The population of “Moonlight Graham” autographs just got bigger, thanks to a discovery at the medical school attended by the man immortalized in the book Shoeless Joe and the move, Field of Dreams.
Larry Pitrof, head of the alumni association at the University of Maryland School of Medicine in Baltimore, is a baseball fan. After years of thinking about it, he finally dug into some filing cabinets in an attic at the school and uncovered a trove of letters and matriculation cards signed by Archie Graham from 1903-1905.
No more than six authentic Graham signatures had previously been known to exist.
“It’s a real glimpse into his life,” said Tara Wink, the school’s historical collections librarian and archivist told the Baltimore Sun, which fills in more of the details in this story.
Autographed game-used memorabilia and some signed items from former greats are among more than 130 lots in the new Fanatics auction.
Among the highlights:
- Aaron Judge’s 39th home run ball from his 52 home run rookie season, signed/inscribed
- 2021 Mike Stanton game-used jersey
- 2013 game-used base signed by Mariano Rivera from one of his saves
- 2021 Mookie Betts signed and inscribed game-used cleats
- 2010 Evan Longoria game-used, autographed and inscribed Rays jersey
- 2019 Pete Alonso game-used cap
- Pete Rose 1975 Reds championship ring (salesman’s sample)
- Ted Williams, Kirby Puckett, Tony Gwynn, Ernie Banks autographed bats
- Willie Mays autographed jersey
- Mike Trout/Shohei Ohtani dual signed and inscribed baseball and photo
Bidding opened Wednesday and runs through July 20.
You think the demand for sports cards has been off the charts over the last three years?
The Pokémon Company in Japan says it produced more than nine billion (yes, billion) cards from March of 2021 to March of 2022– more than double the rate of same period 12 months earlier, when they made made 3.7 billion cards.
Unlike sports card makers, Pokémon releases its annual production numbers and other data.
So far, more than 43.2 billion cards have been made worldwide since the trading card game launched and more than a quarter of them have been created since 2020.
This article illustrates some parallels to what happened with sports cards during the same general time period.