(This story originally appeared on www.sportscollectorsdaily.com)
If you channel surfed in the wee hours of the morning during the mid or late-1990s, you couldn’t miss him. Sandwiched between shows about jewelry and beauty products on Shop at Home Network was a husky voiced pitchman bellowing about the virtues of rookie cards and signed memorabilia. It felt like even if you hit the mute button on your TV set, he’d still find a way to make you hear him. If it was after midnight, Don West was on the air.
From 1993-2001, West hosted a sports collectibles show on the shopping network, desperate to sell us “gem mint tens” and “limited edition autographs.”
Never mind that the market was in the early stages of contraction. The show was a cult favorite among the coveted young male demographic, some sober and some not, who tuned in just to see some of the off the wall antics and outrageous commentary. Eventually, many of them gave in and bought something. It was a bonus that West wasn’t above taking a “swim” in cardboard when segments went awry.
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