|NL Champs picture - Holland|
I attended the third and final day of December 2011 Philly Card and Memorabilia Show at the Valley Forge Convention Center. The closing day was dedicated to the 1983 NL Champions and featured five Hall of Famers (Mike Schmidt, Steve Carlton, Tony Perez, Joe Morgan, Jim Bunning) and all-time Hit King, Pete Rose. There was also a pretty good supporting cast of contributors from the Championship team - Charles Hudson, Al Holland, Ivan DeJesus, Bob Dernier and long-time Phillie Larry Christenson to name a few. For someone looking to fill in early-1980's team balls this was a treasure trove. My activity was fairly limited - but yet, very expensive. Here is a rundown of the signatures I picked up:
I continued to build onto the 1980 team poster (11"x17" version of the Dick Perez SGA from 1990) by getting Pete Rose to sign. With Rose, I now have 11 signatures in total.
|Pete Rose on the 1980 Perez Poster|
Also added Ron Reed, Al Holland, Tony Perez and Joe Morgan to a 1983 team ball. A couple interesting interactions with the guys:
- Morgan nipped the thread and didn't like his signature, so he tried to "fix" it, retracing over the misplaced "J" - then turned it to another panel and said, "I'm signing it again!". I'm not planning on selling anytime soon and even though it doesn't (at all) enhance the ball's value, this is one of those things I'll be telling my kids about someday.
- Al Holland was a great guy. He spoke with my brother and me for several minutes, answered questions and talked about how much he loved Philly.
- He said the clinching of the NL title (pictured above) was the highlight of his career - noting how much it not only meant to the players who were not given much of a chance going into the season, but that for the organization it was great to beat the Dodgers in the NLCS.
- He also revealed that former Phillies reliever Ed Farmer was the one to provide him with his famous moniker - "Mr. T"after his first Phillies save. He downplayed the analogy saying he only wore two, modest chains.
|1983 ball - Morgan, Rose, Perez|
|1983 Ball - Holland, Reed|
I have to say, the show featured a lot of reasonable deals on Phillies memorabilia. The show has historically catered to the high-end buyers, but this one was completely different as there were many affordable items to be had. Because of my spending on autographs, I limited myself to three more signed 1950 Phillies Inquirer photos. I added Bill Nicholson, Milo Candini and Ken Heintzelman to the 14 that decorate the wall of my Phillies room. These are really nice, and help me get closer to the full, signed set.
In closing, rumors are circulating that this may be the final round for the venue - and let's be honest, it wouldn't be the worst thing to happen. Looking around the place you get the sense that the folks at Hunt Auctions use the Tom Hanks line from 'The Money Pit' when scheduling each event - "Home, Crap Home". It stinks of boiled hot dogs and old newspaper, but I have come to look forward to the trips there every couple months. If this was the last time for VFCC, it was memorable to say the least.
|The crowd for Mike Schmidt & Pete Rose|