Tip of the Cap

I wanted to take the time to write a post about a collector. This man has helped improve my PC and has helped inspire me as a collector and a person. All this, and I never even met Mr. James Grant MacAlister!

I’m currently working on a set of the 1960 Topps Boston Red Sox. When working on my set I decided I wanted to have at least one autograph. The auto I picked up is a PSA Authenticated Ike Delock #336. On the flip it notes that this card was from the MacAlister Collection.

SABR member #22, James MacAlister was from Philadelphia and a fan of the Phillies, he was also a serious fan of autographs. James had a longtime goal of trying to obtain the autograph of every player who has ever played in the major leagues.

When just a small portion of his collection went up for sale through Hunt Auctions LLC., it was noted that the lot, “represented more than 25 percent of the total auction.”

When being sold next to the Leo Durocher Collection (Yes, that Leo Durocher.) it was said that, “The MacAlister Collection, considered one of the finest and most comprehensive autograph collections of its type in existence.”

Of course in trying to amass a vast collection of this pedigree you might think you’d have to hold on to everything you managed to get your hands on. Well according to SABR Founder Tom Hufford and his post on NET54, that couldn’t be further from the true character of James MacAlister. In fact there are a couple individuals in that single post alone attesting to the generosity, openness, and helpful nature of Mr. MacAlister.

This man who put together one of the finest collections in our hobby, did it while attempting to be one of the finest gentlemen possible.

That is what I find simply so inspiring. James MacAlister chose to reach for his goals while treating other collectors with kindness and generosity. In doing so, he left a lasting legacy that will forever be noted by generations of collectors. For me I can’t imagine a better role model to lookup to within the hobby.

Tip of the old ball cap to James Grant MacAlister.

Author: David

I enjoy baseball cards and collecting in general, this includes both vintage and modern cards. I naturally gravitate towards the 1950's and 1960's when collecting, writing, and studying. Excited to be a member of SABR.

8 thoughts on “Tip of the Cap”

  1. Mr. MacAlister sounds like a great person and since he was a SABR guy I’m not surprised. Virtually everyone I’ve met over 13 years in SABR has been one. True baseball people.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I would agree with that, I’ve met nothing but polite and fun folks who are associated with SABR so far. From what I’ve learned Mr. MacAlister certainly seemed like he would have matched that description.


    1. I’m personally a Dodger fan, so I rooted hard against the Red Sox last fall. Still, Ted Williams is Ted Williams, so I’ll always have at least some love for Boston. But apart from me, wow, I’ve sure met a ton of Sox fans here in SABR.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I would be inclined to say I rooted equally hard against the Dodgers. I will admit tho that my first vintage baseball card was a 1955 Bowman Pee Wee Reese, still have it, always will. When they retire they’re just great baseball players, but until then!…


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