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

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

Peter G. Aiken-USA TODAY Sports

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.