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  #1  
Old 06-29-2018, 10:28 AM
SetBuilder SetBuilder is offline
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Default National Autograph Tickets: Regular vs. Inscriptions

I just took a look at the National list of autograph tickets.

http://www.tristarproductions.com/National/tickets.html

Take a look at Frank Robinson for example. $229 for a regular ticket, and $39 for an inscription ticket. It says that you can pick a career achievement but no personalizations.

Why ban personalizations? Forgers have it so easy now. All they have to do is execute the signature and maybe a number or two.

The industry has picked up some pretty bad habits over the years, IMO. This isn't the way autograph collecting was done in the past.

Last edited by SetBuilder; 06-29-2018 at 11:21 AM. Reason: Was wrong about prices.
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  #2  
Old 06-29-2018, 11:04 AM
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The $39 inscription fee is added to the base autograph fee, it doesn't replace the fee.
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  #3  
Old 06-29-2018, 11:20 AM
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Originally Posted by packs View Post
The $39 inscription fee is added to the base autograph fee, it doesn't replace the fee.
Wow...you're right! It's in tiny letters all the way at the top. That site is so confusing because you can select just the inscription and take it all the way to the checkout screen and it doesn't say anything.
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  #4  
Old 06-29-2018, 11:39 AM
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David Atkatz David Atkatz is offline
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This isn't the way autograph collecting was done in the past.
Yeah. In the past, players didn't sell their autographs.
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  #5  
Old 06-29-2018, 11:51 AM
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Wait,,, $229 for a Frank Robinson autograph???
Is he including a gold bar with that signature???
There are many deceased HOFers whose autograph is a whole lot less than that.
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Old 06-29-2018, 11:54 AM
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I just looked at the price list and Frank's price is $229 for a premium item.
Now I totally understand, it must take at least 5 seconds more to sign an oversized photo than an 8x10.
Totally understandable to charge $229. NOT!!!
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Old 06-29-2018, 11:54 AM
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Ickey Woods?? Really???????????????
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  #8  
Old 06-29-2018, 02:43 PM
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Originally Posted by RichardSimon View Post
I just looked at the price list and Frank's price is $229 for a premium item.
Now I totally understand, it must take at least 5 seconds more to sign an oversized photo than an 8x10.
Totally understandable to charge $229. NOT!!!
Any sized photo is $99
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  #9  
Old 06-29-2018, 03:48 PM
steve B steve B is offline
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The $39 inscription fee is added to the base autograph fee, it doesn't replace the fee.
So I can't just buy the inscription?

That's the sort of thing I might do if I was in an odd mood, just get his HR total or something but no autograph.
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  #10  
Old 06-30-2018, 11:57 AM
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It would be one thing if for the fee you actually got a nice experience, I.E, a great photo… A few minutes of undistracted time… Etc. But the sad fact of the matter is, more often than not, players can’t even be bothered to look up at you and acknowledge your presence.

Sucky experience… lousy autograph… herded through like cattle.

It’s beyond insane that people actually pay these prices.
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  #11  
Old 06-30-2018, 02:43 PM
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For Frank Robinson, it's $99 for a "regular" item, which they define as "Any size flat item, baseball, cap, or mini helmets." All other items are classified as "premium," and it's $229 for an autograph on those.

Regarding steve B's comment about buying just the inscription without an autograph: it doesn't say anything on Robinson's page, and presumably the same is true on the other players' pages, but at the top of the autograph ticket page it says "Note: Inscriptions must be obtained at the same time as the autograph, and cannot be added to previously signed items. If you plan to purchase an inscription ticket, you must purchase an autograph ticket. You cannot enter the autograph line without an autograph ticket." (Bold added.)
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  #12  
Old 06-30-2018, 05:27 PM
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I know it's all about getting specific items signed in most cases and for some the meeting experience, but keeping in line with picking on Frank Robby, you can easily snag a manufacturers certified auto's card of his for under $15 delivered and on a good day, possibly even under $10!

