Friday, September 2, 2011

Baseball Book + 4 Hall-Of-Fame Signatures + Thrift Store = Steal!

I saw the book and because of something a co-worker said last week, I picked it up. It's normally a book I wouldn't have picked up. At the thrift store there are hidden literary treasures for those who search. I had no idea what I was looking at, but I decided to buy it anyway. Why? Because there were some signatures inside the front cover.

Three of the signatures were pretty much illegible. The first one, however, was very readable. Al Kaline. Since I'm not necessarily a baseball fan (see previous post: HERE), I had no idea who Al Kaline is or was. In fact, the signatures were confusing...the book was not written by one person, but four. I quickly checked the glossary to see if I could find Al Kaline. His name appeared on page 164. I quickly looked up the page and it didn't say much about him, but it did tell me that Al Kaline was a baseball player and he had signed the book. Heck, I thought. I'll buy it. It's only $3.00.

It wasn't until I got home that I realized what I had bought. The first thing I did (after eating take out from Chili's...yum) was to do some searches on the internet. I first looked up Al Kaline and found out he was a hall-of-fame player. His information from the hall-of-fame website can be found HERE.

The thought that I had this signature made me excited to find out who the other players were. I still assumed they were players so I started looking. I tried a few searches on the second signature, but I couldn't figure out if the last name began with a N, L, K or something else. I decided to try the next one. It was the easiest to identity.

Yogi Berra signed the book too! That player I knew. Great thing about the internet is that you can search and see actual signatures and Yogi's matched exactly. Here's his hall-of-fame info: HERE.

After some extensive searching, I found that the second signature signer does NOT spell his last name Nieb..., Leib..., Keib..., but Niekro and the player's first name is Phil. Phil Niekro's hall-of-fame information is HERE.

Maybe I got better at searching or maybe I got lucky, but the last signature belongs to Gaylord Perry, another hall-of-famer and his information is HERE.

I have no idea if this book is worth something. I think it's really cool that these men signed the same book. What really intrigues me is how they all came to sign the book. Were they in the same room when they signed it? Was it at a baseball convention and someone bought the book and had them all sign it? Was it used as a promotional item? Did these four player sign dozens or hundreds of these books?

Of course, I'll probably never know. All I do know is it most likely worth more than my $3.00 investment in a book I probably would never have even thought about buying.


  1. Take it to "Antiques Roadshow" and find out...

  2. Scott, that is such a neat find!! You have to watch the Ken Burns Baseball documentary. I wonder if there is some sort of baseball memorabilia store in SLC somewhere? I just am so curious as to who owned the book. It seems like one of those things that may be worth something, but at the same time, you'd want to keep it, because it's special.