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  #1  
Old 07-12-2012, 10:13 AM
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Default Toughest 1940's & 1950's Baseball Autographs

I get asked this question alot, So figured I'd put it out there for anyone thats interested.
Obviously a subject for debate here but what I did is put together the collector "want lists" I have accumulated over the years and found the names that intersected the most.
Probably not the most "expensive" autographs from the 1940's & 1950's but certainly the toughest to find.
The names noted with a (*) ARE expensive in some cases VERY expensive and would easily eclipse many Hall of Fame autographs in terms of what they would cost IF you could find one. Have listed by debut year
1941) WIMPY QUINN
1943) CONNIE CREEDEN (*)
1944) JOHN FICK (*), CLANCY SMYRES (*)
1945) WOODY CROWSON (*)
1946) JOHN CARDEN
1949) JULIO GONZALES (*)
1951) EDDIE GAEDEL (*)
1955) WEBBO CLARKE (*), WENC GONZALES (*)
1956) CHARLIE PEETE
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  #2  
Old 07-12-2012, 11:05 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JimStinson View Post
I get asked this question alot, So figured I'd put it out there for anyone thats interested.
Obviously a subject for debate here but what I did is put together the collector "want lists" I have accumulated over the years and found the names that intersected the most.
Probably not the most "expensive" autographs from the 1940's & 1950's but certainly the toughest to find.
The names noted with a (*) ARE expensive in some cases VERY expensive and would easily eclipse many Hall of Fame autographs in terms of what they would cost IF you could find one. Have listed by debut year
1941) WIMPY QUINN
1943) CONNIE CREEDEN (*)
1944) JOHN FICK (*), CLANCY SMYRES (*)
1945) WOODY CROWSON (*)
1946) JOHN CARDEN
1949) JULIO GONZALES (*)
1951) EDDIE GAEDEL (*)
1955) WEBBO CLARKE (*), WENC GONZALES (*)
1956) CHARLIE PEETE
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Great list Jim, thanks for the info.
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Old 07-12-2012, 11:13 AM
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Jim, just curious but how hard is it to find an Eddie Gaedel autograph and if you could find one what ballpark range would it be as far a price?
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Old 07-12-2012, 11:16 AM
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Gaedel is near impossible, mostly because no one really considered him a ball player so he didn't get many autograph requests, plus he died young. The last ones that I remembered seeing sold brought in the $4,000-$6,000 price range on 3x5's. Likely he'd be more on a photo or something substantial
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Old 07-12-2012, 11:25 AM
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I looked up recent sales and a postcard photo of EG sold at auction a few years ago for almost $7,000 in very , very poor condition. This was part of the description that accompanied it
Gaedel was notorious for his surly disposition and was rarely interested in even talking to fans, let alone signing for them. This may explain why Gaedel signatures are virtually nonexistent, with literally fewer than ten examples known. Gaedel worked at the locally famous Midget Club on Chicago's Southside. He was mugged and murdered in 1961
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Old 07-12-2012, 12:41 PM
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I am trying to collect an auotgraph of every player who has debuted from 1946 to present. I only need 1948 Cubs Danny "Dummy" Lynch, 1949 Browns Ed Albrecht, and 1955 Senators Wence Gonzalez. So in my opinion those are the toughest. Other really tough ones not mentioned by Jim are Dizzy Sutherland and Bill Froats. Below are scans of my Eddie Gaedel Album page, John Carden on 1946 New York Giants team signed ball and Enrique Gonzalez on 1949 Washington Senators team signed ball. The thrill of finding one of these hard to find graphs is what makes this hobby so great.
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File Type: jpg gaedel.jpg (22.1 KB, 1198 views)
File Type: jpg carden.jpg (63.0 KB, 1205 views)
File Type: jpg enrique.jpg (60.9 KB, 1202 views)

Last edited by stat192; 07-12-2012 at 12:41 PM.
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Old 07-12-2012, 01:09 PM
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NICE ! Thats the first Carden I can remember seeing ! Also thanks for pointing out BILL FROATS is extremely tough too !!!
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Old 07-12-2012, 01:42 PM
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Here's my Wimpy Quinn on a WWII Service team BB.

