Kevin Keatings Weekly Collecting Tips & FAQ

View our inventory on our website or contact us at 800-241-4809 or with questions or to place an order. Check out our new featured items this week including a Billy Southworth gorgeous 3×5!–$495, Harry Caray on the panel of an ONL (W. White) ball w/”Holy Cow”!–$495, Judy Johnson signed Perez Steele card –$250, and much more.  This week we focus our attention on the Collecting the 1955 Dodgers.

Thanks to all who wrote in with comments and information about previous team autopsies we have done.  Thanks especially to John Chesterfield who provides us about the following information (edited) about his Father, Roy, who was a ‘phantom’ member of both the 1926 and 1927 Yankees: 
“Roy Chesterfield passed away in 1972 in Seattle, Washington. He was with the Yankees in both 26 & 27, but never played in a regular season game.  Between 26 & 28 he played with several teams – Newark, Chattanooga, St. Paul, Albany, Syracuse, and in 29 was assigned to the Pacific Coast League where he played for Hollywood, Portland, & Sacramento.
He ended his career in Yakima, WA, and then moved to Seattle during the war years.
There is a 1927 team picture in a book titled “The Babe Ruth Story” (1948 by Bob Considine), with Roy Chesterfield pictured as a member.
I recently ran across an old baseball that had just been sold at auction, which had autographs of Roy Chesterfield, Miller Huggins, and several other prominent Yankees.”

This week we will look at collecting the individual member signatures on flat items of the 1955 Brooklyn Dodgers, the franchise’s first world’s championship team.
Manager:  HOF-Walt Alston (d.84)
Starting eight:                                                Substitutes:
Gil Hodges 1B (d.72)                                   Don Zimmer
Jim Gilliam 2B (d.78)                                  Don Hoak (d.69)
HOF–Jackie Robinson 3B (d.72)            Rube Walker (d.92)
HOF–Pee Wee Reese SS (d.99)                Frank Kellert (d.76)
HOF–Duke Snider OF                                  George Shuba
Carl Furillo OF (d.89)                                  Homer E. “Dixie” Howell (d.90)-**See Note 2
Sandy Amoros OF (d.92)                           Bob Borkowski
HOF–Roy Campanella C (d.93)-             Walt Moryn (d.96)
*See Note 1                                                       Bert Hamric (d.84)

Pitchers:                                 Coaches:
Don Newcombe                    Milt Stock (d.77)-***See Note 3
Carl Erskine                            Jake Pitler (d.68)
Johnny Podres (d.08)
Billy Loes                                Other:
Russ Meyer (d.98)                         HOF-owner Walter O’Malley  
Karl Spooner (d.84)
Joe Black (d.02)
Jim Hughes (d.01)
Ed Roebuck
Clem Labine (d.07)
Don Bessent (d.90)
Roger Craig
HOF-Sandy Koufax
HOF-Tommy Lasorda
Chuck Templeton (d.97)
Since most team collectors attempt to assemble their items on flat items in order to display the completed team together, we will apply the scarcity index key (SIK) below only to our estimate of the total number of signed flat items we have seen for each of the 1955 Dodgers:
SIK-I:  Extinct (we have never seen one)-none in this category
SIK-II:  Extremely Rare (we have seen 1-10)-none in this category
SIK-III:  Very Rare (we have seen 11-25)-none in this category
SIK-IV:  Rare (we have seen 26-100)-Frank Kellert, Bert Hamric, Karl Spooner, Milt Stock, and Jake Pitler
SIK-V:  Uncommon (we have seen 101-500)-Roy Campanella, Gil Hodges, Jim Gilliam, Don Hoak, Don Bessent, and Walter O’Malley
SIK-VI:  Readily available (deceased with little or no autograph-show or private signing participation but examples are routinely offered in the market largely or primarily due to volume mail responses; check or other document releases; and/or overall widespread collecting of that person during their lifetime)- Jackie Robinson, Carl Furillo, Sandy Amoros, Rube Walker, Dixie Howell, Walt Moryn, Russ Meyer, and Jim Hughes
SIK-VII:  Plentiful (deceased but seemingly endless quantities exist from participation in modern shows, private signings, and/or fan-mail responses or a combination
thereof)- Pee Wee Reese, Johnny Podres, Clem Labine, and Joe Black
SIK-VIII:  living-all else
Note 1:  Roy Campanella suffered a career-ending car accident in January of 1958.   The tragedy left him paralyzed and unable to sign autographs until a machine was created decades later to assist him in signing his name.  The difference between a pre-accident and a machine-assisted autograph is distinct and unmistakable, and pre-accident examples command far greater value.
Note 2:  Homer E. “Dixie” Howell (d.90) should not be confused with Millard “Dixie” Howell (d.60) who played six major league seasons from 1940-1958 with the Indians, Reds, and White Sox.  
Note 3:  While Milt Stock lived until 1977, he suffered a debilitating stroke that left him unable to write many years before he passed, which helps to account for the rarity of his autograph.
Summary:   One reason this team is so widely collected is that it is possible to readily obtain nearly all of its members.  Moreover, most of the players can be found for a reasonable cost and all of its key members can be obtained if one has the patience and means to acquire them.  For the completionist, however, Spooner, Kellert, and Hamric can be a challenge of those on the roster who played in at least one game for this storied team. 

We welcome your comments or questions as well to post in future newsletters.
View our inventory on our website
Contact us at 800-241-4809 or with questions or to place an order.

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