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Go Back   Net54baseball.com Forums > Net54baseball Main Forum - WWII & Older Baseball Cards > Net54baseball Sports (Primarily) Vintage Memorabilia Forum incl. Game Used

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  #1  
Old 08-07-2012, 11:46 AM
TyrusRCobb TyrusRCobb is offline
Adam Phillips
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Default Does the Ball Matter?

As some of you know, I'm very new to collecting and I would like to hear your thoughts on the following: Does the ball upon which the autograph appears matter? That is to say should I seek to purchase autographed balls from the player's era when possible? What are the pros and cons regarding ball types? Thanks in advance.
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Old 08-07-2012, 01:01 PM
markf31 markf31 is offline
Mark Fox
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It's a personal preference really. I prefer and personally collect only vintage balls. Vintage balls though will command a considerable premium above what a more modern signed ball will bring, sometimes 4 or 5 times what a more modern ball will bring, and they can be very difficult to come by for many players. Though some people enjoy the look of an autograph on a modern, pristine snow white ball.
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Old 08-07-2012, 01:02 PM
travrosty travrosty is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TyrusRCobb View Post
As some of you know, I'm very new to collecting and I would like to hear your thoughts on the following: Does the ball upon which the autograph appears matter? That is to say should I seek to purchase autographed balls from the player's era when possible? What are the pros and cons regarding ball types? Thanks in advance.


people prefer official MLB balls for players autograph over non official balls. and when there were two different league balls, the proper league AL versus NL for autographs. i.e. mickey mantle on an AL ball versus NL.

older, vintage signatures brings more than non vintage.
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  #4  
Old 08-07-2012, 01:26 PM
drc drc is offline
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Official Major League balls (MLB, NL, AL) will bring more than 'off brand,' semi-pro, Sears Roebuck, Official Little League and such.

Also desirable over off/unofficial brand would include official league balls like from the Pacific Coast League, Southern Leagues and such. If it's official league and directly related to the player (ala DiMaggio played in the PCL, Jose Canseco played in the Midwest League), that's good.

Last edited by drc; 08-07-2012 at 02:02 PM.
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  #5  
Old 08-07-2012, 02:12 PM
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thecatspajamas thecatspajamas is offline
L@nce Fit.tro
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I could see this question going two ways:

1) Is it better to have a vintage player's signature on a type of ball that was in use during their playing days that now shows signs of its age (toning, etc), or to have a modern snow-white ball with that same player's modern signature. In that case, unless the vintage ball was just in terrible shape, as others have said, I would always go with the vintage ball/signature, with the ball itself giving a shred of verification to the age of the signature (won't actually date it, but will provide a "could not have been signed before this date" kind of verification based on the manufacture date of the ball).

2) If I'm going to get a retired player's signature, should I find a ball that matches those in use during his playing days for him to sign, or just go with a new OMLB ball? That I would say is more a matter of personal preference, and in many cases, locating a nice-condition vintage ball for the signing will be more difficult than getting the signature. In cases where a player's signature has evolved since their playing days, I personally don't see any real cache with getting their modern signature on a vintage ball (especially if it's a shaky scribble-job). If the signature is pretty much unchanged, then it makes more sense I guess. But maybe that's just me, and autograph hounds are certainly welcome to get their signatures on whatever makes sense to them.

A related story: I had a gentleman on the phone once who was purchasing a number of various vintage balls from me for his autograph seeking for just this reason. During the course of the conversation, he mentioned having obtained a brand new ONL Ford Frick ball, in mint condition and still sealed in its original box, to have signed by Willie Mays. I coughed, wished him luck in his upcoming meeting with a player that he obviously held in high esteem, and suggested that he not relate that story to any ball collectors who may well have held his pristine "canvas" in higher regard than the modern signature he planned to have added to it. Only in retrospect did I consider that, depending on the style of the Frick ball he had purchased, his ball might not have actually been used when Mays played in the majors (Frick balls were produced from 1935 until 1951 with various subtle changes in the stamping over those years, so with Mays making his MLB debut in 1951, there would be a narrow window in which he would have played with a Frick ball). It's quite possible that this guy didn't care about such subtle nuances, but it's the kind of thing that would bug me if I later found out I had gotten his signature on an earlier ball.

Last edited by thecatspajamas; 08-07-2012 at 02:13 PM.
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  #6  
Old 08-07-2012, 02:30 PM
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BrandonG BrandonG is offline
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As a vintage ball collector, I absolutely HATE seeing people get living players signed on baseballs from their playing era (1980's-1990's Bobby Brown, Budig, White, Coleman baseballs excluded). Babe Ruth didn't play in 1948 yet his signature is on, what at the time, was a modern Harridge ball. And it doesn't play a factor in the autograph value. Lance, hearing that story about the Frick ball makes me cringe, that ball was more valuable without the Mays auto on it, and becoming more and more scarce whereas Mays auto's are a dime a dozen.

A little off topic but when I see forgeries on real rare vintage baseballs it makes me want to punch someone, I almost want to start collecting them up and removing the forgery to salvage the ball!

(I like baseballs)
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Old 08-07-2012, 06:00 PM
TyrusRCobb TyrusRCobb is offline
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Gentlemen, thanks for all of the great advice. So, shoot for vintage balls with vintage autos when money allows or get the auto on a new OMLB. Do not purchase a vintage ball and have the player sign it.
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  #8  
Old 08-07-2012, 06:23 PM
Mr. Zipper Mr. Zipper is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BrandonG View Post
, hearing that story about the Frick ball makes me cringe, that ball was more valuable without the Mays auto on it, and becoming more and more scarce whereas Mays auto's are a dime a dozen.D
Can you imagine... The guy probably asked for a ballpoint signature and Mays intentionally used a fat blue Sharpie on a Frick ball...

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