In the 1950s, Pedro Ramos struck Ted Williams out.
The young pitcher apparently wasn’t sure he’d ever do it again. In awe of the last man to hit .400, Ramos tried to get Williams to autograph the baseball. Incredulous, Williams sent Ramos scurrying away. The next time they faced each other, Williams is said to have belted a long home run, yelling as he ran around the bases “You want me to sign that blankety-blank ball too?”
Times have changed.
Although most strikeout victims might not react kindly to a request to sign a baseball, fraternizing with players on other teams is a little more accepted these days. At least when it comes to autographs.
Some of today’s players grew up during the baseball card boom era of the 1980s and early 90s and their collections have advanced to autographed memorabilia.
It’s not cool to run back and forth to the opposing clubhouse, so they use runners to get items signed; some for their own collections and others for charity.
The Beaver County Times checks in on the autograph collecting habits of the Pittsburgh Pirates.