Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Thrift Shop Pickup - John Smoltz Signed Baseball

If anyone can help me take sharper pictures of signed baseballs with a Nikon Coolpix, please let me know.  I've been working on this thing for a few weeks now, and I really am not satisfied with how it shoots autos at this point.  Everything else the camera does is great, but I can't get it to cleanly focus on an auto.  Uggh.

Anyway, yesterday, while finishing my Christmas shopping, I stopped by the local thrift shop and discovered that they were having a store-wide sale where everything was 50% off.  I had checked out the few signed baseballs that they had picked up and while most of them were badly faded and over priced, this John Smoltz auto from VERY early in his career caught my eye.  For the price of $18 plus tax, I picked up the ball.  It came with a beat up stand and name plate, but I went ahead and placed it into a brand new UV cube.  The ball is an ONL Coleman ball.  I imagine it is from the same folks from the early 90s who I got my Ripken, Palmer, Ryan and Klesko balls from.

My hope is that when the Hall of Fame voting is announced in early January, I can move this ball to my Hall of Fame collection.  I feel like I have a decent chance, unless the voters in their infinite wisdom, want to hold out on Smoltz for a year.  Regardless, this ball will be among my HOFers at some point.  I figured that I should take the deal while I could.  I also was happy to support a local business, as the thrift shop is within walking distance to my house.  No, I didn't walk there, I drove, since you asked.

Smoltz (b. 1967) played from 1988 to 1999 and 2001 to 2009 for the Braves, Red Sox and Cardinals.  He was 213-155 with a career ERA of 3.33 and 3,084 strike outs.  He also has 154 saves on his resume, the only pitcher with 200+ wins and 150+ saves.

Smoltz has a Cy Young Award on his resume, 1996, where he won 24 games with a 2.94 ERA.  He also won a World Series in 1995 with the Braves.  For those folks who might try to argue that Smoltz isn't a "first ballot" Hall of Famer, I should remind you that Dennis Eckersley got in on his first ballot in 2004.

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