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Question About In-Person Autograph Signings

JimMeantJimMeant Posts: 341 ✭✭✭

Over the past 10 years or so, a friend and I have made a habit out of going to the National and other card shows to get in person autographs of legendary athletes on rookie cards. I wasn’t sold on it as part of my collection at first, but I must admit they have grown on me over the years. A neat little sports card tradition that we have really grown to enjoy over the years.

We had great experiences with the likes of Reggie Jackson, Bob Gibson, Cal Ripken Jr, Rickey Henderson, Hulk Hogan, Joe Montana, Barry Sanders, and Ozzie Smith.

But something weird has happened the last couple of times that we have attended in-person autograph events. At the National in Chicago 2023 Jerry Rice was extremely rough and creased my 1986 Topps rookie card when signing it. The same thing happened this fall in Columbus, OH when Bo Jackson bent back my 1986 Topps Traded rookie card while signing it. Both guys lifted the card up and nearly bent the cards in half while autographing them.

Has anyone else had experiences like this? Do the athletes working with TriStar, Fiterman, etc. get any education on this kind of thing? As in how to properly handle delicate items? Is there any recourse we have when we purchase autograph tickets and the athletes damage our items? Especially since this is a service that we are paying significant money for?

Just wondering if anyone else has had any similar experiences or thoughts on the topic?


-Collecting anything vintage

Comments

  • swish54swish54 Posts: 685 ✭✭✭✭

    That's really unfortunate. I've been to quite a few of those types of shows, mailed in to others, and gotten in-person autographs at ballparks/hotels. In my experience, athletes are generally nicer, give better autographs, and more personable when they are being paid (and you are paying for their signature too) to do a signing like the National. I've had stuff intentionally smeared or ruined at the ballpark, but never at a signing/mail-in. Those are two athletes I've never dealt with, so I can't speak specifically to them, but some are just jerks regardless. Luis Aparicio, Frank Robinson, and Willie Mays come to mind as some guys who just didn't give a flip.

    If you would have gone straight to the show promoter when that happened, I would hope they could've done something right then. But going to them after the show is over, I wouldn't expect anything to be done. I don't remember the player, and I know it wasn't done on purpose like your situation could potentially have been, but a buddy of mine got a photo signed at a big show in Chicago. The athlete accidentally smeared his name and my buddy realized it after he left the line. He took it to the promoter and they let him get another photo signed free of charge.

  • vols1vols1 Posts: 755 ✭✭✭
    edited January 30, 2024 7:04PM

    Tape a piece of cardboard to it with a 3M sticker note so it doesn't bend easily.

  • JimMeantJimMeant Posts: 341 ✭✭✭
    edited January 30, 2024 7:13PM

    @swish54 said:
    That's really unfortunate. I've been to quite a few of those types of shows, mailed in to others, and gotten in-person autographs at ballparks/hotels. In my experience, athletes are generally nicer, give better autographs, and more personable when they are being paid (and you are paying for their signature too) to do a signing like the National. I've had stuff intentionally smeared or ruined at the ballpark, but never at a signing/mail-in. Those are two athletes I've never dealt with, so I can't speak specifically to them, but some are just jerks regardless. Luis Aparicio, Frank Robinson, and Willie Mays come to mind as some guys who just didn't give a flip.

    If you would have gone straight to the show promoter when that happened, I would hope they could've done something right then. But going to them after the show is over, I wouldn't expect anything to be done. I don't remember the player, and I know it wasn't done on purpose like your situation could potentially have been, but a buddy of mine got a photo signed at a big show in Chicago. The athlete accidentally smeared his name and my buddy realized it after he left the line. He took it to the promoter and they let him get another photo signed free of charge.

    Thanks for the thoughtful reply. Regarding contacting the promoter, I did send a message to TriStar but they said they were not responsible.

    Maybe I should have tried to address the issue in person while in Chicago, but I doubt there would have been any different resolution.

    -Collecting anything vintage
  • BLUEJAYWAYBLUEJAYWAY Posts: 7,816 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @JimMeant said:

    Over the past 10 years or so, a friend and I have made a habit out of going to the National and other card shows to get in person autographs of legendary athletes on rookie cards. I wasn’t sold on it as part of my collection at first, but I must admit they have grown on me over the years. A neat little sports card tradition that we have really grown to enjoy over the years.

    We had great experiences with the likes of Reggie Jackson, Bob Gibson, Cal Ripken Jr, Rickey Henderson, Hulk Hogan, Joe Montana, Barry Sanders, and Ozzie Smith.

    But something weird has happened the last couple of times that we have attended in-person autograph events. At the National in Chicago 2023 Jerry Rice was extremely rough and creased my 1986 Topps rookie card when signing it. The same thing happened this fall in Columbus, OH when Bo Jackson bent back my 1986 Topps Traded rookie card while signing it. Both guys lifted the card up and nearly bent the cards in half while autographing them.

    Has anyone else had experiences like this? Do the athletes working with TriStar, Fiterman, etc. get any education on this kind of thing? As in how to properly handle delicate items? Is there any recourse we have when we purchase autograph tickets and the athletes damage our items? Especially since this is a service that we are paying significant money for?

    Just wondering if anyone else has had any similar experiences or thoughts on the topic?


    That is discouraging and unacceptable with what the card means to you. And to have a paying experience tainted in such a way. Seems they handled a football better.

    Successful transactions:Tookybandit. "Everyone is equal, some are more equal than others".
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