Ken
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  #9  
Old 07-12-2012, 01:53 PM
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Elmer Gedeon or Bob Neighbors?
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Old 07-12-2012, 02:27 PM
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Elmer Gedeon or Bob Neighbors?
Gedeon, Neighbors, and Harry O'Neill all played in 1939.

Ken
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  #11  
Old 07-12-2012, 05:06 PM
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yes....Harry O'Neill is SUPER tough ...but we are talking 40's and 50's ,,,(smile) O'Neill had his debut in 1939
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Old 07-12-2012, 06:22 PM
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Gedeon, Neighbors, and Harry O'Neill all played in 1939.

Ken
Ergh. Sorry about that. I got my Gedeon and Neighbors cuts back from JSA today so I guess I'm just too excited.
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Old 07-12-2012, 11:10 PM
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I'll throw in another half-dozen real toughies -

Bob Katz - 1944 Reds - for a guy who played 12 seasons in the minors, he is incredibly tough to find. His 1962 death went unnoticed for years, and evidently his whereabouts after leaving baseball were unknown.

John Phillips - 1945 NY Giants - died in 1956; signature is virtually never seen, sometimes confused with Jack Dorn Phillips, who came later.

Howard "Dizzy" Sutherland - 1949 Senators - a DC cab driver given a chance by the Nats. Disappeared after leaving baseball. In the late 1970s, a Washington Post writer I knew did a small article on my search for him. A fellow who had dated Diz's daughter called me and told me where to find him - tending bar on the eastern shore of Maryland. I talked with Diz on the phone several times, he promised to sign for me, but never answered my several letters. I never got the chance to visit him, then I moved to Georgia, and Diz died shortly thereafter. Furman Bisher, who knew Diz when he pitched for Charlotte, told me that he (Dizzy) got his name naturally.

Herb Gorman - 1952 Cardinals - died of a heart attack during a game while playing with San Diego in 1953, less than a year after his one major league game.

Lino Donoso - 1955-56 Pirates - a Cuban, signed for Pittsburgh by scout Howie Haak in a Mexican whorehouse in 1953. After his Pirates stint, he only played one minor league season in the US, then went back to Mexico, where he died. He lived another 30+ years, but was never located by collectors.

Marcelino Solis - was with the 1958 Cubs for two months, which got him onto a 1959 Topps card. He didn't pitch in the US after 1960, returned to Mexico and disappeared. Good luck to any Cubs fan looking for the '59 Topps signed!
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Old 07-13-2012, 05:42 AM
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Attached is a Dizzy Sutherland and Herb Gorman from my collection. The Gorman is on the cover of a 1951 Hollywood Stars game program. The program is in perfect condition. The Gorman is a double, as I also have him on a GPC, so I would be willing to trade the autograph for other tough signers. I also have a full JSA letter with the program.
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File Type: jpg sutherland.jpg (24.6 KB, 811 views)
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  #15  
Old 07-13-2012, 06:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JimStinson View Post
I get asked this question alot, So figured I'd put it out there for anyone thats interested.
Obviously a subject for debate here but what I did is put together the collector "want lists" I have accumulated over the years and found the names that intersected the most.
Probably not the most "expensive" autographs from the 1940's & 1950's but certainly the toughest to find.
The names noted with a (*) ARE expensive in some cases VERY expensive and would easily eclipse many Hall of Fame autographs in terms of what they would cost IF you could find one. Have listed by debut year
1941) WIMPY QUINN
1943) CONNIE CREEDEN (*)
1944) JOHN FICK (*), CLANCY SMYRES (*)
1945) WOODY CROWSON (*)
1946) JOHN CARDEN
1949) JULIO GONZALES (*)
1951) EDDIE GAEDEL (*)
1955) WEBBO CLARKE (*), WENC GONZALES (*)
1956) CHARLIE PEETE
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Other than the ones who died early, would you mind giving a quick blurb about why some of these guys are so tough? I think that'd be very interesting.

