On Autographs and Other FANcy Things…

Let’s talk about autographs for a second. I can’t recall a moment in my life where I ever thought, “I totally want this person to sign my piece of paper!”, but hey- I can respect that. I’m also not the type of person to be interested in any sort of “celebrity” so perhaps that’s why I’m weird, but that’s not what I’m here to talk about. Some sports fans want autographs and some of these fans seriously need to work on their manners and respect players’ personal space. There, I said it.

Before I get too far into that… If you want Mat’s autograph, he signs by the dugout before almost every game he isn’t pitching. He typically puts priority on the kiddos and signs for as many people as he can. The bummer here is that even when you sign for 47 people, the 48th you didn’t get to is going to be mad and think you’re a jerk. They might even send you a letter that declares, “I know you saw me before the game against the Diamondbacks and you ignored me on purpose because you’re a terrible person and you should reevaluate your life because I’m always right and I know everything” when none of that reflects the truth. *Sigh*. Such is life.

Away from the ballpark, there are a few appropriate occasions to ask for an autograph and a few very inappropriate. I can’t speak for all athletes but I can speak on our experience. The bottom line is this: If you recognize an athlete in public and decide to ask for an autograph, you really shouldn’t get mad if he or she respectfully declines. Also, if you see us in a public place and scream, “That’s Mat Latos!!!”, you can most definitely expect me to hate you and the both of us to run away. There’s nothing fun about being at the zoo or the Del Mar fair and suddenly having dozens of camera phones in your face.

Before I go on, I need to let you know that real fans and autograph collectors need to wage a war on what I call “eBayers”. These “eBayers” are people who wait around for baseball players with giant binders asking them to sign 39 photos and 23 cards. They then go list them on eBay because they are only looking to make a few dollars. I can respect a hustle but the hustle needs to have some respect. There are almost always real fans mixed in a group of autograph seekers but the “eBayers” make the experience so overwhelming for athletes, real fans often don’t get the experience they were hoping for and that stinks. Sometimes, fans need their balls signed and “eBayers” need to respect that.

While I’m on the subject, there is nothing, I mean NOTHING more creepy to me than people who wait outside of team hotels for autographs. I’m pretty sure the people who do this are almost all “eBayers”. Let me put it to you this way- we live half of our lives in hotels. When we’re on the road, the hotel is our respective home. If you think it’s cool to wait outside of our home to ask Mat for an autograph on his way to work, you’re yucky. I’m sure this might be a new thought process to some people but that’s what I’m here for- to offer MY perspective on this baseball life. I should note that I probably wouldn’t think it was so creepy if I hadn’t been followed around the streets of Chicago by one of these guys, but I’ve made up my mind- creepy it is. This probably goes without saying but Mat will not sign outside of a hotel on the road. Consider this a protest.

Another glaring flaw in the autograph system are the individuals who feel entitled to a baseball player’s personal time and then act a fool when he declines to sign. I could give you a boat load of examples but here’s one: Last season we were in Philly and we hadn’t seen Mat’s parents in quite a few months. While heading to dinner, a dude (an obvious eBayer- they all smell the same) interrupted Mat getting in the car to ask for an autograph. Mat politely responded that he wasn’t going to sign right now and the guy got pissy. Mat explained that he was on his way to dinner with his parents and, I don’t recall the exact diction, it went something like this, “C’mon Man, just sign for me. C’monnnnnnnnnn.” Sometimes “no” means “no” and this was one of those times. The enraged autograph seeker then yelled at my in-laws, “YOU SHOULD BE ASHAMED OF YOUR SON!” Not only was this rude and unfounded, there is NO need to insult a player’s family ever. Dear dude I hope to never see again, if you’re reading this, I am ashamed of YOU. Go listen to some Avril Lavigne and get your girly angst out.

What fans may or may not understand is that during the season, ballplayers get very little personal time with their loved ones. If you see an athlete out to dinner with his spouse or family, that may be the only hour he gets to spend with them for weeks or even months. In no way shape or form am I calling any fan annoying or bashing autograph seekers; it’s a hobby and fans are what make this game so great. I am, however, asking you to be mindful that ballplayers are human too and if they’re anything like my husband, they want to make fans happy as often as possible. If you spot an athlete and he doesn’t seem to be in a rush or carrying 17 grocery bags, it’s okay to ask for an autograph or say “hi” or tell him to eat the opposing team alive in your inside voice. It’s even okay to go freaking crazy- it happens to the best of us, I just can’t tell you what reaction to expect.

