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mbrieve

Upcoming signings

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^I'm not shooting the messenger, but the prices are getting out of hand. I remember when Magglio and Pudge were in the $80 range and thinking it couldn't get much higher...I was very wrong. I get that it goes hand in hand with where players' salaries are these days, but at these prices, it's just not fun anymore.

I was actually excited about the Jose Iglesias signing when it was announced until I started pricing it out. ROMLB ($15) + Iglesias signature ($25) + drop-off fee ($5) + shipping ($10) = $55 or I could pre-order for $52 delivered. And that is one of the more reasonable signings. Meh, I'm starting to lose interest. I enjoy the collection I have and have more than I could ever properly display. [END RANT]

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Not that I am disagreeing with mbrieve, but it is a relative thing when you have been collecting for a bit.

I remember when Jim Hawkins used to run shows at Thanksgiving at the Plymouth Hilton. In 1987, after a phenomenal rookie season, Hawkins brought in a young stud named Mark McGwire. At the time, my dad was appalled that he had to pay $7 for Mark McGwire and that Don Drysdale who was signing at the same show was only signing for $5.

Unfortunately, six years later Drysdale had a heart attack and died. My dad was pleased that he did get his autograph. Further, when McGwire and Sosa were bringing interest back to the sport in 1998 with their home run race (after the damage the strike did), my dad was able to sell the 3 McGwire balls he had signed for nearly $100 each.

I do agree that some of the prices are out of wack. I was thinking of putting all of Prince Fielder's playoff stats on a piece of Bristol board and see if he would sign it for $129. I am pleased that Prince is a Tiger, but I am not sure that his signature is worth that kind of coin or that Tuiassisopo is worth $15.

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Well, prices are skyrocketing, that's true. I don't blame any promoter for this (they all do it, although some like the national shows are higher). The promoters are just charging what the players demand. But in situations like this, I generally don't bother if the autograph is so horrible that you can't even come close to reading it. Check out Prince's autographs online. It's a joke. In my mind, I'll only put that sort of thing in my collection if I get it free. But I've gotten to the point where I refuse to pay those kind of dollars for something you can't even read. I'm a big fan of the old timers- particularly hockey players, but there are baseball players that fall into the same category. You pay, but you at least get a great looking signature. I'm talking about guys like Ted Lindsay (who you dont' even have to pay alot for). Gordie Howe. Bobby Hull. Many others. Heck, even Cabrera- while not quite as legible, but still a very artistic sort of signature,and he does a nice job on large pieces. Prince's sig is a just a complete joke and I won't pay for that- particularly not in excess of $100. I put him in the category of Marian Hossa- a couple of lines and two dots. Not interested.

Having said this- Tuiososoppo's is actually really good. And look at a guy like Hunter- when he was with Minnesota, his signature was crap. Then Kilebrew got to him and told him that if he saw him signing like that again, he'd refuse to do shows with him. Torii completely changed course and realized that if people are paying for his sig, it's going to be a nice sig. And ever since then, he gives you a great autograph, every time. Maybe he should talk to Prince.

Edited by stanpapi

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Not that I am disagreeing with mbrieve, but it is a relative thing when you have been collecting for a bit.

I remember when Jim Hawkins used to run shows at Thanksgiving at the Plymouth Hilton. In 1987, after a phenomenal rookie season, Hawkins brought in a young stud named Mark McGwire. At the time, my dad was appalled that he had to pay $7 for Mark McGwire and that Don Drysdale who was signing at the same show was only signing for $5.

Unfortunately, six years later Drysdale had a heart attack and died. My dad was pleased that he did get his autograph. Further, when McGwire and Sosa were bringing interest back to the sport in 1998 with their home run race (after the damage the strike did), my dad was able to sell the 3 McGwire balls he had signed for nearly $100 each.

I do agree that some of the prices are out of wack. I was thinking of putting all of Prince Fielder's playoff stats on a piece of Bristol board and see if he would sign it for $129. I am pleased that Prince is a Tiger, but I am not sure that his signature is worth that kind of coin or that Tuiassisopo is worth $15.

