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View Full Version : Any thoughts on this Splendid Splinter


bender07
05-18-2012, 08:03 PM
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v459/mrclary/Autographs/Splendid%20Splinter/66dfa4c4.jpg

GrayGhost
05-18-2012, 08:22 PM
The W looks weird. Id lean to no.

Mr. Zipper
05-18-2012, 08:48 PM
I am not expert on Ted, so take this for what it is worth...

The "ed" looks odd to me and the "illiams" is all over the place and appears to have extra characters jammed in there.

Finally, isn't it odd that Williams would inscribe 1954 in 1954? Why would he do that? :confused:

chaddurbin
05-18-2012, 09:09 PM
this was mine and i sold it to the OP. i don't see alot of vintage williams to compare it to but i thought the "W" is good. the only things out of the norm to me were the "d" and the "am", but i'm far from a williams expert. the seller i bought it from assured me it'd pass psa/dna or jsa and i offer the same guarantee. hell if richard would opine his thought i'd also take it.

the buyer never expressed to me he had doubt about the auto (he's probably just looking for opionions) but like i said i'd take it back no problem.

also it's a gpc...don't know williams' habit but lots of players date their sigs. the coa is from legends are forever if anybody is familiar with them?

bender07
05-18-2012, 09:40 PM
Right Chad just looking for opinions. No malice here. Williams' variations of his autograph have been a somewhat hot topic around here. I was on vaca for the last couple weeks so I haven't gotten it in my hands yet (hopefully tomorrow).

Here's another that I have, any thoughts?

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v459/mrclary/Autographs/Splendid%20Splinter/a737d31a.jpg

chaddurbin
05-18-2012, 09:43 PM
i hear ya mark. i tried looking for a couple of his vintage autos before buying this piece...don't remember which but here are a few below. i would love a free opinion from richard :)

from kevin keating site:

http://www.qualityautographs.com/item.pics/medimg/williams_ted_ap.jpg

another gpc in '46:

http://andyimperato.com/sites/default/files/images/12-01Ted_Williams_signature.preview.jpg

1980 gpc:

http://images.priceminer.com/images1/17/0806/10/17_efacc48575b0bba8044931a2fd9b4c84.jpg

JollyElm
05-18-2012, 11:27 PM
63853

In another thread I posted the Teddy Williams I got through the mail years ago, wondering if they were authentic. Your bottom one there has the same interconnected "dW" as mine do. The plot thickens...

chaddurbin
05-19-2012, 12:25 AM
no imo urs are really bad and look nothing like a modern williams auto.

on the '54 gpc the "ted" looks simplified while the "williams" look overly ornate compared to others...but one of the reasons i purchased the gpc because i was banking on the fact it's not very likely to be forged. of course i could be wrong.

http://i370.photobucket.com/albums/oo147/quannimir/cards/twtw.jpg

chaddurbin
05-19-2012, 12:35 AM
hey hey...i was thinking since the gpc is not likely forged, maybe it was secretarial or a clubhouse? and i found the below from our own board.

jon c...this was originally your scan, have a follow up for us? original thread where jon says the seller told him the family got the auto in person.

http://www.net54baseball.com/showthread.php?t=125349

http://i82.photobucket.com/albums/j263/jon_canfield/TW.jpg

Splinte1941
05-19-2012, 05:26 AM
63853

In another thread I posted the Teddy Williams I got through the mail years ago, wondering if they were authentic. Your bottom one there has the same interconnected "dW" as mine do. The plot thickens...

Those three are painfully fake.

GrayGhost
05-19-2012, 05:46 AM
Those three are painfully fake.

Sadly, I agree on that.

Ted's auto varied so much. Most of those others have a lot of good qualities, but I'll defer overall, due to their variances.

GPC's could still be secretarial, esp of a player like Ted, who got sooo many requests, for sure. not saying that one is, or isn't, and those others have similar "W", so thats more of a shot that its good.

