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Cracking a Yankees autograph mystery

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Sam Gardner

Sam Gardner is a general assignment writer for FOXSports.com. Originally from Orlando, Fla., he previously covered the Orlando Magic for FOX Sports Florida and has also covered the NBA Finals, Stanley Cup Finals and MLB playoffs. Follow him on Twitter.

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It’s not every day you get to meet a future Hall of Famer, and if and when you do get that rare opportunity, you obviously want him to sign something to prove that it happened.

But what do you do when you cross paths with a star like, say, Mariano Rivera, and you don’t have anything for him to sign?

Well, you could have him sign your shirt. Or you could go the way of Happy Gilmore and see if he’ll sign your chest. Or, if you’re this woman Saturday at Fenway Park, you can just improvise and have him sign a box of Wheat Thins:

But a closer look at the Wheat Thins box reveals that at least two other players signed the container before it ever reached Rivera’s station. And as the eyes and ears of our readership, I feel it’s my obligation to get to the bottom of it.

So here is signature No. 1:

Obviously we’re not dealing with the most hi-def blown-up photo in the history of the internet, but it looks like there is a two-digit number next to the signature, and that number appears to start with a No. 1.

If we’re assuming that this is a Yankees-only signature line — it’s hard to imagine a combined pre-game Yankees-Sox event — that leaves us with Hiroki Kuroda, Chris Stewart, Jayson Nix, Alex Rodriguez, Brett Gardner, Curtis Granderson and Alfonso Soriano as the possible signers.

No one is going to watch the value of their Wheat Thins box depreciate by having Stewart or Nix sign it, so we can exclude them from consideration. And the signatures for Gardner, A-Rod and Soriano can all be ruled out on sheer lack of similarity.

That leaves us with Kuroda:

And Granderson:

After careful consideration, I’m awarding Wheat Thins Signature No. 1 to one Mr. Curtis Granderson. Take the photo above and make the 28 a 14 (he was No. 28 his last five seasons in Detroit before coming to New York and wearing No. 14), and it’s a near-perfect match.

Now, as for photo No. 2, that one doesn’t have a readily identifiable number to make the job of finding the signer easier:

But in searching through candidates for the first John Hancock, I think I may have found the other in Mr. Alex Rodriguez. The G and the Z aren’t quite as defined as they are on the baseball below, but the loopy capital A and R are pretty unmistakable:

So there you have it. Somewhere out there, someone has a Wheat Thins box signed by Curtis Granderson, Alex Rodriguez and maybe Mariano Rivera. You hold onto that thing, lady, because one day, it could be worth some money.

Tagged: Yankees, Mariano Rivera, Alex Rodriguez, Curtis Granderson

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