Friday, February 29, 2008

George H.W. Bush Autographs - Cont'd

The George H.W. Bush autograph session seems to continue. Last month I blogged about an email I received from for this dealer special.

I received emails this week from the guy who originally sent the email via the subscriber list. According to him, there are still items for purchase and additional items that were not on their "catalogue." I put that in quotes because his "catalogue" was a 4-page Word Document in bold, italics, all capped.

Again, I asked him for photo proof of the items and of Bush signing the item. And again, he refused saying that it providing that evidence could cause forgery. I don't really understand the forgery issue by providing evidence of Bush signing the item. The reason the autograph collecting community requires this is because of forgery.

There have been some good discussions on the signingshotline bulletin boards about this subject too. Some people have bought the items and say they look great. While others (myself included) are looking for the dealer to prove his dealings are legitimate.

I don't know if he's legit or not, but I know that (personally) I haven't seen enough proof that he is legitimate for me to spend my money on his items. I know, it's unfortunate that our industry needs to prove innocence, but that's where we are.

My recommendation to anyone buying an autograph item from a private signing:

  • Get photo proof of your item getting signed.
  • Get photo proof of previous items being signed by the guest.
  • Review the return policy.
  • Can you use a credit card instead of a paying via personal check?
  • What is the COA? It should be more than a special certificate.
  • Is the item JSA authenticated?
And at what point is "" responsible?
They sold their subscriber base to him so he can email the group. So far, signingshotline has not responded to any of my emails or said anything on the message boards. They are hurting the integrity of the industry and their site if they have no opinion, didn't do any due dilligence or wash their hands of the situation.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Boxing Autographs Growing in Popularity?

Are boxing autographs growing in popularity? It appears there is a market for them.

The March CSA Show in Chantilly, VA has more former boxers signing autographs than former baseball players. Buster Douglas and others will be there signing.

The CSA Show follows last year fall's MAB Magic Moniker's show in northern NJ. That show had several former boxers like Jake Lamotta and Hurricane Carter.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

2007 SP Authentic Issues - Laloosh

*guest columnist; Laloosh*

I have been collecting the 2007 SP Authentic By the Letters Brian Burres of the AAA Baltimore Orioles. I think they are a cool card. They state there are 75. I am assuming that they mean 75 total not 75 of each letter? However, I have two 34/75. They are two different letters (K&R). There was a question in Beckett Jan. 2008 with Topps doing this but not Upper Deck.

Anyone know if it 75 of each letter? Or is this a screw-up?

Can anyone help Laloosh?

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Over-rated

Remember when the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue was a big deal? It was so big and controversial that it made the national nightly news every year.

Our culture couldn't wait to see if Elle was on the cover again. Not anymore - everyone on the poll question said the SI swimsuit issue is over-rated. Now, it's just a "oh yeah, another guy magazine with a pretty girl on the cover."

Why is that? Is it over-rated now because of other magazines like Maxim and others? Is it over-rated because we now have the internet? Or on a deeper level . . . has our society over the years become so desensitized that the issue isn't a big deal?

Monday, February 25, 2008

Want to be a Sports Card Photographer?

Wax Heaven has a great interview with sports card photograph Paul Gierhart. Definitely check it out, it's a great read.

Thank you Wax Heaven for submitting one of my questions!

Sunday, February 24, 2008

NAXCOM Capitalizing on eBay's Complete Nonsense

Maybe eBay/PayPal has some serious competition?! The Sports Collectibiles News blog has a great story on Naxcom taking advantage of eBay's poor customer service.

I hope eBay/PayPal take a hit with the arrogance they've been giving to their core client base. I talked about some of this with my post last month.

I haven't used Naxcom before, but I may now!

Friday, February 22, 2008

Triumph Still Making Promises

The Triumph autograph company is making its return to Edison, NJ this spring. At the junior varsity run Dallas show every Triumph and Prova Authentication employee bragged about how much more professional their NJ shows are than the Dallas show. Hopefully I'll find out from someone how if this is true.

