St. Louis Cardinals autographs gain audio and get personal, to Matt Carpenter's apparent discomfort

Peter G. Aiken-USA TODAY Sports

Your St. Louis Cardinals autograph experience just got personal, whether Matt Carpenter likes it or not.

I have one personalized St. Louis Cardinals autograph anecdote to tell, and it involves my little brother nearly dying at old Busch Stadium in the mid-90s. He went down to the edge of the stands down the third base line to get autographs before game-time, as seven-year-olds are wont to do, and was eventually buried beneath a crush of fans coming in behind him. His savior: John Mabry, the Cards' new hitting coach, who Lion-King'd him out of the crowd and pointed him at my mother.

A company called Egraphs—link—has attempted to make things a little less dangerous by using an iPad to create personalized audiovisual messages between players in fans, which is actually a cool idea. The end result is pretty cool, too, except that it exposes each player's microphone and improvisation skills whether they're ready for the major leagues or not. Matt Carpenter: Pretty uncomfortable, but enthusiastic enough. Jon Jay is smoother, but could stand to upgrade his microphone.

Having had to sign books (mostly [almost entirely] for my grandparents' indifferent friends at parties), I appreciate the challenges your egrapher of choice is faced with, but I think that's part of the appeal—it's gawky, but it's yours. The results are unpredictable, but as Web 2.0 connections between fan and athlete go it's a major improvement on Twitter users begging Matt Holliday for RTs. And not only because I don't have to see them on my Twitter timeline.

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