Thanks, Ken
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  #16  
Old 07-13-2012, 08:28 AM
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Don't know how I missed HERB GORMAN (Thanks Tom), yes he should be on the list also and with an (*).
Lino Dinoso WAS tough for a long time and to a degree still is. I bought and sold about a dozen signed Dinoso documents a few years back so I may have single handedly removed him from the list (smile) at least for awhile.
Ken ...with regards to the reasons they are tough see Tom's post above which applies to most I've listed here. They either died young, or vanished after their short stint in the major leagues or BOTH. The exception being CLANCY SMYRES who just absolutely REFUSED to sign ANYTHING
1941) WIMPY QUINN
1943) CONNIE CREEDEN (*)
1944) JOHN FICK (*), CLANCY SMYRES (*)
1945) WOODY CROWSON (*)
1946) JOHN CARDEN
1949) JULIO GONZALES (*)
1951) EDDIE GAEDEL (*)
1955) WEBBO CLARKE (*), WENC GONZALES (*)
1956) CHARLIE PEETE
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  #17  
Old 07-13-2012, 08:46 AM
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How do Harry Agganis autographs rate in scarcity?
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Old 07-13-2012, 09:44 AM
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Agganis autographs are rare but not as rare as the others. Even though he died young, he was a a college superstar at Boston University in both football and baseball, so he signed alot in college. So even though he had a short period to sign, he was a willing signer both in person and through the mail.
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Old 07-13-2012, 12:24 PM
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Particularly sad ending to Charlie Peete

The reigning 1956 batting average champion of the Triple-A American Association who received a one-month, 23-game trial with the 1956 St. Louis Cardinals of Major League Baseball, Peete was projected by some as the leading candidate to be the Cardinals' 1957 starting center fielder.[1] But he was killed in a commercial airplane crash near the Caracas, Venezuela, airport while flying to his winter-league baseball team in late November 1956; his wife, Nettie, and their three young children were also among the 25 victims of the crash
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Old 07-14-2012, 04:31 PM
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Also a few I will admit responsiblity for destroying the demand for
Chico Hernandez (1942 Cubs) Died Cuba 1986
Tommy Dela Cruz (1944 Reds) Died Cuba 1958
Tony "Mosquito" Ordenana (1943 Pirates) Died-Cuba
for buying and selling a collection that included DOZENS of autographs of each , and another all time toughie RAMON GARCIA (debut 1948) Bill C. actually did a private signing with him so .....Toughies no more
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Old 07-14-2012, 04:35 PM
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Jim,

are people who want these tough, short lived major league career players, are they collecting them to try to finish a team set from a certain year, or do they just want to collect the toughest players- period, or do they want to collect every player who played? I'm trying to figure out the demand out of curiosity because it doesnt seem to translate into other sports autograph collecting as much.
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Old 07-14-2012, 05:22 PM
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In answer to your question many collectors collect ever player who ever played in the ML
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Old 07-14-2012, 05:32 PM
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Also teams 1919 Reds, 1919 White Sox, 1927 Yankees, 1955 Dodgers or ALL players that ever played for the Yankees, or Dodgers etc. Your correct it does not translate into other fields of collecting. Except maybe the entire cast of "The Wizard of OZ" or "Casablana" or "Gone with the Wind" or "The Godfather"
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Old 07-14-2012, 05:45 PM
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Also using BOXING as an example I was the guy that did over 200 private signings with boxing champions and impossible to find non-baseball autographs including the legendary (and now deceased) middleweight champ CARLOS MONZON in Argentina , JOHN TATE (when he was in prison), TREVOR BERBICK (shortly before his head was split open with a machette), OSCAR DE LA HOYA (Right after the Gold Medal in Barcelona), etc etc and the response was luke warm at best.
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Old 07-14-2012, 06:01 PM
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Also using BOXING as an example I was the guy that did over 200 private signings with boxing champions and impossible to find non-baseball autographs including the legendary (and now deceased) middleweight champ CARLOS MONZON in Argentina , JOHN TATE (when he was in prison), TREVOR BERBICK (shortly before his head was split open with a machette), OSCAR DE LA HOYA (Right after the Gold Medal in Barcelona), etc etc and the response was luke warm at best.


Exactly, i collect boxing and other than collecting all of the opponents of muhammad ali, there isnt much of demand to collect all boxers who fought joe louis, frazier etc. (Even though i collected all the championship opponents of Louis and got many of them from you.)

I think i have the only manuel ramos autograph around but he fought frazier for the title and not Muhammad Ali, so it is almost worthless even though he was mexican heavyweight champion and the only mexican national to fight for the heavyweight crown. Had he fought Muhammad Ali it would be worth a lot. Had he been a baseball player it would be a brick of gold.

