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  • More Players Personalizing?

    I've noticed that a lot of young players are personalizing all of the cards they sign this spring training. Kevin Slowey always personalizes TTM and in person. I have gotten personalized items from Joey Devine, Casey Weathers, George Kontos, Mark Melancon, Kevin Cameron, Casey Weathers, and Matt Mangini in the past few months, and from what I can tell, these guys pretty much personalize all items. Do you think this is a backlash to the amount of signed merchandise that ends up on eBay?
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  • #2
    Seems like that is a possiblity. Last season I sent two cards to Micah Owings. I forgot to tell him that one was for a friend and he signed them both to me. Not a big deal because he signed them both with different inscriptions so I was happy. Normally, I have realized that when sending two..requesting a personalization on them usually increases the chance of getting the card signed but only a few times I've sent a single card out and got it back personalized.

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    • #3
      Personally, I prefer personalizations, and I always ask the athlete to personalize it to me if they'd like. I would definitely trade them personalizing their autographs rather than not signing at all. But there's no doubt that Ebay plays a small factor in it all.
      Sports Autos TTM
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      • #4
        Originally posted by SportsAutosTTM View Post
        Personally, I prefer personalizations, and I always ask the athlete to personalize it to me if they'd like. I would definitely trade them personalizing their autographs rather than not signing at all. But there's no doubt that Ebay plays a small factor in it all.
        See, I NEVER ask for personalization, and still get them very frequently. I think a lot of young players understand that their signature is a commodity and if they don't personalize when the sign, it will become worthless over time. Look at the amount of certified signatures there are for a player like Matt Wieters, who hasn't even come close to the Majors. By the time her retires, the market would be saturated with his autographs. A star player can make a good living signing autographs, and I'm sure a lot of guys don't want to jeopardize that possibility in the future. I do agree with you, I would prefer a personalized signature to nothing at all.
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        • #5
          On all my TTM letters, I say they can personalize if they wish. In person, I also ask. I've actually had one player ask me for my name BEFORE I could even ask to have it personalized; that was Jacoby Ellsbury last year at a minor-league ST game.
          sigpicMan, do I *HATE* the Yankees!!!!!!

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          • #6
            I've had that happen too. Most recently at a local wrestling show. Ex-WWE wrestler Scotty Too Hotty was there so I went to meet him since I grew up watching him wrestle. First thing he said was "Hey kid, what's your name?" Then he ended up having a conversation with me about how he'd seen Bill Buckner a few weeks before that because he noticed my Red Sox tshirt. Pretty cool if you ask me.

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            • #7
              I think the younger players have grown up fully in an era where autographs are a big business. They have probably (the ones in the 18-21 range) lived their entire lives during a time when baseball cards and autographs were always big business. Even in my upper 20's, I can remember a time when I was young when getting autographs weren't such a big deal, players did shows for free and personalizations meant you wanted the item signed to you (let's see how many of y'all catch that). Baseball cards were collected not to be resold but to be looked at and traded.

              I'm reading Roger Kahn's "The Boys of Summer" and one of the players being interviewed had said that (in 1970) they didn't sign autographs unless it was for a kid because "what would another grown man want my autograph for?" This was the mentality of alot of the old ballplayers. They didn't have adults hounding them for autographs. As times progressed, so did the players views on autographs once the market expanded.

              This new generation of players have grown up in an era where everything is valuable. I'm sure their agents put it in their heads to personalize so that they can make money by signing autograph deals. I went to one minor league game last year (Brooklyn Cyclones) and I met a kid who told me that some of the players said they couldn't sign on the sweet spot because they already had a deal with Steiner. Now that could be truthful, or it could be an excuse not to sign there for fear of resale.

              At some point in time, everyone's collection will be resold. Whether your estate gets sold, you sell them in a hardship, or a family member sells it after you leave it to them in your will, the bottom line is it will wind up in a transaction somewhere else.

              Some players are more "protective" of their autograph and believe that if you are a true collector, you aren't going to care if the autograph is personalized.
              If a player ALWAYS personalizes at the park and through the mail, and they're in demand, they can up the price on their show fee.

              Another point of view might be that they feel their generosity with their autograph is being taken advantage of by those who turn around and sell their autograph.

              I don't mind a TTM coming back with a "To ..." on it, but I like how it displays without the personalization. That's just my preference though. Beggars can't be choosers and at this point should be happy that others sign with all of the resale that goes on.
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              • #8
                Originally posted by metrotheme View Post
                At some point in time, everyone's collection will be resold. Whether your estate gets sold, you sell them in a hardship, or a family member sells it after you leave it to them in your will, the bottom line is it will wind up in a transaction somewhere else.
                I disagree with that. My son is as much of a baseball fan as I am. ALL of my baseball related stuff will be left to my son after I pass away. Who says that he will sell it all? Who says that he won't keep it, and pass it all along to his son, and so on, and so on? There is such a thing as a legacy. And yes, once I go... it's not like I will know anyways.
                Click here to see my autographed 8x10 collection

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