30 Day Baseball Card Challenge

Monday, July 2, 2012

Check Out My Balls!

Steiner Sports often has some ridiculous pricing on their products. A Derek Jeter autographed 8x10 for $1,099.99? Anyone interested in spending $404.99 on a Todd Helton autographed MLB baseball? Maybe a very rare Bob Feller autographed 8x10 for $169.99?

I guess that's the price you have to pay sometimes when purchasing autographs from legit and reputable companies. And I've said it before... a Certificate of Authenticity is only as good as the company's reputation. Which is why I'll purchase stuff from them every now and then when I see a decent sale.

I recently added two new balls to my HOF baseball collection during one of Steiner's 3 for $99 sales:

Juan Marichal



Marichal was a 10x MLB All-Star and won more games in the 60's than any other pitcher in the MLB. He was also the first San Francisco Giants pitcher to throw a no-hitter.

Rollie Fingers



Fingers was a 7x MLB All-Star, a 4x Rolaids Relief Man of the Year Award Winner, and the 1981 AL MVP & Cy Young Award Winner. He was also my childhood friend's uncle and the owner of one of the coolest mustaches in the history of mankind, so adding this ball to my collection was a no-brainer.

But the next ball I'm about to share is the finest, single most valuable autographed baseball in my collection:


Marichal Signed Ball = $33.33
Ruth/Gehrig Dual Signed Ball = $30,000.00
Little League Ball Signed By My Nephew = Priceless

My 8 year old nephew was recently visiting from Arizona and he gave me this autographed Little League ball. He's been playing for a couple of years now... so it's not from his rookie season. But it's the first and only autographed ball he's ever signed. Which makes this truly a one of a kind collectible. Domo arigato Ryan-san!

Okay it's time to talk about your balls!

Do you have autographed balls in your collection? If so, do you have a favorite? Why is it special?

1 point - Leave your response below.
3 points - Post your response on your blog, show off your balls, and leave a link below, so others can enjoy what you wrote.

I'll accept responses for this post until Wednesday at 3pm (PST). I look forward to reading your responses.

66 comments:

  1. Well my brother has the Stockton Ports. It's special because it's not like any one in Australia knows them. They have become our favourite Minor League team.

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    1. I remember reading about your trip to Stockton on SCR... next time you're in the states, come to SJ and go to a SJ Giants game.

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  2. I have one autographed ball, of Bob Feller. Given to me by my dad, who received it from my grandfather. It's old and faded was obtained in the 1940s.

    I wrote about it here:

    http://nightowlcards.blogspot.com/2010/12/cardboard-appreciation-2005-topps-all.html

    Other than that, I don't collect autographed memorabilia. The memorabilia market is too intense, and the clutter is too much for where I live.

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    1. That's the problem with balls... they take up too much space. Great story about the ball being passed down from your grandfather to your father down to you. 3 generations of night owls.

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  3. I have three signed balls - one of Rollie Fingers, one of Don Larsen, one of Robinson Cano.

    They are each special to me in the own way. The Rollie was given to me at work. This lady had three of them from an event, and couldn't figure out who had signed them. I identified it as Rollie's graph, so she gave me one.
    http://thelostcollector.blogspot.com/2011/11/signed-baseball-1-rollie-fingers.html

    The Larsen was received at his charity event for the 50th anniversary of his perfect game. The ball has a really cool logo on it as well honoring the feat.
    http://thelostcollector.blogspot.com/2011/11/signed-baseball-2-don-larsen.html

    The Cano was recently a gift from a co-worker who met Cano. He signed a ball for him and my co-worker knew I'd like it more, so he gave it to me.
    http://thelostcollector.blogspot.com/2012/05/robinson-cano-signed-baseball.html

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  4. I only have two in my collection. (Like night owl, I'm not much of a memorabilia collector.)

    One is of Steve Garvey, which was given to me by my grandma when I was a kid. She lived in San Diego during the '80s and became a huge Garvey fan. She's given me all sorts of other Garvey memorabilia as well.

    But the other auto'ed ball I have is easily my favorite. At the first card show I can remember attending, my dad and I got to meet "The Bird", Mark Fidrych. I had him autograph a baseball for me. It's still one of the centerpieces of my collection and always will be.

