Tuesday, October 30, 2012


I hope everyone in the storm's path is alright, and hello again everyone!  I have thought a lot about something  that both bothers me and gives me enjoyment, autographs!  Last month I got a box of 2012 Leaf Cut Signatures and pulled a heavily collected former baseball star, Curt Blefrey. (who?)

After getting this card I got to thinking about this card I pulled.  I know this isn't a new discussion in the blog world but I haven't really given it any thought till now.  The player on this card died almost 12 years before this product came out and since I have pulled this card I noticed there are dozens of autographs on index cards (by themselves going on sale on ebay)  Blefary  is not a well known player compared to stars like Babe Ruth and Ted Williams but I go on ebay and I see dozens of his signatures on index cards.  Blefary died in early 2001 so I am guessing he signed thousands of blank index cards to be used in future baseball card signature sets for many years to come.  I found this card on ebay that was PSA/DNA certified, yet it looks so much different than all others.
The top signature is the autograph on almost all items I've seen online, the PSA certified one looks nothing like the rest.  Notice the pen strokes and looping.
Look at those two signatures (I don't know if it is a fake or not), but how many "cut" signatures out there that scam artists are sending in index card to PSA/DNA to sell their autographs for more on ebay.  An index card signature of Curt Blefary you can get for around $10, but once it is PSA certified it is worth $50.  Just think of all the players in all the sports, how many people out there are making money on trying to get fake cut signatures certified to double or triple that index cards value.  Nobody is going to throw up red flags on the possibility of fake cut signatures of lesser known players, such as Blefary.  It only makes card news if fake autos are found in Babe Ruth, Mantles, or Ted Williams.  You can type just about any player who has died in the past decade on ebay and some of them you will find dozens to hundreds of index card/cut signatures selling.  From all the autographs I seen online of Blefary, almost 100% look like the card I pulled in the 2012 Leaf Cut Signatures, if I pulled both at the same time, I would tell you that they weren't signed by the same person.

Next on my concern list is the amount of items and autographs that surface year after year of players of over a century ago.  We are now over ten years since card companies have cut just about everything from seats, bats, jerseys, pants, shoes, contracts, and index cards of past players, at what point are we going to run out?   How do we have NO autographs of Shoeless Joe Jackson for almost a century but suddenly cut signatures are booming and they are coming out of the woodwork everywhere.  If a scammer can get just one fake Ruth certification on a signature then put in on ebay they can make a quick thousand(s) on just making a current signature look old.  It seems every year that passes we just magically find another hundred Babe Ruth signatures.  It seems with every Topps product they show another batch of cards that have more Ruth autos and relics.  Of course it would be awesome to say I have an autographed Babe Ruth, or relic card, but will I pay anything for it?  Not a chance!  I trust those ugly Topps autographed stickers, but I don't trust a random index card made into a card, and I don't understand why people still pay that much on the chances of even a certified card/signature is fake.

In addition I think to myself how many times me and my wife sign for each other on checks and documents.  How many of these cut signatures could have came from a document a financial guy did, or a canceled check their wife signed on the line as him.  We don't know!  Use the example of almost every check my wife sends out for bills she signs my name on it since my name is on the account.  So if I suddenly became famous, most of all my checks aren't really signed by me.  Look at the check below of Jackie Robinson, could Jackie have a wife or financial man paying his bills and signing it for him?  This check still has almost 2 days and it is at $536, I can get a ton of great current cards and players for just that amount.  Heck, how do we know that this check didn't come from someone else named Jack R Robinson.  There is just to much doubt, even with certification for me to put hard earned money down.

Unless someone actually documented that the signature was indeed the player at that time, I will forever treat these vintage cut signatures as I view manufactured patches, just a cool novelty.  Never thought I would say I would rather have an ugly autograph sticker on a card then a random index card graded, because at least I have almost 100% faith that sticker was really signed by the player.

*I am not an expert, this is a personal view on cut signatures.  I truly don't have the knowledge of figuring out fake or real signatures and this blog is not intended to sway anyone's views, not to be viewed as a news source, or to discredit PSA/Leaf, or any of the card companies that use cut signatures.


  1. I have seen some fake autos that have been psaed. I know what a Peacher Roe auto looks like. I have a few dozen of them that I personally saw him sign. Some of the PSA ones I see are definatly not his. There is even another blogger that showed off a Preacher auto that had to be a fake. And that is just one player who knows how many fakes there are of all players together.

    1. adam i am guessing that it was the 1951 redback preacher auto i posted as part of my topps dodger autograph project that you refer to. i think i mentioned that the jsa certification on that card is not really worth anything. i agree that it doesn't look like other known roe autos, so even if he did sign the card it is hard to understand how it got authenticated unless the authenticator was sitting right next to roe when the card was signed.

      i do have a few tommy john autos that are absolutely legitimate but don't look the same as a result of them coming from the beginning of a signing when he was fresh and the end of a signing when he was tired and getting a bit sloppy. again, i don't know how the sloppier ones would be authenticated even though they are legit.

      i have a rule of not typically buying autos that are not manufacturer certified because there is no way of knowing whether they are legit or not. however, i have made exceptions for both the aforementioned project and my 1978 topps dodger autograph collection. in that way, i'm part of the problem.

  2. I am with you - I think PSA is total crap. I have seen some of the "Certified" signatures that are slabbed as 10s, and you take a look at two of them side by side and it's obvious one is a horrible fake.

    I'll take an index signature, but it needs to be certified by a quality firm that knows what they are doing. PSA and a few others are like those places in the back of a magazine that will sell you a college diploma for $89.

  3. I think many of these people "mass" produce getting these index card signatures now to hopes to cash and put on ebay in hopes to cash in on this cut signatures craze. How many of us just go up to a star player with a blank 3x5 index card and say "can you please sign this?" The true autograph collector would want an autographed ball or card, right? I read on a forum about TTM a few years back (forgive me I don't remember the site) there was a man complaining because he sent 5 index cards to be signed. He vented that he only got 1 back and the player kept his other 4 index cards...REALLY!? That is true for people who compain they sent 5 cards to have someone sign and only 2 come back signed and they go ape $hit about it. These are the guys who cut in front of kids, and complain about not getting enough autographs so they can put online or sell to card companies so they can make their living.


No negative comments please, this blog is for fun and not intended as a business...just a collector giving some views.