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Red Sox Autographs Available, Expensive

by Paul Angilly
December 7, 2004

There’s some good news and bad news for Boston Red Sox fans still in a celebratory mood after their team’s unprecedented run to a World Series championship.

The good news is that many of the key players from this year’s championship team will be making appearances to sign autographs during two different regional card shows the weekend of Dec. 17-19. The bad news is that it will cost several hundred dollars to get autographs from all of the players and coaches involved.

One show, called "The Sox Spectacular," will be held at the Rhode Island Convention Center in Providence, R.I. Complete details can be found at the web site, www.reversethecurse2004.com, or by calling 1-877-337-6904.

A total of 10 players, four coaches and manager Terry Francona are all scheduled to appear -- but it will cost a minimum of $1,015 to get autographs from all 15 signers.

Here’s the list of scheduled signers, along with the cost of getting a flat item (photo, baseball card or magazine) or baseball autographed (where applicable, the cost for equipment, bats, jersey or artwork is in parentheses): Manny Ramirez, $195 ($295); Johnny Damon, $175 ($250); David Ortiz, $175 ($250); Kevin Millar, $75 ($100); manager Terry Francona, $75 ($100); Tim Wakefield, $60 ($90); Doug Mientkiewicz, $50; Bronson Arroyo, $40; Dave Roberts, $30; Curtis Leskanic, $30; Mike Myers, $30; coach Ron Jackson, $20; coach Dale Sveum, $20; coach Brad Mills, $20; and coach Dave Wallace, $20.

A better alternative may be the Tri-Star New England Collectors Show to be held at the Royal Plaza Trade Center in Marlborough, Mass. Complete details can be found at the web site, www.tristarproductions.com, or by calling 1-713-666-9595.

The Tri-Star show is currently scheduled to have nearly 50 different autograph guests, including 12 players from the 2004 Red Sox (at a less expensive price than the Rhode Island show), along with 11 members of the Super Bowl XXXVIII champion New England Patriots, many former Red Sox players, some big-name Hall-of-Fame members from Major League Baseball and the NBA and others.

While still expensive, autograph tickets for the Red Sox players will cost a bit less at the Massachusetts show. Here’s a list of the 2004 Red Sox players scheduled to appear, along with the autograph prices: Manny Ramirez, $179 ($199 for premium items); Kevin Millar, $59; Tim Wakefield, $59; Bronson Arroyo, $25; Dave Roberts, $25; Curtis Leskanic, $20; Mike Myers, $20; Mark Bellhorn, $39; Orlando Cabrera, $39; Doug Mirabelli, $25; Trot Nixon, $59; Kevin Youkilis, $20. A "super ticket" good for one autograph from each of the 12 players is available for $479.

The 11 Patriots players scheduled to appear are: Larry Izzo, David Givens, Brandon Gorin, Dan Koppen, Patrick Pass, Je’Rod Cherry, Don Davis, Dan Klecko, Roman Phifer, Rohan Davey and Ted Johnson. Autographs from Givens cost $39 each, with autographs from Phifer and Johnson $25 each and all others $20 each. A "super ticket" for one autograph from all of the above except for Givens is priced at $149.

There are plenty of other autograph guests, too, including (with price for a flat-item autograph): former Red Sox players Bill Lee ($15), Bob Stanley ($15), Hall-of-Famer Bobby Doerr ($29), Reggie Smith ($15), Bill Monbouquette ($15), Dick Radatz ($15), Rich Gedman ($15), Jim Lonborg ($15), David "Boo" Ferriss ($15), Rico Petrocelli ($15), Frank Malzone ($15), Don Schwall ($15), Luis Tiant ($15) and Rick Burleson ($15).

Also, former Yankees pitcher and "Ball Four" author Jim Bouton (free autograph with purchase of packs at show) and Yankees Hall-of-Fame pitcher Whitey Ford ($59); Celtics Hall-of-Famers Bob Cousy ($69) and Bill Sharman ($35); former Patriots quarterback Steve Grogan ($15); baseball Hall-of-Famers Jim Palmer ($39), Rollie Fingers ($29), Tony Perez ($39), Don Sutton ($39) and Robin Roberts ($39); Pirates outfielder Jason Bay ($20); and former Houston Oilers running back and 1983 Heisman Trophy winner Mike Rozier ($15).

The current Patriots players will all be at the show on Friday evening, while the 2004 Red Sox players are split between Saturday and Sunday. Other guests are split among the three days.

Card added to Topps set: Thanks to the Red Sox’ sweep over the Cardinals in the 2004 World Series, Topps had time to add an extra card into its 2005 Topps series one base set.

Originally slated to include 366 cards, numbered 1-6 and 8-367 (with no card #7, which was "retired" several years ago in honor of Mickey Mantle), the first series Topps set also includes a card #368, a postseason highlights subset card depicting the Red Sox’ victory in Game 4 of the World Series.

Apparently printed separately from the other base cards in the set, card #368 is the only one in the series not to include gold foil lettering on the front. Despite some claims to the contrary from eBay sellers, however, the card does not appear to be short-printed.

As originally planned, the set also includes seven other postseason highlights cards, numbered 349-355. Card #349 depicts the Yankees’ victory over the Twins in the ALDS, #350 shows the Cardinals beating the Dodgers in the NLDS, #351 has the Red Sox topping the Angels in the ALDS, #352 pictures Curt Schilling in Game 2 of the World Series, #353 depicts the Red Sox’ comeback over the Yankees in the ALCS, #354 shows the Cardinals beating the Astros in the NLCS and #355 pictures Mark Bellhorn hitting his homer in Game 1 of the World Series.

Last year’s 2004 Topps series one set also had seven postseason highlights cards numbered 349-355, with the first six devoted to playoff action and card #355 depicting Game 1 of the 2003 World Series. The series two 2004 Topps set added four more postseason highlights cards, all showing World Series action.

It’s unclear at this time whether or not Topps will include additional postseason highlights cards in its 2005 series two set, expected out in the spring.

About the author
Paul Angilly is a sports reporter for The Bristol Press in Connecticut, and has been collecting sports cards and memorabilia for 30 years. He is not a dealer, nor does he make a profit from buying and selling cards. His weekly sports card and memorabilia collecting column appears each week in The Bristol Press and several other daily newspapers in Connecticut.

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