Next weekend, Matt Harvey is scheduled for a public autograph signing session at the Steiner Sports Store at the Roosevelt Field Mall in Garden City, N.Y.

Matt Harvey signs a fan's baseball cap at Citi Field on Banner Day (Photo credit: Paul Hadsall)

Matt Harvey signs a fan’s baseball cap at Citi Field on Banner Day (Photo credit: Paul Hadsall)

His autograph won’t be cheap, though. It will cost $125 to get a baseball, photo or baseball card signed; if you want a premium item or piece of equipment signed, that will be $175. Want an inscription? That will be another $45.

Harvey is very hot right now and seems on the verge of becoming a superstar. I’m there will be no shortage of folks eager to take advantage of this opportunity. As my friend Bart pointed out, Harvey’s autograph price could go up even higher.

But as great as Harvey has been so far, I can’t help thinking that $125 is too much money for a pitcher who will be making his 23rd career start tomorrow. Looking at Steiner’s list of upcoming signings, I see they’ve got Hall of Famer Bob Gibson coming next month – his autograph starts at $65.

We can talk about supply and demand – Gibson’s been signing autographs at shows for decades, and Harvey’s just started. We can talk about different eras and the different salaries involved, but Harvey is still a year or two away from the beginning of his big money years.

Here’s hoping that a few years from now, Harvey is such a big star that I’ll regret passing up a chance to pay “only” $125 for his autograph. I’ll gladly deal with the hole in my collection if it means watching one of the game’s best players every fifth day.

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About Paul

I'm the former editor of a weekly community newspaper in New Jersey. I've been a New York Mets fan for most of my life and I've been blogging about them, minor league baseball, baseball cards and autograph collecting since 2007. Contact me at paul@randombaseballstuff.com

13 responses

  1. Hey, I like the new look on your site.
    I payed $75 for a Matt Harvey auto card this past February on eBay. It now books for around twice that much. Glad I bought it when I did because I wouldn’t pay $150 for a rookie pitcher’s card. Too many things can go wrong at any point in the next couple of years. Obviously, I hope that doesn’t happen, but young pitchers are notoriously injury prone.

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    • Paul says:

      I still need to pick up an autographed baseball card for my collection, but at this stage I’m going to wait for the hype machine to die down and see if I do get lucky and catch him at the ballpark.

      Looking at Tim Lincecum, for example, I don’t see the eBay prices holding up at the current levels long-term.

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  2. JT says:

    I paid $20 for Dave Parker a few years ago. And it was so difficult parting with that $20. I’ll probably never pay for an autograph again…at least not that much. I will go through life happy enough without autographs of guys like Johnny Bench, Frank Robinson, or Matt Harvey etc., who charge way to much for their signature.

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  3. I voted “no”, but to be fair I wouldn’t pay $125 for anybody’s autograph. It does seem like a lot of money for an unproven commodity, but if that’s what the market will bear, who am I to criticize?

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  4. Stephen says:

    I’ve been going back and forth on this one for a few weeks. As much as I would love to meet Harvey and get his autograph $125 is a lot right now. Especially since I have other items needed purchase on my plate. Plus Stiener always seems on the higher side. Also there is no poised photography with him at this event.

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    • Paul says:

      I agree. That’s the kind of price I’d pay for Mike Piazza (assuming I could fit it in my budget), but I’d have a really hard time spending it on somebody who hasn’t finished a full year in the major leagues. Of course, the question is moot for me because I can’t afford it right now.

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  5. Will in Central NJ says:

    This reminds me of how I showed up late for an autograph signing for another Mets phenom of yesteryear: Gregg Jefferies. I got caught in traffic driving from Central NJ to Brooklyn circa 1989, and was still circling the block looking for a parking spot when I saw a mob of girls squealing, running down the block. It was Jefferies getting driven away by a car service, and leaving exactly when the flyer said he would. My mission failed.

    I forget how much was being charged, but it was over $50. High price then, and in this economy, high now. Fast forward to now: in 2013, Gregg Jefferies has to pay admission to get into the Hall of Fame like the rest of us. So Harvey autograph investors, beware. $125 is a lot for anyone not in the HOF, and still high besides.

    Lesson learned: I’ll never spend that kind of money on an autograph. A living Beatle, maybe, but not a rookie pitcher, no matter how highly touted. And maybe I’ll get a Jefferies autograph free if he ever decides to manage a Can-Am or Atlantic League team.

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  6. Will in Central NJ says:

    …and in the name of full disclosure…I do own a Matt Harvey autograph.

    On a trip to Spring Training in Florida this past February, I did get Matt Harvey (among others) to autograph a Mets placard for me—for free, of course. But I also asked Harvey to sign a homemade card (I have a design background) depicting him in his UNC college uniform, and he declined to do so. No big deal…I got Harvey, and a multitude of pitchers, catchers and coaches. Even original Met, special instructor Al Jackson. (Position players hadn’t reported yet, and I had to drive back to Orlando the same night).

    Color me jaded, but Harvey probably would’ve signed my homemade card of him…for $125 in Garden City.

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  7. markruck says:

    I wouldn’t pay a nickel for anyone’s signature as the sports memorabilia business is just so darned shady. Hey, if the HOF can get duped on memorabilia and what it’s worth, what does that say about us regular folks?

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    • Paul says:

      People who attend the Steiner event will be able to watch as Matt Harvey signs their item(s), so there should be no authenticity issues.

      But you’re right – unless you see someone sign an autograph, you can never be 100% certain.

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  8. Freddy says:

    I remember seeing Joba Chamberlain baseballs on Steiner Sports for around $200 in 2008.

    Got one from the bargain rack a short time later

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    • Paul says:

      I hope that Harvey is inducted into the Hall of Fame one day (as a Met), but until he has more real accomplishments to his credit, I can’t see spending that kind of money for the hype – for exactly the reason that you point to.

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