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Win This John Smoltz Autograph from Autograph University

UPDATE: Congratulations to our randomly selected winner, Chad Johnson!
Thank you to everyone who participated, it was very interesting to read about your challenges. Your comments got me brainstorming new post ideas. Let’s do another giveaway soon.

The dog days of summer are barking and there’s nothing quite like trying to beat the heat while holding a newborn. Needless to say, it’s been slow on the graphing front lately. But while I may not be adding much to my collection, I want to add a future Hall of Famer to yours.

One lucky Autograph University reader will win this John Smoltz autographed photo which I picked up at last year’s Red Sox Wives Cash & Can Drive.

John Smoltz autographed picture

All you need to do for a chance to win is leave a comment answering the question—What is your greatest autograph-related challenge?

I will randomly choose a winner on Friday, July 27 at 10pm EDT. One comment per person and please use a valid email address so I can contact you if you win.

I look forward to reading about your challenges and addressing them in future posts. Have fun and good luck!

About the author: is the founder of Autograph University. He lives in the Boston area with his wife and two sons. Connect with him on Twitter at @mattraymond.

80 comments… add one

  • Andrew Halpern July 24, 2012, 2:48 pm

    my biggest challenge is deciding between asking the player for a picture or for an autograph in a situation where i know ill only get one or the other. which do you prefer?

  • Matt Raymond July 24, 2012, 3:04 pm

    In practice, I’ve always asked for an autograph first and then for the picture second. My experience is that athletes/celebs are less likely to take a picture and I don’t want to ruin my chances of getting an autograph if they said no.

    If the person is a notoriously bad signer, you may lead with the photo opp so you get something. All depends on the person.

  • Barry Nelson July 24, 2012, 2:52 pm

    My greatest challenge has yet to begin something I haven’t started but hopefully will start soon. Is to get 9 balls signed by each member of the softball team from the legendary episode Homer at the Bat, ever since I was kid it was my favorite and still to this day is likely my favorite. Weather it be Wade Boggs getting punched out arguing about Prime Minister’s of England. Or the story behind what the producers thought of Canseco. To have a baseball collection of those nines would be something that would be really awesome to have.

    Thanks

    Barry

  • Matt Raymond July 24, 2012, 3:05 pm

    Awesome project! Who are the other 7 you need?

  • Barry Nelson July 25, 2012, 10:24 am

    Haven’t started yet it is a future when the funds are there

  • Matt Raymond July 25, 2012, 10:34 am

    I mean, who are the other 7 players in addition to Boggs and Canseco that were featured in the episode?

  • david grass July 24, 2012, 3:44 pm

    I find the biggest challenge is when you are at the ballpark trying to get yankee autographs. When I lived in Toronto trying to fight through the crowds to get the graph. Even in spring training at Dunedin when the Yankees come to Dunedin it is just as tough, but is always worth a try.

  • Matt Raymond July 25, 2012, 2:59 pm

    Tough team, certainly. Who have you had luck getting this year?

  • Garrett July 24, 2012, 3:45 pm

    My biggest challenge is probably convincing a ball player that “the extra” cards are for my personal collection and not for sale.

  • Matt Raymond July 25, 2012, 3:01 pm

    Understandable. Are all the cards unique? What is your motivation for getting multiples? Just curious.

  • Mike Knox July 24, 2012, 3:53 pm

    My biggest challenge is getting out to graph. I have a 16 month old daughter and trying to graph gets a little harder sometimes. We have partial season tickets to a local minor league team so I can graph then. Really the only other chance I get is when my wife and child are out of town. Graphing when you have a young child really puts things in perspective. I hope one day she will be able to graph with me if she likes the hobby. My wife cannot stand it. When a player signs a card and smears it or something happens to the signature, I give those to my daughter so she can carry around. When I do this the look on her face is priceless. She will carry it around for hours showing that card to everyone. Before I would have tried to take it off and have the player re-sign it. Now I do not worry about that so much.

  • Matt Raymond July 25, 2012, 3:03 pm

    Now that I have a newborn I can totally identify with that Mike. Glad you’ve found a way to turn a damaged item into something fun for your daughter. Very cool.

