Hi guys, first time poster.
        Im Pete from upstate NY and just now going to get into baseball autograph collecting. I have the great opportunity in starting this because of my location near Cooperstown NY.I am planning on attending the HOF weekend and would like to start my collection then. Now, I do not have an unlimited budget, but would like peoples opinion on which players may be good to start with. Im guessing that based on players age and health (ability to get future signings) would be a big factor. I would like to post the names of signers and would love if people would chime in on their opinion of who the begin with. I have purchased Official Major League Baseballs and have also purchased blue ball point pens and UV protection ball qubes. If you would/could post your top 10 in the order in which you would get them. Here is a list...in NO specific order.

Rod Carew
Al Kaline
John Smoltz
Mike Piazza
Wade Boggs  (also, available in Saratoga Springs in September)
Orlando Cepeda
Craig Biggio
Andre Dawson
Dennis Eckersely
Jim Rice
Brooks Robinson
Bruce Sutter
Ozzie Smith
Ryne Sandberg
Eddie Murray
Doc Gooden
Robin Yount
Tom Glavine
Frank Thomas
Tony LaRussa
Barry Larkin
Jim Leyritz
Roberto Alomar
Johnny Bench
Billy Williams
Dave Winfield
Whitey Herzog
Rickey Henderson
Fergie Jenkins
Gaylord Perry
Juan Marichal
Rollie Fingers
Pete Rose
Joe Morgan
Tony Perez

My purpose of starting my collection would be to have them worth something to leave for my daughter. I know they wont be worth anything near a Ty Cobb or a Babe Ruth, but you have to start some where...lol  Thanks for anyones input and ideas.

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Hi welcome,and great question (I'm burning out on the same old stuff). No Aaron,Mays or Frank Robinson?Some of this is personal preference but I would go with older guys first like Al Kaline and Brooks who are also a bit cheaper. I'm also a big Johnny Bench fan.Whitey Herzog if you want a manager is up there.Rickey Henderson is a tough one and I don't know how may signings Eddie Murray does (don't know if his attitude has softened either).Pete of course is the hit king so is essential.Of the rest I would go for the older players as most will be around for quite a while still.Good luck!

Right now I am limited to those who will be in Cooperstown this month. Would love to have an Hank Aaron and Willie Mays.

If it were me this is the 10 I would get in order based on who I like. I have most of them already. None of them will ever be really valuable so I based in on my personal preference.

1. Rickey Henderson
2. Eddie Murray
3. Dave Winfield
4. Dennis Eckersley
5. Ryne Sandberg
6. Robin Young
7. Ozzie Smith
8. Rod Carew
9. Johnny Bench
10. Pete Rose

And thinking about it, I forgot to include Rod Carew.Most of the pitchers don't excite me too much but I will throw in Morgan and Sandberg to round it off.

Yeah I'm not real big on the pitchers either. Did like Eckersley. He had that closer run where he was just automatic.....except when Gibson took him deep.

just a suggestion, having old timers sign on current MLB is not as desirable as having them on vintage balls, with vintage signatures.  From an investment stand point.  So if you are just looking to get some in person signatures, then as suggested previously, I would just get my favorite players knowing the value will likely not increase much.

Your other option is to study some of the older players, and keep looking on ebay, as once in a while, you will find bargains on vintage baseball. I have found numerous.

terrier8hof - i don't post often but always look at your posts/advice....you make sense on the issues and i think you are spot on here....looking at that long list of older plays from the past, those guys do demand a lot of money....it won't take long to accumulate signatures that will likely not escalate in value that much in the future....young kids today don't really know or appreciate some of those players....and you are correct - buy who YOU like...they won't be around forever...and if you don't know who they are or watched them play, you really missed out on the greatest of baseball....

again...great sensible response on your part...


thanks Tim.  I am a collector of signed baseballs, and while I certainly applaud the folks that prefer in person signatures, when I see the word "investment", it certainly changes the game.

Personally, I feel a lot better about finding a vintage Johnny Bench or Sandy Koufax on a Giles or Feeney ball, for example.  And if you are patient, you can gather an impressive collection for likely less than you would pay at one of these shows.

valid point...perhaps I will search for some older baseballs for the older players.   Should I focus on purchasing some more desirable players such as Mantle/Mays/Williams/Aaron?

If you're a Yankee fan, try to get a core 4 set going.  Could cost you under $1000.A Alternatively, you could start of getting Mickey Mantle, Joe DiMaggio, and Ted Williams, the big 3- could also cost under $1000 if you are a patient.  Once I completed both sets I started buying baseballs signed by members of the 500 HR club and investing in rookie players.  Bought a Bryce Harper and Mike Trout for around $75 each before they became relevant.  Recently, a year ago I bought two Aaron Judge baseballs for $120 total, prices now are crazy for him.  

Terrier is right in that the vintage baseballs matching the time period of when the ball player actually played are much more desirable.  You could save the modern baseballs for the guys playing right now.

Another thing to consider is that generically signed baseballs from common show signers are mass produced. Long after these guys are gone, they will still be in high supply. As Terrier mentioned, you are better getting a playing era signed ball, or a rookie style signature. No matter how many they sign for Steiner these days, they won't be making the vintage stuff anymore. For instance, I won't touch a modern Jeter signature. Mass produced slop. I only buy rookie era signatures.

Money is the other consideration. Show signing fees are often more than you will ever recoup from the signature. It may be worth it for the experience and the photo, but don't expect that your show signed ball will ever pay off as an investment.

If you really want to get show signed balls, try to get a unique inscription or at least HOF, etc... something to make it rise above a totally generic signed modern ball.

Also, in my opinion, multiple signed items are a waste of time and money, for instance a ball or bat signed by a bunch of random HOFers. It may look cool on the wall, but they sell for peanuts on the secondary market. The whole is much LESS than the sum of it's parts. 

The most important thing is to have fun, but also maintain realistic expectations. Collecting modern show autographs is a poor financial investment.

well stated Steve




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