A bag of balls

baseballs_250.jpgMrsSingy@suzannesingleton.com
When people and organizations ask Ken for an autographed baseball, I politely inform them that we don’t currently own a warehouse of sporting equipment (see “The Singletons are fresh out of autograph items“) yet if they provide a ball, Ken will be happy to sign it.

With certain situations that tug at my heartstrings, however, I’m a little more lenient, so once in a while I scurry around the house in search of a blank baseball to stick under Ken’s nose to sign.

There aren’t many – blank ones, that is. On the last go-round, I stopped upstairs in Ken’s office at a red felt, almost-Santa-like bag filled with over 40 autographed baseballs. One of these days I should buy him a shelf or display case because the baseballs – or rather what’s on them – are fairly impressive even to my amateur eyes.

I wish some of these guys had had better handwriting for me to report what names are on the balls! Ken, without a doubt, could sit here and relay a zillion stories behind each in his collection.

Alas, this is what I see:

? Rawlings official ball of the 1983 World Series signed “To Matthew, Good Luck, Pete Rose.” Unfortunately, our son Matthew, in a creative mood as a kid, tried to decorate the ball further using small rubber stamps so Pete’s scribble has a little company.

? On another ball, Ken’s handwriting reads: “RBI #100 and 101, 8/30/79 vs. Twins in Baltimore”

? “1,000 Major League Hit, pitcher Jim Slaton, Milwaukee vs. Baltimore 7/25/77″

? “First A.L. Grand Slam 5/22/76, 8-4 win over Tigers”

? “1st American League homerun, donated by Jim Perry 4/27/75″

? “Homerun off Juan Marichal 6/13/71″

? “Homerun #23, R.B.I. #100, 9/23/73″

? “RBI #1000 & 1001, homerun Chicago, 8/11/83″

? “9th Consecutive Hit, a club record, 4/28/81″

? “Career Homerun #200, 4/26/81″

? “Hit #1,500 at Baltimore vs. Chicago, double, 1st inning, 8/6/80″

? “American & National 1979 Japan Major League Series”

?  “N.Y. METS” with a ball full of faded autographs

? official league ball with Montreal Expos logo and various signatures

?  “To Matthew & Justin, Al Bumbry, Padres #4, 1985″ (Al is still one of Ken’s good friends; he lives in Baltimore, too)

? “50th All-Star Game” ball

? official ball of 1981 All-Star Game with various signatures

? baseball stamped with “Liga de Baseball Profesional de Puerto Rico”

? many other autographs too numerous to list, however, legible names include Frank Robinson, Earl Weaver, Eddie Murray, Cal Ripken, Jim Palmer and many others

One lone autographed ball not in the red bag with the others, sits amid Ken’s papers and baseball books on his desk. It has one signature – Hank Aaron.

4 Comments

It’s great to hear when former great players are also fans. I think too many players don’t take the time to appreciate things during their career and don’t take the opportunities to collect memorabilia that will be with them forever. I am surprised, however, that there aren’t two baseballs on his desk, one from Hammerin Hank and one from the Say Hey Kid.

That’s okay, I have bragged to everyone that I know that I have a Ken Singleton autographed ball on my mantle. :)

A friend of mine who knew Jimmy Key from the Winchester Royals told me that Jimmy had gotten a Nolan Ryan autographed ball at the ’85 All Star game. I responded, I wonder if Nolan Ryan got a Jimmy Key autographed ball?

There are some players that you can tell are fans of the game, then you have the Alex Rodriguez’s of the game that have that swagger. I am not knocking him, if I had his talent I’d probably have some swagger also, but I wonder if he has a Derek Jeter autographed ball or bat.

Very nice collection Ken!!!

Nice collection! I wonder if Ken could have an autographed ball from any player in history, who would it be?

Chris

Dear Mrs. Singleton,
I am a huge fan of Mr. Singleton, and the Yankees. He, in my opinion, will always be the voice of the New York Yankees. I love listening to his broadcasts on the YES Network. If I wanted to get his autograph signed on one of my baseballs I have, how could I do so? It would be an honor to have his autograph in my collection!
Morgan Pearson
Portland, Oregon

Thanks mpp013 for the nice comments. Just send a ball c/o the Yankees (or the Orioles, they’re closer) and Ken will get it, sign it and return it!

Thanks for reading,
Mrs, Singy

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