  • Ryan July 24, 2012, 4:18 pm

    To be honest, I have trouble recognizing players. It’s hard! I try not to be the first to say a name because I think I am going to call out the wrong player!

  • Matt Raymond July 25, 2012, 3:12 pm

    I’ve experienced that same feeling before Ryan. A lot of guys look different off the field. There’s a lot of research required, especially for football teams.

  • Laura July 24, 2012, 4:45 pm

    My biggest challange is getting Magic Johnson. You’d think he would be easy since he owns the Dodgers, and their minor league team is near here. He also visits my hometown once in a while, but I still haven’t managed to get him yet.

  • Matt Raymond July 25, 2012, 3:23 pm

    Hope you get him Laura. I was fortunate to graph him a few years ago but since then he’s been very tough here in Boston.

  • nate scott July 24, 2012, 6:45 pm

    My biggest challenge is choosing the right item to get signed.. Do you get the good stuff (game used items, quality pics, etc..) signed at the park or hotel when they give short signatures cause they are in a hurry or wait till they do a sit down signing so you get good full sigs.
    Also what type of utensil and what color? Dark background photos with a bright color signature/dark signature on the light color of the photo?
    You have to be quick minded because you only have a short amount of time to get your item signed and if its a prime time player you only get 1 shot.

  • Matt Raymond July 25, 2012, 3:25 pm

    I struggle with this as well Nate. It’s tough finding that perfect item — you could find an awesome picture but the background may be multi-colored (such as a crowd in a stadium) and not conducive to ANY marker color. Did you see my recent post on how to choose a silver marker?

    http://www.autographu.com/how-to-choose-the-best-silver-marker-for-your-autographs/

  • Brandon July 24, 2012, 6:51 pm

    My greatest autograph-related challenge is finding the time to graph. A lot of times during the week, it is tough to get out to graph baseball teams, which is what I primarily collect.

  • Matt Raymond July 25, 2012, 3:26 pm

    Thanks for the comment Brandon. I totally agree. Baseball is tough because a lot of the players cab it from the hotel and their departure times are all over the place, unlike other sports which are on a stricter schedule.

  • Patrick Selk July 24, 2012, 8:35 pm

    I’d say my biggest challenge was trying to obtain an auto Hank Aaron ball TTM. I lost several and got a couple cards via secretarial…… Long story short, my grandparents were neighbors of his locally when Hank first came up the braves organization. Him and his wife lived across the hall and my grandfather was chief of police in the village here. If they didn’t have dinner every Saturday they did every other when Hank was in town. I even have Christmas cards from the family to my grandparents. In a last ditch effort, in 2004, I made color copies of the cards and sent a short story to the Hall of Fame to his attention. Must have got someone’s attention…. I stated in the note that if he remembered my grandparents to send the ball back, signed or unsigned but as long as I got this ball back I knew he remembered them. 2 years later a box came in the mail; long forgotten until I opened it and there was my holy grail signed beautifully from a less than 1% mail signer. On my mother’s grave – true story.

  • Matt Raymond July 25, 2012, 3:55 pm

    Really enjoyed this story and I would love to include it in the 2013 Autograph University Yearbook with pictures :) Thanks for sharing Patrick.

  • Ryan L July 24, 2012, 8:46 pm

    My biggest challenge when collecting autographs is staying energized and positive enough to keep going. During the summer I typically graph players on the way into the stadium, during batting practice, and on their way out. It easily becomes a 12 hour day and a few rejections makes it hard to keep muscling on through to the next chance to collect a sweet signature.

  • Matt Raymond July 25, 2012, 3:53 pm

    Thanks for the reply Ryan. It certainly can be physically taxing, especially during the summer and winter months. Whom have you graphed recently that has kept you motivated?

  • Ryan L July 25, 2012, 9:18 pm

    I’d have to say the most motivating signatures I’ve gotten recently were Jeter and Josh Hamilton. I value every signature, but both players are definite superstars who get huge crowds when they decide to sign. Being one of the lucky ones to get pointed at to toss my ball to gives me the greatest nervous feeling. I try to latch back on that feeling of success and accomplishment when the signed ball lands cleanly in my hand to keep going working my way toward it again.

