Saturday, June 27, 2009

Early Michael Jackson Magazines

In Memorium Michael Jackson 1958-2009

Michael's first solo national magazine cover. Text of article below.

Rolling Stone's Article about Michael and the Jackson 5

Earlier pictures of the entire Jackson 5 appeared on Jet in 1970

These are considerably rarer than the Rolling Stone.

This is not the time to buy these magazines. The market will stablilize in a few months at a reasonable level. Pre June 25th price $10.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

A rare African-American Playboy clone: Duke Magazine and Dan Burley

After the phenomenal success of Hugh Hefner's Playboy, started in 1953, dozens of clones appeared. Most were low class ripoffs with little or no redeeming merit. Some, like Rogue and Cavalier were a cut above the rest and, as Playboy, featured some good literature and other germaine articles. One that is little known (thanks to David Leishman for making me aware of it) is Duke, published in June 1957. Duke was published for an arican-american audience and featured reprinted literature from Langston Hughes and Chester Himes as well as Ray Bradbury "The Last White Man" and others.

Amazingly, there is very little about this magazine on the web and it probably lasted only one issue.

The editor was Dan Burley who was involved in many African-American publishing enterprises, including Jet, whose idea he sold to the Johnson Publishing empire. Burley's daughter is an international radio host and maintains a wonderful website about her father which incidentally does not mention this magazine! Burley was involved in many aspects of popular culture, most notably music, and coined the term "bee-bop".
The magazine cost me 16 bucks on eBay and is worth considerably more due to its rarity and cultural importance. So, you can see that twentieth century rarities can be found.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

sports and baseball

Sporting magazines in America began in September 1829 with American Turf Register, published in Baltimore.

Here's a very rare offshoot from New York in 1833. As you can see, equestrian and aquatic sports predominated.

Cricket hung on in popularity until the late 19th Century whan it was replaced by Baseball. This magazine also has one of the earliest references to competitive tennis.

Baseball Magazine was the predominant publication of the sport begining in 1905, by which time the sport was wildly popular. Here's the first issue.

Remember, today's collectibles are items which were not recognized as particularly valuable in their time. Manufactured collectibles rarely are worth collecting. The baseball card market, since the mid-1970's has been ridiculously overmarketed. Bob Feller estimated that he's signed his name over 100,000 times. I ask you, how rare can that be in the future?

The same is the case for the millions of perfect condition Don Mattingly and Darryl Strawberry Rookie cards from the 1980's. The notion that baseball collectibles are a stock market of individual players will just not hold up with time. Supply and demand!

If you love baseball, as I do, its nice to have reminders of your favorite players to look at. Just don't get sucked into the notion that someday you'll be able to retire on them. Aside from the blatantly phony ones, sports autographs and memorabilia from the 70's, 80's and 90's are just not worth putting serious money into. Enough morality, I just hate to see too many people victimized by slick marketing.

More great (and truly rare) images to come.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Baseball 2

Here's a few more great items from my collection:

I showed the Ball Player's Chronicle earlier but only the masthead. Here's the entire first page.

National Chronicle is a rare title from the 1860's featuring baseball. This is the first issue.

Baseball guides made their debut in the 1860's. FYI from a website (with my illustration)

Baseball Guides Galore

By Ralph E. LinWeber

Record books have been compiled on every game of skill and athletic endeavor that exists. Baseball, America's national game, is, of course, the most prominent because of its long history, the long season in which it is played, the endless flow of statistics, and the broad interest it affords. Although statistical based newspaper and magazine articles had appeared before, the first known baseball guide made its appearance in 1860. It was called the Beadle Base Ball Guide or Beadle's Dime Base Ball Guide - an indication of its cost. It is a rare item and today the few in existence are known to be in collectors' hands.
The Beadle Guide continued publication until 1881 and in that period showed the evolution of various baseball terms and statistical categories. Baseball "matches" eventually became games and "hands lost" became number of times the batter was put out. In 1868 the Dime Baseball Guide added base hits to the score with outs coming first, runs second, and hits last in the three columns. In 1871 the Boston and Cleveland National Association clubs issued batting averages based on hits to times at bat. However, it was many years before all clubs started to show at bats in the box score.
From 1868 to 1885 the DeWitt Baseball Guide was in publication, with Henry Chadwick the editor from 1869 on. It was smaller than the Beadle Book and contained less information, but it boasted a larger circulation. Chadwick also put out his own Baseball Manual in 1870 and 1871. The man called the "Father of Baseball" was a statistician of note and his endless research into the records uncovered facts and figures that enlightened the sports world. George Wright, one of the early star players, also published a record book on baseball in 1875 while he was with the Boston club of the National Association.

the first De Witt's Baseball Handbook

from my collection.

