Something very odd has happened over the last two years, and it involves sticker autographs. With 3 specific players, autographs have changed significantly, sticker vs on card autographs that we know to be real. Not only has the signature’s slant, start and stop point, and composition changed, but they have been added to cards as “guaranteed authentic” by the companies that have used them.
I have already talked about Cam Newton and Dez Bryant on this site a few times, but we need to add Ryan Mathews to the list. For reference, here are the rookie premiere autographs for all three players.
We know these to be real because the rookies sign them during the premiere with reps from the company standing over them. Obviously, its not like Christian Ponder went and signed Newton’s cards for him.
Here are other examples of the same player signing sticker autographs for later in the year. These have all had QUESTIONABLE authenticity because the autographs are so different. Matthews has entered new territory as having 3 ridiculously different autographs. Im not saying these might not end up being real, there has been wide speculation across the message boards they are signed by someone else, mainly because the authenticated in person autographs received look more like the signatures see on the premiere examples.
Since this has been brought to the attention of the companies, Panini has already released cards of Cam Newton with the original signature:
Again, players change their autographs all the time (example 1 vs example 2), WE KNOW THIS. However, there are usually easy recognition points that can tie the differences to the first example. It doesnt seem plausible that a player can just up and change the slant of their handwriting. That is very tough to do when signing 1000 stickers. Even more problematic, Topps has said on numerous occasions that a rep witnesses all signatures in their products, as a result, we dont see as many of the affected signatures in their recent products. Panini’s language says the player is responsible for the authenticity, and as a result, many of the affected stickers are in their sets. Even Upper Deck and other companies are affected too. When it comes down to it, all I believe is that we are due an explanation.
I am not saying these autographs are not signed by the players, but man, something looks off.