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Win this Phil Jackson Autograph and Nominate the Autograph University Class of 2013

UPDATE: My sincere thanks to all of you for leaving such thoughtful comments. I’ve really enjoyed reading the nominations and I will announce the honorees next week. Our randomly selected winner of the Phil Jackson autographed book is Aaron Cheris—congratulations!

Every day I get your emails and lately I’ve been hearing more and more about how graphing has gotten tougher. The commercialization of the hobby is eroding the relationship between fans and celebrities, habits are changing for the worse, and prices for signings are higher than ever.

But in these challenging times the famous friends of the autograph community shine even brighter. I’m talking about celebrities and athletes who go out of their way to accommodate collectors, who pick up a pen with a smile on their face, who give back generously to their fans. These great signers deserve more than just our thanks, they deserve to be recognized. And we’re going to do that by presenting them with an honorary degree from Autograph University.

I need your help selecting our inaugural Class of 2013. Leave a comment and tell me who deserves an honorary degree and why!

The Class of 2013 will be announced on June 28 in July and I will personally mail a diploma to each honoree.
Phil Jackson autographed book

Phil Jackson Autograph Giveaway

What better way to celebrate the best signers than by giving away an autograph from one of the toughest signers? All you need to do for a chance to win is leave a comment with your nomination for the Class of 2013.

I will randomly choose a winner on Friday, June 21 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 your nominations. Thanks for helping me identify the best candidates for the Class of 2013!

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.

11 comments… add one

  • Gary Beal June 14, 2013, 9:12 pm

    My vote goes to Gio Gonzalez. I live in the DC area and went to graph the Nationals quite a bit last year as we’ll as this year. Gio has remained one of the only players you knew would more than likely sign. There was one specific incident that puts him over the top though. He was leaving the stadium one day and had a car full of family yet still stopped and signed. Then another player came up behind him and honked because he was blocking the exit, and Gio decided to pull over on the side of the road to finish signing for everybody. I’ve never seen anything like it, too bad the rest of the Nats stars haven’t learned from his example.

  • John B June 14, 2013, 9:29 pm

    Athlete: my nod goes to Peyton manning. Super nice guy, signs for free and if you pay he takes his time and chats with the fans. Class act

    Celebrity: Tie Johnny Depp or Henry Winkler. Both great guys, will sign anything, take pics the works. Depp once signed for 45 minutes outside of David Letterman’s studio

  • Wendell A June 17, 2013, 11:54 am

    Drew Brees hands down. They guy has signed for my kids for free and even personalized when he didn’t have to. I realize his signing rate has dropped from years past, but I blame that more of the environment of autographing and not on his innate desire to give back to his true fans.

  • Michael Rhoades June 17, 2013, 7:52 pm

    With out a doubt, Bobby Doerr. Hall of Fame baseball player, Hall of Fame Autograph signer through the mail. The guy signs everything and anything people send to him. Not many players do that, let alone a Hall of Fame player. And his is like 90 years old. very deserving of a doctorate degree in autographing!

  • Lauren June 17, 2013, 8:17 pm

    Well as far as the celtics go..
    Older Player: Paul Pierce- he has done 2 free public appearances this year..pretty awesome
    Rookie- Jared Sullinger- I have never been to a Celtics where he did not sign autographs before the game..nice guy

  • Austin B. June 19, 2013, 9:19 pm

    He has passed away, but we can all agree that one of the best signers in the hobby was Virgil Trucks. Besides signing almost anything with any inscriptions for no charge, he’d give you cards, as well as write you a nice letter back.

    Of those who are still with us, Carl Erskine comes to mind. I am currently sending my first item to him, but I hear nothing but nice things about him.

    Personally, and I don’t know if this is the same for anyone else, Pat Gillick was extremely friendly. Being someone who is working towards the business side of sports, I found his letter not only to be a historical summary of his career, but also a friendly gesture for him to take the time to write a nice letter, as well as giving me a signed hall if fame plaque photo.

  • Gage Meadows June 20, 2013, 9:19 am

    Hands down, Mr. Bobby Doerr. Like Michael Rhoades said, he signs pretty much anything you send to him without any complaints, even now that he is 95 years old and isn’t getting around as well as he used to. He absolutely deserves to be part of the class of 2013!

  • Jason Makai June 20, 2013, 4:53 pm

    There’s a few but one active player that comes to mind is Andre Ethier. Before almost every game, home or road, he will take the time to sign autographs after his warm ups. I’ve also seen him sign for people entering and leaving the stadium. This past spring, after a morning workout, people asked him to sign. He said he couldn’t at that time but would come out again to sign. Most of the time, when a player says that, they will just disappear. Instead, true to his word, he came out 15 minutes later and signed for every single fan, every item that they wanted, and posed for pictures with anyone who wanted.

    I’ve followed his career since he came up to the Dodgers and found him to always be accommodating to the fans, as my family and I have had many positive interactions with him.

  • David June 21, 2013, 9:02 pm

    Definitely Josh Hamilton. He signs all of his TTM requests (even multiple autographs at once), and he is very reliable for in-person autographs. Signs at just about every game besides on Sundays (Holy Days) and his days off. Josh Hamilton is also one of the most well liked players among players and fans.

  • Eric Silver June 21, 2013, 10:35 pm

    Jamie Moyer. Jamie just retired but while he was in the league and since he has retired he has signed every TTM sent to him in a better than fair amount of time. Jamie signed everything at games and out. That is what makes him THE SIGNER OF THE DECADE!

  • Chad Johnson June 28, 2013, 5:48 pm

    I think Kyle Gibson should get a nod. Kyle has been consistent with signing everything sent to him TTM and is also very nice in person. This habit is very rare when it comes to a top rated prospect whom probably gets tons of requests a week. Thank you Kyle for helping keep this hobby enjoyable while taking time out of your busy schedule to satisfy the requests of your fans!

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