The Greatest eBay Sales Pitches Ever

At the outset let me point out that there’s very little I can add to either of these authentic stream-of-conciousness sagas of Hall of Famer Eddie Mathews, the Mexican Dentist who saved him $20,000, the bartender, Adam West, the Elks Lodge, Socialized Medicine in France, “super famous guys living on cat food,” and the autographed baseball cards. So here are the links: the first one, the second one, and the – frankly – disappointingly brief third one.

All I can do is entice you to go, read them – preferably aloud. Maybe organize a party; anticipate needing an hour or so as you may want to read them aloud then dramatize them with various people playing the roles of the late Mr. Mathews, and the woman he gave the cards to, Michelle, and of course Larry Hagman. These eBay listings are at least a Telenovella if not a screenplay.

Just remember that she has strayed slightly from the premise of trying to get you to bid on these autographed cards.

For any of you who have heard unfounded allegations of Eddie’s control over the Drink OR RATHER, LACK THEREOF, it was not true.

Mind you, that’s the Topic Sentence in a 1,064 word attempt to sell you a baseball card.

But I’m interrupting! Sorry…

THE STORY NOW, I NEVER ASKED EDDIE FOR ANYTHING, NO SIGNED NOTHNG, WHICH I THINK SHOCKED HIM because everyone always did, napkins, any piece of paper they could find, it was tasteless. BUT, MY MOM WAS DIRECTOR OF ADMINISTRATION OF WARNER BROTHERS when we were kids and our neighbor’s were  Batman(Adam West), and another neighbor Larry Hagman, of” I Dream of Jeannie”, at the time (he chased down some mean boys who stole my brothers Halloween Candy, so he has always been a hero since our little 4 year old minds watched the Superhero save the day in Malibu Colony, AND I WAS “FAMOUS PROOF”, meaning I  always knew we were all equal and had things to learn from the bums in the street ergo we are equal!! So Eddie made a point of giving me a signed card on my B-Days and holidays. Normally he wasn’t thrilled when people asked for stuff, some were great, the kids and real fans, but some were just opportunists who wanted to make a buck of him when he died, as he put it!!! Never one to mince words. I miss Eddie terribly. After his death I organized for his wife to throw in the first pitch at a Padres Game, and we all took a bus down and we did an event at the local Elks Lodge, but Eddie was woefully ignored by the Baseball Commissioner, Hank Aaron, and all the baseball world when he died and it was a Shameful thing, especially for the Commissioner and Hank Aaron, who was there and laughed when Eddie said that which led to his firing, it was that era, but he was caught up in the Politically Correct Avant-Garde, though the whole team, including Hank, talked a certain way to each other, but when the Press attacked Eddie for a mild statement of the times, Hank and the Team didn’t back him up, and it really broke his heart, deeply, I guess after all those years it was like your family saying, we don’t want you here anymore, the days of the hard drinking Babe Loving Babe Ruth days are over and now we are all so PC, and I usually am, but I know what he said and he should NEVER have been let go.

I’d like to point out one factual error that threads through all of these “item descriptions.” As the seller notes in each auction, the Braves – with Mathews as manager – did indeed announce that they would keep Hank Aaron out of the lineup for their opening series in Cincinnati in 1974 so he wouldn’t tie (and maybe break) Babe Ruth’s home run record on the road. Commissioner Bowie Kuhn did step in and order the Braves to play him at least once against the Reds (and he promptly tied Ruth’s record on opening day).

But contrary to the lady’s claims, Mathews wasn’t fired as skipper the night of (April 8), or the day after, Aaron’s 715th homer. The Braves let him go on July 21. And also contrary to the lady’s claims, when Mathews was canned at the All-Star Break the Braves’ players rose up to defend him in a way that I recall even at the time was considered unusually strong. In particular, Aaron was outraged. “It’s their club and they can do anything they want to,” he was quoted by United Press International as saying. “Personally I thought he did a hell of a job. I’ve seen a lot of managers fired but this one touched me especially hard. It was a blow to me.”

But I’m getting in the way of the pitch, which concludes with one of the greatest lines ever used on eBay – or maybe anywhere else:

Thanks for listening to the story, don’t know all that much about cards or their worth, but Eddie gave me the ones I am auctioning, so we know they are real, and his wife, Judy, lives in Del Mar and she’ll give me a confirmation, though I haven’t seen her in years.

emAnd yes, by the way, that “one bid” you see for each of the cards? Those are mine. The descriptions may be remarkable as uses of the written word, but the sentiment seems absolutely sincere and compelling. Feel free to outbid me.



