At the request of fellow DTFC member, Scooter, this edition of "Caught in the Web" is going to focus on baseball memorabilia-related websites.

Autographs are one of the most popular areas of baseball memorabilia collecting, but they're also one of the riskiest because of the abundance of forgeries out there. That's where The Autograph Forgery Defense Site (http://ourworld.compuserve.com/homepages/mkolleth/) steps in. Site creater Michael Kolleth is author of a recent book on Negro League autographs. This site is a great one. Besides giving lots of tips about how to detect and avoid forgeries, he offers pictures of almost every Hall of Famer autograph for comparison purposes. A bookmark worthy site.

One of my most prized baseball items is my worn-out creased 1960 Leaf Duke Snider baseball card. I had this card autographed by Duke when I was 8 years old, and it's probably the only thing in my house now that I've been able to hold onto for that long. Now the seque: If you're looking for free autographs of Hall of Famers, check out Baseball Hall of Famer Signing Habits (http://www.geocities.com/Colosseum/8463/). According to the webmaster there, players like Ernie Banks, Bobby Doerr, Joe Morgan, and Don Sutton will sign autographs thru the mail free of charge, and many other Hall of Famers like Eddie Matthews, Warren Spahn and Yogi Berra, among others, will sign your items for $10 or less. Don't know how up-to-date this info is, but it's worth a look.

One of my very favorite pieces of baseball memorabilia are Hartland Statues. In case you don't know, Hartland was a toy company that issued all sorts of plastic figurines in the 1950s and 60s, ranging from Roy Rogers to Lyndon Baines Johnson. But their best-remembered figurines are their baseball statues. Kevin Cloutier's Hartland Figurines and Sports Memorabilia (http://www.hartlands.com/) is the best source on the web for info on these figurines. From pictures of each statue to a detailed history of the company, this site is complete in every way. Cloutier is also the leading Hartlands dealer in the country, so you can find almost every figurine for sale on the site too.

GloveCrazy (http://hometown.aol.com/glovecrazy/index.html) is the best site I found on baseball glove collecting. It's a pretty good site, with lots of informative pictures. But I would like to see this site expanded with more info on how to identify gloves of different time periods and with features on each of the individual glove makers. Still, the site is worth visiting once or twice for the info it does contain.

Now for something completely different.

We're not going to give out a Golden Ooshuk this edition. Instead, the DTFC is in mourning. This week, Fastball (www.fastball.com) announced that it was disbanding its team discussion forums. It was on these same forums that the Dickie Thon Fan Club was first created 3 years ago. Though we left the Fastball forums a couple of years ago because of the constant impostering and "You suck, we rule" type of posts going on there, we are still sad at the passing of the discussion forums.

So, Fastball, this special Wilted Ooshuk is for you:

--JingleBob, August 12, 1999

Previous articles:

July 25, 1999
July 4, 1999
June 22, 1999

1999 JC White