It isn't beyond belief to see the autograph hobby disappear completely over time as the prices rise higher and higher, with experiences being impersonal and players making so much money that signing autographs is no longer a necessary/desired alternate revenue or charity stream and/or an honor for them, but a nuisance and not worth their time. Add in the increased risk of forgeries and it kind of loses it's appeal anyway.
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Old 06-30-2018, 07:23 PM
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I have seen Mr. Robinson in action. He will probably argue that anything that is handed to him is a premium item. I know someone that runs a card show that said he will never have him back. Can buy his autograph online for very little money. I will give my money to guys like Mr Simon, or to the players I feel that will at least will act like they want to be around the average fan.
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  #14  
Old 07-01-2018, 08:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrmopar View Post
It isn't beyond belief to see the autograph hobby disappear completely over time as the prices rise higher and higher, with experiences being impersonal and players making so much money that signing autographs is no longer a necessary/desired alternate revenue or charity stream and/or an honor for them, but a nuisance and not worth their time. Add in the increased risk of forgeries and it kind of loses it's appeal anyway.
The argument that "players making so much money that signing autographs is no longer a necessary/desired alternate revenue or charity stream and/or an honor for them, but a nuisance and not worth their time" is a nonstarter. That argument has been made for well over a decade and yet quite a few of the big salary names hit the autograph circuit. Why? Unless, the player invested well, or has another revenue stream there is a need for cash inflow or the base is being eroded. One would think that there is an upper limit for what collectors are willing to pay but thus far collectors are still paying up. I said "no way" to the prices of Piazza, The big Unit, Chipper, and next week at CSA I will take a miss on Big Papi. $250 a throw for that scribble? No, thanks. I can live with not having a few current hall of fame players on a piece or two. To quote a collecting friend "I don't have Babe Ruth either."

I agree that forgeries are prevalent throughout the hobby which is why early on I decided to get every autograph in person. As the years have rolled by, I relaxed the rule a bit, dabbling in mail order from time to time or having a trusted fellow collector get a sig for me.
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  #15  
Old 07-02-2018, 01:05 PM
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There is no way athletes only sign for the money. Bob Feller never needed the money and no one will ever convince me that's the only reason he did so many shows. If every one of his signings were free I have no doubt he'd have done just as many.

Even today Rickey Henderson, who made 44 million over his semi-recent career, is at almost every show there is. He doesn't need the money. I think he's driven by his want and/or need to continue to be idolized and remembered. And I think that want is what drives many players to the circuit where they interact with so many fans.
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  #16  
Old 07-02-2018, 05:10 PM
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There is no way athletes only sign for the money. Bob Feller never needed the money and no one will ever convince me that's the only reason he did so many shows. If every one of his signings were free I have no doubt he'd have done just as many.

Even today Rickey Henderson, who made 44 million over his semi-recent career, is at almost every show there is. He doesn't need the money. I think he's driven by his want and/or need to continue to be idolized and remembered. And I think that want is what drives many players to the circuit where they interact with so many fans.
My experience with Feller was that he simply loved baseball and talking about baseball with people. Why else would he sit in the stands talking pitching with a kid in Jr High?
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  #17  
Old 07-02-2018, 05:13 PM
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That's what I'm saying. The characterization of the aging ball player who didn't make enough in his career and being resigned to the show circuit to pay for his dinner is not one I think exists for the vast majority of ex-players.
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  #18  
Old 07-02-2018, 05:13 PM
steve B steve B is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gary Dunaier View Post
For Frank Robinson, it's $99 for a "regular" item, which they define as "Any size flat item, baseball, cap, or mini helmets." All other items are classified as "premium," and it's $229 for an autograph on those.

Regarding steve B's comment about buying just the inscription without an autograph: it doesn't say anything on Robinson's page, and presumably the same is true on the other players' pages, but at the top of the autograph ticket page it says "Note: Inscriptions must be obtained at the same time as the autograph, and cannot be added to previously signed items. If you plan to purchase an inscription ticket, you must purchase an autograph ticket. You cannot enter the autograph line without an autograph ticket." (Bold added.)
My sense of odd humor is odd enough that nobody gets it.
I wouldn't buy the inscription as an add-on to some thing already signed.
I'd buy JUST the inscription. Like a ball with just his HR total.

