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ewokpelts
04-28-2011, 10:46 AM
Hey,

I know someguys here like autographs and collecting, so I wanted to talk about autographed jerseys and some problems fans may not realize are out there.

I recently recieved a Buehrle autographed Jersey. It's on an authentic home jersey, with MLB authentication sticker. The sticker acts as proof of authenticity, and by looking up the number ojnline, I can tell Buehrle signed this while at spring training. Oh, and the jersey at one point was distributed by the sox directly.

All these things are important when looking at the age old question "what's it worth?".

While I have no plans to sell it, I do want to know what it's going for. So I did an ebay search for "Buehrle Jersey" , and after selecting the ebay filter for just autographed(some sellers use "signed", "auto" or "autograph/ed" so there is no one standard), i found FOUR autographed Buehrle Jerseys:

(Mods: I'm posting an ebay link for illustrative purposes, so that people can see what I'm talking about)
http://sports-cards.shop.ebay.com/Autographs-Original-/51/i.html?_nkw=buehrle+jersey&_catref=1&_dmpt=US_Baseball_Fan_Shop&_fln=1&_trksid=p3286.c0.m282

Now, based off the asking prices(through auction and "buy it now"), Buehrle jerseys appear to be qiute valuable.
But let's look a bit at the actual items.

Three of the four have his signature on the large 5 on the back of his jersey. Only one has it on the right breast area, ABOVE the 56. The seller says it was personally signed by Burls, but he dosent say HOW he got the signnature. Was it in person at a sox event? Auction? Online? card show?
Also no mention of proof. No COA(certificate of authenticity, although these can be faked), no hologram sticker, or photo of him signing in the street or at an event(like soxfest).
One of the pictures in the listing(the one that showcases the auto itself) has what LOOKS to be a hologram on the 6 on the front of the jersey. Is this an MLB sticker, or a third party(like steiner or mounted memories)? As the seller doesent mention, we are left to wonder if the auto is legit.
Also of importance is the jersey itself. Based off the pictures, it APPEARS to be an authentic jersey(it has the authentic tags on the bottom). I mention this because there are a lot of Chinese fakes out there, and the more unethical cats out there may use these items as auto stock to help push the value of thier fakes. A chinese fake can cost as little as $25 per jersey, while an authentic jersey at dealer's wholesale BLANK(with no lettering) is no lower than $100. A blank jerset at retail is $159, with lettering pushing it over $200 easily.

One of the others HAS authentication, from PSA/DNA. These guys are a 3rd party authenticator. You pay them to verify your items' authenticity. The mostly have booths at the main card shows, or you can mail in items. My stepdad gave me a Frank Thomas AutoBall that was verified by PSA. You can look it up here:
http://www.psacard.com/verification/verify.chtml The ball's "code" is J42017

Now the seller in the auction with the psa certificate dosent provide it in the auction listing, BUT it is visible in the item images.(I checked it, and it was certified on 3/8/11) Not that they have to, but I recommend you contact them requesting the number. If it's a legit seller and legit item, the seller SHOULD comply.

There are other third party authenticators, but I cant speak for all of them. Some of the autograph "big boxes" like Steiner Sports or Mounted Memories/Schwartz Sports have thier own authentication numbers. They are trusted mostly due to reputation and sheer volume of product available. Add to the fact that Steiner is a partner of several pro sports teams in selling authentic game used gear and autographs, and you can see why the big boys are regarded as such.

Now for the last two.

One has "proof" in the form of a photo of Buehrle signing, and the other claims COA. The one that claims COA also has a pic of buehrle signing, but that may be a stock photo, as he's signing photos in the pic. He also says HIS hologram is on the item! This could be good OR bad.
One thing stands out for me. the authenticity of the jersey itself. It LOOKS legit, but look a bit further. there's NO MLB LOGO PATCH on the back of the jersey! was it a mistake at the plan, or is this a fake jersey? Yeah, buehrle's auto is worth money, but on a cheap chinese fake, no dealer or collector worth anything would touch it.