  1. patriciaellynpowell

    I have never wished to be rich this hard. Thanks so much for bidding on the cards, Mr. O. So many connections here, the world just got smaller. For Michelle: Avec Dieu, tout choses sont possible comme ca ma mere (aussi les gens de France) dit en ma passe. A France! Oui! Et avec toi, en ton coeur, Monsieur Eddie, le hero et un bonne homme! Tu connais et c’est bon! America, peut etre le terre de la libre…c’est aussi le terre de misere pour le honnete et verite! Ma Francais n’est pas bon, mais tu comprend, je suis sur! En France, la vie est belle et pour toi…”Meilleur”! 😉

  2. mary caruso

    This is a rather sad story on many aspects. First for someone that has to sell something that has a great sentimental value just so she can get money for airfare back to France. Secondly, it relayed a story of someone of great heart to be treated so poorly and not be recognized for his contributions to the sport of baseball.
    KO, I would not even think of bidding against you, knowing what baseball cards mean to you and the contribution to your collection this would make. Besides, I’m broke. Enjoy your portion of history you just bought. lyk

    • Joe Sokoloff

      Hi – Joe Sokoloff – 954-805-0669

      I have something that may be of interest to you. I have developed a REVOLUTONARY BASEBALL PITCHING TECHNIQUE that takes the pressure off of the arm, elbow, and shoulder that will allow kids as young as 10 years to throw curveballs, slider, sinkers, and cutters without any undue pressure on the arm.

      I developed this technique when my son was in Little league and when he was a Senior at Cooper City High School – Channel 7 came out and did a story about my technique. The reporter at that time was JASON JACKSON – now with the MIAMI HEAT. Ask Jason what he thought of the technique.

      Unfortunately, when my son graduated High School – he only weighed 128 pounds and the only thing people wanted to know was – How fast can he throw?

      In order to prove how good my technique would be – it was obviously necessary for me to produce a number of ALL STAR pitchers, and since Major League Baseball is interested in having more minority players in its ranks, I am currently the PITCHING COACH for Dillard High School in Ft. Lauderdale, also Joe Carter Park ( the largest Minority park in Ft. Lauderdale) and also Oswald Park in Ft. Lauderdale.

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      If you are interested in seeing a demonstration of this technique – let me know.


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  5. Susan Murray

    I didn’t know that about Hank Aaron breaking the record on the road. It is pretty interesting how owners of companies are all for breaking records at home. I didn’t think managers would be like that. Way cool, great times in baseball history.

  6. Emerson Burkett

    I would never outbid you Keith. Thank you for another informative posting. I never posted when you wrote this on June 23; as I figured the blog would soon be overran by “person who shall remain nameless”. It would appear there is finally a moderator; I am totally appreciative. Stopped coming this blog because of a tsunami of off-topic verbiage. Guess I can stop by more frequently now. Thank you, whoever.

  7. BWarren

    Ok, off topic here, sorry about that, but….Oh my gosh! I am so excited you are going to be back on TV, Mr. Olbermann! I think I will be developing more of an interest in sports in the near future! It will be great to see you on TV again! Huzzah!

  8. M0B33R

    Keith, you need to be back on National TV spreading the truth in the way that only YOU can do. I’m a Canadian but even I can see how you were trying to make things right after all the damage done by FOX and employees.

  9. hamblin

    Keith…LOVE the new show! Wish ESPN would stop screwing with the schedule so I could actually DVR an entire show, not something else and a little Olbermann. I do miss Baseball Nerd though……

  10. MARK of Beatlefreaks and THE BASEBALL FORUM on Delphi Forums

    I belatedly take this chance to thank you for your courage in the face of stupidity (G.W. BUSH) and standing up and telling it like it was during a really scary time in our nation’s history. I genuinely feared for your life after you did that. I miss COIUNTDOWN trememdously but I am so glad you are back with the sports show as that is how I first “met” you and gave you my respect and admiration. This blog piece about Eddie Matthews and the baseball cards is yet another reminder of the great talent you posess. Live long and prosper, Mr. Olbermann, and thanks for everything.