The next time you don’t get the response you want when interacting with someone you don’t personally know, ask yourself what may be going on in his or her personal life before you get grumpy with them. I’m talking your barista, your grocer, your favorite ballplayer, and your dry cleaner. All of them.

We’re all human here.

Except for the aliens and zombies who read my blog, of course.



  1. mlblogscatch108stchs

    As a fan, I hardly ever ask for autographs (outside of team events, like a fan fest where you usually pay to meet a player), I just ask for a picture with the person. That way, it means more to me and can’t be sold like an autograph.

    I can usually pick out the “eBayers” too. I try to stay as far away from them as I can pregame.

    I also don’t understand the people who feel they are entitled to an autograph. It’s just a person’s name (to me). I understand asking a Hall of Famer to sign something, because I’ve done that but be considerate.

    I don’t know, pictures just mean more to me….

  2. David Lee

    Great post. 15 years ago, I was friends with a large group of MLBers. It was torture for them when we would go out for a bite to eat or to a bar for a drink. As I was the same age as the players and athletically built, the collectors would sometimes ask me to sign. When I politely declined that I was not a player, i was cursed at.
    That being said, I am an autograph collector and my MLB friends used to hook me up all the time with great graphs and GU equipment. But, I learned the way to go about it.
    You are owed nothing from a player. Always say “thank you”. Do not bother the player for a signature when he is with his family, especially when eating. If you want to say “Hello”. Fine, keep it quick and if it is on his family time, do not whip out the camera or camera phone. Leave them alone on the way to the bathroom.
    I wish more players would sign at the park before games. it is a great way to give back to the fans. But, I can understand why some players get jaded.
    I was once in Milwaukee (Pfister hotel) at 2:00.a.m. on a weekday. My friend (now a HOFer) was approached by a kid no more than 13 asking for an autograph. My friend said “No, go home and go to school tommorrow. Where are your parents?”

  3. Baseball Serendipity

    Dallas – I came across your blog by chance one day and I have to say that I applaud your bluntness. It is really refreshing to see someone like you taking a protective stance for baseball players’ families. Funny thing I discovered is that my husband knows Mat from their middle school days. 🙂 Mat played with his younger brother Drew. Not sure if he remembers but it is a small world! My husband’s name is David Adams and he plays with the NY Yankees. 🙂 Keep doing what you are doing! All the best – Camille

    • Lisa

      Say hello to Drew – AKA Penguin. Too funny….I was just thinking about him the other day. Best of luck to David-we wish him well.

  4. ron eckenroth

    I collect autographs for my personal collection and have the fortune to meet Mickey Mantle Joe D Sammy Sosa etc I do realize they have a private life and each time the players go out of their way to give me a nice autograph You are correct about people getting autographs for sale and I even notice they send kids down to obtain the siagnature

    The real thrill for me is meeting them in person which is priceless and sometimes they even have a story they share as they sign

  5. mrsbaseball32

    As a fan, I appreciate your post. Often, we forget that players have a career and a personal life. I am a teacher, and I can only imagine what would happen if all of my students suddenly showed up at my house wanting help. I, of course, welcome the customary hello in public, but I would not help a student with their assignment while having dinner with my family. While an athletes job is very different from mine, he still “puts his pants on” the same as I do and deserves the same respect I want.
    In a side note, I am not sure how athletes stay sharp and focused with all of the off the field pressure and expectations.

  6. stevencox010663

    totally appreciate your post- We all need to remember that baseball players – though some we think of as Idols- are human- and that they have a job to do on the field.