And that leads me to the last one. OBVIOUS fake. You can tell by the "shiny-ness" of the jersey material. Yes, jerseys are polyester, but they are typically in a matte-like finish. Early poly jerseys were very shiny, but that went down as materials improved. A chinese fake typically has badly sewn patches, disporportioned majestic embroidery(on left sleeve), and the patches and jersey are very shiny, especially in photos(flash). and the lettering has a "bacon crumple" look to it. authentic, or even replica, jerseys have a cardboard backing in the patches to make them stay flat.

I dont want to tell you what to do with your money, but I would recommend researching when you buy a "big ticket item".

BainesHOF
04-28-2011, 12:02 PM
This is a big area...

Collectors who collect autographed jerseys usually like to obtain the autographs themselves. Jerseys obviously take up a lot of space so people who collect autographs mostly get them on smaller items like balls or cards. The autograph is the main thing, not the item. For that reason, the autographed jersey market isn't that big in the collecting world...unless it's on a game-used jersey. Then the price is going to reflect the value of the game-used jersey, not the autograph. I think the appeal of an autographed, non-game-used jersey is mostly to regular fans who'd like to hang a jersey or two in their den or family room.

The best area to have a jersey signed is on the number. The ink of a Sharpie holds up much better on that material. An autograph on the jersey material itself tends to fade and bleed more over time.

Holograms, certificates of authenticity and the like aren't really worth anything. Those can be faked, too. Obviously holograms issued by Major League Baseball and the major memorabilia companies like Mounted Memories and Steiner do carry a lot of weight. As a collector, I hate having hologram stickers on my item, particularly when it's a quality, game-used collectible. You don't see valuable pieces of art come with a sticker on it. Likewise, there's no reason a valuable piece of baseball memorabilia should be defaced with a sticker. However, fraud is so rampant in the sports memorabilia world that holograms and COAs tend to alleviate the public's fear of being ripped-off.

Collecting autographs isn't like it used to be. Players know the value of autographs, though many overestimate the value of theirs, and are far more reluctant to sign for fans for free out of either protecting their paydays to sign for memorabilia companies/show promoters or in an effort to thrwart the professional autograph hounds. Many players are so contemptious of signing autographs and fans in general that autographs have degenerated into nothing more than a scribble.

Nelfox02
04-28-2011, 01:05 PM
This is a big area...

Collectors who collect autographed jerseys usually like to obtain the autographs themselves. Jerseys obviously take up a lot of space so people who collect autographs mostly get them on smaller items like balls or cards. The autograph is the main thing, not the item. For that reason, the autographed jersey market isn't that big in the collecting world...unless it's on a game-used jersey. Then the price is going to reflect the value of the game-used jersey, not the autograph. I think the appeal of an autographed, non-game-used jersey is mostly to regular fans who'd like to hang a jersey or two in their den or family room.

The best area to have a jersey signed is on the number. The ink of a Sharpie holds up much better on that material. An autograph on the jersey material itself tends to fade and bleed more over time.

Holograms, certificates of authenticity and the like aren't really worth anything. Those can be faked, too. Obviously holograms issued by Major League Baseball and the major memorabilia companies like Mounted Memories and Steiner do carry a lot of weight. As a collector, I hate having hologram stickers on my item, particularly when it's a quality, game-used collectible. You don't see valuable pieces of art come with a sticker on it. Likewise, there's no reason a valuable piece of baseball memorabilia should be defaced with a sticker. However, fraud is so rampant in the sports memorabilia world that holograms and COAs tend to alleviate the public's fear of being ripped-off.