RichardSimon
05-19-2012, 09:05 AM
no imo urs are really bad and look nothing like a modern williams auto.

on the '54 gpc the "ted" looks simplified while the "williams" look overly ornate compared to others...but one of the reasons i purchased the gpc because i was banking on the fact it's not very likely to be forged. of course i could be wrong.

http://i370.photobucket.com/albums/oo147/quannimir/cards/twtw.jpg


You almost never find a postmarked forged GPC that is true.
But on this one I lean towards it being secretarial.
Zip's analysis was a good one and this Williams just does not look right in several different ways.
And yes that group of three are painfully bad.
Darren, did you say you got them through the mail??
If so, Ted must have been breaking in a new ghost signer, who did not last very long.
They do not look like the usual TTM Ted Williams autographs.
And no Zip I won't haul out my Mona Lisa Ted on this thread. :D:D.

ps. dating the sig. would not be out of the norm, I don't consider that to be a deciding factor.

canjond
05-19-2012, 09:22 AM
The 50 Bowman Williams pictured above is mine. I never figured out more info on it, nor ever paid to have PSA or JSA tell me their thoughts! I did get it from an original collection from the 1950s. All of the autos were supposedly obtained in-person by a young collector, and I have seen a great number from the collection slabbed. In the event the Williams is not good, it was certainly clubhouse then, since I doubt there was any malice involved (ie, it wasn't forged).

chaddurbin
05-19-2012, 09:41 AM
thx for chiming in richard and jon. too bad you never got anything definitive J. i guess "in-person" could've been a number of things to that family if the auto is bad, and i don't think it was malicious either.

mark (OP) i would certainly take the gpc back if you have any doubt.

bender07
05-19-2012, 10:48 AM
You almost never find a postmarked forged GPC that is true.
But on this one I lean towards it being secretarial.
Zip's analysis was a good one and this Williams just does not look right in several different ways.
And yes that group of three are painfully bad.
Darren, did you say you got them through the mail??
If so, Ted must have been breaking in a new ghost signer, who did not last very long.
They do not look like the usual TTM Ted Williams autographs.
And no Zip I won't haul out my Mona Lisa Ted on this thread. :D:D.

ps. dating the sig. would not be out of the norm, I don't consider that to be a deciding factor.

Thanks for the insight Richard. Any thoughts on the 41 Play Ball?

bender07
05-19-2012, 10:49 AM
thx for chiming in richard and jon. too bad you never got anything definitive J. i guess "in-person" could've been a number of things to that family if the auto is bad, and i don't think it was malicious either.

mark (OP) i would certainly take the gpc back if you have any doubt.

I'll take you up on your offer. Pm me your address.

RichardSimon
05-19-2012, 11:24 AM
Thanks for the insight Richard. Any thoughts on the 41 Play Ball?

I always hate to say this,,, but if you had sent me a check to authenticate this, I would probably send you the check back and say I cannot say yes or no. It happens about two or three times a year. (I don't do the volume that the big two do, I am the boutique authenticator, and you can always get me on the phone as opposed to them). :)
I trust my exemplar file and I have one or two with some similarities to your sig incl. that W, but there are a couple of causes for concern.
The one thing I lack is a good AP from right around 1940, which would clarify this. I buy albums regularly but never got one with a circa early 1940 sig of him.

RichardSimon
05-19-2012, 11:30 AM
Shown this before but take a look again:
1949 exemplar, earliest one that I have that I can date with certainty, used to own the full piece.
Insurance document signature.

ps. don't call or write between 1-4 today. Will be watching the Rangers beat the Devils,, :D. (not at game, on TV).

steve B
05-19-2012, 03:34 PM
From baseball reference FWIW.

http://www.baseball-reference.com/teams/BOS/1954-schedule-scores.shtml

On Sept 8, 1954 Boston played Detroit at Detroit. They were in the middle of a road trip that ran from Sept 3-19.

Of course, the previous game was in NY on the 6th, so someone could have mailed it for him if they went back to to Boston from NY. (Doubleheader, so maybe the NYPO was closed after the game ended?)

