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Old 02-20-2015, 10:54 PM
Klrdds Klrdds is offline
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Default Random Thoughts on this Hobby and its Future

As I sit here on a snowy, sleety,and freezing Friday night I am pondering the future of autograph collecting as we know it.
After reading Hauls of Shame's latest post concerning the Heritage Auction offering tomorrow of the Joe Jackson autographed photo and others from the featured collection they are offering, and seeing that the bidding on Jackson's photo has topped $ 100,000 and that now the FBI may be getting involved makes me wonder where will it end. Let us not forget that net54 members called it (them) out weeks ago on the signatures from that collection.
We talk about forgeries and questionable signatures but yet they keep coming at what seems like a record pace and many with histories seemingly too good to be true .
It seems now that there are more forgeries of Ruth, Gehrig, DiMaggio, Williams, and Mantle than there are authentic signatures....and they keep coming and keep getting authenticated and keep getting bought whether by novice or "experienced" yet uneducated collectors. The forgers know their market , their focus is determined. After all when was the last time a forged signature of Musial,Greenberg,Sisler, Grove, or Hack Wilson was offered for sale or a Black Sox player ( other than Jackson) was offered for sale or wrongly authenticated? Sure there are forgeries of probably 90% of all HOFers and upper tier players but the majority of forgeries occupy a narrow scope of players living and dead. Remember when we worried about Pujols' forgeries and now that he is kind of off the grid it is Jeter and Trout. Concerning rare autos only CCA has the determination to consistently offer questionable signatures on a regular basis but yet nothing is done to them. There are probably more forgeries of the big 5 than the total for all of the top 25 rarest HOFers, and of course there is no real knowledge as to what is truly a forgery and what is not for those rare HoFers due to a lack of certifiable life long examples and the consideration of signature variations.
After forgeries we have to contend with issues of provenance and possible theft and title issues for the rare and ultra rare signatures.
Now it appears that good ole " Say it ain't so Joe" Joe Jackson is in the spotlight now .
It makes me wonder who is next to get the spotlight for questionable authenticity and where is our collecting and hobby headed now but also in the extended future? What will occur with the big 2 TPA companies, who continue to certify glaring forgeries; as well as those auction houses that put money and the latest " find" before integrity? What about those dealers who intentionally or unintentionally continue to sell or resell questionable autographs? Will all of these go the way of Mastro or continue to prosper ?
I guess I should be happy that I only collect baseball and HoF autographs and not rare books or artwork where forgeries exist but at oh so much of a higher price.
But you know I can't wait for the next auction or to get my next autograph in the mail.
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Old 02-21-2015, 12:24 AM
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David Atkatz David Atkatz is offline
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...But you know I can't wait for the next auction or to get my next autograph in the mail.
My name is David and I'm an autograph junky.
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Old 02-21-2015, 07:31 AM
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7nohitter 7nohitter is offline
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My name is David and I'm an autograph junky.
Made me laugh!
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Old 02-21-2015, 07:54 AM
tazdmb tazdmb is offline
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I am going to try and answer without rambling on, too much. Until the FBI or another organization comes in and starts policing these auction houses, I believe we will remain in a status quo. I see forgers have moved more away from sports and are now focusing in on the entertainment, where signatures studies are much more elusive and people are willing to spend even more money for an "autographed McCartney" guitar. Google fake Anthony Nurse if you have a few minutes. I know the FBI is quietly working on this as well, although I can't get into too much detail. As for sports autographs, I think items with iron-clad provenance (checks, contracts, letters) will continue to command a premium, from top-collectors, such as those on this board.

My bold prediction is that JSA will go the way of GAI in the next few years. They pretty much have started already, they just haven't been called out yet in the larger community.
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Old 02-21-2015, 09:08 AM
jad22 jad22 is offline
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I am going to try and answer without rambling on, too much. Until the FBI or another organization comes in and starts policing these auction houses, I believe we will remain in a status quo. I see forgers have moved more away from sports and are now focusing in on the entertainment, where signatures studies are much more elusive and people are willing to spend even more money for an "autographed McCartney" guitar. Google fake Anthony Nurse if you have a few minutes. I know the FBI is quietly working on this as well, although I can't get into too much detail. As for sports autographs, I think items with iron-clad provenance (checks, contracts, letters) will continue to command a premium, from top-collectors, such as those on this board.

My bold prediction is that JSA will go the way of GAI in the next few years. They pretty much have started already, they just haven't been called out yet in the larger community.
JSA going the way of GAI will be problematic. They have a much larger market than GAI.
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Old 02-21-2015, 09:08 AM
Klrdds Klrdds is offline
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Taz,
I heard of Anthony Nurse a couple of years ago but haven't thought of him in a while. I hope they get what is coming to them, scamming is bad but scamming in the name of charity is egregious .
Your comment about JSA is interesting, because if they do go the way of GAI a couple of things could happen. One is that PSA will be the only major player in the TPA business and will that allow them to cert more bad autos than they already do? Second we all know that Jimmy will land on his feet somewhere else as an authenticator and that he could possibly blame the downfall of JSA on his "untrained" employees certing autos that he had no control over since he was so busy with "bigger" projects.
I do agree with you about checks and contracts ( legal documents).
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Old 02-21-2015, 01:32 PM
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This might just be me, but I've noticed that I'm becoming less interested in collecting as more and more old timers pass away. I think baseball cards have become too gimmicky and even if they weren't, the player's signatures are practically illegible. That's one of the reasons why I started my '53 Topps project; Sy Berger actually put effort into designing the set, and the signatures from that era are almost as nice as the cards themselves.
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Old 02-21-2015, 02:27 PM
mdallen22 mdallen22 is offline
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I've always been curious with the sustainability of this industry with the younger generations. Will they continue to drive an interest in sports memorabilia?
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Old 02-21-2015, 03:23 PM
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I've always been curious with the sustainability of this industry with the younger generations. Will they continue to drive an interest in sports memorabilia?
When I got in to collecting in 5th grade (~10 years ago) there were a few other kids who collected baseball cards, all modern stuff. Now, I know of one other guy my age who collects autographs, and that's it.
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Old 02-21-2015, 04:08 PM
Bearfan4 Bearfan4 is offline
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I do believe that the hobby of autograph collecting (baseball in particular) will continue to grow over time as it has in the past, but perhaps there will be a lull or decline in value in certain era's/players based on fans from that era passing away as well as simple supply and demand. The players like Ruth, Gehrig, Cobb, Dimaggio, Williams, Mantle, Mays, Aaron, etc. will continue to be highly collected, but perhaps Hall of Famers with less mystique around them such as Mathews, Drysdale, Killebrew, etc. will stall or be less appreciated. I can't see people just stopping cold turkey...relics have been around forever. The issue of forgeries is a major concern, but it has been around for a long time (an issue in any business, whether cards, autographs, art, watches, etc.).
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