Autograph... Just the very word gets my blood pumping. Anyone who knows me knows that I have been a long time collector of autographs from all sorts of people far and wide. I have collected autographs from actors (James Earl Jones, Betty White) to political figures (George Bush, Newt Gingrich) to baseball players (Todd Frazier, Ernie Banks, Al Kaline) and many other sports figures.
The question about autographs that is hard to answer is “Why does the general public like to get an autograph from what we consider “famous” people?”
I have my thoughts on why we chase after those signatures. Maybe it is because for a brief moment we have that cool brush with fame and want something to remember it by. Could it be because we hope that one day the item we get signed might be worth millions (or at least 100s). Another reason might be the historical aspect of meeting a world known political person. Whatever the reason there is and always will be people out there willing to do or pay just about anything for something signed by the person that they look up to. There is a certain feeling connected with obtaining an autograph from a person you admire that is hard to describe.
For those who have never participated in one of these in store or public signings, you are missing out.
I have seen many people over the years experiencing this autograph joy for the 1st time. One of those moments was when I was with my wife at a Chris Daughtry concert. After the show he came out and signed autographs for a bit. It was so much fun for me to see my wife change from a 20 something woman to a 13-year-old girl before my eyes. I knew that feeling…I had felt that feeling many years before that night.
I have an incredible memory of the time way back in 1990 when I met Ken Griffey Jr. at a card show in my hometown of Grand Blanc, Michigan. Our local card shop was putting on a card show at the high school and was selling tickets to meet Mr Griffey for $5.00. (I know! Only $5.00! Whoa!) I was 13 years old at the time and I remember the feeling of excitement while waiting in the line getting closer and closer to Mr Griffey. My palms were sweating, my knees were weak…I was so nervous because this was my first brush with a celebrity. I remember walking up to the table when it was my turn, handed him my 1990 Fleer RC and stood there in awe as he signed his beautiful flowing signature in bright blue sharpie across my bright white and yellow card. He asked; How I was doing? Did I like baseball? Was I enjoying the show and collecting cards? All I think I could say was “Yeah…Thank you!” and I walked away from the table with my card in hand. I was hooked. Completely addicted to the autograph high. This sort of high is not something that I could explain too well, it has to be felt.
I hope that if there is anyone out there that you are a fan of, you just admire, or love their contribution to the world today that you get a chance to meet that person, shake their hand and maybe, just maybe, get an autograph to remember that moment by. Life has a lot of moments that we think are special but you will always remember your 1st autograph!
Feel free to leave a comment of your 1st autograph experience.
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