We don’t really know when someone first decided to give people nicknames or when someone decided it would be a good hobby to collect postage stamps. But we’re pretty sure we know where the cultural phenomenon of pursuing autographs began. It was in the late 1880s, and the sought after celebrity was one Mike “King” Kelly, of the National League’s Boston Beaneaters. Kelly was baseball’s first matinee idol, the “king” of the game, the inspiration for books, art, song and stage appearances. We might add that he was the game’s first superstar, but the term – and the term “matinee…

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Marty Appel

Yankees historian Marty Appel is the author of 24 books including Thurman Munson: An Autobiography (with Munson), and Munson: The Life and Death of a Yankee Captain.

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