I collect autographs. It’s one of my favourite things and my favourite hobby. I even included a couple of autograph-related items on things I’ve always wanted to do.
Unfortunately, I haven’t had as much time to spend on autograph collecting the last few years. I keep hoping that will change, but except for a couple of in-person autographs, it hasn’t.
I belong to a few autograph collecting groups, and more and more people are commenting on how slow it’s getting. Not many responses, people not signing in-person anymore, etc.
There are probably a few reasons. One is that some stars do autograph signings at shows or card shops, and make money from it. If they never made a lot of money playing a sport or acting, then this may be their only source of income now, and signing it for someone else to sell it doesn’t seem right to them when the could be the ones making money from it.
Look at Gordie Howe, for example. If you look at ebay, there are 82 items for “Gordie Howe signed”, plus 483 from those with eBay stores. One of them is for $10,000 (includes a Wayne Gretzky auto as well).
Plus, Howe offers signed items on his web site, including a jersey for $999, but also has books, ties, posters, etc. So why would he sign for free when it’s part of his business? It’s like McDonalds giving away french fries for free, and then wondering why no one buys fries anymore.
Howe is not the only former hockey player that charges for autographs. Bobby Orr has a web site up, selling his stuff. Apparently, any autograph you may have gotten through the mail of his in the past 15 years may be fake (signed by a secretray).
Wayne Gretzky does the same. So does Stan Mikita. Ted Lindsay offers signed items on his web site, but the money goes to autism.
Other sports and actors/actresses do the same thing, selling stuff to make money.
A lot of them have concerns that their stuff will end up on eBay. For some, they don’t have the time to sign everything they get, so this way only “true” fans will buy their stuff.
Anyways, I hope to get back into collecting. As I’m in the process of watching the Firefly series, there’s a few there that I want autographs of.
Below are five of my favourite autographs to date (out of a few hundred). Click on the thumbnails for a bigger photo.
In order, they are:
5) Thanks to a good friend, I had the chance to meet Bret Hart in person a few months back, and he signed a copy of his autobiography for me.