They promoted 50+ Cowboy greats for the Dallas show and barely delivered half of that. Their NJ show promises 30 former greats and even that seems out of reach for them. And what point to reach the "bait and switch" plateau?

I know, I know, ... someone will crack about "their isn't 30 Cowboy greats," but that's not my point. My point is that Triumph and other show companies shouldn't promise a product they can't deliver and as fans, we need to hold them accountable.

Following the Dallas show, I sent numerous emails to Triumph - I'm still waiting on their response.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Why this Hobby is Great

I don't know the culture and people of other hobbies, but I know that this one rocks! You get to meet some great people in this hobby.

I got an email the other day from a someone I met on an autograph replated message board. I corresponded with thim through email and talked to him at the Triumph show in Dallas in December.

And now we correspond about autographs shows and if one us can get an autograph for the other. How cool is that?

At that same autograph show in Dallas, I met some nice people from Vermont. There was a date/time change for someone they had an autograph ticket for. They couldn't make the new time, so I got the autograph for them and mailed it to them when I got home. A few days later i got a nice note and some fresh Vermont Maple Syrup... Very Cool!

Those are just two reasons why this hobby is a lof fun. What stories do you have?

Monday, February 18, 2008

Expect a Giant Increase in Inscription Charges

If you're looking for NY football Giants autographs, you can expect to pay a little more.

After their Super Bowl 42 upset victory, NY Giants autographs are in greater demand and you can expect to see more of them on the autograph circuit. The Triumph Football (un)Spectacular show in NJ has quite a few Giants lined up... inlcuding Eli Manning.

Expect inscription charges to go higher considering most will want, "SB XLII Champs" or "SB XLII MVP" in Eli Manning's case. A quick look at the Triumph site has Eli's inscription charge of $75. That's much higher than before but I was surprised it wasn't higher. Brother Peyton's autograph inscription charge a year ago was double that amount at a Mounted Memories show last March.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Archie Manning's Autograph Demand

Question: What do good commercials, community involvement and two Super Bowl winning QB sons do to the Archie's autograph value?
Answer: Quite a bit!

I thought about this while at the Super Bowl Experience in Phoenix a week or so ago. I heard Archie was signing at the Burger King booth so I grabbed a spot in line. After seeing the line get huge in a matter of minutes I began to ask myself why it was such a huge line.

Archie was a good player, kind of exciting, and stayed out of trouble. But should he be commanding this kind of reception in an autograph line?

I'll admit, if Peyton or Eli never played in the NFL. . . I probably wouldn't know much about Archie Manning and probably wouldn't have jumped in line to get his autograph.

Is there another father in sports that has this same situation?
Ken Griffey Sr? The late Bobby Bonds?

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Shake Hands Like a Man

I'm a hand shaker.

  • You meet someone new - shake their hand.
  • Haven't seen someone in a while - shake their hand.
  • Make a deal or agreement with someone - shake their hand.
That said, in the past week I've shaken more silk rags than man hands! Doesn't anyone lift a weight, play a sport or develop some kind of callus?

Memo to Men: Stop using so much lotion and use your hands to do something rather just type on keyboard. Shake hands like a man! Argh.

Somewhere This Man is Smiling

Is there anyone laughing harder these days than former Red Sox General Manager Dan Duquette? Duquette must be having a great time with these Roger Clemens hearings. How many people do you think he's said, "see I told you so!"
For those that don't remember, Duquette was the Red Sox General Manager who was ridiculed for not re-signing Roger Clemens to the Boston Red Sox. Duquette (in)famously said, "we had hoped to keep him in Boston during the twilight of his career." At the end of the '96 season, Clemens was coming off of back-to-back seasons where he only won 10 games hadn't won more than 11 since 1992.

Since then, Clemens met his new trainer, discovered the fountain of youth, and now sits before Congress awaiting perjury charges. He who laughs last....

