Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Cheap skates

It’s no surprise to collectors that hounding athletes can be an expensive proposition. From trading cards to memorabilia, as well as the Sharpies, paint pens and transportation (even $55 parking tickets), the costs associated with our hobby certainly add up.

Though this isn’t exactly groundbreaking material, here’s a money-saving idea that I’ve started using – homemade autograph sheets.

By using downloaded team logos and the Microsoft Word program on my home computer, I’m able to create, in a matter of minutes, a team-specific sheet, like the one for the New York Islanders (above), for pennies.

In my case, I make them for my son, Colin, to use when I’m adding to my autographed puck collection. He does pretty well, too, considering that he’s just 4 years old, nabbing Gerry Cheevers, Joey Thornton and Alexei Yashin in recent trips.

Sure, it does take a little effort and design sense. But it could be as simple as typing the team’s name across the top of the page and placing a logo next to it. I like to add the date, though, to increase the collectability and, in the most liberal view, make it a 1/1 item.

Over the years, I’ve seen plenty of folks, mainly at American Hockey League games, have players sign logo sheets. That works, too, especially when these, ahem, collectors don’t have a clue whom they’re having sign the sheet.


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