Hey out there in Bloggerland... Been a while since my last post, and I have NEWS! Earlier today, some anonymous baseball fan posted a comment on my post from February 16, 2010 about the four autographs I could not figure out on this Team USA-signed baseball from the 1998 Japan All-Star Series:
Remember? I had four signatures on that ball I simply could not figure out, and my not-too-awful research skills were fruitless in providing me with any help. I wrote to Major League Baseball, Japan professional baseball, baseball research groups, and got no help with that year's team rosters or information on that series of games AT ALL. But now, thanks to my anonymous friend, I can announce that I know who three of those four signatures are from!
This signature still eludes me... there is speculation it's from Manny Ramirez or Chan Ho Park, but after I compared it with online exemplars from those two players, I seriously doubt either one of them signed this:
UPDATE: Speculation abounds that this may be Mike Jackson's (Michael Ray "Mike" Jackson) autograph. I have evidence that he did pitch in relief for Team USA in 1998 as the set-up man for Trevor Hoffman, but I cannot find a decent exemplar auto of Jackson to compare this one to. Anyone have a good photo out there?
DOUBLE UPDATE: I have received definitive proof that this autograph is indeed Mike Jackson's:
If you know whose signature this is and can provide proof, I will be greatly in your debt!
All told, this means that the signatures on this baseball are of the following players:
Manager Mike "The Human Rain Delay" Hargrove
Pitching Coach Leo Mazzone
Coach Cookie Rojas
Coach Rich Dauer
Tom "Flash" Gordon
UPDATED: and Mike Jackson
Thanks to all who helped me figure this one out! It took 18 months, and it's very satisfying to have a definitive resolution!