(Photo by Nationals Enquirer staff. Jim Bowden is probably the only person alive willing to pay $10 for a Wily Mo Pena autographed game ball at this point.)
$10 for a Wily Mo Pena autographed game ball? $15 for Anderson Hernandez? $5 for Jason Simontacchi?
It's highway robbery in NatsTown!
What's that you say? It's for a good cause? All proceeds go to the Washington Nationals Dream Foundation? Okay...we take it all back.
Over the weekend, Nationals fans were given the opportunity to purchase memorabilia of their favorite Nats from a bygone era (like a Manny Acta - remember him!? - game-worn jersey) to benefit the aforementioned Nationals Dream Foundation. We'll refrain from calling it a firesale of memorabilia from the crappiest players in team history, but only because they had a few Jon Rauch game balls left. Standing in the center field pavilion at a table piled with boxes of game balls signed by the likes of WMP, Jon Rauch, Simontacchi, Alex Cintron, and Lastings Milledge ($15!), we had the uneasy feeling of being in the presence of ghosts.
Since they apparently sold out of all the Mike Bacsik signed game balls, we settled on a $5 Ray King.
What the heck? It was for a good cause!
(Not sure if they'll have the items for sale tonight through Wednesday for the final home series of the season against the Mets; if not, you can donate to the WNDF online here.)
(Photo by Nationals Enquirer Staff. If you look closely, you can see grease and ketchup stains on the ball; that confirms it as an authentic Ray King autograph.)
[Update 9/29/2009 5:00PM. Photo of autographed Ray King game used baseball added.]
[Update 9/29/2009 6:47PM. Wily Mo Pena is alive and well, according to Licey dot com: "Menos libras y mas fuerte !!!" translated loosely as: "Fewer pounds and stronger !!!" or "I got off the juice and I still can't hit a breaking ball !!!" Hat tip to @kingclip.]