The Beckett Blog

Evolution of autographs: Which ones do you remember? by Chris Olds

By CHRIS OLDS | Beckett Baseball

Imaging getting paid $20, $50 or $100 for a single swipe of a pen … for your autograph.

Collectors know all about the practice of autograph signings for cash — we see it all the time at shows. However, have you ever put yourself in an athlete’s shoes?

For a multi-millionaire, a private autograph signing might be work — if an athlete even bothers because, after all, time is money. (Meeting and signing for fans? That’s another story. Many athletes have no worries about doing those events — or signing for free if it’s the right place and right time.)

And, when you think about it, signing autographs is work in a different way, too. Can you imaging sitting down and signing your name 500 or 1,000 times with only a break or two?

Many collectors don’t — and that’s why they complain when they get autographs that look like chicken scratch. (To some degree, I understand why they sometimes look the way that they do.)

We all have heard about the “give-up graph” — and we all know about the checkmark autograph of former Houston Texans running back Vernand Morency — but there’s another type of autograph out there that has always interested me.

It’s the “early” autograph — the one where an athlete either hadn’t yet adopted a shorter version of an autograph or a rarer signature where we just don’t commonly see it on items signed in bulk.

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Will Manny Ramirez’s performance-enhancing substance suspension affect his cards? by Chris Olds


According to a Los Angeles Times report, Major League Baseball will announce today that Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Manny Ramirez will be suspended for 50 games after testing positive for a performance-enhancing substance.

While the test may be tied to a medical condition (as he’s expected to say later today), the perceptions within the hobby may well be that he’s just another tainted player from an era where stars who put up legendary numbers are shrouded in clouds of controversy.

Guilty or not, more than a few fans have probably already made up their minds and associated him with known cheaters and those mired in controversy regarding their reputations and their statistics from the field.

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First look: 2009 Upper Deck Ballpark Collection by Chris Olds


Upper Deck released basic product information and preview images on Thursday for its 2009 Ballpark Collection set that is scheduled to arrive in late-August.

There will be three memorabilia cards or one autograph and two memorabilia cards per pack. Each pack will contain one dual memorabilia card and one quad memorabilia card, while there will be cards with as many as eight memorabilia pieces embedded into them. Each four-pack box will include two autographed cards.

New this year will be All-Time legends cards of Joe DiMaggio and Ted Williams available as dual-, triple-, quad-, six-piece and eight-piece memorabilia cards.

See those and more after the jump.

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Does this Manny Ramirez 2008 Stadium Club card seem odd? by Chris Olds


Examine the photo on this 2008 Stadium Club Manny Ramirez card closely.

Don’t see anything odd? Head on over to the Cardboard Icons blog where Ben Aguirre Jr. and I have discussed it.

There’s a lot more odd here than you might think. (For starters, where’s the umpire?!?!)

Chris Olds has collected sports cards and memorabilia since 1987. Before coming to Beckett Media, he wrote about the hobby for the Orlando Sentinel on his blog, SportsStuff, and for the San Antonio Express-News and The Tuscaloosa (Ala.) News. Do you have a comment, question or idea? Send e-mail to him at

Manny Ramirez will bleed Dodger Blue in Upper Deck Update (and elsewhere) by Chris Olds
October 10, 2008, 12:22 pm
Filed under: MLB, Upper Deck | Tags: , , , , ,

The November Beckett Sports Card Monthly cover star — Los Angeles Dodgers slugger Manny Ramirez — hasn’t yet appeared on an official widely produced MLB trading card in a Dodgers uniform.

(He did have an eTopps card not long after the Red Sox traded him, but it was limited to only 699 copies.)

But don’t worry Dodgers fans — he will undoubtedly have several update set appearances in his new threads. Here’s what his card in the upcoming Upper Deck Update boxed set (arriving in hobby shops on Nov. 11) will look like.

If the Dodgers own some extra bling-bling at that time (they’re down 0-1 in the NLCS right now), this card could get pretty hot — at least for a standard card.

Chris Olds has collected sports cards and memorabilia since 1987. Before coming to Beckett Media, he wrote about the hobby for the Orlando Sentinel on his blog, SportsStuff, and for the San Antonio Express-News and The Tuscaloosa (Ala.) News. Do you have a comment, question or idea? Send e-mail to him at

Rumors laid to rest- by ejahnke

Manny heads to LA?

I need to find new sources of MLB rumors.  In all the places I read today, with 1,000-scenarios-a-minute trade deadline coverage, the Dodgers weren’t even mentioned as a landing spot for Manny Ramirez.

Manny to LA, Bay to Boston, and Andy LaRoche and pitcher Bryan Morris to the Pirates, reportedly along with a few minor leaguers.

Who knew?

I am pretty confused by LA…what do they do now that they have a ton of outfielders on the squad?

Boston fans can be content in the fact that Jason Bay has never had a David Ortiz hitting behind him.  Plus, he is FAR from done in the big leagues.

Pittsburgh fans…well…aren’t the Steelers predicted to be pretty good this season?


In other news–

Chicago…are you ready for this?

Wow, it will take some getting used to for sure!


I am not ready for this…

It’s not your fault, Pudge!


Also, the Washington Nationals traded minor league pitcher Jhonny Nunez to the Yankees for SS Alberto Gonzalez.

In 2005, Baseball America listed Gonzalez as the #1 defensive IF in Arizona’s minor-league system, he was a part of the Randy Johnson deal in early 2007.

Nunez used to be in the Dodgers farm system.  In 2006, playing with the Gulf Coast League Dodgers (rookie ball) he struck out 56 batters in 57 innings.


Those are nice K numbers, but look at the stats of the Dodgers #1 pick, Ethan Martin.  I know these are high-school stats, but I don’t care if they are from Pony League, they are darn impressive!

As a high school senior, Martin, the 2008 Georgia State High School Player of the Year, went 11-1 with a 0.99 ERA and 141 strikeouts…in 79 innings!

Nothing to do with the trading deadline, but it’s worth noting since he signed a deal for $1.7 million last month, and now is out for the rest of the year with a knee injury.  Good luck in recovery, Ethan!

Waiting… by ejahnke

Is Griffey going to the White Sox, or not?

We are still waiting on the old “Commissioner approval,” to know for sure.  It’s bugging me, so I can’t imagine how White Sox fans are doing right now.  By the way, I forgive you all for 2005, never had any hate there.

What about Manny to the Marlins?  As much as the media makes him into a jerk (and he may well be), I can’t see the Red Sox fans being overjoyed at the thought of a Manny-less lineup tomorrow.

Uploads are down, so repeat images used

Uploads are down, so repeat images used-We are so very sorry!

Now we hear talk of Jason Bay becoming either a Blue Jay, or a [Devil] Ray, sorry it rhymed so well

30 minutes left!

This is proving to be a long day of waiting and wondering.  Especially since WordPress is messed up and photos are not uploading right now…grrrr….