Steve B

Bilko G
05-19-2012, 08:38 PM
Your bottom one there has the same interconnected "dW" as mine do. The plot thickens...


His doesn't interconnect like yours, they are just written over each other.

JollyElm
05-20-2012, 01:45 AM
His doesn't interconnect like yours, they are just written over each other.

Huh?? What am I missing?

64010

bender07
05-20-2012, 10:50 AM
Huh?? What am I missing?

64010

Yours aren't even close unfortunately.

bender07
05-20-2012, 10:53 AM
I always hate to say this,,, but if you had sent me a check to authenticate this, I would probably send you the check back and say I cannot say yes or no. It happens about two or three times a year. (I don't do the volume that the big two do, I am the boutique authenticator, and you can always get me on the phone as opposed to them). :)
I trust my exemplar file and I have one or two with some similarities to your sig incl. that W, but there are a couple of causes for concern.
The one thing I lack is a good AP from right around 1940, which would clarify this. I buy albums regularly but never got one with a circa early 1940 sig of him.

Richard - FYI I forwarded a note to regarding the 41's potential authenticity.

JollyElm
05-20-2012, 07:52 PM
Yours aren't even close unfortunately.

He clearly said, "His doesn't interconnect like yours, they are just written over each other." Yet that is blatantly untrue. Does anybody tell the truth in these forums...ever???

scmavl
05-20-2012, 08:02 PM
Darren,
I agree with what you're talking about, it is connected the same. That is not the way Ted normally signed though and as a few others have said, yours do not seem to be true Williams unfortunately.

JollyElm
05-20-2012, 08:15 PM
Darren,
I agree with what you're talking about, it is connected the same. That is not the way Ted normally signed though and as a few others have said, yours do not seem to be true Williams unfortunately.

I can appreciate your thoughts on this, because you're giving reasons why you think my signature is not authentic. I'm all on board for that type of reason. But it bothers the living heck out of me when people just blatantly lie in their 'opinions.'

My motivation is obvious. I want the signatures to be real, because they are mine. But when people are lying to try to convince me otherwise? What's the motivation there?

bender07
05-20-2012, 09:06 PM
I can appreciate your thoughts on this, because you're giving reasons why you think my signature is not authentic. I'm all on board for that type of reason. But it bothers the living heck out of me when people just blatantly lie in their 'opinions.'

My motivation is obvious. I want the signatures to be real, because they are mine. But when people are lying to try to convince me otherwise? What's the motivation there?

I can certainly appreciate that you want your autographs to be real but they're simply not. They look nothing like any other examplar we've seen. Don't take it personally. A bunch of the signatures you've been posting the last few days are bogus/secretarial. Live and learn.

chaddurbin
05-20-2012, 09:41 PM
My motivation is obvious. I want the signatures to be real, because they are mine. But when people are lying to try to convince me otherwise? What's the motivation there?

trust me, no one is giving you false info so they can pry those sigs away from you...if that's what you're thinking.

Splinte1941
05-20-2012, 09:43 PM
trust me, no one is giving you false info so they can pry those sigs away from you...if that's what you're thinking.

:D

JollyElm
05-20-2012, 10:22 PM
It's funny how people keep chiming in and just ignoring what my posts were about--these people who give their 'opinions' on authenticity while blatantly lying about the facts. Interesting. That tells me all I need to know about your trustworthiness.

Wymers Auction
05-20-2012, 10:43 PM
It's funny how people keep chiming in and just ignoring what my posts were about--these people who give their 'opinions' on authenticity while blatantly lying about the facts. Interesting. That tells me all I need to know about your trustworthiness.

If you don't want to hear peoples' opinions then don't ask. They can chime in as they see fit. No one is lying to you.

JollyElm
05-21-2012, 01:29 AM
If you don't want to hear peoples' opinions then don't ask. They can chime in as they see fit. No one is lying to you.

