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Milwaukee's Daily Magazine for Monday, Nov. 24, 2014

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A presidential autograph?
A presidential autograph?
The author's Sir Sid autograph has personal value, for sure.
The author's Sir Sid autograph has personal value, for sure.
Is a photo with The Fonz is better than an autograph?
Is a photo with The Fonz is better than an autograph?

Has the selfie killed the autograph?

You see your favorite Bucks player, let's say Jabari or Giannis, on the street or on a trip to Los Angeles, you bump into that actor or actress that you just love. What do you do? Ask for an autograph? Nope. You whip out your phone, if it's not already in hand and take a selfie with him or her.

It's the way the world.  But, is it the best financial move?

My gut told me that a great autograph still has value. But I wondered is the autograph dying? I have a ton of great autographs. Cal Ripkin, Jr., Magic Johnson, Michael Jordan, George W. Bush, Robin Yount and others. But, really, an autograph -- to me -- is more valuable if it means something and I can link it to an experience. Anyone can buy just about any signature, but really -- other than resale value -- is it that special? 

Probably, but a photo with a celebrity that you instantly share?  That's cool.  At least, that's now. Taylor Swift agreed in a recent WSJ.com piece, saying, "I haven't been asked for an autograph since the invention of the iPhone with a front-facing camera. The only memento 'kids these days' want is a selfie. It's part of the new currency, which seems to be 'how many followers you have on Instagram.'"

I asked Jeff Lemieux from Jeff's Sports what he thought.

"I find that the sports autograph industry is as strong as ever. All you have to do is go to the Brewers On Deck event they hold each year. There they have current and retired Milwaukee Brewer players who come to sign autographs and you will see thousands of fans young and old line up to get an autograph of their favorite player," Lemieux said.  

"I agree that taking a selfie with your favorite player is extremely popular but other than sentimental value there is no monetary value. A lot of fans and collectors of autographs do it for the enjoyment of it, and also because there is a value (there)."

So, the next time you see your favorite celebrity. First, be respectful. Next, sure grab a selfie but if you can, grab an autograph, too. 

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