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Topps, PSA stand behind Legendary autographs

By Chris Olds | Editor

A heavily scrutinized Topps cut autograph card featuring the starting lineup of the 1927 New York Yankees is off the auction block and headed for additional examination.

The 2010 Topps Tribute Legendary Lineup Cuts card features the signatures of Earle Combs, Mark Koenig, Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Bob Meusel, Tony Lazzeri, Joe Dugan, Pat Collins and Waite Hoyt – all on one booklet.

A redemption for the card was found by a collector in Missouri, who opted to sell the card through Beckett Select Auctions, the consignment division of Beckett Media. The auction briefly ran earlier this month with a starting bid of $20,000. However, Beckett Select ended the auction early as a precaution when it received multiple questions about the authenticity of the Ruth and Gehrig signatures.

Topps Director of Product Development Clay Luraschi said the company stands behind its card and its signatures, which have backing from one top authenticator.

“As we do with every cut sig, we have it authenticated by PSA,” Luraschi said. “In regards to the Ruth and Gehrig cut sigs, these were authenticated by PSA and have the paperwork to back that claim.

“We spoke to them today and they reconfirmed the authentication of these cut signatures and stand behind them 100 percent.”

Despite this information, the card has been sent to another industry leader in authentication, James Spence Authentication, for further examination — to dispute PSA’s claims or add an extra layer of approval, according to Beckett Select’s Dave Sliepka.

“We and the card owner have agreed to send the card to JSA,” Sliepka said, “because of multiple prospective buyer questions about authenticity. ”

Chris Olds is the editor of Beckett Baseball. Have a comment, question or idea? Send an e-mail to him at colds@beckett.com. Follow him on Twitter by clicking here.


3 Comments

Abe Doctor

I do not own any cut signature cards of significance, but I always thought it would be interesting if Topps included on the back of the card a brief story of where the autograph came from and how and when Topps came to acquire the piece of memorabilia…it would also be nice, especially on the higher end cards, like the one in question above to have one or several hand written initials of those authenticators that have verified its authenticity. Topps is always trying to build on to ways to bring the collectors closer to the game; this might be one way to do so.

I recently picked up a pack of 2008 Donruss Threads baseball and I pulled a serial #’d jersey card of George H. Bush…the jersey piece is from George’s Bush’s baseball jersey that he played in at Yale! I love this card…I think it is so unique, but almost everyone I have showed it to (mostly non-collectors) questions its authenticity. I sort of agree in this case…collectors need more than just the card manufacturers name to stand behind the memorabilia. I would love to know how a baseball jersey that George Bush played in while attending Yale made it from his back to a baseball card…now that would be interesting.

Posted December 28, 2010 at 1:03 pm | Permalink
Broncoblue90

A little off topic, but has anyone else heard that Dr. “Buzz” Aldrin has filed a suit against Topps for using his picture in the 2009 American Heritage series? What is the world coming to, an American hero suing a company that is a huge part of America’s pastime. Bad “Buzz,” BAD!

From mod: He’s aggressive about protecting his image rights. In Topps’ case, they claim he was used in a news context per se.

Posted December 28, 2010 at 10:56 pm | Permalink

I certainly hope that this card is not a fake. If it happened to Upper Deck it can happen to TOPPS as well.

Posted December 30, 2010 at 5:44 am | Permalink

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