Where do you get a great signature?
There are many ways to get autographed batting helmets from your favorite players, but not all situations are ideal for getting a perfect autograph on your collectible baseball batting helmet. In the old days, the only true way to get an autograph was to go to the ballpark and hope your favorite player may make his way over to the stands an sign the batting helmet you brought to the park that day. Today, there are many ways to access your favorite players.
You can still get lucky at the ballpark on game day, or camping outside the player parking lot after the game, but the easier and much more effective way, is to go to a scheduled player appearance.
The advantage of attending a scheduled autograph appearance is that the athlete is sitting down in a controlled environment, and will usually be able to sign the batting helmet in a much more controlled and ideal situation ensuring a nice clean autograph on the bill of the batting helmet. At the ballpark, the player is getting hounded by tons of people in a very condensed space, and these usually leads to small and sloppy autographs on strange spots on the batting helmet.
Which type of batting helmet is best?
Once you have found the athlete appearance that will work for you, now you need to choose a batting helmet to get autographed. The key here is to go with the most appropriate batting helmet for your collection and for the player you are getting the autograph from. Batting helmets for MLB teams are made in both mini and full-size variety.
The initial obvious factor, is buying the team that corresponds to team that the player is on. Having a player sign a batting helmet for a team that he does not play for is definitely not a good decision. The next thing that needs to be considered is the caliber of player.
Unless a player is an all-star caliber player, it is not recommended to get a full-size batting helmet signed by that player. The main issue that you can run into when you have a mediocre to below average player signing a full-size batting helmet is that the helmet could eventually be more valuable WITHOUT the signature than it is with the signature on it. A low caliber player on a full-size batting helmet can essentially ruin the helmet. All-star level players and above are definitely full-size batting helmet caliber, and the value of the item will be greater because full-size batting helmet are considered a premium item in the collectibles world. The next factor you must consider in deciding between full-size or mini batting helmet is how much space you have to display your autographs. Obviously if space is not a factor, full-size is most likely the best option (All-Star level player and above). Minis are convenient because they allow for more to be displayed in a much smaller area.
The other factor that must be considered in the full-size batting helmets is that you can usually buy a full-size with the right or left flap. Left handed hitters use batting helmets with right ear flaps, while right handed hitters use batting helmets with left ear flaps. Small details like this can often increase or decrease the value by 10-20%. Right ear flap is shown on the left. Left ear flap is shown on the right.
Which Type of Pen do I use?
One thing that is an unwritten rule of getting autographs, is do not skimp on the pens. The pen is one third of the autograph, so making a mistake here is costly (literally). Do not try to get away with using an old pen, or using the pens supplied by the autograph signing promoter. Inside information, the pens provided are the old pens from the previous private signing the promoter had a few weeks ago.
For a batting helmets, you need to purchase a black, blue, metallic silver, or metallic gold FINE POINT Sharpie. Fine point is just thick enough to look bold, but not too thick, autographs that are too thick look sloppy. Color will be dependent on the color of the helmet. Darker colored helmets require metallic silver or metallic gold (matching the team color scheme is best).
Blue or black should be used on lighter colored helmets (again matching the team color scheme is best). Sharpie just the best pen for batting helmets, the signatures come out so crisp and clear. You may wonder why a Sharpie is necessary. It is widely accepted in the Memorabilia industry that Sharpie sign clean (no bleeding) and uninterrupted, the dry quickly, and they fade very little or not at all.
Just so you know, fading is BAD! Before letting the athlete sign the batting helmet, you need to write with the marker on a piece of paper or something similar to get the ink flowing. Failure to get the ink flowing could result in skips in the autograph, which in turn makes for a bad autograph.
Where on the baseball should the athlete sign?
Placement is as important as the pen/marker used. If you get the athlete to sign an odd spot on the helmet, you have effectively destroyed the value of the autographed piece. The ideal spot on the both the mini and the full-size batting helmet is the top of the bill, this is the flattest spot on the helmet, put it allows for a nice symmetrical display after the signature is signed. A nicely placed signature on the top of the batting helmets bill puts a smile on any collectors face.
So to recap what was discussed above, the keys to a perfect hand-signed authentic signature on a baseball are as follows:
- Go to a scheduled athlete appearance where they are seated in a controlled environment.
- Buy a mini or full-size batting helmet (depending of factors state above) to get signed.
- Buy a fine point Sharpie. These markers create a beautiful signature on the either a full-size or mini batting helmet. Don't forget to get the ink flowing before the signature.
- Get the autograph on the top of the bill. Anywhere else is just a shame.
These are the keys to getting a great signature on a batting helmet. If you don't feel like getting the autograph yourself, there are plenty of beautiful signed batting helmets for sale at www.757sc.com/pages/mlb-shop.