Many sports memorabiliabaseball collectors like to have a theme when starting an autographed baseball collection. World Series MVP, Rookie of the Year, and members of the Hall of Fame are popular ones.
Let's take a look at where to start when collecting autographed Hall of Fame baseballs.
For the purpose of this article, to make the cut I looked at the player's percentage of Hall of Fame votes (the higher the better), the cost of their autograph (when starting a collection pricing matters, thus Ruth and those type of guys are out), and how often a player signs (availability of the autograph). I also included one player at each position to broaden the collection and essentially make a "team."
Stay tuned to the end as I will post my pick of which of these 10 players to start with.
1st Baseman - Rod Carew
An 18 x All-Star and with 90% + Hall of Fame vote, Carew has some impressive stats. .328 average an 7 x batting champion.
2nd Baseman - Roberto Alomar
Another very affordable autographed baseball starting at $79 with Hall of Fame inscription. Alomar received 90% of his Hall of Fame votes. Does quite a few signings. 10 x Gold Glove winner, so solid defensive player. 2 x World Series champion and 12 x All-Star. A Roberto Alomar autographed Hall of Fame baseball is a great pick for 2nd base.
Shortstop - Cal Ripken Jr.
No collection is complete without the Iron Man, Cal Ripken Jr. Even without his consecutive game streak, he is one of baseball's most popular players.
Received over 98% of his Hall of Fame votes. 19 x All Star, 2 x MVP, 1983 World Series Champion, and 1982 Rookie of the Year.
3rd Baseman - George Brett
One baseball's best pure hitters. Member of the 3,000 hit club, 13 x All-Star, 1980 MVP, 1985 World Series Champion, and received 98% of his Hall of Fame votes.
Probably most famous for the Pine Tar incident below. One of baseball's funniest moments.
A George Brett autographed Hall of Fame baseball goes for $199, staying under that $200 range.
Left Field - Rickey Henderson
The Man of Steal! Baseball's all-time leader in stolen bases. 10 x All-Star, 2 x World Series Champion, MVP, and received 94% of his Hall of Fame votes.
A Rickey Henderson autographed baseballstarts at $229.
Center Field - Ken Griffey Jr.
Come on now, you didn't think I was going to leave out "The Kid?" Just about everyone's favorite player. Received 99% of his Hall of Fame vote. Uh, who didn't vote for him?
13 x All-Star, 10 x Gold Glove, and the 1997 AL MVP, 500 Home Run club member.
In 2018 he just completed his 1st post Hall of Fame autograph signing. Ones with his Hall of Fame inscription going for $299. Tough autograph, but a must have.
His most famous play was this catch.
Right Field - Hank Aaron
755 Home Runs gets you into onto this list.
Hank was a 25 x All-Star, World Series Champion, League MVP, and had a .305 average. For a power hitter that is phenomenal.
A Hank Aaron autographed baseball will probably be at the top for this list price wise, but well worth it. Starts at $419.
Catcher - Johnny Bench
A 14 x All Star for the Reds, 10 x Gold Glove, 2 x World Series Champion, and 2 x NL MVP. Bench is THE catcher for this team.
Received 96% of his Hall of Fame votes, signs autographs regularly, and very affordable. A Johnny Bench autographed baseballwith his Hall of Fame inscription runs $99,
Starting Pitcher - Nolan Ryan
This is where it gets tricky. So many options. Are there pitchers with a better win percentage than Ryan? Sure. Better ERA? Yup.
He is on this list for a few reasons. Strikeout king, 7 no-hitters, the fight with Robin Ventura, 3 teams retired his jersey, and has a 98% Hall of Fame vote.
Closer - Dennis Eckersely
Tough choice here. Going with Eck simply because his autograph is so affordable, 390 saves, 83% Hall of Fame votes, and when he was at his pinnacle, no one was tougher to hit.
Probably best known for giving up the Kirk Gibson home run in the 1988 World Series.
A Dennis Eckersley autographed Hall of Fame baseball runs about $129.
You could get your collection started with all the above baseballs for $1700-$2000, depending on which options or inscriptions you choose.
So who is the 1st baseball you should get???
100% KEN GRIFFEY JR! Why, toughest autograph of the bunch and arguably the most popular. Start with him and build your sports memorabilia collection from there.
Comments will be approved before showing up.