Editor’s Blog: Before They Were Famous

One of the cool parts of my job is opening emails from readers who have interesting things they have been hanging onto for years or discovered in a long-forgotten box.

On Sunday, reader Dave Kern sent a couple of photos of a 1975 youth baseball program from Aberdeen, MD.  Brooks Robinson was on the cover and according to Dave, he was the grand marshal of the annual parade on opening day.  Brooks signed the program for Dave (and no doubt, dozens of other kids) but inside the program was something even cooler:  A list of players in the various age groups participating in the league, including Cal Ripken Jr. and his brother Billy.

Autographed Brooks Robinson Little League programCal Ripken 15 16 year old team

Dave tells us he was in the same age group as Billy.  He’s wondering if anyone else who grew up in the area has a similar program.  Drop me a note via the contact form if you have one—or if you have a program featuring a youth baseball player who went on to big league greatness.


Pro Bowl ticket stub 1951The Pro Bowl isn’t my thing although I thought having Jerry Rice and Deion Sanders turn it into a fantasy draft and coach the teams wasn’t a bad move.

Despite a lot of apathy, players who are “injured” and miss the game and endless discussion about its merits, the game does have a long history.

In fact, I found a ticket stub from the first Pro Bowl on eBay last night, graded and offered for $149.99.  It was back in 1951 at the L.A. Coliseum, which also hosted the first Super Bowl.  You can see the listing here.


And…speaking of the first Super Bowl, here’s another cool item:  a wire photo showing the very first play in Super Bowl history:  a Bart Starr handoff to Jim Taylor.

Bart Starr Super Bowl I first play photograph

It’s up for bid, too and interest in the first few days of bidding has been strong (see the listing here.


The hobby is alive and well in Canada with some extra excitement over the double rookie class in this year’s trading card products.  The Winnipeg Free Press was curious to learn more about the hobby as a whole.  Here’s their story.