I am a baseball fan. Specifically, I love the Milwaukee Brewers. My first ever autograph I got at a game was Rocky Coppinger, on his minor league card. I didn’t really get into the autographs a lot until I met Superfan Schatzy, who was a huge collector of a lot of old baseball memorabilia. We went to the stadium on our lunch breaks and would get some autographs, catch an inning or two, and head back to work. He showed me where to look for upcoming public signings, and from there it was on. Since he couldn’t go too often, I ended up going with Superfan Shaggy a lot to these signings. We found one company that really catered to the individual. Legends of the Field.
The first two signings we attended were two fan favorites: Corey Hart, and Ben Sheets. What was really awesome with Legends was the fact that they just didn’t line you up like cattle and push you through as fast as they could. Instead, you lined up, got a chance to talk to the players, and then they let you take a picture with them to remember the event. At their Delafield location, they even suggest taking the picture to Walgreens and having it printed and bringing it back to get signed at the same event! Yes, it is possible.
Another instance, Ben Sheets had to cancel his event. They postponed it, and when it was rescheduled, they made good by their customers. Not only could I get a ball signed by him, but I could get a free inscription! I had him add all of his all-star years on the ball, and it is one of the jewels of my collection. This is something they absolutely did not have to do, but i was very happy with the customer service that they felt OBLIGATED to give us! It is hard to find companies that give that level of service nowadays.
From there, at Brewers On Deck in 2009 I do believe, I was waiting in line for Ryan Braun. I had a 2008 team ball, signed by every single player, coach, and call-up, except for Ryan. One little spot of white remained on the official MLB sphere, covered in blue ink with various scribbles, and I was determined to finish it and give it to my father. I met Joe Palmisano while in line, the owner and founder of Legends. He talked to us about different things they offered, including canvases that can be signed, stretched and framed.
I LOVED that idea, and emailed back and forth with him a while and finally purchased the canvas you see at the top of this post. It took me two years to get every single Brewer autograph on there (#1 was Corey Hart during our first trip to Spring Training, and the last one was Mark Rogers, on Oct 3, 2010 at a restaurant we were at). It is the best piece I own, thanks to Joe. He also did up a special request for me of a WBC jersey signed by former Cubs catcher Geovany Soto. I dropped the jersey off, Joe had it signed for me and framed, and it turned out great. From there, I had to tell everyone I knew about Legends of the Field, and the service you get at EVERY level, from the people behind the counter all the way up to the President.
In 2009, they opened up a second WI location in Greenfield. It was still a haul for me driving from Grafton, but well worth it. Again, as we do every year, we went to see Corey Hart.
No matter what, we always will go get something signed by Corey! Other players that I have had the pleasure to meet through Legends would include Casey McGehee, John Axford, and Jonathan Lucroy. Oh, and as of this past Monday, Jean Segura! And that is just baseball! They do signings with a lot of the Packers as well throughout the football season. Some are private where you drop your items off and they will take them to the player to get signed, and others are public (like my favorite ones) where you actually meet the man behind the uniform.
I can’t thank the people at Legends of the Field enough! They now have a 3rd WI location, a lot closer to home, in Mequon, which makes it way easier for me personally to get to, and well as all the collectors on the Eastside and Northside. Since we found them, Shaggy and I have attended tons of signings. Jay Mack has procured such pieces as a Sports Illustrated canvas and a great framed pic of Clay Mathews. Superfan Shortbus, well, he’s gone HAM. He’s had more done by Legends than anyone I know, but the coolest would probably be the Braun title belt he had signed via their private signing back in March.
Bottom line, Milwaukee has a premier dealer of autographed memorabilia. Check out their website at http://www.legendsofthefield.com and find them on Facebook and definitely follow them on Twitter (@lotfautographs) and stay informed of great opportunities! Where else can you get a 4 foot cardboard R2D2 autographed by Jonathan Lucroy?