Hey guys, Drew back here! I'm very proud to congratulate four great players on their inductions into Cooperstown, Randy Johnson, Pedro Martinez, John Smoltz, and Craig Biggio! I originally predicted 3 of those 4 to make it in 2015 with Smoltz barely missing the cut this year but making it in within a year or two, but I'm so glad that wasn't the case. We just missed adding Mike Piazza as well, but it looks like next year he and Ken Griffey Jr. will look to share the spotlight.
Since most of the baseball world has been focused on the Hall of Fame vote these past few weeks, I had been preparing this post for a little while now once the voting had concluded. This Christmas I received a really cool baseball holder, and I decided to hang it on one of the few open spots on my wall and put all of my Hall of Fame signed baseballs inside. I kept most of my Yankees balls together with the exception of the HOF'ers, and while I was originally 3 baseballs shy of filling the case with Hall of Famers, with yesterday's induction that was slimmed down to 2. About a year and a half ago, I met John Smoltz at the East Coast National Show, and added a signed baseball to my collection in hopes that he would be enshrined one day, and yesterday I was able to put him into my ultimate pitching rotation that spans two rows (or 11 of 21 total balls) of the case.
Here is how the display currently looks as of January 2015! I look forward to replacing two of the balls with Hall of Famers, but do wish Fred McGriff and Vladimir Guerrero all the best in being one day inducted.
Row 1: Gaylord Perry, Ralph Kiner, Rickey Henderson, Reggie Jackson, Vladimir Guerrero (non-HOF), Fred McGriff (non-HOF)
Row 2: Nolan Ryan, Bob Gibson, Whitey Ford, Bob Feller, Steve Carlton, Warren Spahn
Row 3: Fergie Jenkins, Jim Palmer, John Smoltz, Goose Gossage, Rollie Fingers
Row 4: Frank Thomas, Johnny Bench, Cal Ripken Jr.
Row 5: Yogi Berra
The lighting in the room seems to make most of the balls look more yellow than they actually are, but I've never been one to particularly care how worn the ball is as long as the signature is presentable. I never was interested in collecting signed baseballs but soon realized I couldn't have signed pictures of everyone because I didn't have enough space to present them all, so I took an alternative path and I now love to add baseballs of my favorite players and Hall of Famers. It will never quite compare to my good buddy William's insane 108 Hall of Famer deep baseball collection (please check this out if you want to be impressed), but I personally prefer to dabble all around the various highlights of our great hobby.
So what do you think? How do you all prefer to display your baseballs? Thank you to Mom and Dad for such a smart gift, it cleared a lot of space on my desk (for more baseballs)! Congrats again to all of the new members of Cooperstown's Finest, and for now, See Ya!