For those who don’t know, my family owns a big/old bookstore in New York City called Argosy. At this store (which was founded by my grandfather in 1925), the 6th floor is devoted entirely to autographs. Most of the items there have nothing to do with sports, but then there are things like this — perhaps the coolest piece of baseball memorabilia that I’ve EVER seen:
In the photo above, I included the pencil to give you an idea of the size. Now, are you ready for a closer look at the top of the white sheet of paper? Check it out:
It’s the actual expense sheet that the New York Mets used during Spring Training in 1962. This item just came into the store a few days ago, and all I can say is wow.
Here’s a shot of the entire sheet:
(Note that you can click all of these photos to expand them.)
Unfortunately Casey Stengel didn’t scribble his name on the sheet, but there are plenty of other big-time signatures. Here’s another photo of the sheet:
Do you see where it says “Hornsby”?
When I first saw that, I thought, “That can’t be the Rogers Hornsby, can it? He probably wasn’t even alive at that point, and even if he was, what the hell did he ever do with the Mets?”
Well, sure enough, according to Wikipedia, THE Rogers Hornsby was a “scout and third base coach for the New York Mets in 1962,” and he died the next year.
After reading up on Hornsby, I checked out the 1962 Mets roster on Baseball Almanac to verify names such as Richie Ashburn (a Hall of Famer), Clem Labine (a former Brooklyn Dodger), Gus Bell (father of Buddy Bell and grandfather of David and Mike Bell), Frank Thomas (who ended up hitting 34 home runs that season), Gil Hodges (overall stud and member of the Mets Hall of Fame), and so on. And by the way, the “Ruffing” on the sheet is Hall of Famer “Red Ruffing,” who served as the team’s pitching coach.
This item isn’t even for sale right now because we don’t know how much to price it, but yeah, just had to share it here on the blog.
Here’s one final photo of it from afar:
In the photo above, it’s leaning against the bookshelf on the lower left. The photo shows part of the autograph department — there’s a LOT of stuff there — and do you see the woman on the right? Her name is Naomi. She runs the autograph department. She’s also my mom. (Here we are in 1977. D’aww!)