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Rich’s Ramblings: Lud Denny, Rare ’66 Topps Card, Cousin Brucie and More

by Rich Klein

A few odds and ends to bring up instead of a thematic version of Ramblings…

Chris Olds, erstwhile editor at Beckett recently sent me a copy of an article about Lud Denny's daughter in which she talked about taking care of her dad in the last days of his life. Sad to say, Lud is no longer with us and with his passing goes a chance to talk about the stories of the meteoric rise and fall of Pro Set. Within a short period from their first promos in 1988 through their final sets in 1993, Pro Set ran the gamut from massively overproduced cards with their printing press running 24/7 to some amazingly tough items. Anyone seen cards from the Pro Set TV show recently?

In an article on Sports Collectors Daily last month, editor Rich Mueller wrote about some dealer telling him there was another dealer who was hoarding dozens of 1966 Grant Jackson/Bart Shirley (#591) rookie cards. While certainly possible, I can tell you that back in my dealing days that card was a brutally tough card to acquire and that goes back to the 1970's. Howie Gordon used to tell me a story that they had the card available for $5 at a show circa 1978 and some collectors walked the whole floor looking for that card since he refused to pay that much for that card (remember the card probably "booked" at 25-50 cents then). Late Sunday of the two day show, that frustrated collector came up to Howie's table and threw a $10 bill at them and said "I don't want change.  You were correct". Just a tough, tough card to locate.

The promoters of the local card show here in Allen/McKinney listened to me (and perhaps others) and the email blasts for their new location in McKinney included the specific address for the new location and how to get there. In addition, hours and contact information was provided as well. Due to previous commitments I was not able to attend/set up at their November show but will set up at their December show.

A friend of mine who I have known since I was in 9th grade emailed me about a friend of his who lost a complete run of 1985-2012 Topps sets as a result of Hurricane Sandy. Now, that man is not yet ready to start putting together his collection as they are trying to figure out the insurance on his property, etc but if you see another pleading article for sets for this man in the future you will understand and be able to refer back to this column. I don't think I've ever written this but one of my favorite expressions in my early days at Beckett was "it's only cardboard".  It’s important cardboard to many of us for many reasons but our lives and our families are more important.  Always remember your priorities.

As I write this, I'm listening to Reel Radio online, which is offering is the nearly complete 1968 Election Day WABC Cousin Brucie show. It’s very, very cool to listen to history as it happened…and by the way, nearly a half century later, the Cuz is still doing two shows a week for Sirius/XM.  Cousin Bruce Morrow has been on the radio for longer than I have been alive which is pretty darn impressive.

I’ve heard some interesting aspects including the station turning into a news format (with some music tossed in) and hearing about how Senator Jacob Javitz of New York was also on the Liberal Party ballot. Tell me in today's world if any Republican would ever allow himself to be affiliated with the ‘Liberal Party’. By the way, please go to vote if you have not done so, everyone's voice and vote does need to be heard.

I just signed up for the Collectors Universe Secret Santa program and I strongly encourage all collectors to do so.  Or, try similar programs either with other message boards   if they are fortunate enough to be near a local store to have the store host an event. The advantage to a store is in many cases doing this may bring in extra business both before the event and even during and after. In fact, the next time I go to Triple Cards in Plano I'll try to convince the owner that would be a good idea to do so.  It’s just a fun thing to do around the holidays.

Rich Klein can be reached at [email protected]

About Rich Klein

Rich Klein has spent almost his entire life collecting baseball cards having begun at the tender age of seven. He has spent more than three decades in the organized hobby including editing the first 12 editions of the Beckett Almanac of Baseball Card and Collectibles. He lives in Plano, TX along with his wife Dena and their two dogs. You can reach him at [email protected].

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