Six years after the original was released, the second edition of long-time collector Ron Keurajian’s book Baseball Hall of Fame Autographs is out, with some new features and content that weren’t part of the first one.
A commercial banker and attorney by trade, Keurajian has been collecting baseball autographs since he visited Charlie Gehringer in their shared Detroit area neighborhood for a middle school writing project in the late 1970s.
The second edition of the book is significantly longer than the first. Divided into two parts, it offers chapters on topics such as what to collect and how to obtain items, known forgeries and forgery techniques and provenance.
The bulk of the book again centers on “Signature Studies” in which Keurajian examines the autograph tendencies of Hall of Famers (the new edition includes players who have been elected since 2012), offering illustrations of those signatures. There are over 1,000 exemplars of player autographs including some known forgery styles.
Keurajian also offers his own insights on collecting focus, the various types of autographed items that have proven popular to collect (and more importantly, when they became popular which can help detect possible forgeries). There are also sales references, giving collectors an idea of what they can likely expect to pay for a certain player’s autograph and some common sense insights collectors should keep in mind when buying autographs purportedly signed decades ago.
The 2nd edition also includes a chapter entitled “The Top 50 Non-Hall of Famer Signatures” that examines autographs of some popular players from throughout baseball history who aren’t enshrined in Cooperstown. The final chapter examines autographs of players involved in the Black Sox scandal, appropriate considering this season marks the 100th anniversary of the gambling-infested World Series.
Throughout, there are tips on the investing side of collecting as Keurajian tells the stories of his own experiences buying and selling.