  7. Joe Elder (@muskiesfan)

    Excellent read. I am an autograph collector. I mainly collect autographs of Reds players because they are my favorite team. I’ll ask for autographs at the stadium, my wife and I also go to RedsFest each year. Other than that, I only send requests through the mail. I actually sent to Mat in Arizona back in February. No response yet. LOL

    I believe that real collectors are respectful of players and their privacy. The “ebayers” give us all a bad name though. Because of them, a lot of players are hesitant or even reluctant to sign. It may not seem like much to others, but we enjoy adding Reds players autographs to our collection. It’s a hobby and something we enjoy.

    Best of luck to you and Mat. Go Reds!


  8. Lisa

    Great read. People don’t understand that players do not get enough time to spend with their families. It’s a sacrifice for the player and his family. I really hope that this blog brings awareness to the public that the player needs there privacy respected and at the end of the day all they want to do it unwind and relax and turn their baseball persona off. YOU HAVE TO LIVE IT TO FULLY UNDERSTAND IT !!!

  9. hebronredsfan

    Thanks for another great blog post. I continue to enjoy your perspective and the reminder that you and Mat are people with real emotions facing the same human things that we all do (maybe with just a slightly different twist than what most of us are used to). That said, I have to admit, I too enjoy collecting Reds player autographs and meeting the players–however I pretty much keep my collecting strictly to events such as Redsfest or the Caravan. It is something my kids and I enjoy doing together and we are very appreciative that players give up a bit of their valuable free time for a team event and to interact with the fans. Thanks again for sharing and keep the blog posts coming (I was going through withdrawals there for a couple of days).

  10. brianga26


    Thanks for the feedback. As an avid autograph collector (note, I have never, nor will I ever sell an autograph) I will always get an autograph for my collection if I have the opportunity at the park. I think it is creepy that guys will wait at the hotel, or walk up to a person at a restaurant.However,recently here in Atlanta I was sitting next to Charles Barkley at dinner. Numerous people were walking up to him for photos. He was very accommodating. I sent a beer over to him, he was very gracious and asked me to come join him to talk. That was one of the exceptions to the rule of course.

    The real problem with autograph collecting is the Ebayers. There is one particular woman in Atlanta (we won’t say names), that will camp out by the visitors dugout with helmets, bats, balls and gloves. She is a very obvious ebayer. But, the players sign for her. If the truly want to curtail people like her, recognize who they are, and don’t sign for them. I have in fact seen her bring people with her to get multiple autographs from Ryne Sandberg when he is in town. Ryne is very gracious and will sign for 20 minutes prior to the game.

    Tell Mat thanks for being a good signer. We have discussion boards where we do discuss “good signers” vs. “bad signers.” He has a great reputation as being a fan favorite. However there are some that are just jerks. One that comes to mind is “The chosen one” in baseball.. Again, no names used. He is chatty Cathy on the field, but when he comes to sign his required (it seems that he feels that way) 2 autographs, he doesn’t interact with the fans. What a great opportunity to make someone’s day or gain more fans. That is the key with these guys, if they would actually interact with the fans then they could tell who was “ebayer” vs. the guys who actually enjoy autograph collecting as a hobby.
    I have over 200 signed baseballs on my bookcase. I have always loved baseball, and autograph collecting is my “link” to the game still.
    Thanks for a well written and observant article.

  11. Sal

    In the MLB barely anybody signs inside te stadium and not every fan can afford to go to the games all the time so between being free and the easiest way to get players that’s why people go to the hotel and not evry1 with cards and photos and a blue sharpie are ebayers actually those are alot of times the biggest fans

  12. Matt Raymond

    Dallas, you make some valid observations here and I appreciate your perspective. No one can argue that the commercialization of autographs has had a negative impact on the hobby of autograph collecting and strained the relationships between players and fans.

    Autograph collecting is permission-based (unlike, say the paparazzi) and every celebrity has a right to decline while still being treated with a level of courtesy we would extend to anyone in our daily lives. In the wake of being turned down, collectors are only endangering subsequent opportunities (for themselves and others) by being disrespectful.

    As an autograph collector and someone who does obtain them outside hotels (NOTE: I have never sold an autograph), I was glad to see that you qualified your comments by saying “almost all” of those outside hotels were eBayers. While I think that percentage is high, I understand where the perception comes from. That said, it is frustrating to many collectors to be stereotyped as dealers by celebrities and those around them. While it’s difficult to differentiate oneself from another based purely on appearance, I think the true hobbyists can make progress through their actions. My own “rules” include often asking for personalizations, getting one item signed at a time, and behaving in a civil manner (it seems obvious, doesn’t it?).

