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Prospect Autographs Before They Become Famous

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I wanted to share this with people on OH because I think it is pretty cool. I am an avid baseball fan...always have been...always will be. One of my favorite things to do though is read through Mock Drafts and read about the the top high school/college players in the nation. This year, I decided to try something and, to my surprise, it has worked out great for me. I decided to try and get autographs for as many of the top prospects in the nation as I can...before they become famous and too good to sign autos for people. I am not a huge baseball card collector but Bowman came out with a set of 40 cards this year that has most of the top high school/college players in the game so over the past two months, I have purchased the entire set except one and I am sure you can guess who that is. None other than the phenon from Vegas, Bryce Harper. That card has been selling for close to $100 so that is a little out of my price range.

Anyway, I have the other 39 player cards and what I decided to do was just send out each one to the high school/college that each particular player attends with a SASE and ask them for their autograph. So far, and they seem to keep coming in every day, I have gotten autographs from the following players...

* Jameson Taillon

* Kyle Blair

* DeAndre Smelter

* Kaleb Cowart

* Kevin Gausman

* Brian Ragira

* Karsten Whitson

* Dylan Covey

* AJ Cole

* Micah Gibbs

* Christian Colon

* Derek Dietrich

* Stetson Allie

* AJ Griffin

* Marcus Littlewood

* Yordy Cabrera

* Kris Bryant

* Austin Wilson

* Justin O'Conner

* Josh Sale

* Chevez Clarke

* AJ Vanegas

* Stefan Sabol

* Cameron Bedrosian

* Yasmani Grandal

It is absolutely amazing to me that all of these guys took the time to autograph a card for me AND actually send it back. Most of them even wrote a little something back as well saying stuff like "Thanks for the support" and "Let me know if you need another autograph". Can you believe that? Most pro athletes today seem like they are bothered by the fact that people want their autogrpahs. Not these guys...they are eating up every second of it and I for one, plan on taking advantage of it while they are still young because it won't be long before most of them become too full of themselves and won't want to sign autographs anymore.

I have to say though, that the coolest person so far has been Jameson Taillon and he might just end up being picked by the Orioles. He actually wrote back to me, because he knew I was an O's fan, saying he would love to be drafted by the O's becase, in his own words..."they have a lot of studs in their system".

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Cool idea. Good luck & congratulations.

I've been collecting baseball autographs for over 30 years, but never did anything like that with the amateurs. The only college player I recall writing to was Strasburg, but I got nothing back.

When I was at Fenway this summer though, I got both teams of Cape Cod League All-Stars to sign. In a few years, it'll be fun to go back and figure out who gets promoted to the big league collection.

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Minor league games (especially below AAA) and Winter League are also great.

Yeah, the day after a starting pitcher starts he has to chart pitches behind home plate. As long as you are nice and not obnoxious you can usually drop by during the game and get a guy to sign something or talk for a second, you'd be amazed how cool most of them are about it.

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A few years back I went to the Aflac All-American game at Ironbirds stadium. They were selling posters at the game that had a mugshot of each player on it and I ended up getting the autographs of a bunch of the players that were at the game. I didn't think much of it at the time because I hasn't heard of these guys before, but I just recently looked at it and it turns out I got some pretty good autographs.

I ended up with autographs from Chris Tillman, Jordan Schafer, Dellin Betances, Billy Rowell, Colby Rasmus, Jordan Walden, Hank Conger, Mat Latos, and a few others I can't remember right now.

And to the OP, that's an impressive set of autographs. Cool to see that they were enthusiastic to sign and send it back to you too.

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