$35.00, 9.5 x 11.5, hardcover, 184 pages, full color images, index
To order copies visit Tom Zappala Media.
Publication date: August 1, 2022
Bronze Medal, Sports/Fitness/Recreation – 2023 Independent Publisher “IPPY” Book Awards
Silver Medal, Sports and Recreation – 2023 Benjamin Franklin “IBPA” Book Awards
The Diamondbacks Collection
50 of the Greatest Cards in Sports Collecting History
by Tom Zappala & Ellen Zappala
with John Molori
Foreword and Contributions by Joe Orlando
The Diamondbacks Collection details the story behind the most iconic cardboard gems ever assembled in any private collection.
Ken Kendrick, General Managing Partner of the Arizona Diamondbacks, has compiled an amazing array of sports cards that is unsurpassed. From the famous 1909–1911 PSA 8 T206 Honus Wagner, to the 1948 Leaf PSA 9 Jackie Robinson, to the 1948 Bowman PSA 8 George Mikan rookie card, this prestigious collection consists of 50 of the highest-graded and most sought-after cards in the hobby.
The players immortalized on these cards are sports legends, and the admiration for these stars prompted Kendrick to collect their cards in the first place. A comprehensive narrative on each player’s personal and professional life is included, giving us a glimpse of the human element of these great athletes. Some endured the burden of racial discrimination, some lost prime years to military service, some died too young, and others went on to lucrative careers after their playing days were over.
“When Ken Kendrick’s collection of cards was on display at the Hall of Fame, it was extremely popular with every fan who walked through the doors of the museum. His passion for collecting cards started in childhood and has remained fervent for decades, leading to arguably the greatest collection on the planet. This book is the perfect way for any sports fan or collector to walk down memory lane with a perpetual smile on their face.”
–Josh Rawitch, President, National Baseball Hall of Fame
“I started buying baseball cards when I was eight years old. I still remember handing over my nickels and tearing open packs in the hopes of finding my heroes— Bobby Shantz and Ferris Fain! It’s funny that something as simple as baseball cards can play such an important role in our lives, but after 25 years as a major-league pitcher and more than 20 years as a broadcaster, I still have a fascination with cards. Ken Kendrick has taken his fascination with sports and trading cards and built the most impressive collection in the world. Now Tom and Ellen Zappala have assembled the names, stories, and cards from that collection into a treasured work for us all to enjoy. It is a combination history lesson and pop-culture study, illustrated with museum-quality pieces and offered in a full color presentation. The Diamondbacks Collection is a treasure that all fans and collectors will enjoy, and it has me wishing I’d never put my 1953 Bowman Mickey Mantle card in my bicycle spokes!”
–Jim Kaat, Hall of Fame Pitcher, Emmy Award winning Broadcaster
“Sports cards have been a part of my life since a very young age, when my dad gave me a 1975 Topps Hank Aaron card. It was creased and worn, but my dad had grown up in Atlanta and we watched Braves games together on television at the time, so that card quickly became one of my most treasured possessions. That simple gift ignited a passion for trading cards that has burned inside me ever since. As CEO of Collectors Universe, I am fortunate to play an active role in the professional side of the card-collecting hobby. I see on a daily basis the affinity people have for their cards and the extent to which they will go to build their collections. The Diamondbacks Collection is one of the legendary collections that has been discussed for years in the hobby. Now, thanks to the efforts of Tom and Ellen Zappala, all collectors have the opportunity to enjoy the premier examples of the most important cards in the hobby. Their work with The Diamondbacks Collection is a gift to us all.”
–Nat Turner, Chief Executive Officer, Collectors Universe
About the Authors
Tom Zappala, a businessman in the greater Boston area, is passionate about maintaining the traditions and historical significance of our National Pastime. He co-authored The T206 Collection: The Players & Their Stories, The Cracker Jack Collection: Baseball’s Prized Players, The 100 Greatest Baseball Autographs, Legendary Lumber: The Top 100 Player Bats in Baseball History, An All-Star’s Cardboard Memories, and Baseball & Bubble Gum: The 1952 Topps Collection. In addition to his popular Boston area radio talk show, Zappala co-hosts The Great American Collectibles Show, which airs nationally every week. He enjoys collecting vintage memorabilia for the love of the sport.
Ellen Zappala is president of ATS Communications, a multimedia marketing and consulting company. Co-author of The T206 Collection: The Players & Their Stories, The Cracker Jack Collection: Baseball’s Prized Players, The 100 Greatest Baseball Autographs, Legendary Lumber: The Top 100 Player Bats in Baseball History, An All-Star’s Cardboard Memories, Baseball & Bubble Gum: The 1952 Topps Collection, and Nardo: Memoirs of a Boxing Champion, Zappala is a former newspaper publisher and a former president of the New England Press Association. She enjoys bringing the stories of Deadball Era and Golden Age players to life.
Joe Orlando, one of the foremost experts in the sports card and memorabilia industry, is the former CEO of Collectors Universe, Inc. and president of Professional Sports Authenticator (PSA). Under his leadership, PSA became the premier brand in the hobby. He was editor of the nationally distributed Sports Market Report (SMR) and has authored collecting guides, articles, and books including Collecting Sports Legends, and Legendary Lumber: The Top 100 Player Bats in Baseball History, and contributed to The T206 Collection: The Players & Their Stories, The Cracker Jack Collection: Baseball’s Prized Players, The 100 Greatest Baseball Autographs, An All-Star’s Cardboard Memories and Baseball & Bubble Gum: The 1952 Topps Collection. As a market expert, Orlando has appeared as a featured guest on numerous radio and television programs, including ESPN’s Outside the Lines, HBO’s Real Sports, and the Fox Business Network.
John Molori is a columnist/writer for Boston Baseball Magazine, Northeast Golf Monthly, and EBSCO Publishing. He contributed to The Cracker Jack Collection: Baseball’s Prized Players, The 100 Greatest Baseball Autographs, Legendary Lumber: The Top 100 Player Bats in Baseball History, and Baseball & Bubble Gum: The 1952 Topps Collection. A rotating co-host on The Great American Collectibles Show, his media credits include: ESPNW.com, Patriots Football Weekly, Boston Metro, Providence Journal, Lowell Sun, the Eagle-Tribune, ESPN, SiriusXM, Fox, Comcast, NESN, and NECN.