Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Non-HoF Autographs: Jason Jacome, Tony Fernandez, Casey Candaele, Jose Mesa

This ball contains four seemingly random signatures.  What they do share is that all four players were on the 1997 Cleveland Indians - a team that won their division and narrowly lost the World Series that year to the upstart Florida Marlins.

I'm almost certain that none of the players who ever signed this cheap souvenir Cleveland Indians baseball will ever be inducted into the Hall of Fame.  Jacome and Candaele had much longer careers than I ever imagined, but they were utility players at best, bouncing from organization to organization.

Mesa and Fernandez both had lengthy careers, and both made All Star teams when they were in their prime.  Mesa once led the league in saves, and Fernandez once led the league in triples.  I remember being very excited to get Fernandez to sign because he had been a Toronto Blue Jay on two separate occasions before playing with the Indians, and once after I got this signature.

My mom grew up in Northeastern Ohio, so many of my childhood vacations were spent driving down to Ohio to visit our relatives.  My aunt is an avid Indians fan, and she would take me and my young cousin to a handful of games each summer.  We would go early and stay late, always making sure to hang around the player parking lot which in those days had a wrought iron fence which kids and autograph hounds could shout at players to come over and sign their souvenirs. 

Good memories.

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