at a Knights of Columbus Hall, it was very casual and Duke posed for pictures with me, answered all of my questions and even flirted with my Mom a bit. It was a really amazing experience. The Tom Seaver signing was at a fancy hotel and he had security and handlers and money takers all around him. It was strictly business. I was prepared however. I had my name printed on a small piece of paper which was clipped to the program. I had also written down “3X Cy Young” in hopes that he might add that to the autograph for me. It was my turn, I handed Tom Seaver the program with my name clipped to it. I held out my hand to shake his, but that didn’t happen. I asked him if he could personalize it for me and add the inscription and the man to his side flipped out. “No inscriptions” he hollered at me. WTF I thought. More accurately, what the heck at that point in my life. I was crushed. I wanted a special autograph for my 28 bucks. I couldn’t shake his hand, I couldn’t talk with him, at least I could get him to write my name. As soon as the other dude raised his voice to me, my Mom jumped in. Tom quickly overturned the decision of whomever it was that yelled at me. I still didn’t get a hand shake, but he agreed to personalize the autograph. I thought that was REALLY cool. It was, but it wasn’t. He signed the program yes and he added someone’s name to it, but not mine. He didn’t add the traditional best wishes either and he certainly didn’t add “3X Cy Young”. Nope, the 25th Anniversary Mets Yearbook that I brought with me now read: “ To Mark, Tom Seaver”. Since I didn’t feel like I “met” him, there was no handshake or a “how you doing?”, his handler yelled at me and my Mom had to yell back in order for him to write a name on my program, I felt really ripped off. When Mom asked if he would pose for a picture, Tom had already moved onto to the next person in line and a different handler just pointed to a sign that read “no pictures”. I was seriously bummed out. I was crushed really. I hightailed it out of there before my Mom could make a scene, but I wasn’t happy. I was broke, so we left and I remember not really saying a word on the way home. The show had taken place in January of 1996. Tom Terrific opened the year with the White Sox and got off to a 2-6 start and was traded to the Red Sox for Steve Lyons. He was 5-7 for the Red Sox to close out the year with a combined 7-13 mark in 28 starts. For Boston he had a 3.80 ERA and struck out 72 batters. Not too shabby for a 41 year old, but nothing compared to the great hurler he once had been. 1986 would be Seaver’s final season in the major leagues. He attempted a comeback with the Mets, but he run out of gas. I did run into Tom Terrific once more in 1987. It was at a more casual show and was closer to home. He appeared with Ed Kranepool, Wayne Garret and Bud Harrelson and perhaps another former Amazing Met. I didn’t get his autograph at that show. I had decided that I would never pay for an autograph again (that policy didn’t last too long) but I did finally get to shake his hand and pose for a picture with the man. Many years have passed and I still have the yearbook with Seaver’s signature on it. I never put it in a frame nor displayed it. It has moved from box to box over the years, but it never has been a treasured piece of memorabilia to me. It does bring up an interesting point. What do you do when you are paying for an autograph and the signer makes a mistake? Some people bring really rare pieces of memorabilia to shows to have signed, other bring very valuable vintage cards. What if it had been his rookie card that he had a spelling breakdown on? Or a game worn jersey? I was in a position where I didn’t feel like I could complain. The rules was no inscriptions and I asked for one. I shouldn’t have been given one period, I would have rather not got one than to have my name misspelled. Are there any Mark’s out there who like Tom Seaver? Just asking… So, this is a long, long prelude to the next 5 days of “Nitty Gritty Card of the Day”. The reason why I beat the name horse to death is that these cards all came from Mark of the Mark’s Ephemera blog. Like I started this post off with, there are a whole bunch of bloggers named David, a few named Steves, a couple of Mikes, Matts, Troys, Brians, Jacks, Jim, Dans and Roys and Joes and a few Marks as well. Names that I can only think of one blogger include Marck, Alfredo, Greg, Adam, Zach, Bud and Paul. I wrote a post a while ago about common last names. I will probably do one on first names, too. Someday I might also put together a Mark/Marc/Marck All Star Team. This post started because I wanted to post some cards that I received from Mark of the Mark's Ephemera blog. We kid each other about our names. He has suggested that the length of my first name is responsible for thousands of trees being killed over the years. He thinks that I should shorten my name to the more common version for the sake of the environment. I am a green guy and that normally gets me, but I think I will stick with Marck. The other spark for this story was the first card from Mark that I was going to post. It is of Chuck Hinton and I will put it up later today. He was born Charles Hinton, but preferred Chuck. He isn't to be confused with the Chuck Hinton who was a defensive lineman for the Steelers in the 60s. Same name, different guy. Anyway, I started with that and went all over the place with my Tom Terrific autograph tales of woe. I don't blame, but if I ever become famous and he comes to me for an autograph, I will sign it "To Thomm, Marck ...". I doubt it will ever happen, but who knows... My question for all of my dear readers is have you ever had an experience getting an autograph where the signer made it out to the wrong name or spelled it errantly? Leave your response in the comments if you read this post, there will be a prize involved somehow... I know that Seans and Shawns deal with this one often. As do Bryans and Brians and Jonnys and Johnnys. Anyone? Oh, given the nature of this post I didn't run a spell check, I hope everyone can figure out what I meant. I didn't re-read it either. I wrote this a few nights ago and called it up and thought, oh my gosh, what was I trying to say? Thanks for reading. More actual card posts soon...
i machine metal for a paycheck, i announce roller derby for reasons other than a paycheck. i put out records, still waiting for the paycheck...i spend a lot of time sitting in front of the computer... i go by a few different names; marck bacontowne, sinkhole marck, side of bacon, mister gin n juice and now you can call me Collective Troll