The Scouting Report: 1983

There are six authors for this book. Luckily, none of them retired or died in 1983 so I was able to secure all of their signatures. They are all rather famous too, including Hall of Famers like Brooks Robinson and Ralph Kiner. The others are Jerry Coleman, Ernie Harwell, Tim McCarver, and Ned Martin.

Brooks Robinson

Tim McCarver is still going strong decades later.

Tim McCarver

The Martinez brothers. They aren't really brothers. Dennis had one of the nicest signatures in the big leagues. Tippy had one of the coolest names, but his autograph is pretty ugly.

One of the more interesting things about obtaining autographs in this book (as opposed to the usual medium at the time which was baseball cards), is players would sometimes slow down and provide you with a really nice autograph in the book. Some would stop what they were doing altogether and read their page before signing. I was always worried, when they did so, that my pen would dry out before they put the ink to the page. All of the autographs in this book are in Sharpie pen. Most are in blue, but a few are in purple or black. Tippy's is in purple here.

Dennis Martinez

Scott McGregor adds a biblical verse to his signature. Probably about a dozen of the signatures in the book also include a Bible verse.

Eddie Murray was pretty good about signing autographs in 1983. Each year he became more difficult to obtain signatures from though. And his personality seemed to get worse each year too. By 1986 (the last year that I was an "autograph hound"), I don't think I even bothered asking as I, and the other hounds, were afraid that he'd bite our heads off. Has he mellowed since? I don't know.

Eddie Murray

Jim Palmer--another Hall of Famer. I wonder how many autographs of members of the Hall I have in this one book. I haven't bothered to count, but the number is probably well over 30.

The "Jim" in his signature looks almost identical to Joe Nolan's "Joe" on the opposite page.

Jim Palmer

This was Cal's second season in the big leagues. He won the MVP in 1983. He wasn't great in 1982 so his scouting report doesn't paint as rosey a picture as 1983 turned out to be for him.

His autograph is better than average in the book, although I think I have one or two on cards that are even better. If I remember correctly, by 1985 or 1986 his signature was down to a sloppy CRJ.

Cal Ripken Jr.

The story and pictures continue below...

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