    It seems like I've written about a lot of your "bat around" topics before, including this one:

    http://baseballdimebox.blogspot.com/2012/04/meeting-my-idols.html

    I'll have to make a new post for your contest one of these days. (Haha)

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    1. I'm seriously jealous... to be able to say you met one of your heroes in person is pretty cool.

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  5. Man, that's a great trio of balls. Though I'd talk to a doctor because three is one too many man...

    I've never had much memorabilia personally outside of cards, so my only signed ball comes from the second baseball team I ever played on in Little League. My first season was straight up awful - my coach was the school bully's Dad and he was as much a jerk as his son. I almost wanted to give up on baseball because I never played and was reminded I was awful regularly, but the next year I played on a team with three coaches who were just buddies wanting to coach a team. No kids in the league...just a softball player named Jess and her buddies Todd and Kane who wanted to hang out with some kids.

    We were AWFUL, but we had so much fun. Everyone played wherever they wanted - I ever got to pitch one time! Our high point of the season was thinking we beat the best team in the league, but our entire team had lost count and it was actually the bottom of the 5th instead of the bottom of the 6th. So of course they won in the bottom of the 6th but we didn't really care because we had such a great game otherwise.

    Those coaches and that team were the absolute best, and they made me a lot of who I am today. I still have a ball somewhere at my parent's house with autos from all three coaches and I'm sure I'll hang on to it for a long time.

    Side note: Not my ball, but my buddy has a ball with Yuniesky Betancourt's phone # on it. Mr. Betancourt was flirting with some girl all game and when it ended he threw a ball in her direction, but being typical Yuniesky Betancourt his throw was errant and ended up in the lap of my buddy's girlfriend. She kept it and they called the number later that night - it worked and they negotiated a place to meet up since Yuniesky thought the girl was the girl he threw the ball to. Needless to say they never showed up and poor Yuniesky Betancourt was stood up in his hopes for romance on the road.

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    1. Wow... great stories. Thanks for sharing. An extra point will be rewarded.

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  6. I've got lucky 13 signed baseballs. Unfortunately, only three of them are on official MLB balls. So the other 10 are fading rapidly.

    But the three good ones are of Adam LaRoche (my fave), Brian McCann, and Javy Lopez.
    The LaRoche ball was purchased from a charity silent auction to benefit the local Children's Hospital. Nice to know it's authentic, and it benefitted a great cause. Win/win.

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    1. Definitely a win/win. Charity auctions are awesome. I've picked up some pretty cool things in the past (nothing sports related though)... my favorite is a ukulele that I don't know how to play ;-)

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  7. The first signed ball I ever got was of Jerome Walton at a mall in New Jersey back in the 1989 season. I once got Cal Ripken's autograph on an official 2131 #8 MLB ball back in the mid 90's - that was pretty neat. I have pretty much liquidated my signed ball collection, I only kept a few random Mets. My favorite is Howard Johnson, who has this tight odd little signature. That or my Todd Hundley and Bernard Gilkey signed ball that I bought on a whim from an ebay auction that was ending for like $10. Heck, on official ball is $12, so I could go out and play with it if I want...

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    1. wow... miss the days of talking about jerome walton and it's crazy how much official balls cost these days.

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  8. I have a few autographed baseballs, mostly signed in person so I know they are legit. The centerpiece and my favorite of them is the David Wright, Dan Wheeler, and Ed Kranepool signed in person. Here is my post:

    http://babennysbaseballcardbuffet.blogspot.com/2012/07/autographed-baseballs-post-ala-fuji.html

    Thanks for the contest!

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    1. Damn... you sure have a lot of balls! I've gotta add a Seaver at some point.

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  9. I have one signed baseball and I'm guessing you'll have no trouble figuring out who signed it. I had Luke sign it at the only KC Royals game I've been to in which he wasn't pitching two summers ago.

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    1. If you're going to have only one ball... better make it a Hochevar!

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  10. I have a Charlie hough signed ball that was given to me by rod at padrographs. I also have a Steve garvey signed ball that I acquired online as well as one that was distributed by playoff several years ago. The best ball i have is one i took to a 'hot stove' dinner in the early 80s to get signed. It is faded now but it has pete rose and robin yount and some others on it.

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  11. I have a few including Willie McCovey, Vida Blue, Rickey Henderson and Gaylord Perry. The first three I picked up were of players I collect and I picked up the Gaylord at the All Star fan fest a couple years back. My favorite is the Rickey, I got it at a now closed card shop in Folsom, CA I frequented as a kid. Until the same fan fast I got the Gaylord, it was my only Rickey auto.

