Getting The Best Autograph

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Its 2:00 p.m. and your standing in line at your favorite card show waiting to get an autograph.  Your fingers are tired from ripping wax, and your stomach is full with what you hope was a lukewarm hot dog you ate for lunch.  The last decision that you have to make for the day is what do you want the athlete to sign your item with.  What an athlete signs your item with can really affect the way the signature turns out.  Here is a list of common items that collectors get autographed and what type of writing instrument works best for that item.

  •  Baseball = Ballpoint pen
  • Football = Sharpie Marker
  • Basketball = Sharpie Marker
  • Hockey Puck = Sharpie Marker
  • Golf Ball = Sharpie Marker
  • Photograph = Sharpie Marker
  • Baseball Bat = Sharpie Marker
  • Sports Card = Sharpie Marker
  • Hat = Sharpie Marker
  • Jersey/Pants = Sharpie Marker
  • Helmets = Sharpie Marker
  • Index Cards = Ballpoint pen or Sharpie Marker
  • Pennants = Sharpie Marker
  • Shoes = Sharpie Marker
  • Poster = Sharpie Marker
  • Tickets = Sharpie Marker
  • Bobblehead = Sharpie Marker
  • Glove = Sharpie Marker

I guess you can see why Sharpie has a display at the National Sports Collectors Convention every year.

Sports Card Fun Contest Entry

I’m sure that you have heard by now about Sports Card Fun’s writing contest that ends on December 7, 2008.  I just thought I would share my entry for you to read:

            My favorite type of baseball cards to collect are relics of older players and here’s why.

            Over the years I have been slowly picking up memorabilia cards of players from baseball’s past.  I find it fascinating that you can own a piece of bat, jersey, or pants from some of baseball best players.  A goal of mine was to own a piece of memorabilia from each of the inaugural Baseball Hall of Fame class of 1936 which included Babe Ruth, Ty Cobb, Honus Wagner, Walter Johnson, and Christy Mathewson.  It took a few years, but I was able to get a Ruth 2002 Fleer Fall Classics Bat SP #’ed/25, Cobb 2004 Topps Tribute Bat, Wagner 2003 Upper Deck SP Legendary Cuts Pants, and a Mathewson 2005 Upper Deck Trilogy Pants #’ed/75 added to my collection.  No card manufacturer has released a Walter Johnson memorabilia card yet because his relics are so difficult to obtain, but I was able to find a Johnson 2004 Upper Deck Sweet Spot Commemorative Patch #’ed/10 that works well.  There is one card in my collection that stands out the most.  That would be my Willie Mays 2001 Fleer Tradition Stitches in Time Negro League Worn jersey card.  This is the only Mays relic card that contains an actual jersey swatch from his Birmingham Black Barons uniform.  Trying to find a regular Mays jersey card isn’t all that hard, but the Stitches in Time cards are hard to spot.  Some other old relic cards I own include a Napoleon Lajoie Topps Tribute bat, Mickey Mantle Sweet Spot jersey, and a Jim Thorpe Playoff Absolute jersey.  I am a big fan of the 2002 Topps T206 relic set.  That set contains old relics of players such as Jimmy Collins and John McGraw.  There are at least two “holy grail” cards I would like to add to my collection, but just haven’t seen or were to expensive at the time I found them.  The first would be the “Shoeless” Joe Jackson 2001 Upper Deck SP Legendary Cuts bat, and the second would be the 2002 Topps T206 Honus Wagner bat. 

            Believe it or not, most of my old relic cards have been purchased in person at either my local card shops or attending a few shows.  One of my favorite shows, the Philadelphia Sports Card and Memorabilia Show, usually has a dealer from New York that always has a few glass cases full of old relics.  That is where I saw the Joe Jackson Legendary Cuts bat card for the first time in person.  Browsing through cases and finding a relic card of an older player is fun, even if you never heard of the player.  Collecting old relics connects you to a simpler time, when baseball was still in its infancy.