It was a daring mission led by the incomparable Frank Borman. Jim Lovell, the future commander of the Apollo 13 mission, and Bill Anders rounded out the crew.
|The crew of the historic Apollo 8|
Bill Anders, James Lovell and Frank Borman
On Christmas Eve 1968 during a live television transmission heard by an estimated 2 billion people, each crew member read a section from the Book of Genesis (verses 1-10). Borman finished the broadcast by wishing a Merry Christmas to everyone on Earth with, "And from the crew of Apollo 8, we close with good night, good luck, a Merry Christmas, and God bless all of you, all of you on the good Earth."
(As an aside, it's almost unimaginable that religious content like this would be permitted on a broadcast today. If it was, they would have to include a message from every conceivable religion (and atheists) as to be as "inclusive" as possible. Some would call this "progress" I assume.)
The signed limited print above was issued by the San Diego Air and Space Museum in 2008 -- the 40th anniversary of the mission. As space collectors know, Bill Anders is an exceedingly difficult signer, making an Apollo 8 crew signed item one of the least common and most desirable Apollo crews.
So, where did these Thumper postcards come from?
Reportedly, Ted Williams had a business interest in an orange grove. When someone ordered a certain quantity of oranges, they received a free signed postcard. A larger 5.5 x 8.5 print also exists, and presumably these were sent with larger orders.
|Whitey Ford Thumper Postcard|
Interestingly, there are also Thumper signed postcards for others players as well including Brooks Robinson, Whitey Ford, Stan Musial and others. The quality of the artwork varies greatly. It is unclear if these were also "orange grove" giveaways." The Williams postcard bears a nice likeness, while some others -- notably the Ford -- are somewhat dis-proportioned and cartoonish.
|Ted Williams Thumper Postcard envelope|
While the video focuses on the flown equipment, there are also a wide selection of top notch autographed items in the auction.
All lots are current available for your viewing pleasure in preview.
As some regular readers may know, I am Steve Zarelli, RR's space authenticator.
Ken has a space memorabilia collection that may be second to none. Gotta love the passion. Go Ken!
I also immediately knew something was amiss because the signature seemed too "flat." It was on the surface of the paper, but there was no ink streaking.
Here is what it looked like under magnification:
The UACC will hold its Basic Autograph Authentication Course at the next Hollywood Show in Los Angeles, April 20 - 21. The hands-on course will include identification of the most common fake autographs including Autopens and stamped signatures.
The course is free to UACC members and $5.00 to all others. Course will be taught by Michael Hecht, UACC President and Kevin Segall, Proprietor of Collector's Shangri-La.
You can get discounted tickets to the show here.
In the Fall 2012 RR Space Auction, I reviewed and authenticated this Neil Armstrong signed baseball.