View Full Version : Harold Baines - inscriptions?

02-03-2009, 05:24 PM
Hey everyone - I was at SoxFest over the weekend and got in line to get Harold Baines' autograph on a few items. He would only sign one item my first time through, so I got back in line at the end and was the last person in line. On my last item, I asked him to add a few inscriptions, such as "6x All-Star." He said no, so I asked why and he said "I don't put stats and stuff like that on there." I said, "Never?" and he shooked his head no. OK, fair enough, he wants to be modest, I respect that. I like to collect autographs w/inscriptions because I think they're more unique, but if the player doesn't do inscriptions, alright then. It wasn't because I was holding up the line - I was the last person in line.

But then I looked online and see that he has done inscriptions in the past:


http://cgi.ebay.com/HAROLD-BAINES-SIGNED-OML-BASEBALL-384-HR-PSA-DNA-COA_W0QQitemZ370150413810QQcmdZViewItemQQptZLH_Def aultDomain_0?hash=item370150413810&_trksid=p3286.c0.m14&_trkparms=66%3A2%7C65%3A13%7C39%3A1%7C240%3A1318

So, what gives? Didn't like me? Tired and didn't feel like it? New policy? Anyone else have insight on this?

I would add that this was the first time I met him, and after previously thinking of him as the soft-spoken world's nicest guy, I walked away with the impression that he was kinda cranky.

02-03-2009, 05:27 PM
It's not a Soxfest policy. The '59 guys had no problem putting '59 champs on my baseballs. My guess is it's his personal preferance. I bet he only does it if you pay money.

02-03-2009, 05:35 PM
Most of the times I've ever spoke with Harold. All two of them, he was in a pretty ****ty mood.

So who knows? He was probably sick and tired of signing autographs all day?

02-03-2009, 05:35 PM
If you're showing a ball from ebay, maybe that's your answer anyway. While I like Harold , any ball he signs, inscription or not has little no worth in the money memorabilia market.

02-03-2009, 06:05 PM
I wasn't planning on selling it. I'm collecting baseballs from Sox legends with as many inscriptions as possible on them. Also, I didn't show him any pictures of balls w/inscriptions - I found out afterwards that those balls exist. Maybe I will take a picture with me next time...though that would most certainly just annoy him.

all*star quentin
02-03-2009, 07:26 PM
Most of the times I've ever spoke with Harold. All two of them, he was in a pretty ****ty mood.

So who knows? He was probably sick and tired of signing autographs all day?

Harold was hospitalized at the end of Sept for an ulcer.

02-03-2009, 08:14 PM
Maybe those items with inscriptions are phonies, some memorabilia sellars are unscrupulous. Maybe he did write inscriptions at one time but then realized people were selling them?

02-03-2009, 08:25 PM
Strange, because Harold inscribed one for me:



02-03-2009, 08:59 PM
I put Harold and Dye in the same category, sometimes they are in a good mood but often times no, and inscriptions or request to sign an item on a certain area are hit and miss. Most times Dye has refused to do inscriptions for me, one time he did with no problem, so who knows? I had the same experience with Harold, met him after being in line a few years back---no inscription. Two years later I meet him in the lobby of Palmer House and he had no issue inscribing "winning ugly". I have found that my wife has better luck with cranky players in terms of getting inscriptions, Dye is always a sucker for her.......

02-03-2009, 09:23 PM
The ones w/inscriptions aren't phonies, at least one is a Mounted Memories ball. I guess I'm just annoyed that he lied and said he never does them, but I suppose I can understand why he didn't tell me the truth and say "Look, I do them, but not when I have 300 people in line because I want to get this over with, and even if you're the last person, I don't want word getting out that I did it for you and not anyone else."

Maybe I'll drag my wife along next time and see if she can get it out of him...or perhaps I'll go to a paid signing and see if that matters.

Either way, Harold seems kind of fan-unfriendly to me, which I found really surprising because I always thought he was one of the good guys. In contrast, Billy Pierce had no problem whatsoever putting whatever I wanted on the ball. I asked him to put "Billy the Kid" (his nickname) on it and he said, "You know I'm 81 years old, right?" Great guy. I told him that I wished I could have seen him play, but I'm only 30 years old and he said, "Yeah, we're really only big with the fathers and grandfathers." Ha.

02-03-2009, 09:36 PM
For the most part I have found Harold to be a bit on the cranky side, I ve discussed it with people and never really heard a logical reason as to why. I give him credit for always coming to events like Sox Fest, but I always get the impression from him that he hates doing it.

02-03-2009, 09:38 PM
Agree. I don't mean to sound like a snot - he did sign my three items. But you're right, it definitely didn't seem like something he enjoyed doing.

02-03-2009, 09:52 PM
I don't want to make excuses for anybody, but my take on things is Baines has always been just real quiet and shy. I've never seen him turn down an autograph request. He's always been cool with me.

In general, players often look at you suspiciously if you ask for inscriptions because it makes them think you're going to sell the autograph.

02-03-2009, 09:56 PM
That's a good point. Maybe I'll mention next time that I'm a collector of inscription balls and maybe show him pictures of a few in my collection so he believes me, then maybe he'd be more up for it.

02-05-2009, 12:39 AM
Harold refused to add an inscription for me as well. He didn't even look up at me, just shook his head.

02-06-2009, 08:44 AM
Baines is a good guy. It's not fair to put someone down who doesn't follow your instructions! I have never seen him turn down an autograph request. He is a private guy who would probably prefer not to have public interaction, but doesn't duck out on Soxfest.

02-06-2009, 09:45 AM
Who among us has not done something we hate out of institutional loyalty? Baines sounds a thousand times better than people who never attend fan fests.

02-08-2009, 08:11 AM
Maybe Baines and the other players who don't add inscriptions can't spell. I am a horrible speller and I would probably refuse to do inscriptions simply because I wouldn't want to embarrass myself. In fact, I don't ask for inscriptions because I'm afraid they will ask me how to spell what I'm requesting.

NOTE: Spell check fixed 5 out of the above words

02-08-2009, 01:06 PM
It may have something to do with modesty. I remember him telling a story years ago about how when he knew a ball he hit was going for a homer, he would just look down and run the bases. He said he didn't want to show up the pitcher. I've always respected that. I hate players that feel that they have to raise their arms in the air or do some sort of dance every time they hit a homer.

...Or maybe he's just crabby.