Yes, it would be a really weird waste of money, but I think it could be really funny.
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  #19  
Old 07-02-2018, 05:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by steve B View Post
My sense of odd humor is odd enough that nobody gets it.
I wouldn't buy the inscription as an add-on to some thing already signed.
I'd buy JUST the inscription. Like a ball with just his HR total.

Yes, it would be a really weird waste of money, but I think it could be really funny.
I like your style Steve. Not a big auto guy but I have noticed many times it says the players will NOT add inscriptions to already signed items.

I would pay just for Wade Boggs to add all his stats/accomplishments on the 3000 Hit SGA bat I have without adding a signature.
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  #20  
Old 07-02-2018, 06:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by steve B View Post
My sense of odd humor is odd enough that nobody gets it.
I wouldn't buy the inscription as an add-on to some thing already signed.
I'd buy JUST the inscription. Like a ball with just his HR total.

Yes, it would be a really weird waste of money, but I think it could be really funny.
It'd be a centerpiece of my collection! When people would ask "What's up with that?" I would reply "It was all I could afford."
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  #21  
Old 07-03-2018, 07:12 AM
chalupacollects chalupacollects is offline
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$229 for an autograph of a living player? Even an all time great? I, I can't... and standing on line for hours to be treated like cattle?? I would rather save that money to be used on a rarer old dead hall of fame player...

And I only have auto's really by default as part of collecting cards!
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Old 07-03-2018, 07:32 AM
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That's what I'm saying. The characterization of the aging ball player who didn't make enough in his career and being resigned to the show circuit to pay for his dinner is not one I think exists for the vast majority of ex-players.
Agreed, but the players are getting paid. I question how many would sign at a show for free. Sure, some players appear to feed their ego or to see and feel the adulation of the fans again, but they all get PAID. From the grapevine JoeD commanded $100K per show. Mantle made crazy money.
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  #23  
Old 07-03-2018, 07:58 AM
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$229 for an autograph of a living player? Even an all time great? I, I can't... and standing on line for hours to be treated like cattle?? I would rather save that money to be used on a rarer old dead hall of fame player...

And I only have auto's really by default as part of collecting cards!
Back in 1998, CSA had a Senator's reunion and managed to get Ted Williams to attend the show at $250 a pop (limited to 100 or 200 signatures). I bit hard but I knew it was my only shot to get Williams. There is no standing on line for hours and I have never felt that I was being treated like cattle. At times have certain promoters been disorganized as heck? Oh yes! It is a hobby. I make a decision to pay for an individuals time to sign an item. I am not looking for a long conversation with the individual or expecting to become fast friends. It is a transaction, with common courtesy from both parties. I leave happy with my item signed.
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Old 07-03-2018, 08:21 AM
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Back in 1998, CSA had a Senator's reunion and managed to get Ted Williams to attend the show at $250 a pop (limited to 100 or 200 signatures).
I remember this, it could have been his last show. I read that John would drag him against his will to shows for the money grab and Ted insisted that show would be within 5 minute drive of airport so he could fly back on the same day. It was flats only.

Sorry to digress
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Old 07-03-2018, 08:36 AM
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I would rather save that money to be used on a rarer old dead hall of fame player...
Without seeing the item signed in person, you never really know if the item is real. The other day, I was channel surfing and caught an airing of the forger Greg Marino. I have seen the piece but I just had to watch it again. The process of make something look old and the sheer volume of items was still shocking. I rarely buy pre-signed material, but when the National was held in Baltimore (please come back) I purchased a b&w 8x10 of Ferris Fain from the former promoter of the Robert Morris show in Pittsburgh. I assume the Fain is legit. Who is/was making money off of forged Ferris Fain 8x10's? But I still wonder.....

Last edited by biohazard; 07-03-2018 at 08:39 AM.
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  #26  
Old 07-03-2018, 08:39 AM
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I remember this, it could have been his last show. I read that John would drag him against his will to shows for the money grab and Ted insisted that show would be within 5 minute drive of airport so he could fly back on the same day. It was flats only.

