Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Meet Current Patriots Rob Gronkowski and Rob Ninkovich

The Patriots might not be the most popular team in New England this October, however they are certainly #2.  They have a great record through 8 games and their key players are still popular amongst the fans.

New England Picture Company and Sure Shot Promotions are providing you all an opportunity to meet and acquire an autograph from Rob Gronkowski and Rob Ninkovich in the month of November.  Pricing for these 2 separate events is great.  Gronkowski starts at $69 and Ninkovich at $29.  Moreover, they will be appearing in different parts of New England, as Gronkowski will be in Braintree, Ma. and Ninkovich in Warwick, RI. 

For more information please visit or

Aly Raisman, Roger Clemens, Pedro Martinez and more

This is one of my favorite weeks of the year.  Other than this being my birthday week, I look forward to attending the Greater Boston Sports Collector's Club Card and Memorabilia Show.  It's occurred the first weekend in November at the Shriner Auditorium in Wilmington Mass. for as long as I can remember.  This year's show is scheduled for Friday November 1st - Sunday November 3rd and is featuring Olympian Ally Raisman, former Sox pitchers Pedro Martinez and Roger Clemens and many, many more. I have not missed attending this show since I first attended in 2002.  I have found hundreds of deals on anything including memorabilia, photos, cards, supplies and autographs. There will be over 80 dealers in attendance, both from the region and nationally.

One of the reasons this show is my favorite is that everyone is very friendly and helpful.   There are items out there for the bargain hunter or the high end collector and of course all of us in between.  I've seen autographs for sale that include almost every hall of famer for every sport.  I've seen rare items like Cy Young, Babe Ruth and Alan Shepard(First U.S. astronaut in space) signed items.  I've learnt much about collecting, how to preserve autographs and what's out there on the market.  I always feel that when I walk and speak with dealers, I learn something new every November.
US Olympian Aly Raisman

So here are some tips on how to make the most of one day or the weekend at the show.
1.  Walk the entire floor at least once before purchasing anything.  My experience is that you will find the same item in multiple locations.  The dealers are very competitive and will almost always come down in price to get the sale.
2.  Prepare to spend at least 2 hours browsing.  Be patient and ready to negotiate.
3.  Bring something to drink with you.  It is very dry in most facilities.
4.  Wear comfortable footwear.  The entire floor is concrete.
5.  If you are purchasing an autograph or game used piece of memorabilia make sure it is has authentication.  Ask the dealer where it came from and who authenticated it.  If the price is too good to be true, then don't purchase it. 
6.  Most dealers will come down in price on the last day of a show.  They honestly don't want to haul it back to their homes or businesses. 
7.  Have cash on hand.  Most dealers cannot accept credit cards and if they do, they might charge a service fee to pay for the connection at their table.
8.  Sign up for raffles and door prizes.  Almost every show has them and there are usually great prizes.
9.  If you are attending to meet players, be ready to wait in line, and in small spaces.  Also, if you have no idea what you want autographed the promoter's merchandise table will have the best items at reasonable prices.

This year's autograph guests include:
Pedro Martinez
Roger Clemens
Ray Bourque
Jeff Reardon
Baseball Hall of Famers Rollie Fingers, Rod Carew, Paul Molitor and Rickey Henderson
US Olympians Hope Solo and Aly Raisman
Tim McCarver
Pete Rose
Boston Bruin and Stanley cup champions, Brad Marchand, Greg Campbell and Johnny Boychuk
Former New England Patriot and NFL Hall of Famer Andre Tippett
Ramiro Mendoza
2004 WS champion Curtis Leskanic
Sammy Stewart

For more information on autograph guest information please visit

Sunday, October 20, 2013

2013 World Series Autograph ideas

MLB 2013 Official World Series Cubed Baseball by Rawlings - Shop
2013 Official World Series Ball

In New England,  fans are in a frenzy about the Red Sox being in the World Series.  Stores from Dick's to the Red Sox team store are busy with fans looking to purchase ALCS and World Series gear and memorabilia.  So for those of you like me hoping to purchase autographed items or merchandise to get autographed, this is the posting for you.

For those of you looking for autographed items from members on the active playoff roster check out  They have current player autographs marked at 1/2 price which include signed balls and photos.

For those of you looking to find items for future autographs be careful what you pay for now.  The typical price of a brand new official 2013 world series ball is $20-$25 depending on where you purchase from.  Do not purchase the fake photo balls as they will not hold autographs over a long period of time.  It is worth the extra cash for the real thing.  There are many, many websites selling the official balls at a very fair price.  Anything over $25 is unreasonable and a rip off.

If you're hoping to start a team signed item here are some options:
An official WS baseball, 8x10 photo (fitting all autographs on an 8x10 will be hard) or a magazine cover, will be the most cost effective method of collecting as these are considered basic items to have signed.
A full size helmet, 16x20 photo (or larger) bat or jersey will look great and certainly have enough space for 25-30 signatures.  However, those are considered premium items and will cost 25-30% more to have signed.

In the past, I purchased a specially made bat and had the WS MVP sign it and had the team sign a WS ball.  That covered all my needs both financially as well as enhanced my collection.  So whether you are looking to start a team signed item for the Red Sox or Cardinals this season, or are looking to start a team signed item from champions in the past, spend wisely and effectively.

2004 SI team signed cover
Go Sox!!!!
2007 World Series Team signed ball

2002 World Series Team signed ball (Anaheim Angels)

2004 World Series team signed ball


Autographed WS MVP's Manny Ramirez and Mike Lowell bats from 2004 & 2007.  .

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Prospects to Playoffs

Everyone who reads this blog, knows I preach to take advantage of the opportunity to get free or cheap autographs from athletes in their prospect/rookie days.  Yeah, you're always taking a risk, but the reality is that more often than not, top rookies and prospects will have a long term impact on their respective games.  The reward is far more gratifying than having an autograph of a player who doesn't make it. You can say you met a player, most likely had a good interaction and hopefully make your autograph collecting experience more fun and maybe more valuable.

As I look at this year's remaining MLB playoff teams and my personal collection I realized I have many autographs from remaining players, all of which I acquired during the player minor league days.  The autographs are in great shape and, moreover, enhance the sentimental and financial value of the pieces.  I hope this motivates you to consider taking the risk in the future.

Anibal Sanchez and Jon Lester Signed baseballs.  Both acquired when they pitched for the AA Portland Sea Dogs

Clay Buchholz and Hanley Ramirez signed baseballs from Clay's days with the Lowell Spinners and Hanley's days at AA Portland Maine.
Jacoby Ellsbury signed ball from his days with the AA Portland Seadogs.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Are you ready for Playoff Baseball

So it occurred to me that I own many autographs from players participating in the 2013 MLB playoffs.  It got me thinking about how exciting it is to have met those individuals and how valuable those autographs may become based on their teams results.  Moreover, as I have mentioned prior to this, my collecting experience is most gratifying when I have a great experience meeting and chatting with a player.  It's nice to know I made a personal connection with these players as I see them in person or on TV.  For me this is what collecting is all about and makes the playoffs all that much more fun, not to mention the Red Sox are rocking it so far.
Autographs from various 2013 Pirates, Dodgers, Athletics, Rays, Tigers & Cardinals.

Autographed Manny Ramirez Ball from 2004.

Autographed Mike Lowell Ball from 2007.