How to Look for a Hank Aaron Autographed Baseball

By: Joseph Baylon

Hank Aaron is well-loved and known for breaking the home-run record previously set by the late great Babe Ruth. Hank streaked through with 755 homes (Ruth had 714) and set more than 10 records in the major league. He was known for his powerful slugs - during his career, he only batted one home run inside the park during a game with the Philadelphia Phillies. The first and only home run he hit that didn't leave the park. For his batting prowess, he earned the nickname 'Hammerin' Hank'.

Why he matters
Hammerin' Hank was born Henry Louis Aaron in Mobile, Alabama in 1934. He began playing professional baseball exclusively for black teams in both Mobile and Indianapolis, Indiana. At 18, he joined the major leagues. He played for the Braves from 1954 to 1974 with both the Milwaukee and Atlanta teams.

Aaron had a lifetime batting average of .305 and batted in 2,297 runs. He boasts a total bases of 6,856, had 3,771 hits and played in 3,298 games. For his speed, he stole 240 bases in his career. He was voted as the National League's Most Valuable Player in 1957 and won three Gold Glove Awards thanks to his fielding talent. He appeared in 24 All-Star games.

Aaron led the National League in batting average in 1956 and again in 1959. He was also a leader four times each in home runs, RBIs (runs batted in) and slugging average. He nailed a major part in baseball history by becoming the first baseball player to reach the 3,000th career hit mark and have 500 home runs. The Hammer joined the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1982.

Where to find a Hank Aaron autographed baseball
It's not difficult to find a hand-signed Hank Aaron baseball. The Major League Baseball website (www.mlb.com) posts authentic autographed baseballs, along with other sports items personally signed by Aaron. The baseballs are official MLB balls that are accompanied with a Certificate of Authenticity from Steiner Sports. There are also signed baseballs sold through EBay and QVC.

There is another way to get a Hank Aaron autographed baseball, but it is way more expensive. Aaron owns the Hank Aaron Automotive Group which has car dealerships in Georgia. Some of the car brands they carry include BMW, Jaguar, Toyota, Honda, Hyundai and Land Rover. Each car purchase comes with an autographed baseball.

How much a Hank Aaron autographed baseball will cost
The MLB website posts Aaron's hand-signed baseballs from about $330 to $350, although the price may be well worth it since each purchase comes with a COA, a reliable guarantee that what you're buying is actually a baseball held and signed by Hank Aaron himself. On EBay, the market value of a Hank Aaron signed and authenticated baseball is about $170 to $200, although you'll have to ask the seller if the item comes with a COA. If you're paying that much, you might as well be assured that you're not paying for a fake.

There are also other websites like SportsMemorabilia.com, that you can check out to find hand-signed baseballs by Aaron but make sure to ask for a COA or a photograph of the item online. Steiner Sports is not the only company that authenticates sports memorabilia; there are others, including Tri-Star Productions, Online Authentics, Mounted Memories, Global Authentication Inc., PSA/DNA Authentication Services and Upper Deck Authenticated. If you want the real deal, look for certifications from these firms.

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