Although one can spend hundreds of thousands of dollars for historical autographs, autograph collecting can also be quite affordable. Almost free! It just takes a little perseverance, time and low-cost supplies.
You look out your window and see a glorious sight -- the mail truck! No, you haven't built a new found fondness of bills or junk mail, instead you're hoping that an 8x10 manila envelope is waiting to be ripped open.
Due to the countless requests NASA received for signed photographs, often an "autopen" or a machine which signs an autograph in the astronaut's handwriting, was used. Distinguishing an autopen signature from a real example can be difficult and the only sure way to identify a machine-generated autograph is to compare it with other known examples. Fortunately, autopen patterns have been well researched and several good resources exist online and off to assist in their identification.
There you are standing nervously, a small bead of sweat coming down your forehead, the limo door of your favorite celebrity just opened and now it's gut check time to see if you have what it takes to ask them for an autograph. You have been waiting for two hours for this moment and then the moment comes only to be turned down in a heartbeat.
It can certainly be a fun thing to collect, but before you spend big bucks, educate yourself on sports collecting.
As with other collectibles, collect what you like and what you enjoy. In ten years from now you don't know what an item might be worth, but if you like it, it won't matter. Remember these are collectibles, not always investments!