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    1. Wow... nice collection of balls... especially the Rickey. One of these days I'll add one of his signed balls to the collection.

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  12. I have a few, but the two I enjoy most that I've posted on are my sweet-spot Kershaw that I got from Steiner for an insane deal, as well as an in-person with Kemp and Valenzuela:

    http://plaschkethysweaterisargyle.blogspot.com/2011/11/swell-sweet-spot-signature-from-clayton.html

    http://plaschkethysweaterisargyle.blogspot.com/2010/02/dodger-caravan-best-buy-event-recap.html

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    1. Wow... you practically stole the Kershaw. Nice find.

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  13. So far I have a total of 27 autographed baseballs in my collection (all dealing with the Reds is some fashion or another). My favorite would have to be the 1985 Team ball with Rose's signature. Very cool that the last player/manager in the mlb would go on to pass Ty Cobb as the hit king that year

    http://redscardcollector.blogspot.com/2012/06/1985-reds-team-ball.html

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  14. I've got 4 single autos, 1 multiple-auto ball, and 1 puck. All St. Louis players. No favorites really, but they look cool all sitting in a row.

    http://tenetsofwilson.blogspot.com/2012/07/my-autographed-balls.html

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    1. Love the Wizard signed ball... picked one up from Steiner a while back.

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  15. I grew up in Cooperstown and my best friend's father was curator of the Hall of Fame, and as a result I was able to acquire copious amounts of autographs from Hall of Famers via the autograph session they held every year at the Clark Gym. Most of the time though I didn't know a thing about the guy signing other than he was in the Hall. It was a lot more exciting for my dad when I'd bring home a Ted Williams or Stan Musial autograph than it was for me.

    My favorite autograph ball is one signed by Will Clark. I actually got this one at the Hall of Fame game at Double Day Field, which in my mind meant more. The autograph sessions felt like cheating. I remember hanging over the third base line rail with other kids yelling for the stars to come over. A few waived, most ignored us, including Will Calrk, Then unexpectedly Will walked over and started signing. He made a deliberate effort not to sign for adults and anyone holding out a baseball card. I had a crappy, but only lightly used little league ball with me that had already been signed by a couple of pitching coaches. I accidently jabbed Will in the batting glove with my bic pen leaving a mark. He signed it, not on the sweet spot which was already taken and moved on. At the time it felt like the greatest moment of my life.

    Today the signature has faded to a light brown, but it remains my favorite.

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    1. Huge fan of Will Clark too. Part of me thinks that a faded signature isn't the worst thing in the world if you have no intentions of selling it. In fact, it's sort of like a beat up vintage card... the fading adds character.

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  16. Sorry for posting twice, and this isn't a ball, but still an autograph I like:

    http://timwallach.blogspot.com/search/label/Autographed%20Montreal%20Expos%20Jersey%20%2782

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    1. no apology necessary... glad you had the opportunity to meet your childhood hero.

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  17. http://arbitrary-crap.blogspot.co.uk/2012/07/ball-autos.html

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  18. Fuji my fav is my 1st ball with Ernie Banks and Bill Shea on got them when I was @ the Little league world series when I was 11 or 12. Link below

    http://dionsipautosonly.blogspot.com/2012/07/favorite-ball-in-collection.html

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    1. that's pretty cool that you went to the LLWS as a kid.

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  19. No auto'd baseballs in my collection... although I do have auto'd pucks of Corey Perry and Mattias Tedenby.

    I debated getting Fergie Jenkins and Tim Raines to auto balls at the latest Sports Card Expo in Toronto but opted for a signed copy of Ferguson Jenkins book instead.

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  20. I have exposed my balls to the world just for you. I hope you're happy.

    http://cardjunk.blogspot.com/2012/07/i-refuse-to-make-immature-joke-in-title.html

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    1. I'm a huge fan of your balls!

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    2. By the way... I gave you an extra point for the free comedy session. Best of luck on winning those kitty kards.

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  21. It is a seldom that I get to talk about my balls in public and a rare occasion that I get to show them off. So thank you Fuji. Thank you so much for this opportunity.

