# Thursday, October 23, 2008
Allow me to introduce myself. My name is Doug, and I am an avid collector of Chicago White Sox memorabilia & autographs. I will be using this site to share my collection with other fans, in hopes of fostering a community of White Sox collectors and fans.

I collect Sox stuff because I enjoy it. I have been a White Sox fan since I was 13 years old. I grew up in Southern California, close to Angel Stadium. My dad was a wood buyer, and one of the perks of his job was getting free tickets to Angels games from those hoping to sell him wood. These were no ordinary tickets, but excellent season tickets. There were 2 sets of tickets we used to get. One was right behind home plate, about 10 rows up. The other was directly behind the visitor dugout, front row. We got these tickets about 20 times a year. After attending a few games, my dad began urging me to get autographs during batting practice. Little did he know, he had created a monster.

It started innocently enough. I began bringing a binder of baseball cards with me to batting practice. I'd call out to players and try to get them to come over and sign. It'd be a good day if I got 5 or 6 cards signed. This went on for a couple of months. Eventually, I somehow found out where the players entered and exited the stadium. Once I had this information, everything changed.

I started hanging outside of the player entrance, before and after games. My dad was a good sport about it, getting there early and staying late. Soon though, those 20 games a year were not enough. I started taking the bus down to the stadium, even on days when I couldn't afford to buy a ticket. I would get autographs, and come home. I soon hooked up with some other die hard autograph collectors, and my collecting ways changed dramatically for one sole reason... one of them had a car. We would hang out at team hotels, known player hangouts, and the like. At this point, getting 5 or 6 cards signed after a days work would be a horrible failure.

Prior to collecting autographs, I didn't really have a favorite team. I rooted for my local teams, the Angels and Dodgers, but my heart wasn't in it. Once I started collecting autographs, one team stood out for their fan friendliness. The White Sox. They had an up and coming young team back then. Players like Frank Thomas, Robin Ventura, Jack McDowell, Wilson Alvarez, Alex Fernandez, Jason Bere, and others were at or near the beginning of their careers. Most of the youngsters were quite accomodating to autograph seekers. The Big Hurt was particularly friendly, especially considering how rapidly his star was rising. He signed before just about every White Sox game. After a while, I found myself making a point of going to every possible White Sox game I could. And thus began my life as a White Sox fan.
posted on Thursday, October 23, 2008 12:46:13 AM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #   
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