And that, sir, is a lie. When the person said, "His doesn't interconnect like yours, they are just written over each other" that was a blatant lie. But then again, I guess you don't actually read any posts, you just chime in because you enjoy being a d_uchebag.

bender07
05-21-2012, 07:44 AM
And that, sir, is a lie. When the person said, "His doesn't interconnect like yours, they are just written over each other" that was a blatant lie. But then again, I guess you don't actually read any posts, you just chime in because you enjoy being a d_uchebag.

Great contribution. How can someone's opinion be a lie?

Mr. Zipper
05-21-2012, 07:47 AM
This thread has taken an odd turn.

(Just my opinion... not a lie.) :D

jgmp123
05-21-2012, 07:56 AM
This thread has taken an odd turn.

(Just my opinion... not a lie.) :D

Mr. Zipper I thought the point was made that this thread doesn't need any OPINIONS. :D:D:D

bender07
05-21-2012, 10:27 AM
I always hate to say this,,, but if you had sent me a check to authenticate this, I would probably send you the check back and say I cannot say yes or no. It happens about two or three times a year. (I don't do the volume that the big two do, I am the boutique authenticator, and you can always get me on the phone as opposed to them). :)
I trust my exemplar file and I have one or two with some similarities to your sig incl. that W, but there are a couple of causes for concern.
The one thing I lack is a good AP from right around 1940, which would clarify this. I buy albums regularly but never got one with a circa early 1940 sig of him.

Richard - FYI I forwarded a note to regarding the 41's potential authenticity.

Just to close the loop on the 41 Play Ball Williams, the card was obtained from Jim Stinson (another great dealer in the industry like Richard) and his opinion is that it's an authentic pre-military Williams. He has a vast experience with Williams' autograph so I feel comfortable.

Wymers Auction
05-21-2012, 10:54 AM
And that, sir, is a lie. When the person said, "His doesn't interconnect like yours, they are just written over each other" that was a blatant lie. But then again, I guess you don't actually read any posts, you just chime in because you enjoy being a d_uchebag.

And you are a crybaby I guess that would finish the name calling.

Deertick
05-21-2012, 03:41 PM
He clearly said, "His doesn't interconnect like yours, they are just written over each other." Yet that is blatantly untrue. Does anybody tell the truth in these forums...ever???

I don't claim to be an expert. But...."His doesn't interconnect like yours" is a TRUE statement. I don't believe he is saying one does and one does not interconnect. I believe he means the authentic signature interconnects at the TOP of the d and yours connect from the BOTTOM. I'm sure an apology is in order.....

Splinte1941
05-21-2012, 03:48 PM
It's funny how people keep chiming in and just ignoring what my posts were about--these people who give their 'opinions' on authenticity while blatantly lying about the facts. Interesting. That tells me all I need to know about your trustworthiness.

With all due respect, what facts are you claiming people are lying about?

Splinte1941
05-21-2012, 03:50 PM
Just to close the loop on the 41 Play Ball Williams, the card was obtained from Jim Stinson (another great dealer in the industry like Richard) and his opinion is that it's an authentic pre-military Williams. He has a vast experience with Williams' autograph so I feel comfortable.

Mark, I'd like to have Jim take a look at a signature of Ted from 1939 that's in dispute. Can you PM me with his info or how I can go about contacting him?

Thanks.

mr2686
05-21-2012, 03:55 PM
Jake, PM sent.

scmavl
05-21-2012, 10:32 PM
Woah, this thread is all over the place...

I am pretty sure JollyElm meant that his sigs interconnect like one example posted on this thread, WHICH IT DOES.

http://www.net54baseball.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=64010&d=1337496316

However, I think we are all pretty conclusive on the fact that, unfortunately for him, his Williams are poor fakes.

Please remember though that if any of you are like me, you knew VERY LITTLE about real/fake autos before you joined this forum. I couldn't tell a real Mantle from a $2 ebay fake when I joined. I have learned SO MUCH in the past two years. Let's give JollyElm the benefit of the doubt and help him out instead of crucifying him.

Eh?

mr2686
05-21-2012, 10:43 PM
Does that mean we have to put away our torches and pitchforks? :D

scmavl
05-21-2012, 10:44 PM
Does that mean we have to put away our torches and pitchforks? :D

No, just the machetes and slingblades.