    On the flip side, I think players such as Mat can encourage this behavior not by refusing to sign, but by limiting their signing to one item per person and/or personalizing. In 6+ years of in person autograph collecting, my experience is that dealers react to being denied by being even more aggressive and creative in how they create opportunities which, from your perspective, leads to situations that can be even more uncomfortable. Remember that their motives are financial which can produce acts of desperation.

    I hope the symbiotic relationship between players and fans can improve and lead to increasingly positive experiences for both parties.

    Thanks for sharing your experiences.

    Matt Raymond
    Autograph University

  13. Jason

    Never understood the fascination with autographs. It’s fine for kids because sports players are often “heroes” to them and all, but I don’t see why an adult would idolize another person and want them to sign something. I guess it’s cool if that’s your hobby or you’re a collector, but it still feels childish to me.

  14. Lisa Braun

    As part of my responsibilities with the Reds, I moderate blog comments. The author of the blog only sees comments that have been approved for public viewing. If you have any questions about comments that may or may not have been approved, please email me at LBraun@reds.com. Thanks.

  15. Dave Sistaro

    Dallas – Great blog. I too have seen it all over the years. I collect for myself and have never sold an autograph. I mostly get my autographs at AA baseball games. I had a few players ask my name to personalize my baseball although I didn’t ask. I was honored and those are great keepsakes. At a game Lars Anderson (Boston) was signing and I saw this guy walk aways with a baseball in his hand cursing. I asked what happened and the guy saif that Lars personalized the ball that he signed. I just shook my head, that guy was a tru Ebay’er. Lots’s of minor leaguers are totally cool especially if you have kids. I was friendly with Josh Hamilton and his family when he played in low A ball. On the flip side I have seen players who’ve been downright rude to all fans at the park, and these weren’t star players either. At a Mets game I was there when theit stars at the time David Wright and Jose Reyes were signing/talking/laughing with the fans and when the fans asked Lastings Millege to come over he just looked at us like we had 2 heads. Even Carlos Beltran shook his head. I totally respect a players privacy when they are out and with their family and it’s funny how a few times when a player saw me look at them and respect their privacy they actually came up to me to say hi. Nice gesture. This is a great blog keep on doing it and good luck to you and Matt this season!!!!!!!!

  16. Steve (Boston autograph hound)

    Great blog, although I’m an avid autograph hound of all major sports and celebs, and collect at the park,events, and yes even hotels. I’m a collector in Boston and remain friends with some of the dealers, although there are some I do dislike. Most of us graph hotels because it gives you another shot at obtaining an autograph. With me I will ask politely if they say no I just leave it at that or tell them to have a nice day/night. I have had players flip me the bird and cuss me out for asking, I just don’t take it personal, and cherish and thank the players who do stop. You come across a lot of nice players and many jerks the same with players interacting with hounds. One of us actually was your husbands teammate last season in San Diego,relief pitcher Pat Neshek he’s a classy guy who happens to be a hound himself. He obtains autographs of other players in person and via trades with collectors like myself. He has also done some hounding for NHL and NBA teams at hotels in his past. If anyone has any comments/remarks feel free to ask.

  17. norm bettis

    Fan is short for fanantic, these things come and should be realized as part of being a sport figure. I dont excuse their behavior and not surprised. Maybe you shouldnt be caught off guard. Unfortunatly comes as part of a celeb. Your in the spotlight, you have chosen your path. Wishing you the best. But autographs. Really dont understand some of your comments. Specially the one about asking for an autograph in person and yelling out your favorite players name. Comon really……this bothers you….. Really

  18. lindalshot

    I’m an avid collector who has been collecting for 40+ years. I do most of my collecting through the mail. I encourage the players to personalized my card or photos. That way they know they’re going in my collection and not on e-bay.

    Pat Neshek is a dream.My cousin’s so has leukemia and has been hospitalized pretty much since last June. I sent some pictures to Pat and explained Nate’s situation. Signed & sent. Same for Brandon Phillips.

