Rule no. 1 of the NSCC: Don't get sucked into the Magazine/Program Vortex. You could lose two hours before you even blink. Don't even glance at them. You hear me? LOOK AWAY!
Another rule: Always ask if something that seems to be vintage is actually vintage. Like this "Ted's Root Beer" sign, which turned out to be one of those new-retro products that can be found easily on eBay for 19 bucks. Not autographed by Ted, but still.
Another rule: Don't collect anything that's politically incorrect now but wasn't politically incorrect back then, no matter how rare it is. There's just no upside. It's a Curb Your Enthusiasm plot waiting to happen.
Fine, fine there's a little upside here. The "More" pushes it over the top. I e-mailed this to 10 of my Jewish friends with the question "How excited would you be to get this as a holiday gift on a scale of 1 to 10??" The average score? 7.2. One friend pointed out, "It's a relic, y'know — in the last decade or so, the Chosen People have flooded the sports world." Another said, "As a gift for my grandfather, this would be better than a live Streisand performance of Hava Nagila." My favorite response: "I'm good with just the one copy that I have. Get me something else." He was serious.
So much to love here: the title (and HOWE!), the price (75 bucks????) and the fact that it's co-signed by Gordie and his wife. I nearly thumbed through it to see if it included a "Gordie Howe hat trick" bedroom anecdote but decided against it.
The strangest thing about the convention every year? That MantleMania hasn't subsided even a little. Only Mantle gets a whole wall of autographed photos like this. It's bizarre. He's like the Pied Piper for socially awkward, over-55 white guys.