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  1. #1

    Tristar Autographs at the National?

    I'm planning on going to the National next month, and it's going to be my first time going to any sort of card show (which I'm sure won't be overwhelming at all lol.) However, I'm having trouble planning for it financially and how to split my budget up between getting cards and possibly getting autographs from the Tristar pavilion. I collect both and would love some Thome and Lofton autographs, but I'm clueless as to whether or not getting those autographs would be worth my time and money (I have a sub-$1,000 budget for this event.)

    I'm sure I'll have a good time regardless, but I have some questions:


    1. Let's say that I want to get a bat autographed? Would it make more sense to get one that's from Tristar there or order my own?
    2. How long are the lines for someone with a normal ticket, on average?
    3. Is there that much of a difference between receiving an autograph at this event and autographs elsewhere?
    4. Is there possibly something that I wouldn't know about getting an autograph at the National?


    Thanks!

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  3. #2
    1. I would always bring my own item, on the off chance that they don't have what you wanted there (i.e. you want a black bat, and they only have wood grain bats). 2. The lines are long, but they call people in groups using numbers. So, if you have number 100, and the person starts signing at noon, they will call VIPs and Super VIPs and all that, then numbers 1 to 20 first, once the line gets down, 21 to 40, etc. So, you don't even have to wait in line the whole time. Also, if you had number 5, and missed your time, and they are at 100, you can still go and jump right in.
    3. Depends. Some people will sign differently at paid signings versus at the ballpark. Some won't. Some will take their time at a paid signing, whereas they might rush at another event. Some will inscribe things at a paid signing that they won't at an appearance at an auto dealer or something. Some won't inscribe unless you pay extra per word. It all depends. But, to me, there is little difference between a free signing at a grand opening and a paid signing at the National for a player, the difference is being able to get guys that you normally cannot get elsewhere.
    4. Nope, they always have a choice of pens and markers at the table, so you don't have to bring your own, but if you want something exotic like red sharpie or blue smurf paint pen, then you should bring your own. But they will have blue, black, silver, sharpie, paint pens, etc, and the autograph handler at the table with the athlete will usually know the best place for the signature to go.
    Working on autographed 1987 Topps Baseball set:
    Total Cards in Set:792/Total Autographable: 760 (6 Checklists, 26 Team Leaders)
    Total Autographed:605!
    Currently Sent (Outstanding):71
    Percent Complete:79.6

  4. #3
    Thank you so much for all of that, arfmax! You have no idea how many hours I did researching to never find any of the useful information you had in one post.

  5. #4
    no problem, I have been to a few of the Nationals in Chicago and been a VIP, which basically means you get a bunch of "free" autographs (if you don't count the cost of the VIP package), and have spent a lot of time in the autograph area.
    Working on autographed 1987 Topps Baseball set:
    Total Cards in Set:792/Total Autographable: 760 (6 Checklists, 26 Team Leaders)
    Total Autographed:605!
    Currently Sent (Outstanding):71
    Percent Complete:79.6

  6. #5
    Austin,

    Let's say that I want to get a bat autographed? Would it make more sense to get one that's from Tristar there or order my own?
    How long are the lines for someone with a normal ticket, on average?
    Is there that much of a difference between receiving an autograph at this event and autographs elsewhere?
    Is there possibly something that I wouldn't know about getting an autograph at the National?
    1) I am going to go a whole another route. Is getting the autograph in person to you and seeing them worth the dollars to you. I say this for one factor. What you pay thru the signing pavilion can be very high for some of the bigger draws and even some of the lower level stars. I remember seeing wooden Bats being sold with Pete Rose autograph for like half of what it would cost to buy a bat and buy a ticket to get Pete autograph. So I guess how special will it be for you to remember the signing time. For the most part they try to keep the line moving pretty quickly and you might get a few words of interactions. So just throwing another angle out there if dollar and time might be a priority versus seeing the athlete and getting a photo.

    2) It all depends as I waited for the line of my signer Marv Levy to die down then I quickly bought a ticket and then got a autograph of his in probably less than 20 to 30 minutes. If I had started when he was signed I might have been there twice that. As arfmax said the super vip get to go to the from to the line before normal folks lol.

    3) The only thing about other events and promotions they usually have a cut off of like 50 to a 100 etc. So at these events they usually have a lot longer to sign as they are there for 2 hours I believe.

    4) As ethan said I have always used the items to sign my items with what was provided by Tristar. The only thing I would add sometimes you can see athletes at the hotel. As @accordionjacob and I saw Jerry Rice in the lobby when we were checking in. Saw Ozzie G in the same hotel after a hoomestand with Baltimore. So, there might be opportunities if your staying in a hotel but that is rare. One of those staying be prepared for anything as you never know who you will run into. I even seen athletes stopping at the tables who were not even part of the tristar roster signing etc.

    DON
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