This is the latest in an ongoing series of articles written by readers who tell the stories of the sports memorabilia they collect and why.
I collected the White Sox programs and yearbooks as a kid but I really dove into the hobby in the early 1970s after graduating from college. I went to a baseball collectible show in Hillsdale, IL and after seeing all of the different Sox items for sale, I was hooked.
Between the shows and Sports Collectors Digest magazine, I started building a collection. I also started sending White Sox photo postcards with a SASE to players on the 1959 American League championship team asking for autographs. Much to my great surprise, every player I wrote to sent their card back signed. Big names like Nelson Fox, Early Wynn and Al Lopez all responded to me and I then started sending to other former Sox players and again, the response was tremendous. I even sent one to Dave DeBusschere, who was signed by the team but became a major NBA star with the New York Knicks.
- Every White Sox yearbook and press guide made from 1933 to the present
- Every White Sox program from 1941-present
- Every White Sox Topps baseball card from 1959-present
- Every White Sox Jay Publishing photo pack
- 1959 and 2005 World Series commemorative black bats
- 102 different White Sox bobbleheads
And that’s not everything, of course.
Pictures of some of my items were used in the first edition of The White Sox Encyclopedia by Richard Lindberg.
My favorite item is a 1942 White Sox poster/schedule. This is the piece that has always attracted the most attention in my man cave. Another rare item I have is a piece of the old Comiskey Park Astroturf which was torn out after the 1975 season by owner Bill Veeck. It sits under a seat I have from the old stadium.
Whenever I buy any White Sox items now I make sure the item is in excellent to mint condition. If the item is in poor shape, I won’t buy it. The internet has definitely changed the hobby and it’s helped me acquire numerous items I didn’t have. A few months ago, I was contacted by someone who had a bobblehead of Bill Veeck that was given out by the Charleston River Dogs minor league team in 2014. We agreed on a price and it’s now in my collection. It took me awhile to take a liking to the bobblehead hobby but after a while I actually wound up liking it a lot. I wish the White Sox would hold more bobblehead giveaways. Most teams have four or five per year but the Sox seem to have walked away from the hobby which I think is a PR blunder.
In the 1960s, the sporting goods companies (Wilson, Rawlings, MacGregor and Spalding) came out with black and white “Advisory Staff” photos that were distributed with their products. Of the hundreds of different photos produced during the era, 38 feature White Sox players. I’ve been able to acquire about half of them. I just can’t seem to locate the others. Either no one has them or they aren’t putting them up for sale. But I’ll continue to look for them because that’s what collectors do.
I have a White Sox want list of about 70 vintage items. Due to their rarity, I doubt that I’ll acquire all of them but I’m hoping I can find as many as possible.
My wife, “Henrietta the Goddess” asks me occasionally, “how much longer are you going to collect this stuff?” My answer is always the same.
Until I die.
Do you want to tell the story of what you collect and why? From players to teams to complete sets, autographs, game-worn material and anything else that has kept you busy for years, we’d love for you to share your story in your own words and photos. Send us an email: [email protected]