Thanks for stopping by our website.
First and foremost, it should be known that Michael S. Gearhart, the founder of Signed Sports Stuff.com., a division of Gearhart Enterprises, Inc., is a collector at heart. I'm inspired by the average-joe players, the stories they share, and the role they play in the history of American Sports.
For each item that I have purchased for resale on our website, I have added at least one of each in my own personal collection. As I began collecting, I purchased two of everything signed in order to help subsidize my own personal collection.
My long-term focus is to obtain as many different pieces of autographed sports memorabilia and autographs in general that I possibly can. When I do signings, my goal is threefold:
1) I obtain duplicate items to trade with other reputable dealers who also conduct signings,
2) I donate some to local non-profit charities, and
3) I sell some to help recoup my investment.
My main goal is to help other people relive part of their childhood by bringing authentic autographs and sports memorabilia to the market.
How We Collect
As a collector myself, I greatly appreciate other collectors who take the extra steps to insure that the products they buy are legit. Therefore, I am sharing some of the business models & practices we've adopted to ensure reputable transactions and satisfied customers:
Autographed photos, baseballs, footballs and jerseys all ship with Certificates of Authenticity from either Gearhart Enterprises, Inc. or another reputable dealer from whom I've purchased the item.
If you have any questions, please feel free to email or call. We want to help you make the best choices in your autograph purchases, so ask us if you need clarification on a particular item.
We make every attempt to include the dates the items were signed and location if possible.
If the autographed item is something that we obtain through trading excess inventory with another promoter, we provide that info as well.
We offer a 100% lifetime guarantee in regards to authenticity on all autographed items we sell. This guarantee isn't just for 10 or 30 days, but for the lifetime of the product. We stand behind what we sell.
What We Collect
You may notice that a majority of the autographs we obtain through signings are from the "average Joe's", lesser-known, or perhaps non-star players. In my opinion, non-Hall of Fame athletes are the guys who really make up the history of the games. Football players who earned a living by stabilizing the trenches and baseball players who bounced back and forth from the starting the lineup to the bench are the athletes that we really enjoy pursuing.
Why We Collect
As I mentioned, I'm a collector at heart. Talking with football players from the 70's and listening to them recount stories about working a job during the summer to pay the bills, is another element that shows how special these guys really were. Many times these athletes would play hurt and banged up because of their passion for the game - something that you seldom see in today's multi-million dollar athletes.
Eventually, this process of collecting autogrpahs led me to begin conducting private signings with some of my heroes of the games. I have had the opportunity to sit down with some of the greats - including Ted "Double Duty" Radcliffe from the Negro Leagues, former 1980 American League Rookie of the Year Joe Charboneau, as well as a Pro Bowl lineup of ex Minnesota Vikings players. Many other players have sat down and shared stories about their experiences in the sport's arena. . . .
Anyone experiencing a little "one-on-one" time with a "hero", knows what a thrill it is! To actually sit down with 6x Vikings Pro Bowl center Mick Tingelhoff (a great guy who should be in the Hall of Fame) and listen to him recount his "war stories" is what the credit card companies would dub "priceless".
Spending an hour or two with the legendary Vikings linebacker Wally Hilgenberg (1968-79 from the University of Iowa) is another classic example of the memories that will never fade. To listen to him recount how he became a born again Christian towards the end of his playing career and then see his family whom he loves with those same Godly principles and who share in his beliefs with him is another exciting aspect of meeting with these legends.
In conclusion, educate yourself when making a major autograph purchase.
Try and learn a little more about the athlete's signature, his signing habits, prices charged over the years, etc. Very seldom, if ever, will you see us offering autographs baseballs of Mickey Mantle or Ted Williams or autographed Michael Jordan basketballs.
Rest assured if you buy something from us, you will be getting the real thing. We have been collecting sports cards and autographs for over 29 years now and will continue to do so for many more years to come.
When looking at all of the autographs out on the market remember one important rule."If a price is too good to be true, it probably is".
To the love of the game, the thrill of collecting, and the commitment to ethical business,
Michael S. Gearhart