That's a great story. I missed the Hawkins shows (wasn't doing it alot back then). But it's always sort of been this way. I remember getting Bob Feller just a few years before he died and he was still $25. About the same time, Gibraltar was bringing in guys like Dontrelle Willis- who, by the way, has a horse---t signature too-- for $45. I knew that was stupid back then, but it's always been the case- the younger hotter players command more than your oldtimers in general. And you know what? I think Gibraltar is still trying to unload those crappy Dontrelle balls.

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I just called Gibraltar and they said the Sanchez and Infante was cancelled, does anyone know if this is true.

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Heck, even Cabrera- while not quite as legible, but still a very artistic sort of signature,and he does a nice job on large pieces. Prince's sig is a just a complete joke and I won't pay for that- particularly not in excess of $100. I put him in the category of Marian Hossa- a couple of lines and two dots. Not interested.

This was my first thought. I've never seen a Fielder from a paid signing, but I think there will be a lot of upset fans if he gives the same ole graph for that kind of $$.. Even his good sig is pretty aweful. Now if he was somehow giving a nice full sig, it would definitely be worth it, since there aren't many out there. I asked on their facebook page and the example they gave of what his sig will look like was not very good. He's only signing for an hour and they are selling 300 tickets, even if he's getting $100 per sig, that's what $30,000 for an hour of signing. Not too shabby. :)

Edited by Dirk Diggler

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As to sanchez and Infante- I don't know, but the promoter, Motor City Sports Gallery, is kind of off an on. Nice people, but they've moved around so many times, I start to wonder how reliable they are. They used to be in the strip mall by Hockeytown in Troy, but they disappeared for awhile, then showed up at Oakland mall. Then they moved within the mall. Then they disappeared again. Then they showed up at Gibraltar Mt. Clemens without a retail storefront other than when there is a signing. I've been to a few of their signings, both at their old store and at Gibraltar. They've always been fine and nice to deal with, but I've always kind of wondered about them as far as organization. They're not very responsive on their facebook page, and their regular website became an "attack" site overnight- they never redid it, which also made me wonder. There are a number of people asking about this signing on their FB page and so far, after a week, no answers. This is why I appreciate DC (even though they tend to have high prices). You can take them to the bank- their signings come off unless there is some unforseen hitch that they just can't control, and more importantly, they communicate changes immediately.

As far as fielder, yeah, 30K is a big number to most people. But to a guy making what prince is, it's almost a nuisance. Look at it this way-if you make 80K a year, it would be like DC asking you to sit in a mall for an hour, deal with people wanting pictures, sticking stuff in front of you to sign, etc. for the equivalent of $100. Does that interest you monetarily if you're making a normal wage? Probably not. That's what it's like for Prince at his income level. Which is probably why a lot of these guys just don't bother with paid signings anymore. $30K or $50K just isn't worth it to them.

Edited by stanpapi

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^Stan, you are right on. I have nothing against DC Sports and they have helped my collection grow immensely over the years. They charge what it takes to get this guys to do a signing. I know Prince is a "star" (and my 3-year-old's favorite player), but considering his performance this season, the pricing just hit me as ridiculous. Like Dirk, I honestly have less of an issue with Miguel Cabrera's signing fee considering his performance over the past few years. Just my .02

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I think we will look back at cabrera and see it as a bargain. I mean, look at what Hank Aaron gets. Or other stars of that era that were top of their game, like Mays. Given what miggy has accomplished, it isn't out of line, and assuming he continues (and 10 years is a pretty good track record), his stuff will appreciate big time. Having said this, this hobby has gone from being accessible to just about anyone to being accessible only if you have significant disposable income to put toward it (or just roll the dice and chase free signings all over kingdom come). It's kind of like baseball cards. Years ago, kids could do it and buy packs at reasonable prices. Then Donruss and sportsflicks and upper deck came along and drove it up with "premium" cards. It made it difficult for your standard 10 year old to participate in the hobby. That's kind of what's happening in the autograph market, only with bigger dollars. I have said for a long time that once the predominant number of players have signatures like Prince, I'm done with the hobby. Why pay for something that looks like crap.

