Sunday, March 24, 2013

Hand-signed vs. manufactured autos

Hand-signed vs. manufactured autos

I got a pair of really nice Randy Jones autographs in the mail this past week -- one a nice personally hand-signed card, the other a card company-produced signature on a stamp. The one with the legitimate auto – the 2005 Donruss Greats Signature Gold HoloFoil #66 is on the right. On the left, a 1976 SSPC #118.

A fifth-round Padres pick (1972), I got to see Jones pitch at Jack Murphy enroute to his winning the 1976 NL Cy Young Award. You couldn’t miss Jones on the mound with that bush of hair sticking out from his hat (unless you were an opposing hitter). The Padres did the right thing including his #35 with the other four retired Padres jerseys.

I love both the cards and I wouldn’t trade them for anything, but it begs the question, which is better,  a card that someone tells you is "personally signed," or a company-produced signature card? If you can get a player to personally autograph a card for you, that’s great. However, when buying a “personally signed” card from another collector, does the need justify the purchase?

While there are companies that can verify the validity of a signature, they’re pretty expensive, and to me, for a personally-signed card of say, Bip Roberts, it’s just not worth it.

Personally, I’ll take the second-hand, hand-signed card any day. Living here in America’s heartland, it’s hard enough to get personally-signed Padres autographs. I’ll try to get a few personal Triple A Padres autos May 16-19 when the Iowa Cubs play host to Tucson, but it’s hard enough when you live approximately 1,800 miles away from the parent Padres (as the Duff drives).
As for me, I'll tempt the fates and take whatever Padres autos I can get – whether they're hand-signed, or manufactured cards. I believe in the sanctity and honesty of my fellow collectors.

Caveat Emptor? No way. Let's trade today.

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