I got no problem doing it in the body of the post.
HAY GUISE WANNA SEE MAH BALLS???
Of course you do, everyone wants to see my balls. Except my wife. She wants 'em downstairs with the rest of my useless junk. That was like a quadruple entendre there, but I digress. Fuji wants to see my balls, and I want him to give me some pussy, so you're gonna see my balls whether you want to or not.
One of the great collecting feats I've accomplished in my life was getting autographed baseballs from every Brave whose number was retired, not counting Jackie Robinson. This feat has been blown completely out of the water in the past few years since Atlanta is now in the process of retiring the number everyone who was on the team in 1995. But at one point, I had actually achieved this goal. Here's my balls, badly photographed because all my cameras suck ass at the moment.
First autographed ball I picked up ever was this Phil Niekro ball. I was working down in Conyers at the time and there was a little hole in the wall baseball card shop in a strip mall that I would check out from time to time. Lots of cheap Braves singles, not much else. One day they had this ball in the shop for $25. Phil's one of my favorites so I picked it up. I must have gotten this in late '97, since it has the H.O.F. - 97 inscription on it and I left that job that year. I didn't realize until after I bought it that it was an American League ball, but oh well, it's a Knucksie.
In the early '00s I was swimming in money (no kids!) so I splurged on this Eddie Mathews ball. Got this one at BP Sports down in Marietta. It was surprisingly inexpensive for a Hall of Famer 500 home run club auto but still more than I was accustomed to spending at the time. In retrospect, I wish I had taken a tenth of the money I blew on early 'aughts wax and dropped it on stuff like this instead.
The kids started showing up so I was no longer flush with cash. I found this Hank Aaron ball on Yahoo! auctions (anyone remember them?) for $50 and convinced my grandmother to make it my birthday present. The great thing about this pickup is that the card in the plastic case on the right was originally a 1958 Topps Hank Aaron All-Star card. It has since been replaced with the 1994 Topps gold card you see here. These ball stands suck by the way, the card holder broke and it was hard as hell to replace. the ball also falls out constantly unless you scotch tape the holder. Maybe I just got a crappy one, I dunno. The stuff inside the holder was more than worth it though.
Another birthday, another ball. I opted for the Warren Spahn ball this time which was a good thing because Warren sadly passed away the year after I got this one and the vultures came out and jacked the prices up. I also got this one from BP sports. On either the Spahn or the Mathews I forgot to get a COA, but I can't remember which. It doesn't really matter because I can't find the one COA I have anyway. I don't even care anymore because with all the shenanigans going on in the hobby 99% of everything is probably fake anyway. Including the stuff I got signed in person.
Dale Murphy capped off the retired number collection. I got this one in 2007 for my birthday and was my second to last birthday present that I received from my grandmother. The ball was was purchased from Champion Sports Cards in Kennesaw which is my official LCS. This one is inscribed NL MVP 82, 83. Eventually I will pick up one that reads Dale Murphy - HOF but we'll have to wait for the veteran's committee for that one.
Since I got these balls, Maddux, Glavine, Bobby and Smoltz have gotten their numbers retired. Chipper's gonna get his retired next year. I knocked out these in ten years, you think I can knock out the next five in another ten?