Sorry to digress
It was flats only because Ted could no longer grip a ball. I believe Ted stayed for the weekend because there was a breakfast or banquet the next day.
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  #27  
Old 07-07-2018, 11:36 PM
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Regarding steve B's comment about buying just the inscription without an autograph: it doesn't say anything on Robinson's page, and presumably the same is true on the other players' pages, but at the top of the autograph ticket page it says "Note: Inscriptions must be obtained at the same time as the autograph, and cannot be added to previously signed items. If you plan to purchase an inscription ticket, you must purchase an autograph ticket. You cannot enter the autograph line without an autograph ticket." (Bold added.)
Quote:
Originally Posted by steve B View Post
My sense of odd humor is odd enough that nobody gets it.
I wouldn't buy the inscription as an add-on to some thing already signed.
I'd buy JUST the inscription. Like a ball with just his HR total.

Yes, it would be a really weird waste of money, but I think it could be really funny.
Oh, I got the joke. You're talking to a guy who took a photo of a squirt bottle used by a member of the grounds crew at Citi Field and quipped that all it needed was an official MLB hologram and then it would be a genuine authenticated game-used item.

I posted the information about not being allowed to buy an inscription by itself for the benefit of those who might have been wondering if someone could do it if they were so inclined.
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Old 07-09-2018, 08:57 AM
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I've never understood charging a bunch extra for, or refusing personalizations. I prefer all of my autographs "To Ryan", it bothers me to pay extra to make something way LESS valuable lol.

Obviously it's more handwriting so some sort of fee could be warranted but I'd like to think if I was signing I would enjoy personalizing items as I know that person truly wants it and will cherish it.

But hey, it's their call!
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Old 07-09-2018, 11:10 AM
steve B steve B is offline
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Originally Posted by Gary Dunaier View Post
Oh, I got the joke. You're talking to a guy who took a photo of a squirt bottle used by a member of the grounds crew at Citi Field and quipped that all it needed was an official MLB hologram and then it would be a genuine authenticated game-used item.

I posted the information about not being allowed to buy an inscription by itself for the benefit of those who might have been wondering if someone could do it if they were so inclined.
LOL, I didn't even realize that was you.

Someone should do a contest for something like "dumbest sports collectible"

I'd say I might have something weird around, but I just know someone somewhere has the bits of card removed by a hole punch or some players discarded gum wrapper or something.
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Old 07-09-2018, 11:34 AM
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LOL, I didn't even realize that was you.

Someone should do a contest for something like "dumbest sports collectible"

I'd say I might have something weird around, but I just know someone somewhere has the bits of card removed by a hole punch or some players discarded gum wrapper or something.
I resemble that remark. I still have the shavings of my Ted Williams rookie that I put new borders on. I had to square up the highly trimmed card before adding the new borders.
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Old 07-14-2018, 01:19 PM
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I don't know what to say about this, so I'll just point out the facts as shown in the ad. The 5x Super Bowl championship football player Tom Brady is doing a private autograph signing. The lowest price for his autograph when purchased via this event is $599 for a trading card. If you want him to sign a flat item 11x14 or smaller, it will cost you $949. NINE HUNDRED and forty-nine dollars. Prices get even higher for other categories of items.

Here's where it gets interesting, and particularly relevant for the purposes of this thread. Pre-determined inscriptions are $299 or $399, depending on which one you want. If you want your own custom inscription, or if you want the item made out to you or someone else, it's $499 for up to 20 characters (that breaks down to $24.95 per letter, if you get the full 20 characters; if I were to order a personalization made out to me, "To Gary," it would be $71.29 per letter, presuming spaces don't count as a character). These prices are IN ADDITION to the autograph.

Tom Brady won't sign items that have already been signed by others, and he won't sign Roman numerals (so, for example, you can get "SB 51 MVP" for $299 extra, but you can't get "SB LI MVP" for any amount of money).

If you can afford these prices, and you want to be there to see him sign your item, you're out of luck. It says quite clearly in the yellow starburst in the lower right corner, in all caps, PUBLIC CANNOT ATTEND.

Comment as you see fit.

