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How to De-Value an Autographed Baseball

Photo By: Andy Lyons/Getty Images

The year was 1985 and I was young enough to be mistaken as a ball player and what followed was a pure shame.

I went to Busch Stadium to see the Cardinals play the Houston Astros. I spent the weekend in St. Louis and stayed at what I believe was then called the  Marriot Hotel right across the street from the ballpark. I was just a couple of years removed from playing baseball and was in “playing” shape at the time.

The game ended and here I am walking over to my room with the soon to be Hall of Famer, Nolan Ryan, just a few feet from me walking to the same hotel (where the Astros were staying). As he entered the lobby he was confronted by autograph seekers who were well aware the Astros were staying there.  I then made my way into the lobby as well.

Nolan Ryan and I both had the same goal.  Make our way to the elevator and to our rooms. To get there we had to pass all kinds of autograph seekers handing hats, scorecards, baseballs and whatever to the players in the lobby. Being behind, Nolan Ryan, made it difficult for me to navigate to the elevators. It got to the point, after telling disbelieving fans that I wasn’t a member of the Astros, that I just finally gave in and started signing items handed to me.  It was easier to do that than explain I wasn’t a player.

Eventually, Nolan and I made our way to the elevators and got to our rooms. Once there, I began to think about what just happened.  Many of the hats and balls signed by now Hall of Famer Nolan Ryan also have Jeff Dorsey’s name on them. How much is a Nolan Ryan autographed baseball worth?  Plenty.  How much is a Nolan Ryan – Jeff Dorsey autographed baseball worth?  God only knows. To those who have one , I am truly sorry.

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