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CliffAnderson92

Autograph Addiction

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The title of this post might sound funny because how could someone become addicted to autographs? Well I personally believe that itís a real thing, and that Iím not the only autograph collector that has gone through it. So Iíve decided to write about my experiences.

It all started out in late June 2012 when I began collecting autographs. I had been getting some sports cards before that, but they were worth only the value of the cardboard that they were printed on. I liked them, but they began to just take up space.

I then came across a video online where a guy was writing a letter to a famous person, and sending a sports card to them, for them to autograph. I thought that it looked interesting, but thought that it might be too difficult, because I didnít know what size envelopes to use, and didnít really want to spend a lot of money on envelopes and stamps, I wanted to save my money for the future.

The thought of being able to get autographs that easy fascinated me though, because I had only gotten one autograph before that, which was a mini basketball signed by NBA star Carlos Boozer when he came to my town back in 2004. I had always believed that the only way to obtain autographs was either by meeting a famous person in real-life, or by buying them online which can be very expensive, and also hard to tell if theyíre real or not.

I contacted Judge Judy through her website and asked if I could please get her autograph, since I had always been a big fan of her show from the time I was little. Her people told me that they would ask her to sign a picture for me when she had the time, and within a few weeks it arrived in my mailbox! Within a couple days, I also received autographs from a now deceased country music legend, a famous chef, and the former chairman of the Federal Reserve!

Getting those filled me with excitement, and I wanted to get more, so I got envelopes, stamps, and more sports cards. Within a month or two I was requesting autographs like crazy, and checking the mailbox down the street at least 2-3 times each day.

I didnít think that I had a problem or anything; it was just a very exciting hobby that I had a lot of fun doing, but it would eventually get much worse! Late that Summer it got so bad, that I spent more than $90 on stamps so I could send 100 requests. $90 might not be much to some of you, but it was, and still is to me. To make things worse, those stamps didnít last long, some days I would mail of 25-50 requests at a time. And instead of sending them almost exclusively to people that had an almost 100% success rate of signing autographs through the mail, I sent most of them to people that werenít known to sign autographs, because I believed that the famous person was going to read my letter and sign an autograph for me, because I was special for some reason.

It got so bad, that collecting autographs was no longer fun for me. I needed autographs like alcoholics need alcohol, drug users need drugs, and gamblers need to gamble. I would hear the mailman driving down my street. Iíd look out the window and see him putting a bunch of envelopes into the mailboxes and Iíd think to myself ďI hope those are all for me! At least one of the envelopes anywaysÖ..Ē

After the mailman would leave, Iíd quickly walk down the sidewalk and check the mail. If it was empty, or just had junk mail, I would seriously be upset. I would walk inside my house and think to myself ďI hate the stupid mail delivery people! They didnít bring me autographs like they were supposed too!!!!!Ē even though it wasnít their fault at all. The mailmen that deliver mail on my street are very nice and professional. If theyíre working and thereís mail to be delivered, they always deliver it no matter how bad the weather is.

I knew that I had an autograph addiction, but I didnít know what to do. When I tried to look it up online, there was nothing negative about it, just websites where people can talk about how much they love to collect autographs. I had never heard about people being addicted to collecting autographs, so I felt kind of stupid and didnít want to talk about it. I had nowhere to turn.

Then in February 2013, I spent 3 days asking for peopleís autographs online, I asked around 250 people. I would start in the morning after eating breakfast, and wouldnít stop until around 1am the next morning. Within a week I began receiving autographs in the mail, soon after, I was getting 6-11 envelopes in the mail each day, some of them contained more than 1 autograph. I was excited about getting the autographs, but I still felt kind of bad because I needed more and more. But sitting down and seeing all those envelopes, trying to keep track of it all, it became difficult. I was like ďwhen am I going to stop? Iím getting so many of them, Iím going to run out of people to ask for autographs!!!!!Ē.

But, I realized that I could ask an unlimited number of people online for their autograph for free! So thereís no risk asking that way. It took me a while, but I slowly began to request less and less autographs through the mail, and still requested them through the mail. Now, 1-2 packets of stamps last me 1-2 months unless Iím almost 100% certain Iíll get autographs from many different people, and then I might use them up a little quicker. If I get only a couple autographs every few weeks, I donít feel bad. I still enjoy opening the mailbox and seeing a self-addressed stamped envelope, or an envelope/package that a famous person sent me, thatís always very exciting!

Now my main reason why I try to collect a lot of autographs is so I can help other people get autographs of people they like. And itís cool to look at my collection and go ďwow! Iíve gotten almost 500 autographs in less than 2 years, without ever leaving my island or ever personally meeting any of the famous people in real-life.

Do you think that autograph addiction is a real thing?

