After lunch-time treatment for his injured hamstring, Roger Clemens spent about 50 minutes Sunday afternoon in his hotel suite autographing World Series-related memorabilia.
He signed about 300 items, including baseballs, bats, Houston Astros jerseys and photo mats as part of his exclusive autograph contract with Houston-based Tristar Productions, Inc.
“If you were talking about any other athlete, I’d be surprised if they’d be signing today. But, Roger Clemens knew how important this project was for us, so we would have all of the Astros signed on the items,” said Tristar president Jeff Rosenberg. “I’m very appreciative and happy for his efforts.”
Especially for the value Clemens’ signature adds to any and all items. Tristar, for instance, is selling team-signed jerseys and bats for $3,000 apiece. Team-signed balls will be $1,500 to $2,000, Rosenberg said. And a single-signed Clemens World Series 2005 ball is $350.
“He is the No. 1 most popular active player in baseball, the best seller,” said Rosenberg, whose company is the nation’s top promoter of sports memorabilia shows in the nation and has exclusive autograph contracts with Clemens, Ryne Sandberg, Bart Starr, Bo Jackson and Dontrelle Willis, among others.
So how big is Clemens on the autograph front?
“He probably would out-sell everyone else (on the team) combined,” Rosenberg said.
Tristar had 19 of the players and manager Phil Garner sign the team items in Houston last Thursday and Friday. Morgan Ensberg also signed Sunday morning.
“To get all of these guys together on items is unprecedented. These are exclusive items,” Rosenberg said.
The most popular Clemens-signed item is a replica of his black glove, which carries a $750 price tag, “and we can’t keep them in stock,” Rosenberg said.
“Every time he adds to his career statistics, his items just gets even more popular, more in demand.”