Autographed BaseBall Cards: Calling on all you experts...............

Some of you know, but for those that don't, I am an all volunteer umpire and rules instructor for Little League Baseball for the past 14 seasons. I umpire games all over So. California. Many people in my leagues know too that I collect Rock and Roll autographs. So they put 2 and 2 together and ask me over the years about autographed Baseball Cards. I must confess to them that the only autographed baseball cards I have, in spite of my extreme love for both BB and autographs, are from Steve Garvey and Tommy John, and do not really know as much as I should about signed baseball cards. (I do have some autographed bats, a few baseballs, and some signed magazines that I have obtained mostly at shows and at Dodger Stadium, but all in all I stay as far away from autographed sports items like the plague).

So, please help a poor sinner like me who loves the game of baseball and should know better, but has little clue on the real worth of signed Baseball cards:

1) Does it ruin the value of the card once it is signed or increase the value?

2) Would it be better if given the chance, to not get a card signed in lieu of a magazine or baseball?

3) Is this one of those types of items you want personalized or do not want personalized?

I know what books and the internet say, but I am looking for answers from you collectors as to what your thoughts might be. (and if you ever need a good umpire to umpire your Little League games, I am your man..............) Thank you


Views: 840

Tags: ball, baseball, bats, caps, cards, garvey, john, magazines, tommy

Comment by Josh Board on May 28, 2010 at 9:25am
I can give you the facts on this.
It devalues the baseball card. Period.
But as these great posts already said...if the card value is 50 cents, the autograph is worth more, so who cares.
Also, people always use that Mickey Mantle example, which is a good one, as his cards are worth so much. But I'm guessing if you had a Topps 1964 Mantle and it was signed, you'd have NO PROBLEM finding someone that would give you what it was worth.
I was at a card show once, and...dang, can't remember the players name. Oh yeah, RObin Yount. He was signing stuff there for $10 a signature. This kid went back to the table, and his dad wanted to kill him. He had Yount sign his 1975 rookie card. He was screaming "It's now worth nothing!" I volunteered to buy it, and they said "Okay, $15." I still think it's the best money I ever spent! But to card collectors, that's a no-no. Especially when it's not hard to get a card from them that isnt a valuable one (ie not a rookie card, or it's an average player, whose card will never be worth that much).
The most valuable thing is a baseball, signed on the sweet spot. Well...a baseball bat is worth more, but....I'm saying over 8 x 10s and cards, baseballs.
Comment by Josh Board on May 28, 2010 at 9:29am
Here's a funny argument I had with someone that wrote for Autograph 10 years ago or so.
They did a story about Babe Ruth autographs or something. And they make a comment I found to be completely wrong. They wrote that a Babe Ruth ball with JUST his signature, is worth more than a baseball signed by him and some of his fellow Yankee teammates. I disagree with that statement SOOO MUCH.
He said "Well, if the other signatures are people like Lou Gehrig."
BUt, to me....even players that sucked, but were teammates of Ruth...the ONLY THING that would devalue the signature, is if they signed over Ruths name, making it harder to read. Having multiple teammates ONLY enhances the pieces. ESPECIALLY, because that makes the ball super rare. How many balls does anyone see with Yankees teammates and Ruth, compared with RUth alone on the sweet spot?
And, it does wonders for credibility/authenticity. SOmeone may have forged some good Ruth signatures in the 60s (so they are now aged and look real), but with multiple teammates, that helps.
And baseball fans would DEFINITELY like that ball more. I know I'd rather have a basketball signed by Magic Johnson and the worst four players on the 1987 Lakers, then a ball just signed by Magic.
Comment by Stephen Duncan on May 28, 2010 at 2:38pm
These are all GREAT points gentlemen. Like I said, I only dive into the very shallow end of the pool when it comes to sports autographs. I have some because of shows that I have attended, or they were/are signing at Dodger Stadium (and I do love the Dodgers and Reds 1970's classic line ups), but have my hands full with my R&R stuff. Great feedback.
Comment by sappmann99 on November 19, 2010 at 6:06pm
does anyone know what the price of a 1957 topps sammy esposito#301 signed card is worth?


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