I feel like the industry has, once again, over-extended itself and gotten to the point of who can create the most expensive products instead of the best products. It's a vicious cycle, that has repeated itself over the past 25 years or so.
With all that being said, I'm turning my collecting focus back to autographs. Not autographs out of a pack, mind you (although I'm sure there will be a few of those); but collecting autographs through the mail (TTM) and, when time allows, in-person (IP).
Collecting autographs is something that I did for years; dating back as far as the late-80s. I had a dozen binders filled with autographed photos, sports cards, index cards and magazines by the 2001. I even ran an autograph collecting website for much of 1999-2002.
But when I went back to college in 2002, I sold off much of my collection in order to pay for tuition and books. I still have a "wantlist" of some of the autographs I had that I'd love to add back to my collection. Some of these should be easy to get, others will not be as some of the athletes and celebrities have sadly passed on.
So I'm relaunching this blog today, and it will focus on collecting autographs (mainly); as will my Twitter feed. There will be some renovations done to the site over the next few days to help facilitate this change in focus; and there should be a lot more content in the coming days, weeks and months.
I'm also open to the idea of contributors, so shoot me a message if you have a blog post you'd like to share. I may also open a message board for collectors to share stories, photos, addresses, etc. if there's enough interest.
While thinking of collecting autographs, a lot of experiences came to mind, so I'll close this blog with a little list...
My First TTM Autograph - Jim Rice (Boston Red Sox) 1987
My First IP Autograph - Mark Carreon (New York Mets) Shea Stadium, 1989
My First TTM Autograph via Twitter - Laura "Fancy" Sanko, 2013
My First Paid Autograph - David Cone (New York Mets) card shop opening, 1987
My First Autograph Prize - Mickey Mantle - OAL Baseball from John L. Raybin's Sports Collectors Radio Show, 1991
My Worst IP Encounter - Rod Brind'Amour (Carolina Hurricanes), shoved me out of his way, Nassau Coliseum, 2001
Coolest IP Encounter - David Diehl (New York Giants) charity fundraiser, 2011
Craziest TTM Autograph - Incubus, included backstage pass to Ozzfest and a plastic fork, 1999
Longest TTM Autograph Pending - Alyssa Milano, waiting since 1987 (lol)
Longest TTM Autograph Received - Tia Carrere, sent 4/17/2000, received 7/10/2002
Quickest TTM Autograph Received - David Wright (St. Luice Mets), sent 04/20/2003, received 04/26/2003