  11. Buttercup Dickerson

    I got a cousin back east who has a huge collection of baseball cards that will fund his retirement someday. And so I get the demand for nostalgia. Yet in the aftermath of Beantown’s final home purging of the curse, I was expecting an insightful rehash of the sweet scientific year that was. SABR geeks picking the Cards were trumped once again with clutch heart in October. Boston won it all by having the right combo of human beings or flesh and blood who usually come through when it counts in the fall. You can throw regular season exhibition OBP out the window until the numbers game fascists come up with a stat for heart. Actually, if you study MLB history, you can pick out the ethnic identity of marginalized gamers who often make up the core of champ rosters from the birth of the NYY dynasty to modern times. As a student in love with the game, you can also enlighten the process by noticing disproportionate numbers of players who perform when the leaves turn after they’ve been counted out. Of course, injecting humanity into the baseball superiority debate is politically incorrect and will upset numerology pundits who would have us believe that winning baseball is supposed to be played by the right numbers and not the right players.
    Be that as it may, there exists a holy grail unifying theory of championship baseball that’ll tongue tie statistician pedants who need to get out or get laid more. Red Sox won’t repeat since the sport tends to devalue secret majority Messrs. October. And all this can be proven by the same kind of numbers research that lets SABR studs have their stat data orgasms. But the focus on it is sure to open up a sociological can of worms already partially ajar via the far eastern drug free results of the WBC.

  12. Buttercup Dickerson

    Forgive me for this add on comment. But if we “are all equal and have things to learn from the bums in the street” then well how come she labels them that way? Racism politically correct? Now that is a classic Orwellian statement if I’ve ever read one. Now I have no qualms about having answered this drivel with my Red Sox rant. Perhaps the shortage of olive skin, voweled surname players in MLB is because they are looked at as “bums on the street” on average just worthy of sub, utility or part time play so they can get off the bench in October and be one man teammates!

  13. Garry Washington

    As one of modern media’s greatest minds and talents no one is better placed than you to ask the question “What has the on field field committee for diversity done?” Created on the anniversary of Jackie Robinson’s breaking the color barrier, the question must be asked was it merely for PR or is there a real plan to get Black Americans back on the field again. I say this because last year I was at the SWAC conference championship.The SWAC is the largest conference of division 1 black colleges in the nation. Literally, there were hundreds of D1 black baseball players at tournament and the competition was a week long. But there was not one scout there;not one! This is in part because white scouts feel more comfortable at white schools and black scouts don’t want to be seen as being out of the mainstream so their not likely to recommend anyone that their fellows scouts aren’t praising. Furthermore, their position are to tenuous to take any chances. Since,these kids aren’t Mike Piazza so one going to draft them as a favor to their dad. So many talented kids just go unseen. It’s like the NFL was before the big schools in the south integrated. All black players went to black schools and were seldom drafted. Then when a few were given a chance many of whom went on to become stars. The public and media were surprised because they had never heard of these all black schools( Southern University, Grambling ,etc) well the same is now true for baseball!

    • Buttercup Dickerson

      And as usual, here comes the real story. Afro-Americans will always have a role in the show as a revered iconic part of its history, but IA olive skins not so much. The problem the Mike Piazzas of baseball face is that they don’t often make the big time UNLESS they get drafted as a favor or get lucky. Without LaSorda, Mike more than likely suffers the same average marginalization reserved for certain ethnics in an also-ran career as a sub, part timer or UT. He went through hell to make it in an LA farm club system outsourced to foreign PED locales that was dead set against him every step of the way. Then once he became a Dodger, he was devalued and later traded when his only fault was to ask for the respect that he never got. Read his book. Not surprisingly, the last franchise player like him shockingly traded like that was Rocky Colavito of Cleveland. Study the career arc of many of these guys and it’s plain to see that they endure harder roads to glory. And for journeymen made to spend more time in the minors and platooned, many of them deserved to start if you doubled their part time stats. But when they finally hit their stride as a full timer, they got traded. This disparity in MLB is almost as telling as SM math equation player evaluations. Except here you’re dealing with discriminating humanity rather than disseminating numbers. How do I know this? I’m currently doing the research and writing a book about it. Why? Because no one else cares and no one else will. Why else would a star like Joey Votto have to come from Canada to make it in the US?

    • Buttercup Dickerson

      If you want me to divulge the contents of my book, you’ll have to give me a lead to a media opportunity. To debate lack of MLB social parity is to open a can of worms. It might convince some fly over state ball club to sign a token sub or UT to pinch hit or spot start in October. But truth telling is politically incorrect for feel good US sheep on any subject. That’s why Orwellian media ran Keith out of politics and he’s back to the sports beat. MLB can pay juicers the big bucks to cheat in the regular season exhibition and let subs take over the game in the fall. It happens almost every time.