  • Matt Raymond July 26, 2012, 11:26 am

    Wow, awesome. Wish I had either in my collection.

  • Kevin July 24, 2012, 11:30 pm

    My greatest autograph related challenge was something I completed. I wanted to get Eli, Archie and Peyton all on different items and frame them all together. So I drove to Giants camp and got Eli after 2 years finally on the NYG Sports Illustrated Super Bowl Camps Magazine. Then I sent a long letter to Peyton through the mail and he sent back a signed card. # 2/3. Now the tough one. I couldn’t get Archie in person. I heard he never signed through the mail either. I tried him through the mail writing almost 2 pages to him in my letter. I begged him in the letter and told him about my project. About 5 months later, I received an autograph from him in the mail. Now I have all three framed together and it looks awesome. Also thanks for this awesome contest!

  • Matt Raymond July 25, 2012, 3:52 pm

    Fantastic – good lesson that polite persistence can pay off.

  • Justin July 25, 2012, 12:16 am

    MY biggest challenge is finding a way to properly display my signed photos right with my signed cards and index cards. I’d like them to all be uniform, preferably in one binder, but I can never find pages to keep my photos in.

  • Matt Raymond July 25, 2012, 12:20 am

    Hi Justin, I did a video on storing photos. Links on the post to where you can get the pages I use. Check it out: http://www.autographu.com/the-best-way-to-store-your-autographed-photos/

  • Anthony July 25, 2012, 12:20 am

    My biggest challenge is not yelling at the idiots who run around a venue screaming, bugging people when they are eating or with family.

  • Matt Raymond July 25, 2012, 3:50 pm

    +1

  • Terry Archibald July 25, 2012, 1:36 am

    My biggest challenge is ahead of me the week of August 1-5 the NSCC. Where do you begin. I’ve bought a few auto tickets but I want them all which is impossible considering the cost. But you see my truly biggest challenge.

  • Matt Raymond July 25, 2012, 3:50 pm

    Whom did you end up deciding to get?

  • Mark July 25, 2012, 1:48 am

    What is my greatest autograph-related challenge(s)? Wow, where do I begin. First off, I live in Juneau, Alaska, so when I’m not busy trying to avoid being eaten by bears, I am usually stuck inside as we get 90 inches of rain a year. 2. If you can name one professional Alaskan sports team besides Div III college (UAA) or minor league hockey (Aces), I’ll hand any of you over my entire collection. Go ahead, fire away! Unlimited guesses. 3. The nearest pro sports city is 891 miles away (Seattle). I imagine for an $800 round-trip plane ticket, I could fly down there to graph Mariner games but then my wife would want to go with me to just to get out of the state so make that $1600 (before hotel costs are figured in) Did I mention you cannot drive from Juneau to Seattle as there are no roads leading out of this city? It’s boat or plane. 4. TTM? LOL. The postal service here is about 3-5 days slower than the lower 48 states AND I have noticed a higher percentage of damaged letters in my 2 years up here than I did on the East Coast. My TTM rate was 74% on the East Coast, 61% here. Must be some sort of ‘black hole’ engulfing mail requests once they leave Federal Way in WA. and head north.

    Mark

  • Matt Raymond July 25, 2012, 3:29 pm

    Excuses, excuses. :) Thank you so much for sharing your experience, I forget how remote many of my fellow collectors are. Would love to get an story from you for the 2012 Autograph Unviversity Yearbook about being a collector in Alaska. Really interesting.

  • Nathan July 25, 2012, 5:39 am

    My biggest challenge would be getting a Stan Musial autograph TTM. Have tried 5 or 6 times in the past year to get him ttm but with no luck. Every now and then I see someone claim to get him back with no fee and I give it another shot, but with no luck. I really try to keep from buying my autographs at all cost. Stan has meant so much to me and countless fans everywhere for so many years, it would mean so much for me to get something back from him…but I’m afraid I starting TTMing too late. (Please Note that I do not have any ill feelings toward Stan, he’s 91 and can do whatever he wishes to do with his time!)

    Would love to add a Smoltzy auto to my collection! Thanks! Great site BTW!