    I know some fans abuse the players but sometimes that simple autograph is a huge spirit-lifter for the recipient.

    Love your blog, Dallas!

  19. Seymour

    Dalls, thank you for posting this, it opens up to the bitter people who are bashing Matt. It really brings light knowing that Matt is concerned about his fans and wants to please them.

  20. Mike

    I am an autograph collector and one who carries the dreaded binder. But that is just my way of staying organized – otherwise, I’m constantly losing and dropping stuff. And collectors often have multiple cards of the same player because they are either working on several sets or they are helping fellow collectors in other parts of the country.

    It is very frustrating to get labeled as an “ebayer” because of my age and appearance. I am a 38 year old father of three with a good job that just happens to love baseball and spends thousands of dollars a year on tickets, merchandise, baseball cards, baseball travel, etc. Trust me, if I was trying to make money on autographs, I would be failing miserably.

    Just like fans should cut the players some slack when they don’t sign and appreciate they have other things do and the occasional bad day just like the rest of us, I ask the players to not assume either. I can assure you 95 percent of the folks asking for autographs are not “ebayers” despite what it looks like. Unfortunately, the other 5 percent ruin it for the rest of us. That 5 percent is typically the ones that are rude and intrusive because their livelihood depend on it. If you see a dude with a binder that is polite and appreciative, it is a safe bet he isn’t selling his stuff.

    I collect because I love the game and I’m obsessive about my hobby – just ask my wife. I view autographs as art and collect the same way people collect paintings. But I have never, nor will I ever, ask for an autograph away from the ballpark. No hotels. No restaurants, No Walmart. I think signing for fans is a part of a players job and his job ends when he leaves the ballpark.

    I think if more guys signed at the ballpark it would curtail the hotel stalkers. A lot of the bigger names are much more obtainable at the hotel. Because of this, I have been tempted to try it out, but have always resisted. But over the years, I have noticed fewer and fewer guys sign at the stadium.

    Anway, I really appreciate your perspective on this and I’m truly sorry so many fans out there sour players on autographs. I can’t imagine being under the constant spotlight any time you go out in public.

    I’ll end this long winded post to say I just returned from my first trip to AZ for spring training (more of that money I mentioned) and Mat was kind enough to sign a photo for me. And I am very thankful for his time.

    • lindalshot

      Mike’s post is very fair. I am 56 and have collected since I was eleven. I have NEVER staked out a hotel; never interrupted a players meal and would never interfere with his family.
      I do most of my collecting through the mail and I always include a self-addressed stamped envelope.
      To assure the player that it’s going into my collection and not on e-bay, I usually ask them to personalize it if they care to.
      I’m happy to say, Mat signed through the mail. I kind of think it’s because I told him I was a fan of Dallas’ blog!
      This is an open thank you to all the players who have ever signed for me. I love the game and it’s a blessing to have players who still enjoy signing for the fans.

  21. John Hederson

    Great article! -Ebay sellers piss me off! -They’re ruining it for the rest of us true fans or collectors. I started getting autographs when i was a kid & have never sold a single one, Tell Mat Good luck this upcoming season.

  22. Derek Scott

    I am an autograph collector and i have never sold an autograph, but why does it really matter if people sell their autographs instead of keeping them? Also just because people try to get multiply items signed from 1 person doesnt mean that they are going to sell them i dont think players have a problem with signing multiple items it really makes me mad when people who dont even collect autographs see you get more than 1 item signed and they say something like of thats going right to ebay. If the person does not want to sign more than 1 or even sign at all they dont have to.

  23. Bob Harrison

    Just because someone has a lot of cards doesn’t make them an ebayer. Its not practical to sell autographed cards, the ebayers get big items like baseballs and 11×14 photos done. Often times fans do whats called a 50/50 where someone who isn’t able to get the autographs themselves hand off their cards to someone else to help with. People with extra autographed cards usually trade them as well. I’m sorry as an autograph collector I too hate the ebayers, but it is not fair to call the majority of fans with a binder full of cards ebayers when an Alex Rodriguez autographed card only sells for like 10$.

