Kevin Keating has enough baseball and autograph collecting stories to fill a book.
Make that two.
In 2018, the lifelong collector wrote a book that chronicled his journey. Now, “Waiting for a Sign, Volume 2” has been released.
This time, Keating introduces readers to Roberto Clemente, Casey Stengel, Warren Spahn, George Brett, Bob Feller, Buck O’Neil, George Sisler, Chuck Connors and many other players he came to know during his autograph seeking journeys.
A native of suburban Chicago, Keating he spent much of his youth acquiring thousands of signatures from major leaguers visiting the Windy City to play against his hometown Cubs or White Sox. By the time he graduated from high school, he had amassed more than 10,000 autographs. As he moved into careers in the military and later in business, many of those players had become friends.
“Although I didn’t fully understand it when I started as a kid, collecting autographs is so much more than just getting a signature on a baseball or piece of paper,” Keating recalled. “It’s about the one-on-one, intimate moments shared with the star players you really look up to and admire. That’s why I wrote Waiting for a Sign, to pay tribute to some of the players who impacted my life. Each chapter tells the story behind the autograph and reveals the person inside the player. I hope those who read these stories will enjoy getting to know their subjects as much as I have.”
Keating, who serves as the principal autograph authenticator at PSA, takes readers on some interesting rides over the course of book’s 300 pages. There’s the day he and Chuck Connors narrowly escaped death; the time Sisler gifted 11-year-old Keating an autographed baseball “for being a nice little boy”; the afternoon when George Brett gave him the shirt off his back and a recollection of the time he spent with close friend Warren Spahn, just days before the great lefty passed away.
Volume Two also features a personal forward by multi-Emmy-Award-winning broadcaster and former Major League pitcher, Paul Byrd.