;)

JimStinson
05-24-2012, 06:50 PM
Am New to the forum and Since my name was mentioned in this Thread I thought I would chime in. Regarding Williams and his autograph, His early signature (Pre Military Service) Bore almost no likeness to the Williams signature that most collectors would become used to seeing. The earliest Teddy Ballgame signatures I've owned have been a 1937 San Diego Padres team signed ball, which Williams actually wanted for his Museum when he lived in North Central Florida and I lived in Ocala. Later I owned and eventually sold three Ted Williams LONG handwritten letters written to one of his neighbors on Utah Street in San Diego in 1938 when Ted was playing for Minneapolis before his first major league at bat. And lastly a 1939 Boston Red Sox IN-PERSON team sheet signed by the entire team including Williams and signed only a month or so after his first major league at bat. All match perfectly with the 1941 signed card mentioned in this thread and are also consistent with any other PRE WW II Williams items I've seen. he spent four years in military service and it was upon his return that his signature began to evolve into the signature that most collectors are familiar with from his baseball card show days in the 1980's until his death. By his own admission he freely used a "Clubhouse" employee to sign his name on many team balls and through the mail autograph requests recieved via the club during baseball season but by most accounts this did not begin until the late 1940's. Which would account for some of the wide variations of signatures originating from the 1950's. After he retired from baseball and even as far back as the 1970's and 1980's when he was living in Islamorada in the Florida Keys he was signing and answering mail requests for his autograph as evidenced by the image I attached which I recieved through the mail around 1984 postmarked from Islamorada almost a year after I had requested his signature on the photo and sase I provided. If the autograph on this photo or ANY of his 1980's 1990's card show signed items and the pre WW II signatures of Teddy Ballgame were placed side by side there would be almost no resemblance what so ever. Yet they were signed by the same person.

David Atkatz
05-24-2012, 06:53 PM
Welcome to Net54, Jim. It will be a pleasure to have an autograph dealer who knows his stuff on board.

JimStinson
05-24-2012, 07:06 PM
Thanks David, My ears were ringing I KNEW someone was talking about me. :)

JimStinson
05-24-2012, 07:31 PM
More on Williams, I wrote this for SCD a while back

HOW I ALMOST BECAME BEST FRIENDS WITH THE GREATEST HITTER OF ALL TIME
It was 1969 and I was 13 years old. Islamorada Florida was part of a small cluster of islands that made up the Florida Keys. About a 45 minute drive from Miami across a series of narrow bridges and straight stretch of two lane highway, Islamorada was a sleepy fishing town, an oasis of marinas, restaurants and tourist hotels. A gas and soda stop for station wagons laden with wide eyed northeastern families on vacation and headed for Key West. To this kid from Rahway New Jersey on vacation with his family Islamorada was as far away from New Jersey as you could get and It was also home to the greatest hitter who ever lived, Ted Williams.

You had to know what you were looking for to find it, The house on Madeira. It was two blocks off of what could hardly be called the “main drag” in Islamorada. You made a right at “Lorilies” a small tavern and restaurant. There was a marina in the back and if you turned right and drove about 100 yards you could see the house . Behind a gate and tucked back from the road. Ted liked his privacy . It was on a large lush piece of property that sat smack on the water. You couldn’t see much of the house from the road but you could make out it was a house. In one of Mickey Mantle’s books he tells of passing through Islamorada with Billy Martin during spring training on their way to the “action” in Key West. Mantle was then a promising power hitting centerfielder with the Yankees and Williams was his idol. In his book the Mick said he entertained thoughts of dropping in for a visit at Ted’s house and got as far as the end of the driveway before even the great #7 chickened out and gunned the engine. Each year beginning in 1966 and continuing to 1972 for about 10 days each year. Ted Williams and I had one thing in common. We both lived in Islamorada.