I just never hear of people looking for an autograph of someone of little note other than playing in the league who played three games for the boston celtics back in 1948. but baseball has its allure I guess.

Last edited by travrosty; 07-14-2012 at 06:04 PM.
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Old 07-14-2012, 06:19 PM
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Yes you are correct , other fields of collecting trend toward specific areas of collecting, With boxing its tipically the heavyweight champs, or guys who fought Ali. Or Louis but here is the KINK , there might be only 2 or 3 guys that collect in that arena so ....even though the autograph is SUPER tough , even tougher than some of the "cup of coffee baseball players" there does not exist a "market" and market determines value ....at the MOMENT , which changes always
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Old 07-14-2012, 07:47 PM
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Yes you are correct , other fields of collecting trend toward specific areas of collecting, With boxing its tipically the heavyweight champs, or guys who fought Ali. Or Louis but here is the KINK , there might be only 2 or 3 guys that collect in that arena so ....even though the autograph is SUPER tough , even tougher than some of the "cup of coffee baseball players" there does not exist a "market" and market determines value ....at the MOMENT , which changes always


you are right, there is only a few, only 6 i know that collect ali opponents, and they have most of them on the list now. so no real market, you have to know someone who knows the guys who might have one and the price is whatever the two people agree upon. I get inquiries sometimes about how much this tough ali opponent autograph is worth and many times I say "I don't know" they don't trade hands enough to put a concrete price on it.

Ali opponents herb siler, sonny banks, tony esperti, and alejandro lavorante are the toughest outside of jim robinson, where no known autographs exist.

there are 50 opponents and someone has 49, so he's done, a few have in the 40's.

Last edited by travrosty; 07-14-2012 at 07:51 PM.
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Old 07-14-2012, 07:52 PM
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Your correct it does not translate into other fields of collecting. Except maybe the entire cast of "The Wizard of OZ" or "Casablana" or "Gone with the Wind" or "The Godfather"
In space you have collectors who collect every astronaut. Then you get into flown versus everyone who ever attained astronaut status, which is difficult, but not impossible.

if you throw cosmonauts into the mix, it becomes nearly impossible.
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Old 07-14-2012, 08:11 PM
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In space you have collectors who collect every astronaut. Then you get into flown versus everyone who ever attained astronaut status, which is difficult, but not impossible.

if you throw cosmonauts into the mix, it becomes nearly impossible.
I'm curious Steve.
How many people in each of those categories?
Moonwalkers, Flew into space, just plain ole astronauts, and cosmonauts.
How many of them would be considered difficult?
Am I correct in thinking the Armstrong is the most expensive? Is he the most difficult to get?
I know little about the astronaut field, but, like most, was fascinated with them as a kid. One of my goals is to eventually get an Armstrong.

Thanks,
Mark
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Old 07-14-2012, 08:54 PM
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Flown astronauts are a little over 350. Unflown are a few dozen.

Cosmonauts and taikonauts are a little over 150.

Like anything else, it's the 10% that are really tough for one reason or another.

Unflown guys like Ted Freeman, Charlie Basset, CC Williams and Elliott See are rare because they died early in the program. There are also a few shuttle astros you've never heard of before who sell for huge money because they died prematurely soon after they earned their wings.

Grissom, White and Chaffee (Apollo 1) are not super rare, but in very high demand. Then there is Bill anders (Apollo 8) who hates signing and is uncommon and in high demand. To make it even more fun, Anders intentionally changes how he signs (when he rarely signs) just to mess with collectors.

Armstrong is common, but demand is so high, signed cards sell for $1000. Photos $1500 and up.

Russian tradition was cosmonauts should not sign until after their flight... A superstition they all followed. So, the cosmonauts who died on their first flight are extremely rare. For example, Dobrovolsky and Patseyev who died on Soyuz 11 only exist on a handful of official documents that reside in Russian museums. A few signed items have appeared on the collector market, however many collectors have serious doubts about these items.

There are various subsets such as all 12 moonwalkers on white spacesuit photos, but there is always a catch. For instance, Jim Irwin hated his space suit portrait and almost never signed it. An Irwin WSS unpersonalized would probably sell for $10,000+.

