Monday, July 2, 2012

Autographed Baseballs Post ala Fuji

    Hello all. Today I answer one of the great Mr. Fuji contest  questions on his latest subject, autographed baseballs. 

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

   It just so happens I do. I actually have several signed balls in my collection with a Mets theme of course. I have 2 that were obtained from dealers of two Mets superstars, one past and one present.

     As for the present, yes that is a David Wright signature. You say what happened to the ball, why is it all dirty, did you play with it. No I didn't, David Wright did, it's a game used baseball from the last season at Shea Stadium.

     Official Major League baseball. I forgot to photo the other side where the Shea Stadium final season logo is.

My friend John from my LCS gave this to me as thanks for some work I did for the store and it was the best payment I ever received for some side work, especially when I wasn't charging him anyway.

As for the past......

Yup, Tom Seaver HOF inscribed beauty.
   John strikes again. A gift from his personal collection. John is a Yankees fan but not a Mets hater so he can appreciate Tom Terrific's place in Mets history but he really is not a fan of his so he felt it better to give this awesome ball he got from one of those mystery ball boxes to true Met fan where it will be well cared for and he couldn't be more right. (That's a long sentence) Do you see the trend, I don't buy auto balls but these two gifts fit right in my collection. 
     You might think they are my favorites but actually not. As you my or may not remember, I used to be in charge of all the field maintenance at my local little league complex. They have 18 acres (14 or so workable) that contain 7 baseball and 2 softball fields and I was the lucky volunteer who got to oversee the upkeep of the facility. A few years back the NY Mets contacted us about hosting their annual summer camps for baseball instruction for kids. It was great for us to make a few bucks for the fields and it was great for the community to have the opportunity to get some quality instruction from professionals. The big reward was at the end of the week they would have a few ballplayers come down and work with the kids, have lunch and sign balls for them. Usually a retired player and a couple of rookies would show up. I have a George Foster ball and Mookie Wilson ball from one year along with a few other lesser players that came through. My favorite ball comes from one week where a great retired player , a middle reliever, and an just getting going rookie showed up.

    David Wright, Dan Wheeler, and Ed Kranepool. Holy Cow! Now Ed Kranepool is a legend around Metland, Wheeler was a relatively new addition to the team and this Wright kid was a hot rookie just getting going. They all couldn't be nicer and really helped the kids a lot. I had a half hour conversation with Ed Kranepool in the kitchen of the concession stand with a few other league officers where he told some great stories of his time on the Mets then later on Dan Wheeler gave me some excellent tips and drills for my young pitchers on the teams I coached at the time. As for David Wright, he was the coolest ballplayer I have ever met and this is before he became the superstar he is today. After working with the kids, having lunch with them, and signing many balls so every single kid got one, as they all did, he then proceeded to start a pick up game on one of our two major league sized fields with my staff and some of the parents and of course he played third base. He was an absolute blast and even signed a box of a dozen balls in between innings for us to raffle off to raise money for the league. I had to ask for a personal one, all my donated time to the league had to get me some perks after all. I got all three to sign but have since learned a valuable lesson. Balls and pens make a difference. I only had little league balls and regular pens so this was the result after some time.

While the Wright stayed pretty good, the Dan Wheeler faded the worst.
The Ed Kranepool is only a little better now. I guess I got lucky with the pen David Wright used.
  I also got all three to sign one of their Mets Acadamy balls, bad pen on shiny ball didnt work to well but it does look better then these pictures show.
   Over all these are my favorite balls as the experience I had when I got them was as the commercial says, "priceless".

    There you go, another Fuji question and answer.

That's all I have for tonight, keep rocking your cardboard (and auto ball) dreams.

Thanks for Reading!


The Big Kahuna said...

ooooooooooooh now I'm jealous! Beautiful wright auto'd ball! In my collection you will find ADAM LIND, TRAVIS SNIDER, ESIX SNEAD, GORKY HERNANDEZ, TRIPLE AUTOGRAPHED BALL OF JAMES "PEE WEE" JENKINS + JUAN VARGUS + WILMER HARRIS, FRANK THOMAS, and quite a few more. I have a total of 10 balls signed.

Fuji said...

Wow... those are some awesome balls!

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