  • Matt Raymond July 25, 2012, 3:31 pm

    Thanks Nathan. Hope a response finds its way into your mailbox soon. Mr. Musial has been a great signer over his lifetime — it’s a tough call to keep trying or plunk down the cash before it’s too late.

  • Paula July 25, 2012, 7:59 am

    I would say my biggest challenge is getting to some events and finding a babysitter! I don’t drive, but live close to public transportation. But sometimes events are even to far to get to! (Pedro Martinez in Bedford on a Saturday!) I do well in the Boston area as long as I’m in the know of where to be at what time. Getting to some of these far away places is challenging because my graphing mentor lives in NH and I live in Mass. Sometimes timing is not our my side. (Foulke in Lowell on a Sunday!) I try to take my daughter with me. She loves riding the choo choo and taking pictures with the players!

  • Matt Raymond July 25, 2012, 3:33 pm

    “Graphing mentor” – love it. From your comments here and on other posts it sounds like you’ve worked out a balance. Now that I have a little one I’ll be looking to figure out the same. Thanks for chiming in Paula.

  • Mike July 25, 2012, 8:37 am

    Like many above, my greatest autograph challenge is the balancing act between the hobby and family. If in doubt, family wins. Though my wife will debate that somewhat. :-)

  • Matt Raymond July 25, 2012, 3:34 pm

    I hear ya Mike. I’m going through this in real-time. Told my wife I was going to swing by Fenway on my way home from work last Friday to check out the Red Sox Wives Cash & Can Drive and pick up some graphs and her response was “You’re joking, right?”

  • Jeff July 25, 2012, 8:56 am

    My biggest autograph realated challenge would be graphing at Rangers baseball games with my 5 year old son. It is a huge challenge to keep a 5 year old occupied while waiting on the players. The collection that I have been working on is 100% for him, although I really do enjoy the challenge and we have had great success together, but it really does try your patience. I just hope that one day he will look back and realize how neat of a collection that he has.

  • Matt Raymond July 25, 2012, 3:35 pm

    I’m sure he will appreciate the collection when he’s older and the time spent with you even more.

  • jon July 25, 2012, 9:40 am

    My greatest challenge. is being aggressive in a crowd. I won’t elbow. or push to get closer. and often miss out on the auto

  • Matt Raymond July 25, 2012, 3:40 pm

    It’s tough to miss out on a graph because you’re choosing to act with civility. You have my respect. I’ve experienced the same frustration. One occasion stands out, I was trying to get Dwight Howard – one of the best signers in the NBA – and a few people formed a circle around him and kept hammering him, item after item, and I got shutout.

  • Chad Johnson July 25, 2012, 10:11 am

    My biggest challenge…. Finding time! I have three young children and work a sort of swing shift. I have missed every local signing this month, and I rarely get out to ball games. I would just buy, but found out in may (on my 7 year wedding anniversary) that they are closing the plant I work at in December.

  • Matt Raymond July 25, 2012, 3:42 pm

    Thanks for sharing Chad. Hope you find some time for graphs and stability in your job.

  • Rich July 25, 2012, 10:34 am

    My biggest challenge has been obtaining Mike Scioscia’s autograph on an ’87 Topps card for my collection. I have tried T.T.M. via the stadium, spring training and in person multiple times including this past Monday night to no avail.

  • Matt Raymond July 25, 2012, 3:43 pm

    Bummer. Is he a tough signer or are you just having bad luck? Makes me think of Paul Pierce – I think everyone in New England has him but he keeps denying me over and over.

    http://www.autographu.com/catching-the-white-whale-my-paul-pierce-dilemma/

  • Caleb hicks July 25, 2012, 10:40 am

    Great replies by everyone. My biggest challenge when it comes to autographs ironically is other graphers. I live in Indy & we have a crowd of “eBayers” & I consider them ruthless in some circumstances. As you can relate Matt there has been numerous times that I have waited hours to get my oppurtunity & fellow graphers just want to get multiples or blanks done. I have never sold a single graph in my life & never will. It just gets frustrating sometime when the etiquette I give is not returned & you loose your chances.

