Although recently my autographed Sports Illustrated collection has come to a halt, my collecting of sports autographs has not. I credit this to my new, somewhat related hobby of collecting autographed sports books. I have always enjoyed reading sports books since I was young, and now I have enough shelf room to be able to buy and keep as many books as I wish. Combine that with my recent discovery of $1 bookstores, and that spells a recipe for disaster. There are three or four $1 bookstores within reasonable driving distance of my home, so I have made it a habit to visit each one every couple of months. Not only do I find great books for a dollar each, but every once in a while I get lucky and find one that has been autographed by the author. As far as the books go, they may not be books I'd necessarily purchase on their own merits, but if it has been signed, I'll definitely pick it up for a buck. These are the signed books I've picked up recently:
Steve Bartkowski - Retired quarterback for the Atlanta Falcons. Looks like a pretty serious book about spiritual discipline and growth. his favorite Bible verse is Galations 2:20: I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.
Rolf Benirschke - Retired kicker for the San Diego Chargers. This is an autobiography of his fight with ulcerative colitis. I've actually picked up six different signed copies of this book, so I'm trying to sell the extras on eBay.
Roy Firestone - Famous sports interviewer. He signed a copy of his 1991 book Up Close and Personal, which was the name of his television show. This was an interesting read with stories of the many sports personalities he had interviewed on his show. I ended up enjoying the book so much that I picked up his second book, which was pretty good as well.
Rick Hoyt - You may have heard of Dick Hoyt but just don't know his name. He's the father of the Rick Hoyt, who was born with cerebral palsy. Dick Hoyt took up running at 37 years of age, pushing his son in a modified jogging stroller. They have run 70 marathons together and have completed 6 Ironman Triathlons. Here is Rick Reilly's great column about them from Sports Illustrated.
Shaun Tomson - South African considered one of the greatest surfers of all time.
Jim Tunney - His nickname "Dean of NFL Referees" should say it all. He worked three Super Bowls.
One of the charities I support is Heavenly Treasures. Bryan Clay is a celebrity spokesperson for them, and I met him at one of their fundraising events. I did not get an autograph from him at that time, but did get to take a look at his 2008 Olympic decathlon gold medal, which was slightly beat up due to his kids. Knowing that I am a huge track and field fan, the good people at Heavenly Treasures sent me an autographed 8" x 10", as well as a signed copy of Bryan's autobiography.