Sunday, June 19, 2011

Upgrading to Downgrades

I recently added two long-term needs to my collection and they are very similar because of the cards they replaced.

Both LaTroy Hawkins and Juan Guzman have been on my need list for quite some time. They are some of the multitude of modern era players whose autographs are easy to find, just not on Orioles cards. Especially with Guzman, there are many, many signed Blue Jays cards to be found anywhere autographs are sold, but I finally found the first signed Orioles card of his I had ever seen, so I snatched it up in a hurry.

By now, you're probably wondering what the title of this post has to do with any of this. Well here goes...the Hawkins and Guzman signatures that had been in my collection for years were both 1996 Leaf Signature Series certified autographs. (I miss the days when almost every player was included in some sort of autograph set, it sure made it easier for me and my collection.)

And here's the part where the title will make sense. While I'm very happy to have both of these players' autographs on Orioles cards, check out the signatures on these two bad boys.

The signature on the Guzman O's card is pretty consistent with the Leaf autograph; the main issue there is that the O's card wasn't prepped and/or a crappy sharpie was used. 

But what in the world happened to Hawkins' graph? It wasn't extremely legible back in the mid '90s but at least it was stylized and you could see an outline of his name in there. The 2011 version of his signature pretty much looks like four swirls and is likely one of the worst examples of penmanship in my entire collection. 

The only way I consider an autograph to be 100% authentic is if I see it signed myself, but I have no reason to believe that either of these aren't legit. It's just a shame to upgrade both of these guys to signed O's cards, while the signatures themselves are both clearly worse than on the Leaf cards.


Paul Hadsall said...

I would have to keep both cards and hope for better versions of the autographs to turn up.

LaTroy Hawkins should probably just turn down autograph requests if he doesn't want to take the time to sign them properly.

Orioles Magic said...

Paul, believe me, I'm very tempted to hold on to both. Honestly though, as long as I've searched for both, the O's cards might just be permanent additions. I'm at least attempting to get in on a Guzman signing, so that might help.

It is disappointing to have waited so long to get this Hawkins card signed and get this back.

Commishbob said...

Congrats to LaTroy Hawkins for having maybe the only worse signature than mine I've ever seen!