Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Adventures with Sharpies- Mark Eichhorn

There was a time, somewhere around 1994, that glossy cards were a new phenomenon. As an autograph collecting kid, I was used to non-shiny cards which you could have players sign with any sort of writing implement and the autograph would look just fine. I've always preferred getting cards signed with a black sharpie, although I know that many other collectors prefer blue, and I had never run into any problems, as long as the sharpie hadn't gone "dry".

Obviously, that wasn't the case for this '94 Pinnacle card of Mark Eichhorn. As some of you know, Pinnacle was slightly more high-end that your standard releases, and the cards had a bit of a gloss to them. I didn't think anything of it and took my card of Mark to an O's game and he was kind enough to sign it for me. When he handed it back, I was shocked. What had happened to my card? Why was the autograph so splotchy? You'd think that I would have figured out to rub down or otherwise prepare my cards for autographs in the future. But I didn't really. What can I say, like I said, I was still a kid and I guess that was beyond my thought processing capabilities back then. So, I think I will make "Adventures with Sharpies" an occasional feature. I've got some real winners, both cards that I had signed (poorly) and cards that I have otherwise added to my collection.

Mark pitched in the Majors for 11 seasons; the strike-shortened '94 season being his only one in Baltimore. He was a member of the back-to-back Blue Jays World Series Championship teams in 1992 & '93, and developed his sidearm pitching motion, which I'm a huge fan of, after an early career arm injury forced him to change his delivery. He is a great TTM signer so I might send him a request to see if I can get an upgrade to this card. I'll make sure to prep the card this time around.


Anonymous said...

I remember discovering the problem of glossy cards. NY Giants football player Howard Cross was doing a charity basketball game at my high school during the off-season, and I handed him a Stadium Club card to sign. It came out worse than your Mark Eichhorn card.

I pretty much gave up on collecting autographs for 8 or 9 years until Fleer started to produce one or two non-glossy card sets a year. I don't think I learned how to prepare glossy cards until 2004 or 2005.

zman40 said...

Paul is way ahead of my curve, as I didn't catch on to prepping until the beginning of '09. The funny thing is that most of my un-prepped modern cards look just fine, with the exception of 2007 Topps U&H.

Here is my first experience with the mid-90s glossy card.

I like the idea of this feature. Maybe others will learn from our ignorance.

Orioles Magic said...

Paul- I don't think I figured out how to prep the glossy cards until I got back into autograph collecting a few years ago. I guess when I was younger, an autograph was an autograph.

Zach-I'd agree that most cards turn out alright with no prepping. I also now use cd/dvd sharpies that are meant for glossy surfaces. I remember your Salmon auto. It's crazy how the pens do that sometimes.
And thanks, it will be worth it if I can help one other collector avoid our problems.