Catching a sighting of the man himself in his native habitat would prove to be as elusive as a sighting of big foot. He had been here he had been there, rumors and small talk. His favorite restaurant was “Isa & Mannys” a small mom and pop place with about eight tables that served up Cuban food with an island flair. There was a picture on the wall of Ted Williams posed next to a giant tarpon. As a kid “Isa and Mannys” was my favorite restaurant too. Not for the food but for the possibility no matter how far fetched that Teddy Ballgame might stroll in and order a bowl of conch chowder. My plan was simple, if I could somehow get to meet him, shake his hand somehow get our paths to cross that I knew enough about baseball and fishing (I knew Ted loved to fish) that I’d be able to carry on an intelligent enough conversation that Ted and I would become buddies maybe even go fishing together. I guess as a teenager I was pretty damn naïve. On the last day of our vacation I’d convince my father to take one more spin past Ted Williams house on Madeira. Perhaps that would be the day Ted Williams would be raking leaves in the yard and we could have that long postponed chat. I guess Ted didn’t like to do yard work either.

Fast forward, 1985, I’m living in Ocala Florida, Ted still calls Islamorada home. I had discovered Jack Smalling’s “Baseball Address list” a few years earlier and amazingly you actually could write to many of the old time ballplayers and for the price of a SASE get an autograph through the mail. Joe DiMaggio would still sign for free then. It was like magic !. People looked at you a little funny if you told them you collected autographs but who cared, it was all about making that “connection” with these “Baseball Gods” from our youth. I found a great picture of Williams. An 8×10 of a young “Splinter” swinging a bat and looking skyward. I mailed it to Islamorada. A month had passed with no reply and I assumed that Mr. Williams had delegated my letter to the trash heap. Another pesky intrusion into his private life. Six months later an envelope arrived at my house with an Islamorada Florida postmark. Inside the photo was inscribed “To Jimmy, Your Pal, Ted Williams.” After these many years I was finally “Pals” with the “Splendid Splinter.”

Around that same time I had happened to be driving through Crystal River Florida and in a small shopping plaza spotted a sign for a baseball card shop “Talkin Baseball” . It seemed like everyone in those days was selling baseball cards. I’ve never had any interest in cards but an autograph collector which I certainly was could find occasional bargains in a card shop. Card shop owners had little or no interest or knowledge in autographs and the quicker they got rid of these unknown and foreign commodities the better. The owner of the card shop was a fellow named Vince Antonucci a name that would later be infamous in hobby circles and become by Ted Williams own admission the most despised man he’d ever met. Antonucci would one day become Ted William’s exclusive agent which is a lot like having 100 geese that lay golden eggs, he would also one day be featured on the TV show “America’s Most Wanted”.

In 1987 Ted Williams moved from Islamorada Florida to Citrus Hills which was a community being developed to lure retirees to the “good life” in Florida. And what better spokesman than the idol of their generation. The Florida Keys had grown too congested and Williams didn’t need much prodding by developer Sam Tamposi who had been a minority owner in the Red Sox after Tom Yawkey had died. Tamposi gave Williams a large tract of land and had a house built on the highest point in Citrus Hills. When I heard the news I couldn’t have been more elated as Citrus Hills was less than a 30 minute drive from my home in Ocala. In 1987 I was a full time autograph dealer and was finally starting to make a little money at it thanks in large part to something called a “Private autograph signing session”. Famous ballplayers had been appearing at card shows, shaking hands and signing autographs for a small fee. I figured I could cover more ground and provide greater accessability if I went to them paid their fee, had multiple items signed , documented the in-person encounter with a snapshot and then sold the autographed product nationwide. It doesn’t sound too innovative today but trust me in 1987 it was hot stuff. Now as if destiny had waved her wand Ted Williams and I who were already “Pals” (and I had the photo to prove it) were practically neighbors.

Flashback, 1937 San Diego California , 19 year old Ted Williams is playing for the San Diego Padres. One of the Pacific Coast League’s most popular teams. It was a stop off point for ball players at one end of their career or the other on their way out or on their way in. Ted was on his way in. In 1937 he was asked “Which pitch bothers you the most?”, “Can’t tell the difference” Williams replied “They all look like they are hanging out in front of the plate on a string”.

