Hector Santiago’s autograph collection is something to behold


I often look down my nose at autograph hounds, as a good many of them tend to be grown men who deal in autographs professionally. Plus, they’re sad. You see them hanging out outside of hotels and near player entrances to ballparks, their backpacks bulging, talking to one another about whether the guy coming around the corner is Sanchez or Gonzalez, Smith or Jones. They often don’t know themselves. It’s so divorced from fandom and memory-making that calling the product of their endeavors “memorabilia” borders on false advertising.

But not all autograph seekers fit this description. Kids are an exception, of course, and I have no problem with kids shoving a ball and a Sharpie in the face of a ballplayer. They’ll remember that stuff their entire lives.

Another exception? Ballplayers themselves. Like Hector Santiago, who Pedro Moura of the OC Register reports, has a MASSIVE autograph collection. Hall of Famers and current players. Big stars and some not so big. Mostly on jerseys. And he’s not at all shy about asking for them.

His motivation: a love and appreciation of baseball history and a seeming acknowledgement that he won’t be young and active forever and, one day, he’s going to want to have memories of his time around the game.

Such a nice story about a guy who really loves baseball. Which, as Santiago himself says in the story, isn’t necessarily the norm among major leaguers. Go check the story out.


Pete Alonso sets new NL rookie record with 40th home run

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With a ninth-inning solo home run off of Royals pitcher Jacob Barnes on Sunday, Mets first baseman Pete Alonso set a new National League rookie record for home runs in a single season. He now has 40 with 36 games left in the regular season.

Cody Bellinger, currently the home run leader with 42, hit 39 home runs in his rookie season in 2017, holding the record until today. The major league record is 52, set by the Yankees’ Aaron Judge also in 2017. Judge had broken Mark McGwire’s record of 49 hit in 1987.

Alonso went 3-for-4 with a walk, an RBI double, and three runs scored along with the homer. He’s now batting .271 with a .979 OPS with 40 homers and 95 RBI on the season.

With their 11-5 win over the Royals, the Mets improved to 64-60. They have the same exact record as the Phillies and Brewers, sitting 1.5 games out of the second Wild Card.