Monday, October 14, 2013

Chronicles of Cardfoolery #7: Invisible Ink


Have you ever scanned a card that looks amazing in person, but looks terrible in the photo?  It happens to me on a regular basis.  My scanner hates shiny cards... especially ones with silver foil.

But apparently... it loves 2007 Sweet Spot Classic Signatures, because I recently purchased a Pittsburgh Pirates "lot" off of eBay that contained this Al Oliver autograph.  And trust me... it looks bad.  Real bad.  A lot worse than shown in the scan.

It's so bad that I can't tell whether Upper Deck had him sign the sweet spot with black or gold ink.  My guess is that he used a black pen that's quickly fading and turning yellow.  However I wouldn't be surprised if he signed this card in gold ink, since it's a parallel #'d to 25.

Either way... it's pretty sad that a multitude of 2007 Sweet Spot Classic Signatures are so faded.  My Tim Raines card seems to have been signed with disappearing ink.


With each passing day, the pleather that Upper Deck used in 2007 seems to soak up more and more of the ink.  One of these days, I'll wake up and the autograph will be completely gone.

It's such a shame too... because 2007's Sweet Spot design is one of my favorites.  I love the ballparks in the background.  Thankfully most of the "bat" and "glove" autographs seem to hold their ink.

But if you have the regular "baseball" versions, you might want to scan your cards right now before their autographs disappear.

Happy Monday and sayonara!

P.S.  Today is Al Oliver's 67th birthday.  Happy Birthday Mr. Oliver!

12 comments:

  1. Picked up a Dick Allen of these recently.. yeah, it's a bummer they fade so bad. It'd be funny to get the card re-autographed. But you'd probably have to do it every few years.. so, pointless but funny.

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    1. I've considered messing around with mine... maybe taking sand paper to it and scuffing it... then sending it TTM and with a ball point pen and having him resign it. But in the end... it's too much work. I'll just end up putting it in my Damaged Card PC ;-)

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  2. i have a few cards from this set, including some non-ball autos that do look nice like you wrote. i really want a garvey/reggie smith dual signed card but the ones i have seen almost look like reggie didn't sign.

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    1. Hmmm... always suspected that it was the choice of balls they used that year. But if the Garvey autograph is fine... then that must mean it's the player's selection of pen that causes the fading. Thanks for the info.

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  3. Thankfully the couple I have are good.

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    1. Lucky! (in my best Napoleon Dynamite voice)

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  4. I have a Herb Score autographed baseball, I pulled it from a box of 2001 Absolute Baseball, the"Signing Bonus" balls were box toppers of sort. It was signed in blue ball point pen and it started to fade after about 2-3 years, you can still see letters but that is about it. If it wasn't engraved as a "Signing Bonus" ball signed by Score you wouldn't be able to figure out who autographed the ball.

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    1. Wow... that's a pretty cool pull. Sorry to hear about it fading. Thinking about it... I probably should have titled this post disappearing ink.

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  5. I have a few of these as well too. A couple still are pretty nice looking but most are fading fast. It is a disgrace because there is such an awesome checklist in the set. My LCS had tons of these for a while and I was buying them up until the redemptions expired. My favorite pull was a Buck O'Neil auto - it was actually taken from a baseball and inserted, not one of UD's manu-balls that fade. Plus he signed it in a ballpoint pen. I personally think it is a disgrace that O'Neil isn't in the Hall of Fame as a contributor - may need to do a post about that!

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    1. Wow... that's an awesome pull. You've got to write that post!

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  6. For shiny cards I advise you to take a simple photo of it. It gets way much better than scanning it!
    Relic cards with jerseys and bats there is no problem but for signatures it might fade a bit. I only have a couple of sigs cards and they still are pretty visible in person and since I usually take photos and not scan of the cards I didn't found a problem yet.
    But if you take photo you have to deal with light or it would ruin the photo =\

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    1. Good tips. I bust out the camera every now and then... but it looks like I should be doing it a little more frequently.

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