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Biggest Super Bowl Loss

The score doesn't have to be one-sided to be considered the worst Super Bowl loss in the history of the game. Last week's poll question was about the Patriots' loss to the Giants in Super Bowl 42.

Super Bowl XX was bad for New England the Bills' 52-17 loss to Dallas in Super Bowl XXVII was huge too. But I think this loss by New England is the biggest loss of them all.

Why? I think it's easy to see if you just look at the teams and statistics on paper. The #1 team in NFL history, the only 18-0 team was playing a team who barely made the playoffs. And the team that barely made the playoffs won. Now, I'm not taking anything away from the Giants, their fans, or their accomplishment. It's a great win for them, but I think it's a bigger loss for the Patriots.

I reserve the right to change my mind next year. For example, if New England wins XLIII, then this year's loss isn't that bad. But if they start to slip, like other teams have after losing a Super Bowl (Bills, Chargers, Raiders, etc.), then I don't think there is any doubt that this is the biggest Super Bowl loss in history.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

When You Have the Autograph of a Jerk

Chris at the Gavel Chat blog has a great entry about, "Is Your Hero a Jerk." It's a great article about the frustrations and disappointments we can have when we finally meet our football or baseball hero.

I heard numerous stories about Emmitt Smith when I was at the Triumph Show in Dallas a few weeks ago.

Check out the Gavel Chat blog on this subject.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Hit King Hitting the Road

Pete Rose is usually a staple of the Forum Shops @ Caesar's Palace, but lately he's been doing more road trips.

Pete signs with the Stars Live 365 company about 180 days a year @ Caesar's Palace in Las Vegas. Through the years I've seen him several times to get baseballs, photos, a jersey, and a bat.

MAB has landed him at a few events in the Northeast and this time I found him in Pittsburg, PA. Last weekend he was signing at the Ross Park Mall @ BC Sports.

In an era when athletes just scribble something down and barely notice you (see Roy Williams example at Super Bowl Experience), Pete is a great change. If you're a baseball fan and like Pete, I'd definitely recommend getting his autograph.

Every time I've met him, he's been great. He shakes your hand, talks sports, and customizes your autograph with anything you request. This time he talked to us about his preference to bat 1st in the line-up because he believes you get an extra at bat every game! Obviously Pete has plenty of flaws and isn't perfect, but he's very gracious and nice to his fans.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Super Bowl One Week Later

I waited a week before writing about the Super Bowl because I wanted the whole experience to sink in a bit.

My impressions of the event are the same as they were 7 minutes after it ended.

The Super Bowl is more than a game, it's a life event. And people who don't get that, have never witnessed a Super Bowl with families cheering their favorite team in the league's biggest game.

I can't remember the last time I saw that many familes standing together with arms around each other hugging, smiling, laughing, crying, and posing for pictures. I saw father/sons, brothers, husbands/wives, fathers/daughters, and 3-generation fans celebrating together.

A father/son sat in front of me (Giants fans) during the game. Immediately after the game ended, the son ran from his seat. He came back 5 minutes later with NY Giants Super Bowl Champion hats and t-shirts! I was more than happy to take a picture of them together in the new championship gear.

Sports is more than remember how many interceptions Steve Grogan threw during New England's last Super Bowl loss. It's a moment when families come together, put aside their differences, and put their arms around each other.

Friday, February 8, 2008

eBay Changing Feedback Policy - Sellers at Risk

The feedback system on eBay will be changing this spring - although I'm not sure if it is for the better.

Beginning in May, sellers who have bad experiences with buyers will not be able to leave negative feedback. EBay is eliminating the ability for sellers to leave negative feedback! How does this promote an open community forum??

A one-way feedback system seems to be a disaster waiting to happen. The feedback system is supposed to encourage an open community ... this can't happen with one way communication. EBay's feedback system was first introduced in 1996 to promote an honest and open market environment.

This really seems to put the sellers at risk. I'm surprised eBay is going this route since it's the sellers who pay their bills! I'm not a eBay expert or eBay watch-dog. I'm sure the Gavel Chat or eBay strategies blogs will have more on this.

