As promised the signed baseball arrived within a couple of days. The baseball was signed beautifully but much to my dismay – President Enrique Pena Nieto also stamped a logo of Los Pinos (The Mexican equivalent to The White House) all around the baseball. It was messy and the stamp did not take fully so the President took a sharpie and wrote out the name Los Pinos and printed his name beneath it as well. As happy as I was to have his signed ball in my collection – I knew I would need to get this replaced as it did not conform to the way all the other leaders have signed baseballs.
I contacted his key staffer and explained the situation about the ball being not in such great condition with all the extraneous writing and stampings. I requested that the President kindly sign a replacement baseball but I was quickly alerted to the fact that President Nieto normally doesn’t sign autographs, he is quite busy and therefore I would have to accept this baseball. Additionally I was told that the President tried to make it special for me by adding the stampings and such.
I called the staffers numerous times in Mexico and explained how much it would mean to have a better example of his signed baseball in my collection so that my upcoming museum exhibits would feature a better specimen of his signed baseball. They advised me that it was unlikely that the President would sign another ball but I should go ahead and send another one explaining the situation. I did exactly that and also executed a major faux pau in autograph collecting – I sent back the originally signed messy ball. I knew I was taking a chance that I might never get the President to sign another ball and then I would have to beg them to send me back the original signed ball with the stamps – if by chance it was still hanging around their office.
After calling and emailing the President’s staff every month – I was told, “We did not forget about your request but the President is very busy.” This was happening for a period of 10 months when I finally contacted them and said – can you please send back the original baseball so that I would at least have that in my collection for the upcoming museum exhibit. The next day I received a telephone call and email that President Enrique Pena Nieto has indeed signed a replacement baseball for my collection without adding any stampings or such. I was thrilled!