In 1877, A. G. Spalding, a former star player who became a sporting goods magnate, launched Spalding's Official Base Ball Guide. It lasted for many years and enjoyed the greatest success of any publication of its kind. It first covered the National League and expanded to other leagues as they were established. In 1883, Alfred J. Reach, like Spalding, a former player who moved into the sporting goods field, introduced the Reach Guide. It contained the first year averages of the American Association as well as the National League and was similar in coverage to the Spalding Guide. With the establishment of the American League as a major circuit in 1901, the Reach Guide took the title of Reach Official American League Base Ball Guide. Of course, Spalding also covered the AL.
Starting in 1908, Spalding published two books, which caused some confusion to later researchers. All the minor league records were taken out of the Guide and put into the Spalding Base Ball Record, along with the major league records. The Guide also carried major league records and expanded its narrative section. This division continued until 1925 when the Spalding company cutback to one publication - the guide - with its original content.
In this period there were many other short-lived baseball guides and record books. The Wright & Ditson Baseball Guide was published intermittently between 1884 and 1912 with Tim Murnane, a former player turned writer as editor. There was a Sporting Life Guide in 1891, a Victor Baseball Guide of 1896 and 1897; John McGraw's Baseball Book of 1904 and 1905; the Lajoie Baseball Guides of 1906-07-08; and Bull Durham's Guide of 1910 and 1911.
The Spalding and Reach Guides continued strong throughout this period, publishing separately through 1939. They were duplicative, however, and published a combined edition in 1940 and in 1941. The foreword of the 1940 Spalding-Reach Guide explained the background and is quoted here in full.

Puck's Library was an offshoot of the famous humor magazine started bt Johannes Kepler. The first issue in 1887 was devoted entirely to baseball.

I love this one. A rare and short lived title featuring a cover of Babe Ruth in 1927. The second issue feature Man O'War.

There's presently an issue for sale on eBay for $750. Probably a little high but not by much.

Speaking of Yankees, here's Joltin Joe DiMaggio and his son on the cover of the first issue of Sport in 1948, the year I was born.

and the great Ted Williams.

More to come- seventh inning stretch!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Our National Game: Early baseball magazines

As with virtually every other aspect of popular culture, the history of baseball can be traced in magazines. While there are a number of illustrations in books in the first half of the 19th century touted to show early images of baseball, the game we know today had is real roots in New York/New Jersey in the mid 1840's when a number of amateur teams began playing each other. The first games were played in Hoboken at Elysian Fields and reports began to crop up in Spirit of the Times in the mid-1850's. If one searches the index of the 1854 volume, there are only four articles, the remainder being predominantly cricket. Within a few years, articles and box scores became quite frequent and the American game was now well established.

I was fortunate enough to find a number of quite interesting and early baseball references in magazines. The May 12th 1855 issue of Spirit of the Times published an early (the first?) version of the rules. The third volume of Porter's Spirit of the Times in 1857 published the first image of the game in an original engraving, here reproduced for your viewing pleasure.

The first magazine devoted to baseball was Ball Player's Chronicle, whose first issue appeared in 1867, two years prior to the establishment of the first professional team, The Cincinnati Red Stockings, in 1869. Before this a number of great images appeared in Frank Leslie's Illustrated Newspaper and The New York Clipper. Sports is now one of the favorite areas to collect, unfortunately it is far too commercial and many devout present-day card collectors will find that their investments will have very little demand for them in the future. As I've said: collect because you enjoy it. If someone tries to sell you something "because its a good investment", run in the other direction!

Enough lessons in collecting: Play Ball!