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Autographed The Scouting Report: 1983

I can't remember the exact history of this next one. If I remember correctly, though, Joe Simpson was on his last legs with Kansas City in 1983. After signing his name he started reading his scouting report. Someone else (Bud Black or Dan Quisenberry maybe?) came up and started reading over Joe's shoulder. To be funny (and perhaps honest since he was having a lousy final season) Joe circled foul territory as the area where the book should have indicated his "Probable Hit Locations." The other player took the pen out of his hand and put a small x to indicate that Joe was a home run hitter. Unfortunately for Joe, he didn't hit any homers in 1983.

Or it could be that Joe put the x indicating he was long ball threat and the other player was the honest one who circled foul territory. In any event, the encounter added yet a little more character to the book.

Joe Simpson & Mike Stanton

Jim Gott has a total of seven letters in his name. Yet he only includes four of them in his signature. Alfredo Griffin, on the other hand, has twice as many letters in his name and almost four times as many in his signature. This is actually the best signature I ever received from Griffin. He didn't usually include all fourteen letters in his autograph.

Jim Gott & Alfredo Griffin

Cliff Johnson was fun to watch hit. He normally had the quickest signature in the game, though, as he once signed five cards for me in less than five seconds. Usually he gave the fan only his initials of "CJ" but in The Scouting Report I received my only look at his last name.

Cliff Johnson

The following is a better example of the two, part-time players on one page look that the book featured at the end of each team.

Ernie Whitt, Garth Iorg, Buck Martinez

Dale Murphy was my favorite player growing up. Not only did I get to meet him, but I also arranged for him to speak in my hometown which included a ride in the back of a limo with him and me introducing him to the crowd. After my introduction, he said that I should be negotiating his next contract. ;) This was after he had won back-to-back MVP awards so anyone could have landed him a big contract.

Phil Niekro was pretty good too. He pitched for like 50 years and then made it into the Hall of Fame. I don't know why he is in the Hall of Fame and not Bert Blyleven though. Blyleven struck out far more, had a lower ERA, and 15 more shutouts in his career than Niekro. Is 300 wins really that magical of a thing? If so, then why are Robin Roberts or Fergie Jenkins in the Hall?

Dale Murphy & Phil Niekro

The first sentence for Sandberg says it all. 1982 was his rookie year. He didn't really improve until 1984, but after 1983 he put up some amazing numbers for a second baseman.

Ryne Ryan Ryno Sandberg

The stories and pictures continue below...

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