Meet Earle Maxwell, Owner of over 900 Authentic Clemson Football Programs!

Meet Earle Maxwell, Owner of over 900 Authentic Clemson Football Programs!

Looks Like Another Clemson Tigers Championship!

If you consider that a one time Clemson Tiger Basketball player is the only person on earth that can claim ownership to every single Clemson Football Tiger Home Football Program ever played in Memorial Stadium since 1942, then we think that in itself is worthy of a Clemson Championship title and it couldn’t belong to a nicer guy and the focus of our Asgard Press Interview today – Earle Maxwell.

Earle holding original copy of the oldest known Clemson program known to exist from a game in 1903 (Close up on right and “Pawguy” is not on program – Collector ID for Earle)

Andy, Asgard press:  What got you started in collecting Clemson football programs?

Earle: Well I had quite a nice sized collection from when I attended Clemson (1957 – 1962) – I didn’t miss one home game!  I became more interested when they were readily available on Ebay in the early 1990’s.  I was able to browse and fill in my collection where needed.  Aside from being a lot of fun, collecting became an obsession I just could not quit.

Program cover of first game in Memorial Stadium. Note “New Stadium” on bottom.

Andy:  900 + programs is proof positive of that!  Out of all of those, do you have any programs that you would consider your favorites and why?

Earle: I’d say my favorites are easily all of the cartoon covers by Phil Neel.  They were extremely clever in the way they roasted visiting ball clubs as well as very colorful.  He was a very talented artist and beloved by Clemson fans and Auburn fans alike (He created the cartoon mascot Aubie for the University and did many covers for them as well).  Another thing I really enjoy are the old advertisements found in programs from the 30’s and 40’s – “Hotels $2 a night!” and steakhouses, etc.  Just the unique way in which they were written and the graphic design of the day makes them very interesting to me.

Program cover featuring the art of Phil Neel.

Andy, Asgard Press:  Good call on Phil Neel – we love his stuff!  While Phil Neel covers may be your favorite, we’d be curious to know the value of your collection.  Can you share that information and are there any specific programs in particular that standout as rarities?

Earle:  I’d say a very conservative estimate for the entire collection would be in the $35 – $40,000 dollar range.  Probably higher. I’m not interested in selling my collection though.. love it too much.  I have an original copy of the oldest known Clemson program known to exist from a game in 1903 vs North Carolina A&M (Now NC State) which was the last year John Heisman coached at Clemson and I can’t quote you on how much it’s worth, but I’m certain it’s a high number.  I’ve got a program from every home game ever played in Memorial Stadium and I even have a program from every ROAD game going back to 1948.  The only road games I’m missing dating back to 1942 are versus Citadel, Auburn and Miami – but I do have the ticket stubs!

The John Heisman Bio.

Andy, Asgard Press: Of course you do! 🙂  How were we lucky enough to find you so that we could scan your collection for our calendars – or did you find us?  

Earle:  There is a gentleman in Atlanta who is an avid collector of Georgia Tech programs who I befriended through our mutual love of the hobby named Brad Edwards.  Brad had been helping Peter (Asgard Press Owner) with research for your Georgia Tech Calendars for a few years and mentioned that he should reach out to me and that’s exactly what he did.  It’s been my pleasure to assist Asgard Press with my collection.  You make a very fine product.

Andy, Asgard Press:  Thanks for saying so Earle and we’re thankful to Brad for the intro!  So we know you’ve collected every Clemson Football program.  What about basketball, the game you played for the Tigers – you have any of those?  Can you also share any favorite memories from your basketball playing days?

Earle:  I do have several of the ACC tournament programs, but the amount does not come close to what I have for football.  There were some in the late 1970’s but they were only 3-4 pagers.  Now it’s down to just one pagers!  As far as my playing days, I enjoyed my time on the team very much but have several fond memories of when I played semi-pro ball for the Piedmont Rangers in South Carolina – an old textile mill team before I graduated.  After I graduated, I played in the Industrial League on a team sponsored by Falstaff Beer in Greenville on the weekends. Got $100 cash per game and in the mid 1960’s that wasn’t chump change!  Oddly enough, there was no actual beer or beer drinking involved or allowed plus I don’t drink.  However, the funniest thing was that I was visiting my parents one Sunday and wore my team blazer to church forgetting that the Falstaff Beer patch was sewn on the blazer.  This did not go over well with my parents or others in attendance that day!

The Clemson collector connoisseur could BALL!!

BIG THANKS to Earle for taking the time to talk with us today and for providing his annual assistance in the production of our Clemson products.  Go check them out and see the fruits of his efforts first hand!  Clemson products HERE.

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