Those autographs are worthless

My son is a big sports nut, bigger than I’ll ever be. I indulge him with autograph events because my father would never take me. At least once a month, we will go to a baseball card show or New York Rangers signing. He likes the interaction with the current player or all-time great.

Recently, he made me schlep to The American Dream mall, near MetLife Stadium for a super Yankees signing show. It was an odd fit for two lifelong Mets fans. Rather than spend money on autographs from players I already have or guys I’m not interested in, I bought photo ops with Wade Boggs, Don Mattingly, Buck Showalter, and Goose Gossage. Gossage and Boggs were guests at my conference, so I had a chance to say hello.

The day before, Anthony Volpe was there. He signed about 350 autographs, I think at $150 a piece. Plus tons for photo ops. With autograph signings, the money isn’t in the live audience attendance. It’s in the backroom, where dealers and card manufacturers get items autographed. It’s an autograph assembly line. For all we know, Volpe might have signed 500-1000 items that day. That is in addition to the thousands he has signed in the past for shows, dealers, and Topps cards. There is a flood of autographs and while a Mo Rivera autograph can set you back a few hundred dollars, there is enough supply of his signatures to last a lifetime.

I go to shows and collect for the fun, not to pay for Jason’s college.

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