  • Matt Raymond July 25, 2012, 3:45 pm

    You’re right, I can totally relate. Probably my biggest frustration as a grapher. The thing is, if everyone acted courteously the odds of people getting their stuff sign would improve dramatically (even those looking for multiples). I understand why people act with urgency, but it’s the aggression that turns athletes off and contributes to them rushing.

  • Austin Balen July 25, 2012, 11:16 am

    I’ll have to say my greatest challagne is when I first started graphing. It was about 3 or 4 years ago and I had not yet known that players didn’t sign as much as I had thought. I had bought autographs at stores, went to auctions, and so on, and I had looked at other peoples collections and had figured “This will be easy!”

    July of 2009. Phillies vs. Braves (and most know that Philly is one of the worst teams in the NL to graph) it was about 98 degrees alone, but adding the humid air and the fact that almost 45,000 people were packed into 1 place made the heat index between 100-103 degrees. I remeber being packed in between a fireman, and a rich “hotsy-totsy” family who were constantly huffing and puffing about the heat (and as a fair amount of people on Pat Nesheks board may know, I cannot stand people like that, so just standing there was a challange itself).

    I think Chase Utley signed 10 people down, and then nothing. I was sweating through my shirt, and was trying not to sweat on the program I was getting signed. Jimmy Rollins came over and signed 3 autographs, had 3 conversations, and left. The fireman, another kid, and myself.

    The challange of that, having tens of people pushing you every direction while trying to both stand your ground, and look normal infront of the player who is signing you. (I was very skinny at the time, now I’ve got the muscle and height that people will try to find another person to try to push).

    It wound up being a great success, I had a “long” (45 sec- 1 minute) conversation with Jimmy Rollins, got his autograph, and was sore the rest of the game. My first of many graphing experiences at Citizens Bank Park.

  • Matt Raymond July 25, 2012, 3:48 pm

    Thanks for sharing Austin. Yeah, totally uncomfortable and difficult to stay composed. As the person in front part of your job, unfortunately, is to act like a barricade and put on the facade that everything is calm so the player keeps signing. Glad it ended well.

  • autographhunter July 25, 2012, 1:24 pm

    My greatest autograph-related challenge has been current player recognition of non-Twins. At the ballpark, I can pick out the stars and even the average players from visiting teams, but I often am not able to recognize the Darin Mastroianni types from the opposing team. Those guys are much more likely to sign, so it becomes difficult to recognize who they are and then have an item ready for them to sign in a matter of seconds, especially if they’re in street clothes. But then that’s part of the fun of collecting as well. if I don’t recognize them, do I have them sign my ticket or my OMLB? Could turn out it’s Matt Wieters and I failed to realize it was the All-Star catcher, or it could be Jim Johnson, of who I’d love to have a signed card, but wouldn’t use an OMLB for. Usually it’s not too big of an issue, but it can make graphing slightly trickier.

    Thanks for the contest, Matt.

  • Matt Raymond July 25, 2012, 3:49 pm

    Definitely a challenge. We all have homework to do when it comes to recognizing players out of uniform.

  • Ben C. July 25, 2012, 5:22 pm

    I would say mine is what to get signed. If I’m getting a card signed, which to pick? Especially if I have so many! Or, ball, card, photo, or something unique? Usually because of the storing of them. But, before that, I gotta get to him. Theres another problem, getting through all the dealers who insist on getting all before I can. Then after, asking for a second, like how to request it. If its one of my favorites, I’ll use a personal phrase (ex- Jason Varitek is my idol, I’d say that).

    Looks like I got quite the situation on my hands (`_´)ゞ

  • Matt Raymond July 26, 2012, 11:29 am

    I run into the storage issue with premium items as well. I have over a dozen mini basketballs in a cardboard box inside a cabinet because I have no good way to display them. Also, I know that if I get a basketball signed, I need to spend at least another $30-$40 on a nice case for it (nevermind finding the space). The overhead is also more costly to keep these items “in stock”. For these reasons I’ve tended to get photos done. But then I visit a friend who tends to get jerseys and bats signed and his collection looks 10x more impressive! :)

  • Jake L. July 25, 2012, 7:57 pm

    Great stories, am really enjoying reading about your experiences.

