I'll raise your ager with a rarer "no line" variation
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It is a combination of ignorance, rudeness, and lack of work ethic that I always figured would bode poorly for the guy's career. If Nomar Garciaparra can write his whole name distinctly and legibly a billion times, so can you.
Looking for 2011 Topps Marquee Museum autographs, rare Frank Thomases, and any Grady Sizemores I don't have
Maybe they think they are Doctors.
Beyond physical penmanship, it's all about how the individual care the player has for the fan base.
Sure we can (and mostly do) blame the company for not auditing/filtering autographs and such BUT at the end of the day it is folks like Ken Griffey Jr./Randy Johnson/etc. that take enough time out of their "task/contract" day to do what they feel is right for the fan base.
It's not like Topps and other companies are paying a time/hourly rate, so what motivation does the player have to take their time for a nice autograph beyond their personal care/uncare for the fan base/collecting population?
I find hard to understand as a company that is paying, why would they allow this
Edgar Gonzalez Collection: - the 1/1's: 108/111 (97.3%) Have 12 1/1s out of 29
Jorge Cantu Collection: 487 / 688 (70.78%), 58 1/1s (14 non plates)
- the 1/1's: 429/443 (96.84%)
Total Mexican Collection: 4,326
Mexican autographs: 129/130 and on baseballs 118/130
My quick take on this-
I chased quite a few baseball autographs 15-20 years ago and built some team sets. Iíve noticed in general that the quality of professional sports autographs from younger athletes has declined. The Chris Sale auto is a great example. I have shelves of White Sox autos where I can read every name clearly. If you look at most of the autographs today by the younger guys, they are illegible, to the point where I wouldnít want them on a baseball or photo because it ruins the look. I donít say Topps is to blame on this however. One theory I have heard and read is that players are being schooled early in their careers on identity theft and have been warned to not use their actual autograph or to make up an abbreviated version for signing in public.
I assume Shaquem Griffen was born naturally right handed? If not, these guys should be REALLY ashamed since even his sig looks fine.
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Please note: Card collecting is my hobby, not my life. I don't take it that serious and like to keep it fun.
WTTF/WTB: Looking for Red Sox cards I don't have of players from modern Bowman products. Always open to trade!
As for their autos , local club has a translator that also teaches them how to count money . Several i've met aged 20 had not been home in FIVE years .
These low A players make about $1000 a month here = pay rent and extras NOT all have a signing bonus . I have seen 6 pile in a car / truck to go to apartment . Many will play 300 games a years - 80 here .ONLY have one day off in a month. When we have meetings with players we see several CAN'T write but play baseball great . Imagine you train with a broom handle , soda cap and well used passed down gloves etc. . No excuse for others to NOT take time to sign --- We have had coaches to refuse to sign and make rude comments -THEY PLAYED in PROS . I did see one coach sign FIFTY cards for one fan - last was nice like the first . Years ago i so trash bags of unsigned cards / TTM tossed . I had limited access to clubhouse .
Some agents are real $%#$^%& about things so we need to have AGENTS and card companies work it out .
Mostly football and basketball rookie players started signing just initials about ten years back. It's disgusting and I won't collect any On Card Certified Autographs (the only cards I collect since 1999) if it's only initials. If they can't sign for money similar to the way they sign their paychecks, then I don't care if their autograph goes up to $500.00 from $5.00; I STILL DON'T WANT IT! I've been collecting nothing but Certified Autograph Inserts since 1999 and I HATE sticker and other non-on card autograph with a burning passion.
I've done a ton of charity work with Gary Carter for the Leukemia Society from 1989-1992 (then to other children's charities every year until 2015). He wanted to sign (100) items for me for my first donation in 1989, but I thought that was too generous. He was such a wonderful person to everyone & lit up a room with his smile! It still hurts that he passed in 2012 at age 57 from brain cancer. We were friends until he died and I met most of his family too. So I brought (50) small items with me for him to sign in Shea Stadium's clubhouse (I worked that out slickly with Jay Horwitz). Gary signed them all very clearly where you can read every letter (my Avatar picture was that day) in less than 15-minutes. So players can easily sign halfway decent autographs at a rate of (200+) an hour.
So there's no need for players getting paid $3-$5 for autographs as rookies (with the first few Draft Picks or key players getting $20-$30 per autograph) to sign only their initials. I even cringed when I had to lay out $20.00 for a 2009 Allen & Ginter Clayton Kershaw autograph in 2010 (who knows what those hieroglyphics are?), but he signs like that in a couple of seconds. He can sign thousands of autographs an hour! His type of autograph is as far as I will go with my collection, any worse and I DON'T WANT IT! I collect left-handed superstar players as well.
The card companies could put a clause in the player's autograph contract stating that full signatures get one amount, and initial signatures get a much lower amount. I discussed this with the owner when I was working as a Senior Manager Of Customer Service at Playoff (investigating the for all kinds of fraud from the inside) in 2001. She said "Oh no, we'd never do that, it may offend the players. Then they won't sign for us again.". All card companies care about is the money they can make, NEVER collector's needs or wants which is absurd! If it wasn't for us there would be no card companies.
Aaron Judge signing as poorly as he did on all 2014 Certified Autos until 2017 when he started signing "Aaron" on most cards was terrible. Did Topps have to pay him more to sign "Aaron", I bet they did!!! Luckily I bought (6) of his Topps Inception initial autographs in 2014 for around $3.00 each on eBay and added them in my 2014 donation. I thought I kept one for myself, but I still can't find it. But I'm very glad the kids got GREAT very expensive cards!
Players need to be taught properly by their Players Associations- this is where the PROBLEMS START! The Players Associations know that players will be hounded for autographs a bit less if they sign clear ON CARD autographs for several different card companies & products that we can afford to buy. So this benefits players as well. But we got the "follow the leader" effect with this initial only signings. If the Players Associations and card companies stepped up and did something about this from the start, we wouldn't have 50% of players scribbling unreadable autographs or initials in BLOCK LETTER writing. I simply stopped buying Certified Autographs once I completed a year set (of all players in every sport that did something very special or won an award that year); I've been making since 2001 & completed last year. Luckily this was a 1960's year, so all the players signed nicely in that year. But I did have to settle for about ten sticker autographs (out of over 200) because no On Card autographs exist and those players who passed away.
I can't even do donations anymore mainly because of players signing terribly and due to stupid sticker autographs, plus card companies making it impossible to break even on boxes so I can donate everything else!
I happened to be invited to tour Playoff's Grand Prairie, TX location in early June, 2001- the day they were throwing a party for the mailroom employee who came up with the idea to use Staples return address holofoil stickers for Certified Autographs (I kid you not!). So I pull this kid over to the side, introduce myself and tell him how his idea is going to cause these sticker autographs to be worth far less than On Card autographs because his idea was a dumb one; used by Playoff only due to greed. That's the exact truth too, they sent Press Releases to Beckett saying that the sticker autographs will abolish Redemptions eventually. Did that ever happen? Of course not. The main reason all card companies started using stickers is because some players never returned or "LOST" the cards they were sent to return signed. Once again, I told Playoff's owner (Ann Blake) to put it in the autograph contracts that if the cards are lost or not returned, they players will be charged $5,000 to have new printing plates made (what it cost for the four sheets in 2001). But again she was afraid to put anything in autograph contracts that may upset the players. This is how much "POWER" players have over card companies regarding Certified Autograph inserts???
If card companies never gave players (especially rookies) that power to begin with, they never would have had it!
Be honest, help fix what is wrong with your world, have integrity and empathy; and you live a happy life.