A single item with all 12 moonwalkers would be huge. Only a handful exist. A baseball with 10 (or was it 11) of the 12 just sold at heritage for $21,000 plus.
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Old 07-14-2012, 09:22 PM
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WOW.
I had no idea there were that many. Fascinating stuff.
Thanks for the education. I really do appreciate it.

Now I have to plan the money for an Armstrong. Hmmm.

Best,
Mark
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Old 07-15-2012, 08:06 AM
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Quote:
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A single item with all 12 moonwalkers would be huge. Only a handful exist. A baseball with 10 (or was it 11) of the 12 just sold at heritage for $21,000 plus.
If you included Michael Jackson that would be 13 "moonwalkers"
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Old 07-15-2012, 07:01 PM
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If you included Michael Jackson that would be 13 "moonwalkers"
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Old 07-26-2012, 08:50 PM
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Default Dave Hoskins?

How does Dave Hoskins rate for toughness? I always thought he was pretty hard, I consider myself lucky to have a single-signed ball of his. I'm about to post a team-signed ball with him, but don't want to mislead.

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Old 07-27-2012, 09:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Zipper View Post
Flown astronauts are a little over 350. Unflown are a few dozen.

Cosmonauts and taikonauts are a little over 150.

Like anything else, it's the 10% that are really tough for one reason or another.

Unflown guys like Ted Freeman, Charlie Basset, CC Williams and Elliott See are rare because they died early in the program. There are also a few shuttle astros you've never heard of before who sell for huge money because they died prematurely soon after they earned their wings.

Grissom, White and Chaffee (Apollo 1) are not super rare, but in very high demand. Then there is Bill anders (Apollo 8) who hates signing and is uncommon and in high demand. To make it even more fun, Anders intentionally changes how he signs (when he rarely signs) just to mess with collectors.

Armstrong is common, but demand is so high, signed cards sell for $1000. Photos $1500 and up.

Russian tradition was cosmonauts should not sign until after their flight... A superstition they all followed. So, the cosmonauts who died on their first flight are extremely rare. For example, Dobrovolsky and Patseyev who died on Soyuz 11 only exist on a handful of official documents that reside in Russian museums. A few signed items have appeared on the collector market, however many collectors have serious doubts about these items.

There are various subsets such as all 12 moonwalkers on white spacesuit photos, but there is always a catch. For instance, Jim Irwin hated his space suit portrait and almost never signed it. An Irwin WSS unpersonalized would probably sell for $10,000+.

A single item with all 12 moonwalkers would be huge. Only a handful exist. A baseball with 10 (or was it 11) of the 12 just sold at heritage for $21,000 plus.
Are the guys from the recently discovered CIA gemini project known? I'd imagine those would be tough.

Steve B
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Old 07-27-2012, 11:04 AM
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Dave Hoskins is VERY tough even though he died in 1970. Most collectors however that collect everyone would want him on a single flat , maybe not a team ball but he would absolutely add value to the ball. I would expect a flat item, cut from album page etc to sell in the $150.00-$200 price range.
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Old 07-30-2012, 06:51 AM
btcarfagno btcarfagno is offline
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Default Speaking of Herb Gorman...



Just picked up this Herb Gorman 1952 Cardinals team signed sheet. If anyone is looking for Gorman, let me know....

Tom C
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Old 03-01-2013, 03:24 PM
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Guess he's not the toughest on multi-signed items, here's a baseball with him.

Ken
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Old 03-01-2013, 04:23 PM
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Thanks for ressurecting this thread. I must've missed it the first time around and it was a great read. I always love Jim's stories and insight.
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Old 03-02-2013, 06:47 AM
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Thanks guys I had forgotten all about this thread myself. Since it started I picked up (and sold) a Dizzy Sutherland pictured here
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Old 03-02-2013, 08:27 AM
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Default Toughest 1940's & 1950's Baseball Autographs

.

. . . but more like one of the toughest 1930's baseball debut autographs; Orlin Collier.

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Old 03-02-2013, 11:15 AM
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This is a great topic. Here's a question - Who is the toughest autograph for each ML franchise post 1920? That should generate some debate.
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Old 03-03-2013, 05:39 PM
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Quote:
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Exactly, i collect boxing and other than collecting all of the opponents of muhammad ali, there isnt much of demand to collect all boxers who fought joe louis, frazier etc. (Even though i collected all the championship opponents of Louis and got many of them from you.)