  24. Harry

    I’m a big sports fan, die-hard Dodgers season ticket holder and I love collecting autographs from any athlete because I respect the hard work that they’ve done to get where they’re at. I started my way in the hobby last year and I get excited when I meet a pro athlete, I don’t know if that makes me weird in your books . . . . but I don’t really care what you think of me.

    Like you said, in the autograph community there’s people who try to get some money out of their autographs and I don’t like that either. And yes, there’s people who need to learn some manners, fortunately my parents educated me correctly and every time I ask for anything I say “please” and if I get it or not I always say “thank you, have a good day/night”.

    I agree with you that there’s moments where you should think about it twice before asking for an autograph, for example: When they’re with their families, when they’re on the phone (or pretending to be on it) or simply when they say “not right now”. But they’re public figures, they don’t have a 9 to 5 job, they appear on TV, there’s people wearing shirts/jerseys with their names and numbers on their backs (which they paid for with their 9 to 5 job, that certainly isn’t as good as a salary as your husband’s) and that cheer for them from the stands or watching them on TV. It’s part of the gig, you should understand that.

    So, I don’t see anything negative if somebody recognizes him on the street and says hi to him and asks him for his autograph . . . . I do agree with you that he has the right to decline it (respectfully) and that the person asking for it shouldn’t get mad for getting rejected.

    As an autograph collector, every autograph I have in my collection has its own story and as I get my autograph I try to have a little chit chat with the person I’m getting the autograph from, fortunately I’ve had the opportunity to have my favorite athlete’s to sign something for me (‘Magic’ Johnson, Matt Kemp, Fernando Valenzuela, Clayton Kershaw, Oscar de la Hoya, Andre Ethier and I could go on and on for 10 minutes) and after getting their autographs I was on “Cloud 9”, for that I’ll always be grateful with them. Of course, there’s athletes that will say “Not right now”, “tomorrow”, “Sorry guys” and also the rude ways (that I don’t agree with). Try to understand that most of us (FANS) don’t have the opportunity to hang around the players like you do, that’s why we get excited (unlike you) when we have the opportunity to ask for an autograph.

  25. Pingback: The Unspoken Laws of Baseball « My Serendipitous Life as a Baseball Wife
  26. Shannon Hayden

    very well said.i collect autographs at busch stadium and like to take pictures of players.but i only get autographs at busch stadium.i know a former baseball player and when he still was a player.when i would talk to him people would rudely interrupt me and his conversation.then some times stick stuff in my face and ask me to get my friend to sign stuff.plus i have been called nasty names by ebayers and jealous women.when i use manners the ebayers excuse me of kissing the players asses.

  27. Ben

    Mat has 11.5 million reasons to sign autographs over the next 2 years. It sucks to have people interrupt life but that is the nature of the business. The fewer people that care for an autograph means the fewer dollars in these guys pockets.

  28. mike

    Hi Dallas,
    Very interesting and I have to agree with you on most of it to a certain extent. I am an autograph collector and I have (only a few times) obtained autographs at the hotel. I am not an eBayer. That’s not to say that I have never sold an autograph, but I don’t try to get autographs to sell.

    The guys you see with the books of cards I wouldn’t call eBayers either. EBayers get the more premium items signed such as Jerseys, Bat’s, large photo’s, Etc. Autographed cards aren’t worth much and I am pretty certain the guys with the books are just trying to get whatever they have signed. Since autograph’s have become such a business, a lot of guys don’t like to sign, especially the premium items because the guys with the premium items “have to be eBayers or dealers”. Though I don’t collect like I used to, I liked to get the good stuff signed. Sometimes you have to be creative in how you get it signed like the hotel, or sneaking around places you don’t belong….. like when they are getting on the team bus! Now that I have children, it is all about them and the collection is now theirs.

    With that said, I agree there is a time and place to ask for autographs and that one should always be respectful when asking. If you see someone out in public, don’t rush them. Be discrete and try to catch them alone or if they are out to dinner, catch them when they get up and ask politely if they wouldn’t mind signing when they are leaving. Don’t rush them with an item and ask to sign. Why would someone want to sign for you after you piss them off?

