Haven’t been paying much attention to the blogs lately. Been busy failing badly at NaNoWriMo again this year. After literally years of trying to figure out how to start the dang thing, Somewhere Out There IS finally started and has an actual direction at least. I’m 10000+ words in and know where the story is headed, so I guess I’ve got that going for me, which is nice.
That’s not why I’m here though. I’m here to talk about autographs. Just stumbled upon a post over at Nachos Grande, and even though I’m way behind, I thought I’d belatedly answer his questionnaire. This is timely too. I just pulled a sweet Brandon Phillips (on-card) autograph from a pack of 2009 UD Goudey from Target’s $1.59 bin on Sunday (it’s ridiculous how many nice pulls I’ve had from various $1.59 bins over the years). It serves as an excellent tie-in to the lost art of the veteran player autograph VOTC was recently bemoaning as well. Anyway, survey says!
1.) What is the best autograph you own?
I’ll assume this means favorite, and that’s an easy one. 2005 Upper Deck Hall of Fame Seasons Billy Williams Auto/Bat #’ed 9/15. Perhaps the single most beautiful sticker auto set ever released. It just oozes class.
2.) What is the best autograph you’ve ever pulled from a pack of cards.
There is no doubt I have to go with my 2008-09 Fleer Derrick Rose Signature Approval Autograph from a 60%-off clearanced blaster from K-Mart. There is no question anymore, it’s easily my greatest retail pull ever, and part of my first ever definitely completed trifecta. Second would have to be my 2005 Upper Deck Legends Tony Dorsett SP auto, from a wonderfully disorganized little comic & card shop in the Quad Cities. I pulled it awhile before my blogging days and I didn’t find any posts about. So maybe I should look into posting about it one of these days.
3.) What’s the worst autograph you’ve ever pulled from a pack of cards?
I don’t even remember the guy’s name. Nachos Grande might actually have it though. I know it was a Red. I recall the other four guys in the pack all being pretty good, if not superstars, and then this schlub that barely cracked the lineup was the big hit. I was just happy to at least get something though. It was the last pack in a pretty terrible 15 pack for $9.99 cube at Target. A quick search of COMC tells me it was from a pack of 2005 Donruss Team Heroes and that Jacob Cruz may have been the guy I pulled.
4.) Do you try to get autographs through the mail? If so, what sort of success (or failure) stories do have?
I’ve been wanting to try this but have never gotten around to it. So I guess the failure story would be my own laziness and/or shyness.
5.) Who was the subject of your first ever autograph?
I don’t remember which one came first for sure, and I don’t have or know whatever became of two of them, but there are three I remember from my youth. Bozo the Clown appeared at the local mall for an autograph signing, I got an autograph from an area TV news guy (I want to say this was a school field trip, but I dunno for sure), and my dad took me to see the King and His Court own a team of local radio and newspaper guys & gals in softball and we got a hat signed by the whole team (this is the one that’s still around, because it isn’t mine and pops can actually keep track of things reasonably well). The news guy was a mildly interesting case. He had us sign our autographs for him too, lol.
6.) Do you actively collect any autographs (certain players, teams, brands, etc)?
I try to get my players of course. And I have some random Cubbies from back when I was able to be freer with my money. Brand doesn’t really matter too much. As long as it’s visually appealing, I’ll happily take it.
7.) Which is better: Autographs or Relics?
Well, I do like relics a lot more than your average collector. A good patch/prime swatch is always welcome, and I dig the odd swatches. I recently added a race-used tire and a Stadium Seat in my not-terribly-serious-but-still-kinda-there quest to land every type of relic card possible. I also have shoe, football helmet, laundry tag, face mask, hat, base, baseball, bikini and lingerie (what?) amongst my lesser-seen relic collection. But autographs, you can’t beat autographs. They have a certain level of intimacy about them… Just something about writing one’s name I’d guess, even in sticker form. Seeing Shawon Dunston Jr.’s twitpics from signing that ridiculous amount of stickers… hey, the guys might not touch the card itself, but those dumb things still gotta be signed.
8.) What do you think of cut autos?
Love the idea. Don’t always care for the execution. Checks are awesome, index cards are awesome. Things that aren’t a part of something bigger make for a great cut auto. But don’t cut up letters or documents or signed photos to make a cut auto. I’m don’t get as upset as many people do over younger people having cut autos. Life is unpredictable, and unfortunately bad things happen sometimes. Still though, you might ease up a bit though, eh companies? Cutting up an autograph card you yourself made just last year to make a cut auto… Really, topps? That’s pretty pathetic. Like I said though, when they manage to get them right, cut autos are one of the absolute best pieces of memorabilia you could ever hope to own.
9.) What is your favorite autograph design (say in the last 5 years)?
It’s a little past 5 years old now, but see question 1. That is a hard design to beat. I also love me some Sweet Spot/Shot. The autos on embedded ball/puck/mini helmet are gorgeous, even though certain years have been known to fade. UD Black has some amazing autos too. I’m partial to the Lustrous and Game Day Lineup autos myself.
10.) If you could get the autograph of any five people (dead or alive), who would you want a signature from (and why)?
Walter Payton- The greatest running back of all-time played for my team and finished his career just before I was old enough to really start getting into sports, and he died way too young.
John Lennon- One of the most legendary musicians ever. Helped influence and define a generation. Seemed like a pretty cool dude too. Also died way too young.
Any influential comic book creators from the medium’s earlier days- Jack Kirby, Bill Finger, Stan Lee, Will Eisner, Jerry Siegel, Joe Shuster, Gardner Fox, etc. Any of those guys. I’m a huge geek, and comics are a big part of that. They set my imagination afire, and I would love to have an autograph of any of the influential people that built comic books into such an amazing medium.
Frank Frazetta- One of the greatest artist ever, period. I could never hope to have even a fraction of his talent, but great art still inspires me to maximize whatever skill I do have.
Roberto Clemente- Sensing a theme amongst many of my choices? Also died way too young. He was something I dream of being. He made good, and turned around and used his fame to make the world a better place, and did it in such a way as to look effortless. That is so amazingly cool. If I should ever be able to make good myself, I want to do that. I want to be smart and cool and use my good fortune to bestow good fortune on others.
There you go. That’s my autograph answers. I really had to some legitimate thought into it, but I think it was worthwhile. We laughed, we cried, we shared some great memories, and we learned a little something about ourselves in the process. It was fun, oh my.
I dunno when I’ll be back, but don’t consider this a goodbye…