One Tampa Bay man has a devotion to getting autographed baseballs. Dennis Schrader has more than four thousand signed baseballs.
“It started in 1956. I was 9 years old, and Mickey Mantle gave me my first autographed baseball right here in St. Petersburg,” said Schrader.
He has balls signed by baseball legends and celebrities. People like Babe Ruth, Barack Obama, Walt Disney, and Elvis Presley are all in his collection. The collection is worth hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Out of his most coveted balls are a signed Shoeless Joe Jackson ball and one signed by both Joe DiMaggio and Marilyn Monroe.
“This is my 401K now. Everything I’ve got is invested in these baseballs,” said Schrader.
His collection even made it into the Guinness Book of World Records. You can check out his article on page 98 of the book.
“It feels good I made it into the Guinness book of records,” said Schrader.
The collection was once housed in his home, but it’s now on display for the public at the St. Petersburg Museum of History. Museum officials are working on a larger display room for his collection, because it keeps growing.
Schrader said he receives the autographed balls at games, tradeshows, and even through writing players.
“If I can get your address I will send you a baseball,” said Schrader.
Jake Peterson of “The List” even made it into the collection. His signed ball makes 4,622 signed autographed balls. Bringing the total up to 4,628 baseballs.