    I have a few autographed balls in my collection, but my favorite is one signed by Steve Garvey for the story behind it. I've been meaning to write about it on my blog, so thanks for the push. Here is the link to the story.

    http://booboosue.blogspot.com/2012/07/when-one-tweet-leads-to-another-20.html

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  22. I have just three balls. My boring answer is that my favorite is signed by new Hall of Famer Ron Santo. Boring becuase he's my only big player collection and my boyhood hero that I blog about on a regular basis. What make it more special is that my wife bought it for me.

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    1. There's nothing boring about your answer. A ball signed by a childhood hero purchased and given to you by your wife is pretty damn cool.

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  23. I have more than a thousand autographs, not a single one is on a ball. Since I do a decent amount of in person graphing, balls seem impersonal. But I do have to admit a well placed sweet spot sig is spectacular.

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    1. yeah... less than 1% of the autographs i own are on balls. but i'm very happy with the ones i have.

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  24. went a little overboard:

    http://dawgbonesaphilliesphan.blogspot.com/2012/07/nobodys-ever-asked.html

    and

    http://dawgbonesaphilliesphan.blogspot.com/2012/07/nobody-part-2.html

    Thanks for the retrospective there Fuji,
    Dawgbones

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    1. 2 awesome posts = extra credit!

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  25. cough, cough--check them out


    http://hockeykazi.blogspot.ca/

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  26. I have 5 and you can see my favorite one right here...

    http://playattheplatedude.blogspot.com/2012/07/have-ball-or-five.html

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    1. I'm a huge fan of Clark's signature. Nice ball.

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  27. I have just one ball, purchased at the Cubs Convention years ago, for autographs. It has a Cubs logo on the sweet spot. Unfortunately, time constraints prevented us from getting the big autographs. I would up with Brian McRae and Wayne Messmer (he sang the National Anthem at the majority of Wrigley Field games back in the 80's and early 90's. I do remember dozens of us mobbing him to get his autograph, and was genuinely surprised that we wanted it. Years later, I got Jon Lieber's autograph when he was doing a signing at Sears Department store. I narrowly missed getting Ron Santo's a year or two later at the same event.

    Back on Father's Day we were at the Schaumburg Boomers game (independent league) and my kids were able to get a ball signed by most of the players after the game. Only time will tell if it gets incorporated into my collection.

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    1. Sometimes it's the memory that makes the piece of memorabilia valuable. That Boomers autographed ball is awesome, because it's a memory that you and your children shared.

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    2. Oops... forgot to mention that your last post got lost in the SPAM folder. You actually have 8 points (not including the one you earned on this post), not 6.

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  28. A couple of balls for your viewing pleasure.

    http://cardsandgraphs.blogspot.com/2012/07/featured-autographs-derek-jeter-and.html

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    1. Nice Jeter & Konerko IP autographs!

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  29. I can talk about my balls but I can't really show them. I'm too modest.

    http://thiscardiscool.blogspot.com/2012/07/im-too-shy-to-show-you-my-balls.html

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    1. I've gotta track down my Gwynn autographed ball... totally forgot I owned one until reading your post. I think it's sitting at my parent's house. At least I hope it is.

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  30. I have a World series Champion , Johnny Antonelli.He won game 2 and had a save in game 4.Not to mention 6x all star..

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    1. Another old school player with an amazing looking autograph.

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  31. I've been wanting to show my balls off for a while now. Thanks for the nudge!

    http://betterthanbeckett.blogspot.com/2012/07/happy-4th-of-july-and-my-autographed.html

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    1. I've never seen so many balls before! Nice collection.

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  32. Great post Fuji!

    I just started collecting autographed ROMLBs earlier this year and it's become an obsession of mine. I don't go to a game without a new ball now. I even have a modest collection of HOFers.

    My favorite auotgraphed baseball in my collection is one my wife helped me get back in 2009. It's signed by Andre Ethier and Clayton Kershaw. Even though it's on a cheapo baseball and the autographs are almost faded, I still love it because it's from Mrs. Bobble.

    http://www.dodgerbobble.com/2010/12/past-player-appearance-andre-ethier-and.html

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    1. You've got a cool wife! Sorry to hear that Kemp didn't show up. It's still a cool ball with a cooler story behind it.

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  33. Contest entries are officially closed for this particular post... thanks to everyone who took the time to reply. I enjoyed checking out all of your autographs.

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