Baseball Autograph Collecting Tips

A true baseball autograph fan will have an eager approach to gaining signatures. For the older, valuable autographs, like Lou Gehrig, Ty Cobb and Babe Ruth, you will need to look at purchasing them from a reputable source. But if you're into the current stars as well, like Derek Jeter and Albert Pujols, this can involve a hunt for the players at games and official signings.

Hall of Fame baseball stars whose tremendous careers are over are among the most popular of baseball autographs, but there are plenty of excellent players who have not yet been inducted into the Hall of Fame, and these tend to be a bit easier to obtain. Whatever autographs you seek, you need to find a reputable person or company to make sure your autographs are authentic. Much money has been lost on autographs that looked genuine, but were not.  Joe DiMaggio's signature remains popular years after his death and that's why his valuable name was forged by quick buck artists.  There are still fake DiMaggio autographs in the market today.  That's why on Diamond Autographs, we feature only autograph listings that have been authenticated by the giants of the sports memorabilia industry such as Upper Deck Authenticated, Steiner Sports and PSA/DNA, which specializes in all eras and has authenticated thousands of DiMaggio autographs.

You can find a baseball autograph in older autograph books, those being the books carried by people who “hounded” players for their autographs before and after games in the days before colorful 8x10 photographs, jerseys and baseballs were available to the general public. These old books can be full of authentic autographs, since that was the goal of the books' owners.

Autographs Yankees Joe DiMaggio signing

Leslie Jones Collection-Boston Public Library

Have a recognized sports autograph authenticator or expert check your baseball autograph book before you purchase it to make sure that all the autographs are genuine. A recognized and reputable dealer can check each baseball autograph to make sure that they are all genuine. You can use quick opinion services offered by PSA/DNA and James Spence Authentication where for a small fee, they'll take a look at an autograph online and give you a non-binding but educated opinion on whether it's genuine.

If you want to get a baseball autograph at a game, it can make your life as a fan even more enjoyable. Be sure you know each player's name, if you want to try to snag a quick autograph. They know you'll appreciate their autograph more if you're a dedicated fan who knows the team.

Keep a pen with you at baseball games to get baseballs signed and a Sharpie marker for things like photos and jerseys. Don't use a Sharpie for a baseball as the ink will eventually bleed. Players certainly don't have pens with them when they are going in or out of the locker room. And be courteous. Treat the players like people, not like objects. Say please and thank you.

If you have a program for the game you are attending, that's a great place to have players sign. A roster sheet will also work. You're probably only collecting as a fan now, but if you wish to sell the autographs somewhere down the road, it looks better to have the autographs on something that is directly related to the game. Keep in mind, though, that quality items like authentic Rawlings American and National League baseballs, color photos, jerseys and the link are the items that best hold their value.

Front row seats are a great place to get a baseball autograph, but that isn't always possible. If there are players nearby who don't need to be concentrating at a certain time, you can speak to them. Don't harass them, though. The way that most autograph hounds get their signings is at the players' entrance and exit. When they leave the park after the game, they are more relaxed and it's easier to get a signature. They have more time when the game is done, too, since they aren't in a hurry to get back to the dugout.

You can also attend autograph signings set up by the team or go to sports card shows.

Online autograph collecting can be done easily--and with fewer headaches--if you're careful about where you buy from.  If the price looks too good to be true, it probably is.  Research is the most important element when buying online.  Research the seller's feedback.  Look at the autograph yourself and compare it to others.  If you're not sure, ask someone in an online forum.

Baseball autograph collecting tips are important to follow if you're looking to build a collection you can be proud of.

MICHAL HANDZUS (Blackhawks) signed 2013 Stanley Cup Finals Dueling puck +PSA COA
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