Lets’ get this straight here…you pay an exorbitant amount of money to attend a Major League baseball game yet when you line up alongside the home team’s dugout to try and snag a nice take-home keepsake in an autograph, you find that you are continuously rejected by each player that comes by??? You are not sure whether or not to be more disappointed that you have spent a substantial amount of money to watch your hometown team play the game while trying to create a memorable experience or to be taken aback by the rudeness and disregard for pacifying a fan; the same fan that helps pay this player’s salary.
Being a die-hard Detroit Tigers fan my whole life, I have found there to be only one way to have the opportunity to have a piece of historic baseball memorabilia to call your own and that is to write the player personally and to send your autograph request via the team address for consideration by the player. Imagine being a celebrity or a major sports star and having fans hound you constantly to have your autograph. At the ballpark there may be some opportunities to sign a few items, but as a professional, you also need to warm-up, stretch, and to get into the game mentally.
Going to and from the game can be an inopportune time to stop to sign autographs as well, especially if you are looking to catch a cab, to meet up with friends or family, or even your teammates after the game. Most of all, if you cost your team the game, are slumping, or the subject of numerous boos from the home crowd, there is a mental component to the game of Major League baseball that must be adhered to.
Although many would advocate that the player “owes it” to the fans to sign for them, granted the generous paychecks and lucrative endorsements that they already receive, let’s approach a different way of requesting autographs that many may not have thought of before. Being that everyone is entitled to their own personal space and their own physical boundaries of comfort, why not write the player using the professional team address that can be found via many national pro sport league’s websites or through various autograph collector websites that are out there?
Being an autograph collector myself, I have utilized the modern and common day practice of saving my time when at the ballpark to soak in the atmosphere and to use this time to socialize and converse with friends and family over the sights, sounds, and thrills around you rather than “ambushing” the players/managers with desperate pleas for their time to sign a quick few autographs.
The trend has shown surprising results with a large percentage of professional athletes taking the time to fulfill autograph requests via the U.S. Mail. All that is needed is an envelope with which to send the request, a few small items that can be signed by the player (sports cards, ticket stubs, index cards, photos), and a SASE (self-addressed stamped envelope), with the appropriate postage and your home address so that the player is then able to mail your item(s) back to you.
Many autograph collectors are out to make a reasonable profit on collecting sports autographs, while other collectors may be looking for some commemorative displays to decorate their sports bar in the basement with, or to spruce up the look to their room/office. There have been great successes in the autograph collecting industry using both methods, but if you are looking for a higher success rate with collecting, try the mail order request method. You of course still have the chance of being rejected, as well as possibly having sent your item outbound to the player to not have it returned at all. It’s a possibility that you could also have the item returned unsigned. If you send small items that you deem acceptable to lose completely, mail order autograph requests just may be the route to go. Constituting only a small investment of only a couple of envelopes and the appropriate U.S. postage, you just may find additional excitement to check your mailbox each day and to not only receive one’s monthly bills, but also with the chance of receiving the souvenir of a lifetime.