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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Andre Dawson is lone Baseball Hall of Fame inductee by Chris Olds

The Baseball Writers Association of America has voted and only former Montreal Expos and Chicago Cubs outfielder Andre Dawson will be enshrined in the Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum this summer in Cooperstown, N.Y.

Bert Blyleven came up just short of the mandatory 75 percent at 74.2 while Roberto Alomar got 73.7 percent. (See my previous predictions here.)

“The Hawk” appears on 2,495 baseball cards with his lone Rookie Card his 1977 Topps card seen above. He has signed for 671 different certified autographs and appears on exactly 800 memorabilia cards.

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***NOW CLOSED*** FREE STUFF FRIDAY (12/18) Contest No. 11 — An Andre Dawson autograph card by Chris Olds

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logoHow can you win? Follow the directions below and answer the questions below in a comment right here …  it’s that simple.

Tips: Don’t try stuffing the comments box — we’ll check IP addresses — and make sure to include your name and email address so you can be contacted if you win. (Also note that you will see your comment on your screen after posting but that does not indicate its order of posting as it has not yet been approved. WordPress’ time-stamping of comments once all are approved will determine the winner.)

Get the question(s) after the jump …

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