“Are you the fellow who buys old autographs?” “That’s me,” I said. “I saw your advertisement in Sports Collectors Digest, my father used to play ball in the PCL and I’ve got about a dozen signed baseballs, interested?” I bought the baseballs for $500.00, it was 1988 and five hundred dollars went a long way in 1988 if you were buying autographs. I can’t remember any of the balls today or who had signed them except for one. It caught my eye immediately. It was a PCL ball signed by the entire 1937 San Diego Padres team including the team’s young star Ted Williams. Wow! I finally had my letter of introduction. My “ticket” so to speak to meet the great Ted Williams in the flesh. Surely there was no one on earth that would treasure this ball more than the Splendid Splinter. What sentimental memories would this invoke? This was the last season playing ball in his hometown before moving on to Minneapolis and eventually to Fenway and greatness. I composed my letter to Williams thoughtfully and offered the baseball to him as a gift wanting to give it to him personally. Of course the thought did run through my mind that I would mention upon meeting him that since we lived so close together and since after all a “local” autograph dealer like myself who had done private signings with the likes of Bill Terry and Johnny Mize was only a natural to have as a contact. I had visons of Ted dropping by my house in Ocala and sharpie in hand signing a stack of photos & collecting his check. Heck we were almost business partners already. Or even better having an ice tea or lemonade on the porch (Ted wasn’t a drinker) or having my wife prepare his favorite a chocolate milk shake while we talked over how the Red Sox were doing or cussed about “Those Damn Yankees” (I had heard that Ted cussed a lot). It didn’t take long to get a letter back from Mr Williams, not nearly as long as it took for the signed photo to make its way through the mail back when he lived in Islamorada. I nervously opened the letter which had been written by a secretary but contained notes in shorthand to indicate that it had been dictated directly from Williams himself. He would be delighted to have the ball. The letter said. In fact a Ted Williams Museum was being built near his home and it would be a welcome addition to display there. He mentioned that he too would want to pick it up personally in Ocala or have me bring it by his house. He said he had a few things going on but as soon as his schedule would permit he would be in touch. I don’t know if he ever tried to call me and I wasn’t home or maybe even tried to stop by and I wasn’t there. This I do know, shortly after he wrote the letter to me Ted Williams happened to be going grocery shopping in a small shopping plaza near his home and spotted a sign for “Talkin Baseball.”

Vince Antonucci’s Crystal River Baseball card shop. He wandered in unannounced and Vince became his friend, confidant and business agent. In fact it was to come out later during the sizable legal quagmire that would surround the ill fated venture that Antonucci not content to simply be Ted’s business manager was able to persuade him to become a PARTNER!! Investing large sums of his own money in the company that was now called “Ted William’s Talkin Baseball.” Inventory and money tended to disappear until the day that Teddy Ballgame showed up in front of the store with a ladder and began tearing his name off of the storefront. In the legal battles that would follow there were no winners, Williams poured thousands upon thousands into legal representation. Antonucci was found guilty and sentenced to five and a half years in jail and ten years probation and was ordered to pay back the money he had taken from Williams. Paroled in 1993 after only a year and a half of actual jail time Antonucci skipped town. Reports surfaced from around the country of a man representing himself as Ted William’s former business manager, always with car loads of purported signed Ted Williams photos and balls for sale to finance his cross country travels. According to court files Antonucci had surrendered only about one and a half pages of items from a sixty-five page list of inventory that it was determined he still owed Williams. Furious Williams had his story presented on the popular TV show “America’s Most Wanted” Vince Antonucci’s picture was on every TV set in America and within 24 hours he was captured in Anacortes Washington and placed in custody. Williams appeared at the courthouse when Vince was sentenced again and led away in leg irons. Estimates of the cost to Williams from the con man’s scheme and capture and conviction were estimated to have ran from one to three MILLION dollars! As a result of this fiasco his son John Henry would take over the reins to “protect” his father from other “scam artists”. It was like going from the frying pan into the fire.