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  #32  
Old 02-08-2019, 11:33 AM
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I am resurrecting this thread because the majority of it referances Frank Robinson's Autograph Signing at this past years national. Although he did not make it public clearly Mister Robinson was very ill at the time. And yet he made what was most likely a significant effort to be available fans. Frank Robinson was clearly a person to be admired. And I know this example is the smallest drop of water in the Ocean of Accomplishments and high character decisions made throughout his lifetime. Baseball our Country our World was made better by Frank Robinson.

just my opinion Jonathan
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Old 02-08-2019, 03:29 PM
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my experience with feller was that he simply loved baseball and talking about baseball with people. Why else would he sit in the stands talking pitching with a kid in jr high?
+100
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Old 02-08-2019, 05:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gary Dunaier View Post
I don't know what to say about this, so I'll just point out the facts as shown in the ad. The 5x Super Bowl championship football player Tom Brady is doing a private autograph signing. The lowest price for his autograph when purchased via this event is $599 for a trading card. If you want him to sign a flat item 11x14 or smaller, it will cost you $949. NINE HUNDRED and forty-nine dollars. Prices get even higher for other categories of items.

Here's where it gets interesting, and particularly relevant for the purposes of this thread. Pre-determined inscriptions are $299 or $399, depending on which one you want. If you want your own custom inscription, or if you want the item made out to you or someone else, it's $499 for up to 20 characters (that breaks down to $24.95 per letter, if you get the full 20 characters; if I were to order a personalization made out to me, "To Gary," it would be $71.29 per letter, presuming spaces don't count as a character). These prices are IN ADDITION to the autograph.

Tom Brady won't sign items that have already been signed by others, and he won't sign Roman numerals (so, for example, you can get "SB 51 MVP" for $299 extra, but you can't get "SB LI MVP" for any amount of money).

If you can afford these prices, and you want to be there to see him sign your item, you're out of luck. It says quite clearly in the yellow starburst in the lower right corner, in all caps, PUBLIC CANNOT ATTEND.

Comment as you see fit.

I think anyone who pays those prices is a little crazed but maybe Brady needs the dough .
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Last edited by RichardSimon; 02-08-2019 at 05:46 PM.
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Old 02-08-2019, 05:49 PM
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Originally Posted by steve B View Post
My experience with Feller was that he simply loved baseball and talking about baseball with people. Why else would he sit in the stands talking pitching with a kid in Jr High?
Bob Feller was accompanied around the country (not sure for how many years) by a man we nicknamed The Cowboy because of the hat he wore. Supposedly he was Feller's agent. And he was a big seller of forged autographs, walking around at shows peddling bad Maris ss baseballs and other items. At a National Convention, he was eyeing the book of unsigned wire photos on my table. I could see what he was thinking.
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Old 02-08-2019, 08:19 PM
Klrdds Klrdds is offline
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For years I'd heard of the mysterious and enigmatic " The Cowboy " but I never really saw or interacted with or met him in all the years I attended shows and participated in private signings but the one thing I always heard during all those years was never to touch or buy anything associated with " The Cowboy ".
Thanks Richard for bringing up another name for our hobby's past ...the long past ! There are probably more names out there too

Last edited by Klrdds; 02-08-2019 at 08:21 PM.
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Old 02-08-2019, 09:36 PM
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Default Cowboy

If I recall he was known as Cowboy George Dickstein.
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Old 02-09-2019, 10:38 AM
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If I recall he was known as Cowboy George Dickstein.
That might be correct. The hat was a huge Stetson, he was not very discreet.

First time I met him was at a show at a Laguardia Airport hotel. He was walking the room with fake Maris ss baseballs. About 5 or 6 guys in the room came up to my table asking me if they were good. I had already turned them down when offered to me. Cowboy gave me a "why?" when I turned them down. I told him because they are fake. He just shrugged and walked around the room.
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Last edited by RichardSimon; 02-09-2019 at 10:42 AM.
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Old 02-09-2019, 10:43 AM
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Originally Posted by Klrdds View Post
For years I'd heard of the mysterious and enigmatic " The Cowboy " but I never really saw or interacted with or met him in all the years I attended shows and participated in private signings but the one thing I always heard during all those years was never to touch or buy anything associated with " The Cowboy ".
Thanks Richard for bringing up another name for our hobby's past ...the long past ! There are probably more names out there too
You are welcome. The list of hobby miscreants is long and discouraging.
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Old 02-10-2019, 08:46 PM
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Originally Posted by RichardSimon View Post
Bob Feller was accompanied around the country (not sure for how many years) by a man we nicknamed The Cowboy because of the hat he wore. Supposedly he was Feller's agent. And he was a big seller of forged autographs, walking around at shows peddling bad Maris ss baseballs and other items. At a National Convention, he was eyeing the book of unsigned wire photos on my table. I could see what he was thinking.