Collecting autographs isn't like it used to be. Players know the value of autographs, though many overestimate the value of theirs, and are far more reluctant to sign for fans for free out of either protecting their paydays to sign for memorabilia companies/show promoters or in an effort to thrwart the professional autograph hounds. Many players are so contemptious of signing autographs and fans in general that autographs have degenerated into nothing more than a scribble.


unfortunatlely, this is very true.

as for concerns about buying autographps on line (or anywhere for that matter) they are VERY valid. there are a lot of good fakes out there with fake certs-----be very very careful.

only way to know 100% if something is valid is to see the player ink it right in front of you.

ewokpelts
04-28-2011, 01:25 PM
I think education is the best weapon.

But consider this BainesHOF, do you want to pay $500 for a buehrle autograph on a crappy chinese fake? ESPECIALLY if you want to display it in your home?

While the holograms do take away from the autos and the items, it certainly helps with future resale value, as well as insurance replacement. Authentication and registration help track the value. If your home flooded, and your game room/mancave was in the basement, how bad would it be to lose all your colelctibles and not get sufficient reimbursement? Yes, some things cant be replaced, but money is better than nothing.

CWSpalehoseCWS
04-28-2011, 01:25 PM
Looking at it from those pictures, it looks legit. I had an Urlacher jersey authenticated at by the same company at a Rosemont autograph show. They are legit, no question about that. The one picture allows you to see the authentication number. I would go to the site, and look it up. It should give you all the information you want.

Edit: I have mutiple Buehrle auto's collected at various times. I'll compare the signature and let you know if it looks spot-on.

ewokpelts
04-28-2011, 01:30 PM
Looking at it from those pictures, it looks legit. I had an Urlacher jersey authenticated at by the same company at a Rosemont autograph show. They are legit, no question about that. The one picture allows you to see the authentication number. I would go to the site, and look it up. It should give you all the information you want.

Edit: I have mutiple Buehrle auto's collected at various times. I'll compare the signature and let you know if it looks spot-on.I assume you're talking about the one with the PSA/DNA cert. I did look it up, it was authenticated on 3/8/11. I never doubted it wasnt legit. But it was a great example of how to look for things.

ewokpelts
04-28-2011, 01:38 PM
Now, one way to offer "proof" when you wish to re-sell or insure your items is by keeping as much documentation, even if you dont shell out for third party authentication.

Lillibridge is doing a signing this saturday at Triple Threat Sports, and you can get his auto by purchasing an auto ticket. That ticket, plus any other advertising, will be suitable for sales or insurance purposes to determine value. Now, TTS charging $10 a head , so you would add that price to the cost of the item.

shenk16
04-28-2011, 03:16 PM
Many players are so contemptious of signing autographs and fans in general that autographs have degenerated into nothing more than a scribble.

AJ is big on this these days. I guess in his opinion, everyone is out there to make money off of his autograph. Of course a lot depends on what mood he is in that day as well. I've had him sign some nice WS stuff and give a really nice signature and then had an 8 x 10 signed at spring training and it is nothing more than a scribble.

Nelfox02
04-28-2011, 06:08 PM
AJ is big on this these days. I guess in his opinion, everyone is out there to make money off of his autograph. Of course a lot depends on what mood he is in that day as well. I've had him sign some nice WS stuff and give a really nice signature and then had an 8 x 10 signed at spring training and it is nothing more than a scribble.


Really? I ve never gotten a scribble graph from him, ever.....on the current team he has one of the best autographs (I would say Konerko, Gavin Floyd, TCM are the other usual quality ones off the top of my head)

that sucks.....hope that is not a permanent change.

Streets
04-28-2011, 06:56 PM
I have one of those autograph balls with the Sox logo on it. Had Mark Buehrle sign it... he used a friggin' pen... it's fading. :angry: Everyone else used a marker and they're all still fine.

Oh well.. I don't get 'em to turn around and sell I grab an auto for my own pleasure and collection.

Nelfox02
04-28-2011, 07:48 PM
I have one of those autograph balls with the Sox logo on it. Had Mark Buehrle sign it... he used a friggin' pen... it's fading. :angry: Everyone else used a marker and they're all still fine.