Edited by stanpapi

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Changing topics slightly, who knows where you can buy official MLB baseballs in the metro Detroit area cheaply. My dad has typically got it at Gibraltar because the retail stores are through the roof.

Any insight is appreciate. I always buy a box rather than a single ball.

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Other update:

Mentioned that out here that for $12.50, the Vancouver Canadians had five guys come to sign this year.

I got 3 of the 5.

Rollie Fingers - Not the most legible, but a very nice signature.

Tim Raines - Nice signature.

Larry Walker - again not the most legible, but a real nice signature.

Joe Carter - couldn't get a ticket. They sold out the game and it was the longest line I had ever seen.

Ernie Whitt - Though a Michigander, I didn't go as I didn't think he was worth it compared to the others. Whitt happened to be on back to back nights with Walker.

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Changing topics slightly, who knows where you can buy official MLB baseballs in the metro Detroit area cheaply. My dad has typically got it at Gibraltar because the retail stores are through the roof.

Any insight is appreciate. I always buy a box rather than a single ball.

Honestly just pick them up as needed at Dicks. They've gotten pricier over the last few years, but I don't know of a brick and mortar place cheaper. Online is probably your best bet. I just don't do it that way because I don't do a ton of baseballs.

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As far as fielder, yeah, 30K is a big number to most people. But to a guy making what prince is, it's almost a nuisance. Look at it this way-if you make 80K a year, it would be like DC asking you to sit in a mall for an hour, deal with people wanting pictures, sticking stuff in front of you to sign, etc. for the equivalent of $100. Does that interest you monetarily if you're making a normal wage? Probably not. That's what it's like for Prince at his income level. Which is probably why a lot of these guys just don't bother with paid signings anymore. $30K or $50K just isn't worth it to them.

A nuisance? This guy signs and poses for pictures for HOURS with people shoving stuff in his face after spring training practices...for FREE, he's probably laughing all the way to the bank. He eats the stuff up, like Inge, Hunter, Coke, they love interacting with the fans. What he'll make in an hour signing, isn't far off from what he makes playing an hour of baseball. I think your underestimating the $$ he'll rake from doing damn there nothing, I mean if it was a nuisance and he didn't need the $$, he wouldn't do it....like Verlander. And at 80k, a $100 for a one hour signing is more than you would make working for an hour, so yes, I would do it. :)

The part that I find a bit odd is that Prince has publicly stated that he signs a zillion autographs in person to drive the value of his signature down, so the secondary market doesn't benefit. He always seemed like a guy that wouldn't be letting a DC make money off of him.

Edited by Dirk Diggler

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Changing topics slightly, who knows where you can buy official MLB baseballs in the metro Detroit area cheaply. My dad has typically got it at Gibraltar because the retail stores are through the roof.

Any insight is appreciate. I always buy a box rather than a single ball.

I know you said Metro Detroit, but this has always been one of the best deals online:

RAWLINGS BASEBALLS

And, they are a Michigan based company (they do charge Michigan residents sales tax). I hope this helped!

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Sanchez and Infante are cancelled. Due to a conflict with another store. You guys are not stupid....

As far as MCSG goes. The owner tries to be reasonable and fair with pricing. Of course there is profit in signings, but he isn't in the business of bending people over. So once and while these things happen.

Edited by gleng2

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I just called Gibraltar and they said the Sanchez and Infante was cancelled, does anyone know if this is true.

Here is their response on facebook.....

"We have waited to post an update for the Sanchez/Infante signing because we still tried to make it happen at a decent price. Due to another store potentially doing the same signing three weeks later this signing will not take place now. We will not charge top dollar when we had a good deal in place prior to the other store getting involved."

