The Beckett Blog

How much would you pay for Josh Hamilton’s MLB-authenticated ginger ale bottle? by Chris Olds

By Chris Olds | Editor

Generally speaking, the value of an autograph often rests with what type of item was signed — the more appealing the item, the more money one would expect to pay.

In this case, maybe not.

Among the items on the auction block as part of Major League Baseball’s “2010: The Year in Review Auction” is an MLB-authenticated autographed ginger ale bottle.

It’s signed by American League MVP Josh Hamilton.

It’s just the latest in unusual memorabilia to have an MLB authentication sticker on it as everything from dirt to on-deck circles have been examined, described stickered and sold.

While it’s actually been customary for MLB to note empty champagne bottles from World Series celebrations, Hamilton’s case is different. This is perhaps one of the more unique items out there for a Texas Rangers fan who holds Hamilton’s life story and his struggles with sobriety close to them.

What’s the story? After the Rangers won Game 6 of the ALCS, knocking off the Yankees, they celebrated in a fashion that included their star slugger’s lifestyle concerns, eschewing the typical champagne showers for one that included ginger ale.

The rest, as they say, is MLB-authenticated history.

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Home-grown heroes seemingly always get more hobby love by Chris Olds

By Chris Olds | Editor | Commentary

I’ve always felt that there is a disconnect in the hobby with championship-winning players who aren’t home-grown.

In other words, when a player like Cliff Lee or Josh Hamilton lights things up for a team like the American League champion Rangers — but have Rookie Cards from several years ago picturing them with the Cleveland Indians and Tampa Bay Rays — they just don’t carry the kind of maximized appeal when it comes championship time.

With Game 3 of the World Series under way as I write this, it’s a battle of largely home-grown Giants (at least among the players who should be of most interest with San Francisco collectors) vs. the Rangers, a more liberal mix of home-grown and acquired players among their hobby stars.

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3,000 hits*! by ejahnke
July 30, 2008, 6:59 am
Filed under: MLB | Tags: , , , , , , ,

Besides my MR. Josh Hamilton autographs I got, one of the nice things about the game I attended Monday night was seeing Ichiro play.  I thought I would get to see a little bit of baseball history that night, but Ichiro decided I had enough to babble about already and waited until last night to make history.

3,000 hits*!

This is a stat that I don’t mind putting the * next to, since it’s nothing to do with needles or some sort of clean, clear, magical ointment.

Last night, Ichiro hit his 1,722 hit in Major League Baseball, and combined* with his 1,278 hits in Japan, he hit that magical 3,000 mark (pun intended) younger than anyone else in history, barely beating out Ty Cobb by roughly 100 days.   (Ichiro did it at age 34, 130 days–Cobb was 34, 231 days.)

He did have another hit later in the Mariners loss, so he stands at 3,001 hits.

Critics that argue that his Japanese hits should not count for anything can take a hike.  He played fewer games every season in Japan, and his 1.41 hits-per-game average in the U.S. is actually higher than the 1.34 hits-per-game that he had in Japan.  He’s also never had LESS than 206 hits in a season in MLB.

Congrats to Ichiro, that is an impressive feat.

The most expensive autograph ever? by Andy Broome

Infamous Cubs fan Steve Bartman was offered $25,000 to appear at this weeks National Sports Collectors Convention and sign one autograph.
Just one signature. Thats all. Pick up pen, sign, put down pen, pick up check.
Not a bad days work in my opinion.
Word comes this week that he will not be accepting the offer and will not show up at the National.
This offer raises an interesting question, what is the most expensive autograph in the world?

No Eric, its not your Josh Hamilton signed printing plate.

According to the webpage:
Profiles in History’s listing in the Guinness Book of Records: AUTOGRAPHS AND SIGNATURES
Most expensive The highest price ever paid on the open market for a single signed autograph letter was $748,000 on Dec. 5, 1991 at Christie’s, New York for a letter written by Abraham Lincoln on 8 Jan 1863 defending the Emancipation Proclamation. It was sold to Profiles in History of Beverly Hills, CA.”

While that certainly is a chunk of change for an autograph, the high price undoubtly has to do with the content of the letter and not the signature itself.
Apparently, some think the highest price paid for a single signature would be the scribblings of William Shakespeare.
There are 6 known copies of his signature, all locked away in institutions.  The six are:
One on a deposition in a legal case
One on his mortgage papers
Three in his will
One on a conveyance for a house in London

Several websites state that if an authentic copy of his ‘graph did surface on the market, expect to pay upwards of $5 million.

Didn’t the guy make his name by writing? There are only 6 examples of his sig? Geez, its probably time to start doing some hunting in England. Anyone pull up the floor boards in his house?

Darn it, the Rangers lost tonight… by ejahnke

Yes, the Texas Rangers lost tonight…to an inferior team.

Well, I just don’t care right now.  I will be hated on and most likely cussed repeatedly for that statement.

Let me let you in on a little secret…


*cue the gasps of horror, the foul words, and the possible physical violence directed at little ol’ me…*

Check this out–

Ugh.  Just ugly, isn’t it?

This little peice of metal is going on my wall…ASAP…once I get done “score boarding” it around the office (well, mostly the high-security grading room) in the morning (if I even decide to show up there at that Beckett place).

What this thing is, and why it means so much to me, is a LONG, potentially boring story, that nobody could possibly care to hear, save for my wife, mother, and grandmother.  In a nutshell, it’s the black-ink printing plate from the August issue of Beckett Baseball, and I love it dearly.

