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  • To Sign or Not to Sign?

    In the "Bobby Orr Coming to Expo" thread, I mentioned that Ted Lindsay was going to be making an appearance at the show on Friday and how I was thinking of getting him to autograph his Royal Desserts card. I received mixed responses from a few of you. Rather than reply on that thread, I decided to start a new one since this topic is a very interesting one.

    So the question was this: if there was an athlete who signed a trillion items in his life, then does his signature add any value to the item or does it actually harm it?

    Now in order to address this question, I have decided to use Gordie Howe as my example. Gordie started playing for the Red Wings in the 1940s and within a few seasons he was making a big name for himself. He must have started signing items around that time until his death, which was in 2016. In other words, he must have signed a trillion times. Now there are a lot of collectors out there who don't think his signature is worth much, and that's true, but I think it all depends on what he signed. An autographed jersey is not special, because he did this so many times, especially during the last twenty years of his life. Neither is a photo. What about his RC card? In the last ten years, I have seen around five of them for sale. There aren't that many out there. A signed Howe RC is very valuable.

    What about his Royal Desserts card? How many of these did he sign? Probably NONE! First of all, there are only a handful of these out there. Secondly, any collector who did own one probably didn't get him to sign it. However, let's say that I am wrong and that he did sign maybe one or two in his life, then these would be VERY valuable.

    Let's go back to Ted Lindsay now. He is 92 years old, and like Gordie, has signed trillions of times. But how many autographed Ted Lindsay Royal Desserts cards are out there? One? Three? Maybe none! I think getting him to sign it would definitely increase the item's value.

    In conclusion, we as collectors have to pay attention to what the athlete has signed. An autographed Bobby Orr Bazooka card is very special, but not a jersey. If he signs his 1965 Oshawa Generals team issued card, then that would also be very special since this card is very rare. A signed photo or puck? Don't waste your time.

    ~The End~

  • #2
    As someone who has a few Bobby Orr items signed in my collection, I can only add that I get things signed by Bobby only because it adds sentimental value to the item. The monetary value added is insignificant to me. I could care less if a signature adds or subtracts from the value of an item. In your particular case, I think your item will have greater appeal to the unsigned collector, because it is an item that unsigned collectors are looking for. Very few people are looking for that item signed. I think you'll have an easier time selling it unsigned than signed. For me, I love a rare item signed, but I also understand that very few others do.

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    • #3
      A signed Howe RC is valuable, in my opinion, because it is a Howe RC rather than because it is signed. A low grade copy would be worth more signed, but a mid or high grade copy would probably be worth the same or less.

      I personally wouldn’t have a rare issue signed. There are probably people looking for an unsigned copy but I don’t know if anyone is really looking for a signed copy. Accordingly, it’s easier to satisfy existing demand then try to create demand for something.

      Now, if it’s a PC card by all means do what you want with it!

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Puck_That; An autographed Bobby Orr Bazooka card is very special. If he signs his 1965 Oshawa Generals team issued card, then that would also be very special since this card is very rare.
        [B
        ~The End~ [/B]
        IMO I would never sign these Rare items of Bobby Orr, there just to rare and valuable in there natural state and to some hard core collectors they want this stuff with no Signature. You can always get less valuable stuff signed instead of high dollar stuff but I understand some people like to sign rare stuff but I'll leave mine unsigned.
        Also to let everyone know, Bobby Orr's Autograph has changed from his pre 80's auto when it was a very clean Bobby Orr showing a double BB, he now signs like Bolly Orr, sometimes I buy Bobby Orr Vintage stuff I have Already just to get an Autographed version of the same item but with a Vintage Auto signed back then. My last Pick up was the late 60's Bauer photo of Orr with a beautiful Vintage Bobby Orr Autograph. Just my 2 cents.
        Also Showing is some early Signed Mini sticks I have in my Collection.
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        Last edited by DanTheVintageMan; 03-10-2018, 01:50 PM.

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        • HowieMorenz7
          HowieMorenz7 commented
          Editing a comment
          I agree with you even though I am not a Boston Fan

        • DanTheVintageMan
          DanTheVintageMan commented
          Editing a comment
          LOL I am not a Boston Fan but a Bobby Orr Fan, Yes. Toronto Maple Leafs are my team !!

      • #5
        As you can see today Bobby Orr's Autograph is different as the Double BB looks like a Double LL in Bobby.
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        • #6
          I'm not a fan of adding a present day autograph to a vintage card or collectible (the worst is a fat sharpie signature on a vintage card). To me, a vintage card is real cool with a vintage signature.

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          • #7
            Very interesting topic - worthy of it's own post so good on you, Puck.

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            • #8
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              Every autograph collector likes something different. That's why getting things signed for resale can be very risky. For me, my #1 priority is that the autographs are either mint or gem mint. Secondly, I look for beautiful signatures of the signers. If you look closely at the Stanley Cup card on the left, look at how beautifully Wayne Gretzky signed this. He was the 2nd signer. Orr was first. I found out this was one of Gretz's favorite cards as a kid, and he took time and detail to script a beautiful auto. I was shocked at how good a job he did. Look how the W in the first name and Y in the second name are perfectly within the border of the card. Notice how the B of and Y of Bobby Orr fit beautifully in the border of the card. Notice the centering of both auto's on the card. You'd be hard pressed to find a better signature by Gretzky on a card out there. I'm sure there is one, but I haven't seen it yet.
              For me, autographs are a work of art within themselves. Then again, this is just me, and others are different. Some guys like autos from when the players were young. I just like that the player signed it, and the autograph came out beautiful. I don't care if Gretzky signed that card when he was 28 or 48. Doesn't matter.

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              • #9
                Originally posted by jb217676 View Post
                I'm not a fan of adding a present day autograph to a vintage card or collectible (the worst is a fat sharpie signature on a vintage card). To me, a vintage card is real cool with a vintage signature.
                I posed this question about a year ago in a different thread...and find it very interesting. In general: "Is a vintage autograph more valuable/desirable than a current signature from a 'vintage' player." For example, would a signature from Bobby Hull on a program or card from 1961 signed in that same year (however verified) have any more value or desirability than the same item signed by him today?

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