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The cost of modern player autographs has gotten out of control

mrmopar

Member
Jan 19, 2010
5,187
1,918
As I have been going back and trying to fill holes in my collection, I am finding it quite interesting that you can still get deceased hall of famers on certified cards for a reasonable price and if you want a Juan Soto or some other current star, expect to break the bank!

I suspect it has to do with the fees these guys probably get and the money they make in general. Why get out of bed for less when you are making $100M+? The guys who blazed the trail seemed to be happy to be able to make a living playing ball and often had other jobs. Appreciation for the fans was apparent. Getting a few extra bucks to sign some cards on the weekend or through the mail was less important than building that fan base, but it helped. As recent as the late 80s/early 90s, mega stars were still in the $10-20 range. $15 went further in 1990, but I see guys happily sending common scrubs $20 to sign a card through the mail now. I don't get it and I guess I am just slowly being priced out of the autograph game. I will happily collect guys like Gaylord Perry, Frank Robinson and Phil Rizzuto over guys like Acuna, Harper and the likes.

The same can be said about other sports as well. You can still actually buy guys like Payton, Unitas, Bill Russell and similar (and those guys are on the upper tier too) for less than guys like Mahones, Doncic, etc.The other thing I see is the relative ease at which guys are willing to toss out stupid sums for private signings to get specific items. Guys are not batting an eye at $100-200 and up for some of these signings I see advertised. This is a fairly recent turn of events too. It makes me a bit sad, but I do really wonder what the future holds as well. Will there always be a passion for this stuff or are we pricing too many people out to the point where few will bother, You can argue that it will, because 20-30 somethings are scooping up Mantles and Cobbs now and they weren't even alive when those guys played, but again this is at such a huge premium above what any other generation has ever had to pay that I am not sure there is much more room to move before only the elite will have the money to compete.

This is a counter example of what I was just saying, but some of the older players are seeing some crazy premiums too! I paid around $40 for mine. This one still has a day left. Screen Shot 2022-09-23 at 7.24.14 PM.png
 

DaClyde

Active member
Jan 17, 2010
1,576
19
Huntsville, AL
A few years back, I really wanted to start a Billy Hamilton collection. He was in the process of breaking the minor league, single season stolen base record. Inevitably, his low numbered cards and autos spiked, and I basically gave up.

However, some 4+ years later, he has long since forgotten how to hit, and has been relegated to pinch runner or late-inning defensive replacement, yet his prices never came down. So a player that is effectively related to the commons bin still has sellers asking $10-$40 for his auto and memorabilia cards. I can buy Dave Winfield cards cheaper than that.
 
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mrmopar

Member
Jan 19, 2010
5,187
1,918
Even IP cards are priced so much higher! I ralked about new Dodger Chris Martin IP cards for #20. GET REAL! Common scrubs frequently listing at $10+, a lot of the same sellers who take advantage of debuts and things like that to gouge team collectors.
 

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