Comments

  1. autographs2010's Avatar
    I don't know if "autograph addiction" is for real, but I did enjoy reading your blog. I too get disappointed if my mailbox doesn't have autographs for me. I think all of us do.
  2. CliffAnderson92's Avatar
    Thanks for the comment! I'm glad to know that I'm not crazy
  3. addicted36's Avatar
    Yes it's real, anyone can get addicted to anything imo. The question becomes if doing it hurts those around you? If the answer is yes to that then your on the same level of other addictions that you mentioned above. If the answer is no, then its harmless
  4. CliffAnderson92's Avatar
    Yep! my addiction never harmed my relationships with anyone around me, they just thought it was cool that I was getting lots of autographs from so many famous people all the time, and I don't think they knew that I "needed" to get more in order to be happy. But it doesn't really matter as much to me now. I still love to get autographs of course, but I don't feel bad if I don't because I've already gotten more than I ever thought was possible when I first started.
  5. yeoy65's Avatar
    Let's get one thing straight, you are crazy. Well so am I. I amassed over 3000 autos before deciding(health issue bills) to stop collecting, or I would have kept going. Step 1 is admitting you have a problem, so what if you stop there, as long a you will not regret anything down the line. I only cared about HOF autos had over 500 different players for the 4-sports, a few were TTMs back when they still replied. Liked on-line request because it was so easy & free, so I raked up 50 or so. Good luck with future collecting.
  6. CliffAnderson92's Avatar
    Thanks for the comment!
    I have a few problems 1. I don't just focus on certain types of autographs, I try to get them from anyone and everyone which probably isn't the best idea. I know that lots of people mostly collect a few players, a certain team, sport, or hof autos which makes a lot more sense. Problem 2. is that I have a blog where I post all of my success's and a lot of the followers/visitors are from all over the world and could care less about American sports, so I feel like I'd be letting them down if I narrowed down on what I collect. My email even got blocked last night because I had been sending so many email requests lately. I think I'd be the poster child for autograph addiction if people started taking it seriously. I've gotten +/- 480 autographs in less than 2 years and I'm only 21. Sometimes I spend days requesting as many as I possibly can, and other times I go weeks in between sending request. The one positive change I've made is substantially lowering the amount of TTM's I send out, so the main thing I need to spend money on now for my collection is protection.

    www.cliffsautographs.wordpress.com
  7. steveottfan's Avatar
    Cliff, I don't post here often but after reading this I thought it was appropriate. I'm a 22 year old collector who has the same bug as you do. I've been vigorously collecting signatures for almost 10 years now. For a couple years I was all over the board in terms of autograph collecting, getting anyone I could. Like you emailing celebs got me hooked. I think it had a lot to do with the fact that I was, and still am for that matter, a poor student. What I didn't need for food or rent went to stamps. What free time I had outside of work and school was mostly spent emailing or writing for autographs. I think I scared my mailman a little when I started waiting for him at the box. Looking back I guess It was real life that got in the way of my collecting and significantly lowered my addiction habits. A promotion at work, a new girlfriend and an increased school load simply forced me to stop spending so much time seeking autographs. As you get older you'll find your priorities changing. I shifted to sports autographs and then eventually to hockey autographs. My goal now is to get one autograph of everyone who has played in the NHL. I'm about half way there with just under 3,700 unique signatures. Now I spend more time researching players whereabouts, organizing my autographs and writing about my collection than actually sending requests. My blog: Hockey Ink in the Mail


    My advice is this: don't fight it. If we are addicted to this autograph collecting thing then one thing is for certain, there are much worse things we could be addicted to and much worse things we could be spending our money on. Do I regret the countless hours I spent collecting autographs? Not a bit. While my peers spent their money on video games, booze and drugs at least I have something of value to show for my dollars spent. As you get older your also find how fun it can be to look through all those signatures you've acquired. The enjoyment I get from opening my envelops is still unparalleled (don't tell my girlfriend!) and if anything it has become a big stress reliever for me. Look at it this way, most people need to get drunk or high to escape from real life. We just have to play with autographs. If autograph addiction is a real thing then look at it as a blessing, not a curse.

    Jay
  8. CliffAnderson92's Avatar
    Thanks for the comment!
    That's definitely a great way to look at it, autograph collecting is a great way to spend extra money........it's unique, something that is actually signed by a famous person, and online/ttm request are really cheap! I'm sure my autographs would have cost me a LOT more if I would have gone out and bought them from other people. Most of the people that I went to high school with were into drugs and alcohol too.......some even died because of it, or others wasted their money on stereo systems, or whatever else they thought would make them "cool".

    I wish I would have started collecting autographs when I was younger too, but I never even knew how easy it was until a couple years ago, and I got hooked from the start. I've never waited by the mailbox for the mailman, but I did stare out the window

    He probably thought it was strange when I received a letter from the CIA and a package from Mikhail Gorbachev’s executive assistant………That’s another thing that makes autograph collecting so fun, is the stories that go along with some of them.

    I've thought about collecting them from my favorite teams, or just sports in general but it's hard not to just go crazy and send out tons of requests like a madman And it's fun opening the mail, and getting a bunch of envelopes/fan packs from anyone, when I get them I don't really care who they're from! As I get older and have more money to spend on the hobby, I'd like to try to increase the value of my collection and maybe even buy some autographs, or try to get autographs from athletes before they become "too famous to sign for free"..... But I still have plenty of time to figure out which direction to take my collection.
Steel