**See below for a correction to this post.**
Over my Christmas vacation I stopped by The Field of Dreams in the Mall of America. They are still riding the "Brett Favre as a Viking" memorabilia train and I've never seen so many photos of Christian Ponder in one place...well maybe, on Sports Cards Uncensored. Here are three things I found interesting during my stop.
This Monte Irvin "First Topps" card. It's not really his rookie card as he had a card in the 1951 Bowman set but I still covet it. After Andy Pafko's card #1, this is the '52 Topps card that I would want to track down the most. Monte could have been Jackie Robinson in that Branch Rickey contacted him to sign with the Dodgers but Monte declined because he felt he wasn't ready for the majors after being out of the game for military service during World War II.
I think it's pretty rare that an inscribed autograph can ruin a signed item. Typically that's always a bonus...except it seems when it comes to Pete Rose. These stupid inscription just ruin it for me. And whenever I see those boxes of Leaf's Pete Rose Legacy getting ripped and they pull an auto/bat relic and then the poor idiot has inscribed it "Western Hills High School Running Back" or "WWE Wrestling H.O.F." I would just scream.
Plus, on the sell sheet for the set on Leaf's web page they highlight a card that is the exact opposite of the inscribed ball.
Field of Dreams has a huge display of autographed balls...which I'm sure 80% are real...I kid....The most expensive autograph there was Mariano Rivera at nearly $600. I would feel a whole lot better at paying that much if that big fat /3602 wasn't staring back at me at the bottom of the ball. Even if it was /602 it would give me pause.
I blew it when I said Monte Irvin's '52 Topps cards was his first. He was included in the '51 set as one of the red backs. Here's the card and it can be your for only $25.00 on eBay currently.