I almost missed it.
Last week I took my 5-year-old to the thrift store with me and as soon as we got to the toy section he started doing pee-pee dance.
I did a quick eye scan of the toys as we headed to the restroom on the corner of the store. I saw nothing that caught my eye immediately.
After the restroom trip we headed back toward the toy section and I initially walked three steps past the stuffed animal section when a small hologram caught my eye. I backtracked and look up to find this:
I immediately Tweeted the picture to see if anyone else could figure out who signed the ball. My gut said Julio Franco, a fan favorite who played 23 seasons in MLB and even at age 57 is still playing ball in Japan. The signature is in fact that of Mr. Franco.
This is a Braves team ball, one with a slick surface, not like the leather on an official Major League Baseball. When these balls are signed, the ink tends to bleed into the faux leather, which is why the signature looks as it does.
So here’s the kicker. There is no question about the autographs authenticity. How do I know? The ball has been authenticated by MLB! That’s the hologram that caught my eye.
When you run the serial number on the hologram through the MLB database, this comes up:
Not a bad find for a quick trip to the thrift store.
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