Friday, May 28, 2010
My First Discovery of a Random Player Charging to Sign TTM
I am currently in the second stage of TTM autograph seeking in my life. The first go-round was around the time I was 10-12 years old. In those days, I would normally write to some big name stars or rookies that I liked and hoped for the best. I pretty much had an address list, some envelopes and a bunch of stamps. It was an activity that kept me out of trouble so my parents didn't mind throwing some stamps my way to keep me occupied. I had some successes with younger players and rookies, and most of the veteran, HOF-type guys would return a postcard that stated that they received too much fan mail to be able to respond to everyone. This was before I had research tools like SCN to tell me who signed, who didn't and who charged for autographs.
Once I restarted my TTM seeking in early 2009, I wasn't surprised to see that many HOFers and current stars charged for their autographs. I guess if people are willing to pay, it's a nice way to make some extra money on the side. As I was researching former Orioles whose autographs I needed to add to my collection, I kept running across some players who I had never heard of but nonetheless charged for their autograph. Clay Dalrymple was the first of those players who really jumped out at me.
While I understand to an extent that players who played in the '50s, '60s & '70s didn't make nearly what today's players do, it's still frustrating to me. Clay requests $5 per autograph, so it's not like he asks for a lot, but he was a career .233 hitter over 12 seasons. He was a catcher who was mainly know for his throwing arm and defense and was never an All-Star or received any major awards for his play. Here is the way that my mind sums this all up: This is an OK player who never did anything outstanding, yet he wants me to pay for his autograph. I was able to trade for the card above, so I never broke down and paid $5 for Clay's auto.
I understand that there are plenty of players who won't sign TTM or in-person at all, even when they are offered money. Some just hate to sign, while others feel as though their autograph is worth more than anyone in their right mind would be willing to pay. So at least Clay signs. I have to give him that. You wouldn't believe how many former Orioles who only played in a few games or for only a few seasons will not sign. I am forced to troll ebay or to attempt trading with (at times) unreasonable collectors to add them to my collection. Outside of a few guys who died in the 1950s or '60s, I have a feeling that my collection will always be held up by some guy who only played a few games but just refuses to sign. That's part of the pursuit, so I'm not complaining, just making a prediction.
Let me know your thoughts about this. Does it bother any of you when you discover that someone charges to sign, when you feel like it might be a bit of stretch to ask people to pay?
Labels: Clay Dalrymple