That must have been later. The game I went to was sometime between 74 and 76. If I find the programs they might tell me which year.
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Old 02-10-2019, 09:20 PM
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The story I heard with Feller was that he would pay for his vacation by hitting card shows and minor league parks en route. I paid $5 to get his autograph at the LeBaron hotel in San Jose in 1991 and at a San Jose Giants game in 1996(free).


The only way I can get particular autographs in the Topps 40 years of baseball book was to go to autograph shows. That is how I got most of my HOFers. Most of those autographs shows happened pre 1996. I paid $175 to meet and get a signature of Joe DiMaggio in 1995. It was right after his Upper Deck contract ended and he hit a few show. That was crazy money to a young married guy trying to enjoy the autograph part of the hobby. In the early 90's I was able to get Mantle ($35), Aaron ($25), Mays ($22), McCovey ($17), Fr Robinson ($20), Brooks ($10) and Berra ($20). I would hate to think of what they would cost now. Aaron is $300 for a private signing.


I terms of todays stars signing, there really is no reason for them to do it as they are set financially for life. I also don't want to pay nearly $200 for the Big Unit, Pedro Martinez and some of the others I see coming to Northern California. Tom Orr does the best private signings out of the St. Louis area, but an I going to send my 10 pound book to every private signing. I don't know how well that would work.


Anyways, thanks for reading my rambling. Paul
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Old 02-10-2019, 10:36 PM
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Isn't it funny? If you hadn't bothered to get DiMaggio, you'd actually be doing fine! Fast forward nearly 25 years, and you lost money on that one! Too bad we didn't all spring for signed RCs back then. Mantle's RC would still have broken the bank, but all the others you mentioned were affordable at that time. Live and learn.

I had a similar project with the "Classic Baseball Cards" coffee table book. I interviewed/visited many players and always brought the book with me for them to sign. I'd much rather have an autographed 1922 American Caramel Joe Hauser or a T207 Red Hoff at this point. In those pre-internet days, finding such cards was impossible where I lived; the book sufficed.

While there are a handful of that signed Hauser card out there, I can't recall seeing an autographed T207 Hoff. I seem to remember that his card commanded a slight premium over other commons way back when, but why on earth weren't at least a few people getting these signed while they could? Mifsud, have you seen one?

Edit: I actually do remember one T207 Hoff signed on the verso and want to say it was in black marker that had aged to a blueish tone.

Last edited by BillyCox3; 02-10-2019 at 11:06 PM.
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Old 02-11-2019, 03:10 AM
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I think anyone who pays those prices is a little crazed but maybe Brady needs the dough .
Maybe he is a little insecure and feels the need to make some extra cash because his wife makes more than he does. Some guys could find that a little embarrassing.

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Old 02-11-2019, 02:56 PM
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I just took a look at the National list of autograph tickets.

http://www.tristarproductions.com/National/tickets.html

Take a look at Frank Robinson for example. $229 for a regular ticket, and $39 for an inscription ticket. It says that you can pick a career achievement but no personalizations.

Why ban personalizations? Forgers have it so easy now. All they have to do is execute the signature and maybe a number or two.

The industry has picked up some pretty bad habits over the years, IMO. This isn't the way autograph collecting was done in the past.
I was trying to think of something "Snarky" to say about Mr. Robinson's $229.00 charge but instead I submit the scan of his auto (if not spousal) that was offered a decade or more ago for $2.95 + a buck postage. I guess that his auto value has dramatically increased over the years because he says so. I would submit that I treasure the ball and exhibit card that Cub great Johnny Schmitz signed for me at his kitchen table while talking about sitting in the Bull Pen when the "Shot heard around the world" took place than the "Cattle Call" that has been discussed here. If anyone needs a Frank Robinson auto...consider the hot dog cards.
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