I heard all about Bryce when he was a teenager and his supposed attitude problem. He has been compared to the next Mickey Mantle. That is also the reason he wears number 34. 3 + 4 equals 7 which is the number that the Mick wore. It wasn't if he would make the big leagues but when and how good he would be when he did make it there. Last year I had bought tickets months in advance for the Drysdale/Wills bobble head that was going to be given away on April 28th. The Washington Nationals would be in town and the chance to see pitcher phenom Stephen Strasburg was a possibility. A couple days before the game it was announced that Bryce Harper would be making his major league debut that day. Also Strasburg was scheduled to pitch. A good game just became a great game to attend. During batting practice I was able to get Bryce to throw me a ball from the field. While it can never be proven that he did this on his debut day I know it's true and that's all that matters. Bryce ending up getting a hit that day and had the smugness of tossing his helmet off while he legged out a double. Maturity was not present this day. He ended up winning the Rookie of the Year award and whether you like his attitude or not the young man looks like he will be here a long time putting up monster numbers.
I knew I wanted to get a signed ball from him at some time but after the game I thought I better get on it before the price skyrockets. Of to eBay I went and authenticated balls were going for at least $85-90 with most topping at $100. Really didn't want to pay that amount so I just kept my eyes out for bargains. Couple months passed and I finally found someone selling multiple copies of signed balls authenticated by PSA. He had some auctions that included 2 or 3 of Bryce. So I decided to bid on those and I won an auction that had two PSA signed balls for a total of $140. A bargain considering what only one cost. Received the box and sold one of them for a little over $90. So I came out ahead as I only paid a little over $50 in the end for a Bryce Harper signed ball.
Usually the story ends there but I have been going through my collection to take pictures for the blog and I came around to the Bryce ball and the ink has bled out of the signature. What the hell? Obviously whatever pen they used is not good for balls but considering I didn't know what kind of pen they used I don't know which one to stay away from in the future. Here are a couple of pictures to look at. Has anyone else have had this problem? What does everyone else use for their autographs? I use a pen called "Jetstream". A bit pricey but they seem to work better.
To say the least I wanted a better quality of Bryce's signature. I put the less than desirable one up for sale on eBay with a $80 starting bid with a $100 buy it now option. This ball also happened to have the PSA "R"ookiegraph designation on it which I think helped its desirability. Even though the ball shows "issues" it still is a rookie ball. At the same time I eyed a JSA authenticated ball that had a starting bid of $100. An even swap would be ideal but I knew I wouldn't be that lucky. Two days after I put up my auction someone bought it for the $100 price tag. More than happy with that considering my opinion of the condition. The JSA auction was nearing its end and it was sitting at $110 with a minute to go. At the last minute I put my bid in and the final price was $130 delivered. My bid was the highest. I now had a replacement ball for my collection and it looks great. Much better than the one I sold.
Since his 2 home run opening day performance his signed baseballs have gone up and the same seller I bought the ball from has another one up for bid as of today and with two days left it is already at $150. I won mine at the right time.