Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Non-HoF Autographs: Various Players

This ball has a similar story to my Indians logo ball.  It was also from the summer of 1997 when my aunt took me to a variety of ballgames.  One somewhat unique aspect of this ball is that during that same summer the MLB All Star game was played in Cleveland.  My uncle had tickets for he and his son, but my aunt and I did not, so we watched from the parking structure which overlooked left field.

Half way through the game my aunt's cell phone rang.  It was my uncle, informing us that their seats were right beside All Star pitcher, "Mudcat" Grant (who happens to be one of thirteen black players to have won 20 games in a single season), and if I wanted to get something signed, I should meet him at the nearest gate.  My uncle took him my cheap plastic covered baseball and he signed right on the sweet spot.  Had I known how good of a player he had been, I probably would have retired this ball with just the one signature, but alas as a young boy I was just interested in getting more.  I think the rest were obtained at Indians games throughout that summer (with maybe one exception).

As you can see, other than that notable signature, the ball has a mixed bag of signatures - everything from journeyman players Trenidad Hubbard (obtained at All Star Fan Festival 1997!) and Charlie O'Brien (who if I'm not mistaken, I got his signature at a game at Toronto's SkyDome), to big league sluggers like Brian Giles and David Justice (although my pen ran out of ink while he was signing).

What may turn out to be the most important autograph on this ball is the one from Omar Vizquel.  Certainly Vizquel has never really been known for his hitting ability - although he was a good hitter in his prime - but he is one of the defensive wizards of this era.  It will be interesting to see if the voters for the Hall of Fame give him any consideration.

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