MR.  Josh Hamilton (yes, MR. is all caps) signed that autograph for me on the printing plate this wonderful evening.

WAIT!  Let’s be honest…That is only half the story…maybe only 33% of the story.

MR.  Josh Hamilton (yes, caps again) signed two (2) autographs for me this wonderful evening.  He signed this Goudey card for me (hate that it’s the Reds, but who am I to complain?), and would have signed one more had I not had this overwhelming bit of madness overtake me.

I had this– –in my hand, and he was ready to sign it…but I couldn’t let him do it…I had to know something first.

I asked MR. Josh Hamilton if he had the August Beckett issue…

He did not.

No shock to me, ballplayers have to deal with 6,090 sources of media every day.  He will be on a few hundred magazine covers in the next couple of years.  For goodness sake, they cheered him and chanted his name in Yankee Stadium!  (For the record, most likely the last game of any consequence to ever happen there!)  He’s beyond just a great ballplayer at this point…he’s an icon!

So…I gave Josh my copy of the magazine.  He took it, and shook my hand while I babbled some garbage to him about how much it meant to me to just shake his hand and have him sign my stuff.

Thing is, he actually reacted like it meant something to him, too.  He did not have to do that.  He did not need to “cater” to me like that.  He could have smiled, nodded, and moved on to the next people and I still would have been thrilled to death.  He did not need to listen to me, he did not need to talk to me, he could have said anything to just blow me off and get rid of me quickly.  I would have been happy enough that he signed a couple things (even one) for me and moved on.  He also did not need to give the grading department ammo to belittle me and tear me apart like they will surely do in the morning.  (Vile curses to you all!)

What he did was human.  He shook my hand, looked me in the eye and he responded to what I said with much more than a, “Uh, huh, sure, that’s great,” kind of thing.

That meant a ton to me.  More than he could ever know.

He signed quite a few autographs for folks after me, until he had to go to his prayer service (seriously…who else DOES things like that these days?!?).  And then, to top off what was already a great day for me…MR. Josh Hamilton walked into the Rangers dugout with a Beckett Baseball magazine in his hand.

Yes, you grading department doubters, I have witnesses…one of them is one of you!

Oh, does it get better for me?

Yes!  Unreal, but….yes it does!  I got to sit about 33′ from MR.  (yes…more caps, but well deserved) Lynn Nolan Ryan, while we both ate nachos.

That is for another post though.  The post where I figure out how to DL my phone pictures since my [CENSORED] camera was out of batteries today.

Can’t win them all, I guess…but at this point…I couldn’t be happier!  Go Josh…uhhh…and go Astros (?).

An open letter to Hollywood… by ejahnke

Hi Hollywood,

You don’t know me anymore, but I used to pay attention to you years ago.  I say “used to” because back about 10 years ago (roughly) in San Marcos, TX, I went to see a movie called “Face Off” on a date.

With rare exception, I haven’t been back to see you Hollywood, and as the weeks grew into months, and the months grew into years, I have not looked back.  I don’t regret it, Hollywood, there is no hole in my life and I do not feel anything is missing.  Frankly, Hollywood, your days of thrilling me are long over, and from what you have puked up since that dark and horrible date, I imagine there is little to no chance of them returning.

Still, Hollywood, this is America, and there is always a chance!  I firmly believe that, even with all of your garbage, your idiots, your smut, your anti-American propaganda, your plot-less hyper-gore flicks and your complete disdain of anything positive in this world.

You know why I think that, Hollywood?  You know why I think you can come back?

Two words:  Josh Hamilton.

Why would you want to write anything else BUT scripts that are similar to this man’s life?  Do you understand, Hollywood, that the folks in Yankee Stadium were chanting his name?  He was not in Arlington…this is Yankee Stadium.  That is nothing your best writers could come up with…ever.

Hollywood, I understand that you people know nothing about sports, after all, you have spewed forth such classics as Rocky V and Any Given Sunday. Still, even the worst hitters can get one every now and then.

This man has taken the literal roller coaster ride from the top at just 18-years-old to the very, very bottom just a few years later.  This is where you usually stop, Hollywood.  Once the good guy screws up and bottoms out.

Well, guess what Hollywood?   Josh Hamilton’s story did not stop there, he ignored your “The End” and climbed up out of his hole.

Novel concept, eh?

Even stranger to you, Hollywood, he actually took responsibility for his actions!  Nothing like your famous folk who swore to leave the country a few years back.  Can you even fathom someone standing up and saying, “Wow, I sure blew it, please forgive me.”

Blows your mind, doesn’t it, Hollywood?  Who would do such a thing?

Even better, this man, Josh Hamilton, is not afraid of his faith.  I am not saying everyone should be just like him, I am saying everyone should stop bashing those like him, no matter their religion.  Not to point fingers, but that would be me saying you are guilty, Hollywood.

Anyway, I know that you can do it!  Focus on the good things in life, like Josh Hamilton, and I bet you will be shocked at the folks that would come back to see you!

Josh looks like he will end up in second place, he has two outs left…so I guess that’s more your style Hollywood!  Wouldn’t want to be TOO positive, I would not want you to bite off more than you can chew, or blow your tiny, one-track minds!

Still, pay attention, you could learn something!


BerkMAN by ejahnke

OK, it took a while for him to heat up…but those upper deck shots sure were sweet.

Am I a homer?  You bet, go Berkman! (and go Hamilton – a close second for you, sir.)

Justin Morneau is next…like him, too, but I gotta go with my two favorites…

Any quick predictions?