    My greatest challenge was finishing my team signed 2002 Team Canada Men’s Hockey jersey. I obtained it with 12 or 13 signatures on it and got the remaining 15 or so (including coaches & executives) myself. I spent many mornings at the Nassau Coliseum getting most of the rest of the players. I had to send the jersey away 3 separate times to private signings to get Sakic, Yzerman and Theo Fleury (after Fleury retired) on the jersey. To add to the challenge, my son was born during this 4-5 years I spent working on the jersey. Finally it is complete and framed! I have since sworn off doing multi-player projects, too difficult & time consuming.

  • Matt Raymond July 26, 2012, 11:31 am

    Very cool piece. I have actually been thinking of doing a project piece but haven’t figured out the theme yet. I’ve seen some extremely impressive NBA 50 Greatest items but I think I’m a little late to the game on that one.

  • Michael Schultz July 25, 2012, 11:16 pm

    The thing I find toughest when trying to graph is making sure to be a good example for kids while at the same time showing everyone else that an adult can be both eager AND civil when trying to get autographs. I love the excitement of meeting athletes and politely asking them for and then thanking them for their time and autographs.

  • Matt Raymond July 26, 2012, 11:32 am

    Thanks for being a role model, we need more people in the hobby like you.

  • Chris Trevino July 26, 2012, 9:41 am

    My biggest challenge in this crazy autograph world would have to be Myself. I consider myself a pretty nice thoughtful reserved person but in order to get some of these autographs you really have to the be opposite sometimes. I find myself thinking ok should i ask now in between all the other graphers and media tugging and pulling at these Athletes. it’s just not in me sometimes to butt in or squeeze an arm in with my item in front of the player because i find it kinda of rude sometimes. Like, when is it ok to step in front of someone or physically block somebody from trying to get in front of you and your item??!! LOL..There’s been a few autos I’ve missed because I’ve been so quite or nonchalant about attempting to get an auto. I’m just not 1 to hound,shout or throw elbows to get any auto but it’s like if I dont..my chances are slim to none! I guess i just need a Dr.Jekyll/Mr.Hide potion!

  • Matt Raymond July 26, 2012, 11:35 am

    I understand Chris, tough to figure out the right combination of patience and persistence while remaining courteous and seeing the big picture. Sounds like your approach is the right one.

  • Shane July 26, 2012, 10:00 am

    A challenge I have when trying to get autographs is trying to pick the right item I want to get signed. If it is a superstar or someone I am a huge fan of do I want to get a ball or jersey signed so it is more valuable and so I can display it nicely, or do I want just a picture signed to add to my collection and maybe hang up and take up less room than a ball or jersey. If I’m getting autographs at a game then I don’t know what player’s autograph I might even be able to get, so picking an item can be even more of a challenge and I usually just go with a universal item such as a baseball, mini-basketball or a team photo…After reading other comments I do have to say that doing your homework is important because it can be a challenge recognizing players that aren’t superstars when they are off the court or field and not in uniform.

  • Matt Raymond July 26, 2012, 11:38 am

    Thanks for your comment Shane. Item selection is one of my biggest challenges as well. Do I want to spend the money to have a Chris Paul jersey available in the slim chance I do get him or print out a photo for a buck? I am constantly asking myself these questions.

  • Mike July 26, 2012, 3:48 pm

    I would say my biggest challenge graphing is a combination of the right item and identifying priority players over “everyone”. Most of my collection are baseball players so knowing when to use which item at what time is difficult. So, “prioritizing” players and items has become very important for me. Baseballs are too expensive to use randomly these days so using pics / cards / balls/ items are necessary for me (usually go in that order). Thanks to AU, the info on where to get pics and using the Blank Auto cards has come in very handy.

    Many times, teams will get off the bus all at once, so trying to get multiple players on certain items is one of the biggest challenges I usually run into. I’ve gotten to the point where you narrow down your targets to maybe 3 at most and try to focus on them rather than use the “shotgun” approach and get everyone on say a ball or program.

  • Matt Raymond July 27, 2012, 8:20 pm

    I totally understand Mike, I deal with this too. As my collection grows I’m more conscious of taking on more volume and typically only target a few key players on a team. But then you never know who will be a star a few years from now.

