01-14-2013, 10:54 AM #1
The Twins and Autographs
The Twins are offering an interesting option for Twinsfest this week for autograph hounds.
The Minnesota Twins Community Fund is pleased to announce that bidding has started on two separate TwinsFest autograph sessions at 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 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?
01-14-2013, 11:03 AM #2
Maybe the players are as frustrated with the BBWAA as the rest of us
01-14-2013, 11:14 AM #3
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.
01-14-2013, 11:19 AM #4
01-14-2013, 11:20 AM #5
01-14-2013, 10:51 PM #6
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.
01-14-2013, 11:40 PM #7
01-15-2013, 01:21 AM #8
01-15-2013, 04:33 AM #9
Company X owns the market for Carew "HOF" autographs.-----
Blogging Twins since 2007 at The Tenth Inning Stretch
01-15-2013, 11:08 AM #10
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!
01-15-2013, 11:35 AM #11
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.
Last edited by nicksaviking; 01-15-2013 at 11:53 AM.