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Wednesday, June 7, 2017
Graphing The Wood Ducks Vs. The Blue Rocks
I added another 1987 Topps to my autograph binder, with this signature of Quirk. I also had mentioned to him that my brother-in-law's name is also Jamie Quirk. He responded with an "Oh, come on". I don't think he believed me. It's true, though.
I want to make it very clear that I, in no way, shape or form harass the players when I get an auto (or multiple autos). I am always respectful and always thank them for their time (be it in person, or TTM). That's how everyone should be. I got the heat from my friends because I left last night's game with 12 autos of Josh Morgan, and had purchased a 52-card lot of 2014 Bowmans off of Ebay of him for $10.00. The reason I bought this lot was because it was the cheapest lot on there, and I figured that I would be able to have some easy gifts for friends in care packages, or hand the unsigned ones off to fellow graphers at games. It was never my intention to harass Morgan and have him sign all of the cards. He told me early this season that he would sign anything I have, and has done so at each game that I have attended. I mostly have been getting cool parallels signed that I think would look nice in my album, but I have also put a dent in the 52-card pickup. Each time Josh has signed for me, we talk about his season, the club, how the game went, etc. I also invited him to attend Dad's race while they were in Winston-Salem a couple weeks ago. He is and has always been very friendly, and has never let off that he is annoyed by my asking for him to sign cards.
So, that begs the question, is there truly a line when doing graphing? In my mind, there is, and it goes back to the above when I say that you should always be respectful of the player. If they are in a hurry, I only present one or two cards. I try to set up my autograph book with 4 cards on a page. I never flip a page on a player to get more than the four. I will ask before and after a game, and have had some in the past refuse at either of those times. I know folks who set up their autograph books with 20 cards on a page. While I wouldn't do that, who am I to call them out on that?
Others see graphing as a competition and elbow others out of the way. I don't do that, either. I will let kids in front of me each and every time. I will also help other graphers by identifying players who I know, in case they don't recognize them. I point folks to the best place to get an auto. There's no sense in being a jerk to fellow graphers.
I understand my friends' point in that it, on paper, appears that I am taking advantage of these players by asking for multiple cards, and there not seeming to be a point of having "52 of the same signed Josh Morgan cards". Trust me when I tell you that none of them are for sale, and a good many have already been sent to friends.
I was a little upset initially when my friends spoke out to me about "my graphing tendencies", but I do believe this is a discussion that lends itself to some good back and forth banter. We all do things differently, and friends don't always have to agree on what the other person is doing. From a societal standpoint, it is far too easy these days to "block and unfollow" someone if they have a differing opinion than you. I am grateful to my friends who, instead, told me how they felt, and were willing to discuss it and work through it.
So, my question is, how do YOU graph, and is there a right or wrong way to do it? I, for one, am going to try to be conscious of what I am doing, but I don't foresee any changes to my habits. I also feel as if it is opinion based, and folks go about it differently. I'm cool with that.
By the way, I didn't have any cards for Martin this time around, Chris had gotten them before he and I started talking about Dad's race. All while he was talking, he was looking at my autograph book for something to sign. He is such a nice guy, and I hope he can come back from injury soon. I also intend to talk to Josh Morgan about how he feels about signing for folks. That might make for an interesting follow-up post. We'll see what I can get the next time I am able to go.