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  1. #1

    How an "ehh" autograph card became a prized part of my collection

    By Keith Matheny aka UpNorthOutWest

    So much of our sports card collecting hobby, for good reasons, is focused on the statistical greatness of the player and the card 's age, condition and monetary value.

    But I recently had an experience where digging a little deeper in researching a baseball card in my collection caused me to look at it in a very different way. It made the card much more valuable, at least to me.

    A while back I got a box of Tri-Star Signa-Cuts. I'd never bought it before and just wanted to give it a whirl.

    From it I pulled a cut autograph of Morris "Morrie" Martin, numbered 6/26.

    Who?

    Yeah, exactly.

    From a very short blurb on Wikipedia I learned that Martin pitched from 1949 to 1959, appearing in 250 games for several different teams. His career record was 38-34.

    I wasn't exactly excited. OK, I was a bit disappointed, hoping for a little better hit.

    Still, it was an interesting-looking card -- an old, signed baseball card cut in half. I slapped it in a protector and it's been in "the pile" ever since.

    Fast-forward several months. While surfing the Internet I came across the Web site baseballinwartime.co.uk. There I found information about Morrie Martin.

    He was born on Sept. 3, 1922 in Dixon, Mo. The Brooklyn Dodgers signed Martin after a scout watched him pitch two shutouts and struck out 43 batters in one afternoon in his Missouri hometown.

    Martin was assigned to the Grand Forks Chiefs of the Class C Northern League, where he led the league with a 2.05 earned-run average and made the All-Star Team. Martin went 16-7 and was promoted to the St. Paul Saints of the American Association for 1942.

    But World War II would put Martin's fledgling baseball career on hold.

    On Dec. 28, 1942, Martin entered military service with the Army at Jefferson Barracks, Mo. He served with the 49th Engineer Combat Battalion, and was involved in amphibious landings at North Africa, Sicily and at Omaha Beach in Normandy on D-Day, June 6, 1944.

    Martin suffered shrapnel wounds twice. But one of his closest brushes with death came one night in a small town in Germany. The house he was staying in was leveled by an enemy bomb. Martin and two other soldiers were buried alive.

    "We saw a little pin of light out of the darkness and dug ourselves out," Martin told MLB.com in a 2004 interview I also later discovered through some Internet research.

    "We got out the next day and everybody was gone. They left us. About a day and a half later we found them. They just figured we were dead. They said we looked like ghosts walking to them, all white with plaster. It was pretty scary, I'll tell you that."

    In early 1945, during the Battle of the Bulge, Martin suffered a bullet wound to the leg.

    Infection set in. A doctor in the Army hospital said amputation would be necessary.

    Martin relayed what happened in the MLB.com story:

    "There was a little nurse there, and God bless her soul, I wish I knew where she was now," Martin said. "She said, 'They're supposed to amputate your leg tomorrow. You can refuse that operation.' She said, 'They have a new drug out now that will kill that infection.'"

    The new drug was penicillin. Martin said he took more than 150 shots of penicillin to his leg, but was able to keep it.

    "The little nurse saved it for me," he told MLB.com. "Otherwise, I'd have no career in baseball at all."

    Martin was discharged from the Army in December 1945. Incredibly, he returned to the baseball mound the following season, going 14-6 for the Asheville Tourists with a 2.71 ERA.

    By 1949, Martin made it to the big leagues as a 26-year-old rookie. He pitched in 10 games for the Dodgers, going 1-3. In 1951 he was back in the league with the Philadelphia Athletics. It was Martin's best season. He went 11-4 with a 3.78 ERA, beating every American League team at least once.

    In total, Martin spent 10 seasons, pitching with the Dodgers, A's, White Sox, Orioles, Cardinals, Indians and Cubs, mostly in relief. Martin retired from the big leagues in 1959.

    He's 86 years old and currently lives in Washington, Mo.

    My Morrie Martin cut autograph card is now a prized part of my personal collection. When I look at it now, I think of an American hero, a member of "The Greatest Generation," who fought and was wounded in some of the most important battles of World War II.

    I think of the tremendous perseverance Martin must have had, to go from nearly losing a leg in war to pitching again -- and well -- within about a year.

    The lesson I learned? Sometimes stats and book value don't tell the entire story of a card, a player, or a man's value. And an uninspiring card, once in a great while, can become a special part of your collection, if you look a little closer.


  2. #2
    How an "ehh" auto became a prized part of my collection

    By Keith Matheny aka UpNorthOutWest

    So much of our sports card collecting hobby, for good reasons, is focused on the statistical greatness of the player and the card's age, condition and monetary value.

