Public signings – like or dislike?

Last weekend I headed down to Serb Hall in Milwaukee (not far from Miller Park) for a public signing. The featured player signing that day was Ryan Braun of the Milwaukee Brewers, last year’s National League Rookie of the Year. Pitcher Manny Parra was the undercard, so to speak.

The signing was scheduled from 11 a.m.-1 p.m., with 400 tickets sold in advance and at the door. Doing the math, they had to hustle to get everyone through the door. And after a slight delay (as Braun was a tad late), everyone got through by just past 1 p.m. Pretty impressive I thought considering Braun was helping to break the promoter’s pleas to “not pose for photographs.”

Braun was quite engaging with fans, seemed to take a general interest in what they were saying  and acknowledged each person. One person in attendance said he was one of the nicest signers he had ever experienced. Another mentioned that this was the most females he had seen at a signing since Apollo Ohno of Olympic skating fame.

There were some interesting items getting signed, too, from 1:4-scale bobble heads to cardboard cutouts with marriage proposals.

And while I would have loved to interview Braun on his signing habits and the fact that he is a supposed collector, it didn’t happen due to his late arrival and quickly being whisked away by his agent.

So I ask this – do you enjoy public signings, be it at a show, hobby shop or banquet hall? Or do you prefer to just send items in to be signed?

In person, you get some interaction, even if it’s a grunt, nod or simply seeing the signature in person. But you also have the crowds, wait time and the very real possibility that you won’t get your item signed due to time constraints.

I’m a big proponent of getting stuff signed in person because then I know where it came from – even if the signer doesn’t care who I am.

And what was Braun getting for his autograph? It was a cool $100, with more for inscriptions.

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