Saturday, February 3, 2024

Get Your Scorecards Here!

I found an interesting item in the wilds of eBay recently, namely a tearsheet of a column Topps Creative Director Woody Gelman penned for a fledgling magazine called Baseball Monthly. As can be plainly seen, it was titled "the Hobbyist" and the idea was to have Woody show off some examples from his extensive collection of ephemera in future issues:

Some easy detective work revealed the magazine debuted in March of 1962 and lasted a whopping four issues.  It was published by Major League Baseball Promotions Corp., which was the licensing arm of the then-20 major league teams. Woody is described as the Publisher of the American Card Catalog, which is technically correct, although it was as a co-publisher and I doubt those in the hobby back then thought of anyone but Jefferson Burdick in that role.

Here's the then-current 1960 ACC's copyright page:

Gelman would have had prior experience with producing publications (and indeed was ACC co-publisher in 1953 and when that edition was reprinted in 1956) and with Jefferson Burdick in New York mounting his collection at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, he was in close proximity. It's certainly possible Woody did a lot of the heavy lifting with the 1960 edition.

Woody did publish a book titled the Baseball Card Checklist and sold it through both his Card Collectors Company and early newsletter The Card Collector. Too bad the column's intro blurb gets the title of this very early guide wrong!

The column is innocuous to a fault, although Woody's certainly pushing the main Topps card line in his commentary.  I find it intriguing he mentions old baseball programs as his Card Collectors Company sold very old ones off in their catalogs for a song. This was the scorecard pricing in the March 1962 CCC catalog, the very same month his column first appeared:

A couple of years later he was blowing old football programs out at three for a dollar, but I digress. Woody was well-attuned to cross promotion using the old soft-sell!

I'd love to find the other three columns he penned for this magazine.  They managed April, May and June issues before biting the dust.

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