I once was at my bank talking to this branch manager and while he went off to get some paperwork, I noticed an autographed baseball on his desk. All I could see was what I thought was "Johnny", so when he came back I asked if that was a Johnny Bench autographed ball. He told that it wasn't, that it was Johny Vander Meer ball (I hadn't noticed the just one "n"). I was surprised and he said he had gotten that summer at a fundraiser Vander Meer had done for the Kiwanees for his aunt's 100 and something birthday. He told me they still had some left for $25.00 and he could get me one. Wow, I jumped at the chance. It's signed with his name and the dates 6/11/38 and 6/15/38 on it. I've also got a Barry Larkin ball sitting here too that my brother in law gave for Christmas one year.
My son has collected autographs since he was little. He's got about twenty signed balls, some photos, sheets of paper. Mostly of baseball players, but also football players too. He has a Sandy Koufax (our friend who played with him at UC got him that one), Jim Bunning (my dad got him that one) and Pete Rose (my neighbor gave him that one). He even has at Tommy Umphlett ball (he replaced Dom DiMaggio in the Bosox outfield - he's my sister-in-law's uncle).
He also has a Tom Henke ball he had signed at Cinergy when the Cards were in town. He's my wife's second cousin and we were trying to get his attention while shagging balls in batting practice. Our kids were 7, 10 and 12 and when Henke was running by, my wife shouted out "Hey, Tom Henke, we're related!". That got his attention and caused my younger daughter - the 10 year old then - to hope and pray the earth would open and swallow her right there from the embaressment of her mom yelling like that! He came over and yacked with us a bit and signed a ball for our son.
[Here's an unknown factoid. Tom Henke and Neil Rackers are distantly related. My wife's grandmother and Tom Henke's grandmother were Rackers - I think I figured out that Rackers and my kids are 4th cousins - so he's Tom Henke's 3rd cousin, one removed!]