Bach, Beethoven, Bob Brenly

Bach, Beethoven, Bob Brenly

My mom thought this would be a fun tshirt. So she made all the drawings and letrasetted the text and got a handful of them printed. And she sent one to Bob Brenly. Brenly was one of those players who Giants fans loved despite a somewhat mediocre career. Yes, we all loved Will Clark too, but Giants fans have always seemed to have favorites which the rest of the country doesn’t understand.

When my mom made this shirt Brenly had retired and was a broadcaster for the Cubs. This was his first go-round as a broadcaster before he came back as a Giants coach. So I’m guessing she mailed the shirt to either the Cubs of WGN. Anyway, like a month or so after she mailed the package, she got a random phone call. Turns out it was Bob Brenly calling to personally thank her for the shirt. She said we’d swing by the broadcaster’s elevator at Candlestick the next time the Cubs were in town.

Bob Brenly 1985 Topps

So we did. I brought my favorite Bob Brenly card. It’s pretty beat up but I only had maybe a couple dozen 1985 Topps cards. He was confused until he saw our shirts (we had to unzip our jackets what with Candlestick being Candlestick). That reveal was pretty fun and he signed my card despite having a ton of stuff in his arms. The signature is kind of wonky because I had to hold the card for him.

Steve Stone 1981 Donruss

Since this was the Cubs broadcasting team I also combed through my albums looking for a Steve Stone card. I actually had a couple but went with the 1981 Donruss Cy Young Award one because I figured the award reminder was a nice touch. It’s definitely not the nicest card on purely esthetic terms (it’s actually in the mix for the worst card I’ve gotten autographed) but there’s something charming about it.

I also didn’t ask for the personalization. I’m not sure if Stone does this all the time but it was the first time I’d gotten a personalized autograph. I have mixed feelings. It’s not like I was going to sell this so it’s cool that this is clearly an in-person signature with a story behind it. At the same time, my name is covering his face and that’s kind of annoying.

And yes, I could’ve tried to get Harry Caray’s autograph as well but I wasn’t into autographs from non-players at the time.

Author: Nick Vossbrink

Blogging about Photography, Museums, Printing, and Baseball Cards from both Princeton New Jersey and the San Francisco Bay Area. On Twitter as @vossbrink, WordPress at, and the web at

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