    I enjoyed reading this. One thing you can tell your husband is if he is afraid of someone selling what he is signing, tell him to personalize it an sign his name through the personalization so it (the personalization) cannot be taken off. (Sorry Chasers!)


  29. Tom Muelling

    I am a collector for 40 + years. I had a very difficult time getting Mat’s autograph while he was a member of the S.D. Padres. He signed only a few items for fans at the “Fanfest” for the Padres/Mariners during spring training a few yrs. ago. And that was when he was new in the league! Now that he thinks he’s a superstar w/ Reds I won’t even bother trying. You say he signs 47–48 graphs B4 every Reds home game.
    LOL LOL LMAO 😀 I had a nice talk at spring training w/ Reds owner Bob Castellini after a game when he was driving out of Reds S.T. facility in Goodyear, AZ{1 yr.
    ago}…He stopped his car, got out and asked me if the Reds were ‘Signing” on their way out. I took a nice picture of Mat & he told me outside of Wrigley Field before the game that he “PROMISED” to sign my pic after the game. Now I had a ticket to the game & waited inside as he walked out of the clubhouse. He said he cant sign because he is pitching tomorrow. I reminded him of his promise B4 the game. He said these exact words, “Dude, come back tomorrow & I’ll sign after the game.”
    Now I was the only fan there, wearing my Reds hat & he blew me off. So I dont fall for some of the B.S. you uttered here, Dallas. I will say that U made correct observations RE: the behavior of the e-bay dealers. You should be aware that a lot of those “kiddoes” your hubby signs for are in fact selling the items on e-bay for dealers or for their own parents!!! BELIEVE IT OR NOT!

  30. Creepy Guy

    First of all your too hot for Matt. 2nd of all, Matt only signed once inside during the 12 games the Reds were in town at Wrigley, and we all know he didn’t start 11 games last year. Matt is one of the biggest asshole in the game.

  31. Matt

    I am 16 and
    I am a autograph collector. I go to games early to get autographs and tend to stay after and wait for players to leave. But I am different then most of the people that do it.
    I do not sell any of my autographs, I have traded but not sold. It’s not fair to the players if you sell something with their name on it without giving them some of the profit.
    I collect because its something to do before and after a game and its really fun getting autographs and meeting players. Some players aren’t as nice but some are very nice (I.e. Todd Frazier).
    Latos is not as nice. In my 1st experience, some guy in Philly was hassling him for an autograph saying stuff like “You promised my friend yesterday ” and “C’mon Mat”. Mat turned around and said, “I didn’t promise anyone” and mat said to a guy in the dougout, “lemme go scribble on this guys photo really quick” … Which he did. I was there with a card but didn’t want to ask him, he looked mad enough.

    I like to get autographs from all sports, being 16, it’s a fun hobby, i even scored some batting gloves at a minor league game from a top rangers prospect Joey Gallo. He was really nice.

    I do hate the guys that go to games just to hustle a bit, but there’s better ways to make a quick buck.

  32. Just a fan

    I just started getting autographs and do have a binder as it helps my OCD. I know exactly where to find what I want. I always ask politely and say thank you or thanks anyway (if a no). Sadly, some plays stereotype me as an “ebayer” but look on ebay… Right now there is a clear picture of Billy at a Kids Club signing and the item is for sale. This is where MOST of the ebayers come from. They pimp out their kids for autographs and then sell them. I had a kid at the wall once say ” I have to get this signed so my mom can sell it on that auction place.” It is sad that adults that are true fans get a bad rep 😦

  33. Tony

    Dallas, thank you the information. I’m an older dad and my boys are 6 and 7. We have enjoyed great fun together getting autographs at Bengals training camps. I am looking forward to bringing them to many Reds games this year. Collecting autographs has been a great way to turn my little guys in to major sports fans. They are actually starting to watch some games with me. We would never sell an item. I hope someday they will look at our memorabilia collection and appreciate our time together. We hope to meet Mat this year! Please pass on a big “thank you” to him for taking time to meet with fans.

  34. Jeff

    So many real problems in the World today, including the Latos clan having to somehow live through the AWFUL autograph-request cycle. How do you manage? Anyway, grow up & enjoy it while it lasts. The fans pay the player salaries, so you work for us.