Oh well.. I don't get 'em to turn around and sell I grab an auto for my own pleasure and collection.


your problem is more likely the ball than the pen, the logo balls you describe are made of synthetic material that over time absorbs the ink.

Balls are very tempermental, but if you are getting them autographed your best bet is to go with the official balls if you want the graph to hold up long term

Streets
04-28-2011, 07:51 PM
your problem is more likely the ball than the pen, the logo balls you describe are made of synthetic material that over time absorbs the ink.

Balls are very tempermental, but if you are getting them autographed your best bet is to go with the official balls if you want the graph to hold up long term

Yeah I was younger, in high school, and really didn't think to get a real ball. It was when they were at Taste of Chicago and I think I just grabbed something I had sitting in my house... everyone else used a marker before and after Mark did though...

CWSpalehoseCWS
04-28-2011, 08:01 PM
I have one of those autograph balls with the Sox logo on it. Had Mark Buehrle sign it... he used a friggin' pen... it's fading. :angry: Everyone else used a marker and they're all still fine.

Oh well.. I don't get 'em to turn around and sell I grab an auto for my own pleasure and collection.

Like Nelfox02 said, it's the ball. Those fake MLB replica balls fade no matter what it's signed with. Even marker. I have a Minnie Minoso ball signed with black sharpie on a Sox replica ball and it turned purple. But it'll fade on real balls too. I have a few that I paid money for that I can't display because they either faded too much or they bled into the ball.

Nelfox02
04-28-2011, 10:04 PM
Balls are great to get signed, they display well and you you dont need a lot of space to show a ton of them, but the drawback is how sensitive they are to fading, spotting, and toning. Best bet is to start with an official major league ball, avoid touching it as much as possible, keep it out of the sun, and away from moisture.

I have over 200 signed balls----most of them are in great shape despite being over 5 years, in some cases 10 years, old. All balls will eventually tone over time, but they still look good. The worst is when you get large oil spots on the ball......there are a lot of theories out there as to what causes those spots, but nothing concrete.

BainesHOF
04-28-2011, 10:59 PM
Yes, if you're going to get a ball signed, use only an official MLB ball and use a blue ballpoint pen. That's the standard. If you use anything else, your ball is worthless even before the inevitable problems develop with it.

Unfortunately, A.J. is a prime example of a player developing a bad attitude toward autograph signing. He used to almost always give a great-looking signature. Now that's the exception. These days he's fond of scribbling all over a card or photo. I don't get it. Why does he sign at all? He basically wrecks an item when he signs it. Even at Soxfest, he was giving at least some people bad signatures. I received a half-assed one that was in between his neat one and his scribble.

ewokpelts
04-29-2011, 10:14 AM
the one with the auto on the right breast is indeed authentic. it has an mlb sticker. the seller contacted me when i asked about it

esbrechtel
04-29-2011, 03:16 PM
Yeah I was younger, in high school, and really didn't think to get a real ball. It was when they were at Taste of Chicago and I think I just grabbed something I had sitting in my house... everyone else used a marker before and after Mark did though...

I had the print from after his first no hitter signed by Buehrle at sox fest a few years back, I asked him to sign in silver and he told me that because he is lefty he smears those paint markers alot and was nervous he was going to ruin my item so he signed it in a black sharpie instead. Maybe that is why he didnt sign in marker. Also, I am totally anti marker on baseballs anyways they always look smudged...

esbrechtel
04-29-2011, 03:19 PM
the one with the auto on the right breast is indeed authentic. it has an mlb sticker. the seller contacted me when i asked about it

My bet with this one the jersey was blank before and they item was signed then stitched with the players name and number afterwards...

ewokpelts
04-29-2011, 04:01 PM
My bet with this one the jersey was blank before and they item was signed then stitched with the players name and number afterwards...then why not just have them sign the back number, then sewn it on? some players do that for private signings. or in oj simpson's case, his lawyer was sneaking in bills helmet decals and having oj sign them in jail.