Hi Everyone,

Thought I would share a fun story about my first autograph experience and then open it up to the community to share your stories about your first autograph and/or the specific experience you had obtaining it.

Here it goes....

When I was seven or eight years old, one of my best friends invite me to a Kane County Cougars baseball game (Single A Affiliate for I believe the Florida Marlins at the time). I was not only beyond excited to go see a professional baseball game, but was also ecstatic to have a chance to grab my first real in person autograph.

So -The day before the game I went with my mom to buy an Official National League ball from Sportsmart (National League was because I am a loyal Cubs fan). I remember how excited I was to buy a real big league ball and can remember the exact smell out of the cardboard box.

Game day came and my friend's dad picked me up from my Chicago suburban home for the hour drive to the stadium in Geneva, IL. We allotted plenty of time for us to get there about an hour early to snag some player autographs. Holding my pearl white ball and blue bic pen in the backseat of the car, I couldn't wait for the opportunity to get my first scribbles.

Unfortunatley, disaster hit. Halfway through the car ride down - we ended up in a traffic jam. By the time we finally got to the stadium, first pitch had arrived - and I was completely devastated. As we took our seats, the only thing I could only think about the missed autograph opportunity.

Completely down in the dumps, my friends dad saw me holding my unsigned baseball, and immediately he went into action. Mid way through the game, he got up from his seat, grabbed my ball, and told me to wait for a few minutes.

As I sat around waiting and waiting for a micrale, he came back with a smile on my face. He gave me back my ball, and sure enough signed on the sweet spot, #17 Nate Robinson. My first autograph! It completely made my night. My friends dad told me that he was able to talk to walk down to the dugout and ask the clubhouse manager to grab an autograph from the star Cougars player. I was instantly the happiest kid at the park. For years I proudly displayed it in my room. Without further ado, here it is (I later added some other random minor leaguers as you see on top):

...So you may be wondering who this Nate Robinson guy is. Did he make it to the show? Well, a few years ago I found that ball in a box asked myself that same question. So I did a bit of research on that star player. Why did he write his number before his name? Also, there was no Nate's to be found on any Cougar's roster. Strange.

Finally, after the failed research, I texted my buddy who I went to the game with that night. What was the real story behind my first autograph?

His response - "Oh that autograph? Yeah, my dad took your ball, went to the bathroom and scribbled a random name on it"

Looks like my first autograph was a forgery. However, that forgery is by far the most memorable piece in my collection.


Would love to hear your stories on a memorable first autograph, the story behind it, or simply who it was.



Views: 383

Comment by Jason Strecker on March 21, 2016 at 2:16pm

Funny story. I bet there's more like that than we would think. Our friends and family don't like to disappoint when tasked to get autographs.

There was a similar story in the Mark Allen Baker's sports autograph book. He noted that it was Baseball HOF weekend in 1989 and a father or grandfather couldn't get autographs at the hotel so he forged some autographs on a baseball for his family member. When Mark asked 'why' the man said he would look like a hero in the kid's eyes when he took the autographed ball home.

Comment by JJ on March 21, 2016 at 2:38pm

Nate Rolison (who wore #17 at Kane County) was a Marlins prospect.  The autograph appears to somewhat resemble his signature.

Comment by Corey Moylan on March 21, 2016 at 2:53pm

JJ - That's a great find!!! looks like my research a few years back was pretty spotty.

I looked at Nate's signature further and what from what I could find I think the one I have still a bit off. The #17 in front of the name screams to me that a dad probably signed it (plus he claimed to have gotten it mid way through the game) :) Btw, here's a picture of the sweet swinging Nate in his Cougars outfit back in 1996 (the year I went):

Comment by Chad B on March 23, 2016 at 8:15am

I believe my first autograph was Willie Stargell. He was at an area show signing. I didn't really know who he was but knew he had his own baseball card and was told he was in or going to be in the hall of fame. That was good enough for me. I still have that signed card in the collection.

Comment by Corey Moylan on March 23, 2016 at 8:28am

Please post your 'Pops' card if you have it around! Funny that the first one's are always memorable, no matter who it is or how unknowledgeable you were of the individual when you got it signed.

I have a similar story to you. When I was 10, I was in Cooperstown for a baseball tournament. While walking around the town, my Dad pointed me to a man sitting on the bench we passed and told me to ask him kindly for his autograph on my newly bought Yankees cap. That Cooperstown regular was Clete Boyer (RIP).

Comment by Ben M on March 27, 2016 at 12:35am
When I was 9 in 1964, my dad took me our town's mens' club meeting where Bobby Hull and Stan Mikita appeared and signed autographs. I have long since lost them.


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