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  36. metallic clutch

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  37. gmarinos

    I am a real fan and enjoy and cherish the autographs I get. As a hockey fan, it is pretty much impossible to get visiting players autographs unless you wait outside to hotel. I recently did this for the first time, and I was aghast at the behavior of most of the other people there. I was surrounded by cutthroat, rude, profane dealers who tried to intimidate me, and when that didn’t work, they were just plain out rude. They were even rude to players who didn’t sign and not one of them ever said thank you when they did get an autograph. I am very respectful of the players that don’t want to sign and the only reason I went to the hotel is because there is no access otherwise. For baseball, it is quite different, as there is more access before games inside the stadium.

  38. Chris R.

    Came across this blog a while ago, didn’t feel compelled to comment but now I do as I’ve experienced asking Mat for autographs roughly 7-8 times and was denied every time. I’ve been collecting autographs on and off for around ten years since I was younger and after stopping for a while, began again when I lost a parent unexpectedly to keep my mind off my lack of a home life. It was a catharsis, still is in some respects, however, your generalization of dealers is misguided and here’s why: Currently, Mat’s autograph is listed on eBay for around $.99. Now that’s listed, not even sold as there are no bids. This has happened quite a bit as well. There is barely if any money to be made selling autographs of low-mid tier MLB players and the misconception that it’s occurring frequently is misguided and, frankly, disingenuous. I had heard that you, Dallas, had expressed feelings on people asking for autographs for quite some time so this blog didn’t entirely surprise me, but I’ll leave you with this: If Mat or you don’t want to sign something for me, a Reds fan matter of fact, or someone else who is in their 20s (like I am) as you think they’re a dealer, that’s fine. An incorrect and cognitively pathetic assumption, but nonetheless that’s fine. But to deny a child, which I have seen your husband do a number of times, that’s despicable.

    People don’t ask Mat for multiple reasons and now that he’s going to Florida will still refrain as: 1) His auto isn’t worth the item it’s put on and more importantly, 2) He’s a Grade A jerk.

    Think on that as you and Mat drive down the road to home games in southern FL in your Mercedes. You’re living a life many dream of, and if you can crush another people’s dream, especially a kid, to obtain an auto- hopefull you can live with being a subpar individual.

  39. mm7rose

    Dallas your view of collectors is somewhat understandable as you had some bad experiences. However, imagine if in the course of shopping or using taxi services or going to restaurants you had multiple bad experience with people from an ethnic group and therefore said some things about people of that group. People would call you out for stereotyping, The same theory can be applied to collectors. there are collectors, who sell,on ebay, there are some collectors that are very rude people, and there are collectors who are very inconsiderate. However, there are collectors that are courteous, there are collectors that collect as a way to pay homage to teams or players they support, there are collectors who give parts of their collection to charity, and there are collectors who give some of the autographs they get to others as gifts. Do you feel it is fair to lump all collectors in a a single stereotype.

    You say Matt signs by the dugout that is admirable and yes it sad the one collector he doesn’t get will curse him out. Are you aware in many stadiums he only people who can get down to the seats by the dugout are season ticket holders who play hundreds or thousands of dollars for their seat to the game? The average fan who pays even $50 for a seat has no chance of getting Matt’s autograph, so its nice he signs there but there are many it doesn’t impact.

    I have always liked Matt as a pitcher and he has signed for me in the past. I won;t judge him as a person by whether he signs or not. I have no problem, with him deciding not to sign anymore at the hotel, it is his right,.But neither he not you should stereotype collectors, like in every group you have good people and some bad people, don’t judge or make statements that categorize the group,

  40. go fuck yourself

    Funny stories. I too feel bad for the creepers that wait on Mat since his autograph wouldnt buy a happy meal. Bro gets 9 MIL a year to throw a ball and knows it comes with the territory. Always has. Always will. Just imagine if he was any good and not 4-6 with an ERA close to 5! I bet ya think Mat is with ya for your personality.

  41. Jon Trumble

    You act like Matt Latos is Mickey Mantle. I don’t think anyone really cares if Matt Latos doesn’t sign their ball. Thanks for your opinion tho.

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