Baseball Hall of Fame autograph collecting is a time-consuming process that often requires patience and diligence. It is often said that if you're trying to collect one autograph of everyone in the Hall of Fame, the first hundred are easy. The second hundred are also easy, if you're able to stay focused. The next ten or twenty are challenging, but not impossible. And then, if you've gotten this far without giving up, each autograph gets harder.
It's not just the challenge of obtaining the signatures - it's choosing the format on which you'll collect. Players sign everything: baseballs, photos, artwork, checks, jerseys, books, cards - choosing a format and sticking to it increases the challenge. Collecting on multiple formats can be cumbersome and difficult to display - choosing a single format increases the degree of difficulty by limiting your choices.
Presented here is one of the most focused, carefully-curated Hall of Fame autograph collections we have ever seen: 238 signatures, all on small-format, flat items, most individually-signed 3" x 5" cards and cuts. The result is a compact grouping of high-quality signatures, covering the majority of Hall of Famers, including some very difficult subjects.
More than 100 of the signatures have been individually authenticated and encapsulated by either PSA/DNA or SGC Authentic. Another 36 have been authenticated with individual LOAs from either Beckett, James Spence Authentication or PSA/DNA. The remaining 97 have been evaluated by James Spence Authentication when we obtained the consignment and carry an Auction LOA from James Spence Authentication. The highlight item is undoubtedly a Baseball Hall of Fame first day cover from the Centennial Celebration that includes 16 difficult signatures, including Home Run Baker, Ty Cobb, Tommy Connolly, Frankie Frisch, Charles Gehringer, Lefty Grove, Nap Lajoie, Ted Lyons, Ray Schalk, Tris Speaker, Dazzy Vance, Bobby Wallace and Paul Waner. This carries its own LOA from PSA/DNA.
Other signatures carrying individual LOAs or Basic Certs include Ed Barrow (JSA), Willard Brown (JSA), Roy Campanella (JSA Auction LOA), Hugh Duffy (JSA), Rogers Hornsby (JSA - Sticker but no LOA), Ban Johnson (JSA), Chuck Klein (JSA), Judge Landis (JSA), Larry MacPhail (JSA), Willie Mays/Monte Irvin (JSA), Bill McGowan (JSA), Marvin Miller (JSA Auction LOA), Kid Nichols (JSA), Mariano Rivera (JSA), Al Simmons (JSA), George Weiss (JSA), George Wright (Beckett).
The following signatures are flats or cuts that have been authenticated and encapsulated by PSA/DNA: Walter Alston, Richie Ashburn, Harold Baines, Dave Bancroft, Jim Bottomley, Nestor Chalk, Fred Clarke, Roberto Clemente, Mickey Cochrane, Kiki Cuyler, Leo Durocher, Carlton Fisk, Elmer Flick, Jimmie Foxx, Bob Gibson, Warren Giles, Tom Glavine, Goose Gossage, Clark Griffith, Bucky Harris, Will Harridge, Gabby Hartnett, Doug Harvey, Harry Hooper, Reggie Jackson, Chipper Jones, Randy Johnson, Bill Klem, Buck Leonard, Freddie Lindstrom, Connie Mack, Mickey Mantle, Rabbit Maranville, Edgar Martinez (w/Alex Rodriguez), Bill Mazeroski, Willie McCovey, Paul Molitor, Joe Morgan, Mel Ott, Gaylord Perry, Eppa Rixey, Red Ruffing, Ron Santo, Ray Schalk, Mike Schmidt, Tom Seaver, Ozzie Smith, Bruce Sutter, Dazzy Vance, Bill Veeck, Honus Wagner, Dave Winfield, Carl Yastrzemski, and Robin Yount.
The following signatures are flats, cuts or cards that have been slabbed by SGC or Beckett (where noted): Hank Aaron, Earl Averill, Ernie Banks, Cool Papa Bell, Yogi Berra, Rod Carew, Gary Carter, Eddie Collins, Earle Combs, Dizzy Dean, Bill Dickey, Joe DiMaggio, Don Drysdale, Ford Frick, Nelson Fox, Lefty Gomez, Joe Gordon, Hank Greenberg, Ken Griffey Jr., Lefty Grove, Vladimir Guerrero, Chick Hafey, Jesse Haines, Roy Halladay, Waite Hoyt, Carl Hubbell, Travis Jackson, Derek Jeter, Sandy Koufax, Tom Lasorda, Tony Lazzeri, Ted Lyons, Heinie Manush, Joe Medwick, Eddie Murray (Beckett), Stan Musial, Satchel Paige, Mike Piazza (Beckett), Pee Wee Reese, Branch Rickey (Beckett), Sam Rice, Phil Rizzuto, Frank Robinson, Ryne Sandberg, Joe Sewell, George Sisler, Billy Southworth, Bill Terry, Pie Traynor, Larry Walker (Beckett), and Lloyd Waner.
The following additional 3" x 5" cards or cuts have been reviewed by James Spence Authentication and are accompanied by an Auction LOA for the entire group: Roberto Alomar, Sparky Anderson, Luis Aparicio, Luke Appling, Jeff Bagwell, Al Barlick, Johnny Bench, Craig Biggio, Bert Blyleven, Wade Boggs, Lou Boudreau, George Brett, Lou Brock, Max Carey, Steve Carlton, Orlando Cepeda, Happy Chandler, Jocko Conlan, Stan Coveleski, Bobby Cox, Joe Cronin, Ray Dandridge, Andre Dawson, Leon Day, Larry Doby, Bobby Doerr, Dennis Eckersley, Red Faber, Bob Feller, Rick Ferrell, Rollie Fingers, Whitey Ford, Pat Gillick, Goose Goslin, Burleigh Grimes, Tony Gwynn, Rickey Henderson, Billy Herman, Whitey Herzog, Trevor Hoffman, Cal Hubbard, Catfish Hunter, Fergie Jenkins, Judy Johnson, Al Kaline, George Kell, George Kelly, Harmon Killebrew, Ralph Kiner, Bowie Kuhn, Barry Larkin, Tommy Lasorda, Bob Lemon, Al Lopez, Lee Mac Phail, Juan Marichal, Rube Marquard, Pedro Martinez, Eddie Mathews, Joe McCarthy, Johnny Mize, Jack Morris, Mike Mussina, Hal Newhouser, Phil Niekro, Jim Palmer, Tony Perez, Kirby Puckett, Tim Raines, Jim Rice, Cal Ripken Jr., Ivan Rodriguez, Robin Roberts, Brooks Robinson, Edd Roush, Nolan Ryan, Red Schoendienst, John Schuerholz (business card), Bud Selig (business card), Ted Simmons, Enos Slaughter, Lee Smith, John Smoltz, Duke Snider, Warren Spahn, Willie Stargell, Casey Stengel, Don Sutton, Frank Thomas, Jim Thome, Joe Torre, Alan Trammel, Earl Weaver, Zack Wheat, Hoyt Wilhelm, Dick Williams, Billy Williams, Early Wynn.
Many of these signatures are readily available, signatures one might find in small groups, or individually. Rarely does an entire autograph collection as comprehensive as this one make itself available. Representing 70% of the people who have been inducted into the Hall of Fame (including players, executives, pioneers, managers, umpires, etc), an outstanding collection. 238 signatures total.