Monday, December 29, 2014

A Win-Win: Charity Events, Dinners for collectors to participate in.

One way I attempt to manage dreary and cold winters in New England is to find about and participate in fun and local baseball events.  These events are generally casual, family friendly, include food, auctions for authentic collectibles, meet and greets with current and past players and lots of autographs.  Proceeds for these events usually go to charitable organizations such as team foundations, local charities and other philanthropies. 

In New England, 3 of these events are scheduled in January.  The Lowell Spinners, Portland Sea Dogs, and New Britain Rock Cats, are all hosting charity events with plenty of players available to meet.  Each event has it's own set of rules, pricing and schedule.

The Lowell Spinners dinner has one price, and usually one autograph per person.  Trot Nixon is the keynote guest scheduled for this function.  Adam Everett is another person listed to appear. They haven't listed any other significant guests to this point.  Although in the past, this event usually had 10-12 guests.  The Spinners usually have a great silent auction, live auction and a good dinner.

The Portland SeaDogs are also hosting an event in January.  Their dinner has former Red Sox outfielder, Johnny Damon appearing.  This dinner is sold out, but please check the website for details.

The New Britain Rock Cats are hosting a lunch in late January with former player and NLCS MVP Rob Dibble.  They have other guests TBA in the upcoming weeks.

So take advantage of these family oriented charitable and team events.  You are not only supporting these respective organizations,  but offering opportunities for fans of all ages to meet their favorite players in a very laid back setting.

For more information, click on these links below:

Saturday, November 22, 2014

New England Patriots Danny Amendola and Chandler Jones Autograph Signing

The Patriots are playing well and very popular.  Now is your opportunity to meet 2 of them.  On Tuesday December 16, Patriots Danny Amendola and Chandler Jones will be appearing in Derry NH.  This is a great chance to meet professional athletes and maybe fulfill the need for a gift giving idea. 
Pricing for this event is great.  Autographs for regular priced items is $49 for each player and premium items is $69 for each player.  Also, New England Picture is offering a great savings if you purchase a super ticket.  The super ticket for a regular item is $69 and premium item is $89. The super ticket will get you an autograph from each player for that low price, which is a $30 plus savings.
For more information with time and location click here.

Friday, November 21, 2014

New England Patriot Brandon LaFell and Dominque Easley Autograph signings.

The New England Patriots are playing great and very popular right now.  Here is your chance to meet 2 members of the team.  Both Brandon LaFell and Dominque Easley are appearing in Providence Rhode Island on Tuesday December 9th. 

Pricing for their autographs is fantastic.  It is only $29 for any item per player.  Inscriptions or personalizations are an extra $10 each.  Or, you can purchase a super ticket and get an autograph for each player for only $50.  I can tell you in my experience, this is as low as a price for a current athlete autograph as you can get.  This is a great idea for a holiday gift.

For more information click here:

Sunday, October 26, 2014

David Ortiz, 1980 US hockey Team, 1967 Red Sox, 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 on Friday November 6 - Sunday November 8 and is featuring many members of the 1980 US Olympic gold winning hockey team, members of the 1967 Red Sox, 1975 Red Sox players Dwight Evans and Fred Lynn and baseball Hall of famers Pedro Martinez, John Smoltz, Wade Boggs, Jim Rice, Carlton Fisk, Andrew Dawson and Jim Bunning, in addition to David Ortiz and 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.
Image result for pictures of the 1967 red sox
Image result for Pedro Martinez
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.

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.
Image result for 1980 us olympic hockey

This year's autograph guests include:
Newest Member to the 500 HR club, David Ortiz
Baseball Hall of Famers:  Pedro Martinez, John Smoltz, Jim Bunning, Wade Boggs, Carlton Fisk, Jim Rice, Andrew Dawson
1980 US Olympic Hockey Team:  Mike Eruzione, Jim Craig and more
1967 Red Sox:  Mike Andrews, Jim Lonborg, Reggie Smith, Gary Bell and more
Former Red Sox:  Brian Daubach, Phil Seibel, Scott Williamson, Dwight Evans, Fred Lynn

For more information on autograph guest information please visit

John Ratzenberger Public Appearance

For those of us who are from New England, and are over age 40, we all remember the show Cheers.  It was a classic NBC sitcom set in a Boston bar which featured many great characters including postman "Cliff Claven", played by John Ratzenberger.

