In between trying to something done and learn at school through osmosis, I collect autographs of my favorite subjects, particularly baseball players. In Major League baseball's off-season, which is from late October to about early February I don't go out and get autographs as much, though there are always opportunities to look out for.
During this time, a primary distraction I would suppose is reverting collecting trading cards and perhaps through the holidays, trying to secure cards I want before next season starts. During this winter, I've gotten on 'bents' as far as looking for cards.
I think through the last part of the postseason, my initial goal was to secure some young players' autographs that I may have missed out on. Collecting should be for leisure, but I want to 'protect myself' and perhaps have a nice autograph or two of particular young players like Delmon Young, Miguel Cabrera and Victor Martinez.
I got onto the bandwagon of collecting the popular Upper Deck Sweet Spot inserts, featuring autographs on a piece of baseball material, when the product came out. This year, the cards fall to about one per box and they aren't really all that hard to find. I don't equate the cards being less valuable, but maybe more accessible to a collector like myself, as long as I don't overpay.
I think in some cases, I did overpay because I was looking for 'buy it nows' on Ebay as opposed to generally waiting around for an auction to end. There are only eight cards I've picked up for my personal collection, as I was looking for the more affordable players from the insert set.
Garret Anderson- overpaid/goes for about $6, purchased for about $15
Rickie Weeks- overpaid/goes for about $6, purchased for a $10 BIN
Mark Teixeira- okay/purchased for a $10 BIN with $1.50 s/h along with the Weeks
Miguel Cabrera- so so/about $18 delivered
Scott Rolen- okay/about $25 delivered
Adam Dunn- okay/about $14 shipped/actually got a different card than one pictured on the auction I'd bid on, which is okay since the item pictured in the original auction was signed in black ink and I like autographs signed in blue a little better.
Incoming or Yet to Pay For
Will Clark- so so/the 'fan favorite' whose autograph I've never gotten
Delmon Young- overpaid/about $16 delivered
Cannot Justify Getting At This Point
Eric Chavez- already have an actual MLB licensed(in-person, uncertified) signed baseball.
Hank Blalock- already have an actual MLB licensed(in-person, uncertified) signed baseball.
Dontrelle Willis- I'd rather try and get him for free through possible opportunities in 2005.
Joe Mauer- maybe the cheapest way to get Mauer on some kind of sweet spot baseball, without having him personalize, but while great things are expected, I'd get Delmon Young over him and have chosen to do so.
Josh Beckett- I'd rather try and get him for free through possible opportunities in 2005, though he might be a guy that might finally stay healthy and put up some sick regular season numbers as a pitcher.
Johan Santana- the luster might wear off in 2005. I'll wait five years before I get a certified Santana autograph for any more than $10-$15.
Mark Mulder- like Mauer, another player that personalizes sweet spot baseballs and another opportunity to get a faux one that was on a card, certified by a trading card company. He had a bad second half in 2004 and seems overrated. Can he weather the storm was that the beginning of the end?
I don't think the value of Sweet Spot autograph inserts generally account for on-field performance, but I'd rather look for a star hitter, than a pitcher's certified autograph. Maybe I should have picked this one up before he got traded to the St.Louis Cardinals.
Rocco Baldelli- along with the autographs he has signed for similar inserts in the Fleer Sweet Sigs version, this one features a 'full signature' as opposed to his current 'ballpark sig.' His full autographs are 'sweet,' but he is dinged up for the moment.