I think the online community needs some alternatives to eBay and PayPal. They seem to have forgotten how they go to where they are.

NY Post Back Page - Feb. 8, 2008

This is why the NY Post rocks! Here's the back page for Friday, Feb. 8, 2008.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Autographs @ NFL Experience

I scored a couple of nice autographs last week at the NFL Super Bowl Experience (despite the poor Topps showing).

The only one I got at the Topps autograph pavilion was Todd McFarlane. I knew he was going to be there because his booth and website said he was scheduled for 2:00 pm.

I came prepared with a baseball and the first Spiderman comic that he did. They both look awesome and he was really cool. It's hard to tell on the baseball I have pictured here, but he added, "HOF NEVER!" with his signature.

The Burger King booth was awesome. I got Roy Williams (of the Cowboys) on a Dallas mini-helmet and on an Oklahoma mini-helmet. He barely noticed my existance when signing the items and signed "Williams" as William$." Classy.

I also got Archie Manning at the BK Booth to sign a Saints mini-helmet with "GEAUX SAINTS" inscription. At the Airforce Booth I got Braylon Edwards and Chad Johnson signing 8x10s. Edwards seemed cool to everyone but Chad Johnson couldn't wait to get out.

Overall I think they are good autos - worth the price of admission.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Elway/Emmitt Smith Super Bowl Forum

Sprint did a great job all week getting fans in the Phoenix area excited for the Super Bowl (although it didn't take much).

They hosted sever "VIP" functions during the week:

  • NFL Experience After Dark VIP Reception
  • Backstage tour of media
  • NFL Block Party access
  • John Elway/Emmitt Smith forum

Q: How do you get to be a Sprint VIP?
A: Log on to your account online... that's it!

I went to the Elway/Smith forum. It was awesome - like you were sitting in the living room talking sports two great NFL players. John Elway came across very personable, friendly and was very honest with his answers. Emiit came across as pompus, aloof and a little too proud of himself. But it was still great to hear him speak.

The event was hosted by the NFL Network and the audience of 200 was able to ask about 10 questions.

The best audience question was for John Elway, "John, if ABC approached you to do 'Dancing with the Stars' would you do it?" Emmitt just put his head down and John said, "no way."

The Sprint/Nextel CEO was there to start the forum. He provided the line of the night. When testing his mic he asked, "can you hear me now?" Whoops, wrong cell company!

The forum concluded with one fan winning 2 tickets to the Super Bowl! It pays to pay your cell phone bill!

Burger King Tops Topps @ Super Bowl Experience

Once again the Topps autograph pavilion was pathetic, unorganized, and clueless.

They expected fans to stand in line for hours before they even knew who was going to be signing! Ridiculous.

The phone number Topps provided fans to call for a list of atheletes who were going to be there wasn't updated often and it gave you a list of players that were all over the NFL Experience... not just at the autograph pavilion.

Surprisingly the Burger King booth was awesome! They had much bigger name players than Topps (Chris Carter, Darrel Green, Roy Williams, Carson Palmer, Archie Manning) and they knew who was going to be showing at specific times. Awesome job for BK!

If you are going to be at a Super Bowl Experience or All-Star Game Fan Fest, I'd recommend checking out the BK pavilion instead of Topps.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Super Bowl Experience Report

I just got back from the Super Bowl and I spent a lot of time at the Topps Card Show and Autograph Pavilion.

I thought there were plenty of dealer tables at the show with a good amount of variety. There were cards, art and memorabilia. A few table dealt a lot with ticket stubbs and ticket stubb reprints.

Collecting ticket stubbs is growing in popularity. I've been seeing more tables deal with ticket stubbs than I do McFarlane figures. I only have the stubbs from games that I've attended, but I think this is a great way to capture the moment and time of the event. The art on the ticket stubbs say a lot about the mood of the game and atmosphere.