30 Day Baseball Card Challenge

Friday, July 26, 2013

You Gotta Have Faith... Faith... Faith.

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!


  1. I'm curious what the other two Steinner products you bought were.
    Personally I believe that the certified autos from Topps, Upper Deck, Tri-Star and Panini I've accumulated over the years are real (my sanity depends on it). But for other autos my indifference level depends on how much those autos would cost me. Like I'm willing to pay 80 cents for stamps to send TTMs but I'm not willing to pay 800 dollars (or more) for big names I didn't see signed with my own eyes.

  2. I'm not much of a fan of buying autos that others have. I usually only will do it if I know that I have no chance of getting the auto in person. It takes the fun out of it

  3. In the 90's there seemed like there were cards shows every weekend and they all had autograph guests. I've never bought an autograph from a second party before and I probably would never do it.
    On a side note, in 1996 at a card show, I paid $20 for Curtis Martin to sign the back of a Beckett magazine. I thought spending $20 on an autograph was ridiculous. Imagaine that? How many shows can you get one of the stars of your favorite team to sign for (only) $20?

  4. For some reason, I have no problem with autographed insert cards, either being pulled from packs or bought on the secondary market, but I'm VERY reluctant for any IP autos. Maybe it's just that I feel that with the autographed items that I did get either in person or through the mail, there's a story to go along with it.

  5. Well, with TTM I'm a pretty big believer. But when it comes to buying, I'm pretty cautious.

  6. I look for the COAs from companies you mentioned, and I have no problem with PSA/DNA as well.

  7. only collect card company autos or in person, I know some players and have heard stories of ttm to the clubhouse that the clubhouse guys would sign for certain players and that was in the 80's when collecting wasn't as big would think it would be worse now. "Trust no one" is my mantra especially when cash is to be made. Not to say I haven't done ttm or traded for ip autos but it is a very very small % of collect i'd say less then 1%.

  8. Sorry,but the only autographs I have in my collection are the ones I saw the players sign with my own eyes.I would always have a lingering doubt if I didn't see it signed in person.

  9. I have had minimal luck obtaining autographs in person or TTM so I have been forced to buy from dealers. With my Ken Griffey Jr. autographs I bought all of the big ticket items (bat, jersey and dual signed Griffey-ARod ball) from a reputable dealer that I have known for over a decade. I have picked up other Griffey auto items like mini batting helmet and mini glove from other dealers that I checked up on and compared the auto to authentic Griffey autos before I bought them. When it comes to other athletes I collect like Jay Buhner and Steve Kerr I check the autos before buying but these aren't players that scammers are forging so it is not as big a deal.