Additionally for those younger adults or children, John Ratzenberger, is the only actor to have a role in every Pixar movie every made.  He was the voice for Mack in Cars, Hamm in the Toy Story series, The Abominable Snowman in Monsters Inc. etc.....

This week, Mr. Ratzenberger is coming to Massachusetts to make a public autograph appearance.  It is a wonderful opportunity to meet this great actor and performer.  His autograph price is $40 for any items.  I know I'm personally having him sign some Cheer's and Pixar items.  So if you want a unique opportunity to meet someone who rarely makes appearances, I recommend taking advantage of this moment.

Mr. Ratzenberger will be appearing on Saturday November 1st at Shriner Auditorium in Wilmington Massachusetts. 

For more information check this link:

Image result for Pictures of John Ratzenberger

Monday, October 13, 2014

The Personalized Autograph Book

Over the years, I have seen a few thousand fans take photos with their favorite athletes and celebrities.  In today's world of pretty good quality camera phones and the advent of the "Selfie", photos are easier to come by and slightly easier to manage at autograph signings.  Additionally, athletes are becoming more accommodating to pose with fans in many different ways.  So the question is, what do you do with all those photos?  After they are posted on twitter, instagram, facebook and texted to a few friends, what happens?  I cannot imagine the process stopping there.

So here is an idea for you that I successfully make work.  I created my own autograph album out of an artbook.  I went to a chain craft store and purchased a 100 page sketch book for $22.  And for $4.79 I purchased a box of 750 photo corners to stick the pictures to the pages.  So for just $27+ you can create a unique treasure for your collection.  Additionally, many players will now look in the album to see who I've met and who they know.  It is a conversation piece with friends, colleagues and the celebrities.

There a couple of key practices that I follow to make this work.  The first is to have the player sign only in pen ( I prefer blue).  A sharpie will bleed through the page.  I also request that the player sign on the bottom half and I'll adhere the picture to the top half.  That keeps everything consistent and clean.  Lastly, I sometimes have the athlete or celebrity sign the page before I have an opportunity to print the picture.  There's no guarantee you'll see some of these people in the future, so if possible I'll have them sign the page as a place holder.
Picture with Rob Gronkowski and autograph on bottom.

Picture with Pedro Martinez and autograph in pen on bottom. 

Monday, August 25, 2014

New England Patriot Player Autograph Signings: Revis, Amendola & Wilfork

I cannot imagine a better way to start the 2014 NFL and season, than meeting 3 members of the Patriots.  That's right, over the course of the first 4 weeks of the Season, Darrelle Revis, Danny Amendola and Vince Wilfork are all making autograph appearances in cooperation with New England Picture company.

Pricing for these players starts as low as $49 for Amendola, $59 for Wilfork and $79 for Revis.  This is great pricing for players of this stature.  It is rare for 3 players to make these types of appearances in such a short time frame, so PATS fans, take advantage.

For more information check:

Image result for Picture of Darrelle Revis

HIdden Treasures

This summer I've been cleaning out some storage areas in my house, specifically, my memorabilia closet.  In the process of reorganizing and sorting out boxes, I came across many items I'd forgotten about.  There were a mix of some novelty items, ticket stubs, and some unsigned products sitting around. 

As I started to sort through baseball card boxes I found some nice treasures.  In one box I came across some great autographed and other relic cards.  I completely forgot about these.  The special cards were limited edition inserts in boxes of cards I've purchased the past few years.  I had a jersey card of Jackie Joyner-Kersee and Curt Schilling and game used equipment cards of CC Sabathia and Shawn Green.  While these are all great, I also found a Richard Petty Autographed card.  I immediately put this on display as this is the only NASCAR driver autograph I own.  Finding these pieces definitely made my cleaning efforts worth it.  So if you have the drive to clean you may never know what treasures you might find.

Curt Schilling Uniform Card

Shawn Green Bat card
Richard Petty Autographed Card