You don't have to hang out at Dodger Stadium to request an autograph… (Thearon W. Henderson / Getty…)
And now for something new for the fan who can’t get to the ballpark, or afford to, and wants his own personal piece of memorabilia.
It comes, of course, via the Internet. Like in this social media world, it could come from anywhere else. They’re calling it the “next generation” of autographs, and with good reason.
Egraphs is a new company that sells selected players’ personalized autographs, including a brief audio message, from its website. For $50 a player will respond to a request, emailing a personalized picture to an individual. It can be shared on the Web.
Clayton Kershaw and Don Mattingly were added to an Egraphs’ lineup this week that already has over 100 players; also added were Angels Torii Hunter, C.J. Wilson and Mark Trumbo.
Like several players, Kershaw and Mattingly are donating their proceeds to charity; Kershaw’s Challenge foundation supports children’s charities worldwide, and Mattingly’s Charities provides baseball-themed programs and equipment for disadvantaged youth.
Egraphs was launched July 12 and ex-major leaguer (and almost 2011 Dodger) Gabe Kapler is the company's director of business development. Tampa Bay Rays senior vice president Brian Auld and his brother David originated the design.
A player -- say, for example, Pedro Martinez -- uses an iPad tablet to sign a photo with a stylus and records a voice message before emailing it. An 8-by-10 framed photo with a certificate of authenticity is also available for an additional $45.
It's a new world, for autograhs too.
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