On a few message boards lately, there has been a lot of discussion on autographs and changes made by the players midway through a signing year. Because they autographs are always able to be changed at the whim of a professional athlete, its not unheard of for someone to impulsively decide that they wanted to change their signature. My favorite player went from this great signature during his rookie season, to this one in 2008, and then back again recently. There are commonalities between the two choices, and many people have witnessed Peterson sign both in person. When it comes to Dez Bryant and Cam Newton, its not as clear.
Dez Bryant, though his value has dropped recently, was one of the more sought after rookies in the 2010 rookie premiere class. At the beginning of his career, his autograph was disjointed and large, covering a large space of both the sticker and the on card stuff he signed. We know these signatures are real because they are signed at the rookie premiere in front of hundreds of people. Midway through the rookie year, Bryant became a redemption in many products, and when the autographs showed up in collector’s mailboxes, they looked drastically different than before. Additionally, even after the questionable switch, his National Treasures patch autos showed up with the old signature. Of course, that didnt stop the questionable ones from from showing up on the stickers Panini used in the same exact product. Its not just the fact he is switching between on card and stickers, because here are stickers with the original signature. In fact, Topps does not have signatures from Bryant with the questionable auto.
As a person who does not own a single Dez Bryant autograph, I can only look at what is here. To me, these signatures definitely put me in a state of question. If Bryant did in fact have someone else sign stickers and cards for him, it wouldnt be the first time it has happened, and it wont be the last. However, its a terrible situation for Cowboys and Bryant collectors, not to mention the card companies that used the illegitimate autographs. Even more so when its one of the most valuable signatures of the year.
The second player in question is Cam Newton, another player who loves to sign big and bold. For every on card and in person autograph the signature looks very similar, with a “C” crossing the “Newton” at the N, with the N being lowercase. On his stickers, the autograph takes on a completely different shape. His autograph on these stickers has been in question since last year, and he is notoriously diva-like when he is asked to sign cards. In person, looks exactly as expected. This switch in his signature seems more plausible, especially because the stickers have much more limited space for him to sign. Topps claims to have reps at each signing the players do, and with nothing but horrible situations if they cant make the player sign, I have to believe this one is a bit less questionable, but not completely out of scope. It becomes less clear when you see a sticker autograph like this one – with the original autograph.
Either way, the players and their signatures always surprise me, especially for the big name guys. They have no reason to sign the cards they do, as the money is pocket change to them, it seems. The only thing that matters is image and having their name out there, but even then its not a big audience. So, needless to say, this situation is troubling but not surprising.