Volume 2, Issue 1, January 1999

A Unique Find

Baseball in Britian

by Jim Montgomery

June 1998
A scrapbook surfaces that contains newspaper articles, photos and letters from Buckingham Palace depicting Baseball in England from 1900 to 1930 compiled by Wilson Cross. SABR - UK denies any knowledge of the game having any significance during that time frame.

July 1998
After much discussion with the boys in Britain, the scrapbook was sent to them for their use. Turns out it fills in a "Black Hole" that the British know nothing about.

August 1998
After making the rounds of their research committee the book was sent to the Lord of Commons, keeper of the cricket fields, and to various other doubting parties. Turns out they did not even know of the existence of some of the "Royals" that were in attendance much less the significant presence of Baseball during those years.

September 1998
After much discussion the book and all the ancillary information was placed on three CD's, with multiple

copies being made. One for their archives, one for loan for research and one was sent to me.

John McGraw and the King of England

It has been the highlight of my collecting career. To finally find something that is just not put in a binder or hung on a wall, but has actually contributed to the game, its history and importance.

Game Program July 4, 1918

Volume 2, Issue 1, Page 2, January 1999

Giving is fun …
but you guys know that already

by Bob D'Angelo

I guess you could say this story is OBC inspired, because I know I wouldn't have done this a year ago.

A friend of mine at work knows that I collect cards, and he mentioned to me one day that he had bought a Mark McGwire rookie card from his next door neighbor for $100.

"I didn't even know you collected," I said.

"Well, not much," he said, "But I have a few cards stashed away and I wanted to get this one since he's had such a great year."

I asked him if he liked starter sets for cards, but he didn't really give me an answer. Couldn't tell if he was really interested, to be honest.

Well, during Christmas week I got out my dupes box of newer cards and pulled out my 1985 cards. I got my sons to help me, and we put together a near-set (I'd say about maybe 75 cards shy of a complete set, maybe less, but some key cards in there like Clemens, Gwynn and the rest of the Olympic subset). He was going to get a starter set, all right.

When I got to work, I walked up to his desk and put the long box of cards on his desk, saying "My sons and I spent the afternoon putting these in numerical order, so you have to take them. Merry Christmas." His eyes got as wide as saucers as he opened the box and saw all the ‘85s. "How much do you want for these?" he asked.

"Nothing. Nothing at all," I said. And it felt real good to say that, because I saw the kid in my friend emerge as he looked through the box. I think he thanked me about five times all night.

I'm not sure what the point of all this is, except that if I hadn't gotten involved with a group like OBC, where giving without thought of receiving is a cherished notion, I probably would have kept those doubles stashed in a box or would have tried to sell them at a future garage sale or on eBay. And while there's really nothing criminal about that, it makes me feel a whole lot better to give them to someone who appreciates it.

I've been with OBC for about 15 months, and have seen firsthand the kindness of this group. I've seen money collected for one family last year that was having a tough go of it financially, and have seen the same this year to help another member purchase some needed equipment for his children. I've seen an OBC auction that was held to benefit the family of a member who had passed away.

Sure, we've seen some squabbles, most notably over the UV issue. Friends bicker at times too, and when you have a group as diverse and spread out as we do, disagreements are going to occur. But in the final analysis, friends remain friends.

I've had guys send me countless amounts of cards in the past year, and have tried to do the same. I've had two sets completed by OBC members – sets from the 1970s, that is – and some newer stuff too. Some who have sent me cards have yet to get anything in return, simply because their lists are tough to hit. But I hope to rectify that as best I can.

I just wanted to thank all of you, and I look forward to more great things in 1999.

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