DAILY DIRT: Some signatures carry high price tags, like William Shakespeare and Jimi Hendrix


Looks like The Bard might have been filling out a prescription with this handwriting.

Daily Dirt for Thursday, May 23, 2024

Those Pringles cans have taken on a new meaning for me. You’ll understand in a moment … Welcome to today’s three thoughts that make up Vol. 956 of The Daily Dirt.

1. The world’s rarest autograph?

This might surprise you.

Only six William Shakespeare autographs are known to exist. Only one is in the hands of a private collector (the others are in museums), and it sold for $4.6 million in 2006. It is now valued at $5 million.

Here are the price tags of a few other well-known — and rare — signatures:

  • Abraham Lincoln signed 48 copies of the Emancipation Proclamation, but only half of them exist today, according to the African American Registry. In 2012, a rare signed copy of the document sold at auction in New York for $2.1 million. It is now valued at $3.7 million.
  • The last “Double Fantasy” album copy autographed by former Beatles member John Lennon before his death fetched $525,000 at an auction in 2003, making it the most valuable record ever.
  • Jimi Hendrix, the legendary guitar player, has one of the more unique and famous signatures among collectors because it is on a signed 1965 PPX record contract. In 2009, it sold for $200,000. 
  • George Washington’s personal copy of the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights are also interesting items among collectors. Both contain the signature of Washington and sold for a combined $9.8 million in 2012. That was a record for any American book or document at the time.

2. Did you know (Part 20) …

  • That the guy who gave the late Warren Zevon the idea for the “Werewolves of London” song was Phil Everly, half of the famed Everly Brothers tandem. If you’re trying to think of the other Everly Brother’s name, it was Don. Phil died in 2014, Don in 2021.
  • That when the Beatles were performing “Twist and Shout” live, John Lennon would often change the lyrics to “I’m pissed with gout.” Due to the screaming crowds, no one ever noticed.
  • That California is the state that has sent the most players (442) to the NBA. Illinois (300) ranks third. Chicago (155) leads all cities in producing NBA talent.
  • That before Fergie became a singing sensation with the Black-Eyed Peas, she was the voice of Sally, the younger sister of Charlie Brown in several Peanuts TV specials during the 1980s. At the time, Fergie was known as Stacy Ferguson.
  • That Frederic Baur, the man who invented the famous Pringles can, had his ashes stored in one of those cans after he died.

3. Here’s our updated rankings for the best and worst of MLB teams:

  • 1. Philadelphia Phillies: Right now, the Phillies remain the best team in baseball. Do I think they can hold on to this spot all summer? No, I don’t, but right now Philadelphia deserves to be considered the best team in MLB. 
  • 2. Los Angeles Dodgers: Walker Buehler’s back, and Clayton Kershaw is on the way. What will this team potentially look like come August or September? Scary, that’s what.
  • 3. New York Yankees: If Gerrit Cole returns as the No. 1 pitcher he was prior to his elbow woes, the Yankees will be in the World Series.
  • 4. Atlanta Braves: There’s something missing in this year’s Braves mix, and I can’t yet put my flinger on it. Make no mistake, Atlanta remains a very good team, but are the Braves a great team? Not at this point. 
  • 5. Cleveland Guardians: The Guardians could very well be this year’s version of the 2023 Arizona Diamondbacks. The longer this season goes, the more legit Cleveland becomes. On a side note, the Guardians’ new City Connect jerseys might be the best since all that uniform nonsense began a few years ago.

On the bubble: Baltimore Orioles, who might be the most entertaining of any AL team to watch right now. 

The worst

  • 30. Chicago White Sox: Sure, the Chisox have were playing better (for awhile), but the bottom line is that we’re nearing Memorial Day and this sad sack of a team is on pace to win 37 games. 
  • 29. Oakland Athletics: Yep, that “hot streak” about 10 days ago was no more than a mirage. I feel sorriest for Oakland manager Mark Kotsay, who I think in a normal managerial situation could have star potential. A “normal” managerial position would be heading any MLB team other than the White Sox or Oakland.
  • 28. Los Angeles Angels: How can one of the richest MLB organizations be so inept year in and year out? And don’t talk to me about injuries. All teams have to work through those. The last winning record an Angels team posted was in 2015.
  • 27. Colorado Rockies: If I were general manager of the Rockies I would have absolutely no clue where to start.
  • 26. Miami Marlins: This is my pick for the NL’s comeback team of the year in 2025. Skip Schumacher is one of the top young managerial talents and the Marlins should get most of their injured pitchers back by April.

On the bubble: Cincinnati Reds, who are the most disappointing team in either league at this point of the season.

Steve Thought O’ The Day — I can’t stop laughing about John Lennon’s altered lyrics to “Twist and Shout”.

Steve Eighinger writes daily for Muddy River News. When he’s pissed with gout, he just drinks another Mountain Dew.

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