  • Edmund July 26, 2012, 4:02 pm

    Well, since everyone here seems to have the same challenges (family, time, items), I’ll chime in with a project. 2001 Topps complete set signed. 790 cards, half of them are dual cards, and there’s quite a few deceased players. I’ve been working on it 11 years now, gotten a lot in person, ttm, and through trades. But I’m still only about 1/4 of the way through it. I have gotten a few superstars in it though. Josh Hamilton, Chris Carpenter, Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine, Adam Wainwright just to name a few. Hard to believe i still need around 500+ more to go with all the work I’ve put into it.

  • Matt Raymond July 27, 2012, 8:21 pm

    That’s a big project that will keep you busy for some time. Enjoy the individual successes along the way.

  • devin tollefson July 26, 2012, 5:30 pm

    my current challenge is to get a ss omlb with mvp inscription of all the minnestoa twins mvps ( zoilo versalles 65 have, harmon killebrew 69 need, rod carew 77 need, justin morneau 06 have, and joe mauer 09 need) knocking off zoilo was def a huge step for this

  • Matt Raymond July 27, 2012, 8:23 pm

    Cool project, do you have any of the others?

  • jason m July 27, 2012, 7:24 pm

    my biggest challange i have been working n in my spare time is trying to obtain former all americans that played football at LSU.their have beensome good od timers like ya tittle jimmy taylor steve van buren who are all in the nfl hall of fame.
    i have his picture that has the 5 guys in the college hall of fame that i am woring on now. ya title billy cannon tommy casanova jerry stovall and jimmy taylor.they were al at a game a couple years ago and i am trying to get them to all sign the picture.
    geaux tigers

  • Matt Raymond July 27, 2012, 8:23 pm

    I like it, good luck.

  • Scott buss July 27, 2012, 8:55 pm

    Billy Dee Williams at Disney World during Star Wars Weekend.We got out there early to wait for tickets and then they gave us a time to come back.We went back four times and still weren’t near our number.My Wife was soo mad to waste half her day on vacation for an autograph! She let Disney know it too,after getting the autograph six hours later,we got free passes and other stuff from Disney just to keep us happy :)
    It was total Chaos and to this day she still thinks I plan vacation on this weekend for Star Wars Fan Days,keep in mind she scheduled this…lol

  • Matt Raymond July 28, 2012, 9:11 pm

    Glad it worked out Scott, thanks for sharing your story.

  • josh estes July 28, 2012, 9:30 am

    greatest challenge would be Albert Pujols. Living in Houston we play the Cardinals a lot. He just doesn’t sign. i can not count the times i have asked and he said later or nothing at all. I’ve been within feet and inches of him and nothing, it’s like i’m a ghost. the craziest thing i ever saw him do was during BP one day he went over to Astros 1B line and signed for about 10 minutes. Of course none of the real graphers were down there because we knew he never signed. but a bunch of kids got lucky.

    another one was eli manning. they come to town on a rotation of about every 4-5 years. i was always good at getting peyton. i had the 8×10 of peyton, eli and archie. i had gotten peyton on it already that season and here come the giants. overall in a span of 8 hours i asked him 7 times. 5 of those times it was me and 2 others. 5 of those times he was by himself. i almost yelled out, look your brother signs when he comes to town, but i didn’t. typically i don’t get disappointed but that many turn downs but a damper on the day.

  • Matt Raymond July 28, 2012, 9:14 pm

    Had a similar experience with Tom Brady a few months ago at the Fenway 100 celebration. I watched him leave with Giselle and didn’t bother pursuing because he’s not only a tough graph but he’s told me he only signs for kids. Three collectors came back with graphs after he stopped and rolled down the window at the red light on Yawkey Way.

  • Adam Mullinax September 21, 2012, 10:50 am

    I recently went to a Braves game when they were paying the Philies. I entered the stadium once it opened. I went straight for the Philies dug out, none of them signed. The braves didn’t sign either. I wasn sad I didn’t get anything signed but the game was great. After the game I went the players parking. I got their when adrelton Simmons was signing and got him on a ball and also got kris medland on a ball. It was a great night after that.

  • Matt Raymond September 21, 2012, 11:20 am

    Good stuff, thanks for sharing your story with us Adam.

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