Don West was unquestionably the most important and celebrated figure in the world of television shopping. With a flamboyant and deafening style, he moved historic numbers of Princess Beanies and Jeter rookie cards into American households during his tenure. But, with his success came great controversy. We now present this list of Don’s 10 most controversial on-air comments.
Don’s fixation with rookies was legendary.
Frequently in a tizzy over the insane number of Rodriguez, Bonds and McGwire rookie cards displayed before him, Don would impulsively offer up ridiculously good deals on rookie cards. These amazing deals belittled the true value of the cards, drawing the ire of diehard sports collectors.
Don was fearless in proclaiming the overall condition of a particular piece of memorabilia.
Despite it being completely nuts, he would practically give away these pristine rookies, et al. without the slightest regard for anyone’s feelings.
8. “Who’s the daddy?”!
Don’s famous utterance was in regard to a particularly incredible Blue Chip collection. Don was so insistent upon the overshadowing superiority of this particular Blue Chip that he not only proclaimed it the “Blue Chip Who’s The Daddy?” but also boldly proclaimed this no less than 2 dozen times during the 30-minute promotional segment.
7. “I am going to give you stretch pay on this item!”
Don was so passionate about the dissemination of sports memorabilia to the American public that he often gave it away with virtually no regard for his company’s income.
Without ever deferring to Kenny, Don would offer stretch pay, making a hefty price tag become a dream come true.
6. “This is going to be the wildest night in the history of the show!”
When a string of deals was particularly insane, Don wasn’t afraid to warn viewers that the show might get out of control.
And frequently they did, especially when autographed Tiger Woods plaques or Santa Claus Beanies came into the mix.
5. “A Griffey!”
Don never thought twice about pointing out the presence of a Gem Mint Ten Rookie card when it happened to contain Ken Griffey Jr.
In fact, Don would often go so far as to point out that it was unbelievable.
Don was also unafraid to point out the presence of multiple Griffey cards in a single collection.
This too was unbelievable, especially in light of Griffey’s impending eclipse of Hank Aaron’s home run record.
3. “Do yourself a favor, buy more than one!”
Don wasn’t interested in sparing anyone’s feelings.
When a deal was so nuts that you were going to regret not buying more than one, he said it right to your face.
2. “Stay on the line, we will get to your call!”
Despite the lines always being completely jammed by one incredible deal or another, Don guaranteed that they would take your call.
Even if they had to move on to another product while you were waiting, Don had the nerve to guarantee that he would still honor the deal.
1. “This is nutssss…this is nutsss but it’s fun!”
And that is really what it was all about for Don.
Amidst all the talk of stretch pay and Gem Mints, he wasn’t afraid to admit that it was just plain fun.
“We will not be coming back to this item.”
“Period. End of story. Bar none.”
Shamefully, this list contains a shameful error. Please see this correction and apology for further details.