(Greetings. I've returned from a few days away. During those days, I didn't buy one thing or view one scintilla of college football. But I know I'm still an American citizen because I ate like the world was ending tomorrow. Now that I'm back, it's time for Cardboard Appreciation. This is the 217th in a series):
Autographs. I value them, yet I can't be bothered to acquire them.
Does that make sense? It does to me. Let's see if I can explain.
I do enjoy an autographed card. I like the idea that a major league player spent a couple of seconds to sign a baseball card that I own. I feel a connection to the player -- no matter how slight -- because he signed my card.
But I view those cards almost as an "extra" in my collection. They aren't the reason why I collect. Autographed cards are almost like the gimmick in my collection. If I were to give someone a tour through my cards, I'd go through all of my sets and then all of my Dodgers and then -- oh, yeah, here are some flashy autographs of some guys I keep on the side.
No doubt that unnamed tourist would be especially interested in the autographs -- far more interested than in whatever sets I completed. Autographed cards speak to the memorabilia collector, and to people who don't even collect. A signature almost validates the hobby for them.
But me? I can take autographed cards or leave them.
In the early years of this blog, I collected some autographed cards through the mail. They are the autographed cards that I value the most, because the player was important to me and they took the time to respond to my request. But I don't do that anymore. I decided that it was not where my collecting interests lie.
As for flagging a player down at a ballpark or standing in line at a memorabilia show? Sorry, there is nothing in my personality that would allow me to do that. Not even when I was younger.
Aside from all of the line-standing and pleading, what would happen if someone snapped a photo of me doing that and then placed it on a mass-produced baseball card?
What do those folks on the card above think 22 years later of how they looked? It must be like viewing your old family photographs. Except a whole bunch of strangers can see them, too.
That's why the back of this card shouldn't read like this:
It should read like this:
These are the chances you take asking for autographs.