Autographs – A look behind the curtain

A story from this weekend’s show. Lots of autographs with lots of signers. It is no widely known, but most autograph shows double as an opportunity dealers to arrange for private signings, that is, when items are signed for mail orders. The guest spends time in front of the curtain, meeting the public, signing autographs, posing for pictures, kissing babies, that kind of stuff. Behind the curtain, rows of material (baseballs, bats, jerseys, helmets, etc) are laid out ahead of time for the signer to sign, in an assembly line fashion, with lots of helpers to take the signed items away so they can be packaged up and shipped right away from the show. In no time at all, hundreds of autographs can be collected in this way, if it works according to plan.

This weekend, minor pandemonium. Some of the stars wouldn’t sign beyond the minimum number that they were contracted to sign, some left without signing the mail order items, and some wouldn’t sign certain items at all. By the end of the show, there were a lot of unhappy dealers behind the curtain, with lots of mail order items that were unsigned. It looked alot like for floor of the stock market, yelling, hand waving, pointing, paper being torn up,… Boy, I would hate to be their customer service rep this week as stuff is returned unsigned.

Tony Mendiola

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