Autographed Photos

Written by Jeremy Horelick
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The autographed photos market began to boom in the '80s and '90s and helped filled the shoes of the depreciating cards market at the tail end of the period. Many collectors found that autographed photos gave them the same essential features as trading cards and more. Instead of two- or three-inch player depictions, photos boasted 5x7 and 8x10 action, often of climactic plays such as home plate collisions and touchdown grabs.

Better still, autographed photos could be presented as wall art, not just mementos to be cloistered away in a spiral notebook or box. Player autographs, meanwhile, rarely if ever threatened to devalue a poster or photo the way they did playing cards. To this day, no one's entirely sure whether autographs enhance a card's value, reduce it, or leave it more or less the same.

Buying Autographed Photos

You don't necessarily have to splurge to get the autographed photos you want. Many players will happily sign them free of charge, though usually not at a formal convention. Take your photos to the park and you may have luck nabbing an autograph prior to batting practice or warm-up drills. Sometimes you can even convince a player to pose with you, though, as a general rule, women and kids have better luck with this than grown men.

Should these measures fall short, you can always buy your autographed photos online or at a retail shop. If you shop with a neighborhood dealer you've known and trusted for years, you should have few worries about authenticity. It's through the major memorabilia corporations that the risk is factored in, as these companies stand to lose less by cheating or ripping off fans.

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