by Josh Glover aka sonics_79

For many autograph seekers, collecting autographs is simply a fun way to be a part of the game they love. This season, however, the Detroit Tigers with the help of pitcher Jeremy Bonderman have begun to give even the casual collector a new way to appreciate signed memorabilia with their “Autographs for A Cause” program.

The program is simple. Fans can send in a card or 8×10 photo with a 10 or 20 dollar donation, and receive their item back signed. Current Tigers reported to be participating in the program are Jeremy Bonderman, Miguel Cabrera, Magglio Ordonez, and Rick Porcello. The program is sponsored by the Detroit Tigers Foundation, with each donation going straight to the Miracle League of Michigan. This program helps the community in 2 different and very effective ways. First, it helps raise money for a very worthy cause. Second, it gives fans a chance to give back and be a part of something bigger than themselves. For the average fan, it is not necessarily easy to find ways to give back to the community. However, this program provides fans with an easy way to do so. Getting an autograph is just icing on the cake!

Obtaining autographs through the mail is a fun experience, but the truly great thing about ‘autographs for a cause’ is that every donation goes to help such a great organization. The Miracle League of Michigan is a charitable organization that provides children with physical or mental disabilities the chance to experience the fun of playing baseball. Unfortunately not many opportunities exist for children with limitations to play baseball in an organized setting. The Miracle League provides specialized fields for safe play, and a positive atmosphere, so that any child can feel the thrill of the sport. The special fields provided by the Miracle League feature a safe, artificial playing surface that enables even wheelchairs safe navigation, as well as fully accessible dugouts, bathrooms and drinking fountains. Each game, players are assigned “buddies” who provide assistance in fielding, batting and running. Every child will have the chance to hit the ball and score a run.

For most it is difficult to imagine going a lifetime without ever having the satisfaction of getting a hit or the thrill of crossing home plate. For kids with special challenges, playing baseball provides a real sense of accomplishment and opportunity for positive growth. In the same way, ‘autographs for a cause’ can give fans a sense of accomplishment by supporting kids who otherwise would not have the opportunity to play baseball.

As fans of the sport, collectors understand the special influence that baseball can have in people’s lives. Hopefully, collectors can take full advantage of this opportunity to not only expand their collections, but also to give back and share their love of baseball with others.

For more information concerning the Autographs for A Cause program, or the Miracle League of Michigan, please follow the links below:

http://detroit.tigers.mlb.com/det/community/foundation.jsp

http://www.michiganmiracle.org/index.htm