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Question about Auto Certification for Sage /Press Pass
06-20-2013, 04:31 AM
Post: #1
Question about Auto Certification for Sage /Press Pass
For those of you who read this and take the time to respond, let me offer sincere gratitude in advance.

A condensed background on why I started this thread looking for information. As my name suggests, I'm a 49ers fan and I was a regular on the Beckett football boards for awhile. I collected football cards between '96 and '08, mostly GU/ Player Worn cards. When patch faking became rampant and stories began to trickle out about the card companies buying GU materials from questionable sources, I lost my enthusiasm for the hobby. I sold my collection and washed my hands of the hobby in 2009.

I'm also a avid Kentucky basketball fan and recently I've been watching some of my old Wildcat Championship DVDs in an effort to assuage my longing to see the talent-rich 2013-14 Cats. That led me to searching for collectibles of older players, which turned up many auctions for pack-pulled autographs. In fact, almost every card of a player in a UK uni was an auto.

I didn't collect college cards in my former run as a collector. I know very little about those companies, and their websites don't offer much detail about how they obtain autographs from players. So, my question to veteran basketball collectors is do you trust the process/quality control of the card companies when it comes to ensuring the legitimacy of their autographs?

MODS: please accept my apologies if this topic is taboo or redundant. I've been away a long time, so I don't know if this topic has become a hot button. I'll accept PM responses if this thread becomes too problematic. Thanks.
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06-20-2013, 10:08 AM
Post: #2
RE: Question about Auto Certification for Sage /Press Pass
Both Sage and Press Pass have been very trustworthy with their prospect autographs. Most card companies now are using stickers instead of having the athlete directly sign the card. This allows them to get a ton of autographs at once and then portion them out onto different cards. However, most collectors prefer on-card instead of sticker autographs.
All that being said, the biggest concern for fake autographs can come from when a company goes bankrupt and sells off their assets. This has happened a few times, most recently Fleer. The company has inventory of cards that were supposed to be autographed and the cards even say that they are, but the autographs were never done. Then an unscrupulous person buys the cards and forges signatures on them and tries to pawn them off as legit, since the cards say they are autographed. Another issue is for cards that have autographed versions that are the same as the basic version with the exception of a stamp. As there are forgers that add a forged signature to the base card and even sometimes get a faked stamp put onto the card to make it seem even more legit.
The only other thing to consider is that while some companies actually send a representative to sit with the athlete while they sign the cards, other companies just send the cards/stickers to the athletes and assume when they get them back that they are legit. This is a pretty good assumption, but it has been shown in the past that some athletes have gotten a friend to sign for them.
Overall when it comes to autographed cards you have to trust the source. I find that the companies that actually say "The autograph was obtained by said athlete in the presence of our representative" are usually the best ones. You can also check as to which athletes are exclusive signers for certain companies (like Kobe with Panini, and Lebron with Upper Deck), as that gives even more credence to the authenticity.
PS - Welcome back. Hopefully things don't scare you off again.

[Image: djohn-1.jpg]
Collecting John Stockton, Karl Malone, Ivan Rodriguez, Gary Carter & UF player rookie year cards.
Jedd Gyorko 2010-2013: Have 273/419
Wantlist: http://sites.google.com/site/sportscardsite/set-needs/
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06-21-2013, 05:16 AM
Post: #3
RE: Question about Auto Certification for Sage /Press Pass
(06-20-2013 10:08 AM)djohn Wrote:  Both Sage and Press Pass have been very trustworthy with their prospect autographs. Most card companies now are using stickers instead of having the athlete directly sign the card. This allows them to get a ton of autographs at once and then portion them out onto different cards. However, most collectors prefer on-card instead of sticker autographs.

PS - Welcome back. Hopefully things don't scare you off again.

Thanks for the response. I noticed the proliferation of stickers on cards before I left. I talked to a couple of players who said they were given thousands of stickers on sheets to sign. One player's mom said he signed stickers until his hand cramped so tightly that he had to stop and resume the next day.

What are your thoughts on Panini? Their exclusive license is something that happened after I left, or at least I don't remember it. One company doing it all should make for better quality control on autos, shouldn't it?
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06-21-2013, 06:09 AM
Post: #4
RE: Question about Auto Certification for Sage /Press Pass
(06-21-2013 05:16 AM)49erloyalist Wrote:  What are your thoughts on Panini? Their exclusive license is something that happened after I left, or at least I don't remember it. One company doing it all should make for better quality control on autos, shouldn't it?
I am not a big fan of only having 1 licensed card company. Upper Deck is still making basketball card, albeit in college uniforms. Leaf is making basketball cards albeit without any uniform markings. So it really hasn't changed other than only Panini has players in NBA uniforms.
As for quality control of autos by Panini, you will get some debate there. There is another thread on this forum talking about the Panini quality control of having autographed stickers of Bill Walton on Bill Wennington cards and vice versa. I think a little bit of competition makes things better, as now instead of having 2-3 companies putting out 5-10 product lines each year, we have Panini cramming out around 20 different product lines. It's tough to imagine having perfect quality control when you are just non-stop cramming new product out as quick as you can.

[Image: djohn-1.jpg]
Collecting John Stockton, Karl Malone, Ivan Rodriguez, Gary Carter & UF player rookie year cards.
Jedd Gyorko 2010-2013: Have 273/419
Wantlist: http://sites.google.com/site/sportscardsite/set-needs/
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06-21-2013, 09:58 AM
Post: #5
RE: Question about Auto Certification for Sage /Press Pass
I have heard similar things in that sage and press pass, though with occasional "friend signing" issues, are pretty reliable. Press pass, however, does mostly on-card autos. I think Sage autos are nearly all stickers, so between those two products I generally prefer Press Pass.

I collect Michael Jordan, Mitch Richmond, and Ohio State players (football and basketball) in OSU gear. I strongly prefer 90's-era cards and use newer cards primarily for trade bait!

[Image: buckunteer_edited-2-1.gif]
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06-22-2013, 01:10 AM
Post: #6
RE: Question about Auto Certification for Sage /Press Pass
(06-21-2013 09:58 AM)buckunteer Wrote:  I have heard similar things in that sage and press pass, though with occasional "friend signing" issues, are pretty reliable. Press pass, however, does mostly on-card autos. I think Sage autos are nearly all stickers, so between those two products I generally prefer Press Pass.

I've heard rumors that false signings (or suspicions of the practice) were another consideration of the card companies when they designed sticker autos. It allows for a much more fluid, quick autographing process, which probably curtails the temptation for athletes to take shortcuts. Although the aesthetics of the card usually takes a hit.

I remember reading an article years ago that cited some tension between a couple of the major sports leagues and some unnamed players who tried to get out of their signing duties until the league informed them of contractual obligations.
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