Monday, July 23, 2012

Random Ponderings of the Collector's Mind

I suppose I should preface this post with the admission that unlike many of the "hardcore" autograph hounds, I really only try to collect maybe once every two weeks during the baseball season.  I realize that many people go pregame, to batting practice, and post game for every single home game of the season.  Frankly, I have neither the time nor patience to try that often, so I try to cherry pick certain teams and/or players.  As such, there will be gaps in between my posts that I am going to try and fill with my opinions on the hobby. 

The first pet peeve I have is with the grown men that get all bent out of shape when kids "get in the way" of them obtaining a player's autograph.  This happened just the other day at the Astros game I mentioned in my last post when kids kept throwing stuff down from above the dugout for JD Martinez to sign, and he politely requested that they make eye contact first.  Kids being kids, they didn't heed JD's request and he ended up leaving after only signing for a few people.  This prompted one grown man to go off and start complaining about "stupid kids" to no one in particular.  He wasn't yelling at them so much as just yelling so all could hear.  To me, this is absolutely asinine.  First of all, the reason that a vast majority of players decide to sign in the first place is because kids are present.  I realized long ago that when kids are around, your chances of getting a player to come over and sign something multiply exponentially.  So you should welcome it not dread it.  Second, when players realize that you are allowing the kids to get their signatures first, that player is much more likely to get to your item when he can instead of bypassing you completely.  Of course, sometimes players just don't feel like signing for adults and when you do this as a  hobby you have to learn real quick to get over that.  Here is one such autograph I got from practicing what I just preached...
That is an Albert Pujols signed ball, which he signed for me about five years ago after he hit his BP session prior to a game at Petco Park.  He had walked over to the gap between the dugout and some seats on the field level, and starting signing.  The mass of humanity inevitably started pushing forward, and two kids around six or seven years old got pushed up against the railing.  I told the people swamping us that they were smashing kids and to back off, which they did.  Pujols, hearing this, walked over and signed for the two kids first so they could get the heck out of there.  He then proceeded to sign two baseballs for me.  I realize that they weren't on the coveted sweet spot but believe me, I did not care.  Pujols never signs on the sweet spot except for in paid signings, so I was ecstatic with what I got.  Helping the younger crowd definitely paid off in this instance. 

Also, here is a good tip for the day.  Most people who are into the autographed memorabilia hobby already know about this site, but for those who don't I implore you to check out signingshotline.com.  This has been an invaluable tool for me with the wide wealth of information on different players signings it gives.  For example, through this website I learned that Dennis Rodman was doing a paid signing at OC Sports Cards in Anaheim Hills.  For signings in your area, both free and paid, this is the best tool there is. 
Until next time...

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