After two years I finally sold the 1937 San Diego Padres team signed baseball to a collector. I figured that from here on out that it wouldn’t be a good idea to talk to Ted Williams about signing any autographs and that my being an autograph dealer would preclude our sipping lemonade together on my front porch anytime soon. My hopes would be permanently dashed on July 5th, 2002 a day after my 46th birthday, When I saw reported on the news that Ted Williams had died he was 83 years old.

I never did meet Ted Williams, never got to be best friends as I had hoped, never got to talk about baseball or fishing or anything else for that matter. I saw him in person once. It was at a hotel in St Petersburg Florida about ten years before he died. The occasion was a Baseball alumni Old Timers weekend. I was staying at the hotel and was seated in the lobby. There was a crowd of about thirty people with photos and baseballs all near a side entrance where it was rumored Williams would be arriving shortly. I could hear the sound of paper rustling as baseballs were torn out of their boxes and saw the group pushing close together arms outstretched. A booming voice could be heard above the din “I’M NOT SIGNING ANY DAMN AUTOGRAPHS!” he went directly to the elevator door which someone had held open for him. I watched as the door slowly closed.

The fishing isn’t that great in Islamorada anymore, its been fished out. The old two lane has been replaced by a four lane highway and you have to run for your life just to cross the street. Large concrete bridges have replaced the small narrow rickety ones. “Isa and Manny’s” restaurant is still there. They moved up the street from the old site. Someone stole the picture off the wall of Ted Williams posed next to the giant Tarpon. The large lot on Madeira has been divided up and they were building another house next to Ted’s old house which you still can barely see from the road. I still have my autographed picture that I got through the mail from Ted Williams. The one that’s signed “To Jimmy, Your Pal”

Scott Garner
05-24-2012, 07:51 PM
Great stuff, Jim! Thanks for sharing your story and the other info. :)

mr2686
05-24-2012, 08:08 PM
Great info Jim, glad to have you on the board. I have several great autographs that I purchased from you and looking forward to getting several more in the years to come.

Splinte1941
05-24-2012, 08:08 PM
Welcome Jim. Net54 just got a helluva lot better.

Mr. Zipper
05-25-2012, 06:34 AM
Great post!

GrayGhost
05-25-2012, 06:54 AM
Welcome Jim. Net54 just got a helluva lot better.

+1

RichardSimon
05-25-2012, 08:59 AM
Welcome Jim. Net54 just got a helluva lot better.

That is questionable :D.

Just kidding, he is a good friend of mine and the first guy I recommend when people ask me who else they should buy from.
Good to have Jim on board. Good to know he listens to me :D.

bigtrain
05-25-2012, 09:14 AM
this was mine and i sold it to the OP. i don't see alot of vintage williams to compare it to but i thought the "W" is good. the only things out of the norm to me were the "d" and the "am", but i'm far from a williams expert. the seller i bought it from assured me it'd pass psa/dna or jsa and i offer the same guarantee. hell if richard would opine his thought i'd also take it.

the buyer never expressed to me he had doubt about the auto (he's probably just looking for opionions) but like i said i'd take it back no problem.

also it's a gpc...don't know williams' habit but lots of players date their sigs. the coa is from legends are forever if anybody is familiar with them?

"Legends Are Forever" is a shop on Main Street in Cooperstown. I cannot vouch for their expertise. Most shops there do not sell a lot of vintage stuff.

JimStinson
05-25-2012, 01:05 PM
Yea Rich , Only took 5 years but finally listened. I'm usually a decade or two behind the curve :)

chaddurbin
05-25-2012, 03:34 PM
"Legends Are Forever" is a shop on Main Street in Cooperstown. I cannot vouch for their expertise. Most shops there do not sell a lot of vintage stuff.

fighting with them to get a refund as they only accept the opinions of psa/dna or jsa, not richard simon and jim stinson...barf. will probably have ebay make a ruling as the psa/dna fee is probably more than the gpc itself (unless they wanna pay for it).

also welcome aboard jim looking forward to buying stuff from you.