by Gail Jensen
Although it can be very fun and satisfying to buy and collect autographed baseballs, if you have received an autograph personally from a baseball player, you know that there is something special that goes with that. I am not saying that buying autographed baseballs is not special, but what I am saying is that there is a bit more of excitement when you get the autograph personally, no one can take that experience from you. I have received a few autographs throughout my experience as a baseball collector and I would like to share my first autograph that I ever received.
It came from a special player that I admire not only as a player but also as a person, Bengie Molina. It happened during a Giants “Fan Fest,” which I was so excited to attend. It was my goal to get his autograph for a while, but I had a hard time getting one in the past. As soon as I arrived to the Fan Fest all my hope turned into disappointment as the line to get his autograph was about as long as the distance from home plate all the way to the center field wall. There was no way that if I stood in line I was going to get his autograph. So then I thought to myself, how could I make myself stand out so that perhaps Bengie can notice me?
I sat right across the booth where he was signing items and kept getting his attention, I kept showing him my Bengie Molina shirt that I was wearing and I would ask if he could sign my baseball. He would point at the line of fans like saying, “Come on, there are thousands of people in line here,” but not in a rude way, matter fact he thought it was funny. Again, here I lost hope and I kind of put my head down giving up and then I felt someone tap me on the shoulder.
It was his assistant.
She said “Bengie wants to sign your ball, want to give it to me so I can hand it to him.” And I am sure you know what happened from there. I must tell you I had the biggest smile at the park and I thanked Bengie, and he made a “fist pump” towards me and waved goodbye. The best thing about it was that as I walked away, everyone in line was looking at me like, “who is this guy how did he get an autograph so easy and we are still standing here? If you plan to be collector I am sure you will get to experience something close to this at one point of your collecting “career" if you already haven’t.
It's those unique experiences that are the most fun and your first autograph is always one you'll remember.
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