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John Bonnes
01-14-2013, 10:54 AM
The Twins are offering an interesting option for Twinsfest this week for autograph hounds (http://minnesota.twins.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20130114&content_id=40951772&vkey=pr_min&c_id=min).


The Minnesota Twins Community Fund is pleased to announce that bidding has started on two separate TwinsFest autograph sessions at www.twinsbaseball.com (http://www.twinsbaseball.com/). Fans can bid on the opportunity to win one of 10 exclusive TwinsFest autograph and photo sessions with either “Mauer and Hammer” or the “Hall of Famers.”



What struck me as interesting are the limitations:


1 autograph from Joe Mauer (no game used items or “MVP” inscriptions – fan to provide item)
1 autograph from Paul Molitor (fan to provide item)
1 autograph from Rod Carew (no bats, jerseys, “Hall of Fame” inscriptions or game-used items – fan to provide item)


I'm not an autograph or collectible guy, really, so I'm wondering from some people who understand this stuff a little bit more, how it works. Why won't Mauer put MVP on any of the autographs? Why not a game-used item? Why won't Carew do HOF stuff? Why WILL Molitor?

I assume they have some contractual commitments that keep them from doing this? Or is it to protect future autograph sessions when they're retired? Anyone know?

Willihammer
01-14-2013, 11:03 AM
Maybe the players are as frustrated with the BBWAA as the rest of us

Rosterman
01-14-2013, 11:14 AM
It is contract with exclusive sellers of material with their autographs. To maintain worth, so to speak. It is nice that the Twins have events (used to have the summer autograph party) so a fan would have a chance to get any current Twins signature on an item. You might have to stand in line for a long time to get certain players. The Twins also have promotional events during the year. But the amount of players that will sign in-person outside a stadium, or thru the mail, is dwindling. The Twins have one of the most avid fan bases for autographs, and the tell about how serious people do take their autographing, very few show up after Twinsfest on eBay, for example. All this stuff goes into personal collections. Also, forgot to mention that the starting bid for each of the sessions above is $200.

John Bonnes
01-14-2013, 11:19 AM
Also, forgot to mention that the starting bid for each of the sessions above is $200.

When I looked at what the bidders were getting for their bids, I was a little underwhelmed. Two autographs on items of your choosing (with limitations) and a picture? I sort of assume these are primarily for resellers? Like so they can get their autograph on a painting or something?

John Bonnes
01-14-2013, 11:20 AM
It is contract with exclusive sellers of material with their autographs. To maintain worth, so to speak.

Can someone unpack this a little bit? Like give an example?

BrentMpls
01-14-2013, 10:51 PM
The Twins are offering an interesting option for Twinsfest this week for autograph hounds (http://minnesota.twins.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20130114&content_id=40951772&vkey=pr_min&c_id=min).




What struck me as interesting are the limitations:



I'm not an autograph or collectible guy, really, so I'm wondering from some people who understand this stuff a little bit more, how it works. Why won't Mauer put MVP on any of the autographs? Why not a game-used item? Why won't Carew do HOF stuff? Why WILL Molitor?

I assume they have some contractual commitments that keep them from doing this? Or is it to protect future autograph sessions when they're retired? Anyone know?


They signed a deal with some person or business to only allow that collector/seller to sell autographed items of that nature.

If one were willing to pay for an autograph (many you can acquire for free if you watch the player appearances section of the Twins website and are willing to drive out to a Lunds, Sports Authority or other such place on your lunch break) the Twins Autograph Party was the best deal - $35 or $40 (there was a slight discount for STH members) to get as many autos as you can in a 4-5 hour time period with tables setup all over. But they silently canned that after the 2010 season.

righty8383
01-14-2013, 11:40 PM
Can someone unpack this a little bit? Like give an example?

I can't answer your question but I think it kinda sucks that a player would turn down an autograph because of a contractual obligation. Its a moot point, but if I were a pro athlete I would not agree to any contracts that prohibit me from signing autographs on a certain item or brand.

BrentMpls
01-15-2013, 01:21 AM
I think it kinda sucks that a player would turn down an autograph because of a contractual obligation.

Sadly, I think it mostly goes unnoticed. There isn't a explanation printed with the rules, so few know why. Meanwhile the player gets x amount of dollars for signing the deal, and can still sign autographs for people, for profit or free, just not certain kinds of will inscriptions or items. By in large it mostly only impact collector's in the know. Although it sure sucks if little Johnny shows up with a baseball bat only to find hes turned away because his favorite player made some bucks on the side.

Thrylos
01-15-2013, 04:33 AM
Can someone unpack this a little bit? Like give an example?

Sports memorabilia company X pays Rod Carew Y amount of $ for Z number of autographs with the inscription "HOF". Their contract includes the clause that he cannot sign autographs with that inscription for a certain number of years.

Company X owns the market for Carew "HOF" autographs.

Rosterman
01-15-2013, 11:08 AM
Some of the contracts are pretty Ironclad (which is the name of the company the reps Ripken and now Mauer and also Carew on certain items). I think as part of being a Twin, players are obligated to do signings like TwinsFest as the money is a fundraiser for community events. Above and beyond that, the Caravan and store appearances and such are purely voluntary, as well as signing at or before games. It's become a pretty big business. Remember reading of Pat Neshek signing a thousand stickers for a card release and getting a check on site when it was completed. I just got a flyer from a Maryland company that represents some 75 players that live in their immediate area for signing balls, bats and cards/photos (flats) and pretty much anything you send to one of these players is now funneled back to you by this company, with a price list. Autographs are big business. Like being an actor, even a small part, in Star Trek -- where you can make a living doing everything from Comic Conventions, Fantasy and Horror and Sci-Fi cons, and even car shows -- a baseball players dreams of being a Dougie Mientkiewicz where you played for the Dodgers, Red Sox, Mets and Yankees...four of the five most popular teams (Cubs the others) for collectors. You can make a comfortable living just going to events. Not to mention what happens once you become a Hall of Famer. The $200 (or more) for AN autograph and photo does seem high...you can stand in line and win the smaller lottery and probably do the same. Heck, you can go a game at almsot any other major league park and get their early or hang around late and probably grab Mauer. But the money is for the Twins Community Fund!

nicksaviking
01-15-2013, 11:35 AM
I never knew about these contractual obligations but it makes sense. If you want your Rod Carew jersey signed, some d hole company is going to pay Carew to make sure you have to pay the company hundreds of dollars for it as opposed to you being able to get it at a fraction of the cost.

Between this kind of weird stipulation, obscene ticket prices and the baseball card industry spurning children in favor of adult collectors, it's a wonder baseball can still recruit new fans.