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That's too bad. I thought the price for Anibal Sanchez was a little to good to be true. I'm going to guess $50 at DC Sports when it's announced.

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Changing topics slightly, who knows where you can buy official MLB baseballs in the metro Detroit area cheaply. My dad has typically got it at Gibraltar because the retail stores are through the roof.

Any insight is appreciate. I always buy a box rather than a single ball.

I've bought mine recently at my Target store. I think the last time I bought some (last month) they were still $15-16ish.

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Sanchez and Infante are cancelled. Due to a conflict with another store. You guys are not stupid....

As far as MCSG goes. The owner tries to be reasonable and fair with pricing. Of course there is profit in signings, but he isn't in the business of bending people over. So once and while these things happen.

Interesting. Here's the thing- this is a capitalist country. So players are going to go to where the fees are the highest. That's something that isn't exclusive to the autograph world. The consumer goes for the lowest price, and generally, the vendor tries to get the highest price. Sometimes vendors try to be in the middle to make it reasonable but still try to make a buck. You typically don't see this kind of conflict, so who knows whether the players decided to call it off with MCSG or if DC was really at fault. That's really none of our business. It is what it is- business. Personally, I'm not sure it does MCSG any good to come off sounding like they've been treated poorly on their FB page. That may drive other athletes away in the future. Sometimes things like this need to stay behind the scenes.

Having said this, I will be the first guy to say that it only benefits the collector to have more players in town other than DC. Frankly, DC concentrates far too much on current athletes for my taste at times. They occaisionally have an older hockey player or baseball player, but hey rarely go outside the former Detroit players on their rolodex (bobby Hull is one, but there aren't many others). Personally, I think Motor City should stick to what they were kind of good at- hockey. I imagine there will be alot of space to be had for all the promoters with the winter classic coming to town. DC will probably do their part by having their 97th signing in the last 2 years with Ted Lindsay (mild jab and sarcasm intended). But it would be nice to see other promoters bring in some different names (Hasek, Vernon, Sergei, Red Kelly, some other maple leafs, etc.). Maybe MCSG can fill that space.

Edited by stanpapi

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That's too bad. I thought the price for Anibal Sanchez was a little to good to be true. I'm going to guess $50 at DC Sports when it's announced.

I'll guess $69.

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I'll guess $69.

They split the difference on us :) . I figure everyone has DC bookmarked, but if not, details for Iglesias, Benoit, Sanchez, Infante, Fielder, Tuiasosopo, Gordie Howe and Magic Johnson can be found here:

DC Sports Signings

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Did anyone try for Cabrera at Valueland? Just curious what the response was like.

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They split the difference on us :) . I figure everyone has DC bookmarked, but if not, details for Iglesias, Benoit, Sanchez, Infante, Fielder, Tuiasosopo, Gordie Howe and Magic Johnson can be found here:

DC Sports Signings

The other big news there is that Sanchez is now exclusive with DC Sports. Great for DC to keep bringing these guys in, but I'm wondering when they are going to start pricing out their customers. In all honesty, DC Sports is kind of ruining the hobby for me (at least in terms of getting current Tigers) as they continue their stranglehold on exclusive rights.

It's nice to see the occasional disgust from fans on their Facebook news feed, but it looks like they keep selling these out...no end in sight!

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DC doesn't care about anything except money. Which is fine. But there comes a tipping point. And when you can buy Sanchez and fielder items for 25-50% of their price. People might start to realize. This isn't NYC or San Fran. There is money to be made. But the prices they are charging are stupid.

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I agree-- and have said it before and usually get jumped on by the DC supporters - (although I have nothing against DC)- I have tried to point out their pricing. If you look at the point that Motorcity had Sanchez line up (I know they didn't get him-it appears they got outbid) they intended to go out at $35 & $45 now DC has him and he's $59 & $79. Whether DC or Motorcity get him the COST is not that different - maybe $5 per autograph if DC outbid to get him.

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