    But I recently had an experience where digging a little deeper in researching a baseball card in my collection caused me to look at it in a very different way. It made the card much more valuable, at least to me.

    A while back I got a box of Tri-Star Signa-Cuts. I'd never bought it before and just wanted to give it a whirl. From it I pulled a cut autograph of Morris "Morrie" Martin, numbered 6/26.

    Who?

    Yeah, exactly.

    From a very short blurb on Wikipedia I learned that Martin pitched from 1949 to 1959, appearing in 250 games for several different teams. His career record was 38-34.

    I wasn't exactly excited. OK, I was a bit disappointed, hoping for a little better hit. Still, it was an interesting-looking card, an old, signed baseball card cut in half. I slapped it in a protector and it's been in "the pile" ever since.

    Fast-forward several months. While surfing the Internet I came across the Web site baseballinwartime.co.uk. There I found information about Morrie Martin's life.

    He was born on Sept. 3, 1922 in Dixon, Mo. The Brooklyn Dodgers signed Martin after a scout watched him pitch two shutouts and struck out 43 batters in one afternoon in his Missouri hometown. Martin was assigned to the Grand Forks Chiefs of the Class C Northern League, where he led the league with a 2.05 earned-run average and made the All-Star Team. Martin went 16-7 and was promoted to the St. Paul Saints of the American Association for 1942.

    But World War II would put Martin's fledgling baseball career on hold.

    On Dec. 28, 1942, Martin entered military service with the Army at Jefferson Barracks, Mo. He served with the 49th Engineer Combat Battalion, and was involved in amphibious landings at North Africa, Sicily and at Omaha Beach in Normandy on D-Day, June 6, 1944. Martin suffered shrapnel wounds twice. But one of his closest brushes with death came one night in a small town in Germany. The house he was staying in was leveled by an enemy bomb. Martin and two other soldiers were buried alive. "We saw a little pin of light out of the darkness and dug ourselves out," Martin told MLB.com in a 2004 interview I also later discovered through some Internet research.

    "We got out the next day and everybody was gone. They left us. About a day and a half later we found them. They just figured we were dead. They said we looked like ghosts walking to them, all white with plaster. It was pretty scary, I'll tell you that."

    In early 1945, during the Battle of the Bulge, Martin suffered a bullet wound to the leg. Infection set in. A doctor in the Army hospital said amputation would be necessary.

    Martin relayed what happened in the MLB.com story:

    "There was a little nurse there, and God bless her soul, I wish I knew where she was now," Martin said. "She said, 'They're supposed to amputate your leg tomorrow. You can refuse that operation.' She said, 'They have a new drug out now that will kill that infection.'"

    The new drug was penicillin. Martin said he took more than 150 shots of penicillin to his leg, but was able to keep it.

    "The little nurse saved it for me," he told MLB.com. "Otherwise, I'd have no career in baseball at all."

    Martin was discharged from the Army in December 1945. Incredibly, he returned to the baseball mound the following season, going 14-6 for the Asheville Tourists with a 2.71 ERA. By 1949, Martin made it to the big leagues as a 26-year-old rookie. He pitched in 10 games for the Dodgers, going 1-3. In 1951 he was back in the league with the Philadelphia Athletics. It was Martin's best season. He went 11-4 with a 3.78 ERA, beating every American League team at least once.

    In total, Martin spent 10 seasons, pitching with the Dodgers, A's, White Sox, Orioles, Cardinals, Indians and Cubs, mostly in relief. Martin retired from the big leagues in 1959.

    He's 86 years old and currently lives in Washington, Mo.

    My Morrie Martin cut autograph card is now a prized part of my personal collection. When I look at it now, I think of an American hero, a member of "The Greatest Generation," who fought and was wounded in some of the most important battles of World War II. I think of the tremendous perseverance Martin must have had, to go from nearly losing a leg in war to pitching again within about a year.

    The lesson I learned? Sometimes stats and book value don't tell the entire story of a card, a player, or a man's value. And an uninspiring card, once in a great while, can become a special part of your collection, if you look a little closer.



    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Keith, excellent article. It was well-written with few changes needed. Karine, double check again. I cut down on the number of new paragraphs, but if some need to be spaced back out, then feel free to change that.

  3. #3
    Awesome story! It is really cool to see that. I looked back at an oldjunker auto I have (richard almanzar), bu unfortunately nothing ever good really happened to him

  4. #4
    Great article Keith! Thanks for writing it! John thanks for the edit, PM coming.

