Vindicated: The story of a vintage rookie and a fake signature.

So about a year and a half ago, I sent an order to Beckett Grading to have a bunch of rookie cards slabbed solely for authentication.  Among the group was a 1948 Bowman Yogi Berra which bore a wanna-be signature on the front.  It was clear that the hand-written addition to the card was not a true autograph. Hell, it may not have even been an attempt at an autograph.  It could have been some kid just writing Berra’s name on the front of the card.

I digress.  So when I got my order back from BGS, I noticed that the Berra was not encased.  Some grader decided that the card needed to be sent to JSA for authentication purposes. I was confused.  I was pissed. I wrote this piece.

For a while I forgot about the Berra and moved on.  That is until I was confronted with a similar situation earlier this year when I acquired this Bob Feller Rookie and then this Ted Williams Rookie.

Both of these cards bore hand-written names of the players on front.  The Feller was a child-like writing, almost like the Berra.  But the Williams could be mistaken for his autograph.  Knowing what I dealt with on the Berra card, I decided to e-mail Beckett Grading to see if they could just slab the Williams as authentic and add a line about the signature not being real.  I got no answer.  I waited nearly two months and got nothing. Crickets.

So I decided to send in the Williams anyway with a grouping of other cards I wanted crossed over from other grading companies to a BGS/BVG slab.  I was going to write a note asking only for authentication on the card only … I forgot to add it before sealing the package.

Well, lo and behold, BGS graded my Williams as a 2, which is awesome.  The card has crisp edges, corners and a smooth surface, save for the obvious.  But when the BGS order at my house on Saturday, I saw that BGS added a note to the slab’s label: “Not Williams’ Signature.”

Thank you.  That is all I wanted in the first place.  Knowing what they’ve done for the Williams slab, I’ll be re-submitting the Berra (and the Feller) so they can do the same.  I better not get referred to JSA.

3 Responses to “Vindicated: The story of a vintage rookie and a fake signature.”

  1. I think BGS had to send them to JSA in order to protect themselves so that an unwitting buyer wouldn’t infer that the signature must be real because its in a slab. But now you know what to do in the future.

  2. That sucks, but I couldn’t help laugh at your story. Sounds like something that would happen to me.

  3. […] that I knew the “signatures” on the front were not real.  This was a reasonable request based on my return on the Ted Williams rookie.  Both cards were returned just as I submitted them with a note stating that “Service […]

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