Wrigley Field frowns on autograph collectors

Posted April 20th, 2015 by Tom Owens and filed in Atlanta Braves, Ron Santo, Wrigley Field
The new sign should read: "Don't Go Where Cubs Fans Have Gone Before." Michael Barera [CC BY-SA 4.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0), CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0) or GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html)], via Wikimedia Commons

The new sign should read: “Don’t Go Where Cubs Fans Have Gone Before.” Michael Barera [CC BY-SA 4.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0), CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0) or GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html)], via Wikimedia Commons

Everything is connected.

Wrigley Field’s remodel includes an anti-autograph shield keeping players segregated from signature-seeking fans outside the ballpark.

Re-read the Ron Santo biography A Perfect 10. His sons discussed how he’d sign everywhere, stopping the car along the route home.

The Atlanta Braves spring training address confounds collectors. Mail gets rejected, RTS, without rhyme nor reason.

Teams are redefining us. Not in a good way. Speak up for yourself, and your hobby, every chance you get. 

 

 

Future Hall of Famer Marvin Miller’s Death: Lessons For Collectors

Posted December 17th, 2012 by Tom Owens and filed in Baseball Hall of Fame, Marvin Miller, Ron Santo

The Hall of Fame has another mess to clean up.

Ron Santo was just one example. Marvin Miller led the Major League Baseball Players Association. For better or for worse, he helped pioneer free agency. Another worthy, overlooked part of baseball history.

From eBay: small sigs
were vintage Miller!

Inducting someone after their death has happened before.

Miller may have peeved as many collectors as owners in his lifetime. His final stats on www.sportscollectors.net say that he responded 126 times to 174 recorded TTM attempts.

I found the non-player in just two card sets: a 1994 Upper Deck issue and the 2005 Topps All-Time Fan Favorites set.

Miller’s eyesight may have been failing for years, judging by his microscopic signatures.

In his defense, neither card offered a great space for an autograph.

I think he became irritated with the cumbersome nature of signing his book and baseballs. I believe that the final collectors who succeeded with Miller were ones who proved they were sincere, educated fans.

Another eBay example:
face-signed cards?

Look hard for other baseball pioneers. Find them before Cooperstown, or the Grim Reaper, calls.

Team owners
umpires
general managers
scouts

Readers: are other non-players Hall of Fame material, ready for autograph collections?

Coming Wednesday: Arizona Fall League insights from The Autograph Card

Finding Hall of Fame Postcards Cheap

Posted August 8th, 2012 by Tom Owens and filed in Barry Larkin, Baseball Hall of Fame, Hall of Fame plaque postcards, Ron Santo

Autograph collectors have loved them for decades. The postcards depicting Hall of Fame plaques have been a mainstay in many collections.

Once, when most HOFers signed for free, a bonus postcard would be included with a reply. Bob Feller told me years ago that the Hall gave him bundles free for his own use.
Us old-time hobbyists wince at the climbing prices of the postcards, now 50 cents each.

Even worse? Look on the HOF website and see that postage and handling begins at $7.99.
Or maybe not.
For a collector who needs only an annual update of that year’s inductees, the $7.99 seems like a punishment for someone wanting just two postcards.

Here’s an alternative:

Call the Hall of Fame switchboard (607-547-0397). Ask to be connected to the gift shop. Have a credit card handy. Ask if you can place a small order by phone.

Shrewd collectors have found that the shipping charges have been as low as $2 for a few cards.
HOF workers will ask collectors to send in a FAX for a large order.

Worst of all, don’t get soaked by dealers who are re-selling new cards for a few bucks each. Order straight from the source for the best deal.
Coming Friday: A review of the fun new book Baseball Fantography.