Thursday, October 23, 2008

Hidden Mickey?

I have now submitted this post in the DC Urban Dad, Balls contest.

It's October and October means baseball playoffs, which I love despite the fact that my hometown 9 have been rather disappointing in recent years. But no, we won't go down that sad sad road today. However, my daydreaming about the great American pastime reminded me of something I had completely forgotten about.

A few years back, I was browsing a local thrift store when laying loose in a bin of otherwise useless junk, a slightly weathered old baseball caught me eye. I picked it up and noticed that it had a few signatures on it, some of whom I had know to be slightly famous players. Judging by where I found the ball, my immediate thought was that I had found a ball that someone had tried to fake signatures on. I bought the ball for a buck or two and since I was busy at the time, I put it away with some other memorabilia to be pulled out at a later time.

So, after having this baseball memory, I decided to dig through my garage and pull out this box of baseball souvenirs and take another look at what was there. What I found was very intriguing to say the least. Here are some pictures of the that old ball and the signatures I found.

On this side was Bill White, and former Mariners Manager Jim Lefebvre.

This side was signed by Tom Tresh, and Tony Conigliaro.

I couldn't Make out whose signature this was.

And here was the most interesting signature of them all. Mickey Mantle? I think this must have been why I had thought it was not an authentic signed ball. Who would let a ball like this end up at a thrift store? Below is a photo of a more recent signed Mantle Ball that was selling online for about $3500.

Of course I can't authenticate anything about this baseball since I picked it up in a thrift shop, but the more I look at it the more I believe it to have authentic signatures. If authentic this would be a terrific keepsake for Lukas and would add to his collection of signed baseballs that includes future Hall of Famer Ken Griffey Jr. and Negro League icon Buck O'Neil. I guess I should do a bit more research and see if I can have it appraised. Anybody out there have an idea of where to start?

I wonder when the Antiques Roadshow is coming to Seattle?


Ed (zoesdad) said...

Dude, send it to me. I'll get it appraised for you.

Martin said...

All I know is that he was mentioned on Seinfeld once.

and the title 'hidden mickey' makes me laugh like I was 10.

Idaho Dad said...

Is that Brooks Robinson in the second to last photo?

mr. big dubya said...

Phil's right - that is a Brooks Robinson ball - sweet

Anonymous said...

Maybe the guy got the signatures and then went to a bar afterwards. He saw The Mick there and got his signature...

He did like to drink...

Whit said...

That's a great collection. So good in fact that I'll skip my usual sophomoric humor and the joke about collecting balls.

SciFi Dad said...

I tried to connect the dots for those players (teams, all-star games, etc) but couldn't find one time when all six were in one place.

I wonder if the Mantle was always there... I remember having some replica balls as a kid that were sold with printed signatures.

Anonymous said...

I've seen balls where signatures have been printed on too. Can you tell if they're actually signed or could one or more be printed on the ball?

James (SeattleDad) said...

Ed - Nice try but I am going to hang on to it.

Xbox- Think like it was Beckham's signature 40 years from now.

@Phil - Damn You may be right!

@Mr. Big Dubya - That just adds to the sweetness if its real.

@MTAE - Perhaps that is why it tails off at the end. He fell off his stool?

@Whit - Thanks for refraining man!

@Darren - I am pretty sure they are not printed on.

@SciFi - True, but I can envision a kid who collected autographs at games from his favorite players. Not too far fetched at all.