Array of autographed baseballs, 1950s-80s For a baseball fan, getting a ball signed by a favorite player can be the ultimate thrill. Autographed balls also become valuable collector's items, with certain signatures fetching very high prices. The Smithsonian's sports history collection includes baseballs signed by many noted players. Some have come from memorabilia dealers, others from the fans who collected them.
Texas Rangers starting pitcher Yu Darvish (11) hands an autographed baseball to Cole Wollis, 7, of Mansfield, Texas, on the pitcher's mound prior to the start of a baseball game against the Oakland Athletics on Sunday, July 1, 2012, in Arlington, Texas. ?(AP Photo/John F. Rhodes) game 80