I decided to skip all of the drama of a "Biggest jerks" list and/or a "Nicest Guys" list for the first time this year. I'm really not in the mood to write six to eight paragraphs explaining why each player is deserving of being on either list. Also, everybody has their own opinion about which athletes are nice and which are, let's just say, not so nice. The odds are that nothing I would've said would have changed your mind, so why bother? To be blunt, I've heard more players curse and deny me than I can count, so to single out a few wouldn't make much of a difference.
With that being said, I will, however, expand my favorite autographs list from my top ten to my top fifteen. After all this is an autograph blog, and I think a majority of my readers would rather see pictures of autographs rather than read about my personal encounters. So without further ado, my top fifteen autographs of 2014:
15. Ryan Kesler
|Ryan Kesler autographed jersey|
14. Jose Abreu
|Jose Abreu autographed baseball|
13. Bob Miller
|Bob Miller autographed puck|
12. Harmon Killebrew
|Harmon Killebrew autographed baseball|
11. Ralph Kiner
|Ralph Kiner autographed baseball|
10. Ryan Getzlaf
|Ryan Getzlaf autographed puck|
9. Rod Carew
|Rod Carew autographed baseball|
8. Ryne Sandberg
|Ryne Sandberg autographed baseball|
7. Emmitt Smith
|Emmitt Smith autographed 11x14|
6. Don Sutton
|Don Sutton autographed baseball|
5. Robinson Cano
|Robinson Cano autographed jersey|
|Robinson Cano autographed baseball|
4. David Eckstein
|David Eckstein autographed baseball|
3. Blake Griffin
|Blake Griffin autographed shoes|
2. Mike Trout
|Mike Trout autographed bat|
1. Barry Bonds
|Barry Bonds autographed jersey|
|Barry Bonds autographed bat|
In review, my favorite free IP autograph was of David Eckstein, my favorite purchased item was my Mike Trout Old Hickory bat, and my favorite autograph of the entire year was from Barry Bonds. I tried organizing the list by taking three things in to consideration:
1. The value of the item signed.
2. How the autographed turned out (legibility, how the pen worked, etc.).
3. How much I like the player.
I think I did a fairly good job of organizing it 1-15, but please comment if you think that one item should be ranked higher or lower. I always enjoy hearing other collector's opinions. As for my goals to 2014, here they were:
1. Add at least ten more baseball Hall of Fame members to my collection
Success! (11/10) Paul Molitor, Harmon Killebrew, Ralph Kiner, Orlando Cepeda, Pat Gillick, Tony LaRussa, Rod Carew, Ryne Sandberg, Jim Palmer, Don Sutton, and Carlton Fisk.
2. Add 5 MVP winners AND 5 CY Young Winners to my collection
MVP's: (12/5) Rod Carew, Ryne Sandberg, Orlando Cepeda, Don Newcombe, Kirk Gibson, Joey Votto, Ryan Braun, Orel Hershiser, Josh Hamilton, Jimmy Rollins, and Barry Bonds, Mike Trout.
Cy Young (5/5): Orel Hershiser, Jim Palmer, Clayton Kershaw, Bret Saberhagen, and Don Newcombe.
3. Get at least four jerseys signed by star players and/or Hall of Fame members
Success! (6/4) Robinson Cano, Ryan Kesler, Matt Williams, Josh Hamilton, Barry Bonds, and Sidney Crosby
A huge thanks to everyone who has read this blog over the years. 2015 will be my third full year of writing and I hope that I've done a decent job of keeping you all entertained over that stretch of time. As always, a big thanks to Mike Lee, Benson, Lori, Daniel, Scotty, Scott Sr, David A, Amber, Joe Chon, Jeremy, Moe, Robert, Jacob H, Victor, Josh (Dodgerbobble), George, Greg, Franz, Mical, Tyler, Spencer, Larry, Josh L, Clint, Jose, Eddie, Marc, and Anthony, and an extra special thanks to Alex and Rob G, Ryan, Kyle, David P, and Matt Crocker. Thanks for reading and happy New Year!