Friday, May 23, 2014

I Love To Get My Balls Signed...Baseballs, That Is.

One of my hobby goals for 2014 is to get more autographed baseballs in my Yankees collection. In fact, I have made an ambitious goal for myself and that is to get as close to 100 signed baseballs from Yankee players, former and present, for the collection. I say it's pretty ambitious because I'm not what you would call an autograph hound. I don't go chasing players or wait at their hotels or hang out the ballparks before players arrive. Of course that's because I don't know where the player hotels are and it's difficult to graph at Yankee Stadium.

So, how do I add signed baseballs to my collection? Player appearances is one way. That's how I was able to get players like Hideki Matsui, Darryl Strawberry, Bucky Dent and David Cone to sign baseballs for me. Another way is card shows. The card show I go to usually will have 1 free player and if that person is what I deem "ball worthy", I will get them to sign or I will pay for the player if he's not too expensive. Some of the players I have gotten this way is Ruben Sierra, Bobby Richardson and Gaylord Perry. Then there is the TTM route. To be honest, I have lost more baseballs than gotten back, but a couple of the players I have gotten back were Mike Mussina and Jimmy Key.

So, here is the signed baseball collection right now:

I have them on a shelf right over my bobblehead collection. I kind of think I'm running out of room. I probably have just that row to finish and that would be it. Another row might be pushing it.

So, which players do I want to add to the collection? Well, I have more than a few players in mind.

The Core Four

Derek Jeter
Mariano Rivera
Andy Pettitte
Jorge Posada

The Champions

Paul O'Neill
Tino Martinez
Scott Brosius
Orlando Hernandez
Ron Guidry
Sparky Lyle
Cecil Fielder
A.J. Burnett
Mike Stanton
Brett Gardner
Willie Randolph
Tim Raines
Bernie Williams

The Hall Of Fame Players

Dave Winfield
Rickey Henderson
Joe Torre
Reggie Jackson
Rich Gossage
Phil Niekro
Phil Rizzuto (I know he's passed on, but his autograph are still out there)

The Managers

Lou Pinellia
Buck Showalter
Ralph Houk (See Phil Rizzuto)

There are other players I want as well like Aaron Boone, Dave Righetti and Bobby Murcer. Players who may not have had hall of fame careers or won a championship here, but still made a difference in Pinstripes.

So, as you can see, I have some players to chase around if I want to get to my goal of 100 signed baseballs by the end of 2014. Right now, I'm at 42 baseballs, so if I'm going to get to 100, I better get my butt in gear. I consider myself rather fortunate that I am lucky enough to have the autographs that I do own. Hopefully by the end of the year, I will be wondering where am I going to display all the autographs. Then I will know that I reached my goal and can set my next goal. 200, here I come.

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