An American Hobby: Baseball Memorabilia – ‘Mel Ott’ Card From 1935
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Sunday, March.24, 2013
MLB Reports: We are pleased to present you with Baseball Author Lee Edelstein as the newest writer with us at the Reports. Lee will be providing us with great stories about baseball memorabilia on a regular basis.
An American Hobby
Collecting baseball cards is a uniquely American hobby. As a kid growing up in the 1950’s I had shoeboxes full of them. All of my friends did, too. We had so many cards that, when we got older and our interests shifted to teenage pursuits, our moms decided to clean house. Literally. Out went the cards which they considered to be nothing more than junk. Today, we wax nostalgic over those cardboard canvasses of our heroes that we treated so casually. That’s also why, in good condition, they are worth small fortunes.
I renewed my interest in card collecting a few years ago when I decided to build a collection of the elites of the game – the ballplayers who are members of three very exclusive clubs: 300 Wins, 3,000 Hits, and 500 Home Runs. It’s an exclusive membership that includes players from before the turn of the twentieth century (Kid Nichols #7 with 361 wins) through players who are active today (Derek Jeter is currently #10 on the all-time hit list with 3,304 hits):
- 300 Wins – 24 players
- 3,000 Hits – 28 players
- 500 Home Runs – 25 players
Each week, I’ll feature a baseball card of one of these all-time greats. Along the way, we’ll talk about other aspects of America’s Hobby, why it continues to grow in popularity, and answer any questions you may have.
1933 World Series Recap – Including a HR by Mel Ott!
You don’t hear a lot about Mel Ott these days but he was one of the all-time great ballplayers. Ott was the first National Leaguer to hit 500 Home Runs. He is in the top thirty in career records for a host of offensive categories including Home Runs (#23), RBI (#12), Runs (#14), Walks (#9), Total Bases (#19), OPS (#23), OBP (#28), and WAR (#16). Not bad for a ballplayer who was all of 5’9” and weighed 160 pounds. The secret to his fearsome slugging is revealed on the back of his 1935 Diamond Stars baseball card –
“Weighing only 160 pounds, he is one of the leading long distance hitters of the game. Ott gets his power by timing his swing to meet the ball on the ‘sweet part’ of the bat which is about seven inches from the business end. Timing comes from long batting practice, in which the batter does NOT try to kill the ball so much as to meet it evenly and easily.”
Ott played his entire twenty-two year career with the New York Giants (one of only six Major Leaguers with 20+ year careers with one team). He led his team in Home Runs for eighteen consecutive years (1928-45), a Major League record. He was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1951 and was rated #42 in Sporting News 1999 list of the top 100 greatest players.
Ott’s 1935 Diamond Stars card shown above is graded 9 (mint) by PSA, the highest grade for this card. Its value is approximately $3,000.
Do you have any Mel Ott memorabilia – let us know!
***The views and opinions expressed in this report are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of mlbreports.com or their partners***
A big thank-you goes out to Our ‘Baseball Memorabilia Enthusiast’ Lee Edelstein for preparing today’s featured article. Lee was born and raised in the Flatbush section of Brooklyn, New York. He inherited his love of baseball from his dad. The game has been Lee’s constant companion since he was seven years old – when his dad took him to see his first ball game at Ebbets Field. This was followed by a brief and largely unsuccessful Little League career. While he wasn’t all that good on the ball field he became an ALL-Star at collecting baseball cards.
His collection is still alive today after surviving many scares over the years. Lee was also much better at business than playing baseball. He was good enough that he was able to retire and pursue his other passion – writing about baseball! Chin Music is his first novel. He is hard at work on his second, Mound Music. You can read a full overview and find links to purchase here and also check out a quick synopsis in the picture below. Feel Free to follow Lee on Twitter and chat about the game of baseball. Follow @chinmusicstory
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Posted on March 24, 2013, in The Rest: Everything Baseball and tagged 1933 World Series, 1935 Diamond Stars Baseball Collection, @chinmusicstory on twitter, All-time HR list, baseball memorabilia, chin music story the Book, chinmusicnovel.com, derek jeter, ern ie banks, kid nichols, lee edelstein, mel ott, mickey mantle, mike schmidt, national league, new york giants, NL Hr Champion, washington nationals. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.