  14. Ácbéam (@Acbeam)

    I met Eddie Mathews at a card show in the early ’90s where he was signing autographs gratis courtesy of the promoter. He was very kind and gracious which, unfortunately, is not always true of the athletes who sign at these types of events. He remarked on my A’s jacket, which apparently evoked memories of when Charlie Finley employed Mathews as a scout following his playing days. I regret that I never had the opportunity to see him play.

  15. clarkx5652

    Mr Olbermann (notice the 2 n’s in the name STEVE) I loved you on ESPN the first time, on Countdown and now, on your new show. Your puckish slant on the sports news is refreshing and the honesty shines through, as usual. I only make one request of you. I know offhandedly about your collection and it may be forward to ask but could you spend some time in one of your blogs to detail it more closely. I used to collect and I am interested in yours. Not the monetary factor, just in the collection itself. If this is too forward of me, feel free to ignore me.

  16. Michael Sprague

    Hmm, nice story, to be sure, but my favorite part is the post date. June, last year.

    Now I feel better about neglecting my blog.

    Do you have a politics blog? I miss your rants on tv, and the various other options aren’t really replacements.

  17. Buttercup Dickerson

    In case my rant fell on lost eyes on CL, here’s my memo to Beantown Red Hose brass from the outlier who saw ’14 coming. In stat fixed sports media, I can’t share my human formula for baseball success. Numbers robot sheep who rule the study and research of the sweet science would rather stick to individual data in what is a team sport and refuse to admit the role of group chemistry because the truth outside of modern juice outsourcing is politically incorrect and would threaten their livelihood. So I have to post my conclusive findings here where I am a target for haters, trolls and naysayers. Be that as it may, in 2012 I was banned from the Facebook free ESPN message boards for exposing the secret ingredients for MLB post season playoff triumph. No doubt you or your minions saw it, because by coincidence your roster acquisitions thereafter somehow conformed to my definitive analysis and you won it all again in 2013. You owe me as if I were Bill James with a humanity calculator. What do you do the next year? You break apart the ballclub that won it all. Now all you have is what could have been a dynasty with less of the right stuff that got you there. Meanwhile, in the front office musical chair player personnel moves need not be like a roll of the dice in Vegas. For indeed, there are certain players who perform better in October than others and this can be proven with the same study of the baseball annals that SABR scholars swear by. I even wrote a book about it. But this time any ballclub that wants the info will have to pay handsomely for it. I’m tired of dealing with a media that looked the other way for 20 years while the game sold out to cheaters but would deny or refute the identity of winners who make up only one to two percent of star player rosters but are shockingly part of more than half of all champs in MLB history.

  18. Buttercup Dickerson

    You bet your ass that Pete Rose should be reinstated. Now in the fall tournament that nullifies superior clubs that don’t get hot in October, a regular season team of Punch ‘n Judy slap hitters all of a sudden has turned into a club of cow town fly over state Babe Ruths to gain berth into the WS. No way. They’re on juice while the game continues to look the other way. Pete should come out in the media and explain to his supporters how the international pastime that banned him has sold out in the last two decades to steroid cheaters. So shouldn’t MLB itself be banned from the Hall of Fame while PC pundits leave spin to truth trolls like me?

  19. bredfolte

    All I can do is entice you to go, read them – preferably aloud. Maybe organize a party; anticipate needing an hour or so as you may want to read them aloud then dramatize them with various people playing the roles of the late Mr. Mathews, and the woman he gave the cards to, Michelle, and of course Larry Hagman. These eBay listings are at least a Telenovella if not a seo singapore.

  20. Jerlene Sons

    At the outset let me point out that there’s very little I can add to either of these authentic stream-of-conciousness sagas of Hall of Famer Eddie Mathews, the Mexican Dentist who saved him $20,000, the bartender, Adam West, the Elks Lodge, Socialized Medicine in France, “super famous guys living on cat food,” and the autographed baseball cards.The internet has spawned a generation of non violent online activists HCG drops

  21. Rhea Googe

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  22. Lizabeth Dickerson

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  23. Karla Borecky

    Mr. Olbermann, thank you for these links. They are fantastic! They remind me of Thurber’s “You Could Look It Up” or Ring Lardner’s “You Know Me Al.” Michelle, whoever you are, I take my proverbial hat off to you.

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