    --------------------------

    How an "ehh" Autograph Became a Prized Part of my Collection

    By Keith Matheny aka UpNorthOutWest

    So much of our sports card collecting hobby, for good reasons, is focused on the statistical greatness of the player and the card's age, condition and monetary value.
    However, I recently had an experience where digging a little deeper in researching a baseball card in my collection caused me to look at it in a very different way. It made the card much more valuable, at least to me…

    A while back I got a box of Tri-Star Signa-Cuts. I'd never bought it before and just wanted to give it a whirl. From it I pulled a cut autograph of Morris "Morrie" Martin, numbered 6/26. Who? Yeah, exactly.

    From a very short blurb on Wikipedia I learned that Martin pitched from 1949 to 1959, appearing in 250 games for several different teams. His career record was 38-34.I wasn't exactly excited. OK, I was a bit disappointed, hoping for a little better hit. Still, it was an interesting-looking card, an old, signed baseball card cut in half. I slapped it in a protector and it's been in "the pile" ever since.

    Fast-forward several months. While surfing the Internet I came across the website www.baseballinwartime.co.uk. There I found information about Morrie Martin's life.
    He was born on Sept. 3, 1922 in Dixon, Missouri. The Brooklyn Dodgers signed Martin after a scout watched him pitch two shutouts and strike out 43 batters in one afternoon in his Missouri hometown. Martin was assigned to the Grand Forks Chiefs of the Class C Northern League, where he led the league with a 2.05 earned run average and made the All-Star Team. Martin went 16-7 and was promoted to the St. Paul Saints of the American Association for 1942.

    But World War II would put Martin's fledgling baseball career on hold.

    On Dec. 28, 1942, Martin entered military service with the Army at Jefferson Barracks, Mo. He served with the 49th Engineer Combat Battalion, and was involved in amphibious landings at North Africa, Sicily and at Omaha Beach in Normandy on D-Day, June 6, 1944. He suffered shrapnel wounds twice. But one of his closest brushes with death came one night in a small town in Germany. That night, an enemy bomb levelled the house he was staying in. Martin and two other soldiers were buried alive. "We saw a little pin of light out of the darkness and dug ourselves out," Martin told MLB.com in a 2004 interview I also later discovered through some Internet research.

    "We got out the next day and everybody was gone. They left us. About a day and a half later we found them. They just figured we were dead. They said we looked like ghosts walking to them, all white with plaster. It was pretty scary, I'll tell you that."

    In early 1945, during the Battle of the Bulge, Martin suffered a bullet wound to the leg. Infection set in. A doctor in the Army hospital said amputation would be necessary. Martin relayed what happened in the MLB.com story:” There was a little nurse there, and God bless her soul, I wish I knew where she was now," Martin said. "She said, 'they're supposed to amputate your leg tomorrow. You can refuse that operation.' She said, 'They have a new drug out now that will kill that infection.'"

    The new drug was penicillin. Martin said he took more than 150 shots of penicillin to his leg, but was able to keep it. "The little nurse saved it for me," he told MLB.com. "Otherwise, I'd have no career in baseball at all."

    Martin was discharged from the Army in December 1945. Incredibly, he returned to the baseball mound the following season, going 14-6 for the Asheville Tourists with a 2.71 ERA. By 1949, Martin made it to the big leagues as a 26-year-old rookie. He pitched in 10 games for the Dodgers, going 1-3. In 1951 he was back in the league with the Philadelphia Athletics. It was Martin's best season. He went 11-4 with a 3.78 ERA, beating every American League team at least once.

    In total, Martin spent 10 seasons, pitching with the Dodgers, A's, White Sox, Orioles, Cardinals, Indians and Cubs, mostly in relief. He retired from the big leagues in 1959. Now 86 years old, he currently lives in Washington, Mo.

    My Morrie Martin cut autograph card is now a prized part of my personal collection. When I look at it now, I think of an American hero, a member of "The Greatest Generation," who fought and was wounded in some of the most important battles of World War II. I think of the tremendous perseverance Martin must have had, to go from nearly losing a leg in war to pitching again within about a year.

    The lesson I learned? Sometimes stats and book value don't tell the entire story of a card, a player, or a man's value. And an uninspiring card, once in a great while, can become a special part of your collection, if you look a little closer.

  5. #5

  6. #6
    Super Cool Story, This should get published!

  7. #7
    It was part of the articles submitted to Tuff Stuff for consideration :)

  8. #8
    great card, for me im still waiting for my first pack pulled cut signature. hopefully someday

  9. #9

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