The 70's were truly blessed with some amazing talent in terms of MLB pitchers. Just take a look at some of the names that dominated the decade: Jim Palmer, Rollie Fingers, Gaylord Perry, Don Sutton, Vida Blue, Fergie Jenkins, Nolan Ryan, Phil Niekro, Bert Blyleven, Tom Seaver, Catfish Hunter, and of course my personal favorite: Steve Carlton.
I don't remember the exact date... but at some point I discovered that Carlton was a "lefty" like myself. And from that moment on, he became one of my favorite players.
Earlier this month, Steiner Sports had one of their "3 Autographed 8x10's for $99.99" deals. So I jumped on the opportunity to grab this:
I've been wanting to buy one of their Steve Carlton autographed balls, but they never fall into my price range. I'm sure you're probably wondering... what's your fascination with Steiner?
As we all know... unless we witness the piece getting autographed ourselves, we can never truly know if an autograph is real. Which is why it boils down to obtaining autographs from people we "trust".
Steiner has always had a solid reputation among autograph collectors. Sure there are some "bait and switch" issues, where the holograms are removed from authentic signatures and placed on items with fake signatures. But I've never heard of any issues with products purchased from Steiner themselves.
That's why I don't have a problem paying a few extra dollars for autographs certified by Steiner, UDA, Panini, and MLB Authentication who secure the majority of their autographs in-person.
As for third party autograph authenticators like PSA/DNA, JSA, and GAI... I'm cautious. There's plenty of documentation on the internet about all three companies certifying bogus autographs.
I own several autographed photos certified by PSA/DNA, but I'll usually only purchase low end stuff with their COA's. And I'll typically avoid JSA, GAI, and other companies' certified items.
Does that mean that I think they're fake? Not necessarily. It just has to do with my personal level of trust I place on those two companies.
What are your thoughts on collecting autographs you haven't obtained in person?
Happy Friday and sayonara!