Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Why Do Signatures Have To Be So Difficult To Collect?

 Besides sticker autographs the only thing worse than your favorite athlete having a crappy signature is your favorite athlete having someone else sign their autograph for them. One of my favorite upcoming NFL rookie this year is the Chicago Bears Ka’Deem Carey, a University of Arizona product.
When he was still playing for the University of Arizona Ka’Deem had a very unique, and highly collectable autograph. He signed a large “K” with “deem” along the upstroke of the “K” and his full last name. Here are a couple of examples that he signed, some have been signed in person while others were PSA/DNA verified. Notice he signs his full name plus adds the inscription “Bear Down” and/or his uniform number even on the shoe. Each "K" matches, the "d" is lower case not capital, the "C" and the "Y" match on each item. These are items he has signed between 2011 and 2013.

When he signed for Upper Deck, Press Pass and Leaf prior to the NFL Draft he cut his signature down to a craptastic “KC” which can be seen in this 2014 Leaf Metal Draft card that I picked up back in April. Other players have done a similar change to their autographs when they were heading in to the draft/just drafted in anticipation of having to sign a ton of cards once they made it in the NFL.
He are a couple of his other UD, Press Pass and Leaf autographs that are available. If he were not one of my favorite U. of Arizona players I wouldn’t pick up any of his autograph cards because these are horrible signatures that rival Chris Johnson’s “CJ” signatures. These cards were all signed in 2013 and early 2014 prior to the NFL Draft.

You can imagine my surprise when I do a search of the recently released NFL licensed Topps and Panini products and I see signatures are that are quite alien. What is even more disgusting is that there are signatures within the same product line that do not even match. None of which match anything that he has signed for the past 3 years
Here are four Bowman cards, all hard signed and I am sure they all say something along the lines of the signing being witnessed by a Topps employee but I am having trouble believing that. I realize that a signature may have slight changes from card to card but not this significant. Going down the line:

 The “K” looks different on three cards (the mini and X-Fractor are a bit similar) and none of them match the way he used to sign the “K” for years.

There are four different “D”, four different “C” and two different “Y”. Only the “Y” on the Bowman Refractor looks correct to the “Y” he has signed for years.
It looks like Panini at least used stickers from the same sheet or at least signed by the same person because all of the cards that I have seen all match up to each other, though are still incorrect from Ka’Deem Carey’s original signature.

At this point I am done purchasing Carey’s autographs, his signatures are either a crappy “KC” or fake. At least I know the “KC” was signed by him while his newer signature is completely up in the air as to who signed it.


  1. That just stinks! I guess autographs have become way too much of a commodity. It does take the fun out of it.

  2. I sign things everyday at my work place. I know my signature changes based upon my mood and how many papers I have to sign off of. Sometimes it looks perfect and sometimes it looks like a T and Htz. I do try to stay consistent but it's hard sometime.