His career had been over for decades and he hadn’t managed in ten years but in January of 1962, Rogers Hornsby had a new gig; one that brought a new big league team trying to carve its own niche in New York.
The 66-year-old Hornsby had been hired by the New York Mets to scout and coach third base. The RMY Auctions Photo of the Day is a rare image of Hornsby sitting at a desk at the team’s office, signing a baseball as photographers capture the moment the Mets added a Hall of Famer to their coaching lineup. The 8×10 image has never before been offered in the hobby and is part of RMY’s April auction, set to close this weekend.
The back contains a short caption and other identifying marks likely used by a newspaper. It carries a “January” date.
Wielding a fountain pen as he signs his name to the ball, Hornsby had a reputation for being difficult as a player and manager but appears all smiles in his new role. That single stroke of a fountain pen turned an ordinary ball into a keepsake—one worth several thousand dollars today. Hornsby was a willing signer before and after his playing career but demand continues to outpace the supply of Hornsby signed baseballs.
Sadly, Hornsby died after suffering a heart attack just a year later, another reason for the heavy demand.
For more information on the auction visit RMYAuctions.com.