I think i have the only manuel ramos autograph around but he fought frazier for the title and not Muhammad Ali, so it is almost worthless even though he was mexican heavyweight champion and the only mexican national to fight for the heavyweight crown. Had he fought Muhammad Ali it would be worth a lot. Had he been a baseball player it would be a brick of gold.

I just never hear of people looking for an autograph of someone of little note other than playing in the league who played three games for the boston celtics back in 1948. but baseball has its allure I guess.
I have read a couple different articles about collectors trying to collect all the Ali opponents. Is a Jim Robinson autograph still considered to be non-existant?

I have also read in the past about a collector trying to collect every man who ever fought for the heavyweight title, so I was familiar with how tough Ramos is. I saw a Ramos autograph on eBay a few months ago. Obviously, eBay is loaded with fakes and frauds. But Ramos seems like he would be a pretty obscure guy to fake. I don't even think it ever sold. From what I remember, the seller claimed it came from Ramos' military discharge papers. I thought that was kinda weird, beause isn't that where the one known legit Ramos autograph originated from?

I know baseball will always be king as far as autograph values go, but it always amazes me how cheap boxing autographs from the early 20th century are for everyone other than the heavyweight champions.

Who were the toughest Louis opponents to collect?

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Old 10-12-2013, 06:15 AM
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Picked up a tough 1955 debut Webbo Clarke on Washington Senator Team Ball. I already have his but figured it can't hurt to have another as it is only the fourth I have seen. The ball is also signed by a 19 year old Harmon Killebrew.
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Old 08-17-2014, 02:11 PM
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Quote:
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I'll throw in another half-dozen real toughies -

Marcelino Solis - was with the 1958 Cubs for two months, which got him onto a 1959 Topps card. He didn't pitch in the US after 1960, returned to Mexico and disappeared. Good luck to any Cubs fan looking for the '59 Topps signed!
Solis is a really really though one. He was the last one I got to finish my Mexicans in MLB autograph project:

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Old 08-31-2014, 10:02 PM
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I was learning about many of the tough obscure Dodgers when i decided to collect all of the players i could find and afford. I have not gotten around to completing lists of anyone debuting in the 40s or back though, so i am sure there are plenty of difficult to downright impossible names as i get further back from the present. I had actually seen a story (Yours I see now) about Clancy Smyres and figured that is one i will skip!

http://www.sportscollectorsdaily.com...han-babe-ruth/

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Old 09-01-2014, 11:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrmopar View Post
I was learning about many of the tough obscure Dodgers when i decided to collect all of the players i could find and afford. I have not gotten around to completing lists of anyone debuting in the 40s or back though, so i am sure there are plenty of difficult to downright impossible names as i get further back from the present. I had actually seen a story (Yours I see now) about Clancy Smyres and figured that is one i will skip!

http://www.sportscollectorsdaily.com...han-babe-ruth/
If you are going to collect you can't just "SKIP" someone because they are tough.... Got to play by the rules Curt you're either a Collector or a Dabbler can't be both BTW another 1944 Dodger, Charles Osgood who was a tough non-signer but not as tough as Clancy just passed away
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Old 09-01-2014, 10:50 PM
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Now I have to plan the money for an Armstrong.
I'd love an Armstrong - who wouldn't? - but I'll settle for my Buzz Aldrin check.

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  #49  
Old 09-04-2014, 02:40 PM
mschwade mschwade is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JimStinson View Post
If you are going to collect you can't just "SKIP" someone because they are tough.... Got to play by the rules Curt you're either a Collector or a Dabbler can't be both BTW another 1944 Dodger, Charles Osgood who was a tough non-signer but not as tough as Clancy just passed away
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I just listed my Charlie Osgood single signed baseball on eBay with a $14.99 starting bid: http://www.ebay.com/itm/RARE-Charles...:L:LCA:US:1123


Last edited by mschwade; 09-04-2014 at 02:41 PM.
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Old 09-06-2014, 11:44 AM
Mr. Zipper Mr. Zipper is offline
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I'd love an Armstrong - who wouldn't? - but I'll settle for my Buzz Aldrin check.

Nice. Back in the late 80s/90s, Aldrin donated a a bunch of these checks to the Space Unit in Queens NY. The Space Unit sold them for the princely sum of $40 and they lasted years.

Wish I bought more than one at that time!
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